The Legend of Zelda
Legacy of the Sages
Chapter 26: The Wolf, Part 4
19 Years Earlier…
Nalon hardly ever left her bedside. Over the past several weeks, no one could guess whether or not she was indeed with child. That was until the first signs started to appear; morning sickness. By the beginning of the first month a slight bulge had started to protrude from her lower abdomen. The mood swings, morning retching, and headaches were already starting to become routine. She was pregnant.
Dalon never once mentioned the pregnancy. It had become a very touchy subject around the household. It was something that had become the ultimate taboo on the ranch. Nalon had remained silent since the attack on her person. It was a full month before she would even speak a word or two, and that was only to request for food or water.
Finally, after the second month, Dalon couldn't take it anymore. He was tired of his hesitation towards his wife. He was tired of his wife's grief over what had happened those weeks ago. Most of all, he was tired of the despair that had settled over his household. This was supposed to be the greatest few months of their young lives, not the worst.
He walked up the stairs of the house. There was no turning back. With purpose, he marched himself over to his bedroom door and opened it wide. He was about to open his mouth to speak when the sight before him made him stop.
Nalon was sitting there, on her mother's old rocking chair. She was slowly rocking back and forth, humming an age-old tune softly as she did. In her hands was a pair of knitting needles, which she was using to make the beginnings of what could have been a scarf or perhaps a blanket. Her eyes were gazing out the window. She was smiling.
She stopped what she was doing and turned to look at him once the door closed. Her eyes were still red from last night's crying, though beyond that she didn't look the least bit upset. It was as if the old Nalon that had died on that night had come back to life. Dalon couldn't understand how or why; that's just what seemed to happen.
Dalon stammered at first. "Nalon…I—"
Nalon raised her hand. The rancher shut his mouth. His wife slowly got herself off of the chair and made her way towards him. Without a word, without a sound, and without any explanation, she wrapped her arms around him tightly.
"You've endured so much," she said, "Thank you."
Dalon looked at her in confusion. "I…I don't understand."
She smiled at him, still holding him in her embrace. "We are going to have a child, a son," she said, "Why spend grief on it when we should be making the most of the wait?"
She held him tightly. Slowly, Dalon embraced back. It was as if everything that had happened before was but a distant nightmare, and that they had finally woken up. They were once again happy.
Dalon looked up from his embrace. As his eyes gazed out the window, he suddenly spotted something in the distance. It was a dark figure, lurking in the shadows. Even from the distance between the figure and the house, Dalon could see his glowing red eyes. He knew right away that the danger had not passed just yet.
"No matter what happens," he said, "No matter how dangerous or terrible the world will seem, I will always protect you. I will protect you both. I won't allow something like this to ever happen again."
Nalon kissed him on the cheek. "I know you will."
The fire was spreading out of control. It was one of the repaired buildings; still unfinished, but finished enough to be considered livable at least by Ordonian standards. Someone must have let the fire meant to warm them up burn greater than it needed to be and couldn't put it out in time. Within minutes, the entire building was ablaze, and those who had been sleeping within were now trapped inside.
"Get dirt and water! Put out that blaze!"
All around, people were shouting. Buckets of dust, some excavated from the repairing of the house foundations throughout the ruined town, along with buckets of water were being tossed with equal measure on the fire. The combination of dirt and water proved enough for much of the flames near the opening, but the fire had already spread throughout the house's second floor and basement, and the people inside were still trapped.
The Ordonians were doing the best they could to bring the fire down. Already two other buildings were caught in the same firestorm. Those that could quickly began dousing the flames in these areas to ensure that the rest wouldn't spread further.
Brave men and women dove perilously through the flames of the smoldering buildings. Damp blankets were strewn about their bodies to keep them from burning and cloth masks were put over their mouths to keep the smoke out. As they dove in and out in twos and threes, they managed to bring out several of the trapped people inside, though most were badly injured.
"Is that it?" Rusl asked as one pair leapt from the building, carrying a young man with heavy burns across his body.
