The Legend of Zelda: Union of Evil Powers


Red Jacket
Sep 4, 2015
The Netherlands
Legend of Zelda – Union of Evil Powers

Chapter 1: Ganondorf’s Resurrection.

What was thought to be an era of peace in Hyrule after the defeat of Ganondorf, turned out to be a most cherished dream... a lost dream with lost hope... Majora, a malevolent being with wicked powers, usually expressed through the mask bearing its name, was presumably destroyed in its battle against Link, with the young hero saving Termina in the process by preventing the moon from crashing down on Clock Town, the main city in the center of Termina. After Majora’s defeat, Link rode his trusted stallion Epona and went back to look for someone dear to him. This search eventually led him back to Hyrule, back into his home forest, the Kokiri Forest. Deciding to take a rest from all the adventures, Link returned Epona back to Lon Lon Ranch, where he lent the horse from, to give her some rest, before he returned back to the Kokiri Forest.  His return was greatly appreciated by most of his Kokiri friends, mainly Saria. Even Mido, initially being a bully towards Link before the latter left the Forest in the first place, was happy to see Link back. While he wouldn’t admit it openly, Mido did have a level of respect for Link once he learned that he had tried to help the Great Deku Tree by liberating it from its curse, instead of blaming the death of their guardian on him.

Unknown to the group however, an evil wizard by the name of Agahnim has been spying on not just Link, but also on the others whom Link associated with during his first adventures for months to almost a year, gathering his own powers in the process, before he moved off to Termina. Once there, he used what powers he had at his disposal to resurrect Majora, whom had been critically weakened without his mask, even though he had life flowing through him again. Upon learning that Agahnim was the Light World form of Ganondorf, Majora sided with him as both were after the same objective: Gaining revenge on Link and the Seven Sages, slaughtering them and everything they stand for and then ruling the world in an era of Darkness. Because of this, their agreement led to a deadly alliance; in return for letting Majora retake what is rightfully his, Agahnim would have the acquisition of someone who has the ability to curse the entire land by its own means, wanting to make things hard for their nemeses as they possibly could. As Agahnim and Majora collaborated, things then went downhill fast...

“So, Agahnim, I understand that your true form is sealed inside the depths of the Temple of Time, am I right?” Majora asked, as the two beings held up their gathering in the vast forest that separated Hyrule and Termina.
“Yes. The seven sages have locked him in a place, which they have called the "Chamber of Sages", after Link defeated him months ago. It lies deep within the Temple of Time. If we destroy the temple, we could free my true form.” Agahnim said, his appearance mostly hidden through the cloak.
“Then we shall go there and destroy it at once. Through that, we'll also eliminate the possibility of them doing it again. Prepare our evil forces. We will leave now!” Majora said, using his strange mask, which he recently obtained once more, to help in resurrecting their forces… sending a dark and luminous aura in the direction of Hyrule…

As the forces of Evil are underway, Link, the fabled Hero of Time, was sleeping in his bed inside his house in the Kokiri Forest. As it was the case with Agahnim as well as the Seven Sages, he retained the knowledge of his time travel to the future, where he and the Sages managed to defeat the monstrous Ganon, the beast form of the King of Evil, Ganondorf himself, after the latter had used the Triforce of Power to engage the holders of the two other Triforce pieces, Link and Zelda. Thanks to his courage, Link prevailed and used the Evil-banishing blade known as the Master Sword to weaken Ganondorf enough for Zelda and the Six Sages to seal Ganondorf into the Evil Realm. After returning back to his original time, Link went to see Zelda and, after they and Impa told the King of Hyrule of Ganondorf’s treachery, Ganondorf himself was arrested and sealed away as well, wanting to deprive him of any opportunity to usurp the King of Hyrule and seize the Triforce for himself. After that, Zelda gave Link the sacred Ocarina of Time after the latter announced he would go on a trip to find his fairy comrade Navi, whom parted from him after he returned the Master Sword to the Pedestal of Time, where he would eventually end up in Termina, up to facing Majora, who threatened to destroy Termina and all of its residents by crashing the moon on top of Clock Town. Thankfully, after another adventure, Link managed to stop him, after which he went off to search for his friend again, deciding to return home to see his other friends, wanting to stay until he would go off on an adventure once more.

As for the other Sages, they took matters in their own hands as well. Nabooru, the exalted leader of the Gerudo Tribe, went to Hyrule Castle to renegotiate an alliance between the Gerudo tribe and the King of Hyrule. Since Zelda and Impa both were more trusting of Nabooru, thanks to their memories, Nabooru’s efforts were far more successful than Ganondorf’s. Upon speaking privately, Nabooru expressed her genuine respect for them as well as Link, feeling happy that they all had fought side by side. Ruto behaved like her old self pretty much, although she was found on an occasional night on the outside, near Lord Jabu-Jabu’s stead in the Zora Fountain, keeping a silent watch over their deity as well as trying to keep in touch with the other Sages. Darunia was also back to his old self, although he did take some precautions to prevent other evil beings from taking what is rightfully theirs. The entrance to the mines in the Dodongo’s Cavern, which was the main source of the Goron’s food supply, was now permanently guarded, although the Gorons did switch places on occasion so the guards could go home and see their families. Rauru was back in the Temple of Time, safeguarding the Master Sword and the entrance to the Chamber of the Sages.

Link was currently vast asleep in his tree house, glad to be back home. In the days after his return, Saria had visited his house frequently, mainly to share memories as well as telling Saria the adventures he had to endure during his time in Termina. Saria was impressed that Link was able to remain firm, regardless of the curses around the area and some even being placed on Link himself. Then, a sudden feeling of uneasiness woke him from his sleep. Looking around, he saw that it was still night in the forest, but the uneasiness made his body shudder. As he got out of bed and out of his house after he got dressed again, thinking that a bit of fresh air would do him good, he was surprised to see Saria, his childhood friend and the Sage of the Forest,  out of her house. He noticed that she too felt quite nervous; she seemed to be looking around for a bit while lightly shivering. Link went to her, climbing down from the ladder of his tree house and running to her. Saria heard him approaching and turned to face him, smiling at seeing Link.
“ Can't sleep either?” Link asked, seeing the tranquility of the Kokiri Forest around them.
“No... I have this feeling of dread... it’s sending shivers down my spine… something malicious is going to happen, I can feel it!” Saria replied.
“So do I. I haven’t felt like this in a year or so!”
“Should we locate the other Sages and find out what's going on?” Saria suggested.
“We should; I'll grab my stuff.”
“ Wise choice; I doubt your sword alone is enough.”

Packing their emergency stuff, Link and Saria rushed into the Lost Woods and into Goron City in the hopes of finding Darunia, King of the Gorons, Link's 'Sworn Brother' and the Sage of Fire. Link was armed with his Gilded Sword, an item he brought back from his travels in Termina and a Hero Shield, a child’s version of the common Hylian Shield for the soldiers, while Saria had kept Link’s slingshot as well as a dagger of her own. Having recognized her duty as a Sage, Saria would see to it that she would also help Link to defend the forest and Hyrule. It did puzzle the other Kokiri why Saria had taken up some sword training of her own, often leading to sparring sessions with Link during the time he stayed in the forest. After crossing the Lost Woods area, the two forest children entered the passageway leading into Goron City. They carefully passed by the Gorons as to not disturb them in their sleep, going all the way down towards Darunia’s throne room. Interestingly, the door to the throne room was already open… as if Darunia was expecting them.

“Link, Saria! You have come!” Darunia said, as he saw the two entering his room, stopping to take a breath.
“Yes; we have been unable to sleep last night and we suspect that something bad is about to happen.” Link said.
“We should meet up with the other Sages at the Temple of Time; perhaps we can find out what is going on there.” Saria said.
“I couldn't sleep, too. I've also felt the same thing. Very well, let's go.” Darunia said, cracking his knuckles as he was more than ready to deal out a decent beating out to any enemy in his way.

The three Sages then went out of Goron City and down the Death Mountain Trail, passing by the sleeping villagers in Kakariko Village and into Hyrule Field. Right after stepping down the steps leading to the village, they met up with Ruto, the Zora Princess and the Sage of Water and Nabooru, the newly installed leader of the Gerudo Tribe and the Sage of Spirit. Noting that they too were on their way to Hyrule Castle, the three joined up with them and moved over the bridge into Hyrule Castle Town and up the steps towards the Temple of Time, where Zelda, the Hyrule Princess and Seventh Sage and Impa, Zelda's Guardian/attendant and the Sage of Shadow were waiting for them. The Seven then entered the Temple to meet up with Rauru, the Sage of Light.
“Something dark and malicious is headed this way, I can feel it!” Link said, shuddering.
“So can I, Link, it's horrible!” Saria said.
“I hope Rauru can help us with this.” Ruto said.
“Rauru! What is going on in this temple? How did this dark presence get here?” Darunia asked.
“It seems that the forces of Evil have awoken once more to end the peace we have been fighting for. An individual named Majora has joined forces with a wizard named Agahnim in Termina and have created an Army of Darkness which is currently on their way here as we speak!” Rauru said.
“Majora?! How in the name of the three Goddesses of Hyrule is this possible?! I obliterated that monster months ago to prevent the moon from destroying Termina!” Link exclaimed.
“We know, Link; we've been monitoring your actions and there too you are celebrated as a hero. But the evil forces must have been reawakened somehow.” Zelda said.
“We need to stop them before they destroy everything!” Saria said.
“I say we gather enough forces to aid us and wipe them off the face of this world.” Nabooru said.
“But to do so, we need to find out how big that army is.” Link said, feeling the need to gather intelligence.
“I agree.” Saria said, agreeing with Link.
 “Alright. Link, you and Saria will go and try to get as close to the army as you can without being seen. The others will warn everyone else and gather any abled body to help us in this horrendous event.” Zelda said, nodding
“We're on our way; I know just the right horse to call.” Link said.
Link and Saria then left the Temple for the moment, while the other Sages went to warn the rest.
“Darunia, I need you to prepare the Gorons for this. Perhaps you can bombard the enemy using your 'Special Crop' to hinder the advance of the enemy as much as you can.” Zelda said.
“Alright. You can count on me.” Darunia said.
“I'll warn my father about this. Ruto, you go and warn the Zora's. Impa, you and Rauru will have to stay here and wait for Link and Saria to get back. We must protect the treasures that allows access to the Master Sword. Nabooru, we need the Gerudo for this, since you are their leader now.” Zelda said.
“Understood. We Gerudo never liked Ganondorf anyway; we'd rather had someone like Link as our ruler.” Nabooru said, while Ruto got ready to have the Zora helping the group…

Meanwhile, Link and Saria have lent Epona from Lon Lon Ranch to cross Hyrule Field faster, feeling that the main gathering of the enemy had taken place in an open field of the forest leading to Termina. Halting Epona at some distance, both Link and Saria approached the open field to a safe distance. But what they saw shocked them. An uncountable amount of creatures were standing around a makeshift pedestal, on which Majora was dancing around. Majora was wearing its mask, giving it the powers it needed to resurrect the Army of Darkness! Lisalfos with their forked tongues flicking in and out of their mouths. Iron Knuckles with their enormous battle-axes over their shoulders. Dodongos all covered in armor with their huge teeth sticking out. Poes lined up with a lantern in one hand, a spear in the other, Re-Deads and Gibdos all ready to rip apart man-flesh. Wizrobes with their wands ready to burn any opponents to crisp. Stalfos with their huge red bent swords in their palms. Moblins with their long clubs across their hip. The Floormasters, ready to drain any passerby of their magic power. The Corrupted Soldiers, ready to attack anyone that stands in their way. And last, the Flare Dancers, ready to immolate anyone in their path with their fiery dance. Link and Saria felt that they hadn't caught attention yet, so it was a good time to turn tail and head back to the Temple of Time right away. Fortunately, Epona was energetic today and carried Link and Saria on its back all the way back to Hyrule Castle. Once there, both Link and Saria dismounted, after Link went face to face with the horse.
“Epona, you're a fine horse and I wouldn't be able to cope if I would lose you. Please for our, yours and Malon's sake, find a place to hide and stay out of the reach of the enemy, even if it means for you to hide within Gerudo's fortress, but please, hide!” Link pleaded to the horse.
As if understanding him, Epona neighed once, butting his head against Link and Saria as a gesture of thanks, before running off, while Link and Saria rushed back to the Temple of Time, where Darunia was waiting for them, having warned the Gorons beforehand.
“You're back. Good. I wanted to tell you that I warned my kind of this threat we are facing. Have you found out about the amount of evil forces?” He asked, just as the other Sages came to meet the two.
“We have seen it and it's not good at all.” Link said.
“It's like Hell has come for us with his friends!” Saria added.
“What?!” Zelda asked, being terribly shocked.
“We've seen almost everything: Lisalfos, Dodongos, Stalfos, ReDeads, Gibdos, Flare Dancers, Wizrobes, ANYTHING you can think of is there!” Link said.
“Then they must be up to something big! May Nayru's Love protect us...” Zelda said, clasping her hands together in a prayer.
“Something is telling me that we are now in trouble, with all these monsters you have mentioned. We must be ready, if they are going to attack.” Darunia said.
“I only hope we can stall them long enough to evacuate as many civilians as we can. And even if the enemy may overrun us, we should be able to at least cripple them number-wise, I hope.” Link said.
“We all hope that, Link, it's just-“
Saria couldn’t finish her sentence as a sudden rumble shook the Temple!
“What's that?!” Ruto asked.
Link and the others rushed out of the Temple, only in time to see Death Mountain erupting!
“GOOD GRIEF!” Link exclaimed.
“Dear goddesses!” Saria gasped out, hands in front of her mouth.
“We're out of time; we must strike now!” Zelda said, getting serious.
“We'll make sure that if the enemy is victorious today, that their victory will taste as bitter as defeat.” Link said, drawing his sword.
The Sages nodded, getting ready themselves.

Soon enough, Link and the Seven Sages got in position to aid the massive army of Hyrule to combat the Army of Darkness... Zelda’s father was wise enough to heed to his daughter’s plea and got his army ready. Terminans were also standing by to aid the Hyrulean army and other, neighboring kingdoms also decided to come to Hyrule’s aid. Soon enough, the Army of Darkness was in sight.
“Here they come!” Darunia announced.
“Perhaps today is a good day to die. Let’s show them.” Link said.
Link and Zelda prepare their respective bows to fire Light Arrows from, while Saria, Rauru and Ruto have a special beam attack from their hands to smite numerous enemies with. Impa had an infinite supply of Deku Nuts to stun the enemies, while next to Darunia were numerous of powerful rocks to crush any villain and Bomb Flowers to blow others to smithereens.

It was then that the battle started, with the brave soldiers of Hyrule fighting for their lives against an army of Flare Dancers, Iron Knuckles, Moblins, Lisalfos, Stalfos, Gibdos, Wizrobes, Poes, and Dodongos. And hovering above them all were the leaders: Majora, and Agahnim! All with smiles on their faces and a hating desire to see Link, the Sages and Hyrule destroyed! The two armies collided, shields blown into splinters, and swords slicing up the opponents. Screams of agony could be heard from miles around, along with the screams of the of the Re-deads and the Gibdos. Men being eaten alive, blown to shreds, and burned to crisp slowly; Link and the Sages couldn't stand it. Thankfully, the army managed to stall the advance... One of Link’s Light Arrows scored a direct hit on an Iron Knuckle, stunning it long enough for Darunia to blast it with his own Sage attack, which was a powerful beam fired from the hands, fired in a similar fashion at what Zelda used to stun Ganon with, allowing Link to cripple the beast, which in turned allowed Zelda and the other Sages to seal the Evil King away in the Evil Realm. One of Saria’s Deku Seeds nailed a Lisalfos squarely in the eye, making it howl as it was blinded, before one of Hyrule’s soldiers decapitated it, before being struck from behind by a Stalfos. The Goron’s Bombs were very effective in dealing with the Flare Dancers and most of the enemies susceptible to explosives; the Dodongos were also being a help in that as they were the most vulnerable; the explosions emitted from a Dodongo’s defeated corpse dealt significant splash damage to nearby enemies, even though the enemy army was more relentless and far more numerous. For some time, it seemed the respective armies seemed to have reached a stalemate, but then one of the enemy projectiles, fired by a Wizrobe, soared over the group... striking the top of the Temple of Time!
“The Temple of Time is under attack!” Link exclaimed.
“We can't let the treasures nor the Master Sword fall into enemy hands! We have to protect them at all costs! Darunia, make sure the area to the Temple is mined using the Bomb Flowers and rocks while you're coming with us; the army has to pay for every square inch they advance here!” Zelda shouted, her voice audible enough throughout the violence.
“I'll do it! They won't get their hands on the treasures and the Master Sword!” Darunia said, doing what was asked by calling some of the Gorons to him with the task to mine the path to the Temple of Time.

As Link and the others made a mad dash for the Temple of Time, they realized with horror that the Army of Darkness was specifically attacking the Temple of time, as it appeared that the recent attacks were focusing on the ancient building, noted by the several dents and holes made in the Temple’s exterior. Narrowly avoiding some rubble, the group arrived at the Temple and rushed in, only for a part of the ceiling to come down! Zelda casted Nayru’s Love to shield the group from the falling rubble!
“Are they THAT desperate to kill us?!” Saria asked, horrified.
“Maybe, but I think... oh no!” Link then exclaimed.
“Are you thinking what I am thinking?!” Zelda asked.
“You bet; if this Temple is destroyed, Ganondorf will be free to plague the land of Hyrule once more! And from the sounds of it, it looks like they will succeed.” Link said.
“Not if we collect the things here to combat them.” Rauru said, as he went inside the chamber with the Master Sword, followed by Darunia and Impa. Just then, another loud crash shook the Temple, making rubble crash down in front of the Door of Time, separating Impa, Rauru and Darunia from the other five.
“IMPA!!! RAURU, DARUNIA!!!” Zelda shouted as Link bravely tried to remove some of the rubble, but it was too heavy for him to lift at the time, right before Nabooru pulled the young hero out of harm’s way as another bit of rubble came down.
“Don't worry about us, just grab the treasures and get out of here! We'll protect the Master Sword with the best of our abilities! Nabooru, watch over the children, please!” Impa pleaded.
“I will. We'll come back for you, we swear!” Nabooru said, nodding.
Being forced to flee, the group grabbed the treasures. Link held Goron's Ruby, Ruto took Zora's Sapphire, Saria held Kokiri's Emerald and Zelda tucked away the Royal Family's treasure, the Ocarina Of Time, away. The five rushed back into the battle field, avoiding the mines (Thanks to Link donning the Lens of Truth) and rushing into Hyrule Field, which was littered with enormous pools of blood and piles of severed, burned and mutilated bodies of both armies, although the Army of Darkness was winning! Spotting a secret grotto which was opened through one of the explosions from one of Goron's bombs, Link, Saria, Zelda, Ruto and Nabooru rushed to it, just before a big explosion rocked the area. As the five looked in the direction of the source of the explosion, they gasped at the sight of a ruined and burning building. The Temple of Time had been destroyed! Stepping back, Link slipped and fell in the secret hole, soon joined by Saria, Zelda, Ruto and Nabooru. Majora and Agahnim saw this.
“Well, well, looks like five of them went into hiding...” Majora said, nodding as he oversaw the scene.
“No matter. I am already preparing a surprise for them, should they come after the Master Sword and their friends.” Agahnim said.
“Good. I'll give you the time you need while I send the five on a lovely trip, ghehehehehe.... “ Majora said, after which he begins to shake the head, the mask vibrating the cursed energy from it, directed to the grotto…

Inside the grotto, Link, Saria, Zelda, Ruto and Nabooru sat down together, catching their breath from all the running.
“Well, at least they won't be able to get the Master Sword now, but our friends...” Link said, expressing his concern over the others who are trapped inside the ruins of the Temple of Time.
“I'm sure Darunia has found a way to keep them out of harm's way...” Zelda said.
“But we can't get out yet... the enemy may be looking for us...” Saria said.
“This is madness...” Ruto said, looking said, prompting Link and Saria to try to comfort her.
“Hey, did I hear the wall just growl?!” Nabooru asked, staring at the wall behind the chest present.
As the five looked in the direction of the wall at the far side of the exit, right where they were, they noticed it began to wobble a bit, as if someone was making a portal there.
“I don't like the feel of this...”Nabooru said.
“It must be some kind of magic that’s causing this.” Zelda said.
Just then as Link wanted to grab his sword, a part of the wall suddenly sprang forward as if stretching out... forming itself into the appearance of the Like-Like creature. The eyes of the group standing in front of it widened in horror. This was the only momentum it needed, as the creature suddenly sprung forward, with its black maw at the top forward, engulfing Link, Saria, Zelda, Ruto and Nabooru in one go. Their muffled screams inside fell to deaf men's ears as the creature lifted up and swallowed the five in a big *GULP*, sending them through a portal in the process right before it retracted itself, the wall returning then to normal as if nothing happened. Clearly the magic of Majora was twisted enough to make it possible…

A set of five screams were heard in a vast area of black space as Link, Saria, Zelda, Ruto and Nabooru fell down into what appeared to be a vast abyss of black space. Then the five felt as if they were crashing through something, before being suddenly halted in the fall. But as they crashed through something, the force was enough to knock them out, leaving them unconscious in the process. They also dropped most of their items on the ground because of the sudden crash and the halting, but nothing broke. Aside from that, they were alone in the room, which was lit by only two torches…

Meanwhile, back in Hyrule, the Seal of the Six Sages broke, which caused Agahnim to transform in his normal state: The Evil King of Darkness: Ganondorf.
“ Finally, Hyrule shall be ours... and after Hyrule comes the World...” Ganondorf said, laughing maniacally as he would be able to get rid of Link and the Sages very soon.
Chapter 2: Ikana’s Hero and Sages
Deep inside an unknown cavern area, of which nobody knows... the area itself is dark and moist... most of the rooms are littered with different kinds of spider webs and Skulltulas and Skullwalltulas are present over the area, waiting for a potential victim to pounce onto... One of the rooms however is empty and seemingly void of any arachnid presence, save for the giant orb web hanging diagonally across the for the rest empty room which is only partially visible from the light which two lit torches at the door leading out of the room give off. Several items are scattered over the floor, including two bows, a few swords and shields, a dual scimitar sword, some arrows, a bluish Ocarina and three gemstones... the Sacred Stones needed to open the sacred Door of Time... the Kokiri's Emerald... the Goron's Ruby and the Zora's Sapphire... fortunately in one piece... moving to the orb web, five figures are seen suspended in the web itself... the silhouettes of four children and an adult woman... each of them out cold, but stirring as they are about to wake up! Link groaned as he woke up from a long time of unconsciousness, Saria let out a moan.
“Who saw that horse that threw me off?!” She asked.
Zelda grunted and shook her head a bit.
“My head…” Link said.
“Link, are you alright?” Saria asked.
“Aside from feeling to have the Megaton Hammer smashed on my skull, I'm okay.” Link said.
“What's this?! I can't move a muscle!” Zelda exclaimed.
“ Neither can I... and there's an annoying sticky itch around my skin!” Nabooru said.
“ Same here!” Ruto said.
“Hold it...” Link said, before he scanned the area, trying to figure out things by means of the torches.
“ What is it?” Saria asked.
“ Just our luck, we've fallen into a giant spider's web. I've seen more than enough of these in my travels in and Hyrule and Termina both.” Link said with a groan.
"A giant spider's web?!" Saria asked.
"Where are we? Last time I checked we hid inside one of those secret holes near the castle..." Zelda said.
"That's correct, but that frigging Like-Like swallowed all of us up like we were a nice treat. I'm surprised we managed to retain most of our equipment here." Link said.
"I believe some kind of magic made that creature appear." Zelda said.
"It obviously has to be Majora..." Link muttered.
"We should get out of here and find out where exactly we are, before we can think of finding a way back." Nabooru said.
"Great idea, we should find a way to get out of this web first; otherwise, whoever has made this, will make a five-course meal out of us." Ruto said.

Link, Saria, Zelda, Ruto and Nabooru struggle a bit, pulling themselves forward to get out of the web. They succeed, but fall on the ground with a *THUD*, although neither of them is injured. After getting up and dusting themselves off, they moved closer to the light from the torches to see their equipment better.
"Alright. We should first settle up our equipment first, before we go. I'm sure that we'll have to face Skulltulas around here." Link said as he grabbed and equipped his Hero Sword, Hero Shield and Hero Bow with 10 Arrows.
Saria took her Fairy Slingshot and a few Deku Nuts, while Zelda grabbed her own Bow and Arrows. Ruto didn't have weapons, but she, like the other sages, could use magic as an offensive weapon, while Nabooru grabbed her Dual Sword, twirling them around to get the feel of them again. Link, Saria and Zelda also grabbed their respective Ocarinas, with Zelda possessing the Ocarina of Time, while Link, Saria and Ruto also secure the Spiritual Stones of Fire, Forest and Water respectively.
"Link, do you have any magic attacks?" Zelda asked.
"Of course I remember the Spin Attack, using the bluish glow on my sword for an area of effect spin attack." Link said, smiling.
"Good." Zelda said.
“Alright, let's get out of here.” Link said as he opens the door and he and his four friends go through, before it closes behind them…

The group looks around once outside the room containing the web they fell in. They can see several breakable boxes around, along with numerous spider webs on the walls and the ceiling. Several Skulltulas and Skullwalltulas, the latter recognizable with the ominous scraping sounds, are present, but have not detected the heroes' presence yet. A big chest stands in the path to the right, while a small chest stands to the left, flanked by a few grass polls which could be sliced with the sword.
“The atmosphere feels warm and moist here.” Zelda said.
“I agree. I feel like we’re quite a long way from home.” Nabooru said.
“ I am pretty sure this is Majora's doing. Only he would be sadistic enough, to send us into a place like this.” Link said, being serious.
“And it's all because of that strange mask he wears?” Saria asked, to which Link nodded.
“And there’s a lot more where that came from; he could practically place a curse on ANYONE he sees fit.” Link said, recalling his own experience from encounters with the eponymous mask during his travels in Termina.
“I've heard about Majora and it's giving me the creeps ever since, now we know what he is capable of… and now that he could be working together with Ganondorf…” Zelda said, shivering.
“We should get going,” Nabooru said, “the sooner we’re out of this place, the better. After all, there’s no use in hanging around this dank place unless we need shelter.”
“True that. Besides, we should try to find the others first…” Ruto said, while Link went to the chest to open it up…
“Hm, this is weird; someone actually left a map of this place here.” Link said, grabbing the paper out of the chest.
“You found a map?” Saria asked, walking to him with the others in tow.
“ Yes. Perhaps this should give us an insight on where we are in this place and see if we can find a way out, or in any case where we have to go.” Link said.
“At least it’s something. There’s a torch at this corner, Link. We should study the map there.” Zelda said.
“Thank you, Zelda.” Link said with a smile, moving to the torch and lies down to study the map under the light from it, with Saria, Zelda, Ruto and Nabooru joining him.
“Alright, so where are we?” Saria asked.
“I can't pinpoint the exact location of where we exactly are, considering we fell in perhaps a random room. I do see that there's a total of three floors in this area, with each floor having a total of four rooms or so.” Link said.
“At least it tells us which rooms there are, so we may be able to expect what they look like regarding size, but not what they contain.” Nabooru said.
“True. Why does Majora has to be so sadistic...” Ruto said, shivering a bit.
“He's like a big baby when I first fought him; it all seemed like a game to him. I'm sure that this will be his game of vengeance.” Link said.
“And add Ganondorf’s cruelty to that… they obviously want to have us as far away from them for now so they can prepare their fort…” Zelda added.
“You think this is only stage one of their plan?” Saria asked.
“More than that; I believe that this is only the beginning…” Zelda said, as the group got up to continue exploring the area.

As the group moved on to explore the area, moving down what appeared to be a wooden bridge moving downwards like a smooth stairway, they entered the second room up ahead, which contained some high grasses and a Big Skulltula in the center of the room, the Skulltula hanging from its web on the ceiling. Link stuns the Skulltula with a Deku Nut, allowing Nabooru to circle behind it and kill it with her Dual Swords.
“All too easy.” Nabooru said with a smirk, happy to be able to kick ass after the initial debacle involving Ganondorf, at which she was brainwashed by the witches Koume and Kotake…
Ruto looked further ahead, seeing a door up ahead.
“I wonder who could have used this place as a hideout, considering the door up ahead.” She said.
“Probably bandits, travelers, smugglers or thieves…” Link mused as Saria walked to a chest to open it.
“You’re right, Link; I’ve found a few weapons and ammunition in this chest.” She said as she got out a few short swords and some arrows and slingshot bullets, as well as Deku Nuts.
“Hm. A few swords appear corroded, perhaps this place was abandoned for some time.” Nabooru said, moving in to check it as well.
“Take the ones with the least corrosion on it. Perhaps we can salvage it for better equipment later.” Zelda said, at which Nabooru nodded.
Once everyone was equipped with additional weapons and ammo where needed, they proceeded to the next room…

“It's awfully dark in here…” Zelda said as they entered the room, which held no torches whatsoever.
As the group walks on, they discover that the room itself is empty, with only the ambient sounds of the occasional water drop and the breathing of the five being the sounds whatsoever.
“What gives?!” Ruto said, scratching her head.
“It’s not a dead end, is it?” Saria asked, blinking as the group wandered into the center of the room.
Just as Link wanted to answer, the group felt the floor cracking underneath their feet, causing them to stagger as parts of the floor broke up a bit. A few seconds later, before the group could even react, the center part of the floor collapsed, sending the entire group falling to the ground, landing on another giant spider's web which fortunately broke their fall, although a second cobweb at the bottom halts their progress.
“Whew. There are times that I am glad that there are webs around.” Nabooru said, sighing of relief.
“Don't get used to it, though.” Ruto said, removing some silk from her fins.
“At least we can continue…” Saria said as Link entered the room, spotting a Deku Scrub hiding in the center of the room, with a few Withered Deku Babas surrounding it.
Zelda frowned.
“Deku actually live here? Or is it one of the last occupants here?” She asked.
“I have no idea. Perhaps it may know some more…” Link said.
The group swiftly takes out the Deku Babas, each gaining a Deku Stick in the process, while Link also sends the attack of the Deku Scrub back at him by using his Shield. Immediately the Scrub tries to escape after being hit, but Zelda confronts it.
“Please, miss! I'll never do it again! If I give you some advice, will you let me go?” The Deku Scrub pleaded.
“Alright, spill it.” Zelda said.
“I overheard this: While most enemies can be beaten easily in a group, some of the more tougher ones require more power and may need to be faced with a fighter of the same caliber. That's all I can tell you.” It said, before it left.
“I wonder what he means by that…” Link said.
“Same here… and he hasn’t told us where we are…” Ruto said, crossing her arms.
“Looks like we’ll have to find that out by ourselves then.” Nabooru said as the group continued on to the next room.

The next room had a few torches lighting up the area, as well as several big puddles of water. Right away, Link got some water between his hands to take a sip of it.
“Hm, the water’s fresh here.” He said, taking another sip to lessen his thirst. The others took a drink as well, while Link went to a different puddle to throw some water in his face to refresh himself.
“Maybe not as efficient when taking a bath or standing under a soft waterfall, but it’ll have to do.” He said, smiling.
Saria and Zelda both giggled as they too refreshed themselves, while Ruto took another sip and Nabooru herself looked around the room.
“There’s a few more Skulltulas around, but they’re not that much of importance so far.” She noted.
“Leave them be then. We could use the Deku Stick here to burn the web we saw earlier.” Link said, opting to conserve ammunition.
“Right.” Ruto said, taking the Deku stick and lit it up against one of the torches, moving it with it rapidly towards the web before the stick would burn out.

After burning the web, Ruto extinguished the stick to conserve it.
“I can hardly see a thing down there!” She said after peeking down the hole.
“Do you think it contains anything?” Nabooru asked.
“Only one way to find out...” Link said, before he jumps down the hole, “WHOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAA!!!”
“YYAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!” Saria yelled as she jumped down the hole as well, shortly followed by Zelda, Ruto and Nabooru.
The five land inside a small pond of water, being similar to the pond inside the Big Deku Tree, before facing Gohma. Ahead were two more Skulltulas, blocking the exit, only for the Skulltulas to be taken down by Saria and Zelda.
“Is it me, or is it getting warmer here?” Ruto asked.
“It is warmer here… and I can think of only two places with such heat around…” Link said, gulping a bit as he got out of the water to exit the cavern, being nervous…

As they went outside, they arrived at a barren canyon, mostly void of vegetation and hardly has any shade from the Sun.
“What is this place? This isn't like Death Mountain at all!” Zelda exclaimed.
“No, it isn't. But I know this place...” Link said, feeling his suspicions having come true.
“What is it?” Saria asked.
“We're in Ikana Canyon, one of the most inhospitable areas in Termina. And from what I can see, we're actually on a ledge close to where I entered the Stone Temple when I had to deal with Majora for the first time.” Link said.
“And now Majora has sent us here?!” Nabooru asked, blinking as Zelda looked around in horror, having heard of the dark and bloody history of the Ikana Kingdom.
“Yes. He obviously wants to make it very hard for us to get all the way back to Hyrule. I'm sure that he is looking forward to see a ReDead feasting on our corpses.” Link said, pointing to a ledge where two ReDeads were standing like statues.
The four Sages gulped at that; just like Link, they knew all too well what a ReDead was capable of. Thankfully, their previous encounters were made out alive, with only the ReDead being... re-dead.
“There is no way I will let it come that far, but I need your help in order to make it through.” Link said.
“We know, Link. We need you as much as you need us. Co-operation is the only way to survive through all this.” Zelda said, nodding as she put a hand on Link’s shoulder, understanding his feelings of upcoming trouble.
“Otherwise, everything will be lost.” Saria said, shivering a bit.
“Alright, where do we go from here?” Nabooru asked.
“I'm sure we need to traverse the Stone Temple to get some specific items we need. But the last time I went in there, I had situations where things were LITERALLY upside down. I’ll tell you all about it once we’re in a more hospitable area.” Link said.
Zelda saw the reason in this.
“So, where do we have to go?” Ruto asked.
“The only place I can think of is to get out of Ikana Canyon and head into Clock Town. We could rent a room at the inn I’ve stayed in before and from there we could rest up a bit and plan our actions further on.” Link said.
The girls nodded, ready to follow, when suddenly the platform they stood on began to shake and rumble.
“Huh?! What’s going on?!” Saria asked.
Just then, the entire platform crumbles, sending the five heroes down to the ground falling, landing on the path leading to the entrance of the Stone Tower roughly.
“Ouch… my... legs......” Link said, whimpering a bit at the pain as his knees were opened up from the landing, bleeding.
“Curse you... Majora...” Zelda said, holding her right arm.
Nabooru’s landing was somewhat the most ‘gentle’; having landed on her hands and knees effectively provided her with the least amount of injury, although she was bleeding like the four children as they tried to get up. She helped the children up, showing that they hadn’t broken anything yet, although Link and Saria were limping a bit, Link even more than Saria. Saria and Zelda decided to support Link, which in turn eased Saria’s limping as well as the group traveled down the path towards Ikana River.

The trip through Ikana Canyon wasn’t exactly a walk in the park. Although the group used the Ikana River to clean their injuries, there was still the horrid conditions that Ikana was having, primarily the lack of vegetation and the high temperatures.
“I can see why people avoid this place like the plague; it’s practically unbearable out here! Not even the Gerudo Desert and the Haunted Wastelands are this bad!” Nabooru said.
“Is there any place we can find shelter for the time being?!” Ruto asked, wiping sweat from her forehead.
“The only place… I can think of is the Ikana Castle to our left. It should be abandoned for the most part now…” Link said.
“We should make a virtue of necessity and move in the castle. Otherwise we’ll end up having a stroke.” Zelda said, nodding as the five changed course, entering the castle through the alternate entrance that Link had made before.

Upon entering the castle, the five noted that it was indeed empty, allowing them to proceed to the empty throne room with ease… or what they believe was an empty throne room...
“Whew, at least we have some shelter from the sun for now…” Saria said, sighing as she sat down on the stairway leading to the empty throne with the others.
“I agree, Saria.” Link said, while Zelda went to nurse Link’s legs.
“Well, what do I owe this visit?” A crackling voice then was heard from behind the group, startling them.
As they turned around, the five saw a floating and talking Skull. Saria, Zelda, Nabooru and Ruto are frightened and stand close to Link, while Link blinked as he noticed the skull.
“Who are you? You’re familiar somehow…” Link said.
“Do not be afraid as I will not bring you harm. Allow me to introduce myself, although the young man is more familiar to me... I am Igos du Ikana, formerly King of the Ikana Kingdom.” The skull said.
“You know Link?” Zelda asked, blinking.
“Oh, yes; the brave little man has brought light to my fallen kingdom. We perished during a great war that our kingdom was involved in against the Garo Tribe. We would have been laid to rest earlier, had it not been for the person who opened the doors of the Stone Tower. I'm still amazed that this brave little man was able to lift the curse from us and sealed the doors of the Stone Tower. But it seems that disaster is about to strike again.” Igos du Ikana said.
“Can you tell us more about what's going on?” Link asked.
“We have felt an ominous presence deep within the lands of the Kingdom of Hyrule. I do not have an idea of what has caused it, but it appears to affect the areas here again, as if another wind of darkness is about to blow.” Igos replied.
“From what we can feel, it appears that Majora, the one responsible for opening the Stone Tower, has allied himself with Ganondorf, the King of Evil, freeing him from the seal we placed on him to keep him away from our lands.” Zelda said.
“Hmmm, that explains why we could feel that wave of darkness all the way from here, but so far Hyrule has been the worst affected area. However, I must question your presence here…”
“Majora has transported into this area using his magic. I assume he has regained possession of the eponymous mask that grants him such powers, complete with being able to place curses on anyone seen fit.” Link said.
“We’re in fact moving towards Clock Town, but decided to hide here for now because of the heat out here.” Saria said.
“I understand. This forsaken land indeed remains plagued by its harsh conditions. You should rest up and move at dusk, it should be a lot cooler then.” Igos said.
“Thank you.” Zelda said, smiling.
“Just be careful on your way out though, there may be still some fiends around that will try to attack you.” Igos said, before he vanished.

