AN: FINALLY. I rewrote this a grand total of THREE times. And when I say rewrote, I mean like, completely rewrote from beginning until end. This was the best I could come up with. I have no idea if it's any good, so you'll have to tell me.
"Do you know a way in?" Link asked Elisa, staring at the castle.
She shook her head. Link sighed, and then gestured for her to follow him. He found the small space in the wall where the water flowed through, but they had reinforced it with stronger bars since his last intrusion. He swore quietly, and thought for a moment.
"I have two ideas; I'll leave it up to you. We could wait; I think the Jarmanians will be forced to retreat to the castle, and when the Hylians lay siege we could probably slip in." Link explained, but Elisa shook her head.
"Too risky. Right now, the castle's mostly empty. If the soldiers retreat it'll be flooded with troops inside and out, there's no way you could move around safely." Elisa replied.
"Damn. All right then; we'll have to just use the front door." Link said with a sigh.
"What? Link, you can't… there's too many; no one could fight their way through." Elisa said exasperatedly.
"I don't want to, but there's no other way. You have to trust me; I know I can do it. Do you trust me?" Link asked, staring at her solemnly.
She looked back at him. "Yes… I suppose I do. I know you don't look for battle. You're a good person."
"Th-thank you." Link said, surprised. "Come on, we have to move."
They ran along the wall until they were near the front gate, where they stopped to make a quick plan.
"All right. We need to be fast, so I'm telling you exactly what to do, all right? Don't ask any questions; just do what I ask you to. Please. I'm going to smash the gate and take out the two guards inside quickly. It's dark, and if we're lucky the soldiers in the castle won't see what's happening until we get to the main door. I'll smash it open, and then I need you to dash for the quickest route to your father. I'll follow along, and fight off any guards. We'll be taking them by surprise, so we should make it a fair distance before they react. With most of them fending off the Hylians, we shoud be able to avoid fighting much. No matter what happens, keep running and wait outside the door to your father's room. Got it?" Link explained as quickly as he could.
She nodded, although her face was visibly pale. Link couldn't blame her; it was far from foolproof. Nonetheless, he quickly drew the goron mask and places it onto his face. He felt it attach to his flesh, and his soul melded with Darmani's. He punched the air in his new goron form, and then stepped in front of the gate.
"What the?!" Exclaimed one of the guards inside. Link took a step and crashed through the iron gate, and swung a large fist at the nearest guard. It connected with his helmet, and after a sickening crunching sound he dropped to the ground. The other one turned to run, but Link curled into a ball and bowled him over before he made it more than five steps. He lumbered toward the main gate, looking back to make sure Elisa was coming. She was.
He ran full force into the center of the large, wooden door. Wood splintered, a lock shattered, and the door swung inward. Link removed his mask quickly as Elisa darted past him toward a door to the left. He followed her as people around them shouted out in surprise. A few guards began to follow them as they headed through the door and began climbing a staircase, and Link left a bomb on the middle of the flight of stairs. It exploded, blowing out portions of the wall and igniting parts of the stairs.
She led him up another flight of stairs, and Link realized they were in a tower. Link dropped more bombs as they headed up a third flight of stairs. Carpets and curtains caught fire and the wooden stairs began burning. Link no longer knew if anyone was still following him; he was now just causing as much chaos as he could simply because he had a feeling he should. On the fifth floor, they left the tower and headed into the main castle again. They ran along a hallway for a distance, and Link could see the front yard they had just ran through out the windows to his right.
Elisa stopped short in front of a door that had a suit of armour on each side of the door. "This is his room… with the city under siege, he'll be in there."
Link nodded. "You did very well. But I need you to find somewhere to hide; we've been extremely lucky so far, but even if I've blocked off that staircase, they'll be here by another route soon."
She shook her head furiously. "No, I'm going in with you!" She hissed.
"Look… I told you I would do whatever I can for him, but it would be better if you weren't there. I may have to hurt him if he's violent. I promise I won't kill him." Link said calmly, not sure if he was lying or not.
She nodded, defeated, and ran a few doors down before entering one. Link quickly opened the door to the king's room before he was found.
As soon as he entered, he saw the king of Jarmania was not alone. A man in a dark cloak was talking to him, although he had now stopped and was looking at Link. Both he and the king were seated at the table, and were apparently in deep discussion. They stopped talking the instant Link entered.
