|The Legend of Zelda: Time's Apocalypse
Author: Nocturne of Eclipse PM
Modern day Hyrule is a peaceful place, and all races and monsters besides Hylians and Gerudos have supposedly died out. When disaster strikes during the Festival of Time, history begins to repeat itself, and one young man must step forward as the Hero of Time to save the land from evil, as his ancestors did before him. Celebrating 25 years of Zelda in America.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Friendship - Link & Happy Mask Salesman - Chapters: 3 - Words: 18,779 - Reviews: 12 - Favs: 7 - Follows: 9 - Updated: 08-25-12 - Published: 05-30-12 - id: 8165206
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Thanks to my reviewers! Every last one helps me stay motivated. :) I do hope this doesn't disappoint.
There were two things Mahas hated in the world above all else: first was trig, of course; the second was alarm clocks. They were loud, annoying, and only served as a reminder that a day chock-full of boring lay ahead of him. Casting an idle glance to the glowing digital numbers on the clock's face, he groggily wondered why it had been set to go off at four in the morning. Waking at six was hard enough- waking at four was only acceptable around specific holidays, such as Nayru's Freezing. With a disgruntled grunt, Link slapped the snooze button and rolled back over, burying his face into his pillow and pulling his blankets closer.
The weekend had been long: his Saturday was spent, as always, at the Temple of Time. They'd needed him to play the Song of the Goddess, Farore's Courage, Nayru's Wisdom, and Din's Power on the harp, as their usual harp-player was, unfortunately, sick. To be honest, Link had wanted to play the Song of Time and the Sage's Symphony on the ocarina, but the ocarina player was as healthy as ever. So sad, so sad. After the sermon, Link had hung around to wash the floors and the pedestal for the Sacred Stones, wondering all the while if the Sacred Stones were real- not their supposed magic powers, of course, that was out of the question, but the stones, themselves. They'd been lost for centuries, if they'd been real at all. When his volunteer work had finished he'd met Gary for lunch, and told him the good news about Viscen's decision to let him go on the field trip. They'd made plans for Sunday to go shopping, as Gary was adamant that Link owned absolutely nothing that would be fit to wear in the desert.
As Gary was in fact the expert of the two when it came to the desert, Link agreed to his decision whole-heartedly, and the two had spent Sunday poking in and out of shops to try and find at least a single desert-worthy outfit. They'd gotten quite a few odd looks, but they'd laughed it off and occasionally played along, hanging off of each other and acting dramatically infatuated- and while they hadn't actually found anything for Link to wear, they'd gotten several good laughs out of it for their efforts. They'd also tried to drop in on Sato at the mask shop- however, the lights were off, and a sign proclaiming the shop closed for several days led the boys to the conclusion that the ginger Hylian had already left for the Spirit Temple. The day had ended with a trip to the arcade, in which Gary had proceeded to severely own the entire gamer population at Dance Dance Revolution and Link had destroyed anyone who had attempted to play him at Soul Calibur. Over all, the weekend had been very good.
When he was done reliving the past two days, Link finally attempted to get back to sleep. He heard someone stomping around out in the living room, but assumed it was just Viscen getting ready for work and tried to ignore him. There was some quiet murmuring; maybe he'd misplaced his bracers, again? But then he manged to pick out a second pair of footsteps- these almost silent in their movement, given only away by the slight creaking of the flat's floorboards.
Oh, shit. Burglars. Slowly, Link's hand slid under his pillow, gripping the hilt of the dagger he kept there. He wouldn't attack unless they came directly at him- and the surprise attack would only work once, at that. There was another creak, this one slower and distinctly louder- a sliver of light raced across the floor, illuminating part of the mirror, and Link froze, his grip on the hilt tightening. The door creaked open further, and the footsteps advanced, instantly becoming muffled in the plush carpet. This was it. He had to be ready- aim for the guy's arm or something. Something to disable him. He waited for the intruder to draw closer and was about to whip out the dagger and slash when, all of a sudden, the stranger leaped and landed on top of him, glomping him. He felt a rather long strand of silky hair that distinctly wasn't his fall into his face.
"Liiinnnnnk~! Wakey wakey, or you're gonna be laaaaatteeee~!" Oh. It was Gary. The young Hylian let out a breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding and frowned, withdrawing his hand from his weapon and shoving Gary off. The Gerudo rolled to the floor and then sat up, grinning. "I brought you some of my old clothes. They may still be a little big on you, but they'll get the job done. Now hurry and get up, we need to be to school by five thirty so we don't miss the bus!" Link stared at him.
"Why did Viscen let you in?" he finally asked. Gary shrugged.
"'Cause he loves me? I dunno." His grin, if possible, broadened. "Seriously, hurry up. I made breakfast and snacks for the road, and if you take too long, there won't be any left!" He stood and dusted himself off. "I'll leave you to it, then!" He then proceeded to prance out of the room obnoxiously. Link groaned. He never did understand morning people. After a moment to process everything that had just happened, he rolled out of bed, himself, and went to shut the door the remainder of the way and turn the light on. It seemed Gary had left the clothes in a bag on his bed, and, curious, Link tore the plastic open and pulled the articles out. There were only two sets of any given item in the bag, not including shoes. One of the outfits was the off-white of old linen; the other was a pale red-orange with yellow embroidery. Both outfits consisted of a cropped vest, a pair of simple, loose pants with elastic in the waist and ankles, and a pair of sun-bleached moccasins. All in all, it looked pretty damn comfortable. Link slipped on the white outfit with the moccasins, packed the other outfit into his travel bag with a pad of paper, some pens, and his dagger, and exited into the den, turning the bedroom light off behind him.
