The Hero of Lightning
"You're too scrawny, kid. Come back when you grow up a little!" Link said mockingly, muttering to himself as he made his way through the crowds packing the streets of Castle Town. He'd make that recruiter eat his words today, more than a year after he'd said them.
A year ago, Link would have had to agree with the recruiter for the Hyrule Army who'd turned him away. Although tall, he'd been almost painfully skinny from not getting enough to eat. Link was an orphan, and he'd grown up on the streets of Castle Town, doing odd jobs to support himself, though he was proud to say he never turned to thievery like some of the other street urchins he knew.
Now, after a year of watching the soldiers train and begging lessons from any traveling swordsmen who were willing to teach him, coupled with a string of good luck that led to him getting a good job at a tavern on the southern side of the city, Link had grown strong and broad-shouldered. The owner of the tavern where he worked, a man named Ernst, agreed that the army would be foolish not to take him now, and so had told Link that if he was accepted, he could enter the military. If not, his job at the tavern would be waiting for him.
Link shivered inside his cloak. The thunderstorm yesterday had really cooled things off, and with the last snow of winter only two weeks behind, temperatures were still almost uncomfortably cold sometimes. He was used to it, though; he'd had to sleep outside more often than not growing up.
He spotted a great crowd of people up ahead and frowned as he realized they were blocking his way. Being tall enough to see over the heads of most of those in the crowd, Link craned his neck to see what the holdup was.
A few strains of music reached his ears, and with a sudden rustle of movement, the people around him forced Link back to the side of the street, murmuring to each other in hushed voices. Faintly, the young man heard marching footsteps and the sound of horses' hooves clattering over the cobblestones of the street off in the distance.
Finally, Link glimpsed the reason for the crowd; the Royal Family was heading out in a procession, the King sitting tall atop his enormous white stallion dressed in a fancy version of the uniform most Hyrule Soldiers wore. The Queen and their two children rode behind. Prince Gareth smiled to the crowd, waving to those who waved to him, and his older sister, the Crown Princess Zelda, smiled also, looking out over the crowd with a pleasant expression.
Link smiled. Princess Zelda was indeed just as beautiful as she was rumored to be. He'd never seen her before today, but her portrait hung above the bar in the tavern where he worked. Old Ernst the bartender said it brought good luck, and it probably did, since the tavern was packed most nights. Now that he could see her in person, Link thought the portrait didn't do her justice.
She and her brother took mostly after their mother, with golden hair and delicate features, but both took their grey eyes from their father, who appeared to be just as strong as he was rumored. It was said that the King was more than willing to lead his own troops into battle if the current tension with Holodrum lead to war, and looking at him, Link believed it.
Link pushed his way forward through the crowd until he stood near the leading edge, hoping to get a better look at Zelda. Ernst would probably die of jealousy when he told him about this!
As the Royal Family drew closer, surrounded by soldiers and bodyguards, Link heard a strange whining, sounding almost like a build-up of power. Just as he started to look around for the source, a lance of fiery orange energy screamed down out of the sky and hit the King, engulfing him instantly.
All around Link, people screamed and dove for cover, rushing about in instant panic. Barely three seconds after the first, another lance of energy stabbed out and hit the Queen, grazing Prince Gareth's arm. He screamed and fell from the saddle as the bodyguards around the Royal Family looked frantically around for the source of the blasts.
Link was already sprinting forward when he heard a third blast charging. A strange feeling came over Link, as if time slowed down around him. His body began moving without him thinking about it first, and just as another lance of orange energy sped out for Princess Zelda, Link leaped up and tackled her out of her saddle, feeling the heat of the blast wash over his back as he and the princess toppled to the ground beside her horse.
Still moving on instinct, Link reached up and unclasped his cloak with one hand, grabbing hold of Princess Zelda's arm with the other. He tossed the cloak over Prince Gareth, who lay groaning on the ground, and pulled the boy to his feet, shoving both royals ahead of him down an alley. People dashed about, screaming in panic and confusion, and the three of them were quickly absorbed into the crowd.
Link glanced behind to see a tall man swathed in a dark-colored robe and cloak leap impossibly far down from his perch atop a nearby building to the ground and look around, his hooded head moving back and forth as he searched the crowd. He drew a sword from underneath his voluminous cloak and lashed out to stab a Hyrule Soldier, shoving his victim out of the way as he made his way over to the Royal Family's horses, who reared up in terror as he passed.
