Chapter XXV: Witch Sisters of The Desert Colossus

Seven years in the future, in a Great Fairy cave off to the side of the Desert Colossus, four people were just waking up to breakfast.

"It seems Link was right, it still is comfortable in here." Sango said as she sat up and automatically slapped Miroku's hand as it was moving toward her breasts.

"Hmm, Shippo and Link are not back yet…" Miroku now said, not seeming to notice his hand being slapped.

"I sure hope nothing has happened to them." Kagome said as she now got out and started up the stove to fry the fish they'd brought with them into the desert. "Good, no sand got into the provisions Shawnatoree gave us to use." she then said as she got a fish out and laid it out on the frying pan. It was then they heard footsteps coming down the stairs into Fairy fountain. Everybody except InuYasha and Kirara started to reach for their weapons.

"What are you guys getting worked up about? It's only Link and Shippo. I recognize their scents." InuYasha said.

"Well InuYasha, this is territory unfamiliar." said Miroku. It was then Link and Shippo stepped into the chamber from the passage.

"Kagome!" Shippo said as he ran up to her, and Kagome picked him up, hugging him. Link however, looked a little different than before. He was now wearing the Silver Gauntlets.

"Whoa Link, what are those?" Sango now asked him as the rest of the group turned and looked at him.

"These are what Shippo and I had to find here in the past." Link said.

"Yeah, and I faced down my fear of those Iron Knuckles too. I'm not nearly as scared of them as I was." Shippo now said.

"Huh? What do you mean Shippo?" Kagome asked.

"We had to fight one of those things to get to the Silver Gauntlets. The Nayru's Love spell came in pretty darn handy, as we both probably would have been killed by it had we not had that spell." Link now said.

"Link was amazing as a kid. He was telling the absolute truth when he told us he did all that earlier stuff as a kid. It gave me a huge confidence boost. And he gave me this." Shippo said as he now got out the dagger Link had given him.

"A dagger? You stab yourself with it?" InuYasha asked with a smirk.

"No I didn't." Shippo replied, glaring at him. "In fact I used it to help kill several baddies we came across."

"Indeed he did. Shippo showed himself to be adept at using that dagger. It even saved his life a couple times." Link added in.

"Hey, we also found out what happened to Nabooru too." Shippo said.

"Really? What happened to her then? Did you both find out she was a Sage? Was she attractive?" Miroku now asked. His last question earned him a knot on the head from Sango's boomerang.

"Can it houshi-sama." Sango said coldly.

"To answer your second question, we still don't know." Link said as they all sat down to the fish breakfast.

"What did you find out?" InuYasha asked.

"You guys aren't gonna believe this, but we ran into Nabooru as soon as we walked into the Temple." Shippo said. The other's eyes widened.

"She was in the same room we were in?" Kagome asked.

"Not only that, but looking through the exact same crawlspace as well. Link and I both got a little scared when we first saw her. We weren't sure if she was going to hurt us or not." Shippo continued.

"I can obviously see she didn't. What did she do?" Miroku asked.

"The unimaginable, that's what. She asked us to go and get the Silver Gauntlets for her!" Shippo now said. Everybody now raised an eyebrow.

"It's a good thing you didn't give them to her. You have to fight her too to get out of the temple and back to the Temple of Time?" InuYasha asked.

"She had us look for them because she confirmed to us that Ganondorf had turned the Desert Colossus into his plotting and scheming hideout. She was going to use them to break in and steal his stuff. She showed herself to be much like Shawnatoree and the other Gerudo we ran into at the Fortress. Anyway, no we didn't have to fight her." Link now said.

"Than what did you have to do to escape with them?" Sango asked.

"We didn't have to escape. That's where the thing happened to her. Right after we grabbed the Gauntlets, these two strange witches on brooms carried her out in front of the Temple!" Shippo said.

"Witches?" Kagome asked.

"Yes, witches. They both then made her sink into a batch of quicksand!" Shippo finished. Miroku now shook his head and lowered it.

"She can't be the Sage then. She's long since dead." he said. Link nodded.

"I agree with you. If she isn't the last Sage, who are they?" Link asked.

"We'll find out when you and Shippo go back into the Temple later today." InuYasha said.

"Actually Link, Shippo will not be accompanying you into the Desert Colossus now." a new voice now said from the stairway leading out. They all turned to look and saw Sheik walking into the cavern.

"Sheik?" Link asked. Sheik walked up to them.

"That's right. In the past Link, you and Shippo went through the least dangerous parts of the Spirit Temple. Now you must go through the more dangerous parts, areas that are too dangerous for Shippo to enter." Sheik said.

"Aww drat." Shippo now lamented. "Fun's over."

"Who is accompanying me then?" Link asked.

"This time, that is actually up to you, Link." Sheik said. "You now get to choose which one of the Allies will be accompanying you in fully awakening the last Sage."

Link's eyes blinked for a moment.

"Are you serious?" he asked. Sheik nodded.

"That's right. You have your choice of who you would like to take with you into the Spirit Temple. Make your choice wisely." he now said. Link put his hand to his chin and began to look the group over.

"Hmm…Kagome, you've got your powerful arrows, but you're not that good at fighting on your own." Link said. Kagome lowered her head and nodded.

"Yeah, your right Link. I need someone strong like you or InuYasha closeby all the time when I'm in situations like that." she said.

"So then, it's a toss-up between InuYasha, Sango, and Miroku." Link said, now looking at them and tapping his chin. After glancing at all three of them for a moment, Link made up his mind…and pointed at InuYasha.

"You, InuYasha. You're who I choose to accompany me. I've got a bad feeling I may be facing more of those Iron Knuckles in the rest of the Spirit Temple, and I'd feel a lot better in having the Tetsusaiga you wield close by when we do meet them. They are very heavily armored, and Tetsusaiga's ability to break through armor is what I need. It took me and Shippo too long in my mind to bring that one we faced down." Link said. InuYasha then grinned while Sango and Miroku then nodded.

"Alright, more action, just what I've been wanting!" InuYasha said as he continued to grin. "Besides, even though you supposedly can move that massive block now, you're still probably gonna need my help to get it out of the way." InuYasha now said.

