The Demon Wars
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"The Demon Wars"

The Demon Wars

The Second Story in the "Demon's Prayer" Trilogy

By: Afterlyfe

you sing sometimes - i dont care - go ahead and sing forever - your voice will go off key someday - and i will take the task upon myself - to kill you and your throat - never mind youre dead today - i feel it slipping - i didnt shoot you - the rifle did .

- Shadow Paint (coming soon)

"Link, are you awake?" Zelda had heard him moan and grumble. At first, he didn't reply. She nudged him then hissed, "C'mon, I know you are." Link breathed in, coughed then rolled over to face the ceiling. Groggily, and with a shift of covers, he nodded.

"How on earth do ya keep so..." Link had already fallen asleep again, exhausted. Zelda nudged him harder.

"Link, you saw a vision again." Link acted like he didn't hear. Night seemed to be Zelda's active time. Link, however, had no active time. He was always exhausted, be it day or night. After he had married Zelda, when what he had planned was to retire, he had become king. He would have been the prince, but Zelda's father had died. Now he had to deal with the council, a group of rulers from all the lands surrounding Hyrule. They did not like Link at all.

Zelda sighed, then began rambling, "You know, visions are very rare and you aren't supposed to even get them. Only the Holy Ones did, and most of them are dead. So why don't you ever tell me...?"

"FINE." Link struggled to think. "...I don't remember most of it... Something about... Dragmire..." Link sighed, and tried to sleep. Zelda looked at him frantically.



Zelda sighed. "Link, do you even know who Dragmire is?"

"Uh... Wait, wasn't it that thing in the Fire Temple... You know, with the spinning and the..."


"Oh... Oh yeah, I remember now. Heh. Well anyway, there were these lizard things. Thought I was Dragmire. Let's see... They called me a liar, a traitor... A couple things I'd rather not say out loud..." Link shuddered, then tried to sleep.

"And?" Zelda always had to do this with him to get him talking.

"Blast it... Lemme sleep, woman..." Link paused, yawned, then mumbled something. "He's lookin'...Ghulten is with him... I've held it for so long... Can't..."

"GET OFF MY CAPE... And stop blubbering, I've been here before, and you'll attract some unwanted company if you don't shut up." Ghulten, a dog-sized lizard, growled and slid down from the horse. The black horse snorted when Ghulten began striding too close again. Ghulten hissed back.

Ganondorf sighed and slowed his horse down to look around. Kokiri Forest was supposed to be back to normal, but nothing looked inviting. Crows cawed heedlessly, hopping from branch to branch in swarms. When they quieted, there was a long, low call that echoed eerily. After it stopped, one or two crows began bickering, and soon the whole flock began again. But they kept stopping for the bellow to take its turn. Each time it was louder.

"Eticla...Yi jurl en tuiy..." Ghulten growled deep in its throat. Ganondorf uneasily wondered if he had seen something in the branches. It's gone now...

There in front of him, was the Deku Tree. It was huge, black, and rotten. In front of it was a dug-up patch of dirt. The dirt was freshly churned, and it appeared that someone had tried to cover it with dead grass. Small roots still clung deep in the dirt. Ganondorf turned to Ghulten. "Was there something here before...?"

"Thief." Ganondorf looked confused.

"I'm not a thief anymore, and that's not the answer I'm lookin' for. What was here?"

Ghulten was unshaken, but frustrated. Ghulten sounded impatient as he repeated, "Thief!"

"NO! What thing was here that was dug up?" Ghulten was about to repeat himself once again, but suddenly stopped. Its eyes narrowed, then pulled back. A whistle in the air, then a black, feathered arrow was where Ghulten just was. Ghulten howled and pulled back. The horse began bucking wildly in panic, and Ganondorf only got a glance at what was firing at them. They looked like living poes and their face was coated with black fur and moistened with saliva. One of them bared its glistening teeth. Ghulten was just about to begin tearing it apart, when Ganondorf was hit in the shoulder. The horse spun in terror. A few more whistles and arrows, but they were poorly aimed and struck the ground instead. This was because Ghulten was now slashing the three creatures to pieces. The hardly put up a fight, but they screamed madly. A few more desperate aims, but they couldn't fight back with equal strength. Ghulten received only a few blows before they stumbled back in confusion.

Ghulten howled its death call.

Ganondorf cringed in pain and tried to grip the arrow that was stuck in his shoulder. After getting a good hold, realized how deep it was. No matter... Ganondorf held his ground as well as he could on a horse, closed his eyes, and pulled. "Augh..." The pain was greater than before, but the burning eased after a few moments. He soon realized that the screams had become distant. The danger had passed, for now.

Ghulten stumbled down from the gnarled branches, hissing and gulping in blood. It had a gash in its shoulder and was limping a good deal. Its tongue bled in sloshes of spit. But neither of them were dead. That was good for starters. The over-call of a huge animal had disintegrated into occasional echoing grunts. Ganondorf doubted he'd ever know what that creature was. However, he was quite sure he had heard it before. Ghulten interrupted him violently with a labored hack and cough, but it swallowed enough so it could breathe. Its tongue lolled dully out of its lower jaw, probably numb and dead. Ghulten tried to speak, but it came out like a child's babbling after it bit its tongue.

"Ah ned tah thee mathta... MATHTA!" Ganondorf replied with a grunt, implying that there wasn't to be anything said on that subject. Ghulten was beginning to become impatient, when it stopped again. A voice.

It was distant, quiet and calm. At first, Ganondorf wasn't sure if he actually heard it. Maybe it was just the wind...? But it came again.

"Those arrows..." Ganondorf quickly wrenched his horse to turn around. The horse snorted in puzzlement, but there she was. A girl stared back at them, leaning on one of the larger trees. Ganondorf's heart absently skipped a beat. He wasn't sure whether it did because of her beauty or because he was looking at a Kokiri, one of the few immortal beings left. She had long, green hair that grew down to her knees and a black bandana that was wrapped around her forehead. Her eyes were haunting and emerald. She looked sixteen, maybe seventeen. "...Um, why are you looking at me, sir?" The girl looked confused. Her pale face grew red in disapproval.

"Uh..." What was he supposed to even begin at?

"Oh, yes, those arrows are poisoned, but it's a very slow one... Erm," the girl paused because she disliked the man's expression on his face. "I-I have an antidote... At my, um," saying 'house' for some reason didn't sound right in front of this man, "home." An awkward pause. Ganondorf slowly spoke, trying not to say anything weird.

"...Take me. There, I mean."


"If you have any questions, I should be able to answer them, sir."

"Don't call me sir--nn'gah!" This was Ganondorf's reply to the antidote as it was poured on the wound. Well, she had warned him only a moment ago. The usual "this'll sting" bit. The girl was still somewhat tense. Her home was really oddly set, it was right among trees in a small clearing. More of a hut, it was small but had its peculiar charm. A small fireplace and smokestack were placed in the corner, piles of wood and sticks next to it. All that was in the room was a few chairs scattered as though the girl hardly ever had visitors, and a small table, which to Ganondorf was only a foot rest, and he easily adapted. The girl didn't object. The ceiling, Ganondorf realized as soon as he had entered the hut, was decorated with strung wooden animals, with some sort of Asian writing on each of them. There was a silk-like cloth embroidered with spirit creatures, one of them which he recognized as a Barokk (a sea serpent which usually did not attack people, but was huge). Blue and white threads, all woven together into a frothy wave, and the silver beast ripping itself out in an assault against... Ganondorf didn't know what it was attacking. It was so much smaller and hardly visible. Ganondorf was soon distracted and he didn't notice that Ghulten had defiantly bolted in, demanding attention as it whimpered for its master.

The thing was, Ganondorf was not this creature's master. Its master had commanded it to go with Ganondorf for reasons Ganon still didn't understand. He didn't like that animal. Its species was one of the few which could speak English, but it was so loose, that often Ghulten got words mixed up, making it impossible to speak to. Worse yet, Ghulten hated him and refused to cooperate.

Link, you blasted idiot... Thinking Ghulten would be useful for me...

"Oh, I didn't know you had... One of them..." The girl looked a little terrified and shocked at the animal. Ganondorf woke from his daydream.

"One of what now...? Oh, Ghulten." Ganondorf glared at Ghulten rather absently, then added, "He's not mine. He's Li--" Ganondorf stopped himself. But the girl didn't notice, to his relief.

"But I thought Drazils were extinct. I guess not, this one looks lively."

"More lively than I want him to be." Ganondorf coughed, moaned in pain, then was prepared to change the subject.