A chill washed over Link as he realized that this was the assassin, the sorcerer who had killed the King and Queen and tried to kill his charges. He knew what he had to do, and turned back to the prince and princess, urging them further down the alley with the crowd. Behind, he heard the clash of steel and the unmistakable sound of more magic blasts as the sorcerer engaged the bodyguards.
Both royals were silent, obviously in shock, and they did not resist as Link pulled them along, headed for the nearest safe place he could think of; Ernst's tavern.
"Come on, come on!" he urged as Zelda faltered, turning to look behind.
Link guided the royals through the alleys and side-streets he knew so well he could navigate them blind, not stopping for a moment until they reached the modest brick building that housed the tavern he called home. Opening the door, he urged the royals up the stairs next to the entrance, constantly glancing behind with one ear listening for the approach of the assassin.
When they reached the door that led to Link's small room, he opened the door and ushered the prince and princess inside, closing it behind him. Once the room fell into silence, Link finally had time to process what he had just done.
What in the world was he going to do now? He'd dragged the heir to the throne and her brother off to his tiny, shabby room above a tavern on the poorer side of town, and no doubt had confused their bodyguards into a state of frenzy. What had he been thinking?
Princess Zelda looked up at him, her arm around her brother, and he was struck by the pain and confusion on her face. It had all happened so fast, and he wondered if she knew what had happened to her parents. Link could hardly believe she was here in his room anyway, but this was not the time for trying to wrap his head around what he'd done. This was time for action.
"Uh, wait here, Your Highness," Link said. "I'll go get your bodyguards. You should be safe here."
She nodded mutely, pulling her sobbing brother closer. Link backed out of his room and closed the door behind him, his mind swirling with a dozen different plans and thoughts. His first priority should be to get their guards here to protect them. They would know what to do; they probably had plans for just this situation.
Link charged down the wooden stairs, taking them two at a time. He heard Ernst calling to him, but he kept going and ran out the door, sprinting back to where the Royal Family had been attacked. His long legs carried him there in seconds, and he burst out into the street, looking around for the soldiers that had been accompanying the royals. He saw none of them, or the assassin, either.
Link hissed a curse under his breath. The sorcerer was still in the city, and he would keep hunting Zelda and Gareth until he had found them. His intent was obviously to wipe out the Royal Family, and there was no way Link was going to let that happen.
But what could he do? He was apparently the royals' only protector right now, so he had to keep them safe until someone else took control of the situation.
Both the King and Queen were dead. Who was going to take charge? Should he take them to the castle?
No, Link thought. That would be the first place the assassin would look for his intended victims. He had to get Zelda and Gareth out of the city, and fast. His mind still whirling with plans, Link turned and ran back to the tavern, dodging the people still dashing about in panic.
Ernst met him at the door, his bushy gray hair and beard sticking out as the broad-shouldered older man caught Link by the shoulder. "What's going on, lad?" he said, his eyes tinged with concern. "Have you heard about the attack?"
Link nodded quickly, gesturing up the stairs. "We have to get out of the city, Ernst," he said. "I have the prince and princess up in my room, and we have to get them somewhere safe before the assassin tracks us here."
He turned to go, but the beefy bartender grabbed his shoulder again. "You what?" Ernst said in surprise. "Say that again, lad."
Link tugged free of his friend's grip. "I said I have Princess Zelda and Prince Gareth up in my room. I brought them here after the attack because the assassin was fighting their bodyguards. I didn't know what else to do."
Ernst's bushy gray brows rose in disbelief. "That was damned brave, lad. Damned brave. Damned foolish, too."
Link gestured impatiently up the stairs, hardly daring to believe what he had done himself. "We have to get them out of here. Where can we take them?"
Ernst shrugged helplessly. "I have no idea, Link. Go check on the prince and princess, and I'll get some supplies together."
Link nodded and dashed up the stairs, half dreading that the assassin had come for his intended victims and would be waiting in the room when he arrived. Luckily, this was not the case, and Link found only the two royals in his room when he opened the door.
Princess Zelda looked up as he entered, a questioning look in her grey eyes. "Are they coming?" she asked.
Link sighed, shaking his head. "No, I couldn't find any of your bodyguards, Your Highness. I haven't seen the assassin, either, so we need to leave before he comes looking for you."
Zelda's eyes widened in surprise, and she pointed to Link. "Your hand…" she said, her tone hushed.
Link looked down and was also surprised as he saw a golden glow coming from his left hand. As he brought it up to take a better look at it, he saw a triangular marking made up of three smaller triangles. The bottom right triangle was glowing the brightest, though the entire marking gave off a bright golden light.
