Chapter Seven: The Final Conflict
Bouncing and jarring woke Link up. He looked and saw that he was moving. Someone was carrying him; it was Kasuto. They were in the Temple of Truth. Link had made it home somehow.
"Don't worry," Kasuto said, "you're going to be fine." Link tried to smile. A few moments later Kasuto was laying him onto a bed. Still in a daze, he saw people rushing around him. He felt Kasuto tugging at his boots. Kasuto pulled them off Link's feet. His clothes were cold and wet; he had to get out of them now. Kasuto helped Link undress and wrapped him in a blanket. He was so cold. Link felt a stinging sensation on his face. Zoya was cleaning his gashes with a wet washcloth. He saw Zelda out of the corner of his eye. She seemed to be crying. Link tried to mumble that he was okay, but no words came out.
"Your arm is broken," Kasuto said. "I'll have to set it so it'll heal. But first, take this." Kasuto handed Link a small vial filled with liquid and a mug of warm tea.
"What is this?" Link said eyeing the vial.
"It's opium," Kasuto answered. "It'll help to ease the pain." Link eyed the vial and uncorked it. He poured the ounce of liquid into his mouth and swallowed it. This stuff tasted horrible. He gulped the tea down, trying to wash the awful taste out of his mouth.
Kasuto saw the contorted look on Link's face and smiled. "It tastes awful, doesn't it?" Kasuto said. "Now, I'm going to set the bone in your arm. I have to warn you: this is going to hurt." Link nodded for him to go ahead. He'd been through plenty of pain already, a little more wouldn't matter. Kasuto placed both hands on Link's broken arm. He felt for the bone underneath the skin. Link screamed as Kasuto popped the bone back into alignment.
"That wasn't so bad now, was it?" Kasuto said. "You should get some sleep now." Link nodded. That was a good idea. He wanted to sleep so bad. Link put his head on the pillow and closed his eyes.
Link slowly opened his eyes, and stared at the ceiling. It wasn't a dream, he was alive. The sharp pain in his right arm had subsided into a dull throbbing. He noticed that there was a wooden splint wrapped with bandages on his arm. Kasuto must've done that while he was asleep. He also noticed that there was a bandage taped to the right side of his face. Link looked under the covers at his body, clad only in a pair of shorts. His whole body was covered in purple bruises. His knee was bandaged, too. They took care of all his wounds while he was asleep.
Link closed his eyes for a moment. When he opened them, Link was startled to see Zelda's face staring down at him.
"Good morning, sleepy-head," said Zelda. "You slept for almost sixteen hours! Do you feel better?"
"I guess so," replied Link. He didn't feel very good, but he was a lot better than yesterday.
"Are you hungry? You should eat something. Do you want me to help you get up?" Link nodded as he sat up. "You should put some clothes on," Zelda suggested. Link agreed and tried to put his clothes on. Zelda silently helped him put on his tunic; Link was too sore to be embarrassed.
After he got dressed, Zelda helped Link stand up. They walked back to Kasuto's cottage. When Link sat down at the table, Kasuto brought him a bowl of hot soup. Link sipped it slowly. "I hope you're feeling better," Kasuto said. "You're lucky you're still alive. You took some hard hits. If it wasn't for Zelda, I've would've never gone to look for you."
"How did you know?" Link asked Zelda.
"I just knew something was wrong," she replied. "I had this feeling that you were in big trouble and I talked Kasuto into looking for you. I knew I was right. I'm so glad you're okay. When you came back, I thought you were going to die. You looked so bad."
"Thank you, Zelda," said Link. "And thank you for saving me, Kasuto."
"You're welcome," Kasuto said. "You're very strong. I'm surprised you lived through that ordeal. By the way, what happened there?" Link told them the entire story of what happened. After he heard Link's story, Kasuto was even more surprised that he survived. He was impressed when Link told him of the fight with the creature.
"Do you think you're ready for one final conflict today?" asked Kasuto.
"I don't think I'll be able to fight anything for a while," Link replied.
"It won't be a physical battle," Kasuto clarified. "It will be mental and spiritual. You both have strong spirits. Link, your will to survive is proof that you have the power. And Zelda, your tenacity is proof that you have the power. But before you can harness your power, you must prepare yourselves."
"Prepare ourselves how?" Zelda asked.
