Whew... This one took me at least seven hours to do, as amazing as it sounds. I can hardly belive it, either!

Hmm, I guess it could've ended up a bit better, but then again, that's probably the self-criticism talking. The thing needs to settle down, I say! Eh, before I babble your ears--er, eyes--off, here's the next chapter! Enjoy!

Chapter 5: The Great Artisan

It was as if time had sped itself up since the last time Link found himself awake. But at the same time, he felt like it was dragging along like a snail in the wintertime. The only thing around him to keep him company was…nothing. In this state, he attempted to grasp his bearings—of what was up and what was down—but the only knowledge he could receive was that he was drifting off, his feet not even touching solid ground. Looking down (or, as far as he knew, up), he could see why: he was completely invisible; perfectly camouflaged. He waved his hands in the space where his chest would've been, but he felt nothing tangible, not even air.

His body was gone, it seemed. All existence was lost, and the strange vacuum around him was suffocating…but at the same time, it was benign. His strength was slowly returning to him in the dragging hours of being cataleptic, and nothing that dwelled in the shadows of his mind was striving to rip it from him for their own.

"Hello?" he mouthed out to the void, and to his surprise, sound actually came out. The note of his voice echoed back to him about five seconds later, as if he were in a very deep, vast cavern. "HEEEEEY!" he screamed and twisted around, his impatience rising and his "eyes" seeing only the same tone of blackness that had enshrouded him. Then the boom of his voice came rushing back to him and ramming into his senses like a train—it was startling to the point where had he actually had a physical form to react with, he'd have toppled over like a wobbling domino, clacking his head against whatever textured surface he was potentially floating over.

His voice wasn't the only one to come his way, however… There was another. Actually, it sounded to be two. In the dark space that garbled any trifle whisper, they came to him as mere grunts—deep and hoarse they were, as if at least one of them had been coughing up smoke. After about ten seconds or so of silence, they sounded up again and more frequently, reminiscent of an ethnic mantra. It was poetic, almost like a haiku meshed with a musical elegy. The lines came to him from the spherical event horizon from the giant abyss around him. They came from the front. The back. The side. Over there. Behind him again. Off in the distance. Up to his face. In his ear…

As the voices kept coming, they grew louder in a small, yet noticeable, crescendo. They grew louder and louder…and then their meaning became gradually less obscure. After a while, he began to recognize individual words; after a couple minutes, individual sentences.

"How long has he been out? Days?" one of the voices said, one from whom Link could not recognize.

"About a week, yes," said the other. It was Rothuld's voice—he knew it. Gruff and tough, yet inspiring… It was his, all right.

As if he had said a password, the dark fog began to thin, and off in the distance, he could make out some faint colors of red and orange dyeing it away from nothing. Like a sunrise, red and orange soon became the dominant color around him. He could not yet see his body, but he figured that what he had been seeing was his consciousness coming back to him—and that what he was looking at was the mere insides of his eyelids.

Slowly, he opened his heavy, blurry eyes. As of now, he couldn't make out where he was, and he couldn't yet move his arms. They were there, but his muscles did not respond to any command he gave them. Fortunately, though, his feeling was beginning to return to him—and when it did, he ached all over. It was the feeling you get when you lie in one position for hours and hours on end without moving. He wanted so much to massage his back, but still, his arms would not move.

His breathing came easily to him, however, and he let the thick, bitter air fill his nostrils. It had the strange mix of smoke and iron, and its temperature was sweat-dropping. Had he not known any better, he would've thought he was still in the Fire Temple, lying from where he once stood with the Cane of Toque firmly in his fingers' grip.

What he didn't know was that he was actually higher up in the mountain, lying in one's quarters carved into the volcanic cone. The ground was smoothly etched to form a level floor, and the windows were merely holes cut cleanly from the dark-colored walls, which were ornamented with large iron tools, cabinets, and some kitchenware. He was lying on an incredibly stiff mattress—which, in reality, was made out of the same rock that the abode was constructed from—and the center of the room boasted a shoddily constructed table with the legs still rooted to the floor.

The dragging time of what felt like a half-hour imbued him with the desire to get up and move around, albeit with still-blurry vision. His arms responding this time, he struggled to lift himself up. His arms were shaky, but they supported his limp figure just fine; however, his weakness started to make him feel sick, so he cut off all force to his arms, causing his head to land on the pillow afresh...or lack of a pillow, rather.