"You…" Zelda paused. "You must be the Chosen Hero. What you did back there… You have been chosen by the Goddesses to bear the Triforce of Courage."
Link knew about the Heroes, having heard legends of the brave warriors who rose to defend Hyrule from evil all his life. Was he really the Hero now? It did explain the strange feelings he had been having since the attack.
He pushed his questions aside. All this could wait.
"Well," he said, looking around his room, "I have to get you two out of here. The assassin is still looking for you, and he could be here anytime. Castle Town isn't safe."
"What are you going to do?" Zelda asked, her arm still around the sobbing Gareth, who still clutched his arm, now bandaged with a strip of cloth Zelda had torn from her gown.
Link opened the chest next to his bed that contained everything he owned, pulling out some of his clothes. "Here, change into these while I go get some supplies. We need to disguise you so that the assassin doesn't spot you on our way out of the city." He handed the princess one of his shirts, smiling sheepishly. "They're a little big for you, but it's all I have."
Zelda took it, nodding gratefully. "This will be fine. Thank you."
Link nodded quickly, moving to the door. He turned to look over his shoulder at the royals. "I'll be back in just a second."
Princess Zelda nodded once, and Link closed the door behind him, descending the stairs two at a time into the main room of the tavern. Ernst was waiting for him, a full pack in one hand and a sheathed sword in the other.
The burly bartender paused as he caught sight of the marking on Link's hand. "That's…" he said in surprise, gesturing to the younger man with the hilt of the sword he held in one hand. He regarded Link with a measure of respect and awe on his face. "You've been chosen by the gods, lad! They must have done it because you rescued the prince and princess!"
Link again pushed the questions he wanted to ask aside, looking around the bar. He snatched two cloaks off of pegs hanging on the wall, tossing them over his arm. He turned to Ernst, meeting the older man's gaze. "I need to get them out of here, Ernst," he said. "I was thinking maybe we should go south to the farming villages in Faron."
Ernst shook his head. "No, lad. You need to take them east to Death Mountain. The Gorons are good friends of Hyrule, and there's nowhere they'll be safer than under the protection of the mountain folk. If you're the Chosen Hero, you'll need to find out who's trying to kill them and stop him. The Gorons can keep good watch over them while you do."
He handed Link the pack, and as the young man shouldered it, Ernst extended the sword he held in his other hand. "Take it, lad," he said. "You'll need it to protect them."
Link accepted the sword, looking up at his friend. "Thank you," he said. "For everything."
Ernst smiled broadly under his bushy beard. "Of course, lad. Now get going. You have a sacred duty now, so go carry it out."
Link smiled back before turning to dash up the stairs to his room again. He opened the door slowly, entering the room once he saw that both Zelda and her brother had changed into his spare clothes. The princess had unbraided her hair, and now both mostly appeared to be peasants, albeit in extremely good health.
He handed the two cloaks he had taken to Zelda, setting the pack down as he buckled the belt attached to the sword Ernst had given him around his waist.
"I'm taking you to Kakariko," Link said. "You should be safe there while I find out what's going on." He met Zelda's eyes. "I'll make sure nothing happens to you or your brother."
"Thank you," said Zelda, helping Gareth put on the cloak Link had brought. "When do we leave?"
Link tossed a few more of his belongings into the pack Ernst had given him. "Now. Come on."
The Sorcerer slowly stalked through the halls of Hyrule Castle, killing anyone he saw. He had succeeded in eliminating the King and Queen, but the Crown Princess and her brother had escaped him. In all the confusion, he had not seen where they had gone, and his first thought was that they had fled to the castle, their supposed stronghold. So far he had only encountered servants and soldiers, all of which fell before his blade and his power.
Hearing a slight movement, little more than a rustle of a tapestry as someone shifted behind it, the Sorcerer crossed the wide, white hall to where he could see a slight bulge behind a wide woven scene depicting some doubtless exaggerated Hylian victory.
The Sorcerer pulled back his sword and stabbed through the tapestry, smiling slightly at the brief pained grunt before the bulge dropped to the floor, staining the lower edge of the battle scene red.
His mission was to eliminate the entire Hylian Royal Family, and he had so far succeeded but for Zelda and Gareth. Both of the King's brothers lay dead in their rooms, draped over the bodies of the wives and children they had attempted to protect.
