Link stepped into the grove, the natural sounds of the forest's wildlife fading into the background as he entered the ruined clearing. It was strange, one second – the chattering of squirrels, sparrows and badgers. The next second – nothing. As if the bounds of the ruins were too sacred for even the animals to intrude on. Link shivered, but shouldered on, adjusting his shield strap a bit self consciously.
Continuing through the runes, he noticed something odd. With every step, the runes were changing. Cracks were shrinking, worn stone was gaining mass and sheen, and walls were rising. As he walked, walls erected themselves, glass and metal were coming together to form windows of an archaic design and everything gained a low, subtle glow.
As if the entire spectacle wasn't eerie enough, there was no sound but the scuffing of Link's boots on the temple floor. The temple was rebuilding itself before his very eyes, smoothly and silently, as if it was making itself presentable for him. He looked around in wonder, feeling a sense of peace and serenity that he hadn't felt since….ever, really.
That wasn't entirely true. He felt a tickling at the back of his mind, a half forgotten memory. Maybe from when he was a child? A woman's laughter, a set of warm arms…Link shook his head, focusing on the present. Reminiscing would happen later.
Looking up, he saw something that hadn't been there before. A gleaming sword was sheathed in a stone pedestal. It had a hilt of amethyst and a yellow jewel embedded in the cross guard. The silver of the blade gleamed in a way that had nothing at all to do with the filtered sunlight beaming in through the window. Again, this new change came silently, reverently, as if deferring to Link's presence.
He stepped forward, looking down at the Master Sword. The Blade of Evil's Bane. He would need it if he wanted even half a chance to render the evil wrought by Azrial right again. So many people, shifted into those odd, dark creatures. Entire villages razed. And the Princess used as a toy, a magic battery, her ordained holy powers being siphoned daily by the dark warlock.
Link reached down, and grabbed the hilt with both hands. With a small grunt, he pulled upwards and it came free easily. As the tip left the stone, he felt changed. Heavier but lighter at the same time. As if chains he didn't know he'd been wearing were cut while new chains were strung, stronger ones designed to protect as much as bind him to his fate, his destiny.
He held the sword up and, as he did, he felt it thrum in his hand, as if the sword was alive. It felt old, but strong. And familiar, like a beloved mentor. Then something changed.
The familiarity expanded. Whereas it was a vague feeling before, one with no concrete detail or form, it shifted and grew, growing refined and detailed. Link only had a moment to ponder this odd shift before it struck and invaded his mind. He cried out as he was assaulted by the foreign entity and memories started to cascade.
The pig beast roared and swung a trident down. I sidestepped smoothly, an arrow nocked before my other foot even landed to finish the move. For a moment, it shined bright gold and I let it fly, hitting the beast square in the face. It roared and stepped back as I ran forward, dodging around it and slicing at its tail. As it roared, I grinned and rolled away from the predictable side swipe and looked up, shield at the ready as the beast bore down on…
The spiked ball flew at me with a speed belying its bulk but the flowing cape I wore made it an easy matter to dodge around the ball as its chain flew by. Reaching my hands out, I grabbed the chain as it flew past, manipulating it so that the spiked ball, instead of flying back, flew awkwardly to the side. The hulking behemoth at the other hand growled at me and yanked but I held firm, the upgrade to the gloves I wore doing its work, although I could feel the magic strain itself. As I pulled and he stumbled, I reached behind me and drew out a worn rod. It felt warm in my hands and I jumped at him, towards the woman trapped in the crystal. I swung the rod, knocking her away with a tinkling blow that was a gust of autumn, a flurry of snow, a fresh spring breeze and summer's air. She flew away, temporarily free of the entrapping dark magic that held her prison as a living shield and allowing me to draw my blade as I leapt…