"Possibly." Link replied. Now Sheik nodded.

"When do you two plan to enter the Spirit Temple?" he asked.

"Not yet. I need to rest." Link said.

"A wise choice." Sheik replied.

"Before you go Sheik, I need to know something." Link now said.

"What is it?"

"Did you happen to see the Gerudo's Fortress before traversing the desert? How did it look? Shawnatoree said her and the other Gerudo were going to wreck it up some to make it look like we escaped to try and cover up to Ganondorf the fact she let us go." Link said, some concern in his voice.

"They were wrecking it up yes, but whether or not their ruse will work remains to be seen. Now, I'll see you all at the Temple of Time after your business is finished here and the last Sage has been awoken." Sheik said, then leaving the chamber. InuYasha was about to ask him something else, but didn't get the chance.

"Keh. Skipping out again. What's he got to hide that he just appears briefly and then vanishes?" he then said, getting down into his dog-like crouch.

"Like I've said before InuYasha, it's just the way the Sheikah are. Impa was like that too when I saw her as a kid." Link said as he now started to stretch out in a spot. InuYasha looked at him.

"How long you gonna just relax while Naraku could be doing Kami-knows-what in our world?" he now asked as he walked over. Link now sighed.

"Probably until nightfall. I'm bushed InuYasha." Link said.

"I am too." Shippo said, curling up next to Kagome. Link and Shippo now both closed their eyes to get some shut-eye.

-

They wound up spending the night in the Fairy Fountain, and the next morning, InuYasha went into the Desert Colossus alone to try and move the massive granite block that was keeping them out. Again, he had no luck. Giving up, he went back to the Great Fairy Fountain, grumbling as he came back in. From then on until lunch, he had then gotten out Tetsusaiga and started running his claws over the Fang, producing a grinding noise that annoyed the others.

"Would you stop doing that?" Kagome now finally asked, in an aggravated tone.

"Then wake Link back up so we can get this done!" he said. Miroku now came over and lightly rapped him over the head with his staff.

"And you need to remember InuYasha that Link had a rough night last night going through part of that place with Shippo." he then said.

"Stupid Hylian physiology. Ain't no better than any of you mortals." InuYasha again grumbled. He then suddenly felt a knee lightly fall against his back and push him forward.

"How complimenting of you InuYasha, after all I've done for you in giving you that new sword training and helping you to make your sword even lighter. When are you going to realize that griping and grumbling does not help things out at all?" Link now said, his knee still pressing into InuYasha's back and keeping him leaned forward.

"He never will. Kagome and the rest of us have been trying to get him to stop ever since we all ran into him and it hasn't worked." Shippo said as he woke up too. When InuYasha tried to sit back up to get up and go after him, Link pressed a little harder and InuYasha relented.

"Keh. Now that you're up, let's get into that Temple and get this done." InuYasha now said. Link sighed.

"I guess there's no delaying you then." he said, then looked over at Kagome. "You have any food we can take with us that I can eat when we have spare moments?" he now asked. Kagome nodded.

"Yep. I saved some fish for you to take with you." she said, now putting some of it in a leather pouch. Link walked over and she handed the pouch to him.

"Thanks much Kagome. Alright InuYasha, let's get going and see what's going on here in this time." Link now said, and InuYasha nodded. They both then got their battle gear together and both went up the stairs out of the fountain and back into the desert outside. Walking over to the entrance to the Desert Colossus, they both entered and made their way over to the giant block of granite. Thanks to the help of the strength enhancing Silver Gauntlets of Link's, they both were able to push the massive block back until it fell into a hole and became part of the floor. Moving forward, they were now in a room very much like the one Link and Shippo had seen after crawling through the crawlspace in the past, except now there was a Beamos in the middle of the room.

"I got this thing." InuYasha said as he drew Tetsusaiga and started toward the Beamos.

"InuYasha wait-" Link started to say but was too late. The Beamos now fired its laser beam and InuYasha was hit square in the chest by it.

"YEOWCH!" InuYasha screamed in pain as he involuntarily jumped back on pure reflex. "Damn that thing hurt!" Link shook his head.

"Always jumping into things without thinking. Will you ever learn?" he now grumbled as he now got out a bomb from his bag of explosives and lit it, then throwing it at the Beamos and blowing it to pieces. This time, of the three doors that they saw, the side ones were the ones barred while a center one was locked. Link looked up and saw a crystal switch hanging from the ceiling and he got out his Longshot. Shooting the switch with it opened up both of the side doors like he thought it would.

"Well, which way do we go, InuYasha?" Link asked. InuYasha looked at him.

"How the hell should I know? I'm following you." he said, then tilted his head. "Say, I know a way we can figure this out."

"And that is?" Link asked.

"Paper, rock, and scissors." InuYasha said. Link gave him a quizzical look now.

"And what's that?" Link now asked.

"Game we play in my world and use to settle simple problems like this. If I win tow out of three times at least, we go right. If you win two out of three times at least, we go left. Here's how we play." InuYasha said, then explaining the game to Link. "You get it now?" he asked when he finished.

"Yeah, it's simple enough." Link nodded.

"Good. I'll count off. Ready?" InuYasha asked, Link nodded. "1, 2, 3!" InuYasha got rock, Link got scissors. "Rock crushed scissors, I win. Ready? 1, 2, 3!" This time InuYasha got scissors and Link got paper. "Paper cut by scissors, I win again. Ready? 1, 2, 3!" Now InuYasha got scissors again, but Link got rock. "Scissors crushed by rock. You win that one Link, but it's 2-1 in my favor. We're going right." said InuYasha.

"Fine by me. Yeah, this is a nifty way to settle things like this." Link said. Him and InuYasha now walked over to the door on the far right and opened it. On the other side of the door, looking around, InuYasha was disappointed that him and Link did not see any enemies. What they did see though make Link cringe. They were standing on a ledge overlooking a stonework half-pipe with very large boulders rolling around in it, three of them, rolling back and forth. In the walls where the half-pipe went vertical, on both sides, there were alcoves. Two alcoves were set in the eastern wall of the room, to Link and InuYasha's right, while the western wall had three alcoves. These three alcoves were the ones the boulders were lined up with as they continued to roll back and forth. Link saw that there was a large time block in the middle alcove on the western wall too, while InuYasha noticed the silver rupees in the alcoves as well.

