Folks, here's next installment. Once again, thanks to my co-author, Legend of Zelda 4 Life
Walking down the hallway to her father's quarters, Zelda felt like the walls were closing up on her. She felt a dark aura seeping from her father's room's double doors as she stopped in front of them. Gulping down nervously, she opened the door, wondering why the aura of the room was so eerie.
Stepping inside carefully, she looked around. Nothing seemed too disturbed, except for the furniture, that seemed a bit moved.
"Father?" Zelda called out, looking around. No response. "Father??" Zelda tried again. Still no sounds.
She sank into deep thoughts. If her Father hadn't been outside when the rebels had taken over the castle, then he'd have to be in his quarters. There was no other explanation...
"Father!" Zelda called out again, to no avail. Sighing, she rolled her eyes and continued walking across the room to his bedroom chambers.
Though she stopped in front of the door, hand on the handle. Why did she have the feeling she'd be horribly surprised with her actions? Why did she have the feeling something was terribly wrong? Why did she have the foreboding sense of horror churning inside of her?
Taking a deep breath, she opened the door nonetheless, and looked right at the bed on which her father used to sleep.
And was sleeping forever on as well.
The result was immediate. The Princess's face paled, and her legs gave out under her. Her hands let go of the door handle, offering no hold. She simply fell to the ground, panting, terribly pale, shaking with all her might.
"Father?" she asked in a measly voice, wondering if this was a nightmare, and terribly wishing so. Trembling, she lifted her head slightly, just to be met with her father's headless corpse.
"DADDY!" she finally exclaimed, terribly informal. What did it matter anymore, though? Gasping, she got up and ran to her father's side. "Daddy!" she exclaimed, tears gathering in her eyes.
Despite having seen it first hand when Ganondorf attacked her castle and killed her father in her alternate childhood, she couldn't believe her eyes. It was bad the first time, but the second time... She didn't even have the grace to see it this time.
"No..." she gasped, falling to her knees next to his bed. "No..." a couple of tears dropped on her cheeks, followed by others, quickly wetting them. "NO!" her sorrowful voice seemed to bounce off the walls as she dropped her head, crying next to her late father's corpse.
The two Generals were striding towards the King's chambers, where they were expecting the King's body to be left by Fasticion. They didn't know this for a fact, but leaving the fallen corpse of the King in his royal bed chambers would seem like an act the madman would commit. They paused a few feet from the door when they heard someone call out to them.
"Generals!" the two older men turned around, met with the four division captains as they stopped in front of them and bowed.
"What is it?" Vass inquired.
"Generals Exfo and Rycliff have sent us to inform you that the castle's drawbridge mechanism has successfully been fixed, and the bridge is now lifted." Vyline reported.
"Plus, soldiers have been posted on the high parts of the surrounding walls to look out for incoming enemies. A defensive perimeter had been set up outside the walls, and a series of patrols has been put into place." Jykan continued.
"Inside castle town, soldiers are helping people get accommodated while Gerudos and Rylik are helping out material-wise. A lot of homeless people have been given tents, and everyone has their ration of food and water." Kyliss mentioned.
"And in general, everyone is in favourable conditions. There were a few Gerudo losses and Rylik losses in the battle, but most of the losses were Hylian. Thankfully, we have only identified seventy deaths in general until now, which is good in comparison to the siege, and considering that we had a hundred times more casualties in our past stands." Rizen finished.
The two Generals processed all the information for a moment, then nodded to each other. "Good. Thank you for the report. Get some rest men, we have a lot of work ahead of us." Wilde ordered.
"Yes Sir." The four soldiers bowed, then turned and ran for the exit.
General Vass mused for a second, then turned to General Wilde. "So we have already started recovering. Good. It is fortunate that we have the Rylik forces and the Gerudo to help us out." He noted.
"It's all thanks to young Master Link." Wilde chuckled.
"And to think we used to hate each other." Vass raised a brow at himself. "Maybe I was too persistent on my title as nobility?" he mused out loud, rubbing his chin in deep thought.