I felt the arrow clang off my shield, sinking into its mirrored depths. I swung it to face the man as it rebounded off, flying at the swordsman. With a movement that seemed almost nonchalant, he leaned, the beam of light whizzing by him only to fizzle in one of the great outpourings of water surrounding the pillar they were on. Gritting my teeth, I ran at him, ignoring the achiness in my body and the grim feeling of despair. This man was leagues ahead of me in swordsmanship, and we both knew it. The only things keeping me alive right now are the whims of fate and a princess. As I jumped, rotating to put power into the slash, he slashed upwards, the first sword glancing off my shield but knocking it to the side, allowing the second one to come in and spear me in the shoulder. I cried out as he held it there for a second, relishing my pain. I opened my eyes, getting caught up not in the pure malice and rage I saw on the surface, but what lay below that, his feelings of powerlessness at his people's plight blending with the burdens of leadership thrust onto him at too young an age as the only man in a society of women. His crusade against Hyrule, against the Light, had started as nothing more than a man trying to give his people hope of something better, of not having to suffer under the whims of the desert. He looked at me and saw I understood, but that didn't change anything. This battle was set, years in the making, as was what he had become. He brought up his other sword, ready to bring it down, only to be struck by an arrow that embedded in his shoulder, light wracking his form as he locked up. I turned quickly, ripping the blade out of my shoulder and rolling sideways, and using that momentum to leap up, my sword in hand. As I came down on him with my blade, I saw the acceptance, the resignation and I…
My blade entered his chest, right over the glowing scar given to him by the Sages so long ago and he gasped. I felt it sink in; I felt something not quite physical snap as it slid home. The gasp quickly spiraled into a moan, one of a man that wasn't dead but was. I looked down at the dark skinned man only to receive a backhand that sent me a few feet away, causing me to stagger, more from shock than anything else. The man struggled, gasping as he rose to his feet, clearly in a pain I couldn't fathom. It was a testament to his will and his strength that he was able to stay standing. He looked up at the sky, at the moon that hung so large in the sky and then turned to me, eyes roaming over my shoulder to look at the princess. No blood leaked from his wound but the edges of where his flesh met the sword's blade were moving and vibrating, as if his very matter was being broken down by the sword. He looked at me, straight in the eye and composed himself, no longer gasping but standing tall and staring at me imperiously, as he had done for so long. It was all empty though, I knew this was his last stand, literally and figuratively, and even now, he refused to accept defeat. He spoke words, soft words, of light and shadow and blood before looking up at the moon again, and taking it in. Then, as if on cue, he twitched, seized up violently for a moment and then stopped, hunched over slightly and clearly dead, but his body refusing to give in and fall. The blade of evil's bane stopped reacting within him, its purpose finished, and I stepped forward, putting my hand on its hilt…
The…man? Creature? God? Well, whatever he was, he started swinging his sword around and whipping up the clouds of this not-world into a frenzy. Thunder started to boom and I rolled quickly to the side, the warning from Fi the only thing keeping me from being barbecue. As I got to my feet, I saw the hulking god's sword, now coursing with the lightning radiating off of the clouds. Errant bolts struck across his back, but merely glanced off of his ebony skin. So he summons lightning and is immune to it as well? That's fair…Done pondering yet another attempt at fate to screw with me, I raised my sword up, preparing to summon my own little piece of the heavens, only for a bolt to hit my sword. Fi screamed and I screamed, although by the end of the pain, I was still standing, if slightly charred and smelling of ozone. So he nullified my skyward strikes? Again, fair I say! Nevertheless I charged in at him, sword held high and noticing that my pain wasn't for nothing, as the blade's edge was filled with lightning. I smirked to myself, and leapt at the God, swinging my sword at him. Have a piece of lightning served with a taste of evil's bane, jackass! As the blades' edges met, a peal of thunder rang out, rendering me deaf as the force discharged and sent me skittering across the plane. As I got up, I spasmed a bit. Stray electricity will do that to you. And as I realized it had all grown quiet, I looked around. Storm was still blazing madly as my enemy took thundering steps towards me that I could feel but not hear. I cursed silently. Great, so now I'm deaf. Hopefully this is temporary. I looked him over and saw that an angry line of gray now sat across his left shoulder. The pulsing scar made me smile. So it looks like I figured out how to wound this bastard. Now I just gotta do it without permanently destroying my eardrums, or my nervous system. I leapt back as I finally got my muscles under control, the dark edge of my opponent's blade slamming down in front of me. I raised my sword again, bracing myself for the lightning to hit. Nothing happened for a few seconds. My enemy laughed, saying something I, obviously, couldn't catch but if his previous monologue was anything to go on, probably involved some combination of conquering the world, my being a puny mortal and the