"Dammit, no enemies. Instead we get to play 'get the rupees'." InuYasha said.

"Actually InuYasha, the enemies weren't needed. Those massive, rolling boulders are going to take their place very nicely, unfortunately for us." Link said as he now got out the Ocarina of Time and proceeded to play the Song of Time on it. Surprisingly, or perhaps not, the time block didn't move. "Drat, I now remembered I have to be close to those blocks when I play that."

"Let's move forward carefully then and grab the rupees. Climb on my back Link." InuYasha offered, crouching down some so Link could climb on him, which he did. InuYasha then jumped forward inot the half-pipe, Link grabbing one silver rupee that was floating in midair as he did. InuYasha now ran from alcove to alcove, avoiding the boulders despite some close calls, with Link grabbing the silver rupees. When they were close enough, Link tried playing the Song of Time again, and the block disappeared but the only thing that was behind it was a chest with some rupees. Grabbing the last silver rupee in the alcoves unbarred a door that was at the end of the half-pipe.

Behind the door was a room with a small chest in it, but as soon as they entered it, a blob-like Like-Like monster attacked and swallowed Link up!!

"Why you little! Spit him out!" InuYasha shouted as he reared back with his right hand and delivered a huge punch to the Like-Like, POW! The Like-Like shuddered heavily, but did not spit out Link. InuYasha reared back and threw a powerful left-right combination of punches to the Like-Like that did it and Link was spat back up-but without his shield.

"Hurry and kill the thing InuYasha, before it digests my shield and we can't get it back!" Link said urgently. InuYasha ripped Tetsusaiga from its sheath and with one very efficient and smooth swing, the Like-Like was cleaved in two, releasing Link's shield. "Yuck, what a mess." Link now said as he picked up his shield, still covered in Like-Like insides. Pulling a cloth from a box on his belt, he started to clean it off while InuYasha opened the chest and found a key inside.

"We can now open that locked door." InuYasha said.

"Let's look at the left side unlocked door first, before we unlock the other one." Link suggested.

"Fine by me." InuYasha replied. Link re-equipped his shield after finished cleaning it off and they made their way back through the half-pipe room to the three doors.

The left side door led them into a room with two platforms, one of which they were standing on, and a pit of sand. Link saw a Triforce crest in the floor of the platform they were standing on close to the edge, and he started to walk up to it, but just then a wolf-creature climbed up over the edge of the sand pit and took a swipe at him!

Link, surprised, jumped back and out of pure reflex, pulled the Master Sword and swung in a forward slash that took the wolf-creature's head clean off. The beheaded body then fell back into the sand pit, it's head still laying now on the platform.

"Pathetic." InuYasha said as he walked up and kicked the head into the sandpit while Link looked closer at the Triforce mark and the room's other platform that was across from it. "Dammit, nothing in here. We should have just went on." InuYasha now said.

"Hold on a moment." Link said as he got the Ocarina of Time back ou and now played Zelda's Lullaby. A large chest then fell down from the ceiling on to the other platform. "See?" Link now said.

"Keh." Link got out his Longshot and fired it at the chest and pulled himself over to it to open it. Inside the chest he found the compass for the temple. Looking into the sand pit, he also noticed a wall with handholds leading out of it, so he decided to see if there was anything down in it too. "What the hell are you doing?!" InuYasha asked as he jumped down into the sand pit.

"Checking it anyway. With how things usually are in these dungeons and temples, you can't afford not to do this. Alright, there's nothing else in here, now we'll open up that locked door." Link said.

"Keh, I still think it's a huge waste of time doing all this." InuYasha said as they left the room and made for the locked door now. Opening the locked door led them down a corridor with a Like-Like that this time Link dispatched without any trouble and they came up to another climbing wall. Torches stuck out of the walls of the corridor as well. Climbing up the wall led them up into a very curious looking room.

There were sun carvings on the walls, and a large stone statue with a curved mirror in the center of the room, the mirror reflecting onto a wall a shaft of sunlight that shone in through a hole in the ceiling.

"What the...? What a mirror doing in here?" InuYasha asked.

"I think I know what we're supposed to do. Shippo and I first saw those sun carvings in the past. They're activated by shining sunlight on them. I hope that mirror is-OOF!" Link never got the chance to finish the sentence when he was suddnely struck in the back hard by something and fell forward onto the floor. Turning around, he saw nothing and now InuYasha was sniffing around attentedly.

"The stench of something dead!" InuYasha said. "It's moving around." he said before he was then hit by it too, knocking him on his back. InuYasha yanked out Tetsusaiga while still on his back and got up, swinging the massive sword in a huge circle but finding only air. "Dammit, I can smell it moving around the room, but I can't see it even the tiniest bit. Link, it's coming towards you again!" InuYasha now warned. Link rolled to his right now to avoid the invisible creature and fumbled in his belt for the Truth Glasses cases, but he only had his pair of them.
"I've only got one pair of the Truth Glasses, mine." Link said as he now put them on and now saw the Floor Master hand that was harassing them. He saw it was coming up behind InuYasha. "Behind you!" Link shouted as he got to his feet and unsheathed the Master Sword.

InuYasha whirled around and brought Tetsusaiga down in a smooth slash that split the invisible Floor Master up into three smaller versions of itself. Link went after the one that split off to the right.

"It ain't dead yet, it just split up! Run forward swinging until you hit flesh!" Link said as he dashed over to his mini Floor Master and cut it up with the Master Sword, while InuYasha now ran straight forward, blindly swinging Tetsusaiga back and forth, until it hit the mini Floor Master as well. Link now sprinted over to the other side of the room where the third and last one was and quickly dispatched it.

"Is that it?" InuYasha now asked.

"Yeah, that's it, there's no more of them." Link now said, taking off his Truth Glasses and putting them back up. He now walked up the mirror statue and fortunately saw it had a pair of handles on it. "Now we just have to figure out which of these sun carvings is the real one to open the barred up door." he then said.

