fleets: I'm baaaack! The story I chose to write after Avilux Ignis is Rend! The poll was very close and the Rend lost to National Threat by only two votes - as you can see, I completely disregarded the poll results because I needed more time to get the other story under wraps (lol).
So what is Rend? This is the revamp of my very first story, Beyond Centuries. Though people seemed to enjoy reading that story from the feedback I've received, I felt it desperately needed an upgrade since my writing has changed considerably from the time I first wrote that thing. I am still going to keep the original up on my homepage, however, because Rend will probably be slightly different from the original (and old timers, you'll probably recognize how different the intro is, considering I added a whole new section). Still don't know how much this story will deviate, if at all. We shall see.
Anyways, new readers: feel free to check out the old version of this story at your own risk (i.e. spoilers + bad/mediocre/sloppy story telling).
Old readers: welcome back - in all honesty I feel extremely pressured to make this as comparable to the first one.
And lastly, disclaimer - I do not own anything that has anything to do with the Legend of Zelda, including but not limited to the characters, the settings, and the realm history. I only claim right to original characters.
Chapter 1: The End of Four Swords
Long, long ago in a forgotten time before the emergence of the legendary sword…
"Ah, welcome home. What's the report?"
A scarred elderly man who had been leaning against the shoddily made wooden barricade around the village straightened himself out as the evening patrol approached the gates. The gates didn't really keep the village safe, but in dark times they at least provided a sense of security for the villagers: the illusion of safety was better than nothing at all. The leader of the patrol, a young man armed with a simple sword and loose mail, hobbled over with his group of six.
"Evening. We mostly saw a few of the minor class monsters such as kargarocs and moblins." He walked through the gates as he wiped the sweat away from his forehead. "We considered it lucky since the village of Sarr a few miles West of here had trouble with a few ore class monsters three days ago."
The gate guard raised his eyebrows and gave a long whistle. "Ore class! That's troubling."
The patrol nodded gravely. "Two of them. The Garnet and the Onyx."
"The red Gyorg and the black Molgera: an attack from both the air and the earth." The elderly man leaned against the splintered gates once again. "Well, I guess they had fortune enough that the Render didn't appear instead. I hear that beast has the ability to raze entire villages in an instant.
"Raze? No, more like vanish. And yes, they were lucky the Opal didn't make an appearance. I hear that dragon was spotted near that area recently so they were truly fortunate." The patrol looked over his shoulder and signaled to the rest of his group that they were free for the night. Their stern countenance broke and they ran laughing into the village: they were only boys after all. "Soon enough, though, none of us will have to live in this nightmare full of these powerful monsters. The hero has been given the Four Sword with the ability to seal those evil creatures away."
The elderly man nodded with a bright smile. "Indeed. It's only a matter of time until we no longer have to worry about those things…"
Before the creation of the Four Sword, monsters terrorized the land of Hyrule. Powerful creatures large enough that they towered over the trees cast shadows over the people, setting the era into one of terror and dread. People lived in fear as these titans did as they pleased; slaughtering thousands and burning villages.
They say a legendary race known as the Minish bestowed upon the Hylians a sword that could seal away all of the evil in the land. The chosen hero wielded this sacred sword and purged Hyrule of darkness, restoring the light that the people had feared they would never see again.
There is yet another legend that speaks of a sorcerer who had succeeded in releasing the evil held by the sword many seasons later. Conquering the kingdom and allowing the terrible monsters loose to roam Hyrule once again, the sorcerer obscured the land in darkness. Though a hero was able to defeat the sorcerer using the Four Sword, the damages had been done and the consequences of the sorcerer's actions could not be prevented.
For now, after many centuries, a hero has stepped up with the sacred sword once more in the face of the sorcerer's return. Neither will be prepared for the result of the consequences that have extended beyond the centuries, itching to repay what had occurred years ago…
Four figures gathered around the edge of the Palace of Winds, the flying castle that was the evil sorcerer's last stronghold. Each was wearing a simple tunic with a triangular hat, and save for the color, everything about them was nearly identical. The strands of their blond hair slapped at their faces as the wind picked up, and they bravely faced the storm that was gathering before them.
