Hyrule was quiet. Even the birds failed to disturb the eerie silence. The only sound was that of metal scraping metal. There was a battle in the field.

No, Hyrule was not at war. There had been a few moblin uprisings, but it was nothing the Hylian Army couldn't take care of, especially with their bold and fearless leader, Link.

Nobody knew any details about him, yet all owed him their lives. It wasn't just the fact that he was a knight, either. Little did the Hyruleans know, but their beloved commander was also the Hero of Time. The only ones who knew this secret were Princess Zelda and her fellow sages. The other was the unspeakable evil, Ganondorf.

While these uprisings were weak and taken care of quickly, Link began to feel uneasy. Ganondorf had created Moblins, but not only he felt this way. Hyrule's inhabitants too, felt the disturbance.

Some of the more morbid folks began talking about the imminent return of evil. Others remained hopeful, trusting in one of Hyrule's many legends. Most of them prayed to the three goddesses, Nayru, Din, and Farore. It was a sort of cold war.

The battle was nearly over. Dead soldiers, both Hylian and moblin alike, littered the field. Only two fighters were left, and they meant business.

These fighters were Link, the Hero of Time, and Ganondorf, the King of Evil.

It was a fight to the death.

Ganondorf, at the moment, had Link pinned to a boulder with his sword. The pain caused Link to cry out in pain.

"Squirm, damn you, squirm!" bellowed Ganondorf, twisting his sword. The sword, lodged in Link's stomach, brought further pain. This violent act caused the hero to scream through clenched teeth.

Infuriated that he was taking everything so well, Ganondorf ripped his blade out of Link and attempted to hack off his head. But Link was nowhere to be seen.

Ganondorf suddenly felt intense pain shoot through him. He looked down and saw Link's sword jammed straight through his side. He reacted quickly, not giving Link enough time to recover his sword. He rolled out of the way, barely missing the edge of his opponent's blade. Ganondorf growled and intensified his attacks. He assailed Link with a storm of blows, his temper rising every time they were dodged.

Link was, unfortunately, tiring. Their battle had lasted nearly twenty minutes, and Link had taken far more damage. Noticing this, Ganondorf tripped the Hylian with his sword. Then he struck with all of his fury. Link, unable to block properly or evade, had to take the blow.

His shield was, perhaps, the only thing that saved him. It shattered instantly upon impact, but it stopped most of the power behind the attack. However, the sword still entered his arm and lodged itself in the bone. With sudden force, Ganondorf twisted his sword in such a way that Link's arm snapped and hung broken at his side. He screamed and collapsed onto the red ground.

"Ha ha ha! Now I'll surely kill you!" laughed Ganondorf. He spoke again, malice dripping from every syllable. "I've been dreaming of this the whole time I was in that wretched hell-hole you locked me in. What was it called? Oh yeah, the Sacred Realm!" He used his anger to fuel a kick aimed directly at Link.

Link was slammed into the boulder he'd been pinned to moments before. He gasped as one side of his ribs cracked. To Ganondorf's surprise, it appeared as though Link still wasn't going to give up. His patience was running very thin, and he wanted Link to just keel over and die.

As Link struggled to his feet, Ganondorf moved closer. "Idiot!" he shrieked, "I will kill you!" He raised his sword only to have it snatched out of his hands.

Link had seen an opportunity and took it. Immediately after seizing the sword, he'd jumped. When he came down, he used his momentum to slice Ganondorf across the throat. Surprise had overtaken Ganondorf and he didn't even scream. He simply clutched his neck and sank to his knees. After what sounded like a strangled wheeze, he fell onto his face. Link, exhausted and hurt, collapsed as well.

Link sighed heavily, his breathing labored and painful. If he didn't get help quickly he would die. After glancing at his wounds, he figured he'd probably die anyway. He'd lost way too much blood and would need to hurry. Getting to his feet, he looked to where his enemy had fallen.

His face turned white as a sheet. Ganondorf had disappeared! He turned around so fast he was asking for whiplash.

His rival was standing up, grinning. To Link's horror, every wound Ganondorf had received was gone! He tore Link's sword out of his body and tossed it away. Before his very eyes, the wound healed itself completely. There was no trace that it had ever been there.

Link was dumbstruck. Before he had a chance to react, Ganondorf knocked him to the ground. Link, winded, lay there like a dead thing.

Ganondorf's huge form loomed over Link's small, tired one. Aiming the palm of his hand at the Hylian, he chanted some dark words. An energy began to gather, and as it did, even the sky appeared to turn black.

Suddenly, he released it. Link struggled to get up, but weariness had the best of him. When it hit, poor Link was so tired he couldn't even scream.

The magic paralyzed him. Flickers of energy danced over his body every now and then as if to reinforce the paralysis. Ganondorf used this temporary handicap to his advantage and rammed his sword into Link's chest.

Ganondorf's eyes flashed red as his weapon sank deeper and deeper into flesh. He grinned maliciously as he witnessed Link's pain. The blade eventually pierced completely through him.

"Well, well, well. What have we here? The mighty Hero of Time is finally defeated."

Almost instantly his expression turned to a look of concern. "But I could heal you if you wanted. You are engaged aren't you?"

A look of surprise crossed Link's face.

"Ah yes, I know. Princess Zelda. You could go back to her, you know." He saw Link open his mouth as though to say speak, but he quickly shut it. Ganondorf advanced towards the fallen hero and grabbed him roughly by the collar. "All I'd need is your Triforce!" He dropped the Hylian.

" What are you, 28? Such a young age to die." He smirked at Link's bewildered look. "Yes, I now much about you. So what do you choose? Death? Or life with your precious Zelda? Remember boy; I'd need your Triforce. Even if you choose death, I'll wrench it from your dead body."

He stopped suddenly. A golden light was rising from Link's left hand! The look that appeared upon his face was that of a greedy child given his desire.

"I see! So you did choose life!" As he reached for the Triforce of Courage, its glow intensified. It grew brighter and brighter, and it forced Ganondorf to turn away. When he opened his eyes, it was gone. Had he looked up, he would have seen eight golden shards speeding off in different directions.

Link coughed blood, yet when he spoke his voice was clear and defiant. "I have not! I'd rather die than hand the Triforce over to you! You'll never get it, you bastard!"

"Fool!" screeched Ganondorf, quite obviously shaken, "Then I shall leave you here to die! I may not have gotten your blasted Triforce, but I will take Hyrule! Now that you're out of the way, I'll have no trouble doing so!" With that, he spat at Link and marched away.

"Die, pathetic hero!"

He vanished.

Link shuddered violently, not bothering to get up. He knew he was done for, and had no regrets, except for one thing. Zelda. He wouldn't be there, forever and always, like he'd wanted to be.

Zelda would be crushed by his death. He wished he could tell her not to worry, but it was too late. He didn't want her to mourn. All he wanted was for her to be happy.

Link had no doubt that Zelda would keep Hyrule safe. She and the sages had more than enough power to keep Ganondorf at bay. "By then," he thought bitterly, "someone more worthy of the title 'hero' will appear…"

Link's breath came in short gasps. It quickly grew even shallower. His vision was blurry from blood loss and general weakness. Or was it tears? He wished he could have seen her, one last time.

"Zelda…" he whispered to the winds, "I love you…"

The Hero of Time closed his eyes and was lost.