Sorry this chapters so short, but when I was writing this, I stopped writing for a while where the end of this chapter is. And, once you get there, you'll agree with me, there's no way I could have continued after that last paragraph.

Disclaimer: I only own Aydin. I don't own the shop idea (I got it from Stardust) but I think her shop sells more stuff. I don't own Link, Hyrule, or anything originally in the games. Enjoy!

The Shop Of Hope And Despair

Chapter 2

Aydin walked into her shop, leaving me behind. I knew there was danger in there. How could she not sense it? I hesitated, unsure whether or not to follow her. I stood out there for several very long minutes. Then the blood on the doorstep flashed gold and I heard a scream from inside the shop. My mind was made up immediately as I rushed into the shop, sword already unsheathed.

I was only unconscious for a few seconds. The magic in my body had already begun to heal my fingers. I can work magic with just them, but with them broken and my mouth gagged… I'm actually helpless. As helpless as someone who cannot use magic. Such an unpleasant feeling. I winced as the bones in my fingers crunched together, already in the process of healing. It would take at least another thirty seconds… but I wasn't sure I had that long.

"Where is it?" one of the men asked. Another tripped over something and cursed.

"I can't see a thing." He muttered something and the shop lit up with small, floating golden orbs of light. One of the men was concentrating, his hands palm up, keeping the lights going. The other two were searching through my shop, rifling through the jars that lined the shelves. One of them picked up a very small jar, with a skinny neck. I tried to talk around my gag. One of them ripped it off.


"Don't open that!" The man holding the jar chuckled, and pulled the cork. A thick black smoke poured forth from the mouth of the jar, and the man let out a strangled cry. The black smoke was choking him, strangling him. Out of the smoke a man's voice chuckled, as a djinn appeared. His chest was bare, and he was wearing white, Arabian pants. His skin was dark, and he had black hair. Gold earrings hung from his ears, and a large gold necklace set with a sapphire hung around his neck. Gold shackles were around his wrists, with gold chains hanging from them. The man he had just strangled fell to the ground, dead. The djinn smirked at the rest of the room. His eyes narrowed as he looked around the room, at the two men remaining, and his master, who was bound.

"Who disturbs me?" he asked. His voice was silky smooth, and his brown eyes were unreadable. The man not lighting the room pointed to the dead one on the ground. The djinn smirked. I implored him with my eyes, and he raised an eyebrow. "And yet, if someone had bought me, I would have let them live. Maybe. So, tell me, who dares to bind my mistress?" The third man stepped forward, a glittering sword in his hand.

"We do. Now, you are bound by ancient laws to grant us three wishes." The djinn smirked, a dark eyebrow raised.

"Am I? News to me." The man laughed.

"For my first wish, I want you to get me the body of Lillia." I gasped. He was after Lillia! "And for my second wish, I want you to find the jar holding her soul." The djinn bowed, the dark cloud disappearing. He was barefoot, golden shackles around his ankles as well. He walked forward, the gold chains hanging from his ankle shackles clinking as they dragged along the ground. I glared at him, shocked. He had never worked for someone else before, even when they'd bought him. He was dangerous, and temperamental. And he had killed everyone who had tried to use his wishes for the past thousand years. Sometimes I opened the jar just to talk to him. He'd been so many places, seen so many things. And he was one of the most interesting men I'd ever had the pleasure of talking to. The traitor.

He smiled at me as he passed. I just glared at him.

"Sorry love. But he seems interesting. And I have to see who this 'Lillia' is. Gorgeous, I'm assuming."

I glared at him, and hissed, "She's four hundred pounds with a hook nose and several moles." He raised an eyebrow.

"To each his own." He walked into the back room, the other man trailing behind. And I heard a gasp. I had been hoping to deter him from finding Lillia's body. The djinn had a soft spot for beautiful women. He appeared back in the room carrying Lillia's body gently in his arms. I almost gasped as well. She really was gorgeous. Her beauty was ethereal. Her hair was as silver as the moon. I had never met someone else with that hair color. Even though her eyes were closed, I could remember the color clearly. They were green, greener than anything I'd ever seen.

"This is Lillia?" he asked quietly, almost speaking to himself. I wasn't sure if it was a question or a confirmation. I bit my tongue. As long as he couldn't find her soul, we would be okay. I'd find a way out of it.

"Now her soul," the man prompted. The djinn's eyes narrowed. He had been staring at Lillia's peaceful face. He set her down gently on the floor, and walked all around the room, examining the jars and boxes. He made the circuit three times before whirling on me. He strode forward, and stopped, face inches from my own.

"You." I glared at him as he hissed, "You had it the whole time." He reached forward and grabbed the chain around my neck. He pulled, and the little vial I always wore under my tunic came out. It was glass, only a few inches long, and filled three-fourths full with a silver substance that was neither liquid nor gas, and swirled with all the colors of the rainbow. The djinn pulled on the vial, holding it up to the light and examining it. I winced as the chain cut into the back of my neck and a thin line of blood appeared on my skin. His lip curled and he yanked. I bit my lip as the chain broke.