"Let's just try them out one at a time." InuYasha suggested. Link nodded at that, and they both grabbed a handle on either side of the statue. Turning the statue to the leftmost sun carving in the room, the carving only burned away into nothing when the sunlight hit it. "A fake." InuYasha said, and they turned the mirror to the next carving. It burned away too.

"We may have to do this to every one of them." Link said.

"Keh." However, the next carving was the real one. It activated and the door unbarred. Link and InuYasha opened the door and continued on. On the other side of the door, Link and InuYasha now found themselves on the other side of the giant room with the giant Gerudo statue in it that Link and Shippo had been in when they came in the past. As before, Link saw a Armos statue right by the door as they came out of it. He decided to push it off again, but this time, when he touched it, the Armos statue came to life!

"Yikes!" he said in shock. InuYasha then kicked the statue hard with his foot and grabbed Link and pulled him up the stairs as the statue started to spin. The statue exploded when they were halfway up the stairs. When they reached the top, they found a locked door.

"You got a key?" InuYasha asked. Link shook his head.

"No, I don't. We need to look around." Looking around, InuYasha noticed the statue.

"So that's the statue you and Shippo were talking about that's in here?" he asked.

"Yes it is."

"Hmph, I see one of those Triforce marks on one of the outstretched hands." InuYasha said, pointing.

"There's also a switch it seems over on that platform." Link said as he pointed as well. InuYasha jumped over to it while Link put on the Hover Boots and tried to walk over, but he didn't make it and fell to the floor below!

"CRAP!!" Link shouted as he gathered himself up and rolled painfully forward when he hit the floor. "Ouch! Ouch that hurt!" he said as he picked himself back up.

"Nice move there Link!" InuYasha shouted down in a mocking tone with a big smirk.

"InuYasha, come down here and get me up to that hand with the Triforce crest." Link shouted back up, ignoring InuYasha's comment.

"Damn, nothing fazes you don't it?" InuYasha said as he jumped down so Link could climb on his back to ride him up to the hand. After jumping up to it and letting him off, InuYasha jumped back to where he had just been, on the platform with the switch on it.

Link now got out the Ocarina and played Zelda's Lullaby. Playing the tune dropped a chest down onto the other hand, and Link used the Longshot to get over to it. Inside Link found just what he was looking for.

"Found the key we were needing InuYasha. Come on over here and get me and take us back over to the door." InuYasha nodded and did so. "Wait, hold up." Link now said.

"Now what?" InuYasha said in an irritated voice.

"There's some unlit torches down there in front of the statue base. I want to light them." Link said. InuYasha rolled his eyes.

"Keh." he said, taking Link down there. Link used his bomb tinder box to light both torches. A large chest then became visible and inside it was the map of the temple. Now they were ready to unlock the door and proceed ahead, both of them noticing the doorway leading into the room that led right up to the statue was barred. Unlocking the door at the top of the room led them into a curved stairwell with a Beamos right in their path that Link destroyed with his bombs. The stairway led to a room with catwalks over pits that had no railings and another mummy creature floating around. This time Link grabbed InuYasha's shoulder before the hanyou had a chance to rush forward.

"That mummy will try to fry you like Volvagia did if you get close to it, but I know its weakness. Shippo and I faced one when we were here in the past." Link said.

"How?" InuYasha asked.

"It can't stand the very fire it breathes." Link said as he got out his bow.

"I think I see two of them." InuYasha said. Link nodded.

"And a Beamos as well. I'll take out the mummies. You want to try your hand with the Beamos?" Link asked. InuYasha nodded.
"Yeah, I'm going to try something to see if it'll work better than those gunpowder devices of yours." he replied. Link now raised his bow up, nocked an arrow, and moved forward, tapping into the magical power he'd discovered days earlier at Lake Hylia. He now fired and the arrow burst into flames and burnd the first mummy creature to ashes when it hit it. Link quickly nocked a second arrow and took out the second creature the same way. Then a third one rose up out of the floor unexpectedly, but Link quick-nocked and destroyed it too with a flaming arrow.

With the room now cleared of the fire-breathing mummies, InuYasha now leaped forward and brought Tetsusaiga down in a stab into the Beamos' eyeball as it tried to shoot its laser at him from overhead, and the Beamos exploded. Link now walked over to the floor switch in the room and found that the only thing it did when he pressed it was set the spot that InuYasha was standing on on fire!!

"YEOWCH!" InuYasha screamed as he jumped out of the flames. He then stomped over to Link in a rage, but before he could punch him, Link did a leg sweep and dropped him to the floor.

"InuYasha, that was a sincere accident, so let's not get violent okay?" Link said. InuYasha just grumbled as he got back up. Looking around now, they both saw there were two doors in the room besides the one they had used to enter the room, one of them now locked. Going through the other door they found a blue colored switch with four Armos statues around it, and on the other side of the room a confused look came to Link's face upon looking at it.

On the other side of the room was a sun emblem on the wall, and a shaft of light shining in from a window onto the floor, but there was no mirror to use to shine the light onto the emblem.

"Hmm...that's a puzzle we'll have to figure out later. I don't see any way to do that right now." Link said, rubbing his chin.

"What about the statues and the floor switch?" InuYasha now asked.

"We'll just have to try them one at a time, and see which ones are really statues and which ones aren't." he said, shaking his head.

"I'll do that." InuYasha said. Link nodded and stood back now as InuYasha got Tetsusaiga back out and proceeded to play 'trial and error' with the statues. He watched with a smile as InuYasha, after activating the statue guardians one at a time, sliced them and then expertly used the Tetsusaiga as a shield against them. But then, when the last one also activated, Link quickly ran over and pulled InuYasha away.

"What the hell?" InuYasha asked, surprised.

"Don't destroy that one, or we'll never get that switch held down." Link said. They waited until after the statue went back to it's starting spot and froze again, then Link carefully walked up and stepped on the switch. One of the two barred doors in the room unbarred, and as Link expected, re-barred when he took his foot off it.

"Well?" InuYasha asked.