"...Why are you here?" Ganondorf stared at the girl, but didn't answer. He thought, and decidedly said, "My business is my own. My question to you is, aren't you a Kokiri?"

The girl glanced blankly at the wall, then began uneasily, "...Yes..."

"You look like your eighteen or somethin'. How old are you?"

The girl didn't hesitate, but said flatly as she sat down at the small table, "Fifty-five." She casually sipped at some tea in a tin cup, while Ganondorf tried to get this to sink in.

"Uh, right. (Blazes, fifty-five...!) Though, still, you are a Kokiri, and aren't they supposed to be immortal and never look older than ten?"

"...That was before the men came." A still pause. The girl set the cup on the only space on the table where Ganondorf's iron boots didn't sit with a shivering sigh.

"Men?" Ganondorf was sure he knew what men they were.

"Yes... Several years ago... They dug up the Deku Tree." Ganondorf looked puzzled.

"But I was out there... The Deku Tree's dead."

"It came back as a sprout. Shouldn't you kn--" The girl looked at him trembling, but said nothing to add to that sentence. "Well, men came. They threatened the Deku Tree many times, and this wasn't the first time. They had come before. The Deku Tree killed many of them. Skeletons of horses and riders are tangled in his branches.

"But this time they had weapons and a red metal beast which the men could crawl into and make it move. They cursed the Deku Tree... He couldn't move... I mean, he's a tree, but you understand what I'm talking about. They dug him up and tied him on the back of the beast..." Ganondorf was thinking as he listened to all of this. Yes, it was them... No other clan could have a red pick-up truck to drive around in.

"So that was what I saw out there... There's still a patch of dirt. When I asked Ghulten about it, he said 'thief'."

"That confirms him as a Drazil, then. They always called the Deku Tree a thief."

Ganondorf thought, but it didn't make sense. "Um, it's a tree."

"Yes, but this was once their homeland. Until the Deku Tree grew, it was all theirs'. But he made us. They were forced out. Drazils often came back, I remember those times, screaming for revenge. Though I don't like thinking about it, the Deku Tree caused their deaths and extinction. It was horrifying when they came, just tearing through, several of them, ripping everything in sight to pieces...

The girl continued, "So, if the Deku Tree's gone, us Kokiri start showing age from where we started. When I knew Link," Ganondorf reacted to this name with slight panic, but tried not to show it, "I was forty-five and I looked ten. Now I'm fifty-five and look twenty."

Ganondorf realized he didn't even know this girl's name. It would be easier... He awkwardly began, "Your name...?"

"Oh." The girl said this in more of a surprised tone. She stood up and began to blush hotly, but stammered, "S-Saria." She sat down with a thump. Silence.

"You're a..."

Ghulten furiously piped in. "No, no, it's a sham, sages are nothing. Just a joke. Paid. Gambled. All a sham. Sages are a sham..." Ghulten shook his head like a dog, then growled.

"I guess Link figured it out," Saria said slowly. She knew this. They had been paid to act like they were important. The Corvus needed a few things done, and this was the perfect way to keep the Triforce Keepers distracted. Besides, they got their revenge on their leader's nephew, Ganondorf.

"Wait, you know that thing's Link's?"

"It is?" Saria stared at Ghulten. "I had no idea you'd be keeping a pet for him."

"It's not a pet." Ganondorf scowled as he thought to himself, "Smooth move, Ganondorf. Now she knows... What do I do now? I'll act innocent and see if she'll tell me where the kid is... If that don't work, I'll figure it out..."

"If it's not a pet, what is it?"

Ganondorf shook suddenly. "mm...Bodyguard. Somethin' like it. It chooses its own master and is basically like a bodyguard. It'll do other things, but I dunno." He began slowly on a different subject, "...This Link... I was told he came back here."

"You were told correctly. He did come back, but something happened amongst the ruckus with the Deku Tree. The king died."


"Assassinated. Zelda was heartbroken. The government had to go on, so, Zelda had to marry. And what do you know," Saria grinned, "Link was just on his way for a visit."

"Is he happy with his marriage?" Ganondorf was one step ahead. He was pretty sure he knew what Link thought of it.

"I'm not sure," Saria sipped her tea again. "I haven't seen him since. Now, what would you care about Link anyway?"

Ganondorf said nothing at first. He then firmly said, struggling not to look red in the face, "My business. Not yours."

Ghulten snorted and began whimpering for his master.

Link impatiently tried to get used to the throne. It was so uncomfortable, but he didn't dare try sitting on the floor, like he often did. Zelda got mad at him when he did it otherwise, and he was in front of the Hyrule Council. They already thought he was insane. No need for that. The clothes also annoyed him. He was wearing a robe of white, with a golden Triforce symbol. Zelda often wondered why he always made a fuss when he had to wear clothes with the Triforce on it. He was just bothered by it at such an extreme.

The Council looked at him gloomily. The end of the meeting had finally come. Hushed to whispers, everyone stood up with a creak of chairs, and moved to the hallway. Link sighed and clunked his head on the long table. After staring at wood for a moment, he heard Zelda.

"Link, are you alright?"

"No. Where's June?" Junette was their perky, hyper little daughter. She was now five years old and ready to annoy the Council, one of her innocent hobbies. Her emerald eyes were always bulging in interest and sparkling with curiosity. Her hair was raven black and long, down to her stubby legs. Link had little idea where she got that hair and eyes. Neither him or Zelda had black hair or green eyes. But needless to say, June liked her father better. He was a lot more interesting, and he often said things her mother "disagreed" with. And sometimes, she saw a gray and black cat scramble through the hall. Once she asked her mother about it, and she had no idea what her daughter was talking about. Cats were simply mythical and possibly just legendary. The only ones that were left a hundred years ago were burnt to death because of their contact with witches and demons.

But June was sure she saw a cat. She couldn't understand why people hated cats, because the one she saw was so beautiful and sleek. She tried asking her father, and he just hesitated. He knew something...

"Oh, I think she went to greet and bid farewell to the Council. Please, Link, you should go stop her."

"No, no, no she's fine. I like it when she does that, anyway."

"Link! How can you possibly think that? She insults them! What do you think that makes you look like?"

"What they think of me now?" He lifted his head cheerily, quite ready to joke. But after looking at her expression, he shrugged and sighed, "Fine. But don't be surprised when I join in, for pity's sake..."

Yes, there was June, standing at the door grinning. She looked up at the tall men, and for every man that passed through the door, she said the following in a quick spit, "Hi, bye." When several men went through the door at once, she said it several times in a ramble until the men felt much like hurting her. But, after all, she was the king's daughter.


"Hi, bye."

"JUNE!" June looked up to see her father stumble through the crowd.

"Hi, daddy." Link sighed.

"Are you alright?"

"Yes, daddy." Men pushed Link aside in an attempt to get out while the girl was distracted. June quickly turned, ran to the door and pealed out a scream, "HI, BYE!" The men looked horrified and bounded off like deer. Link looked distressed, but decided there was no stopping her anyway. It was humorous, though. The expressions on the Councils' faces was priceless.

After her father left, June loyally stayed in case there was still one or two men left. Sometimes they hid for a while, hoping she'd think they weren't there. She slid out the door and sat on the side that wouldn't smack her in the face if it was opened. This happened before, but she had learned not to sit there anymore. She saw a shadow, and she was prepared. The last one. It was Ligern, the best one to tease. He carefully crept out. This man almost looked like Link, but always had a sort of gross expression, like he was staring at a human corpse. He thought he was safe, when he heard the scream behind him, "HI, BYE!" Ligern spun around in a fury.


"Eeexcuse me, but I have a question." June stared at the man who stood behind Ligern. He was so big and dark looking. Ligern looked paler than he used to as he turned around. June's eyes rounded.

Ganondorf realized he forgot how fun it was to pick on whiny rich people. "As I was saying," Ganondorf continued, getting closer to Ligern, who was terrified, "I need to see the king."

Ligern shook his head, Ganondorf's shadow gaining onto him. Pinned against the wall, Ligern stuttered helplessly, "H-he isn't... H-he can't..."

"AND WHY CAN'T HE?" Ligern shrunk back, whimpering.

"D-don't hurt me-- I s-swear, you'd have a b-bounty on you throat for years... Please..."

Ganondorf leaned slowly forward. "That's an odd mix of a plea for mercy and a threat, there... Go..." Ganondorf expected Ligern to simply obey and scramble off like a dog. But he didn't know Ligern. And Ligern got the wrong idea that the idiot King Olaf had hired this goon for harassment.

Well, King Jinger of Velattiane would show him.

