Man its good to be back! Summer is here and the muses are ready to go, expect much more frequent updates now that classes are over for the year whoo! And to celebrate here's a new chapter for you all =D Hope you enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own the Legend of Zelda series. All rights belong to Nintendo.
After days of nothing but sailing, Medli found herself relieved to finally set her sights on the small island in the distance. Land, any sort of land was a relief.
Link had gone quiet, the red cloth still tied to his hand, he hadn't removed it at all, even when it became apparent the wound had healed. A good luck charm perhaps?
The boat hit the shore smoothly, and Medli nearly jumped out of the boat and collapsed on the sand, just the feel of solid ground under her was such a relief. She had much more respect now for those who made their living on the sea, those of the air took it for such granted, and now after this long voyage, it was almost worth descending underground just to not have to get back on that hellish boat!
Link tied the vessel down and then stretched out his back, and then turned to her.
" You ready Miss Medli?"
She nodded, " As ready as I'll ever be."
' The two of you must be careful." King who had been silent this whole time finally spoke, and Medli jumped, while she was more than aware of what Link's boat was capable of it still unnerved her to see a boat …living. King continued.
" This is unlike the other places you have explored Link, you had not yet garnered Ganon's notice but after the events of Windfall, I have no doubt now he has begun to most earnestly watch over your progress and will do everything in his power to hinder you from here on out." He turned to her, " Madam, when you enter this temple it is likely you will face horrors you have never seen before, so stay close to Link at all times, stay silent and above all do not wander off." He nodded, " Link protect Medli, Medli protect Link, if the two of you work together to overcome this trial I believe you will be able to make it through."
Medli gave a sagely bow then, " I am not afraid sir." She then turned to Link, " When ever you're ready." He nodded and gave a clumsy bow back. The two turned towards the altar at the back of the island, a large stone carved with a face leered at them, and Medli hesitated.
" Link-?" She queried nervously.
He walked over to it, and to her shock lifted it with ease and threw it down, the stone shattering into tiny pieces. She gaped but Link silently walked into the room.
Medli followed, and a large stone slab stood in their way. Six carved notes signaled to the two what was meant to be done. Her harp seemed to grow heavier as she approached the stone, Link's face was as still as the stone, and the delicate silver baton he held in his hands was glowing already with anticipation. She gulped but her hands found the strings, and he conducted the haunting melody, she closed her eyes and let her fingers glide along the strings, until echoes reverberated in the chamber, before so chillingly still and silent, even as the song ended and the stone slab slowly began to open; the notes continued to resonate although long since ended.
It was eerie.
A large gaping hole loomed in front of them, the remains of a ladder by now nearly disintegrated went down for seemingly miles, completely swallowed by darkness.
" How will we get down there?" She whispered.
Link knelt down and strung an arrow and closed his eyes. The tips of his fingers glowed a deep red, and the red light traveled down the arrow until reaching the tip which suddenly burst into flames. Medli gasped but Link paid her no attention, he let the arrow loose and a dim light began reverberating from down below. It wasn't so deep as she had thought but it was still a good distance down. He sat at the edge of the hole, and took a deep breath.
" Wait here." He commanded, and then slid off the edge, down towards the light. It seemed like forever to Medli before the sound of him hitting the ground was heard. She put her hands over her already racing heart, a flash of silver caught her eye and then a rope came into view, along with a hook embedded in the ground.
" Climb down here Miss Medli, I'll be here to catch ya, its not that deep really!" He called out, though he was still mostly shrouded in shadow.
She hesitated but nonetheless did what he said, she climbed down gingerly, she flinched when she felt pressure on her waist, but calmed when she recognized the calloused leather of his gauntlets, he picked her up as if she were light as a feather and gently set her down on the ground. She gathered her cloak closer to her. There was a sizzle in the air and then light surrounded them; Link had lighted another arrow and now was holding it like a torch.
" Come on." He murmured and extended his hand out. She gulped but nonetheless took it.
A flight of stairs led ever deeper still, the air had gotten more and more stale the deeper they went. She stumbled once or twice but his grip kept her up right. The light made shadows appear on the walls, and Medli noticed deep scratches and stains on the walls.
