Disclaimer: I do not own Legend of Zelda.
This was the awful sound that vibrated off the wall of the temple. This was the noise created as our swords crossed. I would strike and he would parry. I would stab and he would dodge. His moves were my moves, and his skills were my skills.
He knew everything about me. He was my darker side; my counterpart. And yet, I sensed no evil in his spirit. He fought with dignity and honor. I could not understand that. He has my memories and knows my weaknesses. He knows what I've done and what I hope to accomplish. It's as if he experienced them too.
As I fight him, I take in his appearance. His clothing was exactly like mine. His shield, his sword; all mine.
I smirked as I parried a blow. We were too much alike. But I had something he didn't. I had the Triforce of Courage. There cannot be two. I also had the master sword, which too couldn't be matched. With these two components, I could not lose.
The fight dragged on and we both began to tire. I stepped back to catch my breath while he does the same. I would finish this fight. I clutched the master sword and mustered all the energy I could for this next blow. I would use my innermost strength and draw out the power of the Triforce. I would not lose. So much awaited beyond this victory.
Our eyes met, and I'm sure he understood this would be the final blow. As I stared at my adversary across the room, I realized that I pity him, for he surely doesn't know that I am our true self. There cannot be two of us. It wouldn't be right. He would always be my shadow.
And then, as if reading each others thoughts, we both charged. As we neared, I begged the Triforce to grant me its power. I channeled all my energy into my strike as our swords crossed for the last time.
The next thing I know, I'm staring into a pair of bright blue eyes full of determination and strength. I was bit confused, but before I could ponder this, I felt a terrible ache in my chest. I glanced down only to find my enemy's sword pierced through my very core. And that's when I felt it.
The pain came at me with full force and a vengeance. I couldn't breath, think, or even cry out. It was pure agony.
When my enemy graciously removed his sword from my body, I fell to my knees, gasping for breath. I could feel the blood from the wound running past my fingers as I clutched my chest.
I glanced down only to find half a sword grasped tightly in my left hand. The other half lay on the floor a few feet away. It had been cut clean through.
Confusion clouded my mind. How could this happen? This was impossible. I was supposed to win! I'm the hero of time.
Numb and slightly dazed, I lifted my gaze to the enemy. He doesn't say a word as he cleans the blood off his sword before placing it back in its sheath. He then calmly turns to leave.
I clenched my fists as the anger began to build inside of me. This couldn't be happening. I hadn't slept seven years only to be defeated by myself. I was supposed to save Zelda! I was supposed to defeat Ganondorf! I couldn't just let him walk away.
"You…" I seethed. "You dare to turn you back on me, Shadow?" My scream echoed eerily off the stone walls. He stopped before slowly turning to face me. I tried to decipher the thoughts and emotions that ran across his face. I had hoped my outburst would anger him, but all I saw was sadness as he slowly began making his way back towards me. I noticed the back of his hand was glowing and my eyes widened.
He came to a stop only a few feet away. Before I could fully comprehend it, my counterpart spoke to me. "No" he said sincerely. "It is you who is the shadow." He knelt down so we were eye level. "And it is I who pity you."
Filthy liar. His words were false. They had to be, because I remember. I remember gathering the sacred stones for Zelda. I remember waking up after seven years of sleep. I remember fighting and suffering for the sake of those who also suffer but could not fight. I remember.
But then… so would a shadow. For he is with his master every step of the way.
I clenched my fist. It wasn't true. The symbol glowed radiantly on the back of his hand.
I slowly lifted my own hand and stared at the dull, lifeless one on mine. It was only a vague copy compared to his. I shut my eyes tight, hoping and praying that somehow his words held no meaning. That this was all wrong.
I heard his footsteps echo as he turned to leave.
"There can only be one of us, Shadow. One heartbeat."
His words rang true.
"Perhaps it should be the less darker of the two."
I listened until the sound of footsteps disappeared and I was completely alone. I collapsed on the floor as the lifeblood fled from my body. Soon, I would be dead and there would once again only be one of us. I truly wish it were I. Oh, how cruel it was to be the shadow. To be given their memories, their sorrows, their thoughts.
I could never be a whole person. These thoughts weren't even mine. And if we were one and the same, wouldn't that make his heart just as dark as mine? But maybe we really aren't the same. Maybe that is why there can only be one. That may be so but my heart was true! I desired peace as well. I desired freedom as well. And my heart…
It wasn't dark. It was full of light, shadow or no shadow.
No, my heart wasn't the darkest…
…it wasn't the darkest…