"Ow…" he groaned, tenderly rubbing the back of his head and gritting his teeth in irritation.

Rothuld heard Link's disgruntled moan from the other room and, within a couple seconds, stomped in to check on him. "Oh, he's coming around," Rothuld called, turning his head to the room he came from.

"It's about time," came a small, masculine mumble, followed by a steady rhythm of a hammer beating on steel.

Rothuld turned back to the young boy sprawled on the stone bed at the edge of the room. "How're you feelin', Link?" he asked emotively but kindly.

"I…can't get up," Link said with a whimper. As the pain began to dull, he opened his eyes, his vision still rather cloudy. However, he could still see a frown of sympathy forming on Rothuld's large face.

"Hang in there, buddy," the Goron replied. With a couple loud thumps on the rock, he turned around and faced the adjacent room, walking back inside to continue his business and not bother the Hylian while he recovered.

With a few blinks, his eyes began to override the blurriness of sleep, and the objects around him grew sharper and no longer appeared as duplicate images. He rubbed his eyes wearily to get rid of any of the fog left behind that obscured his vision—and that was when he could finally, truly see.

Lifting his head up, he found that he was back into his green tunic, fully washed and sewn, devoid of any damage from traveling. Any injury that he obtained in the battle prior was properly treated and dressed, and his mental willpower seemed to have improved since then, too.

Just then, more clanking noises from the other room captured his attention. One after another, all from a ghostly glockenspiel, bounced off the walls and to his ears and upped his annoyance bit by bit. He would've tried standing up to see what was going on, but a steady head had not yet returned to him—he did not want to risk collapsing on the ground and going out cold again. Realizing that his favorite mode of investigation was terminated, he asked weakly to the mystery man in the adjoining room, "Who's making all of that noise?"

"Someone who's trying to do you a favor!" the same mystery voice called back as annoyed as the boy was, if not more so. The clanking noises ceased immediately as an iron hammer was tossed to the ground, bouncing off the floor and singing a metallic tone as it settled down to a stop against the wall right by the doorway. A dull series of clacks from a footfall then began in a cadenced pattern as someone whom Link had never seen before strode into the room.

He was a medium-sized, elderly-looking man wearing brown robes blackened by coal, his silvery-white hair and short beard all shaggy (Doesn't he ever use a comb!? thought Link incredulously, trying to stifle a laugh from sounding from his gut). His brown gloves were made of what looked like a very tough hide, and his very dirty boots left clumps of dark dust behind wherever he walked.

"I swear, there's absolutely no gratitude in kids these days…" the man spat in mild anger, averting the boy's confused gaze and adjusting the fit of his leathery gloves with quick jerks of his hands.

Link ignored the man, seeing that arguing with him would get himself nowhere. "Who are you?" he inquired.

"Well, I'm who you're looking for, aren't I? You were looking for Mardin, so…here I am," the elder replied, turning to his left and toward a large pot simmering over a fire that was reduced to smoldering embers. Grabbing a scratched wooden bowl and a spoon, he scooped up some of the contents and splashed them into the container, creating a small splatter of mess on the floor beside him. He took no heed of it and just continued to fill the bowl.

After a few seconds, he turned around and approached Link's unmoving body, grabbing a stool and sitting by the bedside. He scooped the spoon into the bowl and shipped it over to the boy's mouth, and some of the thin broth dripped to the floor with a pitter-patter. Having not eaten anything for days, Link graciously accepted the meal, and his eyes grew wide in surprise as the food slid down his throat and into his stomach.

The thin broth easily went down, both quenching thirst and delivering a kick of salty flavor, his absolute favorite. His back and arms then acted on their own accord. He couldn't stop them as his back stiffened upright and his arms snatched the bowl of soup from the man and lifted it up as if he were drinking from a cup. The soup's broth was a dark yellow; and within it floated an assortment of herbs, vegetables, and tough meat—all of which went down like it were just an easy-to-swallow drink.

After each second, his mouth filled, trying to consume as much as it possibly could. Needless to say, Link was starving. The last thing he ate was the two biscuits at Learto's house, and from what he remembered hearing, that was about a week ago. After seven days of having an empty stomach, he had deeply missed the taste of salty soup. As he swallowed more and more of it, he felt his strength begin to come back to him in a large wave.