"You must purify your minds and souls. Destroying the Evil Force isn't as easy as zapping it out of existence. It will try to fight back."
"How will it fight back?" Link asked. He didn't want anymore things fighting back at him. Link had had enough fights to last him a lifetime.
"It will try to destroy your minds," Kasuto answered. "The Evil Force will attempt to change your thoughts and make you follow him. If your minds aren't completely focused on destroying the Evil Force, you will fail. I'm going to teach you how to protect yourselves. You will learn how to close your minds to everyone but yourselves."
Link and Zelda were sitting on the grass with their legs folded. They had their eyes closed, and were in deep meditation. Kasuto was teaching them how to completely focus themselves on the task ahead.
"You must focus your minds," Kasuto said in an emotionless voice. "You now have one goal: you will destroy the Evil Force. The power is inside you. Focus your minds." Link and Zelda were floating into a spiritual abyss. Kasuto's words became quieter as their minds left the physical world. They were in the same place they had been in with the Triforce. There was only thought and emotion here.
You have returned, a voice said. It was the goddesses. The time has come for you to fulfill your destinies. Today you will destroy Daimanius, but he will also try to destroy you. Kasuto told you that he will try to invade your minds, that is an understatement. He will try to claim your souls as his. You cannot allow him to enter into your thoughts, or he will destroy you.
However, his power now is at its weakest. While he is trying to draw himself totally into this world, his attacks will be limited only to you. That is good for everyone else, but not for you. He will use all his power to try and bring you to his side. But there is one thing he can't do: he cannot take you by force. You have to freely give your souls to him, or he cannot destroy you. Daimanius will try everything he can to tempt you into following him. Do not listen to him.
He's tried to tempt me before, Link thought, but it didn't work that time.
That is nothing compared to what he will try to do to you now. Link, when you were in the cave, he talked to you. He tried to tempt you with promises of granting your every desire. But when he tempted you that day, he was speaking to you as an outsider. Today he will speak to you as a part of yourselves. You will not be tempted by him, you will be tempted by yourselves. It will be as if your own minds are turning against you. The fight with Daimanius will be both external and internal. You will fight him, and you will fight yourselves.
How will we fight him? Zelda thought.
The Orbs of Power, that we created for you. They are what will enable you to harness your power. When you are ready to destroy him, the Orbs will combine with you. The Orbs act as catalysts to enhance your mental powers. Your mental powers are what will destroy Daimanius. If you are strong, you will succeed. Have faith in yourselves.
Kasuto had spent the entire day preparing Link and Zelda. They meditated and cleared their minds of everything. In the meantime, Kasuto and the other Guardians set up an altar in the field. It was only a simple table covered in a white cloth. They placed the black pyramid in the center of the altar, and put the Orbs on either side of it. Now it was just past sunset, and the time was quickly approaching for them to begin their battle.
"Are you ready?" Kasuto asked Link and Zelda.
"I think so," Link replied. He felt that he could do anything now. He and Zelda were both more ready than they'd ever been in their lives. They wouldn't let Daimanius take their souls. Kasuto nodded to the other Guardians. They weren't dressed in their normal clothes. Instead of drab, brown robes they each wore beautifully decorated ones. Each Guardian's robe was a different color; Talan's was red, Zoya's was blue, Dejaren's was yellow, Kayla's was orange, Soral's was green, Kira's was violet, and Kasuto's was black with gold bordering. Their robes were also intricately decorated with symbols and writing. They looked like they were going to perform some kind of ceremony. But this wouldn't be some kind of happy ceremony; they were going to save the Universe along with the souls of trillions of people.
All of the Guardians approached the altar. They stood in a line facing the pyramid; Kasuto was in the center. Link and Zelda stood side by side behind the Guardians, waiting for the moment when they would begin the fight. Kasuto told them earlier that the Guardians would perform a ritual to prepare themselves. They would pray for guidance and strength. Kasuto stepped forward and outstretched his arms. He began to speak in some kind of strange language. Link and Zelda had never heard this language before, but they somehow knew what the words meant.