" Link…what happened here?"
He sighed. " They call this place the " Isle of the Dead", years ago a plague hit the great Sea and hundreds of people died of it. Now… a few islands freaked out more than others and according to my Gram were so afraid of the people who were sick, even if they were gettin' better they… forced them away… men…women… even children… we're not proud of it Miss Medli "
" Forced them away… you don't mean."
His turned his face away from hers, " Like I said… we're not proud of it." he mumbled.
He led the way down the cavern, though Medli kept her eyes glued to the ground, she couldn't bare to see anymore reminders of the cruelty that had obviously occurred here. Judging from Link's face and reaction, he shared the same thoughts.
It would be a long trek that was for sure.
He just hoped they'd make it in time…
" DAMN YOU!" Scores of priceless plate were thrown to the ground in an instant and the serving girl cowered, the master was more furious than she'd ever seen him before, she gulped, but couldn't help but feel a bit smug too.
Ole' Rogan was finally getting his butt whooped for once.
Oh yes the once highly esteemed major general of Ganon's army was now reduced to standing with all the dignity he could muster as the dark lord himself raged at him for his failure to keep windfall.
" Psst Aryll." She turned and saw one of the male servants motion her over, she hesitated but as the chewing out continued she decided she really wouldn't be missed in the meantime and she slipped away.
" What is it Ivan?" She hissed, her eyes widened, " And what happened to-!" The boy was covered in what looked like red paint smeared all across his arms and legs, and even some stripes on his face. A gruesome looking skull on a chain was also around his neck like some sort of collar. The fair haired boy shrugged.
" I got chosen… you knew it was bound to happen, what with all the other guys and all, but never mind me, have you heard the news?
She looked back towards the royal remonstration in back of her and pointed to Rogan, Ivan nodded, "What really happened? They won't tell us servin' girls nothin' "
"The whole army barracks is in an uproar, losing Windfall was no piece of rotten luck for the resistance, they got some new warrior on their side, and whoever he is, he made Rogan look like some kind grun, not a commander lemme tell you' and there are other rumors too…"
" Like what?" Aryll whispered fervently, Ivan bowed down so only she could hear and whispered in her ear.
" They say he's going after Lord Ganon next… he's got some kind of grudge with him... and they're all calling him the Hero."
" The hero..?" She whispered. Ivan nodded,
" The hero has returned." He murmured. " By the holy three." He began
" Praise the goddesses." Aryll finished the forbidden prayer quietly.
" WINE!" She flinched and ran back pouring the red liquid into Ganon's golden cup, he sneered up at her and she bowed her head shamefully but she averted her gaze to the right, and saw thankfully, Ivan had since disappeared. A painful yank to her hair regained her attention as the lord himself looked at her with sneering eyes.
She gulped, as he examined her closely, she wasn't a child anymore, a budding chest and her monthly courses had proven that, and rumor around the fortress was their lord seemed to like blondes….
She fought the tears that threatened to roll down her cheeks, if Ganon decided to take her she would not cry out, she would not scream and she would be brave. Its what her Gram and big brother would want…
" What is your name girl." He demanded, she flinched,
" A-Aryll sir." A finger trailed down her cheek to her chin, she kept her lips from trembling.
" And how old are you Aryll?" His finger was beginning to go lower towards her collarbone, she closed her eyes,
" I'm fourteen sir." She murmured.
" Ah, just newly turned a woman then I can imagine." She flinched despite herself at the honeyed tone, Mila had described her experience, but she was much older than Aryll, in her twenties, but then again… Ganon had taken her first when she'd been sixteen. She supposed then Ganon had gotten sick of her then and decided to move on to more… fresh…meat. He continued his examination of her, but his eyes narrowed as he peered at her closer,
" Such a unique eye color you have Aryll... as green as the fields of Faore."
She nodded, " I-… I got them from my momma sir…everyone in my family had them…"
He stared at her a little longer and then thankfully released her, she stumbled back a bit.