So instead, Ligern scuttled in the opposite direction, back into the hall, and into the room. Finding that Link had left the room, he quickly began searching the rest of the castle. Ganondorf stood leaning with an arm against the wall, a little shocked. June had only been able to shut herself up until now.

"WOWEE! That was great, did you see him run, mister? Wowee!"

Ganondorf had no idea who this girl was, but from the looks of it, she was familiar with the castle. "Why'd he run in that direction?"

June shrugged. "Maybe he wants to see my daddy. He always does."

"Who's your father?"

June paused, thought, then said in a puzzled tone, "Daddy." Ganondorf realized she probably didn't know her father's name. June looked at him with curiosity. "You look awful strange. What are those?" June pointed to two small animals that were far behind him, crouching behind a rock in fear.

"Oh. I'll show you." Ganondorf turned slowly, and looked at them. One of them stood higher up, but they were still small. Their ears perked, then the shadows bounded over and clambered up the steps.

June held her breath. Cats. "Kitties!!!" June was ready to simply pounce onto them. They were both black, one with a white patch over its eye (this was the larger one) and the other with a patch on its forehead. They were still but kittens, but they quickly recoiled with hissing and spitting.

"Um, yes, but these are a little different. Wax, keésa twes nuen--" Ganondorf began speaking to one of them, and the larger one slowly stopped hissing. The hairs on its neck stood on end, but it seemed at ease. The younger one stopped immediately. "I need to see the king."

"My daddy's inside." Ganondorf looked baffled.

"You're Link's daught--" He stopped himself. "...I-I don't think I could find him in there easily. There are, what, five floors? I've been here." He didn't remember much about it, but he had been here. He had made pledges to the king, made a few gambles (of course), and was being spied on by Zelda and Link. He only saw them for a moment. They had realized he knew they were there, and quickly moved back from the window in surprise. But his mind was clouded at the time.

Darker years still Dragmire Don't expect them to cry for you, either Mech ere Ganon

Ganondorf looked around blankly. He had heard that voice again. Mech ere Ganon. He had heard that so many times. In Gerudo, it meant Death to Ganon.

He had suspected this for so, so long.

"I'll take you. We'll hafta go up stairs, butcha know..."

Ganondorf nodded.

"You know, my daddy has whip marks. Aaaall over his arms." June dramatically waved her own arms. She had already told him too many things, but Ganondorf was too embarrassed to stop her.

"He does, does he?" He already knew this. Him and Link had been captured by Lizalfos in those years, and the Lizalfos were merciless. They would’ve been killed if the Ravens hadn’t invaded and saved both of their lives.

"Yep. He doesn't talk about it... Who are you?" Ganondorf hesitated. She may know about him.

"I'm a fri-- I know him."

"No, silly, who!"

Ganondorf quickly tried to change the subject. Such a tongue for such a young child... "So where's your father anyway?" They had been walking in halls and walking up stairs relentlessly, and Ganondorf suspected they were going in circles.

"He's in his room, maybe. He usually is. Mommy's prob'ly with him." Ganondorf cursed himself. How could've he forgotten? Zelda! She would call the guards the moment she realized he was there. Although, for some reason, he hadn't seen any guards yet. They seemed to be gone. "Oh, here. DAAAAD!" June shrieked as she barreled towards a door on the left side of the hall. Ganondorf stepped back in surprise. For a moment, June almost tried to swing open the door, but Ganondorf grabbed her before she could. He heard a voice he knew all too well. A sigh, then a tired comment.

"What is it?" Ganondorf heard him mumbling about a Ligern accusing him of (something-something). That was definitely Link. But something about the way he spoke was just... Exhausted. June was a bit confused, because of being pulled back, but she answered with no less energy than before.

"Daddy, a man wants to talk to--"


"Dad, it's not Mister Jinger."

"It isn't...? Oh for," a stumble, and inside the room, Link was about to open the door. Ganondorf quickly snatched the knob and pulled it back. Link, confused, tried to open it.

"Not yet, elf..." Ganondorf held it firmly. He heard Zelda ask Link what was going on.

"Who the blazes are you?"

Ganondorf did not answer. He held the knob and tried to think. He needed to say something so Link would know it was him, and Zelda wouldn't. Wait. "It's... Drender."

Inside the bedroom, crushing himself against the door, although it wouldn't budge, Link faltered. He was dazed in confusion. Why is he here? Now? Drender was the fake last name Ganondorf had given himself around those government-endorsed freaks among the Spirit Sciences. Link had forgotten his own last name, so he now was named Olaf.

"Link," Zelda was looking at him eagerly, "Who's Drender?" At first, Link didn't hear her. He stammered for a moment, then awoke.

"Oh, OH, yes, Drender... Hmm... H-he's some... Distant cousin of Rapheal. You know him...? Yes... Well, it's probably about that money I owe him..." Link tried to act like Drender wasn't anyone significant, like he was some person he didn't know well.

"Money?" Zelda looked doubtfully at him.

"Only a few hundred rupees, don't look at me like that. I don't owe people much at once, you know me... Oh, what was that?" Link suddenly looked up at the corridors above them. There was a deafening crash and shatter. Zelda turned around, for she had heard it as well. But what she didn't know was Link closed his eyes right before it happened, and all his thought concentrated on a creature that was up there.

Perfect timing, Nygel. Make sure she doesn't see you... Make some sounds or something, send her on a wild goose chase, I don't care... But don't attack her, just distract her...

"Would you go check on that, Zelda?"

For a few horrifying seconds, Zelda looked as though she was going to refuse. Then, with a sigh and a shrug, she mumbled, "Fine. I had some other things to do, anyway. The guards aren't doing their job again. Probably because of..." Ganondorf heard her voice trail off as she went up the stairs, and closed the door behind her.

"...Come in 'Drender.' You're a blasted fool to have come here..."

"Of course I am... Ai, boy, what the heck did you--" Ganondorf stared at Link the moment he entered.

"Well that's just great," Link looked disgusted. "We haven't seen each other in... Three years, is it? And the first thing you say is what I did with my HAIR." Link's hair was white. Pure white. He had dyed it because he wanted to look older, so the Council would at least not bother him about how he was too young to be king.

"Well... See here... It's only natural that... Ack, never mind. So, how'd you get that sound there?"


"Nygel... I remember that crazy animal... But isn't he a demon?" Ganondorf looked at Link concernedly.

"Yes... Don't look at me like that, this is my life now..." Link reminded himself that yes, Ganondorf would act like this.

"You must say that a lot. And are you happy with 'your' life?"

Link furiously glared at him, but the glare weakened into a sigh. Link shook his head, mumbling, as he sat down into a chair, "...No... No, not at all... You couldn't understand..."

"Is it Mao...?" Mao was a name Link had been hoping Ganondorf wouldn't remember. That name was painful to hear while he was there, king, married to Zelda, raising a child...

Mao. He had known her for only a year, about seven years before he was living like this. These were the last of his journeying years. Link had troubles of his own, of course. He had stumbled onto a completely different nation, with technology that was farther than any he had seen. These people had computers and the like. His only guide was a young woman with wheaty brown hair and sarcasm. He did not like her very much, especially since the way he got there was very odd. He had been out in the woods, trying to find some food. Something hit him hard in the head, and when he woke up, the girl said he had been drugged for nearly a week and brought there. As soon as this happened, his Triforce began doing weird things. Link was once deprived of sleep for weeks because there was something looming there. Just a shadow, with bright, hollow eyes. Just staring and waiting. He tried to ignore it, but when he did, it shrieked and howled, demanding that he pay attention. Nobody else saw it or heard it. And in the morning, it wasn't there.

Then he realized this wasn't his Triforce's doing. What his Triforce was doing was allowing him to summon black shadow demons whenever he felt threatened. He could control them completely. But it wasn't haunting him.

Link had no idea he was possessed.

Mao had moved into a traditional Chinese mansion, but her family was only renting it to learn more about "American" culture. They were to be there a year, and their arrival was well known. Link remembered how they had met. He had been wandering the streets for hours, presumably lost, but he didn't dare try and stop and ask for directions. During the process, he walked past the mansion, giving little heed until he saw, beyond the gate, Her. She was sitting at the edge of a rock pool, holding a water lily, fiddling with it. Then a woman, who was her grandmother as Link later found out, began speaking to the girl in Chinese. Evidently, it was something about not picking up the lilies, because the girl frowned, stared at the flower, then set it back in the water.

Oh man was she hot...

The girl had only one chance to look at his face, because a car pulled up to the sidewalk, and Antina came out, looking bewildered.

