Eternity's End

By DeadeyeDave

Like an endless waltz, the world is forever flirting with destruction and prosperity. Forever in balance between the rise of evil and the salvation of good are the dancers of mortality. Unending struggles that will repeat and reemerge more deadly than before have and will always ravage the universe. Suffering is universal, for no matter the victory in the name of relief there will always be a return of pain to the weary world. To break the cycle of death and rebirth, to achieve the nirvana that comes with sweet release, is a dream that is bitterly impossible to achieve.

The kingdom of Hyrule was enjoying a golden age. Learning, arts, and culture were at a peak. No evils seemed to roam the peaceful lands. The monarchy was beloved, just, and fair. The widowed King of Hyrule ruled with a benevolent hand and was refreshingly open to the thoughts of others. His daughter, the princess Zelda, was enjoying a peaceful childhood. She had, puzzlingly, began a correspondence with a seemingly unremarkable young boy.

This boy, a Kokiri ten years of age, startled the royalty by first boldly sending a simple letter to the Princess, which he delivered himself to the castle. It took the Princess some time to convince the guards and her father of the innocence of this visitor. This boy, Link as he called himself, seemed to know the Princess on a level that amazed many, especially the King. He and Zelda became fast friends, almost as if they had known each other for ages.

This is what the people of Hyrule knew before it happened. After it happened they knew only rumor and what they could assume. I do not blame them. I scarcely believe that what happened did occur. They do not know what they are doing, but if I were in the same position as they I admit that I would act similarly. As it stands, taking into consideration all that has happened of which the public is aware, it would seem overwhelmingly that I murdered the Gerudo ambassador to Hyrule in cold blood, kidnapped the Princess and then, seemingly vanished into thin air with my prisoner. It was assumed that I was a maniac, whose lust for blood was slaked on that of poor ambassador, then the Princess, and finally my own. Theories abounded, but the most widely accepted one is that I, after killing the Gerudo and spiriting away the Princess, went mad, killed her, and then killed myself. This theory was adequate to the masses, even though neither Zelda's body nor mine was ever found. Now, after seven long years, it would seem that the Princess and her captor are alive, and have resurfaced for some unfathomable purpose.

I killed the Gerudo, but I did not kill him on cause of madness. I killed him in perfect clarity of mind. It was in fact the sanest decision I had ever made. There is no way to prove what would have happened, and now, I am tortured with the knowledge that they will never know the truth. To know that one's actions are completely vindicated, that one has done the most important and vital deed in the benefit of humanity, and to be totally misjudged, is the worst fate that a person can endure. My actions have saved the lives of uncountable innocents and the land of Hyrule itself. Those whom I have saved will never know that their salvation came from the bloody blade of a murderous commoner.

I ask not for martyrdom. I ask not to be hailed as a hero for my triumphs, past and present. When I first returned to my own time, I did in fact try to tell the world of my deeds of the future. But none would listen. I don't know why, in my arrogance, I expected them to. The leader of the Gerudos conquering the world? Unleashing unimaginable evil over the land and destroying the whole of society? And you then defeated the menace and saved the world? Impossible.

I soon realized that they would never know the truth. I was humbled. I now do not care if I am a hero. My deeds are never to be known by any save the Princess and myself. She and I share the knowledge of the future, and that is why I acted as I did.

Now once again no one will believe my story. Once again I have made the world a better place, and have been unrecognized. This bothers me not the least. I would do a thousand heroic quests to ensure the safety of the land, and would gladly accept a life of personal misery to ensure the happiness of others. I do not look for sympathy, as I have said, I seek not martyrdom or a name engraved on the consciousness of history. I simply need to here explain what I have done and to prove, perhaps to no one but myself, that I am innocent of all the heinous crimes I am accused of.

I will not go into great detail about my first battle in the future. The prophecy of the rise of evil, the oppression, and the salvation of the land by the Hero of Time is well known to many. This prophecy I have lived through. I am the hero that saved the world from utter destruction. The evil that rose to conquer the world was lead by one man. That man was the Gerudo ambassador that I murdered. Ganondorf.

I do not expect to be believed. But, for better or for worse, this is the truth. If I had not killed Ganondorf in the castle that day, then within seven years the world of Hyrule would be completely overtaken by him and his legions of monstrous warriors. Perhaps now one might understand why I acted as I did.

I survived his ascendance asleep in stasis within the Temple of Time. Upon my awakening I had grown to adulthood. I awoke aged by seven years and in a world ravaged by evil. I was the Hero of Time, the warrior who emerged from the past to save the future. After a struggle of immense proportions, I had vanquished the evil and rescued the Princess, who had survived Gannondorf's rule thanks to her guile and disguise. The world was beyond repair. She, using the legendary Ocarina of Time, sent me back to the peaceful time before. She and I were the only guardians of the knowledge of the fate of the world.

