Chapter Eight: Hope
Link calmly cut through the Moblin's body before kicking the dying monster back. All around him, the far-too-familiar sounds of battle could be heard. Another of Ganon's attempts to take over the kingdom. But something... this time, it just didn't feel right. A group of monsters circled him a moment later, and with a bit of a shrug, Link slammed his palm into the ground. Fire burst outwards in a sphere.
Din's Fire... very old, very traditional magic, but also steady and dependable.
"I don't suppose you have any ideas of what's going on?"
"Nayru's the one with the wisdom." Farore answered cheerfully. "If it helps, though, I believe in you."
And help it did. Farore was, after all, a Goddess of Courage. The ability of all the Links to face the darkness was due in no small part to her efforts. Courage to bring somebody beyond the level most people dared, to climb the tallest mountains or go into the deepest pits, to brave traps and monsters and spirits... all for the sake of bringing light back to the land. Belief, for a Goddess, was power.
"Heh. I should have known." Link said, bashing another enemy aside. There was little elaborate fighting done, just cutting through the enemies. It took more than an hour to get through the mass, where their commander was waiting patiently.
It was a... reflection of sorts. Of Link himself, bearing a corrupted image of the Master Sword, black and twisted.
"Serious juju." Farore breathed out as the shadow slowly moved forward, as if a mirror of Link's movements. "He's done this before, but not as strong. Do not despair, my Link."
"...Thank you." the warrior answered, pointing his sword at the shadow creature. Yes... the blessing of his Goddess was exactly what he needed. "Time to end this."
"Why!?" Ganon hurled the mirror he'd been using to scry across the chamber. Thousands of shards rained to the floor. "Every time, no matter what I send, he wins!" the entire castle, long since bent to his will, shuddered under its master's rage. "What do I have to do to kill him!?"
The deity chained to his bed laughed, just as insanely as Ganon himself often did. "You can't." Din answered. "You simply don't get it, little man." a hand gripped her neck and squeezed. "You're so afraid. I know you better than anyone else, considering how much of my power you've stolen. Darkness can only retreat from the light; it can never touch it. That is why you will never overcome him. He is not just a mere warrior, he's a creation of the most powerful magic there is."
"As is this." Ganon growled, a golden triangle appearing on his hand. "Again and again he has thwarted me." Tool after tool was broken as the Gerudo King raged. "All of these! My finest works, my careful creations... why do I even bother!? That cursed boy, that thrice-cursed sword! None of this means anything!" Wild-eyed, he grabbed Din by the shoulders and began to shake her back and forth. "I will rip apart his very soul, do you understand? I no longer care about this wretched world. It will burn. Time and again, you try to thwart me, but I grow ever closer to my goal. Where you were once untouchable up in the heavens, I have brought you down. Where your followers could be found around the world, I have crafted silence. But I... I shall become Almighty. And even you will worship me, my dear. And then... I will destroy everything. Until there is nothing left except you, your sisters, and I, forever in the void."
"Do you imagine your threats to frighten me?"
"No. Because you still have that little spark of hope deep inside of you, that one day this will all be over... you dream that I will be no more, and that this twisted land will become green and lively once more." the Gerudo King grinned savagely. "I think it's time to end all of this, don't you? This whole world."
"The Link will stop you."
"Of course you'd say that. He'll come rushing in, the triumphant hero, and come here to the highest floor of the tower to fight me. Have you ever heard of pattern recognition? I'm not going to even try to slow his journey this time, much less stop him. It never works. But what I have, Din, is this."
Ganon reached into his pocket. As he held it up, Din felt a creeping sense of dread.
"Ah, you know it? Excellent. Then perhaps you can guess my plans."
Link stared at the report. "This can't be right." he said, looking around the room.
"He wants to end it." Nayru answered calmly. "He hates you, Link, and all that you stand for. Don't interpret this as praise; he has some honor, twisted though it is. He's obsessed. He wants to beat you. This is our chance to end him."
The warrior stared at the letter for a long, long time. "...Farore."
"Yes, Link?" the petite deity asked.
"I've... gained something of an understanding. He'll keep coming back, won't he?"
Link sighed. "Over, and over, and over. I don't know how many times this cycle has repeated itself, but I'm going to end it. Take it." he held out his empty hand.