Gary was waiting patiently on the couch, blabbering on to Viscen about the Gerudo Fortress and the family he had there; Viscen wasn't even really listening, to be honest, he still looked half-asleep and was drinking a mug of Windmill brand coffee. Link went to grab a bottle of Lon Lon milk and grunted something when Gary addressed a comment to him. When he finished, he washed the bottle out, dried it quickly with a paper towel, and shoved it, as well, into his travel bag.
"So?" Gary asked at long-last. "Are we ready? We have maybe forty minutes- that's long enough to get there in time, right? If we run?"
"Even if we walk we'll get there with twenty minutes to spare," Link replied. "But, sure, we can go now. What about that breakfast you were talking about?"
"We can eat while we walk, it's a recipe for the pilgrimages to the Temple."
"Ahh. Fitting." After bidding goodbye to Viscen, who looked as pleased as could be that the two boys were going to be out of his hair and that he could go back to sleep, Link and Gary left, taking a left at the street corner and setting off for their school. As they walked, Gary continued to chatter on and on about the Fortress, which Link half-listened to. It was hard to be enthusiastic this early in the morning. They were about half-way to the school when Gary finally remembered the food he'd promised.
"I almost forgot!" he exclaimed above Link's protests of "not so damned loud". He opened his side bag, and, smiling, produced some oddly-textured balls of edibleness. "Here, give it a try, see what you think. I've been working to get it right since we moved here, and I think I finally got it." Link stared at it.
"It's not gonna be like that Gerudo dragonfly candy you made me eat once, is it?" he asked after a moment. Gary laughed.
"I promise, when this stuff is made right, there isn't a single person alive, Gerudo or Hylian, who can resist it," he replied, popping one in his mouth. "Go on. Try it." At Gary's insistence, Link took one of the smaller ones and gave it a hesitant sniff. It smelled a little musty, but at the same time, sweet, with a hint of spice- it was also a little sticky. After a moment of debate, he bit into half of it. At its core was some sort of dried berries, its outside "shell" being an odd kind of animal fat and some Gerudo spiced honey. It was actually very delicious, and Link quickly ate the other half. "Well?"
"It's good." He grinned. "Just what you need to kick something like this off." Gary laughed.
"Yeah, it is. It's great when you go traveling out in the desert because it has all the protein and sugar you need to stay energized. In fact, the spices in the honey-" Link ignored Gary as soon as he started ranting. He'd go on for a while and probably retell him the whole thing later on the bus, so really, it wasn't like he was missing anything. Although, he was worried they would run out of the protein snack rather quickly at the rate the two were munching, but Gary encouraged him to eat as much as he wanted, claiming he could simply make more when they got out into the desert and he could get into the Fortress.
True to Link's speculations, they arrived at school twenty minutes before the bus left- however, it seemed the two friends were barely in time for role, and the teachers were a little upset with them for that (and, apparently, their choice in clothes, but no one ever said that had to stay in dress code). Thankfully, they weren't left behind, and were able to intimidate their way into getting the seats in the very back. The sun was starting to rise as the bus pulled into the streets and then onto the interprov. Link couldn't help but stare and admire the beauty of the sun's soft pink glow dyeing the sky and Great Planes. It was a wonderful way to start the journey.
After a moment of staring out the window, Gary nudged him. "Hey," he said, "if you think that's pretty, wait until you see the sunrise on the Haunted Wasteland. It's amazing." Link cocked an eyebrow.
"You know, you'd think any sort of wasteland, haunted or otherwise, wouldn't be much to look at, dawn or dusk," he replied. "You're really excited to be going back, huh?" The other boy laughed.
"Is it that obvious?" Gary asked. "I was trying to tone it down a bit." Link laughed as well.
"Tone it down? It's all you've been talking about all morning!" He waved one of the protein balls at him. "And you made Gerudo food- then again, it's all you ever eat, but still."
"Bah, non-believer!" Gary waved his comments off with one hand. "Not everything is like the damned dragonfly candy, if you actually tried half of it, you'd like it."
"Tried what?" One of the guys sitting in front of them turned around, smirking down at them. "Trying to talk your boyfriend into gay sex, Dragmire?" Link scowled at him. Groose was the worst sort of jock, and was always picking on the two of them. He was huge, well-toned from years of sports, and felt entitled to treat the two outcasts however he wanted. Link would have loved to tear him a new one, however, there were usually too many witnesses, and Gary seemed to take everything Groose said in good spirits.
"Nah, I don't think he's into dudes," said Gerudo replied easily. "But I guess you wanted first crack if he was, huh?" Link smirked as Groose immediately became flustered. "Anyways, I'm just trying to get him to branch out and eat some ethnic food. Wanna try? I brought some good stuff." He reached into his bag and produced the protein ball and something that looked suspiciously like a brownie, decorated with what looked like sugar hardened to be quite glass-like. Link immediately recognized it, and snorted.
"Why the hell would I eat that shit?" Groose growled, still rather flustered. "It's probably poisoned!"
"We've been eating it all morning," Link piped in. He pointed to the protein ball. "This is a Gerudo Moth Ball, which is alright, and this-" he pointed to the brownie-type food- "is just a brownie with flavored sugar in it." Gary grinned broadly and held them out further. Groose looked highly suspicious, but he took the brownie and after a quick sniff, took a bite.