"Well, there yeh are. We've been lookin' all over for you. Whatever happened? We was walkin' at a decent pace... Are you listening to me?" He wasn't listening, not really. He kept looking back at the girl longingly. Antina glared impatiently at him. "Hmm... Words don't sink in with you, huh? I HAVE ALTERNATIVES!" Link groaned and shook his head.

"No, it's not that, I just..." He turned around again. Antina's eyes narrowed.

"Your girlfriend?"


"Then why you lookin' at her?"


"Fine, deny it," Antina cut off the conversation, shrugged, and began to chew her gum loudly, to urge him to move. "Gan needs you anyway. Or wants you. In any case, I wouldn't want to be you with the kinda mood he's got. Nuh-uh."

"Do you think that's motivating me to go back?"

Antina spat in disgust. "No, but I don't need to motivate. You do as I say, remember? Now, let's see... Who said that? Well, wasn't that Ganondorf? And, if ah recall correctly, he threatened to beat the crap outta yeh if you didn't. Now..."

"Oh please shut up. I never said I wasn't coming." Antina looked icily at the girl he was looking at.

"You was thinkin' it. Watch it. I count every smart comment you make, elf... Counts up to the lashes you get..." Link cringed in painful recollection, but went in the car silently. He had learned what humiliation was. Living with this woman was horrible. Link was sure if she could, she'd have him ask permission to breathe. When he tried to fight back, she turned on him with snarls. That wasn't the worst part. Ganondorf had gotten Link into complete submission, and Ganon tells him to listen to her. If he ever failed to do so, she ratted on him.

Link abruptly woke up from his crude memories when a voice piped up, "Who's Mow, daddy?"

"Mao..." Link at first didn't realize who he was talking to. Then he stared in shock. What was June doing here? "Uh, June, could you... Oh dear..."

"She already heard too much," Ganondorf said grimly. "She ain't gonna leave you now." Link sighed weakly, then shook his head again.

"No, I'm not going to waste my time with petty love stories..."

"Petty..." Ganondorf spat. "So I guess we'll talk seriously or something?"

"Possibly..." The door creaked, and they heard a snort. "Wait, don't tell me... It's Ghulten, right?" Ghulten, realizing his presence was known, bolted in. With a loud thud, it stumbled into the wall, cause June to scream, and scraped up to see his master. With a croak, it began speaking.

"Master, I'm back, sir, and there's too much to speak of, yes, too much... Why is the humanling making so much noise?" Ghulten was talking about June, who suddenly stopped screaming in surprise.

"It talked... Whyzit talkin', daddy?"

"Because... You should leave. Now. Let's go, June..." Link stood up and was about to pick her up and drag her out of the room, but she quickly objected.



"I wanna stay."

"You can't."

"But..." Link was gradually pushing her out the door, and finally slammed it shut. Obviously, she was used to this, because she only whimpered, then left. Ghulten growled and pressed its side against Link's legs.

"Siiit down," it purred.

"Yes, yes. What did you really come here for?"

"To warn you, what else? That's all I ever did... Man, there's a lot to tell you... But I can tell you that later. You've got to leave Hyrule."

"Leave?" Link looked confused.

"Have you looked outside recently?"

Link shook his head. "No, I never get a chance..."

"There's a war, kid... You know the Demon War?"

"Demon wars... Those were prophesized for centuries by the Hylians." Ganondorf nodded uneasily, then walked towards a window that was a few yards from them across the room. The breeze blew his cape slowly. Ganondorf looked down at the broken walls of the city. An earthquake had struck only two years ago, causing all of the walls to collapse. For a while, the Hylians felt insecure, but soon got used to it. He looked beyond those at the fury going on in the west. Crows. Hundreds of them. They flew as one, cawing so loudly they could be heard for miles. And below them were black creatures. They were too far away to be seen well.

"Do you remember how the Hylians were supposed to react to these wars?" Ganondorf turned to look at Link expectantly.

"Their holy book speaks of an offering of..." Link stopped in horror. A sacrifice of a Triforce keeper. If Ganondorf hadn't come, then the Church would have no choice but to either kill him or his wife. Now they had all three in the city, rounded up for harvesting. Link breathed in, then continued. "...You should not have come. They'll obviously choose to kill a foreigner instead of their own king." Link's heart was pounding. "What do you see out there?"

"A campsite."

"The Spirit Sciences. They've been camping there, because they had been following the demons for months. Since they settled here, so did the Spirit Sciences."

"And how do you know this?"

"...Guards. I sent them, and they reported back."

"Hmm... The Spirit Sciences, eh? They have faster transportation. And they trust us... If only we could get there without any fuss."

"I'm not going." Ganondorf looked surprised at him.

"And why not?"

Link tried not to give himself away. "I'm not going, because you've wasted enough time here. Go."

"You're obviously confused. I came to get you outta--"

"If you don't go, I swear, I'll call the guards on you." Ganondorf looked doubtingly at him. Link hesitated, but pressed on, "I mean it. G-Guards... GUARDS!"

Ganondorf turned on him swiftly. He bolted towards him, ready to strangle him. But he stopped a few feet from him when he heard a loud, bored voice, "Whatizzit?" Link was about to angrily tell the guard that he was supposed to come into the room when he was called.

"You're supposed to..." Link said no more. Ganondorf's huge sword was at his throat. Link looked at him furiously. "Put that sword down."

"...How about you call off the guard instead?" Link glared at him. Ganondorf would do it if he wanted to. Link swallowed, then said weakly,

"Fine. GUARD!"

"Eh?" This was the new guard, Link remembered. He had next to no experience.

"The Queen seems to be missing. Please patrol the castle, beginning by searching the first floor. Go on from there."

Ganondorf refused to put down the sword until there was no sound in the hallway. Finally, he seemed content, then he put it down, the light making the bronze flash gold. Link breathed deeply in fury, but said nothing. Ganondorf shrugged, saying, "You make everything a big deal, don't you? C'mon now, don't stay mad at me... We'll need to travel light, so don't pack like a woman like you used to. The Spirit Sciences have everything we need, really. A weapon or two, that's all..."

"I'm still not going."

"You keep thinking that..."

"Stop acting like I'm--" Link suddenly pulled back in reaction to a sharp sting across his cheek. Ganondorf was holding a sword. Link's sword. Link felt the clean swipe in shock. It was only beginning to bleed, but it was really too shallow to bleed much. Ganondorf had spent his patience. Link couldn't speak for a moment, but finally scowled and agreed. "If you want it so much, fine... Silbera..."

Ganondorf shoved the sword into Link's hands, then looked around. "Yeah, where is she?"

"She isn't right here. She has to hide..."

"Ah, yes. These people don't like cats. Near forgot..."

Link roughly wiped off some of the blood on his face. "There she is." A cat trotted in, grey with a black design on its back. It chirped in delight, bounded on top of a table, then shimmered like a mirage. It grew larger gradually, and spread large, silver wings. The color of its fur melted into a black. Its eyes rounded and turned a pale gray. It then sat on the table flatly, stretching its wings in a tiresome yawn. It spoke coolly like water. "Yes, I remember you, Gannon... Master Link, I do believe you're bleeding."

"I am."

"Whatever for?"

"Because I was cut."

"That wasn't what I--"

"Please, we'll discuss this later." Silbera cocked her head and purred loudly. She was now the size of a panther, so she covered most of the table. Link groaned at the thought of going on another trip with Ganondorf and the Spirit Sciences. The last one was torture. Link hoped this wouldn't be the same.

Ganondorf was now beginning to scare Link. As he got on his horse, he kept looking up at the sky, which was pitch black and rumbling. It wasn't raining of even thundering. Just black. Ganondorf's horse, Deraj, was ill at ease. It whickered impatiently when Link only began to pack up Epona. Epona edged nervously closer to Deraj, nudging him. The wind eerily whistled, bending the charred trees with only a few dead leaves clutching to their branches. Link mounted Epona, but not without a shiver. He had changed back into his traditional Kokiri clothes, since they wouldn't attract so much attention. Besides, Antina would have clothes for him. Though Link would agree to wearing clothes like Antina (T-shirt, jeans and that sort), Ganondorf would refuse and wear his heavy armor, though people looked at him with very vulgar expressions.

Deraj bolted, kicking up clouds of dust. Epona quickly followed. It grew dark very suddenly, and all Link could see was black, and occasionally a flicker of the horse ahead of him. He only heard the thumps of the hooves and the whistle of the wind. The ground creaked and rumbled. Link's head swam, when finally, he heard something. Yells. Several of them. The sky let light break through, so Link could see perfectly what was going on. They were under attack.