A few hours passed after the five entered the castle, using the time to nurse each other’s wounds and rest up from the hectic event. As dusk approached, the group went to head out again, indeed finding the temperature much more comfortable.
“Hopefully we should be able to reach Termina Field by late in the evening.” Link said as the group walked out of the castle.
“I hope we still have time to get ourselves a room from that inn, though.” Saria said.
“Same here. Otherwise we’ll need to locate a grotto or something where we can safely spend the night in.” Link said.
“As long as we’re out of the reach of the enemies, I’m fine with it.” Ruto said as the group approached the edge of the cliff that separated Ikana Canyon from its valley, the river moving down at the base. Leaping in the water and reaching the ladder on the other side, the group climbed their way up before moving into Ikana Valley.
Chapter 3: A rainy start
Hyrule Field has become even worse ever since Majora and Ganondorf teamed up together. Some dub it even 'Field of Hyruined', due to the state it is in. The main sight of enemies along the field are the Poes, the ghostly undead who are poised to torment any survivor with their lanterns. The Castle itself is almost nigh-impassable; nearly every corner of Hyrule Castle Town had a ReDead nearby, ready to rip off the flesh of the living to feed on. The only path free from those fiends was the path leading to the ruined Temple of Time. A dark, malevolent sky is the main look over the entire area, the dark clouds bellowing slowly over the area, and an occasional lightning strike making the trip hazardous. A lone person came out of the ranch in the center and into the field, gazing sadly upon the blackened walls of the ruined castle wall. She too had heard of what has transpired and has sent Epona and a few other horses away to find the missing ones. Some speculate that they may have fallen victim to some blood-thirsty monster, but most of them are confident that the Hero of Time and the Seven Sages are very much alive, and that they are simply recovering from the setback they had and will eventually return to banish Majora and Ganondorf to the Evil Realm permanently. As the figure stepped in the light of the moon, she sat down for a moment. It was Malon, daughter of the ranch owner Talon.
“It’s been over a day since Hyrule was attacked and has fallen under Ganondorf’s might…” She said, sighing sadly, “I find it strange that they are keeping to themselves though. The castle has been completely separated from the main area, with nobody able to enter it unless they could jump far or be like a bird… The town is in ruins too and ever since Death Mountain has erupted, the townspeople, the villagers and even the Gorons have taken shelter elsewhere… I just hope that those who managed to escape are safe… as well as Link and his friends… I wonder where they are…”
After a few minutes, Malon returned back into the ranch area, ready to move to bed. Fortunately for her, the ranch was spared of the current assault for the time being, as its business has so far been completely untouched. But it would only be a matter of time before it would fall under enemy occupation…

It had started to rain after Link, Saria, Zelda, Ruto and Nabooru had entered East Termina Field. As Clock Town was still being a bit far away, the five were forced to take shelter in a grotto next to the Astral Observatory. As it was getting nighttime, the five decided to settle down for the night and reach Clock Town in the morning; they thought it would be the only spot for them where they would be safe until they were fully ready to go back towards Hyrule. Putting their equipment against the green-colored Gossip stones, Nabooru sat down against the wall in the middle, making sure her clothing wouldn’t be in any of the present water puddles to prevent the sand from sticking onto it, holding Link and Saria in her left arm, while Zelda and Ruto settled at Nabooru's right arm as she held the four in a friendly, protective hold.
“Once we get back to Hyrule, we should head for the Gerudo Fortress first once we’ve recovered the others.” Nabooru said.
“What for?” Zelda asked.
“Gerudo's Fortress is practically a maze where we Gerudo reside and train. We know every inch of the fortress, so it is imperative we stay together. Besides, the Gerudo have sworn allegiance to me ever since they found out what Ganondorf had done; he would not hesitate to kill one of his own kind after all. It is a shame that Ganondorf has Gerudo blood, even though he is technically our 'king', as every male who is born every 100 years in our tribe is supposed to be.” Nabooru replied.
“Wow.” Saria said, blinking.
“We should be resting now; I have a feeling we won't be getting any rest any time soon.” Nabooru said.
“You're right. Hopefully we’ll remain safe here…” Zelda said.
“At least I’m happy to see you lot again,” Link said, “somehow I felt saddened when learning you had to stay in the Chamber of the Sages during our first fight against Ganondorf.”
Zelda smiled, touched by Link’s loyalty to his friends.
“I have a hunch that there’s a good chance of you joining us in the chamber in the future, Link.” She said.
Link nodded with a smile, before he dozed off with the others.

The next day, Link and the four Sages woke up, having slept well throughout the night. After retrieving and re-setting their equipment, they prepared themselves to leave.
“By the way, how come those Gossip Stones are a different color?” Zelda asked.
“They wanted that to be as I learned through using the Mask of Truth on them. I just had to play one of four specific songs for them…” Link said, stretching a bit.
“Hmmm, those stones always respond to the ones wearing that mask to reveal their secrets.” Zelda said, nodding.
After getting out of the hole, the group approached East Clock Town.
“The inn is located in East Clock Town. Hopefully we can get settled in for the time being and use their facilities to improve our skills around here further.” Link said.
“What kind of facilities do they have?” Saria asked.
“There’s a Sword Training Center in West Clock Town and an Archery Shooting Gallery in East Clock Town. West Clock Town also has shops where we can restock on supplies if needed.” Link replied.
“Alright. Perhaps we can-“
Zelda couldn’t finish her sentence as suddenly a small group of Stalfos appeared, having waited in ambush for the five! Instantly the five drew their weapons and stood in a circle, ready to defend themselves at a moment’s notice.
“An ambush… they really want us dead…” Link snarled, narrowing his eyes as his courageous self took full control.

The fight began. Link charged ahead with a Jump Slash, inflicting great damage onto the Stalfos, but a second one hit him with the scabbard, knocking him back. Ruto retaliated using her Fin Boomerangs, hitting some Stalfos, while Nabooru clocked the one which attempted to strike Ruto from behind. Saria assisted Link with the first Stalfos, while Zelda went to help Ruto. Being an adult, Nabooru could handle a Stalfos by herself, but she did whatever she could to assist her friends. Link and Saria managed to defeat one Stalfos, but then the Stalfos attacked en masse, injuring Link, Saria, Zelda, Ruto and Nabooru in a series of slashes. Zelda was then forced to use her Sage Beam attack to disable two Stalfos who stood close together, but still, the Stalfos pressed on the offensive. A Dual Spin Attack courtesy of Nabooru decapitated three of the Stalfos, but a few more still remained.
“These freaks are definitely skilled, I give them this much.” Saria said, hissing at a slash she received on her arm.
The slashing rampage of the Stalfos wasn't broken. Saria, Zelda, Ruto and Nabooru were hit once more, while Link managed to block the attack on him just in time with his shield. Getting angry herself, Nabooru swung her dual swords around in another big spin attack, slashing two more Stalfos to bits. The five then received a slash from behind; a few remaining Stalfos had circled around them, attacking them in the back. Saria yelped as she was forced to drop her weapons. Now getting pissed off, Link charged whatever magic power he could muster and unleashed his Super Spin Attack just as the Stalfos leapt at them, destroying the last remaining Stalfos in the process.

With the battle over, Link panted furiously as he leaned on his sword which he stabbed in the ground for now, trying to calm himself down. He could see Saria and Ruto on the ground, having several cut wounds , while Nabooru tried to nurse Zelda’s arm. The last thing Link saw, before he collapsed from exhaustion, was that several civilians and guards of Clock Town rushing to them, having heard the battle and watched them defeat the Stalfos. Nabooru watched Link passing out, while she felt light-headed as well, due to her own injuries…

Link, Saria, Ruto, Nabooru and Zelda woke up, finding themselves in a warm bed each, in a big bedroom which was illuminated by a few makeshift candles and torches. They also noted that each of their injuries had been bandaged thoroughly, although a few had some makeshift stitches. Both Link and Zelda had one of their arms in a sling, while Saria had her left leg completely covered in bandages. Ruto’s fins were also carefully tended to, with bandages around her shoulders. Their equipment was neatly placed on top of a small table by their beds, their normal clothing replaced by some night clothing. Hearing two sets of footsteps, the five looked up to see a door opening. Inside came a woman with dark red hair, wearing an outfit of where she looked like a caretaker of an inn.
“Anju?” Link asked, recognizing her.
“Yes, it’s me. Are you alright?” The woman asked.
“We’re alive, that’s saying a lot; those Stalfos did quite a number on us.” Zelda said.
“Thank you for bringing us here. Where are we?” Saria asked.
“You’re in the Stock Pot Inn. We had to carry you up here after bandaging your injuries and everything.” Anju replied.
“Thank you.” Ruto said, smiling.
“No problem. You should rest for now, the weather’s going bad today…” Anju said, pointing at the rain outside.
The five nodded, opting to stay in their room for now to properly recuperate, falling asleep a few minutes later.

About thirty minutes have passed since the group was taken into the Stock Pot Inn, which was luckily in time as a fierce thunderstorm passed over Clock Town and its surrounding field area. Link however was awake as he had a hard time in sleeping, sighing deeply, before observing the room... Saria, Zelda, Ruto and Nabooru are seemingly asleep.
‘This sure is a whole series of unfortunate events. I have my Gilded Sword, but the others have still the basic ones… I wonder if the Smith's house in the Mountain Village is still present...’ Link thought to himself as he looked around, dozing off slightly, only to be startled by a very loud thunderclap, causing him to nearly sit up in bed in a flash, although hissing as his arm still hurt, even though it was in a sling. He then heard the sound of someone whimpering nearby… it was Saria, whom also was startled by that thunderclap, waking her up.
“Saria?” Link whispered to her, gaining Saria’s attention.
“L... Link...” Saria said, before she slowly got out of her bed and limped towards his, with Link moving his blanket away to she can enter his bed carefully, wanting to provide some comfort and company. Both relaxed a bit after finding a comfortable position next to each other without touching each other’s injuries.
“Are you alright?” Link asked her in a whisper.
“Not really... this thunderstorm scares me... it reminds me of evil with its ferocity...” Saria whispered back, while Link nodded.
Another loud thunderclap sounds of the area, causing Link and Saria to hold each other, while Zelda, Ruto and Nabooru are also startled by this.
“Dang, the weather is really harsh...” Nabooru said, catching her breath from the sudden jump scare.
Ruto shivered in her bed, only to see Saria lying in Link's bed, eventually deciding to limp over to them as she needed the company. Nabooru and Zelda soon followed, with Nabooru carefully trying to shove Saria’s bed next to Link’s to make twin beds, which would provide enough room for the five to lay down on.
“Things are really messed up now...” Link said as Nabooru carefully moved the blanked over the group.
“I'll say... I wonder if we are truly ready for this...” Saria said, trying to relax.
“Any ideas? Other than training of course...” Zelda asked.
“I know of a place close to Snowhead where a blacksmith has his business. He and I go way back after I destroyed Goht, the beast that was wrecking havoc in the Snowhead Temple and thus was bothering the mountain area, including its Goron Population. He should be able to get our swords upgraded.” Link said.
“That's a great idea; we can train during the time they are working on our blades. I'm sure it can also help us in finding more weapons we can handle. Even Ruto should be able to handle more weapons.” Nabooru said, smiling which caused Ruto to blush.
“I also remember having a bank account with a very big amount of rupees here. If anything, we could also go for some shopping and get in some bombs and other weapons. I feel that in this time of emergency, it should come in handy. I also suggest we should visit the Zora in the Great Bay. They know a few secret techniques that Ruto will be able to use just fine.” Link said
“You're really resourceful, Link.” Zelda said, gaining more respect for the hero.
“Hey, I don't want to keep you slighted, just because I'm the Hero. As we know, we need the help of each other really hard in the upcoming days, so I want to help you train in the weapons. With the friends I have made during the time I spent in Termina to defeat Majora the first time, that should be no problem.” Link said.
“Sweet. I suggest we should also have some songs to us available which we can use during our quest. Perhaps their magic can be of use in a few places.” Saria said.
“Great idea. Let's just hope the weather improves overnight... “ Link said, looking outside as it rained hard, large puddles of water being present on the outside street, with the street itself void of life due to everyone seeking shelter inside.

Unknown to the five, they were being watched from the roof of the Milk Bar, apparently paying no attention to the rain. It sat there for a moment, watching them fall asleep, before spreading its wings and flying off, knowing it would see them soon enough. Back on Termina Field, the final remains of the Stalfos attacking the five disintegrated into nothingness, the blood stains being slowly washed away as if nothing happened. And yet… a dark presence remained close by, waiting for its chance to strike again at the group when the time was right… All they needed to do was to play the waiting game and ensure that their leaders would tighten their rule over the already conquered lands, before moving on to take what was left untouched or unconquered, so no one would be able to resist them any longer. A soft, dark laughter echoed away with the sounds of the rain and thunder…
Chapter 4: The Long Journey Begins
The next day, the weather cleared up to be more comfortable to go out in. Link, Saria, Zelda, Ruto and Nabooru are on their way to the Mountain Village near Snowhead, after visiting the Clock Town's Great Fairy's Fountain, where the Great Fairy completely healed their wounds using her own magic. Still, the five decided to keep a low profile in order to prevent another attack from happening.
“Wow, you sure weren't kidding when you said it was cold here...” Saria said, shivering as the group walked through the snow-covered path.
“Are you sure we're headed the right way, Link?” Nabooru asked.
“I am really sure, Nabooru. Look, there's the house right up ahead.” Link said, pointing to a lone house in a grassy field, in contrast to the snow-covered path from before.
“It looks like that they are in business already.” Zelda said, blinking as the group enters the house.
“Ah, Welcome! It's been a while we've had a few customers. “ Zubora, the smaller blacksmith said.
“Is it that bad?” Link asked, scratching his head.
“Well, business is real easy these days, especially after yesterday’s weather,” Zubora replied, “anyway, what can I do for you?”
“We'd like to have our blades upgraded, please. It’s not my blade that’s of concern here, but those of my friends’.” Link said.
“That's no big deal, but you know about the Razor Sword, right?” Zubora asked.
“Yes, so I already have a few bottles with top-quality of Gold Dust with me here. “ Link said, producing a few bottles  of Gold Dust.
“Gold Dust? How did you get that, Link?” Zelda asked, blinking.
“Back when I was in Termina, I participated in these Goron Races while inhabiting the body of a Goron myself. A bottle of Gold Dust would be given to those who would win that race.” Link casually replied.
“Wow, so you've been saving that up?” Saria asked.
“Yes, I've hidden it in the case I or you would need it. I’ve participated in some extra tournaments before making my leave to Hyrule back then to get this amount.”
“That is amazing!” Zubora said as he examined a bottle of Gold Dust, “This is real top quality. We will get to work on this right away, but it will take at least a few days.”
“That's okay. As long as it gets done right, then it's all good, right?” Nabooru asked.
“Exactly. I pledge my word that your blades, when upgraded, will never break and will at least inflict TWICE the damage your current blades are doing if you would use them now.” Zubora said.
“Alright then, I wish you good luck.” Zelda said, before the group leaves the Mountain Blacksmith’s house.

“What are we going to do now, Link? You still have your sword, but…” Nabooru said.
“We'll head back to Clock Town to do some shopping and light training first. After that, I want to take you on a cruise along the Southern Swamp, before we continue our training there.” Link said, smiling.
“That sounds good to me. A bit of relaxing to get some decent rest before training again...” Zelda said.
“Do you plan to show us a bit around Termina, Link?” Saria asked, being intrigued by the whole area itself.
“As long as nothing serious will happen and does not involve Ikana Canyon, then yes.” Link said, making the others chuckle.
“Sweet! Do we get to visit the Zoras too?” Ruto asked, being curious to meet her fellows in Termina.
“Why not? The Zora Hall is at Great Bay, though, so it may take some time before we get there.” Link said.
“Awesome!” Ruto said, jumping with joy.
“But first to Clock Town again, right?” Nabooru asked.
“Yes. There's a few games we can play there which will reward us with some better or new equipment that we may need.” Link said.
“Alright, we should be ready for anything.”
“True that.” Zelda said.

With the group back on their way back to Clock Town, they took a moment to observe the landscape around them.
“Wow, this looks so different compared to Hyrule.” Zelda commented.
“It is, huh? The place even left me baffled when I first traveled around these parts.” Link said.
“The people seem different here as well, there are things here that I have never seen before back in Hyrule.” Zelda replied.
“I’ll say, I’m more surprised at the people being so tolerant as well…” Nabooru said.
“I think it’s because they saw you doing your best to protect us. They may now know about our origins so it’s likely they could have seen you as someone whom was watching over us or something.” Link said.
“Hmmm, I see your point.” Nabooru said.
“Link, I’ve seen you staring up at the sky every now and then. Is there something wrong?” Saria asked, concerned.
“Well, time was off the essence when I was in Termina the first time, since I was trying to prevent the moon from landing on Clock Town. It has left quite an impact on me as a whole, because during those cycles, that moon was hanging in the air, inching closer and closer to Clock Town… but the face it sported unsettled me the most… all because of Majora.” Link said.
The others blinked at this. Was there a bit of shame… or fear… or even paranoia in that statement?
“I don’t blame you, kid,” Nabooru then said, “you’ve been practically going through a lot more events than we possibly can imagine, so such behavior is logical since you must have seen quite a lot of horrific events. Heck, I actually understand how you must be feeling now…”
“You do?” Link asked.
“Yes. I’ve had some time where I was constantly watching my back just to be sure that those old witches wouldn’t come to try and brainwash me again like they did to me before.” Nabooru said.
“Dang, and here I thought being sealed inside a crystal prison, being forced to watch the battle from above was bad enough…” Zelda said, doing a double-take herself.
“Had it not been for Sheik, I would have been trapped under a thick ice sheet with the rest of my people…” Ruto added.
“And I’ve been under attack while trying to investigate what was going on at the Forest Temple…” Saria butted in.
“So we all have had our fair share of traumatic events…” Link said, blinking as the group decided to head directly to the Southern Swamp to relax for a bit before going into town.
“Yes. And I have a feel that we might face some more in the upcoming time. But if we stick together, we should be able to overcome them, no matter what.” Nabooru said.
“That’s something I would say.” Link said with a sly grin.
“Heh, everyone of us is a hero in their own way.” Nabooru said with a smirk.

About an hour later, the group was in the Southern Swamp, relaxing their legs and feet in the soothing water of the swamp, having decided to work out a plan to get their upgrades in an orderly fashion more properly without the townspeople eavesdropping on them.
“Alright, what's first?” Saria asked.
“The Southern Swamp has a Shooting Gallery we can visit. We can use that to improve our skills in using the bow and arrow and, in your case, the Slingshot.” Link said.
“That's right, I did have my Slingshot with me, having it stashed in my pocket. “ Saria said, nodding
“We can also work to deposit the Rupees at the bank; perhaps with a joint account, we could set up some lifesavings in case we need it. Clock Town has multiple shops around too, including one where they only sell bombs and related articles.” Link said.
“By the way, I noticed a bar when we left the town. I’ve never heard of a bar before…” Zelda said.
“It’s a place where people can drink together and where they can enjoy music as far as I could tell. I’ve visited the place a couple of times and I have to say, the milk they serve there is quite exquisite.” Link said.
“How so?” Saria asked.
“They have a special kind of milk known as ‘Chateau Romani’. According to those who make it, it’s said to be quite healthy and very energizing too. Some claim it allowed them to use their magic attacks for a full 3 days after consuming it.” Link said.
“For 3 whole days?!” Ruto asked, blinking.
“Yes. It’s pretty radical, I know, but I must admit that it tastes great, although it costs 200 Rupees for one bottle…” Link said.
The others nodded, wondering if they could taste it for themselves.
“So, where will be going first?” Saria asked.
“The Old Hag's Potion Shop is up ahead. Imagine my surprise of finding out that Kotake is running that shop.” Link said.
“Kotake?! Are you serious?!” Nabooru asked, looking at Link as if she was hoping he was joking.
“You bet. It appears that she and Koume both may have reformed and settled down in Termina for business.”
“Wow.” Zelda said, blinking.
“Wait, do you smell that?!” Saria asked, picking up a scent that is somehow familiar to her.
“ What is it?” Ruto asked.
“I'm smelling something odd... as if I'm picking up some forest material.” Saria said, getting up.
“I'm smelling it too. We should check it out.” Link said.
“Where does it come from?” Zelda asked.
“It gets closer whenever we move to the other side of that house in the swamp.” Saria said, pointing to the right, where also an owl statue stood. Heading towards it, the five went to investigate where the smell came from.
Grabbing an empty bag, Nabooru snatched what she could regarding the source of the smell, before examining it. “Ooooh, that's a real strong odor.” She said as she opened the bag.
“What is it?” Zelda asked.
“Let's see...” Saria said as she peeks in the bag, “that is definitely forest material alright. I've seen similar mushrooms back at Kokiri Forest on occasion.”
“Mushrooms, you say? Then I know the exact address of where to deliver them. It's the Old Hag's Potion Shop, but we have to cross the water to get there.” Link said, pointing to the direction behind him.
“A little swim can't do us any harm.” Zelda said, having dressed in a more civilian-type of outfit to remain unsuspected.
“Let's go.” Ruto said, eager to venture further in the water.
With Link leading the way, the five went towards the north-east of their current position, through the water first, after passing through a corridor, where they came across the Old Hag's Potion Shop.

Climbing towards the Potion Shop using the ladder, Link and the girls reached the entrance to the shop.
“I am glad we're away from the Stone Tower and its Temple.” Link said, shuddering.
“How so?” Saria asked, curious.
“Back when I first explored it and regained the Light Arrows, I had  to shoot the blood-red emblems located in the Temple itself to progress. This caused both the Stone Tower and the Temple itself to LITERALLY flip upside down!”
“YIKES! That must have been weird!” Zelda said, blinking at it.
“You bet it was. I had a funny feeling underneath the soles of my feet through that moment; one mistake on my part could make me fall into the air.” Link said, shuddering again before he opened the door.

The group entered the shop, where they saw Kotake a bit sleeping about. Link moved forward, after which Kotake woke up, hearing the footsteps. Nabooru instinctively nearly grabbed her sword, but Zelda stopped her.
“Oh, wow! So many customers already? And what is that smell?” Kotake asked, before Link gave her the mushroom, “hey, those are some real fresh mushrooms! I’ll be able to brew something good for you in turn.”
“Weren't you in the Spirit Temple first?” Nabooru asked, ignoring the look Zelda gave her.
“We were, but ever since Ganondorf became too greedy after his intentions were made clear and as such got sealed away in that realm, we had little use for that temple anymore, so Koume and I have basically ‘retired’ and decided to settle down here in Termina to open up our business here. Koume is the host of the Southern Swamp Tour.” Kotake said.
“Was Ganondorf too hard even for you to control?” Zelda asked, being confused.
“Oh yes. His desire to gain more power was getting a bit too nasty at times. Especially after obtaining the Triforce of Power did this become even worse. It is a... sensitive subject for us on that note. I admit that we used to be his surrogate mothers since we’re of the same race, but at times I do wonder if we have spoiled him too much. The decision to settle down was strengthened when that weird mask-wielding imp almost crippled Koume. I gave Link the potion needed for her recovery, which he did.” Kotake said.
“Link?” Zelda asked, blinking.
“I did help her out, as I feel that there are people who can change for good if they try.” Link said.
“So you have decided to give them a second chance, huh?” Saria asked.
“That I did. I may be a nice guy, but to be honest, I don't take kindly to people who stab others in the back. I’ve already told myself back then that if someone who would stab me in the back, I’d deal with them personally.” Link said.
“Alright. The brewing may take some time, but I’ll eventually may have made a decent medicine for you all so you’ll be able to recover quicker if needed. This sample will be given for free as a sign of my good faith.” Kotake said.
“Alright then. Take care of yourself.” Link said as the group went to leave.
“I will. And if you need a tour around the swamp, feel free to look up my sister at the Swamp Tourist Information Center. She also may challenge you to a game if you feel like it.” Kotake said.
The group smiled with a nod, before leaving the shop, moving back to Clock Town.
“Things have been rather easy so far, don’t you think?” Ruto asked as they ventured once more through the water.
“I agree, but we shouldn’t jinx it. It’s likely that our nemeses are occupied with rebuilding their fortress and increasing security on it even more, to a level where it would be impossible for one to venture in there to confront them by themselves.” Link said.
“True, knowing what those two are capable of…” Zelda said.

Later on, the children decided to have a bit of fun with exercising a bit in Termina field, working on their condition and stamina while Nabooru was watching them closely, going so far as to sneak up behind the present Takkuri bird at the ranch and booted it against a tree while it tried to attack Zelda.
“Piss off.” Nabooru snarled at the bird, whom flew away towards the place where the Curiosity shop was in Clock Town to have its wounds treated.
Over the course of the day, Link upgraded his main bank account in Clock Town to make it a joint account for his friends, while also showing them the Shooting Gallery in Clock Town that allowed them to train their archery skills. This was very helpful for both Zelda and Saria in particular as they did improve on their reaction time and accuracy after some trial and error. They repeated this with the Swamp Shooting Gallery as well as Koume’s Swamp Challenge, with Link smiling at the progress they made. By the end of the day, the five were found inside the Latte Milk Bar, thanks to Link donning his Romani Mask (which Saria and Zelda found cute) to allow them entry, chatting together while sipping each from a bottle of milk.
“You know, I haven’t thought much about it due to us being occupied at that time, I think I may have seen something back when we did the Shooting Game with Koume back at the Southern Swamp. Something that seemed out of place.” Link said to Zelda as the others were chatting with each other.
“What do you think is going on there?” Zelda asked.
“I know as much as you do on that, but perhaps either the Deku Royal Family residing there could be in another uproar, or the Spider House I once cleared out there may be infested again, I really don’t know for sure. Things have changed now that we've been transported here.” Link said, to which Zelda nodded.
“You think that our nemeses may be responsible for that?” She asked.
“That could be very likely. They could even be sadistic enough to let us go through that bloody Stone Tower again.” Link said.
“How so?”
“Passing through the Stone Towers is hard enough; one has to use switches to align boxes perfectly to make a bridge to a different section, but the switch can only remain in place when something remained on top of the switch, like a block or a person. As there was no such thing around the switches to help, I was, thanks to a tip from a Garo Ninja, forced to head with the alternative. It required me to play a song of a soldier who has no heart, a soldier who will not succumb to the Darkness. That song is known as the 'Elegy of Emptiness', which has been taught to me by none other than Igos du Ikana, formerly King of the Ikana Kingdom himself.”
“'Elegy of Emptiness'? What does it do?”
“When played, the song basically creates a 'statue' of the one playing the song, the statue being modeled after the body the player currently inhabits. It can be someone like you and me, but it can be also a Deku, a Goron, a Zora or even a Gerudo for that matter. Anyway, that statue acts as a replacement for a weight in case we may need one.”  “Very interesting. And what about the Temple itself?” Zelda asked.
“The Stone Tower Temple is basically a dead-end temple, unless one possesses the Light Arrows. As the Garo Master, whom I had defeated in combat during my exploration of the temple said to me: 'If you shoot that which releases the sacred golden light into the blood-stained, red emblem outside the temple... it shall rearrange things, in which the earth is born in the heavens and the moon is born on the earth'.”
“So by shooting the Light Arrows at these blood-stained emblems outside the temple, it turned the whole thing upside down?!” Zelda asked, now understanding what Link had told before.
“Exactly. And not just the Temple; the ENTIRE Stone Tower area was turned upside down as well. It was really mind-boggling to me too.” Link said.
“Geez, I’ve heard about certain temples being quite a challenge to overcome, but whoa; that is insane!”
“I know, right? Couple that with the lives of pretty much EVERYONE in Termina as well as my own being at stake due to that frigging moon…” Link said.
“Oh my. You truly are a hero for having pulled through such a crisis of that magnitude…” Zelda said, finding her respect for Link flying up through the roof.
“You have no idea how many times I’ve found myself thanking you and the Goddess of Time… you for giving me the Ocarina of Time and the Goddess of Time for coming to my aid whenever I needed her…” Link said, seeing the bartender coming to them, thus being unaware of a slight blush creeping on Zelda’s face for remembering her through the Ocarina…
“You two seem quite close together.” The Bartender said.
“Well, we are technically childhood friends.” Link said with a smile.
“Oh really? With the way you were conversing together, I thought it ran deeper than that…” The bartender teasingly said, amused as both Link and Zelda’s faces turned red as they blushed at this, unable to find the words to deny this.
“Just kidding with you two,” He then said, calming the two down, “anyway, since I haven’t had so many customers at once in my bar at a time, I’m giving you something on the house: a free sample of the Chateau Romani.”
The bartender then produces five bottles of Chateau Romani, which the group itself accepted.
“What is this?” Ruto asked.
“This is the Chateau Romani, the finest vintage of milk that is only here available. It’s normally quite expensive, but it’s well worth it.” The Bartender said.
“Thanks, do you mind if we keep it with us for later?” Link asked.
“Of course. Just make sure you store it somewhere cool.” The bartender said, smiling.
“Thank you.” Zelda said, before the group decided to call it a day and left the bar.

Once back at the inn, they stored their newly acquired drinks in the chest to keep it cool, deciding to take it easy and plan things accordingly for tomorrow.
“Link, can you tell us about your first fight against Majora?” Zelda then asked.
“It was freaky to say the least,” Link said, “first I had to deal with the mask itself. Seeing a mask float around with these tendrils sticking from its back wasn't something you see all day. Halfway through the battle, the remains of the main Temple monsters I've slain came to life to attack me as well. I got rid of them first, before I dealt with Majora's Mask itself. But once I defeated it, the madness began.”
“How so?” Saria asked.
“The Mask began to grow skinny legs and feet as well as a small, one-eyed head, which then began to run around like crazy, doing different sorts of weird dance moves and occasionally trying to hit me with a barrage of energy blasts. He was, surprisingly, more easy to deal with. But then...” Link said, shuddering visibly.
“What happened then?” Ruto asked, obviously hooked by the story.
“When I had defeated Majora's Incarnation, as the form was called, it began to throb. Its arms and legs began to fill up, growing in mass as it were, followed by the generation of a new head and tentacles appeared on his 'hands' which he could use to whip me with them. He was also much more menacing and harder to beat, forcing me to use the one thing I couldn't imagine using.” Link said.
“And what would that be?” Nabooru asked, listening.
“It is a mask that I still have around here somewhere. It's called the Fierce Deity's Mask.” Link said.
“The Fierce Deity's Mask?!” Zelda asked, going bug-eyed.
“Yes, the Fierce Deity's Mask. Majora gave it to me as he was still thinking I was wanting to 'play' with him as he saw everything as a game. To be honest, when I put the mask on, I felt as if an Oni took control of me and gave me the power I needed to slay Majora and ensure that Termina would not be destroyed by the moon.” Link asked.
“And you still have that mask?”
“Yes. I honestly am afraid of the mask itself, given the form it put me in as a result. Thankfully I only used it for that single fight, but I have the distinct feeling of that I may need it anytime soon. I have the best hopes of not having to use it, but I can't help to think otherwise. So I am asking your help with this.”
“What do you want us to do?” Saria asked, growing concerned for her childhood friend.
“It may be hard, but I was wondering if you, with the help of the remaining sages, can see if the mask can be purified, so that I will not be corrupted by the enormous power that dwells within the mask itself. I have the self-control to remove the mask after using it for a short time, but I don't want to be overtaken by it.” Link practically pleaded, showing that he was afraid of becoming corrupted by the mask after using it in this crisis, thus leading his friends and himself into danger that could mean their deaths.
“Link, we will be more than happy to try that for you. You have helped us in the time of need, so it would be bad of us to not return the favor. I believe you when you feel that mask may be needed soon, so we’ll help in purifying the mask for you.” Zelda said, vowing to help her friend in this.
Saria, Ruto and Nabooru nodded, agreeing with Zelda.
“Thank you, this does mean a lot to me.” Link said, his charismatic smile infecting the girls as it made them smile in kind.
The group decided to take a rest to be refreshed for the coming day.
“So, what are the plans for tomorrow?” Nabooru asked.
“We’ll head for the Great Bay area next to visit the Zora population there.” Link said, making Ruto smile.
“Sweet! I can’t wait to see people from my kind in this land.” She said.
Link smiled, before he laid down in his bed to sleep, as did the others.
Chapter 5: Troubles arise
Link, Saria, Zelda, Ruto and Nabooru had woken up to a new day. After their breakfast, they equipped the weapons they could carry at the time to defend themselves until their blades had been finished with upgrading. After checking everything and buying some additional supplies for their trip, the five went towards the Zora Cape, at the Great Bay. The Zora there were very much honored to have the Princess of the Zora Race over, earning the five a special performance from the Zora band: The Indigo-Go's, which included the greatest hit: The Ballad of the Wind Fish. The guitarist present was the successor to Mikau, whom had passed away after being gravely injured during his attempt to retrieve Lulu's eggs, which had been stolen by a tribe of Pirates, which were of the Gerudo Race. Link told his friends what happened back then: After he went to the Great Bay himself, he found Mikau's mortally wounded body floating in the water of the Great Bay. Link helped him to shore and listened to Mikau's final words, after which Link used the Song of Healing to heal Mikau's soul, allowing Link, by means of the Zora Mask, to masquerade himself as Mikau in order to fulfill Mikau's final wish: To retrieve the eggs from the Pirates, restoring Lulu's voice and going so far as to smite the evil that had been haunting the Great Bay Temple: Gyorg, the Gargantuan Masked Fish, who was responsible for imprisoning the 3rd Giant, the guardian deity of the Great Bay, causing the waters of the Great Bay Coast to become polluted and dangerous and causing an abnormal climate shift in the Great Bay area, which was restored to normal upon Gyorg's defeat. Princess Ruto in particular was amazed at what Link had done to preserve the Zora Tribe in the Great Bay area. After moving back to shore of the Zora Cape, the group made their way back towards the Great Bay Coast, stopping only to enjoy the sights.
“The water has surely improved in quality in comparison to the last time I was here.” Link said.
“How so?” Ruto asked.
“Well, when the Majora-possessed Skull Kid wrecked havoc around these parts, the weather was rather abnormal here, causing an increase in the ocean’s temperature which in turn wouldn’t do the Zora Eggs trapped in the Pinnacle Rock any good.” Link said.
“True that; the eggs of our kind are very sensitive to temperature changes in their environment.” Ruto said, nodding.

On their way back to Termina Field, Link, Saria, Zelda, Ruto and Nabooru paid a visit to the grave which Link had set up to bury Mikau in, the five holding a moment of silence in his honor. After that, the five went to see the professor at the lab to allow Ruto to see the Baby Zoras that had hatched from the eggs that Lulu, the band’s singer, had laid a year prior. The Baby Zoras were fortunately growing well, looking like slightly bigger tadpoles that had to develop their forms like Ruto over the years to come.  After leaving the lab and moving back on the sand towards the shore, taking out several Leevers that tried to bother them along the way.
“I could have sworn to have seen a Like-Like or two here as well…” Zelda said.
“They dwell in this area, Zelda, so we need to watch our backs, although most of them are underneath the water surface.” Link said.
After about 10 minutes, the group finally entered West Termina Field. It was there that the five were suddenly approached by the sound of a horse galloping, along with a friendly neighing. Link turned around, before his eyes went wide.
“I don't believe it! Epona!” Link exclaimed, seeing his trusty steed once more, alive and well.
“Whoa, she's cute.” Ruto said, finally getting a good look at the horse.
“Maybe we can make a detour towards Romani Ranch, perhaps we can find some more horses so we all have a shorter travel time. Besides, it can help us getting to certain areas faster.” Link said, smiling.
“Great idea.” Zelda said with a smile.

Unknown to them, they were being watched from a distance by about three people.
“Are they the people we seek?” A gruff man asked.
“Yes. They are in possession of some of the items we looted the other day. They also seem to have quite the riches with them, concerning the jewelry they have with them. And that boy’s sword has traces of gold within it too.” A female said.
“Hmmm, how interesting.” The first man said, deciding to gain a bit more information about them first before acting.

The group itself managed to travel to the southwest of Termina Field, entering the Milk Road that led into Romani Ranch, Epona accompanying them along the way. The road itself was open as it always had been after Link left Termina and, after entering the ranch, the group could see how big it was, with the numerous cows present in the field, being carefully looked after by Cremia, while Romani was once more practicing with her bow. Also present on the ranch were a few more horses. It was Cremia who first noticed them.
“Oh? New visitors?” She asked, before spotting Link, “Ah, how nice to see you here again. What brings you all the way here?”
“Well, that’s kind of a long and complicated story.” Link said, scratching the back of his head.
“We’re here to ask if you have some horses available for us to lend for the time being. There’s trouble brewing again in our homeland and we fear that, due to us being sent all the way here, Termina may be in crisis soon once again.” Zelda said.
Cremia nodded.
“Well, I do have some horses available, but I’m not just giving them away for free. I apologize for it though, but I have it very busy as a ranch owner and all… it’s not easy to keep track of everything.” She said.
“That’s understandable. Do you need any help with something?” Link asked.
“Well, I’m due to deliver another supply of milk to the Milk Bar shortly, but lately the cows have been restless, producing not that much of milk because of it. Romani’s training with her bow isn’t helping much either. Although she keeps herself in the area where she won’t form a hazard for the animals around here, she’s grown more and more zealous lately.” Cremia said.
“Hmmm, perhaps she could have caught someone trying to mess with the cattle and fended them off while doing her best not to cause any alarm to you…” Link said, remembering how he helped Romani himself with fending off creatures trying to steal the cattle in the barn successfully.
“That sounds quite plausible…” Cremia said, thinking.
“If you like we can stick around to see what has been causing the uproar in a way so we can find a way to solve it.” Nabooru offered.
“That would be splendid. If you can help with keeping the cattle at ease and safe, then I’ll give you any horse you wish in gratitude.” Cremia said, smiling brightly.
The five nodded in agreement, ready to help out.
“So, you said that the cows have difficulty with producing milk, you said?” Link asked.
“Yeah, they seem calm now, but over the past days…” Cremia said.
“Perhaps I can help to solve that problem.” He said, grabbing his own Ocarina.
“What are you doing?” Cremia asked.
“Just trust me on this and keep the bucket underneath the cow’s udder, please.” Link said.
Confused, Cremia did as Link requested as Link himself concentrated, playing Epona’s Song on his Ocarina. After the song finished, the cow itself responded right away with a pleasant moo, before it began to release the milk in the bucket… filling it completely in just about one or two minutes!
“Huh?! How did you do that?!” Cremia asked, blinking at the rapidly filling bucket.
“Playing Epona’s Song helps with this; it has been said that the song reminds them of the pasture, making them feel good, hence they can produce a lot of milk in turn.” Link said with a smile, although there was no sign of boasting in his voice.
“That’s amazing! It looks like I can actually get to have a basic supply AND reserve too!” Cremia said, excited.
The group smiled at this, before going to work to help Romani and Cremia out. In a way, it served as training too, coupled with the fact that many hands could finish the job easier. The milking was done in about an hour, primarily thanks to Epona’s Song which calmed the cows and allowed them to produce practically TWICE as much milk than normal. Along the way, the group decided to spar on occasion as well, using the weapons they had at their disposal and also training with Romani on the obstacle course. This kind of practice went on during the day, until it became dusk.

