Author note: I do NOT own The Last Story, nor do I own The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which this fic takes heavy inspiration from (hence the title).
May or may not expand into a multichapter fic, but I figured it would be fun to post this regardless. I hope you all enjoy reading!
Warning: Major spoilers for The Last Story, post-game AU where Zangurak won (or seemingly so, at least), Breath Of The Wild AU and established Zael/Calista. There are also mentions of domestic abuse, general canon-typical violence and character death, as well.
The Last Story: Breath Of The Wild
Summary: Zael failed to stop Zangurak. However, Calista used all the power she could to save Zael's life, while also keeping Zangurak's power at bay. One hundred years later, Zael wakes up. With no memory of who he was, who his friends and family were, or even what the mark on his right hand means, Zael has to figure out how to save Lazulis and the rest of the world as he knows it, while navigating ghosts of the past and present.
Wake up, Zael.
He woke up. Looked down at himself.
Where was he? What was going on?
What was this place?
All Zael understood was that he was in some sort of stone chamber. It seemed that he was on his own, too. There wasn't anyone in the room with him. There were a few items nearby; a sword, some armor.
The armor fit him well.
The sword was heavy, but he got used to the grip after slowly navigating his way out of the cave, following the light up ahead to make it outside.
Upon leaving the cave, after navigating many passageways, Zael came across an old man. At least, the man had to be somewhat old; it was obvious he had scars on the left side of his face, from where Zael could see due to the scarf on his neck being tied too loosely. The eyepatch covering the left side of the man's face was also not helping things.
"Excuse me, sir?" Zael cleared his throat. "Are you okay?"
The man shook his head, turning to face him. It was only then that Zael realized that the man had a prosthetic, metal left arm and matching lower left leg. "I'm fine." He managed, but Zael had a feeling that he was lying. "Though it's not often I see anyone."
Zael looked around, seeing the wreckage of a castle town up ahead, and then towards the other man, asking, "What happened? And…where am I?"
A sigh left the other, before his one working eye looked into the other's own.
"I'm not surprised you don't remember much…Zael."
The man, who introduced himself as Arganan, was courteous enough to offer him an apple or two eat after roasting them in a makeshift firepit, and put him up to speed with the current situation: They were in the outskirts of Lazulis Island, right now. Within Lazulis City was, well, Lazulis Castle.
Within Lazulis Castle was Zangurak, King of the Gurak, who took over all of Lazulis a hundred years ago. Many had died when the Gurak made their final stand. Those that didn't were either enslaved within the town, or fled to the Vono Islands or smaller, surrounding islands, if not the Empire's mainland. The Gurak had attempted taking over the mainland ever since, but had little success over the years that ensued.
And, much to Zael's shock, he learned two things:
He was alive only because Calista found a way to save him with the last of her magic.
He had the same power as Zangurak; the power of the Outsider.
That certainly explained a few things; the mark on his right hand, for instance. And the fact that he didn't remember anything probably was explained by Calista's way to save him.
"You really don't remember?" Arganan sighed, shaking his head. "Well, you were asleep for a hundred years. You also did get damaged rather badly, but I wouldn't be surprised if your amnesia is a side-effect of the magic Calista used to preserve you."
"You sound like you know her well." Zael remarked, finishing his third apple at this point.
Arganan ate his own apple, quiet. It was nighttime at this point, after all this conversation. The soft flickering embers of the fire lit up his somber face as he looked towards Zael.
"I know you just woke up," Arganan managed, "But I need you to save her."
Zael faltered mid-bite. "Her?"
"Calista. She's my niece, and the woman you love. I was the Count of Lazulis, once, and she would've been Countess after me." The older man shook his head. "But Zangurak defeated her, as far as I know. This place is filled with the damned Gurak because Lazulis fell to them." Zael watched him shudder, hearing his metal arm click a few times with the movement. "This land barely has any life left, now."
Zael swallowed, watching the flecks of white dance in the sky around them. "Are the little specks…?"
"The decay? Yes. The land's been dying for a long time. Slowly, but steadily. I should have realized the signs earlier." Arganan let a sigh leave him. "This is my fault. All of it. I didn't listen to my niece, or you, when it came to the Outsider, or your wellbeing or hers."
A fury Zael wasn't sure he felt before stirred up in his chest. "Then why don't you go out there and fix it?" He extended a hand to grab the older man by the shoulder, to get his attention…
But that was when his hand passed through Arganan's shoulder entirely. Zael tried to grab him again, but the result was the same.