A few Hylian guards gathered at the steps of the temple of time, one of them shooting an arrow. Ganondorf had only begun to turn around because he thought he heard something, when an arrow zipped past, only slitting him. Link tried a desperate attempt to steer Epona out of the way. But it was already too late. The guards swarmed around both of them, spears to their throat.

"I demand you to stop this foolishness!" Link tried to speak firmly, but it came out shakily.

"Sorry, the king has no say in the matters of the temple. The priest's on his way." Ganondorf looked at Link questioningly. Link felt that feeling again, one he hadn't felt for years. Ganondorf began tying his mind in with Link's. He heard his voice, though none of the guards did.

"Is that a good thing?"

Link replied with his thoughts. "The priest's a nutcase. He's definitely one of the Corvus. He dresses like them, acts like them..." Link looked around at the guards, sweating. He brushed away some more blood.

"'Most forgot, the Corvus is back... Took the Deku Tree."

Link strained his eyes to see anything through the darkness, but couldn't. He thought, "The Deku Tree? Why would they want that?"

"Dunno. Maybe ransom, but they don't want money, not usually... Maybe they want his powers."

"His powers?"

"Just a wild guess, but maybe they want to know how to make people, immortal ones... They might think his powers are in his sap or something."

Their telepathic conversation was cut short by a voice, which approached them slowly.

"So... If I'm correct, you are... Ganondorf Dragmire, King of the Gerudos. I should very much like to know why you're here with our king." This was the priest. He walked into open light. Ganondorf saw what Link meant when he said that the priest dressed like the Corvus. He wore a cloak, decorated with the symbol of the Triforce. But the thing that struck Ganondorf was that this man was old. He had brown hair and a beard, threaded with gray hairs here and there. The Corvus was made of young people, because they all had a spell that gave them eternal youth. When the priest held up his staff, Ganondorf recognized him. He had seen him before, back when he had come to the castle to swear allegiance to the king. Back then, he didn't have a beard. But this was definitely him.

The same staff, as well, made of a black steel, thin and sharp. It could easily be a weapon. Strands of the black metal came out to make designs with circles, lines a curls. Ganondorf also saw a gun holster at the man's belt. No Hylian would have a gun. Ganondorf began working with the priest's mind, preparing to read it.

"I have my business here. The king allowed me to take him."

"With force, no?" The priest stared, then motioned to the guards. They first dragged Ganondorf to the ground with a struggle, because Deraj began spinning and kicking, and eventually kicked one of the guards with a hard blow in the chest. Link heard the earsplitting crack of the guard's ribs. The man let out a pitiful cry, then collapsed on the ground, groaning.

Link sat, watched, panicked, and thought.

The war was beginning very slowly. Nygel paced impatiently, wondering if Link knew he was here. He doubted it. Nygel only listened to him because his clan had sworn submission to him. The Ligh Clan was humble, though strong. He looked out over the gray, dusty fields with hundreds of his own species, some of them mothers, clutching to their cubs, some loners, who would rather not be here. Nygel snarled at one of the other Drakles, who cowered back.

"Where's Bécoll? He should be here by now." Drakles were dog-sized black lizards, with slim, stealthy bodies and murderous claws. They fought often, and Nygel was known for his ferocity. The Sikaka were also of the Ligh Clan, but they were dying out, so they declined the offer to join the war. Of course, in case they lost to the Dar Clan, they left a good-sized family behind. They also had a few who were supposed to run off before they were killed to report the loss. But hopefully, they wouldn't lose. Not only would the Clan suffer, but the humans might not survive.

"I'm not sure where Bécoll is, sire," the creature shook its head loosely, "he should be here any moment. He did mention something about a crisis back in the castle. The Triforce Keepers are in danger."

"That's all he cares about," Nygel snapped, "Those measly Keepers should watch themselves at this time in history. The Corvus is strong. People are speaking of the end of the world. The Hylians will do anything, even kill their own king, to avoid that."

"As soon as they’re out of danger, he'll come. Simple as that."

"Mmm... Yes. Do they even know Link had such connections with Ganondorf?"

"No, sire. I should think he'd be too embarrassed."

"...I guess I understand that... Caned him like a schoolboy in those days... "

"Interesting choice of words, sire..."

"Shut up and go try to get the females less jittery. I knew we shouldn't have brought them..."

Link was in the guards' grip, and was held back. Nevertheless, he struggled restlessly. Ganondorf had already been beaten, and was dizzy from the loss of blood. He had a gash in his chest, but that was his only major injury. His mouth was bleeding quite a bit, and he had a black eye. They began tying him against a wooden pole, and during the painful process, Ganondorf and Link kept speaking to each other with telepathy. The thing was, they tried to speak of what was happening so lightly that it was like they weren't going to die. Fear slowly died as they discussed their deaths.

"What are they doing?" Ganondorf asked, weakly turning his head as they tied his hands.

"I guess their going to burn you. I'm personally hoping they'll behead me."

"Wouldn't you revive?"

"I might... I'm not sure. My powers seem to be weakening."

"Didn't they burn witches?"


"You'd think they'd realize I'm not a woman. What do they do to wizards?"

"I'm thinking they probably stone them."

"You know, how many of the people they killed were actually witches or wizards?"

"None of them, likely. Most of them were peasants that were accused because others hated them. There were a few incidents in which a person wanted another's land. All they needed to do was accuse them of witchcraft, and it was theirs for the taking..." One of the guard's began crushing Link's arm.

"Hey, shouldn't we do something with the king?"

The priest nodded, then explained, "We should lock him up somewhere, then we'll sacrifice him later... Ah, a basement," the priest pointed to a door on the ground next to a hut, which opened to a set of stairs leading down to a basement. "Lock him there." But before he was locked up, the guards paused in shock. Link at first didn't understand, but he did once he looked up. An eagle. A white one with a brown chest. "The prophecy..." The priest mumbled in surprise. The Hyllian symbol for an accepted sacrifice was a white eagle with a brown chest, carrying a grapevine in its beak. Grapes were dangling on the green vine. All of them were confused. It had never happened before, in all of history.

"Ha!" The priest chuckled as the eagle crooned and landed on the roof of the hut. "And so the gods decided they wanted you truly... Not a surprise, they hate you..." The guards shrugged and dragged Link to the stairs.

Link was soon carelessly tossed down the stone steps, and with a few cracks, he stopped skidding. He groaned loudly, then tried to get up. It was much too dark to see anything at all, so he felt around for a path up to the stairs. After a few reaches, he felt a step. He carefully walked up the stairs, feeling for the ceiling. He then laid down on the steps, peeking through the crack of light. It was too small to see where Ganondorf was. Link began to try and contact him.


"Ahm here still... They're trying to light a fire, though they 'ent being very successful..."

"Can't you break the ropes?"

"'You kiddin'? I can barely breathe..."

"This is my fault... If I hadn't stalled, we wouldn't have run into them..." Link choked down a sob.

"This 'ent the time to start figuring out who's fault it is... Could you try'n heal me from here?"

"Heal...?" Yes, he could, but he'd have to do it very tediously so the priest wouldn't notice he was being healed. He thought this so Ganondorf could hear it, and he began. "I shouldn't heal the wounds completely... I can numb the pain a good deal, though..." Link held his fingers together until a soft white glow appeared, then he sent it through the crack. The ghastly energy crept along the ground, spun behind the pole, and entered Ganondorf's body through his fingertips. "Try to act like you're still in pain."

"Easier said than done." Ganondorf shifted uneasily, the ropes cutting into his flesh. He never liked this feeling, a feeling of complete haziness washing over him like water. The energy at first made his veins twitch, but he got used to it after Link sent a few more. It slowed the bleeding and numbed the pain. But it made him feel more dizzy and hazed. It reminded him of being drunk.

Link tore his mind from Ganondorf's so suddenly, and first they were both in pain. Link had panicked because the fire was getting stronger.

"Rain... We need rain..." Link considered summoning a storm, but the last time he did that, he nearly killed himself and Ganondorf. But that time he was suicidal and insane. He met up with a Eustre, a direct descendant of dinosaurs, and he was leaning against a fence, facing an abandoned coal-mining plant. Eustre thrived in there. Link had not even noticed the creature. He just stumbled along, clinging to the fence. He drowsily began trying to stab himself. After killing himself and reviving three times, his energy began to run out. If he stabbed himself once more... He didn't realize Ganondorf had been following him. Link was tackled to the ground and felt himself being crushed. The Eustre chirruped and nipping at Ganondorf's arm, which was their way of challenging another to a fight. Ganondorf ignored it and tried to force the sword out of Link's hand. Then it came.