Kasuto spoke, "Grendan Deusinen," Great goddesses, "Nosu pidenas ak vosu pari poedre," We ask you for strength, "Nosu pidenas ak vosu pari gidense," We ask you for guidance, "Sokorans ab nosu daestrag taz Maleua Fouerze," Help us destroy the Evil Force, "Dans ab vosa poedre ak Link eti Zelda," Give your power to Link and Zelda, "Nosu tenginas faishe," We have faith, "Plasum, sanktoenans ab nosu." Please bless us.
Kasuto motioned for Link and Zelda to step forward. It was time. Link stepped to the left of the pyramid and grasped the Orb. Zelda stepped to the right of the pyramid and grasped the other Orb. Then, holding their Orbs, Link and Zelda stepped back and faced the black pyramid. The Guardians backed off and gave Link and Zelda space. After they had stepped back, they kneeled on the ground. Link and Zelda each held up their Orbs. They focused their minds on destroying Daimanius. The Guardians saw the Orbs begin to glow brightly. The Orbs left Link and Zelda's hands and floated in the air. The Orbs transformed from solid objects into shining points of light. The points of light entered into Link and Zelda's chests, and they began to glow.
Link and Zelda were having another out-of-body experience. It was not like when they had been with the goddesses. There was no love here. They could feel Daimanius here. They could feel his presence. Link and Zelda had no bodies here, they were only emotion and feelings. They recalled what the goddesses had said: they would not let Daimanius take them. Suddenly, they were overcome with negative emotions; he was trying to stop them. They felt hate, anger, sadness, fury, and depression. They would not let these negative emotions sway them. Link and Zelda were completely focused on their task.
Those goddesses can't give you what I can, spoke Daimanius. They are weak, and so are you. If you come with me, I will give you the world. What did Din, Nayru, and Farore promise you? Nothing. Can't you see that they are using you? They are using you as tools in their sick game. Follow me, and I will grant your every wish.
We will not listen to you, Link and Zelda thought in one voice. They were one here. You are the one who is weak. We are here to destroy you, and there is nothing you can do to stop us. You will no longer torture the souls of people. Your reign of terror, your existence stops here! With complete confidence, Link and Zelda used their power to Destroy Daimanius.
The Guardians remained kneeling on the ground. Link and Zelda were glowing, and motionless in an ecstatic trance. Their consciousness was not in this world. Then the ground began to shake. The Guardians saw the black pyramid begin to glow. It radiated blinding white light as it levitated above the altar. A thin beam of light shot up from the tip of the pyramid and into the night sky. The ground shook even more violently as torrents of fire spewed from the pyramid. This fire didn't behave naturally; it was alive. The fire stopped swirling and coalesced into the shape of a face. The face glared at the Guardians, who noticed that Link and Zelda hadn't moved at all. They stood completely still, like glowing statues. The evil-looking face roared at the Guardians. Then, beams of light shot from Link and Zelda, and landed on the pyramid. The face contorted and seemed to be sucked into the pyramid. The beam of light coming from the pyramid expanded into a cone shape. They saw the cone of light begin to be sucked into the pyramid. It looked as if the entire Universe were being sucked into the tip of the pyramid. With a deafening roar, the cone of light disappeared into the pyramid. The beams of light emanating from Link and Zelda vanished. The pyramid stopped glowing and crashed into the altar, splintering it into multiple fragments.
Link and Zelda stopped glowing and collapsed onto the ground. They stood up and looked around. "It is done," Zelda said. "He is destroyed." The Guardians looked to the sky and said prayers of thanks. The Universe had been saved. The Guardians stood up and began to approach the dazed Link and Zelda.
Then, out of the corner of his eye, Kasuto saw cracks form in the pyramid. It wasn't done, the Evil Force would try to take Link and Zelda to hell with it. Kasuto ran towards the two children. The fractures in the pyramid grew larger. As Kasuto ran towards Link and Zelda, the pyramid exploded. A razor sharp shard flew towards Zelda. Kasuto jumped in between Zelda and the explosion. The shard aimed for Zelda instead plunged into Kasuto's chest.
"Nooooo!" Zelda screamed as Kasuto fell to the ground. Like a sword, the shard had driven itself through Kasuto's chest, pierced his right lung, and exited out his back. The shard remained lodged in his chest as he struggled to breathe. Blood began to soak his robes around the shard.