"I think so," the first of the two said between choking coughs, "We couldn't get in any deeper."
"Good. Get some men ready to sap the foundations. We've got to get this blaze under control before it spreads any further."
As some of the men approached the house bearing shovels and hammers there was a scream. Everyone turned to look as a woman dove towards the blaze with her husband doing all that he could to keep her from leaping inside. She was sobbing madly as she attempted to throw herself within the flames.
"My baby's in there!" she shouted, "Save my girl! Save my baby!"
The men and women looked at each other in alarm. No one could get in any deeper into the flames. The child, wherever she was, was a goner.
Rusl made as if to say a prayer to the Goddesses when he was distracted by a sudden barking.
"Wolf, where are you going?! Dammit, don't go in there!"
Richard had been doing his best to help put out the fires and had been taking a quick drink by the fence when he spotted Link running at full speed. His attempts to stop the wolf only led to him being bowled over. Link quickly ran as fast as he could, slipping from under the grasp of anyone that tried to grab him, before he leapt in through an open window into the middle of the blaze.
"Come back!" Richard shouted.
Ilia ran towards him. "What's gotten into that wolf?!"
Richard shrugged, still in shock. "I don't know! He just bolted in there like he was chasing a rabbit! That wolf's going to get burned alive if he's in there for too long!"
The commotion outside caused quite a ruckus even at the makeshift jail in Ordon Village. Most in the area were heading towards the flames to fight it or to find out if anyone got badly hurt. Even the jailer poked his nose out curiously while keeping an eye on the only prisoner still inside of the jail.
"Looks like there's a fire," he said glumly.
The Thorn snorted under his breath. He could smell the smoke all the way out here; of course there was a fire.
"Too bad ye ain't getting' tossed in," the jailor said with a smirk, "Saves the trouble o' keepin' ya here."
The Thorn couldn't help but smirk as we;;. The jailer was a new guy; they took regular shifts every three or so hours so that they could help keep up with the work on the village. He doubted that the man even suspected that he knew magic.
The jailer was busy pawing at one of his swords, extending it out from its sheath. "Ya' got some pretty blades," he said, "Maybe I'll keep one fer meself. No sense in lettin' this good weapon rust itself away."
He was about to spit a loogie on the sword when there was a sudden noise like a rock striking wood. The Thorn looked up. The man gave him a dazed smirk before he suddenly fell flat on his back, breaking the chair he was sitting on as he did. The top of his head looked as if it was going to form a lump as big as his fist.
The Thorn could hear a fumble of keys from just outside of his sight range. The man's body was being dragged backwards by some unseen person. The prisoner could hear shuffling as the jailor was hidden out of sight before the assailant revealed herself.
The Thorn cocked an eyebrow. He said nothing as a young lady about 16 or 17 years old, wearing an assassin's jumpsuit and sporting a pair of daggers around her waist belt. She quickly chose the right key and opened the lock to The Thorn's cell before opening the door and glaring at him with dangerous eyes.
"You're coming with me, stranger," she growled, "Or an Ordonian Execution will be the least of your worries."
The Thorn remained silent and impassive as he stood up and followed Liyer out of his cell.
Link was busy coughing. His eyes were watering. His nose was almost completely overwhelmed. Every last bit of his instinct screamed at him to turn tail and flee. Only by his will alone had he even managed to get inside at all.
The moment he heard that someone was still trapped inside, Link knew that he had to do something. As quickly as he could, he ditched the dog running after him and got inside. Now it was up to him; where no one else could accomplish, he had to get inside and save that girl.
Where are you?! Link wanted to shout, but all he got was a loud bark. He cursed himself for forgetting that he couldn't speak anymore. Without any chance of getting anyone's attention, he had to push on by himself to find the young girl.
He willed himself to calm down and began to use his nose. Almost as soon as he closed his eyes he once again felt overwhelmed as the scent of smoke clogged his nostrils. He did his best to ignore it and focused upon the unburned floor in search for his quarry.
