The Legend of Zelda:

The Search for Mesmoria

Part one of the Imp of Fate Trilogy



Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters in this story, except for everything in or about Mesmoria. Basically, Nintendo owns all the characters that you recognize from the games. However, the concept and the stories, such as Majora's and origin, Navi's past, and Skull Kid's life, are all my own.

Note: This is a story of my own telling. Everyone who's played Majora's Mask knows that Skull Kid is really a several hundred-year old imp who was kicked out of Termina by his friends, the four giants, for his crimes. However, have you ever wondered what he did between that time and when he first met Tael and Tatl? And have you also wondered where Navi disappeared to, and why? In this story, all is revealed. Read on, if you dare.

Warning: There might be a little angst in this story. If you hate that kind of thing, then go away. Oh, and by the way, I do not have any racial discrimination against African-Americans. Just because I have a black fairy of questionable character in my story does not make me a racist, all right?

Chapter 1: Skull Kid's story

Link sighed. He had been in the Lost Woods for weeks and he still hadn't found Navi. His only companions on his quest were his faithful horse, Epona, Tael and Tatl, and the Skull Kid. One week ago, Link had left Termina after defeating the mysterious Mask of Majora, saving that world from a falling moon. He had enjoyed the Carnival of Time, and discovered a way to bring the spirits of his three transformation masks back to life. The Happy Mask Salesman had told him all he had to do was place each mask on its respective corpse and play the Song of Healing. It worked, and now Mikau, Darmani, and Deku squeak squeak burp squeak burp heeeep were alive and healthy, thanks to him. When he had left Termina, Tael, Tatl, and Skull Kid asked if they could come with him. He didn't have the heart to turn them down. After all, Skull Kid felt like he owed him something. Link had saved Skull Kid's life, but was that the reason why the trio had wanted to come with him? He decided to ask them about it at supper.

The sun had gone down. Of course, the Lost Woods were so dense, it was impossible to actually see the sun, but they could tell it was nighttime by the Wolfos' howl. "We'd better set up camp," said Skull. "Tael, Tatl, go scout the perimeter and see if there are any nasties. Link and I will get firewood."

"Skull Kid, why can't I stay and help out?" asked Tael.

"I need you to make sure Tatl stays out of trouble."

"Hey! I can take care of myself!" protested Tatl.

"Like you did with that Deku Baba that tried to eat you?" joked Link.

"Ooooooooohhhhhhhh!!!!!!! You would bring that up!" grumbled Tatl. Skull Kid and Link chuckled.

"Come on, sis." said Tael. Grumbling, Tatl followed Tael into the woods.

Soon, Link and Skull Kid had enough wood for a moderate sized fire. Link lit up the wood with a Fire Arrow. Tael and Tatl came back with an 'all's clear'. As they sat down and started to eat the berries they had collected during the day, Skull Kid turned to Link and said, "Well, aren't you going to finish the story?"

"Yeah, I want to know what happened when you got back to the present!" said Tatl.

Link looked a little sad. For the last week, he had told them about his completed quest to defeat Ganondorf. Last night, he had gotten to the point where Zelda returned him to the past before everyone went to sleep. " Well, I ended up right in the Temple of Time. The Master Sword was in its proper place. If I understood what Zelda had told me correctly, by being sent back to this time, the dark future would be erased. Zelda had put two spells on me as I was transported back in time. The first spell was used on the master Sword as I arrived in the past and would send Ganondorf (who was still in the Sacred Realm at this point) to the Evil Realm. The second spell was put on the Ocarina. When I gave it back to Zelda, (my time) she would have all the memories and experiences that the future version of herself had had. This would mean that only Zelda, Navi, and myself would remember what happened. I figured I should return the Ocarina of time to Zelda to officially end my quest, but as I headed for the exit, I noticed Navi wasn't with me. Turning around, I saw she was back in the Master Sword chamber. I said, 'Navi, what are you doing?' She paused, then said 'Link…something's calling me.' 'What?' 'I don't know. All I know is it's coming from the Lost Woods. I have to go there. Now.' 'All right. I'll come with you.' 'NO! Link, I'm sorry, but I have to handle this by myself.' 'But why?' 'I don't know. I just know you can't come.' 'How long will you be gone?' 'I don't know.' I paused then asked, 'Will you ever be back?' I begged she would say yes. She said nothing for an uncomfortably long time. Then she said, 'I don't know that either.' Silence. Then she said 'Link, if I'm not back in a month, will you come looking for me?' 'Of course I will, Navi. You're the only family I have, in a way. Isn't it the same way for you?' 'Link, I feel the same way as you. However…' 'Yes?' 'Nothing.' 'Hey, wait. How will I find you?' 'If you see any wild fairies, ask them for directions to Mesmoria.' 'What's that?' 'You'll know it when you see it. But I have to go now. Goodbye, Link.' 'Goodbye Navi. I know we'll meet again. You're my partner, aren't you?' Navi nodded then flew away, out the Temple's window. After standing there for a few minutes, crying, I headed over to Zelda's castle. I returned the Ocarina, she gave me a kiss for saving the world, and I left. I decided to move back into the forest. Mido gave me a hard time, but I ignored him, and a month passed. Navi wasn't back. I decided to fulfill my promise. I borrowed Epona from the ranch and headed into the Woods. And then I met you guys. You all know the rest."

The trio looked a bit teary-eyed. "That was so sad," said Tatl, sniffing. "Is that why you asked us where to find Mesmoria?"

Link nodded. "I hadn't been able to find any wild fairies, so you two are my best bet. The directions you gave me are really helpful. But I have three questions. One, what is Mesmoria? Two, how do you know the way there? And third, why did you guys want to come with me? I appreciate the company and all, I just want to know why you want to join my personal quest."

The trio sat silently, then Tael said, "Well, as to the first, we have no idea what Mesmoria is."

"To the third," said Tatl, "we know about Mesmoria from…my mother."

"Your mother?'

"Back when Tael and I were younger, our mom used to sing this song to us to put us to sleep: East from the Temple of Green, Mesmoria, North from the Wolfos' Rock, Mesmoria, Northwest from the Fountain of Stone, Mesmoria, West from the Tree of Dreams, Mesmoria, South from the Tower of Gold, Mesmoria, Northwest from the Dragon's Lair, Mesmoria, through the Cavern of Crystal, Mesmoria, do not despair, you are nearly there, Mesmoria, just keep heading north, and you're finally there, the heart of the forest, you're in Mesmoria."

"Weird song." said Skull Kid.

"That song is all we have of our mother to remember her by," said Tael. "Five years ago, she was killed by a fit'gyfmyiruvaner, a fairy eater. We had nothing left. Our home was destroyed. We wandered through the forest ever since."

"Gee, maybe I shouldn't have brought it up," said Link.

"No, it's okay," said Tatl.

Skull Kid cleared his throat. "As for your third question, we came with you because we have nowhere else to go. I doubt the Terminans would have accepted us, and I don't want to live with those other Skull Kids. We're hoping we can find a place to live if we come with you."

"Now I understand," said Link.

"There's something else I want to discuss," said Skull Kid. "Two things, actually. First of all, Link, I would like to know how you defeated Majora's Mask Neither you or Tatl have talked about how you did it and I for one would like to know."

Link frowned. "Are you sure you want to know?" Skull Kid and Tael nodded. Link sighed and began the story. "Well, it all started after I got to the moon. Tatl and I found ourselves in a large meadow with a single tree. Playing around the tree were four children, each of them wearing one of the masks from the four temple bosses. I was surprised, since those masks were supposed to be in my pack, but when I checked, they were gone. Each of the children wanted to play hide-and-seek with me. When I agreed to play with each one, I found myself in a series of caves, a different cave for each child. Once I found each child, I was transported back to the meadow. The children had vanished. However, a new child had appeared at the base of the tree. He was sitting there, waiting…"

Link and Tatl approached the child sitting at the base of the tree. Link thought to himself, "This is the only person left. He might be able to give me some answers." He walked up to the child. "Excuse me…'

The child looked at him. Link gasped. The child was wearing Majora's Mask. "All the others have gone, haven't they?" asked the child.

"Um, yes."

"Would you like to play with me?"

"Sure. Hide and Seek?"

"No, no. That's a silly game. Let's play…Cops and Robbers. I'll be the cop; you'll be the robber. And since you're the robber, you just run, okay?"

Tatl complained. "But we don't want to be the robbers!"

The child ignored her. "Ready to play?"

"No, wait, I" he tried to protest, but it was too late. He was transported to a large blue room with many pretty colors and designs on the walls. Four of the walls had the boss masks on them. The wall on the back had Majora's Mask on it.

As Link took a step forward, Tatl reluctantly following, the mask's eyes lit up. Tatl screamed. The mask shook itself, pulling away from the wall. Long tentacles sprouted from the back. The mask floated towards Link, it's tentacles writhing. The mask cackled. "I am Majora's Mask!" it roared. Before it could do anything else, Link shot the mask with his hookshot. Stunned, the mask fell to the ground. Link ran over and attacked it with his sword, chopping and cutting. The mask recovered and turned face up towards the ceiling, hovering above the floor. It spun around the room, its tentacles splayed around it, whipping link when he couldn't get his shield up in time. Eventually, the mask floated back into the air. Link shot it down again and performed a few jump attacks on the evil mask. Screeching, the mask floated back into the air. The four boss masks ripped themselves off of the walls and floated towards Link, spitting energy balls. To make things worse, Majora's Mask was now using heat vision. Getting an inspiration, Link pulled out his mirror shield. As the heat vision struck the shield, Link deflected it at the four boss masks, incinerating them. The masks screeched then fell to the ground, dead. Link ran over and picked each one up, still dodging the heat vision. Once all four masks were back in his possession, Link pulled out his mirror shield again and deflected the heat vision right back at the evil mask. Igniting, the mask fell to the ground. But then, the fire vanished, and the mask grew five times its size, its tentacles retracting. Some strange, reddish black fleshy material was inflating from the back of the mask until it was an inch tick. Then, from the sides, arms and legs sprouted each ending in a point. The flesh was red with black stripes and riddled with green veins. From the top, a head on a flexible neck sprouted, no more than an eyeball with horns. Turning to face Link and Tatl, the mask snarled, "You may have defeated my last form, but let's see if you are as fleet on your feet as this form is!" With that, the mask began to run around the room at unbelievable speed, spewing energy balls and running over Link now and then. Link knew only one of his forms could defeat this horrible monstrosity. Putting on the Goron Mask, Link transformed into a Goron. He curled into a ball and waited for the mask to run at him. When it was close enough, Link performed a Goron Slam, shaking the room, and knocking the mask over. Ripping off the Goron Mask, Link ran towards the monster before it could get up, and performed multiple jump attacks. The mask screamed in pain and jumped out of the way, then fell to the ground. It lay there, not moving. Link grinned. Tatl cheered. It looked like they had won. Then the mask got up again, putting an end to the cheering. The mask turned to Link. Since its face was just an eyeball, Link couldn't tell its expression. The mask's limbs bulged, thickening, becoming more muscular. The legs grew pointy things that could only be feet. Its head retracted then popped up again, its long neck changing into a real head. A face grew from the flesh, with two new eyes (plus the original single eye from the prior transformation) and a mouth full of fangs. As a final touch, extra-long tentacles, no, whips sprouted from the ends of the beast's arms. The mask smiled at Link and said, "You have caused me a great deal of pain, little mortal, but this ends now. Prepare to taste my wrath." With that, the mask backflipped to the other end of the room and lashed out with its whips, striking Link and causing unbelievable pain. Link quickly recovered and shot the mask with a light arrow. "Yeargh!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not the power of light!" Stunned, the mask kneeled in pain. Link ran over and performed multiple jump attacks. When the mask started to recover, Link ran away, but was too late to avoid the mask's fire breath. The Mirror Shield on his back just barely protected him. The mask unleashed spinning blades, which darted and twirled around the room, trying to cut into Link's flesh. Link's weapons did no good against the blades. Link was having trouble dodging the whips, the blades, and the mask's latest attack, a laser beam from its third eye. Link was getting worried. Then Tatl had an idea. Dodging the laser and whips, she flew right up in the mask's face and began to glow as bright as she could. The mask screamed, trying to shield its eyes from Tatl's light, but she just kept glowing. The mask was to busy trying to defend itself from Tatl to focus on Link or control the blades, which smashed into each other, shattering. Link ran up to the monster and performed about a dozen jump attacks. Whenever the beast tried to attack link, Tatl would blind it again with her light. Link was feeling confident of victory, until the mask shot out a frog-like tongue, snatching Tatl with it. Link tried to prepare a light arrow, but the mask grabbed him with both whips, wrapping around his neck. The whips started to squeeze, choking Link. The mask grinned, even though its mouth was still open. "It's been fun, but I've had enough playing. I am going to devour your annoying little friend, then snap your neck so you will never bother me again. Thanks to your failure, termina will soon be destroyed, post your death." The mask laughed. "Did you really think you could win?" With that, the mask slowly started to retract his tongue, pulling Tatl closer and closer to its maw. Tatl was jingling out of sheer terror, her cries for help muffled by the monster's tongue.

Link's throat was too tight for him to speak. Tears began to come to his eyes, for he realized that he had failed everyone. He had brought hope back into the lives of the Terminans, and now it was being taken away. He had failed Tatl, who had been a good friend and was always there when he needed help. Sure, she had been really obnoxious most of the time, not to mention insulting, but she had stayed with him to the end. Then again, the end was right now, so it didn't really matter anymore, did it? He had failed Navi, for not finding her when he had promised her he would. His sadness turned to rage. Rage at this thing, this mask, who had been cruel enough to manipulate an innocent imp into nearly destroying the world, and was now about to devour his friend. Rage that he could do nothing to stop doomsday from happening. Rage that he would never see Zelda again, at least not until she died. But she would probably have married someone else by then, so she would be lost to him forever. And then, Link had enough. His rage was burning inside of him. Angrily, he willed the rage into any available channel, trying to break free from the tentacles before it was too late. Tatl was almost in the mask's mouth. Furious, Link screamed mentally, transforming the rage into power. And then, a miracle occurred. The Triforce of Courage lit up on his hand, blowing a bright green. Suddenly, Link was encompassed by green fire. The fire did not harm Link, but seemed to have an adverse effect on the mask. It screamed, releasing Link and Tatl as it tried to beat out the flames on its tentacles. It succeeded, and turned to Link, roaring, only to see that Link was in the middle of a transformation. Link felt himself changing, becoming taller, stronger. He was not becoming a Deku Scrub, a Goron, a Zora, or even a giant. He was becoming something else. He was a hulking fifteen feet tall, an adult of some kind. He had a white tunic that was covered up by black armor. His old hat, which had been with him in all of his transformations, was still there, but white as his hair had become. His eyes were featureless, lacking pupils or irises. Red and blue battle-paint was applied to his face. He had no shield, but his sword had been transformed into a ten-foot-long broadsword comprised of two intertwining blades, forming a helix. Just like Zelda had used the Triforce of Wisdom to become Sheik, Guardian of Knowledge, and Ganondorf had used the Triforce of Power to become Ganon, Beast of Doom, he had used the Triforce of Courage to become Oni Link, the Fierce Deity. Tatl and the mask stared in amazement at what Link had become. Before the mask could react, Link lashed out with his sword, sending a bolt of light at it. The mask screamed in pain as the bolt hit it. Link lashed out, again and again, striking the mask each time, hurting it more. Link did not let up his attack until the mask screamed a final time and floated into the air, the whips lying on the floor. With another shriek, the mask began to burn as the head and limbs disintegrated, leaving nothing but the mask itself. Shrieking again, the mask shrunk to its original size and fell to the floor. With one last, bloodcurdling scream, a sphere of red light shot out of the mask and exploded in a display of pyrotechnics. When the light show was over, Link walked up to the mask, waiting to see if it would get up. It didn't. Link picked up Majora's Mask. There was a flash of light, and then all went black.