Screaming in rage, a soldier jumped out from behind a decorative suit of armor, swinging wildly with a sword. The Sorcerer matched him blow for blow, finishing the brief duel with a single concentrated blast of energy through the man's heart. The soldier dropped soundlessly to the floor, clutching his chest.
The Sorcerer moved on, seeking his prey.
Zelda studied their rescuer, walking beside him with the hood of her cloak raised and her arm around her still-sobbing brother, who hadn't said a word since…
She fiercely pushed the thought aside. It was not the time to let herself grieve. Plenty of time for that when they were safe. Every moment until then was fraught with danger, and the two of them had to trust in their savior to make sure they survived the day.
Link walked beside her with one hand on the strap of his pack and the other on the hilt of the sword at his side. He was tall, certainly over six feet, if not six-and-a-half, and longish blond hair curled down over his collar, uncombed but at least clean. He looked over at her, and Zelda was struck again at the intense blue of his eyes. He smiled in a reassuring way, and she attempted to smile back, though she didn't really feel like it.
It was strange; she hadn't known him an hour, and yet Zelda felt as if she could trust this man. Perhaps it was the connection between their two pieces of the Triforce. Courage and Wisdom seemed to inevitably work together, so perhaps there was a bond between those two pieces of the sacred relic.
Cautiously, Zelda extended her perceptions through the Triforce of Wisdom as the three of them made their way toward the east gate of the city, moving slowly along with the crowd. It appeared many other people had had the same idea, and now dozens of people bearing packs and pulling small carts were headed out of the city, a cloud of panic still hanging over the crowd.
Next to her, she felt Gareth's almost overwhelming sorrow and pain, and squeezed his shoulder reassuringly. On her other side, Link was… blank. No, not blank but… unreadable. Zelda realized with a measure of surprise that, whether he was doing it deliberately or not, she could read nothing from the Hero. She could tell he was there, but his thoughts and emotions were sealed off even more securely than the Sage who had taught her to use the Triforce of Wisdom, and she was at once intrigued and suspicious. Who was this man, and why couldn't she read his emotions?
Ahead, a large man in a stained and battered shirt that had once been blue stood on a box and waved his arms to get the crowd's attention. Link paused, his hand still resting on the hilt of his sword, and Zelda stopped beside him, still trying to comfort her brother.
"Are you all going to Kakariko?" the man in the blue shirt said. Various heads around them nodded, and the man waved them closer. "We should travel as a group. There are monsters on the roads, and we'll be safer in numbers. You, swordsman," he said, pointing at Link.
The new Hero tensed ever so slightly. "Yes?" he said, stepping just in front of Zelda.
"Will you help us defend the women and children on the road?" the man in the battered blue shirt asked him.
Link nodded once, and the man smiled gratefully. "Thank you. We're going now, so if anyone has anything they still need, go back and get it right now. We'll be at the east gate, and we leave in ten minutes."
A few people broke away, but most followed the man in the blue shirt to the east gate. To Zelda's disgust, the guards were nowhere to be found, and only a few traveling adventurers bore weapons among the dozens of people crowded around the east gate of the city.
The large man in the battered blue shirt made his way over to Link and extended a hand, his expression grim. "Thank you for coming with us, swordsman," he said. "My name's Tyrell."
"Link," the new Hero said, shaking the proffered hand. "I just want to get my sister and brother out of the city. I don't really know what's happening, but I know it's not safe for them here."
Zelda reached up and pulled some of her long hair over her face underneath her hood, attempting to obscure her famous features. She knew Link's reasoning; the assassin could have allies, and it would be best if the refugees did not know who she and her brother really were to avoid attracting attention. Again, she admired their protector's quick thinking.
Tyrell nodded. "I hear you, Link." He sighed deeply. "I…I just can't believe what happened. Who would have thought…" He broke off, looking up at the taller Hero helplessly.
"What matters is that we get these people to safety," Link said. "We can figure out who did this later."
Tyrell squared his shoulders, nodding determinedly. "You're right, Link. We'll move as quickly as we can, and assuming we aren't attacked, we can be to Kakariko before nightfall."
Zelda turned to see more people arriving, hearing Link say, "We'll make it."
I hope so, the princess thought to herself.
The Sorcerer growled in frustration, sending a lance of fire out to consume a painting meant to portray the Hylians' Goddesses crafting the world. He knew better, and the image insulted him.
He had been through every inch of the castle, and was now the only thing moving though its halls besides the wind through the open -or in some cases, smashed- windows. He had found no sign of Zelda or Gareth, and was beginning to become angry.
