Part One: Beginning of the EndPrologue
"Will you promise to take care of him for me? Please, you are my only…his only…hope."
"I do not know if I can. He will be an outcast here. He will not be accepted."
"He will, he will, if you will accept him as one of your own, treat him like all the others."
"Please…I'm dying…it's all I can do to stand here before you. If you will take him, I will die in peace."
"Bring him before me."
"What's wrong? Why do you make that face?"
"Leave the child with me. He will be safe. Thou can die in peace."
"Thank you, thank you…"
"Before you pass from this realm, know this. In leaving this child in my care, thou hast sealed his fate. He is the Chosen One of your people, and by leaving him here, you have set him on the path destiny has chosen for him. From this moment on, his destiny is chosen, and he must fulfill it, for good or for ill. DOS's thou understand?"
"I do. Anything to keep him alive."
"Very well. May the goddesses give thy soul safe passage to the Sacred Realm. Your child shall be safe."Chapter One The Messenger
Dawn was settling in over the land of Hyrule, the sun rising in the east over the Lost Woods. As the night creatures returned to their burrows and dens, the birds began their morning song. For the Hylians privileged enough to have ever witnessed the remarkable occasion from within the Woods (which very, very few had), or especially the Kokiri Forest (which even fewer had), it stood out in their mind as one, if not the, most beautiful site they had ever seen. That is, if they took the time to appreciate it.
Which the man staggering across the bridge to the Kokiri forest could not afford to do.
He was dressed in Hylian clothing: light tunic and slacks, with heavy boots and a satchel strapped across his shoulders. He had lost his cloak in his hasty trek to the Woods to the wolfos that had come upon him unexpectedly. He was badly wounded, gashes crossing his chest and blood matting his black hair. He could not quit however; he had to complete his mission. His life depended on it.
He clutched at his chest, the wounds once again starting to ooze blood. He fell onto the wooden planks of the bridge, only halfway across. He tried to crawl the rest of the way, but as soon as he heard the growls of the wolfos behind him. He turned his head around to view his demise: three of the wolf like beasts prowled towards him, deep, guttural growls emanating from their throats. He closed his eyes, awaiting his fate. Dying here, he figured, was much better then what would happen if he returned to his master having failed his mission.
Suddenly, out of the darkness of the tunnel leading into the heart of the Woods, he heard the snap of a spring being released, and a tip of a spear attached to a chain whizzed by his ear, striking the nearest wolfos. A hookshot. The beast dissolved and crumbled into nothingness.
The other two wolfos crouched into fighting positions and leapt into the darkness with a roar. Suddenly, a bright flash of fire erupted into the glade, dimming the sun. The wolfos flew back out of the tunnel, dissolving while in the air, their ashes covering the man. Following them out of the tunnel came a lone figure, wrapped in a long, dark cloak, his face hidden by the hood. He walked over to the fallen man and crouched down beside him. The last thing the man remembered before falling into unconsciousness was his savior lifting him off the ground and carrying back into the tunnel.
* * *
By the time he awoke, the sun had already risen to its apex in the sky. He was lying in a soft bed, his tunic removed, and bandages crossing his chest and wrapped around his head. The bandages kept more blood from escaping, but he knew that he had already lost too much. He would be dead before the day was done. Wearily, and with much effort, he sat up and surveyed his surroundings.
He was in a large, circular room, the walls, ceiling and floor seemingly carved out of the middle of a tree. A tree house, he surmised. He was simply furnished: a bed, a table, three chairs, a wash table, a chest, and a cabinet. What caught the man's eye, however, was what lined the walls.
One wall was lined with an armory to make any soldier green with envy; there were four swords, one wrought of gold, a broadsword and a longsword made of Goron steel, and the last of some strange, shimmering metal he had never seen before. There was a Gerudo bow with arrows, bombs, bombchus, the longshot that had saved his life, a large Goron battle hammer, a slingshot, and a boomerang even. Enough weapons to withstand any attack.
Another side of the house was lined with masks, twenty-four in total, ranging from a keaton to a bird to one with the fierce visage of a warrior. "This must be it!" he thought to himself, "The home of the hero!"
A seizure of pain racked his body; his time was coming soon. He heard movement outside the door to the house. A young man brushed aside the curtain door and stepped in. He was tall, wiry yet muscular. He had a lean, handsome face, both ears pierced with silver earrings. He had piercing blue eyes, and a mop of blond hair covered by a long green hat. He was wearing a white tunic covered by a forest green vest, with leather slacks and knee boots. In his arms he carried a bucket of water and some herbs.
"Lie back down," he urged the injured man, "You've lost a lot of blood. It's a good thing I was heading out today, otherwise I wouldn't have found you until it was too late."
"You…are…" the man stammered, his strength fading fast, "The Hero…of Time…Link?"
Link stared at the man in astonishment. No one was supposed to know that he was the Hero of Time. When he had closed the Door of Time for good, he had erased the future in which he would have become the Chosen One. Supposedly he, Zelda, the Sages, and Navi were the only ones who remembered his time travel adventure seven years ago, and he had not heard from Navi since.
"Yes, that's me. How do you…"
"Doesn't…matter…now…I come…bearing news…" the dying man tried desperately to make out the last words. Link poured some of the water into a glass and raised it to the man's lips. Very little made it in. The man tried to whisper some final words, and Link leaned closer in order to hear. The man uttered his final words and passed on into the Sacred Realm, and as those words passed through his lips, Link's beliefs, his fate, and even that of Hyrule would be forever changed.