"Stay by the door. I've got an idea." Link now said. He then moved to where the switch was between him and the statue. He then got out his Longshot and used it to reactivate the statue. The statue then moved towards him and stepped on the switch like he hoped it would. The door unbarred. "Go InuYasha!!" Link shouted as the statue paused for a moment and Link broke into a run.

InuYasha opened the door and they both dove through just seconds before the statue stepped off the switch and the door closed and re-barred. They were now staring up a long stairwell leading up.

"Uh-oh, I think I know what this means. InuYasha, you're about to really use those new skills for the first time here in a minute." Link said as they climbed the stairwell.

"Why do you say that?" InuYasha asked.

"You'll see." Link said as they went up the stairs and then opened the door. As Link feared, they found themselves in another columned room with an Iron Knuckle sitting on a throne in front of the door out.

"What the hell..." InuYasha said.

"That, InuYasha, is an Iron Knuckle, and that's precisely the reason you are with me in this temple, him." Link said.

InuYasha walked up close to the dormant Iron Knuckle, when Link now laid a hand on him.

"Don't touch it yet, unless you want it to activate right away." he said,. InuYasha turned his head to him.

"What did you and Shippo do to kill it?" he asked.

"Just kept hacking at it. Let me engage the protection spell." Link started.

"Save it for yourself. I don't need it." InuYasha came back. "This haori also serves as real armor besides protecting me form fire." Link sighed at that.

"Just wait until that thing gets you the first time with that axe, and you may rethink that." he said.

"Keh. You ready for me to active this thing?" InuYasha now asked. Link first cast the protection spell on himself first then got out the Master Sword and his shield.

"Now I am." he said. InuYasha nodded and pulled Tetsusaiga from its sheath.

"Here we go." he said, rearing back with Tetsusaiga and then striking the Iron Knuckle on the helmet, the Fang cutting a gash into it. The Iron Knuckle gave a grunt and started to get up, swinging its massive axe in a huge arc. The axe caught InuYasha hard across the shoulders and chest and set him flying, InuYasha crying out in pain as he flew.

"You okay?! You sure you don't want the spell?!" Link asked as he ran forward and stabbed the autonomous walking suit of armor, then backflipping out of the way before it could get him with its axe. InuYasha looked down at his chest. He wasn't bleeding, the fire rat haori had absorbed the axe blow at the cost of being ripped badly.

"I'm okay Link! I don't need it yet!" he shouted back, getting up as Link made another charge at the Iron Knuckle. He again stabbed it, but this time mistimed his backflip and got caught square by it's downward axe slash! He screamed in pain as he was sent flying backwards, the protection spell only making it such that he felt he'd been clobbered by a massive shield, and only had the wind knocked out of him. The Iron Knuckle started walk toward him to try and cave in his chest with another blow. It raised its axe and started to bring it down again when...CLANG!! The axe had been stopped in midswing by the Tetsusaiga.

InuYasha grunted as he strained a bit against the strength of the Iron Knuckle, and he then pushed back hard and managed to shove it back some. He now tried an offensive swing with the Fang and the Iron Knuckle parried it. The two now started to duel, sparks flying wildly as the Tetsusaiga and the armored automaton's axe ground together as they traded strikes.

Link now started to get his breath back and saw InuYasha and the Iron Knuckle dueling. InuYasha's sword training was really evident, as he was keeping up with the Iron Knuckle strike for strike, but he was also not managing to make any openings to get in a real strike of his own and get the upper hand.

'He can't do it himself, despite his effort. Its defenses are too strong. I shall help him!' Link thought. He got up and ran around to the back of the Iron Knuckle and stabbed it from behind. It grunted and shoved forward hard, flipping InuYasha over backwards and turning to face Link now.

InuYasha landed on his feet after doing a complete backflip and one quick glance told him he had to act fast.

'Now's my chance!' he thought. He ran forward and swung Tetsusaiga in a horizontal slash at the helmet of the Iron Knuckle. The Fang cut into the helmet like it was tin, and he completely took the helmet off of it. He didn't wait for it to react to his strike as he now thrust forward with the Fang, Tetsusaiga's tip going straight through the armored hulk's back. The Iron Knuckle let out a grunt and froze, and InuYasha twisted Tetsusaiga inside of it and pulled upwards, the sound of twisting metal audible as the Steel Cleaving Fang dug through it and he finally pulled the Tetsusaiga out the top of the armored hulk. The Iron Knuckle did not make another sound then as it fell forward, coming apart as it did. Link gave a big sigh of relief when it did, and smiled at InuYasha.

"Again, that's precisely why I wanted you with me InuYasha. How much of an effort was that?" he now asked. InuYasha looked at Tetsusaiga with a grin.

"That wasn't that hard at all, after getting over that initial strike he put on me. That training really has made fighting with this thing much, much easier in close quarters." he said.

"Now you know, and you now see more and more the logic in that training." Link now said. InuYasha nodded at him. "Now let's see what that massive automaton was guarding." he said as he turned around and they both made way for the door forward and out of the room.

They now found themselves outside, on the arm opposite where Link and Shippo had grabbed the Silver Gauntlets in the past. There was another large chest out here as well. Link's eyes widened in surprise and a confused look came to InuYasha's face when Link opened the chest. Inside it was a shield with a surface polished to a perfect mirror finish!

"Whoah! Just like a mirror from Kagome's era!" InuYasha exclaimed. Link grinned.

"This is just what we were needing too. Now we have a way of reflecting the sunlight onto that one sun emblem back there." Link said, then he looked out onto the hand of the arm they were now standing on. "Before we go back InuYasha, you want to see where those two witches made Nabooru disappear?" he asked. InuYasha shrugged.

"Why not? We won't be coming back this way. Might as well." he said. Link led him out onto the hand of the arm and pointed down towards the entrance to the Desert Colossus.

"Right there." Link said, pointing to the spot. "That's where the witches opened up a batch of quicksand and pulled Nabooru down to her death. Shippo and I both witnessed it." he said. InuYasha was now looking too, and he shook his head.

"Damn, what a way to go, buried alive in the sand. Did she notice you two watching?" he now asked.