Once work was over, Link, Saria, Zelda, Ruto and Nabooru sat on the roof of Cremia and Romani’s place, enjoying the sunset while also keeping an eye out on things.
“So far, so good. Your blades should be done upgrading the following day.” Link said.
“Thank you.” Zelda said, smiling.
“Is there something wrong, Zelda? You’ve been gloomy for most part of the day…” Nabooru said.
"To be honest, what bothers me is the way Majora got resurrected." Zelda said.
"Link, do you suspect that Ganondorf could have possibly resurrected Majora?" Saria asked.
"Ganondorf HAS the Triforce of Power, so he should retain some of his strength at least." Link said.
"But we sealed him away in the Evil Realm, there's no way he could have POSSIBLY gotten out of there to simply resurrect a person, trap himself back in the Evil Realm and let him help to fully break the seal!" Ruto said.
"That's right," Link said, before he went wide eyed, "unless Ganondorf somehow used the Triforce of Power to make himself an avatar in our world and use him as a pawn to get what he needed!"
"That must have been the other guy that I have seen floating next to Majora back in Hyrule Field!" Zelda said.
"Saria and I also saw him being present when we were scouting out the forces present in an open field in the area between Hyrule and Termina. And knowing how powerful Ganondorf is, they would probably concentrate on rebuilding their fortress and then spread out to at least strengthen the strongholds they already have re-gained control over.” Link said.
“So you mean we could be facing monsters stronger than they were before?” Zelda asked.
“That’s a big possibility. Perhaps Hyrule could even be off-limits to us for now, simply to either weaken us enough out here.”
“Hmmm, you raise an interesting point… but how will we be able to reach Impa, Darunia and Rauru if we can’t enter Hyrule?” Zelda asked.
“We should try to find another way in, but we would first need to find where exactly the roads of Hyrule are being blocked and/or if we can even remove them now. I doubt we can tackle them at this time, but you and I as well as Ganondorf himself know that you and I need to stay alive, considering we are in possession of the Triforce pieces that Ganondorf wants…” Link replied.
“Oh boy, I have a feeling we’re in for a long trip.” Saria said, before seeing someone entering the ranch. Nabooru saw it as well.
“Hey, who’s in need of milk at this time of night?” The Gerudo leader asked.
Link, Zelda and Ruto also looked at the person entering the ranch.
“What’s up with that person?! He’s prancing around like an idiot!” Saria said.
“I’ll say- wait a second, that’s Sakon; one of the most notorious thieves in Termina!” Link said, recognizing him.
“You know him?” Zelda asked, blinking.
“You got that right; I foiled him from stealing a Bomb Bag from an old lady during my first stay in Termina and retrieved the Sun Mask he stole earlier from his hideout with help of one of the denizens of Clock Town.” Link said.
“He’s headed for the barn!” Nabooru said.

Carefully sneaking around so no one would see him, Sakon entered the barn carefully, sneaking past the sleeping cows.
‘Yes, soon enough their riches will be mine.’ He thought as he carefully went to open the door to the storage where the Chateau Romani was being stored, intending to finally take some of it with him to sell at the Curiosity Shop for a bargain, which in turn would put the ranch out of business. It was more of an elaborate detour which he was performing into getting to the real treasure, the riches of the ranch owner Cremia. It was of his intention to make it appear he was going to steal their precious milk, so his true plan could come to pass, but as long as the door was locked… Taking a jar, he went towards his exit to carefully sneak out, managing to go outside and ready to sneak away towards the exit of the ranch and towards those who paid him to do this. It was then that someone landed in front of him, drawing his sword and shield! It was Link!
“Where are YOU going, Sakon?!” Link snarled.
“Huh?” Sakon, looking down to him.
“Remember me?” Link asked, his demeanor showing that he wasn’t messing around.
“Ah, you! You were the one who snuck into my hideout and stole that mask from me!” Sakon snapped.
“Stole it from you?! I helped someone RECLAIM the mask since YOU were the one who stole it in the first place!” Link retorted.
“Why you little brat! I should knock this jar on-“
Sakon couldn’t finish his sentence as he felt something pointing in his back. Link however smiled at this, seeing Zelda having snuck up behind Sakon and was currently holding her bow ready at Sakon’s back, an arrow placed at point blank range.
“Don’t even think about it!” Zelda said.
Having heard the commotion, both Romani and Cremia rushed outside, seeing Nabooru walking up to Sakon and pulling the jar out of his hands.
“This belongs to the ranch, thief!” The Gerudo said, proving to Zelda that she was totally unlike the other Gerudo and Ganondorf as a whole.
Sakon growled; he was caught like a rat in a trap! But how was that even possible?! He was one of the greatest thieves of Termina! And now he was bested, again! Saria then used her lean fingers to pluck something from Sakon’s pocket.
“Check this out, looks like this one was on a payroll… it says here that the Gorman Brothers paid him…” She said.
Cremia’s eyes narrowed at this.
“Those blasted Gorman brothers… always trying to put me out of business…” She said.
“Hmmm, I think I may have something to help you out with it in the future.” Link said, having an idea.
Sakon in the meantime was struggling in the arms of Nabooru, whom held him tightly at the arms.
“You’re due for a long time in prison, pal!” The Gerudo snarled, narrowing her eyes at the thief.
Sakon went wide-eyed at this, before promptly head-butting Nabooru backwards, knocking her full in the face, breaking her nose which forced Nabooru to let him go. In a quick reflex reaction, Sakon snagged one of the Deku Nuts that Link carried with him before smashing it onto the ground, its blinding flash effectively blinding the others for a brief moment, at which Sakon took it as his cue to bail out as quickly as possible. Cremia dropped the jar she was holding, but due to the soft grass below, it didn’t shatter, it just fell over on the ground, although Romani tripped over it as she staggered to get the flash out of her eyes.

Link was the first to recover and saw Sakon running away like a dog running with its tail between its legs. Playing Epona’s Song to call his trusty steed, Link first grabbed his equipment and tried to help the others before mounting Epona.
“He’s NOT going to get away!” Link said, with Epona neighing in kind.
Before he could take off in pursuit, someone took position behind Link on Epona. It was Zelda, her bow and arrows ready.
“Go get him!” Zelda said.
“You bet!” Link said as Epona then took off with them, gaining ground on the thief.
As they went in pursuit, both Link and Zelda got their bows ready, wanting to intercept him once they had him in their sights, but with him running left to right a bit, made it not easy to aim.

Sakon initially slowed down to try and catch his breath, but blinked as two arrows, courtesy from Link and Zelda, flung past his ears, causing him to make a mad dash out of the Milk Road and heading to the right, to where the Gorman Race Track was, running over the track in a counter clock-wise direction.
“COME BACK HERE, YOU DIRTY COWARD!” Both Link and Zelda said in unison as they pursued the thief over the track.
No sooner have they gone over the track, when suddenly two masked man with a familiar battle-cry began to pursue them, making it a two way chase; Sakon running for his life while trying to avoid arrows, Link and Zelda riding Epona to try and stop him while the Gorman Brothers were after them to give Sakon the time needed to escape.
“We’ve got enemies on our six, behind us!” Link said, hearing the battle-cry.
“I got them. I’ll hold them off for us, you concentrate on catching up with that thief.” Zelda said.
“Understood.” Link said with a smile, doing his best to keep up with Sakon, whom looked like he had gained wings with the speed he was running.
Apparently that ‘prancing’ of his was merely a deceptive move of him to keep his condition up. Nevertheless, Link managed to keep up the pace, not pushing Epona too much because of added weight, but also to give Zelda the chance to aim properly to keep the Gorman Brothers at a distance. Zelda on her turn lended Link’s Shield to deflect incoming strikes due to the pitchforks that the brothers wielded, with Link trying his best to aid her by making it hard for either one of the brothers to come in close enough for a strike.

At the same moment, Nabooru recovered as well, ignoring her bloody nose.
“Where did he go?!” Nabooru asked.
“If he’s working with the Gorman Brothers, he’ll likely be gone to their race track to seek their aid!” Cremia said.
“Then there’s no time to waste, I’m going after them.” Nabooru said, mounting one of the nearby horses, taking Saria and Ruto with her, before letting the horse go in pursuit of the group, leaving Cremia to take care of her injured sister Romani.

Sakon was showing signs of getting tired, which allowed Link to take an arrow himself and shoot one in the direction of his legs after Zelda had taken another shot at one of the approaching Gorman Brothers, effectively making him back off. As they neared the other side of the track, to the entrance/exit area, Sakon decided to pull a tricky maneuver of his own. Lighting the fuse of a bomb he pilfered from the Bomb Shop a few days ago, he waited for a bit until he was at the exit area, before tossing it to the side amongst a group of bushes. The resulting explosion only destroyed the bushes, but the shockwave and the sound of the blast caused Epona to rear up on its hind legs in fright, effectively throwing both Link and Zelda off, causing the two to land on the ground, losing consciousness as their heads bashed against each other during their fall. Because of this, Sakon managed to get away while Epona rushed into Termina Field, while the Gorman Brothers were closing in to finish them. However, two well-aimed shots from the Slingshot, courtesy of Saria, caused the Gorman Brothers to back off, especially after one shot nailed one of the Gorman Brothers straight in the eye, blackening it in the process.
“Oh no! Link and Zelda!” Saria said, seeing the unconscious duo lying next to each other.
“You two stay with them, I’ll get Epona back.” Nabooru said as she let both Ruto and Saria dismount, after which she took off to retrieve Epona.

Saria went to check on the condition of the two.
“They’re unconscious, but alive. They don’t appear to have any severe injuries, but they must have hit their heads against each other during their fall or landing.” She said, using a bit of her powers to soothe the injured areas.
“Dang, that Sakon guy really is rude.” Ruto said annoyed, before moving to use her water abilities to put out the few small fires from the remains of the plants destroyed by the bomb.
After making sure there was no lasting damage or anything that could make things worse, Saria and Ruto then carefully turned the bodies of Link and Zelda around to examine the other side for damage, just as Nabooru returned with Epona in tow. Ruto saw her coming.
“Sakon got away, but he won’t be coming back here anytime soon,” Nabooru said, before looking at Link and Zelda, “how are they?”
“They’re unconscious for now, but they’ll be fine; I haven’t seen any permanent damage or something like that, maybe having gotten a concussion.” Saria said.
“Let’s take them to the ranch to have them rest up for a while. It’s much safer there.” Nabooru said, taking Link and Zelda on her horse, while Saria and Ruto gently mounted Epona to head for the ranch again, where Cremia was waiting for them.
“Good grief! What happened to them?” Cremia asked.
“That coward Sakon used a bomb as a diversion, scaring Epona and throwing the two off of her in the process, knocking them out.” Nabooru said.
“We’d better treat their injuries and put them on a bed to their bodies can rest and heal up.” Cremia said, opening the door, calling Romani to help her.
Chapter 6: A shared dream
The unconscious Link and Zelda were carried into their temporal bedroom by Nabooru and Cremia respectively, with the others following, being concerned.
“They’ll be fine, but I wonder how long it’ll take before they wake up… it must have been quite a smack…” Saria said, sitting at Link’s side of the bed.
“Did that explosion did have anything to do with it?” Cremia asked.
“It was definitely a bomb, which he must have thrown aside to create a diversion, scaring Epona in the process…” Nabooru said.
“I have a feeling that we won’t have seen Sakon for the last time. And both Link and Zelda are the people that won’t forget so easily…” Ruto said.
“What was he doing out here for anyway, trying to steal our precious milk?” Romani asked.
“I have no idea. But knowing him, it may run deeper than that.” Cremia replied.
“Are you sure?” Nabooru asked.
“Sakon has been quite the notorious thief around for some time. Thought to have left the land after the whole incident with the moon happened a year ago, but apparently returned here and continued his usual ways…” Cremia replied.
“Where do you think he’ll be hiding?” Saria asked.
“I have no idea, probably only he knows where he’s hiding…” Cremia said.
“Or Link may know, since he told us that he has foiled Sakon twice before.” Nabooru said.
“But he’s out cold, so we won’t know it until he wakes up…” Ruto said.
“And the same goes for Zelda too…” Saria said, sighing as she gazed down upon the unconscious duo.

Both Link and Zelda woke up at the same time, finding themselves in what appeared to be a black void.
“L… Link?! What is this?! What happened?” Zelda asked.
“I wish I knew… all I know was that a bomb exploded nearby, which caused Epona to rear up and throw us off. I believe that we must have hit our heads against each other that knocked us out.” Link replied.
“What?! Ooooh, that Sakon! If I would get my hands on him, I’ll show him a thing or two!” Zelda said.
“I second that.” Link said, helping Zelda up, at which Zelda smiled.
“But what are we doing in this black void?” Zelda asked.
“I have no idea. Perhaps if we- what the-?!”
Link couldn’t finish his sentence as the scene apparently began to shift to what appeared to be the ruins of Hyrule Castle, whatever was around was either in flames or otherwise destroyed. The more shocking thing was that, instead of Ganon’s Castle being nearby, it now seemed further away and looked more like a tower that rivaled the Stone Tower in height, with the dark clouds becoming even darker as it got near the center of the tower.
“Great Goddesses!” Both Link and Zelda said, going wide-eyed at the mere size from this distance already.
However, the shock of the two got only bigger when they noticed there was some bubbling sound in front of them. Looking down, they could see that it was like water… but instead of a blue/transparent color, this ‘water’ was a deep crimson red color, which obviously didn’t look too good for one’s health.
“What in Hyrule is that?!” Zelda asked.
Link bent down and carefully dipped his hand in the liquid, with Zelda doing the same out of similar curiosity, only for their look to turn into horror upon examining it.
“Is this for real?!” Link asked.
“It just looks like…” Zelda began.
“BLOOD!” Both finished, recoiling from the edge.
Zelda was frightened to the core, while Link was also horrified, although he did his best to retain and regain his composure.
“But… how?!” Zelda asked.
“My guess is a combination of magic that also involved the use of the corpses of the soldiers slain during the invasion.” Link said.
Zelda shuddered at the thought of it.
“But how are we supposed to cross it like this?” She then asked.
“We may need to use a boat or something; the water’s probably too volatile to swim in.” Link said.
“Well now, why don’t you try?” A sudden voice then said, startling the two.
Looking behind them, both Link and Zelda came face to face with the one thing Link would rather not see again. Floating in the air was Majora in his Mask form.
“My, my, Link… you sure have changed. You managed to defeat me and already you’ve hooked up with a girl of your age… and royalty at that too. HAHAHAHAHAAA! How exquisite!” Majora cackled.
Link growled at this, while Zelda looked terrified.
“What do you want?!” Link then snapped.
“Oh, that is quite simple; you two dead at my feet,  although Ganondorf has other plans for you it seems, so I’ll settle for something else instead.” Majora then said, before shaking the mask, making it rattle.
“Ugh, not again?!” Link said, standing protectively in front of Zelda, only for a swirling portal to open up in front of them, which sucked the two children inside…

Saria, Nabooru and Ruto looked on in worry as both Link and Zelda began to show pained expressions, but not waking up.
“What is happening to them?! They look like as if they’re having a nightmare or otherwise under attack!” Ruto asked, worried.
“Something must have been causing it… it’s unlikely for them to have such pained expression unless something evil has been able to inflict something like this on them.” Saria said.
“But who could do this?!”
“Definitely someone capable of invading one’s subconsciousness or otherwise trying to curse them…” Nabooru said, deciding to let her own Spiritual powers come in place to find out what exactly has been causing it.

“Are you sure this is necessary?” A dark, gruff, male voice asked in a different place.
“Consider it a reminder for them as to who they are dealing with.” Another voice said, also male, but with a higher pitch in it, indicating madness or any other form of insanity.
“Just make sure you don’t kill them. I want those two alive.”
“Of course, I’m merely just ‘roughening them up’ a little.”

When Link and Zelda woke up, they found themselves in a cavern that was unlike any they have seen before. There were stone platforms to walk on, but the area itself had a river that seemed to be filled with bloody nettles with a bit of water at the top. Either way, falling into it would be very bad news. Looking up ahead, they could see walls like any generic wall seen in caverns, but parts of the path they were on were suspiciously looking a bit like a spinal column due to its shape, although this went unknown to them, fortunately. The youngsters quickly concluded that they were inside unknown territory. The only thing that gave them some form of relief was that they had their equipment with them. Getting up and readjusting their equipment, they got ready for what could be the scariest adventure so far since the Shadow Temple and their trip through Ikana. Link’s face grew serious as he turned to the princess.
“Zelda, I want you to stay close to me. This is unknown land and I would be devastated if I would lose you now.” Link said.
“A – alright. We’ll watch each other’s backs for this then.” Zelda said, nodding as she regained her composure, gearing up properly before the two went on their way.
The eerie, haunting sounds that served as part of the ambience around them didn’t put them at ease however, it made the Shadow Temple by extension look much calmer in comparison. Zelda could see why Link wanted the two to stay close together at all times, it also allowed them to watch each other’s backs in return.

Walking down the path, both realized they were coming dangerously close to the water, as the path remained just a couple of centimeters above it. Link already heard something crawling up ahead, spotting a slow moving slug-like creature that appeared to be on fire. Further ahead were a couple more of these same slug-like creatures.
“Torch Slugs…” Link said as he grabbed his sword, while Zelda brought out her bow and an arrow.
Making sure the slug didn’t see them, Link and Zelda sneaked up behind it, with Zelda firing an arrow to extinguish the fire, allowing Link to finish it off with a Double Jump strike, killing it instantly.
“That’s one down.” Link said.
“Let’s take care of the others.” Zelda said, nodding.
Carefully hopping over the platforms, both Link and Zelda managed to take out a total of three more Torch Slugs along the way, before climbing over a net against a wall, walking towards a path that appeared to be brittle.
“That path doesn’t look safe.” Zelda said.
“Well, there is only one thing left to do here. It looks like I’ll have to carry you to the other side.” Link said.
Zelda blinked at this.
“Are you certain of this?” She asked.
“Trust me, I’ve done the same with Ruto when we both were inside Lord Jabu-Jabu’s belly. Besides, I still have the Goron Bracelet with me, so this won’t be a problem.” Link said.
“Alright, if you say so.” Zelda said, putting her Bow away, while Link put away his sword and shield.
“Alright. I apologize for this anyhow, but I think this is the best way.” Link said as he picked Zelda up, holding her high in the air, similar as he had done with Ruto.
Zelda yelped at this, but decided to take it for granted, due to her trusting Link. With this, Link then moved over the brittle path, feeling it shaking, but his courageous demeanor allowed him to remain focused and carry Zelda all the way over to the other side. Zelda did a double-take during this, having not expected Link to be this strong. Perhaps that Bracelet played a part in it, she mused, just as Link reached the other side of the area and gently set Zelda down, allowing her to get up. While at the edge of the tunnel they were standing in front of, Link readjusted the belt of his own outfit, while Zelda did the same with her own. However, Link suddenly froze as he heard something nearby.
“What is it?” Zelda asked.
“Shh,” Link said, listening in closely, “you hear that?”
Zelda also decided to listen closely, eventually hearing some kind of trotting sound.
“It looks like something or someone is rolling their fingers on the ground… but the sound is unsettling…” Zelda said, before going wide-eyed, “do you mean that there’s-“
“-a Floormaster around, yes. There’s one right up ahead in that tunnel area.” Link said.
Zelda gulped, having heard of the monsters that have been dwelling in the dungeons. Still, she geared up, ready to follow Link, whom felt that it was time to face and overcome their fears, as if this was a test, somehow…

Elsewhere, deep in the forest area, something was flying at a rapid pace along to Termina.
‘It’s been a long time since I’ve last seen him… I wonder what’s been going on now… the Deku Tree Sprout said that he had gone this way…’ were the being’s thoughts as she flew along, unaware of what was happening right now…

Nabooru prepared herself as she gently laid her hands on the foreheads of still-unconscious Link and Zelda, focusing her Spiritual Powers to find out what is happening to them. Both Saria and Ruto were nervous, yet they remained silent, not wanting to break Nabooru’s concentration as she closed her eyes, before her hands emitted an orange glow, preparing herself to look into her minds…

In the meantime, Link and Zelda prepared themselves, with Zelda striking the Floormaster with an arrow, while Link used his Super Spin attack to take out the miniature Floormasters.
“Hm, that was way too easy.” Link said, as Zelda went next to him.
“You think that there is more?” She asked.
“I’m certain of it, because I’m having a bad feeling about it.” Link replied.
“I can come in with that.” She said, just as the two walked along.
“I just wonder what Majora has in store for us… he wanted us dead, but it appears that he is at Ganondorf’s command…” Link said.
“Either that, or he has made a deal with him and he does what is necessary to keep his end of the bargain.” Zelda said.
“You have a point there, they don’t have an alliance for no reason…” Link said, nodding.
Just as they were about to turn a corner, they could hear a distinctive moaning sound. Both froze in an instant.
“Oh no…” Link said, eyes widening.
“…not them!!” Zelda finished.
Just then, a bone-chilling, petrifying scream sounded in the area, freezing both Link and Zelda in place as footsteps came from the corner… after which a ReDead showed its face. Zelda let out a shriek of fear as the monster loomed closer, just before Link’s senses went in overdrive and, right before the ReDead could pounce on either of them, the paralysis wore off and Link slashed wildly at the ReDead with his sword, managing to defeat it, gripping the area of where his heart was after the ReDead was slain, just before Zelda grabbed his arm.
“I… bloody… hate… those effing… ReDeads!” Link said between breaths.
“I second that.” Zelda said, as both tried to calm down, before proceeding to climb up a ladder, coming at the edge of what appeared to be a cliff, with a platform on the other side.
Seeing no enemies present, Link decided to sit down for a bit to calm down, with Zelda moving next to him. Zelda noticed that Link was still trying to get himself together at this and placed a hand on his left shoulder, making him look at her, before smiling.
“Thank you.” Link said.
“Anytime, Link. We’re both in this together after all.” She replied.
Both then sighed deeply.
“I have to tell you this, Link; consider your statements of Majora being insane and sadistic as confirmed. I’ve taken it to your word first time, knowing you wouldn’t lie about it anyway, but now that I’m seeing it with my very own eyes, it’s scaring me.” Zelda said.
Link nodded.
“And the worst thing is, this is probably more of a mental battle than physical… perhaps our very lives depend on what’s happening to us here…” Link said.
“True, since the last thing I can recall is that bomb exploding nearby on Milk Road, followed by Epona rearing up and then our heads collided to each other’s because of it…” Zelda said.
Both sighed again, watching Floormasters patrolling on the other side of the river area, fortunately being out of their reach. They also noticed a few Green Bubbles floating around along the way, blocking their path ahead. However, the Green Bubbles appeared more docile than their Blue, Red and White counterparts, considering Green Bubbles remain either in place or patrol around in a specific area, the latter being observed by Link in the drained well of Kakariko Village.

'So Majora is behind this…’ Nabooru thought as she had entered the minds of the two, ‘now we know for sure what kind of a sadistic freak he is!’
“Are you alright, Nabooru?” Saria then asked as she saw a vein pulsing in Nabooru’s forehead.
“I’m fine, Saria. It’s just that I think I’ve figured out what’s happening to them.” She said.
“What’s going on?” Ruto asked.
“Someone has taken the minds, or rather the subconsciousness of the two captive, forcing them in a place with the scariest creatures that usually dwell in the more darker temples and dungeons…” Nabooru said.
“What?! How?!” Saria asked.
“Either a very skilled sorcerer, wizard or someone insane enough is capable of doing so.”
“Is there anything we can do?” Ruto asked.
“I’m trying my best to find out where they are exactly… but I’m afraid I can’t exactly pinpoint their location. I’ll need your help into invading their minds and help them out, breaking the spell of the one whom has held them captive.” Nabooru said.
Saria and Ruto nodded, preparing to assist their friend and fellow Sage in this ordeal to help their other friends.

Link and Zelda both eventually prepared themselves and, using their Bow and Arrows, took out the Floormasters from a safer distance, although they had a good laugh together when they watched a few of the tiny Floormasters fall down the cliff into the murky water, never to be seen again. After taking care of the Green Bubbles as well, both children found a more safer path to the right that descended downwards to the large platform, that sported a hole in its center. Thinking that the hole was needed to progress, considering the rest of the area appeared as a dead-end, both Link and Zelda ventured to it, climbing down together. Once on the ground, they found that they had penetrated into a deeper part of the cavern, but what they saw unsettled them big time… the room ahead had a door on the other side, but this door looked like it was made out of gargantuan teeth due to its initial shape and the room itself was practically CRAWLING with Floormasters, with a few ReDeads in the far side corner. There were also two pedestals in front of the door, that obviously needed something to carry its weight. To the left was a path going up to what appeared to be another part of the area.
“For some reason I’d rather stay in the Shadow Temple or the Bottom of Kakariko Village’s Well than this.” Link said.
“I’d agree.” Zelda said.
Playing it safe by taking out the Floormasters that would be a direct threat to them on their way, Link and Zelda moved towards the cavern area to the left, keeping a close watch on the ReDeads as well as the remaining Floormasters that so far appeared to be minding their own business by patrolling around. Upon reaching the cavern area itself, Link and Zelda discovered it went in two different directions.
“What should we do now?” Zelda asked.
“I say we both handle the left side first, then do the right one once we’re done. We may need each other more than ever on either side.” Link said.
Zelda nodded as the two ventured to the left side, entering a large room with only a few paths to walk on, but for the rest filled with the nettle-filled water. There were also a few Blue Bubbles around this time, whom were floating above the lake on their patrols. After hopping on the first platform, it proceeded to lift the two up towards a higher floor, where the rest of the path was, although broken in different segments, with a chest present on the far side of the room. On the safer path, they went to shoot the Blue Bubbles down using their arrows. Carefully hopping from platform to platform afterwards, both ventured to the chest, although startling as the more brittle parts of the path crumbled off, before moving to the chest to find out what’s in it by opening it up.
“What is this?” Link asked as he opened the chest with Zelda.
“It looks like some kind of orb to me, but it doesn’t appear to be a weapon or an item that we can use.” Zelda said.
“Wait, I think I saw a few pedestals out in the main room we were in before. You think this orb belongs there?”
 “It’s worth a try.” Zelda said.
Both Link and Zelda carried the orb on a smaller platform, which then began to move away once the orb was put onto it, taking it towards the entrance of the cavern area.
“Such devices surprise me every time.” Link said, remembering how he came across moving platforms and traps while venturing in some of the temples he went in before.
“The only thing that’s left for us to do here is to get back to the main room safely.” Zelda said.
“Indeed, but I doubt it’ll be easy, since getting that orb seemed as if it was meant for us to get it like this so quickly.” Link said.
“I see your point, so we should be ready for anything… and why is your shadow growing… or better yet, why is it merging with mine?” Zelda asked.
Link and Zelda both looked down, seeing that their separate shadows had indeed become one and was growing… just as their eyes went wide and looked up quickly… the sound of a young boy and young girl screaming in utter terror in unison quickly resonated throughout the area as the one enemy feared most by any unsuspecting traveler has struck successfully, taking the both of them up into the air… the Wallmaster.

Nabooru, Saria and Ruto were definitely straining as they worked together to help their friends, which in turn worried Cremia and Romani. However, those two decided it would be best to leave them alone as to not break their concentration, hoping that whatever they were planning would eventually succeed. Little did they know that they would soon receive help from a different corner, as Nabooru’s attempt to invoke her Sage powers did not went unnoticed by the other Sages after all…

Link and Zelda were unceremoniously dumped back at the entrance of the area with the Floormasters and the ReDeads, only to see the orb they had retrieved from the chest being transported into that same room. But that wasn’t of their concern, as both still tried to get themselves back together. They didn’t say anything, but it was evident that, while they held no single form of ‘love’ for the ReDeads and Floormasters, they hated the Wallmasters even more, regardless of this being somewhat ‘convenient’ so to speak as it did save them some backtracking along the way. In any case, they were lucky that they weren’t taken back all the way to the beginning of the whole cavern area Majora had transported them into. Having regained their composure after a few minutes, both Link and Zelda went on their way again to tackle the other side of the cavern, discovering to their relief that the Floormasters they had slain before in the area did not reappear, and that the other path they decided to enter now had an area that went in a circle, from what they could see on first sight. Hopping on a platform that floated onward towards another path, Link and Zelda came across a set of Skulltulas that tried to block their path, only for the Skulltulas to be easily wasted thanks to several well-aimed arrows from both the princess and the hero in turn. As the two walked on, Link noticed his and Zelda’s shadows had merged into one again, growing again. Without hesitation, Link hopped backwards, grabbing Zelda in the process and landing a few feet backwards on the path, in time to see another Wallmaster landing in front of them, this time having missed its targets. In retaliation, Zelda struck the offending Wallmaster with an arrow, after which Link struck the Wallmaster afterwards with his Gilded Sword for good measure, killing it. Link wanted to apologize to Zelda for his sudden action, but he was silenced before he could speak as the princess gave him a brief hug.
“No need to apologize Link, you just did what you had to do in reflex.” She said with a smile, causing Link to smile in kind as well.
Moving onward to a set of small platforms, both Link and Zelda took out several Black Boes along the way, until they landed on a platform that lifted them up to a higher level, where they discovered another treasure chest, with a few smaller ones beside it. The first two small chests contained additional supplies of arrows and bombs, but the third small chest that was opened unleashed an icy breath like the Freezards used as their primary weapon, encasing the two children in a single block of ice for a few seconds or so, before the ice broke. The big chest they then opened contained a similar orb, which was now a more gold in color, which the two carried to the edge before tossing it to a lower path, the very path that was present when they first entered the area. Knowing that they could get back easier this time, both Link and Zelda leapt on a pathway leading down, only to come face to face with a Stalfos! Raising his Shield to block the incoming strikes, Link strafed towards the wall, while the Stalfos tried to circle around the two, only to step off the platform and fall into the murky water below. Both Link and Zelda blinked at this as they watched it happen, before shrugging and continuing on, hoping that this nightmare would soon be over.

Arriving back in the area with the Floormasters and the ReDeads, Link and Zelda carried the orb into the room and tossed it on the lower floor.
“Now we need to clear the room a bit…” Link said.
“Hey, I have an idea. If we can combine our magic powers a bit into a single spell, perhaps we can decimate most of them in a single blow.” Zelda said.
“You’re speaking my language, Zelda,” Link said with a smile, “I was thinking that if we use Din’s Fire out here, perhaps it would give us some reprieve, knowing how effective it can be against a big group of enemies…”
“Excellent idea. And if we combine our might with it, perhaps we can make it even stronger than before.” Zelda said.
“So, shall we give them the original recipe or make it extra crispy?” Link then said with a playful smirk.
“We’ll make it DOUBLE extra crispy for them.” Zelda said, returning the smirk.
Waiting for their chance, both Link and Zelda jumped into a spot that rendered them still out of the Floormasters’ reach, having studied their patterns beforehand. Link then proceeded to launch his Din’s Fire attack, but as he hit the ground to make the dome of fire appear, Zelda added her own fist to it, combining her magical prowess with Link’s, for this moment increasing the power and the range of the fire dome itself that instantly burned down the regular Floormasters and ReDeads, its afterglow being still potent to incinerate the tiny Floormasters, except for one, whom was taken down by a sword swipe from Link once it got too close. Now they were free to put the orbs on the pedestals, still thinking it was the right thing to do. Sure enough, once both of the orbs were set on their respective pedestals, a rumbling sound was heard, after which the door itself began to open up.  Both Link and Zelda sighed of relief at this, before moving on into the now opened room.
“There’s another hole out here.” Zelda said upon entering it.
“Indeed, it looks like we have to go through there in order to continue on… we should be nearing the end right now…” Link mused as both went down the hole, landing in a darker colored cavern, seemingly void of enemy presence…

Link and Zelda walked close together, looking around. They could feel their hearts racing in their chests as they walked along, unsettled by the silence…
“There’s no Like-Like nearby… is there?!” Zelda asked.
“I hope not, otherwise we’re both in trouble…” Link said.
As the two walked on, towards a green path, they noticed a target close at the ceiling and fired an arrow at it, the target closed, opening a gate ahead, but it also released a bomb a few meters behind them, which soon exploded… causing something to dig up from the ground, approaching them with a crawling sound. As Link and Zelda both turned around, they came face to face with the LAST creature they wanted to see… characterized by the ghoulish white skin, the long neck, its elongated jaws and purple blotches all over the body… the Dead Hand! And it was aiming for them! Zelda screamed with fear, while Link got his sword ready to attack. Link managed to strike the Dead Hand to make it back off, eventually making it dig back underground again.
“Oh dear Goddesses, that creature’s disgusting!” Zelda exclaimed.
“I share your thoughts on that, Zelda, but I feel certain that we’ll have to fight it somewhere.” Link said, shuddering as he prepared himself for the worst.
Both Link and Zelda moved down the green path, noting that it was slippery as they soon found themselves sliding down the path, holding each other to ensure they wouldn’t get separated or even worse as they worked together to steer into the right direction and not collide against anything. Eventually they arrived in what appeared to be a very large room with multiple platforms around, with each platform having disembodied hands around the edges, a trademark of letting people know a Dead Hand was nearby.
“This is going to be very tough, I know it.” Link said.
“What can we do?” Zelda asked.
“I have an idea though; We’ll first disable these hands to lure him out and once all these hands are gone, we can switch to Bombs. I can use the Lens of Truth to locate his Shadow, and using a bomb on that spot we can lure him out.” Link said.
Zelda nodded.
“I’ll take care of the bombs for you, you can concentrate in giving him a ‘facial makeover’.” Zelda said.
Link nodded, understanding what Zelda meant as he got ready.

At the same time, Sakon managed to reach his hideout in Ikana Valley, going inside and locking the door behind him, panting as he finally escaped from his pursuers and was glad that no one was after him now, that diversion having helped him a lot along the way. He now had the time to catch his breath, huffing against the now-closed door of his hideout.
‘That’s the THIRD time that kid has thwarted me! First by preventing me from stealing that Bomb Bag of that old bat, then retrieving that Sun’s Mask for that stupid kid and now this! And on top of that, that brat has friends with him! If there is one thing that I hate, then it’s being interrupted whenever I’m doing something! I’ll get back at them somehow…’ he thought as he went deeper into his hideout to brood, apparently the whole thing left him quite upset and he needed time to calm down, as well as needing to lay low for a bit until the proverbial storm has subsided. After a few minutes, he walked into the room where he stored some of the things he did manage to steal successfully.
‘First I’ll rest up a bit, then I’ll see what I’ll do to that brat and that girl whom traveled along with him on that red-painted, white-maned pony of theirs. Maybe that pony can offer a good price on the black market…’ He thought as he walked along towards his living area.

Link and Zelda in the meantime had fought themselves a way on, slaying several Dead Hands and some Floormasters, ReDeads and so far two Wallmasters that tried to snag them, eventually arriving at the last part of the area.
“Good grief, I thought this would never end!” Zelda said.
“You took the words right out of my mouth. At least we know how those monsters fight.” Link said.
“That is true.” Zelda said, before notifying Link of another group of ReDeads nearby.
Link saw them too, and got ready to decimate them with another Din’s Fire, just as the ground underneath Link and Zelda was swept up, causing both to lose their weapons out of their hands and reach as both fell on their backs to the ground… another Dead Hand had appeared. As Link and Zelda both recovered, they already could see the Dead Hand looming menacingly over them, as if it was trying to see what exactly it has caught. This in turn caused the two to hold each other close, with Link exposing his back as if he wanted to do what he could to still shield Zelda from the monster as it opened its jaws wide. Both Link and Zelda then closed their eyes at that moment, hoping the impending pain or tightness would be over soon… but what they were expecting to happen… did NOT happen! As they opened their eyes, they could see that the Dead Hand was somehow being held in place, still trying to swallow the two children whole, but finding itself unable to. Seizing the opportunity to crawl away, Link and Zelda then blinked as the Dead Hand’s head was then pulled upwards, before it was abruptly separated from the main body, killing it. Both Link and Zelda were bewildered at this, looking at each other and then back at the now disintegrating corpse of the Dead Hand, as someone approached them.
“Thank goodness I came in time. Young lad, dear Princess… are the both of you alright?” A female voice asked as the person stepped in the light.
Both Link and Zelda were elated as they recognized the voice and the person right away, getting up along the way. Approaching them with concern on her face was an adult woman with an athletic appearance, having white hair, red eyes and garment that was only worn by the Sheikah, complete with its symbol; an eye with three pointed lashes atop, two curling on each side and a tear drop. It was Zelda’s guardian and attendant, the Sage of Shadows… Impa!
“Impa! I am definitely glad to see you!” Link said.
“Thank the Goddesses, had you arrived a second later or so, we’d be writhing in that monster’s gut together! How did you get here?” Zelda asked.
“It wasn’t easy though,” Impa said, “I’ve only managed to reach you with some help, since I’m still stuck in the Chamber of the Sages with Darunia and Rauru. However, we do have the ability to still sense whenever any of us is invoking their Sage powers and can provide assistance through telepathic communication, similar to when the Sacred Realm has called out to us to awaken us as Sages when Ganondorf took over Hyrule back then. To make a long story short, it were Saria, Ruto and Nabooru whom tried to reach you first since Nabooru is the Spirit Sage, however their efforts weren’t enough to penetrate deep in your subconsciousness, due to Majora. So they used telepathy to contact Rauru, Darunia and myself for assistance, which proved to be enough to send at least me to help you out.”
“Thank the Goddesses for this.” Link said, feeling relieved.
“I must say, young lad, I am very impressed with how you have been able to defend the princess and yourself during this as well as the princess returning the favor where needed.” Impa said, smiling as she allowed the two children to hug her.
“Such a touching scene…” a voice then said, causing the three to look up, seeing Majora’s Mask floating there, “I didn’t think you were able to pull through like this.”
“Majora…” Link growled.
“Oh yes, it’s me. Brought back by your old pal Ganondorf, he told me to say ‘hi’ to you; thanks to him, I’ve been able to reclaim the mask from that salesman and through that regain my power.” Majora said
“Why are you here, you fiend?!” Zelda asked.
Majora cackled.
“I thought it would be fun to see that monster having a two-course meal, but I underestimated the fact that your friends called for help in their own fashion. No matter, you all will meet your demise soon enough. Until then… cheerio.” Majora said, before vanishing.
“What the-?!” Impa said.
“Leave it to Majora to be so random at times. Perhaps he still has some traces left from that Skull Kid after possessing him…” Link said.
Zelda and Impa nodded at this.
“Well, at least you have managed to overcome your fears to a degree, so it’s time for you to wake up,” Impa then said, pointing to an open doorway from which a bright light was shining through, “the others have been deeply worried about you.”
“Alright then. Through this we can also inform them of what has happened to us during this…” Link said, nodding.
After watching Link and Zelda gathering their equipment and wandering into that bright light, the image of Impa faded, her task completed.

