A/N: Wait, what!? What's this!? A new LoHH chapter after the fic was declared dead!? Well, it's here folks, and it's as real as the screen you're reading these words on. I fully intended to lay this fic to rest, but my Muse kept bugging me to work on it, and this is the result. The chapter that killed my motivation for this whole fic. I needed to figure out how to implement a few things, and I hope this is a favorable result. To be honest, I'm as surprised as you all that this chapter made it up. For my readers of the Law Chronicles, that fic will be next to be updated. I'm gonna try to have a chapter out a week, alternating between my two stories. However, I also have lots of fic ideas stewing around in my head, so don't be surprised if I start another story or two soon.

Welp, I guess now I need my traditional disclaimer.

Darunia: GamesMaster64 has no ownership claim over the Legend of Zelda, or Kingdom Hearts. If he did, he wouldn't be writing this.

Enjoy! (Man, it's good to be back!)

Table of Fonts:

Standard Text: Regular Dialogue/Storytelling

Italics: Emphasis, Sound Effects, thoughts

Bold: Navi's annoyingness, Boss Name

Bold Underline: Special Attacks (this is cried out)

Bold Italic: Deity speech

CAPS: Yelling

Underline: Flashback/History, name of location

Italic Underline: Dream


Chapter 40: Free the Gorons! The Trials of the Fire Temple!

DUNGEON #7: FIRE TEMPLE

Link and Sora stepped into the first room of the Fire Temple. On the middle of the floor was the same symbol as on the pedestal outside the Temple: a circle of flames with three prong-like tongues pointing up. Right in front of the symbol was a staircase. To the sides of the staircase were two doors. One was unlocked, and the other was blocked by heavy-looking stone slabs. The two adventurers investigated the unlocked room, only to see a Goron in a cell. The Goron was curled up and trembling in obvious fear. After not being able to get a response from the Goron, the two heroes left the room, back to the main chamber.

"Looks like we gotta go up." Link said. Sora nodded, walking around to start up the stairs. However, when Sora approached the stairs, flames burst forth. The Keyblader lept back with a yelp, though he couldn't avoid having the slightest bit of his hair singed.

"I think that's a trap..." Sora muttered, trying to make sure his hair didn't catch on fire. Link rolled his eyes.

"You don't say..." the Hylian muttered. The two looked around, trying to find a way past the stairs, but they only things they found were a couple of empty pots. Finally, Link had the idea of trying to climb up the sides of the staircase. The two went to each side of the stairs, and climbed up over the side of the staircase. The two hefted themselves over the side of the stairs, and climbed up the rest of the way to the top. After dispatching a Keese, the two saw that they were faced by two more locked doors. There were also three statues in the wall in front of the stairs. The statues looked like Gorons holding flames. However, the left statue's flame was out. Shortly after approaching the statues, two Stalfos Knights fell down. Sora and Link engaged the two skeletal beings, and dispatched them, though Link had a good-sized cut on his arm.

"Link! Are you okay?" Sora asked. Link nodded.

"Yeah... it's only a flesh wound." the Hylian replied.

Cure!

"There. That oughta fix you right up." Sora said. Link nodded his thanks, the wound on his arm not quite healed, but enough that he could ignore the pain. The two looked around, trying to figure out what to do next. "So... think we need to solve a puzzle?" Sora asked. Link nodded.

"That seems to pretty much be the pattern so far. Find puzzle, solve puzzle, advance." Link replied. He then concentrated on his magic.

Din's Fire!

The Hylian launched the fireball at the unlit torch, causing a chest to drop from above. Sora had to roll out of the way to avoid being hit in the head by the falling container. When he opened it, he found a key.

"Hey! This'll let us advance!" Sora said. He approached the door on the left, but more heavy-looking stone slabs appeared out of nowhere, blocking off the way. "Guess we're supposed to go the other way." Sora muttered. The two unlocked the door to the right, and entered a room that was filled with lava. There were large platforms sticking out of the lava, leading off to doors to the left and right. Straight in front of them was another big door with a lock, and...

"Darunia!?" Link blurted out in surprise. Sure enough, the Goron leader was standing in front of the big door. How he'd gotten over there was a mystery to the two adventurers. Darunia turned around upon hearing their voices.

"Brother Link! Brother Sora! What a pleasant surprise! Look at you, Brother Link! You grew up! And I see Brother Sora is still the same as always! As much as I'd love to catch up, now's not the time for idle chat. I need to go face Volvagia, before he eats my brothers. I need you two to do me a favor and go find the hero's hammer that rests here. It's the only tool that can defeat Volvagia for good. I'm gonna buy some time!" Before the two could reply, Darunia disappeared behind the door, the chains parting for him, and sealing the door shut again once it had closed.