This is the amazing but true story of how Zelda and I came to know each other. As soon as I had returned to my childhood I wrote to her to ask if she remembered, and she had. We made fast friends through correspondence, and I felt finally at peace. When I was a child the first time, I was plagued with apprehension and nightmares, but now with the defeat of Ganon I had found peace.

But history repeats itself.

I awoke one fateful day feeling odd. I had just had a strange dream that I couldn't recall fully. Shaking off the feeling of apprehension I checked my mail and was overjoyed to find another letter from the Princess.

I opened the beautiful envelope and read Zelda's familiar florid script.

"Dearest Link,

I pray that this letter finds you well, for on your wellness the fate of the world may once again depend. It has begun once more. I can sense it. You must hurry. You know what to do. Make haste!

Yours in concern,

Zelda, Princess of Hyrule"

I checked and rechecked the envelope; it did indeed bear the wax seal of the Royal Family. I now knew that my worst fears had come to pass, and that I had to act fast to prevent another catastrophe.

I ran to the closet of my house and grabbed my Deku shield and Kokiri sword, which I had not used since my ascendance to adulthood so long ago. Leaping out of my treetop house I saw my lifelong friend Saria standing on the ground waving.

"Hey Link! Where are you going in such a hurry?"

"No time to talk Saria! This is urgent!" I replied hastily. I ran past the bewildered Kokiri and towards the Great Deku Tree.

Just as I reached the entrance to the glade where the Tree was, I saw a light floating towards me. As it came into view I recognized the familiar form of my errant fairy Navi, who had left me after my defeat of Ganon.

"Navi! Looking for me?" I called to her.

"Umm...why yes! How do you know who I am? And where are you going so fast?"

"No time! Come with me!"

Navi, clearly puzzled, followed me towards the path to the Great Deku Tree.

"How do you know that the Deku Tree needs to see you?" she shouted after me.

"It's a long story," I gasped as I ran. "Very long story."

"Well, no matter, let's go!"

I ran past Mido. He shouted but I couldn't be bothered to listen to him.

I broke through the trees into the glen of the Deku Tree and saw he looked very ill. Now it had been confirmed.

It was happening again. I had to stop it.

"Link..." The Deku Tree spoke in a booming voice.

"Yes! I know of the Goddesses and the Triforce! I must hasten to stop the Gerudo!"

Even the Tree was amazed at my preternatural foresight. "Young one...you can see the future..."

"It's a long story," I answered dryly.

"You know what you are doing. Go quickly, my child..."

I turned to leave but Navi interrupted me.

"You can't leave the Deku Tree like this! He's very sick! You have to help!"

I sighed. "Ok...how to put this...there's a giant creature inside him, and he's going to die soon. I can't help him."

"WHAT?" She was understandably amazed. "But...we have to try..."

"Listen Navi, we have much bigger problems. We have to go!"

I ran off towards the exit of the woods. On the bridge I saw, as I knew I would see, Saria holding an ocarina.

"I'll take that, Saria," I said, barely breaking stride.

"What? You're going? How did you know I wanted to give this to you?"

"It's a long story," said Navi, taking a hint.

"Right. I have to go now. Goodbye. I will meet you again."

With that I grabbed the Fairy Ocarina and ran out into Hyrule Field. I felt a pang of sorrow for my rude departure, but in my heart I knew that I could waste no time.

Heading straight for Lon Lon Ranch I ran. It was about an hour of hard travel before I made it to the ranch, but I knew that I would soon be able to rest awhile.

I ran to the horse pasture and heard a familiar voice singing a familiar song.

"Hey Malon, I need a horse. There he is!" I ran straight for Epona.

"Wh...what? Who are you? How do you know my name? What do you think you're doing?"

I mounted the young Epona. "It's a long story," said Navi and myself at once.

"You...you can't just...come back!" I began galloping off.

"I'll explain later! Gotta go!" I cried as I charged over the fence surrounding the ranch and leapt over it. The horse, as before, had taken a liking to me right from the start. I spurred him into action and we raced toward Hyrule Market Town and the castle.

I raced up to the gate and dismounted still moving, running full speed towards the castle. I shoved past the crowds gathered in the market, past the old woman who was worried of the future, past the couple embracing by the fountain, and across to the path leading to the castle.

I saw the huge white gate and ran to one of the guards.

"It is I, Link. I must see the Princess," I gasped to the befuddled guard.

"Err..sorry, but no one can be admitted to the castle at this time. There is a very important meeting between the King and the Emissary of the Gerudos going on right now.

I nearly fainted. It was too late. Ganondorf had entered the castle and was now winning the heart of the King.

I knew what to do. Muttering a reply I wandered off back towards the town, then found on the hillside the very vines that I had climbed when I first entered the castle. Climbing these, I snuck over the guard posts and past the patrols. I had done this before, and I knew where the guards would be. Moving much more quickly than the first time I reached the inner part of the castle, crawling through the water pipe into the courtyard.

I ran silently past the guards there, knowing where they would be. Finally I had made it to the inner sanctum. I saw Zelda standing there waiting for me.

