So I suck…a lot. I can give you all sorts of excuses but so much has happened since last chapter I couldn't even recap it all. Basically, with a fulltime job I find I have almost no time to write, but I need to find a better routine because I don't like leaving this story for such a long period of time. Luckily, I think I may have some more free time coming up.
Seriously, I cannot apologize enough, everyone that has left a review is awesome. I promise this story will not die until I finish it. At this rate that may not be until the year 2030, but let's hope that isn't the case.
Quick recap before you start…actually…you don't need it. Just know, the war is finally starting and you're caught up. No more delays. Enjoy.
"Good luck boys," a young Knight who was only about sixteen called out to the lines of Ordonians walking out the gate.
"Get back here you idiot," An older Knight in his late thirties called to the boy. He was sitting among some other knights on several scattered rocks going over their equipment. They were camped outside of Ordon. It was their own choice. They didn't feel comfortable in the village, and would rather stay in their tents outside the gates.
They watched as hundreds of Ordonians poured out in formation, but the small gate only allowed ten across at most. The Ordonians were dressed in green tunics, but each warrior had their own touch. Some wore chain mail underneath their tunics, some wore olive green steel over or a thin brass plate. Some wore helmets, others wore the official green pointed hats, and some wore basically nothing besides the tunic. Every Ordonian had a spear, but they varied in what type of spear they were. The same could be said for their shields. While there were multiple kinds of shields, many warriors did have the same type. A big round shield, but they were made out of different materials. Some were brass, some were wood with a coat of steel covering it, and other's seemed to be wood alone.
The young Knight walked back to the group and sat down on the grass, "I just wanted to support them. We're on the same side now."
"That's not it," The veteran Knight scoffed, "They don't need a boy encouraging them. Don't make us look naive by giving them your girlish support."
The boy ignored the remark. He'd never seen Ordon before now, and the warriors intrigued him. "They all have different armor and uniforms. It's strange to see that everyone isn't the same."
"They are green. That's all they need to match."
"And their weapons," Another Knight commented.
"Oh right, those too."
"None of their weapons match," The young Knight noted.
"They aren't in their positions yet," The older Knight answered. "They may be walking in lines but this is not their battle position. Once they get on the field they'll separate. You'll see. All the brass shields will go near the front, big guys up front as well, archers in back, you get it."
A group of Ordonians came out of the gate laughing and the knights overheard him say how he was going to collect the fingers of every Gerudo he kills. The other Ordon warriors laughed and shoved him, to which he shoved back.
"They act as though they are going to play a game," The young Knight commented.
"That's only the young ones," Another Knight explained. He was polishing his sword but stopped to watch them. As the group that was laughing passed he called out, "Don't waste time taking their fingers—their heads will do!"
"I'll show you old man," The Ordon boy laughed, "I'll have a necklace of thumbs when I return."
"I'll cut off my own thumb and give it to you if you manage that," The Knight laughed.
"Best get a last good tug in before you lose a thumb," The Ordon gestured inappropriately laughing as all his friends laughed along.
The Knights laughed, "They're young but no doubt good warriors."
"They don't look that young," The boy commented, "Not as young as me, I mean."
"They've seen war, maybe even the last war when we were here, but they would've been spear boys then I bet. Maybe they fought, but not on the front lines. You'll know when the front-line walks out."
"You'll piss yourself," The Knights laughed.
The young Knight was going to ask what he meant but there was no need. A group of Ordonians walked out of the gate slowly. They didn't utter a single word to anyone. Their large circular bronze shields swayed on their left arms, and in their right hand was a large pike. They marched in unison and each step was a powerful march to battle. Their leg muscles were bulging as the tunic lifted with each step, and their arms had rippling veins running down them. Their arms looked bigger than the young Knight's head. The hard stares that the Ordonians held were not one to meet with one's own eyes, and the scars that covered their bodies was enough to show they had killed many men.
"That's the front boy," A Knight remarked seriously as he stopped tinkering with his helmet.
They watched them walk by in front of them. The footsteps fell on the ground unison with power as if each step was demanding the ground to bend to them. The Ordonians never looked anywhere else but straight ahead—their eyes solely looking for the battle ahead.
"I'm glad we don't have to fight them," The young Knight stated.
"And pray you never do," The other Knight responded, "The Ordon front-line is not something you ever want to go up against. They are no laughing matter, and I could not feel safer being behind anything else."
"Have some respect for your own army," Another Knight called out.
"If I could explain to you what they do I wouldn't be fighting. I would be in some tent planning this battle. The way that front-line operates is something extraordinary. They send just enough men to hold it so it won't move, and then at the perfect moment they have more men drive against it. It causes well planned breaks to push into enemy lines. Not to mention they can fill any gaps."
"What about if you break their line," The young Knight inquired.
"Then you're definitely dead." The voice came from behind them.
"Sir Gentilesse!" The Knights shouted and jumped to their feet.
He held his hand up. "At Ease. You may sit back down."
"We were just watching their lines march. I wish we were fighting today Sir." The young Knight spoke naively.
"You'll get your chance, don't worry." Sir Gentilesse smiled, "It is tradition that on the first day the main armies face each other alone. Allies stay out. Actually, I believe this tradition started because when two arms would fight, they wouldn't get allies until they proved they could actually win a battle. Seeing how we already determined sides, this is nothing but a formality. That being said, I look forward to seeing how Ordon has adapted since their last war."
"I hear they always come up with new strategies the second any of theirs fail."
"That's the rumor." Sir Gentilesse answered watching the warriors walk out.
"Do you think any heroes will fight today?"
"Shut up boy!" The older Knight hissed at the naïve knight.
Heroes were any exceptional soldiers that were known by name throughout the land. The soldiers that had songs sung about them in taverns. Whether the songs are about their legendary triumphs over evil, or their disastrous deeds that strike fear into their enemies—a hero was someone that people rejoiced to see, or feared for their lives when they appeared.
Sir Gentilesse was a hero himself, along with people like Rusl and Bo. There were many others, and plenty of them fought for Gerudo as well...
Sir Gentilesse laughed, "It's okay. I was as eager as him when I was young. Seeing Sane Silver Lance walk passed me as a boy is a moment I'll never forget. May I ask who you wish to see today?"
"I cannot stop hearing about some boy near my age named Link. They already call him the Wolf of Ordon."
"He is indeed interesting," Sir Gentilesse remarked, "It is very rare for someone to get so much recognition before they even fight in a war. Normally, when someone starts to get a name for themselves, they prove it in a war, then they are recognized. But Link has managed to skip that step."
"That could also mean he isn't as great as people make him seem," A different Knight added.
"Very true. He may not be what we are all expecting, but if that was the case, I don't think Ordon would boast about him so much. They are a proud people, but I haven't heard many warriors claim they could beat him. Even people with real battle experience."
"You don't think he is the best in Ordon already do you?" The young Knight pressed. "Who do you think is the best?"
"The best in Ordon?" Sir Gentilesse chuckled. "It's hard to say. It could be that man right there on the horse."
The Knight watched as two men rode next to each other. One on a horse and one in a chariot.
"I don't know who that is," The young Knight claimed.
"It's Rusl," The older Knight spat at the horse.
Sir Gentilesse put his hand flat against the Knight's chest in a hard warning, "He is the equivalent of a General. Do not spit in his direction as if some common thief."
"He killed my friend," The Knight replied hotly.
"And I killed his." Sir Gentilesse answered not angrily but clearly standing strong. "We cannot continue this cycle of hate."
There was a moment of heated silence so the young Knight spoke up, "Well I know the one in the car is Bo—The Shield Breaker if I remember correctly…or was it the Hammer of Ordon, wait…the Goat's Horns? I can't keep all the names straight. But Rusl…what's his full title, maybe I'll recognize it?"
"He doesn't have one," Sir Gentilesse lowered his hand and stepped back from the Knight, "He is known throughout the land, but only by warriors. There are no tales of him. Maybe because Collan always took the stage, or maybe because he doesn't want people to know who he is. But as far as strength goes…Rusl may be the best in Ordon currently."
They watched the two of them pass by.
Bo looked over at the group, "Gentilesse, I would be honored if you would accompany us out for negotiations."
"Honored, but not enough to say 'Sir'," A Knight remarked under his breath.
"Wonderful," Sir Gentilesse bowed, "It would be my honor. I will grab my steed and meet you when you're ready. I cannot wait to see the man who has thrown this land into turmoil."