Link shivered at the thought. But he may be able to control it this time. He hastily began whispering the words he remembered out into nowhere. It wasn't a spell, he was just contacting the otherworld. The words weren't repetitious, he changed how he asked it often.

Otherworld, the peryyl, the Halluc...

Link rambled on, unsure what he was saying. But the rain did come, rumbling and roaring. The fire only let out a weak gasp before it was drenched and drowned. Ganondorf struggled to try and loosen the ropes. The priest looked away at the sky, cursing under his breath, but tried to stay calm.

The guards had begun wandering around, scattered in their numbers, but one of them began to yell and scream. The priest paid no attention, but the guards rushed over to see what was the matter. The guard was rolling around on the ground, blood everywhere. He had been relieved of two of his fingers and given several slashes on his chest and throat. He screamed, but no one could make out what he was saying. His face went pale. He trembled, gave a cough, then died. The rain pounded down mercilessly.

Bécoll slipped behind a few crates, shaking at the thought of what he did. He tried to ignore it. When he heard the screaming quiet, he knew it was his chance. He bounded over to the hut nearest to the scene. This was not the one Link was locked in, but on the opposite side. Bécoll looked up, overlooking Ganondorf for a moment. He was puzzled, but he soon found out the reason for this. An eagle. A white, brown chested eagle. But that was a myth.

"I may as well have expected it. It's a fraud, that's the only explanation..." Bécoll heard Ganondorf groaned loudly. "Yes, yes, I'm getting to that... Let's just see what this eagle really is..." Bécoll crept his way over the dusty road without anyone noticing, then he began to climb up to the roof. Slowly, he approached the eagle from behind. He arched back and threw himself at the eagle with a pounce. He heard a howl and a deafening squeal. Beneath his claw's grip was a struggling Sikaka, trying to slash at him. Sikaka were like monkeys with owl ears and black fur. But their claws and teeth could behead a person.

Bécoll kept its claws out of his face's reach, and dug his claws into its chest. It gasped, spit up blood, but refused to die. It could only writhe weakly and was unable to fight. Bécoll looked up and realized the priest was staring at him. He quickly snatched up his victim in his jaws and pulled himself into the shadows. The Sikaka was a shapeshifter, which explained the appearance of the eagle. The creature kept struggling even in his jaws, so Bécoll put it down and was about to kill it. Somehow, however, it gathered up the strength to bolt.

Bécoll chased after it, knowing it would do anything to see Link and Ganondorf dead. He ducked and dodged various benches, barrels and open doors through alleys. The rain blurred his sight, but he managed to eventually see a shadow running and slipping through anything in its way. Bécoll tried following the red in the water, which led a trail. He soon heard breathing only a short distance ahead of him, and he leapt. The crash was hard and he felt the Sikaka slash at him several times, cutting at his throat. Bécoll pulled back a claw and released a powerful blow. A head rolled on the ground. The body thumped back against wood. Bécoll breathed heavily and shook off the feeling of panic.

Now he just needed to kill the priest.

The priest was growing impatient. The rain was enough to make him angry, but the eagle had been fake. But even that wasn't too bad, since Ganondorf didn't even see it. He could pretend like it was real. But now, Ganondorf was acting as though he wasn't dying at all. He kept moving, and never seemed to slow down.

Ganondorf received all the strength he needed from Link. He also spoke to Link, describing what kind of energy he needed each time.

"I need something to slow the bleeding, ahm losin' a lotta blood..." Link obediently sent whatever Ganondorf asked for. But he still doubted they would be alive at the end of all this. The Demon Wars were supposed to be trying times for humanity, and the Corvus had taken advantage of that, always preparing for that time. They wanted to strike fast, slaughtering anyone who has a Triforce and making people believe it was something they had to do. The Corvus was a very large clan, the only people who can use true "magick." These people were not kindly.

The priest was obviously one of them. And he was not repentant. The priest turned grimly, gripping his staff. Ganondorf was breathing heavily, but was in the same condition he had been in for half an hour. The rain kept going steadily, and it was getting on the priest's nerves. Ganondorf was on his nerves. The king was.

Meanwhile, Ganondorf and Link kept their minds together, thinking quietly even though no one could possibly hear them. They felt what the other did, they saw what the other did. So when the priest decided he needed to help Ganondorf die, Link felt it.

The priest jammed the sharp metal end of the staff into Ganondorf's chest. Link let out a cry in the dark. Bécoll had just come, and didn't attack because the priest was wary. He hadn't let down his guard yet, and the priest would see him if he tried to fight. Evidently, the man heard about the guard that was mysteriously killed. The priest shoved it in more. Ganondorf was dizzy in pain.

The man began speaking under his breath, but loud enough so Ganondorf could hear. "How do you do it...? We've been after you since you were born... We've sent creatures twice your size, we've possessed you, we've choked out any chance of life for years... But somehow... You're still there... Haunting us as our failure... But it's not us, is it?" The priest slowly dug the staff in deeper. Ganondorf stifled a yell. "No... It never was... What's the matter? Are you such a failure you can't die properly??" The priest didn't know that Ganondorf hardly felt any of it. Link felt it. He felt all of it.

Link was using his pain-sharing ability, one of the many other skills the Triforce granted him. He can either take another's pain for them, or have another take his pain. But since it was not his pain, he couldn't take one's pain and send it to another. Otherwise, he would've taken it and sent it to the priest. But instead, he suffered there in the dark, moaning, gripping his chest.

Then, a pause took place. The priest ripped out the staff viciously and in his rage pulled out the pistol that Ganondorf had been eyeing for a while. Ganondorf stared, now so deluded he couldn't feel the fear of dying. Bécoll wrenched back, preparing to pounce at once. But even he knew he couldn't stand up to a gun.

"So... Yeh ain't Hylian... Suspected it," Ganondorf chuckled weakly.

"What makes you think that?" The priest loaded it with a click. His expression was sour. Link only received the blank statement that he was going to be shot in a few seconds.

"Hylians don't have guns... They'd be afraid of 'em if they ever saw 'em... You think yer so smart, eh?"

"Shut up!" The sky lit with a clap of thunder. It had been thundering for quite a while now. The priest aimed at Ganondorf's head, but hesitated. He kept hearing something off in the distance that disturbed him. Not only that, but if the people of Hyrule ever heard that he had killed the king (which he planned to do shortly after)...

Link heard a gunshot. He couldn't feel Ganondorf's mind. It was blank. But for some reason, he heard two more. Link realized these came from off in the distance. He heard yells. A muffled conversation followed between two men.

"You got 'im!"

"'Course I did, jest cuz your an idiot who can't aim right."

"I can too, he just didn't want teh die, thassal. I hit him twice in the chest and he was still livin'."

"You didn't hit the heart, that's the thing."

"Maybe. Look 'ere, he's still holdin' that gun. I'm sure he was about to shoot someone, but I don't see nobody."

"Your hallucinating. There's nobody 'ere. Anyway, he never had the chance to shoot anything..."

From the speaking, Link realized that Ganondorf hadn't been shot. These men had shot the priest before he had the chance. The rain must have made it so they couldn't see Ganondorf, though. He probably passed out.

Link began pounding at the locked door, yelling for them to get him out. When they finally heard it and walked over to the door, he heard them speak again.

"He's locked in."

"Hey, whattya in here for?"

Link replied, "They're trying to kill me... Please..." The men took it for a good enough answer and began cutting at the lock. One of them pick-locked it, and when the door creaked open, rain and wind rushed through. Link saw the two men, and recognized them quickly. One of them gasped, "Duuude it's the elf guy! Hey, we haven't seen you for years!"

"Well, neither have I!" Link said, a little bewildered. These two men were friends of his. The brown haired one with a tan and leather coat was named Brak and the blonde one with the bandana and a pierced ear was named Rocka. Link doubted he would ever figure out their real names. They both looked the same as when Link last saw them. As always, they held their assault guns to their waist. "Ganondorf... Move, I gotta..."

"Ganondorf?" Rocka tried to remember, because he recognized the name.

"Dude," Brak exclaimed, "He's the big guy, right? Where is he?"

"Let's hope he's not dead..." They moved out of his way, one of them shrugged and saying in surprise, "Dead?"

Link walked past the priest's blood-soaked body. Ganondorf was unconscious, but alive. "He's alive! Help me here!"

"Slow down, we ain't your servants..."

Ah, yes. They weren't. Link had gotten too used to that. But they didn't know he was a king. They saw him as the drunken teenager he once was.

