Destiny's Prey

By Eyes5

I never expected on that fateful day I got my Guardian Fairy that I would be the defender of the Triforce and the entire world. I guess that must be destiny at its best. My name is Link, the lone Kokiri protecter of this world. I never asked to be part of this evil conspiracy that will overwhelm Hyrule. Only a few days ago, the scariest part of life was the nightmares about the black horseman. Now, life has gotten a lot scarier and the dream has become a reality.

The evil in my nightmare has taken shape to a man named Ganondorf, leader of the Gerudo thieves. Zelda, Princess of Hyrule, has asked me to retrieve all the spiritual stones for her plan to foil Ganondorf. With the spiritual stone of forest, the Kokiri's Emerald, already safely in my hands, I set foot on Hyrule Field with Kakariko Village as my next destination.

"Cursed timing," I muttered to myself as I realized that I left the gates of the market place right at sunset. The drawbridge closed behind me, cutting me off from the safe haven of the town.

"Tsk, tsk," Navi teased, landing on my shoulder. "Link, you should have waited until morning before going into Hyrule Field. You still have a lot to learn before you're a true Hero." I shooed her off my shoulder in annoyance. She dodged my hand easily with blithe laughter. The fairy's amusement didn't last long. She homed in and buzzed around a pair of Stalchild who rose with the howling of Wolfos in the forest.

The Stalchild are easy to defeat, since thier brains have long been eaten away by bugs and worms. However, they can be deadly in large packs. I picked up the rupees that they left behind and continued on my journey. By the time I reached Kakariko village, the sun was peeking up from behind Death Mountain. I decided to take a break before I thoroughly explored the village.

………zzzzz……

"Aaagh!" I shouted. A flash of intense light penetrated my eyelids and woke me from my sleep.

"Wake up!" Navi shouted. I gaped at her, amazed by the intensity of the light she created. The fairy was somehow able to emit a blinding light that shocked me awake. "You have been sleeping for a full 24 hours!" she huffed. "You are so lazy, Link!"

I sat up groggily, rubbing sleep out of my eyes. "So?" I answered. "I didn't get any sleep ever since I first met you! And you get all the sleep you want hiding in my tunic." I muttered. In any case, I washed my face, picked up my belongings and started to explore the peaceful village of Kakariko.

I don't know what drew me there, but I made the Kakariko graveyard my first destination. But as much as I wanted to explore the tombstones, there was a child who keeps eyeing me every time I go near one of the graves. When I tried to push one of them, the kid ran over to me.

"Hey, don't touch those!" He shouted, pouting slightly to show his disappointment. "Have more respect for the dead. Leave them in peace!"

A twig snapped behind the boy and caused him to turn around as if searching for something. "What are you looking for?" I asked.

"Dampé," the boy replied. "I never get to see him because he comes out only at night and I'm not allowed to go outside when he comes."

"Really?" I asked slyly, "I thought I saw him near the house of Skulltula in the village…" I didn't have time to finish my sentence since he ran into the village yelling,"Dampé! Wait up!"

"Oh, very clever," Navi remarked with obvious distaste of fooling such a young child.

I pushed the tombstone aside and climbed into the hole that was hidden under it. I found myself in the Royal Family's tomb. I read the tombstones for any clues when suddenly, I couldn't move! "Navi!" I cried. "Help me!"

"What's wrong?" She said, flying out of my tunic. Then she screamed and flew behind me. I tried to see what was coming towards me but the paralysis hasn't worn off yet. "Link, don't just stand there, do something!!" Navi cried, flashing a deep yellow.

"Well excuuuuse me!" I muttered with heavy sarcasam. Suddenly, I was able to control my body again. I immediately unshealthed my sword and swiped at the creature behind me. A ReDead, already in attacking range! It paused, giving me valuable time to run behind it for a better angle. "Lock on, Navi!" I shouted and I was able to circle behind the ReDead to prevent it from lunging at me. A few well aimed Deku nuts and sword swings were enough to turn the zombie back into the dust in which it came.

"Ha, serves him right!" Navi said, fluttering over the dead ReDead. "Woke me from a lovely nap. Yawn…" Navi flew lazily back towards her home in my tunic. I rolled my eyes at the mischievious fairy. "Hey!" She cried suddenly and flew near a tombstone. She turned green with excitement. "Come here, Link, look at this!"

I walked cautiously, careful to avoid the bones and other remains that littered the ground. "What is it, Nav…i…Oh, by the Great Deku Tree!!" I exclaimed in shock. There, laying helpless on the ground, was a small boy, even younger than me. His eyes and features were scrunched up tightly in pain. He has a mess of silvery hair and his breathing was quick and uneven. The bloody scratches around his neck and rotting around his back and shoulders made it obvious what had attacked him. The ReDead was probably ready to suck out the poor boy's brains when I intruded.

I quickly unbottled my valuable red potion and poured it into the boy's mouth. He choked and threw up and his breathing became even harder. "It's OK," I said to the boy and to Navi, "Help me, Navi," I held up his head and evenly poured the rest of the potion into his mouth. Navi landed on the boy's neck, willing him to swallow.

When he had swallowed the last drop, the rot and blood began to disappear, replaced by new skin. Finally, he regained consiousness and sat up. His blazing red eyes stared into my soul and held me in place as if he was a ReDead himself. "Thanks for saving me," He said. He tried to stand but collapsed, still weak from that near-death experience.

"My name is Link, of the Kokiri, protectors of the forest." I said, offering him my hand to help him stand.

"Ha," He replied, batting mischieviously at my hand. "You think being a Kokiri is so special." He struggled up to his full height. Although he's about three years younger than I am, I was suprised to see that he was almost as tall as me. "Well, my name is Enichah," His expression suddenly grew serious and his piercing red eyes gazed into mine. "Of the Shiekah, defenders of the Royal Family."

"You're a Shiekah?!" I exclaimed in awe.

"Yep," Enichah said proudly. He looked around and bit his bottem lip. "Look, I have to go, Link. My mom's gonna kill me if she finds out I've been hanging around here!" He ran towards the enterance and waved good-bye. "Look for me in Kakariko Village in the house of Impa."

I waved back and turned my attention to the tombstones, searching the grave for more clues and items. I found the Sun's Song engraved on a stone and after learning it, headed off to Death Mountain, where the second spiritual stone lies in wait.

……………………

"Being a hero isn't too difficult," I thought to myself with amusement. Only three days had passed since I met Enichah and already the Gorgon's Ruby was among my collection of Spiritual Stones. Feeling pretty good, I decided to challenge myself with a game at the Shooting Gallery in Hyrule Market.

To my surprise, I found Enichah there, also eager for a chance to win the prize!

"Hey Link!" Enichah waved to attract my attention. "I challenge you to a slingshot game!"

"Sure," I replied, taking out my own slingshot which was much more stylish than his homemade one. I smiled devilishly. "But don't expect to win."

"Hah!" He shouted and took the first turn to shoot at the rupees. "Beat that!" Enichah said once he shot at a suprising amount of rupees. I took my turn at shooting the rupees. I managed to beat Enichah's score but just barely.

"I'll trade my prize for yours," Enichah said when we were at the counter to get our prize.

"No way!" I replied as the manager handed us our reward. I managed to snag a heart piece while Enichah just got a couple of rupees.

"Well, at least let me treat you to lunch," Enichah said, jingling the gems in his pocket. "It's the least I can do to repay you for saving my life."

We sat under a tree watching the people come and go as we ate our lunch. "Mmm, what is this stuff?" I asked, taking a huge bite out of the strange meat pie I was given. Very nice, it's chewy on the outside with juice and tender pieces of meat that oozed out from the inside.

"It's called Tekiggas," Enichah replied, biting into his own pie. "It's the heart, lungs and liver of a Tektite stuffed in its own stomach."

I swallowed and turned slightly pale. I suddenly figured out why Navi turns yellow every time she flys over my food. "Repeat that!?" I said in a dry voice desperatly hoping I had heard wrong.

"It's the heart, lungs…"

"Actually, don't repeat it." I said. When Enichah wasn't looking, I waved the Tekiggas behind me, hoping to attract the attention of a stray dog I saw wondering past.

"Do you come here often?" Enichah asked, taking a bite out of his own Tekiggas.

"Sort of," I answered, only half listening to him. Cursed dog! It was wondering farther away.

"I come here to visit my mother," Enichah said, looking dreamily at the clouds. "She works in the castle so I don't get to see her much." He sighed. "Link, you haven't told me about your parents. What are they like?"

I shrugged. Victory! The dog was coming towards me. "Kokiri don't have parents." The dog sniffed at my Tekiggas, licked it twice, and ran away to look for a better source of food. I cursed under my breath. "By the way, who is your mother?"

"Impa,"

"WHAT!?" I dropped the Tekiggas. "Why didn't you tell me that earlier!?"

"You know my mother?!" Enichah cried, dropping his own Tekiggas. "When did you see her?"

"In the castle when I met…" I stopped midsentence. The less people who knew about my meeting with Zelda, the better.

Enichah clenched his fists with a pained look on his face. "Impa works full time at the castle," I said, "When does she have the time to take care of you?"

Enichah sighed, "She doesn't," He smiled a weak smile.

"I know that the Shiekah's duty is to protect the royal family, but…" I looked at Enichah. "Shouldn't your mother put family before duty?"

Ehichah stared at me again with his crimson eyes. "She says that the protection of her ward is not just duty, it's destiny."

"Her ward is Zelda?" I asked.