The four identical boys gripped the hilt of their swords tightly. The red one shied away slightly with unease behind the blue one who looked prepared to rush recklessly into the fight. Next to him was the violet one with his cool eyes scanning the skies to analyze their target. On the far end was the green one; the one who was most like the original Link.
It was necessary to say "original," for the four boys had once been a single entity. Through the power of the legendary sword in their hands, the young boy named Link had been split into four so that he could defeat the monster that was wreaking havoc right now. Green's expression hardened when he saw a giant shadow approach them from within the stormy skies. "Let's end this."
His other three nodded and prepared themselves. No sooner had they nodded a desperate screech rang through the clouds.
"You cannot defeat me!"
The four heroes dug their heels into the ground when a monstrous winged eye burst into view. Its single pupil was glowing red with madness, and it flapped its demonic black wings quickly as it launched itself at them. The eye had already sustained heavy damage from the prolonged fight, and it was obvious it was weakening from the way it resorted to reckless desperation attacks. The demon was eager to finish the fight quickly. "I am the greatest sorcerer of all time!" it screamed, releasing a powerful blast of wind magic.
The eye cursed when the foursome easily evaded the attack, rolling away nimbly just before the blast could hit them. In complete synchronicity, the four heroes made a running dash towards the eye with their swords.
Hmph! I'll get you eventually, brats. The eye narrowed, glaring at the approaching boys. It spread its six wings for another attack – however, nothing happened. The narrowed eye gradually widened with a look of confusion, which then turned to horror and then to panic. I can't… move. The fight was taking a toll on its body, and now after so much abuse, it was failing to respond. The eye struggled furiously to recover before the heroes reached it.
"Fools! I am – "
It couldn't finish its sentence. The last thing the eye saw before it blacked out was the image of the four heroes jumping in midair with their swords pointed towards its pupil. I… I am the greatest, I am…Vaati.
Green had been ready to finish Vaati off when something slammed into his side and had sent him sprawling near the edge of the Palace of Winds. It had caught him off guard, so he was in a daze not because he was hurt but because he had been surprised. Slightly disoriented, he looked around to see the others had been stunned as well.
"What?" Blue growled, clutching his head. He adjusted his hat that had been knocked to the side after he had fallen to the ground. Next to him, Red was getting up on his feet shakily.
"Nnn… Hey, is everyone all right?"
Something wasn't right with this picture. A few yards away from them, a large black sphere with wings lay battered and worn. Vaati was knocked out cold, so it couldn't have been the wind mage who had attacked them. If it hadn't been them, who could it have been?
Predictably, Vio voiced Green's concerns. "Something isn't right."
"What do you mean?" Red interjected. "And we should watch out for Vaati before he attacks – "
"Vaati is not going to be able to cause us harm." Vio abruptly cut Red off, pointing his sword over to where the rampaging monster was lying unconscious. Red turned his head towards the sorcerer, and his eyes widened in surprise when he finally noticed the demon lying limply on its side. Vio continued. "That wasn't him, whoever hit us. It probably wasn't one of his goons, either, considering they knocked him unconscious too."
The four heroes fell silent, and each strained their ears to catch any sign of someone else at the palace. There had to be someone else here, but who was it, and what were their motives? It couldn't have been Shadow Link, could it, since he had disappeared earlier in their adventure? Green uneasily scanned his surroundings until his gaze caught sight of a person sneaking around behind one of the pillars that had been knocked down in the fight. He clenched his sword tightly. "You there, come out where we can see you or we're going to have to force you to come out."
The rest of the three snapped their heads to where Green was looking. They noticed a slim form hesitate behind the rubble, and then stick its foot out as though debating whether or not to reveal itself completely. A female voice demanded, "What do you want?"