Wilde suddenly started laughing, lifting a bit of the dark atmosphere hovering over them. "Right on the spot, General." He laughed before he continued walking towards the King's quarters. Vass followed silently, confused.
The two Generals stopped in front of the double doors leading inside the King's quarters. They would have entered without asking at first, knowing the King was no more to forbid them to go in. But it was the soft sound of distant sobbing and cursing that stopped them.
"Who is that?" Vass inquired.
"Princess Zelda..." Wilde sighed, throwing the door open and quickly striding inside.
Not even stopping at the first room, the two Generals quickly proceeded to the next room, not even bothering to knock before they opened.
They were immediately met with the source of the sobbing and cursing.
"Princess Zelda!" their collective gasp broke through her string of curses and sobs.
She immediately stopped and jumped up, smiling forcefully. "Hello, Generals. What brings you here?" she asked, sniffling and wiping a tear from her eyes, trying to look strong.
"Well... We knew that His Majesty was no more, and figured he might be here.... As well as you..." Vass bit his lip.
"Oh... that..." Zelda tried smiling again, failing, and resulting in a half-grimace.
The two men lowered their eyes, not having the heart to tell her that crying didn't make her weak. Vass finally noticed what Wilde had meant when he had said the Princess had changed since the Lost Woods. Now, she wanted to stay strong, and had this proud and fierce aura around her.
"We'll… Give him a proper burial soon…" Zelda gulped down nervously, trying to keep her tears at bay. "It looks like it's been a few days he's here." She kept herself from grimacing in disgust.
"Shall we make the arrangements for his Majesty's burial?" Vass offered uneasily.
"Not yourself, but I would appreciate it, General, if you went down and told some priests to organize a ceremony soon." She bit her lip uneasily. Then her eyes flickered again, "For my father, and the others who have died during the assault."
"I'll get to that right away, your Highness." He bowed, and threw a glance at the headless corpse of the King. "My sympathies, your Majesty." He told her before he exited.
As soon as the door clicked shut behind Vass, Zelda broke down again, having spent enough time with General Wilde for him to know all about her by now.
"My sympathies as well, your Highness." Wilde frowned sadly, head bowed.
"I… appreciate it…" Zelda grabbed a napkin on the table and delicately blew her nose in it.
There was a moment of silence where all that could be heard were Zelda's desperate attempts to stop crying, resulting in little sobs. Then, the Princess plopped down on the ground, burying her face in her hands.
"How did this all happen…?" she cried silently.
Wilde sighed and looked down at her. "I do believe I know the story, your Highness." He recalled Vass's words.
"You… You do…? How…?" she asked, curious.
"General Vass told me… From some… Personal experience." Wilde shifted.
"Then please do tell." Zelda sniffled once more, waiting for Wilde as the General sat down and started his story.
"… And that's when his Majesty was murdered." Wilde sighed. By that time, Zelda was crying all over again, horrified by what she was hearing. "But Master Link still refused after all that." He noted for the fifth time throughout his story.
"So… It was Link's fault…?" the words left Zelda's mouth before she could stop them. Hearing what she had impulsively stuttered, she clamped her hands over her mouth, horrified. "NO! No… It wasn't his fault…" she cried, burying her face in her hands again. "…It was Fasticion."
Her tears suddenly stopped, her sobs subsided. Her breathing suddenly went deeper and slower, and her shoulders moved up and down from the huge breaths she was taking.
"Your Majesty?" Wilde inquired worriedly, reaching out and putting a hand on her shoulder.
Her head suddenly shot up, a murderous flame lit in her eyes, her face bearing an enraged expression. "It was Fasticion…" she breathed low. "That bastard, Fasticion, killed him…" she processed the thought for a moment, then looked straight into General Wilde's surprised eyes. "First chance we get, send the army towards Fasticion. I want that bastard's head within the year." She growled.
"Your Majesty!" Wilde gasped, surprised by her words. "Calm down, we are surely going to take down Fasticion, but we need some time to recover. Besides, I'd prefer to wait for Master Link's recovery. If anyone deserves a shot at the butcher of Salendoir, it's him for what they put him through." Wilde remarked grimly, although a bit more fierce at the end.