He recognized most of the scents; he managed to pick up the scent of the people that made it out earlier. They were muddled, especially near the front room. Combining this with the oppressive scent of smoke made Link's head hurt.
Suddenly, he found what he was looking for; a scent he did not recognize. He quickly followed it, dashing up the stairs as he sniffed about. As he rocketed up the burning building, he almost fell to his death as the stairs crumbled beneath him. Quickly, he leapt upon the first floor before he could fall and managed to drag his way up just in time.
Great, he said to himself. Looks like I'm finding another way down.
He continued sniffing. The fire was stronger upstairs. The heat was unbearable, and he could almost feel the fire singing his fur. He quickly put his nose to the ground again and began looking for the scent.
It didn't take much longer before he found it this time. He quickly followed it, though was stopped when he spotted a massive wall of fire directly between him and his way out. Though he thought about leaping in, he noticed that the wall was thick; it extended all the way towards the door, at least five feet from where it stood in front of him. There was no way he was going to make that jump.
Just then, he heard someone crying. It was a little girl, no older than two years old. She was crying and screaming for her mother. Even a Hylian could hear her plain as day.
Link quickly began searching for the source of the sound. The room that he knew she was in was blocked by fire, but that didn't mean that he couldn't find a way through the walls. As he looked, he could hear the little girl panicking.
"Momma! Momma! Goway! Goway!"
Link listened to the girl's words. She was shouting at something to go away. But they were the only ones there, weren't they?
Or were they?
Link's fur stood straight on end. He could smell it; something big, mean, and nasty. It was scuttling in the other room. He could hear it going after the little girl, who was trying to run away without touching the fire. It didn't take long before he heard a small weight slam against the floor; she had stumbled.
Link growled. He had to get inside. There had to be some way.
He calmed down and carefully closed his eyes. He tried to smell for another way in. Suddenly, before he realized what was happening, he seemed to "see" something through his nose. He was seeing…them.
The little girl was on the floor. She was backing up against the nearby wall; there weren't any flames licking it yet. In front of her was a grotesque creature, just about as big as she was, with six legs that ended in stubby nobs and a mouth that opened and closed like a pulsing boil. It seemed to be as afflicted by the fire as anyone was, though Link could sense, deep down, that hunger was driving its frantic crawl towards the wall more than the flames; hunger and desperation.
With a howl, Link suddenly leapt towards the wall. Still concentrated on the strange creature on the opposite room, he didn't realize his own strength until he had leapt straight through. The wall cracked and fell apart beneath his weight; woodchips flying everywhere as Link soared through. He landed safely on all fours on the other side, snarling as his eyes opened to face the foe.
He was standing between the little girl and the monster. The girl gasped and was curled behind him, her legs and arms covered in tiny welts and what looked like bite marks. Link could see that the monster's tiny mandibles were responsible, though he almost did a double take; it was uglier than he had first thought. The thing looked like some massive, black grub. Its eyes glowed a sickly white color and its body was covered in strange markings that cut straight patterns across its body, which were the same color as its eyes. It let out a squeal as it saw Link and threatened him by opening its mouth and extending a small, double set of mandibles from the inside.
Link wordlessly leapt upon the creature and bit into its body. He ignored the taste, horrible as it was, and instead focused upon breaking the monster's tough, outer layer of skin in order to kill it. The creature let out a shriek as Link's fangs finally tore inside. Growling slightly , Link tore the skin back until the monster was little more than a dead husk, its exposed innards boiling from the heat of the flames.
Link tossed the piece it bit aside. If he could, he would have spit it out. He quickly turned towards the little girl. She was sobbing slightly and still remained curled; judging by her quick breathing, she was more scared of Link than she was of the bug. Link slowly approached her, his eyes never leaving hers. Without making any sudden movements, he stood by her side and quickly sniffed her.
Good, he thought. There's no damage. Just some burnt hair.
He looked at her. She was still whimpering. Link had to calm her down, but he didn't know what to do.
It then occurred to him…what would a dog-er-wolf do?