"Actually she did, just before her head went under. She shouted out at us to get out of here before the witches decided to come after us, and we heeded it. After she went under, I played the Prelude of Light on the Ocarina and got Shippo and I both back to the Temple of Time in a hurry. Those witches would have had an easy time of us both had they decided to come after us." he said. InuYasha nodded.

"Good work then. Now, let's get back to that one room and see what that strange shield can do." he now said.

"I agree." Link replied. They went back to the opening and re-entered the Iron Knuckle room, still empty. After entering it, Link now noticed a strange problem they would now have. "Hmm...I've now got two shields." he said.

"You gotta leave one of 'em behind. We may need to drop that Mirror Shield after we get through that one puzzle." InuYasha now said. Link shook his head.

"I don't think that's wise. From how these dungeons have been, we're most certainly going to have to use this Mirror Shield when we fight whatever monster is in the main chamber of this temple." he said. A look of aggravation appeared on InuYasha's face.

"I ain't carrying that damn thing! You can't use it as a normal shield! The first blow it absorbs will be when that polished surface gets irreparably gouged and maybe broken, then it won't act like a mirror at all!" he said. Link ran one of his fingernails across the Mirror Shield's polished surface, and sighed.

"There's only one way to test that theory of yours then, InuYasha." Link said as he now started to wear the Mirror Shield after putting down his normal Hylian Shield. "InuYasha, swing at me one time with Tetsusaiga and I'll block the blow with the Mirror Shield." InuYasha sighed.

"So you want to go ahead and break it now do you? For a Hylian you sure lack common sense." InuYasha said as he unsheathed the Fang.

"I don't think one nick will harm its supposed reflective ability. I got a hunch though that with how fine the craftsmanship is with it, that the forger and polisher knew what they were doing in making it into a shield. If it gets seriously nicked, then yeah, you are going to have to carry and be the one to use it then." Link now said. InuYasha growled as he readied the Tetsusaiga, then took one well-squared up swing at the Mirror Shield with it.

WHANG!! The Fang made solid contact with the Mirror Shield and both combat implements rung like well-tuned bells, indicating that the Mirror Shield indeed was a forged piece like the Tetsusaiga. InuYasha now sheathed the Fang and they both proceeded to inspect the Mirror Shield, and were both left agape.

"What the..." InuYasha said.

"Amazing..." Link also said.

The Mirror Shield did not have even the slightest blemish on its polished surface after absorbing the blow from the Tetsusaiga!!

"Damn..." InuYasha stated. "I bet Toutousai would love to get his hands on this thing if he saw it! If that thing can stop the Tetsusaiga like that, it damn well will stop anything!" he exclaimed.

"I bet he would. That settles it then. I'm using this as my main shield from now on. That brings me to a proposition for you InuYasha." Link now said, and InuYasha looked at him.

"And what's that?" he asked.

"How would you like to have my normal shield and use it during the rest of the time we're in here?" Link proposed. InuYasha's face contorted.

"I don't think so. I don't see why you'd even ask me that. You trained me to use Tetsusaiga as a shield as well as a sword because of its heft, size and also because of it being a two-handed weapon. I don't know where you got that idea." he now said. Link sighed again.

"Just trying to see if we can find a way to still use the normal shield. I don't like throwing stuff away unless I absolutely have no other choice, and this looks like one of those times." he now said as he now dropped the scarred up and nicked Hylian Shield to the floor. It had seen hard use and Link had known it was starting to get close to breaking. They both now left the room and proceeded back to the four Armos room as well as the mirror-less sun emblem.

Link walked over to the shaft of sunlight and got out the Mirror Shield and they both saw that the shield, as expected, reflected the sunlight. Link reflected the light onto the emblem and the barred up door right beside the emblem opened up. A simple room beyond the door contained a chest with a key.

"All that work for just a key? I'm disappointed." InuYasha said, his hands on his hips.

"I get a feeling though InuYasha we're going to be using this shield a few more times in the same manner we just did. How we're potentially going to use it to bring down the monster of this temple I don't have a clue at all." Link replied.

"I bet we're going to find that thing's useless against it actually and we'll have to resort to using one of the Tetsusaiga's attacks, the Wind Scar or the Backlash Wave." InuYasha now said.

"You really wanna wager on that?" Link now asked, an amused grin coming to his face. InuYasha smirked.

"Why not? Only problem is that I ain't got any of those gems you Hylians use for money. All I've got on me are the Yen coins I won from Kagome in a game of cards." he now said. Link continued to grin.

"They'll do. Hopefully after they're melted down when this is over, the metals in them can be pawned off for a few rupees." he said.

"You gotta WIN the bet first. Now, let's open that last locked door we found and find that monster so we can settle this and get this over with." InuYasha said. They both left the room and went back into the room where the floating mummies had been earlier and unlocked the door in there.

What they found behind the locked door surprised them both, Link whistling actually. The room they were now in contained a HUGE and TALL wall! It was easily more than eighty feet tall. Not only that, but in the parts of the wall immediately adjoining it, about five feet out from the wall face on either side, were spikes running the entire height of the main wall face from the floor up to the ledge. That was not all though, for Link and InuYasha both heard the sounds of machinery behind the wall that was making parts of the wall face move back and forth, parts of it also being polished smooth as marble, while other parts had bricks sticking out as hand holds.

"What the hell is this?" InuYasha asked.

"I've just got one question for you InuYasha. You think you can jump all the way up to the ledge?" Link only asked.

"I'll give it shot. I agree with you, there's no way in hell I'm climbing that if it can be jumped." InuYasha replied. They both now also noticed a pair of Beamos in the room that Link destroyed with his bombs. InuYasha now walked up to the wall face, squatted, and leaped up as hard and as high as he could. Unfortunately, he was only able to make it halfway up before he started to fall back to the floor and he braced his legs and landed with a big grunt. "Dammit, we're still going to have to climb part of this damn thing." he said. Link now got out his Longshot and took aim at part of the wallface that had the hand holds, and fired. He was completely surprised to find his Longshot managed to dig in about about the same height up InuYasha had reached in his jump. After quickly grabbing on with his hand and legs and putting the Longshot up, he started to climb up the rest of the way, only moving when the moving sections of the wall face were completely still. He eventually managed to make it up to the top ledge.

