Force of Nature
By Queenie Z

The rain washed away the blood that seeped from the gaping wound in his side, staining the celestial battlefield with watery clouds of red. Pressing against his injury with his left hand and keeping an unbreakable grip on the Master Sword with his right, Link struggled to keep himself conscious. He lifted his head and bit hard on his tongue - concentrate! - for if he failed now, everything would fall in the hands of the terrible demon looming over him.

Demise lowered his black blade, grimacing at the fallen boy with contempt. As he thought, the one Hylia called "hero" was nothing more than a frail little human with bones that snapped like twigs and flesh he could tear apart with his bare hands. The sound of his scoffing filled the air, and he lowered his head towards his opponent.

"I told you to make this interesting," he bellowed, "did I not, human?"

Link bit down even harder. He had no intention of entertaining this monster. He lifted himself up just enough to give his left hand access to his pouch, wincing at the pain this caused.

The king of demons noticed this, but paid it no mind. "Your kind is a foolish lot, telling tales of unstoppable heroes yet being completely helpless in a real battle." He ran a clawed finger over the serrated edge of his sword. "Do you still plan on taking back the Goddess' soul while you're on the verge of death, boy?"

Giving no thought to his enemy's taunts, Link finally pulled out the bottle he was looking for. He brought the cork to his mouth, gripped it with his teeth, and yanked it out, freeing the tiny healing fairy within the glass. As it flew all around him, the gash in his side closed, and he relaxed a bit as the excruciating pain left his body in an instant.

Demise raised his guard again. "Certainly you can't call on the power of those insects forever!" He smirked. "Eventually you'll have no choice but to fall for good."

Link stumbled to his feet. "I won't have to," he said, quietly but with an edge of resolution. Blinking away the water dripping from his bangs, he reached down and picked up his shield.

"Your arrogance amuses me - " The evil god swung at the boy, his blade clashing with the blessed shield each time, " - but you still have not answered my question! Why do you persist in trying to reclaim Hylia's spirit!"

"I'm reclaiming my friend!" Link lunged forward with his shield, causing Demise to recoil from his last strike and giving the hero his chance. He attacked, the white light of the holy blade causing pain to surge through Demise's body.

But the dark monster was unperturbed. He leapt back as soon as he could and guffawed. "Come now, you can't possibly mean that worthless vessel!"

Link's nails dug into his palms at the word "worthless".

"What a shameful form for such a worthy adversary to take!" He sneered. "You claim that you're fighting for that filthy sack of flesh and bone... It is as I said: you humans are the most foolish creatures of all...!"

If Demise were ever to regret one thing in his eons of existence, it would be uttering those words. In that moment, Link changed. His form tensed, and a shadow crept over his boyish face, now wrinkled with a fury unlike anything the demon had ever seen. His eyes, once sparkling with innocence, now glowed with something Link had never truly felt before this battle - hatred, a righteous hatred for this beast who had corrupted his world with evil and had stolen away the person most precious to him. The enraged hero braced himself and held his mighty blade skyward.

"Her name," he snarled unflinchingly as a bolt of lightning caught the Master Sword, imbuing it with a terrible blue light, "is Zelda!"

Taken aback by this sudden change in the boy's demeanor, Demise didn't have the chance to guard against the electricity he fired at him. The demon fell to his knees with a cry and could do nothing but stare at his foe as he stormed undauntedly towards him. Yes, he thought, he could now see why Hylia had chosen this one. He possessed a power that he and his kind once thought didn't even exist; a fierce and undying love for his world and everyone in it, and most of all, a love for the wretched girl he called Zelda. With that love came courage, wisdom, and power, honed to their peak through his many trials and transforming him into something far greater than a man - far greater than a demon - far greater than even the hero he was chosen to be.

Link attacked Demise with such a force as to throw him on his back. Then, with a cry that echoed through the heavens, he leapt into the air and drove the Master Sword through the beast's chest. As Demise roared in pain, he looked into the face of the being who had become a force of nature in one short moment.

He was grinning.

He was victorious.