" You may go little Aryll… I may yet send for you again." He commanded. She gulped and then made a little curtsy and rushed out the room.
Ganon watched the child stumble out of his chamber, a spritely girl, with a common sort of prettiness, he supposed he could do worse, but of course… she was no match for the prize he truly sought…
And this new development, this new setback, Rogan's failure… it all seemed… too familiar… a boy with a sword… a mere child… no..it couldn't be…,
He leaned back in his chair and thought furiously. This pattern was too familiar, far too familiar.
It couldn't be him….no…. impossible, he had perished centuries ago, he had felt it in his being, as he and the wretched princess were connected so was he connected to that loathsome hero. Three bearers, one soul. That was how the stories told.
" Holy Mother Din, defender of those born under the crimson sun, hear me, has he returned, the one your sister so fervently guards and who wishes so for my destruction? Has he O 'mother?"
Once again he heard no answer, since the ocean waves had engulfed that golden land, the whispers of the Goddesses had gone silent.
" Oh my son…." He turned around, and his eyes narrowed.
" Twinrova… your spirit still lingers to torment me, call me your son no longer."
The tall being then seemed to split into two, and two old crones appeared from the seeming shadows.
" But dear one. Your troubles are alarming to us." The woman on the right cooed.
" And what sort of mothers would we be if we did not try to aid out most beloved son." The one on the left agreed.
He sneered, " Last time you wished to aid me you only succeeded in losing me of the spirit temple and of robbing me of the Sage of Spirit!" Oh it stung still, the ultimate rejection of the once loyal Nabooru still made his blood boil. Had he not met the princess of Hyrule it would have been she he would have granted the throne by his side.
Now of course things were different, but then…oh then.
" A mere trifle, majesty."
" The boy outwitted us, but now he will do no such thing."
" Has he returned then?" He asked gravely. " The thorn at my side, the so called Hero of time."
They smirked, " Not exactly my lord…. But the form he is in now means it is the perfect time to strike." The one on the right whom glowed a fiery red sneered.
" He is weakened, and the shell he inherits is an illiterate boy. No match for you o'great one." The one on the left, whose glow was a icy blue continued.
His eyebrow rose, " The goddess of courage would choose such a vessel?"
The fiery woman on the right smirked, " As we said before, now is the time to strike, to destroy the hero once and for all, and take the princess as your own."
It was that last part that made him stop, and a feeling of pure ardor pulsed through him, to finally have her in his possession with no loathsome hero to stop him. It was too good to be true.
" Then my dear Kotake…Koume… what is you suggest I do?"
The two sorceresses smirked and looked behind them, Ganon's eyes widened and then an approving smile, " I see you have…already begun."
" We have your majesty, and the princess is as good as yours, our creation will make sure of it." Koume said smoothly and Kotake barked.
" Hear that demon? Finish your job, serve your king and do as the witches command you." She pointed a gnarly finger.
The creature nodded slowly, wrapped in a long black robe and completely obscuring its face, save for one thing. A pair of blood red eyes.
Beware…the dark winds blow again…
Tetra rose from the bed at a jolt, and rubbed the sleep from her eyes, the persistent whispers finally ended those soft gentle voices but filled with so much urgency, she shivered and gathered her blankets closer to her. It was such a cold night, and it smelled like rain was coming, frowning she crept to her window and shut it tight.
The moon was clouded over tonight, the stars barely lighting up the sky, shrugging on her night robe she ventured outside, sometimes the smell of the sea calmed her on nights like this. The city was quiet and still, even the most rambunctious of the children had fallen asleep hours ago, it was just her and the silent night.
She closed her eyes and breathed in the clean air deeply, this cool fresh air, her thoughts ventured to another type of air tonight, a musty stale air that would be breathed in by someone else tonight.
He'd made it to the temple at least, she could sense it, the gossip stone had a haze of something… not right about it now, she couldn't help but wonder how the young rito women was doing, such a dank evil place, Link would have his hands full…. No question.
She closed her eyes and breathed in the sea air again, and gathered her robe around her closer, it was time to go back inside, it was still too cold, but perhaps soon the weather would change.
