"It's finally over..."
A few knights breathed heavily in relief, they had managed to destroy the entirety of the monsters that had been blocking their way, even managing to kill a great amount of the ones that had been following them thanks to Sheik's magical spells, reducing their numbers enough to the point where they now could afford to relax.
The soldiers were tired, dirty and sweaty, the heat from the cave being difficult to bear while wearing their armors, and the fight having used up nearly all of their stamina.
And while the regular soldiers and knights had taken care of the regular monsters and lizardmen, Link and Impa had to fight off two giant dodongos by themselves. The battle had been rough, and they had lost quite a few men, but now the exit was right in front of them, and it would soon lead them to Faron Woods.
After making sure that the coast was clear and that they wouldn't be interrupted anymore, Impa called out to her troops. "Ten minutes break, soldiers! Then, we move out and into the woods." She said, before turning to Link, who looked like he hadn't even broken a sweat. "Take the least tired knights and stand guard until everyone has rested." She ordered him. "You did an excellent job, hero." Impa praised him with a smile.
Link nodded with a big grin, happy to have been praised by his superior, before immediately running to gather a few knights to help him out.
Having someone as strong on her side certainly gave a feeling of relief to the general. Hadn't the hero been there, she probably wouldn't have been able to get to the end of the cave with as little casualties. And now she could also deal with a certain someone...
Sheik was sitting away from Hyrule's army, his back resting on a wall and his eyes closed, his hand over his belly healing his previous wound without anyone noticing.
When the sound of footsteps he recognized reached his ears, he instantly dismissed the healing magic and opened his eyes. The general was looming over him, looking at him straight in the eyes, her arms crossed.
Sheik patiently waited for Impa to break the silence.
"...I would like to thank you for assisting us in this fight. Hadn't you been there, we would've had many more losses."
"I only did the right thing. I'm aware you didn't come just to thank me, though." Sheik bluntly answered, aware that gaining Impa's trust was going to be very difficult.
"State your identity."
"I am Sheik, and I have come to help."
The general didn't look pleased with this answer. "That is all you can tell me?"
The sheikah nodded. "I've also come to deliver important informations about the demons."
"And how am I supposed to trust your "information" when you won't tell me who you are? For all I know, you could be a spy."
"I'm well aware that you do not trust me. However, will you at least hear me out? Keeping what I will tell you in mind will definitely be beneficial."
It seemed as if Impa hadn't reacted to the ninja's words, but in reality she was deep in thought about this situation. Although Sheik clearly had helped them, there was no denying that he could just be someone working with the enemy.
But right now they were lacking in informations and saving Zelda was Impa's priority.
"Fine, I'll take the bait." Impa said, sounding like it might be false data that would just lead to a trap. "Speak."
Sheik nodded. "I've come to tell you about a new kind of demon I've never seen before."
Even though Wizzro looked like he was carefully reviewing today's strategy, his mind was elsewhere. He still couldn't believe that Cia would bring a hero from another time and somehow manage to make him work for her.
He was curious, how did she manage to rally a hero to her dark cause? Had she gotten a hold of his weakness? Or perhaps she had brainwashed him? Wizzro doubted heroes were weak to spells that affected directly the mind.
Knowing how powerful and cunning the dark witch was, both possibilities were likely.
In any cases, that could only mean troubles to Wizzro's own plan. The monster had big plans for himself, which included betraying Cia at the right moment, stealing the source of her power and becoming the strongest monster ever.
"Simple yet effective, keh heh heh." The wizard muttered.
To anyone else, it would sound like the monster was too simplistic, and almost dumb. But in reality, Wizzro was well aware of the growing darkness inside of the dark witch, she was bound to get drunk on power sooner or later and make a mistake.
That's how it was supposed to go, except it wouldn't. Because of a single element nobody could have predicted: the appearance of a being pure of heart next to her.
"His appearence was so unexpected, I need to figure out how to deal with him..." The wizard muttered to himself, unaware that said problem had arrived in silence and was waiting behind him.
"For now I should just continue..." Wizzro started before turning around and noticing the hero of light standing there. The monster managed to hide his surprise and shock, somehow. "You've arrived early."
Link didn't bother answering and just nodded.
"Uh... Alright then. I'll just tell you where you need to be." The wizard was feeling a bit uncomfortable, unsure if Link suspected anything. "This," He pointed at a spot on the right of the map he was holding "is where we are. North east of here is the shrine of the Great Fairy. The keep in the middle is of the map is the most important one. Hyrule's army will come from the west soon."
Link grew tense when he heard the words 'Hyrule's army'. He still couldn't believe he would participate in an all out war while being on the side of monsters and demons. Having to fight against soldiers he should've fought with was...
'No, now is not the time to lose my will.'
Wizzro continued, unaware of the hero's thoughts. "You were supposed to guard the shrine but there was a last minute change by our mistress, so you'll be guarding the keep at the very south. It's more than likely that the opposing army will divide its forces to cover a lot of ground, they'll mobilize the majority of their soldiers to the north and middle. It's expected that they'll dispatch a smaller force south to catch us by surprise." He snapped his finger, making four shadows appear around Link, who remained seemingly unfazed. "You'll be stationed in the keep directly south of the map, on its western entrance and all you have to do is to make sure none of them pass through that keep. You'll also be accompanied by four Darknuts."
The hero scowled, unhappy with the idea of having monsters follow him. "I don't need them."
Wizzro shrugged, obviously not caring about Link's opinion. "Those are mistress' orders, if I had the choice I'd use them on the frontlines. Now go."
From the four circles around Link appeared the darknuts. Three of them were as large as the hero remembered, back when he had to fight them himself. The fourth one was only as tall as Link.
The three big Darknuts had already started moving south while the smaller one was observing the hero. Link ignored the stare the monster was giving it and followed the other darknuts to where he would have to fight.
Even though from the outside the hero looked calm, he felt anxious. How was he going to deal with an army and avoid casualties?
On their way to Faron Woods, General Impa couldn't help but think about what Sheik had told her about, a new kind of demon, one that had the appearence and intellect of a man, one that was more skillful than a sheikah.
Sheik has told the General that he didn't know whether there were more than one of that kind of demon, and that if there were more than one, it was possible that a few had infiltrated Hyrule prior to the start of the war.
'This person, almost telling me to be wary of my own men... Nonsense. If anything, I'm more wary of you, unknown sheikah!' Impa thought, glancing at the sheikah she had decided to bring with her, so she could be sure to keep an eye on her.
The moment Impa and her troops reached Faron Woods, they found a camp set up right at the entrance. Impa's army was allowed passage and discovered that the people living there were a militia formed because of the fast growing number of demons, and was led by a surprisingly young woman named Lana.
A charismatic and talented lady, to say the least. Lana had quickly explained the situation to Impa, about how demons had recently started to attack her village. Impa agreed to help her as she was sure those were the same demons that had kidnapped the princess.
They agreed on the plan of attack, separating the combined army of Hyrule and the militia in two: the largest body would move directly toward the enemy while the other part would flank them. This would result in a highly effective pincer movement.
Little did they know that the dark witch had already predicted how they would attack, and was very much ready for them.