Link and Zelda knelt beside Kasuto, trying to comfort him. "Don't worry about me," he whispered. "My work here is done. This is the way it's supposed to be. Don't be sad because of me." Kasuto broke into a fit of coughing. He could feel his lungs filling with blood; he was going to drown in his own blood. Surprisingly, he wasn't in much pain. So, this is the way it was going to end. "Link," he continued, "please...I want you to do me a favor."
"What? Anything," Link said as he bent closer to Kasuto.
"I want you to take this." With shaking hands, Kasuto pulled a chain from around his neck. It was the medallion that he had shown to Link a couple days before. "Remember the woman I told you about...Lena? I want you to give this to her. She lives in Kakariko, you can find her. I want you...to tell her that I always loved her." Tears started to roll down Kasuto's cheeks. "Tell her that I'm sorry for leaving her. Tell her I had to do it...because of my work. I never loved anyone else. I wish I'd told her this before...but I could never get enough courage to." Kasuto coughed again. "Tell her I'm sorry that I never told her why...I couldn't marry her. I always loved her..." his voice began to fade away. "Will you do this for me?"
"Yes," Link said.
"Thank you. I knew you two could do it. I knew you could. It's too bad it had to happen this way, but your life is more valuable than mine, Zelda. I love you both. It was an honor...to give my life for you..." Then he closed his eyes, and stopped breathing. Kasuto was dead.
The next day, there was a funeral for Kasuto. It was held in their secret temple, and attended by the remaining Guardians, Link, Zelda, and a twenty-year-old man that the children had never seen before. They had both stayed the night again. Zelda wondered how they were going to tell her father about Kasuto, but Kira said she'd take care of it. The actual funeral was mostly quiet and solemn. Each of the Guardians had said a few words about Kasuto and his life. Even though they were saddened, Link and Zelda realized that Kasuto gave his life for the world. Zelda wished she could thank him for saving her life. When everyone had said something, they laid Kasuto into a sarcophagus and closed the lid.
Kayla lit the torch next to Kasuto's tomb and spoke. "Here we inter the body of Kasuto, the 256th Guardian of Truth. He spent his life protecting the secrets of the Triforce, and he lost his life protecting it. Today we will install Kasuto's successor." The strange man stepped forward and stood next to Kayla. "This is Gaiden," she continued. "He has been chosen to follow Kasuto's path. We hereby name Gaiden the 257th Guardian of Truth." Link and Zelda wondered where this man came from. He later told Link and Zelda that he had a dream telling him to come here.
After the funeral, they had lunch in the main cottage. Link and Zelda talked to Gaiden, and realized that he was a very good person. He was definitely worthy to follow in Kasuto' s footsteps. There was one thing that was puzzling Link, however. He decided to voice his concerns to Kira. "Kira?" Link asked. "Why are the Guardians continuing? Your whole purpose, to keep the Evil Force from escaping, is gone now. What will you do now?"
"We have a new purpose," Kira replied. "We must continue to protect the secret of the Triforce. What would happen if all of a sudden there were two Triforces? People wouldn't know what to do. Society is better off with the false Triforce they already have. After all, it's not the Triforce that has enabled people to create so many things. The people did it themselves. The Triforce itself is not important, what it stands for is. It is people's faith that has kept them alive, not the Triforce.
"What we have to do now is protect the real Triforce. We cannot let people find the real one. W need to make sure that the real Triforce never falls into an evil person's hands."
After the meal, Link and Zelda realized that they had to go home. Kayla would teleport Zelda home, and Kira would teleport Link home. Link and Zelda were free to come by from time to time. They both promised that they would.
Link and Kira appeared at the entrance to Kokiri Forest. "This is where we part ways," Kira said. "Promise you'll visit sometime?" Link nodded. He turned around and was about to walk into the forest when he felt a hand grab him. "Wait," Kira said. She pulled an envelope from her pocket. "Kasuto, before he died, said he wanted me to give this to you if anything happened." She handed the envelope to Link and he took it.
"What is it?" Link asked, examining the envelope. He put it in his pocket.
"I don't know," Kira replied. "All he said was to give this to you if he died." Link said goodbye and walked into the forest. All of the Kokiri children gave funny looks to Link. He understood why: his arm was in a sling, he had a bandage on his face, his knee was taped up, and he was covered in bruises. Link limped his way to Saria's house. His knee didn't hurt nearly as much as the days before, but walking was still painful.