old gods. I hate dealing with deities. I still stood there, waiting, the holy light in my sword building up. I swung it and the God opened his arms, as if welcoming the attack. The blue disc shot out and slammed into his chest, sending him skidding back half a foot, maybe, but doing little else. I gritted my teeth, building up another strike and sending that along, sending him back another half foot. He laughed, stepping forward, the skyward strikes only delaying his advance by the smallest of fractions. Some witchy God lightning would be REALLY helpful right about now. As I thought this, a bolt struck, lancing through my sword, with a still not-so-small amount of pain. I bared my teeth and swung, holy energy and dark lightning propelling itself forwards, much faster than any of my previous strikes. Taking him off guard, the God was barreled over, with a grunt, a wide angry swath of gray cut into his chest. Not wasting this opportunity, I ran up, residual lightning still held within my blade and jumped at him, sword point first. As I fell to the motionless body, it twitched. And by twitched, I mean rolled to the left, and completely out from under me with dexterity that he shouldn't have had with bulk like that. My point hit the ground, jarring my hands and harmlessly discharging the lightning…most of it anyway. I swore and rose up, only to take a large evil blade to the face. Metaphorically speaking. I really took it to the shield, but it rent my shield completely in two, severing the bindings and sending me flying over a dozen feet away. Getting up and thanking my lucky stars (not that I think I have that many) I rose my sword again, prepared to play chicken with lightning. This'll be fun…
The wind was picking up around us as I squinted my eyes up at the large…thing. With a huge spherical body, two segmented arms and an eye that was way bigger than any eye had a right to be, I sighed softly. This new thing was a far cry from the downright dashing wind mage I'd been crusading against. While mentally griping over my current lack of eye candy, I turned to another me, this one in a blue tunic. He turned to me and, without words, I saw he agreed. Vaati's previous form was way better than this. The red me sighed, drumming his fingers on his hilt as the violet me gave us all a flat stare. I always thought it was kind of funny how that worked out. Originally, I am gay, and proudly so, and when I split myself into Green, Red, Blue and Vio, I figured that we'd all be gay. Everyone but Vio was. Whereas the three of us would get into all sorts of conversations about Vaati and what kind of body he was hiding under that cold exterior and billowing cloak, Vio would be off to the side, doing his best to ignore us, and centering his thoughts around Zelda. Whether this was because protecting her was our primary goal, or because he wanted to get under her skirt is still up in the air, Vio isn't exactly the chatty type and once we merge back, I figure I'll get his memories anyway. Ew. Hetero memories. Hope they don't interfere, I love being gay but I would HATE to be bisexual. As Vaati continued his monologue, his previous imperious, sexy voice now a sort of dull, whining noise, I yawned and nodded at my three counterparts. We all cut our musings short and turned to Vaati, as it seemed he was finally ready to fight, and so was I. I was usually a healthy advocate of Vaati's speeches but they'd lost their appeal with his transition and now I just wanted to be done with this business. As he rose onto a tornado of purple tinted wind, I held up my sword and shield, my duplicates mirroring me. With a yell, we charged forward, ready to…
The mask's halves briefly squirmed, almost like an insect, before shriveling up and fading into dusty, dark particles. I hefted my massive helix blade onto my shoulder and gave the unscrupulous vendor a flat stare. Seeing the message conveyed by my stance and eerie eyes, the man could only grin, his distaste and anger kept under the surface by his instinct for self preservation. He spoke, extolling the powers of the mask and how reckless it was to just get rid of it so callously. How he had plans and things to do, and now his lack of purpose was a purpose after all and how he hated being tied down. He prattled on, speech filled with meaningless doubletalk and selfishness. I peered down at him, the very picture of calm and dispassion, before I swung my blade at him. With a shriek and reflexes belying his stature and burden, he jumped back, so that my sword met a few of the masks he had strung along his pack, as opposed to his neck. As their wooden fragments fell to the floor, I glared at the man I'd almost beheaded. I doubted it would've killed him anyway. His shrieking, his dodging…it was all a show. In this state, I knew things. I knew about Din, Farore and Nayru, and their purposes for mankind, but I didn't understand those purposes. I knew about the rage that would make a man kill his brother but I didn't understand the love that would make a man give his