Normally it would fill her with relief at this time of year, the end of the frosty season meant essential food crops could be restocked. This year though…spring meant her departure from childhood forever and into the shackles of traditional womanhood.
If Nudge got his way that was…. though she knew deep down she couldn't avoid that fate forever, her body had already changed into the soft curves of a woman and she alas wasn't the only one to notice it… Rogan of course hadn't been the first to try to steal her… what had Link called it? Oh yes… honor.
She could have snorted at the old fashioned term if her terror hadn't been so overwhelming that night so long ago…. It was hard to imagine Link had only been with them for a scant six months… it felt so much longer.
He'd had such an effect on everyone, and his accomplishments had brought the Resistance from the bowels of underground to the triumphant sun lit streets of Windfall.
She had to concede he really was… this ocean's hero.
Now she just had to make sure he survived long enough to relish in it…
After all the princess and hero had met at last…now all that was left was to restore the master sword, rescue the hostages, defeat the evil king and then return the great sea to normal…
Piece of cake.
She sighed and made for her bed, unwilling to think any more about these seemingly impossible acts for today, she slipped her robe off when she returned, but as quick as it had come off it went back on.
Her heart began to beat faster and she turned slowly, strong hands clamped down on her shoulders,
" It will be cold where we're going princess…"
Her skin broke out in goosebumps, and she felt the traitorous beating grow faster and faster as his hands lingered on her shoulders, making sure her robe was on securely she supposed. His breath was warm in her ear.
" Careful there Miss Medli." Link whispered and helped the young woman over yet another broken pillar.
" Goodness what a mess… " The two had found the temple to be in complete shambles, broken pieces of stone and glass lay everywhere, whole rooms were completely blocked off, the rooms they had managed to get through were riddled with hazards.
Who needed traps when the whole damn temple was one whole booby trap! Link swore as another piece of broken glass nicked him in leg. Medli stuck close to him, as she had promised King she would, but she wasn't immune from injury either and her once spotless dress was covered in stain from dirt and Din knows what else.
The chaos all seemed to follow the same direction, which was the direction Link was leading them,
" Well… it seems something certainly was in a hurry." She whispered and Link couldn't help but grimly agree.
The question was what had caused so much damage and where was it now?
He kept these questions to himself, Medli was already thoroughly terrified as it was, he didn't need her to start panicking and lose her nerve ad run off.
" Link look!" She hissed and pointed, Link sighed in relief.
They'd found it. Thank the goddesses.
The door was elaborate and huge, with gold plating around it forming what looked like some kind of nasty looking crab with a long tail. Link raised his eyebrow, he'd never seen anything remotely like that thing in his life and was quite content to never have to encounter one now.
Medli smiled for the first time in hours and ran for the door and began examining it.
" Well open it!" She exclaimed eagerly, he couldn't blame her, the faster they did this the faster they could go home!
He examined the door, there looked like there had once been a lock but it had since rusted off, this was good, the quicker the better.
" Miss Medli help me with this ." She went to one side and he to another and they both pulled with all their might.
The door revealed nothing but a large pile of rocks. Link outwardly swore and Medli blanched white and sank to her knees.
" How-?" She whimpered.
Link grabbed his bag and took out one of the bombs he'd thankfully brought, and examined the rocks. Solid rock, not an opening in sight, unusual for a cave in he mused, the rock wall went all the way up to the ceiling, he backed away trying to further assess it. One blast would do it, maybe another if there was any residue left.
" Stand back." He ordered, she backed away and Link popped the cap off the bomb and heard the familiar sizzle, and he bolted backwards.
None too soon, the bomb exploded in a great flash of light and Medli yelped and covered her head, Link cursed again and dodged a falling stone and finally bolted towards Medli saving her from being crushed by a stone.
