The Legend of Zelda: The Fabric of Time
Part One – Gems of Imprisonment
A man was sitting out on a rock, gazing into the night sky. A curious man, he always wondered about the stars, among other things. As he sat there, he couldn’t help but long for a more meaningful life. He couldn’t remember the last time he had even seen a person, let alone talked to one, watched one, or even loved one. He had lived alone for as long as he could recollect. He had nothing. No possessions, no family, no friends. He longed for more. He was sick of this place, this tired, run down place he called home. But he could do nothing about it. There was no telling which way would lead him to civilization. If he tried to look for one, he would probably die on the journey. He let out a loud sigh and stood up.
I guess this is just the way it was meant to be, he thought to himself. He looked over the desolate fields and decided that he would turn in for the night. He began climbing up the rock wall and eventually got back to the summit where his humble little abode was. He lived at the top of Death Mountain. Accurately named, he thought to himself. Death Mountain is, of course, located in Old Hyrule. However, there were no more civilizations in Old Hyrule. The Kokiri, the Gerudo, the Gorons, the Zoras, even the Hylians no longer lived there. Most of the land was now arid and dry. The tribes had long since moved away. Ganon had made sure of that. After all his attacks, the people just gave up on the land. The only one left was Ian, the hermit. How he even remembered his name, he didn’t know. He figured that he was somewhere in his fourties, but he did not know his exact age. He had black hair and brown eyes and his skin was very dark from being out in the sun too long over the years. He was also very thin, for food was a rare commodity. He had tried hunting, and it worked sometimes. However, the beasts in this land were as scarce as the people.
Ian walked into his hut and put on his nightclothes, if you could call them that. They were really just an old shirt and pants that looked like rags. But he had nothing else, so he made do. As he laid himself down, he felt a chill in the hut. That’s not normal, he thought to himself. But he couldn’t place his finger on it. Oh well, just go to sleep. And with that, he fell fast asleep.
* * * *
Ian found himself in a temple that he never even knew existed. He could feel the same chill that he felt before he went to sleep. He walked along a long, narrow, poorly lit hallway. Where it went he had no idea, but he intended to find out. As he made it to the end of the hallway, he came across a large room, which seemed empty except for a throne. He then noticed a figure sitting in the throne, a tall menacing figure with bright red hair and an ugly face to match.
“Greetings, Ian. Welcome to my palace in the Dark Realm. You are here because you can help me. And in turn, I will help you.”
Ian was intrigued. “I’m listening.”
“I have been trapped here by a boy and seven Sages. In order to break the seal, I need you to capture all the Sages. Once free of this realm, I will be able to rule all the land. In return for your service, I will give you anything you desire, and you can sit beside me as my second in command.”
Ian thought about this. Here it was. All he wished for was a meaning to his pitiful life and this man was offering it to him. He decided he would help. “Deal!” he called to the mysterious man.
“Good! You have made a wise choice, my friend.”
“How do I go about capturing these Sages you speak of?” Ian questioned.
“You must first travel back through time. Once you are there, you must trap them in seven gems. You won’t need to worry about not having any clue of what to do either. I will provide you with the necessary information when the time comes.”
“OK, sounds good to me,” Ian said excitedly. He was overwhelmed with the possibility of making a difference in this goddess- forsaken world.
“NOW BE GONE!” the mysterious man yelled, and at that instant, all was black.
Ian shot up out of bed in a cold sweat and knew exactly what he had to do. Wow, he thought, this guy doesn’t waste any time. He changed into his normal clothes and began the search for the seven gems.
* * * *
“I promise I’ll be back in time for the banquet tonight, Zel,” Link said as he kissed his wife goodbye.
“I don’t see why you have to go, though,” she asked back.
“I told you, I promised Nick I’d help him start to rebuild the town. That fire was pretty devastating.”
“I know, but I was kind of in the mood for… well, you know…,” answered Zelda suggestively with a wink. She really didn’t want Link to go, but he always kept his promises, no matter what.
Link smiled, “Well, there’s nothing in the world I would rather do, but I promised him.”
“Yeah, yeah,” she said as she gave him another kiss. “Well, you better get going then. The sooner you leave, the sooner you’ll get back.”
“Yes, your Royal Highness,” Link joked as he turned Epona around. “I’ll be back later today, don’t miss me too much.” He blew a kiss to Zelda and brought Epona to a trot.
Zelda remained where she was, in front of the castle drawbridge. She watched her husband, the Hero of Time, ride off until he was out of sight. Even after she couldn’t see him anymore, she still stood there. It really is a beautiful day, she thought to herself. I think I’ll go for a ride myself. She headed over to the stable and walked over to her horse, Softbreeze. She placed her saddle on top of the horse and jumped on. Patting the horse on the side, Zelda went for a ride.
* * * *
Link brought Epona to a sprint. He really wanted to get to Dolsena as fast as he could. Overhead, the sun was shining brightly, and it was surprisingly warm for seven in the morning. But there were some dark clouds that threatened that. It would take him just a couple of hours to get to Dolsena, and he hoped he would beat the rain. On his way over, he looked around him. He couldn’t believe how Hyrule had turned out. It had been ten years since Link and the Sages defeated the evil Ganondorf and sealed him in the Evil Realm. He, of course, refused to let Zelda send him back to his childhood. He belonged in this time as much as any. Since then, Hyrule had gone through an age of prosperity. There were no more big threats to the land and all the races realized their mistakes and became very friendly toward each other. Trade routes opened everywhere. It had also been an age of exploration, as many Hylians traveled over the Death Mountain range and found more land. It was soon found that Hyrule was an island, and almost twice the size of what it once was. Although many of the races did not expand into these new areas, the Hylians took the opportunity. New towns were established all over Hyrule. One was located north of Hyrule Castle, which happened to be where Link was going. There was also the port town of Oceana on the other side of the mountain range, the farming town of Baru situated by Lake Hylia, and another town beyond the Gerudo Desert known as Salenne. And of course, Hyrule Castle Town and Kakariko Village grew considerably. Several other countries were discovered as well. The neighboring countries were Malaank, Larosia, and Dellenia. Yes, these were peaceful times.
Too peaceful, if you ask me, thought Link as he drew close to Dolsena. As he entered the town, he finally realized how devastating the fire really was. Many of the homes were burned to the ground, as well as most of the shops. It was a horrible crime. The perpetrator had been caught soon after the blaze was controlled and was locked up in the dungeons at Hyrule Castle. He deserves it, Link said to himself. Up in the distance he finally saw his long time friend, Sir Nick.
“Hello, Link. It’s about time that you got here. I thought you were going to leave me with all the work,” Nick said as Link dismounted Epona. Nick had short, brown hair and a warrior’s stature. Link was slightly taller than him, but Nick definitely had more muscle.
“Yeah, well, you’re lucky that I’m such an honorable and caring man, Nick.”
“That’s exactly why I asked you for your help. You’re too much of a coward to stand your ground to me,” Nick joked back.
“Oh really?” replied Link. “Well, then, I hope you have fun rebuilding these houses, ALONE, and with those shops, ALONE. Cause I’ll be in the tavern having a few drinks!”
Nick laughed. “You wouldn’t be able to hold that much liquor you weakling!”
Link laughed and the two gave each other a quick hug. “Well,” Link started, “let’s get this done with. I don’t want to get Zel mad at me… again.”
“Let’s go, Link. We can start over there.”
Ian returned to his hut with seven beautiful gems, each one a different color, and each one about the size of a fist. He could hardly believe he could find such precious gems, but figured it was because of that man in his dream. It had to be. Oh well, he thought, just as long as I have them. As he put the gems down he noticed two new objects in his hut. He slowly walked over to them.
“What in the world are these?” he asked out loud.
Inside his head, he could hear the voice of that strange man. “These two objects will aid you in your quest. The first is a container in which you can store the gems. The other is a book that will guide you through time and eventually help you trap the Sages.”
“I see,” he said aloud.
Ian opened the case and noticed that the groves for the gems where in a pattern. There was a spot toward the top, and another opposite it toward the bottom. On each side were two more groves equally spaced from the others. And, directly in the center of the case, was the final grove. Ian randomly placed them into the case and closed it. He then reached for the book and began to read it. This book has everything in it. How will I ever know what to do? he thought. He sat on his bed and read some more.
* * * *
Link finished his drink and slammed it down onto the table. The bartender walked over and poured him another one. Link thanked him and turned to Nick.
“That was a lot of hard work.”
“Tell me about it. And we’re not even done. We are done for today, however. I ache all over,” Nick replied, rubbing his arms.
“But it’s got to be done, and someone has to do it. Too bad that someone includes us,” Link smiled.
“I agree with that,” Nick added, raising his glass into the air.
“Here, here,” Link said as he raised his glass up to Nick’s. They both emptied their mugs. “Sorry, to drink and run, Nick, but I’ve got to start heading back if I want to be on time for this banquet thing.”
“I need to be heading to Hyrule Castle, too. So we can make the journey back together.”
“Aren’t I the lucky one?” Link shot back. He loved joking with Nick, it was always so much fun. Nick could always give out as much as he could take. The two paid the bartender and walked outside toward the stables.
“Uh, oh. Looks like it’s going to ran,” Nick observed. Link looked up with a frown.
“Damn.” The two men mounted their horses and sped off toward Hyrule Castle.
* * * *
Soon, Ian found himself standing in front of a portal of some kind. Not a portal of some kind, he thought, a portal through time. I wonder where I’ll be going? Or rather, when I’ll be going. He looked at the portal a little longer, then grabbed the book and case.
“Here goes nothing.”
He stepped into the portal and instantly felt strange. It was as if his body wasn’t there, just his thoughts, flying through this doorway. The pathway twisted and turned until he could see a bright light ahead of him. That better not be the great beyond he thought. He came closer and closer to the light, until it was all around him, then all was dark.
He awoke to find himself on the ground. The first thing he noticed was that it was raining. But soon, that was replaced by the feeling of pain and tiredness. He tried to move but couldn’t, or wouldn’t, he didn’t know for sure. All he knew was that he was hurt, and he was getting wet. Then, off in the distance he heard the galloping of horses. He tried to call for help, but couldn’t get out more than some undistinguishable noise. Great, I’m going to die out here, was all he thought.
* * * *
Thunder crashed, lightning flashed, and Link and Nick pushed their horses even faster. The rain was beginning to come down harder and they were still a ways from the warmth of the castle. Link thought he heard something, but he just blamed it on the rain. No one in their right mind would be out here. Well, except for Link. Again, he thought he heard something, but he was in no mood for adventuring, he just wanted to get home.
Nick also heard the noise, but he was more curious. He glanced around him trying to see anything. Then, a bolt of lightning lit up the dark sky and Nick made out what he thought to be a person laying face down on the ground. He had to help this person. “Link! Link!” he shouted. Finally he got Link’s attention and pointed over to where the man was lying on the ground. “Someone’s out here! We’ve got to help him!”
