The popping sounds of burning wood filled the forest with life, warmth radiated from the campfire as it burned away the twigs and branches. Giving its occupants comfort within the forest, It's orange glow is a beacon among the dark and quiet woods. It was nights like these that Time could rarely enjoy, the quiet sounds of the forest helped calm his nerves and it was greatly needed after such a long day the group had.
They were trekking through Wild's Hyrule when they were ambushed by moblins. Though the moblins had managed to get the jump on them the group was quick to recover from their initial state of shock before they were on the offensive. It took them way too long before they were finished. Though their victory was short-lived, most of their wounds were just a few bruised ribs here and there and a twisted ankle, nothing a red potion couldn't fix.
It was well into the evening that Time had announced that they should set up camp. The collective sigh of relief that came from it was expected, within hours they had managed to set up camp and create a fire. That was hours ago, the moon had long since replaced the sun and covered the sky in calming darkness. Most of the boys were asleep except for Time who had volunteered for first watch and he's glad that he did. He could smile as he watched his family sleep peacefully without much of a disturbance, it was what they needed after all.
He let his good eye wander over the group, smiling a little at how quickly some of them have already gone to sleep. Sometime during the night Wind, Warriors, and Hyrule had managed to move close to each other that their limbs have become tangled with one another; it was comical enough for Time to not laugh at the sight of it. Glancing over at the other's he felt himself relax completely at seeing his family sleeping next to one another. His ears twitched when the sound of crunching grass met his ears, turning his head he looked at the hero of Twilight with a calm expression. "Hey old man."
"Didn't anyone tell you to respect your elders?"
Twilight rolled his eyes before giving Time a playful nudge on his shoulder. "Oh come on old man, you're not that old yet." Letting out a chuckle Time nudge the pup back, taking the time to stretch from sitting in the same spot for too long.
Twilight moved to sit in the same spot he was moments ago while Time headed for bed.
The crackling of the campfire and the warmth that it brought was enough for Time to start nodding off to sleep. With one last look at the boys around him, Time allowed himself to succumb to sleep.
Something wasn't right. Something was wrong.
Time squinted his good eye in the darkness. He could just make out the shape of a shadowy figure, their form slumped over, back turned against him yet he recognizes the figure anywhere. "Wind!" Time didn't realize he was moving until he was close enough to make out the young hero's form. Once he was close enough the hero of time placed one hand on Wind's shoulder shaking it lightly to get the other's attention. "Wind! Where the oth- '' Time jerked his hand back as wind's body completely crumbled forward from the weight of his hand landing on the ground with a soft thud, dread slowly pooling into his gut while he kneeled down next to Wind.
Rolling him over so he was laying on his back instead of his stomach he could barely contain the bile that was rising from his throat at the mere sight of their wounded comrade. A deep gouging wound has claimed its home on Wind's forehead, blood pooled freely from the wound, deep rivers of crimson ran freely down the face staining the hero's tunic.
Frantic he tried to find any signs of life trying desperately to quell his growing sense of panic.
Yet he knew that a wound like that would kill any man instantly and that there was no way anyone could survive something like this. Reluctantly the oldest hero bowed his head in despair, carefully as to not disturb the sailor anymore he moved his arms underneath the cold body and cradled the young lad close to his chest. Oh, Hylia why him? Wind was only 14 a young child! He was too young to have something like this happened to him.
Hugging the dead body once more, Time slowly settled Wind against the cold grass. Ever so carefully he moved the boy's arms until they were resting peacefully on his stomach. He took this moment to grieve the loss of such a young soul and remembering the times they had together. He was so caught up in his grief that he didn't notice the sound of screeching metal moving until it was too late.
A startled yelp escaped from his lips. a megalithic guardian stormed into view. Its massive tendrils moved with such swiftness that caused Time to jump out of the way as it scrambled towards where Time was once standing. Yet It moved as if the thing hadn't noticed he was there, moving beyond the dead body and into the horizon, slithering its metallic tendrils over the dead bodies that littered the forest floor.
The sight before him would leave any mortal man reeling. His comrades, no his family, all lay broken before him. Wild's body spasmed as death tried to take its hold on the hero's body yet Miphia's grace still desperately tries to delay the inevitable. Blood pooled from the arrows that had impaled the hero's form turning his once blue tunic to an ugly shade of brown. Slumped over near Wild was Hyrule, his skin pale against the cold ground while his sword jutted out from his back and through his stomach. His eyes were open the life had faded long ago despite his struggles.
Not far from them was Warriors, his body sprawled on the ground as he laid there limp, chest unmoving, his dead eyes staring into nothing. The master sword, the blade of evil's bane, lay broken next to the one who had once wielded it. Sky's wounds were a horrific sight to behold, his chest a bloody mess that littered the hero's upper body. Yet the most atrocious sight was the gouging hole where his heart should have been. Bits of bone and muscle could be seen clearly even from a distance, leaving a stream of blood to trail down his chest to soak the dirt beneath them.