"That... was rather sudden..." Sora remarked. Link nodded.

"I guess we gotta go find that hammer. If we find a way to rescue those Gorons, we should do that too." Link added. The two nodded, before deciding to split up. Link went to the left, while Sora went to the right.

Link found himself in a maze-like room that had some boulders rolling around. As Link examined his surroundings, he saw some doors on ledges that were currently out of his reach. As Link stepped forward, a Lizalfos dropped from the ceiling. Link easily defeated the amphibian warrior, muttering something about how he wasn't a kid anymore. After dispatching more of the Lizalfos, Link found a switch in front of a cell holding a Goron. Hitting the switch caused the door to swing open, thus releasing the Goron.

"Brother Link!? Does this mean I'm free?" the Goron asked. Link nodded.

"Head back to Goron City." the red-clad warrior told him. The Goron nodded, before frowning.

"More of our brothers are trapped in here..." the Goron trailed off. Link nodded.

"Sora and I will rescue them as well." came the reply. The Goron again nodded before staring to leave. However, after a few steps, the Goron turned back to Link.

"Brother Link. There are some places within the Fire Temple are seemingly dead ends. However, if you hit a wall that sounds hollow, one of the Goron's special crop can reveal a way forward. That's something Big Brother told me." the Goron said, turning to leave. Link nodded, and inspected inside the cell. There, he saw a chest that contained a key. Seeing no other way out, Link took out the Master Sword and started tapping the wall.

Sora emerged in a room that was mostly a lava lake. There were platforms that were propelled by flames, moving back and forth. Sora saw a switch in front of a cell, as well as five silver-colored Rupees that were scattered about. When Sora approached the cell, he saw a Goron trapped inside. Sora pressed the switch, and freed the Goron.

"Brother Sora! Can I go home now?" the Goron asked. Sora nodded.

"Sure! Link and I will handle things from here, so go back to Goron City!" the Keyblade Master said, slinging the Keyblade over his shoulder. The Goron nodded.

"Before I go, I should tell you that some rooms require you to collect the five silver-colored Rupees before you can continue onward. Be sure to use your environment to your advantage, or else you'll be trapped forever." Sora nodded at the advice, mulling it over as the Goron left.

"Hmm... well, damn. I never was good at puzzles." Sora muttered. However, as he neared the lava pool, he felt his magic starting to wear off. Sora leaned against a wall, the heat making him dizzy. "How do those... Gorons... do it...?" he muttered. Sora then shook his head. "No... I gotta... keep... going..." Sora took three staggered steps forward before collapsing. "Can't... go on..."

Sora... Sora... Wake up, Sora... You have the power to go on... just call on your friends... and they'll lend you their power.

Sora focused on Goofy, and Riku... those that he knew had the power he'd need.

"Give... me... power."

Transformation: Valor Form!

Sora managed to mutter. All of a sudden, he was surrounded by a glowing white light. When it cleared, Sora was wearing red clothes, with a fluer-de-lis pattern. He was also wielding two Keyblades. Sora noticed that he didn't feel the heat of the Fire Temple in this new form.

"Hey, this is neat!" Sora said, looking at his new costume. He then made his way forward, examining the room to see how to get the Silver Rupees. Two of them were on solid ground, one more was floating over the lava in the path of one of the moving platforms, one was on an out-of-reach ledge, and the last one was floating in mid-air in the middle of the room. Sora made his way to the easy-to-get ones, and soon had three of the five Rupees collected. After doing some experimenting around, he found out that one of his Keyblades allowed him to jump higher when he focused on it. Using this to his advantage, he jumped up to the normally out-of-reach ledge, grabbing that Rupee. Sora then tried to jump at the final Rupee, not quite making the jump. After trying a few times, Sora focused on the other Keyblade he wielded. This one appeared to allow him to jump again in mid-air, which allowed him to reach the final Rupee. After he collected it, the door on the other side of the room opened up and allowed him to move forward.

Tap! Tap! Clang! Tap! Clang!

"Ah, ha! Gotcha!" Link muttered. He'd finally found the false wall he suspected was in the room. The Hylian pulled out a bomb, using it to blast a hole in the wall, revealing a locked door. Link used the key in his possession to open the door, which allowed him passage. Inside, he found a mostly empty room. The only thing inside it was a pillar. As Link stepped forward, the door shut behind him before bars sprang up in front of both doors in the room, barring his exit. As Link drew the Master Sword, flames appeared on the pillar.