He bent down and licked her cheek. The girl giggled a little. Link felt as if his mouth was exploding in bitter flavor. He'd gag if it weren't for the desperation of their situation.
A beam on the other end of the room collapsed behind them. The force of the crash surprised the two of them. Link knew that they had to get out. Now!
Come on, he tried to say, climb on.
He bent down low enough so the little girl could climb on his back. Link thanked each and every one of the Goddesses in rapid succession when the little girl grabbed his fur and pulled herself up. She seemed to understand as well.
Hang on, Link growled.
The little girl clung tightly. Link made sure that she had a good grip before he quickly began to dart across the burning building. Dodging the flames and moving with unnatural grace and speed, he kept his eyes peeled for any signs of an exit.
The little girl was coughing loudly. Link knew he had to hurry. The smoke was getting thicker and thicker all around them. If they didn't suffocate first, the flames would most surely kill them. The heat was starting to get to him.
Come on, he thought. There's got to be another way out!
He looked. The stairs were out, and below already the floor was being consumed by fire. He couldn't go back out the way he came.
Suddenly he stared. Just on the opposite end of the building, past burning logs and beams, was an open window that had yet to be consumed by fire. There was a ton of smoke, and the windowsill was covered in broken glass, but it was their only option.
Hang on, Link barked.
The little girl gripped tighter. She spotted the window and knew what to do.
Link still felt like the Goddesses were picking on him, but whether out of habit or out of just a blind hope he prayed to them for help. With that, he leapt to the window.
It was as if time stood still. Link rushed forward with all his might. Leaping over beams, darting between flames, and ducking under debris, he ran like a mad dog. The little girl somehow managed to keep her grip as they ran, if not by strength then by sheer force of fear alone. As soon as they had made it to the window, Link had jumped at it at full speed.
He was already in mid-air by the time the window collapsed.
Everyone cried out in shock as the roof of the second floor suddenly collapsed on itself. The woman threw herself upon the ground, crying with grief. Her husband knelt beside her in an attempt to comfort her, though she pushed him aside. Everyone bowed their heads and turned away. No one could have survived that.
Even as the firefighters controlled the blaze and kept it from spreading, the house was lost. The sappers immediately began digging into the main foundations; weakening the structure enough so that it would all collapse into its basement below, thereby keeping the fire underground and out of harm's way.
Suddenly everyone turned when they heard a baby crying. The parents quickly got to their feet and followed as the group made their way to the ruins. They could hear something moving in the smoldering wreckage.
"Don't sap just yet!" Rusl shouted, "Everyone, stand back!"
He got to the rubble first and immediately began to dig around. Despite the burns he was receiving from his unprotected hands, he still dug. The crying was starting to become louder now. They had to hurry.
"Richard!" Rusl shouted, "Help me with this beam!"
The two men quickly grabbed a smoldering beam and pushed it up. With a groan, they held it high, followed by the shocked gasp of the crowd forming around them.
There was the wolf, and protected between his paws was a two year old girl.
The parents quickly grabbed them both and pulled them free before the two men collapsed with exhaustion. With speed, they all got out of the way quickly. The sappers had done their job almost too well as the entire building collapsed with a roar. The fire was soon smothered by the collapse, leaving only a few smoldering blazes left amidst the wreckage.
The two parents cradled their child, who was coughing and bruised but otherwise unharmed. It seemed to be a miracle. Everyone crowded around them and praised the Goddesses for the miracle. Everyone, that is, but Richard.
"Someone get me some bandages and water!" he shouted, "He's hurt, bad!
Ilia gasped. Rusl shook his head. Richard had Link in his arms. The wolf was badly hurt. His body was covered in gashes and bruises, and his fur was burnt in several places. He whined painfully as the Labrynnian looked carefully at his wounds.
"Don't just stand there!" he shouted, "Get me bandages, now! Can't you see he's injured?!"
Ilia quickly ducked out of sight. Richard did what he could to comfort the poor wolf. Link whined. He was in such pain.