"Oh, Link, thank the goddesses you're here..." she ran and embraced me, and I could feel her fear.

"It's all right. We can stop it. Where is he?"

"He's kneeling before the King now," she whispered.

"Who? What's going on?" said Navi.

"It's a long story," Zelda and I replied in unison.

"What are you going to do?" said Zelda, trembling.

"The only thing I can do. We have to end this now."

Sensing my intent Zelda gasped. "No...you can't...you'll never make it..."

"Don't worry about me."

"Oh...Link...please..." she had begun to silently weep. I comforted her.

"Don't be afraid. Go! Quickly!"

She nodded. "I will meet you outside the castle."

"What? No! You can't come with me! You have to stay here..."

"I must go with you. You and I are the only ones who know what will happen...and if I'm with you perhaps they won't..." she trailed off, but I got her point. Perhaps if we stuck together we would have a better chance of escaping.

"You are sure you don't want to stay here? You want to give up your whole life for me?"

She looked at me solemnly. "For you, and for all of the world," she answered. With that, she turned and left.

I was ready. I feared not death or pain, but only that Ganondorf would live longer than that day. I ran.

I jumped shoulder first into the ornate stained glass of the castle window. Shards of glass surrounded me like a hurricane and I rolled, sliced on my arms and legs, into the throne room. Wiping the pieces of glass from my face I saw the sight I dreaded. Ganondorf, his face smug and confident, kneeling before the King of Hyrule. I had to act.

Before the King or Ganondorf could react I pounced, drew my sword, and plunged it into the back of the evil Gerudo.

He gagged, coughed blood, and before he could turn to see who had attacked him he slumped over and fell. Blood began to pool around him. For a fraction of a second I gazed into the eyes of the King, startled and amazed, as they slowly turned to anger. Then, heart pounding and nerves tingling, I ran.

I had not gotten far when I heard the King bellow for his guards. I tried to pick some of the glass out of my hands to help me escape, and as I ran I heard the cacophony of armored warriors running behind me. An arrow grazed the side of my head and I clamped my hand to the spot. I looked at my hand and saw it streaked with blood. Undaunted I ran on, and heard the 'thwipp' of another arrow being shot. As I turned a corner I felt a piercing pain in my right arm. Unable to move it any more I looked down and saw the bloodied shaft of an arrow piercing my bicep just above my elbow. Yelping with pain I ran on, up a flight of stairs and around another corner. I entered a bedchamber and slammed the door behind me, gasping with pain and exhaustion.

Barring the door with a heavy oaken chair I looked around for an escape route but found only a window. Looking down at a terrifying drop I considered making a rope out of the sheets of the bed in the room. But I heard soon the sounds of footsteps and the armored guards bashing into the wooden door. I turned to the window and jumped.

A second later I landed with a painful jolt in a hedgerow of bushes. Bruised and bleeding from my head I managed to run, just as I heard the sound of the guards breaking into the room.

I rounded a corner and kept running, almost fainting from exhaustion and blood loss. I ran and ran, over the gardens and towards the moat. I jumped into the water and began to swim across. Hampered by my wounded arm I barely managed to make it across, and at the moment I climbed out of the murky waters I saw a line of archers on a parapet above me. The sounds of numerous arrows being fired pierced the air, and I ran once more toward the gates of Hyrule Market. Arrows embedded themselves in the ground around me, and one caught me in the side. I gasped and cried in pain but managed to keep going. Totally exhausted, wounded in a dozen places and punctured with two arrows I staggered on, blood soaking my green clothing. I saw Zelda hiding in the tall grass just outside of town.

"Zelda," I panted. "I did it."

"Link! Are you...oh dear goddesses! You're..." She gasped at the sight of my wounds.

"I'm all right. Lets go!"

Racing with her, on my last ounces of strength, I ran through the town, taking the back streets and quietly sneaking out past the guardhouse.

There I found Epona waiting for me. I jumped on the horse and with the best strength I could muster I began to ride, Zelda clinging to my back.

"We'll hide in the Lost Woods. I know a spot where we'll be safe."

Zelda nodded and began to cry softly. I tried to reassure her.

"I've lived through worse than this. I survived the touch of pure evil!"

She laughed. "So you did. Is Ganondorf...dead?"

"I think so. I got him in the back."

"Link...you have made the greatest sacrifice I have ever seen a person make."

"Think nothing of it."

We rode on in silence and peace. As we approached the path to the Lost Woods I felt an overwhelming sense of relief. I saw Zelda looking back at her home, and I saw lights and commotion in the city.

"I can never go back there...," she whispered sadly, a tear rolling down her cheek.

"Yes you can. It will all be well in the end."

I tried to comfort her, and she felt better as we walked into the woods, but in my mind I doubted that our lives would ever be the same. As the sun sank below the horizon I felt that my life, and poor Zelda's, was sinking with it. A new chapter in our destinies was beginning.