Link nodded and turned Epona around and headed for the spot that Nick had pointed to. As he rode up, he saw the figure of a man in very ragged clothing with a case and book. Upon further inspection, he noticed that the man was very thin, maybe even malnourished. But there was no time to think about that. He grabbed the man, who was very light, and placed him in front of him on Epona. “Let’s go!” he yelled to Nick over the roaring thunder and pounding rain. “He looks sick, and we might end up sick too if we don’t get out of this rain!” Nick nodded in agreement and the two of them directed their horses to the castle.
* * * *
The town was in clear view and the two travelers, with one unconscious man, raced toward the drawbridge. The guards immediately recognized the rider in front as Link on Epona, but they had no clue as to who was on the horse with him. They didn’t dwell on this fact as they lowered the bridge for the Hero of Time to cross.
Link and Nick hurried across the bridge. It was still raining very hard, and the two riders were very cold and wet. They continued sprinting through the town toward the castle stables. As they stabled their horses, Link picked up the unknown man and began to run to the castle. Nick was right behind with the man’s book and case.
Link ran up to one of the guards. “Get Zelda and the Sages and tell them to go to the guest room wing!” he shouted to him.
“Yes, sir!” The guard ran off toward the dining hall where Zelda and the Sages were seated.
Link had just gotten into the room with the new man and put him on a bed when the rest came into the room.
“Link, where did you find this man?” Zelda asked.
“Nick found him out in Hyrule Field. He was completely out of it, but we knew we had to bring him here.”
“We need to get him out of these… clothes… if that’s what you would call them,” Impa stated.
“Well, I’m not doing it!” Ruto said.
“Oh, please. Get over it.” Nick gave Ruto a teasing smile.
“Fine, then you do it, Nick,” insisted Nabooru.
“You, too?” Link asked. Nabooru just smiled back at him. “Oh fine, you ladies can turn around if you want to, but I can’t believe that you could be so embarrassed.” He then added, with a smile, “Except for you, Zel. I’m the only man that you should see with no clothes on.”
“If I want to see a naked body, I’ll see one,” she defended.
“So you want to help Nick and I?”
“No, that’s disgusting!” she replied. Link, Nick, Darunia, and Rauru all let out a small laugh, then turned to help the sick man.
They soon had him out of his ragged old clothes and into decent sleeping attire. After placing him on the bed and under the covers, the girls all turned around.
“He looks so peaceful in that bed,” Saria said. Impa nodded.
“Let’s leave our mystery guest alone for awhile so that he can get the necessary rest. We’ll take shifts so that we know when he wakes up. Saria, take the first shift. Then Darunia can watch over him.”
“Ok,” said Saria.
“Yeah, I want to get cleaned up and changed anyway,” Link said as he just remembered that he was drenched and dirty. Nick nodded.
“Its almost time for the banquet. We should start to go to the dining hall,” Zelda brought up. Everyone nodded and left, except for Saria.
The banquet was as boring as usual. Link wanted to stand up and scream at the top of his lungs. That would have made things more interesting. Maybe. The banquet was just a precursor to the celebration that would take place in two days. The celebration will mark the tenth anniversary of the defeat of Ganon. It always was a grand celebration, attracting people from all over the country, including the Sages.
The man didn’t even stir on Saria’s watch, or Darunia’s watch. It was Link’s shift next. As he entered the room, Darunia gave him a big Goron pound.
“Ah! You really got to stop doing that, Darunia! One of these days, my shoulders are going to break in half!”
“Ha ha! You are so much fun, brother!” replied the leader of the Gorons.
“Anyway… did our guest stir?”
“Not a single movement from him. I’m beginning to worry that he may be getting worse.”
“Don’t worry, Darunia. I’m sure he’ll be fine,” Link said as the Goron made his way out of the room.
Link pulled up the chair closer to the man and leaned back. He had so many questions for him. Where did he come from? Why was he in the middle of the field? What were the book and case for? While thinking to himself, Link fell fast asleep.
He found himself in a field. No, it was Hyrule Field, he was sure. But there was something different about it. It didn’t feel right. As he looked in the direction of Lon Lon Ranch, he jumped back in surprise. The ranch was no longer there. In its place was a menacing tower that stretched into the sky. He’d never seen a tower so huge and evil. Just then, he felt a sharp pain in his stomach. He looked down and saw that he had been run through with a sword. “No! It can’t end like this!” he shouted. But it was of no use. Then he saw another sword moving to take off his head. “No…” he whimpered. Then all was black.
Link shot up in the chair in a cold sweat. He didn’t even notice that their mysterious guest was sitting up in bed, staring at Link. He slowly noticed that the man was looking at him.
“Hi, I’m Link. I, we, found you in the field in the middle of a storm. We brought you back here to Hyrule Castle. We have a few questions to ask you, but first, I’ve got to go get my friends.” The man simply nodded and watched Link walk out of the room.
It worked, I’m actually back in Hyrule during its age of prosperity. And I’m in the castle! I would’ve never dreamed it, he thought. But just then, he felt the presence of the red haired man.
Very good, Ian. You are in the best spot you could be. All the Sages are in this castle right now and will be for the next several days. You must trap them in the gems! Ganondorf screamed.
Ok, ok! Don’t worry, I’ve got it covered. Just then, the door to the guest room was pushed open and several more people walked into the room. In stepped races that he knew only of in legend: the Kokiri, the Gerudo, the Zora, the Goron. He couldn’t believe it.
All the Sages introduced themselves and explained his current situation. Now it was time for him to answer their questions. He told them his name was Ian.
“So, Ian,” Link started, “where did you come from?”
“You wouldn’t believe me.”
“Try us. We’re more open-minded than we may seem,” Rauru said.
“Ok. I come from the future. I was brought here in a time portal. Unfortunately, it left me quite drained, so I couldn’t move. That must be when you found me.” He pointed to Link.
“Yeah, you looked pretty bad. I wasn’t sure if you were going to make it.”
“So, why have you come here?” asked Zelda impatiently.
“I came to warn you.” Link looked confused.
The man didn’t know how he knew, but then again he seemed to know a great deal more than he used to. “A man you know as Ganondorf, or the monster known as Ganon.”
“What? Ganon?” Link burst out.
“Yes, in my time, this land of Hyrule is nothing more than a wasteland. Ravaged over the years from Ganon’s attacks have forced all the inhabitants to flee to other countries. Magic dies out and Ganon ends up with the Triforce. No one is safe from him in my world.”
“Oh Din, Farore, and Nayru!” said Rauru. “That can’t be!”
“Ah, but it is. I have come here to help you out. I have reason to believe that Ganon may be able to escape from the Evil Realm soon.” Impa spoke up.
“Is that what the book and case are for?”
“Well, the book yes, but the case… well, I’m a rare gem collector. These were my most prized possessions.” He couldn’t believe how easy it was to lie.
“Well, that’s enough for now. You need your rest,” Nabooru said. “Come on, let’s give him more time to rest.” Everyone agreed.
“There’s a celebration tomorrow to mark the defeat of Ganon,” Zelda said. “You’re welcome to attend if you feel better. You can borrow some of Link’s clothes.”
“Oh, great,” Link whispered to Darunia. “Now she’s lending out my clothes. She’s lucky she’s so beautiful, otherwise…” Darunia laughed at the Hero of Time and walked out of the room with all the rest.
Ian was feeling a lot better by the time the celebration was set to begin. His recovery was very remarkable. The Sages figured that he must know some magic or he was in tune with nature in some way. Ian knew better. It was all thanks to Ganondorf. He really had to give the evil man credit… he was very good at what he was doing.
He looked at himself in the mirror in his guest room. He had on one of Link’s normal everyday tunics, a blue one. He had to admit, Link had some good taste. That won’t matter in a couple of days though, he thought. Then, almost as if on cue, the door opened and Link stepped in.
“You look good. A lot better than you did out there in the field.”
“Thanks. I owe it all to you and your friend, though. What was his name?”
“Nick. Sir Nick. He’s been my best friend for many years now. He’s a Knight in the Royal Guard.”
“I hope I get to meet him.”
“I’m sure you will tonight. There will be a large crowd and all the Knights are always welcome.”
Link noticed the case on top of Ian’s bed. His curiosity took over. “You said you were a gem collector, right?”
“Yes I am. Those ones in the case are my best find.”
“Could you show them to me, if you don’t mind?”
“No, no problem at all,” he answered as he walked over to the case. He took a key out from his pocket and opened it up. “In fact, I love showing off these beauties. It helps boost my ego every now and then.”
Link gazed into the case and saw the seven gems. He had never seen such beautiful stones before in his life. “Those are magnificent! May I ask what they are?”
“Of course.” Ian picked up the top stone. It was a yellow gem and Link wouldn’t be surprised if it had anything to do with the sun. “This is Yellow Topaz.” Link marveled at its beauty.
Ian continued to name the gems to Link. Going clockwise after the Yellow Topaz, came the green Emerald, the red Ruby, the blue Sapphire, the orange Fire Opal, and the purple Amethyst. The middle contained the most magnificent gem Link had ever seen. Ian caught his gaze on the gem and smiled.
“Good choice, my friend. This gem is a Diamond. Perfectly clear, it is my most beloved stone in my collection. It symbolizes purity, goodness, and peace.” Ian gave Link the gem. “She’s a beaut, isn’t she?”
“Yes, yes it is.”
As Link gave the gem back to Ian, he noticed something about the pattern of the gems in the case. He’d seen that pattern before somewhere, but he couldn’t remember where. The colors were in an order that seemed so familiar to him. Oh well, probably just saw it somewhere on one of my adventures, he figured. Ian placed the diamond back into the case and closed it, placing it underneath his bed.
“Well, Ian, I believe there is a celebration that is awaiting my arrival. I would be honored if you walked in with me.”
“No, no, Link. I am the one who would be honored.” The two walked side by side out of the room.
* * * *
Ian had never been to a celebration before, let alone one so marvelous and spectacular. He felt completely out of place. He was so used to being by himself that he found that he didn’t know what to do in a room full of hundreds of people. Luckily for him, Link was making it easier.
“Ian!” Link called. “Come over here!” He gestured with his hand in his direction. Ian made his way through the crowd and stopped beside Link.
“Ian, this is Sir Nick. Without him, you may still be out there in the field.”
Ian reached out his hand to Nick. “I am in your debt, Sir Nick. I would have surely died if you had not spotted me.”
Nick took Ian’s hand and gave a firm handshake. “That was no trouble at all. I’m glad to see you well.”
“These are more of my friends,” Link continued. “This is Sir Charles of Hyrule, Sir Aaron of Dellenia, and Sir William of Malaank. Sir Robert of Larosia has yet to arrive, but he is also a dear friend.”
Charles was a very tall man, with dark hair and dark eyes to match. He was one of the best swordsmen in the land of Hyrule, right behind Link and Nick. Aaron had blonde hair and blue eyes. He was the shortest of the bunch, but that was just typical for his country. Dellenians were naturally shorter than Hylians. Finally, there was William. He had about the same build as Link, but he was a little taller. His brown hair hung down to his shoulders and his green eyes seemed like they could pierce into one’s mind. After Ian shook hands with each of the Knights, several women approached the group.