"That's what we should be asking you," Blue stepped forward with his sword raised.
After several seconds, there was an indignant huff from the stranger and she moved out into view. The girl didn't appear too old and could have been about the same age as the boys, and she was wearing something that would have been more appropriate for someone going out to fight. Dark gauntlets covered both hands and the metal shoulder guards suspiciously looked like bat wings. Steel boots clicked on the ground as she tapped her foot. "Is that how strangers greet each other these days, by threatening them with a sword?"
"You're highly suspicious."
The girl regarded them for some time, and then her eyes darted towards the sky. She seemed to consider the sky with a look of mixed worry and fake amusement before she turned to the four Links again. Smirking, she tilted her head to the side. "All right. Fine, I'll tell you." She paused, at which point there was a sickening crack and the air above the palace bent in on itself and seemed to rip. "…but after you clean up whatever is going to come through that."
Mounting shock appeared on the wielders of the Triforce of Courage, and the girl sighed as they stared at it, dumbstruck. A gigantic leathery blue hand made its way out of the portal and thrashed about, attempting to break a larger hole. The sudden motion seemed to snap Blue out of it. He glared at the stranger. "What did you do?"
She raised both hands in a show of innocence and shook her head. "Whoa there, I had nothing to do with it."
"Then what is that?"
The girl frowned disapprovingly. "You sure ask a lot of questions." She waved her hand towards the gigantic arm. "Simply put, you've been mistaken in thinking that the sorcerer was behind everything. That thing is who you really want to defeat, not Vaati." She casually tossed her dark navy black hair from her face, shrugged, and took a few paces back away from them. "Don't bring the fight near me, okay? I have no wish to involve myself in this battle." The head of a boar roared through the portal. "I'll be watching from the side," a step back, "don't worry, I'm sure you guys can slaughter that pig easily," another step back, "I'm rooting for you."
With an unconvincing thumbs-up, the girl ran behind a pillar and out of sight.
Blue seethed, unhappy with the response. "Why that arrogant little – "
"Blue, now's not the time," Green put a hand on his partner's shoulder as he watched the beast wrench itself free and drop out of the rift. The ground shook when the new boss crashed onto the Palace of Winds.
"But we can't trust her!"
"We'll find her when we get this fight over with."
"What if she's the one pulling the strings?" Blue snapped, still insistent.
"Blue, let's just leave thi –"
The hot-headed boy threw Green's hand away from his shoulder. "Don't you 'Blue' me! She… she belittled me!"
Next to them, Vio rolled his eyes. "Can you two children focus on the fight?" The indigo boar snarled and began to spin an outrageously large trident in a dangerous circle. The hair on the back of his neck tingled with every rotation the weapon made; it was obviously a very powerful weapon. "Like, right now?"
While the four heroes prepared to fight the monster that had inexplicably appeared from the portal, the girl snuck carefully around the rubble a few feet away. She ducked around and slowly made her way back to where Vaati was still fallen, making sure the boar had its attention towards the others. The girl flinched in surprise as bits of debris fell around her from the beast swinging its trident down on Red; the boy barely dodged it with a yelp.
She took a deep breath when she finally reached the unconscious sorcerer. She noticed he wasn't in very good shape as he had sustained several serious injuries from his battle with the Links. They weren't fatal, but they were bad enough that he probably wouldn't be able to wake up any time soon. The girl tried to ignore one of his claws hanging limply by his side, bent at an unnatural, sick angle. She hoped the blast she had sent towards him in an attempt to knock him away from the heroes' attack hadn't been responsible.
"Okay Vaati," she spoke quietly, "I guess saving you once from those guys wasn't enough to guarantee your safety, huh?" She crossed her fingers in an intricate pattern in preparation of a spell. She continued. "If you get squashed by Ganon now, well, I don't think I would be able to say I'd repaid you in any way, right?"