"Ugh!" Link and Gary burst out laughing at the bully's expression. The so-called "sugar" wasn't sugar at all- it was the wings and eyes of a Gerudo dragonfly, and to anyone who normally didn't eat it, dragonfly candy was downright nasty.
"The look- the look on your face!" Gary managed to gasp out. "Priceless!"
"Is that what I looked like?" Link asked when he finally managed to calm down. "When I tried some?" Gary nodded and laughed harder; Link joined right back in.
"I'm gonna get you two back for this!" Groose growled. For once, they ignored him.
"Oh, man!" Once they had finally calmed down, they returned to eating the protein balls. "That was great. Din's Fire, I love feeding Hylians dragonflies."
"You're terrible." Link shook his head amusedly. Groose didn't bother them for the rest of the drive. Gary used the rest of the seven hours to entertain Link with more stories of the Fortress and the ways the Gerudo led their lives. Apparently there was also a fortress down in Termina, because Gary often mentioned his cousins who lived there, one of which he wasn't actually supposed to talk about because she had moved into Clock City and married a Terminian there, or something.
It took about one of the seven hours of Gary ranting nearly non-stop, but eventually, one of their classmates several seats forward turned around and hollered a question back at the Gerudo, who eagerly turned his attention away from Link to answer. Link watched, amused, as more and more questions about the desert were asked. Gary answered each of them completely, giving more and more interesting stories in return, and as he did, more and more of their classmates clustered towards the back of the bus to listen in. Gary simply seemed excited to have such a large audience. Link, on the other hand, was awed, and at the same time, somewhat disgusted- these were the same classmates that threw racial slurs around and tried to make Gary's life a living hell at their whim, and all of a sudden, simply because he knew more about the desert than they, they were treating him as though they were all his friends. Eventually Link's growing disgust became so bad he had to turn his gaze back to the window and ignore everyone.
When nearly all seven hours had passed, Link reached out to tug on Gary's vest. The bus was passing through the Haunted Wasteland's gates, pausing only to pay the toll, and was soon pulling into the campsite. The other students seemed to find the idea of sleeping in tents quite novel, though there were plenty of moans and groans about the lack of air conditioning. Gary became impatient when everyone was getting off the bus, purely because they were taking so long, and Link was forced to wait through the Gerudo's constant whines and complaints until finally, they were able to hop down the steps and into the warm sand. Gary inhaled the warm air deeply and stretched, soaking in as much of the harsh sun as he could.
"It's been way too long...," he murmured. "Way too long..."
"Hey, before you get all nostalgic and start rolling around in the sand, let's pick a tent," Link said, clapping him on the shoulder. "Is there some ancient Gerudo secret for finding a good place to sleep?" Gary rolled his eyes.
"Not particularly," he replied. "We just need to find one that's sunken in a little, you know, keep out of the wind, and all. C'mon." They wandered around the camp site for almost ten minutes, almost literally shoving their classmates out of the way of tents as Gary inspected them. Everyone was getting really pissed off with the two- Link found himself wondering if they would try and smother them in their sleep. Maybe he would sleep with his dagger under his pillow, again. Eventually, Gary found a suitable tent, and after kicking out the duo who had gotten there first, the two boys set their belongings down and hid them under some blankets.
The trip itself lasted only two days, so they would only need the camp site for the one night. The first day, today, was spent on a guided tour of the Desert Colossus and its excavation site. The second day was left open for self-guided tours, with the bus leaving at four in the afternoon, placing them back in Castle City by eleven at night, give or take, depending on traffic. Gary eagerly spoke of using the second day to visit the Gerudo Training Grounds and get his membership renewed. Link dropped not-so-subtle hints that he wanted to tag along; Gary asserted that the guards would never let him in.
After several more minutes of bickering, the class was hailed back into the open desert by the teachers. Most of the students groaned at the heat. Gary, however was perfectly fine- and though Link found it rather warm, the Gerudo clothing Gary made him wear let enough of a breeze in that it was bearable. They were shepherded through the gates and into the colossus, where a Gerudo tour guide was waiting for them.
"Nasha!" Gary called, jumping and waving from the back of the group. "Nasha, hey!" The Gerudo woman smiled and waved back.
"Hey, Little Cousin!" she replied. "It's great to see you- let's talk later, okay?" She glanced around the group of students. "Welcome to the Desert Colossus and Temple Tour. I'll be your tour guide today, if you haven't guessed already. I'll be taking you all on a walking tour of the Colossus, and a little bit of the Spirit Temple, too. When we enter the Temple, do me a favor and don't touch anything- we've left plenty of the traps active, and I don't want to have to scrape charred Hylian off the walls. You can't imagine the smell." She smiled as the students frowned, possibly wondering if she was being serious. Link wasn't so sure- he couldn't imagine that the Gerudo would want any lawsuits on their hands.
Nasha set off at a steady pace, almost floating over the sand as the Hylians trudged on behind her. She took them around to the oasis and a rock by a random limestone wall that were both said to be home to fairies, or something like that. Link really stopped paying attention to what she was saying the first time the word "leevers" came out of her mouth. Gary didn't seem much interested in what she was saying, either; he was a little more preoccupied by the odd sight of one ginger Hylian being forcibly removed from the Spirit Temple and thrown to the sand by a Gerudo guardswoman. The two friends exchanged glances and broke away from their group, hurrying over.