"Well, well... it appears the Hero of Time is here at last. Now, let's dance the dance of fiery flames!" came a voice as a human-like figure emerged form them. "When this is done, I'll dance the dance of victory. You, meanwhile, will not be having the dance of victory, but rather the body of burnt ashes!" Navi emerged from Link's hat.

"Watch out! That's a Flare Dancer! They're malevolent fire spirits that attack anyone that enters their territory! They're immune to fire-based attacks! They have three different colors of flames that dictate how they behave! If you can hit them, though, their core will be exposed! That's the time to strike!" Navi informed Link before disappearing back under his hat. Link nodded, stepping forward towards the Flare Dancer, which hopped down from its pedestal. It began to twirl around, and flames shot out at Link, who dodged the first few. However, he didn't see one coming from behind him, and was struck full-force. The Flare Dancer cackled with glee, red flames flaring up.

"Pathetic! You'd think a hero could do better than that. Perhaps you're not all you're hyped up to be, boy!" the spirit said, hopping back in the flames. When it hopped out again, the flames were green. "Let's see how a milder taste goes, shall we? Prepare to feast on my flames, boy! Bon appetite!" The Flare Dancer twirled around again, as Link readied his shield. This time, the flames shot up, before coming down and igniting the floor where they struck. Link rolled out of the way, and quickly fired an arrow at the monster. However, his shot was too slow, and the Flare Dancer was back in the pillar of flames. It hopped out yet again, this time with blue flames.

"This thing is really starting to piss me off..." Link muttered as the Flare Dancer twirled around for a third time. This time, the flames formed a shield around it, which burnt Link's arrow. The Flare Dancer then hopped back to the central pillar, before emerging with the red flames again.

"Burn, boy! Burn in the fires of hotness!" As it twirled, Link shot it with an arrow, this time hitting his mark. The Flare Dancer's core emerged, which Link saw was just a black sphere with legs and a tuft of red hair. The little core ran away from Link, but the Hero of Time wasn't gonna let it get away. The core felt itself get pierced by the hook of Link's hookshot, and next thing it knew, it was being pummeled by the Master Sword, over and over again. It barely managed to escape, but the ensuing arrow ended its life.

"That little thing was annoying..." Link muttered, gingerly fingering a few burns he had acquired during the fight. He then heard the doors opening, and made his way forward.

Sora stepped into the next room, coming across a room with a lava pit in the center. As he entered, the door he entered through and the door forward were barred shut. Sora summoned the Keyblades, prepared to face a foe he felt coming. He stared as a humanoid figure emerged from the lava.

"Hello, boy of shortness and littleness! I'd like to play a game of funness! Let's go!" With that, the flare dancer twirled around, the red flames shooting its fireballs at Sora, who dodged out of the way. Sora then lashed out with one of his Kebylades, exposing the core. Sora managed to initiate a three-hit combo with his Keyblades. However, the core managed to get away from him, hopping back into the lava pit. It then jumped out, covered in blue flames.

"Let us see how you deal with the changing of forms!" the Flare Dancer cackled with glee, as it spun around again. Sora took aim while the creature was spinning around.

Strike Raid!

The Keyblade he threw flew through the air, but collided with the dome of fire that surrounded it. The Keyblade spun in the air as it tried to penetrate the flame shield, but to no avail. However, once the flames died down, the attack struck the Flare Dancer, revealing the core, which was knocked toward Sora on its return trip. Sora manged to lock the Flare Dancer into another elegant two-handed combo, this time finished the creature off. A key dropped down as the doors unlocked. Sora grabbed the Key before continuing into the next room.

Link and Sora found themselves standing on the opposite sides of a fairly empty room. In the middle was a large chest sitting behind a locked cage. The only other outstanding feature in the room was a set of stairs leading up. The two teens met in the center.

"I see that you managed to make it here as well." Link said. Sora nodded.

"Yeah, and I have a key for that cage to boot." the Keyblader added, pulling out the key. The two unlocked the door, and Link opened the chest. After a bit of difficulty, he managed to lift out the hammer that was inside. To say it was huge was an understatement. The head of the hammer alone was much bigger than the two combined, with the handle being about the height of one and a half Links. Link managed to fit the hammer in his pouch as Navi emerged.

"HEY! That's the legendary Megaton Hammer. It was said that the hero of the Gorons defeated Volvagia with that hammer! Maybe we can use it to try to get to Darunia!" Navi pointed out. The two nodded.

"Yeah... I hate to say it, but I forgot about the big guy..." Sora said.

"Well, we won't get to helping him by just standing around. Let's go." Link said, heading up the stairs, with Sora and Navi following.