It was not a card he wanted to play against the Princess, considering everything she was going through, but he needed to divert her attention from such a drastic move before they were ready for it. To send the armies now would leave Hyrule unprotected.
Gradually, the blazing fire in the Princess's eyes died down, replaced by a sorrowful look. "Link…" she sighed worriedly, his broken state flashing in her mind once again. "He's done so much for me, both in this time and the past." She sighed.
"He has done a favour to all of us, to all of Hyrule, in both times." Wilde noted. "He is a force to be reckoned with. The goddess Farore choose her champion well." He bowed his head, also remembering how his adjutant was found in the dungeons.
"You're right." She took a deep breath to calm herself. "He is a Hero. But he is still human. I'd bet my entire kingdom over the fact that he tried everything to save my father's life. But in the end, he chose the safety of all the people of Hyrule over my father's." she bit her lip, then reluctantly admitted. "I can't be selfish. It was the right choice to do." She sighed out in the end.
There was another moment of silence, and complete silence this time, both the Princess and the General lost in their thoughts. Then, Wilde spoke up. "I'm sure he is as shattered as you are. But let's give the boy some time. He has been under an awful lot of stress these past few days." He sighed, standing up. "I'm going to go help around castle town. Care to join me, your Majesty?" he asked.
Zelda finally smiled for the first time since what felt like an eternity and nodded. "It would be my pleasure, General." She then raised her arm to intertwine it with his, like in the old days when she would be escorted to some formal function.
It was a nice charade, even if they both knew how hollow the gesture really was.
A few days passed. Sometimes, he'd hear distant voices. Sometimes, he'd recall memories. Sometimes, he'd try to mumble a few things himself. Sometimes, he'd try struggling against the chains holding him down in the darkness of unconsciousness.
It was only on the fourth day that he finally broke free from those chains and opened his eyes to the world.
At first, the bright light was too much. He closed his lids back over his eyes, engulfing his vision in darkness again. Then, he slowly fluttered them open, taking the time to get accustomed to the sudden burst of light.
"…e's…kin… p… all… cess… da…"
His ears slowly twitched, also trying to clear off the blurred voices around him. Now fully accustomed to the light, he weakly turned his head towards the source of the voices. He was met with a bunch of people, his vision swaying. Soon, the doubles took their places, and Link recognized Vyline, Jykan and Kyliss, watching him intently from a bit further away.
He opened his mouth to say something but found that he couldn't. Instead, he just focused on making out the voices and clearly understand what they were saying.
"Should I call General Wilde?"
"We'll see. Just call the General for now."
The wearied boy closed his eyes again, feeling his body burn on every inch. The pain subsided after a moment, leaving the intense burning in his stomach to torture him. His breath quickened as he grunted in pain, too weak to reach out and hold his stomach. He simply gritted his teeth until the pain stopped. That's when his traits relaxed, and his tensed muscles let go. He limply slid back down under his sheets, finally noticing that Jykan, Vyline and Kyliss had come closer and were looking at him worriedly.
"Give him some space."
The three boys stepped back once again. The entire place was silent, all listening to Link's steady breathing until the door burst open so hard, it almost gave Link a heart attack.
"Calm down, Princess."
At that, Link finally smiled slightly, slowly blinking, turning his head weakly in the voice's main direction. He was only met with a flurry of colours before he felt something cool applied to his forehead.
"Link, dear Goddesses, you're alright." Zelda breathed in relief, taking her hand off of his forehead.
Pushing his strenght to the limit, Link finally uttered out his first words. "Hello…to you too… Princess." He coughed in a raw voice, smiling weakly.
Zelda joined her hands towards the heavens for a brief moment, reciting a quick prayer to the Goddesses before turning back down to Link. "Don't worry, I got it under control." She smiled, comforted. Then, she turned to everyone else behind her. "I need someone to get him something to eat, dear Nayru knows how long it's been he hasn't eaten anything." She sighed out.
"We'll… Go." Vyline replied for all four of them, deciding to give Link, the Princess and General Wilde some time alone. "Come on, you guys." He ordered to the three other former division commanders. The four friends threw Link one last worried look before stepping out.