"Very good." Bo nodded, "Meet us when you can."
"I cannot believe Ganondorf led the army himself," A Knight stated looking out across the open field to the sea of black gathering in the distance.
An emissary rode up yesterday to relay a message that Ganondorf was here in person and wanted to speak before the oncoming war.
"Ganondorf loves war," Sir Gentilesse's statement was simple but true. A man that was impossible to predict in all other cases was known openly for his love of battle. Sir Gentilesse never thought for a second Ganondorf wouldn't arrive here personally to fight.
"Hey boy," A Knight called to the young Knight, "There's your Wolf."
The men turned to see three teenagers riding out of the gate. It was Link with Blaine and Troy on his sides. They were talking and smiling like it was any other day. Achilles walked in front of the horses slowly and alert to all that was going on.
"They know they aren't fighting today," A Knight spoke, "They wouldn't be that calm if they were."
"I'm not so sure," Sir Gentilesse smiled knowingly, "I think all three have been waiting for this."
"He doesn't look that big," The boy commented on Link. "Not like those men on the frontline. But for some reason…he gives me the chills."
"That's your gut telling you something very important. You need to remember that feeling before this war starts," Sir Gentilesse looked at the boy seriously, "Your gut is telling you that if you fight him—you will die. You don't need to see his skills, only feel his aura. Many warriors do their best to mask it."
"Like you?" The Boy said, but instantly felt heat in his cheeks for saying such a thing.
Sir Gentilesse smiled not surprised by the comment, "If you ever meet a certain Zora you will really see what I mean. But Link…he makes no attempt to mask it. I am starting to believe he does it on purpose, or…he really is just that confident."
The three teenagers walked passed Sir Gentilesse and all looked at him.
"Enjoy the sidelines," Troy called out to the group, "I'll be home by sunset, so please have dinner ready."
Link and Blaine laughed as they sauntered off.
"Don't laugh Link. No way you are fighting today." Blaine punched his shoulder. "Not the perfect pretty boy. You're too important for that."
"Nothing is stopping me from fighting today," Link scoffed, "I'm taking Ganondorf's head today."
"Oh tough speech," Troy jeered, "How you gonna do that when Rusl makes you sit by his side."
"No way I'm letting that happen."
"Well we'll let you know how it felt after, when we meet up," Blaine joined in.
"Whatever," Link ended the conversation as he looked over to see all the Gerudo on the far side of the field.
The Ordon forces were currently elevated slightly with the rise of the land that met with the entrance to gate of Ordon. It wasn't exactly a valley, but there was a slight decline in the middle and the Gerudo were resting on the other end which was raised only slightly as well. The combat would take place below, and the field wasn't flat either. There were mounds and small rises that would give advantages to whoever took them. The small mounds, while not that high, would give an advantage of sight, communication, and most importantly, the moral victory. Many battles to gain control of those small mounds would take place, and everyone knew it. The tree line was narrow, but a few hundred people could still stand in a line across.
Link gazed over all the Ordon warriors gathering and starting to make their way to their proper positions. The weeks leading up to the war had battle training, but it was really just a refresher. Ordon trained everyone individually in their own family. Troy's mother trained him, Rusl trained Link in his father's stead, and many other families would teach their children to fight. It was up to the family to train the child properly, and then teach them how to fight in battle-lines with other warriors. The training the past several weeks was to fix any mistakes, but every Ordonian should understand their role already.
Link looked over at Blaine and thought about how he wasn't trained by his family. Blaine's parents were farmers, and they had no fighting experience. There are daily public sessions that anyone can attend at different skill levels for people whose parents aren't warriors. Vex is one teacher and instructs the advanced class.
Blaine began in these classes and picked up the basics. In fact, the way he and Link became friends was through a class. Not that Link was attending it. He only went there to cause trouble and say how he was trained by his father, the greatest warrior in the world, as he put it. Blaine refused to admit that and they fought right there…as much as two children can anyways. They rolled around on the ground and hit each other with weak fists. It was after Ordon lost the war that the many people dropped out of the classes. It was a devastating loss that affected everyone. Motivation among the villagers plummeted after that war. They lost many friends and family, but also lost the freedom of their country.
There were still some classes that Blaine attended, but they weren't as useful as before with so many fewer attendees. Link remembered how Blaine was made an outcast for having parents that were still alive. Non-warrior parents attached to a child like a disease and can draw a lot of negative attention. Link couldn't remember if it was pity or honest intent, but he invited Blaine to come along when Rusl was teaching him. That soon became the norm. Rusl mostly taught Link, but would not stop Blaine from coming along time to time. Link and Blaine practiced outside of Rusl's presence as well, and that's how they became as close as they are today.
Link knows Blaine is looking to prove he's a warrior. His grandparents were also farmers and most of his ancestors as well. He could be the first hero in his family that makes a name for himself. Link knows that's what Blaine wants, and he aims to prove it in the war.
It's strange. Link came from the most well-known name, and is looking to prove himself. Blaine, with no notable name, is looking to prove himself as well. Two people from completely different families, best friends in life, and soon to be brothers on the battlefield.
He looked at Troy and saw the boy yawn. He was lazy and never wanted to be a fighter. His mother made him the archer he is—basically forcing him all day and well into the night. Troy isn't close to being the best archer, but in the past few weeks he's made some incredible improvement. Link can see where he gets the talent from. He just doesn't apply himself, but if there was ever a time to get motivated, it is in the middle of battle.
Admittedly, now was not the time to think about all that.
"Link!" Rusl called out. He was sitting on his horse among Bo, Vex, and Troy's mother Tara.
The three teenagers rode up to the group.
"Come on son," Tara kicked her horse into motion. "Stay close to me today. We'll be riding, no way I'm having my son sitting on his ass in the back."
There were two main types of archers for Ordon. One stood in the back and were purely for defense. If the Gerudo managed to push the Ordon lines back far enough, the Ordon archers could shoot endless volleys into their ranks without worry of hitting any Ordonians. Needless to say, the Gerudo were doing the exact same thing on their end. It's why a majority of the fighting will take place in the middle where arrows cannot reach the enemies. An army will only press into the archers range if they mean to go all the way, and if that happens, the war will most likely be over since one side was overrun.
The second main type of archer doubles as a messenger. There are flag carriers that can wave signals across the field for communication and undoubtedly these signalers will be scattered on the small hills throughout the valley. But it is the archers that will ride their horses into the lines and deliver messages. Most of the time, it is drawing some warrior from one area and leading them to a new area where they are needed more. Often times, an archer will give up his horse for that warrior to travel to where they are needed more quickly. The other duty of the archers on the horse is sniping certain people in the frontlines. One archer can hold back a break in a line if they know what they're doing.
When a line breaks, there is a second line prepared to become the new front, but it is a few rows of people back from the front line. When the front breaks, everyone must flee behind the second line of shields. There is only a couple seconds to do this before the second line locks shields. Anyone stuck on the wrong side won't get through. It's to prevent another break. Warriors know this, and if they don't make it in time, they must turn and fight for their life…as hopeless as it may be.
Archers are extremely important when lines break. They can pick out the leading charge from the other side and give their retreating forces a couple extra precious seconds to get behind the second line.
Troy's mother is famous for this exact reason. It was said that Tara was able to hold back the entire charging force of an army with her bow. An exaggeration many claim, but all lies hold some truth. Her personal style of rapid firing arrows is perfected for short range firing. That's why she is in charge of all the Riding Archers for Ordon. She's the most skilled, respected, and has the experience on top of it.
This of course means it is more dangerous to be an archer riding a horse. They are closer to the front and can take a stray arrow or spear. The archers need extreme agility and need a great eye to see everything on a battlefield with thousands of people.
Tara is trying to get Troy into it as well. He may have the talent, but it has yet to be proven.
Troy looked at Blaine and Link. He held out his fist. Link and Blaine put their own fists against his.
"I'll see you after then." Troy told them in a serious tone.
"We'll tell you all about what it's like to be in the battle and not watching it." Blaine joked.
Troy cracked a smile. "I'm looking forward to it."
There was a moment of sadness that came quickly and went even faster. It hit Link surprisingly. He wasn't expecting it, but couldn't say he was shocked. He didn't want to be morbid, and he never thought this for a second, but there was a chance…a tiny chance…he may never see Troy again. This was a war after all.
They watched the boy saunter off following his mother.
"Blaine," Rusl called their attention, "You have your position, yes?"
"Don't worry," Blaine chuckled to avoid the unintentional blow to his ego. "I know my spot."