As soon as Ilia handed him the bandages, Richard dipped them into a bucket that was going to be used to douse the fire. Quickly, he began to dab at the burns. Link winced, but Richard ignored him; merely steadying himself so as to dab at them with less desperate ferocity and more with patience.
"Let's get him inside and out of the smoke," he said, "I'm not going to have him save some poor girls life just to lose him."
Hyrule Field had become dark and dreary that night. As the last rays of the setting sun fell the smoke finally became invisible; merely a small blanket covering a small south-east section of the stars. It meant nothing to some, but to the Wizzrobes hunting in the dark it meant everything.
The strange creatures were covered head to toe in robes. Their bodies were hooded and cloaked, while their heads were topped off with massive wizards' hats. Their hands and feet were unbound, however, revealing their inhuman nature; massive four fingered claws for hands and three-toed talons for feet hinted to their avian ancestry. Indeed, if one took a close look, they would see a beak sitting nicely between those glowing eyes.
These creatures were busying themselves. Between them they were leading a mix-match group of Lizalfos and Bokoblins, and between them were a group of chained captives. Most of them were survivors of village raids or those deemed as, "criminals," under the reign of the Seven Sorcerers, though all were eventually going to wind up as slaves, laborers, or sacrifices…or even a combination of all three.
The Wizzrobes currently were setting up camp. A small scouting party was sent ahead to examine the nearby path for trouble. The Wizzrobes were currently feeding upon stale bread and some old cheese; likely the last remnants of an earlier raid.
"I'm starvin'," a Bokoblin whined, "We ain't 'ad nuttin' but stingy ol' bread fer three stinkin' days!"
A Lizalfos sitting beside him hissed and boxed him between the ears. "Shuddup!" he growled, "You're makin' me hungry!"
Sure enough, most of the gang was choosing to go hungry rather than stoop themselves to eating more bread and cheese. The captives were hungry too, though they only got enough food to keep them going throughout the day. Their meal was long over, though that didn't stop them from wanting more to eat.
It didn't stop the Bokoblin from wanting more either. "Can't we kill one o' dem little ones?"
A nearby Wizzrobe's hands sparked with energy as he glared at the Bokoblin in question. The little blin cringed.
The Wizzrobe's voice sounded like tin grinding against stone. "Don't even think about it, worm."
The Bokoblin squealed slightly. Wizzrobes were not to be messed with.
Legend had it that Wizzrobes were among the first to use magic. Whether that was true or not, the reality is that they were very good at it. Wizzrobes once were simple beings until they united under a common goal; to establish an order where magic is king and where all others are given equal treatment. Of course, that meant that if you weren't a Wizzrobe and/or magically powerful, you were enslaved…though all the enslaved were treated equally.
That would have worked were it not for the fact that Wizzrobes rarely could bring themselves to gather in numbers. They always considered themselves greater than their brethren and desired to bring themselves higher and higher up in the ranks. Those that failed often chose to associate themselves with lesser minions that they could order and bend to their will. Those that succeed manage to bring about followers among their fellow Wizzrobes, and thereby establish an unquestionable hierarchy.
Unfortunately for the Wizzrobes the last of their great brethren had died at least a thousand years ago during the infamous war known only as the Clan Wars. Now they were little more than wanderers, occasionally hired by greater powers to act as their magician allies, either for the sake of advisement or for accomplishing dirty deeds in the name of their employer. Wizzrobes very likely would never form a new nation again unless one among them proves strong enough, magically and cunningly, to take over.
The Wizzrobe guard approached the group leader. He was busy gazing out upon the horizon, studying the landscape before him. He bore a sickle-shaped staff with a gem attached to the end, and his robes were a very dark green. His eyes bore untold age as he watched the smoke on the far horizon slowly rise and block the star-lit sky.
"Lord Nostrum," the Wizzrobe said, "The troops are getting restless. How much longer must we drive these slaves?"
