The General's Pride: Part I
Impa had finished organizing her troops to move into Faron's Woods and confront the demonic army. She had divided her army in two: The largest part will head straight forward and split in two to cover the upper and middle zones of the area, while the smallest part would go directly south and flank the enemy. Reports from the militia's scouts said that the number of demons was very low in the south keep, it was definitely an opportunity Hyrule's army should seize.
'This could also be a trap.' Impa had thought.
Trap or not, the General wished as few casualties on her side as she could manage, and ending a battle as fast as she could was one of the best solution.
'Even if it is a trap, I'll destroy it.'
The largest group of soldiers was led by Lana and Link.
The smallest group, of only a mere 100 men, would be led by Impa, who was accompanied by Sheik.
Link, the Hero of Light, was waiting.
After he had followed the large Darknuts to the south keep, two of them went to place themselves at the north entrance, and one of them was placed in the middle of the keep. Link himself was at the west entrance of the keep, alongside the smaller darknut who hadn't stopped following him.
The Hero of Light didn't care about the small darknut, he was busy thinking of how he was about to fight the incoming army.
It didn't bother him that he was alone, and it didn't bother him either that he only had his magic bow.
Fighting a strong being of light was one thing, and even though Zelda certainly wasn't trained in combat, she had the blessing of wisdom with her.
On the other hand, fighting regular foot soldiers was something entirely different. Link already knew that they were no match for him, and that if he wanted he could kill them very easily.
But he didn't want to kill anyone. Yet they wouldn't hesitate to pierce his heart, since he is currently wearing the mask of a demon. He couldn't lose his life, but he couldn't bring himself to murder an innocent.
Aiming to constantly knock out people that are trying to kill you was an awful lot of work.
Link wasn't naive, this kind of behavior would end up hurting him more than anything.
Nonetheless, he wouldn't give up.
There's no way he could face anyone, especially Midna, if his hands were stained with innocent blood.
His train of thoughts were interrupted when the smallest Darknut walked next to him, not emitting a sound. Link gave it a curious glance, wondering what it was doing.
The Darknut took out his oversized broadsword and suddenly plunged it deep into the ground right next to the hero. The small Darknut then just proceeded to walk back to the inside of the keep, leaving the broadsword stuck in the ground right next to the hero.
Link was fairly confused. What was the point of that? Shouldn't it keep its sword on itself?
The hero then remembered the words of Wizzro that had told Link that it was an order from Cia to have darknuts accompany him.
'Considering she can see past and future, could she have planned something with that broadsword?' He wondered, until he realized that there was no point thinking about this too much.
Soon, the sound of warcries echoed in the forest.
The battle had begun, and it wouldn't be too long until Link had to fight.
The hero firmly held his magical bow and waited for the enemy to come.
Impa's troops, along with Sheik, were moving to the south keep. Sheik was fine with following Impa, after all, the general was Zelda's best friend and so she knew her better than anyone else. To gain her trust as Sheik, she'd need to prove herself through her actions as a valuable and trustworthy force.
Zelda thought that Impa's plan was good. Even if it was a trap, both of them would surely be able to overpower whatever monster was thrown at them.
The report from the scouts had mentioned five darknuts holding the keep, 4 of them were regular and the fifth one had a golden armor.
That information troubled Sheik. He remembered the demon he had fought before, who was also wearing golden armor, and he was sure that it was no Darknut. The ninja truly hoped that the one the scouts had seen was a darknut with a different armor.
A foe with high intellect like the demon he had fought would prove much more troublesome than a simple minded and slightly stronger Darknut.
Soon enough, the targeted keep was in view.
60 meters in front of Impa's troop stood a single demon clad in golden armor, with a longbow in hands.
"..It's him." Sheik murmured to Impa, who did not answer as she kept her eyes on her opponent.
The general had understood though, it was the demon Sheik had spoken about.
The enemy had finally arrived, with a rough estimate Link counted about a hundred soldiers, and few seemed to stand out. The woman on the front seemed to be the one leading the other soldiers, next to her was the person he had fought before, behind them were 10 soldiers that seemed to have a high rank since they had better looking armors than the soldiers behind. They also had incredibly big shields.
By experience, the hero already knew that the ninja was a troublesome opponent, and although Link was glad that he wasn't dead, he would've preferred him to still be healing.
The woman leading seemed to be strong too, Link could see the weapon she had and it looked enormous, yet she was carrying that on her back without breaking a sweat.
'The best way to deal with this would be to immediately take out the head, it might become too dangerous if I focus her only, especially with the man on her side...' The hero thought, thinking of a plan.
'Then there's only one thing I can do.'