"You know the rest. I woke up in Termina field as my normal self. I gave the Happy Mask Guy the mask, now devoid of any evil, and we enjoyed the Carnival before leaving on our current quest. So that's how I defeated Majora's Mask."

Skull Kid applauded. Tael and Tatl jingled their applause. "That was some nice storytelling. I kind of wish I had been there to see him bite the dust. Now there is one more thing I wish to discuss. So far we have all learned something about each other. Link, we know about your status as Hero of Time and your victory over Ganondorf, your love for Zelda, how you defeated evil incarnate twice, and your loss of Navi. From Tael and Tatl we have just learned of the death of their mother and the lullaby she sang to them. However, none of you know my past. I think it is about time I tell my story to somebody."

"Actually," said Link. "I already know about you and how you were exiled from Termina."

"That isn't the whole story. Nobody but my creators know the whole story." Link and the fairies looked at Skull Kid, curious. Was he saying he wasn't a natural imp? "Most of that tale is true, but some bits are wrong. First of all, the four worlds had been created long before I had been born. However, they had been ravaged by something. I don't know what it is, but it was like that when I got there. Whatever had caused the disaster that ravaged the four regions of Termina was something nobody wanted to talk about. Everyone was living on Termina Field at that point. The giants were respected guardians, created by the four gods who had built Termina millions of years ago to protect the land and its people. Despite this, they were actually quite lonely. The Goddess of Time herself took pity on them and created an imp out of ether to be their friend. I was that imp. For three hundred years we played, romping about Termina Field and the ruins of the surrounding areas. But then the day came when the realms to the North, South, East and West had recovered. The giants gathered their respective peoples and left, taking them home. I was left in the middle.

I was sad, because they had left me, or so it seemed. I knew that the only time I could see them now was on the eve of the Carnival of Time. Once a year wasn't enough. It wasn't fair. Why did they have to do their stupid duty? Why did they have to abandon me? For they had, in a way. They had been my only friends. None of the other Terminans really liked me. My only purpose, my reason for being, was to be the giants' friend. Now, here's the strange part. Since I had been formed from ether, I was like a golem. When my purpose was done, I would once again be ether. Now that the giants' duties were restored, I should have faded away, right? But I didn't. For some reason, I was still there. I should have died, but I hadn't. I was angry. Angry that my friends had abandoned me. Angry that my purpose seemed unfulfilled. Somewhere along the line, I must have acquired a soul, which explained why I was still there. And since I was still there, I had something to take out my anger on. I rampaged through Termina, hurting dozens and playing cruel jokes. The people called the giants. They were sad to see that I had become so depraved. They banished me from Termina, telling me to go to another country or world and not to come back until I was truly sorry for my actions and ready to atone for my sins. I didn't want to be in the same world as them, so I fled through the wormhole in the clock tower, coming to Hyrule.

As I wandered through the Lost Woods, I met other imps, except they had once been humans. They had been transformed by the curse on the Lost Woods, changing into imps. They thought I was a new addition to their group. I joined in. They quickly acclimatized to being trapped as imps. After all, imps are practically immortal. We can't die of old age or hunger, but we can die of sickness or from wounds. I established myself as the leader. The imps decided to call themselves Skull Kids, after me. I spent a hundred years with my new friends, until one night I realized something. It was all my fault. I should not have gone berserk. I should have tried to work things out. I should have made new friends. I decided it was time to go back to Termina and atone for my sins. When I returned, I was surprised, though. No one seemed to remember me. All of the people I had met before my banishment were dead. Disappointed, I tried to settle down. I failed. I had no money to pay for food or shelter. I was homeless. I ended up living in the back alleys of Clock Town, eating garbage and living in trash. Every day, I saw the upper class townsfolk walk by, looking disdainfully at the poor. They kicked those who were asleep, beat up those who were weak with famine, and taunted everyone. I got sick of it.

One day, I decided I was going to do something about those bastards. I decided to steal from the rich and give to the poor. It was easy, too. I broke into their houses, stole all the loose cash and valuables, and snuck out. I gave the money to the poor and sold the valuables at the pawnshop. I only accepted twenty rupees for the entire haul. I deposited most of the money in the bank, and used the rest to buy some food. I waited a month, then pulled off another heist. I did this for a few centuries, until I realized something. I kept stealing from the rich until they were poor, and gave all the money to the poor, who became rich jerks. So I robbed from them until they were poor and gave it back to the people who used to be rich who became jerks who I then robbed from again and, well, it was a repetitive cycle. I was really stealing the valuables over and over again. Not much money was being made for anyone but the pawn shop guy's family and me. I realized I was being as bad as the rich people had been, so I decided to start stealing from out of town. At this point, thieving was a routine, a way of life. Stopping never even occurred to me. Despite this, I only stole from those who were cruel to the poor. After some time, I started getting caught. This was good news. It showed that people were designing better security to protect them from more dangerous thieves. It was easy for me to escape. I always carved a little figure of myself on the wall or window bar or floor, depending on how I escaped. The carving showed them how I had gotten away, and showed future prisoners how to get out. I continued this pattern. Thanks to interest in the bank, I was starting to develop quite a large nest egg. When I decided to retire, I would have nothing to worry about.

At one point, I returned to the Lost Woods for a little vacation. That's when I met Saria and learned her song. That was two hundred years ago. I continued to steal until a little over one year ago. I had failed to steal from someone. Not only had I gotten caught, but the object I was trying to get was too well protected. I was actually thwarted. I realized it was time to retire. I went to the bank to withdraw my riches, only to discover that I had no money at all! The bank manager told me that a few days ago, a prancing bald guy stole money from many people's accounts, including my own. I was horrified. When I had deposited a month ago, I had been informed that I had approximately one million rupees in the bank. It was all gone now. And I couldn't start over because now security was too tight for me to rob from anyone but the poor. And I couldn't do that. So once again, I was a bum. It had taken a thousand years to amass that much money, and now it was all gone. I couldn't buy food. The garbage was no longer edible. I began to starve.

Now, since I am an immortal, I can't die of starvation. That doesn't mean I don't need food. Without food, I eventually grow weak from lack of energy. Since I couldn't steal food or steal money for food, and nobody would hire me, I was starving. I had not eaten for a year. I was so weak that I could barely walk. I was having trouble thinking straight. One day, in a fit of hunger-driven delirium, I attacked a man and tried to steal his wallet. I was caught by the soldiers and thrown out of town. It was very cold. It was winter, but there was no snow. It was just above freezing. I had a sudden idea, a spark of genius. I didn't know why it hadn't occurred to me before. I could go to the swamp! It was always warm there, and there was plenty of food. If I could get there, I would be able to survive indefinitely. I started south, stumbling and falling many times, but always getting up. I knew I had to hurry, because even though hunger can't kill me, sickness, injuries, or extreme weather can. I didn't want to get attacked by a monster in my weakened condition.

I was halfway there when a monster attacked me. It wasn't a bat, or a wolfos, or a bubble, or a boe, or a Stalchild. It was a Chuchu. That's right, a Chuchu. The weakest, stupidest, most pathetic monster in existence. It's so weak that a three-year old with a peashooter could kill one. And you know what's funny? The Chuchu beat me up. I was too weak from hunger to fight it off I was left there, lying unconscious on Termina Field, by the most harmless monster in the universe. I woke up hours later, to find it was raining. I had been out for a long time. I was shivering, and I knew that I was cold on the inside as well. I had developed pneumonia. I was going to die if I didn't warm up fast. But I was now far too weak to make it to the swamp. I crawled towards the giant log tunnel and hid inside. I knew I was going to die before the sun rose.

I thought to myself, Are the gods this cruel? I make one little mistake and I am punished for the rest of eternity? But I knew that wasn't fair. I had merely been a victim of bad choices and even worse luck. I knew it was all my fault. As I lay there, freezing to death, I knew I was the lowest, weakest, most pathetic and worthless creature in existence. I had been living a lie these last thousand years. I should never have gotten a soul to begin with. I should never have even been born. I had only done the thievery because I needed to keep my mind off my own uselessness. I knew I would soon be gone, and the universe would finally be rid of my carcass. Would I go to Heaven? To Hell? I didn't care. Even oblivion seemed too good for me. I just wanted my existence to end.

And then, two fairies appeared. They saved my life, warming me up through the long night. Tael and Tatl had saved my life, and I knew I had to make it worthwhile. We became best friends, playing pranks, stealing a little bit now and then. And we played.

Then, a little over seven weeks ago, it happened. We were goofing off outside the portal in the Lost Woods, when suddenly I felt something calling to me. I tried to resist it, but I couldn't. I followed the call, with Tael and Tatl following behind. I found the Happy Mask Salesman. Obeying the call, I knocked him out and dug through his pack. I wasn't looking for his wallet. So what was I looking for? Eventually, I found it. At the bottom of the bag, beneath all the other masks, was…"

Skull Kid paused. "What? Is something wrong?" asked Link.

"Hmm? No, no. I was just pausing for dramatic reasons. But you know what was at the bottom of the bag, don't you?"

"Majora's Mask?" Tael, Tatl, and Link all asked, shivering inwardly.

"Exactly," said Skull Kid. "Majora's Mask. I pulled it out and stared at it, wondering if this is what had been calling me. I heard the call again, telling me to put the mask on. I tried to resist, but once again, I had no control. I put on the mask. At first, nothing. Then, I realized I could not move. I could not speak. I could hear, I could breathe, but at the same time, I could not. I had no control over my body. Then I heard a voice. It was my own! It said to Tael and Tatl (who were asking if I was all right) that I was fine. My voice said that we were going to Termina, and would use the power in the mask I was wearing to take revenge on the people of Termina, who had wronged me a long time ago. Tael and Tatl were reluctant, but agreed. Then, my body moved! I was not controlling my body, but we moved! We fled through the portal, back into Termina. My body surprised Tael and Tatl again by flying to the top of the clock tower. My voice said it was more of the power of the mask. It said that tomorrow, our work would begin, so we should get a good night's sleep. And with that, my body went to sleep. Tael and Tatl followed suit. I was confused. My body was asleep, yet I was awake! What was going on? What had this mask done to me? I didn't want to hurt anybody anymore. Then, I heard laughter, from something inside my own head. And then it spoke to me. This is how the conversation went:

Mysterious voice: Hello, slave.

Skull Kid: W-who are you?

MV: Who am I? I am the future ruler of this world, imp. I am your master.

SK: Huh?

MV: I have complete control over your body and your brain. You can say nothing. You can do nothing. You are now nothing more than a ghost inside of your own mind. You are my slave. You are my puppet. And using you, I will wreak havoc upon Termina!

1 SK: Oh yeah? Well, the…

MV: The giants will stop me? I don't think so.

SK: Ho-How did you know…

MV: That's what you were thinking? I control your brain, remember? Every thought you have I know about. Every emotion, every feeling. You can keep no secrets from me. Oh yes, and don't think your friends will be able to recognize that I'm not you. I can emulate you perfectly by using your own memories.

SK: But they're already suspicious of you! You start talking about taking revenge and of course they'll start to think I'm not myself!

MV: Don't be so sure. They care about you a lot, you know, but those who live on the mortal plane can be easily fooled with the right lies. Even if they do realize something is wrong, they will stand by you to the end, thinking they might be able to save you. But they can't! The only way for that to happen is for someone to pull the mask off you, and I don't intend to let that happen.

SK: Who are you, anyway?

MV: Trillions of years ago, back when all was void, Time began thanks to a freak accident. And with Time was created the Goddess of Time…and her brother.

SK: My mom has a brother?

MV: Yes. Now don't interrupt again or I will make you feel unbelievable pain, slave. Now, the Goddess of Time created all her sons and daughters, the deities, who in turn made the infinite number of dimensions and the mortals and immortals dwelling in them. Rules were agreed upon that prevented the gods from directly interfering in the lives of their creations. They were to observe mortal life and find meaning in it. The Goddess of Time's brother disagreed with these rules, thinking that they should rule the races of the dimensions, controlling their lives. There was a falling out, and a great battle. All of the deities fought against the brother, who fought very well. Finally, the Goddess of Time used a great deal of magic to banish her brother from all worlds. A new dimension was made, and he was thrown in. This dimension was a prison, designed for him and all that were evil.

SK: What does this have to do with who you are?

MV: I TOLD YOU NOT TO INTERRUPT ME!!!!!!!! FEEL PAIN LIKE NEVER BEFORE, IMP!!!!!!!!!

SK: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MV: That will teach you some manners! If you interrupt again, I'll make it even worse! Now where was I? Oh yes… The banished one quickly became master of that prison dimension, naming it Hell. His name was Satan. Yes, the brother of the Goddess of Time is the devil himself! Quite an unexpected twist, yes? But I digress…Satan needed administrators to run Hell, so he created the demons, creatures of pure evil, some even as strong as the gods! Satan knew he could not escape Hell by himself, but he knew he could send a demon or two to the mortal realms occasionally. Now, Satan had a wicked idea. The Goddess of Time's first children was the Golden Goddesses, Din, Nayru, and Farore, Goddesses of Power, Wisdom, and Courage. So Satan created three demons of equal strength, the Demons of Power, Wisdom, and Courage! These three were the mightiest of all the demons, the princes of Hell! Fifteen hundred years ago, Satan sent each of his three sons to a different dimension, each with an army of four powerful demons to help them destroy and pillage. The purpose of this was to build up experience and open a portal to hell, allowing Satan to escape. The Demon of Power came to Termina. For two hundred years, the demon and his minions rampaged through Termina. The giants appealed to the Goddess of Time to do something. She decided to send the Golden Ones to deal with this. Farore defeated the Demon of Courage and Nayru defeated the Demon of Wisdom. But when Din confronted the Demon of Power, she discovered he was far stronger than she was. She called her sisters and they combined they're magic to battle the demon. They won, but discovered they could not merely kill him, sending him back to Hell as they had done to his brothers. Instead, they imprisoned the demon and his minions, sealing them into masks of their own faces. The masks of the demon's minions were hidden within each of Termina's temples. As for the Demon of Power, he was buried in the Haunted Wasteland in Hyrule. He remained there for thirteen hundred years. Then, five months ago, a gerudo bandit dug up the mask. The demon was too weak to call to her since there had been no life forms in the deserts to draw energy from, so she thought it was a normal mask and sold it at the Happy Mask Shop. The Happy Mask Owner recognized the mask as a harbinger of doom and locked it away. When he left the shop to go to Termina for new masks a few days ago, he decided to take the mask of the demon with him. He had no idea how big a mistake that was, for now the demon is free, free to exact his revenge on Termina, free to regain his true body by breaking out of his mask imprisonment, free to release his father and brothers from the pits of Hell, and free to destroy the goddesses who had sealed him away! And that is the end of my tale.