"Yep," He replied with a hint of distaste. He suddenly changed his emotions and laughed. "So, did you enjoy your Tekiggas?" I smiled an overly innocent smile at him. Enichah laughed. "Well, I've bugged you long enough, Link. Where are you headed off to?"

I gathered my belongings and stood up. "I'm going to save the world." I said with a wink.

Enichah laughed. "Well, don't get into trouble or I'm gonna have to rescue you." He ran off into the marketplace and waved a farewell. I waved back and headed towards my next destination, Zora's Domain.

…………………

Five days have passed and the last Spiritual Stone, Zora's Sapphire, was finally in my possesion, but at a terrible price. I had a feeling that my devil's deal with Princess Ruto was going to find a way to sneak up and bite me in the behind when I least expect it to. I was feeling shaken up, and that's what made me lose my concentration when the unexpected happened.

I saw it all. But I stood unprepared, helpless while Zelda and Impa fled the castle with Ganondorf not far behind, with murder in his mind and heart. The desperation in Zelda's eyes and the evil in Ganondorf's, were enough to haunt my dreams forever.

Ganondorf, Impa and Zelda vanished into the night. I stared at the point where they disappeared, so full of thoughts, memories and emotions that I collapsed on my knees. Had I failed?Will Ganondorf catch Zelda, kill her, and draw the world into evil? Navi was as speechless as I was. She was perched on my left shoulder, flashing a rainbow of colors that reflected her unstable emotions.

I suddenly stood up, and shook myself out of the trance. "C'mon, Navi!" I yelled to the fairy who was now fluttering nervously above my head. "We've got a destiny to fulfill!!" I dived into the moat and swam under the drawbridge. I was sure I saw Zelda throw something in the moat when she escaped the castle. I couldn't see very well underwater but I was able to make out something that looked blue and out of place in the water. I picked it up and swam back to shore.

"The Ocarina of Time," Navi said in awe. It was true, beyond the legend, the Ocarina of Time, a relic of such uncomprehendable powers, the item that Ganondorf was looking for, right here, safely in my hands. I was amazed by the mystic blue glow of the legendary instrument and power I felt flowing into my viens.

"Link…"

"Zelda!?!" I called. I spun around, certain I had heard Zelda's voice.

"Link, don't worry about me, I am safe." Zelda said. "I am sorry that I ran away. At least I could leave you the Ocarina and this melody. This song opens the Door of Time…" A lovely tune played in my mind, so haunting the melody, that is is impossible forget. "Now, Link," She continued, "Play this melody in front of the altar in the Temple of Time. You must protect the Triforce!"

"Zelda, WAIT!!" I cried, but her voice faded. I waited a few minutes, hoping her voice would return. Finally, I tucked the Ocarina of Time in my satchel and unshealthed my Kokiri sword. I swung the sword and with a wild grin on my face, ran towards the Temple of Time. Navi flew above me in tight circles. Both of us estatic with the thought that with the Spiritual Stones and the Ocarina of Time, keys to the Temple of Time and its great power, we have what it takes to defeat Ganondorf and the evil he commands!

……one hour……

……and seven years later……

Whoever it was that said time is relative, wasn't kidding. In was seemed to me like no time at all, seven years passed, enough for Hyrule to feel the devastation of evil. The marketplace was empty of people and full of ReDeads. Wow, you miss a few years and the world goes nuts!

I stepped into Hyrule Field with my long, muscular legs. Seeing my reflection in a puddle, I took note of how different I look. I noticed I now had an earring I one ear and a tattoo of the Triforce etched into my left hand. Rauru must have been a superstitious guy and did that to give me luck or something. Although my arms became stronger after much use of the Kokiri Sword, it would not compare with the biceps I have now, which look like they would pop upon impact with a needle. My hair is a bird's-nest; the result of seven years of bed hair. I combed my fingers though it and it actually looked quite nice. My chest was well formed and my face well defined with sharp features. I smiled to myself. Overall, it was a look that girls would definitely fall for. I shook my head. Why was I thinking of girls all of a sudden? I guess this teenage body comes with a teenage mind.

Following the advice of the Shiekah, Shiek, I headed for Kakariko Village. Hmm…'Hero of Time' I kind of like that name. The meeting with Shiek reminded me of Enichah. I took a mental note to visit his house, the house of Impa. Upon reaching the village, I was relieved to find that most of the people who used to work in the marketplace in Kakariko. Enichah, however, wasn't home.

I made the graveyard my first destination. Inside a tomb, I raced the famed Dampé for the prize, the valuable hookshot. The only exit was out through the windmill but I haven't finished searching the tombs. I returned to the graveyard and to my surprise, I found a teenager battling two poes.

The battle was very hectic, and nobody seemed to be winning. Poes are a piece of cake for me to defeat but the boy doesn't have any decent weapons except for a few Deku sticks, Deku nuts and his bare fists. When he finally managed to knock one Poe down, the other attacked him from behind. He reeled in pain, obviously taking more damage in comparison to my reaction to such an attack. I immediately jumped in to help him. One slash from my powerful Master Sword was enough to turn the Poe into smoke.

The teenager brushed himself off and mumbled about how he didn't need my help. I suddenly realized how much he looks like me. We both have about the same build and height. His silver hair was tied back into a short ponytail but the bangs were almost identical to mine. I supposed that I would have felt as indignant as he did if I let someone else kill a Poe that I was perfectly capable of defeating. He suddenly turned around and stared at me with those familiar, red eyes.

"Enichah!" I yelled.

He backed away and looked me over. "Do I know you…?" he asked. Then his eyes lit up. "Ohmigosh, it's you, Link! You saved me from that ReDead seven years ago!" He snapped his fingers. "Dang it. Now I owe you twice for saving my life!"

I laughed. "You fight pretty well for a kid with a few Deku nuts and sticks, ghost-buster," I joked.

"Ghost-buster!?" He pushed me away and let his jaw drop in mock insult. "Hey, I left my slingshot at home. And I don't have cool weapons like that sword of your's." He took a casual glance at my sword. Then his entire attention was focused on it.

"The Master Sword!?" He grabbed the blade of my sword and looked it over with eyes as wide as a Tektite's. "This is the legendary blade of goodness and time." Enichah was transfixed on the Sword of Evil's Bane. "My mother said that only the Hero of Time can wield this sword…" He looked at me with a puzzled expression. Then he burst out laughing.

"Hah! I guess you're really going to save the world." He put his arm around my shoulders and grinned. "C'mon, Mr. Hero, tell me all about your adventures. Lunch is on me."

"Nooooo thanks," I replied, recalling that Kakariko's delicacy was Skulltula Stew. "This time I'm buying you lunch." His mouth opened to protest but I quickly said, "Hey, I'm the Hero of Time. I order you to let me buy you lunch." Both of us laughed and headed towards some of the fine dining establishments in Kakariko Village.

I ordered Deku salad for both of us. It's a Kokiri delicacy that I had gotten used to at a young age. It's made of chopped and fried Deku Babas. Enichah poked at the tough leaves with his fork and desperatly hoped for some distraction in which he can get rid of his food. I smiled inwardly at the satisfaction of sweet revenge.

We sipped on Lon Lon Milk and filled each other in on what's been happening for the last seven years. Or in my case, the last few days that I didn't see him. I told him about my adventures in Zora's Domain and about my 'engagement' with Princess Ruto. Enichah laughed until tears streamed down his face and milk nearly came out of his nostrils.

I was glad that there was someone familiar from my past who still has the heart of a child. I may be seven years older, but my spirit hasn't aged a day. In this world of evil, you can die not from wounds, but from loneliness.

"So, all-mighty Hero of Time," Enichah said with a droll smile, "Need any help on your journey?"

"What are you suggesting?" I asked suspiciously.

"I want to be a hero too." Enichah sat with his arms crossed in a sign of stubborness. "I won't take no for an asnwer."

"Well, how about 'I don't think so' or 'Forget it, buddy' or 'Not a chance'?" I asked.

"Then prepare for the consequence!!" Enichah grinned. "Waiter, five plates of Tekiggas for the gentlemen there," Enichah smiled evily at me. "I know you just LOOOOVE Tekiggas."

"ACK!! By the Goddesses, NO!!" I cried.

"Bwa ha ha!!" Enichah laughed. "So, you'll take me as your apprentice?"

I sighed. "O-kay, fine. But you'd better not get in my way."

"Sure thing, Boss," Enichah said with a smirk. "Let's become heros!"

Enichah went home to retrieve his slingshot and some Deku nuts and sticks. I lent him my Kokiri sword which I had outgrown only a few days ago. We took a day off for Enichah to get used to his new sword. I was amazed at the skill he possessed in swordsmanship for a boy of roughly fourteen. But I'm not the one to speak, I mastered the Kokiri sword at an even younger age. A sudden saddness flowed through me as I realized how quickly my childhood disappeared.

"Umm…It's kind of dumb to ask this now, but where are we going?" Enichah asked the next day.

I stopped in midstep. "Now that I think of it, I don't know." I admitted.

"The Lost Woods, remember?" Navi said. "Shiek told us about 'a deep forest'. Well it just so happens that Hyrule has only one forest."

"Shiek? As in Shiekah?" Enichah inquired. "Kind of a lame name."

"I know!" Navi whined. "That's the worst name I've ever heard of other than Link."

"Hey!" I yelled. "Your name is no worse than mine. 'Navi' ugh, it's so cliché."

