Yay, I updated! For those that care, I'm writing CyberEpi and TW, but I can only write on at a time, so... yeah. ; So, without furthur ado, the third chapter of Heart of Darkness! o

Chapter 3: Facing the World

Dark Link examined himself; he felt and looked smaller, and shorter. A bit pudgier, too. Dark Link walked over to one of the doors. He marked his own growth by cutting on the doorjamb. Those marks were gone, without a trace. Also…. The iron bars were gone. Nothing was keeping him here…

Dark Link put his hand on the doorknob. It was strange, this sudden change of perspective. He would have to adjust. Slowly, Dark Link turned the knob. It clicked; unlocked. Dark Link paused. What would be on the other side of the door? Would it be more colorful to his gray-accustomed eyes? Dark Link couldn't think of what could lie behind the door, so he pushed forward and opened the door.

Whatever he was expecting, it wasn't that. Dark Link's jaw dropped. There was a person on the other side, but a very strange person! He was all white, and had opaque black eyes. He also had strange protrusions from his limbs and head, and they were speckled with blue. The person seemed to be just as surprised as Dark Link.

"Who are you? How did you get here?" the person asked, kneeling down to Dark Link's eye level, "Are you lost?"

"Um…" Dark Link looked down. How could he answer? Maybe… "I got lost. I can't find the way out." It was true enough,

The person sighed, "I guess you swam down here for fun and forgot your way," he said, half to Dark Link and half to himself, "Ok, kid, I'll escort you out. Just don't disturb the priests, alright?" 1

"Thank you. I'm sorry." Dark Link said.

The person smiled, "Heh, which one?" he said as he started walking.


The pair walked through the temple, sometimes wading when the water level rose. When their path was blocked by deep water, the strange person would find another route for the boy's convenience. Eventually, the pair was in front of the waterlogged entrance. The strange person turned to the boy. "Can you swim out of here?" he asked.

"Yeah." Dark Link said.

"Alright." He turned to leave.

"Oh, wait, I want to ask you something." Dark Link said, an outreached hand hanging in the air.

He turned, "Yes?"

"What are you? I've never seen anything like you before."

The strange person started, "You made it that far and avoided everyone?" he sighed and shook his head, "boy, I'm a Zora. We control Zora River, the main water source. Did you live under a rock?"

"No, under a tree." Dark Link shrugged, "well, thank you, goodbye." And he dove into the water without another word.

Dark Link plunged into the cool water, comforted by the familiar sensation. He immediately dissolved into it. This water was the same in composition as the white water in his room, but it was different. It was clear, and so much of it! Dark Link floated through the open doorway, and looked at the vast expanse of water. The bottom had plants and rocks, the horizon was lost in the haze of blue. Dark Link was startled when little darts of silver blue flitted past. He looked closer at the passing things, and studied their appearance. What strange creatures! Rather like Zora, but their limbs were different, less substantial… they were little sheets on their sides! They were rather flat, he decided as he followed them, peering at them. They has little slits on their… necks? Bodies? It doesn't really matter, he decided at last, floating up toward the surface, toward the true sun…

He let out a gasp as he broke the surface, solid as soon as he touched air. He was still in the water, so he became sopping wet. Treading water, he saw an islet close by, and swam to it. He climbed out of the water and looked around, blinking in the bright sun.

Things really are more colorful he thought to himself. The sun was yellow, and the great… lake was blue, and he was sitting on short little green plants that were interspersed with different flowers. One type was ball-shaped, a little white flower; the leaves were divided into three heart-shaped parts. Anouther kind had little white flowers, with little petals that were pink underneath, all attached to a thing with yellow dust. Dark Link lay in the… grass for a while, examining the plants and flowers. He looked at a flower with (comparatively) large glossy yellow petals, when he heard a soft humming. He looked around in the immediate area, and a small fat something landed on a yellow flower. It was yellow and black and fuzzy and fat, and it crawled around in the flower, its little legs powdered by the yellow dust. It stopped, raised its delicate little wings, and it buzzed off to the next flower to repeat the process.

The young boy watched this creature for a while, then noticed a little orange-red bug land on his stationary hand. Dark Link brought his hand closer to his face for further inspection. This creature was the same color as Link's fire, with a black and white head and one, two, three, four, five, six, seven little black dots. Its black little legs crawled along his hand, the flame color contrasting with his brown skin. Its reddish back split in two and folded out, and beat little wings like the yellow and black buzzing thing, and flew away. Dark Link watched it fly for a bit, then settled back in the grass to observe the bright colors once more.

He found one more creature crawling along the ground; it was small, and its body was made up of three parts. It was a dark black-brown and was crawling quickly along with one, two… many of identical things. Unlike the Flame-Colored creature or the Buzzer, this had no wings, but it sped along the earth much faster then the flying creatures could. This creature, this Crawler, seemed to have many more friends as well.

"Admiring nature, m'boy?" a slightly frail voice asked.