Nostrum was quite old for a Wizzrobe. Though younger still than his superior, he was older than most of those who lived in this realm. He was a veteran of the Imprisoning War, complete with scars that reminded him of his place long ago when he served the dreaded King of Evil himself. While Nostrum vowed never again to serve the dreaded wizard, he had little choice when his own superior was contacted by the Seven for the chance of glory.
"We keep moving until we meet up with the foreigners," he growled, "Once there, we hand the slaves over to him. If any of the others try to harm any of those slaves, I'll turn them all into snakes."
The other Wizzrobe bowed. "Understood, my lord."
The Wizzrobe guard returned to the rest of its brethren. Nostrum kept his eyes focused upon the smoke. Deep in his mind, ancient gears were turning in his head.
That is where the Ordonians call home, he remembered. The Labrynnians claimed that they left none alive.
His beak slowly began to form a smile.
Perhaps I should pay them a little visit…
"We move out!" he squawked, "The Labrynnians await us at the camp. The Bulblins should have met up with them by now."
That incited a shudder even among the Lizalfos. Bulblins were well known among them. They were legendary for being rowdy creatures. The recent defeat their leader suffered caused the whole group to be extremely temperamental.
"You heard Lord Nostrum!" a Wizzrobe spoke, "Move out!"
The slaves were forcibly pushed and dragged as the wanderers made their way towards the Labrynnian Camp.
King Bulblin and his forces were getting along with the Labrynnians the way it was expected. That is, they hated each other the moment they caught sight of one another. Nevertheless, working for the same person dictated protocol, and so Captain Krate invited King Bulblin to join him in his campsite. The loss of one of his lieutenants was a low blow, albeit, but Krayt learned that one could ignore the smaller contingencies when facing a much greater situation.
The large Bulblin emptied half a keg of wine before he was comfortable enough to speak. By this time, Krayt was starting to lose his patience, but he bid his time. It wouldn't be long before he could leave and be done with this beast.
"So, Krayt," the hulking beast spoke, "What is your homeland like, eh? I don't get around much; not after the Seven hired me to do their dirty work. I've never heard of this Labrynna that your people call home."
Krayt faked a smile as he spoke. "Labrynna is a jewel amidst filth," he said, "It is a place of beauty and progress."
King Bulblin tore through a bone ham. As he chewed his single horn seemed to bob up and down, making him appear rather goofy. "How beautiful, Captain?"
Krayt felt himself well up slightly in pride as he spoke. "These heretics here in Hyrule say that their Goddesses made this land. Compared to Hyrule, Labrynna is the land where the Goddesses were made."
King Bulblin nodded in satisfaction, though he did not appear the least bit impressed. "And your monarch…" he said with his mouth full, "Is it true you serve a woman?"
Krayt noticed the amused tone in the Bulblin's voice. He kept himself from reaching for his knife. "Queen Ambi is the greatest of all monarchs. She is like a goddess in living form, and commands with the strength and knowledge of ten generals. She is the reason why we are here, for it is through her wisdom that we began searching the other lands for aid against those who dare to stand against the Regime."
King Bulblin scoffed, spewing ham and ale across his massive belly. "You serve woman," he said, "Women are weak. I'm not impressed."
Before the Bulblin could even sweep aside the food, he noticed a flintlock pistol pointed straight at his chin. He glared up at the Labrynnian; fire shone in the captain's eyes. The two stayed there tensely like that for what felt like hours before Krayt wisely put his gun away. He glared at the massive brute.
"Never call us weak," he said, "Whole nations have made that mistake before, and fell before our might. Your medieval and barbaric ways are no match for the strength of our technology. Just because you feel your brute strength makes you better, you'll find that all the brute strength in the world is no match for a bullet to the brain."
As he put the bullet away, the Bulblin surprisingly chuckled. He poured himself more ale.
"You are amusing, Captain," he said, "And strong. I like that."
The Captain couldn't suppress a chuckle himself. "It seems that we both have our strengths, don't we?"
Their conversation was soon interrupted by a knock on the tent post. A messenger boy breathed heavily as he approached the Captain with a salute.
"Captain Krayt, sir!" he said.