“Hey, guys,” one said.
“Oh, hello, ladies,” Aaron replied. Aaron was always a big flirt. He still was not married, but many women have thrown themselves at his feet. He hated that. He hated being treated higher above the rest, even if he was a great warrior in Dellenia.
“Hey, Link, who’s the new guy?” another asked.
“Ladies, this is Ian. Ian, the ladies. More specifically, Sarah, Celes, Adriana, and Diana. Celes is married to Sir Nick, but I believe the rest are unattached,” Link said while giving Ian a little smile and a wink. Ian let a big smile cross his face. All of the women were fairly good-looking, but the one that struck out at him was Adriana. She had perfect auburn hair that went to the middle of her back. Her blue eyes were filled with life. She had a very nice body as well. Ian must have been staring, because she noticed his gaze and smiled back. Her cheeks were becoming red and she let out a little giggle.
The band began to play a new song and Ian decided that he would try to dance. He only hoped that he didn’t look like a complete klutz.
“Adriana, would you care to dance?” he asked while holding out his hand in an inviting position.
“I would be honored,” she replied. And with that, the two walked out onto the dance floor. After the two left, Link decided it would be best to go see his wife.
“I’ll see you guys later. I’m going to go find Zelda,” he said as he began to walk off.
Nick turned to Aaron. “Do you find anything weird about that man?”
“Who? Ian? No, not really. Why do you ask?”
“No real reason. It’s just that when Link and I found him a couple days ago, he was on the brink of death. Now, he’s all cheery and doesn’t seem to be affected from it at all.”
“I see what you mean,” agreed Aaron.
“Hey, you guys know that some people are just fast healers,” William pointed out. “Give him a break. He’s probably trying to put it all behind him.”
“Yeah. But do you believe what they say about him?” Nick asked no one in general.
“What do they say?” It was Celes.
“Link tells me that he believes he came from the future to warn us of an attack from Ganon.”
“Really? Did he say when?” Charles was getting worried. He remembered what happened last time Ganondorf attacked. He had lost his parents then.
“No,” answered Nick, “but if he wanted to rid us of Ganon and he could travel through time, why didn’t he go to before Ganondorf ever did anything?”
“Good point. That does seem kind of odd,” William agreed.
“What are we doing? We just meet the man and already we’re trying to judge him,” Aaron said. “Let’s give him a chance before we start to form an opinion of him.” Sarah moved up next to him.
“Yes, give the man a chance. In the meantime, care to give a lady a chance?” She smiled up at Aaron and he couldn’t help but smile, and slightly blush. And with that, Aaron and Sarah walked out onto the dance floor.
Nick turned to his wife. “Well, honey, care to dance?” Celes didn’t even reply. She just took his hand and led Nick away.
“Well, it seems as if there are two men left and one pretty little lady,” Diana said flirtatiously. “Whom so ever will I dance with?” She put on an innocent face toward Charles and William. William found no interest in the girl, so he made the decision.
“Why don’t you dance with her, Charles? I’ll just go on over to the bar and have a few drinks.”
“That’ll be my pleasure,” Charles replied. Damn, he thought, I was hoping I’d stick him with Diana. Oh well. Charles didn’t care much for the girl either. But no sense in breaking her heart. He didn’t want her to start crying in the middle of the celebration.
* * * *
Link walked through the crowd toward the thrones that were set up for the celebration. As he expected Zelda was sitting on the throne with their son and the other Sages. As Link walked over, his son jumped up and ran to him.
“Dad!” he called as he wrapped himself around Link.
“Hey, Evan. Are you having fun?”
“No! This part is boring! When are we going to have the competitions?” he whined. Link bent down next to his son.
“You know they’re tomorrow. But don’t worry, I hate this part too. I have an idea that’ll make it more fun, though.” He winked at Evan. The boy knew exactly what his father was getting at. Link turned around and Evan jumped up onto his shoulders. When Link was sure he had a good grip, he stood up and walked quickly in the direction of Zelda.
“Wheee!” Evan cried over the noise of the crowd. Zelda turned toward her two guys and smiled as they came up to her.
“Oh, this is a time for fun and games, is it?” she said in mock anger, but her big, bright smile was a dead giveaway. “Well, I’m glad you two are having fun. Too bad I can’t join in.”
“And who says you can’t?” Link asked his wife.
“Me, that’s who,” Impa stepped up. She too had a big smile on her face. She just loved the boy so much. So much of his father in him.
Rauru came forward and said, “I think I’m going to go outside for some fresh air. I’ll be back in a few minutes.” He walked toward the courtyard.
Link put Evan down and looked into Zelda’s eyes, those beautiful eyes. “Your Highness, I would be honored if you would care to share this next dance with me,” he said in a very respectful manner. He always knew how to embarrass Zelda.
“Oh, stop calling me that and take me out to the dance floor, Hero.” Link noticed her cheeks were slightly red. Oh he loved to harass her. It was so fun.
“Yes, milady,” he added as he took her hand.
Ian and Adriana had finished dancing a few minutes before. After that, Ian went over to sit at the bar with William.
“So I hear that you’re from the future,” William said.
“Yeah, sounds crazy, doesn’t it?”
“Eh… only a little,” he replied.
“Well, I’m still trying to get used to the fact that I’m in the best place… I mean time… in history,” Ian went on. It was then that Ian looked over toward the throne and saw one of the Sages walk off. He watched where he went and only one thought came to his mind. Yellow. It would begin now. He waited a little longer and noticed that Link and Zelda were now on the dance floor. Perfect. Now to excuse myself…
“Pardon me, William, but where are the restrooms?”
“Ah, straight down the hallway, then turn right. Third door on the left.”
“Thanks.” Ian walked down the hallway and took a quick glance back, then turned left instead. He was glad that he had a good memory. He needed it. He easily made it back to his room and went for the case underneath his bed. He opened it up and took out the Yellow Topaz, then closed it and placed it back underneath the bed. He didn’t need the book since he had already memorized the spell he needed. He quickly shoved the Topaz into his pocket and headed back out to the ballroom. Instead of going back to the bar, he went to the last door that he saw the old Sage walk through. As he walked through the door, he realized that he was in the castle courtyard. It was such a beautiful garden, but he had no time to gaze at them now. He had a job to do. To his delight, the Sage was outside all by himself. No witnesses. Perfect. He walked up to the Sage.
“Hello… Rauru, is it?”
“Yes it is, Mr. Ian.”
“Oh, just Ian will be fine. Lovely night out, isn’t it?”
The Sage looked up at the stars. “Very much so. I miss nights like this. I don’t get out of the Temple of Light very often. Always indoors. I hate being cooped up like that, but it’s my duty and I will never waiver that duty.”
“Must get lonely there sometimes.” Rauru nodded his agreement. “You know, I’ve been alone for almost all my life as well. I never really knew my parents. Never had any friends. Maybe that’s what finally helped me make my decision to come here. I was just so… lonely.”
“Loneliness is not good for the soul,” Rauru put in. “The soul needs friends and family to grow, to become all that it has the potential to be. A lot of times, loneliness leads to evil.” Rauru looked at Ian and smiled. Ian smiled back. Rauru then turned to look around the courtyard. This was the opportunity Ian was waiting for. He pulled the Topaz out of his pocket and readied the spell.
“You’re right, Rauru,” Ian told the old man, with a smirk on his face. “Loneliness does lead to evil.” He raised the Topaz into the air and started casting the spell. Rauru turned in time to see the gem begin to glow brightly, but it was too late. The light from the gem reached out and surrounded the old Sage. He couldn’t struggle, he couldn’t call for help. He was totally defenseless. The yellow light then engulfed the Sage and pulled him into the gem.
Ian looked at the gem. It was now glowing on its own. It was an unnatural light, but it was so enchanting. He looked closer at the gem and could make out a figure inside. The man inside was pounding on the interior of the Topaz. This only made Ian chuckle to himself. He was able to hold back the evil laughter that seemed to well up inside him. Suddenly, he heard footsteps behind him.
No! You will not get caught now! You have proven that you are worthy of the task! Hurry, before someone notices the gem! the booming voice of Ganondorf beckoned him. Ian quickly wrapped the gem in a cloth and placed it in his pocket. He then tried to act casual as the footsteps came closer.
“Hey, Ian! Have you seen Rauru?” asked Nick. “He said he would be out here and I needed to talk to him.”
“No, I haven’t seen him.” Nick noticed something strange about Ian. Something in his eyes.
Ah, probably just the light of the moon and stars playing tricks on you, Nick, he thought. “Alright. If you see him, let him know I’m looking for him?”
“Sure, no problem. I’ll see you inside.” Nick nodded and turned to walk inside. Whew, that was too close. I’ll have to be more careful next time, Ian thought as he casually walked back through the ballroom to his room to store the first of seven sages.
As he placed the glowing yellow Topaz into the case, he got a gut instinct that he would have another opportunity that night to capture another Sage. Without even thinking, he grabbed the blue Sapphire and placed it into his pocket. The Zora is next, he proclaimed in his mind. Or was it Ganondorf? Doesn’t matter. Just do it. As he left the room, he decided not to go back to the ballroom. He was drown over to the other wing of the castle. He didn’t know why, but he could make a pretty good guess. His guess was confirmed when he walked around the corner and spotted the Zora walking down the hallway in his direction.
“Hello, Ian. What are you doing over here?”
“Uh…,” Ian began, then he said quickly, “I needed to use the restroom.”
“It’s just right over there,” Ruto said as she pointed in the opposite direction. Ian nodded. Ruto continued, “By the way, have you seen Rauru? He disappeared a while ago and he still hasn’t returned.”
Ian shook his head. “No, I haven’t.”
“Oh well, he’s probably just wondering around the castle, like usual. I’ll see you back in the ballroom, Ian.”
“Ok.” As Ruto walked past him, Ian decided to take the opportunity. No one was around so this would work out well. He reached into his pocket and pulled out the Sapphire. He turned toward Ruto and called out. “Oh, hey, Ruto! As a matter of fact, I do know where Rauru is!”
Ruto turned back to face him and asked, “You do? Where is he?”
Once again, Ian had an evil smirk on his face. “The same place you’re about to go!” The Sapphire rose in the air and emanated a blue light. Ruto felt as if she was frozen in place. She found that she couldn’t do a thing to resist the light that was now beginning to surround her. As the light enveloped and pulled her into the gem, Ian could see a look of surprise on the Zora Princess. He couldn’t help but smile at this. Finally, the gem shone with a blue light, indicating that Ruto was trapped inside.
“This is just too easy,” Ian said aloud. “At this rate, I’ll be done in no time.” He placed the glowing Sapphire back into his pocket and headed back to his room. Two down, five to go, he heard Ganondorf tell him. As he walked by the ballroom, he glanced in to see if anyone was looking in his direction. To his relief, no one was. He continued to his room.
* * * *
Nick finally gave up searching for Rauru and sat down at the bar next to Charles and Aaron. William was also there.
“Couldn’t find the old man anywhere,” he said.