He was not allowed to stand back here, this is where the heroes stood. They were the important fighters that could single-handedly turn the tide of battle. They would wait until they were needed and charge into battle. If a line broke, or an enemy hero was gaining too much ground, an Ordon hero would enter the fray. They didn't fight on the front, they hung back and waited until they were needed. Not to say they never fought, it would just be a waste to have someone as skilled as Rusl or Vex in the front and take a random arrow. There was too many random occurrences in the front. Even the most skilled people could die for the dumbest reason.
"I'll see you after," Blaine told Link.
The blonde held out his arm and Blaine grabbed it strongly.
"I'll buy you a beer for every Gerudo you slay." Link told him with a grin.
"You don't have the money." Blaine laughed and hopped off his horse. He told her to stay and knew someone would take care of her in the back. He headed towards his position. He wasn't on the front—not with his two swords. He would be in the middle, behind the second line, as a fighter in case an open skirmish broke out. He would not be a Wolf today—a person that charges behind the frontline to cause disorder in the enemy's ranks. The most dangerous position, one that only the most skilled and experienced fighters could hold…the life expectancy of a Wolf was not long…
Blaine did not have the experience, so he would hang back for any chaotic skirmishes because his style would be advantageous. He may not see any action today, or he may see a lot. It all depends on how the battle goes.
Link watched Blaine disappear into the crowd of soldiers and once again a brief moment of grief struck the blonde. This could be the last time Blaine and him would ever speak. The moment didn't pass as quickly as the last, and Link thought about what Malon told him before walking through the village gates.
"He isn't as strong as you Link. Please, keep him safe."
Link didn't laugh it off like he normally would. He told Malon, "Blaine is an incredible fighter, he'll take care of himself, but I will watch over him like any brother."
Link knew he wouldn't be able to do that. Not today at least. It was his dream that he would fight alongside Blaine in battle one day. It could happen this war. He knew Blaine had above average skill, and the second he proved it to those in charge he would be allowed a higher position. It was very rare for someone like Link to skip the usual progression and jump straight to an Ordon Hero. But making his face public across the kingdom and always getting into trouble gave him the credibility. On the outside that is, he still needed to prove his strength or be remembered as a coward.
He planned to do that today.
"Link," Rusl called out to snap the boy from his thoughts, "Are you okay?"
"Of course," Link flashed a smile, "Been waiting years for this."
Rusl held a stern face, "Keep your mind focused."
"I am, don't worry."
Sir Gentilesse road over on his steed. "Gentleman. I await your command if you need me."
"Today are wolves against rats," Vex laughed, "Keep your bucket-heads on the sidelines."
"As you wish," Sir Gentilesse bowed with a sweeping arm in his saddle.
"We'll ride to meet Ganondorf soon," Bo informed the group, "We've all been there before; you know how this goes."
"I think you should bring along Link," Sir Gentilesse suggested, "He needs to see what it's like."
Bo glanced at Rusl and then Link, "I'm not against it."
"He's already a primary player in this war, he should be there." Sir Gentilesse pressed, "Don't treat him like a child. Treat him like the warrior and face of Ordon that he is."
Link was confused by Sir Gentilesse's words, but he wasn't going to question it. He wanted to meet Ganondorf before this all began.
"I think it's a good idea." Rusl added. "I was going to make the suggestion myself."
This startled Link greatly, "Really? I thought you'd hold me back and not want me to open my mouth."
Rusl turned towards Link with an honest face, "I always wanted you to take more responsibility. You're the one who refused time and time again. If you want to ride out with us, you're more than welcome."
"I will." Link nodded.
"Wonderful," Sir Gentilesse cheered, "Now I wish to know how you convinced the Princess to stay in the village."
Link let out a loud groan, "It wasn't easy. She actually punched me."
Sir Gentilesse laughed, "I've seen the childish side of the Princess now and again. Not nearly as…regal…as people think of her."
"You're not wrong," Link chuckled briefly forgetting who he was joking with. His mood sobered up. "I told her this was about Ordon, and the villagers needed to know that we weren't following her beck and call. We have our own stake in this, and I didn't want people confused thinking we were now her army."
"That's what we're here for," The Knight laughed, "I think you did the right thing. Let us bucket-heads shout 'for the glory of the Princess' when we charge into battle."
"That and if she dies this whole war becomes pointless," Link commented, "A single arrow could end this whole thing before it begins."
"That would be very cowardly," Sir Gentilesse remarked.
"It would, but if I had a shot at Ganondorf I would take it without any hesitation if I thought that would end the war."
"I see movement," Rusl spoke sharply. His eyes looking far across the battlefield. "Ganondorf is riding out."
"Come. Let us start this war. May Din guide our blades, Nayru lead our minds, and Farore keep us strong." Bo snapped the reins on his chariot and moved away at a slow pace.
Rusl navigated his horse to walk at Bo's side. Sir Gentilesse and Link followed after them paired up as well. Naturally, Achilles followed at Link's side.
It would only be those four to represent Ordon. Bo, the real leader of the village. Rusl, the unofficial second in command and essentially Ordon's General. Sir Gentilesse, the representation of the Knights who have allied with Ordon. And Link, the next generation, the one being bred for leadership, and the one whose face is on this war.
Thousands of Ordonians watched as the four rode down the path slowly. Link gazed over all the green uniforms and felt their eyes on him. Men twice his age, with thrice the battle experience looked at Link as a leader. It was an empowering moment that he would not underestimate. He claimed time and time again how he didn't want a position of leadership. He still stood by the claim, but he understood his importance. He put himself in this position and he would not run. He would not disappoint all those that looked for his guidance, and he would disapprove all of those that thought he was just a foolish child.
The four moved past the frontline. The roughest warriors stood on that line. They eyed Link like he was a child, not a leader. He couldn't blame them. He would have to prove himself to them, men like the frontline with years of battle experience did not follow a pretty-face like Link's for no reason. They only followed someone that showed power and skill in battle. Many looked like they could crush his head in one hand. He was glad they were on the same side, and felt happy knowing any Gerudo would become terrified seeing this line alone.
It felt empty and alone out in the field with a unique and strange sense of tranquility. Being the only people between two massive armies had a degree of loneliness Link never experienced. Link wanted to look back but refused. He looked dead ahead at the four people riding their own horses. Behind the figures was the massive black army. They blocked out all the green and turned the beautiful plain into a sea of darkness. It was a sight to behold, and Link knew it was a scare tactic as well as a battle formation.
One would never know thousands of people stood on that field. The silence was only filled by the footsteps of a horse and a chink in Sir Gentilesse armor with each step of the horse. There was no sound in the forest, and there were no cheers from the army. Everyone stood still, watching the eight figures in between the armies. They wouldn't be able to hear what they said, but they couldn't help trying. Maybe a gesture would give something away and they would be able to see what was happening. This was the moment before the war, the last day of peace before thousands would die and all of Hyrule would change.
"Link," Sir Gentilesse didn't look at the boy but kept his head forward, "I know you don't like me, and I know you don't want to hear anything I say, but you are smart enough to understand I know battle."
"I'll give you that," Link replied.
Sir Gentilesse leaned closer to Link and spoke quietly, "I want you to be that cocky arrogant bastard we all hate to love. I want you to show that Ganondorf can be flustered. Make him lose his cool, which may be an impossible task, but you'll see his subordinates look at him in a new way. Reputation is everything as a leader. If there is someone who can get under his skin, I believe that to be you."
"Shouldn't be too hard," Link smiled. They rode in silence for a second before Link spoke again. "I can make out Ganondorf, but who are the other three? Do you know?
"The one on his right is his son," The Knight responded. "There's something wrong with him. He's been known to torture animals, and there are reports that he performs experiments on people as well. Experiments makes it sound scientific, I have my theories he just likes to watch people in pain. He's an excellent fighter with the build of his father. I won't claim he is the best fighter out there, but he is tough."
"The one on his left? Doesn't look like much of a fighter."
"That's Babak. He's the second-in-command. He runs Ganondorf's army. A very smart, and shrewd man. He isn't much of a fighter, but he is a wise tactician. Rumor goes he protected Ganondorf when he was little. Apparently, Ganondorf was always picked on by others, but then he grew seven feet tall and could fight back. He has kept Babak near him at all times. I think it may be the one person Ganondorf trusts."
"And the Knight with them?"