The wind plucked at his cloak as he stood in front of a broken window, looking out over the city. Where had his prey fled? He had not thought them to possess sufficient wits to hide so soon after his attack on their parents, but they were not here in their home.
He knew their bodyguards hadn't spirited them away to some secret hideaway; he'd killed them all. The only two members of the procession who had escaped him were the Crown Princess and her younger brother.
The Sorcerer gathered his power and leaped out of the window, levitating over the city. His prey would not escape him forever. If need be, he would hunt them to the ends of the world to guarantee their end.
Zelda slowly sank into a chair at the long wooden table, exhausted. They were finally in Kakariko Village, and not a moment too soon, either. Link's spare pair of boots, given to her to replace her own soft, brightly colored shoes, were much too big for her and chafed her feet.
The generous people of Kakariko had welcomed the refugees from the capital with open arms, horrified at the news they bore. Link had maneuvered her and Gareth into staying with the mayor, who just happened to have a secret room in his basement that was virtually invisible when closed. Link had discovered this during a surreptitious examination of the mayor's house and had quietly told her where it was and how to get into it.
The mayor's wife and daughters tended to Gareth's wound, and Zelda closed her eyes in sadness when they removed her makeshift bandage. As she had thought, the wound was severe, and her brother would never be able to fully use that arm again. Not even the best healer could have restored it.
Link joined Zelda and the mayor's family for dinner. One of the mayor's daughters remained with Gareth, who quickly went to sleep in the bed they provided him.
The mayor, a kindly older man with thick, curly brown hair, politely engaged the Hero in conversation, during which Link described what had happened in as much detail as he knew, changing the details slightly so that he did not reveal the identity of his charges. Instead, he told their hosts that the prince and princess had survived, but had been rushed away by a bodyguard. He maintained the cover that Zelda and Gareth were his younger siblings, but she could tell the mayor's wife, a dark-skinned woman with bright red hair, had her doubts. For one, she had frowned at Link's explanation of Gareth's wound, that the three of them had been out to watch the procession and he had been grazed by a stray blast, and she also kept trying to get a better look at Zelda's face, which she kept hidden behind her hair.
Still, aside from her suspicion that Link was lying, -which he was- the mayor's wife was a friendly woman, and she'd been very welcoming to them and the rest of the refugees.
The meal and the rest of the day passed in a haze for Zelda, and when she was finally offered a bed, she sank into it gratefully and quickly fell asleep.
Link stood at the door of the room where both royals slept, watching them for a few moments. This small town, nestled in a canyon under the smoldering cone of Death Mountain, was fairly out-of-the-way, but it was still open and exposed.
Several scenarios ran through Link's mind in which he had to defend this house against an attack by the assassin he'd seen in Castle Town, and he dismissed it as a stronghold. There were just too many ways for an intruder to get in to defend it adequately by himself.
No, he'd have to take them somewhere else. Glancing up through the window, Link looked at the smoke-shrouded peak of Death Mountain and thought of the Gorons. He'd seen a few of the enormous mountain people occasionally in Castle Town on business, and he thought that an entire community of the prodigiously strong rock-men would be excellent bodyguards for the prince and princess while he set off to find out who the assassin was who had attacked them.
Link silently slipped out of the house and wrapped himself in his cloak against the cold of the night. He set off down the thoroughfare of the canyon village, following it to a place where the path split. One fork led off to the wide field between Kakariko and Castle Town, and the other headed off down a branch of the canyon that stretched back to Death Mountain.
In the darkness, Link could barely see the path in front of him, and thus was surprised when what he had thought was a boulder sitting at the side of the path moved and turned to face him.
"Hello there!" it rumbled in a deep voice, taking a step closer.
Link could see little of the being other than that it was at least seven feet tall and powerfully built, generally round in shape. He recognized the outline and knew it was a Goron.
"Hello," he said to the Goron. "Can you take me to your elders? I need to speak with them."
It chuckled jovially. "Sure, Brother. Follow me!"
Link followed the massive shape of the rock-man down a twisting path that steadily climbed up toward the volcano. He could see almost nothing in the darkness, and had to follow his Goron guide more through the sound of his heavy footfalls than by watching him.
After several minutes of climbing their way through the convoluted path, the Goron stopped and Link nearly ran into him from behind.
By the light of the moon, only a slender crescent above, Link looked down into a wide clearing lined on all sides by steep rock walls. He could see several more large moving shadows down below, as well as vague movement on a series of metal platforms above that ran up the side of the mountain. Several torches were mounted around the clearing, and he could see the yellow skin and broad faces of several Gorons standing guard scattered around the village.