"Was that really necessary?" Sato snapped as he pushed himself back onto his heels and spit sand out of his mouth. "Goddesses' grace, you'd think they could be a little more gentle..."
"Hey!" The Gerudo woman came back out and heaved a large backpack into the sand, nearly hitting him. Sato immediately let out a yelp and scrambled to make sure everything inside was intact. "You forgot this!" The ginger Hylian cursed colorfully as the Gerudo went back into the temple and muttered under his breath as he stood and put on his backpack, forcing him to bend over to compensate for its size and weight.
"Sato!" Link greeted. "What's going on?" Sato turned, blinking, and upon seeing who it was, grinned.
"Well, well, looks like we ran into each other after all!" he exclaimed. "How's the field trip going, boys?" Link shrugged.
"Eh, can't complain." Gary snorted.
"That's it? That's all you have?" he asked, rolling his eyes. "'Can't complain'? This is the best field trip our class's taken!" Sato laughed.
"Better than mine, it sounds like." He cast a weary gaze back towards the temple. "I've heard rumors of some wonderful masks hidden inside this place, but one of the paths is blocked, and you have to crawl through the other. They caught me trying to shimmie my way in."
"You're actually trying to go into the main Temple?" Gary raised an eyebrow quizzically. "They only let you in if you're with the excavation team. Didn't you know that?" Sato frowned deeply.
"I did, in fact," he replied, "but I couldn't find anyone willing to let me borrow their pass. Sneaking in is the only option I have left." Link glanced at Gary.
"Why don't you let him borrow your pass?" he asked. "Chances are he'll only need it for a few hours." He turned his gaze back to Sato. "You'll only need it for a few hours, right?" Sato laughed again.
"I can have it back to you sometime tomorrow morning, I think," he replied. "That's if it's possible to work my way through the entire Temple- you have to wonder how much of it is actually left, and how much of that is still accessible." Gary slowly pulled his wallet from his pocket and stared at his excavation pass.
"I dunno," he murmured, "if I run into my mom and she finds out I gave it away to a Hylian of all people..."
"C'mon, Gary." Link grasped his shoulder and gave him a gentle shake. "Your mom's not even at this dig. Didn't you say she was at the Arbiter's Grounds?"
"Then there's no problem! Sato can use the pass until tomorrow, and when he gives it back, I guarantee you, you won't have gotten into any trouble!" Sato peered over their heads, looking mildly amused.
"You shouldn't make promises you can't keep, Link," he said teasingly. Link blinked and turned around, only to come face-to-face with their history teacher.
"Mahas! Gary!" he snapped. "You're supposed to stay with the class!"
"Sorry!" Link grinned sheepishly. "Gary got bored, and you know I don't believe in half the crap Nasha was talking about..."
"That's no excuse!" Their teacher continued to lecture them as Gary slipped Sato the excavation pass, and with a quick murmur of thanks, the mask salesman disappeared back into the temple. Once their teacher was finished yelling, he grabbed them both by the upper arm and dragged them back to meet with the class, who had just finished being told the story of the desert warp panel. Again stuck at the back of the group, but with the history teacher just behind them, Gary and Link were forced to follow everyone into the entrance area of the Temple, where the only interested thing they saw was the sight of Sato trying to crawl through the pathway on the left, and a large piece of some dark rock with an odd carving in it blocking the way on the right. Nasha said something about how nothing they had tried could move it, and recounted a tale of a pair of gauntlets that would let the wearer move random heavy chunks of magical stones. Link zoned out as she spoke and soon, Nasha led them back outside and towards a small museum.
It wasn't huge, but it was long, and filled with interesting trinkets the excavators had found in the desert. Among them was pottery that was said to able to fly and attack unwitting explorers, the sword of an Iron Knuckle, and a peculiar shield, somewhat rusted, with a red border and silver middle. A crescent moon and a star in the middle were somewhat discernible on its surface.
"This is a mirror shield made with traditional Gerudo glass-blowing and metal-working techniques," Nasha was saying. "It was used only by warriors stationed in the Spirit Temple, though legends say that one was taken from there by the Hero of Time, himself."
It must have been beautiful when it was made, Link mused as he stared at it from behind several of his classmates. It was such a shame that time was merciless. He could just imagine how it must have looked- bright, shining in the desert sun, blinding thieves who tried to defile the temple- he kind of wanted one. They were allowed to look around the museum for a little while, before they were all pulled into a small room and told to sit as the doors were closed and the lights were lowered. A documentary was shown on the Gerudo Desert area, which encompassed the Colossus, the Arbiter's Grounds, and the Haunted Wasteland. By the time it was over, the sun was almost set, and so they were herded back to the campsite.
Dinner consisted of some of the local food, which Link was hesitant to eat, but tried nonetheless. Gary ran around trying to get anyone he could to eat the more acquired tastes and laughed at them when they fell for it. The evening ended with Nasha telling the students about some Gerudo customs and cultural backgrounds, proceeding to brag about how her little cousin was the best veska-player in the fortress- which, of course, prompted questions on what a veska was (it was basically a long block of clay, hollowed out in the middle with an opening on one side and strings run across it; a Gerudo guitar, so to speak), and if Gary would play something for them. After much pestering, Gary agreed, and played several Gerudo folksongs (including one brought back by those returning from work at the Great Bay, Rime of the Wanderin' Seafarer). Eventually the history teacher yelled at them all to go to bed, and with much grumbling and complaints about how cold the desert was at night, the students all retired to their tents.