"Soul." Sir Gentilesse growled. "Someone I would never call a friend, but I fought alongside for many years. He is a powerful knight, leader, and fighter. I was afraid he joined Ganondorf's side. It doesn't bold well for us. The Knights may be reluctant to follow Ganondorf, but they idolize Soul. He can lead the Knights into battle in Ganondorf's stead, and single-handedly amplify Ganondorf's already monstrous army."
"Rusl warned me about him," Link commented.
"I apologize Link," Sir Gentilesse's looked at the boy with heated eyes. "But that dishonorable pig is mine to kill."
Link smirked, "He's all yours."
The two groups were getting closer and closer. They marched until they were only a few feet from one another before stopping.
"Ganondorf?" Bo acknowledged with a nod.
"Bo." Ganondorf surprisingly bowed his head giving the man respect.
"Do you actually have something you wish to say, or is this wasting our time."
Ganondorf had a brief smile but it disappeared instantly, "I didn't think you'd be so quick to rush to your deaths."
"Let's skip the threats or we'll be here until dusk." Bo's voice carried a lot of strength with it.
Ganondorf shrugged, "Not really a threat. My Gerudo army is bigger than all of Ordon, plus I have Hyrule behind me, oh and the Gorons. The Zoras are soon to join me as well, but they don't have much of a use in this war so I'll let them stir for a moment longer."
"You think your Knights will fight when the Princess asks them not too?" Bo countered.
"Where is the Princess," Ganondorf leaned casually on his horse. "I wanted to give my condolences for her parents."
"She's safe," Bo answered, "We don't need any more weak tricks by the Gerudo."
"If by weak tricks you're referring to me capturing the castle and taking over Hyrule, then I'm afraid what will happen when you see my actual strength."
Bo stayed calm, "You are not in your castle, you are not upon your sands, you are in my territory, on my field, standing in front of my army. I do not fear you, and you are not as wise as everyone says if you don't fear us."
"Well said," Ganondorf smiled sitting back. "Very well. We shall battle every day at noon. The sun will be high and not give an advantage to either party."
"Until it sets behind your back," Bo shot back.
"Feel free to attack me then," Ganondorf shrugged. "The battle shall go until sundown."
"Don't want to fight in the dark?" Bo chuckled.
"Against your eyes? I'd rather not." Ganondorf's honest reasons meant he wasn't messing around. It was no secret Ordon would fight better in darkness, and while it wasn't a compliment Ganondorf gave Ordon, it was a testament to his knowledge about war.
"Anything else?" Bo inquired.
"I think we can make decisions as the battles progress. Let's be civil about this Bo, we don't need to turn this into a bloody massacre."
"I thought you would like that."
"I would." Ganondorf's sinister smile slid across his long face. "But this will be the last excitement I'll get for a while. After I crush you and return to Hyrule, there will be no one else to fight. I need this to last at least a few days. Can you manage that much?"
"This isn't a game." Bo's voice lowered.
"Oh it is to me," Ganondorf seemed pleased with the events as if it was the first exciting thing to happen in ten years. "Life is a game Bo, and the fun part of life is fighting. Who will win? There will always be surprises. Things even I didn't think would happen, but that's part of the fun. Anticipating what is impossible to predict. Planning strategies trying to think what your enemies are planning, and knowing they are doing the same to you. The unknown about war is what makes it exciting. Everything in this world is predictable, and everything grows boring because of that fact. War, however, manages to surprise me on every turn. There is no doubt I will win this war, but I want to see if you can at least surprise me. At least keep me interested. Don't bore me. That's all I ask."
"You will be surprised Ganondorf," Bo growled, "I promise you that. You will regret this confidence and arrogance you boast. You will be surprised when your life is held in my hand, and you will be surprised when the world turns against you when they learn what an evil man you are. You know nothing, and I will look forward to the surprise on your face when your lines crumble, your men retreat in fear, and my wolves are hunting you down."
"At least you didn't lose all your bark when your wife died," Ganondorf claimed punching Bo in the gut with his words. "But I will admit I am surprised. I was expecting Link to be doing all the talking. He's already become famous for his mouth. I'd rather be knowing for my power or skill, but I suppose being known for something is better than nothing.
Ganondorf smirked at Link with the taunt but his smiled vanished when he noticed Link have a blank stare in return.
Everyone looked at Link to see him staring directly at Ganondorf, but his eyes clearly showed his absent mind.
Rusl coughed to get Link's attention.
"Oh?" Link set up on his saddle, "Sorry, sorry. I zoned out. I was just—sorry. It's just—I mean, I was listening, but—like—I don't know. It's just….look at his nose."
Sir Gentilesse bit back a laugh as everyone immediately stared at Ganondorf's nose. The Dark Lord sat unamused and not too shocked by Link's feeble attack.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry." Link shook his head and adjusting himself in his saddle. "I'll pay attention."
"It's just I keep trying to compare it to something," Link cut Ganondorf off, "I keep thinking a carrot, but even that is too large for that vegetable. It's almost like a single boar's horn. I don't know, I can't think of something that is accurate enough. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with it. To each his own. I just would think it would be better in your trousers and not planted on your face. But hey, I guess we can't all be lucky. Your enormous sword must be compensating for something, but again, I'm sure you conquering Hyrule and demanding respect has nothing to do with how big you are…not at all."
"Do you know who you insult!" Dareios exclaimed, not one known for his patience. "This is the most powerful man in the world."
"Yeah but not the bed, and that's the place that matters right?" Link shrugged and then faked sincerity, "Oh, I didn't realize this affects you too, but like father like son. It's okay, you'll find someone that likes you for you, and not just for what you carry."
"This isn't some joke!" Dareios growled.
"No it's a game," Link looked at Ganondorf innocently, "Isn't that what you said?"
"Hide your fear all you like-" Dareios began.
"My fear?" Link laughed, "My fear you say? I have no fear to hide. Your pathetic words are as useful as that black sea of rats behind you. Do you think we are afraid of you? There is no fear behind me. We have been the ones pushing for this war. It was time and time again Ganondorf tried to prevent it. I'm pretty sure he's the scared one."
"Careful boy," Ganondorf's tone revealed he was becoming upset with Link. Feeble insults bounced off him like a wooden sword on his black steel armor, but calling him a coward could not go unanswered.
"You aren't as strong as you think," Link continued on, "You have the Gorons on your side because they don't want to fight, they never want to fight. Any history book I've read talked about how Gorons do their best to stay out of war. So they aren't going to fight us, they are just staying out of it entirely. The Zoras haven't joined you because they don't want to, you attacked a castle with their Queen in it. I was amazed when Ordon received a messenger pigeon saying they returned safely to the Domain, but I doubt they are very eager to join your side right now.
"I'm a little shocked by how brazen you come south, but I realize you need to get this war started before the Zoras think too long. If they don't ally themselves with you, you'll have the north to worry about. Not only that, but your water supply would be in danger. Now like you keep saying, you're a smart man and you know this. You claim to be here for entertainment, like you are looking forward to this. Boasting your big army, and predicting how this will go."
Link leaned forward in his saddle. His jokingly casual voice replaced with a heated serious one. "You're scared because you don't want to fight. You want Zelda gone. The second she's gone Hyrule will bend their knee, but not a moment sooner. Everything is about her, and you need her gone as quickly as possible. Sadly, the greatest army in the world is standing in your way. Pretend all you want that this was your plan, but the truth is your plan failed. It failed at the castle, it failed trying to recruit Ordon, and it will fail again this time. I don't see a wise tactician. I see a man looking to gain respect because some whore laughed when he took his pants off."
"Silence!" Ganondorf exclaimed, "Your jokes are childish at best, but you dare insult my intellect and my resolve. You think I fear your forest elves? I was going to be lenient. Once the Princess was mine, I was going to forgive Ordon. I was going to allow them into my Kingdom. But now, your insults need to be taught how wrong they are."
Ganondorf gripped his reins tightly, "I will bury Ordon in the ground. I will dominate this battlefield, slaughtering everyone who stands in my way. I will burn the forest to ash, and dam the rivers feeding the south. I will plow salt into the fields, and slay any living animals. Ordon will be a wasteland. And every man will have his throat opened in front of his family. The women will be raped by my army until they are so horrible disfigured no man would ever want them. Then they will be fed to the pigs to die like the scum they are. Any child will be tossed into the water with a stone tied around their neck. I will obliterate any trace of Ordon from history. I will rewrite all the books in the Kingdom, I will outlaw the word Ordon spoken, and I will build a wall preventing anyone from visiting the remains. You watch your words boy. Ordon will not exist when I'm through with it." Ganondorf seethed.