SK: What does any of this have to do with you?

MV: Haven't you figured it out by now? I am the demon!

SK: I was actually starting to think that.

MV: No, you weren't. Now tremble at my true name, wretched imp. I AM MAJORA! I will destroy you're precious friends and the rest of Termina in one month. You will die along with them. And once they are all dead, I will be free! MUAHAHAHAHAHaHAHAHAHaHAHAHAHAHaHaHAHAHaHAHAHAHaHAHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaH aHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHAHaHAHAHaHAHaHaHAHAHaHAHAHAHaHAHa!

After that, he stayed silent, leaving me alone for the time being. I was scared. I was very scared. I knew that I was to be the instrument with which Majora would use to destroy Termina. Everyone would blame me. I would have cried, if I had control of my tear ducts. At midnight, I noticed I/Majora was getting up. He/my body floated high in the air, looking towards the full moon. After staring at it for a few minutes, Majora/my body began chanting a spell, pointing his/my arms towards the moon, palms open. The spell went like this: "ghfvagevuntnogurunygynareminonunfgyralevinobugyranebijokudygaheninouigahenf anivonumynavenfcinonunydanekiminonumamegfwiuyoducyhameosigonulyhavemimomuper yvavfecicovumarimewicfcogegiarerqnuvfjfijafijypowajevijosu'nysixavfgiwihogog uheogykajoeogegehioqge'ihigopohurygaporegihopofgupyhabehfhibevihigiohfiohifo jiohefiohefiohfiohfiohfdiohfdsoifdsiofdsiohfdsiohoioifohioufdioufdjifdijfgiu orioyruoufijgfjugojyjofugapekogojfnniviofnucyemuamymyunionimavemikonuyfmavem omimuvymavirowieroirirtpioamerwepiopiorerpioerioerciroeiomerciomrirtmutmueri omrrrioeriomrrettmitiutiortiomyvrtiomioeriroiomtr9irgiourtmurioerioeqroiiori reioriroiuynumopamicymamugimiomiuermuooioio"

I don't know what it meant, but I do know that suddenly, there was a face on the moon. It was grinning, and started falling towards the planet. The next six weeks were horrible. Majora went around the country, taking the giants by surprise and imprisoning them inside the masks of his minions, allowing them temporary freedom. He cursed the regions of Termina and did bad things. And finally, last week, Link came. And you all know the rest of the story. Link saved Termina from the moon, and may have saved all the dimensions from the return of Satan."

Link blushed. "Aw, it was nothing."

Skull Kid shook his head. "No, Link, it was something. You really are the Hero of Time. You have earned that title many times now."

Link smiled. Tael piped up. "Skull Kid, was that all true?" Skull Kid nodded.

"That was an amazing story," said Tatl. "I thought a lot of it was very sad, though."

Skull Kid grinned. "I may have been sad then, but I'm happy now. I have great friends, and am on an exciting quest with said friends. I may even find a home. So let's leave it at that and go to bed." They all agreed and quickly went to sleep.

Chapter 2: Following the Trail

Link scowled and groaned, turning over in his sleep. He was having a nightmare. No big surprise there. In his dream, he saw Navi, off in the distance. She was calling to him. He ran towards her, but he never seemed to get closer. He could feel his Triforce tingling, indicating danger and/or evil. Finally he reached her. He saw something behind her, he could not see it, but he could tell it was hurting her. He reached out to help her. She looked at him with an expression of horror and fear. Link thought, Why is she looking at me like I'm the one in trouble? Then, Navi screamed, "Link! Watch out! It's right behind you!" Link turned to see what it is and saw…

Link woke up, screaming. He panted, his heart beating a mile a minute. He thought, What the… What was that thing behind me? It looked like…a fairy? As Link calmed down, he looked around him. He saw that his companions were still asleep. Link sighed. Well, at least they're having peaceful dreams, he thought.

Epona snorted, shaking her mane in her sleep. She was dreaming that she was running. She was happy. She saw Lon Lon Ranch, her home. Eager to get home to Malon and her stall, she ran in the front gates. She saw something that shook her to the marrow. The ranch was burning. She ran across the corral, neighing, hoping someone was still around. There was no sound. No neighing. No mooing. No clucking. There wasn't even a single, loud snore from Talon. Everyone was gone. Then she saw Malon, lying on the ground. Hopeful, she ran over, only to find that Malon was dead.

Tael started jingling unhappily. He was dreaming that he was in the grove where he had used to live with Mom, Dad, and Tatl. He could hear Mom calling him for dinner. Eager for her Nectar Surprise, he flew over to the tree hollow. His mom was there, cheerfully telling him to come in. Tael floated over…suddenly, a long prehensile tongue lashed out, grabbing Mom and pulling her away. The tongue's owner was a short, bipedal beast, with a long, shaggy tail, tall ears, and the face of an aardvark. It was a fairy eater! "Mommy!" screamed Tael as the monster devoured his mother. Then the monster turned towards Tael. He tried to fly away, but felt the adhesive tongue of the monster grabbing him by the back. Tatl was having the exact same dream, except she was being eaten.

Skull Kid moaned. Everything around him was dark. He could not see a thing. He stumbled around, trying to find light. Then, two huge discs of light appeared. They were orange-yellow, with a black dot surrounded by a green ring at the center of each one. They were eyes. And not just any eyes. 'No…' whispered Skull Kid. 'You're dead! He killed you!' The owner of the eyes laughed. 'Demons cannot truly die, fool. We are merely, defeated, our physical forms temporarily destroyed. I am now a spirit of a demon, but that won't last long. Link actually did me a favor! I am still trapped in the form of a mask, but my father should be able to remedy that eventually. I'll be out of here in no time. But as for you, Skull Kid, I have decided to kill you.' 'But why?' "Why not?' said Majora before blasting Skull Kid with his heat vision. Skull Kid immediately combusted.

Everyone woke up screaming (except for Epona, who whinnied.) "Looks like I was wrong," muttered Link. "Hey, did you guys all have bad dreams too?"

They all nodded. (Except for Epona, who didn't understand humans.) "Do you want to talk about it?" They all shook their heads. Just then, they heard the rooster crow, signifying that it was morning. "Well, it was about time to get up anyway. I'll make breakfast."

After everyone ate, Skull Kid asked "All right. Which way do we go?"

Link pulled out a parchment on which he had written the lines of the directions to Mesmoria. "Well, we already found the temple of green AKA the Forest Temple. We met Saria there."

"It was nice to see Saria again." Said Skull Kid.

Link continued. "She gave us some supplies from the village (since I doubt Mido would have been happy to see me) and we headed east. We are supposed to keep going to east until we reach the Wolfos' Rock, whatever that is. We've been traveling for five days since we left the Forest Temple. Tael, Tatl, do either of you have any idea how much longer we have to go?" They shook their heads. "In that case, we'll have to keep going in the same direction. By my compass, east is that way. Let's go." After packing up, Link and Skull Kid climbed onto Epona and rode off, Tael and Tatl flying behind them.

Eventually, they reached a hill-sized rock, with a cave in the middle. "I wonder what's in there," said Tatl.

"Why don't you go look?" asked Tael.

"W-What? W-Why should I go in? You go in!" she said.

"No, you!"

"No, you!"

"No, you!"

"No, you!"

"No, you!"

"No, you!"

"No, you!"

"No, you!"

"How do we stop them?" asked Link.

Skull Kid grinned. "Let me handle this." He turned to Tael and Tatl and said "Hey, Tael! You should go in the cave!"

Tael recoiled. "But why?"

"Because Tatl is obviously too yellow to go in."

Tatl jingled furiously. "What! Me, yellow?! I'll show you!" She flew into the cave.

Tael and Skull Kid chuckled. Link couldn't help joining in. "It works every time," said Skull Kid. Then they heard screams from the cave. "Uh oh," said Skull Kid. "Maybe this was a mistake…"

Tatl flew out of the cave, screaming. Nothing followed her. Link frowned. "What was in there?"

Tatl panted. "There were…there were…there were…bones! Wolfos bones!" Link, Skull Kid, and Tael stared at her for a moment before bursting into hilarious laughter. "What? It's not funny!"

Trying to control himself, Link said, "Tatl, we've faced real Wolfos, Like Likes, Garos, White Boes, a falling moon, demons, and three guys who looked like Ingo. You screamed at none of those, and you're screaming now from just a bunch of dead Wolfos?" Link stopped. "Hey, wait a minute! You did scream at all of those things! I guess you are a little timid, Tatl."

"Am not!" she said angrily. Tael, who had been sneaking up behind Tatl, leaped out, jingling madly. Tatl gasped. The boys couldn't help laughing. "All right! You wanna know the truth? I've been a bit frightened of pretty much every monster ever since that fairy eater ate Mom. Every monster I see makes me think of that experience, and I scream, all right?! Are you happy now?!?"

The others stopped laughing. "I'm sorry Tatl." Said Link and Skull Kid.

Tael was surprised. "You reacted that badly to Mom's death?"

"Didn't you?"

"No. I loved Mom and I still miss her, but I don't scream whenever I see a monster or some guy that looks like Ingo, whatever that is."

"I guess you're just a little braver than me."

"Maybe, maybe not. Maybe you need to confront your fears."

"Huh?"

"Never mind."

Skull Kid interrupted. "I would like to see those bones. I'll be right back." He walked into the cave. He came a minute later. "They look very old. They could have been here for centuries.

Link suddenly realized something. "Hey guys, this is the Wolfos' Rock from the song! It's a rock that Wolfos used to live in!"

"Hey, yeah!" said Tatl.

"That means we have to head due north." Said Tael.

"Let's go," said Link. They traveled for five days in a northerly direction. Everyone, especially Epona, was getting tired. At noon on the fifth day, they found a huge clearing with a man-made fountain in the middle. It was made from a strange metal.

"Think that's the Fountain of Stone?" asked Skull Kid.

"Can't be," muttered Link. "It's made of metal."

"Maybe it's another riddle?" suggested Tael.

"Whatever," said Tatl. "I'm a bit thirsty. Does anyone mind if I take a drink from the fountain?" No one had a problem with that. "Great. Be right back." She flew towards the fountain.

Skull Kid pointed out several statues of animals and monsters around the clearing. "Huh, those statues look very lifelike."

"Yeah, whoever made them was a great sculptor." Commented Link.

"Yeah," said Tael. "Isn't it cool that all of the statues have a look of unbelievable fear and terror on their faces?'

Skull Kid frowned. "Hey, wait a minute…fear and terror? Tatl, don't get any closer to the fountain!" Tatl, not listening, kept flying towards the fountain. "Link, get your bow out now. Don't ask any questions, just do it!" Link pulled out his bow.

Tatl approached the fountain. "Ah, a nice, refreshing drink!" she thought. She was about to touch the water… when suddenly; a monster erupted from the water. It loomed over her. Tatl screamed. The monster began to lower its head…and then it fell to the ground, dead, an arrow sticking through its eye. Link and Skull Kid ran over.

Tael flew over. "Sis, are you okay?"

Tatl stammered. "W-w-w-w-w-what w-w-w-w-w-w-w-was that?"

Skull Kid answered her question. He pointed towards the monster, which appeared to be a giant snake of some sort. "That is a basilisk. It's a water-dwelling dragon that can turn to people to stone with its stare. You're lucky that I figured it out and Link shot it before you died. Are you all right?"

"I-I'm fine. Thank you, Link."

Link smiled. Then he had an idea. "Hey guys, this is it! This is the fountain of stone! That means we have to go northwest to our next destination." Now that the basilisk was dead, everyone took a good long drink from the fountain, refilling they're canteens as well. Then they headed northwest. Another five days passed. The journey was uneventful, except for attacks from a few Stalfos. At noon on the fifth day, they arrived at another large clearing. However, instead of statues or a fountain, at the heart of the clearing was something magnificent, something unbelievable, something that took their breath away. (Even Epona's) It was a tree. And not just any tree. This tree was huge. It was ten times taller than the Deku tree, with branches and foliage extending far around it.

They all stared in awe. "What is it?" Asked Link.

"I-I remember hearing about this place from Dad," said Tatl. "This is the Forest Cathedral, also known as the tree of dreams. It is a tree far older than the Great Deku Tree is. In fact, the seed of the Great Deku Tree came from this one. It is the second most sacred place in the forest."

"Second most sacred? What about the Forest Temple?" asked Skull Kid.

"The temple is the third most sacred place in the forest," said Tael.

"Then what is the most sacred place in the forest?" asked Link.

"That would be Mesmoria, I think," said Tael. "Dad said something once about how Mesmoria is the most important place in the world for us fairies. He didn't say why, though."

"What happened to your father?" asked Skull Kid.

"A tree fell on him," said Tael flatly.

"Oh," said Skull Kid.

"Tell us more about the cathedral, please." Said Link.

Tatl continued. "The Forest Cathedral was grown to honor Farore, patron of the forest and all things green. Dad said that ancient fairies somehow designed the seed to grow into a hollow, living tree. It is a great piece of organic artwork. No carving tools have ever touched the bark of the tree. The cathedral is so sacred that the insects that live inside all other trees stay away from it for fear of harming the great tree with their wood-loving jaws. If you think it's beautiful from the outside, wait until you see the inside!"

"Why, have you ever been here before?" asked Link.

"No, but we've always wanted to,' said Tatl. "Come on! Let's go inside!" She and Tael flew towards the large archway that led into the tree. Leaving Epona outside, Link and Skull Kid raced after them. When they got inside, the four stood there for several minutes, gaping at the interior of the cathedral. It was hollow, as Tatl had said. Stairs led up from either side of the door. The stairs ended on a balcony that encircled the entire chamber. Stairs on the balcony led to another balcony, and another, and another, and another, for five hundred stories. Hanging from the ceiling was a massive, wooden image of the Triforce. The moss on the floor was multicolored, giving off the interpretation of a beautiful carpet. There were several Deku Flowers scattered throughout the Cathedral, both pink and yellow. There were beds of moss on every balcony, providing rest for weary travelers. The walls were covered in some sort of bioluminous fungus, giving the Cathedral proper lighting. Everything was in perfect symmetry and order, symbolizing the balance of nature. In the center of the cathedral was a large, round pool with strange, green water. The water was flowing from a wooden fountain in the middle of the pool. Rising from the center of the fountain was a giant statue of a beautiful woman, who could only be Farore, Goddess of Courage. As Link looked at the image of his patron for the first time, he noticed how her long, waist- length hair ended in a point, reminding him of the Kokiri hat he always wore. Silently, not wanting to disturb the sanctity of this place, they approached the idol of Farore, feeling like they should pray. As they approached the idol, they saw another creature was there as well, praying. It was a Deku Scrub. The scrub noticed their approach and panicked, squeaking madly. They weren't sure how to calm it down. Then Link had an idea. He told the others to back away from the scrub. He was going to get something outside to calm down the scrub. Link ran outside, put on the Deku Mask, screamed as he turned into a scrub, then ran back inside. He approached the scrub, who relaxed when he saw Link.