"I get how this getup is useful during the day," Link grumbled as he curled up under his blanket, "but Termina dammit, it leaves you freezing at night!"
"The secret is we all usually huddle together at night," Gary yawned. "It's not such a big deal with us, y'know, getting all cuddly and stuff. I don't think anyone would believe it, though, not with the image we put out." Link snorted.
"They're all ready to believe you're nothing but a bunch of godless cutthroats who's only culture is thievery and assassination," he grumbled. "I'd bet you my entire savings that I was the only Hylian here who knew all of those songs you played."
"Someone's pissy~!" Gary grinned at him from under his own blanket. "I think he needs a hug~!"
"I don't need a hug."
"Awwww, yes you dooooo, little PMSing child."
"I don't need a hug."
"Yeeeaaaaahhhh, that's what they all say- glomp time, get over here, knife-ears."
"And you wonder why everyone thinks you're gay?"
"No, I wonder why everyone thinks you're gay, I know why they think I'm gay. Now get your skinny ass over here and we'll have ourselves a straight, manly-man hug." They went back and forth like this for quite some time until they were yelled at (again), because apparently everyone else could hear every last thing they said. Link was rather embarrassed by this fact, but Gary simply laughed it off and went to sleep.
Link himself wasn't quite sure when he fell asleep, but he did know that the sand made for an astonishingly comfortable bed, moreso than he first thought it would. He woke remarkably well-rested, even if it were to a loud, obnoxious argument. The blond Hylian groaned and pulled his blanket up over his head, missing the familiar warmth of his hat.
"No, Gary, you're not listening to me- you could have been hurt and then I-!"
"No, you listen, you damned, overbearing, oppressive Hylian! I fucking live in this desert and I'm not gonna let you or any other bleached knife-ears tell me where the fuck I can and can't go in my own fucking home!"
"You're not seeing the point here, the desert is a dangerous place, and-!"
"I fucking. Live. In the desert. The Fortress is literally only half a fucking mile away and the Sea of Sand hasn't been a dangerous place in centuries!" Link groaned again as the argument continued, with both Gary and the history teacher getting progressively more angry with each other until finally, with much swearing, Gary stormed back into the tent, dropped his halberd to the side and flopped down on his blanket, muttering.
"Way to go, Gary," Link deadpanned as he closed his eyes to go back to sleep. "Makin' friends with the teachers. I'm so proud of you."
"You shut the fuck up," Gary snapped half-heartedly. "Those damned bleach-skins wonder why Gerudo won't let them into the Fortress. They'd try and tear the whole goddesses-damned place down." Link sighed and sat up, raising an eyebrow.
"It's probably more like you didn't tell anyone," he said. "Hell, you didn't even tell me."
"So I need your permission to go anywhere, do I?" Gary growled. Link face-palmed.
"That's not what I meant, you dick," he sighed. "Alright, you know what, let's just drop it. How about I get changed and we go check out the Spirit Temple, huh? That'll make both of us feel better." His friend immediately deflated.
"Yeah, alright," he agreed. He waited patiently as Link found his travel bag and changed into the pale red outfit, playing with his halberd until the latter announced his readiness. They left the tent, passing by the livid teacher and severely grumpy classmates as they headed off towards the temple. The two took a quick detour by the spring so Link could fill his empty bottle with water, and Gary his canteen, and then by the museum to pick up some replica Dungeon Maps based on the assumed original layout of the temple. They laughed and joked about fighting Iron Knuckles as they finally approached the Spirit Temple, though something felt a little... off... to Link. The Temple had a much different aura surrounding it than the day before, but he couldn't quite place it.
"That's odd," Gary mused as they hiked up the steps. "I don't think there's anyone here."
"That is strange," Link agreed as they entered, "there were plenty of guards here yesterday. I wonder where they all are." He watched Gary wander over to the right side of the entrance chamber and then turned his gaze towards the left. The entry itself was large and spacious, carved of limestone as was its surrounding cliffs and such. There were chunks of the stuff lying around- idly, he supposed it wouldn't hold up forever, and wondered how long the temple itself had existed. His wonders had to cease there for the moment, however, as Gary glanced over and spoke.
"Hey, Link... do you hear something...?" Link frowned back over at Gary.
"Now that you mention it... I kinda do..."
"It sounds like screaming." The sound began to grow louder; Link blinked and glanced back at the small crawlway on the left side. The screaming was even louder, now, its owner just on the other side of the crawlway; whoever it was, they were trying to shove something through back to Link's side.
"HELP! OH, HYLIA, SOMEBODY HELP!" Link quickly dropped to his knees, grabbing whatever it was the person was trying to forced back, and with quite a few ferocious tugs, the object, revealed to be a large backpack, came free and exploded into the entrance. Link then proceeded to help whoever it wad through. "Oh! Hylia! Oh, thank you, I thought I was dead for sure, and-!" Link blinked as the ginger Hylian frantically searched himself and, panicking, threw himself at his bag, digging through it quickly. "No, no, nonononononononooooooo...! It's not here...! I must have dropped it!" Link squatted next to him.
"Sato, what happened?" His employer looked completely devastated.
"I got the mask, but I dropped it...!" he whined. "I was so close...!"