"Can I help you?" asked the king, seemingly unsurprised.
"This man is a Hylian." The cloaked man said in a low voice.
"Really? In that case, you'd best not let him leave." The king said pleasantly.
The man in the cloak extended an arm, and Link was suddenly lifted into the air, unable to move.
"Should I finish him?" The cloaked man asked.
"No; I'll do it. Just remove his weapon, if you please." The king replied.
"As you wish." The cloaked man, replied, waving his other arm. His sword and shield were both removed, and floated to the other side of the room.
"Now, you may take your leave. Wait for me in the entrance hall, where we can continue our discussion. Leave the Hylian on the floor." The king instructed the man in the cloak.
The cloaked man responded with a polite bow, and let himself out of the room. Link fell to the floor with an odd numb feeling in his limbs. It left him unable to move. He rolled slightly to see the king, who was picking up a dagger from a shelf.
He turned to look at Link, and Link got his first good look at his eyes. He knew instantly that the king was insane, just as Elisa said; pure chaos was barely veiled beneath those dark eyes. Link started to feel the numbness leaving his limbs, and quickly focused on using his magic to bring feeling back.
"I need to know a few things about the attack on my city. Now." barked the king, bending over and moving the knife point to Link's shoulder. He started to push, and Link felt a pinprick of pain. Just below his shoulder blade.
He forced his arms to move, counteracting the enchantment the cloaked man had used with his own magic power. He lashed up suddenly and viciously, hitting the king in the stomach. He staggered back, and Link leaped to his feet, turning and facing the king, who had already recovered.
Link turned his body sideways and got into a fighting stance, arms raised and eyes on the dagger. The king darted forward and slashed at Link's neck. Link grabbed the king's wrist to stop the knife, and then kicked him in the chest, sending him staggering back. He followed up by punching him in the jaw and then spinning and delivering a second kick in the chest. The king fell over, and Link jumped forward to wrench the knife from his grasp.
The king surprised him by rolling backward and to his feet with amazing agility. His lip was bleeding, but otherwise he looked fine. Link remembered Elisa mentioning that the fountain that drove him insane gave him superhuman powers.
"Filthy Hylian! Get out of here!" The king spat, lunging forward. Link stepped backward, and the blade grazed his chest, leaving a shallow cut. He then pushed the king into the table he had been sitting at, sending him sprawling over it and onto the other side. Link jumped up onto the table and then off the other side, but the king rolled to the side and got to his feet before Link could disarm him.
The king moved first again; this time he lunged forward and tried to stab Link. Link back flipped and landed at the edge of the table. One of the legs gave out and it collapsed to the side, but he jumped forward before he fell and drop kicked the king in the chest. The king stumbled back and finally dropped the knife. Link crouched and snagged it out of the air before it hit the ground, and then stood and rammed it through the king's hand and into the wall. The king let out a bellow of pain and rage. Link let go of the knife, leaving it pinning the king to the wall. He then ran to his weapons and fastened them back onto his shoulder belt.
He turned back, and to his shock the king reached over and pulled the knife out of his hand, laughing. He smeared the blood on his cheek with a deranged smile, and then charged at Link. Link easily blocked the knife with his shield, and slashed at the king's leg. The king fell onto the floor with a yell, scampering backwards toward the door with his hands. Link raised his sword and stepped toward him, realizing there was nothing he could do but put the king out of his misery.
"No! Don't!" A voice shrieked from the door. Elisa ran in and stood in front of Link, grabbing his arm and sobbing for him not to do it. He stood frozen, unable to do anything. He was about to drop his weapon when he saw the king stir ahead of him.
"Look out!" He yelled, but it was too late. He felt Elisa's body jerk, and over her shoulder he saw the king holding his knife in her back. She gasped, and the king pulled the knife back before running to the door. Elisa slid to the floor. Link started after the king, but then turned back to Elisa. who was lying on her back. He could already see the blood pooling, and knew it was a fatal wound.
He crouched by her, speaking soothingly. Her breathing was rapid, and her eyes were already beginning to lose their focus. "Link… I…" She started, but then the last of her strength failed, and she lay still. Her breathing stopped, and her eyes went blank.