life for his lover. I knew of the turnings of fate's wheel but not of the desire humans had to defy it. And how that same desire DOES defy it, time and again. Termina was set for destruction. It was ordained by those he served. And Majora was the tool manipulated into doing it. I…HE was here to observe, to watch and to report back on the destruction of a world. But one human boy had found him. An oddity, considering he shouldn't have been corporeal. Majora's twisted machinations meshed with the boy's determination and the strange flux he brought as an outsider had forced him into being. And he found himself bound to this boy. He could've left, destroyed this boy and left. Time would take its course, Termina would be destroyed and fate's wheel would keep turning on course. But instead, he saw me. Saw my conflicts, my fights, my struggles and how all of that was swept away. Everything I'd done, erased. No glory, no fame, no honor. Blood, sweat and tears only known to the sages and myself. Saw that everyone I'd grown to love didn't know who I was, including the ranch hand I'd shared a very special night with. The girl who called me fairy boy. Who gave me one of my best friends. Who held on and waited for seven, lonely years while Ganon tore down everything she knew. Who lit up when I stepped through her ranch gates, throwing her arms around me, heedless of the gear I had strapped to my person. Who held me the night before I went to face Ganon, as I poured out everything I'd held inside over my journey. My sadness, my rage, my feelings of helplessness and my fear. I didn't want to die and while I was older, felt older, I hadn't been able to adjust. Some part of me was still that scared, little boy that got shot down by Ganondorf, his horse flying over me, hooves only just missing me. She put my head in her lap and stroked my hair. She told me everything was going to be ok. That I was "her fairy boy" so she knew I could do it. That no one should go into a life or death battle as a virgin. I laughed at that, ignorant in these matters, not picking up on the subtext. But picking up on the way she tangled her fingers in my hair and leaned down and peppered my face in feather light kisses. I leaned up and returned the favor, my body filling in the blanks that my brain had, as I clumsily laced my fingers in her hair. And now, that's gone. It's all gone, and I can never get it back. The Fierce Deity saw it all and something touched him. Maybe it was the lost glory. Maybe it was the pain of a jilted lover. Who knows? But something, some part of this human boy made the Fierce Deity care just that little bit. In the way a person might care about one dog above the rest. But that dog becomes special and you feed it, keep it healthy and protect it. From anything that might harm it, including other people. This is how the Fierce Deity viewed Link and this is why he lent the boy his strength against Majora. But this spineless wretch…this sallow, spindly thing, for he was no man, sought power, no matter how dark it may have been. And his purposes were unknown, even to the Fierce Deity, who knew of many things. And that made him a danger. But Majora's power was gone now. While it would doubtlessly reform, in some way, that was no longer his concern. He'd helped this human and he would be dead and gone long before Majora was a threat to him or his grandkids or even THEIR grandkids. But the grandkids after that…he smirked. He may have a reason to swing by this side of the farscape again in a few centuries. As he prepared to leave, his power coalescing into the mask once more, he turned to the mask salesman, who sat there, wringing his hands and whining false platitudes. 'Begone, wretch.' The mask salesman's smile grew brittle but he faded away, vanishing into thin air as if he'd never existed in the first place. The mask fell off and I looked down at the wooden façade before it crumbled into dust that whirled around me, in something that wasn't quite an embrace, before fading away onto the wind…
Link looked up, eyes vacant. He held the sword, still pulsing softly in his hands, now even more familiar than it ever was. He remembered it. Remembered them all. And that's precisely why he knew this shouldn't happen. The incarnations of the hero, beyond a few lingering familiarities and the knowledge of battle inherent of their fate, knew nothing beyond their own life. But he did. He knew it all. And the knowledge sat within him like a stone.
He was just shy of eighteen years old, but felt like an old man, an ancient veteran, in both mind and soul. He sat listlessly, the Master Sword, held loosely in his hand and he stared at his reflection in the blade. Eyes that had seen too much stared back at him and he leaned back, breathing deeply and trying to center himself. Azrial was still out there and needed to be stopped…but he was tired, oh so very tired. He looked down at his left hand, and pulled off the leather glove. His hand was unblemished, save for a few calluses but he saw what wasn't there.