Startled, Dark Link jumped up at once turning around to find the speaker. It was an old man, wearing blue. He was smiling. Dark Link took this to be a reassuring sign. People smiled when they were happy, right? He decided that he needed to respond. "I was looking at the plants and creatures." He said.

The old man looked at him quizzically, "And what manner of creatures might those be?" he asked.

Dark Link shifted his weight, "Well, I was looking at the plants and flowers, and at two flying creatures and a crawling one."

"And what would those be? Describe them."

When Dark Link did, he looked thoughtful. "Most people know those 'creatures' as a bumble bee, a ladybug, and an ant, respectively. It is most odd that you've never seen them before."

The boy looked down, scuffing his feet, "I'm sorry, I didn't know their names. I've never been here before, and they were interesting."

"Quite alright." The old man said, "I was going to enjoy the scenery myself."

"Alright, but I'm going to go explore." Dark Link said, then walked off.

He walked across a long bridge to a smaller isle; this one had a strange rock on it. Dark Link examined it; it was wedge-shaped and white, with little inscriptions on the top. Dark Link wished he could understand what the inscriptions meant, but a few minutes' staring revealed nothing. Oh well. He could solve this mystery later.

In the meanwhile, he wanted to explore. He passed over another bridge to a white building. It was much smaller then the Water Temple, but it had a tall tower with a ladder on the far side, as he discovered when he went around the left side. There was a stream nearby with a natural bridge, and on the far side, there was a strange white stone. It was round, but not a circle. It looked rather pocket-shaped, with the "opening" in the ground. There was a strange pattern carved into it, with a staring eye inscribed on it. Curious, Dark Link reached a hand out to touch it; it instantly contorted up and down causing him to fly back in surprise. "Ding Dong! Ding Dong! The current time is 10:29:53!" It said.

"Wh… what was that?" he murmur to himself as he stared at the strange, talking, time-telling stone. He stared at it, at the twisting "handle" and the pointy triangles of the eye pattern. He poked the stone again.

"Ding Dong! Ding Dong! The current time is 10:31:34!"


"Ding Dong! Ding Dong! The current time is 10:31:42!"


"Ding Dong! Ding Dong!" The current time is 10:32:02!"

Satisfied that it gave the same reaction each time, Dark Link walked away from the stone, the building, and the lake, and followed a worn path. He walked along for a few minutes. There were few fences a short distance away, so he climbed over the first one that blocked his path. He walked across the small enclosure, but in the middle his feet tamped down on an odd patch of ground. Dark Link stopped; he walked over the odd patch a few times, and determined that the patch was about two feet in diameter. Dark Link kneeled down and felt it with his hands. It felt like there was a patch of earth denser then the surrounding area over a hollow of some sort. Dark Link took his sword and plunged it into the earth. He felt the tip move around in an empty space; there was a hollow.

Dark Link dug down into the dirt. He used his sword to stab into the dirt to loosen it, then used his shield to scoop away the loose dirt. Working away in this method for five minutes, he managed to make a hole big enough for him to slip into, which he promptly did.

Dark Link dropped down onto his knees, and let out a gasp when he saw what he landed on: it was a small circular raised dais that gleamed in varied iridescent colors in the light that streamed down from the hole he had made. It was so beautiful. Dark Link stared into its depths, watching the bright pastel colors swirl lazily around beneath his brown knees. His gaze was then broken by an insect flying by his vision. Dark Link turned his head toward the movement. It was a pretty insect, with large bright yellow and black wings. It floated lazily around the shaft of light, then landed on a blade of grass. Dark Link stood stock still, gazing at the insect.

Anouther one floated by, and landed on his outstretched hand. Very carefully, he drew his hand closer to his face and inspected the insect. This insect was blue, and it flapped its wings, which glimmered dully in the light. Its face was strange compared to the wings, with large bulbous eyes, but there was a sort of elegance in the curl protruding from its face. This too fluttered off, so Dark Link stood up to explore the rest of the cave.

The cave was dim, which was to be expected, but Dark Link's eyes adjusted quickly. The colorful dias was in a small off-branch of the room, with a small step. The rest of the cave was a room with leaves, moss and grasses on the floor. The earthy walls were quite straight, and more moss clung to the ceiling. It was as if someone had carved a room into the ground, so precise were the angles of the room. At the far side was a clump of leaves, perhaps a bush. Dark Link walked toward it, when something jumped out of the ground. The clump he had taken for a bush was attached via a sturdy stem to an odd creature that seemed to be made of wood; it had a round tube-like mouth and glowing eyes that blinked out from the darker wood near the stem. Dark Link stared at this creature, but a "boomf" sound and something hit him; the creature shot something at him! The creature bopped out another projectile, but Dark Link was ready: he blocked it with his shield and it bounced back right into the creature.

"Ow!" it squeaked, jumping out of the ground, revealing wooden limbs, "That hurt!"

"Well, you did shoot that thing at me." Dark Link responded.