"No fair! You haven't said anything about my name!"Enichah complained

"By the Triforce, why the heck do you pronounce your name like 'Enisha' instead of 'Eneka' or 'Enicha' when it is spelt like E-N-I-C-H-A-H?"

The trip to the Lost Woods passed quickly with the three of us arguing about names, foods and other meaningless things. If Ganondorf had seen us now, he would of stopped worrying. Ha, the fate of the world depends on two idiot kids and one fairy.

When we finally reached the cave enterance to the Kokiri's home, I stopped. I simply stopped. The Kokiri's home, my home, was empty. No laughter. No music.

"LINK!! Look out!" I spun around and found myself staring at the stem of a giant Deku Baba, its flower portion looming over me and ready to pounce. It lunged! Not having enough time to counter the attack, I braced my feet and let the attack come. The blow hit me squarely in the chest and knocked me a few meters away. I staggered in pain.

With a war cry, Enichah striked the Deku Baba with a jump attack and slashed it with a regular side swing. Its severed stem fell to the ground and shriveled until nothing but a Deku stick was left. Enichah kicked the stick in disgust. "Is this what I had for lunch yesterday?!" He demanded.

I didn't answer him. I was still absorbing the shock of what happened to my home. Where's Mido, Fado, the other Kokiri? Where's…Saria? I felt a tear trickle down my cheak.

"Hey, stop it. Hero's don't cry." Enichah said with a gentle smile, putting his hand on my shoulder.

I gave him a dirty look. "And I suppose Shiekah's don't either."

Enichah smiled slightly. "Nope," He pointed to the Shiekah's eye symbol imprinted on the corner of his vest. "The Shiekah never cry. This symbol represents our courage and bravery."

Despite the memories it brought back, I agreed to give Enichah a tour of the area. To my surprise, I found all the Kokiri hidden in their homes! I breathed a sigh of relief. At least they weren't dead.

I approached Fado, a Kokiri girl with blond hair who used to live beside me. She eyed me suspiciously and backed away, as if I was a stranger. "Hello, Mister. I haven't seen you around here before." She said shyly. I kicked myself mentally. Of course they don't recognize me! My old clan haven't seen me in seven years and Kokiri are never supposed to grow up.

I discovered that the Kokiri don't go outside often anymore because of the monsters that appeared when the Great Deku Tree no longer protected the Kokiri's home. One Kokiri revealed that Mido suspected me of killing the Great Deku Tree. I felt a wave of anger and guilt wash over me. Why should that ignoramus call me a murderer when I was trying to save the Deku Tree?! Speaking of Mido, where is he? The only two Kokiri missing are Mido and Saria.

"C'mon, Link. There's nothing more we can do here,"Enichah said, wearing his solemn expression.

"Let's go to the Forest Temple."

We went through the Lost Woods although we got lost five times. For the first four times, Enichah laughed hystericaly every time. However, when we finally found our way, Enichah was breathing hard. The Shiekah symbol on his vest started glowing red, almost identical to his own bloodred eyes. He didn't offer an explaination so I didn't ask for one.

When we reached the last turn to the Hedge Maze, a Kokiri child was blocking the enterance. …Mido! When we tried to go past him, he would block our path and tell us to go away. That was, until I played Saria's Song on the Ocarina.

"What!" Mido exclaimed in shock. "You know Saria?" He hesitated, weighing the odds. "All right. I trust you. Go quickly!" He moved aside and let me and Enichah pass.

"Hey, Link," Enichah said once we were through the Lost Woods. "You know, you have been my best friend, my only friend." He looked at me with his flaming eyes. "And since my dad died before I was born and my mother doesn't have the time to take care of me, you are my only family."

I laughed. "All right, buddy. No more Kokiri specialties for you. It's making you mushy." I smiled at him, expecting to see the same smile reflected back. But there was no hint of humor on Enichah's face. Yes, there was a smile but not a happy one, it was almost melancholy.

"Enichah, are you okay?" I asked. He was acting extremely out of character. His Shiekah symbol was still glowing.

Enichah laughed, but it was a painful sound, a laugh that held his lifetime of sorrow and loss that I knew he was holding inside.

"The Shiekah, like many other races," Enichah whispered, "Have many powers, although they have grown thin over time." He took a deep breath before continuing. "Sometimes, the Shiekah have the power to see into the future." He looked around. "Hey, we've reached the Hedge Maze." He sighed deeply, relieved to move on to a different topic.

I kept my shield up. "I used to go here when I was a kid," I said. "This place was overgrown with Deku Shrubs." I surveyed the surrounding area. "Humph. They're all gone."

"Look out!!" Enichah yelled, pointing behind me. I spun around. Moblin! It bellowed, going full speed ahead, right towards us! I didn't have time to draw my sword so I rolled out of the way. The Moblin didn't stop. It was now charging Enichah! He drew his sword but it was too late.

"NO!!" I screamed as the Moblin skewered him, and didn't stop running until it hit the wall. I drew my sword and began charging it up for the Spin Attack. The Moblin put one foot on Enichah's shoulder and pulled its spear out of his body, ripping flesh and tendon in the process. Enichah screamed in agony.

I slashed the monster with a medium-powered Spin Attack. The Moblin barely flinched. It raised its spear to impale Enichah again. This time, the spear was driven right through Enichah's Shiekah symbol and left lung. He gasped and coughed, choking on his own blood.

In desperation, I took out my hookshot and aimed it at the Moblin. To my surprise, it worked! The Moblin bellowed in pain before it incinerated into smoke. But none of that mattered.

"Enichah!!!" I yelled. I gasped at what I saw. Enichah, bloody and broken, with one leg twisted in an unnatural position. His intestines were visable and blood trickled down the corners of his mouth.

For a few seconds, I just stood there in shock. Then I fumbled in my satchel for my bottled red potion. I tried to pour it into Enichah's mouth but he grabbed my arm weakly.

"Stop it, Hero." Enichah whispered. "The time has come for the Goddesses to take me."

"No, don't say things like that." I stammered. "You can't die. Everything's going to be okay. I should have taken the hit. I could have lived through it. I have more Heart Containers than you…"

He smiled weakly. "We Shiekah sometimes predict the future. I knew I was going to die today."

I took his hand in mine and held it in front of me as tears formed in my eyes. He returned my Kokiri sword with his other hand. The hilt of the sword was bloodstained with Enichah's blood.

He looked at me with his burning crimson eyes for what seemed like the last time. "Impa wasn't much of a mother to me but…" He stopped to gasp for breath. "If…if it wasn't for destiny, she would have loved me. Tell her, if you ever meet her, that I…I still love her…"

Enichah went into a coughing fit and his whole body shook with concussions. "Link!!" He screamed. He grabbed the sleeve of my tunic. "I…I don't want to die!" He coughed and choked until he ran out of energy. Then he gasped for air. When he was too weak to do that, his eyes closed, never to be opened again. Tears ran down my cheeks.

I leaned close to him. I could still hear his heart beating…once…twice…He released his last breath as his entire body relaxed. And then……nothing. Nothing!!

"NOOOOOOOOO!!!" The birds in the trees fell silent. The entire forest was still as I mourned for a Shiekah, a couragous fighter, my friend, Enichah.

I could not continue to fight. I can not force myself to even strike at an enemy with out thinking of the pain that Enichah had to go through. I crept into the Kokiri village at night and returned to my house. I stayed there for two days. At first, Navi pestered me with complaints that we should continue on our quest. I threw a pot at her. The pot hit the wall and one of the fragments nearly damaged her fragile wings. She flew out of my house in fear.

Navi did not wander far away. She stayed by my house, watching through the windows as I cried myself to sleep every night. I wept for the loss of Enichah, Zelda, Saria and for the devastation the world has scumbed to. I am fighting in a foreign world where I have no friends, where my chances of saving Hyrule where lower than a bottomless pit. I was afriad, I admit it. Enichah was so much like me. The same ambition, courage and stubbonness. And now he has died. I can die as easily as he did. They say that Destiny is a good thing. I disagree. It killed Enichah, it allowed Ganondorf to take over Hyrule. But it let me be the Hero of Time. What good can that do? I'm just a worthless kid that's stuck in an adult body. That suddenly lead me to a new thought. I am the Hero of Time. I have the Ocarina of Time and the Master Sword. I have the power to change time itself!

I ran out of my house. I could sense that Navi was following me not far behind. Curse this twisted future, I'm going back to the past!

The journey to the Temple of Time passed by in a blur. I didn't pause to fight any enemies or anything. When I finally reached the Altar of Time, I just stood there breathing heavily.

"Link, what are you doing?" Navi asked from a safe distance behind me.

"If I can change time," I said to her without looking. "I can change Destiny."

Navi whirled around, flashing nervous colors. "That's not right," She whispered. "Destiny is never written in stone but you have already determined the future. If you go back in time to change it, the frabic of time-space could be twisted and broken!"

"I don't care!!" I screamed, choking back tears. "Ganondorf has taken over Hyrule. Enichah is dead. He…he was one of my only true friends. Him, Saria, Zelda and…you, Navi." I gazed at the fairy with pleading eyes. She flew closer and landed on my shoulder, like she always did. "If I lived though the seven years of my absence, maybe things would be different. Maybe I can stop Ganondorf before he conquered Hyrule. Enichah would be alive…"

I stepped towards the Altar of Time. Navi didn't protest. I plunged the Master Sword into its marble pedestal as seven years of the past engulfed me in blue light.