"Why where you freaking out so hard?" Gary piped in, hopping over to join them. Sato sighed.
"I... don't know what it was, but..." He cast a weary glance back towards the crawlway. "It was big, armored, had a sword, and wanted to kill me." Link snorted.
"Are you suggesting there's someone living back there?" he asked. "Sato, this place has been empty for hundreds if not thousands of years. It was probably your imagination playing tricks on you." Sato pouted.
"Either way, my mask is still back there!" the salesman said. He sighed. "Now I'll never get it back..." Gary and Link exchanged grimaces. "Unless..." Sato slowly glanced up at them. "Unless... you two get it back for me?" The two friends froze and slowly turned their gazes back to Sato.
"...You want us to go in there." Gary pointed towards the crawlway. "The place you just came running and screaming out of." Sato nodded. "And you don't think that's a little bit irresponsible on your part?" Sato shook his head and smiled.
"I'm sure you two would be able to handle whatever it was that came after me," he said, "and I thought you weren't afraid of the desert, Gary..." Gary sneered.
"I'm not afraid of anything that's back there!" he protested. "Big an armored? I'll take this creep down without any help!" Link rolled his eyes.
"There's nothing back there," he asserted. "I'll prove it to you. Come on, let's go!" The two boys stood, dusted the sand off their pants, and once Gary had gotten his pass back from Sato, proceeded to crawl through the tunnel to the left side of the Spirit Temple.
The first room they came upon was large and spacious, and there was no sign of any malevolent being waiting to ambush them- in fact, it looked as if no one had been there at all in a very long time. It opened to their right as they pressed forward, where the remains of a rug and a spike trap lay, coated in dust and rust. From there, there were two doors, and a cave-in where it appeared there had once been a third. The door on the left was locked tight; the one on the right was opened.
"Let's see if we can snap the padlock," Gary suggested. The two went to the door on the left and peered at it. The padlock itself was devoid of rust and seemed well-oiled. "Huh. I guess one of our people locked this sucker."
"I guess we should look around for a key," Link sighed. "There wasn't any in here, though- let's try the other door."
"Good call." The room through the door on the right was dark- very dark. It was practically pitch-black, but it seemed, of the two of them, Gary was prepared. He lit a match, handed it to Link, and then lit one for himself. "Too bad we don't have torches." Link used his meager light to begin exploring. There was an old, creaky grate bridge connecting the two halves of the room- under it was more darkness, but he wasn't feeling brave enough to explore it, truth be told. On their half of the room was also two torches, luckily enough. Link dropped his match into one to light it, and smiled when the flame grew, allowing the two to see a little better.
"Look," he said, "there's another one. Light it?" Gary went to drop his own match into the other torch as Link picked up a scrap of wood off the floor, possibly from an old torch that had been replaced. He used it to make a makeshift torch to carry, and began to cross the bridge.
"Careful!" Gary called. "It looks unstable!" Link took several more uneasy steps and soon found himself on the other side of the bridge. There were two more torches at the end of the bridge, and he lit them both. The light of the four fires were enough to make out the shape of something long and box-like in the corner; curious, Link went to investigate.
As he neared, he kneeled and ran his hand over the surface. It was a wooden chest, old and petrified, and he could feel intricate carvings on its surface; he moved his makeshift torch close to its surface to find the latch, and opened it. There was something small inside- small and silvery. He reached in and pulled it out, turning around so it would catch the light better. It was a small key, and the young Hylian grinned.
"We've got our key, Gary!" he exclaimed. "I'm coming back, now!" Placing the key securely in his pocket, he made his way carefully back across the rusty grating. There being nothing left in the room, the boys returned to the previous room to unlock the other door and proceed onwards. The room beyond contained simply a set of stairs leading to a raised area with a rickety ladder to an upper room. Link frowned and clenched his torch between his teeth- he suspected there was every chance he would need it again. After testing one rung of the ladder and finding it climb-worthy, the fair Hylian did just that, with Gary following right after him.
"I gotta say," the Gerudo grunted as they climbed, "if Sato really was chased by some giant armored fiend, I give it kudos that it managed to climb all the way back up this damned ladder before we came in." As Link hoisted himself into the next room, he dropped his torch near the wall and looked around. The room was small, but it was covered in large chunks of rock at the sides, and once especially large, random-seeming rock in the middle of the room. The door to the next room was barred, and the only other way out was a large hole in the top of the wall opposite said barred door, where light was pouring through. Gary finally heaved himself up as Link was pondering a way to climb the wall.
"How do you suppose we continue, here?" he asked as the panting Gerudo joined him. "Should we start piling rocks, or what?" Gary frowned thoughtfully.
"I don't think so," he said after a moment. "What's with that big, random rock in the middle of the room? It's a little out of place." Link spared it a glance.
"You think so?" Gary nodded.
"Yeah. What say we move it and see what happens?"
"Alright." The friends stared at the rock and moved around it, trying to think of the best way to get it out of the way. "...Well, we could use your halberd. 'Give me a lever long enough, and I can throw a goron' is how the saying goes, isn't it?" Gary cocked an eyebrow.
"Dude, my halberd's shaft is wood," he said dryly. Link snorted; Gary rolled his eyes. "Oh, grow up."
"Hey, since you got it this morning, does that make it your morning wood?"