Everyone who knew him knew that that was all that he ever wanted to eat. If he wanted, he could've taken a saltshaker, twist off the cap, and empty it, chugging the cubic grains as if they were sugar. Of course, he thought better of doing it when he had the chance; it wasn't so much because that he was afraid of getting sick from it, but it was more because he knew that people who owned the salt would chase him down and beat him to a pulp if they knew that their beloved seasoning was snatched.

After he completely sucked the bowl dry, he took a few-second breather and lied back down on the hard bed. "Thanks…" he graciously said, however winded. "M-may I have some more…?"

"Of course," Mardin retorted, amused from the Hylian's strange eating habits. He stood up again, grabbed the bowl and spoon, and walked back over to the pot. "You know, you're lucky; if it weren't for Rothuld, all of that traveling you did previously would've been for naught," he said as the familiar sound of soup pouring into the container snuck into both of their ears, leaving Link's mouth to water some more.

He, however, couldn't help but agree. He didn't want to admit it, but had there been no one there, he most certainly would've burnt up in that hell-like place for the rest of time.

After the bowl had been refilled, he walked back over to the stool and handed it back to Link, who again began chugging its contents. "What I still don't get is why you'd go out of your way to help slay a dragon. You were even warned of the dangers beforehand, if I'm not deeply mistaken," he said quietly. "Why did you do it? You could've been killed, and you almost were."

He stopped drinking the soup, slowly lowered the bowl, and swallowed. "I dunno," Link shrugged, gazing at the rough-looking wall and avoiding Mardin's eyes. "I didn't want to feel that I was powerless to do anything, I guess."

The old man laughed, earning himself a quick glare from Link's end. " 'Powerless'? Kid, it seemed you were rushing in without anything left to live for!"

Link's face flared red in embarrassment, and he continued to avert the man's eyes. "W-what are you talking about?"

Mardin closed his eyes and sighed, shaking his head. "Link, it's rather obvious. You have a home, don't you? A safe place to live, right? Family? Why give all that up for a foolish stunt like that?"

The familiar punch in the stomach reared back and rammed into Link at full force again and caused him to grit his teeth. "Rothuld didn't tell you, did he? I don't have a family! They're dead! Gone! Nonexistent! Kaput!" Tears began welling up in his eyes, blurring his sight yet again. He wiped them away with a sniff and tried to bite the bullet, berating himself for the sudden outburst, to which Mardin was left speechless for about a half-minute.

Just then, Rothuld came rushing into the room. "What's going on?" he queried with a worried look on his face.

It felt like an eternity before Mardin replied with a quiet, "It's nothing, Rothuld. Please leave us alone for a while."

The large Goron grunted to himself and agreed to honor the wishes of the craftsman. He turned around and walked back into the room—what he was doing was a mystery to them, but they continued their talk regardless.

"No, he did not tell me. I'm sorry for troubling you with that. I was out of my place, and I apologize," Mardin said solemnly.

"It's fine… Don't worry about it," Link replied gently, raising the bowl back up to his mouth and carrying on eating.

"I thank you, son," the man rejoined with a smile. "Anyway, I'm sure you're wondering why you're here…"

"A little bit, I guess."

"Well, Rothuld informed me of the situation, and he told me that you were asking for my assistance. Care to explain?"

Link finished his soup and was now completely full. Moving the bowl and spoon to the side, he began his explanation: "Okay, you're aware of the large beam of light shooting up toward the sky a few days ago, right?"

Mardin nodded. "I sure did. It startled me so bad that I hit my hand while ironworking." He then took off his glove and showed to Link a large black bruise that formed on his fingers and rubbed them gingerly.

Link swallowed, sickened from the sight, before continuing. "It was chaotic. Everyone in town was up and about and panicking, screaming, and shoving. The knights were alarmed, too, and they charged out of the town toward the desert. I followed them for a few hours, but when I reached the desert, one of the knights was crawling away, seriously wounded. With his last words, he told me that he knew you and asked me to find you."

"Takk… My dear friend…" Mardin whispered, wiping away a couple tears of his own.

"His armor was charred purple… He was badly burned, sir. He said he didn't know what attacked his battalion, but he was the only one who got out of there alive."

"Yes…" the man said in an undertone, scratching his beard as he connected the dots. "It's all making sense…"

Link furrowed his eyebrows in confusion. "What?"

"Young man, have you ever heard of the Door of the Moon?"

Puzzled, Link turned his focus to side, his mouth slightly ajar from confusion. "Uh…the what?"