As soon as they were gone, Zelda started whispering prayers after prayers under her breath, only stopping when Wilde put a hand on her shoulder.
"Princess, it's alright now, besides, I don't think Farore would appreciate it if her Hero died." He chuckled.
"You're right." She relaxed slightly, turning back to Link. "Glad you're awake, Link." she smiled, not even bothering anymore in addressing him by his title, to Link's faint glee.
"Glad to be back." He paused for a moment, "Or did I finally die and this is what comes after?"
Wilde snorted at that. "Alas, you shall live. To the horror of nobles everywhere."
"General!" Came Zelda's horrified voice.
Link couldn't help himself, despite the pain and exhaustion. He found himself chuckling until the pain forced him to lose his breath. "Wouldn't want them to get uppity, eh General?" He grunted as he pushed himself to the limits to try moving into a sitting position. Though Zelda broke through his efforts as she pushed him back down.
"Don't try anything funny now. You just woke up. Relax and take it easy, General Wilde's men are bringing something for you to eat." She chuckled.
"Thank Farore." The Hero sighed, smiling.
"I don't wanna know how long it's been you haven't eaten anything." Zelda sighed sorrowfully.
Link took it as a joke, his old sarcastic self slowly emerging from the ashes of his depression. "No, you don't." he chuckled weakly.
After swallowing down his fourth serving of food, despite Zelda's attempts to get him to eat slower, Link slid back down in his covers, his energy slowly returning to him. "Thanks." He smiled at his old friends, who only returned his smile.
"You're gonna get a stomach ache." Zelda rolled her eyes, warning him for the fifteenth time.
"It was good while it lasted." The Hero chuckled.
"So how are you feeling, lad?" Wilde inquired.
"Not bad at all, guess most of my energy came back with the food." Link replied cheerfully.
"Good to hear. Can you move?" he asked curiously.
"I can try." Link shrugged. Before Zelda could stop him, he pulled himself up into a sitting position and threw his covers off.
"Link, don't do anything rash." Zelda warned him, grabbing his arm warningly.
"I'm not doing anything rash. Probably just something stupid," he chuckled, swinging his legs off the bed and jumping off.
At first, he touched the floor safely, and grinned. Though a few seconds later, his energy left him, and his legs gave out from underneath him. Zelda squeaked worriedly, letting go. Her grip gone, Link wavered then fell on his bandaged chest, hissing as some of his barely healed wounds opened again.
"Damn." He cursed, gritting his teeth. "Told you so." He tried smiling as a few hands helped him up. At first, he tried taking a few steps, but couldn't on his own without tripping and falling, able to make his way to the bed thanks to Wilde and Zelda supporting him with all their strenght.
After hauling him up on the bed again with a grunt of effort, Zelda threw him a cross look. Link only smiled sheepishly at that. "Sorry?" he tried.
"Sorry isn't going to cover it, fairy boy." Zelda frowned, pointing at his chest. A red spot was blooming behind his ivory bandages. "Just when it was finally healing." She sighed, heading to the back to grab a bottle of antiseptic and fresh bandages.
"Woops." He chuckled, using his hands to pull himself up, hauling his legs on the bed. Then, he grabbed the covers and threw them over him.
"And how long do you think you'll lazily be lounging there?" Rizen asked sarcastically.
"Rizen, he just woke up, give him some time. A couple of weeks should be alright…" Jykan tried.
"I'll be up in a few days." Link interrupted.
"What?" Vyline exclaimed.
"Yeah, Link! We know you're exceptional, but a few days won't cover it! Do you know how badly you were hurt when we found you? You need your rest!" Kyliss backed up.
"I'm telling you I'll be up and running in a few days." Link chuckled at their reactions. "Trust me." He smiled sweetly.
"Since when don't we…?" Jykan sighed.
"And since when don't we regret it…?" Rizen added as the entire room burst out laughing, relieving some of the tension in the room.
"Hey, who was it who protected Kakariko about a year and a half ago?" Link smirked as Zelda came back, rolling her eyes, holding bandages and antiseptic in her hands.