“That’s odd. Rauru isn’t usually gone this long,” Charles added.
“Yeah, I hope there’s nothing wrong,” Aaron said.
“The weird part, though, was that Rauru said he was just going to get some fresh air. But when I went out there, only Ian was there. And he said he hadn’t seen him,” Nick told everyone.
“Wait,” William interjected, “Ian was outside?”
“Well, shortly before you went to look for Rauru, Ian asked me where the restroom was. I don’t see how he could’ve gotten out there before you. And then I thought I saw him walk from one side of the castle to the other, toward his room.”
“That doesn’t necessarily mean anything though,” Charles said.
“Yeah, that’s true,” William conceded. “Should we tell Link and Zelda?”
“No,” Nick said, “Let’s not bother them with this until we can get proof of some sort. Anyway, they’re having fun out there on the dance floor.” He pointed to the Hero and Princess. They were locked in a passionate kiss. “Ah, to be in love…”
The rest of the celebration went very well that night. Just about everyone had gone home for the night. All that remained were Link, Zelda, Nick, Charles, Aaron, Ian, and the remaining Sages. All of them were sitting at one of the large tables.
“We can’t seem to find Rauru or Ruto anywhere, Princess,” Impa informed Zelda.
“Well they can’t have just disappeared, can they?” Zelda asked.
Oh, Princess, you don’t know how right you are, Ian thought to himself. He looked around and noticed that Nick was looking right at him. Does he know something? No, he couldn’t. Could he? Ian felt like he was going to panic, but he was able to hold still. His thoughts were interrupted by Link.
“We need to find them as soon as we can. I suggest that we split up into groups and take a look around the castle. I felt an evil presence tonight. It wasn’t much, but it could still be dangerous.”
Impa nodded. “Yes, I believe that would be the best way to go about this. We should split up into pairs.”
Soon, they were all paired up. The groups were: Link and Zelda, Nick and Saria, Aaron and Impa, Charles and Darunia, and Ian and Nabooru.
“Everyone meet back here in 2 hours no matter what,” Link instructed.
“What do we do if we find something?” Aaron asked.
“Scream?” Charles joked, with a little smile across his face.
“The Sages and I can communicate with each other, so that is all that should be needed,” Zelda replied.
“What if one of the Sages is attacked next and can’t call out to the rest?” Nick asked.
“Then scream,” Link answered. Charles smiled.
“At least someone was taking me seriously!”
“Let’s just find Rauru and Ruto.” Saria was getting impatient.
“Calm down, little one. We’ll find them,” Darunia reassured her.
“Ok, let’s go!” Link said.
The groups each went a different way. Ian and Nabooru headed for the hidden dungeons. It would be a perfect hiding place for someone to mess with the Royal Family. As they walked, Ian tried to remember everything that they walked by. He intended to know the entire castle from top to bottom. Nabooru interrupted his gazing.
“Do you have any fighting experience?”
“No, not really. The only violence I ever dealt with was hunting for food. And even that wasn’t too easy.”
Nabooru nodded. “Well, let’s just hope that we don’t get into any danger, then.”
They walked by Ian’s room. He needed to get the gem to capture Nabooru, but he couldn’t let her know that. Obviously, he thought to himself. He needed an excuse.
“I’m going to grab another shirt. Don’t want to get this one dirty.”
“Alright, I’ll wait out here for you.”
Ian walked into his room and took out the case from underneath the bed. He reached inside and took out the gem that represented Nabooru: the orange Fire Opal. He quickly got another shirt and placed the gem into the front pocket before going back to Nabooru. They then continued walking.
They had reached the passageway down to the dungeons and Nabooru insisted that she go first. After all, she was a great Gerudo warrior, she had nothing to fear. Ian was delighted to let her go first. This would give him the chance he needed. Nabooru had just made a big mistake. All of a sudden, Nabooru could hear Ian chanting something. She then noticed that the room was alight with an eerie orange glow. She didn’t even need to turn around to realize that Ian was trapping her somehow. When she did turn, she noticed the gem in the air and cursed herself for being so easily caught. Then, the light pulled her into the Fire Opal.
Ian thrust the gem into his pocket. Now he had to make something up so that the others wouldn’t suspect him. He quickly devised a plan, then turned back up the stairs to the main floor of the castle. Once he got to the top of the stairs, he ran to his room to ditch the gem. Once that was done, he ran back to the stairs of the dungeon to make it seem like he just came from there. Then, he screamed.
* * * *
Link and Zelda were searching the tower that contained their room and Evan’s room.
“Zel, did you feel anything strange tonight?”
“Yes, I felt an evil presence as well, but that just can’t be right. We got rid of Ganon ten years ago. I don’t know what else could leave such an evil feel in the air.”
“Hopefully, Ganon hasn’t found a way out of the Evil Realm. I really don’t feel like fighting him again. I just want to live in peace and grow old with you.”
“Oh, Link, you’re so cheesy.”
Link smiled. “Yeah, but it always works on you.” He leaned in for a kiss.
“That it does,” Zelda said softly as they began to kiss. Their moment together was cut short by a loud scream coming from downstairs. Zelda immediately started to run down the stairs. Link hesitated for a moment.
“Damn. Something always happens when I’m in the middle of something good.” He then took off down the stairs.
* * * *
“Help! Someone help!” Ian yelled at the top of his lungs. Almost instantly, all the groups came running to the dungeon entrance.
“What happened?” shouted Link.
“Something… came and… got Nabooru… I… couldn’t do anything… she just disappeared in front of me…”
“Lock down the dungeons!” ordered Zelda. “We must keep whatever is doing this confined!”
Impa and Darunia quickly shut the dungeon door and secured it in place. The remaining four Sages put a lock spell on the door. There was no way anything would get through it. Ian was delighted. They had fallen for it. Four more to go, my loyal servant.
“So what do we do now?” Charles asked.
“For now, I say we all get some rest and decide what to do in the morning,” Aaron suggested. Impa nodded.
“Good idea. That thing isn’t going anywhere anyway, so we should be fine.”
“We’ll meet right after breakfast to discuss what actions we will take,” Zelda told everyone. “Until then, goodnight everyone.”
They all said their goodnights and headed off to bed. Can’t stop now, my friend. Ian nodded. He could easily get another one tonight. He would just have to wait until everyone was sleeping. Just before entering his room, he looked around to see which one of the Sages was in the closest room to his. He noticed Darunia stepping into a room only two doors down from his. He’s next.
* * * *
A few hours later, Ian decided to make his move. When he opened the case, he had to squint his eyes. The light of the three glowing gems lit up the room very well. He grabbed the red Ruby and slipped it into his pocket. He quietly opened his door and walked slowly down the hall to Darunia’s room. He tried the knob. It turned quietly and slowly. Good, it’s not locked. Too bad for you, big guy. He tiptoed over to Darunia’s bed, amazed at how quiet he was. I’d be a good thief, he thought. The Goron was still sleeping, his chest moving up and down ever so slightly in rhythm with his breathing. Ian slowly pulled the Ruby out of his pocket and chanted the spell quietly.
All was not well at the castle. When it was discovered that Darunia was now missing as well, Zelda placed all the guards on full alert. They didn’t know what they were looking for, but they would let nothing pass. Link, Nick, and Charles were out searching the castle from top to bottom, looking for anything that would give them any clue as to what was going on. William and Aaron went to the missing Sages respective homes, searching to see if they were there. That left Zelda, Impa, and Saria to try to plan something out. Ian had been excused from the planning and was currently spending the day with Adriana.
“Princess, we must do something. All hell is breaking loose and we don’t even know who, or what, is behind it!” Impa said.
“I know, I know! But what do we do? How can we protect ourselves when we don’t even know what we’re trying to stop?”
“We have to continue searching the castle,” Saria said.
“Link, Nick, and Charles are doing just that!” Zelda said back.
“Yes, I know, but I feel that we should also be looking. After all, we are the Sages. We should have some kind of advantage over whatever is here.” Impa sighed.
“But because we don’t know what’s going on, this thing has the advantage over us! We can’t stop something when we can’t see it.”
“Let’s look ourselves! I don’t want to sit here and wait for that thing to come after me!” Saria cried out.
“Ok, ok. Impa, you and Saria start from the dungeons. See if there is anything there. I’m going to go up and find Link.” The two Sages agreed and ran off to the dungeons. “Damn it! What the hell is going on? I hope you find something, Link!” Zelda ran up the stairs.
* * * *
“Adriana, dancing with you last night made me feel so alive, so complete. I haven’t felt like that since… since… Come to think of it, I’ve never felt like that,” Ian told her as he lost himself in her eyes.
“Oh, Ian. I know that you coming here was a goddess-send. We were meant to be together,” she said back to him as the two of them embraced in a good, long kiss. They were sitting in the courtyard, not too far from where Ian had captured Rauru in the Topaz. They finally stopped kissing to take in a breath when Ian saw an interesting sight. Two of the three remaining Sages had just walked by, alone. Can I capture two Sages at once? He thought. Yes, you can, Ganondorf told him. I will give you the power to do so.
Then all that I’ll have to do is capture the Princess and you’ll be free! He told the Evil King.
Not quite. There is one more lock on the Seal that you must remove before I can escape with all my power.
Another lock? Well, what is it? He asked.
The Master Sword. It must be removed from the Pedestal of Time for the Seal to completely break.
The Master Sword? But I thought only Link could pull it out of the Pedestal?
He still is the only one. You must get him angry enough, or threatened enough, so that he pulls the Sword out. By the time he realizes his mistake, it’ll be too late! Ganondorf laughed his maniacal laugh.
It will be done, Ian told him. “Adriana, dearest, I must go in and check on something in my room. Will you wait out here for me?”
“Of course, Ian, but why do you have to go now? Is something wrong?”
“No, not at all. Just wait for me.” He gave her a quick kiss and ran to his room. He quickly grabbed the Amethyst and the Emerald. He checked the book to see if anything different needed to be done in order to catch two at once. Just a little more time. Good, that’s easy enough.
He headed toward the dungeon and noticed that the door was open. He quietly walked down the steps and took the two stones out of his pockets. Saria and Impa were searching everywhere in the dungeon. They had their backs turned to Ian and never noticed that he was in the room. He began chanting the spell and the two gems rose into the air. Impa was immediately frozen in place, but due to the double spell, Saria had a chance to scream before she was silenced. The room filled with mixture of green and purple light. Ian looked at the Sages standing there, then in a flash, both were gone, inside the gems.
Damn it! That little bitch screamed! I’d better start running before I’m caught! And with that thought, he took off running toward his room.
* * * *
Link heard the scream and he, Nick, and Charles ran down the flight of stairs. Halfway down, they saw Zelda coming up.
“Zel! What the hell was that?” Link yelled to her.
“I… I think it was Saria and Impa. They went to go check out the dungeon!”
“Damn it! I hope we’re not too late!” Nick said as they ran toward the dungeon.
