The Fragile and the Unbreakable
By Queenie Z
"It is a trait that around 15% of your kind, the humans, posses," Fi had said once about his dreams. "When exposed to malevolent energy, those sensitive to it experience states of altered consciousness, which can include precognitive dreams."
This explanation seemed sufficient for Link at the time, allowing him to disregard his recurring nightmares about the evil imprisoned at the Sealed Grounds and focus on his mission of finding Zelda. It was also why, at first, he wasn't surprised to find himself in the black void that characterized such dreams. Mere hours before, he had seen the beast with his own eyes and fought hard to re-seal it, and if what Fi said was correct, then he could have safely expected its evil to invade his sleep again.
He wasn't afraid, however. It was only a dream, and besides, the monster was no threat to him, at least in the state he had fought it in. If he had to face it again in his sleep, then so be it. He gripped the hilt of his sword expectantly... only the beast never came.
Link loosened his grip when he heard the deafening echo of a water drop, and was further surprised to hear sloshing as he took a few steps forward to investigate. He lowered his hand and looked towards his feet. However, he couldn't even see his legs - he was waist-high in a crimson lake that reeked with the unmistakable smell of blood.
Choking on the stench, the boy gasped and clapped a hand over his nose. It was so much blood, human blood, more than he had ever seen in his life. It was also unlike any of his other dreams, causing an anxiety and uncertainty he thought he had gotten rid of. Still, he pressed on, wading in the disgusting liquid, trying to figure out what was going on in his own head.
That was when the figure in white floated up to the surface before him, its golden hair splayed around it like a halo and its eyes shut in an expression of pain. Zelda. His breathing hitched and his heart raced; he immediately took the girl in his arms and checked for any signs of life, letting out a relieved sigh when he finally saw her breathing. She was clearly in distress... but she was alive.
However, that relief didn't last for long. Zelda's form slowly lifted itself from Link's grasp until the girl was hovering upright, just out of his reach. He jumped, trying at least to catch the edge of her dress, but his fingertips just barely missed the hem. He tried to scream her name, but he was muted by a maniacal laughter - a laughter he'd come to know all too well.
That man, the Demon Lord, appeared behind Zelda and held her by the chin in one hand. With a snap of the fingers on his free hand, he summoned a black dagger and licked it tauntingly while Link desperately jumped at him. Then the boy watched helplessly as he plunged the dagger into his friend's neck, eliciting a piercing scream and copious amounts of blood gurgling from her mouth, before dropping her into the scarlet sea below.
Silently screaming, Link tried to swim to her, but was soon overtaken by a bloody undertow. He went under, choking, blinded, and completely powerless -
- before he awoke in his bed, his pillow drenched with sweat.
Link panicked for a moment; in his desperation, he had forgotten he was dreaming. Once he remembered he was in the waking world again, he managed to calm himself, but only enough to notice the wave of nausea that suddenly overtook him. Swallowing back the bile he knew was creeping up, he quickly rolled out of bed and reached for his wastebasket, where he continued to retch until he could hold it no longer.
He thought he could handle the dreams - he thought he could handle anything that stood in his way. What he couldn't handle, he realized, was failing. The thought of his Zelda being taken away from him forever sickened him more than even the sea of blood in his dream. After his sudden illness, he wheezed and tried to wipe the sweat and tears from his face.
"Master, you seem to have fallen quite ill," chimed Fi's voice from behind. "I highly recommend returning to bed."
Link turned to face his companion. "Fi - " he managed to say before launching into a series of coughs. When he caught his breath again, he continued. "I... I had another dream."
"Of the evil at the Sealed Grounds?"
He shook his head. "No, it was..." he dropped his face into his hands. "It was that demon... he was killing her - he killed Zelda...!"
"...The content of this dream would account for the high levels of stress I've detected in your aura. This stress may also account for your physical symptoms."
"Fi, that's not the point!" cried Link, digging his nails into his forehead. "When I dreamed about that - that thing, it came true... and now..." He lowered his hands and looked pleadingly at Fi. "...this isn't going to come true, too, is it?"
The ethereal spirit paused for a moment, her processes ablaze with calculations as she searched for the one that would most please her master. When she found it, she spoke again.
"...The probability of such a thing occurring is quite low, Master. First, your dream is likely a result of high levels of stress and anxiety. It is not necessarily a premonition."
Now that he thought of it, he was reaching his limit. He had always been anxious over his mission, but he kept pushing that aside in order to press forward. Once Zelda went through the gate at the Temple of Time, however, he no longer had any way of reaching her. In light of that, it was no wonder he would have exploded like this.
Fi continued. "There is also the matter of Ghirahim's access to Zelda. As the first Gate of Time has been destroyed, the only other point of entry to where she is would be through the Gate of Time at the Sealed Temple. If I recall, the woman there stated that only sacred power could open the gate, power that a demonic entity such as Ghirahim could never wield should he even possess knowledge of the gate. With these facts, I have calculated the probability of Ghirahim reaching Zelda at this time to be a mere 2%."
Link listened to her cold calculations and found them strangely comforting. Surely, this was Fi's odd way of calming him down. While she probably couldn't actually feel badly for him, she could at least see his distress and make an attempt to remedy it; that alone was enough to allow him to breathe more easily.
"...You're right." The boy stood, adjusting his hat and smiling sleepily at his partner. "I probably just let everything bottle up and - well, you know. Thanks."
The spirit nodded. "To reduce your stress levels, I recommend a brief period of rest before setting out to find the Sacred Flames. The search will be far more efficient once you have rejuvenated your body and mind."
"Then I guess I'll stay in Skyloft a bit longer."
"Should I confirm your decision to make an extension of your stay in Skyloft?"
He rubbed at his eyes. "Sure, go ahead."
"Yes, Master. Rest well."
In a flash of light, Fi disappeared once more into the Goddess Sword, leaving Link alone to fall back into his bed. Only a 2% chance... that wasn't anything he should waste his time mulling over. Instead, he chose to fill his thoughts with what he and Zelda would do the day they reunited.