"Uh, obvious answer, US?" Rizen continued.
"Give the Commander some credit, Rizen." Vyline smirked.
"DON'T CALL ME THAT, DAMN IT!" Link made an annoyed noise, gritting his teeth when Zelda peeled off the bandages to check his wound.
"You're right, Master Link." Jykan chuckled.
"I hate you guys." Link frowned, his frown deepening when Zelda cleaned the opening wound with stinging antiseptic.
"We all love you as well, Master Link." Kyliss teased as Zelda bandaged Link's chest.
"Come on, everyone, let's give Link some rest time, Goddesses know he needs it." Zelda smiled, cleaning her hands in the sink.
"No he doesn't!" Link argued, sticking a tongue out at her back playfully.
"Yes he does, now go to sleep before I break something." Zelda threatened amusedly.
"Princess is getting dangerous!" Link smirked. "Fine, mother." he muttered, turning around in his sheets, now facing the wall. "G'night everyone!" he emptily waved.
"It's day, Link."
"Whatever, good night, Link."
"Good night, Master Link. Hope to get you back soon."
"Rest well, Link."
"Get well soon, Commander."
"Jykan?" Link smirked.
"Yes Sir." A few seconds later, a slapping sound drifted to Link's ears, followed by Rizen's protests.
"Thank you, Jykan." The Hero chuckled.
"I should've known you'd do that. Again." Rizen muttered faintly.
Soon, the room was emptied from everyone but the Princess. She slowly walked to Link's side, smiling serenely as she took a seat on a stool near his bed. Her eyes set on his bandaged back, almost drilling holes in it with her gaze.
"May this humble Hero do something to please his Princess?" Link replied after a while, sensing that he was being watched.
"Just get some rest. As you know, we need reform the tri-force before going any further. Before we get the opportunity to defeat Fasticion." She frowned. "We need you in top shape for the battle versus Ganondorf when we return to the Sacred Realm. I'll start awakening the sages. You just recover as much as you can. I'll talk to you later." She smiled, before moving for the door.
"Zelda?" Link's faint voice stopped her.
"Yes, Link?" she turned back around.
"Are we really going to open the Door of Time?"
"We have to, Link."
"After I killed your father, trying to protect it?"
"Even after… hey wait! You didn't kill my father, Link. It's okay. You did the right choice." Zelda gasped, moving back next to him. "You chose the people over your own safety and my father's safety. That's very noble of you." Zelda comforted him.
"It shouldn't have happened. I may as well killed him myself." His voice was without tone or inflection, and it seemed like he was talking to himself more than to the woman sitting beside him.
Zelda frown before letting an odd look cross her face as she placed her hand against his face. She tilted his head to look at her, "Link, look at me." She waited for him to open his eyes and continued, "A lot of things that have happened should not have happened. We should have never had to fight off Ganondorf all those years ago. Termina should never have raised arms up against Hyrule. Fasticion should never been allowed to take his first breath."
Zelda's face twisted in hatred for a few moments before she calmed herself and met his gaze again. "You have always fought for just causes, Link. For all of us. I'm sure you did all you could. There was nothing more you could do." Zelda resisted the urge to caress his hair as she said that. She shook her head before looking at him, "You are many things, Link. But you are only one man, and not a god. You have nothing to feel bad for. Destiny has a role for us all to play, Link, including my father. Fate may have cut his destiny short, but it was not your fault."
There was a moment of indecisive silence where Link processed the thought. Maybe Zelda was right. Maybe fate HAD cut the King's path short. Maybe it was destiny. No, I can't just accept such things. But I suppose there is no point arguing with her over it. He sighed internally.
"Alright?" Zelda broke through his thoughts.
He finally gave in, nodding weakly. "I don't agree with you, milady, but I'm not going to argue the point with you. Such things are beyond the scope of what I know, and I can't change how I think and feel so quickly." He sighed, his eyes drooping shut. "I'm tired, Zelda."