Link talked to the scrub in the tongue of the Deku. Hi, I'm Link. What's your name?"

My name is Deku squeak chirp burp heep heep burp chirp.

What are you doing?

I am about to drink from the sacred waters of Farore to purify myself. I come here once a month to pray and drink the water. All of us forest dwellers do. Didn't you know that?

I'm from another country. Hey, have you ever heard of something called Mesmoria?

Hmmm. Let me think…no. Wait, I have heard of it! My great- grandfather once said something about the heart of the forest, a place called Mesmoria. He said it was the sacred place in the forest, and it's the most important place to the fairies.

Link sagged. I already know that stuff. Is there anything else you can tell me about Mesmoria?

Actually, yes. Great-Grandpa also said any traveler who wished to find Mesmoria would have to know an ancient song, The Melody of Mesmoria. He taught it to me. You wouldn't happen to be looking for Mesmoria, would you?

Actually, I am.

Then you will need to know this song. Listen closely. The scrub started squeaking and chirping a melody. Link followed on his pipes. The song went like this: A^VA^V. Link got it right after a few tries. You learned the Melody of Mesmoria! Congratulations! Now, if you will excuse me, I must drink the water and take my leave. He did so. Once he was gone, Link took off the mask.

"Well? Did you learn anything?" asked Skull Kid.

"I learned a new song," said Link. "And I think we should drink this water before we leave." They all went up to the fountain and took a sip of the water. "Hmm," said Link. "It's strangely refreshing. What do you think, guys? Guys?" Link turned around to see his friends were standing there, frozen in time. Link also noticed that his Triforce was glowing bright green. "What the…"

"Hello, Link." Said a voice behind him. Surprised, Link almost jumped into the fountain. He turned around and saw…a fairy? No, it was too big, and it had no wings. It was green, with a core of gold.

"Who-who are you?"

"I am Farore, goddess of courage."

Link blinked. "You're Farore?"

Farore smiled (at least, Link thought she smiled.) "That's the reaction most people get from me. They expect me to look more humanoid. The statue is a little unflattering if you ask me."

"I think it's a beautiful statue."

"Really? You don't think it makes me look fat?"

"Oh, not at all! It makes you look good."

"Oh thank you Link! You don't know how happy that makes me! Oh yes, I almost forgot. I froze time for a moment so I could talk to you."

"Me? Why?"

"I have an important matter to discuss with you. You are searching for Mesmoria, correct?"

"Yeah. I'm looking for Navi. Is she there?"

"Navi is in Mesmoria. She has been expecting you."

"Great! By the way, could you tell me what Mesmoria is?"

"I'm afraid not. It's against the rules, you know. I have to give you a warning."

"A warning? What about?"

" You must not go west to the Tower of Gold. It is a trap for travelers in the forest. Instead, you should go southwest, to the Dragon's Lair. By skipping the Tower, you will shave several days off your travel. It is important that you take this shortcut to get to Mesmoria as quickly as possible, for Navi is in grave danger."

"She is!?!?"

"Yes. Even with this shortcut, you might not get there in time. Stopping to sleep is permissible, but you should not stop to eat unless it is absolutely necessary. Epona will need food, of course, but the rest of you can survive a week without food, right?"

"I guess so…"

"Good. Oh yes, I have one thing more for you." A large piece of paper appeared, floating in the air. Link grabbed it. "That is a map of the Crystal Caverns, the final hazard you must face on the trail to the heart of the forest. Use it well."

"Not to seem ungrateful or anything, but why are you doing this? I mean, why do you care about a single search party looking for a fairy?"

"Three reasons. First, you are my champion, the wielder of the Triforce of Courage. I always keep an eye on your affairs. Secondly, Navi is a distant relative of mine."

"She's what!?!"

"Oh, I see you didn't know that fairies are actually descendants of my Mother, the Goddess of Time."

"They are?!?"

"Yes. And thirdly, my dear baby brother is in your group."

"You don't mean…Skull Kid? But he's an imp…"

"So? He was still created by my Mother, just like the rest of us deities. That makes him family. Mom says that even though he is not a god, and never will be one, he is still one of us. She also says that despite his small stature, he will accomplish great things someday. He will prove to the world that imps should not be scorned at just because of their size and appearance. But that day will not come for at least a decade. Link, I must be going now. I have pressing business to attend to. Some wizard needs a cauldron of pure courage to give to a lion."

"Where does this wizard live?"

"An emerald city in a land named Os, or something like that. Goodbye Link. Give my little brother my regards."

"Goodbye Farore. I will."

Farore vanished and time resumed. None of the others noticed that time had been frozen. "Wow, I really feel refreshed!" said Tatl. "What was in that water?"

"No time to ponder that, people," said Link. "We need to go, now. Since this is the tree of dreams, that means we have to go southwest to our next destination."

Tael was confused. "Link, I thought we had to go west to the next destination."

Link grinned. "We're having a change of plans. We head southwest, to the Dragon's Lair. We have to move at top speed, or we might not get to Mesmoria in time."

Skull Kid frowned. "In time for what?"

"I have no idea, but we have to get moving so we can stop it. I know I may sound crazy, but I'll explain it on the way. Let's go!" They left the cathedral, hopped onto Epona, and headed southwest. Along the way, Link told everyone about his meeting with Farore, showing them the map to prove it. Even with the map, they weren't sure that he wasn't a little crazy. Tatl was getting worried that there may have been something in the cathedral's water. They traveled for five days. They were sure Link was leading them to their dooms until they reached another large clearing. This one had a huge hill with a large cave leading into it. A sign next to the cave entrance said "Dragon's Lair. Keep out."

"I guess you weren't crazy after all, Link." Conceded Skull Kid.

Link was surprised. "You all thought I was crazy? Just because I drank some weird water, claimed to meet Farore, and led us all off the path in the song?" They all nodded. "Well, I guess that all did sound crazy."

"It's okay," said Tatl. It began to pour. Thunder crashed. "Uh oh! We need to get to shelter!"

"Let's use the cave," suggested Tael. They ran inside. Epona decided to stay outside. As they went into the cave, it got very dark. Tael and Tatl turned up their light to allow Skull Kid and Link to see where they were going. They evaded a few Keese, finally coming to a large chamber. Tael and Tatl's light wasn't enough to illuminate the cavern so most of it was impossible to see.

"This looks like a good place to set up camp." Said Skull Kid.

"Then we will," said Link. We'll get some sleep and set off in the morning, rain or shine." As they set up the sleeping bags they carried with them, there was a sudden roar from the middle of the chamber.

Tael gulped. "What was that?" asked Tatl nervously.

"Link frowned. "I'm going to find out. Tatl, you're with me. Tael, Skull Kid, stand by the exit so you can run to safety if I get killed." Skull Kid and Tael moved towards the exit. Link walked towards the center of the room wishing he could see what was in front of him. Suddenly, as if someone had been reading his mind, the room was illuminated as a huge wall of fire sprang up behind him, encircling most of the room. A similar wall sprang up by the exit, preventing Tael and Skull Kid from escaping. Thanks to the fire, Link saw what was at the center of the room. It was a dragon. It was twenty feet long, with wings and four legs, each with mighty claws. It had horns and yellow eyes. It was red in color, with scales and a spiked tail. The dragon roared. Link gulped. Tatl moaned. The dragon spat a fireball at Link. Link deflected with the Mirror Shield, sending it back at the dragon. Angry, the dragon lashed out with its spiked tail. Link blocked with his shield. "Tatl, how do I kill this thing?"

She paused for a moment, trying to find the dragon's weak spot. "I can't find it! I'm sorry, Link."

"Then Z-target him for me." Tatl obliged, targeting the dragon's head. Ignoring Tatl, the dragon inhaled deeply before unleashing an awesome jet of fire breath. Link blocked with the shield again, absorbing the attack. The dragon breathed fire again. Link absorbed that blast as well. Getting frustrated, the dragon let loose another blast. Link absorbed the blast. The shield combined the energy and let it loose at the dragon in a concentrated inferno. The dragon took no damage because it was a fire-based creature. Link got an idea. He pulled out his Ice arrows and waited for the dragon to inhale again. When it did, Link shot an Ice Arrow at the beast's mouth right before it could breathe fire. The flame frozen in its throat, the dragon started having trouble breathing. Pulling out his hookshot, Link shot it at the dragon's head, pulling it to the ground. Before the monster could do anything, Link stabbed the dragon right through its eye, piercing the brain. The dragon reared its head back, roaring. It fell to the ground, dead. The flames followed suit. Link walked over to the dragon's head and pulled his trusty Gilded Sword from the beast's eye. Tael and Skull Kid stared in awe. "What? Why are you all looking at me?"

"It's just-we've never seen you in action before." Said Skull Kid.

"That," said Tael, "was most possibly the coolest thing I have ever seen. Was he like that during the entire quest, Tatl?"

"Yup," she said.

"Wow."

Link cleared his throat to get everyone's attention. "I'm sorry to interrupt, but we really should get some sleep. We can talk about how cool it was tomorrow when we're riding away from here. In the morning, we head northwest to the crystal caverns." They finished setting up the sleeping bags and went to sleep. They woke up at dawn, ate, and left the cave. It was very damp outside. The rain had ended, but there were large puddles everywhere. Epona was soaked. After drying her off with a little help from Link's fire arrows, they headed to the northwest. For five more days they traveled until they reached a huge river. It was too wide to bridge and too deep to ford. The current was too fast to swim across the river. On the riverbed was an open hut. Inside the hut was a hatchway that led to the Crystal Caverns. The Caverns were the only way to cross the river. Epona was left behind, since she would not fit. Link knew that they could always call her once they left the Caverns for good. After saying their good-byes to Epona, the party ventured through the hatchway, down a long ladder, into the Crystal Caverns. Link knew that the caverns were a complex maze full of tunnels, drop-offs, dead ends, illusions, monsters, and booby traps lit by dimly glowing crystals. Link was thankful that Farore had provided him with a map that showed the only way through the cavern. As they got to the bottom of the ladder, facing a fork of three tunnels, Link looked at the map for the first time and realized…he couldn't read it. "Uh oh."

"What? What? Is that a good 'Uh oh?' asked Tatl nervously.

"I can't read the map. Farore must have accidentally forgotten to write it in Hylian and instead wrote it in the language of the gods or something!"

Skull Kid looked at the map over Link's shoulder. "Um-Link?"

"Yes, Skull Kid?"

"You're holding the map upside-down." Link blushed and turned the map around as the fairies laughed at him.

"Thank you, Skull Kid. Now, we first have to take the tunnel on the right." They walked (or flew) down the tunnel on the right. They found a closed door with a gargoyle above it. As they approached, the gargoyle's eyes lit up and it spoke.

"I AM GUARDIAN OF THIS GATE. Who art thou?"

"Link."

"Skull Kid."

"Tael."

"Tatl."

"If thou dost wish to pass through my gate, thou must answer this riddle: What is black and white and blue all over?"

"A bruised albino rat?" guessed Link

"A newspaper dropped in blue ink?" guessed Skull Kid.

"Mom, Dad, and Great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great- great-great-great-great-great-great-grandpa Bora?" guessed Tael.

"A Zora?" guessed Tatl.

"No, no, no, and yes! The answer is a Zora! Thou may pass." The door opened.

Everyone looked at Tatl, smiling. "Nice job." Said Skull Kid. Tatl blushed, sort of. They walked through the door, into a room with a large block puzzle on the floor. It was similar to the puzzle Link had to solve in the Forest Temple to summon Amy the Poe. Just like that puzzle, this one had five blocks, one of which did not have the correct image on the front. There was an exit on the far side of the room, also with a gargoyle above it. The gargoyle's eyes opened and stared at them for a moment. Then it spoke.

"I AM GUARDIAN OF THIS GATE. I already know whom you all are. If thou dost wish to pass through this gate, thee must solve the block puzzle in one minute, starting now."

"Let me handle this," said Skull Kid. He jumped to the floor and started pushing the blocks together. Link and the fairies shouted directions to him. Just before time ran out, Skull Kid got all the blocks together, making a picture of the gargoyle's face.

"Hmm! Nice job! And not a bad picture if I do say so myself… thou may pass!" The door opened. They ran through and followed a long, twisting tunnel until they reached another fork. Link checked the map and directed everyone to the right. After another long tunnel, they reached another gargoyle gate. The gargoyle peered at them disdainfully.

"I AM GUARDIAN OF THIS GATE. I know whom you all are. To pass this gate, thou must pass a physical challenge." Rocks fell onto all of their heads. In Tael and Tatl's case, they were pebbles.

"Why the hell did you drop rocks on our heads?!?" shouted Link angrily.

The gargoyle smiled. "That was the test. You all passed! You may enter."

This room looked the same, as the last one except there was no blocks. The gargoyle at the end of the room said, "If thou wish to pass this gate, you must defeat this beast." A monster jumped down from the ceiling. It looked a Dinolfos, except it had no armor, was covered in tough scales, had a club instead of a sword, and wings. The statue laughed. "Let's see you defeat this Dragolfos! Prepare to die!" The Dragolfos flew into the air, breathing fire. Link pulled out his bow and shot it with a single arrow, killing it. "What?!? How did you defeat my Dragolfos so easily?!? OH, well…you may pass." The door opened. After patting Link on the back, the party went through the door down another long winding tunnel. At the fork, Link led the party down the central fork, followed by a left, a right, a central, a left, another left, a right, another right, and five central forks in a row before reaching what the map said was the final gargoyle gate.

The gargoyle grinned evilly at them. "I probably don't need to go through all that guardian crap again. If thou wish to pass this gate, thou must pass a teat of spirit." Rocks fell from the ceiling, hitting them on the heads.

Link was very angry. "Why do you keep dropping rocks on our heads!?!?!?!?"

The gargoyle frowned. "You have terrible spirit. You should be more like her. She has great spirit."

The gargoyle was referring to Tatl, who was flying around dazedly and mumbling "Mommy, I don't want to go to school today…"

Tael flew into the gargoyle's face, jingling angrily. "You knocked her silly, you creep!"

The gargoyle smiled. "There is innocence in concussions. You may pass, but only one at a time."

"Why?" asked Skull Kid.

"The room behind me is the chamber of Nightmares. To pass successfully, thou must confront and defeat you're worst fears. The fairies should go together, since they have the same worst fear. Oh, by the way, I should mention that the nightmares are quite real and will kill you if you are not strong enough. Enter!" The door opened. Tatl, who had recovered, nervously flew through the door, Tael coming after. The door closed behind them.

