The Hero's May Faces - Chapter 1

The Hero's Many Faces

The Zelda games and all characters in them are owned by Nintendo. Shucks.

... A dark cloud rolls over the landscape. He's been here before, the gates to Hyrule Town... Shortly, a tall figure on horseback emerges from the gates. No! Something's wrong with the picture... the figure isn't Ganondorf this time. He's wrapped in a navy cloak. And that's Epona - the mature horse, not the filly, mind - that he's riding. The figure looks down at the lonely boy. "You're only afraid of yourself, you know, and yet that is enough..." he whispers in Link's own voice. The cloak is whipped away, and the mysterious person's real features are revealed. Moonlight glitters off pure white hair, framing piercing white eyes and a painted face... "You can't escape me now. Good guys? Bad guys? What's the difference?"...

Link bolted upright in bed. It was just a dream, he told himself. But still - it must mean something. He swung his feet out of bed, smacking his toes on the side. It was getting too small - one day soon, he'd have to leave for good. Everyone'd comment worse than they ever did before long...he visualised Mido's remarks. No, better to go. He sighed. Today... yes, today... he would leave the forest. Again.

He glanced in the mirrored shield set in the corner. His usual blue eyes looked out from an eleven-year-old's face, but with worries that no boy that age should have set behind them. Yes, he was still himself. "Whatever that means," he muttered.

Quickly, he began to pack his belongings. A few Rupees, first - then the Ocarina. The bow, charmed arrows and hookshot next. Then the Lens of Truth - he never knew when it could be handy. After some though, he unlocked the chest where he had stored the magical masks. Only the ...special ones, though - the rest had been given to the salesman back in town. The Zora, Deku and Goron masks came out quickly. He paused before removing the fourth - was it right to take it? The haunting face in his dreams - the Fierce Deity. He sighed and packed it too. Pulling his sword and shield into place, he walked outside. Instinctively after his time in Termina, but telling himself to stop being a fool, he looked at the sky. No, everything was as it should be. The moon a silver orb in the far heavens. The sun's first rays crept over the treetops.

Planning to get away quickly, he was surprised to see his oldest friend standing by the tree and tickling Epona behind the ears. All the Kokiri had been surprised by Epona when they first saw her - the first horse some of them had seen. One of them, though, had felt sure she'd seen the filly before - and, in a way, she had. Or would.

"Saria? What're you doing here?"

"I found someone who was looking for you..." A dart of light flew out from behind Saria.

"Navi? Where have you been? I was worried... I looked everywhere, I mean, everywhere for you!" Time enough to tell her about Termina.

"I missed you. Even if you are annoying. "

"Me? Annoying? I'll give you... ah, I missed you, too!" He laughed and reached to the fairy fluttering. After a couple of seconds, he sighed and spoke. "Saria... I'm going. For good. I can't stay here any longer." He glanced at his feet.

"Oh, Link..." Not the Sage, but the child, she reached to her mouth. "I'll miss you so much... but I knew this had to happen. I guess this is goodbye again, then... I'll always remember you. Remember me, too... "

"Always..." He swung onto the filly's back. "Goodbye, Saria... Thanks for being such a true friend." He blinked. And thanks for the things you haven't done yet, Sage of the Forest... "Come on, Epona. Navi? I guess you're coming?..."

At a steady walk, they left the woods.

It wasn't until they were quite a distance from the forest that it quite struck Link what had just happened. Where would he go now? As he saw it, his options were limited. He could go to Kakariko or Hyrule Market, return to Termina, or go to the Ranch. The first two seemed his best bet. The third just wasn't practical, although it had a certain appeal. And as for four... Great. I'm lost. And I know exactly where I am...

Suddenly, his thoughts were interrupted by a loud explosion. He looked about in shock. A column of smoke was coming from the town. Without thinking, he spurred Epona into a gallop. What was it? Reaching the gates, he leapt off the filly's back, and ran into town.

The source of the problem became obvious as he arrived in the square. The Temple - destroyed. How... why... what... Numbly, he made his way to the portal through times.

He wasn't alone. A familiar figure was there too - Princess Zelda herself. Alone of all the future Sages, he had chosen to tell her what would happen - had happened - could have happened if he hadn't acted. She seemed to already know what he was going to say, but... That timeline was sealed away, just as the Door of Time was sealed.

Had been sealed.

It wasn't so secure any more. The three crystals were scattered across the floor, and the altar just rubble.

Link rushed over to Zelda. "What happened here, Princess?"

"He's returned. Ganon - I don't know how, but he's travelled back in time, to destroy us before we destroy him." A look on her face suggested that wasn't all. "And... and..." She pointed with a shuddering finger.

"The sword..." The Master Sword, Evil's Bane...

Snapped in two, like a Deku Stick.

"There's an old legend. I think it's coming true.

The Dark One, once-banished, will return to the place of his conquest. Their sacred blade destroyed, the gods will take on human form to destroy him in his turn. Their hero will see his soul face to face, once, twice, then forever... Link, what's the matter?" Zelda glanced at him. Link had turned pale.

" ' The gods in human form'..." he whispered to himself. "My dream... that's what it meant? But... no, I can't..."

"What do you mean?"

"Princess, it's a long story..." He began to recount the saga of his travels in Termina, shuddering as he told the tale of his - was it truly his? - battle with Majora. He finished by describing the dream he'd had. A vision, it seemed. "So... I can't defeat Ganon as I am, but as..."

"That's what it seems like to me." She lowered her eyes. "I'm sorry..." She could see how much the idea of becoming the Fierce Deity again hurt Link.

"So? What are you waiting for?" piped up Navi.

"You never saw it... there's dark powers in there I don't understand. I know I've got to use them again, but..." He paused. "It's what happens next that worries me. "

Outside again, they spotted Ganon heading towards the desert. It seemed that darkness followed the evil king's movements, allowing them to spot him easily. He couldn't seem to stay in one form or the other - the Gerudo and the monster seemed to be fighting for control of his body. Zelda and Link took turns riding until they were almost on top of him - almost in danger. Link put his hand on her shoulder.

"Zelda... wait here. Don't come closer unless I say. Have this back, too..." He thrust the ocarina into her hands.

"Why?"

"If things go wrong... I don't want you to be hurt. " He hung his head. "I don't want to hurt you..."

She nodded. "Good luck... I know you can do this."

Hurrying into the fray on horseback, Link never saw the trickle of tears in the princess' eyes...

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Author's notes: What do you think? My first time, so please, please, review it guys! Thanks!