"Then you better kill every last Ordonian." Link threated right back. "Because if you leave even one child alive. They will always hunt you. You will never be able to sleep at night, you will never travel without guards, and you will never know when you will take your last breath. Ordon does not surrender, and be it man, woman, or child left—you will meet your end. So don't promise annihilation if you can't carry it through. And you better pray to the Goddesses we don't meet in battle. I will make your head roll down these grassy plains. Your blood will stain the grass as wolves play with it like a ball. Tell me to watch my words, and I spit at your feet for your actions have done enough damage. I will not rest until you are dead, and that is a promise. Your first act as king better be to see me hang, or I will make sure that you will never see your home again. Whether that's your disgusting sands, or someone else's throne you stole. You will not survive this war Ganondorf, and even if that means dragging you to hell with me. My goal is your life. And. I. Will. Have. It."
Ganondorf yanked on his reins turning his horse and charging back towards his lines.
"Pray you don't meet me on the battlefield Soul," Sir Gentilesse threatened the traitorous knight.
The man only licked his lips in reply before turning his horse around as well.
"Remember my face," Dareios told Link. "It will be the last thing you see before your death."
"I will gift your head to your father," Link seethed, "Find me on the battlefield if you manage to stumble away from your father's hand for a moment."
The Dark Prince turned and retreated after his father.
That left Bobak who didn't make any motion and looked directly at Bo, "The first battle shall be between Gerudo and Ordon alone."
"May the battle be one the goddesses above, the spirits in the world, and the gods below can watch with pride." Bobak chanted.
Bo only nodded in return.
Bobak turned and chased after the rest.
"So," Rusl turned to Link, "I see you're not nervous at all."
Link pointed to Sir Gentilesse, "He told me to."
"Wonderful!" The Knight cheered. "I don't recall Ganondorf ever bursting out like that. Truly Link, you have a special talent."
"That's what your mother said," Link grinned.
Sir Gentilesse's face dropped, "…let's keep that special talent directed at Ganondorf."
"The battle will start soon, let's get back."
The four headed back at a brisk pace.
"Link." Bo called to the boy.
"I know you can't always win an argument, or finish a debate to swing people to your side. Those are politician words, and you were not gifted in that way."
"Uh thanks?" Link looked at Bo queerly.
"But you do have the ability to raise support. Something you have gotten directly from your father, no doubt. Link, if you would. Be the one to speak to our troops."
"That's your job." Link retorted.
"I did not want this war," Bo admittedly rather bluntly, "and in my old age I am finding it more and more difficult to send men to their deaths. Frankly Link, they need someone young, eager, and bold to show them why we are fighting. That is your job now Link. You are the one people are watching and they will rally behind you like they did your father."
"I cannot express how your trust in me makes me feel," Link earnestly told Bo, "I will not let you down."
They reached the frontline which split to let them pass. Link didn't follow them and stayed on Epona in front of the army. He waited for the three to get to the back so all eyes were focused on him.
"Well boys," He shouted loudly, "This is it! This is the day we finally get to stretch our legs after ten years!"
He was met with a resounding boom of every warrior banging their weapon against a shield. Only once, to signify they were listening, they understood, and they agreed.
"There are a lot of reasons for why this day as come! Reasons that people will tell why we fought! Reasons that will be written into the books of history! Reasons told around fires at night. Reasons that don't matter! Whether you are fighting for a princess, for your homeland, for pride, for glory, or even because you just love it more than anything else. You stand among brothers and sisters of Ordon! You fight because you protect your own! You fight because Ordon has been threatened and you will defend it!"
Link pointed behind him at the black sea of shuffling sholdiers.
"These rats come from their desert and think they can plague our woods! They didn't know the forest is guarded by wolves! We do not fear the bottom-feeders. They will bounce off our shields and be squashed by our boots like the rats they are!"
Another resounding boom of the shields rang throughout the land. Link could see the faces of the Ordon warriors grow serious with determination. They were getting fired up, and that's exactly what Link wanted.
Across the way Link heard a blast of a horn and could hear the footsteps of thousands of soldiers starting to march. It was a deafening sound, but Link did his best to ignore it.
"The time to become legends is here!" Link roared drawing his blade into the air. "Let the world know why Ordon is to be feared! Let Hyrule know the pain they have caused us! Fight with me my brothers and sisters! Let these plains drink deeply of Gerudo blood and let us send these rats back to their desert!"
This time there were three booming bangs from the shields followed by one uniformed shout that rang so loud it overpowered the footsteps of the Gerudo.
Link jumped off Epona, "Back to Rusl girl."
Epona looked at him with warning, implying: you're supposed to come back too.
"I fight today," Link told his horse sternly. "I need to." He bent down and patted Achilles, "You need to stay out of the fight today as well. You'll get your fill of rats soon enough."
Achilles huffed out his nose but listened. The two animals turned and moved side-by-side back behind the lines.
Link looked at Rusl and even this far away could see the stern face of his mentor. Rusl was the one agreed to lead the men into battle. Link would be taking his place. Not that Rusl planned to fight, he would fall back at the last moment. But they needed a face in front, someone to make the orders and rouse the men.
Rusl nodded. It was a move Link could see across the army and one that held immense power. Rusl was letting Link lead the first battle. It was an honor, but not only that, it was important. The first strike was one of the most important, and it would be up to Link to ensure it happened correctly. That was a lot of power in Link's young hands, but if Rusl believed in him, then Link knew he was good enough.
Link took his shield off his back and turned to the marching black army. He raised his sword and began walking. He heard horns blowing behind him signaling to march. He knew flags were waving and orders were being shouted by the Section Commanders among the army. It wasn't one big mob of people. There were divided groups and gaps in between. Each group had its own leader, which reported to another commander, which reported to someone else, so on and so forth like any army.
Link walked with his sword pointed at the Gerudo. He noticed hundreds of hawks suddenly appearing on the branches of the trees lining the field. He could even see some wolves standing just inside the tree-line watching. He heard about this. The forest watches. It's alive and it watches. Books telling of old battles claims the animals would fight with Ordon, but it was hard to know if it was just a story. No one had witnessed it personally.
Link would love for them to join, but he was not depending on it. He could not rely on the forest. Not when he had men and women behind him ready to die.
"Ordon!" He shouted above all the noise. Not everyone could hear him, but enough could.
A resounding shout echoed back to him with the Ordon army banging once on their shields.
"What do we eat!" Link cried out.
"Flesh!" hundreds of voice screamed back to him. Even if they couldn't hear him, they knew the routine, they knew the questions asked, and they could follow the lead of the warriors around them.
"What do we drink!" Link screamed.
"Blood!" The army cried back with another monstrous clap against their shields so loud it sounded the sky ripping open with thunder.
"What are we!" Link yelled.
"We are wolves!" The army barked loudly, proudly, and defiantly.
"What are we!" Link yelled once more with his sword held high.
"We. Are. Wolves!" The cry rang out among the entire battlefield, and even the Gerudo could hear the chant. A defending war cry that sent many shivers down many spines, as the Gerudo marched against the Wolves.
"Then let us feast!" Link cried out one last time and quickened the pace to a slight jog. There was a wave of shouting heard throughout the army and then he heard horns blowing letting the army know to quicken their pace. As Sir Gentilesse claimed, it was remarkable how well Ordon warriors could stay in formation at the pace they moved. The Gerudo were in tight formation but they marched. They did not move any faster or their formation would break.
Between two armies made of thousands—Link stood alone. He jogged with his sword and shield staring down the black army. He gripped his sword tightly. He was expecting nerves but he did not feel it yet. He did not feel panic. He did feel the ground shaking underneath all the footsteps, and he did feel the stares' of everyone behind him, and in front of him. From Ganondorf to Rusl; everyone had their eyes on Link.
The Gerudo army was about a 100 yards away when Link gave his first order. He had read, listened, and studied the first strike in battle. He heard it from Rusl and his father enough to know what to do. That's not to say he was better than someone with more experience, but his motivational presence could arguably outweigh the inexperience. The soldiers would listen to his orders, even if they were wrong, they would put their complete trust in Link. They couldn't think as an individuals. That would lead to the entire army breaking down.
"Pila!" Link roared above the footsteps holding his sword arm high.