* * * *
Adriana had been sitting there for almost ten minutes now. What could possibly take him this long? She looked toward the castle, in the direction of his room. Maybe I’ll just go see what he’s doing. Yeah, I’ll do that. I’m sick of waiting! She stood up and started on her way to Ian’s room. But before she got there, she heard a scream. She couldn’t tell from who, or from where, but she definitely heard it. She stopped where she was and waited to see if anyone else heard it. Then she saw Ian run by the room as fast as he could. She started to chase him. “Ian! Ian, wait up! What’s going on?” she called after him.
She couldn’t keep up with him enough to talk to him, but she did see where he was going. He was going back to his room. Strange. I thought he said he was going to his room ten minutes ago. What took him so long? She ran up to the door, but decided against barging in. However, the door was opened a crack, so she was able to look inside.
There she saw Ian, pulling his case out from under his bed. He placed it on the bed and opened it up. Immediately, she noticed the colored array of light that came from the open case. What in the world is going on? Ian then reached into his pockets and took out the two glowing gems. He placed them in their respective positions and quickly closed the case and put it back under the bed. He began to turn around and head back out the door. Adriana almost let out a small scream, but she held back. I have to get out of here! I can’t let him see me! She turned and ran back down the hallway. Coming from the other side were Link, Nick, Charles, and Zelda. Adriana decided to follow them. Maybe they knew what was going on.
* * * *
When they made it to the dungeon entrance, they noticed that the door was still wide open. Link ran down the stairs, followed by Nick. Charles and Zelda stayed above. After desperately looking around the dungeon real quick, the two came back up.
“Nothing. Absolutely nothing is done there,” Link said.
“But something had to be down there!” Zelda shouted back. Link got defensive.
“Well, there’s nothing down there now so don’t be yelling at me!” Nick stepped in.
“Calm down, you two. Fighting won’t solve anything. However, something had to be down there, but it’s gone now.”
“Who, or what, could do such a thing?” Charles asked. Link shrugged his shoulders.
“I don’t know.”
Nick decided that it was best to tell Link and Zelda what William saw the other night. “Link, maybe we should ask this Ian fellow if he knows anything.”
“Well, he was acting suspicious the other night at the celebration. We had no idea where he was during the two disappearances.”
“And you’re just telling me this now!” Link shouted back.
“I didn’t want to jump to any conclusions,” Nick answered calmly.
“Oh, no,” Zelda said. “And when Nabooru disappeared, Ian had been her partner.”
Just then, Adriana ran up to the group. “Guys, there’s something strange about Ian!”
“Tell us about it,” Charles added sarcastically. Adriana didn’t pick up on it.
“Well, Ian said he was going to check on something in his room. I waited for almost ten minutes, then decided to go see what was going on. Then I heard a scream and saw Ian run down the hallway. I followed him to his room and noticed a strange light coming from his case. He pulled two gems out of his pocket. They were glowing too. Then I ran here!” She said all this very quickly.
“Well, it seems that we should have a talk with Ian,” Charles said.
Link added, “You’re damn right we are.” All five of them headed back down the hall toward Ian’s room. But before they got there, they spotted Ian walking toward them at a leisurely pace.
“Hello, everybody. I thought I heard screaming. Is there anything wrong?”
Link didn’t even stop to acknowledge the man. He just walked right past, hitting Ian with his shoulder. Ian was caught by surprise and nearly fell on the ground. He saw Link and the rest walk up to his door. Oh, no. They know! But how? Ian needed help. Ganondorf! I need your help!
I know, I see. You were careless! That wretched girl of yours saw the gems! But do not worry. I will help you out. Just go in there and make sure you grab the gems and Zelda!
Ian didn’t even respond to this. He just ran into his room where he saw that Link had already retrieved Ian’s case. Ian tried to stop him, but he was held back by Nick and Charles. Link opened up the case and a bright rainbow of colors lit up the room. He looked down at the gems and finally realized it. Each gem had a color of each of the Sages. Then he remembered the pattern… it was the way the Medallions were stored during his quest to defeat Ganondorf. But what’s with the center one? There were only six Medallions, not seven. He turned to face Ian.
“So it was you all along. After we brought you in here out of the rain. Do you know what you are doing?”
“Of course I do. I’m breaking that Seal you placed on the Evil Realm so Ganondorf can come and take what is his!”
“But why?” asked Zelda.
“Because he has offered me the world. He will give me what I wish, as well as being his second in command!”
“And you believed him?” Link was stunned.
Ian tried to wrestle free of Nick and Charles, but they were too strong. Nick looked at Ian in disgust.
“You’ll never win,” he told him.
“On the contrary, you will never win!” Just then, a band of moblins and keese stormed the room. They were all caught of guard. Link dropped the case on the floor and Nick and Charles let go of Ian in order to fend off the intruders. Adriana ran out of the room as the others began to battle the monsters.
Link found himself surrounded by four moblins. He easily took care of them with a spin attack from his sword. Nick and Charles were doing quite well too. Zelda was able to destroy some of the monsters by channeling the power of the Triforce of Wisdom. As the group was battling Ganon’s creatures, Ian ran over to the case and picked it up. As he made his way to the door, Nick stepped in front of him.
“Not so fast!” Ian didn’t know what to do. Fortunately for him, Nick was hit in the back by a moblin’s club and fell over. As Link and Charles were still fighting, Ian noticed that Zelda was tiring. Using the power of the Triforce was taking its toll on the Princess. Ian rushed over to her and grabbed her. The Princess began to scream for Link. Where the hell am I going to go now? Ian thought. There’s no way I’ll be able to get out of here with all the guards! Then, out of nowhere, a portal appeared in front of him. He looked back and saw that Link had finished off the last of his enemies and was running straight for him. Without wasting any more time, Ian jumped through the portal with Zelda.
“No!” yelled Link as the portal closed seconds before he got there. Suddenly, all the remaining creatures vanished and the three knights were left standing in the middle of the room. All three were breathing hard from the fight.
“Alright, so what do we do now?” Charles asked.
“We stop Ian from releasing Ganondorf,” Link replied. Nick stood up.
“But Link, Ian already captured the six Sages. Shouldn’t the Seal already be broken?”
“No, I can still feel the Seal intact, but barely.” Then it hit him. “The Seventh Gem… Zelda… she’s the last piece! We must find her before he imprisons her! You two go get as many soldiers as you can and make sure you find William and Aaron. They should be back soon!”
“But where are we going?” Charles was a bit confused.
“The Spirit Temple in the Gerudo Desert. That’s where that portal will lead to.” He ran off out of the room. Nick ran to the door and called out to him.
“Link! Where are you going?”
Link was already down the stairs, but Nick was able to make out what he said.
“To get the Master Sword!”
Link ran out of the castle to the Temple of Time. He had already retrieved the Spiritual Stones and the Ocarina of Time from the castle vault. Standing in front of the Door of Time, Link played the all-to-familiar Song of Time. He had thought he would never play that tune again. To play that song meant that there was an incredible evil lurking over the land. As the Door of Time slowly opened, Link laid his eyes on the weapon that would combat that evil and rid the land of danger. The Master Sword. Link was still marveled at its beauty. He remembered back to when he had first pulled it from the Pedestal of Time. He fell in love with the Sword, but knew that he would not wield it for his entire life. He only wished that he didn’t have to pull it now. But it was his only choice.
He slowly walked up to the Pedestal and grabbed the hilt of the Sword with his left hand. As he pulled it out of the Pedestal, he closed his eyes. The last time he pulled it, he was locked away in a deep sleep for seven years. He hoped nothing like that would happen again. When the Sword was totally free of the Pedestal, Link had reopened his eyes, and immediately realized that he had made a mistake. From the tip of the blade came bolts of electricity. The bolts weren’t there to harm him, but were the remnants of the Seal where the Sword had been placed.
This was one of the keys to the Seal! Link thought to himself. His face was overcome with an expression of disappointment at what he had done. Damn it! If only I kept it in place, the Seal would still hold some of Ganon’s powers back. Oh well, too late now! He put the Master Sword into his sheath and ran back to the castle.
* * * *
As Aaron and William rode through the drawbridge leading into Hyrule Castle Town, they noticed that the entire place seemed to be in a rush for some reason. The two turned to look at each other, then, without saying a word, they both had their horses in a gallop to the castle. On their way over, they spotted Link running toward the castle as well. William was the first to him.
“Link! What the hell is going on?”
“We’re going to the Desert!”
“Why? What’s happened?” Aaron had a look of concern on his face.
“Ian captured the last two Sages. When we tried to stop his plan, a pack of moblins and keese stormed the castle. Their numbers were far to great and we were forced to deal with them. By the time I was able to get away, Ian had taken Zelda and stepped through a portal!”
Aaron was so shocked that his words showed no emotion. “Damn.”
“So what can we do to help?” William was intent on helping his friend save the day.
“You come with us to the Desert and help us attack the Spirit Temple. It will be dangerous, though. Ian seems to be getting help from… Ganon.”
“Ganon!” The two mounted knights shouted in unison.
“Yeah, Ganon. No more time to talk! We must ride to the Desert now!” Link, Aaron, and William joined the rest of the “army” at the castle walls. In all, there were only less than a hundred men, but they were very well trained. Link rode to the front of the group and stated their mission.
“Today, we go to the Spirit Temple in the Gerudo Desert. It is there that our beloved Princess Zelda is being held captive, as well as the six Sages, by the man known as Ian. He is on the side of evil, even worse, he is aiding in the release of Ganon. We must stop this man at all costs! Let’s go!”
And with that, the Hylian soldiers headed for the Gerudo Desert.
* * * *
“Let me go, you coward!” Zelda was squirming, trying to get free of the chains that were binding her. She was inside the boss room in the Spirit Temple. Ian was not far away, but he would not dare get any closer to the Princess. She was very feisty.
“I think not, my dear Princess,” Ian said smugly. “I need you to break the Seal and release Ganon.”
“I will never do such a thing!”
“Oh, but you will. Not on your own free will, of course. Knowing your husband, he has already pulled the Master Sword from its Pedestal. Now all that stands in the way is getting you into this here Diamond.” Ian lifted up the gem for Zelda to see.
“Then why don’t you get it over with?” Zelda asked, trying to buy time for her Hero.
“Because, my dear Princess, I have been given orders to place you in the gem when your beloved husband, that nuisance you call Link, is here to watch it, unable to help you. Oh, I can’t wait to see the look on his face!” Ian was getting excited over the prospect of causing more pain to the Hero than Ganon ever could.
“Link will come, and he will be able to help me! He’s this land Destined Hero and you can’t stop him! You will never succeed! He’s probably already on his way here!”
“That’s exactly what we’re counting on. He should already be on his way. But don’t worry, he won’t be able to help you. I have an army of Ganon’s waiting for him at the entrance to the Desert Colossus. He won’t stand a chance!” He started to laugh evilly.
I recognize that laugh… Zelda thought. No! It’s… “Ganondorf!” Once she yelled out his name, Ganondorf laughed even harder and even more evilly, if that was possible. The sound sent chills down Zelda’s spine. I must contact Link! Zelda closed her eyes and focused all her powers to do one thing: contact Link telepathically. Link! Link! Can you hear me?