Nabooru, Saria and Ruto in the meantime woke up from their concentration as they heard Link and Zelda moaning. When looking at them, they could see the two stirring… and opening their eyes. They were finally awake.
Chapter 7: Another cavern?
Nabooru, Saria and Ruto heaved a sigh of relief when they saw Link and Zelda finally waking up.
“Thank goodness, you’re awake!” Ruto exclaimed.
“How long were we out?” Link asked.
“Almost a day for sure, we were so worried.” Saria said, hugging Link.
“A day?” Zelda asked, blinking before she noticed it was once again dusk as the sun was setting outside.
“Wow…” Link said as he returned the hug Saria gave him.
“What exactly happened to you? We tried to find you earlier in your subconsciousness, but Majora’s magic prevented us from pinpointing your location…” Nabooru said.
“It turned out that Majora wanted to try and make us face our worst fears or nightmares by pitting us in a cavern with the monsters we hate the most.” Link said.
“We were saved by Impa in the nick of time; one Dead Hand almost succeeded in eating us.” Zelda said, shuddering.
Saria and Ruto blinked at this, while Nabooru herself shuddered.
“What else did you see?” Ruto asked.
“Well, despite the area being dark, we saw plenty of ReDeads, Floormasters and Wallmasters. On top of that, we also first had a vision of that could be their new fortress, or it could be an exaggerated view, I don’t really know.” Link said.
“Oh? How was it like?” Saria asked.
“Well, that fortress rivals the Stone Tower in height, but due to it being set at a greater distance away from where Hyrule Castle originally stood, we couldn’t pinpoint its exact size, but we expect it to be frigging HUGE.” Link said.
“On top of that, that castle is now separated from the mainland area by what we believe is a lake filled with blood. It was incredibly nasty!” Zelda said.
“In a way it sounds logical for them to have it though, Majora has always been a sick bastard, so he could very well have made that lake.” Link said.
“Is it that bad?” Ruto asked.
“Well, we are not exactly sure if this is true, but if it is, it will make Ikana Canyon look much more pleasant, despite being actively haunted by the dead. And where Zelda and I have traveled through makes the Bottom of the Kakariko Village’s well and the Shadow Temple combined a much more pleasant place to hang around, if you get what I mean.” Link replied.
“Oh dear…” Saria said, shuddering.
“In any case, Sakon did this to us, so it’s evident that we will have a score to settle with that coward.” Zelda said.
“How is Epona?” Link asked.
“She’s still slightly shaken up, but recovering. That blast also made her run off into Termina Field. I had to use Epona’s Song in order to lure her back to the ranch, while Saria and Ruto treated your injuries.” Nabooru said.
“Nothing serious I hope?” Zelda asked.
“Just a heavy concussion from having hit your head against each other, but if you’ll just take it easy for a few hours, you’ll be back in action before you know it.” Cremia said as she came in, overhearing the last bits of the conversation, carrying a tray with cups containing warm milk.
Entering the room as well was Romani, whom also wanted to check up on her friend.
“Hey, ‘Grasshopper’.” Romani said.
Link chuckled at this, as did the others around him.
“Hey Romani. Still working on your archery skills I presume?” Link asked.
“Yep. Romani’s a lot better now.” Romani said with pride, while Link nodded with a smile.
“I honestly have never heard of this Majora character… I overheard you talking about him…” Cremia then said, seeing that Ruto and Saria kept Romani occupied, not wanting to disturb the younger sister of the pair.
“Well, I haven’t heard much about Majora himself, except that the eponymous mask of his contained a vast, evil power that was used in hexing rituals, but when the uses began to fear its power became too great to control, they sealed the mask away for a long time… until that Happy Mask Salesman came across it. He in turn was attacked by the Skull Kid, whom sadly enough didn’t know any better, and partially because of his own misery, he fell under the influence of Majora’s Mask, leading the Mask to use the Skull Kid as a vessel for his actions, the main one being to drop the moon down on Clock Town at the Eve of Carnival.” Link said, recalling his own experience with the mask.
“So the Skull Kid was in effect innocent since instead of him controlling the mask, the mask was controlling him, right?” Zelda asked.
“That’s right. And due to the Skull Kid’s own misery, Majora’s Mask practically took over this mindset and memories, leading to the demented state he was in all the time.” Link said.
“So Majora did all this to Termina…” Cremia said, shuddering.
“Yes, and now that he has formed an alliance with our own arch nemesis, a dark lord named Ganondorf…” Link said.
Zelda shuddered visibly, obviously terrified at what has yet to come. Link put a hand on her shoulder to comfort her, much was like she did with him back in their trip on the subconscious level. Zelda smiled at this, mouthing a silent ‘thank you’ to Link, to which he responded with a smile and a nod.
“You think they’ll try to do something to Termina again?” Cremia then asked.
“Well, their primary objective is to have me and my dearest friends removed from the equation since they know that we have the power to stop them. However, by separating us into two groups and trapping three of us somewhere else and sending us all the way here, we’re forced to travel all the way back to Hyrule before we can try to save the others and in turn find a way to properly fight them. Which is why we’re trying to get stronger ourselves along the way.” Link said, to which the others nodded, confirming his story.
“Wow, looks like you’ve got quite some work ahead for you.” Cremia said.
“We have indeed. It won’t be easy at all, but I feel certain that we’ll pull through.” Link said.
“Your courage keeps surprising me.” Zelda said, smiling.
“For now, you two should rest for a bit more to ensure a full recovery,” Nabooru said, “we’ll keep watch to ensure no outsider tries anything funny.”
“Thank you.” Both Link and Zelda said in unison, causing them and the others to giggle at how it sounded.

In the meantime, Sakon was still brooding, not paying attention to the items he had stolen before. While he did manage to prevent capture, to say that he was quite annoyed was an understatement. It was after all the THIRD time that the boy in green managed to foil his plans, this time having friends with him. He would need to find a way to get rid of those meddling kids if he wanted them not to interfere in his business anymore, but the question was more as to how he would do that. Perhaps he could use some outside help for this one, this time not from the Gorman Brothers or anyone else wanting to pay him to steal whatever goods they have for money, but perhaps he needed to look in a different direction. Sakon grinned as he had an idea, which he would execute after a bit of a rest…

Ganondorf and Majora in the meantime have been working together to finish up their fortress and spreading their influence out once more over Hyrule and inching closer to Termina. So far, only the Gerudo Fortress, the Kokiri Forest, Goron City, Lon Lon Ranch and Zora’s Domain have remained free of their influence, but this was also partially due to the two evil beings focusing more on reinforcing their primary stronghold, while scouting areas in the woods between Hyrule and Termina to find suitable places to set up outposts that would in turn become a form of supply center for the troops whom were going to be sent into Termina itself, at which the hunt for the missing people, but Link and Zelda in particular, would begin. It was as if the King of Evil was taking his sweet time with spreading his influence, instead preferring to oversee the task of reinforcing existing defenses and build new ones. The renewed occupation of both the Shadow Temple and the bottom of Kakariko Village’s Well served as the first outposts that served as a major supplier for Ganondorf’s more undead forces, the village being mostly abandoned now that the villages have sought a safe haven elsewhere, primarily due to Death Mountain posing a serious threat to them in the first place. All in all, it was a dark era for Hyrule, something that would take some time to recover from… if the crisis would be ever resolved that is…

During the night, Link laid in bed, still being awake. Having carefully propped his hands behind his head, he stared at the ceiling and sighed, the only light shining in the room being from the moon and stars, whom were fortunately high in the sky, where they belonged. Truth be told, he did have some nightmares the few days after his return to Hyrule after defeating Majora, in particular where he was dozing off for a bit, finding himself playing with his friends, Saria, Zelda, Ruto and Nabooru among them, before the group would witness the moon crashing on Clock Town, incinerating them all in the following shockwave of destruction. Luckily, those nightmares stopped for a long time now, the support of his friends have helped him greatly on that note, but now Link felt as if other nightmares or even sleepless nights were on the rise again, knowing that those were only a forecast of things that had yet to come. Hearing some soft whimpering, Link looked to the left, seeing Zelda sleeping next to him, although she as apparently having a nightmare, something he noticed from her shivering and the occasional tossing a little. Seeing her getting more uncomfortable, Link decided to wake Zelda up.
“Hey Zelda, are you alright?” He whispered as Zelda shot up with a gasp after he gently touched her arm.
Looking around frantically, she saw that she was in the guest bedroom, sighing of relief afterwards.
“Zel?” Link then asked.
That got her attention as she turned to her right, seeing Link looking at her with concern on his face.
“Oh, dear Goddesses, I just had a terrible dream.” Zelda said, shuddering as Link put an arm around her, causing Zelda to relax a little.
“I take it was about that ‘adventure’ we had while we were unconscious?” Link asked, guessing what has caused it.
“Yes, it was simply where that Dead Hand succeeded in swallowing the both of us whole, or a ReDead ending us…” Zelda said, shuddering as she sought comfort.
Usually her attendant Impa would provide the comfort needed in the times of where Zelda has her nightmares, especially when she had the prophecy of Ganondorf attempting to take over Hyrule, symbolized as the dark clouds, but now that they were separated, Link did his best to fulfill the role of providing comfort to the distraught princess, something which she herself appreciated.
“Good thing Impa saved us back there. I’m only curious how she was able to reach us.” Link said.
“Well, the Seven Sages can call each other using the connection they have with each other and the Hero of Time, usually this contact can be done telepathically in times of emergency, when one of the Sages requests the aid of the others.” Zelda said.
Link nodded.
“The Sacred Realm did call out to them after all, so it sounds logical that this connection is present ever since they were awakened.” He said, to which Zelda nodded in confirmation.
Both Link and Zelda sighed, remaining silent for a while.
“What are we going to do tomorrow? I mean, our blades are still being worked on, except for yours…” Zelda said.
“I was thinking to venture further into Snowhead to either get some training exercise in or otherwise explore the area as a whole again. Now that spring has come back there, there could be some things present which I have not seen before during my first stay here.” Link said.
“Just trying to get your mind elsewhere than recent events, huh?” Zelda asked with a smile.
“Heh, I can keep brooding in regards to my traumatic experiences in the past with all the monsters and everything, but that would do me much more harm; our nemeses may exploit this and it could lead all of us in mortal danger anyhow.” Link said.
“That makes sense.” Zelda said.
“We should rest up as much as we can. The sooner we’re on our feet, the better.” Link said, making Zelda nod again.
Both then dozed off together, this time no nightmares came to bother them.

The next day, Link, Saria, Zelda, Ruto and Nabooru went on their way again, thanking Romani and Cremia for their kindness and care, making the two sisters smile, with Cremia giving the group a new horse to travel with next to Epona, as promised, waving a good-bye before the group left. From a local Business Scrub in the Southern Swamp, the group obtained some magic beans, while Nabooru has bought a few Bombchus from the Bomb Shop in Clock Town to use as a new item. The group was aware that horses couldn't go just anywhere due to some geographical conditions of both Hyrule and Termina, but nevertheless did save a huge amount of travel time overall as it did travel faster than going on foot. Carefully moving the horses to the north to let them enter the Road to Snowhead, the group let the horses rest in a more grassy area of the path, before dismounting and moving along on foot. From what they could see in regards to the smoke bellowing from the Mountain Smith’s chimney indicated that they were still busy, given the promise that the swords would be done in a couple of hours upon inquiring the progress of the business by Zubora. Satisfied, the group went onward in the direction of the Snowhead Temple.

While on their way, Link blinked as he spotted several makeshift bridges having been laid out along the path to fill the gaps and he also spotted a second cavern in a mountain wall to his right, which he had not seen before. On top of that, the giant snowballs that could provide a hazard during his trip were also absent, but he mused that this was because of spring.
“This is weird; I haven't seen this cave before. On top of that, I don't recognize the bridges laid over the abysses which only allowed me in Goron body to cross over harmlessly.” Link said, scratching his head.
“Hmmm, this looks like another hidden cavern, perhaps the time spent in the sun during Spring and Summer must have melted the ice and exposed the cave…” Zelda said.
“Possibly, but that still makes no sense to me; it wasn’t here the last time I visited. Something must have excavated this cavern rather rapidly in the time that I went back to see you lot in Hyrule…” Link said.
“Well, a lot of things can happen over time…” Saria said.
“That’s true, I must be getting paranoid.” Link said.
“I suggest we investigate anyhow. Who knows it could offer us some clues as to what has happened. Besides, the cavern in Ikana Canyon we have been dumped in by Majora also seemed out of place to me.
“I agree.” Link said, nodding.
“Anything that can help us to counter this new threat of old enemies can be of use after all.” Ruto reasoned.
“So I think it’s settled, let’s go and investigate.” Zelda said, the group used one of the newly-laid bridges to reach the cave and entering it...

As the five enter the cavern, they enter an area which is lit by several torches here and there, but is overall dark, warm and moist... there was an eerie sound that was probably caused by the atmosphere, while on occasion the sound of water drops falling on the ground were heard.
“This area's having a musty smell over here, geez.” Ruto said, just as Link slashed a total of three Withered Deku Babas, obtaining a Deku Stick each time from their remains.
“That was easy.” Link said, lighting up one Deku Stick on a nearby torch.
“There are plenty of rooms up ahead, but it's quite dark...” Saria said.
“Let's see what we can find here, perhaps we can use the Deku Sticks for as long as they can last…” Link said.
“Alright, let’s go.” Zelda said.
The group moves on across the hallway carefully, looking around the place with care, seeing numerous discarded rubble here and there as well as some crates, only to get startled when the lit Deku Stick brushes against something at the entrance of one of the rooms they wanted to investigate. Looking in that direction, the burning fragments of nature's oldest catching net were visible before vanishing.
“One of these days those frigging webs will give me a heart attack!” Link said as he gripped his chest to calm his heart down.
“I second that.” Zelda said, sighing of relief.
As they explored the room, they heard the evident metallic scraping noise left behind by a Gold Skulltula. Using her fins, Ruto easily defeated it and collected its token.
“Looks like the Skulltulas must have taken this place over once the creators of this cave have left.” Saria mused.
“That sounds like it. Perhaps this must have become some kind of spider house like the ones I’ve seen back in the Swamp and Great Bay areas, although the Great Bay area’s too had webs around.” Link said.
Gathering whatever items they could find on arrows and bombs, the group moved back towards the main hallway, moving on. As they ventured on, they came across another dark room. Thankfully, this one was not blocked by a spider web, but it did contain several regular Skulltulas. Link and Zelda easily dealt with them using one shot each of their respective bows, decimating the six Skulltulas total, while Ruto and Saria demolished several Black Boes that tried to be a bother.

Upon moving into the third room however, its door instantly closed shut using iron bars, indicating that the group had run into a trap!
“What the-?!” Link asked, blinking as he looked at the bars, while Zelda looked on ahead, seeing a few mummified beings standing in the room. Instantly Zelda recognized them as relatives of the ReDead!
“Gibdos?! What are THEY doing here in a place like this?!” Zelda exclaimed, getting ready to cast Din’s Fire to deal with them.
“They must have been here for some time then, although they do seem out of place…” Link said as he got out his sword, getting ready to attack. Nabooru used a Deku Nut to stun the Gibdos, allowing Link, Saria, Zelda and Ruto to slay the mummified beasts with any of their convenient attacks, with Ruto and Saria helping with stunning. Once the Gibdos were taken care of, the iron bars lifted, unlocking the door in the process.
“I think we should get in more firepower in if we are to face our worst enemies quicker.” Saria said, while Link opened a big chest he discovered.
“Well, you’re getting your wish to a degree; I found the Fire Arrows here. And there’s a couple of smaller chests around here too, perhaps they may contain ammo.” Link said, handing a set of Fire Arrows to Zelda while he kept the rest.
As the others opened the smaller chests, they discovered some additional Deku Seeds, Deku Nuts and Deku Sticks as well as another bundle of arrows.
“We can still use the Deku Sticks, right?” Saria then asked.
“Of course. Zelda and I would still need them if we run out of magic power or arrows for that matter.” Link said, nodding as he and Zelda both decide to switch to the newly acquired Fire Arrows on their bows, allowing them to burn things that could not be reached by either a Deku Stick or is out of the reach of Din’s Fire.

After returning to the hallway, Link and Zelda then nodded to each other, before firing one Fire Arrow each through the hallway... with effect, as two giant webs blocking the door ahead were immediately burned away.
“Whoa.” Saria said, impressed.
“I have a feeling we'll be needing those Fire Arrows more anytime soon. They’ve been quite useful in the Snowhead Temple…” Link commented.
Moving on to the next room, Link and Zelda used their Fire Arrows once more to burn two webs at the ceiling, while Saria and Ruto used a Deku Stick to burn a few hanging at ground level, releasing a few crates and exposing a total of two more Gold Skulltulas to the group, which were defeated by Nabooru and in turn collected their tokens collected.
“I wonder what these tokens are for.” Nabooru said.
“From my experience, each token is linked to someone being inflicted with the curse of the spider, caused by greed. Each of these gold colored spiders destroyed and its token collected weakens the curse in succession until after a certain amount is enough to have that curse fully lifted.” Link replied.
“Ah, I understand.” Nabooru said, nodding as the group went on, moving on to the next hallway and venturing down a stairway, filled with crawling sounds of Skulltulas. Using a Deku Nut, Ruto disabled a group of three Skullwalltulas, while stunning a regular Skulltula, whom was shot at by Saria using her Slingshot. Taking Damage, the Skulltula tried to block the group again, but a second shot against its weak abdomen made it fall to the ground. Ruto then used a Deku Stick to burn several webs on ground level, while Link and Zelda burned four more webs which were at a higher level using their Fire Arrows.
“I believe spring has gotten into our heads with this kind of cleaning action.” Link said.
“I’ll say. I’m surprised the burning remnants of the webs aren’t setting other things on fire…” Saria said.
“Don’t jinx it, Saria, but if it does happen, I can extinguish the fires…” Princess Ruto said, smiling.

As the group went into the next room, they noticed that lower parts of the cavern had a large puddle of water, with steam coming off of it. Gently touching it, Link discovered that the water itself was pleasantly warm.
“This must be Hot Spring Water; it's the only explanation to this water being so nice and warm.” Link said, blinking.
“That's interesting.” Zelda said, while Ruto went in the water herself, standing next to Link.
“Check out those five silver eye switches close to the ceiling… is this another puzzle?” Saria asked.
“Possibly, or some kind of security system that requires us to find the correct one to progress.” Link said.
“You think we may have stumbled on another hideout by accident?” Zelda asked as she got a regular arrow out.
“I consider that a decent possibility, but I still am uncertain why someone would actually make and settle in an environment such as this.” Link said, waiting as Zelda took aim at the left most switch.
The eye closed upon being hit, but there was nothing happening... until Link heard the eerie sound of something approaching from above. Spotting his shadow merging with the group as they stood close together, Link instantly went wide-eyed.
“JUMP ASIDE! WALLMASTER INCOMING!” Link suddenly shouted, startling the group and spreading out in a star-like pattern. Just as Nabooru wanted to see why Link shouted, the disembodied hand known as the fearsome Wallmaster came down in the middle of the group, catching nothing. Link instantly responded by slashing the hand with his blade, instantly killing it, leaving Saria to collect the two blue and the one red rupee which the creature left behind.
“KYA! What in the name of the goddesses was THAT?!” Saria exclaimed.
“That was a Wallmaster, capable of taking us back to the entrance of the dungeon we were in.” Link said.
“How did you know about this?” Nabooru asked.
“When you have had multiple experiences and encounters with it, you’ll know its approach when you hear it. I’ve seen them in the Forest, Shadow and Spirit Temples, the Kakariko Well, Ganon’s Tower, the Ikana Well and the Gerudo Training Ground. On top of that, Zelda and I were actually caught by one during our subconscious adventure.” Link said, both he and Zelda shuddering at the memory of that.

As they venture in the next room, they are shocked to see the door shutting with again locking itself with the Iron Bars, but as they looked forward, they were horrified to find one of the LAST enemies they wanted to encounter... standing in the center of the room stood a behemoth of a knight, just a bit taller than Nabooru is, being heavily armored and wielding a double-sided axe that could cleave through nearly anything… the Iron Knuckle! The sight of it alone was enough for the group to utter two words, which were more than enough to describe the magnitude of trouble they were in.
“Oh crap!”

Despite the Iron Knuckle being still as a statue now, the group could see that there was no way out of this. Link however regained his composure rapidly.
“It appears we don’t have a choice in fighting this behemoth, but we have the advantage of being in numbers, so we should be able to defeat him together.” Link said, drawing his sword.
“Right. However, we should not get in each other’s way or harm each other with our own weapons, so caution is required too.” Zelda said, nodding.
Nabooru then grabbed something from the bag she had with her… a Bombchu. Activating it, she circled a bit around the Iron Knuckle until behind him, before unleashing the Bombchu, which exploded on contact with the Iron Knuckle. Instantly the Iron Knuckle was disturbed from his slumber and began to move towards Nabooru, although it walked slow due to its heavy armor. This in turn allowed Zelda to strike it with a few arrows and a bomb, while Ruto used her Sage powers to summon Water Spouts from underneath it. Saria on her turn attempted to summon vines to constrict the Iron Knuckle’s movements, while Link resorted to jump attacking it from behind. Nabooru on her turn used another Bombchu, using the explosions to inflict as much damage as possible. For a moment, the battle went on in favor of the five… until another explosion from one of the bombs Zelda threw destroyed the Iron Knuckle’s outer armor… in rage, the Iron Knuckle swung his huge axe around to cut the vines constricting him, now aiming for Saria. The Forest Sage on her turn tried to get away to get some distance in to renew her attack, but the Iron Knuckle’s movements made it much harder. Nabooru aided her by tackling him with two more Bombchus, while Zelda pelted it with two Fire Arrows. Ruto swung her Boomerang Fins in an attempt to stun it, allowing Link to get another strike in on his turn. Saria tripped over her own feet while dodging a mad swing of the axe, causing her to stumble to the ground. She got up quickly thanks to Zelda, but spotted the Iron Knuckle charging at them. It was then that they were pushed aside by Link, who then turned around in time to receive, but not in time to dodge, an incoming axe strike. The girls all heard then Link’s agonizing howl as one swing managed to cut across his torso diagonally, sending him flying across the room and causing him to drop his sword and shield in turn. The cut wasn’t deep to hit any vital parts, but was still enough to bleed. Horrified, Nabooru went over to check on him, only to hear Saria screaming as a second swing hit her in the back, knocking her against the wall close to where Link was. In retaliation, Ruto attempted to strike at the Iron Knuckle from above with an Ice-punch, but the Iron Knuckle clocked her and swung his axe at her, striking Ruto across the chest and nearly severing her right arm in the process, the momentum of his second swing struck Nabooru in her right leg, causing her to let out a shriek of agony. On her turn, Zelda grabbed the sword and shield that Link had dropped and attempted to strike at the Iron Knuckle, only to receive a slice across her chest as well, only for Ruto and Nabooru to toss a few more bombs at the behemoth, the final explosions finally ending it as the Iron Knuckle collapsed, before disintegrating in sheets of blue flame until it was completely gone, not a single trace left.

While the group had defeated the Iron Knuckle, they were unable to celebrate properly as they did suffer some serious injuries. Nabooru was limping to the children, Ruto at her side whom was clutching her right arm. Saria was crying due to the slash wound on her back, while both Link and Zelda had a slash wound on their front areas, having ripped their current outfits or otherwise stained with their blood. But so far, each of them was alive. Nabooru then helped out by stitching and bandaging the wounds for as good as bad as it could be done with whatever she took with her on medical supplies that Cremia had given to her, ensuring that the group would still pull through.
“Owww… “ Saria said, whimpering as Nabooru tended to her wounds.
“Shhh, relax Saria.” Nabooru said in a soothing voice, almost like a mother calming their child.
“Link?” Zelda asked, seeing Link trying to get up.
“I… I’m okay, it’s not as bad as it looks,” He said, wincing yet able to stand, “how are you holding up?”
“About the same as yours…” Zelda said as Link gently helped her getting up.
“Now what do we do? We can’t go out like this!” Ruto said, although wincing again.
“There’s a Great Fairy living… at the side of the tower containing the Snowhead Temple. She’ll fix us up for sure.” Link said, smiling.
“How far is she away from us?” Nabooru asked.
“We just need to… go further north, following the trail to the Snowhead Temple. Once there, we’ll go through the right to see a cavern inside the large wall. She lives there.” Link said, seeing Nabooru was done with patching Saria up, moving now to nurse Ruto’s arm.
Link and Zelda both tried to help Saria up.
“I’ll carry you if you want…” Link said to Saria.
“Th… th…thank you…” She replied, as Zelda helped Saria on Link’s back.
“Zelda, you can borrow my sword and shield for the moment until we’ve reached the Great Fairy of Wisdom, Ruto, you can try out my Bow and Arrows.” Link said.
Zelda and Ruto both smiled at this and accepted it, ready to help out Link and Saria while Nabooru also got ready to continue, despite limping due to her leg injury.

Zelda tossed a bomb towards a fake wall, which broke apart with a loud explosion. This revealed a new door, which the group forced themselves to go through. The room ahead seemed empty, but there was a hallway going through. After stepping through, they came across a very different room.
“Weird, this looks like some kind of office room like I’ve seen in the Mayor’s office back in Clock Town…” Link said.
“But this place is a mess; check out all the rubble here!” Zelda said.
“I can see different sheets of paper around here, there are things written on it…” Nabooru said.
“What does it say?” Ruto asked.
“I don’t know for sure, but it could be like plans or something, which I strongly doubt are from Ganondorf or Majora as a whole.” She replied.
“That leaves a bit of a conflict; we don’t know what their plans are, nor if they’re going to interfere with ours…” Link said, whom felt Saria holding him closer, not wanting to fall off of him.
“True, should we take the plans with us so we can study them under better conditions?” Zelda asked.
“That’s only for the best. We need to get our injuries healed too.” Link said, nodding.
“Right, we should get going then.”
“But how do we get out of here?” Ruto asked.
“I’m seeing a door to our left. Perhaps that will lead to the way out.” Nabooru said.
“It’s worth a shot. Just watch our backs, please.” Link said.
“Don’t worry, we will.” Zelda said as the group went on their way.

Walking through the opened door, they soon came across the exit after walking through what appeared to be a tunnel... which was quite high in the mountain as they got out, standing on a platform close to one of the newer bridges. Walking down the bridge, the group went back onto the Road to Snowhead, according to the directions Link gave them. Walking along the way, the group remained unbothered by enemies, although Princess Ruto did take down a Guay or two for being an annoyance as they came too close for comfort.
“Hang in there, Saria, once we’ll reach the Great Fairy of Wisdom, we all will be fixed up.” Link said to his childhood friend in a soothing voice, feeling her whimpering as she was still on his back being carried by him.
She did give a signal of that she understood, but the pain from her injury didn’t allow her to speak properly. Then again, having the spinal column nearly cleaved in two isn’t something to recover from so easily, this Link knew for sure, especially considering what he has gone through over the past year or so. And even though Link was being bothered by the injury he received on his chest, he still showed the determination to move on and reach their goals, regardless of what it would take. This also showed the dedication he had in wanting to have their lives saved and furthermore wanting to stay alive long enough to beat both Ganondorf and Majora.
“I have a distinct feeling that what happened just then was just the tip of the iceberg of what has yet to come. After this, we’ll need a vacation.” Link then said.
“I couldn’t agree with you more.” Zelda said.
After a few minutes, the group carefully climbed up the steep hill leading to the structure that led to the Snowhead Temple, where Zelda took care of a single Wolfos that tried to stop them.
“Where to now?” Nabooru asked.
“We’ll head to the right, otherwise it’s the path headed for the Snowhead Temple itself. The cavern containing the Great Fairy’s fountain can be found there…” Link said, leading the way for the rest.

Upon arriving in the cavern, the group could see the fountain up ahead. Although they managed to get into the cavern safely, their injuries began to take their toll on them. Despite her best efforts, the bandages that Nabooru had placed were now beginning to color a crimson red from the blood seeping out through the wounds.
“Looks like we… we’ve made it…” Link said, feeling his legs buckling.
Saria just let out a painful moan, feeling herself getting weaker, while Zelda weakly smiled.
“We… did it indeed.” She said, nodding.
The five struggled to get close to the Fairy’s Fountain, but before they could get close enough, Link finally collapsed with Saria on top of him, causing the both of them to grunt. Several second later, the pain in her chest made Zelda unable to continue any longer, leaving Nabooru and Ruto to summon the Great Fairy. As the two did so, the Great Fairy appeared right away, the simple approach allowing the summoning.
“Oh dear! What happened to you?!” The Great Fairy of Wisdom asked as she laid her gaze on the wounded quintet.
“We had to fight one of those Iron Knuckles in an area we were exploring. We won, although he nailed us quite hard.” Princess Ruto, forcing a smile despite the pain.
The Great Fairy nodded.
“Speak no further and relax. I will soothe your weariness.” She said, before spreading her arms as a green aura appeared around the five.
In a matter of seconds, the group could feel the pain washing away like it was nothing, while their injuries were closing up, everything resetting as if nothing happened to them. This process took only about a minute or two due to it being a delicate process, but in the end the five were back on their feet as if nothing had happened to them.
“Oh wow! I feel a lot better than I did before!” Link said as he and Saria stood up, stretching.
“I’ll say, it’s as if I have never been hit at all!” Saria herself said, smiling as she saw Ruto flexing her healed right arm, Nabooru was rubbing her right thigh with a smile, and Zelda also felt relief. The only thing that didn’t exactly heal were their clothes as they still sported the battle damage as well as being soiled from before, but they took it for granted. All’s better than nothing after all. The Great Fairy herself smiled at the now rejuvenated group, whom felt relieved at the sights of being completely healed.
“At least that’s behind us now.” Nabooru said.
“True. Hopefully this won’t happen again anytime soon; we need our strength to fight our true enemies after all.” Ruto said.
“Indeed, but we still have no idea what they are capable of now…” Saria said.
“Perhaps we should look around and prepare ourselves to get to the others in time. We need to power them up as well if we are to stand a chance against them.” Link said.
“True that. Hopefully we’ll get the chance to get to Darunia, Rauru and Impa without much interference…” Zelda said, knowing that the trip ahead will be dangerous.
“So it would be best to first gear up and get as much supplies as we can take with us: Food, drinks and ammunition. It’s better to be safe than sorry.” Link said.
“Right. We should also get some food for the horses too; they’ll be in for quite a trip.” Zelda added.
“True.” Link said.
“I take it the five of you are on quite a mission?” The Great Fairy inquired, raising an eyebrow.
“That we are; about a week ago, Ganondorf, the King of Evil whom we had sealed into the Evil Realm not too long ago for threatening to take over Hyrule and all, has returned and is in an alliance with another malevolent being known as Majora. We need to get the three remaining Sages whom are trapped in the Chamber of the Sages after the destruction of the Temple of Time and find a way to defeat those two before the whole world suffers because of them.” Zelda said.
“I see. The name Majora does sound familiar; he was in the shape of a masked imp when I confronted him and he shattered my body into Stray Fairies back then… I strongly recommend to seek out my fellow Great Fairies who will certainly aid you in this new quest. They should be able to give you what you need to counter the threat they pose.” The Great Fairy said.
“Thank you.” Zelda said as the group went on their way.
With their wounds healed and their stamina refreshed, the group thanked the Great Fairy for her service, before leaving the cavern and moving out of Snowhead, going back all the way down the mountain. Even though the trip was long, they took it for granted as they saw it also as a workout. Couple that with the children having some fun in the safer part of the mountain, allowing them to burn some of the energy they had to spend, before arriving at the Mountain Smith’s home again, enjoying the scenery of green grass and flowers growing in the area. They decided to make the best of it, now that they were on quite a mission.
Chapter 8: To a different land
Upon arriving back in the Mountain Smith’s house, they were elated to see their swords being completely reforged into Gilded blades, just like Link’s. As a bonus, whatever was corroded was removed and replaced with fresh, new material which improved the quality of the swords in general as well. It was there that Ruto also received a Gilded blade of her own, shaped like an adult Zora fin to add in some familiarity to it, making it a personalized blade for Ruto. Zelda was highly amused at seeing Ruto becoming a bit shy at first, before glomping Link in gratitude. The others hugged Link as well, although a bit gentler than Ruto. With their new weapons in hand, the group decided to first move towards Clock Town to restock on supplies to keep themselves fed, running and also protected, after which they went back to the Swamp area to have a change in surroundings. Having spent such a long time in the mountain area made it quite weary for them after all, especially concerning the recent events they just went through, so a nice change in surroundings was more than welcome. This also gave them an opportunity to investigate the Swamp closer as Link remembered he could have seen something suspicious in the area some time ago, so he wanted to be sure the Deku Royal Family was safe. Taking the bottles of Chateau Romani they had stored with them, as well as plenty of arrows, bombs, Deku nuts and some fruit, the group went on their way.

Upon arriving at the Deku Palace deep within the Southern Swamp, the group was greeted by the two Deku Guards standing in front of the Palace’s Entrance.
“Hm? Visitors?” One of the guards asked.
“Two of Royal decree.” Zelda said as she was dressed in her Royal Attire and Ruto showed the Zora Sapphire to them.
“We request an audience with the King.” Link said.
“Hm. One moment please.” The guard said, before moving off to the Royal Chamber.
Link and the others patiently waited, the other guard making sure they didn’t try anything, just in case. After about a few minutes, the Deku Guard returned.
“Our King can see you now, partially because the one who helped us out before is among you. Consider this a one-time occasion as we normally do not allow any non-Deku people here.” The Guard said.
“Understood. We won’t be staying long, just a matter of business.” Link said, nodding as he and his entourage proceeded to the Royal Chamber.

Entering the Royal Chamber, the group could see the Deku King on his throne, with the Deku Princess on his right and the Deku Butler on his left. The four guards in the chamber appeared, looking at the group, while one of the monkeys was also present.
“Ah, welcome back, Mr. Link!” The Deku Princess said, smiling.
“Nice to see you back, your Highness,” Link said, bowing politely for her and the King.
“This is the first time we’ve had foreigners in our Palace for a while. It pleases me to see other royalty out here as well.” The Deku King said, nodding in respect in regards to seeing Zelda and Ruto.
“The pleasure is ours to meet you here as well, Your Highness.” Both Zelda and Ruto said, bowing.
“So, what is the nature of your business?” The King asked.
“Well, during our first, temporal stay in the Southern Swamp area, I thought to have detected some suspicious movements further into the swamp region. I could not give an exact identification of what or who it was, but due to the crisis our homeland is in, which in turn threatens these lands here in turn, I felt obliged to see if you were safe.” Link said.
The Deku King nodded.
“I like your politeness, young one. I can assure you that the Deku Kingdom is safe and strong and will prosper once more. However I do wish to mention that the outer palace guards did feel unsettled the other day, and our monkey allies did mention something similar about some suspicious activity going on in this area. Some said that there was activity in the cleansed Spider House at the far side of this part of the swamp, others believed their attention was focused on the Woods of Mystery. The last one is more likely, since we’ve been having reports of increased activity there the other day and a patrol of Deku whom went inside the area to investigate went missing recently. I’ve already sent out a search patrol, but they haven’t reported back so far…” He said.
“We understand. Would you like us to aid in the investigation? Perhaps with other people assisting your troops, more areas will be covered and may get more results in.” Zelda said.
The Deku King thought for a moment.
“I approve of this. I think too much suspicion may rise if more Deku will be sent out and I still would like to have a contingent of troops around to keep watch on the palace.” He said.
The group nodded.
“We shall lead you to the right way. Be careful though.” One of the monkeys said as it went on its way, the group itself bowing politely once more before moving to follow the monkey itself.

Moving back through the clean water of the swamp, the group followed the monkey all the way back to where the path in the direction of the Magic Hag’s Potion Shop was, following it all the way to the entrance of the Woods of Mystery. Entering it, the group was taken all the way through forward, until they arrived in what appeared to be a tunnel from one of the logs. Upon exiting, they came across another splitting path, a path to the right went upwards in a circle like a stairway, the other one went straight ahead.
“Wait, why do I feel this feeling of dread here, as if the dead are looming around here?” Zelda asked.
“We must be close to Ikana Canyon if that’s the case.” Link said, narrowing his eyes.
“Yes. Deku patrol has reported the discovery of this unknown land, but didn’t come back. Search patrol should be around here somewhere too.” The Monkey said as it went ahead, stopping eventually at another log tunnel ahead.
“Patrol went through here.” The monkey said, as the group caught up after checking their supplies they had on hand and gathered along the way in regards to ammunition and drinks.
“They went through there? I do feel the stench of death getting stronger, but it seems way more peaceful than back in Ikana Canyon.” Link said, scratching his head.
“I wonder what’s behind there…” Zelda said.
“Only one way to find out.” Nabooru said as she got ready to enter the log, as did the four children at her side, walking inside the log together.

Someone was flying into Termina, which went unnoticed by anyone else so far. It seemed rather confused as it flew around, as if looking for something…
‘Where is he? I was told he was here somewhere, but I can’t find him!’ it thought to itself, looking around, ‘I should have stayed with him after we had defeated Ganondorf first time… I… I really do miss him… I should have at least said where I would be going… or that I was even sorry for all the times I’ve been giving him information he may already have known before, yet he didn’t speak out to me about it… he knows I was trying to help him… perhaps if I can see him, I can make it up to him…”
It moved on, in the direction of the Southern Swamp, hoping to find some traces of the one she was looking for…
Two similar beings watched as it moved on into Termina Field, following it from a distance as if not to raise any alarm.