My hands released the hilt of the legendary blade. My small, childlike hands. I ran out of the temple and looked around me. I was back!! The sky was blue and I can hear distant sounds from the marketplace. I laughed. It felt strange. I haven't laughed in a long time.

I stopped at a sidewalk stall to buy something to eat. Tekiggas. It may have bad origins, but it still tastes great. I sat in the exact spot where I first tasted the delicacy with Enichah, hoping I could relive the moment.

I stayed as long as my anxiousness would let me. Then I headed off towards Kakariko Village, and went straight to the house of Impa. With shaking fingers, I opened the door. Standing in the center of the one-room house was Enichah, alive and as mischievious as ever, trying to milk his cow.

"Enichah!" I yelled.

My yell evidently surprised him and he jerked slightly. The movement caused him to pull the poor cow into bellowing in pain. Enichah spun around and threw me one of his paralyzing stares.

"Link! What are you doing here?!" He demanded once he saw that I was the uninvited guest. He sighed. "This cow is so annoying. She's from Lon Lon Ranch and is supposed to be a good milker but she barely gives more than a cupful a day. I don't know what to do with her!"

"Watch the master," I said as I took out my Ocarina and played 'Epona's song'. The cow mooed and wagged her tail lazily in respose. I took out one of my empty bottles and to Enichah's great surprise, filled it with milk from the cow. "Music is the key," I said to the slack-jawed Enichah.

I helped Enichah cage his cow again and do some other housework. We laughed, I told him about my adventures in Zora's Domain that he will hear from me again in seven years. I even told him about how he dies in the future. He didn't act surprised. All he said was "I could see that coming."

For the next two weeks, I regained some of my lost time as a child. I visited some of the temples, the castle, and other sacred places where Ganondorf was likely to attack. There was nothing suspicious going on so I just took it easy. I tried all the different foods that Hyrule has to offer, dispite some of their shady backgrounds. I now live in Enichah's home, since the journey from my house to Kakariko Village was too far for convenience. There were still some dark doubts in my mind about my warping of time, but I put all of that behind me.

I was sitting on a cliff on Death Mountain with Enichah and my Sworn Brother, Darunia, watching the sun sink behind mountains yet unexplored. Enichah and I were trying our best to choke down the 'Top Serlion' rocks that Darunia offered us for refreshments. I told Darunia the story of my adventures although Enichah has heard it several times. When I finished, there was an awkward silence between the three of us. That was, until Enichah broke it with his usual bluntness.

"Um, Darunia? You're scaring us." Enichah said with a hint of mock fear.

"I fear, that what you said is true," Darunia said with his usual grim expression. "I fear that the frabic of time has been broken, although we can hardly feel it right now."

"What do you mean?" I asked, regarding him with disbelieving eyes.

"Most creatures of Hyrule are blessed with pointed ears, gifts from the Goddesses. If you listen closely, you can hear echos of distant voices, echos from the future and past." Darunia gazed at the horizon. "You're probably too young to hear it, but I hear tangled, twisted and broken fragments of events from the future. The distortion of time can have chaotic consiquences…" Darunia closed his eyes and concentrated, as if listening to the wind. Enichah and I were caught in another silent spell.

I looked down at the Temple of Time, clearly visible from this peak. I wondered at what kind of catastrophy I had created. I wondered at the awsome, unquestionable power of Time itself.

The night was a long, quiet one. Enichah and I were sleeping on the roof of his house since it was a warm night and the stars were out. Enichah fell asleep right away, exausted by the climb down Death Mountain. I couldn't sleep. I kept thinking about what Darunia said, how he can hear that time has been changed. I closed my eyes and tried to listen to the future, as Darunia can. As much as I try, I can hear nothing but the calm wind and songs of insects in the night. Soon, I fell asleep.

Nightmares. I was so terrified of them before the Great Deku Tree summoned me. So terrified that I used to be afraid to sleep. This time, the nightmare was different. At first it seemed like a dream. I could see Zelda, Saria, Navi, Enichah, Malon, Darunia, Impa, Ruto, King Zora and all the people of Hyrule standing in a row. The funny thing was that I can see myself among them as if I was someone else. Shadows rose behind all the people and took shape as their older selves. Some new people rose out of the gloom, such as Shiek and Rauru. I can even see two versions of myself, older and younger. The whole crowd formed a circle around me. A writhing darkness rose near me and grew until it became the King of Evil, Ganondorf. I was terrified of him, but somehow, I felt strangely drawn to him. He smirked at me and laughed. Suddenly, the Ocarina of Time appeared between us. He reached for it and the whole world shivered. He withdrew his hand. When I touched the ocarina, everyone around the circle wailed in tortured voices. The faces of all the people in the circle writhed in agony and twisted or fragmented.The people glowed and melted until they formed an intense blue light. The light resonateded through time and space and grew until it ripped apart. The dying screams of Hyrule echoed in my mind. I screamed.

"Link! Link! Wake up!! Are you okay?!" Navi fluttered anxiously by my face. I woke with pearls of sweat dripping down my forehead and I was breathing heavily. "Link, look around!"

I sat in silent shock at what I saw. Kakariko Village was full of burning and collapsed buildings. "What happened here?" I asked nobody. I looked around. Enichah was gone!

Navi and I patroled through the village, trying to find hints of what happened to Kakariko. I paled when I remembered my nightmare. The memory of destruction and death. Was it an omen of what happened here? The village was deserted. We decided to go to Hyrule Market to ask for clues.

In Hyrule Field, I suddenly heard a lovely song that seemed to come from Lon Lon Ranch. Epona's Song, sung by Malon, no doubt. I decided to stop there for a rest. The ranch seemed to be the same as it was before. I can see a flash of red hair in the middle of the field. Strangely, a mare with a white mane galloped past me. She looks almost like Epona. Probably her mother or something. I walked towards Malon. To my astonishment, when I got a closer look at Malon, she wasn't a small girl anymore, she was a teenage woman!

"Link!" Malon called happily once she saw me. She waved.

"Hi, Malon." I managed to say. She ran over to me and didn't seem to notice I'm younger than her. Maybe she knows that Kokiri don't ever mature. Even though, I have seen for myself that I'm different from other Kokiri because I can grow up.

"You should have visited sooner, Link," Malon said with her hands on her hips as an expression of mock annoyance.

"Hey Malon, you've…uh, grown…" I stammered. I had to raise my head in order to make eye contact with her.

She blushed slightly and laughed. "Have you seen Epona yet? She's a fine young mare and growing more beautiful each day. Epona!"

The horse with the white mane came galloping over. Epona lowered her head and I scratched her nose. "Say, Malon, I have to get going now, I'm supposed to be at Hyrule market."

"Oh. Alright. Bye!" She looked disappointed and waved as I left the ranch.

I ran as fast as my feet could carry me. "What the heck is going on!?" I yelled in anger and fear.

Navi flew out of my tunic and hovered in front of me. "Darunia may be right. Your time traveling twisted the frabic of time-space. The balance must have broken last night. Didn't you feel it?"

"NO!!" I shouted. "I am the Hero of Time! I have the power to make time flow as I please! It can't go against me!" I stopped and gasped for breath. Sweat and tears covered my face and dripped off my chin. I fell to my knees and dug my fingers into the soil in desperation and frustration.

Navi flew in front of me to survey the top of a hill. Then she dropped. She fell to the ground as if she suddenly forgot how to fly.

"Navi!" I yelled as I ran up the hill. What I saw stopped me dead in my tracks like it had shocked Navi. Hyrule Market was visible from where I was standing. I can already see and hear the activity of daily life in the market. However, Ganondorf's castle, complete with the lava pit, hovered where the Hyrule Palace used to stand.

The two of us gaped at the castle for what seemed to be forever. I swallowed and walked towards the drawbridge that separated the market from the field. The marketplace was identical to the original one. People smiled and waved as I passed by. I stopped by two arguing men to ask them what the HECK WAS GOING ON!

"Um, excuse me, but where is Hyrule Castle?" I asked.

"Can't you see it up there?" One of the men replied. He pointed at the floating castle.

"Oh. Princess Zelda lives there, right?"

"Huh? Zelda? Are you insane? King Ganondorf lives up there." The other man said.

"Hmm. Does he run the kingdom well?"

"Oh yeah. He's a great leader. Even better than the last King."

"??? Well… I heard a rumor that he was the leader of the Greudo Thieves."

"WHAT?! Geez, you must have your head screwed up. Of course he's not a Gerudo. They are only females. Zelda is the Queen of the Gerudo Thieves."

"Th..t thank you." I managed to stammer. I went over to a rock and just sat there thinking that over. Finally, in frustration I slashed at the rock. "Tell me what is going on!!"

"BOING BOING! THE TIME IS 6:15!!" The rock said.

I sighed. This wasn't going to get me anywhere. Navi flew out of my tunic and flew around in tight circles. I frowned at her. "What?" I demanded.

"What do you mean 'What?'" She shot back. "Don't you have a plan of what to do by now?"

"Why do I have to make the plans?" I complained. Navi landed on my head. "Say, what if we paid Zelda a visit?"

"I dunno…" Navi replied. "I'm afraid of what I might find. I can't imagine Zelda as a Gerudo."

"Ha! I'm not afraid of anything! Well, um…maybe except Ruto. Anyways, let's go!"

"Hold it," Navi flew in front of my face. "It's almost sunset. You should wait until morning to go."

There is no flaw in her logic but my eagerness for action burned inside me. That is, until a rumbling in my stomach made me realize how hungry and tired I was. I bought something to eat and used a bench for a temporary bed that night. So exhausted I was that I fell asleep immediately. The only dreams I had this time were unclear and distant but I didn't really have time to think about it when I woke up.