In perfect unison the front line adjusted their shields to allow a small gap for the throwers to step through. A line of men and women burst forth from the formation at lightning speed. All in unison they took one big step with their left foot, cocking their right arms back with the weapon, then they did a long hop onto their right foot leaning their bodies backwards, and finally they took an even longer hop back to their left foot. At the same moment, they leaned forward with their entire body and released the pilum. The throwers fell to the ground since they put their entire body behind the throw. It was an Ordon technique that was hard to master. The hopping looked foolish, but it led up to the final leap which put the entire body weight of the person into one perfect throw.
The throwers quickly jumped to their feet but stood still. They let the Ordon Army submerge them and then they would get back where they needed to be. The frontline closed their shields forming one long bronze barrier.
The weapons screamed through the air and impaled the front row of the Gerudo Army. Many pila pierced the shields striking the soldiers carrying them. If the pilum didn't strike the Gerudo soldier it was left in the shield, making it cumbersome to carry. The Gerudo seemed prepared for this. They dropped the shields and in a matter of seconds and were handed new shields to hold.
"Pila!" Link roared again.
The same technique occurred. The frontline let the throwers sprint by, they hopped in unison three times from left, right, left, and the pila soared into the front row of the Gerudo.
The Gerudo replaced the shields once more, clearly expecting this to occur. This time the Gerudo returned with their own spears. It wasn't nearly as uniform, and they were thrown from behind the front Gerudo lines, making for inaccuracy. Some hit their targets, some bounced off shields, some were able to piece a shield with the right power and angle. One even came for Link but he lowered his head for it to sail over easily.
"Faster!" Link shouted picking up his pace until he was almost sprinting. The horns blew behind him and the footsteps turned into booming sounds as if giants were jumping up and down. It was truly memorizing and talented to see the warriors sprinting and staying in perfect formation. It was unparalleled with any other army. The Gerudo were still marching, not able to increase their pace.
"Pila, Pila, Pila!" Link shouted waving his sword left to right repeatedly.
In the most impressive display of grace, communication, and skill. Three lines of Spearmen sprinted through the Ordon Army frontlines. They were in perfect unison, and each person was only one step behind the other. They did their three hops, with the second row one step behind, and the third row two steps behind. This caused for a devastating hit on the Gerudo frontline. When the first spearmen released their pila, it collided with the frontline, which was now only thirty yards away. Less than a second later the second line of pila were thrown. Before the Gerudo could recover they were hit again. Bodies dropped and immediately disappeared beneath the feet of the army stepping over them. It was only another second before the third wave of pila were thrown, nailing the unprepared Gerudo, and dropping more bodies to the ground. The Ordonians all collapsed to the ground and quickly jumped to their feet to disappear back into the sea of green.
With the three quick throws the Gerudo frontline wasn't prepared for the impeding crash of the army. They filled the holes as quickly as they could but it wouldn't be completely ready in time.
Link finally slowed his pace and watched as bronze shields engulfed him as he disappeared back into the army.
Link moved further back to get out of the way of the large frontline.
The frontline braced their shields together ready for the first impact.
The second row, made up of taller Ordonians readied to support the shorter, bulkier frontline.
The third line put an extra foot of space between them and the second. When the crash happened, the third line would be the second strike like the second wave bashing a rock.
The Gerudo threw a round of javelins to break up the frontline, but it had little effect.
Link tightened his grip on the sword, ready for anything to happen.
The fourth line of Ordonians put more space between them and the third. When the crash happened, they were either going over the top or readying to pierce any Gerudo that made it over the top.
The Gerudo stopped marching and readied for the strike.
The Ordonians roared ready to display their strength.
"Farore protect me," Link whispered.
The crash of the two armies could not be described in sound nor feeling. The power of the shields slamming into one another was like a giant Goron slamming a hammer on a mountain and splitting it in half. The jolt felt from the collide was like a horse yanking a person with a rope tied around their waist.
It was not like two armies collided and both froze. The motion did not simply stop.
Ordon drove into the Gerudo lines like an axe through wood. The power difference was obvious as Ordon overran the first line, then the second, and the third after that. Link looked down to see Gerudo shoulders being trampled under Ordonians, and if they weren't crushed from feet, a sword or spear would find them soon enough.
It was the fourth line that finally held the Ordonians back, but the Gerudo feet slid against the powerful Ordon frontline. The whole army pushed back against Ordon, but they did so individually and weakly. Ordon's first two rows were locked in unison. The first row leaned all their weight into the shields. Their feet where parallel, on their toes, knees bent, and pushing full force into their large, round, bronze shields. If one put a spear on their back, it would be straight. The second row was lower down, embracing the first row with their shoulders' underneath the first rows butts. Their legs were parallel as well, feet dug into the ground, and pushing their full weight into the first row. From the head of the first row to the feet of the second row was a perfect line. There was no disconnect or bend. A spear on their backs would run straight, and it was why the line was so unbreakable.
The Gerudo could push all they want, but one man could not push against two. The Ordonians had the proper stance, while the Gerudo struggled to stay upright. They kept kicking on the ground and readjusting their feet. That was a mistake. Ordonians kept their feet planted, they didn't ever lift one foot because they would lose power. Once they planted their feet, they would not move.
The third line pressed up against the second with weapons in hand, poking out through the gaps of the shields and ready for any Gerudo strikes. They kept their shields above, covering for the second row and themselves. Once Ordon stopped driving into the Gerudo and the army came to a hault, the next phase began.
Gerudo suddenly started hurling themselves over the frontline to disrupt the formation the Ordon soldiers had. This was a tactic Ordon created and one Ordon mastered. Meaning…it was rather foolish of Gerudo to try and use this tactic against those that created it.
The Gerudo rats fell onto pikes that the forth line held ready for jumpers. They let out screams of death before they were stabbed by more swords and spears. The arches on horses in the Ordon ranks were also firing arrows at any Gerudo that jumped the line. They were exposed at the top, and before they could fall onto the Ordon line they often took at least one arrow.
The Gerudo stopped jumping over the line after only a minute of failure. They knew it wasn't working and didn't want to waste any more deaths. Their next attempt was throwing javelins, and poking spears through any gaps they could see. It was never very effective, but it did damage here and there.
Link felt someone touch his shoulder. It was a short, middle-aged man. He didn't wear armor and carried only a small sword. He was one of many Commanders, but the scars across his arms and neck showed he knew battle.
"You done boy, mind if I take over?" He wasn't really asking, more like telling.
"Happy hunting." Link smirked.
"Alright boys!" The man roared with a booming voice shockingly powerful for his size, "The time has come. Forth line, get your asses ready to jump. First, and Second, we are gonna start pushing soon, don't twist your ankle now. Third line, you better not let any rats slip through the cracks."
"Ready!" He shouted to everyone around him. His orders weren't meant for everyone on the frontline, just his section. There were others like him commanding other areas. The line would never break. It had to be even the entire time, otherwise it would weaken. But parts of the line would push and test how strong the Gerudo were their section. If they thought they could break it, they would, and then send in a warrior – A Wolf – to do damage. This may not do much, but it could make the Gerudo crumble. Then the Ordon Army could drive in that weak spot and take some serious ground.
Currently, it was at the phase where they kept poking the Gerudo frontline to see where it was weakest.
"Ready!" The man shouted. The first and second row lowered. They bent their knees, keeping their back straight, but doing so made them get closer to the ground by about a foot. This also caused their reach to lessen, so it made a gap between the two frontlines. The Gerudo were not expecting it, and fell forward into the Ordon shields. This left them unbalanced, and unprepared for what was about to come next.
"Push!" The man roared with his booming voice.
The first and second row extended their legs and shoved the unbalanced Gerudo back. The entire Gerudo line withdrew a good couple steps before being able to maintain their ground again. The section of the line was now a couple steps in front of the other sections. It was barely noticeable, but any more progress would be.
"Good work boys!" The man yelled. "Let's let everyone else catch up."
The frontline stood strong as they waited. If this section moved any further it would end up too far ahead and make it actually weaker. The frontline needed to be straight, maybe a minor bend here or there, but too much progress would be foolish.
Link stood back behind the sixth line where there was a little more space. This was his position, to stay out of the way and wait for command. He may have led the charge, but he was definitely not in command. He never expected to be. He didn't have the experience or the skill. He left that for the experienced Section Commanders.
Link felt small among all the tall men in the fifth and sixth row. Link was on the smaller side to begin with, but these monstrous Ordonians only made him feel that much smaller. He looked up to see some arrows and javelins being thrown over the two colliding frontlines. This is why heroes never usually fought on the front. It was too dangerous. One unlikely arrow could end the life of the greatest warrior. No real fighter wanted to go out in such a coward's way either, but that's how life goes.