Upon exiting the tunnel, the group of five arrived in a rather lush landscape with green grass and stone structures everywhere. Link, Saria, Zelda, Ruto and Nabooru all blink at the surroundings; the air seemed dry and nice, the grass was green and it appeared there was a sun shining over the area. It had a small sense of death around them, but it felt way more peaceful than Ikana was… as if it was a place where the souls did not have any linger or regrets upon passing and wanted to enjoy a more peaceful environment before moving on to the heavenly realms.
"Well, in any case it's nice and calm here." Nabooru said.
“Yeah, for a moment I was scared that this would be one of those spooky landscapes with terrifying enemies… it looks like I was mistaken on that part.” Zelda said.
“Don’t jinx it, Zelda; we don’t know what we may get to face. But I do agree that this place looks far more pleasant than I thought.” Link said.
“Look, there’s a Deku locked up in a cage near that stone platform!” Saria said.
“That cage seems fragile though. Allow me.” Ruto said, grabbing her Boomerang and hurled it at the cage, breaking it and freeing the Deku in the process.
The Deku squeaked as it was freed, landing safely on the ground, watching the group approaching it.
“Did… did you set me free?” It asked.
“Yes, we did.” Ruto said, nodding.
“I’ll give you a hint for releasing me. There is someone in this place whom can help with some of your items, but if you don’t everywhere here, you may miss her.” It said, before it left.
The group was puzzled at this, but decided to move on.
“Perhaps it may be someone on our side.” Nabooru said as the group moved on.
Link breathed in for a moment.
"Well, at least the air is fresh." He commented.
"It sure is." Saria agreed, as the group proceeded through a stone tunnel, ending up inside another open field.
“Alright, things look good so far. There’s water to the far left of this area…” Link said, smiling.
“There’s a platform with a screw for a stilt… that looks stupid.” Ruto said, looking at the platform to her right.
“I can see two cages so far, but one is hard to reach, perhaps on a higher platform we may get it…” Nabooru said.
Ruto tossed her Boomerang to the screwed stilt, making the platform go lower as if it was screwed into place! Now it was high enough for the group to climb on top of it!
“Okay, that was unexpected…” Ruto then said, as Link and Zelda both got on top of the platform, moving to a higher spot, from where they aimed at the cages using their bow and arrows, striking both cages down with one arrow each, freeing the two Deku in the process.
The two Deku each produced a chest, before leaving, squeaking in a gratitude tone for the group. Link opened the first chest.
“Alright, a Hookshot!” He said, smiling as he took a yellow-colored hookshot out of the chest.
“I found some gloves here.” Zelda said upon opening the second chest.
“Gloves you say?” Link asked, while Saria tried a pair on.
“This feels weird; for some reason I can feel strength flowing through them.” She said, worried.
“No need to be worried; I believe that these gloves help in lifting some tough objects, like Bomb Flowers or some big chunks of rock. It’s what the Goron Bracelet does for me.” Link said.
“Oh wow, that does sound good.” Zelda said, trying on a pair herself.
“Well, at least it allows us to progress.” Ruto said, flexing her fingers inside her new additions for a bit, before she looked around to find something that was needed to continue on.
“The ledge is too high for us to reach.” Saria said, looking up at where she believed the path to continue was laid out.
“Perhaps we need to put something in front of this so we can climb on top of it?” Nabooru asked.
“I think I have found something.” Link said, having spotted a target to practice his Hookshot on with.
Firing it, he was pulled into a ledge behind the waterfall, where a big block was standing there. Going behind it, Link pushed the block off the ledge and into an empty moat just behind the waterfall, after which he jumped down and got behind the block again to shove it in front of the path. Luckily, Saria and Zelda provided assistance, testing their new power gloves along with it, just as Nabooru and Ruto took out two Stalchildren that could pose a threat.
“Say, Nabooru, have you been able to study those documents we found?” Ruto then asked.
“Not really; I did get from a quick read over that it was like a list of some sort, a list of different roads perhaps around Clock Town.” Nabooru said.
“Hmmm, that sounds suspicious, almost something fitting for a group of bandits.” Ruto said, scratching her head, just as Link, Saria and Zelda finished pushing the block in its place.
“Whew, either those blocks are getting heavier, or I may need to polish the bracelet a bit.” Link said.
“Must be the former.” Zelda said with a smile as the group, one by one, climbed up on the block and then onto the path ahead.

Moving on the path down to what appears to be a stone building, they were immediately confronted by a group of Lisalfos and three green Sword Soldiers!
“Intruder alert!” One of the Sword Soldiers said.
Without hesitation, the entire group drew their Gilded Blades, ready to defend themselves as they needed. In the ensuing battle, it allowed Zelda, Saria, Ruto and Nabooru to get familiar with their more powerful blades, while Link faced one Sword Soldier alone, the sounds of blade meeting blade sounding throughout the area, before the enemies were vanquished. The group itself was fine, safe for maybe a minor cut or two, but that was nothing to be concerned about. However, Zelda was disturbed by one thing.
“Why were there Corrupted Soldiers among that group?!” She asked.
“Those must have been from Ganondorf or Majora; Saria and I have seen some of these already as part of their entourage/audience back when we were trying to gain intelligence on their forces before their invasion of Hyrule.” Link said.
“But why are they here?” Saria asked, scratching her head.
“I don’t know for sure… but I think I’m suspecting that we may have stumbled across one of their outposts here!” Link then said, eyes widening.
“If that is true, this could be our chance to see what they are really up to and find out if we can throw a wrench in the gears of their plans.” Nabooru said, displaying a confident smirk.
“I agree with Nabooru on this one.” Ruto said.
“Alright then, let’s go.” Link said as the group proceeded in the stone building.

Moving into the structure, they could see that the building itself was illuminated through torches.
“Looks like this outpost is under construction here…” Link said.
“Yeah. I find it more astonishing to find one in this area; one we’ve never seen before.” Zelda said.
“Obviously Ganondorf knows about the places that we’ve visited and perhaps have set up outposts like this in order to get us by surprise.” Nabooru said.
“Well, it did got us by surprise here, but we also got them by surprise by coming across it by mere coincidence.” Ruto said.
“You got that right. Although I sincerely doubt we’re in Termina any longer…” Saria said, before the group came across a block puzzle, involving two regular blocks and two sets of two blocks stacked on top of each other, requiring the group to make themselves a makeshift stairway to proceed.
Link, Saria and Zelda proceeded to solve one of the two block puzzles together, while Nabooru and Ruto helped in solving the second one. The power gloves they were wearing, coupled with Link’s bracelet, helped a lot with this as both solved the puzzle fairly quickly.
“Let’s see what we got up here.” Link said as he climbed on the blocks of the puzzle he, Saria and Zelda solved first, allowing him to reach the ledge that led to the exit of the building.
“There’s one path going further in the building, Link.” Nabooru said, pointing to the open area she found.
“We’ll investigate that soon enough, I’ve spotted several enemies here poised to attack!” Link said, drawing his sword again as he clocked several Dinolfos and Stalfos approaching.
Without hesitation, Zelda, Saria, Ruto and Nabooru climbed up the blocks to where Link was to assist him. Link also spotted a few Spear Soldiers patrolling on a higher ledge. Popping his neck a little, Link adjusted the grip on his Shield before moving in the area as one of the Dinolfos approached him.

This fight proved to be more brutal as the five did face several of the stronger mooks that Ganondorf and Majora had sent out. The Stalfos in particular were quite notorious as, despite being undead skeleton warriors, they were highly capable warriors that could give any seasoned soldier a hard time when encountered in pairs. The Dinolfos on the other hand were easier to beat, although Ruto kept her distance to avoid their Fire Breaths like the plague. Thankfully, Nabooru aided her as the Dinolfos were soon taken down rapidly, allowing the group to focus on the Stalfos, where it was clear that Link had a bone to pick with them as payback for the ambush when they first arrived back in Termina Field while on their way to Clock Town. It took the group several minutes to finally beat the Stalfos, mostly to also avoid incoming spear throws from the Corrupted Spear Soldiers and thus being attacked from two sides. But no sooner had they defeated the Stalfos, before a Big Poe appeared just above the fountain, knocking Nabooru and Ruto aside with its lamp before it was struck with an Arrow, courtesy of Link. As it reappeared behind him, it was nailed by a Deku Seed from Ruto’s Slingshot, before Zelda hit it again when it appeared behind Saria.
“These Big Poes are quite sneaky!” Ruto said as she got up, seeing Link striking it with another arrow, before Zelda dealt the finishing blow.
“That they are.” Link said.
Ruto used her Boomerang to lower another of the screw-stilted platforms, allowing the group to reach the higher ledge and attack the Spear Soldiers, while avoiding their spears in kind.
“Those could have been such good soldiers if they didn’t follow this vile path…” Zelda said, actually feeling sorry for them once they were slain.
“Look at it this way, you have more reasons to tear Ganondorf a new one once we finally go to confront him.” Link said, putting a hand on Zelda’s shoulder to comfort her.
Zelda smiled as she looked at Link.
“You’re right. They’ll be avenged soon enough.” She said.
“Hey, what gives?!” They heard Saria say.
“What’s the matter?” Link asked.
“We’ve been trying to bomb this cracked wall, but the bombs nor the Bombchus have any effect!” She said, watching Nabooru tossing another Bomb at the broken wall, only for the wall to remain in one piece after the bomb exploded.
“Hmmm, then perhaps we need something stronger to break that wall down.” Link said, thinking.
“But where can we find something?” Ruto asked.
“Maybe it’s in the pathway that we did lay the puzzle out for, but didn’t investigate yet due to Ganondorf and Majora’s troops keeping us occupied.” Zelda said, remembering the pathway further in the building she saw.
“Then there’s only one way to find out.” Link said as he went on his way.

Another small group of people entered the Woods of Mystery, following a trail that one of their people had left. They too entered the land that the group of five had entered in, but they were apparently in more of a hurry than the group itself. One of the Monkeys, whom was watching the group enter the area from a tree, spotted them and decided to go in as well, taking a different route in its hopes to reach the group before those people did, as from what it could see, those people were dressed as if they were road bandits or even pirates, although the former seemed much more likely…

Moving back in the stone building, but this time choosing the other path, the group came across a single room which was a dead-end and was void of enemies. However, it did contain quite the supplies.
“Good grief! Was this intended to use as a storage facility?!” Zelda asked, blinking.
“I guess so. At least we can get some of these items for our own use.” Link said, discovering some Red Potions to hand out between himself and his friends, while Zelda found some additional bombs and arrows.
“Looks like these bombs and arrows were meant for other Corrupt Soldiers who were capable of using them…” She said as she restocked.
“Do Ganondorf and Majora want to be more diverse in their troops to give us a tougher time?” Nabooru asked.
“I wouldn’t blame him if he did. After all, he knows what we are capable of and therefore he tried to take drastic measures in finding ways to stop us.” Link said.
Using the Red Potions to get healed up a bit, the group eventually came across a Big Chest. Opening it, Nabooru’s eyes went wide.
“By the Goddesses! Are they trying to bring in the artillery or something?!” She said, discovering a bomb that was bigger than the usual bombs.
“Looks like we got ourselves a Super Bomb,” Link said, looking it over, “this could be useful.”
“Are you crazy, Link? If something happens to this thing, all of us will be reduced to wall decorations!” Zelda said.
“I’m not crazy. I do see your point, but as long as we’re careful with carrying it and do not light its fuse until we’ve reached our destination, we should be able to get it to that rocky wall.” Link said, looking it over, before noticing its rather long fuse.
“The fuse is long as well…” Saria said, nodding as she saw it too.
“This reminds me of the Powder Keg that the Gorons in Snowhead utilize.” Link said, putting his sword and Shield away by strapping them on his back.
“What are you going to do?” Zelda asked.
“I’m going to try to carry this to that rocky wall. If anything, this fuse should be long enough for us to reach it in time, including the time we need to get on and off ledges and platforms.” He said.
“Can I help?” Saria asked.
“Sure thing, Saria.” Link said with a smile.
“We’ll help too, even if it is to watch your back.” Nabooru said, nodding as she saw that both Zelda and Ruto were ready as well.
“Alright, here goes nothing.” Link said, picking the bomb up, before Zelda lit the fuse once the group was underway.
“At least it will save us the time of waiting.” She said as the group went underway.
Tossing the bomb to each other to disturb it as little as possible, the group carried the bomb all the way into the area where the cracked, rocky wall was. Once arrived at the desired spot, Link put the bomb down in front of the wall, before running away from it to get some distance in, as did the others. About 10 seconds later, the Super Bomb detonated in a brilliant explosion, the sound of falling rubble indicating the destruction of the rocky wall. As the group went to look, they could see that a new path was revealed, which went deeper into what they believed to be a stronghold under construction.
“Well, at least we’re able to continue and see if we can rescue more Deku along the way.” Link said as he got ready to progress.

“Hmmm, this is unexpected.” Ganondorf said as he sat on his throne, Majora floating next to him.
“They managed to discover one of our strongholds, but how?! Were they actively looking for it?” Majora asked.
“I doubt that, considering the way they are looking around and exploring the new area they’re in, I’d say they’d stumble across it by pure coincidence or accident.” Ganondorf replied.
“That’s just great. As if we need those five to snoop around…” Majora said, annoyed.
“Relax. This is just a minor setback. Anyone can have those every once in a while and those five are no different. In fact, this could be useful to us…”
“While they are playing around and see how many of their Deku buddies they can rescue, we can focus on strengthening our other outposts and finish an additional detour I’ve planned for them. Let’s see how far they are willing to go to reach their friends and eventually get to confront us…” Ganondorf said, a devious smirk plastered on his face.
“Yes, this could actually be quite beneficial for us…” He said with a low cackle.
Majora blinked at this for a bit, but decided to wait and see what Ganondorf had planned for them exactly…
Chapter 9: New enemies and new powers
Link, Saria, Zelda, Ruto and Nabooru walked further down the stone building they just entered, before jumping down a shaft and landing in a short tunnel… in direct sight of another Dinolfos! Instantly the Dinolfos warned its comrades as it fled into an open field, which appeared to be part of a coast line as there was water at one side of the area, although it seemed much calmer than the water in Great Bay. Nevertheless, the group had no time to enjoy the scenery as they were instantly drawn into battle, against the Dinolfos who spotted them, along with three more Dinolfos, a small contingent of Stalfos and Blue Sword Soldiers and finally, accompanied by a Red Spear Soldier, who stood on a higher platform. Their blades drawn, the group proceeded to engage their enemies.

Spinning her dual blades around, Nabooru easily cleaved two of the Dinolfos in half, while Zelda and Ruto kept the Soldiers occupied, leaving Link and Saria fighting together against the Stalfos.
“This upgraded sword has been really of great help so far, Link; I feel like I’m just as strong as you.” Saria said as both double-teamed a Stalfos.
“Heh, I wouldn’t be surprised if you are,” Link said, hacking at the Stalfos’ leg when its guard was down, “besides, we’re a team, so we can work together more efficiently this way.”
“True that.”
“Look, would you two stop talking and get serious?!” The Stalfos then said in its crackling voice.
Both Link and Saria then turned to each other, before nodding… and sliced the Stalfos in three.
“That should shut your bony face up.” Link retorted, before getting ready to engage another Stalfos, with Saria assisting him.

Nabooru effectively used both of her blades to both attack and defend herself with against strikes of a Stalfos she was engaging now, relieving Zelda and Ruto who had an easier time against the two remaining Dinolfos, although Zelda had to shield Ruto from one’s Fire Breath, before the Dinolfos in question was decapitated by the former. Ruto used a successful jump attack against the last one while it was distracted by Zelda, leaving only the Sword and Spear Soldiers as well as the Stalfos, with the Stalfos being now alone as its comrade was taken out by Link and Saria, who then moved to engage the Sword Soldiers. This battle showed both Link’s prowess in sword combat, while Saria on her turn was getting more familiar as well, although she did snag the Spear Soldier in vines to make it stop hurling spears at her and Link. Seeing it was trying to break free, Link managed to strike one of the Sword Soldiers so it fell in the water, not returning to surface, before firing a Fire Arrow at the Spear Soldier, killing it, before focusing on the remaining Sword Soldiers, just as Zelda and Ruto came to their aid. Nabooru joined in a minute later after getting rid of the Stalfos bothering her.

Watching this battle ensuing was a lone Deku Soldier, whom was trapped in a cage on a wooden platform, where it had previously been guarded by the Spear Soldier, initially startled as the Spear Soldier was defeated through Saria’s Vine Trap and Link’s Fire Arrow. It watched as the group engaged the remaining Sword Soldiers and defeated them, right before another Big Poe appeared, this time there were two of them as they got ready to batter the group with their lanterns, although the group went out of their way and engaged them.
‘Wow, they are really good!’ The Deku Soldier said, watching the ensuing battle with awe.

The Big Poes eventually were defeated by the group, but the five had no time to rest as another set of enemies arrived, this time a small group of regular Poes, but arriving from a floating airship that looked like a small boat held in the air by a big balloon, was a Ball and Chain Trooper and another Spear Soldier, the Spear Soldier moving to the high platform close to the cage containing the Deku Soldier while the Poes were being decimated by the group, while the Ball and Chain Trooper went to seek the confrontation on ground level, its mace at the ready as he swung it forward, with Nabooru ducking underneath the strike as she clocked it in time, just as Zelda used a Fire Arrow of her own to defeat the Spear Soldier. It was like another five-on-one battle as the group attacked the Ball and Chain Trooper at once, leaving said Trooper in a tight pitch. The Ball and Chain Trooper managed to strike Link and Saria in the back, sending them flying into the water, but leaving it open for Zelda to strike him with another Fire Arrow and Nabooru charged in with a Double Slash Attack, moving her swords outwards to cut through the Trooper’s Armor. Although Link and Saria recovered, Saria was close to losing consciousness, causing Link to drag her to land with the aid of Ruto, just as Zelda used her own blade to finally defeat the Trooper, just as it managed to smack Nabooru against the wall, leaving her partially dazed as she held her head. While Link tended to Saria, ignoring his own injuries in the process, and with Ruto helping Nabooru up, Zelda took down a final Poe that appeared after the Ball and Chain Trooper had disintegrated into nothingness, leaving the group finally at peace which allowed them to recover. Using part of the Red Medicine he managed to take with him, Link let Saria drink some of it, the potion’s healing magic moving to work right away, as it helped Saria recover, although it would take a few minutes for her wounds to disappear. Link also drank a bit of the medicine himself once he was certain that Saria would be fine, before checking on Nabooru. Zelda also spotted the Deku in the cage and shot an arrow at the cage itself, breaking it easily, freeing the Deku in the process.

“Are you okay?” Zelda then asked.
“We’ll manage, but thanks for your concern.” Link said with a smile, just as the Deku hopped on the ground from the platform he was held on first, moving to them.
“Thank you for releasing me.” The Deku said.
“No problem.” Zelda said, smiling.
“I’ll give you some information for saving me: The patrol you’re looking for has been taken to a tower somewhere in this area, but you won’t be able to access it outright. The ones who can grant access to it have also been captured and are held elsewhere in this land.” The Deku said.
“So you Deku have known about this part of Termina before?” Link asked.
“Yes. Plans were being made to form a settlement here when these vile beings of evil attacked us. The patrol sent by the Deku King to investigate this area was also captured in the process, followed by the corresponding search party of which I have been part of.”
“Hmmm, Hyrule has had Dekus around too, so I assume the ones in Hyrule went here to settle peacefully, only to come under attack from Ganondorf and Majora’s forces. Then the Deku Kingdom sends troops here to investigate the movements made in here…” Link said, thinking.
“So technically we’re dealing with an invasion in Deku territory, but was not claimed by the Deku Kingdom itself then?” Zelda asked.
“That’s possible; the Deku King did say he has sent troops to investigate the increased activity around here. I do find it plausible that the Deku King may have sent troops to assist their Hyrulean counterparts, but that’s a different matter…” Link said.
“Actually, His Highness wanted to see what was going on here, not expecting that there would be fellow Deku around when we got captured.” The Deku said.
Link nodded.
“But why would Ganondorf and Majora settle in this area?” Saria asked.
“Since we’ve never seen this land before, I assume they would think this would be a nice spot to set up an outpost and attack Termina from the South once enough forces have been gathered. At least we’re in the process of preventing such a potential upcoming assault, but that doesn’t mean that we should grow careless; they may have already set up outposts elsewhere that could possibly be of more trouble if we don’t do something about it.” Link said.
“I see your point, Link. Ganondorf has been able to settle his forces in the five Temples over the years he took over Hyrule in the future we managed to prevent, but there’s always a chance that he could still do it at any time he pleases, now that his conquest has come true regarding Hyrule.” Zelda said.
“And couple that with that twisted wizard known as Majora…” Saria said.
“True…” Ruto said.
“Just be sure to look out for secrets in the area; the enemy may have not found them yet.” The Deku said, before leaving.
The group nodded.
“Just be careful on your way back.” Link said.
“I will, thank you.” It said, before it was gone.
Ruto tossed her boomerang to another screw-tilted platform, lowering it.
“The platform’s ready, but we need to go through the water to get to it.” Ruto said.
“At least the water’s fine and refreshing.” Link said.
“Yeah, and so clear too…” Saria added, admitting that the water was very fine.
“Well, let’s go then.” Zelda said, fixing her dress to make movements much easier, while Link and Saria, after making sure their clothes and gear were set up, dove in the water, swimming to the platform.
Princess Ruto joined them right away, while Zelda and Nabooru followed as the last ones.
“Wow, the water is fine indeed.” Zelda said as she swam along, impressed.
Link then climbed on the platform, before helping the others up, although Nabooru climbed on it by herself.

The group jumped on the higher path, moving along the way until they came across two Lizalfos that tried to block their path.
“I have to admit that these goons are relentless.” Link said as he engaged one with Saria and Zelda.
“Indeed. But at least these guys are easier to deal with.” Nabooru said as she and Ruto kept the other occupied, allowing the two fiends to be slain quickly.
The group moved into a darker area, seemingly void of enemy presence, jumping down the entrance and rolling forward after landing on the ground a few meters below.
“This room appears empty.” Nabooru said, looking around.
“It does, although I do see a few chests around.” Zelda said.
Opening the chests, they found a bundle of arrows and a set of Bombchus, 20 in total.
“Hmmm, I believe those may come in use very soon.” Link said, holding the Bombchus before tucking them away for now.
The group eventually discovered a path going further down, figuring it was the only way to continue on in the area. Jumping down onto the path, the five would see an underground stone structure being present, but Link froze as he looked forward.
“Oh for the love of the Goddesses, you have to be kidding me!” He exclaimed.
“What the-?!” Zelda said, before gasping as she looked in the direction of where Link was looking.
Saria and Ruto just gulped, while Nabooru brought her blades to bear, as further up in the room was an Eyegore, accompanied by TWO Iron Knuckles.
Link however regained his courage, but didn’t grab his sword, instead he brought his Hookshot and Bow and Arrow out to prepare himself.
“What are you doing?” Saria asked.
“Making plans; those Iron Knuckles won’t move until something or someone touches or damages them, so this could help us in focusing on the Eyegore for the time being. Then we can take those Iron Knuckles out one by one. Now that we have stronger blades, we could try to circle it and damage it from behind as long as it walks towards any of us. And once it gets its axe stuck, we could use that momentum to inflict as much damage as we can, perhaps defeating it even quicker than last time.” Link said.
“Alright, but how can we take this Eyegore out?” Saria asked.
“While its eye contains its main weapon in the form of a Laser, it’s also its greatest weakness; when it turns yellow, we can stun and damage it, when its eye turns read, it’s about to explode, which means we’ve defeated it.” Link said.
“Alright.” Zelda said, nodding as she got ready.

The group then engaged the Eyegore according to Link’s plan, waiting for the Eye to color yellow as it approached them, using arrows to stun it, before firing more arrows to damage it, wearily keeping their distance. Link also lured it away from the Iron Knuckles, not wanting them to wake up until after the defeat of the Eyegore. It took a total of four arrows to bring the Eyegore down, with Link and Zelda both having fired two each, after which the Eyegore’s eye turned red and it collapse, before disintegrating as it detonated itself like a regular bomb.
“That’s one enemy out of the way, now we need to deal with these tough bastards.” Link said, referring to the Iron Knuckles.
“At least we have more room to move in.” Zelda said.
Circling the Iron Knuckle once more, this time the Group was way more prepared once Link woke it up with a Bombchu, letting the Iron Knuckle come to him while Zelda and Saria jump attacked it from behind, after which Ruto and Nabooru joined in, taking turns to prevent from getting caught in each other’s momentum and to stay clear of the Iron Knuckle’s axe. After several strikes, part of its armor broke off, making it faster, but Link made sure its attention was focused on him by pelting it with arrows and Bombchus when his friends were out of the blast range and, true to Link’s word, they defeated the Iron Knuckle quicker than the previous time in the cavern of Snowhead, after which they repeated this maneuver against the second Iron Knuckle, eventually achieving the same result as with the previous one. This time, the group had survived the battle without taking damage this time around.
“Whew, at least we made it without taking damage this time.” Zelda said, wiping her forehead.
“Now we need to push or pull those blocks at the far side of the room in place to reach the next floor.” Nabooru said.
“Let’s rest up for a bit first, I don’t want us to overexert ourselves.” Link said.
“True, otherwise we’ll be too exhausted to continue to fight…” Zelda said.
Saria, Ruto and Nabooru agreed to it, sitting down against the nearest wall to rest up properly, although Zelda did use one arrow to shoot at another cage, breaking it which freed another Deku in the process. This Deku, upon landing on the ground, squeaked as it ran to the group in gratitude.
“These Deku seem a lot more friendlier than the Mad Scrubs.” Link said.
“Yeah.” Saria said
“Thank you for saving me. I’ll give you a hint in gratitude.” The Deku said.
“What is it?” Zelda said.
“I overheard this; some of the enemies you may have faced before have changed their strategy; chances are they will do more for their comrades instead of joining the attack against you. While this could be bothersome, you could also take advantage of it, provided your items are good enough for it.” The Deku said.
“Thanks, we’ll keep our heads up.” Link said.
“Anytime.” The Deku said, before leaving.
“I wonder what he meant by that.” Nabooru said.
“Not sure, but we should keep a look out anyway.” Link said.

A few minutes later, the group moved up to push/pull the blocks they had seen before on the right place to climb up to the first floor of the area, allowing them to progress. However, before they could go on, Nabooru spotted a curious area to her right and went to investigate, the four children following. Out of reflex, Link had his sword and shield drawn, just to be sure. So imagine the group’s surprise when they came across what appeared to be a pond of water in a small room.
“Well, this is unexpected.” Zelda said.
Link yelped as he tripped over a stone he didn’t see, causing him to fall to the ground. His sword clattered on the ground as well, but his shield was sent flying from his grip, straight into the pond, submerging into the water right away.
“Are you alright?” Saria asked, helping Link up.
“I’m fine, it’s just the dark area that made it hard for me to see the stone.” Link said, grabbing his sword.
“Huh?! Something’s happening to the pond!” Ruto then exclaimed.
As the group looked in the direction of the pond, the pond itself seemed to glow with a beautiful light, that seemed to take the form of a person. While the five at first were defensive, they had a serious jaw-drop as suddenly a beautiful Great Fairy appeared, dressed in a green dress, with majestic, green wings flapping softly behind her, sporting the sweetest smile on her face that showed she was friendly.
“Hello there. Did you drop this?” She asked Link, referring to the Hero’s Shield.
“Yes, ma'am.” Link said, admitting he did drop the shield in the pond by accident.
The Great Fairy smiled, satisfied by the answer.
“I like an honest person. I will give you something better in return.” The Great Fairy said, using her magic to retrieve… and change the Hero’s shield, making it slightly larger and giving it an overall red-metallic color, with the markings having now colored gold to orange.
“Wow, thank you.” Link said, genuinely surprised.
“No problem. Your shield will from now on absorb small fireballs and will also provide a greater defense against other enemy attacks.” The Great Fairy said.
“Can you give my friends something too, please? We are in the midst of a serious crisis and we believe that the worst has yet to come.” Link then said to the Great Fairy.
“Oh? How come?” The Great Fairy asked.
Link explained in short the release and resurrection of Ganondorf and Majora, their subsequent conquest of Hyrule and of him and his four friends being sent to Termina because of Majora’s magic, leading the four on up to where they were now. The Great Fairy could see the honesty, courage and determination within the young boy and nodded.
“I have listened to your story, young lad. It is true that the five of you will be pitted against greater dangers to come; the wind of darkness has not escaped my attention either. Henceforth, I shall grant you your request. It is a small gesture of what I can offer, but please, take it.” The Great Fairy said, before she applied her magic to change the shields that Saria and Zelda carried to the same red color of Link’s shield, the difference being while Zelda has a more royal tone to her shield, Saria’s shield had the crest of the Kokiri’s Emerald engraved into it. Coupled with its metallic structure made it also fire resistant.
Ruto on the other hand got something different. Applying her magic to Ruto’s Boomerang, the Great Fairy made it change color in a more blue-scaled tone, as if having inverted the colors of the weapon itself.
“Princess of the Zora people, your Boomerang can from now on reach twice its original striking range and will also for certain defeat the more frail enemies with a single strike.” The Great Fairy said, before applying her magic to enhance Nabooru’s blades.
“Leader of the Gerudo Tribe, if you scrape your blades together while aiming at your enemies, firing a spark of energy at them. This in turn will allow you to strike enemies from a distance.” The Great Fairy said.
“Wow, thank you very much.” Nabooru said, blinking before bowing in gratitude.
“Please come back to see me if you’re feeling weary.” The Great Fairy then said, before vanishing.
The group then left the pond, leaving her alone in peace.
“Wow, this is really unexpected.” Ruto said, blinking.
“At least it gives us a greater chance to strike against our enemies, come on.” Link said, wanting to test his new shield out.

After climbing up a ladder and going through a small gate, the group was instantly greeted by the sight of a Wizrobe, whom instead of attacking the group by himself, turned his attention to a nearby Dinolfos, using his own magic to create a shield around the lizard-like creature.
“So THAT is what the Deku meant…” Zelda said.
“Which leaves us to deal with him and two Dinolfos, let’s go!” Link said.
Adapting their tactics, Link first observed the actions of the two Dinolfos in turns as he and the girls attacked. He noticed that the barrier the Wizrobe generated was impenetrable and deflected projectiles and sword strikes when they hit. He also saw that when either one of the Dinolfos was being attacked first, the Wizrobe’s barrier protected it, but it left the second Dinolfos as well as the Wizrobe itself wide open.
“Zelda, Ruto, concentrate your fire on the Wizrobe; it’s wide open when generating his barrier! Nabooru and Saria, help me in keeping these fire-breathing lizard’s occupied until the Wizrobe has been dealt with!” Link said.
“Right, cover me!” Zelda said as she got out a bow and arrow, while Nabooru attacked the Dinolfos with her newfound skill to make the barrier-generating Wizrobe appear.
Firing an arrow at it, Zelda saw that the Wizrobe was taking damage right away and the barrier was instantly evaporated due to its generation being disrupted by the strike. This in turn allowed the others to pick up on the movement and, following Link’s advice, went to lure the Wizrobe out to defeat it first, before attacking the Dinolfos more seriously. This strategy proved effective as after four hits of her arrows, Zelda defeated the Wizrobe, stripping the Dinolfos of their only source of protection which in turn allowed Link, Saria, Ruto and Nabooru to take the lizard-like beings out swiftly. But their celebrations were cut short as another group of Sword Soldiers arrived, this time accompanied by a Bomb Soldier floating in what appeared to be another primitive airship, as if Ganondorf and Majora were planning to strike their targets also from the air! Moving around to stay clear of the Bombs, the group took out the Sword Soldiers easily, before Ruto tossed her upgraded Boomerang to the Bomb Soldier, scoring a direct hit at it as it defeated the Bomb Soldier and making the airship crash out of sight of the group in turn. A final Lizalfos appeared in the distance, but Nabooru used her new Spark ability to take it out from afar, proving that Nabooru now could use a ranged weapon with her melee ones!
“Wow, the Great Fairy’s upgrades have helped greatly with this; it would have taken us longer to take those goons out.” Link said.
“Yeah, not to mention the fact that I had to go closer to the airship to take that Bomb Soldier out.” Ruto said, as the group moved on to the far side of the area.
“It looks like it’s about to rain a little.” Nabooru then said as she observed the dark clouds in the sky.
“Well, so far so good. Perhaps we can find more information in regards to what has happened here, if we find more Deku around here that is.” Saria said.
Link climbed up a rocky wall that led to a higher pathway ahead, Saria and Zelda following.
“I’m still a bit astonished by the surroundings here, as if it’s actually hard to tell we’re anywhere near Ikana Valley.” Zelda said as the three waited for Ruto and Nabooru to join them up.
“Yeah, while I admit it’s a bit bleak here despite the idyllic landscape, it’s definitely not so bad at all.” Link said.
“I do wonder whom have dwelled here before though, seeing its rather ancient look with the stone monoliths, the sunken or ruined structures and small passages…” Saria said.
“Perhaps a civilization must have lived here in the ancient times. Apparently its remote, isolated location could be the cause of it not being mentioned in any form of Hyrulean or Terminan history.” Link said as the group eventually moved along on the grassy path.
“That sounds plausible, or considering its initial primitive appearance could make it of little importance to mention in the first place.” Zelda said, nodding.
“True.” Link said, as the group turned a corner.
A slight breeze was felt in the area as the group moved along, unaware of their current pursuers coming closer…
Chapter 10: The Tower of Light
After jumping down a hole to a different area in the strange land they were investigating, Link, Saria, Zelda, Ruto and Nabooru were greeted with the sight of a Stalfos locking the gate ahead shut with a switch that was out of the group’s reach, even with the Hookshot. The Stalfos then jumped down to ground level to attack the group, using two Bomb Soldiers standing on the two lookout towers to its right (and the group’s left in turn) as its cover. This proved the ensuing fight against the Stalfos more challenging as the Bomb Soldiers did throw bomb after bomb on the field, and the Bomb Soldiers could not be reached, not even with arrows or even Ruto’s Magical Boomerang as they were too high and arrows couldn’t penetrate through the wooden walls that shielded the soldiers in the process.
“The enemies are sure getting smarter.” Link said, striking the Stalfos before rolling away from an incoming bomb.
“I agree. We need to find shelter against these bombs soon.” Zelda said, noticing it was raining softly now as they fought the Stalfos together.
After defeating the Stalfos, the group looked around, although still on the move to avoid the bombs, when Nabooru spotted a pathway to the left from where they entered the field itself.
“Hey, we should go there to hide from those bombs and see where we can go next from there too.” She said.
“Right, let’s go.” Link said as the group went on its way to the pathway that Nabooru spotted, avoiding the bombs along the way.
As they ran in the pathway, they noticed it looked more like a tunnel, while Link struck a lone Dinolfos with a Fire Arrow while being his way, while a swipe from Nabooru’s blade ended the creature.
“Looks like that one was more desperate than its comrades.” Saria noted.
“Yeah, but that’s not entirely unusual…” Zelda said.
Upon exiting the tunnel, the group arrived in another area, which had a field on one side, a stone terrace on the other side of a cliff over which a bridge connected the two areas… and on that far side stood a huge, majestic, transparent walled tower, as if it was made out of light, made more evident as the group could see transparent staircases going in a circle up the tower…
“By the Goddesses, girls, check out the size of that tower! Incredible!” Link exclaimed, sizing the structure up.
“Wow, that’s one giant tower! Who built this?!” Saria asked, blinking.
“No idea, but it is worth investigating…” Zelda said as she moved on first, Link joining her right away, followed by Saria, Ruto and Nabooru, each of them mesmerized by the sheer appearance of the tower.

As the group moved onto the bridge, three Poes appeared that tried to block their way, although they were easily disposed off after the Poes’ main attack was blocked and were then slashed at with the swords of the group, allowing them to enter the tower.  Spotting a switch, Nabooru hit it with her hands, causing platforms to rise that led to the first transparent staircase. The group made their way over the platforms.
“Wow, looks like we’re going in a circle now.” Ruto said.
“We shouldn’t get dizzy.” Saria said, just as the group arrived on the first staircase, before spotting a cage containing a Deku Scrub.
Ruto used her Magical Boomerang to break the cage, freeing the Deku Scrub.
“Thank you for saving me, but my brothers are still captive. One of them is held all the way up this tower.” It said.
“We’ll get him out for you.” Link said, moving up the stairs.
“I’ll wait down here.” The Deku Scrub said.

The group had little trouble in going up the stairs, Link’s Hookshot proved of incredible use along the way.
“Wow, this tower is really high.” Zelda said.
“Fortunately not as high as Ganon’s Tower is.” Link said, remembering him having to scale a long staircase before the final confrontation, for a moment he was actually wondering if that staircase had an end at all before he finally reached the top.
They eventually spotted the cage, which contained a different looking Deku Scrub, as it seemed larger than normal. Using her Slingshot, Saria broke the cage open, freeing the Deku. The Deku itself floated in place using its own copter leaves, appearing like the Business Scrubs in Termina. Holding on fragments of the cage before the debris fell to the ground, the Business Scrub then floated to the group.
“Hang on to these cage fragments, I’ll take you downstairs.” It said.
Link and his friends did so, making sure they were divided equally to prevent any accidents as the Business Scrub gently took the five down. This in turn allowed the group to get a decent view of the tower, taking note of the lights moving up and down the tower’s walls.