Neon blue runes began to appear around the air just above her wrists like cuffs. They glowed with a soft, magical light, and they slowly spun around in a ring. "So let's just get you back to a form that I can actually move. Trying to move a heavy, fat ball like you is anything but practical right now, you know." The dark eye began to glow as well, and once the light became as bright as the runes, the monster flashed and the light started to shrink. In a split second, there was an extremely pale Hylian in a purple tunic in place of the demon eye. The girl craned her neck to make sure the spell had worked, and then she waited a few minutes to make sure Ganon's weapon wouldn't come near them. Once sure they were safe for the time being, she commenced dragging Vaati to much safer ground.
With every step, the girl considered running away right then and there. She could leave the four to fight the King of Darkness by themselves and she could disappear, making everything about her lost in memory. At the same time, she had a gut feeling that it would be worthwhile to keep her word about telling them about her. Something told her that this time, she was going to be involved whether she liked it or not.
Red braced himself to dodge another swipe from the enormous trident the monster held. His face wore a frown as he jumped out of the way – he had a nagging thought in his head that was bothering him about the monster they were fighting. He could have sworn he had seen it somewhere, but he didn't know where. He was absolutely certain that he had never in his entire life faced a beast such as the one he was currently trying to fight, so where could he have seen it?
The boar-like beast gave a chilling laugh, its voice dripping with menace. "I did not think Vaati would have been so weak to be defeated by the likes of you, or that idiot Shadow Link." Its eyes glinted, "To think the King of Darkness would have to get rid of you: you should think of it as an honor."
The four boys froze momentarily at the beast's words before scrambling out of the way. Red felt the color drain from his face.
Ah. No wonder I'd seen it before, he thought as he remembered the colorful representation of the story of the King of Darkness. I saw it in one of the tapestries at the Royal Palace. Great.
Green sputtered. "The… the King of… he's Ganon?" He felt his voice grow smaller.
"How are we going to beat this thing?" Blue asked, in a similar state of shock.
Meanwhile, Vio had remained calm and was carefully watching Ganon's movements to find an opening for an attack. He finally found one when the monster heaved its weapon up above its shoulders to swing it, leaving its front side completely open. Lunging forward, Vio charged with his sword raised. "Hyaaaaa!"
"Tch!" Before the sword could pierce the evil king, a magical presence had caused the blade to deflect away from him. Vio barely managed to scramble back out of reach before Ganon could swing the trident and impale him. "I can't damage him," he muttered.
Ganon turned his attention towards the purple Link who had made the first move. He brought the weapon back for another swing. "I'll take you down first."
As soon as the monster took its attention off of them, the other three tried a coordinated strike. Led by Green, the remaining three Links rolled forward to gain momentum and swung their swords towards Ganon with as much force as they could muster. It had worked against Vaati; maybe it'll work against Ganon?
As with Vio's previously, their swords ricocheted back away from Ganon, rendering their attack useless. It appeared their swords were ineffective in this fight. "It's no good…" Green observed, highly worried. Then, "Vio, I hope you've thought of something to take him down!" he shouted through the din. If anyone was going to figure out a way to defeat Ganon, it was probably going to be Vio, the most analytical personality of the four. When he heard no reply, he glanced over at his other self and was dismayed to see Vio shaking his head.
"He's… protected by something; a dark aura. Unless we get rid of it we're just wasting our time."
"Then how do we get rid of it?"
Green wished he hadn't asked, for a look of defeat passed over the purple warrior's face.
"I don't think we can," Vio looked away.
Green opened his mouth to say something, but was interrupted when they were blown off their feet by powerful magical spheres. Coughing up dust, he wiped his face away of dirt and looked around. If they could be thankful for anything it was Ganon's poor aim. However, Green knew that their luck wouldn't last forever and they needed to find a way to defeat him soon. Everyone was tired from their earlier fight with Vaati, and they didn't have much time left.
