The Legend of Zelda: The Search for Hope

Chapter 1: Bittersweet Partings

Dazed, Link rolled across the hardened ground. It must not have rained recently on this vacant plain in Hyrule's western most province. Clang. Link's back collected small rocks and grass as his body slammed against the ground. His opponent currently had the upper hand. As the blade came slamming down, Link managed to dodge to the right. His opponent, Ganondorf, yelled in hate. Link quickly scrambled to his feet.

Clang. Link only barely managed to parry this strong stash attack with his shield. His shield arm stung. Link threw all he had into his next attack. With his still stinging arm, Link thrust his body in Ganondorf's, throwing him back. Link used this small opportunity to leap above his opponent's head and make a quick downward jab. Disoriented, Ganondorf stumbled back, but managed to regain his footing before he fell backwards. A split second later, Ganondorf felt another gash being opened in his armor; his advantage was weakening.

Link lept backward to avoid the inevitable counter attack, losing his footing. Link saw Ganondorf and knew that he had realized that Link was falling. In his mind, he was done for. As Link felt his body begin to fall, his mind raced through the events of the past few months.

Link had traveled through the entire land of Hyrule, collecting pieces to two very important items along the way. The first, pieces to a Twili Fused Shadow Helmet, was needed to defeat the man responsible for bringing the Twilight into Hyrule. For this mission, the Princess of Hyrule, Zelda, had commissioned as Link's aid, Midna, a Twili being with great magical power.

Midna was the snide type, obviously viewing herself as superior to Link, despite her small impish size. She constantly made pointed comments as to the futility that the "light" world had in its existence. She used this dark comedy to make jabs at Link and his reason for even going on this mission.

Link had excepted the task, however begrudged he was to work with Midna, he wanted to help save Hyrule as best he could.

Through his travels, it was discovered that Zant, the man Midna was looking to defeat, was not the actual enemy and that a stronger "god" existed. Through a bizarre twist, Zant appeared and stole the powerful helmet upon completion and disappeared into the Twili, or Twilight, Realm. Before disappearing, Zant attacked Midna and brought her near to death.

It was at this critical point that Link brought Midna before Princess Zelda. Using the rest of her power, Princess Zelda revived Midna; at the cost of her own existence. It was then decided the pair should travel into the Twilight Realm and defeat Zant there, with or without the Fused Shadow Helmet.

It was also at this critical point that Midna's cynicism began to wane. She had already been amazed at the sacrifices Link was willing to make to save his world. She liked that about him.

Besides being hansom, Link was courageous; mush more so than she. He was polite and kind to everyone he met and yet fearless and powerfully merciless in battle. In short, he was everything she had once valued. In her time with Link, she saw that her initial belief that Link was not the chosen hero was false. She knew now that he was.

The pair made their way into little known territory to scale the ghostly inhabited coliseum that was once used as a prison for the most hardened criminals in Hyrule. Long since abandoned, the duo fought their way through the spirits of the damned to the top where the Mirror of Twilight was said to exist.

Ganondorf looked down on Link as he lay there dazed, thinking of the past. Raising his sword, Ganondorf slammed the tip of the sword through equipment and tunic into Link's stomach, turning his organs into a multicolored paste. Behind the two, Zelda screamed. She had been trapped from the fight by a force field employed by Ganondorf. Link barely felt his stomach being obliterated and his mind shifted to the events that followed the discovery of the Mirror of Twilight.

After discovering the Mirror of Twilight, Midna and Link were distressed to find it broken into four pieces. The search was on again. Traveling through high cold mountains, into the sky, and even into times long past, the two dueled their way to finding the missing pieces of the Mirror.

By now, the team was a well oiled machine. They knew each other, they knew how to work with each other, and they could basically finish each other's sentences. Who could blame them? They spent every waking hour trying diligently to find the Mirror Shards and they did it together.

Midna loved that. She had for so long worked alone. She had forgotten the wonderful company that a gentleman can bring. Link, a little naïve, had yet to really catch on to Midna's feelings. He had some stirring of his heart as well, but he was mostly unaware of it. His one track mind said, "Find the Mirror Shards to save Hyrule."

He sometimes had had fleeting thoughts of his young love, Ilia from his hometown of Ordon. She was the rambunctiously cute daughter of the town mayor. While he had always liked Ilia, she felt like more of a best friend to him even though her feelings were obviously stronger than plutonic.

Ganondorf peered down at the broken body of the chosen hero, Link, and laughed out loud. Blood was pouring from the wound onto the ground, soaking into the nearby grass. Link's mouth and eyes were also slowly dripping streams of blood. Ganondorf, not to be considered weak, ripped the blade from Link's stomach and made another jab, higher up, plunging it through the belt holding the Master Sword's sheath to Link's body as well as some other equipment and lastly through Link's chest and heart. Ganondorf thought that he heard the sound of glass shattering, but couldn't be sure.