"Hey! Look! Hey! Listen! Look!" Navi cried.

She didn't sound too urgent so I decided to ignore her for the time being. But it is impossible to return to sleep with her annoying voice pestering me. Ugh…what did I eat last night? My morning breath smelled terrible. Something wet on my cheek made my eyes fly open. I found myself looking into the mouth of a stray dog.

"aaaAAAAGH!!" I fell of my bench and I realized that the garbage-like smell was from the breath of a dog that has been tasting my face. Navi fell beside me laughing her head off.

"Oh, shut up!" I yelled at the fairy. I took off my hat and spat on it and used it to wipe the putrid dog-slime off my face. I looked at the hat in disgust. "Navi, remind me to wash this later."

"Like that would make a difference," She replied sarcasticly. "By the way, when was the last time you washed it?"

I put the hat back on and grinned sheepishly. "Never." I laughed at Navi's disgust. We left the marketplace and I washed my hat in a stream that orginated from Zora's Domain. Enough idling, it's time to visit Zelda, the Queen of Gerudos.

We arrived at the bridge to Gerudo Valley soon afterwards. I wasn't exactly expecting an easy entry but a guard was posted at the only enterance to the fortress. I hid behind a rock. "Hey, Navi," I whispered. "Can you get rid of that guard?"

"Sure thing, Link" Navi replied. She flew under the bridge and reappeared in front of the Gerudo. At first, the guard ignored her, thinking she was a regular fariy. After a closer look, the guard realized she was looking at a Guardian Fairy, quiet rare and useful. The chase was on! The guard lunged at Navi but she dodged it easiy. Navi shouted taunts and curses but stayed a safe distance from the guard. Annoyed, the guard drew her sword and tried to hit Navi with the flat of the blade. This went on until Navi lead the guard far enough from the enterance for me to enter.

I don't know what I expected to find in the fortress but it sure wasn't what I saw. The Gerudos have a surprisingly organized society. Like an anthill, the people came in and out of caves built into the mountainside, each one with a task to complete. They worked like machines, never resting and with no emotion on their faces. Building, sewing, cooking, hunting, guarding, caring for their daughters, practicing archery or hoseback riding. Only the childern laughed and played under the eyes of their mothers. Of course, there is no gender discrimination here; the females did everything.

Judging from the richly dressed Gerudos that were coming in and out of one specific tunnel, I guessed Zelda would be there. Avoiding the guards, I made my way into the main chamber. The chamber was decorated with statues of marble and paintings of important people or events. Silk tapestries adorned the corners of the room and precious stones were embedded into the furniture which consisted of a large table and several chairs. I hid behind one of the tapestries.

I came at a good time. Although most of the chairs were currently unoccupied, they began to fill up as more Gerudos arrived, probably for a meeting. They were all wearing gems on their forehead, a symbol of rank, and their clothing were embroided unlike the plain outfit the guards wear.

Finally, Zelda entered the room. She was older than I last saw her, of course. Her hair was the usual blonde but streaked red and tied back in a ponytail similar to the other women in the room. Dressed like the fashion sensitive Gerudos, she looked more beautiful than ever. Nothing short of amazing. But Zelda's face matched the expression of her peers. Her lips were set in an emotionless line and her eyes are two blue pools of ice.

"I thank you for coming, my fellow Gerudos," Zelda said as she took her seat, her eyes never wavering. "I'm afraid we must discuss the threat of Ganondorf once again." Some of the Gerudos had bored expressions on their faces while others tightened their lips in anger. One of them slamed her fist onto the table.

"How much longer must we wait?!" The Gerudo snarled through clenched teeth. "How much longer can we stand being persecuted by the rest of Hyrule? It's not our fault we have to steal to survive! This desert wasteland is good for nothing but a military fortress. If we ever move to a more fertile land, those Hyrulian pigs would just chase us inferior female thieves away!" She stood up with her hand still tightly clenched. "We will show them who's inferior!!"

The room erupted in cheers and applause. But Zelda simply tapped her fingernails impatiently. "Nabooru, will you please sit down?" She said with no change in expression. "It is true that anger is a powerful weapon but hatred is a double-edged sword that destroys the user. Be sure to differenctiate between the two."

The one called Nabooru sat down. "We have reason to hate." She said quietly.

A girl suddenly ran into the chamber and whispered something into Zelda's ear. Zelda's eyebrows rose and the beginnnings of a smile tugged at the corners of her mouth.

"I'll see to that later," Zelda said, waving the girl away. The girl bowed and disappeared the way she came.

"Be patient, my friend," Zelda said to Nabooru. "The world will soon see who is superior. Females in general, Gerudos in specific. We are now closer to getting the Triforce than ever before." Gasps of pleasant surprise filled the room. Now Zelda addressed the rest of her audience. "It is a well known fact that to obtain the Triforce, one must have the three Spiritual Stones and the Ocarina of Time. We have located the Spiritual Stones. My spies tell me that they are in the possession of a male in his teens. I want all of you to be on the watch for him. He has unkept blonde hair, is of medium build and wears a dirty green hat and tunic. With such a bad fashion sense, I'm sure he would stick out in a crowd like a Dodongo among Tektites. But if you ever meet him, do not attack unless he is at a severe disadvantage. I am told that he has the Master Sword and would be a deadly adversary."

I blinked. They were talking about me! But my fashion sense is fine…Wait a minute, the discription Zelda gave was of my older self! How is that possible? In this time frame, my younger self exists. This doesn't make sense! Ganondorf already took the Triforce. The Spiritual Stones and the Master Sword are both in the Temple of Time. Or are they?

A wave of anxiousness flowed thourgh me. I wanted to return to the Temple of Time to see what happened there. But Zelda started talking about politics, agriculture and other stuff that she would have to govern as a queen. She just went on and on (and on and on).

I heard a whispered voice and jerked my head in that direction. There were two guards standing dangerously close to me! When did they come in? I didn't even notice them. They were talking in hushed voices as to not disturb their superiors. One of them was wearing heavy perfume that made my nose itch. Oh shoot, I felt a sneeze coming up! Don't these sort of things always happen at the worst time? I held my nose and shivered as the sneeze passed and my eyes filled with tears. But the shiver was enough to pass a huge ripple along the delicate tapestry I was hiding behind.

All attention was immedatly focused on me. The two guards that were near me lifted the tapestry and exposed me to the rest of the Gerudos. With a movement of her finger, Zelda motioned the guards and two others to seize me.

"Back off!" I warned. The four Gerudos that faced me drew their ever- present katanas. I drew my sword and shield and braced myself for the attack. One Gerudo swiped at me with her sword and cut deeply into the Kokiri shield. By the Triforce, it couldn't take much more of this! I took out my stone of Din. "I call upon the fire of the Goddess of Power!!" I screamed. A spray of fire blew out of the stone and surrounded me, blinding me. When my vision returned, the four Gerudos were unconscious and aflame. The others were throwing sand on their comrads to put out the fire or rolling on the ground to extinguish their own hair and clothes.

"Stop," Zelda whispered softly. With such a quiet command, Zelda halted the activites of the entire room. Then she stared at me with her eyes that could pierce the soul. "A Kokiri boy. Hmm…" Zelda cocked her head inquisitively. "Now it all makes sense. I see you have Din's Fire, child."

"Zelda," I said breathlessly. "Don't you remember me?"

Zelda continued to stare. Then she shook her head, causing volumes of raspberry-blonde hair to ripple like silk on the wind. "I'm afraid I do not, Kokiri child. Should I?"

"You must remember!" I yelled. Desperate, I took out the Ocarina of Time and played Zelda's Lullaby. The tune filled the chamber slowly but stirred every soul within it's hearing. As the song ended, the room became silent, only an echo of the Ocarina's voice remained. If this Zelda was the same Zelda I had talked to in the castle, she must remember this melody. I looked around at my audience. Every face in the room was in wonderment and awe. Especially Zelda's. But then I saw a flicker of anger dart across her face and I realized I had made a fatal error. The Gerudo's were looking for the Ocarina of Time! I had been stupid enough to show it to them and now they won't ever let me leave with it!

Zelda leaned back on the seat and combed her fingers through her long ponytail. She looked at the other Gerudos in the chamber. "Ladies," she said. "I'm sure you all realize you have just seen the legendary Ocarina of Time. I hope all of you understand that we must take advantage of this fortunate turn of events. Before the end of the day, that Ocarina will be in Gerudo hands."

I felt like a guppy among sharks. Every eye in the room was focued on me. The Gerudos narrowed their eyes and unshealthed their swords. I gulped. There is no way I can fight against all these Gerudos alone! There must be over twenty-five of them! Zelda shook her head slightly, silently and immediately every Gerudo lowered her weapon. Zelda similed.

"As much as we need the Ocarina, I will not spare my people unnessesarily. Stand back." The crowd parted, leaving a clear path between me and the queen. Her hands were still in her hair. When she removed them, each hand held four small, shuriken-like daggers; one between each finger. She held her left hand in front of her and flicked her wrists four times.

I was confused for a split second. That's when I realized her left hand was no longer holding the daggers. The daggers are flying right at me!!

By the time all this processed through my brain, two of the daggers already whizzed by either side of my head, grazing each of my long ears. I quickly raised my shield. If I didn't make that last movement, the last two daggers would have struck directly in my eyes. One of them even came half way through the shield before lodging in the wood. I gaped at the blade.