The Captain nodded. "State your business."
"A company of Wizzrobes arrives from the North, sir," he said, "They bring the workers you requested."
The Captain looked a bit confused. "That was quick. I thought that the couriers would take longer to send the message."
The Bulblin chuckled. "Your so-called sorcery is at work there. Scrying is much faster than a courier bird. Not as tasty, but much quicker."
The Captain's eyes narrowed. "I don't recall bringing a witch with me."
The Bulblin shrugged. "Messenger probably requested a scry at the nearest checkpoint. All soldiers are like that; if they have a reason to be lazy…"
The Captain nodded politely, though inside he was squirming with rage. He was going to have a talk with his runners when he was finished with this barbarian.
"Have an escort meet up with them," the Captain said, "I'd rather not have any more unexpected surprise visits."
Rusl's house was one of the few that remained untouched from the fires and battles from earlier. The building had become crammed with refugees over the first couple of days, though with construction well under way a sense of normality began to creep over the house. However, there was still a sense of despair slowly wallowing over the household due to the disappearance of young Colin. Everyone missed him.
Given the state of Ilia's uncle, Rusl offered a place to stay for the girl while he was being healed properly. While the invitation was not extended to the newcomer Richard, hospitality among friends was still given. This was why the old dog bed in the house, now uncared for and not used for a number of years, was being used to care for the wolf's injuries.
Richard and Ilia watched over the wolf for a while. Though Richard only knew the creature for a few days, he already felt like he was family. Then again, he had always been like that with dogs. He admired their loyalty and bravery, and knew that there were few in their number that were true cowards. Nevertheless, he'd never expect anyone to have dove head-first into the fires of hell to rescue someone, much less a wolf.
"We should let him sleep," Ilia offered, "There's nothing we can do until he gets better."
Richard let out a sigh. "I haven't even named him yet."
"You'll still get the chance to," she said, "Trust that he'll make it through the night."
Richard chuckled sarcastically. "The worst part about being a healer is waiting until your remedies have taken their toll."
The two of them walked away, leaving the wolf alone with his dreams.
Link's dreams were very, very fitful. Always he was on the verge of waking, and yet was never awake enough to stop himself from drifting back to sleep. His body pulsed with pain, and his mind seemed to go in and out of reality. He couldn't help but feel himself running.
He realized that's exactly what he was doing. He was running. On all fours he ran, making his way across a black, glossy plain. It took him only a few moments to realize that the plain was Hyrule Field, and that he was running in the black of night.
He turned to find out what he was running from. He wished that he hadn't. A massive, black shape appeared in the darkness; a shadow so black it was blacker than even the night. Its form seemed to swallow up the field before it as it pursued. All that made it more than a shadow were its two glowing red eyes.
You cannot hide from me, it whispered.
Link kept running. He suddenly found himself tripping on the ground. He looked down and almost chided himself for not watching for the rock when he realized he was looking at a pair of hands instead of paws. He was a Hylian again.
He stood up. He could not help but notice that he had been to this place before. It seemed oddly familiar to him, as if it was someplace like the small of his back; a place he never saw before yet knew like the back of his hand. As he turned, he suddenly noticed that he had been standing upon a hill, and there, right next to him, was a gnarled old tree.
This was where I fought him, Link thought. This was where I fought my dark side.
He heard a howl. He looked up and was almost knocked flat by a speeding, bright being of golden light. When he looked again he saw that it was a wolf in a ghostly form, and he knew almost instantly what it was.
Look to the west, young one! It shouted. Look to the west if you wish to find that which you seek! Look to the west if you tire of your running!
As suddenly as he had appeared, he was gone; vanished in a puff of smoke. It was then that the dream rapidly began to change.