The scar he'd gotten when he first started training with Rusl. The haggard edge of his thumb from when the rigging on the King of Red Lions had snapped across it during his stormy tangle with one of the Great Sea's mightiest denizens. The way his pinky was just a little bit crooked from a handshake with Darunia that had occurred when the chief was more than a little intoxicated at a celebration feast. The patchy skin on his palm from when a bit of lava had flew onto his gauntleted hand and almost seared his hand straight through, he'd had to learn to fight with his right hand after that incident.
As he continued roaming his eyes over his body, more and more recollections of his past injuries surfacing and, while he didn't feel the physical pain, they each added up, each scar, burn and injury a tiny weight on his soul that couldn't be wiped by any potion or fairy magic. As he sat there, contemplating his past experience, he stood to his feet, reassessing his gear and resheathing the Master Sword. While he felt weighted down by his past battles, and a certain degree of bitterness, a feeling that he had had more than enough, done MORE than any man really had any right to have to do, in service to Hyrule, Termina, Holodrum, Labrynna. He'd gone to the ends of this earth, and others, and saved the world many times. He should've been done. He should've been allowed to rest.
But…he had been. From each life, he had that one day. The day after he'd defeated his final enemy and returned the Master Sword to its resting place. The day where he started his new life, one free of strife, well, strife of the supernatural, world ending kind. On some of those days, he'd decided to go forth into the world and explore, sword in hand, ready to take on the world. Other days, he took Zelda's hand, smiled at her and asked her how they would start rebuilding from the ashes, hand in hand. There was even a day where, after smiting down the Sorceress Sisters, he took the Oracles of Holodrum to his bed, where they thanked him most enthusiastically for saving a land that wasn't even his own.
And that was all he had. There was no "happily ever after" tacked onto those days, he had no idea how his lives ended. Who he'd marry, how many kids he would have, how he would die…all of this was unknown to him. He had years upon years of strife and struggle and fighting and pain. And for each set of years, many of those sets spent as an unwanted orphan, he had that one day of peace. One day where he felt accomplished and successful and…happy. As if fate's cruelty had not already toyed with him enough, it had now done this.
Link should've been mad, he should've been furious; he should've thrown his sword across the room, cursing Din, Nayru and Farore.
But he wasn't. Sitting here griping about the fact that he had centuries of struggle for a sparse few weeks of happiness wouldn't help anyone, including himself. While the thought of riding away to a distant land, finding a woman to love and a homestead to raise, was an attractive one, an alluring one…he couldn't do that. While some small part of him wanted to tell fate's machinations to go to hell and to take it up with the goddesses, he wouldn't do that either.
He started heading towards the exit of the temple, the building beginning to age once more, in the same, eerie silence. As he walked, he thought of his coming task and he almost snorted. Azrial was a kitten compared to Ganondorf, who was a kitten compared to Demise. Whereas before, the young hylian had been nervous about confronting the wizard, he knew this time through would be child's play and all of his nerves had been replaced by impatience, a desire to get it over with and save his people. But just before he crossed the threshold of the temple, he stopped, one boot poised in the sunlight of the outside. He turned on his heel to see a man standing before him, another silent addition to the temple.
The stranger stood at a towering eight feet, his arms crossed over his burnished breast plate. A white cloak was pinned to his shoulders, shifting slightly despite the lack of wind. His white tunic sat pristine and bright in color, despite the dusty atmosphere, and his dark leggings and brown, fur trimmed boots capped it off. On the ground next to him sat a large drum, half as tall as Link himself was, with a large feather perched on top of it.
Link raised an eyebrow and turned fully, his stance ready and alert. He hadn't even heard this man enter the room, implying he was skilled in stealth, magic or a combination of both. He stared at the man's tattooed face and cold, white eyes before looking away, not willing to subject himself to their milky depths for more than a second.
"Hello, boy." The man said, smirking slightly. Link said nothing, only continued to stare off to the side, but never fully away from the man. The man sat down, crossing his legs with a sigh and rested his chin onto his fist while he continued to look at the young hylian.