Tael and Tatl nervously looked around. They were in the forest, in a very familiar grove. It was the grove that had used to be their home. They both knew what was going to happen. They heard their mother, calling them for dinner. Knowing they had to get this over with, the fairies flew towards their old tree house. They watched, helplessly, as the fairy eater prepared to devour their mother. She screamed, "Tael! Tatl! Fly away!" The twins didn't plan on it. Even if this was only a figment of their imagination, they still had to save her. They flew up towards the fairy eater, jingling furiously, charging up to shock the monster. The tongue was shock-resistant, but its eyes weren't. Before the fairy eater could react, they flew in close, zapping its eyes. Surprised, it let go of their mother. The fairy watched, surprised, as Tael and Tatl zipped around the monster, shocking it. They kept staying away from the mouth, so it couldn't hit either of them with its tongue. Finally, the monster had enough. It ran from the grove, yipping in terror. Tael and Tatl flew towards their mom. "I…how did you…"

Tael and Tatl looked at her sadly. "We love you Mom."

"Well, I love you too! But what does that have to do with any…" The dream ended. Tael and Tatl were in a nondescript room with a door at the far end. There was no gargoyle. Sad that they had lost their mother again, they flew through the door to wait.

Skull Kid walked through the door. He looked around. He was in a nondescript room, just like the last two. There was a barred door at the other end. The only thing of interest was a large mirror in the middle of the room. Curious, Skull Kid walked up to the mirror, wanting to see if his reflection was what he was scared of. He looked in the mirror and screamed. His reflection was his own, except for one thing. His reflection was wearing Majora's Mask. The mask-wearing reflection cackled, stepping out of the mirror. The Skull Kid (or rather, the Majora-possessed Skull Kid) floated a few feet into the air. It hovered around the room, laughing and hurling thunderbolts at Skull Kid. Skull Kid thought quickly. He had one weapon and one weapon only: a beautifully ornate dagger his mother, the Goddess of Time, had given him just before he was sent to Termina. It was sharp, and since the gods had made it, it would be able to destroy the demon. The problem was, he couldn't destroy the mask as long as his counterpart was wearing it. He needed a plan. While dodging the thunderbolts, he suddenly thought up a surefire plan. Racing at the fake mask-wearing Skull Kid, Skull Kid tackled him, knocking him to the floor. They wrestled on the ground, each trying to kill the other. Skull Kid couldn't reach the mask as long as his counterpart was trying to choke him, so he tried to think up another plan. As Majora's eyes started glowing, indicating he was about to use his heat vision, Skull Kid got an idea. He kneed his counterpart in the groin. The fake was stunned, rolling over in pain. Before he could recover, Skull Kid ripped the mask off the fake's face. The fake faded away. The mask tried to fly from Skull Kid's hands, Skull Kid wrestled it to the floor, flipping it so it couldn't blast him. As the mask started growing tentacles, Skull Kid pinned the mask to the ground with his foot, pulled his dagger from his boot, and stabbed the demon through the back. The mask screamed and combusted into flame. The mirror and the mask's ashes vanished. The door unbarred. Skull Kid walked through, ready to wait for Link with Tael and Tatl.

Link entered the room. It looked empty. Link took a step forward. Suddenly, four familiar children appeared. Four very familiar children. They were the illusionary children Link had seen back on the moon, Majora's demon servants given limited reanimation after their death at his hands. The four children/demons glared at Link. Then, they spoke in unison. "If you wish to discover your worst fear and defeat it, you must answer our questions. If you get them wrong, or lie, we'll know. You will have as much time as you want for each question. Let's begin."

They said nothing for several seconds, and then Odolwa asked his question, one Link had been asked back on the moon but never had the chance to answer. "Your friends…what kind of people are they?"

Link frowned. "What exactly do you mean?"

"I mean, are your friends good people? Bad people? Human? Nonhuman? Trustworthy?"

Link thought about that. Finally, he answered. "My friends are all kinds of people. They're Gorons, Deku Scrubs, Zoras, Kokiri, a few Gerudo, some Hylians, Kokiri, several fairies, and one imp. They are all my friends. They are trustworthy and loyal. They are good people."

"Do your friends think of you as a friend?"

"Yes." Odolwa nodded and said nothing. Goht stepped forward.

"What makes you happy?"

Link thought about that for several minutes. He wasn't sure how to respond. What made him happy? Back in the forest, Mido had prevented him from really having much fun. He was beaten up on a near-daily basis. Saria had been able to protect him most of the time, but she couldn't be everywhere. Link had been happy when Navi had came, because he thought he was a true Kokiri. He had been happy some of the time on his quests, when he helped people out…Wait! That was it! Link knew the answer. "I am happy when I make other people happy."

"Does what makes you happy make other people happy too?"

"Didn't you hear what I just said? If making other people makes me happy, of course it makes them happy!" Goht shrugged and stepped back. Gyorg came forward.

"Do you always try to do the right thing?"

"Yes."

"When you do the right thing, does it make everyone happy?"

"No." Gyorg nodded and stepped back. Twinmold came forward. Finally, the last question thought Link.

"Your face…which one is it?"

Link frowned. "I don't understand."

"What I mean is, is the face beneath the mask your true face?"

Link stared at the demon. "I still don't understand."

"Just say yes or no.'

"Yes?" Twinmold nodded and stepped back. The four demons vanished, and a new child appeared. Link expected it to be Majora. He was wrong. The child was himself. Link stared at the child, confused, before speaking. "You mean…my worst fear is myself?" The other Link nodded. "But…I don't understand."

The other Link grinned. "Let me explain it to you. You do not know who your parents are. You do not know if your name is the name you were born with or a name given to you by the Great Deku Tree. You do not know if Navi left you because she had to take care of something in the forest or because she was actually scared of you. You don't know whether or not you are really in control of yourself during a battle. You do not know whether you can truly control your anger, your strength. In truth, you do not know a thing about yourself, and that is why you are your own worst fear. But as to who I am…I am your dark side, given life by the magic of this chamber. We will battle to the death, and the winner will emerge from the chamber and may do whatever he wishes with his life. Are you ready to play?"

"No."

"Good! I know I am." Dark Link pulled out his sword and swung, nearly decapitating Link. Link pulled out his word as well, and prepared to battle Dark Link, just like he had in the Water Temple. But this time, he had no Din's Fire or Megaton Hammer. His arrows or hookshot wouldn't work because Dark Link could just block it. Link tried a jump attack. Dark Link blocked. They both circled each other, shields raised. Then, Dark Link cast away his shield. "Let's turn this up a notch, shall we?" Link kept his shield raised. Coward! Have you no honor to face your opponent without a shield? Throw it down!" Reluctantly, Link did so. At least this evil double had a sense of honor, sort of. Holding their swords with both hands, they circled once again. Then, Dark Link performed a jump attack! Link rolled out of the way, barely dodging the swing. Dark Link's sword knocked off his hat. Link was angry. That hat had been with him in all of his transformations! It was a prized possession! Before Dark Link could turn around, Link knocked off his hat as well. After that, it was a mighty battle of swords clashing together, neither opponent backing down, both letting loose their rage. Dark Link seemed to have no control over his anger, which gave him an edge. Link tried to control his anger, but finally gave up and went into a deadly rage. As the two fighters parried, they never struck a blow on each other's bodies, thought it came close. Finally, they ended up with they're swords crossed, right in front of each other. Neither could budge against the other's strength. They both glared at each other in rage. Link looked at his opponent, whose hair was mussed, his eyes filled with rage. And then Link saw his reflection in the Gilded Sword. He saw that he could not tell the difference between Dark Link and his reflection. At the moment, they both looked the same. Then Link realized how to win. He pulled his sword away, backflipping from Dark Link's cut. Link ran over to his hat, put it on, and sheathed his sword. Dark Link looked confused. "Aren't you going to finish the fight?"

"No, shadow. I will not finish the fight. I realized that if I did actually defeat you, I would become you. And I could not let that happen, because I knew you would probably kill my friends and wreck stuff. I realized that I don't have to fear myself anymore because I know that I care enough for my friends to not lose control of my anger. Thank you for showing me that, Dark Link." Dark Link smiled, and then vanished, the dream finished. Link walked over to the door and went through, leaving his nightmares behind for good. The others were waiting for him on the other side, happy to see him.

Skull slapped on the back. "Link! We were worried we had lost you for a minute there. But I guess nothing's strong enough to beat the Hero of Time, right?"

"Damn straight. How'd the rest of you do?

Tael shrugged. "It wasn't that hard."

"Speak for yourself, it came close to eating me!" grumbled Tatl. "Look, Link, we don't really want to talk about what we faced in there, and I'm sure you don't either. So let's leave this awful cavern."

Link smiled. "Right! Let's get moving. The exit is dead ahead." They walked down the tunnel for a few minutes until they reached a ladder. The ladder ended in an open hut, just like the cave entrance. They walked outside and found themselves on the other side of the river. "Are we ready to go?"

"Wait! What about Epona?" asked Tael.

"Oh yeah!" exclaimed Link, not believing he had forgotten about his horse. He pulled out the ocarina and played Epona's Song. They all heard a neigh as Epona ran towards them from downstream.

Skull Kid frowned. "Hey, wait a minute! Epona was on the other side of the river! How did she get across and over here so quickly?"

Link shrugged. "I think the song has some sort of special magic that allows Epona to get to whoever plays the song in less than a minute. I don't know how Malon did it when she made up the song, though, she just did. I'm not complaining." Skull Kid nodded his understanding. They got on the Epona. Checking the directions, they headed north. For five days they traveled, until they reached an obstacle. It was a huge wall of thorns, encircling a square mile of land. The wall was too thick to see through and too pointy to climb over. Besides, the thorns looked poisonous.

Skull Kid looked at it thoughtfully. "This wall is in a circle, which means that it must be protecting whatever is inside from the rest of the world. We can't climb over it. Link do you have any ideas?"

Link thought. "I know! I'll cut it down." He fiercely hacked at the thorns, trying to cut a way through. Unfortunately, the thorns just grew back. "Okay…how about a fire arrow?" He shot a fire arrow at the wall. The arrow burned, but the thorns didn't even smolder.

"They're fireproof." Said Tatl.

Link thought some more. "Okay…Tael! Tatl! Fly over the wall and see what's on the other side." The fairies flew towards the top of the wall, but just before they could reach it, they stopped. Link frowned. "What's wrong?"

Tael and Tatl struggled, but to no avail. "We can't go any higher, Link." Said Tael.

Skull Kid pondered some more. "It must be a force field of some kind, probably magical. You two should stop struggling, you won't be able to get through." They flew back down, disappointed. "This grove or clearing is obviously protected by great magic. As I see it, the only reason for it to be protected is if this place is the heart of the forest!"

The others looked at him. "You mean…this is Mesmoria?" asked Tael.

"More like the outer defenses. We must figure out a way to get in. Now let me think…I've got it! Link, several times in your adventures you were faced with an impenetrable obstacle or dead end. And what did you do to solve the predicament?"

"Um…I played a certain song?"

"Exactly! And what song do we know that pertains to Mesmoria?"

Link's eyes lit up. "Ohhhhh…Why didn't I think of that?"

Skull Kid shrugged. "Sometimes, you have to think outside of the box."

Tatl spoke up. "This is probably one of those situations where we need to find a specific place to play the song. Let's walk around the wall until we can find it." They walked around the wall. It was a fairly long walk, but eventually they found a part of the wall different than the others. Instead of thorns, it was made of sharp stakes, tightly tied together. A few feet out from the stakes there was a platform with a strange symbol on it.

"This looks like as good a place as any," said Link. "I'll play the song." Standing on the platform, facing the stakes, he played the Melody of Mesmoria. The stakes retracted into the ground, but a shimmering haze obscured whatever was behind the stakes. They walked into the haze. The stakes shot back up behind them. They gasped in surprise. And then the haze cleared, revealing what was enclosed in the barrier. They gasped again, but this time out of wonderment.

Chapter 3: The Heart of the Forest

It was a city. Now you're wondering, 'how can a city fit in a square mile of land?' It fits because it was a city of fairies. An entire city, with houses, shops, temples, skyscrapers, all built for use of fairies. Speaking of which, there were fairies, perhaps a million, maybe more, living in the city. The fairies were of all colors and shades, pink, blue, green, red, purple, yellow, gray, orange, brown, black, and all the colors in between. Link looked in vain for a single white fairy, but to no avail. The four looked in awe at the fine craftsmanship of the buildings and statues. Then they noticed that the nearest fairies were flying away from them, all except for the red fairies. They flew towards the party, glowing brightly and crackling with electricity. The lead fairy stopped in front of them, examining the group. Finally, the fairy (it was a she) spoke. "I am Captain Hoshi of Her Majesty's Guards. Who are you trespassers, what do you want, and how do you know the secret melody passed down by the Fairy Royal Family?" Link started to open his mouth to answer, but was cut off. "Silence, mammal! I was talking to the two wild ones." The captain turned to a very surprised Tael and Tatl, who were still trying to get over the fact that there was an entire city of fairies here. The captain waited for an answer, then asked, "What's wrong? Are you deaf?"

Tatl shook herself from her amazement, then said, "Oh, I'm sorry captain, it's just…we've never seen a city of fairies before."

Hoshi softened a little. "Hmm…well, you are from the outside, so you probably wouldn't know anything about this place except that old lullaby that tells wild fairies how to get here if they are clever enough to figure out the clues. So, I'll ask you again: who are you, what are you doing here, and how did you know the secret melody passed down by the Royal family?"

Tatl suddenly thought of something. "Hey, if the melody is a secret, then how come you know about it?"

"Everyone knows of the melody, but only the royal family knows the melody. It is obvious that you know the melody, otherwise you would not have been able to come through the gate. That melody is the only to open the door. Now, please answer my questions before I decide to just kick you all out."

Tael decided to answer. "I'm Tael, that's my sister Tatl, and those are our friends, Skull Kid and Link."

"A Kokiri and an imp? Strange…" Hoshi took another look at Link. "No, wait, you're not a Kokiri are you? Don't answer that, I can see you are a Hylian. I can see that you have not turned into an imp yourself. It must be because of your companions presence." She turned back to Tael and Tatl. "Now, how did you know the secret melody?"

Tatl answered. "Ask Link. He'll also be able to tell you why we're better than any of us."

Hoshi did so. "All right mammal, how did you know the secret melody?"

Link shrugged. "A Deku Scrub taught it to me."

"A Deku Scrub? How did he know it?"

"He said his great-grandfather knew it."

"Hmm…this will take looking into. What are you all doing here?"

Link cleared his throat. "Are you asking me?"

"Yes."

"We're looking for a friend of mine, a fairy."

"A wild fairy knows of this city?"

"No, all the wild fairies I ever met didn't know anything but the lullaby. My friend is a guardian fairy."

"Ah, you mean one of the outcast fairies bound to the Great Deku Tree and the Kokiri."

"I don't know what you mean by outcast, but yes. She told me she had important business to take care of here, and told me to come looking for her in Mesmoria if she wasn't back in a month. That was two months ago, approximately. I spent the last month just getting here."

"Your friend must have known the melody and the truth about this hidden city to come here. Do all the guardian fairies have this knowledge?"