* * * *
Somewhere over in Hyrule Field, Link felt like something was calling him. He remembered that he and Zelda were experimenting with telepathy, but he wasn’t sure if it would actually work. He made the effort and called back. Zelda… I can hear you… Are you alright?
Yes, but you must be careful. Ian set a trap up at the entrance to the Desert Colossus!
That’s not a problem. I’ve got a small army with me, as well as Aaron, William, Nick, and Charles. Hang on, we’ll be there soon. Then, the connection was lost. Link looked back at his men and ordered them to move faster. They would be at the Gerudo Fortress in no time.
* * * *
“Hey!” Zelda was beckoned out of her trance by Ian. “What are you doing?”
“Nothing.” She tried to act as coolly as she could. She couldn’t let this man know that Link had an army.
“Oh, really? Am I supposed to believe that? Perhaps you were able to warn Link of my trap… In any case, he won’t get by! But just in case… Guards! Double the security now! We mustn’t let the Hero of Time reach this room!” Two moblins that were standing nearby made an indistinguishable noise and ran off. “So much for your warning, Princess.”
* * * *
When they reached the Gerudo Fortress, the sun had long since gone down and the moon was high in the sky. Charles ran up to the front and rode beside Link. He had remembered some of the tales that Link had told him about his quest against Ganondorf. Link had mentioned something about quicksand and a desert in which many souls were lost.
“Hey Link,” he said to get the Hero’s attention. “Are we going to be able to cross the desert?”
“Luckily, in the time of peace, the defenses to the Desert Colossus were no longer necessary. We will be able to cross the Haunted Wasteland very easily. The problem will be when we get to the Colossus. There, Ganon’s troops will be ready to attack me. But since I have an army, we should easily defeat them. But for now, we must rest. Tell the men we strike in the morning.”
“Yes, Sir.” Charles rode back to the rest of the army and gave them their instructions.
As the small army set up camp, Link stayed out by the entrance to the Haunted Wasteland. He so eagerly wanted to go rescue Zelda then and there, but he knew that was foolish. He couldn’t help but feel anger for her kidnapping, especially by Ian, who he had personally (as well as others) cared for. But there was still something about him that seemed to make Link not to want to seriously hurt the man. Why, Ian? We rescued you from death and this is how you repay us? You can’t be that evil, can you? I guess only time will tell… Link felt his eyelids growing heavy, but he tried desperately to stay awake. Slowly, underneath the starlight sky, he fell asleep, thinking of Zelda…
He found himself in the middle of Hyrule Field again. The evil tower was still where Lon Lon Ranch should be. As he looked around, he could see many Hylians dead on the ground, apparently while fighting some epic battle. He slowly walked through the sea of dead toward the tower, but then something caught his eye. Someone was still alive. He walked over to the body and noticed the long, blonde hair and beautiful attire. As he reached down to turn the girl over, he feared the worst. Before he could grab the person, however, she spoke to him. “Link… how could you fail us… you left us to die… I hate you… you coward…” The words stung his heart as he recognized the voice, but, still needing confirmation, he slowly rolled the body over and sure enough, it was Zelda. He began to cry as he saw the hateful look in her eyes, which were cold and lifeless now. Blood stained his clothes as he hugged her close, crying to the heavens. And then, without warning, he felt a sharp pain in his back, which quickly spread to his chest. Dropping Zelda onto the ground, he looked down and saw the blade sticking right through him. All that he could hear was the twisted laugh of Ganondorf…
Link awoke with a start, still sitting on the ground near the Haunted Wasteland. He was covered in a cold sweat and was beginning to get worried. These dreams were scaring him more than he had ever been scared before, and he didn’t know what to do. Lost in thought, he never realized that the sun had broken over the horizon. He remained where he was, remembered the pain, the sorrow, the guilt that he felt in his dream. I failed them? Coward? Surely, the dream was mistaken… then again, they were never wrong before.
Nick, Charles, Aaron, and William each got out of their camps and walked over to where Link was. When they got there, he was still staring into nothingness. Aaron looked over at Charles in confusion, but all he could do was shrug his shoulders. Nick reached down and grabbed Link on the arm.
“Come on, Link. We have to go and save the kingdom.” Link finally blinked and looked around him, disoriented.
“Huh? What? It’s dawn already?” Nick was getting worried.
Charles stood in front of Link, looking directly into his eyes. “Yeah, it’s dawn. Are you alright, Link?”
“Uh, yeah… I’m fine. Just zoned out there for a while.”
“I’ll say,” Aaron whispered under his breath to William. He simply nodded.
“You sure you’ll be fine?” Nick had never seen his friend like this before.
“Yeah. Let’s just get this over with. I don’t want Ganon getting back out.” Everyone agreed, naturally.
Satisfied that they were off his case, Link laid out the battle plan. “We will split into five groups. Each one of us will lead one. I want Nick on my right, Charles on my left. William, you go on Nick’s right, and Aaron, you go on Charles’ left. Let’s take these guys out!” The army split up into five groups and headed out across the Haunted Wasteland. As they began to cross, the skies turned black and rain began to come down. Link glanced up at the sky and was not surprised. You’ll have to do better than that Ganondorf! Your Evil Rain will not stop us! He beckoned for the army to move faster, all the while the rain came down harder and harder. Unnatural lightning flashed throughout the sky, followed by a booming thunder that none of the men had ever heard before. However, rain in the desert was the least of their worries.
It was quiet outside the Spirit Temple in the Desert Colossus. The armies of Ian were lying in wait for the Hero of Time. They knew he was a great warrior, but surely he would have no chance against an army of close to seven hundred. The army consisted of mostly Moblins, but they were joined by some Stalfos, Dinolfos, Lizalfos, and even a few ReDead. As if one, the army could sense the arrival of the Hero, and even though they were confident, some were very nervous and anxious. The army waited for the orders of their leader.
Ian stepped out onto one of the balconies on the Spirit Temple and cried out to his demons. “Go! Fight! Bring me the Hero back alive!”
Upon saying this, Ian heard a great battle cry. As he looked at his army, he realized that it was not from them! He quickly looked up at the horizon and was horrified at what he saw – a fairly large group of Hylian warriors, running toward the Desert Colossus, right at his men. He immediately noticed the five factions of troops and figured that each one was lead by Link and his Knight friends. If anyone was standing near Ian, they would have been able to see the fear in his eyes. He began to sweat and panic. He turned and ran back into the temple, back to the boss room.
When the Dark Army heard the battle cries of the Hylians, many of them were utterly shocked and terrified. They were not prepared for this. All doubt left them, however, when they remembered just how much they hated the Hylians. Yes… they would make them pay.
* * * *
The two armies clashed and fought on just about every piece of land. The Moblins led the Dark Army into battle and were the first to engage the Hylians. The sounds of swords coming together and shields blocking was magnificent. Some of the Hylians were experienced bowmen and had taken position. Arrows flew from their bows with pinpoint accuracy taking down Moblin after Moblin. Soon, neither army was organized. It was just a sea of Hylians and creatures fighting each other.
Link and Nick found themselves right next to each other, surrounded by ten Moblins. But before they could do anything, four of them were struck by arrows and fell dead on the ground.
“Thank the goddesses for that!” Link yelled over the commotion to his best friend.
“Yeah, that made this just slightly easier!” Nick deflected a shot by one of the Moblins and quickly retaliated with a strike of his sword. The blade fell true into the creature’s dark heart. Nick pulled out the sword and saw another sword coming to take off his head. Instinctively, he dropped to the ground, just before he would have been killed. Another Moblin then raised his sword high into the air, ready to bring it down on the Hylian Knight, but Nick was too quick. He rolled on the ground out of danger and got ready for his own offensive. But before he could do anything he was hit in the back with the hilt of another Moblin’s sword. The Moblin grinned as he raised his sword, and Nick prepared for the end. He closed his eyes and prayed for his wife and children, and also that it wouldn’t hurt. But the pain never came. Instead, the Moblin squealed as it was stabbed through the back, and fell dead right next to Nick. He looked up and saw Link standing there, the Master Sword all bloody.
“Yeah, yeah, no time for small talk.” He jumped to the side to avoid yet another moblin and quickly slashed the beast from the bottom up. Nick had gotten up and killed off another creature with another thrust into its chest. Link and Nick continued to kill Moblin after Moblin. Link executed a spin attack and took off the heads of four Moblins at once. Meanwhile, Nick sidestepped out of the way of a spear and proceeded to cut off the creature’s arm. Link disarmed another Moblin with a well-timed hit. He quickly finished off the creature, but was getting very impatient.
“Nick! We have to move forward! We can’t waste any more time!” Nick nodded and ran after Link. The two ran through crowds of Moblins and Hylians. They were surrounded by the sounds of battle: the clashing swords, the blood curdling screams of agony, the battle cry of the victorious. The two Knights made it through the army of Moblins and came upon the Dinolfos and Lizalfos. They prepared for battle.
Aaron and Charles were doing very well themselves. They, too, had ended up next to each other, so they decided to fight together. The Moblins didn’t stand much of a chance against the two friends and were thrown back. As the Moblins withdrew some, the two advanced. They soon were running toward their goal, the Spirit Temple. As the two ran, a random Moblin caught sight of them and stuck out his sword as they ran by. The blade cut across Aaron’s left arm, leaving a nasty wound. Aaron yelled in pain and instantly turned to meet his attacker. The Moblin saw the hate in his eyes and was frozen to the spot as Aaron jumped into the air and brought the blade of his sword down on the its head. Aaron looked up to see three more Moblins surround him, but before they had a chance to do anything, two were taken out by arrows and the third had a sword sticking through it. Charles pushed the dead Moblin off his sword and he tied a piece of cloth around Aaron’s injured arm.
“You going to be alright?” Charles yelled at him.
“Yeah, I’ll be fine! Let’s just keep moving!” With that said, Charles and Aaron ran up to the area where Link and Nick were.
Over on the right flank, William was finishing off a couple of moblins when he saw Link and Nick fighting Moblins, side by side. He decided that he would try to join them since his faction seemed to be handling themselves quite well. He began to walk over, always prepared for an attack. Off to his right, a Moblin yelled out a battle cry and charged him. William got down on one knee so that the creature’s spear passed right over his head. Before the Moblin could defend himself, William shoved his sword upwards into the its chest. The squealing creature toppled over on William and his head hit off of a rock on the ground. He felt intense pain throughout his body. He needed to get up, but couldn’t. So this is how it end’s, huh? Some damn creature will come up to me and take off my head and I won’t be able to stop them. Just then, the body of the dead Moblin was lifted up off of William. He was sure that it was another Moblin getting ready to deliver the last blow. Instead, it was one of his men who had followed him through the maze of bodies.
“Come on, Sir, you have to get up!” the young man said.
“Thank you.” William got up and brushed himself off. “If you stick with me, I’ll make sure you get a promotion.” The man smiled widely and accepted William’s offer. William looked around once again for Link and Nick and noticed that they had moved closer to the temple. “Well, son, let’s get up there!” he shouted as he pointed ahead.