InuYasha jumped up again and grabbed hold, but just as he began to move from one sliding section to another, the section moved and he lost both his grip and his balance!

"AAH!!" InuYasha screamed as he fell before landing on his back. "OOF!!" InuYasha now started gasping as the wind had been knocked out of him.

"You alright?" Link now shouted down at him. After a few seconds of heavy gasping, InuYasha managed to gasp some air back into his lungs.

"Ouch!! Dammit that hurt!!" he shouted, then looked and felt himself over before looking back up at Link. "Just bruised up is all Link. I hate this wall!!" He now carefully watched the moving patterns of where he had just been before he tried jumping again. This time he managed to make it all the way up safely after jumping up and grabbing hold. "Damn I hope we don't have to come this way again." he said.

"Yeah, this is one wall I don't want to have to climb a second time." Link agreed. There were another pair of Beamos close to them now guarding the door out, and they both each took one of them out, InuYasha being fast enough to rip the head off of his and throw it over the ledge, watching it explode in midair, before him and Link both ventured through the door.

They were now looking up some more steps to another barred up door. InuYasha turned and lightly punched the wall.

"Freaking dead end. Let's see if there's anything in here anyway." he said. Link nodded.

"I'm glad you're now not just giving up at seeing these things." he replied, now walking up the stairs. He looked around and then motioned for InuYasha to follow him up, not saying anything. InuYasha did, and one of his eyebrows raised in light surprise.

"Bit of a relief, there's still a way forward." he said, seeing off to his right another small set of stairs leading to a second door that was unbarred and unlocked. Now he looked down and saw a Triforce crest on the floor. "You get to play some more on that flute of yours, Link."

"It's called an Ocarina, InuYasha, and before I do it, let's go through that other door." he replied, pointing up the other stairs. InuYasha nodded.

Beyond it was a medium size room with an upper level and a lower level, and an angled ceiling. In the area of the ceiling over the lower floor was a mirror, with four holes around it, chains hanging out of the holes and going all the way down and into the lower floor. One of the sidewalls adjacent to the lower floor was a sun emblem. InuYasha and Link were standing on the upper floor, and across them was another door that was barred. They both looked around.

"No sunlight in here. We're gonna have to get sunlight in here somehow." InuYasha said.

"There's a barred up alcove with a crystal switch in it over here." Link noticed, then looking down at the lower floor. "I'm positive those chains are supporting a platform that's embedded in the floor. That switch is either going to move the platform or open that door."

"Only one way to find out." InuYasha said, pulling Tetsusaiga. Slipping the Fang's blade between the bars, he tapped the switch with it and the bars blocking the far door retracted. InuYasha saw beyond the bars another room. "Link, look down through there." he said, pointing. The Hylian joined him in looking. They both saw in the room beyond a mirror.

"That's the mirror we've got to get sunlight to. There's got to be hole in a ceiling somewhere beyond that door with sunlight shining through it." Link said.

"Come on then, let's get lookin'!" InuYasha now said as he pulled him over to the door and they went through.

The room on the other side had a floor of sand and they both heard sounds of creatures but couldn't see anything.

"Smell anything InuYasha?" Link now asked. The hanyou took a few sniffs.

"Bones, and something reptile like." he replied. Link got out his Truth Glasses to look through them, but couldn't see anything hidden.

"Nothing. Keep your guard up." he said as he took them off. They both readied their weapons and moved forward into the room. Their suspicions were confirmed when as soon as they stepped out of the alcove containing the door, a man-sized lizard creature dropped down from the ceiling. "A Lizalfos. I got this guy InuYasha. He's not worth soiling Tetsusaiga with." Link now said.

"Do it then." InuYasha replied, stepping aside. The fight was over before it even began. Link moved forward and quickly and efficiently stabbed the Lizalfos three times and it fell over dead. InuYasha again shook his head as he walked up and kicked the corpse.

"Absolutely pathetic." he said. Him and Link now looked more around the room and saw a passageway, open, leading into another area. In that area was a mirror with a shaft of sunlight shining down onto it. There were also a pair of skulls flying around in there. "I got the skulls." InuYasha said, now moving forward. The skulls were spinning in place briefly then dashing around and InuYasha quickly disposed of them each in one strike when they stopped. He now looked around. "Hey Link, we got a problem!" he hollered back through the passageway at thim.

"What is it?" Link asked as he walked into the new room too.

"No new passageway to turn the mirror into." InuYasha replied.

"Then try hitting your sword on the walls and look for a hollow spot." Link said. InuYasha shrugged and did so, and found a spot that sounded different when he clanged the Tetsusaiga against it. Link now pulled a bomb out of his explosives bag, lit it and quickly set it down on the floor next to the spot.

"Fire in the hole!" Link shouted and he and InuYasha dove into the passageway leading out. BLAM!! Sand, dust and rock flew as the hollow area of the wall was destroyed. InuYasha was the first6 to get up and look to see if the mirror was damaged.

"You know Link, you could have easily destroyed the mirror too doing that and then we'd be in deep crap." he said in an aggravated voice. Link's eyes widened as he got up.

"Yeah, you're right. We should have tried to see if we could have dug through it first." he replied.

"We just got damn lucky just then, the mirror ain't damaged." InuYasha said after checking it over. Looking through the new passageway they had created, they saw the room they had seen earlier through the bars. They both now got on either side of the mirror, grabbing the handles of it, and then turning it so it shined the sunlight onto the second mirror. Moving forward to the second one, another Lizalfos dropped down that was dead as soon as it's feet hit the floor thanks to InuYasha pulling Tetsusaiga and in the same motion lopping off the creature's head. They both then turned the second mirror so that it was now shining into the tiered room and the light was hitting the angled mirror on the ceiling. They both proceeded back to the tiered room.

"Hold on InuYasha. I want to open that other door with Zelda's Lullaby before I shine the light on the emblem." Link now said. InuYasha 'Keh'd' and folded his arms.

"Make it quick then. You know how impatient I get." he shot back.