The two ran back the way they came but the entrance to the chamber was blocked by a large pillar falling, Link did the only thing he could, he grabbed his shield, flimsy as it was and held it above the two heads and shoved Medli into a crevice caused by the pillar and dove in after her. Medli began to scream as the rocks continued to crash around them, and seemed to be getting closer and closer each time,
" KOMALI!" She shrieked at the top of her lungs but grabbed onto Link who caught her in a bear hug, as they felt the ground begin to sag beneath them,
" WE'RE GOING DOWN!" He bellowed and gathered the woman closer to him as the floor gave way and the two fell into the darkness below them.
The hero...the hero has fallen... what now...what then?
Fate still spins its never ending web...and yet the hero cannot yet escape...
Beware... beware for a dark wind yet still blows...
The first thing he heard was the running water, the next was the music.
He groaned and sat up, his clothes were soaked, he'd been lying in the water, and it was so bright out that his eyes stung.
He blinked, bright out? Last time he checked he'd been-. His eyes popped open. He wasn't in the earth temple anymore! He was…. back at… the castle?
No.. no this wasn't right… could temples even go that far down?
And where was Medli what was going on-?
The tune started again, this time he could tell that it was some sort of harp that was playing, he sighed in relief, and followed the sound to its source,
" Thank Nayru Miss Medli I thought you were-." He stopped.
Miss Medli wasn't the one playing the harp.
He did a double take but no, his eyes weren't deceiving him…
The woman playing the harp was… blonde… petite… and…Tetra.
She hadn't seemed to notice him yet, she was too engrossed in her song, a rather sad piece if he had to say so, and her lips were moving so she must have been singing along to whatever song she was playing.
He stared at her rather dumbly, he couldn't help it, the mere thought of TETRA of all people sitting here and just playing a harp of all the instruments and singing and just looking so… so… he couldn't even find the word! Her fingers trailed the strings of the golden harp in her hands and finally the song, melancholy as much as it was beautiful, ended. Link felt a nagging in his head, but he dismissed it and approached her. She stiffened at the sound of the footsteps and then turned around, her eyes widened at the sight of him and she took a step backwards.
" Link?" She murmured, the wind began to pick up around them but Link barely noticed.
" Tetra what are you-? What are you doing here?"
She gave him a hard stare, but then after a long moment she simply shrugged, " I see you haven't made any progress on our latest contest have you." She said and then gave her trademark wink and little bitter laugh, " Perhaps then its better." She turned and stared at the surroundings. Its eerie isn't it…. This underwater castle."
He nodded, " It is, but it still doesn't explain how you got here- and how you even know about-."
" I know far more than you think Link…. Far more." She repeated. She gripped the harp closer to her chest. " And so much more that you need to know… but there just isn't time."
He raised an eyebrow and stepped forward, " Time?"
The wind began to blow stronger, " Time is so fickle, just when you think you plenty you suddenly have none…-." Her grip on the harp grew tighter, " And so much gets lost in the mean time, so many memories, so many… lives." She whispered and her smirk fell, and pain flashed in her eyes, he was started by it and he stumbled. She wasn't acting right… not right at all, she wasn't acting like Tetra… his eyes widened.
"…You're… not Tetra…are you?"
" I am part of her." She whispered, and the winds grew ever stronger, " Time Link… time is running out… and I can't keep doing what I'm doing for much longer!" Her voice had risen to a higher pitch and the creeps of hysteria could be discerned in it, She stepped closer to him, " Tetra…can't last much longer." She whispered.
"What!" He snapped, " What are you talkin' about, who are you! What's goin' on here!" He grabbed her arms and shook her, " What's gonna happen to Tetra! Tell me!"
Before she could answer Link was suddenly and violently blown back, she was herself struggling against the strong wind, he made a lunge for her but he barely grazed her hand before he was blown away again this time smacking his head on one of the walls. In his stupor and with his world fading to black, he could only barely make out the woman's voice frantically screaming his name before finally being sucked into the vortex which had formed around her.
That nagging sense of déjà vu hit him again, but only for a few seconds and then he was out once more.
And now the situation heats up, and there's no turning back now, but what's going to happen now with Link? With Tetra? With Medli even? Guess y'all have to stay tuned and find out ;)
As always thanks so much for reading and reviews are always appreciated. Thanks again