"Focus, Glaradith!" Gary snapped. "We're not using the damned halberd, and if you make one more joke about it, I swear, I'll gut you." Link snickered. "Come over to my side, let's push it." When they had both braced themselves against the large rock, they simultaneously began to shove, and inch by inch, the boulder slowly moved, revealing a sculpture of a sleeping sun on the floor. As the two boys stepped away to get a better view of it, the light fell onto it completely, and its eyes opened as it smiled. The bars on the door retracted with a loud scraping sound, and the two friends whirled around to face it.
"Well, that was oddly convenient," Link commented, "I guess we move on!" He stopped to pick up his torch as Gary opened the door, and they made their way into the next room.
This one was large- very large- and housed a giant statue of the Goddess of the Desert, an ancient Gerudo deity that was presently considered to actually be Din. She was dressed in traditional Gerudo clothing, but her beauty was unnatural; both of her arms were missing, the one nearest them just under the shoulder, and the far one more towards the elbow, its matching hand lying on the floor and missing chunks, itself. There were two stairwells leading to an upper lever, but the other one looked inaccessible at the moment; the boy settled for the stairs closer to them, and took them up to a door leading them back towards the Temple's front and through a curving hallway.
"You know, I wonder how much further we have to go," Link grumbled, leading the way as the hallway was almost as pitch-black as the torch room. "This is getting long, drawn-out, and ridiculous- how long have we been in here, anyways?"
"I dunno," Gary sighed, "a couple hours, maybe? It doesn't feel like it was that long, but who knows."
"Either way, I'm getting hungry. Do you have any more of those little protein balls?" At Gary's affirmative, they stopped and sat down to eat, rekindling the flame each time it went out. At the rate the fire was burning their torch, they would have to get a new one, soon. When the friends had ingested their share of the protein balls, they stood and continued down the curvy hallway until they came across the door to the next room.
Once again, the room was pitch-black; Gary and Link scrounged around until they found ashes, which led them directly to a standing torch, which they lit. Gary proceeded to find a stick of his own to light, and they split up, finding and lighting no less than five more torches. With each standing torch lit, the room became more clear- there were half-walls everywhere, with the rusted, broken remains of some mechanical beings on them, along with more broken spike-traps on the floor. There was another block with a sleeping sun, and another barred door in the corner.
"Damn," Gary swore, "how are we supposed to activate the stupid thing when we don't have any sunlight in the room?"
"Well, does it have to be sunlight?" Link replied. "I mean, it's not like the thing has solar panels, there's now way they knew about UV rays when they invented this. Maybe it just needs to be heated up?" So saying, he touched the flaming end of his carrying torch to the sun statue and waited. He and Gary stared at it for a minute as it did nothing.
"Well, that couldn't have not worked any better," the Gerudo said at last. "What's plan b?"
"I'm working on it," Link replied irritably. He glanced around the room, and then finally, up. There was an odd patch of wall, as though it were scar tissue, and it was strangely textured. He squinted at it, tilting his head ever so slightly. "I... think that's wood. Maybe..." He glanced down at his torch, then back up at the boarded-up piece of wall- then, with all his might, he threw the torch at the wooden boards, missing them entirely. Gary snorted; Link glared at him and picked his torch back up, throwing it again.
The torch touched the boards this time, the fire catching from one to the other, and Link grinned triumphantly as he watched the boarding burn. Eventually, pieces started falling away, and enough light was let in through the hole to catch the sun statue, activating it and effectively opening the door.
"You know," Link mused as they continued on up a long flight of stairs, "this would be so much easier if Sato had told us exactly how far to go and exactly what we were looking for." Gary hummed his agreement. As they reached the top of the stairs, they came to another door, and Link groaned. The two entered and paused to look around the new room. It was long and a little narrow, with several large pillars standing and several more collapsed. A large suit of rusted armor stood at the other side of the room, in front of a doorway out of the temple. Link frowned as he continued to look, though, something small near one of the fallen pillars caught his eye, and he jogged over to see what it was.
It was a mask, smooth and glazed, though possibly made of clay underneath. It looked like some sort of desert cat, possibly a mountain lion, though with large, curling demonic fangs made of what seemed to be the finest Gerudo glass. It must have been what Sato was after- and Link had to admit, it was very pretty. It would be a great addition to the shop, and Sato would be able to recreate it well enough to-
"LINK, LOOK OUT!" Link blinked and turned just in time to see the suit of rusted armor standing over him, pulling a giant sword back to swing at him. With a yelp, he dived out of the way, taking care to not break the mask. He ran quickly towards the door, but paused when he realized Gary wasn't following him. He turned back to see the Gerudo with his halberd at the ready, pointing the bladed end at the demonic armor.
"Gary, what the hell are you doing?" Link snapped. "It's slow, let's get out of here!" The armor was indeed advancing slowly; whoever was in it was obviously having a hard time moving.
"I'm not running!" Gary said resolutely. "I'm not afraid of anything!" Alas, both his breaking voice and shaking arms betrayed him.
"Don't be an idiot, Gary, let's go!" Link cried. Gary didn't reply right away. Suddenly, he let out a fierce war cry and charged, swinging his halberd at the joints of the armored beast. The blade bounced right off, and the monster counter attacked; Gary was barely able to dodge. Link swore under his breath and dropped his bag on the floor, shoving the mask inside and pulling out his dagger (like that would be of any help, here). "Dammit... Viscen was right..." With a battle cry of his own, Link joined the fight, rushing at the rusted armor and leaping, trying to get in close enough to stab through the cracks to whoever was inside. He was suddenly met with a back-hand to his gut, which knocked the wind out of him and sent him flying backwards; the monster was advancing on him, now, and once he managed to catch his breath he grasped his dagger. As he turned to get up, he found himself directly in the path of the monster's raised sword, and his eyes widened as the blade came down at him- suddenly, however, the monster roared in pain- Gary had stabbed it from the back with his halberd. Link took that moment to scramble out of the way, ignoring the searing pain in his ribs as he moved.