After about half a minute, the Business Scrub stopped just above the ground, allowing the five to safely let go of the fragments, being on the ground level of the tower once more.
“One of my brothers is still held captive. Free him and we’ll open up the way to where the Investigation Patrol has been held for you.” It said as it flew off with his freed brother in tow.
“Time to play the search game again.” Link said jokingly, causing Zelda to playfully elbow him.
“Maybe he’s held on a lower level.” Saria suggested.
“You could be right. I wonder if- hey, someone’s coming here.” Ruto then said.
“It’s one of the monkeys we saw at the Deku Palace and who guided us here.” Link said, blinking.
“He looks quite tired from what I can tell…” Saria said as the monkey came to them.
“Be careful, some bandits are on your trail!” The monkey said, before Link caught him to let the animal calm down a bit.
“Bandits?” Zelda said.
“Yes, they’re armed and are in pursuit. Watch yourself!” It said as the group found a safe path to a lower level.
“Relax, little guy, we’ll be on the lookout for them.” Saria said, smiling as she petted the monkey.
Once down on the lower area, the group found a set of small crates being placed there, while at the other side of the area were two platforms surrounded by a pool of water. Deciding to check the area out for now, the group left the crates for what they were and moved to the pool, with Ruto using her Magical Boomerang to lower the two screw-stilted platforms, before moving to the other side. They were greeted with the sight of another Big Poe as it appeared in front of them, and they also could hear someone squeaking as if it was crying for help.
“It looks like the Deku we’re looking for has been held there.” Link said after striking the Big Poe with an arrow.
“But how are we going to get there? There’s a group of switches around, but the platform’s too high for us to reach.” Zelda said.
“Perhaps if we can use the crates we saw to keep the switches down, perhaps we can reach the cage?” Saria then said.
“Great idea. But we must be careful when carrying those; falling in the water won’t do us or the crates any good.” Link said.
“True that.” Ruto said, after which the group defeated the Big Poe to have it out of the way.
Once the group went back to the part where they saw the crates and grabbed them, moving one by one back to the other side so they wouldn’t get in each other’s way. Once on the other side, they went to put the crates on the switches they saw, each switch supporting a small platform that served as a staircase for the higher part where the cage was, allowing the group to reach the cage and freeing the Deku in the process. Bowing in gratitude, the Deku floated up with its helicopter leaves, joining his brothers up to the entrance of the tower, after which they began some kind of magical incantation that only Deku knew. About several seconds later, what appeared to be a swirling portal appeared on the entrance. A ladder also appeared next to the bridge from both sides of the ground level, allowing the group to climb their way back up to where the tower was. Just as they wanted to cross the bridge, a spear landed between Link and Saria, startling the two and causing them to turn around, along with the others. As they turned around, they saw a small group of people standing there. They were obviously looking Hylian in appearance, but were wearing yellow tunics with an orange cap on their heads, the sleeves being orange as well. Their pants were also orange to red, while their boots were yellow.
“It’s them!” The monkey, who was currently sitting on top of Zelda’s shoulder said.
“Well, looks like you were alarmed about our presence. No matter, we’re simply here to ask something back.” One of the bandits said.
“What do you mean?” Link asked, frowning.
“We’ve seen you snooping around in some of our hideouts.” A more brutish-looking bandit said.
“Hideouts?” Saria asked, puzzled.
“Yes. We have had a few hideouts in Snowhead and Ikana Canyon, since we thought that those locations were rather remote and through that safe for us to dwell in, taking the arachnid presence aside. We just didn’t feel like maintaining it properly to remain unsuspected.” One of the bandits said.
“So let me understand this, you’re saying that those caverns we discovered by pure accident, one we were actually being transported in, belonged to you?” Link asked, trying to put two and two together.
“That’s right. We’ve discovered that you have taken a few things during your short stay in our territory.” The first bandit said.
“Really? Were they yours?” Nabooru asked.
“Pretty much. It was more exactly things we looted from unsuspecting travelers.”
“You don’t say… that reminds me of someone.” Link said.
“Sakon. Another notorious thief that dwells around Termina. I recall him having snatched a few items from my pocket when he wanted to flee from us, I think I recognized some of the items that you claim are yours.” Link said.
“Are you certain of this?” The bandit asked, blinking as he apparently knew of Sakon.
“You got that right. That prancing of his is meant to keep your guard down to make him look like a clown, but in reality your pocket has been picked before you even realized what has happened. We tried to capture him, but he used a diversion to escape from our grasp. That guy has quite the lean fingers if you get what I mean.” Link said.
“Oooohhh that sneaky bastard, we’ll get him for this!” The bandit said as he and the others moved off in a rush to get out of the area.
Saria, Zelda, Ruto and Nabooru blinked at this big time, before turning to Link, who had an uncharacteristic smug expression on his face.
“How did you do that?!” Zelda asked Link once the bandits were out of sight.
“To be fair, Sakon DID snatch a few items from my pocket, like a bomb and a few Deku Nuts, one of which he had used to blind us. It was something I discovered once you and I regained consciousness after Sakon used his diversion to knock us out. And besides, all we took from the bandits were actually some of those weapons and those swords we had reforged. They didn’t recognize the blades themselves at all however, so we went scot-free at this.” Link explained.
“I understand.” Zelda said, nodding.
“Besides, Sakon does have the tendency to steal items from people and then sales them to the Curiosity Shop in Clock Town. I’ve seen him doing this when I was spying on him with Kafei, the husband of the Stock Pot Inn keeper Anju.” Link said.
“So it’s a bit of deception for one’s protection, but with a scale of truth added to it…” Nabooru said.
“Of course. We have more important matters to attend to rather than being occupied by some petty thieves.” Link said, before turning to the tower.
“But wait, how are you so certain that he didn’t take our precious items?” Ruto asked.
“Some of the clothing that were given to us when we recovered from the initial Stalfos attack in Termina Field have pockets on the INSIDE of the fabric,” Link said, showcasing a pocket on the inside of his green tunic, which stored both the Fairy Ocarina he got from Saria as well as the Goron’s Ruby, “so I’ve been making a bit of precautions on that part.”
Saria sighed of relief when she discovered that her outfit had a similar pocket, where her own Ocarina as well as the Kokiri Emerald were stored. Having presented the Sapphire before entering the area made it evident that Ruto had taken good care of her own precious item, while within one of the pockets of Zelda’s outfit was the Ocarina of Time.
“At least ammunition is something we can miss in a way. Let’s go.” Nabooru said.

Upon entering the tower, the group already encountered a ‘welcoming committee’ which consisted of several Stalfos, Dinolfos and Corrupted Sword Soldiers, but also present were a Ball and Chain Trooper, two White Wolfos and two Garo Robes. Without hesitation, the group initiated their counter attack as the enemies charged at them.  A jump attack courtesy of both Link and Zelda respectively defeated the Garo Robes, whom disintegrated in sheets of green flame within a second or two. Saria took down a Wolfos, while Nabooru used her newfound Spark attack to keep the Ball and Chain Trooper at bay. Ruto used her Magical Boomerang to stun the Corrupted Sword Soldiers, allowing Link and Zelda to strike at them. The second White Wolfos was taken out by Ruto, whom was then yanked out of harm’s way by Saria when a Stalfos tried to attack her from behind. On her turn, Saria defeated one of the Dinolfos with the aid of Nabooru, seeing as Link and Zelda were engaged in a serious sword fight against the Sword Soldiers, whom had the appearance of a knight in regards to the shapes of their helmets. The new shields of Link, Saria and Zelda proved invaluable as it gave them greater protection indeed. While sending an occasional spark to keep the Ball and Chain trooper at the far side of the room, Nabooru made mincemeat out of two other Dinolfos, before turning her attention on the Stalfos whom was currently attacking Saria and Ruto, coming to their aid, although both children proved to be adapting to each other’s skills very well, with Ruto using both her Magical Boomerang as well as her own Gilded Zora Blade, resorting to using one of her fins as a basic yet effective shield.
“I really find this hand-to-hand combat quite distasteful!” Ruto said as she hurled her Boomerang against a Dinolfos to stun it.
“I bet you prefer the simplicity of an interrogation chamber!” Nabooru said, sending one more spark that finally defeated the persistent Ball and Chain Trooper.
“You have to admit, it’s much more civilized.” Ruto retorted, before focusing her Sage powers to summon a water spout from below the Dinolfos to send the reptilian beast flailing in the air, defeating it.
Saria used her own Sage powers to trap a Stalfos in order to restrict its movements, growling even as she charged with her own jump attack.
“Way to go, Saria!” Link said after he had slain the Corrupted Sword Soldier who kept him occupied.
“Heh, I think your courage and determination to beat these fools is rubbing off on me.” Saria replied, nodding before gutting a Dinolfos sneaking up on her without even looking at it.
“I second that one, Saria.” Zelda said, whom just finished off her own attacker.
“Princesses and other females kicking ass, I can never get enough of seeing that.” Link said, complimenting his female friends, before he charged at another Stalfos himself.
Zelda could have sworn she felt her heart sing at this compliment for a second, before engaging the final Sword Soldier, as Nabooru had taken out the last Dinolfos, leaving only three more Stalfos and the Sword Soldier to deal with.

“Wait, hold up!” A female voice said in the Southern Swamp area.
The flying creature, whom looked like a fairy, stopped, turning around, only to see two more fairies approaching her.
“Uh, hello.” She said, a bit nervous.
“Who are you? I have never seen you around here before.” One of the two fairies said.
“I’m Navi the Fairy. And you are?” Navi asked.
“I’m Tatl, and the one next to me is my brother Tael,” The other fairy responded, “what are you doing here?”
“I’m looking for Link. I was told he was around here someplace.” Navi said.
“Wait what?! You mean that forest kid whom saved this land from impending doom, using that blue ocarina to travel through time?!” Tatl asked.
“That’s him. You know him?”
“Well, sort-of. I was his ‘companion’ when that mask-possessed Skull Kid went to Termina with my brother in tow, leaving me with Link. So why are you looking for him. Or better yet, why has he returned here?” Tatl replied.
“Well, I’m looking for him since I wanted to know how he has been doing over the time we have been separated. As for his return here, I was told that some evil power has sent him here along with a few of his friends. Things went really downhill back in my homeland and chances are that Termina may face yet another crisis.” Navi replied.
“I see. Where are you from anyway?”
“From Hyrule.”
“Hyrule? Just like Link?” Tatl asked.
“That is correct.”
Tatl thought about it.
“Well, might as well come along, I have nothing better to do anyway.” She then said.
“Hey, does that imply that Link has grown on you?” Tael asked.
“H – Hey, it’s not that I c – care about him or anything, I just go along with her since it’s been s – some time I saw another Fairy other t – than you!” Tatl said.
Tael simply giggled as he followed after Navi, Tatl following shortly behind.

Link, Saria, Zelda, Ruto and Nabooru just finished off the remaining Stalfos and the final Sword Soldier, finally allowing them to progress. Zelda did take note of a strange figure that was painted in the center of the main room, but thought nothing of it other than it was an ordinary drawing or something that was placed there in ancient times, so she turned her attention back to Link.
“Enemy presence is still high in this tower. We should be careful.” Link said as he moved to a staircase, but still held his sword and shield ready.
The others followed behind him still having their guards up as they moved up the staircase, through an opened gate and then moving up another path going up to what they believed to be the first floor of the tower. Once in the open room, they stopped at the sight of a lone Floormaster, whom instantly charged at Link and Zelda, whom evaded it in time. But as the group wanted to attack it, another barrier-casting Wizrobe appeared, using its barrier to protect the Floormaster. This caused Link to become actually angry enough to actually attack the Wizrobe with a well-aimed jump slash. Zelda followed up with an arrow strike of her own against the Wizrobe as well. Nabooru realized that Link and Zelda both found the Floormaster a major annoyance, but having someone protect it while it was knocking most of the group around now agitated them even more. Saria was also getting tired of the Floormaster as it knocked her to the wall, trying to use her vines to constrict the dismembered hand in the process, but the barrier managed to repel the vines, until Nabooru cleaved the Wizrobe in two. This robbed the Floormaster of its only protector, giving Link, Saria and Zelda the opportunity to strike the Floormaster after Ruto stunned it with her Magical Boomerang. The Floormaster was defeated, but still split into three upon its initial defeat. However, the three tiny Floormasters were easily dealt with.
“So much for that critter.” Saria said.
“But the gates ahead haven’t opened up!” Ruto said.
“Allow me.” Nabooru said, sending another Sword Spark towards a crevice she discovered in a wall, striking a crystal switch that opened the gates for the group, allowing them to continue to ascend the tower they were in.

Moving up to the second floor, the group of five just entered the room when they were suddenly ambushed by one of the LAST enemies they wanted to see: A Like-Like! This gelatinous creature succeeded in engulfing the entire group, stripping them of their Shields with the exception of Ruto and Nabooru before spitting them out. However, a Fire Arrow courtesy of Link and Zelda ended the monster quickly, allowing Link, Saria and Zelda to retrieve and re-equip their respective shields, which remained fortunately untouched, due to the rapid recovery and retaliation. Regaining their composure rapidly, Link used his hookshot to let himself and the others reach a pathway going up in a circle to what appeared to be the top floor of the tower, but no sooner had the five landed on the path and began to ascend it all the way up, that they were being confronted by another Bomb Soldier, whom kept throwing bombs at them.
“Geez, talk about being determined…” Link said as he began to run to the left and right, just to avoid the bombs, just before Ruto encased the group in a barrier of water that knocked the bombs aside, allowing the group to proceed onward to their way to the top.
“Wait, how do we even get out of here; the passages are too small for us to pass through like this!” Zelda then said.
“I’m certain we’ll find a way, once we’re rid of this bozo.” Saria said, as the group got ready to deal some punishment to the Bomb Soldier… only to see that yet ANOTHER barrier-generating Wizrobe was protecting it!
“Okay, NOW I am REALLY pissed!” Link snarled, as he instantly charged at the Wizrobe, slashing at it with a Jump Attack.
“You’re not the only one!” Nabooru said as she performed a Double Spin Attack to decapitate the Wizrobe once it appeared on a different spot after Link’s strike forced it to relocate, after which Zelda, Ruto and Saria finished the Bomb Soldier off, before Link used a bomb to demolish a gate that freed a large group of Deku whom were imprisoned behind it. Immediately the group of Deku, after thanking Link and the four Sages, dispersed, some by flight, others by running through the small crevices they could pass through themselves, making their escape out of the tower. The Deku whom were in flight however didn’t stop there; once they were out of the tower, they proceeded to the area where Link and his friends entered the whole area in the first place, pelting the resident Bomb Soldiers on the watchtower as well as a Dinolfos guarding the switch to the large gate with their Deku Nuts, killing the fiends in the process.

“Well, at least we found and freed the patrols.” Link said.
“Wait, what are these?” Zelda then asked, looking at some things that appeared to be something like a sled.
“These are kinda small, don’t you think?” Nabooru said.
“That they are. I wonder what they are for though…” Ruto said.
“And what’s with that star-like figure on the ground in the center of that room?” Saria asked.
The group looked at the figure Saria was pointing to.
“That’s the same star-shaped figure I’ve seen on the ground tile of the Ground Floor of this tower.” Zelda said.
“That’s weird.” Link said, scratching his head as he and the others carefully approached it, eventually standing on it.
“Hmmm… I wonder what- hey, what the-?!” Link said as a glow appeared from underneath him.
This same glow also was present underneath the others as well.
“What’s going on?!” Zelda asked, right as the group was lifted up… and promptly SHRANK in size, making them no bigger than a Deku Nut!
“WHAT IS THIS?!” Nabooru exclaimed, only for the group to fall and land… right on top of a sled each.
“KYA! I FEEL SO TINY!” Saria said, obviously startled.
Link however retained his focus.
“Hmmm… this truly is unexpected, but this can be useful as well.” He then said.
“What do you mean?! Answer us!!” Ruto exclaimed.
“While I admit that being shrunk is as much as a shock for me as it has been for you, I think we can use this to get out of here, considering Zelda did mention about certain walls and passages that we could not pass through on our normal sizes.” Link replied.
“Okay, hot shot, how do you suppose we get out of here?” Nabooru asked.
“I think these will have to do…” Link said, trying to move on the board he was on, only for the board itself to move with Link on top of it, taking Link with it as it moved over the tiles smoothly.
Link himself did flail a bit while attempting to move into a comfortable stance that would adjust his weight equally so he would remain standing, but he was on the way out, now moving down the path he first went up while avoiding the bombs from the Bomb soldier. Nabooru did a double-take at this, even more when someone else went to follow Link right away. It was Saria.
“What are we waiting for?! Let’s go after them!” Zelda said as she too made the board she was on move.
Ruto and Nabooru then turned to each other, before following as well.

As if leading the way, Link managed to find his way down, down the small tunnel that he could now go through, past the gate of the second floor, down to the path to the floor where the Floormaster was fought prior, then all the way down towards the staircase that led to the ground floor, although Link grunted a bit with each step that went down. It almost felt like a race of some sort, although Link went around in circles as he waited for the others. About 10 seconds later, he was joined by Saria, followed by Zelda after another 10 seconds, whom was shortly followed by Ruto and Nabooru. As they directed the sleds in the center on the room towards the star-shaped marking, the marking itself began to glow and engulfed the five, right before restoring them to their normal size as if nothing happened.
“Whew, I don’t think I want to experience something like that ever again.” Zelda said.
“I agree with you on that,” Link said, causing Ruto and Nabooru to blink at him, “just because I try to keep my cool in most situations, doesn’t mean I have to like it myself. I just did what was necessary and we got what we wanted. So now that the tower has been cleared, there is no further use for us to stay here.”
“I agree, let’s get out of here.” Saria said, nodding.

As the group exited the tower, they stepped into the current rainy atmosphere, although it had been raining softly so far. Still, the group made a run for it to reach the stone tunnel to get back to the first area, feeling that they could finally progress. Their hopes were initially dashed however as another group of enemies were waiting for them at the opened gate, initially chasing after a Deku. With their fiery appearance, Link instantly grabbed his Hookshot.
“What are these things?!” Nabooru asked.
“Flare Dancers!” Link said.
“But what are they doing out here?!” Zelda asked.
“I don’t know, but I do know that these guys will be trouble! I have my Hookshot, but you can also use Bombs against them to get them out of those suits and then just strike as many times with your blade as you can!” Link said, going to the offensive right away, approaching the nearest one to buy time for the Deku to make its escape as a total of three Flare Dancers have appeared to attack Link’s group.
Taking Link’s advice, Saria, Zelda, Ruto and Nabooru engaged the two other Flare Dancers together, with Nabooru intending to provide cover for Ruto from the flames, while Link singled out the Flare Dancer whom was the closest to the Deku, using his Hookshot to draw the Dancer out of its suit and pull it to him, before smacking it with his sword as many times as he could while chasing after him. The Bombs also proved very effective to knock the Flare suits away, giving chase to the creatures to strike at them several times before they regained their suits, but this time it was colored a blue/purple instead of the fire red/orange/yellow. The group repeated this procedure again, inflicting as much damage as possible while keeping their distance from each other as to prevent getting in each other’s way and become distracted. The Flare Dancers managed to regain their flaming suits one more time, this time being two shades of green, still trying to harm the group itself, but Link and the others had none of it and struck again with the Hookshot and/or the bombs respectively, finally managing to defeat the Flare Dancers after several minutes. Nabooru directed her Sword Spark to the switch on top of the fence, activating it and opening the gate finally, so the group could progress. Whatever was burning on vegetation because of the Flare Dancers was quickly extinguished by the rain or because of Princess Ruto summoning small water floods from above to do the job quicker.
“Whew. After this all we need a vacation.” Link said as he sat down on a large stone, with Saria and Zelda sitting down next to him.
“I couldn’t agree with you more.” Zelda said, sighing.
The group was ignoring the rain falling down softly on them as they took a moment to rest a bit.
“Okay, so what now?” Saria asked.
“I think progressing is the only option. All things considered, going all the way back is pretty much impossible now, so all we can do now is to continue from here.” Link said.
“True. I just wonder where we will end up once we get out of here.” Zelda said.
“It’s pretty much an area between the Southern Swamp and Ikana somewhere, that is if we didn’t make it back to Hyrule like this by mere coincidence,” Link mused, “makes me wish there was a map of this place so we could see where we are, much less see where we are even going at all.”
“Point taken. At least we’re in all this together.” Ruto said.
The group nodded as they looked up at the dark sky, for a moment wondering if a certain owl was passing by in the sky as they saw a silhouette flying over for a few seconds.
Chapter 11: Out of the fray, into the deep
After resting for several minutes, the group of five battle-worn heroes decided to get moving once again, their new and upgraded equipment still with them as they went through the opened gate and into the cavern ahead, climbing over several crates that were stored there. Link stretched along the way, as did Zelda and Saria. Nabooru frowned at this for a brief moment, but didn’t say anything about it. When the group exited the cavern, they found themselves at a dead end; being at one side of a quite calm sea while standing on some lush, green grass field. They also spotted a tunnel-like affair that was leading to an underwater area…
“Oh, great. Looks like we’re at a dead end, unless we go into that tunnel…” Nabooru said.
“But we can’t hold our breath for so long underwater, except for Ruto.” Saria said, just as Link went to check out some chests and Zelda was looking at the now-clearing sky, seeing rays of the sun shining through the dark clouds.
“Well, I’m staying with you guys. I don’t want to leave you behind just because I can swim when and wherever I want.” Ruto said.
“Check this out, girls; I think I have found the solution.” Link said.
“Huh?” Zelda asked, moving to investigate.
“Check it out.” Link said, bringing out an outfit that was overall blue in color.
“Hey, those look like Zora Tunics, but made fitting for children!” Ruto said, recognizing it.
“And there’s one adult variation in too.” Zelda said, to Nabooru’s delight.
“Well, looks like we need to change a bit.” Link said, looking for a more remote spot while using a Zora knapsack he found in another chest to store his equipment in.
“Link, where are you going?” Saria asked.
“I’m going to change my outfit, but I like to do it decently. It would be inappropriate and impolite of me to do this out in the open.” Link said.
The others could see Link’s reasoning in this, so they too, except for Ruto, spread up for a bit to change their outfits.

After a couple of minutes, Link reappeared, having put all of his equipment in his Zora backpack, safe for the Hookshot as he has been able to use that in the water before. The others had to store all their equipment in similar backpacks, leaving only Ruto capable of defending herself underwater properly. Once everyone was ready, Link moved to lower himself gently in the water, before swimming on a bit to adapt properly.
“How is it, Link?” Zelda asked.
“The water’s fine, and with this tunic, staying underwater will be a cinch.” He said, as Saria and Zelda also gently lowered themselves in the water, as did Nabooru, while Ruto simply dove in the water.
“Link is right, the water is indeed quite nice.” Saria commented.
“So, where do you think the tunnel leads to?” Zelda asked.
“Perhaps to a different part of Termina or even Hyrule…” Link said.
“Well, there’s only one way to be sure of this.” Nabooru said.
“Just stay together and we’ll make it safely.” Ruto said as the group swam to the tunnel area, eventually forced to move below the surface of the water, but thanks to their Zora Tunics, they were able to survive underneath the water surface.
In fact, the way the group could speed-swim now reminded Link very much of his Zora form, the form he took to grant Mikau’s final requests of retrieving Lulu’s eggs and performing with his band, the Indigo-go’s once more.

As they moved through the first tunnel, they first came across a room where several statues that had the appearance of Deku Scrubs within the center of it.
‘Is this something like a ruined shrine or something?’ Link thought as he stopped to look it over.
‘I think so…’ Zelda said within his mind.
‘Wha- how did you do that?’
‘It’s telepathy, an ability that allows us to talk to each other using our minds.” Zelda replied back, with Link seeing her smile and nod.
‘It’s like talking to me using my song, but you don’t need my song for this occasion, just focus right and you can talk to any of us at any time you please.’ Saria said, joining in.
‘It definitely is something to get used to, but I can manage.’ Link said.
‘Good.’ Zelda said.
The group moved on through the water, entering a second tunnel that led to a huge underwater Coliseum, which was also left in great ruins.
‘Wow, this place looks like a mess.’ Ruto said to the others.
‘Yeah, I wonder who built this whole thing…’ Nabooru added.
But just as the group swam onward, a giant Octorok plunged into the arena, sinking up to the level where it was face to face with the heroes… although it did look like an Octorok…
‘What is this?! This is way different from the usual Octoroks!’ Zelda exclaimed.
‘Yeah, it looks like this one is armed to the teeth, as if this one gained intelligence and is in control of some kind of power suit; I recognize some parts that only a Beamos would have!’ Link said.
‘He’s gonna attack!’ Nabooru said as a warning as a hatch opened up, revealing a fish-like creature that had something similar akin to a Debresko, but looked more bulky and appeared to be releasing enemies that looked like the usual Bubbles, being a skull with wings but was having a red-glowing trail at the backside instead of having a glow enveloping them completely, which meant that these were being controlled.
‘Great, we’re being attacked from two sides and we have little room to strike back!’ Saria said.
‘Then we need to change our tactics to adapt. Perhaps those Bubbles can be of use…’ Link said as he swam on, but the Bubbles began to chase them, causing the group to disperse and try to shake their pursuers off.
However, with his previous encounters with the Octoroks, Link remembered that they could have their attacks turned against them by reflecting their rock projectiles back at them and, in case of the Big Octo he faced in the innards of Lord Jabu-Jabu, he also knew that their backsides were vulnerable as well. Getting an idea, Link swam on, letting the Bubble chase him as he went on, circling around the Giant Octorok as he went on. Saria and Zelda saw him go and went to follow him, wanting to see what he was up to, also being chased by the same Bubbles. Ruto and Nabooru even caught on as well, joining the fray along. Once Link reached the backside of the Giant Octorok, he swam directly for it so he was making sure the Bubble was still following him, right before Link braced himself… and in a swift motion pulled off a ‘barrel roll’ to the side, watching as the Bubble passed him by… and struck the Giant Octorok in the backside with success, damaging it!
‘Bullseye!’ Link said triumphantly, before noticing the others had seen it too and on their turn began to follow Link’s actions in a way, as Nabooru moved to somersault over the Bubble chasing her instead.
The Octorok was hit indeed several times, right before it turned around to face the group, bringing out the Beamos’ main head-like sphere containing the ‘eye’ and fired its laser at the group, trying to hit them. Of course, the group moved away from the laser as best as they could, leading to the laser chasing them in a way. After about a minute or so, the Giant Octorok stopped firing his laser and let the Debresko-like creature fire the Homing Bubbles again to add on the pressure to the group, now beginning to shoot rocks at them on intervals to make it harder for them…

“Excuse me, but can you tell me where we can find Link?” Navi then asked a monkey upon arriving at the Woods of Mystery.
“You mean the forest child with his four friends? They went into a different area to save a group of Deku being imprisoned there.” The monkey said.
“And where is this land?” Tatl asked.
“It’s right up through the Woods of Mystery. Follow me, I’ll lead you to it.” The monkey said, moving off, with Navi, Tatl and Tael following.
“I hope things won’t get so hectic like last time…” Tatl said.
“Trust me, with beings like Ganondorf around, it will.” Navi said.
“Is he that bad?” Tael asked.
“Trust me, regardless of Majora’s power, Ganondorf is way more powerful. It required the combined efforts of Link, Princess Zelda and his closest friends who became Sages to put Ganondorf down… but because of that Triforce of Power in his hand, he must have somehow escaped.” Navi said.
“Triforce of Power?” Tatl parroted.
“Yes. It’s part of a holy relic known as the Triforce. Legends say that whoever finds and touches it will have their wish granted, provided their heart is in balance. If so, it will lead Hyrule to an era of peace and prosperity. If not, the Triforce will split and Hyrule would fall to darkness. “ Navi said.
“So the Triforce of Power is once piece, right? How many are there?”
“There’s two more pieces: Courage and Wisdom. The former is in possession of Link, which explains why he has the determination to continue to do what he believes is right, while the Triforce of Wisdom is in the possession of Princess Zelda.”
“Wow…” Tael said, impressed.
“And I take it that Ganondorf is after Link and Zelda to get those other pieces?” Tatl asked.
“That’s right. How did you know?” Navi asked.
“It sounded somewhat obvious to me to be honest. Ganondorf didn’t get the whole thing, so he wants those two last pieces to have complete power. Greedy people tend to do something like that if what they have so far isn’t enough for them.”
“Good point.” Navi said as the three followed their monkey guide.

Majora couldn’t believe his eyes; so far Link and the Sages were able to conquer the enemies that have faced them so far, despite what’s thrown at them! But what aggravated him more was that Ganondorf just let them walk around like that.
“A rupee for your thoughts, Majora?” Ganondorf asked.
“I still don’t understand why you let those fools walk around so freely.” Majora said.
“I can see you may have questions. After all, you have faced Link in only a few days, while I had to deal with him in a span of years. The reason I let those kids and Nabooru walk around is that I simply want to see the looks on their faces once they succeed in reuniting with those other Sages and seek to confront us. Besides, the more we learn of their current capabilities, the better we can prepare ourselves in case they decide to face us for real.” Ganondorf said.
“So you’re simply studying them in this manner?” Majora said.
“Yes. I have underestimated that kid and his friends altogether, hence I am seeking to find a different fashion to reach our goals as a precaution. And considering that Link cares a lot about his friends, I say they we shouldn’t separate them… having him join his friends in their demise will definitely crush his spirit for sure…” Ganondorf said with a rather dark chuckle.
‘And people say I am the vilest being around…’ Majora said with a grin on his face as he went on, cursing a group of brave yet foolish soldiers whom tried to attack their fort, turning them into ReDeads as a result.

The group of five were still fighting the Giant Octorok and while the beast has sustained quite the damage, Link, Saria, Zelda, Ruto and Nabooru didn’t end up unscathed either, partially due to being constantly pelted with rocks from the Octorok and its laser beam from the Beamos’ ruins has managed to zap Link, Saria and Zelda once, although the water did soothe the wounds so it was nothing major other than a slight burning marks on the back. Still, they kept going and redirected its attacks back at it along the way, after several more shots the Giant Octorok finally collapsed as it sunk to the ground floor of the arena, defeated, right before it disintegrated into nothingness, together with the Debresko-like enemy as it was connected with the Giant Octorok. This eventually left the five alone in the arena, slightly injured, but nonetheless still able to move on. The five swam to each other first to see if they were alright.
‘Whew, this was totally different than the time I spent in both the Water and Great Bay Temples…’ Link said.
‘Was it that bad?’ Zelda asked.
‘Well, the Great Bay Temple featured quite the complex waterworks systems that regulated the currents within the temple. The Water Temple was a bit easier as it only required the raising/lowering of the water level.’ Link said.
‘Wow, this confirms you have been through a lot…’ Saria said.
‘Come on, there’s nothing else left for us to do here.’ Nabooru said, patting Link and Zelda on the shoulder, making the two smile, before they swam onwards through the now-opened gate.

Passing through the opened gate, the group entered another underwater tunnel that for the rest sported no trace of any statues, just here and there some ruins of previously built structures and large slabs of stone that laid on the bottom. But for the rest, the five were alone as there was no other enemy in sight.
‘Things must have changed here over time for sure.’ Ruto said.
‘Yeah, it does add to the mystery I might add…’ Zelda said.
‘I can see the surface up ahead, looks like we’ve found the exit of the place.’ Saria said.
‘Makes me wonder how far we’ve actually traveled underwater.’ Link said.
‘Considering how big these tunnels and the arena were, I’d say that we must have made quite a trip.’ Nabooru said.
As the group swam on, they eventually were guided to the surface and, once out of the water, they climbed on one of the bridges, taking in fresh gulps of air, although Ruto had little difficulty with this.
“Wow, it must have been some time since we’ve been on the surface; the air has been cleared mostly of the clouds.” Link said, looking at the air.
“Yeah, I can see the sun shining further up in the distance.” Saria said.
“Wait, what’s with those dark clouds in the far distance?” Zelda asked, pointing to a series of dark, menacing looking clouds about quite a distance away.
“It’s surrounding a building or something, I can’t really tell, but it appears those clouds are not normal; they are circling around instead of spreading or moving.” Nabooru said.
“Then that must be the new castle of Ganondorf and Majora! I think we could possibly be somewhere in Hyrule itself!” Link said.
“In Hyrule?! But where?! This is obviously not anywhere close near Lake Hylia!” Ruto said.
“My own guess would be somewhere near the Lost Woods, or even close to the Kokiri Forest, considering the trees in the distance, although the building ahead seems out of place.” Saria said.
“I wonder where this actually leads to…” Nabooru said.
“There’s only one way to find out for sure, but we could also be in the no man’s land between Hyrule and Termina.” Link said.
“It appears we have little choice than just go in there to investigate.” Ruto said.
“At least most of us can change back to our regular outfits and switch back to our regular gear.” Zelda said.
The group then made their way across the bridges and headed into the building, taking their time as the wet clothes did weigh down a bit.

“I can feel them coming closer…” An elderly Hylian said as he stood on a large hexagon-shaped platform, with underneath his feet stood a smaller hexagon shaped pedestal with engraved on it was the symbol that was related to the Light Medallion. It was Rauru, the eldest of the Seven Sages.
“How long do you think it will take for them to get here and reunite with us?” Impa said as she stood on her pedestal, associated with the Shadow Medallion.
“I do not know for sure, but it won’t be long now. Perhaps a couple of days or so, give or take an hour.” Rauru said.
“Brother Link definitely won’t rest until he has saved us. It’s something I do admire of the boy; he may be a young kid, but his heart and spirit burst forth with the fire of courage that could only be seen by an adult. He definitely is a man in his own right.” Darunia, leader of the Gorons and the Fire Sage said.
“That’s most definitely correct. And so far they have prevailed, but neither we nor they must grow careless.” Impa said.
“Indeed. Ganondorf has proven to be far more dangerous than we thought, especially with the Triforce of Power in his hands…” Rauru said.
Impa herself looked upwards, concern on her face.
‘Link… Zelda… please… be safe…’ She thought to herself as she couldn’t do anything except for waiting…

Further in the building, the group except for Ruto changed back into their regular outfits, while trying to dry their Zora outfits off, before storing them away.
“Alright, let’s see what we have here.” Nabooru said as she was ready to continue…
The group continued on after a minutes, walking along the apparent empty building, until they heard a door closing down behind them as they arrived in what they believed to be the center room…
“Now what?” Nabooru asked.
“I don’t know… and what disturbs me is the room being empty…” Link said, scratching his head.
“Hmmm, maybe we need to go in where the light  comes from…” Saria said.
“I think that’s the only way; the door behind us is locked, so we can’t go back.” Zelda said.
“And why are our voices echoing here?” Ruto asked.
“I don’t know… maybe if we just continue on, we may see where we are.” Link said.
“It’s only for the best; I don’t want to stick around in such an empty place.” Zelda said, after which the group moved on, climbing into the room where the bright light was coming from.
The group walked along a stone path for some time, before the area turned dark, as if they were in a tunnel. Eventually, they reached the exit of the tunnel and found themselves on a cliff that overlooked a vast forest.
“Where are we?” Nabooru asked.
“Look! I can see the Great Deku Tree to our right!” Saria then exclaimed, pointing to the withered remains of what once was a glorious, giant tree that had a face on it.
“You’re right, Saria! We must be in Hyrule then.” Link said.
“Then that means we can go and get the others!” Zelda said.
“True, but first we need to get down from here…” Nabooru said.
“I can see a path going down here, but it’s with steps, so don’t jump off the wrong way.” Zelda said, nodding.
The group carefully proceeded to either jump or climb their way down, not wanting to take any risks as they made their way downwards into the forest, making their way towards the Kokiri Village.

“So, they’re at the forest…” Ganondorf said, sensing it.
“So, what do you want to do? Send a hit squad after them?” Majora asked.
“No, I have a better idea. Raise the tower at the old Hyrule Castle. It’s time we should get reacquainted with our ‘old friends’. Make sure our forces don’t disturb them or their reunion. I want them to think that they’ve caught us by surprise, while in fact, we have the surprise for them…” He said.
Majora nodded, liking the sound of that plan. He was already feeling almost sorry for Link and his friends… almost…
Chapter 12: Hyrule’s darkest day…
It took the group several hours on foot, but eventually they entered the Kokiri Forest, right in the area behind Link’s tree house. The village itself seemed practically untouched, as if the Deku Tree Sprout did its job of watching over the Kokiri well. It had been growing steadily over the time Link went towards Termina and came back, up to the point of where Ganondorf and Majora launched their attack. The Kokiri themselves were elated at seeing Link and the others back in their forest, welcoming them with open arms. Even Mido was happy to see them all safe and sound, welcoming Link back even with more respect than when Link first went to the Deku Tree to liberate it from its curse. It also allowed the group to have some decent rest as well, being now in a more safe environment as they relaxed.
“Whew, that was quite a trip.” Saria said as she sat on the bed next to Link while staying in his house.
“Yeah, it was. We’ve managed to get through it so far, but the main challenge lies before is.” Zelda said.
“We should be able to pull through, although we mustn’t get stressed up. I freely admit, I am just as nervous as you are, but we just need to clear our heads and maintain focus.” Link said.
“True, the fate of Hyrule and Termina depends on our actions… or what Ganondorf and Majora will do…” Nabooru said.
“Yeah. It brings shivers down my spine to know what he’s capable of…” Ruto said.
“I honestly can’t tell who’s the worst out of either of them…” Link said with a shudder.
“Probably Majora from what I learned, but Ganondorf is just way more powerful…” Zelda said, shuddering as well.
“Maybe a good night’s sleep can clear our thoughts a bit,” Nabooru said, “after all we need every help that we can get.”
“True. Let’s hope that we won’t have nightmares that may make things worse…” Zelda said.
The group then prepared themselves to go to bed. While Nabooru and Ruto temporarily went into Saria’s house for the night, both Saria and Zelda had a sleepover inside Link’s house, which in turn would ensure that either of them could seek comfort by the others, in case a nightmare did come through…

The next day, the group set out towards Hyrule Field, making their way to the ruined Hyrule Castle Town through the day, finding it somehow more at peace over the day, although a few Poes tried to be a bother, but were taken out rather quickly. Still, the field itself looked as if hell had rained down on it. Even though most of the blood from the fallen soldiers and all have been washed away by the rain over time, it was still evident through the ruins and the enemies present in the distance that the once glorious field wasn’t what it used to be anymore. It saddened Zelda to see the field in such a ruined state, observing the ruined castle walls and the debris that still laid around in front of the moat. Seeing this, Link put a hand on Zelda’s shoulder.
“I’m sure we can eventually fix this once it’s all over… but until then…” He said.
“I know, it’s just that so many good men and women perished in this attack…” Zelda said.
“Then we must make sure they did not die in vain.” Nabooru said.
The only odd thing was that Lon Lon Ranch still remained intact, but only time would be able to tell for how long that would stay, considering Ganondorf did want to take over ALL of Hyrule first, before heading to Termina…

As the group reached the Castle Town, they dealt with the ReDeads with Link playing the Sun’s Song, freezing the ReDeads, allowing Link and Zelda to take out those ReDeads that were in the way by using Din’s Fire, effectively clearing a path to the Ruined Temple of Time. There they began to work together on clearing the path to the Pedestal of Time, using their Power Gloves (and for Link the Goron’s Bracelet) to their advantage as they all worked together to move the rubble aside, clearing the path in a span of about an hour or two, partially due to also taking breaks to prevent becoming too tired or too sore.
“Man, they really wanted to destroy our only chance of re-sealing Ganondorf up again…” Zelda said as she carried a big stone to the side with Link.
“Yeah, which makes it possibly harder to find an alternative.” Link said.
“Perhaps the other Sages may know more about it…” Nabooru said, helping Saria and Ruto with a bigger piece.
“Maybe. Where there is a will, there is a way.” Saria said.
“True indeed.” Nabooru said again, her spirit flaring with determination.