Link and Nick had finished off of a couple of Dinolfos when Aaron and Charles caught up to them.
“Hey, Link! Thought you could use some help!” Aaron called out.
“Greatly appreciated!” Link shouted back as he blocked a swing by one of the Dinolfos. The four Knights continued their relentless fighting and soon the Dinolfos and Lizalfos were no more. Each advanced on the temple, but were surprised by six Stalfos that seemed to jump out of nowhere. One of the Stalfos landed extremely close to Charles, who instinctively jumped back. It wasn’t quite enough, though, as the Stalfos scored a slash across the Hylian’s right leg. Charles fell over onto his face, and rolled out of the way of a downward thrust from the Stalfos. He was then able to get up and square off with the bony knight.
Link had finished off his foe fairly easily. After all, he had a lot of experience against those guys. Next to him, Aaron had just delivered the final blow to his opponent and the two caught each other’s gaze. Without saying a word, they charged at the remaining two Stalfos, which had stayed back until now. The ferociousness that they attacked with left the Stalfos with no chance. Soon, both Knights dealt a crushing blow to their respective opponents and were ready to head inside the Spirit Temple. They ran as fast as they could for the entrance, but when they had reached the steps, they heard an ear-piercing scream and were instantly frozen in place.
“Son of a bitch!” Link said as best he could. “How could I have been so stupid?”
Aaron was confused. He had never experienced anything like this before in his life. “What… what’s going on?”
“ReDeads. We can’t move unless the spell is broken. Otherwise, they drain our life energy and we die.”
The ReDeads drew closer and closer to their two frozen victims. They couldn’t have cared less if they were told not to harm the Hero. Slowly, the ReDeads moved to grab their victims and Link couldn’t help but think that it was the end. They moved their cold, bony fingers onto the victims and began draining their life energies.
William and his companion yelled their battle cry at the top of their lungs and came down on the two ReDeads. The spell on Link and Aaron was instantly broken and they each finished off their assailants. Link turned to see who had saved them.
“William! I knew you would come this far!” He said excitedly to his friend while patting him on the back. “Thanks a lot. I thought we were done for sure.”
“Yeah, well, I try.”
“Hey, who’s this?” Aaron was looking at the mystery soldier.
“Oh,” William began with a smile. “This is Richard. He saved my life back there, so I figured he’d be a good asset.” Aaron nodded.
“And now, he helped save our lives. I believe we all owe him one. Good job, kid.”
“Thank you, Sir.”
Nick and Charles came running up after killing the remaining Stalfos and ReDeads. They too were introduced to the man that saved the lives of three of the greatest warriors. They were interrupted by Link.
“Come on! We have to go inside and rescue Zelda and the Sages!”
The six men walked into the Spirit Temple, leaving behind the still ongoing battle and the evil rain. These sounds faded away as they walked through the entrance.
* * * *
“So I see that your Hero brought an army with him, eh?”
“I told you, you don’t stand a chance!” Zelda shot back at him.
Ian began to laugh. “That is where you are mistaken, my dear Princess. The loss of my army means nothing to me. They were simply there to bring in Link peacefully. The only difference now is that he will be armed when he sees you trapped inside this Diamond. And he will still be powerless to do anything to stop it.” He laughed even harder.
“He may not stop you by himself, but he’s got great fighters with him!”
“Ah, I assume you’re referring to the five other knights that have joined him. Ah, yes, Nick, Charles, Aaron, and William. I was counting on them being here too. This fifth man… I don’t recognize him, but that is of no consequence! He will be strung up as well! Ganondorf would like a nice, big sacrifice when he returns.”
Zelda looked at the man with hatred. Hatred she thought that she could never feel for anyone other than the Evil King himself. This man was as twisted as he was. Ian continued talking.
“Now, to make my job easier, I will give these adventurers some more creatures to battle through. Soon, only Link will be here, and he will not be able to defeat Ganondorf! You’re time in this world is over, my dear Princess!” He began to laugh once again, and again, Ganondorf’s laugh emanated throughout the room.
“There’s just no end to these guys!” Charles shouted over the sounds of battle.
“Yeah, but they’re still no match for us!” Aaron shouted back as he cut through another Moblin. The six men were battling their way through the Spirit Temple and were moving along, slowly. Almost from the instant they walked through the door, they were under attack by Moblins, Stalfos, Dinolfos, and others. Keese were swooping down at them in almost every room.
“We have to keep going! We can’t let Ian release Ganon!” Link called back to the group. The men seemed to realize the urgency and they each cut through their enemies. After a lot of fighting, the room was finally clear of all of Ian’s, or Ganon’s, minions. They ran through the next door and noticed that they were now standing in a large room with a huge statue of a woman in the middle of it. Her hands were outstretched to the sides, palm up. Link knew exactly where he was and where he had to get. But before he could do anything, they were attacked. They were confronted by the same foes as they had fought throughout the entire temple. Killing them was just routine now, but their shear numbers made it much more difficult.
Link blocked a blow from a Stalfos and quickly struck back. The Stalfos was not quick enough to avoid Link’s forward stab and was easily destroyed. Link glanced up at the statue and tried to figure a way up it. I guess I’ll just have to climb, he thought to himself. Just then, another Stalfos came down on the Hero and knocked him back with his shield. Link pulled himself up off the ground and quickly rid himself of the Stalfos. I have to go now!
“Nick!” Nick turned around to see Link calling him and motioning for him to go over to him. Nick ran as fast as he could through the creatures and stopped beside Link.
“Nick, I need you to cover me! I’m going to climb up the statue and stop Ian!”
“Alright, we’ll fend off these guys and then join you when we’re done!” Link nodded and sheathed his sword, preparing for the climb. The climb wasn’t as difficult as he thought it was going to be, but he was still very cautious. He looked down at the remaining five and saw them easily handling Ganon’s minions. Confident that he would be able to stop Ian, Link finished the climb rather quickly and ran through the next door.
They weren’t in this room, but Link knew exactly what had happened here so many years ago. Those evil witches called upon their Iron Knuckle to fight Link. When he had disposed of it, he found out that it was Nabooru under their spell. Upon learning this, he felt anger, anger at those damn witches for making him fight a girl. Even if she was a Gerudo and a very skilled fighter, he hated doing it. That’s not important right now! I must stop Ian! He ran through the final door.
* * * *
Inside the boss room, Ian was sitting patiently, expecting the Hero to arrive at any minute. Zelda was still chained up, but her spirits were rising. She could here sounds of battle not far away. She knew that Link had finally arrived and would stop all this madness. She smiled a little.
Ian caught sight of her smile, and smiled himself. “Don’t get your hopes up, my dear Princess. I didn’t really expect those stupid creatures to actually stop your beloved Link. I have a feeling that he will come in here alone, leaving the others behind to finish off the last of my minions. When he does, he will watch me unleash Ganondorf!”
“Link will never let you do that! As long as he lives, Ganon will not reign over Hyrule ever again!”
“Yes, I agree. That is why Ganondorf will kill him the instant he is free of the Seal. Then, with no Hero, Hyrule is doomed to be ours!”
“You think that Ganondorf will share his rule with you?”
“I know he will. He has promised me.”
Zelda stared at the thin man and tried to hold back. It was no use. She began to laugh slightly, then a little louder until she was laughing the hardest she ever had in her life. Between breaths, she spoke to Ian.
“You think… that he… promised… you… Ganondorf… promise!… you stupid…. Idiot…”
“That’s enough!” Ian shouted across the room as he sent a bolt of electricity toward the laughing Zelda. The bolt hit her and she immediately cried out in pain. Ian had no idea he could use magic, but he was enjoying inflicting pain on the defenseless Princess. He shot another bolt, and another, and…
“Stop, Ian! Or I shall kill you!” Ian turned around to see Link standing in the doorway of the room, Master Sword drawn and ready to strike.
“Good, you finally arrived! Just in time!”
“Yeah, just in time to stop you!”
“Ha ha, I highly doubt that. You are just in time for the release of Ganondorf.”
“In your dreams, Ian!”
“You cannot stop me, my friend. Quit now and spare yourself some pain.”
“Never!” Link pulled his Sword up and charged Ian, who didn’t seem scared of the man running at him. Ian simply put his hand up and sent a wave of magic at the Hero. Link was caught by surprise and the magic hit him square in the chest, knocking him back almost twenty feet on his back. He tried to get up and charge again, but he couldn’t move a muscle. He struggled to move, but nothing worked.
“How do you like that spell, Link? It’s my paralysis spell. Ganondorf gave me the power to use it just as you walked in. I’m a quick learner, don’t you think?” Ian grinned at the now motionless Link. Link lay on the ground on his back, with his head turned facing Ian and Zelda. He couldn’t even talk. All he could do was breath and look.
“Now, to release the Great King of Evil, the final lock of the Seal. Zelda looked in horror at Link lying motionless on the ground. She then looked over at Ian and became really scared. How could Link ever stop this from happening? It seemed that destiny was working against him this time. She looked back over at Link, and wanted to cry. All he ever wanted was a normal life, one where he didn’t have to worry about all the evils in the world. And for the last ten years, he had gotten his wish. He had married Zelda, had a child with her, and would soon help rule Hyrule when Zelda came of age. And now this…
The sound of Ian… no, the sound of Ganondorf… laughing brought her back to reality. She looked over toward Ian who was now taking out all of his gems. He grabbed the Diamond while putting the rest of the gems to the side for the time being. He walked over to the chained up Princess with a wide, evil grin on his face. Link looked on, still unable to move. He supposed there was no chance of the spell wearing off any time soon.
“The time is now. The Seal is about to be broken and the great Ganondorf will reenter this realm.” Ian began to chant the same spell on Zelda as he had done on the Sages. Zelda once again tried to wrestle free of her chains. The Diamond rose into the air and a bright white light suddenly appeared, illuminating everything. If he could, Link would have shielded his eyes from the intense light. Zelda felt herself become motionless as the light worked its way over to her. Link followed the light with his eyes and watched it slowly engulf Zelda. And just as sudden as it appeared, the light disappeared back into the Diamond. Link looked over to were Zelda had been, and saw her no more. The Diamond now shined with its own light, much like the other six gems.
However, this time, the Diamond did not settle back down into Ian’s hands. It floated over to the other stones and stopped in midair. The other six gems rose from the ground and began to circle the Diamond. Link could see a beautiful array of colors swirling around a central point. If it were under other circumstances, it would be one of the most beautiful things he had ever seen. But, as it was, he looked upon it with hate and disgust. Finally, the gems stopped rotating. They were once again in the position that Link recognized from his first quest. Each gem then emitted a bright light of its color. The beams of light came together at a focal point not to far in front of where Link was lying. The focal point became larger and larger until it became the size of a portal. Link looked with horror as a tall, dark figure stepped through the portal and stood in front of him. Ganondorf. In the distance, the gems fell onto the ground.
“Ah, finally! I have come back to destroy this place. And, of course, you, Link!” Ganondorf smiled evilly, then began to laugh once again. “With the help of that pitiful fool, Ian, I will once again reign over all!”