Mardin scowled. "I'll take that as a no. Now, where to begin…? Ah, yes! You are familiar with the creation of the Triforce, are you not?"

This time, Link nodded.

"It is said that after the three goddesses created the world, the Triforce was placed in the Sacred Realm that is connected to this world. Today, it is safeguarded in a fortress in the Sacred Realm known as the Temple of Light, a place completely clean of evil.

"The direct opposite of the Sacred Realm, however, is the Realm of the Moon, a place that is swarming of evil down to the last molecule of poison in its atmosphere. It is said that anyone who ventures into the Realm of the Moon will perish the second he or she suffers direct contact with the evil aura there. It's an eeeeevil place…evil and extremely powerful. Evil itself is strong, and in the hands of a mortal, it can give him strength…but after a while, it will corrupt and consume him from the inside out.

"The sages who constructed the Temple of Time knew that the knowledge of the Realm of the Moon was too dangerous to be kept alive socially, so the Spirit Temple was built to seal it off and hide it from curious eyes seeking its secrets.

"Okay, I'm sure that you also know about the Sheikah, right?"

"I've heard of them, but I don't know too much about them," Link replied with a small cough.

"Right. That's because they fell into seclusion and secrecy for years. Granted, given their nature, they were always like that, but now it appears as though they are extinct—completely fallen off the face of the earth, I say. This includes any information about them, too; any cultural thing, any historical event, you name it. All have been weathered down and eroded by the winds of time. Even the erosion itself has been weathered and eroded multiple times, and now it is nothing but a fine, invisible powder that cannot be caught in the breeze.

"Not much may be known about them, but what is known is that they were especially proficient in magic—shadow magic, to be more precise. Any injury you saw on my friend, any at all, it reeks of the purple fire that they've been so well known to create."

Link raised an eyebrow, vaguely remembering what the soldier Takk had said about "strange fire." "Purple fire?"

"Aye. Hotter, more powerful, and deadlier than any fire magic that we Hylians can conjure at will. You see, it's exceptionally difficult—nay, practically impossible—for one to summon fire of a different color. It's not easy to create something that was never intended to be created. We can try, but do you ever see purple fire lighting the streets of Hyrule Town at night or burning in one's fireplace?"

Link remained silent.

"That's just what I'm talking about. It's hard to grasp the doings behind it. However, to hear the knights of Hyrule being completely annihilated by this strange spell…it all points to one thing: a Sheikah is likely the culprit."

"So the floating man in the black cloak that Rothuld mentioned to me…he's a Sheikah?"

Mardin nodded. "Most likely. I don't know of the man's intentions, but whatever they are, he's likely to accomplish them if nothing is done. Yes, the Realm of the Moon is an evil place and houses a darkness that can spread forth and break anyone from contact, but remember, the Sheikah thrived in darkness. They could easily adapt to it and not grow dispirited or hostile from grasping it inside them. You know what I'm talking about here: if a Sheikah can get into the Realm and adapt to the darkness inside without succumbing, he can use the power inside to become damn near unstoppable."

Link shivered as he thought of the worst-case scenario being described. Despite the fire in the other room warming up the air, Mardin's story sent a chill down his spine that spread through his entire body. He hugged himself for warmth as the chills made him feel cold. "S-so…" he stuttered, "what's the plan to stop it from happening?"

Mardin narrowed his eyes in thought as he remained silent for a short moment. Grinning slightly, he replied, "There's only one thing I think can be done: get rid of the Door. Destroy it. Cut this world off from the Realm of the Moon so no one can reach its power."

Just then, Link exploded into laughter, disbelief rooting itself in his mind. The craftsman looked shocked to see the sudden outbreak of mirth, and truthfully, Link was also surprised. Tears were rolling down his face by the time he made an effort to suppress the laughter and reply. "Destroy the Door of the Moon?" he giggled. "Destroy something holding back something so powerful? No offense, but you must be crazy."

Mardin glared at him. "Difficult? Yes, it will be. Impossible? Not by any means. The Sages created the Door of Time, didn't they? Used it to seal the Triforce up for safekeeping? Used it to guard against evil beings that would charge into the Temple of Light and steal the sacred relic for their own ends? Dear me, boy, if something can be created, it can just as easily be destroyed!"

"Yeah? Well, I still think you're crazy… How will we get there? How do we find it without being blasted to bits by the person trying to steal its power? How do we actually destroy it?"