"Link!" Gary cried as he backed away from the armored beast, the blade of his halberd dripping with thick, green blood. "I think I have an idea!"
"Do tell!" Link cried back as he tried to take advantage of the monster's occupied attention to get in close enough to stab it with his dagger.
"Alright- you've got that little dagger and can't get in without it hitting you, right?" Gary leaped over a sweeping attack. "Why don't you lure it so I can get around back and stab it with my halberd?" Link edged a little closer to the rusted armor and leaped back as it turned and tried to backhand him, again.
"Sounds good to me- here's your shot!" Gary dashed forward and stabbed his halberd into the opening in the back of the armor, again, this time twisting the blade as he pulled it back out. The monster roared again and spun around, swinging its giant sword with even more ferocity. One of its swings nicked Gary in the side, and the Gerudo let out a yelp. Link charged back in, jumping this time to try and actually lodge his dagger into the monster; another whirling backhand sent him flying, and this time Link was certain he heard something break as he landed and rolled to a stop on the floor.
On the bright side, he had a very good view of Gary pulling the exact same stunt he did, only, it worked the Gerudo, and he stabbed the blade of his halberd deep into the monster, twisting it several more times before tearing it back out. The rusted armor collapsed to the floor, the different pieces scattering as they hit, and nothing was left behind save for a swirling black-and-purple smoke. Gary took a few moment to catch his breath before rushing over to Link, looking seriously concerned.
"Hey- hey, Link, dude, are you alright?" He helped the blond sit up, and Link grimaced and hissed at the fire in his ribcage.
"No, no I- I think-" He was cut off as he turned to vomit, steadying himself with his palms. Gary's nose wrinkled in disgust, and he hurried to Link bag to find the bottle of water, hurrying back over to force Link to drink it. After nearly downing the entire contents of the bottle, the Gerudo slid one arm around Link, pulling one of the Hylian's own arms over his shoulder as he helped him stand.
"C'mon, it's not far to the exit, I can help you-"
"Dammit, Gary, it's my ribs, not my legs, alright? I can walk on my own!" Wrapping his other arm around his ribs to further protect them, Link returned to his bag, pulling it over one shoulder. "Come on. Let's go." The way back to the main entrance of the Temple was uneventful, and took far less time than getting to the room with the monster in it. Link had a bit of trouble on the ladders, but otherwise, neither of them had to stop, and once they had crawled back through the tunnel out, Link pulled the mask out of his bag. "Sato! Sato, we have the mask! ...Sato?" When the mask salesman didn't respond, Link frowned and sat down on the stairs.
"Damn him." Gary scowled. "He sends us in to do his job and he won't even wait for us?"
"What was that thing, anyways?" Link asked, sighing. "It had one hell of a punch..."
"I dunno, it... it looked like it had one of those Iron Knuckle swords," Gary said, sitting down next to him. Link scowled.
"You can't expect me to believe that was a magic demon, do you?" he asked. "At best it could have been an ancient, automated security robot- didn't they find traces of some hyper-advanced ancient civilizations around here a few years ago?" Gary shrugged.
"I dunno what to tell you, Link," he said. "It looked like an Iron Knuckle to me. But, hey, let's no sit around- we should get someone to look at you." Link whined in protest as Gary pulled him to his feet. They had to stop half-way to camp for Link to vomit again, but otherwise the return trip was just as uneventful as their way out of the temple. When they got to camp, it was just as empty, as well.
"What the hell's going on, here?" Link snapped. "Where is everybody?" Gary frowned and glanced down at their shadows.
"Hey, what time were we supposed to be back, to catch the bus?"
"Oh. It's almost five." Link groaned.
"Can this day get any worse?" he asked, plopping down on the sand. He was starting to feel tired; Gary said something, and though he heard him, it seemed unintelligible to him. That's it, Link thought, I'm dreaming. I understand now. His eyelids slowly began to lower. I guess... I'll just... go back to sleep... The last thing he saw was Gary standing over him, looking frantic, his mouth moving but no sound reaching Link's ears, and then- nothing. The world went black.
A/N: So, yeah, as demonstrated by this chapter, one, the only dungeons I'm using are ones already established, and, two, I'm rerouting all of them and changing some of the puzzles to coincide with how much time has passed since the original games. I'm also hoping to write the dungeon scenes so they look like something you'd actually find in a videogame, as opposed to the manga-style dungeons where Link falls in with Random Helper who just so happens to have the item Link needs to beat the boss who is miraculously right there. I do make maps of the rerouted dungeons, and I'll probably eventually put them up on my Deviantart, but the one I've done for the Child portion of the Spirit Temple has spoilers all over it, so I'll wait on that one.
Oh, also, that "Rime of the Wanderin' Seafarer" is a legit song, you should google it or look for it on youtube. I found it on ocremix; the guy who did it goes by the name of zyko. Guy's amazing.
Each time you don't review, Demise eats a puppy. Save a puppy. Review a chapter.