The Legend of Zelda:
The Fourth Piece
Eight months after the events of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
No one knew his name. That in itself was not unusual; many people passed through Castle Town without telling anyone who they were. It was the center of commerce for Hyrule, and the biggest town in the kingdom. People of all kinds lived and worked here, and most tended to stick with the group they were most familiar with.
The man moved through the streets of Castle Town, a dark brown cloak covering his massive frame. His hood was up, concealing his face. This also was not unusual and was not commented on, for it was raining.
The thugs and pickpockets, inevitably encountered in any large gathering of people, left the man alone, which was unusual. The reason the city lowlifes avoided the man was this: He was nearly seven feet tall, and even with a cloak obscuring his figure, he was quite obviously powerfully built. Not one to challenge without numbers on your side. Even then it might be risky.
The cloaked man paused briefly in the central square to look up at Hyrule Castle, now in the final stages of reconstruction. The building was only now beginning to recapture its former glory after nearly being destroyed, and the man thought the castle particularly impressive framed by the occasional flashes of lightning.
A Hyrule soldier, portly and dim-witted, was stopped by the big man near the fountain in the central square of Castle Town. The two exchanged words, and the soldier pointed off down the south road. The cloaked man thanked the soldier and set off in the direction indicated.
He moved past the street-vendors' stalls, casually glancing at the few who were still out, huddled under awnings against the rain. There were few people out in the storm, save for a gaggle of laughing children playing in the puddles, a few adults watching them, and a few other travelers like himself, hurrying to their destinations. A dog came alongside the cloaked man and paced him for a while, but gradually grew disinterested and moved off.
The man in the cloak came to his destination, an establishment by the name of Telma's Bar near the southern gate of the city. Rain pooled in the cobblestones of the courtyard outside the bar's entrance, and the man's booted feet splashed through a few of the puddles as he made his way to the entrance, noting the sign that said the tavern was open. He opened the door and stepped through, ducking his head under the frame. Bars were often good sources of information, and perhaps he would find a clue here from one of the patrons or the owner.
What struck him first about the tavern was how few people were in it. This was the only establishment of its kind he had seen so far, and being the evening, he expected it to be full. Telma's Bar was pleasantly lit, with stone walls, wooden shelves filled with bottles and other packages, and several tables, though only two were occupied.
A dark-skinned older man, a severe-looking young woman, and another man with a goatee and blond hair restrained by a headband sat at the table in the back, poring over a map. Only the young woman looked up at him, then went back to studying the map with the two men. At the other table, which was near the middle of the tavern, a skinny, well-dressed man sat with his head in his arms, sobbing quietly.
Before the cloaked man said a word, the woman behind the bar, presumably Telma, shouted a jovial greeting to him.
"My, aren't we a big one!" She looked him over from behind the bar. "Come in, come in. Take off your cloak and stay a while!" She was a full-figured woman with vibrant red hair, easygoing in her manner, but he could tell she was ready for trouble if it came. Her white-furred cat jumped up on the bar and mewed at him.
The man threw back his hood and unclasped his travel-stained cloak, hanging it on a peg by the door. He was dressed in green and brown, with leather bracers on his forearms and a pair of black, mud-spattered boots on his feet. A sword hung in a leather-and-metal scabbard at his hip, well-cared-for but obviously well-used. There were a few throwing knives tucked into his belt, and a small axe rode the opposite side of his belt from his sword. He ran a hand through his dark hair, squeezing some of the water out.
The big man gave the proprietress a polite smile as she waved him to a table. He took his seat, and the chair creaked as he leaned back in it.
"What'll it be for you today?" Telma asked, walking over to him.
"A jug of ale, and some meat, if you have any." His voice was deep, and he made sure his tone was casual, to avoid seeming intimidating. Intimidation was not his intent at this time.
"Right away, honey," she said, and moved off to get his order.
He rubbed a hand across his dark beard thoughtfully as he looked around the bar. As he passed his gaze across the table in the back again, the old man nodded to him, then pointed to a spot on the map and moved a piece of paper next to it, muttering something to the other man seated next to him. The other man shook his head and pointed to a different spot on the map, saying something back. The young woman appeared to agree with him, as she tapped her finger on the same spot and moved the scrap of paper next to the new location.
Uninterested in their conversation, the man continued to look around the bar until Telma came back over to his table with a jug of ale and a mug in one hand and a plate of meat in the other.
"Thank you," he said as she set the food on his table. She nodded to him and started back to the bar, but he gestured for her to wait. She would probably at least recognize the object he was seeking, since it undoubtedly factored heavily in the local legends.
"Yes? Is there something else you need, honey?"
The man pulled a folded piece of paper out of a pocket in his leather jerkin and smoothed it on the table. Telma bent in for a closer look. "Have you seen someone with this sword in their possession?" he asked her. The drawing depicted the weapon known as the Master Sword, the Blade of Evil's Bane.
Telma concealed her surprise, but it was obvious she recognized the sacred weapon. "Well, yes, I have. Why?"
The man leaned forward eagerly. "You have? Where? And when?"
"First, why are you asking about it?" she said, narrowing her eyes slightly.