Zelda smiled sadly, then closed the nearby curtains, covering the entire room in a veil of darkness. Then, she smiled serenely one last time at the Hero's motionless form before exiting. "Rest well, Link."
The following days were pretty bare in terms of plans. Help was still arriving from Rylok and Gerudo Valley, and Castle Town was slowly, but surely getting built up again.
As for Link, he slowly got better and better. On the second day after he woke up, he was already able to walk with some help. On the fourth day, he could walk on his own for a while. Then, on the fifth, he was up and running, training with anyone willing to engage in a losing battle against him, much to the amusement of the soldiers and the anger of their young, soon to be, Queen.
It was exactly one week later from his awakening that Zelda decided that Link was fit enough to fight Ganondorf. As for her, she had already gathered and awakened all the sages except Impa, who was now dead. While waiting for the next Sage of Shadow to reveal herself, she would operate both the roles of Sage of Time and Sage of Shadows as much as she could.
Soon, the fateful day finally arrived.
Geared up as if he was going to war, Link stood in front of the Temple of Time, Zelda by his side, holding the Ocarina of Time in her hands. Behind them stood Wilde, Vass, Rizen, Vyline, Jykan and Kyliss.
"Battle plan?" Link smirked, breaking the reigning silence.
"We get in there, open the Door of Time, confront and defeat Ganondorf. Then, I'll call the Sages, and we'll seal him even further into the realm, then close the Door of Time. After that..." Zelda recited with one breath, her entire system tense and nervous.
"After that, we hunt down that monster, Fasticion." Link says grimly.
"Right." Zelda said, taking a deep breath and focusing herself to calmness.
"Then let's do it." Link nodded.
"Alright." Zelda took the first step inside the Temple of Time, followed by the rest of the team.
She only stopped walking when she got to the altar where the Three Spiritual Stones were supposed to reside.
"You sure you're ready for this?" she bit her lip, turning to Link.
"Ready as I'll ever be." Link rolled his eyes.
"Okay then. Here." She handed him the Ocarina of Time. He smiled, taking the time to examine it and blew a test note as it had been long he hadn't played it. Everyone else but Zelda curiously looked around, wondering just how the boy would open the impenetrable stone door with just an ocarina.
Once done gazing around, everyone turned to Link, who was flipping the Ocarina in his hand. He smiled, advancing for the altar. Then, standing in front of it, he looked up at the Door of Time. "Let's see if I can still remember this." He chuckled before he brought the Ocarina to his lips and started playing.
Turns out he did remember. The pure, crystalline notes of the Ocarina of Time rebounded on the Temple's walls as his fingers swiftly travelled over the light blue instrument.
When he finally finished playing, he waited until the last note reverberated off the walls and looked up at the Door of Time. At first, nothing happened. But suddenly, the Spiritual Stones floated out of his pouch, hovering over him for a moment, just as they had when Link had first opened the Door of Time. Then, they rose up further in the air, floating towards the altar with the slots. And slowly, they descended back upon their respective holes, lodging themselves firmly in their respective slots.
That's when a huge rumbling sound shook the entire temple, making a few of the people in the group trip. The ground shook, and for a moment, it felt like the temple would blow up.
Then, everything stopped. Before anyone could recollect their thoughts, the Door of Time rumbled shortly, and slowly started pulling apart, giving free access to the Inner Temple.
"Let's go. We have a Dark Lord to defeat." Link sighed, drawing his sword, a sturdy blade he had picked up from the castle's armory. He had no idea what had happened to the blade he had used since the last imprisoning war. He began advancing slowly with Zelda next to him. The rest of the group simply set for watching from behind.
Once set inside the Inner Temple, Link quickly scanned around. No signs of Ganondorf… yet…
"Ganondorf!" he called out into the open, slowly advancing towards the Master Sword's pedestal. No reply came, not even the Evil Lord's trademark dark throaty laugh. "Wielder of Power! Show yourself!" he called out, looking around. Still no reply.
"He's no more."
The Hero immediately whipped around, sword drawn. Though he relaxed when he was met with the sight of a fat old man clothed in yellow and orange robes.