“With my help of course,” Ian said.
“I think not, my little puppet,” Ganondorf smirked at the man. “I will rule alone, and no one will be spared!”
“But… but you said that I could rule alongside you!”
“I say lots of things, and almost all of them are lies.”
Ian became visibly angry. This was not going as he planned. He figured he would stand by as Ganondorf claimed the throne, then would kill the Evil King and take over the land himself. “Ganondorf! You will not break your promise! I will rule beside you, or I will send you back into that Evil Realm!”
Ganondorf laughed. “You cannot defeat me, you insolent little fool!”
“Oh, yeah? We’ll just see about that!” Ian concentrated hard and tried to work some magic onto Ganondorf. Nothing came.
“You idiot! It was I who gave you your powers, and it is I who took them away!”
Ian stood stunned. Why hadn’t he thought this through better. Of course he was powerless, he was just a stupid old hermit who wanted more from life. Desperate, Ian decided to run at the Evil King. Ganondorf simply sent a bolt of dark magic at the charging hermit. Ian was struck and sent flying across the room, on the verge of death. Ganondorf chuckled as he saw Ian in pain. He thought about finishing him off, but he had bigger fish to fry.
He turned to the still paralyzed Link. “Now, I will get to do what I have been dreaming about for the last ten years! Prepare to die, Hero!” Ganondorf raised his hands into the air and concentrated a ball of magic into his palms. As the ball got bigger and bigger, all Link could do was look at it with a look of defeat in his eyes. He prepared for his death. He thought about Zelda, Evan, the Sages, his friends, and Hyrule. He wasn’t worried about himself, just the safety and well being of the rest. He wouldn’t be able to help them anymore.
Just as Ganondorf was about to throw the ball of magic at the defenseless Link, he heard a battle cry from behind him. Before he could do anything, he was stabbed in the back. He turned around to see who had attacked him. Link tried to see who had saved his life when he realized that he could move. The spell had been broken when Ganondorf was run through. Link quickly got up and saw Ganondorf pull the sword out of his back. He threw it on the floor, seemingly unfazed. Standing next to him was Richard, the young Hylian that had joined them into the temple. Now I owe him two, Link thought.
Ganondorf looked at this Hylian who dared to stop him from killing Link. “You will pay for that, boy!” He hit Richard across the room with one swing of his arm. Link tried to charge Ganondorf while he was distracted, but he was not fast enough. Ganondorf turned and swung his arm again, this time sending Link to the other side of the room. He once again raised his hands in the air and formed a ball of magic. Richard was lying almost unconscious and Ganondorf was intent on killing the boy. Link could only watch as Ganondorf sent the ball of magic toward Richard. Link could here screams of agony from across the room as the magic slowly killed him. Finally, the magic ceased and Richard lay there, dead. Link got up, determined to avenge his death.
Just then, Nick and William ran into the room and noticed Ganondorf standing in the middle of the room. Facing him was Link. On the floor on two sides of the room, they noticed Richard and Ian. William ran over to Richard, while Nick went over to where Ian was.
Link grabbed the Master Sword up off the ground where he had dropped it and got prepared for a fight. Ganondorf snapped his fingers and a menacing sword appeared in his hand. The two stared each other down for what seemed like an eternity. Link made the first move and ran toward the Evil King. Ganondorf waited for him to attack and easily deflected Link’s swing with his own sword. The two fought with a determination that could not be matched anywhere. Their swords clashed and Link used his shield to deflect most of Ganondorf’s swings. Ganondorf swung, but Link blocked it and quickly slashed at the Gerudo’s arm, cutting it fairly deep. Ganondorf retaliated with a mighty swing that sent Link across the room again. He quickly got up and charged at the King of Evil. Bringing his sword back behind his head, he leaped into the air, hoping to finish him with one hit. The Gerudo easily blocked the move, but he was forced to back up as Link continued on the offensive. He sent a few thrusts at Ganondorf, then some horizontal swings, but the Gerudo held his own. Link miscalculated an attack and soon felt the pain of Ganondorf’s sword against his right arm. Purely on the defensive, Link stepped back and raised his shield, but every time he used his shield to deflect a blow, pain would shoot up his arm, causing him to back peddle more. He was in for a long fight.
Nick picked up Ian’s head and noticed that he was surely going to die. He was still conscious though, and he began to talk.
“Nick… the gems… we must free them…”
“Get them… bring them here… I can release the Sages…” Nick nodded and ran over to the gems, picked them up, and ran back. Neither Link nor Ganondorf had noticed him. He put the gems in front of Ian’s body and waited for the man to do what he had to do.
Ian pulled his book out of his bag and flipped through the pages. He stopped on the page that explained how to free the beings from the gems. He carefully read over the page and eventually put the book back down. He gathered the seven gems in front of him and began to chant the spell. Almost immediately, the gems rose into the air and let out their light once more, filling the room with many colors. The lights glowed brightly in six different locations, and when the lights finally ceased, there stood the six Sages. The corresponding gems fell to the floor, dull and lightless. Ian began to talk again.
“I cannot release the Princess. Only the Hero of Time… and Holder of the Triforce of Courage can. You must get Link to repeat the spell I just said. Hurry... if she’s in there for too long… she will be lost forever.”
“Thank you for releasing us,” Impa told the dying man.
“No, don’t thank me. I have caused too much trouble. This is the only way I can make amends for my evils. My time has come. I only hope that you can defeat him and save your world from destruction.”
“Knock that talk off, Ian,” Nick started. “You’ll be fine, you’re going to make it.”
“You and I both know… that’s not true. Just tell… tell Link… and Zelda… that… that… I’m sorry… I’m sorry…” Upon uttering those words, Ian slipped away to death.
The Sages and Nick were lost in thought when they heard Link shout. He had his leg cut from one of Ganondorf’s blows. Fed up, he quickly swung his sword vertically up, disarming the Gerudo. Taking the opportunity, he stabbed Ganondorf through the stomach. The Evil King fell to the ground, but Link knew he wasn’t dead. In fact, he was far from it. He needed Zelda to be here with the Triforce of Wisdom. That was the only way to defeat him, with both Courage and Wisdom. He looked around the room and noticed Aaron and Charles running into the room. He then turned to see that Nick and William were there, as well as the Sages. They seemed to come out of nowhere. He never noticed Nick and William entering the room or the bright lights. He was too focused on Ganondorf. But now, with him stunned, Link ran over to the Sages, his tunic torn and bloodstained.
“Where’s Zelda?” he yelled at them. Nick answered for them.
“Link, you need to repeat the spell that Ian used to release the Sages. He said only you could release Zelda.” Link looked over and saw Ian’s dead body lying on the floor. He didn’t know why, but he felt a little sorry for him. Nick gave the open book to Link. He looked at the writing and memorized the chant. He then reached down and grabbed the Diamond in his hands. Raising it above his head, he began to recite the chant. The Diamond rose in the air and glowed brightly. The light flashed incredibly bright, causing all in the room to shield their eyes. There, standing underneath the Diamond, was Zelda. She ran over to Link and hugged him as hard as she could, determined to never let go. Link was eventually able to push her away. There was a more pressing matter.
“Zel, we have to destroy Ganondorf now!” He pointed over to where he had stunned Ganondorf. Zelda nodded and got ready to use the Triforce. But when they turned to where they thought he was stunned, they realized that he was standing.
“You will not have that chance now, you wretched fools. You may have won this battle, Hero, but I will return. And the next time, there will be nothing you or your friends can do about it! Until then…” There was another bright flash and Ganondorf disappeared.
Zelda hugged Link again. “Well, at least he’s gone for now.”
“Yeah, but he’ll be back. And when he does, I will finish him once and for all.” Link looked into his wife’s eyes, and they kissed.
A week later, all of Hyrule attended a double funeral. The Sages were all there, thanks to the efforts by Link and his friends. After some of the Sages spoke, there was no doubt in the public’s mind that Link had once again averted danger. The public was kept mostly in the dark about the whole incident, but they did now that two Hylians were killed by something evil. A great young man, Sir Richard, had given his life to save Link’s. And another mysterious man, Ian, was killed while combating the evil. Ian was being buried with a noble status by order of Link. For some reason, he felt that he was a good man, but he was just pulled to evil by Ganondorf. After the funeral, Link, Nick, William, Aaron, and Charles stood outside the castle.
“Well, I’m glad that’s over,” Charles said. Aaron nodded.
“Yeah, that whole situation was just horrible.”
“I had grown quite fond of Richard. He saved my life.” William added.
“He saved mine twice.” Link had felt it was his fault Richard died. He wasn’t able to stop Ganondorf from killing him.
“Hey, it’s not your fault, Link,” Nick tried to console him. “He didn’t die in vain. You were able to stop Ganondorf and we got the Sages and Zelda back.”
“You’re right, Nick. I guess I feel responsible.”
Charles walked over to Link. “You’ve got to put it behind you. He is with the Goddesses now.”
“I just can’t help thinking that Ganondorf will attack again. And next time, he will be more powerful.”
“Don’t worry, my friend,” came a familiar voice. Link turned to see that it was Sir Robert of Larosia.
“Finally, made it, huh?” Link replied to his old friend.
“Yes, and you needn’t worry about danger. For now I am here and that evil man will stay clear of here!”
“I say we be on our feet for an attack at any moment,” Aaron said seriously.
“Yeah, yeah, but we don’t need to worry about that for a while,” Nick said. “But I think it would be best if we could get the aid of Malaank, Larosia, and Dellenia.”
Aaron smiled. “Ah, no problem there! We would defend Hyrule like it was our own country.”
William nodded his agreement. “And I for one would like to avenge the death of Richard. I owe him.”
Link looked around at each one of his friends and felt great joy. He had to be the luckiest man in all of Hyrule, even the world. Here he had friends who were willing to fight alongside him, as well as bringing their armies to his aid. A small smile appeared across his face. As he looked over the horizon, he noticed two figures that meant the world to him. On top of the hill, Evan began to run toward his father, Zelda walking behind. The boy jumped into the air, into Link’s awaiting arms, and gave him a big hug. Zelda stopped in front of him.
“My Hero,” she said with a look of love in her eyes. “You came to rescue me… again. How will I ever repay you?” She smiled and winked at Link.
“Knowing you’re safe is enough, but if you want…” he said suggestively, with a lustful look on his face. He leaned forward, with Evan still in his arms, and kissed his wife. Behind him, he could here the calls of his friends. They were teasing him and making lovey-dovey noises while laughing heartily. Link turned to face them.
“I would think that you guys would be a little more mature than that!”
“Ha. Yeah, right!” called back Nick while laughing harder. Link and Zelda smiled and walked over to the hysterical knights. He truly was a lucky man. He wished this would never end.
The group began to walk back toward the castle when they heard the beating of hooves on the ground behind them. Each turned around, with smiles still on their faces. But when they saw the messenger, their smiles quickly disappeared. The messenger didn’t have to say a word, they all understood.
Ganondorf had attacked.
To be continued in
Part Two- From Despair Rises Hope