"That was only a warning shot. As you can see, I am an excellent markswoman." Zelda examined the daggers in her right hand as if she was examining her fingernails. Her eyes glittered like the polished blades. "There is no need for you to die. If you hand over the Ocarina now, I will let you leave with your life." She smiled savagely.

I am really beginning to dislike this Zelda. I nodded quietly as I dislodged the daggers from my shield. But I did not take out my Ocarina which I would give to no one; not even Zelda (as strange as that may sound). Instead, I took out my boomarang. Before any of the Gerudos could react, I shouted a war cry and flung the boomarang right at Zelda.

The Gerudos gasped and screamed in surprise. The ones who were in the boomarang's path ducked to avoid the projectile. Zelda ducked as well but the boomarang hit the jeweled band that was holding her hair and cut it loose. I jumped onto the table and started running towards the queen.

Those who still had some sense in them tried to hit me with their swords but I used my speed and small size to avoid the attacks. Right before I reached Zelda, I rolled and took out Din's Fire.

"Hold it!" I yelled, loud enough for everyone to hear. Everyone stopped, seeing that their queen is in danger. "Goddess Din, I call upon your power…" I whispered. The stone glowed brightly in my hand but didn't burst into flame. The boomarang finally returned and I caught it with my free hand. "That was my warning shot, Zelda." I declared, pointing the boomarang at her. Then I noticed the boomarang brought back Zelda's hairband as well. Cool!

Zelda stood up. With nothing to hold it, her hair fell to her waist. The twenty-somthing daggers that were hidden in it fell to the floor and made metalic clanging sounds which echoed in the room. Zelda stared at me with cold eyes. Then she smiled sweetly.

"I see I have underestimated you, Kokiri warrior." She said smiling. But there was a certain malice in her expression. "I know that Kokiris don't ever reach adulthood. Perhaps you are even older than I am. What are you, fourty-five?"

I shook indignantly. "I'm ten!" I cried.

The queen laughed, a silvery, bell-like sound. "I like your attitude. If you didn't have the Ocarina, I would have let you go. Still, there is no reason for there to be any hard feelings between us." Zelda's eyes wavered to the side. A Gerudo seemed to narrow her eyes in response. The gesture was so slight, I barely noticed it. "I propose a trade for that Ocarina."

"What will you trade?" I asked in a teasing tone. "How many horses, weapons and resourses will you trade for a priceless artifact like this? How many…" I held up Zelda's hairband. "…jewels are you willing to part with?" I put the boomarang and hairband in my satchel.

Zelda snapped her fingers and the girl she was talking to before entered the room. This time, the girl had something in her hand. A bottle. A glass bottle with a fairy inside.

"NAVI!!" I screamed. The jar shook in the girl's hands, the result of Navi slamming herself ceaselessly against the walls of her glass prison. Zelda smiled. I gritted my teeth and stared at the bottle, almost mesmerized. In that moment of weakness, the Gerudo Zelda had signaled to before, swiped at my legs. "Argh!" A gash appeared on my shin and I lost my balance. That's when Zelda lunged. She grabbed my neck with one hand and stood up to her full height on the table. I was very uncomfortable; my feet were lifted off the table and Zelda's fingernails were digging into my neck.

"I tire of this, Kokiri!" Zelda shouted, her anger unchecked. She narrowed her eyes. "I will make you beg for death." She said softly, tasting the words. The Gerudos watching whooped and cheered, excited to see their queen in action. Zelda tightened her grip; choking me. I dropped whatever was in my hands and grabbed her arm, trying to lossen her hold. As consiousness started to leave me, I noticed that with her free hand, Zelda was reaching for the Ocarina. NO! With one last burst of strength, I did the first thing that came to my mind.

I bit her.

Zelda dropped me and screamed in pain and fury. In one liquid movement, I grabbed Din's Fire and jumped off the table. I ran. But there was no where to run to. The Gerudos are prepared now, each one poised for attacking with a weapon in her hand. Even if I did get away, I couldn't just leave Navi here. I was soon cornered. The warriors formed a tight ring around me; far enough so that I couldn't use Din's Fire on them.

"Looks like you're out of options, Kokiri," Zelda said quietly, rubbing the teeth marks on her otherwise undented skin. She stared at me intensly, eyes narrowed. The jewel on her forehead glowed like a third eye.

No… This warped version of Zelda can not be allowed the Ocarina of Time. This can't be how it ends! But I was powerless to do anything to stop her. There is no way I can survive with fifty Gerudo eyes trained on me. At least… I will take Zelda down with me!

I drew my sword. I powered up my spin-attack and prayed that my death will be swift. No doubt the Gerudos will slaughter me once they realize what I'm doing, but even if they cut me into five pieces, the momentem of my magic will hopefully be enough to kill Zelda.

Suddenly, an arrow flew into the room. It passed directly in front of Zelda's eyes and made her gasp in surprise. She backed away. It interrupted my concentration so I was forced to let the spin go only medium charged. It did not hit Zelda, she was out of range.

The arrow was not a regular arrow, it's a fire arrow. It hit one of the tapestries and set it ablaze. The Gerudos panicked. A wildfire is a serious thing in the desert, where everything is dry and water is hard to come across. As the Gerudos ran for their water supplies, another flaming arrow was shot from a dark corridor. I squinted and looked the down the tunnel, hoping to get a glimpse of the archer. As another arrow was lit, I saw a silhouette of the man but only for an instant. He let the arrow go. The crowd parted, dodging the arrow, leaving a clear path to where Zelda was standing. One of the Gerudos actually jumped in the arrow's path in attempt to save her queen. The arrow hit the woman in the neck. She screamed.

I prayed to the Goddesses that my small size would save me as I ran on the path the arrow created, towards the corridor. But something was missing…Navi! My eyes darted feverishly, looking for the girl with the bottle. I found her huddled in a corner, holding the bottle in both arms like it was her salvation. No one noticed me; no one tried to stop me as I pushed my way through the chaos towards the girl. I drew my sword and pointed it at the girl's neck.

"The fairy, Gerudo." I demanded. Blood trickled down her throat from where my sword's tip pierced her skin. The sword was shaking. The girl was shaking. She handed me the bottle and I snatched it from her fingers. Navi flew around furiously, stretching her wings once I released her.

From the corner of my eye, I noticed that one of the older Gerudos stop to stare at me and the girl. She mouthed the word 'traitor' and drew her katana.

"Let's go!" Navi urged. Leaving the girl in her corner, I ran for the tunnel. The arrows have stopped flying from there. Looking back, I saw Zelda behind the dancing flames as her eyes locked with mine. Her face twisted in fury, she yelled something unprintable and left the meeting room. I also saw the girl. Surrounded by her sister Gerudos who marked her as a traitor, she was helpless. They closed in on her and…well, I won't say. That will remain my own private nightmare.

Leaving the smoking inferno, I squinted in the noonday sun and took in a lungfull of dry desert air. Then I ran. Far behind me, Gerudos oozed out of tunnels like angry fire ants. They saddled their horses and began to give chase. I looked ahead, and saw a flash of white from a horse's tail disappear around a corner. What was a Gerudo doing running away from me? In a moment it clicked. That must be the guy who saved me!

"Hey!" I yelled. I waved to the rider. His horse stopped on top of a hill when he heard my call. The setting sun in the background made it difficult to distinguish the rider's face.

"Link, hide! The Gerudos are almost upon you!" Navi cried. Without hesitation, I jumped behind a tree. Immediately, the Gerudos appeared around the bend. They saw the horseback rider and started to give chase without even looking my way. I breathed a sigh of relief. Pretty soon, all the Gerudos were gone, trying to catch the rider. I was safe to return to the Marketplace.

"So, Navi. You just HAD to get yourself captured, didn't you?!" I said to my fairy as we walked along the grassy meadow."You know,I was doing fine before you came and screwed everything up. If it wasn't for that guy with the arrows, Zelda would be taking me to see a taxidermist by now! How in Nayru's name did you get yourself into such a mess?"

"That Gerudo had a net!" Navi whined. "Ugh! Nets!" She shivered.

"Oh. Real scary. A net." I twisted my face into a mock impression of the fariy. "A net! EEEEEE!!" I squeaked in a high-pitched voice.

Navi didn't answer me. She simply glowed many colors in embarrasment. I sighed. "That was undeniably one of the weirdest experiences in my life. I mean, Zelda, a Gerudo? It's just not right!" I stamped my feet in frustration. "What the heck is going on!?!?" I screamed to the sky.

"Stop lying to yourself, Link." Navi said quietly, hovering in front of my face. "You know why this is happening. It is a product of your own manipulations with time."

We were nearing the gates of the Marketplace. I sat on a broken fence as we waited for sunrise. I put my head in my hands. When I removed them, I was mildly suprised to find them tear-stained. Of course. I am thinking of Enichah. He was, is or will be dead, I'm not quite sure anymore. What if he is alive now? But what if he turned into some twisted reality like Zelda did?

"All people die. It is inevitable." Navi whispered softly. "Nothing lasts forever. Time runs out for eveything. People, animals, and maybe even our Goddesses. But one must make the most of what little time we have. Link, Hero of Time. You were given this power not to save one person. You must save Hyrule from Ganondorf, who will cause many more people to die than you can save."

Navi had to wait a few moments for me to choke back tears before I could answer. "Y…you're right. *sniff* This would be what Enichah would have wanted. For me to save the lives of others. Then his sacrifice would not be without meaning. Then people would not have to die."

