Chapter 4: Neither Snow, Nor Sleet...

Once again, Link was mentally berating himself for not wearing warmer clothes as he made his way through north Termina region otherwise known as Snowhead, shivering as his brown boots treaded through the snow-covered path. His tunic exposed his bare legs and his teeth chattered. How he hadn't died from hypothermia was a mystery even to him, but nonetheless, he persevered on. The winds were extremely strong as he advanced towards the temple, most of this the cause of a massive Goron that blew powerful winds along the path.

A particularly stronger gust of wind knocked Link off his feet, and he rolled, losing his balance before coming to a stop. He was temporarily disorientated, and rose to his feet, holding his ribs gingerly. He hadn't broken anything, luckily, but his movement would certainly be hindered-and at this late, it didn't seem like he was making any progress.

Gritting his teeth in frustration, he pounded the snow with a tiny fist and sank to his knees. The tears had formed in his eyes before he realized they had even come, and for once, his resilient exterior shattered as he sobbed. Not just for himself, but for the other people he had encountered during his travels as well. That hellish moon in the sky was not stopping for anyone: left to its own devices, it would destroy everyone. He was supposed to be the Hero of Time. And yet, here he was, in his frail body, forced to shoulder more responsibility than a child who had just had his 11th birthday should ever have to shoulder.

"Stand and fight, child!", a booming voice called out to him. "You are no coward! Anyone your age who would willingly proceed up the mountain path of Snowhead to the temple is worthy of my respect."

Link ceased his crying and wiped his eyes, frowning. He had recognized the voice. It reminded him of the tone of...

Withdrawing an object resembling a purple magnifying lens from his tunic, Link held it out and looked through it. His suspicions were confirmed. In front of him was the corporal form of none other than a Goron. His eyes widened slightly in surprise.

"I take it you can see me, child.", the Goron rumbled, chuckling slightly. "The soaring one said the one who could see me would be arriving soon... It seems that it turned out to be true. I am Darmani the Third. The blood of proud Goron heroes runs in me."

Noticing the confused look on the child's face, Darmani elaborated. "In other to stop the blizzard that has fallen over the mountains, I took it upon myself to travel up the path to the temple to defeat the guardian that lives there. However, due to these strong winds, I fell to my death. I am now no longer able to save my people...but if you can see me, it means that someone else is now destined to fulfill my role. Please, follow me."

Complying with the Goron's demands, Link followed him stoically, his mind burning with a thousand questions that he was unable to vocalize. The most prominent of these questions was where he was being lead, and whether or not this was a trap. After all, he hadn't had the best luck of spirits when it came to his adventures. But he remembered how serious Darmani had sounded when speaking to him...and he pushed his thoughts aside and continued.

Eventually, he was lead to what he assumed to be a graveyard. The proud warrior in spirit form stopped and turned to him.

"Your task ahead of you is daunting, child." Darmani solemnly rumbled. "The guardian of the temple will not show you mercy. However, I can aid you, if you take on a favor for me."

Link nodded without hesitation.

The Goron lowered his head. "With your arrival to Snowhead, it means that I can be put to rest. I wish for your assistance in this manner. My time has come, and it must be accepted, whether or not I wish for it."

Link stopped, and stared at the Goron. Doubts plagued his mind. Could he do something like this? Could he really put the spirit of this creature to rest? And then his mind wandered back.

To the Skull Kid that tortured him and trapped him in a form he didn't wish for.

To that moon in the sky, mocking the inhabitants of Termina with that hellish grin.

To the town engulfed in flame as the aforementioned moon crashed into it with tremendous force.

And to that mysterious masked salesman, who had warned him about the dangers of Majora's Mask.

Link nodded to the Goron in acceptance and took out his ocarina. He silently played the familiar notes of the Song of Healing. As the sounds of the flute echoed throughout the graveyard, he could almost feel the weight of the Goron's burdens being removed from his massive shoulders. After he stopped playing, he removed his hat, holding it in his left hand. He bowed to the Goron, a bow that symbolized the respect he held for him.

"Thank you, child"...Darmani replied, exhaling heavily. "I did not wish to leave my son so soon, but hopefully when he grows up, he will understand." Tears fell from his eyes as he slowly faded away in front of the young Hylian, leaving a mask in his place.

Link didn't move for several minutes, mourning the losses that the warrior had experienced. Then he drew in his will, gathering the mask that resembled the face of Darmani. He exhaled deeply before putting the mask on his face.

And then the familiar pain came with his transformation as Link's entire skeletal system re-configured itself, dropping him to his knees once again as it stretched and contorted. He grew rounder and heavier, his body contorting for a moment as he went up several inches in height, roughly a foot. A hard tan shell formed onto his back, and his usually blonde hair whitened. His lips became bigger, his eyes turned into shapes that almost resembled buttons, and his scrawny arms became more muscular as his skin darkened to a shade of brown.

This change was not just physical, though; memories were flooding his head as this entire process started. He saw Darmani's son, his thoughts, his feelings; his experiences...even his anguish as he fell to his death. The thoughts along with the unbearable physical torment he was experienced as his metamorphosis overcame him almost drove him insane, and the noise from his newly transformed vocal cords made this evident as he let out an inhuman roar.

The Triforce of Courage, the triangle-shaped birthmark that had partially played a role into driving Link down the path he was destined to take, flashed briefly on his left hand as he stood up, panting silently, and his green tunic no longer covering most of his body. Infused with the memories and power of a Goron, he set off to his new destination: to see Darmani's son.

No wheels of fate drove Link to do this benevolent act: it was the code of honor from one warrior or another. The 2 may have been different races, had different experiences, and different cultures, but they were tied together with one single thread formed by a single word.

And that word was honor.