Eventually they came across the Pedestal of Time and, after getting close around it, they were transported into the Chamber of the Sages, where they were FINALLY reunited with Impa, Darunia and Rauru, whom welcomed them back with open arms, happy to have them back among them. During this reunion, the group explained their adventures up to the current point, where Majora had sent them, the Stalfos Ambush in Termina Field, the encounter with Sakon in Romani Ranch, the cursed dream Majora placed on Link and Zelda, the visit and the cavern in Snowhead, their battle against the Iron Knuckle, the following trip to the Southern Swamp and the Deku Palace and their trip to the unknown land featuring the tower of Light. The three remaining Sages listened with interest as the five explained their trip and the troubles that came along with it, but having prevailed through it so far.
“You truly are heroes for having pulled through all that.” Rauru said.
Zelda and Link both went to Impa, hugging her.
“Why the hug?” Impa asked.
“It’s our thanks to you for having saved us of becoming a Dead Hand’s snack in that cursed nightmare courtesy of Majora.” Zelda said.
“It’s no problem at all.” Impa said, smiling as she returned the hug that Link and Saria both gave her.
Saria was touched at this, while Nabooru laid a hand on her shoulder, making the forest girl smile.
“As much as I would love the reunion to continue, we have more important matters to deal with.” Darunia said.
“Right, beating Ganondorf and Majora is our main priority. Now that we’re united once again, we can ensure that we will be victorious. Once that is over, we will attend to what is left, which includes the purification of that cursed mask you carry, Link.” Rauru said.
Link nodded.
“Apparently you must have heard my plea to have the Fierce Deity’s Mask purified.” He said.
“That we have and rest assured that the evil inside will be vanquished, so you will be free to utilize its power for what you’re fighting for.” Impa said.
“Brother, you’re the greatest hero this world can wish for. This mission may be risky and perhaps even suicidal, knowing what our nemeses are capable of, but to save our people… songs of this day will be sung for EONS to come!” Darunia said, showcasing his fighting spirit as a Goron leader.
“Right.” The others said, preparing to move out.

With the reunion of Link and the Seven Sages complete, the group set off towards the lair of Majora and Ganondorf, with Link having taken the Master Sword with him.
“How come I could accept the Master Sword now?” Link then asked.
“Apparently your deeds in Termina have made you more than worthy of being a hero, since you simply do what you think is the right thing to do.” Impa said.
“At least we have a chance to beat them now.” Rauru said, confident that Ganondorf and Majora both will meet their demise soon enough.
The group moved through the ruins of the desolated town, on the pathway to the ruins of Hyrule Castle, of which a few towers appeared to have been rebuilt or otherwise survived, just remodeled into something that would fit Ganondorf more.
“Are they up there?” Saria asked.
“It’s our best guess, the dark clouds bellowing here are really strong.” Impa said.
“Alright then, let’s go.” Link said, as the group made their way towards the tower, while wishing each other the best of luck while underway.
This time there was a bridge that led to the tower, as if they were simply ‘invited’ in. This did unnerve Nabooru a bit, but she kept moving with the others. She seemed rather suspicious of the whole matter, as if she had made plans of her own. Link was ready to take out any enemy that came his way, but to his surprise, there were no enemies around… there wasn’t even a barrier blocking the central shaft leading to the staircase to the top. This only unnerved him more as his fingers were itching to grab his sword and shield at a mere moment’s notice as the group scaled the stairway to what they believed to be the final battle.

“They’re coming, Ganondorf.” Majora said, observing the group entering the tower.
“Good, everything goes according to plan. We’ll make their little reunion rather short-lived…” Ganondorf said, standing up as he moved towards the top of the tower, Majora following.
“Are you certain this will keep them off our backs for a while?” Majora then asked.
“Of course. Knowing them, it’s only a matter of time they will snap or find another way to try and beat us… but as long as time is on our side…” Ganondorf said, chuckling.
A dark chuckle echoed across the room as the two had made their leave, indicating that the trap was set…

Link and the Seven Sages were surprised at one thing; they didn’t come across a single form of opposition as the ascended the tower.
“This is weird, normally we would have come across some of their strongest forces by now.” Darunia said.
“Then either they are overconfident or they want us at our best…” Zelda said.
“…or it could possibly be a trap.” Rauru said.
“Keep your eyes and ears open.” Impa said.
“I suddenly have a bad feeling about this…” Link said.
“We all have, kid. Just be strong; we’ll make it.” Nabooru said as they continued on and on…
“Now I understand what you meant with the staircase in that Light Tower we ventured in.” Zelda said, noting the long stairway.
“Yeah. It’s best not to fall down from here.” Saria said.
Rauru seemed rather calm, while Nabooru gulped a little.

After what seemed like an hour, the group finally arrived at the top of the tower, standing on a platform on the outside, the dark clouds bellowing above them. Each of them were on guard, their weapons drawn, although Darunia pumped his fists and Rauru was ready to cast his Light-based spells on the enemy.
“Where are they?!” Impa asked.
“Looking for someone?” A dark voice rang above.
It was then that the group looked up, seeing Ganondorf and Majora floating above the ground.
“How lovely, a reunion between a forest kid and his closest friends… how poetic, don’t you think?” Majora said.
“It is indeed… It’s too bad we have to put an end to it so soon.” Ganondorf said, smirking.
“Why don’t you go back to that cursed realm you broke out from and stay there?!” Darunia snarled.
“My, my, what a temper. It is fitting however for someone like you.” Ganondorf said.
“You monster!” Zelda shouted.
“Tut-tut princess, that’s no way to talk to your new King this way.” Ganondorf then replied.
“Maybe we should teach you some more discipline! HYA!” Majora said, before firing a lightning ball at the young princess.
Before Zelda could react however, Link pushed her out of the way, taking the shot for her. Link yelped as he felt the electricity surging around his body, but he remained standing, his grip on the Master Sword tightening.
“HOW DARE YOU!” Saria then snarled at Majora, while Zelda helped Link up.
“Awww, is our forest child hurt because of seeing her friend in pain?!” Majora cooed teasingly as if mocking her.
“Majora! That is no way to attack someone while you know people who care a lot about that person can take the shot for them like that out of pure reaction!” Ganondorf then said.
This made Link and the Sages blink, effectively dropping their guard. Ganondorf scolding Majora for what he did? What was going on?!
 “If you want to bring them pain, you should make them SHARE it!” Ganondorf said, before launching a larger electric blast, that struck the group head on.
Darunia was able to resist it in a way, as did Rauru, but the others were screaming as the electricity surged through their bodies, the pain being nigh unbearable. As the group collapsed, Majora used a binding spell that kept the Sages to the ground, while Ganondorf himself picked up Link.
“I have to admit this, kid; you’re one of the bravest people I’ve faced in my life. It is only a shame that this must end.” Ganondorf said, right before slugging Link in the stomach, causing Link to double over in pain.
“LINK!” Saria and Zelda both shouted, trying to break free of the spell.
“The… pain…” Link said, trying to stand upright, only to get hit in the stomach again, causing Link to lose his lunch in the process.
Ganondorf didn’t stop there as he hit Link in the face twice, nearly breaking his jaw, before smashing him down on the ground, causing Link to bounce off the floor and landing in front of Zelda. The princess watched in horror as Link was now visibly injured, blood seeping from wounds on his head, arms and the stomach area, but then she saw Link still trying to get up. This made Ganondorf go wide-eyed.
“Even after all this you’re still determined to fight? You’re one persistent fellow. Very well then, take your best shot.” Ganondorf said, spreading his arms wide.
Majora blinked at this, as did the Sages. What was Ganondorf up to?! Link himself however gathered the courage that he had, before he charged at Ganondorf, at this time only seeing red.
“GANONDOOOOOOORF!” Link hollered as he charged with the Master Sword in hand, ready to strike hard!
“LINK, WAIT!” Impa said.
Link however was now really mad and charged at Ganondorf, plunging his sword into Ganondorf’s abdomen… or he believed so as Ganondorf’s face did show an expression of pain… that was, before Ganondorf let out an evil chuckle.
“Heh, heh, heh… nice shot, kid. You nearly got me. Actually, you got me in my side, quite a feat for such a brave kid…” He said, savoring the look of horror on the young hero, even more when Ganondorf simply grabbed the Master Sword on the blade, not even caring that the tip had some of Ganondorf’s blood on it… he simply took the blow as if it was nothing to him!
“You won’t be needing this anymore.” Ganondorf said, before ripping the sword out of Link’s hand and callously tossed it off the tower without even looking, depriving the hero of the one blade that could possibly harm him fatally, making Link watch in shock as the Master Sword was just thrown aside like it was a piece of scrap metal!
“I’ll come to get your powers later… but for now…” Ganondorf said as he gripped Link by the neck, holding him up in the air, before sending a wave of dark electricity onto the young hero.
Both Zelda and Saria were crying as they helplessly watched Ganondorf torturing Link like this, his agonizing howls tearing into their souls. Ruto and Nabooru were struggling to get free, but they too were tearing up at hearing Link’s outcries. Their horror was even amplified as Link’s body momentarily went limp in Ganondorf’s grasp.
“So much for Hyrule’s hero… what a shame. You could have been something else in life… too bad. Nonetheless, I do have some form of respect for you, kid; you were definitely one of the more interesting opponents. However, it’s time to end this… and you shouldn’t worry about where you’ll be going… you won’t be alone for long…” Ganondorf said with a dark chuckle, before tossing Link in the air, before kicking him straight off the tower and out of sight within seconds, traveling through the air rapidly… and then he was gone, as if he was never present to begin with…
“LINK! NOOOOOOOOOO!” Saria screamed in horror, while the other Sages watched in utter shock, although Majora was laughing his head off, being his usual sadistic self.
It was then that they heard someone else breaking free of the binding spell, before promptly charging at Ganondorf, striking him with another blade in the leg. Ganondorf winced at this, before looking down. At the same time, Impa’s eyes widened in horror as she saw who did it.
“ZELDA!!” She shouted.
“You vile, wretched monster!” Zelda snarled at Ganondorf… who looked rather amused at seeing the princess having gone into action like that…
“Well, it appears that Link has been teaching you a thing or two… I even suspect you like him a lot… considering you did this after I dealt with your friend…” Ganondorf said, before pulling Zelda’s blade out of his leg, after which he gut-punched Zelda in the same fashion as he did with Link, before lifting her up in the air, amused as Zelda was gasping for air, being now at his mercy.
“Since you like him so much, I’ve decided to not capture you this time… instead… you can join him!” Ganondorf said, before using his dark magic to blast Zelda away in the same direction as Link, much to the horror of Impa, who couldn’t even shout as Zelda’s scream of fear and pain went through the bones of her very being.
“As for you, Forest Girl…” Majora then said, using his tentacles to hoist Saria up in the air, “You can keep them company as well.”
With that, Majora first released a surge of electricity through Saria, causing the Forest girl to scream in agony as she was electrocuted, before being tossed away after Link and Zelda as if she was a mere piece of garbage. As Saria was sent flying, she could see that Ruto was being picked up next by Majora, while Ganondorf was punching Nabooru in the stomach… which could only mean that they would be next…

Link was unable to think because of the pain he was feeling throughout the descent he was making now, straight over the Lost Woods and towards the forest area between Hyrule and Termina. He didn’t just land in the area, however; his body was skidding over the ground, rolling and tumbling backwards, right before he crashed with his back and head against the rocky surface of a cliff, which also destroyed his shield in the process as he felt it shatter into numerous pieces. The impact against the rocky cliff already dazed Link pretty much, but it didn’t stop there as he fell all the way down the cliff with the fragments of his shield around him, losing most of his other equipment along the way, one of which being his bow and arrows…
‘He’s…. too… strong…’ were Link’s last thoughts as he fell all the way down in a darker part of the forest, straight into a shallow pond of water. He didn’t move after he landed… although the water around him began to color a faint, crimson red…  as he laid there on his back, blood seeping from the newly made injuries, coupled with a small stream of blood seeping from his mouth, he couldn’t help to release his emotions as tears fell from his eyes, feeling himself growing weaker with the second…

After seeing Ruto and Nabooru being sent flying was more than Impa could stand. Gathering her own energy, she brought her hands together, which began to glow a deep purple.
“Shadow Medallion, release!” She then said, as her own shadow grew and enveloped Darunia and Rauru in turn, covering them in gusts of purple smoke to distract Ganondorf and Majora, before she let Darunia, Rauru and herself sink in the grown shadow, before vanishing altogether, leaving Ganondorf and Majora alone on the tower as the smoke vanished and the giant shadow was gone as if it wasn’t there to begin with.
“What?! They escaped!” Majora said.
“Hmph. No matter, we’ll deal with those three in time. For now, let’s go back to our real fortress and relish in the fact that we have beaten Link.” Ganondorf said, before he left.
“And you’re letting them just go?” Majora asked.
“I’ll deal with those three later, I said. Let them mourn their losses for a while before they will join them. Once there, we’ll take all of their powers and make Hyrule and Termina ours forever. And even if they decide to try anything, we’ll just make sure that we’re more than ready for them. As long as I have the Triforce of Power in my hand, they can’t stop me.” Ganondorf said, apparently satisfied for now and determined to make his rule over Hyrule absolute. Once Hyrule was completely under the control of Majora and himself, Termina would be the next to follow.

Impa, Darunia and Rauru found themselves back in Hyrule Field, as Impa had used her Shadow Medallion to pull herself, Darunia and Rauru in the shadows and through this take them away from the tower, re-emerging back in front of the castle, as if she had been using her Sheikah abilities together with her Shadow Sage powers to teleport the surviving group to safety. However, the three were unable to rest, as Impa was frantically making a dash for the forest area, forcing Darunia and Rauru to follow.
“This is preposterous; how did Ganondorf get so strong?!” Darunia asked.
“I think the alliance with Majora must have given him a power boost, but what unsettles me more is that he simply attacked us like that; normally he would try to take the Triforce Pieces that Link and Zelda have in their possession.” Rauru said.
“Perhaps Majora must have held some kind of influence over him… besides he did say that he would come and get those powers later on… he just…” Darunia said, unable to find the words that would properly express what he had witnessed.
Rauru said nothing as the three entered the Lost Woods area, making their way along to what Impa believed the others were sent to. On their way, a few Stalfos tried to be a bother, but in her own frantic state, Impa simply tore them apart without even looking and just continued on, although she did thank Darunia and Rauru for providing her cover as she went to search herself.

The search continued on for about an hour or so, but not a single trace was found of the group, which in turn nearly drove Impa insane with worry, causing her to fear the worst. She still kept looking nonetheless, but then she heard Darunia calling to her.
“Impa, take a look at this!” He said, apparently having found something.
When both Impa and Rauru came to take a look, they could see a small brook running along softly… but the water had an unsettling red color to it. Darunia bent a little to touch the water, before bringing it up to his mouth to taste it…
“What the- this has a rather metallic taste to it… as if this water is mixed with blood!” Darunia said, his eyes going wide.
“No… oh no…” Impa said, looking at the stream before running in the opposite direction as she intended to locate the source.
Darunia and Rauru also followed, worry being etched on their faces. Both men didn’t say anything, the labored breathing of Impa pretty much speaking for them. The search continued on for about a few minutes, until Impa finally found its source. She immediately froze in her tracks, gasping in utter shock and horror as she stood there, hands in front of her mouth. As Darunia and Rauru came to investigate, they too froze in horror at what they saw. The small brook started in a pond, also containing red water… and in the center of the pond laid five bodies… their outfits tattered and torn, their bodies broken… and each of them laid still, not moving an inch… their eyes and mouths were closed… but their appearance was unmistaken… they had found the missing five…
“No… dear Goddesses, no!!” Impa said as she walked on towards them, moving to the body of Princess Zelda, whom laid still on her stomach, one of her hands lying onto one of Link’s.
Impa picked Zelda’s body carefully up, cradling as if she moved to try and find a pulse… she found none.
“Zelda...” Impa then said, trying to get her to react, but Zelda remained unresponsive, even after Impa gently shook Zelda’s body, praying to herself that she was alive, resulted in no response.
Checking once more for a pulse, Impa was horrified that she once again found nothing… and that Zelda wasn’t even breathing at all. Then the realization struck her like one of Ganondorf’s dark magic attacks… Princess Zelda was dead. She already began to tear up at this, but then she saw Darunia standing over Link’s body. Seeing her, Darunia sighed and shook his head sadly… which meant that Link too was dead.
“And the others?” Impa asked with a hoarse voice, shuddering.
Rauru shook his head, having investigated the still bodies of Saria, Ruto and Nabooru one by one.
“I’m sorry, Impa… they were gone before we could get to them.” He said, which was more than enough for her to break down and cry, cradling Zelda’s deceased body closely, feeling as if she had failed her duty as her attendant.
Darunia on his turn gazed sadly upon Link’s body, noting the injuries he had suffered before his death. He also noted that Saria laid next to him, almost as if she had spent the last of her powers to try and reach Link before succumbing to her injuries, the end result being, like Zelda, succeeding in placing one of her hands on top of his. Darunia shook his head again, remaining firm despite he was hurting on the inside more than people could see.
“You’ve been one of the bravest people I’ve ever seen in my life, brother,” He said, referring to Link as his Sworn Brother after he had opened the road to Dodongo’s Cavern and got rid of the Dodongo infestation that was plaguing the cavern and depriving the Gorons of their primary food source, “rest in peace.”
Rauru on his turn looked at the fallen bodies of Princess Ruto and Nabooru, both of them also showing multiple lacerations and wounds on their bodies. Nabooru’s right arm also laid in a rather unnatural angle, which indicated that it was broken because of either Ganondorf or upon impact on the ground. Ruto on the other hand sported several burning marks, as if she was nearly fried to death because of Majora, as he witnessed the masked villain picking her up after tossing Saria away like a rag doll.
“I’ve been a fool,” Rauru lamented, “I thought that, united as one group, we would be able to defeat our nemeses once and for all. I have underestimated Ganondorf and Majora both, as well as the strength the former has because of the Triforce of Power, which fueled his dark desires. But be sure that I will not rest until the damage done to you has been repaired. This I swear as the Sage of Light.”
Darunia then went to Impa, putting a hand on her shoulder.
“Let’s go and relocate elsewhere. We’ll take their bodies with us so they won’t fall in enemy hands.” He said.
The mourning Sage of Shadow nodded, picking up Zelda’s body, while Darunia carried Link and Saria’s bodies and Rauru took the bodies of Nabooru and Ruto with him. As the three left, carrying the bodies of their fallen comrades, they gazed sadly upon the pond where they have met their demise one more time, before retreating further in the forest. Oddly enough, Rauru was taking the lead, as if he knew a place to settle for the time being. Darunia also took the bags that contained most of the equipment that was able to be salvaged from the remains, but the group’s shields being damaged beyond repair and were left behind as a memento of the tragedy that had befallen the group and in turn the land of Hyrule itself.