"Brak, you idiot! Hold him up!"

"He's heavy!"

Rocka cut the ropes, mumbling to himself, "These things were just cuttin' into him... How's he alive now? I musta missed that. He looks dead to me." The rain had gentled by then, but all of them except Link were soaked. The rain, however, was not going to stop for a few hours.

After a while of struggling to drag Ganondorf to the jeep that the two had come in, Ganondorf abruptly woke up. Rocka and Brak nearly jumped in surprise, but Link quickly asked how he was feeling. Ganondorf breathed in, blinked inquiringly, then muttered that he was fine.

"The dead guy's alive!"

"He wasn't ever dead, stupid!"

"I knew that, man, I'm just tryin' to improve the mood, see."

Ganondorf interrupted, asking, "Why the heck am I alive?"

Link answered lowly, "They shot the priest before he could shoot you... You cryin'?" Ganondorf stared at him for a moment.

"What are you talkin' about? Sure, there's a lotta rain on my face... Guess it looks like it. You really look like it, though..."

Rocka pressed on, "C'mon, we gotta look around. Where's everybody, anyway? I haven't seen a soul other than you guys and him," Rocka pointed to the dead man. Link realized Rocka was right. There wasn't anybody. Why weren't the Hylians out? Had the Corvus forced them to stay in and on top of it threatened to kill anyone who didn't?

"Yeah, where are the guards?" Ganondorf had seen them scatter, and he also recalled hearing screaming from north of the city. They began looking for the guards, because Rocka and Brak wanted to look around anyway.

"We came here to question the people who live here," Brak explained. "Guess nobody's out?" The streets were empty. Link had never seen the city like this. After wandering around for a while, they found a body of a guard. It was gruesome to look at. Link rolled the body over to see the pale, blood-stained face.

"He's missin' fingers... Maybe the others saw him like this and ran off..." Ganondorf stayed a good distance.

"The guards are highly trained, they wouldn't normally slack-off like this," Link insisted.

"They were being ordered around for only about two minutes," Ganondorf replied, "They had nothing to do. Without their king in control, they decided they could wander the city, looking for people sneaking out of the houses. I dunno what or who coulda done this," Ganondorf pointed to the corpse.

"Looks like the fingers were ripped off or something," Brak mused, shuddering.

"A sword woulda done it clean. And I don't know any person who could rip off fingers like this."

"We better go. This place creeps me out. And I don't wanna run into whatever he did."

Before they left, Link moved the corpse to a better spot instead of the stone tiled road. Even though the guard had assisted in trying to kill him, he was only following orders, and he had a life as well. Had. He moved the man to patch of grass, removed the helmet, and put a cloth over the body.

Bécoll watched warily. He was going to follow them, he was positive. Jeeps don't go very fast, so he could easily keep up. It also seemed that these men did his work for him. Bécoll wondered why these people had moved their camp near the Demon War, where most of the humans fled. Nygel had said the people thought it was the end of times... Bécoll became amused suddenly, remembering that he had just come up to Nygel to announce his arrival, when Nygel snarled at him and asked where Bécoll was. Shocked, he rambled on like he didn't even know Bécoll.

The four were preparing to leave. Brak and Rocka set their guns down under the seats in the front, and Link and Ganondorf had nothing to pack, so they just sat down. The jeep was rather small, especially for Ganondorf, and he began groaning because the pain from his wound came back. Brak began setting up a rain cover, sort of like a tent, over the jeep, chattering on about what had gone on after Ganondorf and Link left.

"Yeah, we was all sorta confused when yeh first left. Link had once or twice talked about hitting the road, but I thought he was threatening me 'cuz he said I kept gettin' drunk and stumbling into his room an' stuff. I don't 'member it, course, and I thought he was jest scarin' me. Frankly, a lot of people do that now. I lost a girlfriend 'cause she doesn't like the smell of tobacco smoke. Ah well. Say, you need some pain killers or somethin'?"

"...Mmm? Yeah, I guess..." Ganondorf wiped his face, since a shelter from the rain was up, and he was drenched to the point he couldn't see through his eyes. Brak jumped down, and pushed the half-asleep Rocka over so he could drive.

"Eh, I think I left him at the camp... It's about an hour away, really. I have some sleep drugs an' stuff... A swig of alcohol might help too... You don't think I'd leave anywhere without beer, now do yeh?"

"No," Ganondorf said flatly.

"Our horses... Where'd they go?" Link had suddenly remembered Epona. The two men looked a little puzzled.

"I wouldn't worry. Deraj knows how to survive by himself, and no doubt Epona's gonna follow." Ganondorf did, however, half-heartedly looked back.

Ganondorf took about three pills, then took a gulp of beer, not exactly liking the taste, but tried to moisten his dry, stale mouth. It didn't help, but he was feeling drowsy already. Brak and Rocka took their normal position in arguing restlessly over several subjects that were pointless. One of which was whether the rain was natural, and the others were too boring to remember. Of course, they yelled quite a lot over the rain, but nothing more happened. Link couldn't decide how to sit. He was used to sitting up now, since he had been the king, but that seemed odd in front of these people. He laid back meekly, and also tried to sleep. Ganondorf was already deep into sleep.

The ride was long but it did end, the tires skidding across mud and grass. Brak and Rocka jumped out over the doors and started for the tents. They were huge, almost like circus tents, except they were a bland yellow. The tent flaps were open, and the two had already gone in. Link nudged Ganondorf hard. Ganondorf sniffed, mumbled something then assured, "I'm up, I'm up... Dang..." Link went ahead and started for the tent. Inside, most of the people he knew, but they all stared at him strangely. They were metal tables with equipment and extra ten flaps that opened to different parts of the tent. Link at first didn't know why they were staring at him.

"Link... That's right, isn't it? Aren't you a little early for Halloween?" Now Link remembered. These people never saw him in his original clothes before. He was about to try an explanation, when someone half-tackled him and pushed him out again. Link couldn't fight back and soon realized it was Antina.

"Yeesh, didn't you think when you entered? Now they prob'ly think you're some kind of garden dwarf. Quickly now, I'll take you to my tent and we can get something on you that won't turn everybody's heads..." Link didn't have time to speak while she pulled him through the dark. He could only move his feet to keep up with her. Link was suddenly pulled into a smaller tent, which was obviously hers. Antina already began to dig through clothes, then pulled out the suit she had kept even though Link had left. A black trenchcoat, jeans, and a white T-shirt. Antina pushed it into his hands, then quickly hugged him. He didn't know how to react, so he just let her. "...I missed you..." she sighed.

Antina left, saying she had business to do, and Link changed into the clothes that he remembered well. He wondered if Ganondorf had entered the main tent yet. This tent was small and had most blankets layered on the ground. A pile of papers lay in the corner. A table with a coffee machine (of course, she was addicted to coffee) was there also. Link got up and was about to leave, but then he heard Antina again. She was back with Ganondorf. She was rushing him, and Ganondorf kept trying to assure her that his wounds weren't serious.

"Liar," she snapped. "How many times have you passed out now? Once is too many, you know. And don't try to fight with me, I'm a doctor... Oh, Link," Antina saw Link standing in the tent, "Good, you're done with that... Say, do you remember how to make coffee?"

"You kind of jammed it in my head when you taught me." Antina had long ago got him to learn how, because when she first began holding him "hostage," she was bored and wanted to do something with him. He learned a bit more than he would have liked.

"Is that a yes or a no?" Antina slightly nudged him out of the way so Ganondorf could get in.

"Yes," Link replied grimly.

"Well then," Antina didn't finish.

"Okay, okay, where's the grounds?"

Ganondorf laid back in the chair, exhausted. He didn't normally drink coffee, but if he didn't in this case, Antina would drink the whole pot. Ganondorf was amused by the way she still had the power to order Link around. But even she didn't right then. Link was laying his head on the table in his arms, half-asleep. He could only hear what Antina and Ganondorf were talking about, but he couldn't think very well.

"What are you doing here anyway?" Ganondorf asked.

"Me or the Spirit Sciences?"


"Well..." Antina sipped some coffee, shrugging. "I'm here 'cuz they're here. They pay me big to come along with them. They, on the other hand, are here because they think the sprytes are going to have a bit of a fight. I dunno if I believe it, but weirder things have happened lately."

"Like what?"

Antina paused, then began, "Would you believe me if I said in the Midwest, in the city of Jerusalem, a bunch of people came back to life?" Ganondorf stared at her.

"First, I'd call you insane."

