By Phantwo J Fou

Notes: Fic is based entirely off Ocarina of Time. If you want to see evidence of other games, you're in the wrong place. Feel free to throw the rotten fruit and dead fish now. But anyway, I'll continue it if I get one review telling me I should. There's so much trash on FF.N! I decided to attempt to change that . . . my sincerest apologies if I failed utterly.

Chapter One
A Hero's Darkest Fears

Darkness. It's everywhere. I'm blinded in this darkness. Suffocating darkness. All around, closing in around me.

I should hope that I, the legendary Hero of Time, am not developing a fear of the dark!

I'm so tired! Sometimes all I want to do is drop my sword, drop to the ground and take a few hours to sleep. But I can't do that—not until it's over. Not until I've punished Ganondorf for all this—all this . . . this . . . darkness!

Cursed darkness! Before it might have been pleasant, perhaps comforting even, at times, but now darkness goes hand in hand with fear. And I am unaccustomed to fear. Why should I be accustomed to it? After all, I am the fearless warrior Link—the hero of time. And goddesses forbid that I should be afraid! But oh, I am afraid. So very afraid.

Afraid of what? It couldn't be this dark. I've lived with dark too long and triumphed over it enough times to know I wasn't afraid of that. No, it wasn't the dark. Definitely not. Then what?

The consequences of my actions, perhaps—and the persistent voice at the back of my head saying, You're going to fail . . . you'll come all this way and then you'll fail. But no, I shall not fail! I will not. But I still hear it. . . .

You're going to fail, Link! You're going to fail, and it will be your fault that Hyrule is destroyed at the hands of Ganondorf. It will be your fault when he kills the Princess! Your fault! All your fault!

The blame! Now pain I could live with . . . I could even live with fear . . . but not the blame! If ever I should give in and allow evil to conquer, it would be all too easy to accept responsibility for the passing of the earth. All too easy. . . .

It makes me think of Princess Ruto of the Zoras. The mere thought of her sends a shiver through me—and not the kind of pleasant shiver I would experience thinking of Princess Zelda, or even Malon. No, the mere mention of her name made my bones run cold and my flesh crawl. But somehow, her cursed repeated advice has remained in my mind till today. Perhaps that was merely because she told me the same thing over and over and over again every time I left her in a room unattended in Jabu-Jabu's belly? Whatever it was, it still rings in my ears sometimes—even now, seven years later.

If you're a man, act like one! Take responsibility!

How ironic to say that to someone who was supposed to save the world, according to the Princess of Hyrule herself!

But even as I won the three spiritual stones and gradually unlocked the door to the Sacred Realm, even as I still continued to win the various medallions of the Sages to seal away evil forever, the words still reminded me steadily that I was responsible for the fate of Hyrule. I was not invincible; I should not pretend to be; for if anything should prevent me from reaching my goal, I would be the one to blame. Ego was the cause behind one too many deaths . . . let it not be the end of me! I must continue to remember that on my shoulders rested the world, and I would be solely to blame if my arrogance caused me to drop it.

Of course, right now it might not be arrogance. Right now, it might be darkness. I might put down the earth just for a moment to catch my breath, only to discover that what I'd thought was a pleasant cliffside was actually an infinite hole! For sure there were enough of those in this godforsaken place. . . . It was these places that made me wonder why I had accepted the job of world saviour for a moment, before berating myself and mentally telling myself that it was right.

It was right. I always did something because it was right. But now, as I stood looking around at the bloodstained sickles wielded by the stone figures of ghosts in this miserable place, I wondered, How can this be right? The Shadow Temple was for certain one of the epitomes of evil, of immorality . . . of wrong.

I hated all of this! All of it! Everything I had seen on this quest had filled me with despair and disgust. Horrible—it was horrible! Each new puzzle, each new battle only served to feed the fire of this festering hatred. Hatred for hatred. I hated hate.

Hate had twisted this land, and the result was this. This temple. But then, the word 'temple' implies holiness, and if this rotten dungeon has any sort of connection with the supernatural, then it's certainly not with any heavenly deity. This Shadow Temple could not even show me where I walked—not unless I had the prize, the Lens of Truth that could show me the path to freedom. And even then, I was dependent on that lens. What I would have given to have been born with an eye that could see the truth. Oh, what I would have given not to have been born at all!

No, no, no. Cease that thinking. I am so very grateful to be alive. These quests have forced me to savour every minute of my life, for I have surely had enough experiences that could have parted me and my little friend called Life within seconds. Right now, staring into the room ahead from one of the nooks in the wall, I could see another one of those experiences could be arranged if I so desired.

Oh, how I did not desire!

Perhaps death might bring an immediate end to the torture of my life, but even then I'd have to die knowing that my failure was the downfall of the world!

This darkness has reminded me of much I wished to forget. My utter dependence on my senses fills me with loathing. Normal mortals suffer this same problem without ever realising it; but the Hero of Time suffers the affliction of dependence knowing full well that should something happen to one of his senses, he would be rendered incapable of finishing his task. Right now, I am reminded how much I need to see. With so much hidden from my eyes already, how could I ever finish this if my eyes were to give out altogether?

Ah, I do love my optimism!

But though I loathe my tasks and dread each venture more than the last, I face them with dignity . . . any normal man would. I face them with dignity, and I press forth until I reach my goal. I do not stop until I have accomplished whatever goal I started out with.

I know I have to, because it is not an option to stop.