"Rauru." He sighed out in relief, then tensed again. "Where's Ganondorf? It's time to get rid of him once and for all." He growled.
"The Evil King?" Rauru looked amused. "Do you not mean what is left of the the Dark Lord?" he asked.
"What's left?" Zelda's surprised voice mingled with Link's as Rauru chuckled and snapped his fingers. Then, he pointed into a corner.
"Look there." he smiled. The two Wielders' gazes were drawn to the area until they were met with a heap of bones, a skull nested on top of all that. When they realized the bones were made out of a ribcage, hip bones, femurs, and all sorts of bones, realisation dawned on them.
"B… But… H… How?" Link stammered, confused, feeling slightly dizzy. "I thought… Only the Hero and the Blade of Evil's Bane could get rid of the Evil Lord forever!" he gasped, looking at Rauru questioningly.
"Yes, but aren't the Goddesses capable of everything as well?" Rauru asked rhetorically. Seeing Link's questioning gaze, he sighed. "Do you not remember what the Deku Tree told you about your curse?" he sighed out.
"I do. That the Triforce was destroying my body?" he asked.
"Yes. It was happening to all the bearers who did not know how to desensitize themselves. The last bearer of Wisdom found a way to stop it, and didn't degrade for the time he had the Triforce. But the Evil King." He turned back to the heap of bones. "Desperate for his freedom, he overused his Triforce's Power, also accelerating his own destruction." He told them.
"And so…" Zelda connected the dots, then gasped.
"Yes, Princess of Destiny, Seventh Sage." Rauru nodded. "It's been several years since the Evil King has perished under his own hand. The Triforce of Power has now returned to the Sacred Realm and is once again under the guard of the Holy Three." He nodded.
"And so… We need the two other pieces to complete the Triforce?" Link figured.
"You are right, Hero of Time. Both the Hero and the Princess are now required to return their pieces of Courage and Wisdom and complete the Triforce once again." the Sage of Light informed them, unlacing the sleeves on his robe to show his hands.
"How do we do that?" Zelda asked, advancing near Link, standing next to him.
"Give me your bearing hands. I will extract the Triforce and send it to the Sacred Realm." Rauru extended both his hands towards the young adults.
The two froze for a moment, then looked at each other. "Shall we, Princess of Destiny, Seventh Sage?" Link grinned, sheathing his blade.
"Let's shall, Farore's Chosen One, Hero of Time." Zelda smirked back.
Simultaneously, they extended their bearing hands and set them gently in Rauru's open palms. The latter closed them, along with his eyes. Then, he started chanting.
The chanting was soothing, light and calming. Link's eyelids fought to stay open as a bright light engulfed his vision. When he opened his eyes, he was standing in the sky area where Zelda had once sent him back in time from. Nostalgia swept over him as his gaze was thrown towards the Holy Triangle, glittering in the middle. Only the top Triangle was there, though.
He turned. Next to him stood Zelda, also gazing in awe at the Triforce as well. "We're really privileged to be able to see this…" the Princess breathed in awe.
"We sure are. But it's time to do what we came here for." Link reminded her.
"Of course." She recomposed herself, then looked at him. With a nod, they both extended their bearing hands towards the Triforce and closed their eyes.
"Goddesses of Wisdom and Courage, we come as your humble servants to return your powerful gift to us." The words left their mouths simultaneously, as if cued. Neither Link nor Zelda knew where the words actually came from. "Please accept us as we return to you the Triforces of Courage and Wisdom."
For a second, nothing special happened. Then, the Triforces on their hands lit up, blinding them for a moment. The two Wielders closed their eyes for a moment, using their free hand to shield themselves from the light.
During the extraction process, Zelda simply waited, feeling nothing, if not a bit disappointed that she was losing her Triforce so soon after getting it back. But Link felt so relieved, he could cry. It felt like a huge weight was lifted off his shoulders, lightening the load he was carrying. It felt like a part of him was leaving, but it awkwardly felt good. He simply breathed in, smiling in content as the two Wielders waited for the process to finish.
And when their tingling process was over, and the soothing feeling had left their bodies, they opened their eyes, the light stopping. And a tingling sound in the air around them replaced the light.