"No. On the way here, I asked the fairy of one of my friends if he had ever heard of Mesmoria. He said he hadn't."

"Then how did your friend know? Did the Deku Tree tell her? And how did she become your guardian fairy if you're not even a Kokiri?"

"I-I don't know. She just did. When we first discovered I wasn't a Kokiri, she promised me that she would still be my fairy."

"Well, if she is here, we might be able to help you find her, as long as it means you'll leave and never reveal this city's location to anyone. What is her name and color?"

"My fairy is white. Her name is Navi."

At that, Captain Hoshi and the other soldiers almost fell from the sky in shock. "Did-did you say a white fairy named Navi?"

"Yeah, why?"

Hoshi, no longer so confident, stammered a bit, then, managed to say, "I-I-I-I-I apologize for my rudeness and inconvenience. I know exactly where to find your friend. If you will all please follow me, I will take you to her."

For the first time since before they had entered the city, Skull Kid spoke up. "Where exactly are you taking us?"

" You and your friends are too big to fit in any of the buildings. My troops and I will escort you to a place where you will be able to become our size so you may meet with…Navi. Please follow me." Hoshi and the guards flew away, leading the party towards an average sized platform. "You two big ones stand on the platform. You two wild ones stay away from it." Tael and Tatl flew away from the platform.

Link and Skull Kid waited on the platform for something to happen. Finally, a group of green fairies appeared. They spun around the two boys, spraying them with fairy dust. They flinched at the dust. They were both very surprised when everything started getting bigger. They were shrinking! They kept getting smaller and smaller until finally, they were the size of fairies. However, there was one last step. The backs of their shirts (or in Link's case, his tunic) ripped open as four gossamer-like wings sprouted from their backs, making them look like fairies, except they weren't balls of light. That changed a second later as their flesh vanished and was replaced with light. Skull Kid and Link panicked until they realized that they still had arms and legs, sort of. Link still had all of his stuff, just miniaturized. They marveled at each other. Skull Kid had become a brownish-red fairy, while Link had become a green one. "Whoa," said Link.

"You said it," said Skull Kid. They discovered they could fly, and quickly rejoined Tael Tatl, and the guards.

Tael, Tatl, and even Captain Hoshi marveled at the transformation. "You know, you're not so bad looking now that you're one of us."

Link groaned. "Just what I need, another female from a different species trying to marry me." Everyone chuckled at that.

"I don't think I want to know what you're talking about," said Captain Hoshi. "Now, as I said, I will escort you to Navi." The captain and the other guards led the party down the streets of the city, past buildings, statues, and gardens. The captain seemed to be in a hurry so there was no time for sightseeing. They were heading for the center of the city, a huge building thirty feet tall. There were many openings on the side, with fairies flying to or from the structure. The group covered the distance in only a few minutes. The captain ordered the troops to wait outside. Hoshi led the party in through the main entrance, a large archway of marble. Next came a beautiful hallway, and then they entered the real wonder. The building was mostly hollow. A huge central shaft went from the ceiling to the floor of the building. There were corridors leading off to different chambers and sections of the building for each level. The ceiling was a magnificent painting that none of them could quite understand, but it did look magnificent. Fairies were flying throughout the building, going from door to door across the room. The captain led the party to a thirteenth floor corridor. She stopped just outside of the corridor. "Your friend is in here. However, I may not enter." She turned to Link. "You should probably go in alone. The guards will let you through if you give the correct password."

"What is the password?'

"Tinkerbell."

"What?"

"Tinkerbell." The other three were trying hard not to laugh. Hoshi glared at them and flew away.

Link started for the corridor, then paused. Maybe you guys should come with me."

Skull Kid chuckled. "No way, man. This is it. The end of your quest. Just get in, find Navi, and get her out. We'll have plenty of time to socialize with her, on the way back to the forest."

"Speaking of which, would you guys like to live in the forest?" The trio looked at him in surprise.

"You're-you're opening you home to us?" asked Tael.

"Yeah, I've got room in my tree house. And if not, I'm sure we can make a new one for you."

Tatl sniffed. "Nobody's ever done something like this for us before."

"We'll consider it," Said Skull Kid. "But for right now, go get your friend. We'll wait out here."

"You can do it, Link," said Tatl. "Go get her!"

With the support of his friends behind him, Link flew into the corridor. At the end were two red fairies guarding a door. Link wondered if Navi was a prisoner. He flew up to the guards. The guards stood at attention. "Halt! Who goes there?"

"I'm here to see Navi."

"What's the password?"

"Tinkerbell."

"You may pass."

Link flew towards the door and opened it. He wasn't sure how, since he had no real limbs, but he had done it. He entered the chamber. For a possible prison cell, it was quite lavish. There were portraits of fairies on the walls, a large soft bed, a closed window to the outside, and a door to the bathroom. Link was focusing less on the room and more on the fairy sitting on the bed. "Navi!"

Navi looked up. "Who are you?" Link realized she didn't recognize him as a fairy.

"It's me, Link."

Navi got off the bed and looked at him. "But you can't be Link, you're a fairy! You'll have to prove your identity to me before I will believe you. To do this, you must correctly answer my three questions. Are you ready?"

"Um, yeah."

"What is my middle name?"

"You never told me your middle name!"

"Second question. What is the name of Saria's fairy?'

"Um…Patch!"

"Third and final question. What is the middle name of your Sworn Brother?"

"Pebbles."

Navi flew into Link and gave him a big fairy hug. "It is you! I missed you, Link!"

"I missed you too, Navi. Come on, let's get you out of here." Navi broke from their embrace.

"I'm sorry Link, but I can't come with you."

"What? Why not?"

"I have a job to do here. It's really important. I don't think I'll ever be able to leave."

"But Navi, I spent an entire month searching for you when the deadline passed! I went through unbelievable trials and danger just to get here! You have to come back! What am I supposed to tell the rest of the party?"

"Party?"

"I brought a few friends along to help me find you."

"Really? Well, I am impressed that you managed to make it here. I suppose you are wondering why I can't leave, or exactly what this place is, am I correct?"

"Yes. I want to know what exactly this city is for, how you knew what it is since you're only a guardian fairy and not a wild one. And I do want to know why you can't leave. You told me to come find you."

"That was before I knew why I had been called here. I will explain it all to you and your friends, but we must do it somewhere more private. Go back to your friends and go to the top floor and enter the room through the corridor marked with a golden sun, a silver moon, and a copper star on it. I'll take a shortcut to meet you there."

Link left the room and flew back to the trio. "Well, where is she?" asked Tatl.

Link paused, unsure what to tell them. Finally, he said, "She wants us to meet her on the top floor."

Skull frowned, sort of. "Why? Isn't she coming back with us?"

Link winced. "Look, let's just get to the top floor, okay? She promised she would explain everything to us there. Let's go." The trio shrugged and followed him to the top floor. Tael found the appropriate corridor. They flew down the corridor to the door at the end. They went in, and were amazed once again. The room was incredible. It reminded Link of the Astral Observatory, because, in a way, it was an observatory. It had technicolor floor tiles, and a wide platform with a huge telescope mechanism pointing at the ceiling. The ceiling was the most astounding part. It looked like the night sky, depicting the stars. Except that it was the stars, not just paint on a ceiling. The ceiling was enchanted to show the night sky, allowing stargazers to see the heavens without having to leave the building. Navi was waiting for them.

She spoke up. "So Link, aren't you going to introduce me to your friends?"

Link nodded. "This is Tael, Tatl, and Skull Kid." I met them while looking for you."

"I would love to hear about all that, but not right now. I suppose you want to know the truth about Mesmoria, and myself."

"Whatever," said Skull Kid.

Navi began. "Millions of years ago, when the forest was created by Farore, the fairy people were sent here to rule and maintain the forest. The fairies erected the city of Mesmoria, and ruled from there. The fairies created the Kokiri as well, and designed them to serve the Deku Tree, the sentient offspring of the Forest Cathedral. Since they were basically unruly children, playing pranks and being a little too much for the tree, some fairies volunteered to leave the city and help educate and take care of the children so they would be less of a problem for the Tree. After a few decades, this plan succeeded and the volunteers became known as guardian fairies. However, not all the fairies were completely satisfied that the Kokiri were reserved for the care and use of the Deku Tree. Some fairies thought that the Kokiri should be put to use as beasts of burden for advancement of the city. This caused a disagreement between many of the fairies. The guardian fairies thought their charges should be left in their current symbiotic state with the Tree. Others thought the Kokiri should serve the fairies, and not the other way around. Many fairies were neutral, not sure which side to choose. The argument went on for a century, until it caused a violent struggle between the two sides. When it ended many fairies and Kokiri were dead. The forest was ravaged by the battle, for both sides had used powerful magic. The Queen of the Fairies was furious with the result and banished both sides from the city forever. The fairies that had wanted the Kokiri enslaved became the wild fairies. The guardian fairies are still guardian fairies. Before banishment, the Queen erased their memories of the city, leaving them nothing but a faint recalling of the heart of the forest, and the way to the city, and even then only the wild fairies knew that. The city was rebuilt, with a new, protective wall to keep out monsters. Only someone who knows the song of the royal family can open the wall, but you already know that. Life continued in the forest. That is the origin of this city. Now you are probably wondering why I am here and how I knew the royal melody if I'm only a guardian fairy."

"Yes, we were wondering." Said Tael.

"As to that, the answer is quite simple. I'm not a guardian fairy. I am actually one of the fairies of this city. What's more, I am the daughter of Spryte, Queen of the Fairies."

Everyone stared at her. Finally, Tatl spoke up. "You're what!?!?!??!?!?"

"I am the crown princess of the fairy kingdom."

Link was confused. "But-but –but then what were you doing with the Deku Tree?"

"I ran away from home. I couldn't take the pressure of royalty, of being the next in line in case something happened to my mother. So a hundred years ago, I wrote a note to my mother explaining why I had run away. I wandered through the woods until I got to the Kokiri Village. The Deku Tree hired me as an errand fairy. I've been there until a few months ago, when we first met."

Skull Kid had a question. "Why did you come back?"

Navi didn't look too happy. "It's my mother. She's not well. The doctors don't know what kind of disease it is but they've tried everything to heal her and could not. I fear she may die." Tael and Tatl instantly had sympathy for her, since they too, had lost their mother. "I knew to come here because my mother used the Fairy's Call, a spell that summons that can summon specific fairies to wherever the spell is used. If she dies, I will have to take over as Queen of the Fairies. And I don't think she's going to live."

Link was desperate. "Isn't there anyone who can take your place?"

Navi shook sadly. "The only person fit to do it would be my younger brother, Vari. But I can't abdicate the throne to him."

"Why not? Don't you trust him?" asked Link.

"It isn't a matter of trust," said Skull Kid. "It's a matter of responsibility. She ran away from her responsibility as heir to the throne once. In a way, she already did abdicate the throne. She's obviously felt guilty for it ever since. She thinks that if she had never left, her mother would not be sick, even though the two events are not related. She feels she has to live up to her duties now and do what her mother would have wanted her to do."

"But Navi, I couldn't have defeated Ganondorf and his minions without you! The Deku Tree himself assigned you to me as my permanent fairy partner! Do you want to go against his last wish?"

Navi laughed bitterly. "The Deku Tree's rules only apply to the guardian fairies, of which I am not. His last wishes have no binding on me. And I'm sure that he would have found another fairy to attach you to, Link. Someone else to be your permanent partner. My mother is more important to me than a talking tree."

"Does that mean your mother is more important than our friendship?" Link shot back.

Navi gasped. Skull Kid slapped Link. "Link, that was completely uncalled for!"

"What do you mean?"

"You have never had a real family Link. You are the only one among us who has never known their mother. If you had ever met your own mother, then you would understand. Family must always come before friends. It is the way of things."

Link was angry. He thought Skull Kid was his friend. "You're one to talk, Skull Kid. Have you ever met your mother?"

"Actually, yes. She was the first thing I saw when I was created. And even though I only saw her for a few moments, the way she talked to me, the gift she gave to me, broadcast her feelings of love and maternal pride to me. I understand how Navi feels because the same thing happened to me, in a way. When I went berserk, I was going against the purpose my mother had made me to do. I was abdicating my position, running away from my job, just like Navi did. I have yet to truly make up for that mistake, but I sure as hell am trying. In fact, that is the real reason why I came along on this quest. I came to redeem myself. And I think I'm doing a good job, too. I may be departed forever from my original purpose, but I am no longer sure it really was my true purpose. I have yet to discover my reason for being, but I know I will someday. Until then, I'm just going to have to try to redeem myself by any means possible." Link wasn't sure how to respond to this. Skull Kid had made a good argument and was right. He had been out of line.

"Um, what are you two talking about?" asked Navi.

Link sighed. "Navi, I'm sorry for what I said. I was wrong. Since I have never known my mother, I should not judge you for choosing your mother over your friend. I'm just upset because I really miss you. I went through unbelievable things to get here, and I was a bit miffed that I came all this way for nothing. Can you forgive me?"

Navi seemed relieved. "Of course I forgive you, Link. It might not be as bad as all that. My mother might get better. You all can stay here if you want."

"Great! I mean, I'm sure I have to leave at some point, but I wouldn't mind staying a while."

Skull Kid knew that he should leave Navi and Link alone. "Uh, I think we'll just leave you two alone…"

"Skull Kid, would you and your friends like a tour of the city?" asked Navi.

"Would I!" said Tael eagerly.

"Good. I'll get my brother to take you. Wait by the main entrance for him. He's a black fairy. You can't miss him. I would like to catch up with Link, so you three go and have fun on the tour, okay?"

Link grinned, sort of. "I'll catch up with you guys later, okay?"

The trio left the observatory and headed down to the main entrance. After ten minutes, a black fairy flew down from a higher floor. Flying over to them, he asked, "Are you Tael, Tatl, and Skull Kid?"

"That's us!" said Tatl eagerly.

The black fairy sniffed. "I am Vari, High Vizier to the throne and second- in-line for the crown. My exalted sister wants me to take you on a tour of the city. Harumph. Let's get this over with. Follow me, please." He headed for the exit. The trio followed him. He paused and turned to Skull Kid. "You know, I don't believe I have ever seen a fairy that shade of color before. How interesting."

Skull Kid saw an advantage to get on his good side. "Well, I have never seen a fairy as black as you, your highness. I would say you look rather handsome."

Vari seemed to like that. "Ooh, a compliment! Thank you very much, young one. I will have to note this in my journals."

"Eh?" said Tael.

"My journals. I write everything I do down in my journals. I want future generations of fairies to know everything about the real me long after I am gone to make up for the missed privilege to meet me in person. Come along now." He took off, leading the way. Tatl, obviously smitten, flew right behind him. Tael and Skull Kid followed close behind, but not too close.

Tael didn't seem too happy. "She can't fall in love with this guy! He's not good enough for her! What would mom think?"

Skull Kid shrugged. "I don't think you have anything to worry about."

"You mean I'm just overreacting to Tatl's obvious crush on this guy out of brotherly worry for her?"

"No, I mean she'll eventually get sick of him talking about himself. He's a jerk."