"I have come to Hyrule seeking the bearer of this sword, for only a Hero could master it, and it is the Hero I need to speak with. Tell me, do you know him?" The man's eyes met hers, and he could see Telma was taken aback by the intensity in his dark brown eyes.
She hesitated for a moment, but she shrugged and answered. "Sure, I know him. His name is Link. He comes in here sometimes."
A glimmer of hope flared within the big man. "And you have seen this Link with this sword? You are sure?"
"Yes, definitely." Telma nodded, glancing back down at the drawing before looking back up at him.
Unable to contain his excitement, the man leaped to his feet, sending his chair flying back against the wall. He threw back his head and gave a roaring triumphant laugh, causing even the sobbing man to look up at him in surprise. "Tell me, madam, where might I find this Link?" he said, reaching out with his massive arms to grab Telma's shoulders.
Even the normally unflappable Telma was surprised by the stranger's reaction to her answer. "Well, I think you'd have a hard time getting to him right now..."
"Do you see my glasses in there?" The speaker was a thin, neatly dressed young man named Shad, a scholar who looked more like he belonged in a library than sitting beside the deep pool of water in front of him, squinting into it. He sat down and took off one of his shoes, dumping the water out of it on the grass next to him.
"No, but I'll go look for them," said his companion, a man of about the same age but of drastically different build. This man, whose name was Link, looked used to adventuring, despite his relatively young age. He touched something on his belt, and the forest-green tunic and hat he wore morphed into a set of blue clothes of similar cut, with scaled armor on the chest and flippers on the boots.
Shad chuckled at the odd sight. "You've got to tell me how you do that, old boy."
Link smiled. "Ask the Zoras. They're the ones who gave me the armor." He turned and dove into the water, a membrane on the neck of his Zora Armor coming up to cover his nose and mouth. He swam deeper to the bottom, his blue eyes darting back and forth as he looked for Shad's glasses. They had apparently come off during their landing, and since, according to Shad, he was "blind as a bat without them", it was fairly important that they be found.
The two of them had come to the City in the Sky at Shad's request, to study the Oocca and their amazing flying city. Ever since Link had found the Oocca Sky Cannon and had it repaired, Shad had been begging Link to take him to the City in the Sky, and it was only recently that the normally busy Hero's schedule had cleared long enough to oblige his scholarly friend's request. Link had, of course, been to the city before, having come here in search of a fragment of the Mirror of Twilight during the course of his quest.
A momentary grimace crossed the young Hero's features. The last time he had been to this city, Midna had been with him. They had explored the city together, overcoming the challenges and capturing the rewards that the Sky City had to offer.
Preferring not to think about Midna just now, Link returned his attention to his search.
Spying something glinting on the bottom of the pool, he swam toward it and seized it in his hand. It was Shad's glasses, so Link surfaced and stroked toward the edge of the pool, where Shad was standing. He hauled himself out of the pool, designed to cushion the landing of those who used the Sky Cannon, and handed the scholar his glasses.
"Ah, thank you very much, Link," Shad said, wiping off the lenses with a handkerchief and putting them on.
Link touched the jewel on his belt again, and the Zora Armor morphed back into his normal clothes. As always, he sensed the armor sliding into the 'pocket' Midna had created for him with her magic. She had explained how it worked to him once, but not being magically inclined himself, Link didn't really understand it. All he knew was that he possessed a magical 'pocket' that all of his equipment could be kept in when not in use. If not for the pocket, he would have to store all of his various weapons and devices somewhere on his person, which would weigh him down considerably. He smiled slightly as he remembered acquiring the ball and chain, and Midna's sarcastic comment afterward.
"You're lucky you've got me and my magic," the Twili had said, "otherwise all this junk would make you stoop over like an old man and probably break your back. I hope you're grateful!"
Link was brought out of his reverie by Shad's enthusiastic ramblings about how everything was just so incredible and how he wished his father could be here to see this, and why hadn't Link told him about this place sooner and where were the Ooccas and various other things that Link didn't follow because the other man was talking so fast in his excitement. The Hero couldn't help but smile at the scholar's enthusiasm.
The two men started off in the direction of the Oocca shop, which Link thought to be the most likely place to encounter one of the strange, bird-like creatures.
Suddenly, a snarling Baba Serpent reared up out of a patch of grass in front of them. Instinctively, Link reached back for his sword, and almost faster than the normal eye could follow, whipped the blade out of the scabbard and down at the creature, executing the skill known as the Mortal Draw. The blow sliced through the creature's head and neck, killing it instantly. The Hero twirled his Ordon sword a couple times, then slid it back into its scabbard, kicking the severed head aside
"I say, Link, bloody good move you've got there. Do you encounter those things often?" Shad asked, gingerly stepping around the remains of the plant-creature.
"More often than I'd like," Link replied. "They're more an annoyance than an actual threat. Come on, there should be a couple Oocca in that building over there." Link continued on the narrow walkway, a low wall on either side, that lead to the nearest building in the City in the Sky, a small shop run by one of the odd little bird-creatures. Why the thing sold items its people couldn't use, Link didn't know, but he'd developed a rather low opinion of the sky beings' intelligence in his encounters with them. If Shad thought these things were closer to the gods than Hylians, he was in for a surprise.