The djinn held it tenderly in his hand. The man growled. "Well? I'm waiting." The djinn didn't move.

"Raj…" I pleaded quietly, and the tears started to pour down my cheeks. He looked at me sharply. I almost never used his name. It brought back bad memories for him. I always knew that he wasn't always a djinn. I know that he used to be human. "Please don't do this." He glanced down.

"I'm sorry Aydin. I have to." He turned to the man and a strangled scream of fury ripped from my throat.

The sight that greeted my in shop was one of confusion, at least to me. Aydin was standing in the middle of the room, bound, with tears running down her cheeks. One man lay dead on the ground, one had his hands out, palms up, clearly the one causing the glowing balls of light that floated around the room. A third man had two small jars in his hands, and then there was a fourth. His skin was dark, and he had gold shackles with chains hanging from them around his wrists and ankles. The slight glow around him marked him as non-human. I wasn't sure what he was, but I knew he wasn't human.

I cut down the first man where he stood. I knew I would regret his death later, but right now he posed a danger to Aydin. And so he had to be eliminated. The balls of light faded immediately, and I was blind for several long moments. And then light flared into life, seemingly coming from the very walls. Clearly from either the magic of the shop, or Aydin's magic. I blinked streaming eyes, getting my bearings immediately. The man holding the jar dropped it, pulling a sword out of the sheath around his waist. I watched as the jar fell, almost in slow motion. The non-humans face was a mask of horror as the jar dropped towards the ground. And then Aydin flew into my line of vision. She had launched herself across the room.

Aydin landed hard, and the jar slammed into her stomach. The breath whooshed out of her lungs. The non-human's expression turned to one of relief as the man who had been holding the jar launched himself at me, forgetting about the sword sheathed around his waist. My sword entered his body, sliding like butter through two of his ribs. He was dead before I rolled him across my hip and out the open door. I whirled, ready to slice through the non-human, but he had knelt before Aydin. I thought he was going to untie her, but he just picked the jar up, stroking it tenderly. My lip curled.

"Were you going to untie me?" she asked. I wasn't sure whom she was addressing. The man nodded, setting the jar next him.

"I was just making sure the jar was okay." He held his hand, palm up, and in a swirl of gold mist a gold dagger appeared. I dropped to my knees, setting my bloody sword beside me, and drew the slim dagger out of my boot. I rolled her over, and quickly cut through the cords binding her hands and feet. The other man raised an eyebrow, and in another golden swirl the dagger disappeared. I helped Aydin sit up. She rubbed her wrists and ankles.

"Thanks." I nodded, standing and grabbing my sword. I wiped it off on one of the dead men's clothes, and then sheathed it again. Aydin stood, leaning down to check Lillia's body for signs of damage as I returned my knife to my boot. "Raj, can you take Lillia to the back?" He gave her a look and she glared at him. "You betrayed me. Your punishment is me using your name. Among other things." His lip curled and he picked up Lillia's body, standing, and took it to the back room. She looked at me and smiled gratefully. "Thank you… Link." It was the first time she'd used my name. I nodded.

"Are you alright?" She nodded. "If you can use magic, why didn't you get yourself out of this mess?" She looked away.

"Raj is my friend. I had to see why he'd betrayed me."

"I betrayed you because they had my jar. I have to follow their wishes."

Aydin glared at Raj as he came back into the room. "You know as well as I that if it is not phrased right you don't have to follow it." He shrugged.

"I wanted to see who this Lillia was."

"Are you satisfied?" she bit out. His expression softened.

"Yes. I remember her," he said quietly. Aydin raised her eyebrow, but didn't press the point. She walked into the back of her shop, leaving me alone with Raj. It was an awkward few minutes. When she returned, she had a pack slung over her shoulder, and two long, curved knives on either side of her waist. She looked at Raj and he sighed, handing a small vial to her. She pulled the broken chain out and inserted a leather thong, tying it around her neck.

Raj sighed again and turned into mist, flowing into the little jar. Aydin corked it and put it into a small pouch that hung around her waist. She grabbed a cloak on a hook and led the way out of the shop. When I was clear, she sliced her hand open with a small dagger, sealing the shop. She wiped the dagger off on the clothes of the man I'd tossed outside, and then returned it to her boot. She dropped her pack and cloak to the dusty ground. People whispered as they passed, some stopping to stare.

Out of her pack she took another, smaller bag. She pulled out several oilskins, and then drew one of the long knives from its sheath. I winced as the blade bit into the dead mans flesh. She looked up at me, slicing open his skin to remove the heart.

"Didn't I mention it?" She grabbed the heart, wrenching it from the body and dropping it onto a sheet of oilskin. "The Mashiki are cannibals."

See? There's no way I could have continued the chapter after that last paragraph. Review, please! The next chapter's already written, so it'll be up in a few days. Look forward to it!