"I can't do anything." Arganan managed, staring into his eye with his own working one. "I'm dead."
Zael stared down at himself, pinched himself once. At least he knew he himself was alive. But… "What about Calista?" He looked up at Arganan. "What about her?"
"I don't know. And frankly, I don't know how you plan to get into Lazulis City as is, let alone the castle. She somehow managed to seal herself and Zangurak within the castle's confines with her magic. The House of Arganan is unrivaled in such abilities. But…" He swallowed, averting his gaze from Zael. "I don't know how long it'll hold. It's only a matter of time before he overpowers her. Especially since he has the power of the Outsider."
"Maybe you can help me get in." Zael managed. He recalled hearing a voice when he first woke up. Was it Calista, calling to him from afar? "There has be some way to do it. And if you're dead, it's not like you have to worry about dying again."
"It's not that simple." Arganan glared at him. "Also, you're not just rescuing Calista, and all of Lazulis. There's also your friends."
Zael stared at him. "My friends?"
"I don't remember all their names," Arganan managed, "But there were five of them."
That didn't help much. "What are the names you do remember?"
Dagran? The memory of a golden-eyed gaze came back to Zael for a moment, before fading away.
Arganan shrugged. "You and him were close, as far as I know. He led your friends. All of you worked for me."
Zael swallowed. He worked under this man before? He wasn't sure how to feel about that. He felt uneasy, but at the same time, at least Arganan was nice enough to let him know what was going on. And he didn't know who else to turn to, so maybe going to Arganan was his only choice.
Five friends, also gone. What if they were dead, too?
"Is there anyone else I should know of?" He asked. "Ones that were my friends, or allies?"
The older man nodded. "General Asthar and his pupil, Sir Therius. Asthar died early on in the war, after he was assassinated by Lord Jirall Rambaldt."
"Calista's fiancé. They were supposed to get married, but then you came along. Turns out the rapscallion worked for the Gurak in secret, so I had him imprisoned."
"What happened to him?"
"Died at sea. That's all I know."
"What about Sir Therius?" Zael tried to imagine what Therius might look like. Despite the familiarity of the name, he couldn't visualize the man. It sounded like a serious name, though.
"Died during the last stand against the Gurak. As far as I know," Arganan shrugged, "You're the only one that's really survived what happened all that time ago. There are descendants of those that once lived at the time, but as I mentioned earlier, it's been a hundred years."
Zael lowered his gaze to the ground, letting that sink in. His chest felt a bit tight, knowing that he'd been asleep underground while everyone else out there died.
"Get that look off your face, will you?" Zael's gaze snapped up towards a now-scowling Arganan. "I understand you're disappointed. But my niece gave you this chance to stop Zangurak once and for all. She saved you, so you could save whatever is left of Lazulis. Don't waste it."
"How does my power even work, though? How can I defeat Zangurak with," Zael held up his right hand to show Arganan the mark, "This?"
Arganan's brow furrowed as he looked towards the mark, and then up at Zael. "I can certainly supply you with what I know and remember about it. And I understand, as you recover your memories, that you might have less reason for you to trust me."
That didn't sound good. Zael wasn't sure how to feel about that.
"But, if we don't work together," Arganan finished, "Lazulis is doomed."
Zael knew that he didn't have much of a choice right now. He could just go saunter off on his own and figure things out, but the lack of memory didn't help. And if Arganan had knowledge of the Outsider's power that he didn't currently remember, it might be worth sticking around. He wasn't about to expect him and the older, dead man to get friendly, but they both had a clear bond with Lazulis itself, as well as Calista. Zael knew he needed to learn more about that.
"Okay." Zael finally managed, looking Arganan in the eye. "I'll work with you – for now."
He heard the older man chuckle. "That wasn't so hard, was it?"
Zael vaguely remembered, in the back of his mind, a voice calling out that the Outsider's power was all his, as well as panicked screams. A vision of Arganan dissolving into light came back to him, but only for a moment. He blinked several times, looking towards Arganan again.
"What?" Arganan frowned. "Is there something wrong?"
Zael shrugged. "Just remembering something." Or at least a piece of it, if not the whole thing.
All Zael could hope, at this point, was that this newfound alliance and chance at life, ended well for himself, Calista, and all of Lazulis. He had a second chance, and he wasn't about to fail, this time.