Link drew the string of his bow back, putting every of his enemy on guard. The soldiers put their shields up, the woman had her hand on her weapon's handle, and Sheik, with a small flinch of pain the hero noticed, took out his harp.
'As expected, that man has not recovered yet. Good. That should make things easier.'
Link twisted the string to get a blunt arrow of air and immediately released it at Impa, who took out her weapon to use it as a shield. Before that arrow even reached her, Link immediately drew his bow again and released another arrow, this time aimed at Sheik, who was ready to deflect it with his knives.
He wasn't done though, as with incredible speed and dexterity, he released three more arrows, this time his targets were the high ranked soldiers. Said soldiers had their shield blocking the view from their body and the only thing visible was their eyes peeking above it.
They hadn't expected Link to aim exactly at their foreheads, knocking the 3 of them out as the powerful bolts of wind made contact with their helmets, denting them.
Three down, seven to go, the hero needed to hurry up as the two opponents he was the most worried about had just recovered from blocking and parrying the arrows. He needed to keep them busy.
Once again, he drew the string and shot two more arrows at incredible speed, fast enough that neither Sheik or Impa would have the option to dodge them.
Link accelerated, aiming at three more high ranked soldiers, he knocked them out as well with the same tactic.
Only four were left.
'Once those four are down, it should be enough... I hope this isn't gonna cause strong concussions or bones too broken.' Was what Link was currently thinking.
Impa started to become impatient and gritted her teeth as she ordered her soldiers to close the distance while keeping their shields high to cover their head.
It would hinder their line of sight but it would be fine as where they were fighting was a giant branch of the monstrous trees growing in this specific forest. It was a straight road, and she would make sure to pay attention to the surroundings in case there was an ambush awaiting for them.
What she hadn't expected was that the demon they were facing aimed at the now uncovered legs of her subordinates, and took them down one by one.
The general couldn't believe her eyes, this kind of marksmanship was incredible, the distance between them was still over 40 meters and yet bolts of wind were perfectly hitting precise targets and throwing her soldiers off balance.
'This... Only a sheikah could do this... No, even a sheikah wouldn't be able to do that so many times at such speed.'
A new kind of demon, one that had the appearence and intellect of a man, one that was more skillful than a sheikah.
Impa remembered Sheik's words.
By the time they were only 20 meters away, all of the high ranked soldiers were down, and Impa had been unable to do anything to protect them as the demon had never forgotten to shoot arrows at her to force her to defend herself.
More importantly, the lower ranked soldiers were panicking. She had to do something.
Now that she was sure that there was no ambush planned as she hadn't felt any other presence than that single demon, she stopped her men.
Surprisingly, the demon had stopped shooting, though he kept the bow drawn, just in case.
"Halt! Ten soldiers from the back, help out the knights that cannot move anymore. The rest of you, keep your shield up and stay there." Her priority was to keep her men alive.
"I was told you could communicate, demon." Impa continued, thinking about the informations Sheik had given her. "Your strategy to take out my most important soldiers first while keeping me busy at the same time... You are indeed smart and skillful." Her eyes narrowed.
"Why have you spared every single of my men?"
The general had realized this when she didn't see an ounce of blood come out from her soldiers after they were hit by the magical arrows.
'...Why do these people keep noticing that I avoid killing them? Am I seriously that obvious?' Link was not quite sure how he should answer that. If he didn't want to be discovered, he needed to keep acting as a bad guy.
But what could he say? Orders from higher up? 'No, that'd only bring more questions, plus the other demons are not as merciful as I am, so it wouldn't make sense.'
Just keep silent? 'That didn't go well last time with Zelda...'
What did vile demons do at these kind of times? How did they act?
'They... boast about how it's not worth to kill inferior beings, don't they? Would that work? No choice but to try.'
The hero thought about what words he should use before lowering his bow. He tried to make his expression impassive yet menacing at the same time.
"I have no reason to waste my strength on the weak."
Link very bluntly announced.
"Turn back and leave. If you do I will let you live."
The soldiers gritted their teeth, feeling humiliated, yet knowing that they stood no chance against that single being. To think that he wasn't even going all out and yet had already incapacitated the strongest knights.
What a fearsome demon, indeed.
Impa's expression looked calm as ever, though on the inside she was furious.
"I'll admit it, demon, you are strong. Far stronger than even my best knights. But," The general took her enormous blade with both of her hands while getting in a fighting stance "They've done their very best to arrive where they are today, and now they form the army that Hyrule is proud of."
She narrowed her eyes as she stared threateningly at the demon in front of her.
"I will not let you insult my comrades any further."