Link just knelt there, shocked. Everything had happened so fast, and was just now sinking in. The king had… stabbed his own daughter. She had saved Link from the coliseum, but the one time she was in danger Link couldn't help her. He shook these thoughts from his head; blaming himself would not help. Without warning, he felt a powerful rage course through his body, and he stood suddenly and strode to the door. He kicked it open hard enough to splinter the wood. The next day his leg would be throbbing, but at the moment he felt nothing.
"Stop!" yelled one of the many guards waiting for him outside.
Link drew his sword and launched himself at the one who spoke, and killed him with a wild swing. He spun and parried a sword swing from another, then flipped over him and slashed his head. He performed a quick spin attack as he landed, and then bolted for the stairs leading down. He turned and began running backwards, bow drawn. He used his last arrow, infused it with the strongest fire he could create, and the carpet began to burn. It spread to the curtains, and then to the wooden floor beneath the carpet. With the hallway blazing behind him, he entered the tower he had come up through and headed down the stairs. His bombs had done some real damage; he had to leap over large weak sections and even places where the stairs had already given out.
He finally hit the bottom floor, and quickly left the tower and headed through the short hallway. He left that and entered the main hall, where a large group of guards was assembled and waiting for him. He saw the king of Jarmania and the cloaked man head into the hallway on the other side, presumably heading for the other tower to get back upstairs.
"Stop him! Protect the king!" yelled one of the guards.
Link was about to strike and see how his luck held when there was a loud crash, and dust fell from the ceiling above. Link glanced out the window, which offered a decent view of Jarmania from the castle's hilltop position. A large portion of the city was burning, and he saw, even through the rain and darkness of night, the Hylian army just outside the castle's wall. Chunks of rock were being fired at the castle from the catapults even as infantry poured in through the gate, heading for the castle.
The guards abandoned him at once, and ran to the large, wooden door. The bolt that was used to lock it had splintered when Link headed through, so the guards propped themselves up against it. Link knew they wouldn't hold; there were gorons out there. Link prepared to head back upstairs, but stopped when rationale thoughts once more filled his head. The castle was lost; anyone could see that. With the castle taken, the Hylians would offer the king one chance for surrender. The king would of course refuse, and then be executed. There was no escape for him, and if Link went up there after him, he would only be putting himself in danger from the catapults and more. Hesitating for only a short while, Link turned away from the stairs and back toward the front door. Almost as soon as he did so, there was a loud CRACK and the doors burst open. Gorons rolled in, running down the guards before uncurling inside the room. Hylians and Gerudos alike flooded in after, killing off the remaining guards and then rushing up the stairs.
Link waited as they ran by him, not paying any attention. With the castle overrun, the remainder of the army began searching the city for any pockets of resistance; they also created a blockade to make sure no one escaped to other parts of the country. Link headed outside, and was spotted instantly by Nabooru.
"Link! You're alive! We thought you were killed when you vanished after we took the outer wall. Zelda's been worried sick. What were you doing anyway?" She asked him.
"There was something I had to do." Link responded.
"Fine, don't tell me. Know what happened to Elisa?" Nabooru asked.
"Dead. King killed her." Link said bluntly.
"No… that bastard. I'm sorry, Link. Don't worry, we'll get him." Nabooru said angrily.
"I'm sure you will. Think you can manage without me? I should go find Zelda." Link said.
"Of course, we'll be fine. We're pretty much finished. All that's left is to tie up the loose ends."
"Thanks." Link said, turning and heading off. Just as he did, the sun appeared in the horizon. The rain had stopped, and the clear sky was beginning to lighten. It was a new day, and Hyrule's future looked bright. But the many lives sacrificed for its safety must never be forgotten. Peace comes at a cost… and that too must never be forgotten.
AN: Phew. Done. Wow… feels like I've been working on this forever. I have to admit, it's nice to finish; this story was starting to feel like a chore. Thank you to everyone who've reviewed, and extra thanks to the following people for regularly reviewing: ZombieDragon, Spiritual Stone, Anime Wildfire, and Simbiot 2.0. You're the best. I know it says the end, but it's possible I'll write a little epilogue to explain a few things. Let me just finish up with the usual: Please review.