"Why do you say that?"

"I've had about a thousand year's experience. He's just like all those rich people I stole from back in Termina. He is a pompous, overconfident, big headed noble."

"Like I said, why do you say that?"

"It's his posture, Tael. Even as a ball of light, his posture is still identifiable. It's in the way he flies, how he moves his wings when not flying. It's also mostly in his voice. He has that haughty tone to it, and you saw how much he liked me when I gave him that 'compliment'. And he said himself that he writes everything he does in a journal so future generations will have the pleasure of knowing who he was. He is your average snob. We'd better keep a close eye on him, I have a bad feeling about him and my instincts have never been wrong before."

"What about that time when you said you could sense treasure in one of the pits in Termina Field and found a Peahat instead?"

"I had a cold! It was right after that night you and Tatl saved my life. Besides, there was a rupee in the pit."

"It was a green rupee."

"Any rupee, no matter how small, is treasure. My instincts are always correct, even when it seems like they're wrong."

"I guess you're right. Your instincts did keep me from getting eaten by a concealed Deku Baba that one time."

"That wasn't instincts, I could smell its bad breath." They both shut up afterwards and enjoyed the tour.

The group returned at five-o-clock. Link was waiting for them at the entrance. Vari turned to the trio. "Well, I must go write down this morning events. Ta-ta." He flew off towards his bedroom. As Link asked them how the tour was, Skull Kid carefully watched as Vari headed to a corridor on the twenty-fifth floor, with an image of a black rose over it. He marked that location mentally. He then heard Link asking something.

"Skull Kid? Skull Kid? I said, how did you like the tour?"

"Hmm? Oh, it was great. How was your session with Navi?"

"I told her how the four of us managed to get here. I didn't tell her your life story, but I did mention Farore being your sister, and promised I would tell her how I met you three at dinner tonight. Dinner is at seven, so I want to hear all about the city while we wait!"

Skull Kid had something important he had to ask Link for help on. "Link, I have a feeling that the queen's sickness may not be an accident. I want to perform a little investigation, but I'll need the Stone Mask."

Link frowned. "I don't know, Skull Kid. Why should I?"

Skull Kid was astonished. "Don't you remember what Farore told you? Navi is in grave danger. You hurried us here so we could save her before it was too late. I would think you, of all people, would agree to this. I'm not going to steal anything, honest. I'm just going to use it to get past guards and stuff. Don't you trust me."

Link hesitated. "Oh, just give him the stupid mask already!" yelled Tatl. "I want to tell you about the tour! And about Vari!" Tael sighed. Link shrugged and handed over the Stone Mask. Skull Kid took it and flew off. Link listened to Tael and Tatl's vivid description of the tour of the city, though Tatl kept getting sidetracked talking about Vari. Eventually, they had to stop and get ready for dinner. Skull Kid hadn't returned from his "investigation". Link decided not to tell Navi about that. Finally, it was time for dinner. Link joined Tael, Tatl, Vari, and Navi at the banquet hall. Link was glad the fairies didn't use silverware, because he couldn't tell the difference between a fork and a spoon. He was all set to tell his tale of Termina and Majora when Vari stood up.

"Is it true that your friend here wishes to tell us a story?" he asked. Navi nodded. "Well, I do not wish to ruin the moment for our young lad here, but I propose we have a toast in honor of our guests. Do you agree?"

Navi shrugged. "No problem."

Vari nodded. "Then we will have a toast!" He turned to Link. "By the way, where is that charming friend of yours, what's his name? Oh, yes, Stalboy or something?'

"Skull Kid," responded Link. "He said he needed to take care of some…business before dinner."

"Ah," said Vari, looking a bit disappointed. "In any case, let us have a toast of nectar to our esteemed guests!" They all raised their glasses of nectar (Link was still having trouble figuring out how they were doing this even though they had no arms, and how we was reading expressions on faces that weren't there) and prepared to drink.

Just then, Skull Kid burst into the room. He shouted, "Don't drink the nectar! It's poison!" They all stared at him, surprised.

Vari scowled. "What are you talking about? Guards, seize him!"

"No!" shouted Navi. "Skull Kid, what do you mean the drinks are poisoned?"

"You heard me right. All but one of the nectar glasses in this room has been poisoned. And I have proof, too!"

Vari frowned again. "Really? How did you obtain this 'proof'?"

Skull Kid grinned. "Sit down and I'll tell you all about it. It all started at five-o-clock after the tour. I had suspicions on the cause of the queen's ailment and I intended to prove my suspicions. I knew to follow my instincts, but my instincts were being a bit more subtle than usual. I decided to find the queen and observe her condition. Finding her chamber was easy, since it had the most guards. With the help of a little mask Link gave me, I easily snuck past the guards and entered the royal bedchambers. The queen was there, lying on the bed. I didn't know a thing about fairy physiology, but it was obvious that she wasn't feeling well. She appeared to be in a semi-coma. Even with my mask on, she could somehow sense I was there. I had a theory that she was poisoned, not diseased, but I couldn't see any points to distinguish her condition from illness or poison, until I noticed her wings. Instead of being clear, they had brick red and forest green splotches on them! Now this might not sound remarkable, but I've lived on the gutter for a long time. I've seen people die from many diseases, some of which caused colored splotches to appear on a victim's skin. However, I had been to the black market many times and had learned of several forms of poison. One in particular called Nightshade. Nightshade is a favorite of assassins because it is easy to mistake for a disease. When fed to a victim undiluted, the victim dies almost immediately. However, when mixed with water, it will kill the victim over a slow period of three months. In the first month, the victim will show the symptoms of the flu. In the second month, the victim will be in a semi-coma, unable to move or speak. The third month is a complete coma. If the victim is not cured before the end of the second month, the victim cannot be saved. It will cause brick red and forest green splotches to appear on the victim's body, making it appear to be an illness that is causing the victim pain. Doctors will keep trying to use medicine and failing because they should be trying an antidote instead. I now had proof that someone was beyond the queen's incapacitation, and I knew I could get the antidote easily, but I needed to find out who had done it."

"How did you find out?" asked Link.

"I trusted my instincts. My instincts told me that Vari was the culprit."

"What!?!" shrieked Tatl and Navi.

"Preposterous!" boomed Vari.

Skull Kid grinned. "Actually, it's not that preposterous. I easily sneaked into Vari's room and found the evidence I needed." He placed a very large journal in front of Navi. "Earlier today, Vari said that he writes everything he does in his journals. I knew he would include information on his scheme, because he said he wanted future generations to know how he really was. If you look on page 10529, second entry, you will see when he poisoned your mother and why."

Navi checked. She was astonished. "He's right! It says right here how and when my mother was poisoned! It also says he did it so he could take over the throne in her absence, since I was gone."

Skull Kid nodded. "But you came back, so that changed his plans slightly. He planned to poison you soon after you had arrived. But he decided to wait until after the Queen was at stage three of the poison to kill you. But then Link, Tael, Tatl, and myself showed up, messing up his plans again. He decided to just forget it and kill us all at dinner. He lined the rims of your glasses with nightshade so the nectar wouldn't dilute it. For the proof that the glasses are poisoned, check page 20000, top and only entry. It details all of the facts I've just explained to you."

Navi flipped to the appropriate page. She read it for a moment, then shook her head in disgust. "I-I can't believe this…my own brother! Guards, seize him!"

The guards grabbed Vari. He glared at Skull Kid, then laughed. "Ha-ha! You may have caught me, but one thing I neglected to mention in my journal is that the end of the second phase of the poisoning ended just minutes ago! Mother is doomed, and Navi will be trapped in a position she doesn't want as Queen of the Fairies! I still win!"

Skull Kid laughed back. "Ha-ha! But what you didn't know is that I got the antidote to the queen half an hour ago and spent most of the time catching her up on what is going on! In fact, she's been right outside this room, listening to this dialogue! Isn't that right, your Majesty?" The last was directed to a fairy outside the room. The fairy entered. She looked just like Navi, but a little larger, and her wings were multicolored instead of clear. Link, Tael, and Tatl got the feeling they should be bowing. They did.

Vari and Navi gasped. "M-mother?" stuttered Vari.

Queen Spryte glared coldly at her son. "Vari, I am very disappointed in you. You were always a clever boy, though a bit vain. I am sad to say that I must sentence you to life imprisonment."

Vari was confused. "But I'm a fairy! An immortal! My life can't end of old age. That would mean you were sentencing me to an eternity in prison."

Spryte nodded. "Exactly. Good bye, Vari. I wish you had turned out better." The guards dragged Vari away. The queen turned to Link, Tael, and Tatl. "You three can get up now. Enough bowing. I'm not that formal. I want to talk. Let's sit down and eat, shall we?" They all sat down to dinner. Servants replaced the poisoned glasses and got new food, just in case the dishes had been poisoned as well.

Spryte turned to Link. "Are you Link?"

"Yes, your majesty."

"Don't call me that, call me by my name."

"Yes, Spryte. I am Link."

"Navi told me of you during the first stage of the poison. She told me how you two traveled through time, saved the world from Ganondorf. She was very sad to have left you."

"I know."

"I felt guilty for breaking up your partnership. I told her to go back to you, but she insisted on staying until I got better."

Navi's light dimmed a bit, blushing. "Mom…"

Spryte continued. "I want to hear how you managed to get to this city, how you met these brave companions of yours, what adventures you met on the way. I would love to know where you picked up this charming imp." She said, indicating Skull Kid. He floated a little with pride.

Link shrugged. "I would love to tell the story, but I think Tael and Tatl should tell they're part first."

And so it began. Tael and Tatl spent their first night telling how they had lost their family and met Skull Kid in termina. Spryte was fascinated by the life fairies outside of the city and that there was a gateway to an alternate universe right in the forest. For a week after that, at mealtimes, Link amazed them all (except for Tatl) with the story of how he had save Termina from Majora. For a few days after that, Skull Kid entertained them by once again telling the dark story of his past and the origins of Majora. They wrapped everything up by telling about the long journey to Mesmoria. When all the stories were done, the party had been in Mesmoria for two weeks. Link knew that it was about time they left. But he knew that Navi would be staying. He knew it would be too much trouble to make another long journey out here, so he would probably never see Navi again. He was surprised when the Queen had an announcement to make after dinner on the day the stories were finished.

"I have made my decision on who is to be my next heir."

They looked at her confused. "But, mother, I thought I was the heir?" asked Navi.

"Navi, I have decided to release you from your obligation. You may resume your partnership with Link and leave the city with him when it is time."

Navi looked at her mother. "You mean I'm free?"

"Yes."

"I love you mom."

Spryte continued. "As to who will become the heir to my throne, I have chosen…Tatl."

"WHAT?" asked Tatl.

From the stories I have heard from your friends and your brother, you are a worthy candidate. If you agree, Tael and yourself will become members of the Royal family."

"Of course she'll agree! Won't you Tatl?' asked Tael.

"Of course I'll do it! I accept."

Skull Kid and Link applauded. Skull Kid looked a bit disappointed. Since he was leaving with Link, he would lose his best friends, repeating the incident with the giants. Link felt sorry for Skull Kid. He knew that there was no worry of another berserk rage, but Skull Kid wouldn't feel at home in Kokiri Village or in the Woods without his friends. Then Spryte surprised them once again. "Skull Kid, I would like to make you the same offer I made your friends. Would you like to join the family as well?"

Skull Kid looked at her in amazement. "You're…you're offering me a home?"

"Yes. But if you don't want to stay…"

"Of course I'll stay! I accept your offer!"

Spryte smiled, sort of. "It's settled then. Navi, you and Link will leave tomorrow. We will get a good night's rest and see you off in the morning. I wish you luck."

"I want to thank you for allowing Navi and I to rejoin." Said Link.

Spryte chuckled. "It was nothing, dear. I just want my little girl to be happy."

Navi was happy. "Thank you, mom."

"Your welcome dear."

The next morning, they were all set. Link was waiting on the platform to be changed back to human. Navi, Tael, Tatl, Spryte, and Skull Kid (still a fairy, otherwise he wouldn't really be able to live in the palace) watched. The green fairies showed up and cast their magic, changing back to normal. Link stepped off the platform. Navi flew into his hat, just like old times. As he headed towards the front gate, he said his good-byes to all his friends. Just as he was about to play the Melody of Mesmoria, Skull Kid flew up. "Link, wait!"

Link turned around. "What is it?"

"I just wanted to say…thank you. Thank you for everything. You've given me an adventure, friends, a home, a family, and my life. I don't know if I'll ever be able to repay you, but I just want you to know that I am your imp. If you ever need anything from me, I'll do it. I just wanted you to know that."

Link was touched. "You care that much Skull Kid?"

"Of course I do. Now, if you don't mind, I have to get on home. My new mom is calling me. Good bye, Link." He flew away.

"Good bye, Skull Kid," whispered Link. "I'll never forget you." He played the Melody of Mesmoria and left the city.

Navi flew out of his hat. "Don't worry, Link. I'm sure you'll see him again."

"Yeah, you're probably right. Hey, how are we going to get back? I don't think I should call Epona again, and I don't want to walk the entire way back."

Navi sighed. "Have you forgotten a certain green melody taught to you a while ago?"

Link thought for a second, before remembering. "The Minuet of Forest of course! I never would have remembered that on my own. It's great to have you back, Navi."

"It's great to be back, Link."

Link pulled out the ocarina and played the Minuet of Forest. He and Navi disappeared in a shower of green sparks, leaving no sign that anyone had ever been to this part of the forest.

Epilogue

Navi and Link reappeared in the Sacred Forest Meadow. Saria, who had been playing Saria's Song on her Ocarina, screamed and fell over at the sudden rematerialization of the two. Her fairy, Patch, flew up in alarm. She quickly recovered. "Link! You're back! And you have Navi! How did you two appear like that?"

Link shrugged. "Magic. I'll tell you about it later. I've lost track of time. Exactly how long have I been away on my quest?"

"You've been gone for seven weeks. What did you find out in the Woods? And what happened to that nice Skull Kid and his fairies?"

"I'll tell you everything later. Right now, I have some very important things I have to do now that I'm back." With that, he raced off for the shortcut to Zora's River.

"Good luck!" Saria called after him. "I'm glad he's back." She said to Patch.

"So am I," he said. "So am I."

Link quickly found his way to the pool that went to Zora's River. He put on his Zora Mask, transforming. Navi was quite surprised by the change, even though she had heard his story. Link dived into the pool and swam to the river. He got out of the pool, took off the mask, and headed over to the waterfall. Navi stopped him. "Wait!"

"What is it?" asked Link.

"I want to know two things. One, what are we doing here? Two, why did you take the mask off? It would have been really cool if you talked to the Zoras while wearing it!"

"We're here because now that you're back, we can do something I've been wanting to do for a long time."

"What?"

"Break off my engagement with Ruto."

"Why do you need me?"

"You're a girl. She's a girl. I want you to whisper to me the right things to say so she won't feel so bad about it. I took off the mask because if she knew I could turn into a Zora at will, even an adult one, it might encourage her to tie me up until I'm seventeen so the transformation to the Zora will match my human age."