I thought about that Gerudo girl. She did not ask to die that day. If she had fought back, the Gerudos would have let her live. If she had fought back, I would have killed her. She is only a girl, Zelda's messenger. She is also someone's child, someone's friend. Like Enichah was.

"I'll set things straight. If the price of Hyrule is Enichah's life, then it has been paid." I declared with new determination. I closed my eyes. "A high price it is but I can not ignore my calling; the destiny the Goddesses have bestowed upon me shall be fulfilled. This is what I was created for; what others will die for. I can not change the past, nor can I rectify the future. But I can try. I can hope. And perhaps, with just that illusion of salvation, I will be able to achieve my goals."

The rising sun shined light onto my hazy mind. I shuddered involuntarily. "C'mon Navi." I said to my fairy. She flew into my tunic to rest. "Let's go to the Temple of Time. If we are able to go back to reality, the Temple must have some answers."

The drawbridge lowered as I drew nearer, almost as if it waited for my arrival. I didn't pause to talk to anybody as I walked through the Marketplace but did I keep an eye trained on Ganondorf's floating castle. I approached the Temple of Time. The ancient place was as intimidating as ever. Giant granite bricks and towering steeples installed a sense of wonder to those that gazed upon it. Stained glass windows and writing in ancient Hyrulian script decorated the interior. Tiles that covered the floor glowed an artificial white as if they were lit from the inside.

In the echoy main chamber, I had a good view of the Door and the Altar of Time. Surprisingly, all the spiritual stones were on the altar! I breathed a sigh of relief. Since I have the Ocarina of Time, all I need to do now is to play the Song of Time and get the Master Sword to return to the future. I put the Ocarina to my lips and played the first few notes. The door opened. Wait a sec, I haven't even finished the song yet!

A figure stepped out of the shadows beyond the door. I drew my sword. What I saw gave me the surprise of my life. It was…me.

An older version of Link. Exactly the same as what I looked like when I journeyed into the future. The hat, hair, face, clothes and body were all the same. I even recognized a hole in his tunic where it had been ripped and a small scar on his right hand were I had cut myself years earlier. But he was holding the Master Sword. That almost gave me a heart attack. If the Master Sword is not in its pedestal, how am I supposed to go to the future!

Link (?) looked at me in confusion, as if trying to remember…Then his eyes lit up in recognition. "You're the kid that was at the Gerudo camp, weren't you?" My older self said to me. He frowned. "What in Farore's name were you doing there?! The Gerudos don't approve of childern very much. Especially those of the male variety. Who are you, anyways?"

I did some quick calculations in my head. This must have been the person who rescued me from the Gerudos. First of all, this alter-ego of mine obviously doesn't recognize me as his younger self. Secondly, he has the Master Sword! Either we must work together to restore time, or I must take the sword from him. However, I don't think he would be willing to help me. If things go back to normal, this version of me will cease to exist. I can't trust him.

The other Link looked at me strangely. "You're a suspicious person, you know that? First I find you in the Gerudo Fortress, now here. If I didn't know any better, I would think you're after the Triforce."

I swallowed hard. Was I? I'm not quite sure anymore. Where exactly is the Triforce? Last time I checked, Ganondorf took it during my seven inanimate years in the Temple of Time. Before that, the Triforce rested right where the Goddesses left it, in the holy Golden Land. Where is it now…?

Teen Link continued, as if oblivious to me. "I am on a mission to stop Queen Zelda's rein of terror. She searches for the Triforce but I must find it before her. All I need now is the Ocarina of Time. Rumor says that Zelda already has it but I guess that's not the case. You wouldn't, by any chance, know where it is, would you?" His eyes pierced mine.

I blinked. Why was he telling me these things like he trusted me? Why would he be asking me for the Ocarina? He must know that I have it already or at least suspect it. No point in starting a fight. I took the Ocarina out of my bag. The other Link backed away, his eyes wide in surprise. Okay… I guess he didn't know I have the Ocarina after all.

"The Ocarina of Time! What fortunate a turn of events! I don't know how you got the Ocarina, but in the name of the Triforce, I need it to save Hyrule. Give it to me!" Older Link demanded, holding out his hand.

I shook my head. "This is the only key to my past and…" I looked at the intricate symbols on the Ocarina. "Perhaps it is the key to my future. I can't give this to you, Link."

The other Link's eyes narrowed. "How did you know my name?" He asked. "I have worked too hard for the Spiritual Stones and Master Sword. I will stop at nothing to get the Triforce. You will not stand in my way." As he was making this elegant speech, Link raised his hand and rested it on the hilt of the Master Sword. He lifted the holy relic out of its shealth in slow motion. Older Link and the Master Sword together looked twice as menacing as they can ever be alone. "I don't wish to fight. But for the survival of Hyrule, if I must do so, I will not hesitate to destroy you."

I took out my Deku shield and Kokiri Sword. They looked primitive and useless compared to the superior Hylian shield and Master Sword the other Link was holding. "You can not have the Ocarina!" I shouted. I braced my knees and sliced at the air in threat. He did the same.

None of us moved. Both of us were waiting for the other to attack, waiting for an opening. I took this time to think things over. This is ridiculous! I am fighting myself! But fight I must, there is no way I am going to part with anything from the real world. Teen Link has all my skills. He is older and stronger than I am now. However, I am more agile than he is and my smaller size will allow me to dodge most hits. Does he have my experience? My items? There's only one way to find out.

With a war cry, I lunged at him. The blade of my sword met his. Holding his sword steady, he held me back with relative ease. I was straining. Link shoved me back violently and I fell. Instead of stumbling, I let my body absorb the impact and rolled to the side. Link turned, slightly off balance for a few moments, adjusting himself to better face my new position. Ha! I was faster than him. Running to the side, I tried to get some distance between us. But when I turned around, I saw that he had a fire arrow pointed at me. He let the arrow fly. I raised my Deku shield and the arrow struck it with a dull thwang. Immediately after impact, my shield incinerated from the fire.

"Give it up, kid." Link said, loading another arrow into the bow. "There's no need for bloodshed."

I put my free hand in my satchel without thinking about it. This is something I have a habit of doing every time I'm in danger. An item with a cutting edge poked at my hand. I rubbed it between my fingers and felt that it is a surprisingly light and flat object with many sharp edges. Has to be one of Zelda's signature daggers that must have been brought back with my Boomarang. A side of it was wrapped in cloth and fit comfortably between my middle and forefinger.

"My patience is waning." Link said. "Your Ocarina or your life."

In some distant part of my mind, I thought I could use Zelda's dagger in the fight. Before I knew it, I did. I'm pretty sure that the dagger is enchanted because it struck exactly where I'm aiming. Right between the eyes!! Link dropped his loaded bow and clutched at his bloody face. The lightweight weapon must have penetrated the bone. He screamed. Raw torment.

I stood there, stunned. His voice seemed to sink deep in my subconsious. My ears heard his screaming but my eyes saw Enichah. We are so alike. Me and Enichah.

"Link! Wake up!!" Navi cried. "This is your chance!"

I blinked. I saw the other Link on his hands and knees. His eyes were almost non-existant under the blood and broken cartilage. With one last shriek of agony, he ripped the dagger from his head. His sense of danger finally got the best of him. Squinting, he stopped and tried to see past the carnage on his face. Older Link swung the Master Sword around wildly in an attempt to defend himself. From this, I can guess he doesn't know the spin attack.

"Navi, lock on!" The fairy zipped out of my tunic and hovered over my fallen opponent. I charged up my Deku Sword and slashed at his chest and shoulders. He doubled over in pain. Now knowing my position, he took a desperate stab at me and opened a gash on my arm. The wound wasn't deep. It just hurt like hell.

My blood now stained the tip of Master Sword. I watched in horror and fascination as it seemed to take on a life of its own. After tasting my blood,the sword would hesitate in the other Link's hands, not knowing whether its wielder or the person it's attacking is the real Hero of Time. It decided to stay out of the fight, growing so heavy that Link could barely lift it.

Link wiped the gore off his face with the back of his arm. He tried to stand up but my spin attack caused a lot of damage and he couldn't hold himself upright. The battle was over. I actually won! The bloody, broken Link sat with his back towards me. The Master Sword lay beside him in a puddle of blood, useless to my older self. Now that I had won the right to the Ocarina of Time, there was no need for further hostility between us.

I walked towards him. I assumed he was defenseless. I assumed wrong. Navi saw what I missed.

"LOOK OUT!!"

Teen Link twisted his upper body so he was facing me. I found myself standing three feet away from the tip of a fire arrow. It would be a miracle if he missed.

"Game over." The older Link whispered through clenched teeth.

I was going to die. I could see, almost in slow motion, how the other Link relaxed the fingers that were holding the bow taunt. But Navi, bless her tiny heart, flew in to save me. She hovered in front of Link2 and emitted a brilliant flash of light. Some inner instinct told me to get as low as possible, which I did, falling on my shoulder. Immediately after, I felt the heat of the fire arrow pass directly above me. Navi's light was painfully bright, even with my eyes tightly shut. I can only imagine what it was like for the other Link, who got the full impact of the light with Navi only inches from his face.

I blinked back the colored spots in my eyes. Teen Link had dropped his bow and arrows and wrapped both arms around his face, trying to recover from the flash. Suddenly, he raised his head and rubbed his eyes vigorously. He fumbled for his weapons, blinking rapidly. I don't believe it! He's still trying to fight!