Four's body laid in a broken heap yet one of his eyes seemed to have been ripped out from his skull. Deep, injurious, claw marks ripped their way from the wound leaving behind nothing but a bloody hole. Legend lays next to him, his body covered in third-degree burns there was not one part of his body that wasn't covered in them.
The one thing that had caught his attention the most was the body that was in front of the carnage. He felt his heart stop at the mere sight of his pup's broken form, chest barely rising.
Time had rushed over to his protege's side before he had even known that he moved. He skidded to a halt once he was near him, dropping to his knees and reaching a trembling hand towards his protege, only to be stopped by a bloody hand grasping his wrist.
"You… could...have….saved….. Us." Twilight's chest heaved with every word that was forced from his lips, each one a struggle as the light slowly faded from his eyes. Yet before he could succumb to death, Twilight breathed out his last few words before going still.
"Why...didn't...you….do…...more?" The hand that had been gripping his wrist for dear life released its tight hold and slowly fell to the ground. Time didn't realize he was shaking until he went to grasp at Twilight's hand, he tried to repress the sob that threatened to escape.
The growls and screeches of monsters far in the distance was enough to snap Time out of his moment of grief. With red-rimmed eyes, he regarded the noise with dread as monsters from different timelines strode forward all seeming to be headed in the same direction.
It wasn't the numerous monsters or the way that the screams reverberated through the clearing that filled it with dread. No, it was the moon. The same dreaded moon that haunted him since he was a small child. That crooked smile and deep crimson eyes bored into his soul. Yet as much as he wanted to look away from it he couldn't, for the longer he stared the more chaotic and disastrous the scene around him grew.
Until it was nothing but a blur of noise, everything was amplified 10 times than it originally was. The screams and desperate shouts drilled into his skull until all he could do was let go of his pup's still form, in exchange to cover his ears. Yet he could hear their accusations as clear as a bell, each one burying deep into his heart, soul, and mind.
Time's eye snapped open as they shot up from the cot that he had been sleeping in. The blanket that had been draped over him was now gone, moved away from his heaving chest as he struggled to take in gulps of air. He brought up one shaky hand to his face and tried to quell his beating heart, Ignoring the streams of sweat collecting from his forehead to instead focusing on his surroundings.
"Time?". He nearly jumps out of his skin and almost instantly draws out his sword but is stopped when he sees the sight of Twilight marching over from his post.
Time allowed himself to relax at the sight of his protege despite the concern that was clear on his face. Twilight sits next to his mentor, worried eyes locked on the oldest hero before softly asking, "Are you alright?"
Time forced a reassuring smile on his face despite the dread that he still felt from the dream."I'm fine pup, shouldn't you be sleeping though, or is it already my turn to keep watch?" Brushing off the other's concern he made his way to sit up but he was stopped by a firm hand being placed on his shoulder. The pup's eyebrows were drawn together, his eyes were full of concern.
"You're not alright Time." Time let out a defeated sigh, damn it. he really was out of it, wasn't he? If his pup could see that he was not alright then what was the point of denying it? It would just make his pup worry more. Rubbing his face, Time let out a brittle laugh before responding.
"No pup, I'm not alright." The eldest watched as his protege sat down next to him, eyeing the man who he had come to respect so much during his adventures.
"Yeah, Nightmare." The Two sat in silence, both not saying anything for a while opting to just listen to the quiet forest and the crackling flames of the campfire. It was Twilight who eventually broke the silence.
"Do you want to talk about it?" his voice a mere whisper, weary of waking up the others. It was such a simple question, it really was but how could he tell him? How could Time tell him that he saw his family die in front of him? How could he tell his pup that he saw him die right in his arms? That he saw devastation so great that it felt so real? No, he couldn't tell him.
"No, but thank you for being concerned pup." Time made sure his voice was also quiet while he glanced at his protege giving him a reassuring smile before ruffling his hair.
Twilight let out an irritated grunt, trying to move away from his mentor's reach before fixing the mess of his hair.
"Go to bed pup, I'll take over the next watch." Twilight frowned at that declaration, about to object yet Time shrugged him off again.
"It's alright pup, I don't think I'll be able to fall asleep anyways."
Twilight wanted to argue otherwise, the panic in his eyes was evident to see despite his mentor's best efforts to keep it hidden. He knew that whatever it was in that nightmare scared him badly and he didn't like the idea of leaving him alone in this state. He knew though that the more he pushed, the more stubborn Time would get. Reluctantly he nodded and bid good night before going to bed.
Time made sure that Twilight was asleep before he let out a shaky sigh of relief. Rubbing his weary eyes and making his way towards the spot that Twilight was sitting previously. His shoulders slumped with exhaustion, the weight of his nightmare still heavy on his mind despite his constant denial. His pup's lifeless eyes staring accusingly at him, it was too much for him to come to terms with.
Sighing He watched the camp once more, eyes fixed on the boys as the tension in his body slowly eased out.
he kept repeating it to himself as if somehow that would lessen the impact of the nightmare.
It was just a nightmare.