"Do you have the Zora's Sapphire so you can legitimately break off the engagement?"

"Check and double-check. I made sure it was in my pack every night before I went to sleep."

"Then let's go," said Navi, flying into the waterfall. Link jumped after her. They worked their way through Zora's Domain until they reached King Zora's throne.

The King was asleep. Link wasn't sure whether to wake him up or not. Then he thought some more about why he came, strengthening his resolve. "Your majesty!" he called. Nothing. He tried again. "Your majesty!" Still nothing. He inhaled deeply, then yelled, "Your majesty!" at the top of his lungs. King Zora drooled, still asleep. Link groaned.

"What do we do?" asked Navi.

Link suddenly had an idea. He pulled out the ocarina and played the Sonata of Awakening. King Zora immediately woke up. "Hunh? Wha? What's going on? Oh, it's you, Link. What are you doing here? You know you'll be in big trouble if Ruto finds you here. Her love for you seems to have triggered a mental breakdown, driving her insane. Her insanity is getting worse the longer she loves you. You should go, now!"

Link sighed. "Your majesty, I can't run away. If I run away now, I'll never work up the courage to come here again. I am here to end the madness once and for all. I'm breaking off the engagement."

King Zora stared at him a moment before sighing. "What a relief! My wife will be very happy to hear this, and so will all the other Zoras. But do you really think you can do it? My daughter is quite a handful."

"I think I can do it. Where is she? Is she in her room? At Lake Hylia? In the river? Down in the domain?"

"No, she is feeding Lord Jabu-Jabu. She'll be back any minute. Do you wish to confront her out there?" Link nodded. "Then go, now." Link started to go through the gate to Zora's Fountain, but King Zora stopped him again. "Err, by the way, you wouldn't happen to have a weapon on you, would you?"

"I have quite a few."

"Good, because you might need them. She's been in a bad mood because she hasn't seen you for over two months."

Link gulped. Ruto in a bad mood is not a good thing to encounter. He walked into the fountain. Just outside the tunnel, Link conspired with Navi. "Okay, here's the plan. You hide in my hat and whisper things for me to say to her that won't cause her too much agony from breaking up. Think you can do it?" Navi nodded. "Good, let's begin."

Link walked towards Jabu-Jabu's feeding platform. Link was glad to see the whale-god was good and healthy. Ruto was feeding him fish. "Okay, Great God, here's your last meal for today! Open wide!" The deity did so. She tossed in a bucket of fish. The whale ate them. Link cleared his throat.

"Ahem, Ruto?"

Ruto immediately turned around. "Linky-poo! I'm so glad to see you! I've been so lonely, with no one to talk to but the Great Jabu-Jabu, and I can't understand a word he says!" The fish-princess ran towards Link with open arms. Link quickly pulled out his shield. Ruto paused to take a look at her reflection in the shield's mirror. "Icky! What an ugly face! Is that my reflection?"

Now that Ruto had calmed down, Link was ready to begin. He listened for Navi's instructions, then said, "Ruto, we need to talk about our engagement."

"Whatever about our engagement, my beloved fiancé?"

"I want to break off our engagement."

"WHAT?!??!?!??!"

"Ruto, I'm sorry, but I don't think…"

"Don't you love me???"

Link listened for more instructions, then said, "It isn't about love, Ruto. It's about species."

"You mean you won't marry me because I'm a Zora? What a racist!'

"Nononononono! It's not that I'm a racist! It's that we're of the wrong species! It would never work!"

"Why not?"

"Because…what? YOU'RE SERIOUS?"

"What?"

"Um, it would never work because the very attempt for a Zora to try to generate eggs with a human would result in the human's death!" said Link, astonished that this was true.

Ruto seemed surprised as well. "You're serious?" Link nodded. Ruto sobbed. "Then it's no wonder you stay away from me! It's so you won't get hurt by the woman you love!"

"What? No, you're misinterpreting! I'm trying to say that…"

"You're trying to say that I have to stay as far away from you as possible so I won't kill you! I quite agree!" Sobbing, she grabbed a spare fish and threw it in front of Jabu-Jabu. The god opened his mouth to eat it. Ruto jumped after it.

"Nooooooooooo! Ruto, wait!" It was too late. She was gone. "Navi, what did we do wrong? We've driven her to suicide! I have to save her!"

"Link, don't! If you go in and rescue her, her love will grow even stronger, making her even more insane! Then again, if you don't rescue her, King Zora will hate you and ban you from the domain forever. Wait! There's a third option! Use your mask!"

Link realized Navi was right. If he saved Ruto while under the guise of a human, she might go crazy enough out of love to try reproducing with him right there, killing him. But if he saved her as a Zora, she would never know the difference. He might also be able to talk her out of her love, restoring her sanity. He slapped on the Zora Mask, transforming. Jabu- Jabu's eyes widened in surprise. Link walked up to the whale. He didn't want to get sucked in like he had the first time, so he decided to try something different. "Lord Jabu-Jabu, guardian of Zora's Domain, protector of the sacred waters of Zora's Fountain, great deity of the Zora race, I ask thee for permission to enter your holy stomach in an attempt to find the poor, deluded Zora princess who has entered your divine belly in an attempt to kill herself by going through your godly digestive system. May I enter?" Flattered, the big mammal opened his mouth.

Navi whistled. "That was smooth!" she said, impressed.

"Just don't comment on his breath, or he might not let us out the front." Whispered Link. He ran through the god's mouth and into his stomach. He found Ruto, about to jump into one of the many holes that went into Jabu-Jabu's lower stomach which was full of acid. He didn't have much time. He ran over. "Ruto! Don't jump!" Ruto looked up, surprised.

"Who are you? What are you doing here? How dare you interfere in royal affairs!" she shrieked, her eyes filled a maniacal gleam. A stream of drool ran from her mouth. She didn't notice that a very large Bari jellyfish was behind her.

"Ruto, watch out! "Shouted Link. Ruto turned around and screamed. Link fired his boomerang fins at the Bari, stunning it and knocking it to the ground. He ran over to it and delivered multiple punches and kicks. The Bari floated back up and prepared to fire a thunderbolt at Link. He fired his fins at it again. Falling to the ground once more, Link attacked the Bari until it died, splitting into three smaller Biri. Link killed each one with a single hit from his boomerang fins. Ruto was amazed.

"You-you saved me. Who are you?"

"I'm…uhhhh…Mike! Yeah, Mike the Zora!"

"Thank you Mike. But where is my Linky-poo? He must be here! He loves me enough to throw himself in a vat of acid, just like I was about to!"

"I'm a friend of his. He ran to get me when you jumped in to kill yourself."

Ruto was confused. "But he's my fiance'! Why didn't he rescue me in person?"

Link sighed. "Ruto, Link doesn't love you. He didn't want to get engaged in the first place. He just needed to borrow the Zora's Sapphire for a little while. He knew you had it, but didn't realize your terms for giving it to him were that he marries you. He doesn't need it anymore, so he wants you to have it back." He handed over the sapphire. "He also told me to tell you that you didn't really love him either, you only thought you did. But it's over now. You can find someone else to give the sapphire to, but only when you're ready. Do you understand?" She nodded. "Good. I doubt we'll ever see each other again, since I'm from out of town. Just remember not to get too attracted to humans, got it? Then let's get out of here." Link escorted Ruto out of Jabu-Jabu. She ran home, 100 percent sane. Once Link was sure she was gone, he took off the mask. He shook his head. "I can't believe I came up with all that by myself.'

"I can." said Navi. "So, where's our next stop?"

"Hyrule Castle, then home." Link played the Prelude of Light, warping to the Temple of Time. Just like he had the first time, he snuck into Hyrule Castle. The guard shifts hadn't changed at all. He was easily able to see Zelda. She was in the Courtyard, as usual. She had been expecting him.

"I see you've returned safely with Navi," she said smiling. "You've gone through a lot, haven't you?"

"You wouldn't believe half of the things I did." Said Link.

"I would like to hear about your adventure sometime, but you want to recuperate at home, right?"

"Yeah. I only came by to say that I missed you-and to return the Ocarina." He handed over the Ocarina of Time.

She smiled again. "Thanks. Dad's been scouring the castle for months trying to find it." She paused, looking at Navi. "You really care about each other, don't you? You went through a lot to find one another. Do you want me to get Impa to…"

"No, no, we can see ourselves out." Said Navi. "Link, you still have that Fairy Ocarina, don't you?"

"I wouldn't lose it for the world."

"Good. In that case, we'll be seeing you princess. Say, a month or so?"

She grinned. "Sounds good to me." She turned to Link, and surprised him by giving him a large hug and kiss. "Welcome home," she whispered. She moved away. "Now go, before the guards come."

Link stood there for a moment, stunned, then ran out of the courtyard. Navi giggled. "Nice move, lover boy."

Link frowned. "Navi…"

"Sorry, sorry. I'm just trying to feel like my old self. Are you ready to go?"

"Yep." Link took out the Fairy Ocarina and played the Minuet of Forest. When they rematerialized in the Sacred Forest Meadow, they scared Patch and Saria again.

"Stop doing that!" said Saria, frustrated. Then she sighed. "Are you all right?"

"Yeah, we finished our errands. I'm heading back to the village. I have one more thing to do before I can finally rest. Are you coming with me?"

"Yeah, I'm done practicing for the day. Mido won't be happy to see you back, though. It's taken all my skills of persuasion to keep him from torching your house and all your stuff."

"What?!? Why that little…he's going to be in big trouble when I get back!"

"What are you going to do to him, Link?" asked Patch. "All of us guardian fairies are sick of getting flak from Naro (Mido's fairy) and think it's about time he got some payback."

"I'm going to do something to Mido that'll put him in his place," said Link. "Something that'll keep him from picking on us ever again." He looked over at Saria. "Aren't you going to say something about how I shouldn't be too harsh because he's just a kid, like the rest of us?"

Saria shook her head. "No Link, I think you should be as harsh as is necessary. I'm sick of him forcing Foma to weed my lawn. Do what's necessary to put a stop to him, Link."

"Oh, I plan to. I plan to." They reached the village entrance. Link and Saria walked down to the main square, their fairies trailing behind. They were horrified to see that Mido was about to set fire to a large pile of dry kindling directly beneath Link's house! Link and Saria ran over.

"Mido, stop it!" said Saria angrily.

Mido blinked, quickly putting out the lit Deku Stick he had been about to use and throwing it away. "Oh, uh, hi Saria."

Saria was quite angry. "Mido, how many times do I have to tell you, don't set fire to Link's tree house?"

Mido snorted. "Well it's not like the twerp's ever coming back.'

"I'm right here, Mido." Said Link coldly.

Mido noticed Link standing just behind Saria for the first time. "Well, well, if it isn't the Fairy-less Wonder! Back from his hopeless quest to find his runaway fairy, huh? And I see you didn't find her! Huh, she probably ran away in the first place because you're such a loser! Isn't that right, Naro?" the last was directed towards the blue-green fairy floating above his head.

"Yeah, go away, you ugly fairy-less freak!" snarled Naro. "Why a self- respecting fairy like Navi would EVER want to be associated with a wuss like you is beyond me! In fact…"

"I'm right here, Naro." Said Navi, equally coldly as she flew out of Link's hat. Mido and Naro gulped, trying to think of something else to rant Link on.

"Uh, well, uh…" he noticed the hilt in Link's scabbard was not that of the Kokiri Sword. "I see you no longer have the sacred Kokiri Sword! What did you do, trade it to a business scrub for a bigger sword?"

A crowd was gathering, curious to see what was going on. All the Kokiri and fairies were surprised that Link had returned with Navi. Link pulled out the Gilded Sword for all to see. Everyone gasped in amazement. "What, this?" asked Link. "It's the same old Kokiri Sword, just longer, sharper, stronger, you know, better in every way. I had it reforged." Mido stuttered, not able to think of anything else to taunt Link with. Finally he got something.

"I don't care if you do have a fairy or a big sword, you're still a freak! You'll never be one of us!'

Link walked a step closer to Mido with the Gilded Sword. "You know what, Mido? You're right."

Everyone was surprised at that. "I-I-I'm right?" asked Mido.

"Yes. You're right. I'll never be a Kokiri because I am a human being. I was born human, and will die human. Navi is sticking with me anyway because she's my friend. My partner. I am tired of your taunts and insults, Mido. I am going to do what I should have done a long time ago." He raised the sword high. Everyone gasped. Was Link going to kill Mido? Saria was worried. Had she been wrong when she said nothing was too harsh for Mido? She was about to call out to Link when Link dropped the sword at Mido's feet.

Mido looked at him confused. "Wh-why…"

Link stepped forward again. "I don't need a sword to deal with you Mido. This sword should never taste the green blood of the Kokiri, only the blood of their enemies. Mido, for nearly every day of my life you have tormented me. You have beaten me up, you have insulted me, and you have played cruel jokes on me, and you have ridiculed me in public, all because you wanted Saria's attention. You did it because in truth, you envied me. Saria took care of me and gave me attention instead of giving you any. You wanted Saria to like you the way you like her. Well, here's some news, Mido: You can't get people to like you by being a jerk. By bullying everyone and trying to make Saria like you, you have instead made her hate you. If you want her to like you, just be yourself and she might like you for who you are. Now, this is just assuming that you're not a sadist, and have not been beating up people because it makes you feel good. But if you do beat up people because it makes you happy, then I have news for you. If you EVER pick on me or the Kokiri or even their fairies again, I'll make you wish there still were a Deku Tree to go crying to. Understand?" Mido nodded, frightened. "Good. Now go away." Mido ran to his house, followed by Naro. The crowd was impressed, but soon disbanded. The Know-it-all Brothers took the Gilded Sword back to its place in the Hole of Z. Saria was the only one left. She was impressed.

"I thought you were going to beat him up or something," she confessed.

Navi chuckled. "Link wouldn't do that. He's not like Mido. If he really had fought him, he would have been as big a jerk as Mido had been."

Link nodded. "She's right. I did what was best for everyone. I don't think Mido will bother anyone anymore."

Saria smiled. "Link, there's one thing you should know, a few weeks ago this weird plant popped up in front of the old Deku Tree. He claims to be the Deku tree Sprout, the new Deku Tree!"

"Wow, that's interesting." Said Link. He yawned. I'll go talk to him tomorrow. I'm quite tired."

Saria frowned. "Link, it's only two-o-clock! You can't go to bed now, can you?"

"You'd be surprised." Said Navi.

Link smiled. "Navi and I have gone through a lot. We'll talk about it tomorrow, okay?"

"Okay. I'll see you two tomorrow. Good night, I guess."

"Good night Saria. Come on Navi." Link climbed up the ladder and walked into his house. He shed his pack, shield, and cap, lay down on his bed, and immediately fell asleep.

Navi fluttered onto his head and started to drift off. Her last words were "Ah, home sweet home." Then sleep overtook her.



THE END

Well, what do you think? Not bad for my first fanfic, is it? If you liked it, please review. If I get enough reviews, I'll continue the story. If I don't, I'll probably keep going anyway. I promise the next story will be a bit more exciting!