"I will, trust me." Link replied back before stepping out to the hallway where that door was. He walked up to the Triforce crest, pulling the Ocarina of Time as he did, and played Zelda's Lullaby. The door unbarred and opening it, Link found himself in a room full of large, flaming slugs that he remembered him and InuYasha running into in the Fire Temple, and there were a bunch of them. 'Great, maybe it would have been better to have dragged InuYasha along in here. Gotta be careful.' Link thought. He walked carefully toward one of the slugs, trying to excite just that one and none of the others. The slug saw him, stiffened up and started toward him, jumping at him when it got close enough.

Link used the Mirror Shield to block it, then pulled the Master Sword and struck back in the same stroke, putting the fire on it out. One more strike killed it. He disposed of all the slugs in the room in this fashion. Looking around now in the room, he saw an ornate chest guarded by flames. 'The big key to the monster's lair is in that.' he thought. Floating above it mysteriously was an ice platform with a switch on it. Looking further up at the ceiling he saw a target for the Longshot, but upon closer inspection he discovered that the target was not over the platform, it would not drop him on it were he use the Longshot.

"Hmm..." Link thought, looking around some more. He now saw numerous doors in the room and walked up to one and tried to open it. However, the door only wiggled back and forth and then fell on him! "Ouch!!" Link grunted as he now lifted the heavy door off himself. "Well, what do I do now?" he thought out loud. He looked around the room at the similar looking doors. 'Those other doors are most likely fakes too. Might as well destroy them.' he thought. He opened his bomb bag back up and started setting bombs at each one of the fake doors. Off in the tiered room, InuYasha could faintly hear the explosions as they went off, and he also felt the walls and floor rumble from the blasts.

"What the hell is he up to? He's been gone too long already. If he's not back in another five minutes, I'm going after him. Bet he's gotten himself in deep crap and I'll have to bail him out." the hanyou said in an aggravated voice. Back in the other room, after the last false door was destroyed, Link found what he was looking for. The last one had been hiding an eye switch.

"Let's see what happens now." he now said, rearing back to throw a piece of fake door debris at the eye switch. He pitched the debris at it, and there was first a click as the switch activated and closed, then a gust of cold wind, like an arctic chill, blew through the room for a moment. Link thought the cold wind would put out the flames around the ornate chest. When they didn't, he now looked around the room again, confused. 'That switch did something, but what?' he thought. It was then he noticed a feeling of cold decend upon him from above. Looking up, he raised an eyebrow.

What he saw was that now there was a new ice platform above his head, now directly under the Longshot target so he could now get up to the suspended switch. After getting up to the new platform using his Longshot, the switch did what we was hoping it would do when he pressed it: it extinguished the flames around the ornate chest. InuYasha opened the door and entered the room just as he opened the chest and removed the boss key.

"Link, what's with all the gunpowder blasts?" he asked, taking the boss key as they both left the room now.

"Undoing the traps meant to throw me off that's what. The puzzles in there left me scratching my head for a minute or two." InuYasha now had a confused look come to his face.

"What in there required you to use so much gunpowder? I didn't see any blasted walls." he asked, scratching his dog ears as they re-entered the tiered room and dropped down to the lower level of it.

"You remember the fake doors that fell on you several times in the Fire Temple?" Link now asked. Now InuYasha looked disgusted and nodded.

"Yeah, I remember those damned things. Don't tell me, you had to blow up a bunch of them didn't you?" the hanyou now asked, receiving a nod from the Hylian in return.

"I did. Now, let's see what happens when we shine light on this emblem." he said, now pulling the Mirror Shield off his back. InuYasha stood beside him as he got in the shaft of light being reflected down from the angled mirror and then shined it on the sun emblem using it.

There was a loud click, and then the sound of machinery as they both discovered the purpose of the chains running from the ceiling down into the floor. The part of the floor they were on really was a suspended platform, and the platform was now being lowered down.

"Whoa, I wasn't expecting this!" InuYasha said as he now looked around wide-eyed.

"I was. Those chains coming out of the ceiling and being bolted up tight to the floor, and under tension without any slack were my big clue. InuYasha, you notice anything familiar about what we're being lowered down into?" Link now asked as they now were lowered into a very large room. InuYasha waited for the platform to stop moving before he looked around. When he did, the answer was obvious.

"We're back in the giant statue room." he said. The platform was now suspended right in front of the face of the giant Gerudo statue. "Question now is, what the hell are we doing in front of the face of it?" Rubbing his chin with one hand, his other hand now found its way to the hilt of Tetsusaiga. Link put a hand on his shoulder at that, and shook his head at him.

"No InuYasha, not the Kaze no Kizu. You might cause the room to collapse." he said. InuYasha's annoyed look returned.

"What then? We can't use your gunpowder devices then for the same reason." he replied. Link looked up at the shaft of light that was still shining down from the room above.

"It may not work but..." Link pulled the Mirror Shiled off his back again and shined the sunlight off of it onto the face, and him and InuYasha were then amazed at what happened.

The face started to crack and fall away! After a few seconds, the hardened sand composed of the statue's face had all completely fallen to the floor!

"Damn..." InuYasha said. Link nodded in agreement, then his eyes narrowed as he looked closer. What had been revealed was a gate. Beyond it, they both now saw the outline of the large lock the boss key fit in that InuYasha was still holding.

"Hmm...how are we getting that gate open..." Link wondered out loud. InuYasha scratched his ears again.

"I'm clueless on this one." the hanyou said simply. Upon closer inspection, Link noticed the gate bars were not made of metal, but instead of bamboo it looked like. He pulled out the Longshot. InuYasha, without being asked, put the boss key on his belt and then got behind Link, putting his arms around the Hylian. "Ready when you are, Link."

"Hang on." Link replied as he pulled back on the Longshot's handle, and let fly. The flying hook grabbed onto the bamboo bars of the gate and pulled them both over. After the Longshot's hook released, the gate then retracted on its own. InuYasha pulled the boss key from his belt.

"You ready to go in?" he asked, patting one end of the key against his palm. Link nodded.

"Open it. I'm ready to get this over with too, just like you are." he replied. With that, InuYasha then stuck the key into the lock and turned it. The lock opened, the key broke apart, and InuYasha opened the door and him and Link now proceeded on through.