Link, oblivious to the pain, remember what happened next. After searching several weeks, Link and Midna again found themselves at the Mirror of Twilight, prepared to enter. What they found there was astonishing to both. Zant had turned the Twili people into mindless Twilight Monsters and barricaded himself inside the once beautiful Twilight Palace.

It was here that Link learned that Midna was indeed the Princess of Twilight. These were her people. She had abandoned them to look for hope. She had found hope in one person: Link.

Fighting through the hordes of enemies, Midna and Link finally came into his chamber and fought their toughest battle yet. After bringing Zant back to the ground, the Fused Shadow Helmet once again came into Midna's possession. Using her power, she finally killed Zant, but not before he could tell them that his "god" had already been reborn into the world of the light and was now residing in Hyrule Castle.

Furious, the two returned to the world of the light and immediately stormed Hyrule Castle. Using her new powers, Midna tore through the force field Ganondorf had erected around Hyrule Castle.

After fighting their way to the top, Midna and Link fought with Ganondorf and defeated his alternate form Ganon. When they believed him dead, Midna revived Zelda. No sooner had the rejoicing began than Ganon's body disappeared and only his spiritual power remained. Against Link's will, Midna teleported both he and Zelda to the plain of Hyrule just west of the Castle. There they watched Ganon destroy the castle and Midna.

It was then that Link felt a strange tightening in his chest, like he had lost something incredibly important to him. He wasn't sure why, but he felt very sad. Ganondorf appeared, reincarnated, ahead of Link and the Princess Zelda on the field. He was on his steed and beckoned for Link to do the same. Zelda employed her Triforce shard and called upon the power of the protectors of light to bring her power to stop Ganondorf. They delivered the Light Arrows to her.

Working in tandem on top of Epona, Link's faithful steed, the two managed to knock Ganondorf from his horse. Link engaged Ganondorf in a final, one on one, true swashbuckling style, sword fight to the death. It was at this point that Link began to fall to the dark lord.

Link's thought's shifted again to the endless nights that Midna and he had spoken together while resting from their journey. She would tell of her homeland and he of his. They spoke like friends that had known each other for decades. He felt very at home and safe with her, despite her appearance. He thought how much he simply enjoyed hearing her speak. What once was an annoying rattle in his ear, now sounded like the most exquisite musical masterpiece.

He even liked her name. The simplicity behind it, yet the majesty it implied. Midna. Midna. Mid… na…

Despite the two large holes in his body, the chosen hero Link slightly opened his eyes to see Ganondorf aiming a third strike, this time at his neck. Link could smell his own blood pasting him to the ground, he could make out the screams of Princess Zelda, and he could feel a cold tingling sensation. Still, his thoughts rested on Midna.

He suddenly knew why he felt so sad. He had watched his best friend die. No. He realized that she was more than his best friend. She was the person he loved. Dearly. He had watched this man kill her; this man now standing over him, preparing to sever his mortal coil. Still, her name rang in his ears. Midna.

The tingling sensation began to warm throughout his body and his senses began slowly returning to him. He couldn't understand why, but all he could think was, this man killed Midna! This man killed the woman I loved! I will kill him!

Ganondorf's smirk left his face as he watched Link's senses returning to him. He knew that he better end it now and so with the rest of his spent effort, he lunged the sword at Link's throat.

I loved her and he killed her! Link's body, feeling oddly refreshed and revitalized, acted then on complete impulse. Midna! The Master Sword was still clenched tightly in his grip and Link plunged it into the hole that he had opened in Ganondorf's armor. The large sword held by Ganondorf dropped to the ground, just inches away from Link's neck. The dark lord's body began slowly to arch backward, as his hand attempted successfully to remove the sword from its shallow wound. Throwing the sword to the ground, Ganondorf stood there stunned with pain.

Standing, Link realized what had happened. He saw a small trail of brightly lit particles; fairy dust. He had been saving a small fairy in one of his small bottles. Ganondorf must have broken the bottle in half with his stab in Link's chest. The fairy had healed Link's body and given him strength enough to finish this fight.

Picking up the Master Sword, Link thought his love's name one last time before plunging the sword through Ganondorf's heart. Midna. With a ghastly scream, Ganondorf bled and breathed his last standing on the field of Hyrule.

The force field fell, as did Link. The Princess Zelda ran to his aid, seeing that he was obviously not fully healed. It was a small fairy after all. He was, however, not in danger of death.

Link looked up to the ruins of the castle. What looked like a person observing the two was standing near the arch of the hill. Link knew it was just the pain and brokenness of his body, but he thought the person vaguely looked like Midna.

The shrouded person slowly made their way to the two half dead warriors of light. As it neared, the person dropped the shroud. It was a beautiful dark skinned, light haired woman. It wasn't an imp, but Link knew immediately who it was.