Link entered Saria's house and he saw her bending over with her head near a bowl of liquid. Her hair was wet and it looked like she was washing it. Startled, Saria turned to face the door and saw Link standing there. He looked like he'd been through a war-zone. She stopped what she was doing and ran to hug Link. Link winced as she came in contact with his broken arm
"Ouch!" he exclaimed. "Be careful, that hurts."
"What happened to you?" Saria asked, filled with concern. She looked Link up and down and saw all his injuries.
"I just had an accident," he answered. "I fell and broke my arm, and busted my, knee, and got some bruises and scrapes. It's a long story, and you don't want to hear it." Saria understood. Whenever Link came home with some injury, he never told her how it happened. It was usually because he was too embarrassed that he made some kind of dumb mistake. "I'll be fine," Link reassured Saria. He noticed her wet hair and felt it with his hand. He looked at his wet hand and saw that it was covered in a green liquid. Saria blushed.
"I knew it!" Link said. "You dye your hair!" Saria kept blushing and tried to clear away a bowl on her table that was filled with green dye. Link always had a suspicion that Saria dyed her hair. After all, he'd never seen anyone else with green hair before. He just never bothered to pursue his suspicion
"Well...I, um...guess I do dye my...hair," Saria mumbled.
"Why? Why do you bother to dye your hair?"
"Well...I like to be different. Besides, everyone else has blonde hair and I don't want blonde hair."
"Whatever," Link said. He didn't really care that Saria dyed her hair. He didn't think any less of her; he thought it was cute. "Maybe next time I'll help you," Link offered, "instead of you trying to hide it." Saria nodded her head in agreement. "Don't worry it'll be our secret. Why don't you finish by yourself; I'm going home. I really want to lay down for a while." Link smiled and walked out. He would go home and take a nap; then he could go back and talk to Saria.
Climbing the ladder to his tree house proved to be more difficult than he'd predicted. With only one good arm, he slowly climbed his way up. When he got inside, Link sat on the bed and took off is boots. He was about to lie down when he remembered the envelope Kira gave him. Link took it from his pocket, and opened it. Inside was a letter. Link read it:
If you're reading this, then that means that I'm probably dead. From the day I first saw you, I knew that you had a special purpose. I am writing this letter the day after I first met you. Hopefully everything has turned out right. I pray that if you're reading this, the Evil Force has been destroyed. I had a feeling that this might result in my death. I just want you to know that I believe in you. Promise me one thing: don't dwell on my death. Move on. You are destined for great things, I can feel it. You will live a great life, and you will be the father of a long line of heroes. Don't let me down, I believe in you.
Your friend forever,
Link folded up the letter and put it back in his pocket. He had something to do. Link remembered the medallion Kasuto gave him, and the promised he'd made. Link couldn't take a nap now. He had to go to Kakariko and find that woman. Link stood up and climbed back out of his tree house. He had to go to Kakariko.
Link wandered through Kakariko Village, trying to find out where Lena lived. Some people said they didn't know her, or they just told him to get lost. Then, Link saw three women standing next to a house. Each woman looked somehow...familiar. Each woman's dress was identical except for the color. One woman wore blue, another wore red, and the last wore green. Link felt compelled to approach them. Following his instincts, Link walked over to the women.
The woman in blue spoke first, "You have done well, Link," she said. "We knew you could do it." Now Link knew who these women were; they had to be the goddesses.
"We are proud of you," said the woman in red. "You have saved the souls of our children from eternal damnation."
"Why did Kasuto have to die?" Link asked bluntly.
"It was his destiny," the woman in green answered. "He knew it was going to happen. He is the person we have chosen to enter into heaven. He will be the first person to die and join us in eternal bliss."
"There are some things you're not meant to know," said the woman in blue. "No one can understand everything that happens. You must have faith."
"Don't you have something to do?" said the woman in green. Link nodded. "The house you are looking for is over there." She pointed to a house on the other side of the street, and Link looked at it. When he turned around to thank the women, they were gone. They had vanished as suddenly as they'd appeared. Link walked to the house that the woman pointed to. He looked at the name on the mailbox; it said "Lena" on it. This was the house. Link had to keep his promise to Kasuto. He pulled the medallion from his pocket and felt it. I'd better do this, Link thought. He took a deep breath, and knocked on the door.