"Yes, yes…" the creature gave a long-suffering sigh, "I suppose your actions are justified, but we Deku Scrubs have a nasty habit to spit nuts when speak, particularly when we first emerge from our tunnels."

"What's a Deku Scrub?" Dark Link asked, cocking his head and putting away his shield.

The Deku Scrub shook his head indignantly, "I am a Deku Scrub, sir. We normally live in the woods, but a number of us do go out as merchants, as I do."

"Then why were you in a hidden cave?"

"This is a resting area for traveling Deku Scrubs like myself. If you found this rest area, then you must be an adventurer, correct?"

"I see." Dark Link said, "I suppose I am. I'm traveling right now."

The Deku Scrub said, "Splendid, splendid. I recently came into a new item, perhaps you'll be interesting to buy it? It's a Red Potion, quite effective for treating all manners of physical wounds and sicknesses. It's cheap today for only 45 Rupees. How about it?"

"That sounds nice, " Dark Link said, sitting down, "But I don't have any Rupee things."

"Are you foreign?"


The Deku Scrub sighed, "Are you from another country? Hyrule and a great number of the surrounding lands use Rupees, hexagonal gems that are abundant and in different colors. It's our monetary system. You won't make it far if you have no money."

"Gems…" Dark Link dug in his pockets and retrieved a small bag. He emptied some of its contents into his palm, "Are these Rupees?" he asked. 2

"Yes." The Deku Scrub said, 3 "Those green ones are the basic unit. You can't get much with only one Rupee. The blue ones are worth five green Rupees, the yellow ones here are worth ten green Rupees, these red ones worth twenty, and those purple ones worth fifty. There are also silver ones worth one hundred, gold Rupees worth two hundred, and oranges worth five hundred, but those are rare, so I doubt you'll see any." 4

"Thank you for teaching me, Mr…."

"Gasem. It's no trouble at all. Everyone needs help sometimes." Gasem said kindly. He became business-like and repeated, "So, would you like to buy the Red Potion?"

Dark Link pondered for a moment, and said, "I would, but I don't have anything to store it in."

"Ah, but that's where Fortune smiles again! I'm also selling this bottle for a measly twenty Rupees! How about it? The bottle and the potion for sixty five Rupees?"

Dark Link counted out a purple Rupee and three blue ones and handed it to Gasem. Gasem quickly filled a bottle with Red Potion. "Thank you for your business." Gasem prepared to leave, but Dark Link grabbed him.

"Wait," he said, "how did you know I was here?"

"I could feel the vibrations of your digging and of your footsteps through the earth. Quite simple, really."

Dark Link's eyes widened in amazement, "You can do that?"

Gasem smiled with a hint of smugness, "Yep. Few people realize it, but that's how it's done. Now, I really must go; I'm much delayed already, and I plan to get to Kakariko by nightfall."

"Wait, how can I find you again?"

"Oh, I'll be setting up shop in the town, ask around and you'll find me. I'll be bringing new goods to an untapped customer base!" he said to himself with glee as he burrowed back down.

Dar Link, not seeing anything else in the rest area, moving back to the dais and stepped on top of it. Immediately, he was engulfed in a bright light accompanied by a floating sensation. Next thing he knew, he was on the grass of the field. Dark Link looked around. South of his direction was the lake, and away to the east was a forest. To the north was a black block of what could have been a fence or buildings, and farther north was a large mountain. Without further thought, he made his way toward the black splotch.

1 Well, it is a temple…

2 If you get 2-3 red Rupees, I'm gonna assume Dark Link has some.

3 Anyone else would be surprised at the amount, but the Deku Scrub is a merchant, so even if he hasn't seen that much, he would keep his poker face, right?

4 I cobbled together this standard largely based on OoT, MM, and WW. Just to make a standard.

I hate passive voice, seriously. It sometimes sounds better with it, so don't give me that green squiggle, Word! Grr.

Anyway, it was really fun to write this. The description was fun. I hope none of you guys found this chapter boring because of lack of action… but this is his first time outside the room, so he's bound to be curious, right?

I also like Gasem. Typical merchant-type, but I like him. He's nice. Also, perhaps I should explain something. Since this takes place after the game, Ganondorf's rule never happened, and Hyrule Castle Town was never decimated, ergo Kakariko didn't replace it as the epicenter of trade. So Gasem will, as he said, tap into a new consumer base. Hehehe.

One reviewed said she (?) liked how Dark Link perceived things, "sweet and innocent" she called it. Well, now you can see more of his mad analytical skillz. XD That aside, please review and tell me what you think. For some reason, I have trouble with pronoun and name balance with this fic. But only this fic. OO WTF, yo. Anyway, I think I solved it. A big thank you to each and every one to my lovely reviewers. , For those of you who don't have an FF account, PLEASE leave your email, so I can contact you, since won't allow Reviewer Response. ;; Damn. Ah well.

Leave a contact and review! DDD