A groan from somewhere next to him caught his attention, and he saw Red was spread-eagled beside him. The boy was dazed by the last attack, and he slowly propped himself up and rubbed his head. Before Green could worry about Red, however, another sight startled him. Just by the entrance to the Palace of Winds, Blue had pinned Vio against the stone walls. His back was towards Ganon, and his expression was one of utter fury towards Vio. Green could hear them from where he was standing.
"What," fumed Blue, "kind of a talk is that?" He was surprising even the calm Vio who blinked in confusion by his partner's outburst. Blue continued, shoving him against the wall. "We've come all this way, all this friggin' way only to be killed by a giant pig?" he roared.
Vio sighed, and then looked down at his feet. Blue was a true fighter and Vio respected that, but at the same time he couldn't see reality even when it was right in front of his face. "Look, Blue, there's nothing we can –"
Vio's head snapped up by the interruption. It wasn't often that Vio was told to be quiet. Blue continued, a little calmer now.
"We've never given up. Am I right?"
Considering the question, Vio nodded slowly. It was true – even when things had looked bleak for them, the four had never given up until now.
"We're not going home until we've beaten this guy to a bloody pulp. Don't you dare give up on us just yet."
"… Okay." Despite the situation they were in, Vio managed a tiny smile. He felt Blue relax his grip. "Sorry," Vio apologized.
Blue let him go and he nodded. "Right. Come on, let's get this over with."
The urgency of the situation returned quickly with a yell of warning from Green somewhere behind them.
"Huh?" Blue and Vio narrowly missed being sliced in half by the trident as it whistled over their heads and smashed the wall that they had been standing by. The two scampered away hurriedly to safety.
"All right Blue, I appreciate your heroism but how, exactly, do you propose to defeat the King of Darkness?" Vio hissed as he ran with Blue towards Green and Red, away from the sharp point of the trident. Even with all of those big words about not giving up earlier, it seemed Blue was currently burdened with the recent reality check. He looked like a performer who had confidently agreed to swallow swords when he didn't know how.
"Um… hold on, I'm thinking."
Vio looked at him blankly. "You know, any other day I would have told you to give up on thinking."
"Hey, I thought I told you no more talks on giving up."
"And that is exactly why I'm not telling you to stop trying a feat you were never really good at."
Vio shrugged. "You brought this upon yourself. Now start thinking before we all die."
The strange girl watched the fray from a safe distance, occasionally glancing back at the sorcerer who once used to be a murderous, giant black eye. She was sure her spell had worked – it was a leeching spell that would suck out all magical properties of the spell caster with every attempt at magic. The curse's property made it impossible for the sorcerer himself to remove it and would require another equally skilled mage to get rid of it. Since the only other person she could think of removing the curse was the princess, she was sure it would keep the sorcerer relatively harmless for some time.
"Hard to believe you were the one who released me from my prison," she said to the unconscious sorcerer. She looked at his fragile Hylian form disapprovingly. He was rather feminine with long, shiny purple bangs to make even Nayru jealous, and he was wearing a long tunic that could potentially pass for a dress; especially with that ungodly purple color – granted he managed to look good in it but still… "You're practically a girl," she giggled to herself.
She rested her chin on her hands as she watched the panicked heroes run away frantically from Ganon. She sighed. "But then again, it's also hard to believe that those four wield the Triforce of Courage." She began to feel embarrassed for them from the way they ran away. Ganon seemed to find it hilarious, seeing supposedly courageous heroes running from their foe. She could hear him laughing.
Those four should have no problems defeating Ganon, right? the girl thought. They're the legendary heroes for Din's sake, they're supposed to WIN.
She frowned as Red tripped and fell, becoming an easy target for Ganon. Not looking pleased, she cursed under her breath. "If they keep this up," she grumbled, "I'm going to have to go help them." Then, the girl let out a low, guttural growl that was verging on fiendish. She didn't seem to notice. And it's better for me, no, for everyone that I don't get involved.
fleets: The beginning's kind of slow, isn't it... oh well. Anyways, not much to say except be sure to check out my doodle of a cover page for this chapter on my devart account under fleetfleets! :D