"I have an idea," Mardin replied assuringly, although he was still firing a sharp glare his way. "Come with me. I have something to show you." He got out of his seat, kicking the stool back a couple feet, and lead Link to the adjacent room. As they entered, a strong wave of heat washed over them and soon forced their foreheads to release a couple drops of sweat. It was clearly a workshop, made evident by the strange-looking crafts littering the floor, a furnace in the corner, and a large anvil in the center carrying a long sword.

Mardin walked up to the anvil and gripped the sword's handle and handed it to the boy beside him. "Do you recognize your sword, Link?" he asked as he released his grip.

Link glanced at the glinting weapon, which was still cooling slightly from being bent into shape. The blade itself was longer than it previously was and was no longer scorched. At the base of the blade, where it curved into sharp wedges and stretched to a common point, was a symbol that looked eerily like the Triforce, and a few inches below it was a large black stone that sparkled in the firelight. The guard looked like it was pushed inward to give it a pentagonal shape, and the hilt gained a purplish color. "I hardly do. What have you done with it?"

"I remade it as nicely as I could. I spruced it up, increased its reach, and sharpened it. It should serve you a bit more nicely than what you've been using earlier." Mardin was beaming at it, clearly proud of his latest creation. "What do you think?"

Link just gaped at it, hypnotized. "It's…beautiful!" His hands hugged the handle tightly and were completely immersed in the comfort that it held for them.

"Well, they don't call Mardin the greatest craftsman in Hyrule for nothing!" Rothuld laughed from the back of the room, sitting down on a small stool that struggled to support his weight and chewing happily on a chunk of iron.

But then Link scowled as he slowly lowered the weapon. "It's great and all, but how will a sword help us destroy the Door of the Moon?"

"Well, the Sages of Hyrule created the Door of Time to prevent evil's access into the Temple of Light, right?"


"Then these same sages can imbue this sword with the same power to repel the evil, right?"

"Hmm…" Link mumbled as he closed his eyes and tried to draw out in his mind what was being said. "So are you saying the Sages are still alive? I thought they died centuries ago."

"Of course they are! They're the representatives of the Goddesses. All because people haven't seen them for a long time doesn't mean they're dead. They look over Hyrule from many places, most of which cannot be seen or reached by sheer luck.

"To get their help, however, you need to go to both the Terra Shrine and the Ventus Shrine. To save you a bit of traveling time, visit the Terra Shrine first, located near Lake Hylia."

Link was unsure about this request. After what had happened in the Fire Temple, he looked at the plan in skepticism. "So, you want me to go to these shrines alone and see if I can get a bunch of old guys to help me?"

Mardin chuckled as he shook his head. "I'd only get in your way. I'm no fighter myself, and I'm sure Rothuld has matters in his own city to attend to."

Link sighed at the floor, not exactly looking forward to what was in store for him. However, simply looking at his new sword some more built his confidence. He knew it would serve him well and that in the most serious pinches, he could trust his life with it. Sheathing it, he looked back at Mardin and nodded. "Okay. Thank you, Mardin," he said gratefully.

The craftsman smiled and nodded back. "As soon as you have your sword completely infused with power, come back to Death Mountain to see me. We'll continue our plan from there."

Link backed up, bowing farewell to his elders and turned toward the door, not muttering as much as one syllable. As he stepped outside, he realized that he never did look out the windows long enough to see exactly how far up the mountain he actually was. He inched his head over the cliff and looked down; the next level of ground was a good few hundred below—one bit of imbalance on one's part would certainly lead to a tumble and disaster.

However, he wasn't feeling any fear from the height, a behavioral anomaly on his part. Rather, he enjoyed the view and the gust of wind blowing through his hair. "HELLOOOOOOOOO!!" he yelled down, laughing as he heard his voice echo returning to him multiple times before being silenced.

"Hello," a low, dull voice replied behind him. Link started and lost his balance, wobbling over the edge and toppling backwards onto the ground. His heart hammered in his chest, and his breathing came very heavily.

What he saw, though, surprised him. An owl, about one-and-a-half times Link's size, was perched on a large rock near Mardin's doorway. Its brown feathers were painted with black spots that made it look like it had freckles, and its feathery beak was chattering up and down as its owner broke into laughter at the boy's sudden start at its monotonous voice.

"Don't! Ever! Do that again! Link yelled after shooting up to his feet, still breathing heavily.