"…Am I to assume this was your doing." They both knew what he was referring to and the man chuckled, pulling out a piece of half whittled wood and a small knife. As he set to carving, he said
"You almost sound disappointed. I have gifted you with what you have done, the power and skills you've amassed over years of war. This cycle that Demise has trapped your soul in….it amuses me. It tempers you further and further with each new revolution, making you into a paragon of mortal excellence. An instrument of war so refined that, now, I could set you upon an entire army of the world's finest and you would come out none the worse for it. I could loose a company of wild beasts against you when you are armed with naught but your wit and your hands, and you would tear them asunder, sending them fleeing with their tails in between their legs."
The man finished up his carving, the knife vanishing into thin air as he rotated the piece of wood in Link's direction. He saw his own face staring back at him, with eyes of steel and a mouth poised in a yell. Toying with the little figure, the man continued speaking.
"You are the strongest mortal to have ever existed, and to capitulate that fact, you are even immortal! Oh sure, your flesh may fall but your spirit, your essence, will continue on and rise again, even stronger. The only way to ensure you would not return would be to purge this world of its Hylian females, but even then, I feel you would just adapt, and come back as a Goron, or a Zora, or maybe even as the Gerudo King. Now, that would be a rather interesting twist of destiny, wouldn't you agree?"
Link looked away from the white haired man, looking around at the ruined grove, silently pondering. Minutes passed but the stranger sat, content to wait, possessing patience that had stood the test of millennia. Finally Link turned back, his old, blue eyes piercing. This time he met the man's gaze without fear, prompting a grin from the stranger.
"What is it you want with me, ancient one? You don't seem the type to chat."
The man stood once more, discarding the wooden caricature of the Hero of Time and dusting off his clothing in a gesture that was more for show than anything else. He grabbed the feather that sat on his drum and as he picked it up, it shifted forms, the metallic edges shifting and forming into a double helix blade that was nearly as long as Link was tall. He looked at Link and smiled, a smile that was more beast than man, one that sung with unspoken challenge and urge to assert dominance.
"What I want, manling, is to see how far you've come. I helped you once and I want to see if you were indeed worthy of my assistance. I want you to give me a reason to consider your pitiful, soft hearted race worthy of a sliver of my respect. I want you to fight me. I want it to be a battle of the ages, of two titans clashing, the world shuddering, the elements themselves trembling in fear of such power in conflict. This is what I want, boy, and now it just comes down to if you are ready. And make no mistake, this isn't a request. I will not hesitate to strike you down here and now if you refuse me the battle I've waited centuries for."
Link's gaze still held the deity's own, two windows of ice blue glass that revealed nothing. After a moment, he spoke,
"What of Azrial and the grip he has on Hyrule?"
"That miserable vermin? The moment you pulled that sword free, I struck him down. I refuse to let you have any distractions. Your brother is safe; he is with the old one and the girl, the one of nobility. The creatures reverted to their previous forms once Azrial breathed his last. I even had the courtesy to seal up that impudent upstart Gerudo again, although he seems to have a knack for worming his way through them. Regardless, my work will be more than sufficient for now. There is nothing left for you to attend to."
Without another word, Link looked at the God that stood before him, and nodded. Smiling even wider, the deity put his left index finger out and tapped the drum, a low note resonating throughout the temple.
As it washed over Link, his tunic was replaced with heavier, white fabric, held under a breastplate engraved with the seal of Hyrule. Gauntlets appeared on his wrists, replacing his gloves, and his boots were made into greaves. His shield was now gleaming silver, its polished surface reflective. His ever trusty hat disappeared as his blonde hair spiraled out, lengthening into a shaggy mane that descended down his back. His blue eyes became even bluer, shining like crystals as markings appeared on his face and he grew to a size matching that of the Fierce Deity. Subsequently, the Master Sword also lengthened and broadened, becoming more claymore than long sword.
Link shifted slightly, stretching the muscles of his new form and found himself at the peak of physical conditioning. While still undoubtedly human, he was also touched by just a hint of something else. The triforce mark on his hand petered out before disappearing entirely as a gold triangle manifested and fell from Link's hand, disappearing. He gave the God a questioning glance and got an almost patronizing smirk.
"Do you really think I would've wasted all of this time on you if that little trinket of my nieces had anything to do with what I saw in you? A being that rises upon power not their own is shameless and worth nothing to me."
With another tap on the drum, a field of items appeared between the two combatants. Bombs, arrows, bracelets, rods, canes…it was an armory worth a dozen king's ransoms. The tools of the various Heroes of Time.