"That's what we thought." Antina looked into her cup. "We sent two people over there to check it out. They met these people. All of them were religiously important some way or another. The people acted quite casual, and when they were questioned about whether it was them, they insisted that they should dig up the graves. They did, and nothing. Some people think they hid the bodies, but it would be pointless to pull a prank like that. And weirder yet, these people were what you knew as the Holy Ones. Hylians. But nobody out there knows Hyrule even exists. And the people are exactly matched to the Hylian's Holy Book's description. It's impossible that it's true, but it's impossible that it isn't. I don't get it..."

"What about the Corvus?"

"What about'em? Well, we have one hostage right now, but I don't like it. It's just a kid. Maybe nine or ten. He refuses to talk and just sobs. We think he was forced into the religion, but we're not sure. He does mention their god though. They have a name for it... Uh, Subrose I think."


Link suddenly exclaimed, "Like the Subrosians?" Antina turned to him with a puzzled look. Link continued, "Subrosians. Volcanic people. Live under the ground mining ore chunks. They're cloaked most of the time, never show themselves, really. I might be the only person who knows about 'em."

"Are they violent...?" Antina began to ask. Link shook his head.

"I don't think they could hurt anyone even if they tried."

"But Subrose if supposed to be cruel, blood-thirsty and merciless. Why would he be named after those people?"

Link shrugged. "Dunno." For a while, there was an eerie silence. "So," Link began, "Where are we going anyway...?"

Ganondorf closed his eyes drowsily with a sigh, then firmly suggested that Link should get some sleep.

Link was given directions to a tent that was slightly west of this one that nobody was using. The rain had finally halted, so he didn't get wet as he searched for it. When Link found it, he looked around for a light and turned it on. It was a lamp that hung from the ceiling. The tent didn't look much different from Antina's. Link flopped onto a pile of blankets and such. He lay there for a while until he wasn't awake, but still had his eyes slightly open. He began nodding off into sleep when...

Something chirruped.

Link sat up, his heart pounding. It sounded like one of the creatures that were at war. He didn't know if this one was an enemy or not. Link felt around for some sort of weapon, but he heard it try and speak.

"I'm a... friend on Nygel's...Put it down..." Link had found a rifle, and he cautiously pointed it down, but was ready to pull it up again in case it was lying.

"Who are you?"

"Bécoll, second in command of the Ligh Clan, a good friend of Nygel's. Don't shoot..."

"I won't."

"I need to enter, else others will shoot me anyway."

"...Okay..." Link pulled up the rifle and pointed at whatever was entering, but had no intention to shoot unless he was attacked. The creature was smaller than the other Drakles he had seen, but more muscular yet scrawny. It crawled in slowly and cautiously, trying not to raise any alarm. "Bécoll" as the creature said its name was, was trembling in fear. It hissed, then calmed. Link eventually trusted it and put down the rifle. Bécoll stood up and began chattering.

"Sir, how do you get friends by pointing rifles at anything that wants to enter the room? I thought you were actually going to... Oh, never mind. I've been following you for a while and I come to say several things."

"Like what?" Link sat back, staring at it.

"The Ligh Clan needs you, quickly."


"The Dark Clan has the Corvus on their side. Though they are liars, they are strong. You can fight, and Ganondorf will be useful as well. With your combination of healing and Ganondorf's fighting techniques, you may be able to break through their magick."

Link held up his hand with the Triforce and explained, "This is the Corvus' power. For all I know, they could control it while I have it."

"It's not how it works. The Corvus were very careful when they made the Triforce. They programmed the system, the rules, its appearance... And they made sure that it was just good enough to appeal to people. Anyone who goes insane is simply assumed to not be able to control the power of the gods. As Ganondorf once was."

"You know...?"

"Child," Bécoll grunted and sat down on cushion quietly, "I've been tracking Ganondorf since he was born. There's nothing that he's done that I haven't seen."

"Oh really?" Link grinned. "And that would be...?" Bécoll saw through this and replied fiercely.

"Hush your mouth, boy! Honestly..."

"It was worth a try..." Link thought. "Uh, and what else do you need to tell me?"

"That can wait. I need to watch for spies, and you need sleep."

"Why does everybody say that?" Bécoll looked puzzled, but replied as well as he could.

"Because you do, no doubt."

Link wasn't going to answer. He waited for Bécoll to leave. When he slipped out into the night, Link stared out into space for about half an hour before deciding to start trying to sleep. Link did not sleep for the rest of the night, because he kept feeling a presence, just waiting for him to show a weakness. He was haunted with a figure of mist, whispering all the things he was leaving behind. Before he could remember who it was, it was morning. It faded and he finally fell asleep.

His dreams writhed with incoherent rasping. It was much like the last vision he had, with Eustre lined up, hissing, "Draaag-miiire..." This time they were Lizalfos, must larger than Eustre.

"You cheat..." They spoke shallowly of money, cheating, death...

"We'll kill you yet..."

"Rip out your lungs..."

"Slash off your..."


"...Your carcass..."

"Kid, get up already. It's past noon. We're going soon." Link groaned. Ganondorf kicked him firmly in the side. "C'mon!" Link partially opened his eyes, straining to see. The light hurt his eyes. The sky had finally cleared and didn't have a cloud in the sky.

"Where?" Link quietly mumbled.

"I dunno, we'll figure it out. Get up!" Ganondorf kicked him again with a thump. Link grunted uncomfortably.

"Okay, okay..." Link sat up slowly, trying not to fall asleep again. He grunted an "ungh," and started to stand. He blinked repeatedly. He heard a man come in and soon recognized him as Brak.

"Yeesh, you just got up? Man, we was all thinkin' you was dead or somethin' 'cuz nothing ever came outta here. You sleep bad?"

"Sleep...? Oh, yeah... I fell asleep at eight this mornin'. Don't remember if ah ever woke up..." Brak looked a little worried, but that never stuck.

"Oh... Well, it ain't like you're really gonna do stuff today anyway. Mostly riding. The trailer car's 'ere, so we'll be able to move quicker. The sprytes are movin'." The Spirit Sciences called the demons "sprytes." Link couldn't quite remember, but it stood for something.

"Uh, trailer car?"

"Yeah, if you've ever seen a trailer, it's a lot the same, 'cept the car's built in. You'll see." Brak looked around the tent awkwardly, then stepped out. Link was now awake and ready to leave. He was still disturbed by the dream though. It had happened twice. They both were reptile-like creatures that clearly had something against Ganondorf, but Link wouldn't know. He tried to forget it.

Outside, people began taking down the tents and putting the parts in the back of the trailer car, which was huge. It was exactly like how Brak described it. Link and Ganondorf's horses were brought back by a few people, and the horses were going to be left behind to wait for some people who were later coming to pick them up. There were a number of jeeps. Link realized that the one he rode in was only one of them. Evidently, everyone was supposed to ride a jeep, four people per jeep. Link wasn't sure why they couldn't go in the trailer, but that was soon explained. A man he didn't know as a friend stood up, explaining the "drill."

"It's what we discussed at the meeting last night, but not everybody was here, and this is just to refresh forgetful memories. Two people will drive the trailer, and the rest of y'all will ride the jeeps until we stop this evening to gather info and status reports, as well as eat and rest. If we find that the sprytes stopped off schedule, we'll all stop to study 'em. If anybody doesn't have a jeep, you ride in here. You guys come now. We'll be off in a few." The man went over to the trailer car and began speaking with the driver.

Link and Ganondorf of course were in the same one, and Rocka had offered to drive. Brak had his "drug buddies" to drive with. Another girl rode in the back with Link. He had never seen her before. She was black-haired, young, and quickly tried to bring up conversation. Ganondorf let him struggle with questions from her for a while, but eventually interrupted.

"Kid," the girl paused, allowing Link to listen to Ganondorf, "I know what you're leaving behind, here... You're sure... You want to?"

"Why would I have any say in it?"

Ganondorf shook his head. "You can go back if you want. I won't stop you." Link stared at him blankly. The girl looked puzzled, but didn't interrupt. Link looked behind him at the city, where Hylians were in confusion, and the Corvus was trying to calm them. Where his daughter was... Link yearned to go back to her, to act like nothing ever happened, like he had always been king and was nothing else.

Ganondorf was ready to let him leave, just by looking at Link's expression. Link shook his head.

"No. I'm... Going... I'm sure..." Ganondorf nodded. He turned around, facing everyone in front of them.

As the hours passed, Link began to explain his visions to Ganondorf. He did this mostly to keep himself from being depressed. "Ganondorf... You may want to know this about me..."

Continues in the next story: Humble Me, O Sheikah