Midna! He thought. Ganondorf must have been the one that put the curse on her! She had returned to her original form. Link could not find the words to express how he felt. He was so at awe by her beauty and stunned by the revelation that she had not died, he was speechless. It was she who spoke first.

"What? Am I so different that you are speechless?" Her voice, music to Link's ears, soothed the pain now returning to his body. He passed out from blood loss and pain but had a wide smile on his face.

Several days later, Link had fully recovered at the clinic in Castle Town and he had escorted both Zelda and Midna back to the Arbiter's Grounds, where the Mirror of Twilight was held. It was to be a joyously sad occasion, when Midna would return to her people in all of her former glory. Link had been much too shy to share his new found feelings with his best friend, now turned beautiful woman. He wasn't sure he liked the "new her." While beautiful, he had fallen in love with the Midna that had helped him through his travels. The short, ghoulishly cute, impish Midna. In his mind, he knew that he loved her, the person, and decided that looks didn't matter to him.

His plan was simple; he would escort her to the Twilight Palace and tell her his feelings there, hoping against hope that they would be reciprocated. As the time drew near, it was a tear felt parting with Zelda. Zelda, as it turns out, had actually shared Midna's body for the time to help her recover. The two now felt like sisters and were sad to see each other go.

Zelda knew, however, this should be a happy time and she was already making vast plans for the renovation of this old broken down prison. She planned on hiding the Mirror so that only a chosen few could cross.

Next, Midna addressed Link, in her typical "I'm better than you… but I still think you're cool" fashion. It was short and sweet.

Link smiled and began his trek up the stair case that would take him into the Twilight Realm. Midna suddenly started to say something. Link stopped dead in his tracks.

"Link… I… I…"

A single tear fall down her beautiful blue skin and magically made its way toward Link. Link could only stare at the floating tear glistening in the sun and could see Midna turn toward the Mirror behind it. He could see her body begin the warping process and suddenly realized what was happening.

In a mad dash against time, Link flew up the stair case, reaching his hand out for the last remaining threads of cloth Midna had been wearing. He could hear himself shouting her name. His finger tips touched the edge of the cloth as it disappeared into the abyss of the warp. With tears already streaming down his face, his body slammed hard into the staircase. Before the thud of impact silenced, Midna's tear made contact with the Mirror and shattered it. Not into a million pieces, but into fine dust. The damage was irreprehensible.

Zelda had not been aware of Midna's plan, which was obviously the smarter one. It would have been incredibly difficult to simply hide the warp point into another world from people. Eventually, some evil or another would have slipped between the worlds to wreak havoc again. Through Midna's wisdom, both worlds had been saved from each other.

Zelda could only stand there as tears were falling down her face. She knew, however, that the pain she felt was nothing compared to the pain Link was feeling now. After all, she had shared Midna's body, mind, and thoughts for a short time. She knew how Midna felt too. She decided, however, to keep that information to herself. Zelda knew that giving that information to Link would have only made it harder on him.

Link could barely hear Zelda stepping away from him through his sobs. How could she leave me? He thought. In the back of his head, he knew the wisdom of her choice. But, he told himself, I didn't even get to tell her how I felt! Link lay there on the steps to a realm he cold never visit crying for what seemed like hours. Zelda made her way from the room to allow Link the time she knew he needed to grieve.

She was thankful that Link and Midna had destroyed all the evil of this prison so that she and Link now wouldn't have to worry about enemies attacking. Through her tears, she could make out the castle in the distance. Work had already commenced to rebuild the portions destroyed by Ganondorf. She made a mental note to have a statue of Midna constructed in her private courtyard.

She turned a last time to look at Link. He was a mess and she knew he would probably never get over what just happened. She hoped, however, that Hyrule's Savior would be available to meet the demanding public's praise in a few short days when she announced the crisis that had only nearly been abated. It was going to be a tough few months for Link.

Midna felt the warm tear running down her face. She looked one last time into the eyes of the man she loved. Those bright eyes brimming with courage and love. What a wonderful King you would have made to my people. I'm sorry for not being able to take you with me. As she turned, she could almost hear Link's sudden understanding of the situation as she walked into the portal. She silently wept at the sound of him screaming her name; and she broke down entirely when she felt the barely noticeably finger tip at the tip of her clothing.

As she stepped into the courtyard of the Twilight Palace, she knew that she would never feel love like that again. He had been her best friend. She had grown to care for him as a friend before love him and she knew that was the best way. She loved him so dearly.

She could see her people noticed her and she stepped away from the portal which then snapped shut behind her. It was not her people, however, that she noticed. It was the beauty of the Twilight. Link had only seen a perversion of the beauty that her world held. She knew he would never get a chance to see its true beauty and she regretted that very much. In her sorrow and regret, she stepped forward to meet her people.