The blonde was doing his best to stay focused. It was easy being a couple rows back to feel safe, but he knew at any moment the line could break. He would then be face-to-face with a thousand soldiers charging him. He couldn't ever let his guard down.
"Goat!" A soldier yelled out, it was repeated by various soldiers until the Section Commander heard it.
"Where, where!" The Section Commander shouted out walking past Link.
"Here, here!" Soldiers shouted.
The small leader walked up to the fourth line. The frontline would call out 'Goat' if they felt they could break the line, but it was the Section Commander's job to determine if his section would push through or hold. If there was a good chance to break the defense of the Gerudo, he would take it. If he didn't want to push ahead just yet, he'd wait for the right time.
"Think you can do it?" He asked the frontline.
"We're barely pushing as is," A second line warrior spoke almost in a laugh. "A strong push and I think it'll break."
A spear burst through the shields and missed the Section Commander's face. The spear was knocked down and forgotten.
He didn't flinch and carried on as if it didn't happen. "Alright, let's see if we can't mess up their lines at all. Get ready, we'll smash here." He tapped the four men—two frontline men and the two second-line men who were supporting them – to designate they were the ones chosen.
He stepped back, "I need two Goats and a Wolf!"
Link immediately stepped up. "I'm here."
Two men, as short as link but as wide as tree trunks stepped up next to link. They both had round bronze shields and stuck their spears in the ground. "We're your Goats."
The Section Commander looked at Link, "Their lives will be in your hands, it is up to them whether they want you or someone else."
Link looked at the two massively built men, "You won't get a scratch."
The man smiled confidently, "Let him Roo, I believe the kid knows his stuff."
The Section Commander – Roo – shrugged, "You're lives. Just get ready."
The two Goats lined up and Link stepped up a few feet behind them.
"Another couple steps boy," one of the Goats told him, "The impact will really slow us down."
Link listened without response and backed up a few more steps from them. He was cocky, but he wasn't going to be disobedient to his superior warriors.
"You know what you're doing right boy?" One man asked over his shoulder.
"You get me through those lines and I'll do the rest," Link affirmed.
"My wife says I have enough scars, I don't want another one."
Link smirked, "Like I said, not a scratch."
"Okay boys!" Roo exclaimed. "A wolf is a little hungry, let's give him something to eat."
A roar erupted from the surrounding area in their support. A small gap was formed in the third, fourth, and fifth line. Link and the two men waited back a bit, but could see the straight open path for them. At the last second, the front line would split to allow them through.
Roo looked back, the first goat nodded. "Ready…."
The first goat broke off into a sprint heading for the front line. The second goat followed immediately after.
Timing was everything here. If Link miscounted this…they could all die.
Link waited for the goats to only be a few steps from the frontline before he sprinted after them.
"Now!" Roo shouted, timing up the first goat's hit with the frontline.
The frontline split about a foot and a half. It was a big gap for the frontline, and one that the Gerudo would take advantage of almost immediately. One in fact did try and that was the last thing he ever did.
He was met with two-hundred and fifty pounds of muscle launching at that very gap. The first goat lunged forward with his feet together and smashed into the line. The Gerudo took the shield to the face which immediately caved in from the impact. The front edges of the Goat's shield collided with the back edges of the two frontline shields he was squeezing behind. This was on purpose. The two frontline men would use this momentum to push the Gerudo back a little more.
The first goat was not meant to go all the way through the line. The first hit was a powerful one that caused the Gerudo to step backwards and lose balance. Before they could recover, the second goat slammed into the first goats back, sending both of them through the frontline, and into the Gerudo lines. They did not stay on their feet, but that was part of the plan. They fell to the ground, but as they fell, they moved both their shields to cover their backs. The second goat was lying practically on the first one, so only the second goat's legs were exposed. But they should be close enough to the Ordon lines where they were in no danger.
For obvious reason, two men lying on the ground in the Gerudo lines was dangerous. The impact sent Gerudo flying backwards either onto the ground or into the arms of their third and fourth row. It created a space, but only for a second. Soon a plethora of spears, swords, and anything else with a sharp tip would be stabbing at them. Shields on their backs wouldn't do much.
That was Link's job.
The importance of timing could not be understated. If he was early, he could mess up their charge, and everything would crumble. He could lose momentum and not make it through the frontline before the gap shut. If he was too late…the two men would be dead before he even got there and it would be pointless.
It may have been luck; it may have been skill; the world will never know, but Link timed it expertly.
He burst through the frontline like a wolf out of trees and landed on the back of the two Ordonians' shields. They were to keep flat so he had balance as there was no other place to stand.
He didn't get even a second before a spear came thrusting at him from his right. He knocked it away with his shield and saw another spear coming from his left. He leaned forward for it to go over his head. Another came from the left and he deflected it with his sword. He leaned back to avoid another jab, and lowered his shields to block a low sword swing. Another spear jab, another dodge, block, parry, and on and on. Someone swiped the spear at his feet, he did a short hop over it, but he could not move from their backs. Stepping forward would mean their death since there were still Gerudo surrounding them from all sides.
This was the most dangerous position on the entire battlefield. Link barely had time to react to anything and not moving his feet wasn't helping. His superior skill came from his agility and movement. Standing still was tough, but he was handling it.
Spear jabs were coming from all sides and he was swaying like a branch in the wind to dodge them all. He kept all his moments fluid and his shield and sword were constantly moving to block attacks.
At one moment, multiple jabs coincidently all thrusted at once. He leaned forward to have one miss the back of his neck by half an inch. He brought his shield to his chest to block the tip of another one from piercing his chest, but still felt the impact of the blow. Another from the side caused him to push his hips back for it to barely miss his chest. It was so close, it was actually behind his shield that was pinned to his chest to block the second spear. The fourth spear was aimed at his knee, which Link twisted his leg so it missed and rested against the back of his kneecap.
There was a second where they didn't move, mostly out of shock that he dodged all the spear stabs simultaneously. It was this second, Link was able to turn it from a defensive fight, to an offensive one.
He spun, shoving aside three spears and grabbing the one that went behind his shield. His spin yanked the Gerudo off his feet towards Link. The boy slashed at the stumbling man and was rewarded with a spray of crimson from the man's neck. He didn't hit bone, but he instantly knew he cut enough that the man would bleed out.
It was Link's first kill in the war and there would be many more.
Another spear came for him and he ducked under it, grabbed it, and yanked the soldier out from the black mob. He slashed and killed that man as well. A soldier decided it was a good idea to just charge Link with a sword. It wasn't.
Link blocked the easy-to-read strike with his shield and kicked the man in the chest. He sent the man flying backwards causing disarray to the soldiers he stumbled into. A Gerudo on the frontline next to Link turned for one second to try and strike the boy. It was his mistake. The Ordon frontline was waiting for that moment. The frontline made a small hole and a spear thrust through and pierced the shield man. He dropped, making another opening. Another spear sailed through and took out the second line man who had his eyes on Link. The third line man stepped back from the front to avoid a strike, leaving a bigger gap.
With a gap to Link's right, and his current front open from just kicking a man into his own troops, Link had one second to deal with his left.
There was no brilliant move, no flashy style. Link, faster than anyone could predict, dodged a spear, leaned left, slashed the Gerudo frontline man, and was back to dodging more spears. But it opened up a space for the Ordon frontline to poke a spear through and take down a couple Gerudo in that surrounding area.
This all happened in less than three seconds.
Link now had space and didn't have to worry about his flank as much. He took one step forward and placed his foot on the dirt. A powerful moment of advancement and success. That one footstep had the weight of the army behind him as he officially was standing on the soil of the enemy lines.
But he was not out of danger yet.
He placed his next foot down to see another Gerudo charge him from the black sea. He ducked under the high strike, and used the soldier's momentum to fling the Gerudo over his back. A spear thrust at Link, he caught it with his shield hand, and swung his sword upwards to break the shaft into splinters. He flipped the head of his spear in his hand and threw it accurately at the next man charge him who took it in the upper thigh. He fell to the ground only to meet with Link's sword half a second later.
A Gerudo tried a low jab with the spear at the two Ordonians lying on the ground with shields on their backs. Link slammed his foot on the spear stopping it and slashed the Gerudo across the face—the tip of his sword just nicking the Gerudo across his eyes. Another threw a spear at Link, who leaned back expertly for it to go sailing into another Gerudo instead.