His Goron guide jumped down into the clearing in a single long leap, but Link was forced to scramble down a series of stone ledges that resembled steps made for giants, which, considering the average size of the Gorons, was probably not far from the truth.
Link followed his guide to a hole cut into the side of the clearing, down a short tunnel and then up a sharply sloping ramp that led to a metal platform set into the ground.
The Goron waved Link forward, and when he had joined the massive rock-man on the platform, the Goron stepped on a raised section, pressing down with one huge foot. Jerkily, they began to ascend, and Link looked over at his companion in surprise.
The rock-man chuckled, his deep voice booming out in a jovial rumble. "We'll be there in half the time, Brother," he said, gesturing up the shaft with one huge hand. "It beats walking!" the Goron chuckled.
Link nodded, pushing back his cloak as the temperature rose the further up the shaft they ascended. Soon the shaft gave way to a wide, torch-lit room, a round, elevated platform occupying the center.
The walls were mostly bare stone, but Link saw a few Dodongo skins and other decorations scattered about the large chamber. By far, the most interesting feature of the chamber was the nine-foot-tall Goron that stood near the elevated round platform.
Immediately upon Link's entrance into the room, surprising the young warrior, the enormous Goron stomped over to Link and pointed to his left hand, which bore the mark of the Triforce.
"We have been expecting you, Brother," the largest Goron rumbled. "Our elders foresaw your coming. We know whom you protect."
Link stepped closer to the massive rock-man. "Then I ask that you protect them while I seek those who hunt the princess and her brother."
The Patriarch -for that was who the enormous Goron had to be- reached out and slapped Link on the shoulder, very nearly knocking him to the ground.
"We will do this, Brother," he said. "Go fulfill your sacred duty, Hero."
Link reached up and slapped his hand against the Patriarch's elbow, as high as he could reach. "Thank you."
Turning, he strode purposefully toward the elevator, one hand on the hilt of his sword as he stepped on the button in the center of the metal platform.
He tried again, pressing down with all the force he could muster against the button, but it still did not budge. With a measure of embarrassment, Link realized that his weight was not sufficient to activate the elevator.
Just like that, the reality of the situation hit Link like one of the Gorons had sat on his chest. What in the world was he going to do? He didn't know anything about being the Hero; he'd been acting almost purely on instinct for most of the day, and now that he had a chance to stop and think, he realized that he didn't have the faintest idea about where he could start.
Now that Zelda and Gareth's safety was assured, what was the next step? Should he stay here with the prince and princess and protect them, or should he go back to Castle Town and look for clues about the assassination?
A massive hand crashed down on his shoulder, and for an instant, Link thought he was being attacked. Only when he heard another distinctive Goron chuckle did he remove his hand from the hilt of the sword at his side.
The Goron who had guided him up to the council chamber reached out a huge foot and stomped on the button. The elevator jerked and began to descend, carrying the two of them back down to the bottom of the mountain.
"You're pretty strong for a human," the Goron said. "I always knock the mayor of Kakariko down when I do that. His curses are hilarious!"
Link raised a wry eyebrow. "Thanks," he told his guide. "What's your name?"
"Dar," the Goron said, extending a huge hand.
Link reached out to shake Dar's hand, dreading the crushing his hand was no doubt about to receive. Instead, despite the Goron's extremely firm grip, his knuckles were only ground together with moderate force.
Dar laughed and slapped Link on the back, nearly toppling the young warrior. "I like you, little Brother," the Goron said. "If you were a little taller, you could pass for a really skinny Goron!" He laughed uproariously at his own joke.
Link gave Dar a strange look, which only made the rock-man laugh harder.
Goron humor, Link thought amusedly.
As the elevator descended, the new Hero steeled himself for what would undoubtedly be a difficult quest. He had seen firsthand the kind of power the assassin was capable of unleashing, and he knew that right now, he could not stand against that kind of power.
Link decided that the first thing he would do would be to change that.
Author's Note: Other than being set three hundred years before 'Twilight Princess'(two hundred years before 'Ocarina of Time') this is not based on any existing Zelda games. Those of you familiar with my other stories, 'The Fourth Piece' and 'Hero's Origin,' are probably familiar with the general outline of this story, since its events are mentioned in both stories. If you're a first-time reader, I'd suggest not reading 'Hero's Origin' chapter 4 until this is finished, since it features a summary of the events of this story and thus would spoil the end. Chapter 2 will be up soon.