The first thing they noticed was that the Triforce pieces they usually had on their hands had disappeared. And instead, they were hovering on the bottom left and right of the Triforce of Power, taking their place right next to it.
The Triforce was finally complete once again.
Their musings were cut short when a blue fountain of teleportation magic opened up in front of them. Zelda was the first to talk.
"Ready to go?" she asked.
"Go on, I'll be right there." Link waved her off.
"Alright." Zelda shrugged and stepped inside the magic stream.
Link was left behind, smiling as he gazed upon the Triforce. "Thank you." He bowed low for a moment, then, the smile never leaving his face, he stepped inside the portal, closing any paths to the Sacred Realm. But this time, he closed the access forever.
The first thing the two young adults noticed when their eyelids fluttered open were the bunch of people hovering over them. While the two Generals gazed worriedly over the fallen Princess, Vyline, Rizen, Jykan and Kyliss watched Link curiously.
"AH!" the two past Wielders exclaimed as they suddenly woke up.
The six people hunched over them sighed out in relief and stepped back.
"Princess." Vass extended his hand. Zelda took it gently and pulled herself up, dusting her clothes off.
"Master Link." Vyline smirked, extending his hand towards the Hero sarcastically.
"Thanks, I can get up on my own." The latter smirked back, pushing himself up.
"So what happened? One moment, you were holding that old man's hands, the next, there's a flashing light, and after that, the man's gone, and you guys are left sprawled on the floor." Jykan told them.
"Our souls left Hyrule for a moment. We travelled towards the Sacred Realm to return the Triforce to their rightful owners." Zelda calmly explained.
"But I'm guessing our physical bodies stood here until we were back." Link reasoned.
"Of course." Zelda nodded. "Now. Should we not go and get ready to advance on Fasticion?" she asked.
"There are matters we must attend to first, your highness. As much as I can appreciate the sentiment of hunting down the butcher, we are still recovering. It will take some time to reassemble a force capable of leave our borders while maintaining our own security. The army has lost quite a bit of people during the siege, and we will need everyone we can get." Wilde noted.
"Then let us depart. Our work here is done." Zelda turned around, getting ready to leave.
Link was just about to follow when something clicked in his mind. "Wait a moment," he said out loud, stopping everyone. "There is something I want to do first," he chuckled, turning around and running up to the Master Sword.
"Ah, I see." Zelda smiled with satisfaction in her expression. "Everyone, step back." She warned.
The group swiftly followed her orders, moving behind her. Though the Princess's eyes were only fixed on Link as he stepped up to the pedestal and set his hands on the sword's handle.
"Let's go." He smirked, slowly pulling out the sword.
The sword struggled for a moment, but recognizing its past wielder's essence, it let go. Smiling, Link pulled the rest of the sword out.
As soon as the Blade of Evil's Bane left its stone sheath, a bright blue light engulfed the two of them, circling them. Another soothing feeling ran up and down Link's spine as the sword took some time to recognize him as his master once again. It felt like he had just met a long lost friend.
When the light died down, Link took down the Master Sword that he held over his head and gave it a few test swings. It fit his style perfectly. He sighed in relief, feeling the familiar shape of his sword's handle weighing in his hand.
He then turned to the surprised group of people behind Zelda, who was smiling proudly at him. Smiling, he stepped down from the pedestal, heading for them.
"We can leave the Door of Time open now, right? Since Ganondorf isn't threatening us anymore?" the Hero asked.
"We can, if we want." Zelda shrugged. "Now, shall we depart?" she asked.
"Let's go, then." Link smirked as the entire group turned around and left the castle, all of them throwing either the Princess or the Hero an awed glance before they walked away.
Link was left last once again, turning back to the Master Sword's pedestal. He smiled before moving out of the Inner Temple, remembering the last time he did it. Before he exited the Temple of Time completely, he grinned, imagining how things would go on from now on.
And smirked, thinking what he'd do to the Butcher of Salendoir for 'being so kind' to him during his 'stay' at the castle.
"Fasticion, watch out, here I come."