It was incredible to watch Link. Every attack was a dodge or parry only for the Gerudo to be struck in return. When multiple attacked him at once, he used the first attack to hinder the second ones, making their attacks sloppy and easy to counter. No Gerudo could touch him as is, but it only became more apparent when he got more space.
The two Goats lying on the ground slide backwards until the bronze wall of Ordon shields engulfed them. They were safe and Link no longer needed to worry about them. Now he was alone on the side of the enemy.
Another Gerudo jabbed a spear at Link who slid his sword down the shaft slicing the man's fingers. Before the spear even hit the ground Link drew his sword upwards to slice the man sending crimson high into the air. Another soldier took a step out and swung downwards with his sword. Link stepped to the side where the man had an empty hand. He grabbed Link's shield to try and hold Link in place. The Gerudo swung horizontally at Link's head. He ducked under it easily and leaned back as he swung his sword upwards on the other side of his own shield. Sparks flew as the sword scraped against the shield and sliced through the soldier's arm like it was warm butter. The man screamed but Link knew he was standing still too long and stepped away to see a spear thrust into the Gerudo's stomach. It would've been Link's back if he was there another second.
Another Gerudo charged, planted his feet strongly, and thrusted at Link. The swift wolf danced around the thrust, swung his sword behind his back in one fluid motion, and cut into the spearman's shoulder deeply. He grabbed the man with his shield hand, spun back towards the Ordon frontline, and threw the dying Gerudo at the next one charging. The new one stumbled over his fellow soldier, shoved him out of the way, and was met with Link's shield bashing him in the face. He fell backwards with a nose so broken it was hard to open his eyes.
One came at Link from his right with a sword and made quick slashes. Link blocked each one with his shield. Another came from his left and swung high at Link's head with a curved sword. Link swept low under the sword and turned so his shield hand was now facing the second attacker with the curved blade. The first attack jabbed at Link thinking he had an opening without the shield blocking him anymore. Link pushed his hips back for it to sail harmlessly in front of his stomach. The man sliced upwards next at Link's face and simultaneously the second man held his sword high to strike down.
Link leaned back to dodge the upward sing and felt the wind from it pass is face. As he leaned backwards he raised his shield with power to meet the downward swinging sword from the second Gerudo. The hit was so strong the Gerudo lost his footing having to step back so he wouldn't fall over. Link's sword hand expertly switched grips so the sword point was facing downwards and he plunged it into the back of the first Gerudo. Link bent his knee as he forced the Gerudo with the sword in his back to the ground and stepped over the body staying close to the ground knowing a strike was sailing over his head. He pulled the sword from the Gerudo on the ground and melded it into his next strike to slash the Gerudo across his chest.
Link rose back to his feet and there was a second pause as everyone stared at him astounded. It was over quickly as the next Gerudo came at him.
His movements were so fast they were hard to keep up with. A Gerudo would thrust a spear or swing a sword only to look down and see their belly open and guts falling out. Link's strikes were so swift half the time the receiver didn't know they had been struck until they felt weak on the ground.
They couldn't keep up with Link. It was impossible. He was a flash of lightning and only gaining momentum each strike. Anyone that stepped up to Link was soon on the ground. Throwing a spear only met with a death of another Gerudo. Jabbing from a distance with a spear would either cause them to lose their spear, or be pulled closer. He was untouchable. His movements so fluid and with so much rhythm they couldn't break it. He never stepped and killed anyone that came close. His slashes were accurate and deadly. Not always an instant kill, but always rendering the soldier out of action.
He was a slice of hell and a fury of hate. A whirl of demise and a blur of torment. A flash of evil and a spark of wickedness.
He was death itself.
Eventually, it happened. They stopped attacking him and stepped backwards to get out of Link's range. Link stepped fighting when they stopped attacking and stood still. Sweat on his brow and running down his arms, but his sword and shield still ready for action. The shield was splattered with blood and his sword was drenched in red. His green tunic was covered in the stains of death as he stood among the dead and dying on the ground.
"Enough, boy!" Roo shouted from behind the Ordon lines. "Come back!"
Link stepped backwards slowly, never breaking eye contact with any of the soldiers. The bronze wall of Ordon shields opened to allow him to step back. As the shields were closing back up for him to disappear his lips spread to reveal a sinister smile.
"I'll see the rest of you real soon."
It took a moment but the Gerudo soldiers charged the front and slammed back against the Ordon shields.
"Shouldn't I have kept going," Link asked Roo.
The Section Commander looked at Link and was shocked to see him barely out of breath. "No…not yet. You dealt them a blow and now they have their backups coming to the front. They are weak here. We want them weak other places too, and then we break their line at multiple places at once."
"Hmm, okay." Link nodded looking back at the front.
"Well done boy," One of the goats slammed Link on the back, "I didn't get a scratch."
"Told you," Link smirked.
"I wish I could've watched you work," The other one said, "but based off how these soldiers are staring at you," The man gestured to the surrounding man, many of them looking at Link like they saw him for the first time, "I think it was quite the sight."
"Felt good to finally stretch my legs." Link, usually more boastful, saw no reason to be among these warriors."
"You did good, boy," Roo complimented, "Now go back and get some water."
"I'm good." Link responded.
"Not for you," Roo shook his head, "Everyone needs to know you're alive, they haven't seen you, and it would be hard for them to see what you just did. Go back, let them see you, and then come back to me."
"Don't need me somewhere else?" Link inquired.
Roo smirked, "Like I'm gonna let the Wolf of Ordon be taken from me and used for someone else's glory."
Link cockily smiled back, "Yes, sir."
"Get some water, and get back, quick."
Link nodded and made his way back through the lines. The line were thick about ten rows back, all with their shields above their heads to stop any arrows raining down. Then there was a gap. A row of archers, sending some volleys over the line. Behind the archers was the next line of shields. They looked like the frontline, and even if it was technically their backups, they didn't appear to be any less tough. If the frontline fell, this was the regrouping point. They would connect their shields and make sure the break was closed off before it got any further.
Through them the lines were ordered but less congested. There was no need to worry about arrows this far. It wasn't that they couldn't reach, but there was no point in volley arrows this far. Sure it may harm a person or two, but it wouldn't affect the current battle. They wanted the arrows to hit the people who were fighting to disrupt them. Killing a person fifteen rows back wasn't going to affect the battle.
Everyone stood ready to be called up or ready for a break. It was a common misconception that everyone was fighting at all times, or two massive armies collided from front to back. It was rarely two massive groups in chaos attacking all around each other. That could happen and when it did, there were usually still two divided sides with shields making a wall. But between those shields was the chaos. That hadn't happened yet, but it would eventually for sure.
There were gaps and blocks of men. People were constantly being shifted back here, or sent to a new location for the next plan. Groups of spearmen sat back here ready to be called up if needed to send a volley.
There was also jugs of water, extra swords, spears, shields, and anything else that needed replacing. Healers also stood by here, ready to help where they could. Men would get away from the front to rest and then go back.
Link reached this rest area. "Water and a cloth."
A young boy ran with a mug of water and a rag to Link. Link gulped the water down, not realizing how dry his mouth actually was. He took the rag and wiped down his blade before finally sheathing it. He wiped his shield next.
"You were in battle," The boy looked at Link.
"Sure was." He replied.
"How many you kill?"
"I can't wait to kill some rats," The boy told Link.
Link patted him on the head, "In due time. Thanks for the water."
The boy ran back to the jug of water and wait for someone else to call him.
Link looked to the back and up the hill to see Rusl. He could see Rusl's head constantly turning and knew he was looking for him. Link gave him a wave for a few moments until Rusl noticed it. Link swore he could see Rusl's shoulder loosen from here.
"Well good to know he's worried about me," Link chuckled. Then he turned and headed back towards the front. He swung his arm to loosen up his left shoulder. "Good start Link," He told himself, "Now…just do that about a hundred more times."
Hope you liked it. I actually wanted to finish the entire first battle in this chapter but I had to cut it off at 15K words. Otherwise I may have taken another few months to finish it. I hope to get the next chapter out a whole lot sooner because waiting this long is unacceptable.
Still, let me know what your thoughts are. Did you think Link would do that well? Is it too soon to tell since the battle isn't even over yet? How was the action? I haven't written a battle scene in a long time so I hope it was satisfying. There are some epic battles I have planned ahead!
Thanks for reading!