Looking over the field, Link looked at the tools that had aided him time and again against all matters of enemy. From the innocuous boomerang to the sword gifted to him by the great fairy herself. He looked it all over with a somewhat fond eye before waving his hand, causing the entire field to disappear.
"I have no need of such cheap tricks against you…it would only make a mockery of what you desired, regardless." As Link said this, he saw the stranger's eyes flash just the briefest amount, letting him know he was right. Had Link even thought to dishonor their bout with anything of the sort, he would've been smote down, the being willing to discard centuries of waiting if such a shred of cowardice existed anywhere within Link.
The god grinned again and hefted his weapon, his feet stepping lightly and eagerly from side to side in anticipation.
"At last! Let's see if you are a worthy opponent. Let's see if I should not have let Majora crush you like the tiniest of ants all those years ago. Come at me, boy!"
Link raised his sword and shield grimly, prepared and resigned but also excited, his blood singing. He took a step forward followed by another, and then another, increasing his pace to a light jog and then a sprint as he came at the deity. With a cry, he swung his blade and it ringed off of the god's as he parried the blow.
The action put the thunderclaps he had made during his battle with Demise to shame, but these didn't deafen him. The stones rumbled beneath their feet as otherworldly steel met otherworldly steel. This clash was the first of many, as they begun to almost dance around each other.
As they fought, the world felt each blow of the conflict, minor earthquakes springing up all over, seas churning and volcanoes erupting as the blows from the two forces clashed. One force clearly other, and not of this world, and one that was localized and almost a bit too much of this world, a soul that had done more for this world than any other. Their battle continued as the seasons cried, as the very air was torn from around them by the impact of their blows and as the great temple's magic fought to ensure they didn't tear the very earth itself in two.
Each blow resonated, adding to the disturbance around them, but the two beings cared not for what they were causing. Their entire focus was on their opponent and what the next move would be, and the move after that and the move after that…they parried, spun, rolled and dove, the entire thing looking almost staged in its mechanical perfection and smoothness, as the god of war, rage and power met the indomitable spirit of humanity, embodied and honed in the trials of fate and destiny.
Again and again, they clashed, forcing the very matter of the world away from them as they locked eyes. For one, brief moment they stopped, each taking a few steps back. Their breathing was light and even, as if they'd just finished a brisk walk. They sized each other up, grinned and with a cry, leapt at each other, determined to completely obliterate the one before them at any cost, even that of the world itself.
It is said that the two continued fighting, that their battle bled outwards from the temple to consume the surrounding forests, easily surmounting the previously unconquerable Lost Woods. It is said that the seal on the Gerudo king would hold so long as they both still had breath in their bodies. It is said that the two fight to this very day, neither giving ground.
"It's just up ahead!"
Three men cleared the plateau and gazed out over at what had become known as the Plains of the Lost, an area spanning miles that couldn't be directly looked at. When you tried, your eyes just…slid, even turning your entire body away. Those strong enough to resist and force themselves to gaze upon the expanse go mad, babbling nonsense and curling into themselves, physically and mentally, terrified of loud noises, metal and the color white. They never lasted long before committing suicide. The few brave enough to enter the plains, usually blind folded, never returned.
The men here today had no intention of going mad or being lost, however. They were mere travelers, passing through and taking the chance to see (so to speak) the most feared expanse of land in the world. As they stood in front of it, their backs to the plains, the borders a few hundred meters away by their best guess, they would all travel on that day, none thinking to discuss what they had seen.
If you had asked them though, one would have told you of how he could swear he felt the earth rumbling beneath his feet, and how he walked with a limp from that day forward. Another would have told you of how he found it hard to breathe there, as if the very air had decided to vacate the space, and how his voice had not been the dull rasp it now was, before that day. And the last…you would have to repeat your question to the last many times, as he would not be able to hear you over the ringing of steel on steel.
And fin! There ya go; my first work of fanfiction in God knows how many years. I put a solid two days into this one shot so I hope you guys like it and be sure to review. Also, you may have noticed this got reuploaded. I read it over when it was live and found a few errors and, while I'm ok with a few errors in a multi chapter story, I feel like one shots need to be as perfect as possible, so I'm reuploading this. Re-Enjoy!