The hill suddenly became a pedestal of ornate rock. The landscape cracked and shattered like a broken mirror. Surrounding his pedestal were seven pillars of ornate stone, each bearing the crest of the Seven Sages. Link looked up and there, straight across on a polished stone path leading away from his pedestal, sat it…
It had been a long time since Link had gazed upon this beast in his dream. It looked the same as ever; a massive, yellow eye with a pulsing black pupil shaped like a cat's. The eye was surrounded by lids that seemed to be unable to decide which direction to open or close, its skin a very dark purple and black in color. Black tentacles wrapped themselves around the nearby structure that seemed to float in the air, keeping the eye in place when otherwise it would likely drift away into nothing.
This time, however, the thing just stared. There was no voice in the dream to wake Link up; nothing to drive him away from the madness. However, the thing simply remained in place, and it took all of Link's courage to keep himself from bolting.
What do you want? Link asked with his thoughts.
The thing remained silent. It's eye seemed to pulsate more quickly.
What are you?
The thing slowly began to speak. Its voice was harsh and sounded like a ghostly wind across a turbulent ocean storm. It seemed to speak with a hundred of these voices, making its message all the more frightening and terrible.
"I am death," it said, "I am life and death itself. I am all, and I am none."
What do you want of me?
"My freedom. You shall provide it for me."
How?! Why would I set you free?
The creature seemed to mentally push Link aside. He felt as if he had been tapped in the chest by a finger, but the blow was so sudden that it sent him flying off into oblivion. He yelled as he fell, the monster's eye gazing at him as he did.
To be continued…
Kerian: Well now, isn't this a sight for sore eyes. An update? Really? Is it my birthday?
Hey, guys. Sorry this took so long. I've been in the midst of a writer's block all summer. It's what happens when one gets put into some pretty tough situations and is force to see life a little differently than normal. I won't go into details, but I will tell you this; job searching's a b*tch.
In any case, I managed to find time to finish this update, and not long before I had to go back to college too. So, with this post, I would like to announce a few things...
Darin: You guys will like this. Trust me!
Kerian: The undead boss contest is still going strong, though I'm surprised that not very many people were willing to volunteer. I had expected more. I'm kind of disappointed, though until the Shadow Temple chapter comes up I'll keep it posted. Be sure to check it out on my DeviantART page (just skin through my journals to find it, you can't miss it). To remind people, the contest is to create a non-conventional undead monster to be used as a boss in the Shadow Temple chapter. This includes prehistoric undead, fossil undead, abominations (undead that are corpses merged together) and others. You are to then draw a detailed picture of it so I know what to draw, though I'm allowed to tweak the designs as I see fit in the story. The winner will recieve a digital copy of my art via email, and the first three runner ups will get to see their own bosses as mini-bosses and other difficult enemies throughout the series.
Another announcement; everyone loves Darin, right? I mean, he's the comic relief of the entire story. He's tiny, cute, lovable, hilarious...
Darin: *snif* I'm touched...
Kerian: *growls* Don't push it. Anyway, he's awesome, right? Well, he's going to be even more awesome. I've included Darin in the list of characters I own that I'll be using in upcoming stories. This means that, some day, you'll see Darin the Shadow Fairy in his own original story/series in some tiny bookstore somewhere. Awesome, right?
Last, but not least, I've been working hard on two new fanfics for Zelda (I know, "NOT ANOTHER ONE!", but hear me out). One is going to be a more mature fic, taking place after Ocarina of Time and completely seperate from LotS. The other, on the other hand, is going to be a short, ten chapter fic that was inspired by a series of fics I once read a while back that I thought were pretty ingenious. Basically, it's going to be a Zelda fanfic that borrows off of the plot of Disney Movies/Brothers Grimm stories. Though I know full well that the first of these two will be posted on Fanfic for sure, the other one I'm a bit more worried about. I'll post the introduction and the first chapter on Fanfiction just to see what you guys think about it, but do me a favor and tell me in a review what you think now. Do you think it'd be a good idea, or do you want me to set it aside and work on something else? I'm all ears.
So, that's enough out of me today. I hope you all had a great summer! Until next time...
Darin: We, out!
-Kerian and Darin
P.S. The characters Liyer and Nostrum are copyright to their respective owners (Undying Nephalim)