I can't let him get the better of me like he did before. No way. I sliced at the other Link and opened a slit in his jugular, causing blood to cascade down his neck. With a forward stab, I ripped the area of tunic above his belt and whatever flesh was behind it. At one point, he grabbed the blade weakly and it bit into his hand. I snarled fiercely, an action completely unlike me, and yanked it away. Blood splashed onto my face but I ignored it. I can't quite remember what happened next. My consiousness slipped away and I entered a drunken, dream-like state in which I was unaware of my actions. I just simply continued to fight, no, slaughter. I continued until he no longer screamed in agony. Until he no longer moved. Until he was no longer alive.

I stood there, breathing heavily, staring blankly ahead. Like waking to a nightmare, I realized what I had done. Navi gaped at me in horror from her perch on one of the Spiritual Stones. She seemed dimmer, most of her light spent on the recent flash, or was she simply pale from fear, fear of…me? I felt my legs buckle and I tried to use my sword as a crutch, but in vain. All the strength was drained from my body. I fell to my knees. Glancing back at the fallen Link, my stomach churned and promptly emptied itself. What a mess. Blood, vomit, sweat and tears spilt on the floors of the sacred Temple of Time.

What have I done? What had to be done.Two Links can't live in the same time frame. But this is...

murder.But this is not the first time.Think of all the other creatures that have died by your sword. Is this any different? I kill so others can live. But this time my victim is a person who is trying to bring peace to the world, just like me. He is me. What frightened me the most was that I didn't feel anything while I was literally hacking away at his life. No pity, remorse or hesitation. You have always acted this way. Why should it bother you? My consciencs must be speaking. Shut up! No!

I put my hands on my head and shook it violently. If I don't close out my inner demons, they are going to drive me insane.

"Are you okay, Link?" Navi asked, twitching her wings nervously.

"Why does it have to come down to this? How do I know if I am the one that is meant to die? The two of us both had the same goal but only one of us survived the conflict. Oh Navi, how am I supposed to know if things will turn out right?"

"There's no 'right or wrong' in the future. 'Right or wrong' exists only in the present. If you trust your heart, your decisions will eventually lead you to a better world. But life is not a video game, there are no second chances. Death is final. I am gald that you are alive, Link, even if your older self isn't. Learn from your mistakes and move on in life."

I contemplated what Navi said. It is true, but it does not stop my feeling of disgust towards myself. I arranged the other Link's hands across his chest and closed his eyes which stared through me even in death. Then I said a Kokiri's prayer in honor of my fallen opponent.

The Master Sword laid where Link had dropped it, stained red. I grabbed the hilt and received a terrible jolt. The sword shocked me! I glared at it accusingly, holding my injured hand, and the inanimate object seemed to glare right back. Tenderly, I touched the tip of the sword where it entered my skin before. Nothing. I ran my hand slowly down the flat of the blade, stroking the weapon like a pet. I received a few minor charges but they soon ceased. Now when I touched the hilt, the sword wouldn't fight back. It finally yielded to my grip.

Okay… I have the Master Sword. Now what? It's not in its pedestal so going into the future may be a bit tricky… I lifted the sword with both hands, it being heavy for my childish body. I played 'The Song of Time' in front of the Door of Time and sure enough, it opened. How my alter-ego got in there in the first place will forever remain a mystery. I stepped up to the empty pedestal.

My only option was to plunge the sword back into the pedestal. But what time period will I go to? Will I be a teenager without the sword? Or maybe I will go back in time and turn into a three-year-old or something. My greatest fear was that nothing will happen. That this twisted reality will become permanent.

I took a breath. No choice now. I plunged the Master Sword back into its stone holder. This time, the light engulfed me in not the original blue, but in an angry red color.It swirled around me madly, as if I'm standing in the eye of a tornado. I tried to let go of the hilt but my hands wouldn't move.

"Navi! My hands won't release the Master Sword!" I cried. My voice was swallowed by the vastness of time. Did she even hear me?

In what seemed like a distant voice, the fairy replied, "Then don't!"

And then, everything went black.

Actually, I was still conscious but I just couldn't see. Did the light blind me? Or did someone turn off the lights? I waved my hands around, trying to feel something. But nothing responded to my command to move my arms. My arms won't move! On further examination, I realized that I didn't even have arms! Or legs, or head or any other body parts. I screamed. But no sound formed. I don't have a mouth or lungs. I suppose I should be grateful, for if I did, I would scream and scream and never stop. Geez, talk about an out of body experience!

Am I dead? Good question. I reached out with my mind, the only thing that's left of me. I felt… emptiness. The void. It was crushing in its silence.

Link…

I would have jumped three feet into the air if I still had a physical body. Someone's talking to me! Well, not exactly talking, since I can't hear. It was more like another person's thoughts simply entered my mind. I have heard of such experiences in legends. When individuals communicated with… the Goddesses?

Not the Goddesses, Link. But quite close. Don't you remember me?

Ah. Of course. Rauru! The Sage of Light, keeper of the Temple of Time.

I see you have made quite a mess of time, my boy. And perhaps now you are now trying to undo your mistake? Rauru laughed, a sound which seemed to vibrate throughout this desolate universe. As you can 'see' we are not in the Temple of Light. This is the void between Time. You, being the Hero of Time, have the power to change the past and future. But it is not up to you to control destiny. Such things are beyond mortal comprehension.

I am sorry that your Sheikah friend had died. Another brave soul for the Goddesses to keep. However, you cannot prevent death, only cherish and preserve life. That is why the power of time has been given to you. It is a tool to save lives, not a toy to be used for your personal persuits, even one to save a single friend. You can't trade Hyrule for one life. Death is destiny…

I wanted to spit. Destiny…

…Is inevitable. Try to accept that, Hero. You will see a lot of destiny in your lifetime.

I was suddenly aware of my own body again but my hands still won't release the Master Sword. I yanked as hard as I could and the sword flew out of its pedestal. The momentum carried me backwards and I fell on my butt. The sword clattered loudly beside me. When I reached for the sword, I noticed my hands. They are the the larger, gloved hands that I own when I'm a teenager. So, I'm seventeen again.

"Having fun, Link?" Navi asked, landing on my shoulder. "I think it's time for you to continue the search for the other Sages."

I nodded in agreement but secretly I was afraid to return to the Hedge Maze, where Enichah died. I might lose it again. Stalling, I went to Kakariko Village instead, to restock some of my supplies. However, as soon as I set foot on the tended grass, I found myself being drawn towards the graveyard like a magnet. I found a small crowd was gathered there, about ten people.

A funeral was taking place. Before anyone told me, I could already guess who the funeral was for. Among the whisperings, I heard how the body was found by the Kokiri. Seeing that it was a Sheikah, the childern retrieved the body and somehow sent it to Kakariko Village, home of the Sheikah race. The crowd is not large and nobody shed any tears. It's no wonder, since Enichah never had many friends and family. The coffin is one made of plain wood with nothing carved onto it. The people shook their heads in regret at the loss of a life so young. I hid in the shadows until everyone had left before I approached the grave.

The cemetery had always been a place of lothing for me, I guess. But now, I notice how peaceful and serene it is. The air would be quiet as if wind was afraid to enter this resting place of the dead. Exotic flowers were planted around some of the graves and a few marble statues stood, decorating the meadow. A little waterfall trickled on top of a few strategically placed stones, churning out an endless melody. And still I hate it.

The loose soil around Enichah's grave was already starting to sprout flowers and blades of grass, the result of some ancient spell. His granite tombstone read, Enichah. Of the Sheikah.Son of Impa, founder of Kakario. May power, wisdom and courage follow you where ever you may go.I felt my eyes water and tried to hold back the tears that threatened. I found that to take more effort than what it's worth. They coursed down my face and blurred my vision.

I stood on one knee and took off my hat in respect. With my eyes closed, I held my hand over the grave and concentrated. I focused my energy and used an old forest spell that I learned from the other Kokiri. Slowly, surely, the flowers reacted to my magic and commands. Vines, roots and grass wove together into a complex mat. I clapped my hands together and all the buds bloomed, forming a red Sheikah eye symbol with a small yellow triforce in the middle.

"E…Enichah." I paused and cleared my throat. My voice had cracked.

There was a slight but sudden breeze that ruffled my hair and made me shiver. I turned my head to the direction where it was coming from. It originated from the top of a cliff where the Shadow Temple was rumored to be. Squinting, I saw two red dots in the distance. They looked like…eyes. Mournful eyes. I blinked and they were gone. The thought of someone watching me sent chills down my spine. But I probably imagined it. I turned back to Enichah's grave.

"Enichah," I said. I swallowed and took a few breaths before continuing. "Thank you, my friend. For the too short of a time that we were together. But I would rather meet you and die than be given a hundred years of life. I'm sorry…that thing's couldn't have been different. Try as I might, I can't change the future by changing the past. What's done is done. Maybe…maybe in the end, all will turn out for the best." I stood up and put my hat back on. "You would not want me to live in grief forever. But I will never forget you. Your devilish grin, piercing eyes and ever-laughing face."

"I will never forget you…"

Why, my friend, did you go away?

We can no longer laugh, we can no longer play.

I search the clouds for you when it's bright,

I search the stars for you when it's night.

Your laughter's echo can't ease my heart.

It hurts so much because we are apart.

They tell me you live in my thoughts and dreams

But it still can't soothe the pain it brings.

I'll try to be brave and face tomorrow

Though where you have gone I can not follow.

Near or far or beyond the stars

May the Goddesses watch over you, wherever you are.

The End