"Take... you can't be serious!" the girl shrieked. The Link merely smiled. "Have you completely lost your mind!?"
"No. I'm going to get him to do the same."
"That's... you... I... gah!" The girl seemed to have totally lost the ability to form coherent sentences. When she was done, the Link calmly stood up.
The journey didn't take long. Farore's Wind was quite sufficient to carry the three of them to the front of Hyrule Castle, where the gates creaked open.
"I got bored of waiting up top. You always get there anyway." Ganon said, striding forward. "And you've brought my other two playthings, I see."
Calmly, Link held up the Master Sword. "Ganon. I'm here to challenge you. And I've a wager." the Gerudo King raised an eyebrow, then hissed as Link held up two small, golden triangles. "Exactly. No ancient powers, nothing of that sort. Just you and me, to the death." the Gerudo King laughed.
"Fool!" he roared, dashing forward. There was an unpleasant sound as his blade went through Link's belly. "I've... I've done it! I killed you!" Link coughed as his hand closed around the Gerudo's wrist. "It's too late for you now, boy!"
"You're... predictable..." Link said weakly as he focused his thoughts. "Tri... force!" The third triangle erupted out of Ganon's hands and joined its fellows.
"They're... meant to... be together!" Link said as Ganon pulled his sword out. Before their eyes, his wounds began healing. The warrior spat a broken bag out moments later. "Red Potion. Great stuff, and I always did like hiding some that way."
"I'll kill you!" Ganon roared as darkness enveloped his body. The man grew in size, morphing from somebody mostly humanoid to something more like the King of Moblins. "Now-" Link calmly pressed a hand against the Triforce. "...Eh?"
"Heh." the warrior answered. "I don't have to fight you to win, I just had to touch this first. After all, if I killed you, I wouldn't accomplish my goal. Triforce! My wish is this: Restore to your creators their former power!" The three golden triangles flashed brightly, then vanished as a torrent of power rushed through the area. Far above the chamber, Din flexed her wrists and snapped the chains binding her before simply shifting herself into the hall.
"You think this will stop me!? I took you down once; I'll do it again!" Ganon howled.
"Mighty goddesses... let my blade pierce him." Link muttered. Rushing forward, he eyed Ganon carefully before plunging the Master Sword through Ganon's chest. As the sword was held there, one of its most ancient powers went to work. A sword to dispel evil... and all the darkness Ganon had accumulated over the thousands of years, and the hundreds of chapters of what was all one story. "Let all of this be ended. This world has suffered your curse long enough, Gerudo King!"
It would be incorrect to say that Ganon died. For, as has been told, he had perished a very long time ago. Over the ages, with every defeat, he had become more twisted, more wretched, and mostly a corpse animated by hate alone, kept tied to the world by his Triforce of Power. To be great, however, power alone cannot suffice. It is something that must be supported by wisdom and courage in order to reach its full potential. The wisdom to know how to use it, and the courage to walk the narrow path of actually doing so. In the face of one who possessed all these traits, the gathered darkness could never triumph. Thus the darkness was dispersed, as darkness always does when faced with the light.
And so closed the final tale, the final chapter, of the Legend of Zelda. A story that was told many times in many ways, but at its core very simple: How Power had failed to remember what supported it and attempted to overcome Wisdom, only to to be struck down by Courage. A story that would be forever told in Hyrule as a remembrance of the past, and a caution to those who would unwittingly play it out once more. For power alone was not strength, but when combined with what supported it, it could become far greater than any of the three alone. Every story, every legend, must someday have an ending, and this Legend was no exception. When finally the last Link closed his eyes forever, the Spirit of Courage was free to rejoin the Goddess who supported him. Never again was the name given to a child, but in the stories of Hyrule, neither was it forgotten.
A/N: All right, all right, I finished it. Geez, people, a couple years of silence and I was still getting favorites? What did I do right about this story, anyway? It's full of errors! I regret adding in other deities! I shoulda done the magic differently! But whatever, it's over now, so you can all go to sleep satisfied that you won't be left hanging forever. XD Now leave me alone before I'm tempted to redo this story entirely and fix everything that's wrong with it.