The owl's laughs quieted down, and it began to speak. "I'm sorry, young sir. This is my home, and I hardly ever have any visitors up here. Boredom is not an easy companion to have, you see, and I apologize for nearly causing you to fall."

His heart began to slow down, and not long afterward, he caught his breath. "I-it's fine…" he stammered. Just after he calmed down, though, his eyes popped wide open and stared at the huge talking owl. "Y-you can talk!?" he exclaimed.

The owl raised a large, bushy eyebrow. "Are you really that surprised? You Hylians boast such huge advancements such as bows, swords, and magic, but you just stand and stare at the first animal that can speak in your tongue?"

Huh, that's a pretty good point, Link thought in agreement, nodding in acknowledgement.

"Anyway, I've been thinking for the past couple hours about flying down below and getting something to eat, and since you don't really seem willing to risk your life to climb down the mountain yourself and risk getting horribly mangled, do you want to join me?"

The shock of seeing a talking owl didn't leave his body, but he nevertheless took the offer to heart. "You mean…by flying?" he asked stupidly.

The owl nodded.

"I don't know… I mean, I've never flown before, and I wonder whether it's safe or—GAH!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?" Link shouted one moment too late; the owl rushed off his perch, seized his arms, and took off into the sky, a cloud of debris gusting back from the wind of its wings.

Link's screams were able to be heard just about everywhere as the owl that clutched his arms jetted through the air at scary speeds. His legs dangled through the air as the bird carved the sky with its unique and somewhat-reckless flying style. With gravity aiding the fall, they flew even faster. Air filled his open mouth as it rushed past them, and as they passed over the rooftops of Kakariko Village, he could've sworn that he swallowed a bug.

Past the village was the vast land of Hyrule itself, with its rolling hills, trees dotting the landscape, and Zora River grazing the eastern border. The afternoon sun shone through the low clouds, and its rays of light were visible from the moisture in the sky. The clouds' shadows moved along the ground like blankets as the wind carried them eastward. The air rushing past the two fliers was rather cold to the touch, possibly from the speed of the flight. To the owl, it didn't matter much, but shivers were traveling through Link's body like pulses of electricity. His throat was now sore from the screaming, but the owl held a really good grip on him. He wasn't going to fall. Not now.

From over a few hundred feet up in the air, he could see everything in Hyrule. To his right was the towering wall of Lon Lon Ranch, and behind him (although it was kind of hard to twist his head back a complete semi-circle) was the beautiful Hyrule Castle being buffeted from the clouds and radiating the sun's light back to the land beautifully. To his right, he could see a faint outline of the desert sands blowing up from the scorching wind.

It was the most amazing ride that Link ever went on. At this point in the flight, he completely forgot his fear of heights. He was just completely enamored from the sight of the fair land, and he wished that he could just stay up there until the end of time, soaking it all in. But alas, nothing is forever, and majestic flights in the heavens were no different. Wind rushed past his blond hair as the owl dive-bombed toward a point near the Lost Woods.

When they were just a few feet above the ground, the owl let go of Link's arms and plopped him down painfully to the ground. He groaned as he shook his aching head. He'd have cursed the owl for such a careless landing, but he didn't have the heart to after such an amazing ride. He got up to his feet to thank the owl, but when he looked up to the sky and opened his mouth, it was already flying away toward the river.

"Thank you…" he whispered sadly, wishing that he could go again and absorb the sights anew. He readjusted his clothes before setting off to the south, already dearly missing the heavens.

Because he landed close to the Lost Woods, Link's trip was much shorter than it would've been if he landed near the bridge; however, the trip was still long, as it took him a few hours just to get to the gate. He gasped happily as it grew larger in tandem with his inching closer every second.

The gate, however, was actually more of a fence, now that he had the time to look at it. It was only a little taller than he was, and even then, it didn't really prevent access, for it was already opened about halfway. He taunted the "gate" as he marched by. "Nyeh, nyeh! Try and stop me now!" he teased at the inanimate object. Had there been a guard or something manning the gate, he probably would've been taken away by force or something, but no one was there! He reasoned that he might as well enjoy his freedom of travel as much as he could while he was still alone and before he had to continue walking and getting back to work.

He trotted on, the dark memories of the Fire Temple and his near-death experience thrown behind him and no longer holding him back to what many adults back at Castle Town would refer to as "his proper place."

Somewhere along the lines, I feel that I'm making a fatal mistake... Ah, well. At least it's better than what I originally had.

Until next time, guys!