The Hero stepped in front of the brightly colored door to the shop, and it opened by itself, as if by magic. As he and Shad entered the garishly decorated little shop, Link heard his friend make an odd noise, a sort of incredulous snort.
A few Oocca were wandering about in the shop. They were odd-looking creatures, with almost human-looking heads, long necks, and fat, stubby-winged bodies. Link had never said anything to anyone except Midna about this, but personally, he thought they looked like a cross between a human and a Cucco, and a bad one at that.
Midna had found his remark hilarious, and would sometimes make odd squawking noises after they spotted one of the creatures, which would send them both into fits of laughter. Since almost none of the Oocca spoke Hylian, they were usually unable to explain just what they were laughing at, and this would make them both burst out laughing again.
Link sighed quietly to himself. He missed Midna. He missed her sarcastic sense of humor sometimes, but mostly he missed having someone to talk to, someone to keep the normally solitary Hero company on the long days and nights of his travels. He especially wished they had parted differently.
But, there was no sense thinking about that right now. He had other things to do, such as try and pretend that he had heard whatever it was Shad had just said to him.
"Did you hear me, Link? I said, let's go outside for a minute." The scholar gestured at the door, his expression a mixture of amusement and puzzlement. The Oocca continued to babble at each other in their high-pitched voices, and while a few of them looked over at the two men, none of them approached or said anything in Hylian to them.
They stepped back through the door, and it shut behind them. As it often did up here, the wind picked up suddenly, and the two of them hunkered against the wall, the wind still pulling at their hair and clothes.
Shad paused, a thoughtful look on his face. "Link, have any of those creatures ever demonstrated telekinetic powers?"
"What?" The Hero wasn't sure what 'telekinetic' meant. It probably had something to do with magic, a field in which Link's knowledge was sparse.
"Have they ever moved anything without touching it?" Shad rubbed the back of his neck thoughtfully.
Link hadn't ever seen an Oocca do anything like that, and he told him so.
"May I see your Dominion Rod, please?" Shad said, looking increasingly thoughtful and suspicious.
Link reached into his 'pocket' and handed the ancient rod to Shad. It was about three feet long, made of some kind of bluish-gray metal, and hummed with some kind of magical energy. Again, Link didn't know too much about it, and Midna hadn't either, but it was useful at a few points in their journey, and Link hadn't given it much thought beyond that. He'd had enough to think about already.
"Mmm, yes, I thought so." The scholar turned the Dominion Rod over in his hands, examining the carvings on it. "You are sure this rod is Oocca technology?"
"Yes." Link was starting wonder what Shad was getting at.
"I don't think these creatures you know as Oocca are the ones who built this city." Shad tapped the rod against his hand slowly, looking out at the rest of the city.
"What?! Then who did?" Link was surprised. That thought hadn't occurred to him before, though it did make sense.
Shad shrugged. "I don't know right now. But think about it, Link. These things that call themselves Oocca don't have the right anatomy to manipulate tools, so unless they have telekinetic or strong magical powers, they can't have made this place. And another thing," he gestured out at the rest of the city, "this city isn't proportioned for beings of that size." He adjusted his glasses as he pointed to the door behind them. "For example, if those little things made this city, why are all the doors proportioned for creatures our size? Why not make them smaller? Why not make the whole city smaller and designed for those little creatures instead of made for humanoid-sized beings?"
Link looked out at the city again. He hadn't really thought about that the first time he'd been here. He'd been preoccupied with finding the final Mirror shard so he could move on to his confrontation with Zant. But now that he thought about it, Midna had said something in passing about how strange it was that creatures that small had made a city this big.
The Hero was about to verbally agree with his friend when he felt an odd vibration on his back. Momentarily startled, he reached into one of the pouches on his belt and pulled out the Gossip Stone that Princess Zelda had given to him a few months ago, which was buzzing insistently.
As Link looked into the multifaceted green stone, he saw the Princess' face, her expression moving from worried to relieved as she saw his face in her own stone.
"Please, Hero, you must come quickly!" Her voiced was strained, and slightly hoarse, and the Hero could hear other noise in the background, though it was too distorted to make out.
"What is it? What's wrong?" He demanded, instantly concerned.
There was a loud noise on the other end, followed by coughing and a gasp from Zelda. "Hyrule Castle is under attack! We need your help!"
Author's Note: This story will be long, novel-length at least. It will also be fairly complex, telling the story from many different points of view and also expanding on the Twilight Princess world, introducing some new characters and re-introducing some old ones in new forms. Hopefully, it's enjoyable and not confusing, but only your reviews can tell me. (not-so-subtle hint) ;)
(Revision Note) I'm revising the story, improving the descriptions, dialogue, and a few other things, but much of the story will remain the way I originally posted it. Mostly, I'm just fixing some awkward wording and correcting mistakes that found their way through the first time around. Enjoy!
Also, this story now has cover art! To see it, go to my profile and click the link in the note about this story there. Much thanks to the artist, Silverwolf05, who has done quite a lot of art for this story, as well as several of my others.