Unaware to the three remaining Sages, they were being watched by three other beings, whom appeared from behind one of the trees. It were three fairies, one in blue, the other in yellow and the third one being in a dark crimson red. The blue fairy had her wings down in sadness, causing the other two to fly next to her and try to comfort her. No words were spoken between them as they moved to fly after the retreating group, intending to join them.  The blue one was shaking along the way, as if she was visibly crying and the yellow fairy wasn’t too far off either…
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Chapter 13: Contemplation[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Only a few hours had passed after the miscalculated fight, which had dire consequences for the once fabled Sages. It was clear that Ganondorf was powerful enough to defy the gods… and all because of the Triforce of Power he had in his possession. Now that five of the foremost people who could help in vanquishing this evil have been killed, it appeared that all hope had been lost.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa was crying non-stop as she carried Zelda’s corpse along with her, following the direction that Rauru was walking. Rauru himself seemed to be brooding, blaming himself for miscalculating and underestimating Ganondorf’s cunning and power, while carrying the bodies of Nabooru and Ruto with him. Darunia however looked worse for wear. Sure he remained firm and everything, but on the inside he was an emotional wreck. But who could blame him? The merciless torture of the group by Ganondorf had impacted them severely, but with the cruelty of how the five were slain made him also outright furious. The entire trip went silent, although underway, the three did notice the presence of the three fairies who had been following them. Impa, Darunia and Rauru were able to recognize Navi, but remained silent as Navi flew toward Link’s body, trying to fly all over him like when they first met for a second or two, only to settle down on his body with her wings hanging low. Much to Tael’s own surprise, Tatl eventually joined Navi on top of Link’s body, although she wasn’t exactly crying as Navi was, it was still clear that Tatl was definitely sad and mourning his loss… apparently she was still in denial of having grown attached to him.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Who are you two?” Darunia asked the red fairy as he flew in front of him.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“My name’s Tael, and the yellow fairy on Link’s body is my sister Tatl.” Tael said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You know Link?”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, sort of. I don’t know him very well, but my sister was at his side during his trip in Termina when that mask-possessed Skull Kid was wrecking havoc in that distant land. Apparently she has grown a bit attached to him.” Tael said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Tatl tried to talk back to her brother, obviously trying to deny this, but her own emotional state prevented her from doing so, or even admitting that she had grown to like him.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I see.” Darunia said as the group walked on.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So, where are you going?” Tael asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Rauru’s leading us to a place where we can lay low for a while until we’ve found a way to bring our friends back. But until then, we have to be sure their bodies remain…” Darunia said, walking on.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Rauru eventually looked up as they saw their destination.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We’re here.” Rauru said as he entered a cavern, with Darunia, Impa and the fairies following.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The group entered what appeared to be a small Ice Cave, which had a path going up straight ahead towards another opening. The walls themselves looked a beautifully sapphire-blue with ice crystals all over, and the chilling atmosphere within made it feel like they were high up in the mountains or in the polar regions of the planet. They walked onward into the opening, which turned out to be a small yet beautiful Fairy’s Fountain up ahead, with a large Fairy statue in the middle of the room. Walking to the far side of the room itself, Darunia first gently laid the bodies of Link and Saria down, before he unleashed his frustration by striking the opposite wall with a powerful yet focused punch, creating a large crevice inside it. Using his Fire Sage powers to smoothen the icy surface and get rid of the shards after which the area cooled down rapidly, Darunia then picked up the bodies of the two children and laid them inside the crevice next to each other. Once that was done, Impa laid Zelda’s body down next to Link’s other side, with Rauru placing Ruto next to Zelda and Nabooru was laid next to Saria. After that, Rauru focused his own powers and covered the crevice with a large slab of ice using the water in the Fairy’s fountain as part of his spell, after which Impa reinforced it with her own Shadow Powers so that the slab of ice could not be removed by anyone except by the Sages themselves. This in turn sealed the deceased five people inside the icy wall with the hopes of whatever remains active within them goes in suspended animation and in turn keep their bodies fresh until the remaining Sages had found a way to resurrect them. As the process was underway, Rauru discovered that the most important treasures, the Ocarina of Time among them, were still among the group’s possessions, being made partially visible through the torn parts of their respective outfits. This in turn brought some form of relief to him, as it would be certain that those treasures could not fall into enemy hands. After the deed was done and the five bodies were gently sealed within the ice wall of the Fairy Fountain, Impa couldn’t help but burst out crying, the once tough Sheikah woman suffering an emotional breakdown, at which Darunia responded by gently holding her, giving her a shoulder to cry on. Once more Darunia remained firm by staying as calm as he could, but even he couldn’t help but shed a tear for his Sworn Brother, the Princess of Hyrule and his three fellow Sages in turn.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Navi sat on top of the Fairy statue, being no better off than Impa. She had hoped of at least seeing Link once more and try to apologize to him for her leaving him after the initial fight with Ganondorf was over as well as for giving him so much information while all she did was doing her best to help him out as much as possible… but when she found him however, her hopes were dashed. She frantically tried to wake him at first, wondering why he wasn’t waking up… and why any of the others weren’t waking up either, only to have to hide when she heard someone approaching, unaware it was Impa. It was only after both Darunia and Rauru had broken the news to Impa that her worst fears had come true, somehow believing that it was all over now. Both Tatl and Tael were sitting on either side of her, trying to comfort her, although Tael ended up trying to comfort his sister as well. It was eventually revealed that Tatl had indeed grown to admire Link through his courageous and determined demeanor, which was especially shown when, after the Four Giants had been summoned and Majora’s Mask went to possess the moon, Link chose to enter the moon himself as well to end the threat Majora posed once and for all instead of choosing to heed to Tatl’s request of playing the Song of Time once more. Apparently Tatl forgot that each time the Song of Time was played by Link in Termina, the Goddess of Time would come and gently taking both Link and Tatl back to three days before the moon would crash on Clock Town. [/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]After Impa had calmed down, relinquishing herself from the embrace he had given her, Darunia sat down on the floor, with his back towards the slab that was like an icy gravestone, his expression being serious.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I take it… you want to stay here… and watch over this place?” Impa asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yes. If anyone tries anything funny, I’ll gladly rebuild their faces for them!” Darunia replied.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa could only nod in understanding, since she knew that Darunia too was having it very hard in coping with this loss. She then saw Rauru moving towards the exit of the Fairy’s Fountain, having made up his mind of what he must do.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Rauru? Where are you going?” She asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I’m going to see if I can at least retrieve the equipment that they have lost, as well as trying to find the Master Sword itself. If we are to avenge them at some point, we need to at least be prepared.” Rauru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa saw the logic in it, as well as suspecting that Rauru was trying to do his part in making amends for his own overconfidence or having simply underestimated the power increase that Ganondorf and Majora both had received.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Just… be careful on your way.” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I will.” Rauru said, before transforming himself in what appeared to be a light wisp before he moved on, being gone in a flash, leaving only Darunia and Impa alone with the fairies Navi, Tatl and Tael in the Ice Cave.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Darunia remained silent, but acknowledged Rauru’s departure with a nod, as if wanting to wish him good luck, before Rauru was gone.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa couldn’t help but to gaze at the bodies through the ice slab, placing a hand on it to prevent herself from collapsing. Darunia could tell that Impa was still trying to cope with the fact that this really happened and that it wasn’t just a bad dream, even though he too wished he could wake up to the next day and find themselves with the five alive and well at their side, ready to finally beat Ganondorf and Majora into submission. Ganondorf… that dark man from the desert… the man whom uses his vile and wicked powers without remorse in order to ensure his will would be enforced… having sealed off the Dodongo’s Cavern at first after letting it become infested with those monsters… and in the future timeline which was eventually prevented thanks to Link’s interference, he unleashed the dragon Volvagia in the Death Mountain Crater and its Fire Temple, threatening to feed the Gorons to the dragon to have them made an example of for those whom still defied his rule. But now… this diabolical, malicious man had gone way too far. Oh how he would love to pound Ganondorf’s face in, but despite being the brutish, powerful leader of the Gorons, Darunia definitely wasn’t stupid. He knew when he was outclassed by someone who could use his dark magical powers to curse anyone whom would not co-operate… and yet this kid… no… this young man, whom was raised in the forest, having somehow gotten a connection with the Hyrulean Royal Family, came to see him, offering his assistance to the Gorons and single-handedly opened Dodongo’s Cavern and got rid of the Dodongo infestation, giving the Gorons once more access to their own delicacy, the Rock Sirloin… and later on he had helped him with saving the Goron People and defeating Volvagia in that dark, alternate future… it made Darunia mad to realize that evil somehow had found a way to still achieve its goals and at such a terrible cost. The fact that Saria, the Forest Sage… the Kokiri whom happened to have composed the song that he personally loved so much as well as Zelda, the Princess of Hyrule, were also victims of Ganondorf’s malicious ways made him even angrier. In his frustration, he pounded his right fist on the ground, startling Impa and the three fairies in the process with the loud *THUMP* and the splash of the water that was on the spot where he hit the ground.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Darn it! There has to be SOMETHING we can do to get back at Ganondorf and Majora!” Darunia snarled, breathing heavily as if he was on the verge of a breakdown himself, although this was more of pure anger, sadness and misery altogether.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“There has to be something indeed… but I wish I knew what.” Impa replied, understanding him, somehow having the urge to cut something or someone up with her own daggers.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Oh, I would love to wreck havoc on one of their hideouts and just smash everything up.” Darunia said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa chuckled lightly.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“To think that our fallen friends already wiped out one outpost they stumbled upon by mere coincidence… perhaps if we can find one for ourselves, we can go crazy all we want.” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Darunia nodded.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Right. We will avenge our friends, no matter what.” He said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“They did tell us that the outpost they found was at a place that was nowhere near the lands we have seen so far, so it’s likely they’re keeping this on a down low to catch us by surprise in case we do decide to go on the offensive.” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Then all the more reasons for us to find them first and take them out before they take us out.” Darunia said, crushing a big piece of an ice rock with his bare hands, its debris scattering a bit over the fountain.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]It was now Impa’s turn to nod, sighing as she once more gazed upon her fallen friends. Link, Saria, Zelda, Ruto and Nabooru all looked peaceful on the outside, but on the inside, their bodies each held a short story of unspeakable torture. She did note several scars on their bodies of past fights, some old and pretty much healed over fine, others were more fresh and had only recently stopped bleeding, not counting the wounds they had suffered by the hands of Ganondorf and Majora respectively… it made her heart ache with severe regret of having been unable to protect them, despite her best efforts.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We’ll get you back… we’ll get all of you back… I promise.” Impa softly said, ignoring the brooding Darunia for the moment as she gazed at their bodies, a tear slipping past her right eye.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Rauru in the meantime managed to retrieve most of the equipment that the group had lost during their fatal flight, primarily two bows and a bundle of arrows and Fire Arrows, A Big Bomb Bag containing several bombs that were left intact due to the tough exterior of the bomb bag itself, a few bottles that had survived the trip, several Deku Nuts, Saria’s Slingshot and the swords of both Nabooru and Ruto. The shields of the group however laid in pieces in the bloody pond and Rauru knew that these could not be repaired. Nonetheless, he took the fragmented shield of Link with him to see if a store was selling them, assuming a disguise of a lone traveler to hide his appearance. After all, being a lone Sage in the open while such monsters as Ganondorf and Majora were around was incredibly risky… [/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]A lone horse was galloping like crazy through the vast forest, avoiding the trees wherever it could, as if it was in quite the hurry. This wasn’t your ordinary horse however, this horse had a red skin with white manes on the back of its head and neck. This was Epona, born and raised at Lon Lon Ranch and the trusty steed of Link during his adventures in both Hyrule and (especially) Termina. It appeared to be on the run as it ran at incredible speed, mostly due to the horse itself being very energetic. Several of the other forest animals went out of the way to avoid being trampled by the animal, while Epona herself remained cautious not to get itself in trouble regarding the natural hazards.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Cremia, the ranch owner of Romani Ranch, was currently taking care of her younger sister Romani, whom had fallen ill from a small fever. A doctor from Clock Town had said that Romani would recover from it over the course of the next few days, but that she had to take it easy. Cremia had heeded to the advice and saw to it that she would get as much rest as possible, blaming the fever on the fact that Romani could overexert herself on practicing her archery skills. She never really understood why Romani was so determined with practicing her bow at her age, wondering why she wouldn’t play with regular toys instead. Of course Romani did help her older sister out when asked to, but whenever she could, she would always practice. Cremia suspected that something was up, or that Romani was hiding something from her in order to not make her worried. It couldn’t be the story that Romani did tell her about ‘them’, right? She didn’t believe that story or thought that it was a mere scary story that Romani believed in and just felt that she had to do what she thought was right. True enough, she did support Romani and was rooting for her during practices, having decided to add a challenge course for her to humor her… and yet she had questions… and she also had her own insides tied in a knot in a figurative way, suspecting that something really bad had happened recently, yet her occupation as a ranch owner prevented her from so much as going outside to find out and she couldn’t afford to leave Romani alone, much less send her out… she was taking comfort in the fact that Anju and Kafei would come and visit tomorrow, perhaps she could ask them for a favor…[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Sakon, Termina’s most notorious thief, was in the meantime being chased by a group of bandits whom had confronted Link and the girls before in the land beyond the Woods of Mystery, bent on reclaiming the items that Sakon had pilfered from Link, whom in turn found those items in their hideouts. It was a complete irony on this that Link actually was speaking the truth, since Sakon DID have items with him that belonged to the bandits before. Apparently Sakon thought that he could have a secret weapon with him in case people would see through his ‘prancing idiot’ façade, something Link had demonstrated before. The chase led all around Termina Field and eventually back into Ikana Valley, where Sakon found refuge in his own impenetrable stronghold, yet his anger at the child grew even more, believing that he was set up by him to be confronted and chased by those bandits. This alone began to fuel his desire to plot his course of revenge on the kid and take down anyone whom was associated with him as well; he still remembered the encounter back in Romani Ranch, where he would have to steal some of the Chateau Romani to distract Cremia and Romani, so the Gorman Brothers could move in and once again play their part in their attempt to ruin Cremia’s business. Sakon remembered all to well being pelted by arrows by that forest kid and the princess riding on that red-colored pony of theirs, seeing that the princess even went to take on the Gorman Brothers by herself while Link kept his focus on him… oh how he would love to make them pay…[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]With Darunia brooding, Impa sitting at the opposite wall and Navi inconsolable, both Tatl and Tael did some thinking. It was clear to Tael now that Tatl did have come to care for Link, her tsundere-based posture now broken due to what has transpired. [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I wonder what we can do to help them, sis…” Tael said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yeah, but I doubt anything other than the death of the culprits could be of help though; the loss has hit hard after all.” Tatl replied.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“But there has to be SOMETHING we can do…” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“And what do you suggest?” Tatl asked, frowning.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“… I don’t know, but I will find something, you just wait.” Tael said, before flying off.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“TAEL! COME BACK HERE!” Tatl then asked, flying after him. [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa watched this exchange, but remained silent, even as the two left. She was thinking carefully about what would be wise to do now. She sighed, before moving her head between her knees, beginning to cry softly again.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Tael! Where do you think you’re going?!” Tatl asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I’m going to find something that can be of help to them and don’t you dare trying to stop me; I’m taking charge of this operation.” Tael said as he flew on.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Tatl sighed.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You’re impossible at times, brother… but I am coming with you whether you like it or not.” She then said.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I still don’t get it how Ganondorf was able to best us…” Impa said after several minutes, “and here I thought that the Master Sword would once more kill Ganondorf, this time once and for all.” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, the Master Sword did injure Ganondorf as it pierced through him,” Darunia replied, “however I believe that it has gotten weaker due to Ganondorf striking us with that lightning attack of his, which must have sapped a part of our power, which in turn led to us being unable to break free from that binding spell Majora cast on us…”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]This caused Impa’s eyes to widen.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“By the Goddesses… if I recall history correctly then the power of the Sages is connected to the Master Sword, so if anything would happen to us Sages…” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“…then it would influence the power of the Sword, so by making us weaker it made the Sword weaker in turn. It’s also the only thing I can think of why Brother Link had to go through all the temples and awaken us as the Sages, since the Master Sword would be at full strength needed to combat Ganondorf back then. But obviously Ganondorf is aware of this as well; his plans were exposed after all.” Darunia finished.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Dear Goddesses… and now that most of us as well as the hero are gone…” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“… then the Master Sword is practically useless, until we have found a way to bring them back.” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa shivered again, the thought of Ganondorf knowing about the Master Sword and its power was shaking her to the core. But of course, it was all because of Ganondorf allowing Link to run free so he could step in and lay claim to the Sacred Realm and through that the Triforce itself after Link was sealed inside the sacred realm when he tried to pull the Master Sword out of its pedestal…[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Oh no…” Impa said, shivering like crazy.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“The only advantage we have is that Ganondorf did not extract the Triforce Pieces of both Brother Link and Princess Zelda yet… he simply wanted them gone and take their powers later… perhaps Majora had an influence in this, I don’t know… something doesn’t add up here…” Darunia said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]However, this new information was too much for Impa to handle right now.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I… I need to get out of here before I go crazy!” She said, before promptly running out of the cave, leaving Darunia behind with Navi.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Darunia blinked for a moment, but decided it was better to leave Impa be, figuring that Impa needed some time to herself to calm down properly, before things would get even worse.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Rauru in the meantime managed to recover Ruto’s Magical Boomerang and several rupees, intending to use them to buy the group some new shields for after their resurrection. He knew that the task ahead wouldn’t be easy, but it had to be done. He had silently sworn to himself that he would not rest until the group had been brought back to life, but finding the right way was not going to be easy. With the Temple of Time still ruined and the Master Sword being out of the reach for now, It wouldn’t be easy to get proper access to the Sacred Realm, especially with the area around the Pedestal of Time still being ruined. Heck, he wasn’t even sure if the remains of the Temple of Time were still standing or that the rest had crumbled due to the damage dealt to it over the past days having eventually led to the collapse of its structural integrity. He sighed once more as he went on his way, using his Light Wisp form to travel faster, being akin to how Link used to teleport using the different warp songs between the temples. He would first find a village or something that could supply him with a decent disguise that allowed him to travel in the open without being spotted by enemies. [/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Ganondorf at the same time sat on his throne, watching Majora enjoying himself with cursing another batch of recently captured soldiers whom tried to enter their fort. While Majora was relishing in his victory over Link and the Sages, Ganondorf was thinking carefully over his next moves. He was certain that the remaining Sages would have recovered the bodies of their fallen comrades; why else would Impa use her Shadow Medallion to make her escape with the Sages of Light and Fire? It appears some of the Sages’ powers could become active when they needed it… this was something he could look into. But for now, he smirked as he relished too in his victory, although he wasn’t goofing off like Majora did. He had to admit that Majora was a nutcase… but a dangerous nutcase at that, which amused him to a degree…[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Darunia spotted Navi still sitting on the Fairy Statue, still very upset. He decided to get up and walk to her. Navi looked up as she saw Darunia coming to her, still sniffing, her cheeks red and puffy from the crying.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I take it you miss him too?” He asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Navi could only nod, her voice having become hoarse from all the crying.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So do I. Come over here.” Darunia said, nodding to the spot where he was moving to sit back, wanting Navi to join him.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Mustering her strength, Navi followed, still sniffing. Darunia sat back down against the wall next to the ice grave stone. Navi looked at it, seeing the bodies of Nabooru, Saria, Link, Zelda and Ruto next to each other behind it, each of them now sporting signs of being frozen, as if they were put in suspended animation, while in reality it was far worse. The sight of it alone made Navi much more miserable, causing her to turn back around, sitting on Darunia’s shoulder, sighing deeply. Darunia looked at her from the corner of his eye.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It’s just you and me now, Navi. The others are gone for the time being… but they will return….” He said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Navi nodded, remaining silent as she just sat there, needing to calm down…
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Chapter 14: A spiritual encounter[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa was running away from the Ice Cave like crazy, needing a desolate place to just gather her thoughts, but the events of the last few hours were just too much for her to handle as she ran, until she stopped in a small clearing, with another small brook running in the center of it and several rocks and logs scattered over it. The sound of birds chirping around were heard all over, with for the rest complete silence, except for the water running slowly and gently through the brook. Now that she was alone, the frustrated Impa howled in anguish in the sky, before breaking down once more, sitting on a large stone, her emotions finally having gotten the better of her. There was for the rest no one who heard her cry, she was finally alone. [/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Epona was taking a drink from a small lake she found while being in the forest, when she heard the outcry echoing across the forest. Her left ear twitched at this, indicating it must have come from that direction. Feeling re-energized after drinking, Epona went on her way to the source of that cry, wondering who it was. [/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Damn it, this is just not fair! How are we supposed to do something when those monsters are still out to end the rest of us so their rule will be unopposed?!” Impa wailed as she cried, as if she had finally broken.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]For a solid minute or two, Impa cried like she did never before, wanting release of all the pain she held within her, hoping it would bring relief to her tormented soul so that she could focus on the task of bringing the group back to life, but the worst thing was that she had no idea where to even begin! Would the Great Fairies be of any help? Did she have to make an appeal to the Goddesses themselves? And what about the others who were alive? Wouldn’t they be in mortal danger? Would the hopefully temporal shrine and gravesite be discovered by the evil ones and their powers removed from them by force? All these questions made Impa even more miserable to a level where she at first didn’t hear someone calling her name…[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Tael and Tatl were still flying along, having now entered the Lost Woods area, heading for the Sacred Forest Meadow.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Bro, do you even know where you’re going?!” Tatl asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I’m trying to see if we can find other fairies whom may be able to help us.” Tael said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I see. But won’t this be a bit too elaborate to just ask blindly?” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Trust me, if our comrades can be of help, we’ll know what to do exactly.” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Alright then, if you say so.” Tatl replied as the two fairies moved on.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Rauru was getting close to what remained of Kakariko Village, which laid mostly in ruins due to the eruption of Death Mountain. The lava that came from it had covered most of the road to the mountain itself, and several houses, including the Bazaar, the Potion Shop and the Skulltula House were either surrounded by the lava, gone up in flames or otherwise ruined. Among the few structures that had survived so far was the old residence of Impa, the Kakariko Windmill and the well it was connected to and the Shooting Gallery, although these buildings were mostly deserted as the villagers, along with the population of Goron City, sought refuge in areas away from the mountain, some of them even having joined into a convoy leading towards Clock Town in Termina to take refuge there, hoping that one day they will be able to return to their homes soon. Nevertheless, Rauru opted to enter the village itself to see if there was anything that could be of use or even salvaged in his own, personal quest. Perhaps a visit to the Royal Graveyard could be an option for him…[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Impa…” A young, female voice addressed the distraught Shadow Sage as she still sat on the large, flat rock, having calmed down from the crying.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Oh, great… now I’m hearing voices as if my mind is playing games with me.” Impa herself said, sniffing.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Impa…”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa looked up, looking around.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“This must be a dream… it must be!” Impa said, feeling even more unsettled as she was before.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Impa, please…” The female voice said. [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa then looked in the direction of the trees to her right, before her eyes went wide… as right in front of her, the image of Princess Zelda herself appeared.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“G – G- GAH! ZELDA!” Impa shrieked, startled at Zelda’s sudden appearance.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I know what you’re thinking, Impa… but I actually am dead… what you see in front of you is my spirit.” Zelda replied.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]It was then that Impa got a good look at Zelda before her, noticing that the colors of her whole body, with clothes and everything, was a lighter shade of their normal colors and instead of her legs, she sported a ghost-like tail.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So you really have perished after all.” Impa said, looking down sadly.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yes, but not just me…” Zelda said, as suddenly four more spirits approached her… being Link, Saria, Ruto and Nabooru… each of them sporting the same ghost-like tail instead of legs and a lighter shade of color like with Zelda[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa gulped at this.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So, it’s not a dream at all… but why are you here, instead of being among the heavens?” She then asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I guess you could blame me for that,” Nabooru said, “I used my Spiritual powers in an attempt to at least keep us together, but our wounds were too severe and as we passed away, we were filled with so much regret that we just couldn’t fully pass on to the hereafter. Even if we did, we would still be lingering with regret, just like the spirits in Ikana Canyon.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa nodded.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“How did this actually happen? I mean… the last thing I saw was that you were being sent away to this area by Ganondorf and Majora like cannonballs… you were already dead when we managed to find you…” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It’s a long story, but we’ll try to keep it short…” Saria said, looking at Link, whom nodded sadly, as if agreeing with her…[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I didn’t exactly land rather softly,” Link began, “in fact, when I hit the ground I didn’t just stop, instead I found myself skidding and tumbling backwards through the forest, until I hit my back hard against a rocky cliff. My shield absorbed most of the impact, but broke because of the force I hit the cliff with. The next thing I knew I was falling onto my exposed back into that pond…”[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Link tried to get up about a minute or so as he woke up from being dazed, but he couldn’t feel his legs anymore, being able to only move his arms and head a little… he could feel the blood leaking from his wounds slowly… which meant that he wasn’t going to make it, even more as he coughed hard, coughing up blood along with some spit, indicating he also suffered internal damage.
“N… no… it can’t end… not… like this…” Link said with a broken voice, struggling to even speak or move, only to hear a female scream coming closer, only for someone to land close to him. 
As he looked into that direction, his eyes went wide as far as it could go.
“Z… Zelda… you… too?” He managed to get out.
“L… Link… by the Goddesses…” Zelda said, trying to move to him, “are you alright?”
Link however shook his head.
“N… no… I can’t feel… my legs anymore… my back’s broken… this is it for me, Zelda.” He said solemnly.
Zelda gulped, fighting back tears.
“What about… you?” Link then asked.
“I… I’m not too good either… I… I guess I’m coming along to the Great Unknown along with you…” She said, just as another loud crash came, this time from Link’s other side.
“S… Saria!” Link said, raising his head as far as he could, while Zelda looked up as well.
Saria didn’t reply yet… her landing caused her to hurl a bit, puking up blood as a result of it, but still trying to crawl towards Link. But no sooner had she succeeded in reaching him, when suddenly a battered and bloodied Princess Ruto fell from the sky and landed on a spot just above Link and Zelda, while about half a minute later, a battered Nabooru joined them, landing in an area where she laid close to Link and Saria, breaking her right arm during the landing. Link couldn’t help but shed a tear himself, sniffing as he offered his hands towards Saria and Zelda, whom managed to reach it and laid one of their hands on top of his. The group was then covered by a soft, orange glow…
“N… Nabooru? W… what are you doing?” Saria asked, managing to roll on her back as she laid next to Link, her left hand on his right one.
“T… Trying to keep us alive un… until the others come…” She said.
Link smiled weakly.
“I… appreciate your… efforts, Nabooru… but I’m… afraid it’s too late for me…” Link said, before coughing up blood once again.
“For me too…” Zelda said, her breathing becoming a bit more labored due to the pain she was in.
“I… I’m not gonna make it either…” Saria said, her head tilted towards Link, causing Link to look at her, seeing that Saria was crying.
“I think none of us are…” Ruto said, holding her side as she had lost quite an amount of blood, while Nabooru felt her powers fading as well, despite trying to hold on.
“But… how was this… even possible?!” Zelda asked.
“I… I think Ganondorf must… have known about… our approach… and pre… prepared himself accordingly…” Link said, laying down.
“Y… You think… it was a set-up… for us? As if we walked… right into… a trap?” Zelda asked.
“That’s very likely… but the worst thing… about it is…… that I… couldn’t have seen… this coming…” Link said, his body trembling.
“None… of us did… Link…” Zelda said, trying to comfort him.
“True… but what I regret the most… is not only that we couldn’t save Hyrule this time… but… I couldn’t… save… you… I…… tried…… so……hard………..” Link then said, before he closed his eyes… and knew no more.
“Link? LINK?!” Saria asked, trying to wake him, but Link didn’t respond anymore.
“He… he’s dead…” Nabooru said, “even now… he wanted to save us…”
“Link…… I’m… sorry…” was all Zelda could get out before she too succumbed to her injuries.
“No… Link… Zelda… wait for me…” Saria managed to choke out, before she too passed away, partially choking on her own blood from having suffered some internal injuries herself.
“I… I guess this is it… huh…” Ruto said, smiling weakly after managing to get closer to Link and Zelda.
“I… I’m afraid so...” Nabooru said, collapsing next to Saria’s head.
“I… I’ll see you… at the other side then…” Ruto said, before she too laid still completely.
“Rauru… Darunia… Impa…… good-bye…” was all Nabooru could say, before she too breathed her last...[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“And that’s pretty much it.” Nabooru said as she floated in her spirit form in front of Impa, whom was once more crying, although much more composed.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So you’re pretty much now lost souls filled with regret?” Impa then said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yes, we are.” Zelda said, looking down.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Look, we’re doing whatever we can to bring you back with us so we can get Ganondorf back for what he did…” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We appreciate it, Impa… but how are you going to do this?” Saria asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I personally am not sure yet… but Rauru’s on his way to find something that can be done.  Perhaps we may need something that can be of use very soon…” Impa asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The five nodded, but were still looking gloomy.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What’s the matter?” Impa asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It’s… it’s just that we regret that this has happened to us… and to you…” Zelda said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, none of us could know that this was a trap…” Impa said, trying to make the group feel better.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“True, but still… it feels like someone made a big hole in our souls that needs to be healed…” Link said, looking down while Saria and Zelda tried to comfort him, realizing that Link’s soul was the worst affected of them all.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]‘A soul that needs to be healed?!’[/font][font=Verdana, sans-serif] Impa thought to herself, before her eyes widened as she remembered something from when Link had returned from Termina…[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]About eight months earlier, after Link had returned from his adventure in Termina and had taken a rest in his old home in the Kokiri Forest, both he and Saria were invited to the Temple of Time by Zelda and Impa. Once they arrived there, they saw that Nabooru, Darunia, Rauru, Princess Ruto, Impa and Princess Zelda herself were waiting there for them.
“Hey, kid! It’s good to see you back.” Nabooru said to him.
“Brother, you simply can’t go anywhere without pulling off an heroic act or two, do you?” Darunia said with a bright smile.
“Hehe, you know me Darunia; I simply do what I think is the right thing.” Link replied with a smile.
“We couldn’t expect anything less from our greatest friend and Hero.” Zelda said, pulling him in a friendly hug, making Link blush a little, much to Impa’s amusement.
“So, what happened exactly in Termina? We only know or felt bits and pieces…” Rauru then said.
“You may want to sit down if possible; this is going to take a while.” Link said.
Once the Sages had sat down, Link told them all about his adventures in Termina in detail, about how he was being caught by surprised by the mask-wielding Skull Kid, of which he later found out through the Happy Mask Salesman that the mask in fact was Majora’s Mask. He told how that Skull Kid stole the Ocarina of Time from him and cursed Link to become a Deku, the retrieval of the Ocarina of Time which helped reverting the time and through the same Salesman he got his old form back and how he helped out the population of Termina, being the Deku Kingdom in the Southern Swamp, a Goron settlement in a cursed-winter region known as Snowhead and a Zora population within the Great Bay area, of which he showed proof by showing them the masks and entering those forms he gained from them. Saria found the Deku form adorable, Darunia was highly impressed in the Goron form, recognizing the blood of a great Goron Hero within, while Ruto gulped a bit at seeing the Zora form, being both impressed and slightly intimidated in a way, although each of them agreed that Link looked way better in his Hylian form, to which Link took no offense to. Link told them how he had defeated the monsters that dwelled within the Woodfall, Snowhead, Great Bay and Stone Tower Temples and how, after he had done everything he could to break the curses and solving the temples, he ultimately confronted Majora within the Moon itself and how Majora had disturbed him concerning his respective forms as well as the appearance of the Moon itself, with the Sages listening in great interest, being as equally disturbed about Majora as Link was. Link then also attended the carnival and was also a witness to the wedding of Anju and Kafei, having used his Zora form to help the Zora band in Termina, the Indigo-go’s with their scheduled performance in Clock Town, which was an outright success. After partaking in some more events after he and his fairy companion Tatl there had departed from each other, Link eventually decided to return home to visit his friends and see how they were doing, which brought a smile on the Sages’ faces, as they learned that, despite all the hardships he went through, Link never forgot about them.
“I have one question though.” Zelda then said.
“Ask away.” Link said, smiling.
“You said that you learned a song that can heal specific souls… can you play it for us?” She asked.
“Sure thing,” Link said as he took out his Ocarina, “this song is aptly named ‘Song of Healing’.”
Link then began to play the Song of Healing to the group, the song itself echoing throughout the temple. Even though the Sages themselves were very much alive, they could feel all their worry, their pent up emotions, their respective distress… they could feel it all just washing away by that song, as if a wave of love, caring and comfort was gently poured over them to soothe their own souls for that matter. To say that it brought relief to them was a major understatement. Once Link was done playing the song, he blinked as he saw the women of the group shaking a bit.
“Hey, are you alright?” Link asked in genuine concern.
The response he got was that Saria, Zelda, Ruto and Nabooru glomped him en masse, resulting in Nabooru holding the four children close.
“That was an amazingly beautiful song!” Saria said.
“I felt as if all my own worries or regrets just washed away from me!” Zelda said.
Link smiled.
“That’s the greatest effect of the song. It was through this song I’ve healed the souls of the Goron hero Darmani, the Zora hero Mikau and I even managed to save a professor whom researches the supernatural from being turned into a Gibdo.” Link said smiling.
“You truly are one of the greatest heroes of both Hyrule and Termina. I wouldn’t be surprised if songs would be sung of your achievements for a long time to come.” Darunia said.
“Thanks.” Link said with a smile, returning the hugs that Zelda, Saria and Ruto gave him, before giving a separate one to Nabooru.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa then blinked, before regaining her focus, noticing the spirit forms of Zelda, Link, Saria, Ruto and Nabooru looking at her in concern.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Are you alright?” Spirit Zelda asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I… I’m fine, I just got lost in a past memory.” Impa said, before her eyes went back to her determined look again, before she brought her fingers to her lips.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What are you doing?” Saria asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Trust me, this will be of your benefit.” Impa replied, right before she began to play the Song of Healing herself, having memorized the song from when Link played it for her all those months ago.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The eyes of the five in front of her went wide, the song taking its appropriate effect, pulling them into memories of when they had great times together, just having fun together in the time of peace and whenever a threat would show up, they had the means to combat it. It also brought back memories of their training and how they managed to defeat the forces of Ganondorf and Majora in the unknown land beyond the Woods of Mystery, feeling relief washing over them.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]After about a minute or two, Impa stopped playing the song, before looking at the spirits in front of her, whom felt visibly relieved, smiling at her. [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Thank you… thank you for that…” Link said, stuttering a little.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa smiled.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It’s the least I can do for you, consider us even on that, since you’ve used the song to heal me in a similar fashion months ago.” She said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Link smiled, as it brought memories back to the surface of being able to help his friends using it.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So, where do you go from here?” Impa then asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, under normal circumstances, the five of us would pass on to the heavenly realms and await our resurrection there, but it would still mean that we should leave you behind for the time being…” Zelda said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Hmmm,” Impa said, beginning to think.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Saria shivered a little, causing Link to comfort her a bit, making Saria smile.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I must admit that finding a way to resurrect you won’t be easy, since we need someone of higher power that ensures that not only your lives, but also your bodies will be restored to your former glory and strength.” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Zelda nodded.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“However, I may have an idea that can allow you to stay in this realm for the time being, until we have found the right way to ensure your complete resurrection. To do so, I need to get into the Royal Graveyard in what remains of Kakariko Village.” Impa then said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“But how are we going to get there without being attacked and all? No offense, but the five of us are in greater danger now… people could mistake us for Poes that try to mess with their minds.” Nabooru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa nodded.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Which is why I need the five of you to temporarily inhabit my own body, so I can safely take you to our destination after which I will execute my plan.” She said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The five spirits blinked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You want us to inhabit your body? Won’t that cause complications?” Link asked in genuine concern.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I understand your concern, lad, but if I need to use my own body to keep your spirits safe from danger, then so be it. Besides, I am from the Sheikah, the Shadow folk. We have our ways of passing by undetected.” Impa replied.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“But won’t this causes us to merge with you?” Zelda asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Trust me on this, Zelda. I promise nothing will happen to you during our trip. Besides, I did help in giving you a disguise to hide and live as a Sheikah in the case of emergencies.” Impa said, convincing the group.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I’ll help with this.” Nabooru said, using her Spirit powers to make the five flow into Impa’s body, but Impa remained in full control of herself, the only changes being that she, for the time being, had two Triforce Pieces and three other Sage medallions with her, the only signs that something was different, but regarding appearance and everything, she had remained the same.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Her decision and path now clear, Impa set off towards the Royal Graveyard, which ironically was where Rauru had been for the moment.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Darunia had listened to Navi as she threw her heart out to the Goron Leader, telling him what was on her mind regarding what she wanted to do and why she was looking for Link in the first place. The matter wasn’t made easier as Darunia revealed that Link was looking for her too, but inadvertedly came across Termina and its own crisis involving Majora and the moon threatening to fall on Majora. This wasn’t known to the others until Link managed to return safely, however some of them, both Saria and Zelda in particular, couldn’t help a sense of dread and concern within him. Saria already knew why she felt it, but Zelda was unaware of this until she consulted Impa about it. Impa’s response was that Link somehow impacted Zelda’s life due to his own determined, courageous nature and also their mutual friendship. At least that was what Impa realized until the moment Link had played the Song of Healing for them, at which Impa, while feeling relieved herself, could feel a lot of guilt and worry wash away from both Saria and Zelda alike, with Ruto and Nabooru’s not too far behind, although Nabooru also had other reasons. Navi was horrified at what Link had gone through in Termina, feeling her respect for him grow even more.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Even now he wanted to save us as he pushed Zelda out of the way from Majora’s attacks… yet Ganondorf caught him off guard with his attack, weakening all of us…” Darunia said, sighing.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]At the same moment, Rauru himself moved across Death Mountain, moving to avoid the lava while trying to see if the Great Fairy that once resided at the top of Death Mountain, close to the mountain crater, was still present there, so he could ask for her assistance whenever she could, or ask for advice in regards to his quest. He sighed as he moved along, looking with sadness at what was once a glorious mountain. [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“This world has definitely gone downhill ever since THEY returned… why is it that such greedy men with power always mess up the order of things and let people live their lives as it should be?” He asked himself as he continued along.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Darunia could have sworn to have heard the faint neighing of a young horse outside about 15 minutes later, so he went outside to check it out. As he came outside the cavern, he saw that there was a young, red horse with white manes standing in front of him. From memories of the conversations he had before with Link, Darunia recognized the horse as Epona.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I take it you must have sensed it, huh?” Darunia then said to Epona, whom neighed in response.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Darunia motioned for the horse to come inside. [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You can’t stay outside here, something may happen. It is cold inside, but at least you have shelter.” Darunia said, walking back into the cavern. [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Epona neighed again as it proceeded to follow Darunia carefully in a walking pace into the ice cave, heeding to the Goron Leader’s advice. With at least Epona safe, Darunia went to sit down back next to the ice grave stone, where Navi was waiting for him, settling again on the Fairy Statue for the moment. Epona snorted for a moment, before finding a dry patch of land to lay down on and rest, with both unaware of what Impa was doing now…[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Chapter 15: Advice from beyond[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa swiftly arrived in the remnants of Kakariko Village, stopping for a moment to see that her old house, the Windmill and the Shooting Gallery were spared from the lava that landed after the eruption of Death Mountain. She sighed at seeing the once prospering village now desolate and deserted. As if the Kingdom of Hyrule was taken swiftly and without error it seemed by this power-hungry warlord and a homicidal, mask-wearing freak whose disturbing and insane mannerisms and behavior could make the crazy lab professor at the Lake Hylia lab look perfectly normal in comparison. She moved on towards the Royal Graveyard, now somewhat unattended as Dampé the Gravekeeper had recently passed away himself, although that was some time before the fateful attack.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]‘Let’s hope the Tomb has something useful, otherwise I’ll have to look through the Kakariko Well or the Shadow Temple as alternatives.’[/font][font=Verdana, sans-serif] She thought to herself as she proceeded along to the largest tomb, the tomb of the Royal Family which was flanked on either side by one grave of one of the Composer Brothers, Flat and Sharp. Seeing that the tomb itself was still open, Impa hopped down the hole, landing in the area where Link had gone in first more than a year ago, in the small, dungeon-like area where Link discovered the gravestone where the melody of the Sun’s Song was engraved into it. Walking down the slope, Impa arrived in the room where the numerous skeletons laid and where some of the recent corpses of the soldiers whom perished in the initial attacked were taken in as well. She shook her head as she observed the area, before proceeding to the next room, which contained the poison water as well as the ReDeads, whom had remained on their places. Using her Shadow powers to pass the ReDeads by, Impa arrived at the stone slab that contained the Sun’s Song. It was there that Impa softly chanted a short Sheikah incantation that began to lift the slab… revealing a hidden door. Entering it, Impa was now wandering in a different gravesite, where in the past the people of the Sheikah had been laid to rest. Once there, she was looking over the graves, hoping to find something that could be of use to her…[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Ganondorf and Majora in the meantime were already beginning to spread their influence now back over Hyrule, now that they have secured their main tower into a nigh-impenetrable fort. In the first part, they set up a base below the surface from where they could keep their prisoners, brainwash the more feisty ones into working for them or otherwise have them work on the materials needed in preparation for their expansion. Ganondorf also expressed a high interest in Ikana Canyon after being told about its history by Majora, intending to make that cursed land into a perfect stronghold for his base in Termina, once Hyrule was under full control. Now that Link and most of the Sages were out of the way and the Master Sword rendered useless, Ganondorf was now more than ready to spread his influence over the lands first, before he would go and collect the remaining Triforce pieces that Link and Zelda still had in their possession. While he could have extracted them already before, Majora was more eager to finish them off in such an extreme manner, so that they would first establish their rule first. Although initially against the idea, Ganondorf decided to follow along. However, he also gained an increased interest in Majora himself; in particular Majora’s Mask itself. Ganondorf wondered what it would be like if Majora’s powers were added to his own, wondering if he would have obtained ultimate power in case he did get his grubby hands on the remaining Triforce pieces. The mere thought of having all that extra power brought a smirk to his face, as it would allow him to spread his rule to far beyond Hyrule… However, he did wince at the wounds that Link and Zelda had inflicted on him before their deaths. It was actually still hurting him even, despite the wounds having healed over mostly. It was as if those wounds would definitely going to be a bother for a long time to come.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Tatl and Tael were currently moving into the Kokiri Forest, as Tael had noticed the presence of other Fairies there, so he went to see if he could get help or something else there in regards to his personal mission. Tatl just didn’t get why Tael decided to become so determined to do something radical like this, yet she had to give her brother credit for putting some effort in it. It was quite elaborate, that was definitely true, but she had to admit that he genuinely wanted to help, just like when he wanted to go in her stead to help Link defeat Majora before. Oh, if she only knew how bad the mask the Skull Kid was wearing had been... perhaps she would have asked for help to save the imp… all these memories didn’t do Tatl any good; while she remained her stubborn self, deep down she did regret the things she had done to Link, even though she had already apologized to him after they had solved the Woodfall Temple…[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Navi the fairy had in the meantime cried herself to sleep, leaving Darunia to brood by himself. At the same moment, Rauru reached the top of Death Mountain, discovering that the entrance to the Great Fairy’s Fountain was still intact. This brought a smile to his face as he moved into the Fountain itself, moving towards the pedestal in front of the fountain to summon her. Sure enough, the Great Fairy of Power appeared before him in response to the summoning.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Huh? Rauru?” The Great Fairy asked, blinking as she recognized the one before her.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yes, it is I, Rauru, the Sage of Light. I have come here to seek your help on a rather distressful situation.” He said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I am listening.” The Great Fairy said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I am certain you have been aware of Ganondorf’s return and the fact that he has found an ally in a malevolent being known as Majora, am I correct?” He asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That I am, considering the way Death Mountain has been erupting… I’m surprised that this place has remained untouched so far…” The Great Fairy replied.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, a rather disastrous event has occurred shortly after. I was confident that the Hero of Time and the Seven Sages, myself included, would be able to defeat this new threat altogether, but I underestimated just in what ways they can use their vile and wicked powers. It is with my deepest regret to inform you that the Hero of Time, the Princess of Destiny and the Sages of the Forest, Water and Spirit did not survive.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The Great Fairy was shocked at this.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Which brings me here, as I am trying to find a way to bring the group back to life and undo my mistake of overconfidence, so that we may find a different way that will bring peace to Hyrule once more.” Rauru then said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So you want to bring the ones whom had died back to life, correct?” The Great Fairy asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yes. My question to you is if you are able to help me with this.” Rauru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The Great Fairy of Power crossed her arms, evidently thinking as she closed her eyes for about a minute along the way. Eventually she opened her eyes again.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I have to inform you that I cannot heed to your request personally; we can resurrect fallen people yes, but our powers remain limited to reviving them after only several seconds have passed, so we can properly restore their life force either completely or to a degree. This is why Red Fairies have to be carried in bottles by travelers to ensure of this. However, in regards to your question, I may have to redirect you to Her Royal Highness Venus, the Fairy Queen. She may be able to grant you your request in this situation. I do not know the location of her current residence, but perhaps my friend whom lives by Hyrule Castle may be of help to you.” The Great Fairy then said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Very well, I will go and see your friend. I thank you for your time and the help.” Rauru said, bowing.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“No problem at all, Rauru. Come back anytime if you’re feeling weary, I’ll fix you up in no time.” The Great Fairy said, before she vanished, leaving Rauru alone. [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]With this new information in his possession, Rauru exited her fountain and, using his wisp form, traveled all the way down Death Mountain and back to Kakariko Village, landing there. Rauru knew that the road to Hyrule Castle itself would be a dangerous trip, so he decided to first move into the houses that were still intact if he could find something like a disguise that could be of his aid to traverse the road to Hyrule Castle unsuspected.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa grunted in frustration as she was unable to find something that could be of use so far, before sitting down to think properly.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]‘Think, Impa, think! You’re being too hasty now…’ Impa thought to herself, grunting as she put her head between her hands, apparently unable to thinks straight, so she needed to get something to calm her mind.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“A rupee for your thoughts?” Another voice sounded in the tomb.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Looking up, Impa the  saw a Poe appearing above one of the graves… although this one looked different from the Poes that were known to harass or attack unsuspecting travelers.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yes, I’m looking for something that I can use for a personal mission.” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Really, and what is this personal mission you speak of?” The Poe asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Hold up, can I at least know who you are first?”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Ah, of course. I used to be one of the Shadow Folk, the Sheikah, whom was regrettably slain during the Hyrulean Civil War while performing my duties to protect the Royal Family. My duties however forbade me to associate in the outside safely and had to assume other identities in my past existence, hence I have forgotten my own name. I can tell you’re one of the Sheikah too, since only the Shadow Folk can enter this area and you’re having the Sheikah garment on.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I see. So you’re a fellow Sheikah, but why your current form as a Poe?”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Due to me having assumed multiple identities over the course of my life, I became eventually cursed in a way where no one would know who I used to be, not even myself. Hence my current undead form which you see before you.” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I understand.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Due to my own lamentations, I was eventually left unaware that the world around me has changed. Even after passing I find myself wondering what the world has become, or if I would still be alive if I had made some decisions in life different. Alas, what’s in the past is in the past. I cannot go back to the life that I once had. Even if it was to help someone related to the Royal Family or my own kind out, one last time…”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So you’ve basically become a soul lingering with regrets, right?” Impa then asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Basically, yes. It’s a cruel world which we live in…” The Poe lamented.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa then responded by playing the Song of Healing before the Poe, causing the Poe to freeze in shock for a solid minute, before it spoke again.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What?! Somehow my heart has been put at ease… I feel as if whatever regrets I have just washed away as if a pleasant procedure of cleansing has been blessed on me…”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The Poe then turned to Impa, realizing that she had healed its soul in turn.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I thank you for healing my soul, it has brought incredible relief to me. Is there anything I can do for you in turn?” The Poe asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yes, you can. I require your help on a very important matter, which is tied to my personal mission.” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I understand. Although my own lamentations have prevented me from bringing this up before, but you seem to carry souls of the dead with you, do you not?”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I do. I’ve hid them inside my own shadow, considering the fact I am also the Shadow Sage. It is also these souls that is the matter of this mission.” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You have my attention.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“These souls were victims from a brutal attack during a fight against two powerful, evil beings, the Evil King Ganondorf and a crazed, mask-wielding lunatic known as Majora, which they and three other Sages, myself included, were involved in. It is our wish to undo their demise and get back at those two malicious beings for what they have done to them and to us,” Impa said, “but there is also a great risk, if we would try to attack again now, it’s likely that they will be killed again and, to make matters worse, two of them are in possession of a part of the relic known as the Triforce.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“And you fear that by releasing them now will make things worse, am I correct?” The Poe asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yes, especially since Ganondorf and Majora are still on the loose and this time without any good opposition…” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I understand. Sadly I cannot help with the resurrection thing, but I DO know that spirit forms can be used for something else.” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“And what would that be?”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Infiltration, you see, with the right power or situation, Spirits can be used to temporarily possess the bodies of others whom are among the living, even if it’s just an apparent lifeless husk of armor. This in effect can give the spirits control of those beings and interact with their ‘comrades’ to divulge information that can be of use in your quest to bring them down.” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So it’s like taking possession of an enemy and use them to reveal information that we could use in our quest to bring them down?” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That is correct. Perhaps this way it will allow you to keep track of the movements of the enemy while at the same time keeping a low profile. Look at it this way; you’ll be able to take advantage of the fact that the group whose souls you have with you is dead and use the time you have until their resurrection at your disposal to figure out the course of enemy movements. Perhaps it will even be useful to find the lairs of those vile monsters themselves, so you have an idea of where to go. It’s like preparing yourself for the unexpected.” The Poe replied.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I understand. Then I think I know what I must do.” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Alright. Just be careful on your way though; you cannot afford to get yourself killed now. You said that the spirits of the five you hold are hidden within your shadow, but if you get killed now, chances are that they are either exposed, or they will be trapped within your shadow, which will hinder the resurrection or otherwise even render it impossible.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I am aware of the risks that I take with me, but nonetheless thanks for the heads up.” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Don’t mention it. I thank you to have brought peace to my soul, may you find peace to your friends and yourself as well as this land.” The Poe said, before it vanished, now at peace enough to ascend to the heavens.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa watched the Poe disappear, which caused her to sigh.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“At least I have found what I was looking for. It may be a slight change of plans, but it will be a very useful change nonetheless. If Ganondorf and Majora can’t be touched for the time being, the next best thing are their forces. I pray to the Goddesses that this plan may succeed… the fate of Hyrule and beyond depends on it.” She said to herself, before she left and re-sealed the gravesite, making it appear that it wasn’t there at all. [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Making her way out of the Royal Family’s Tomb, ignoring the ReDeads along her path, Impa then placed a second seal so no one could desecrate the tomb of Hyrule’s Royal Family, after which she made her way out of the Kakariko Graveyard.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Tael and Tatl arrived at the spot where the Deku Tree Sprout stood, with Tael moving boldly closer to it, while Tatl was more hesitant in her approach, feeling that they were in a for them foreign land. Sure she felt somewhat comfortable at seeing other fairies and the Forest Children a bit, but she also got quite nervous because of it. The Deku Tree Sprout sensed the two fairies coming.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, this is the first time I’m seeing Fairies from a different land in this area. Please introduce yourself.” The sprout said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“My name’s Tael and the fairy following me is my sister Tatl. We come from Termina.” Tael said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I see. What is the nature of your business here?” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We bring you grave news. It is with regret that I must inform you that the two children of the forest whom resided here once have been killed by the hands of two wicked people: Ganondorf and Majora. Three other people perished too, including two princesses…” Tael said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I had this feeling of dread through my trunks, you confirmed the story… this is a dark era for Hyrule indeed.” The sprout replied.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Which is why we are here. We want to see if we can be of any assistance to those who remain here with us until those five can be brought back.” Tatl said, speaking up before Tael could to prevent him from saying his intentions in a way where the Deku Tree Sprout could interpret it in the wrong way.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I see. You mean well with your wish to help them, but at times the best way to help someone with such a loss is to give them some time to cope with it or just provide comfort in the time of need. While I agree people can’t keep moping around, some people can take it much harder than others. But if you insist on trying to make them feel better as you apparently wish, you can be of help by just supporting them in the time of need, or offer your assistance whenever the others want to go after the ones responsible in their own way.” The Deku Tree Sprout responded.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I see, so it’s like giving them some company if they want to then?” Tatl asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Exactly. If they have someone whom genuinely wants to lend an ear for them or wishes to listen what’s on their mind, you can be of great help already.” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Thank you, then I know what we must do.” Tatl said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Good. I wish you good fortune, Tael and Tatl.” The Deku Tree Sprout said, before the two Fairies left.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Back in the Kokiri Forest , the two fairies came across Mido and Fado, who blinked at seeing the two fairies. [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Who are you? We’ve never seen you before…” Mido said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We’re Tatl and Tael, two fairies from Termina.” Tatl said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Ah, I see. So what happened to Link and Saria? They haven’t returned since yesterday…” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I hate to break it to you, but you won’t be seeing them for a while. An evil man with dark, malevolent powers killed them.” Tatl said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“WHAT?!” Mido and Fado shouted, alarming the other Kokiri around.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You heard me.” Tatl replied.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“No… Link… Saria…” Fado said, falling backwards on the ground in a sitting position, shivering all over.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Look, we’re doing the best we can to bring them back, but as long as those two are out running rampant, this is going to be very hard.” Tatl said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What do you think we should do?” Mido then asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Our best advice is to find shelter as soon as possible; if things really go downhill out here in Hyrule, then I doubt this forest will remain safe for long. Besides, Link and Saria both would be devastated when they are brought back to life, only to hear that you lot have been slaughtered by those evil forces.” Tael said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Alright, we understand.” Mido said, remaining firm as best as he could.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Be strong. Once we get them back, those two evil monsters will wish they were NEVER born.” Tael said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Tatl sweat dropped a bit as she heard her brother talk like that, but it did have the desired effect of making Mido determined to keep his fellow Kokiri safe.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Right. I’ll do whatever I can to keep my friends here safe, just make sure you give him a beating or two in our name.” He said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We’ll make sure your autograph will be on it.” Tael said, before moving off with Tatl in tow.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Rauru had made his way in Hyrule Field once more after using a disguise of being a mere peasant to remain unsuspected while on his way towards the ruins of Hyrule Castle again. He knew the trip wouldn’t be easy due to fresh memories of recent events, but he had to be strong.  He couldn’t afford to break down or even abandon his mission, it was too important for the sake of the land he had to protect, as well as for his own sake. Using slow, soft steps to bypass the resident ReDeads in the Castle Town, Rauru made his way back into the Castle Field, where the tower that had been the place of most of his friends’ demises still stood, but from what he could sense was that the tower had been abandoned after the fateful battle, while in the far distance stood an even taller tower that looked as if it was going to reach the stars. He stopped for a moment to look at the tower,  seeing that the dark clouds bellowing around It were even stronger and red lightning was seen around it on occasion. It brought shivers down his spine so feel such an amount of evil coming from that tower at this distance, knowing that the final confrontation would definitely not be easy anymore. He eventually walked on, before his eyes fell on something that he also had been looking for. It was the sword that he saw Zelda using against Ganondorf, but close by, having landed blade-first into the ground as if stabbing into it was the one thing that was taken from Link and so callously tossed off the tower before… the Sword of Evil’s Bane… the Master Sword. Rauru could definitely see that the Master Sword has lost its edge, which all but confirmed the story that the Sages’ power was connected to it. He decided to take both swords with him, along with anything else he could find as he continued on his way, further down the path towards where he believed the Great Fairy resided. [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Hopefully I can find out where Venus resides, this whole crisis makes any effort to reach results in our favor quite hard, while evil keeps flowing forth from that dark place. I hope that someday we will be able to undo or repair the damage done, but until then...” He said as he reached the place where the Great Fairy was, according to the Great Fairy of Power.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa in the meantime was scouting off Hyrule Field in search of anything of value to be used as part of her new plan. She worked her way around the ranch and towards Gerudo Valley, wondering if their Gerudo allies would be of help too. She knew that she had to infiltrate the enemy camp, but since Ganondorf is a Gerudo of nature, she would have to see if the Gerudo there would have information that could be useful for her as part of her plan. She worked her way over the bridge, noticing that no Gerudo guards were around this time in the Valley, allowing her to proceed to the Fortress.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Just hang in there, my friends. I’ll reveal my plan to you soon enough.” She said as she looked right at her shadow, before moving on.
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Chapter 16: A troubled tribe[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa moved closer to the Gerudo Fortress, when one of the Gerudo Guards spotted her.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“HALT! What is the nature of your business here?” She asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Relax guard, I come in peace. I request an audience with your commander regarding the events that have transpired here. It is of the greatest urgency.” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“How are we so certain that you’re not trying to pull anything funny?!” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Because this matter also involves your leader Nabooru.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]That made the guard go silent, as if thinking.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Wait here, I’ll let my commander know of your presence.” The guard then said after several seconds, moving into the fortress to bring her report.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa waited patiently, while some of the other guards were eyeing her suspiciously. She frowned at this, but decided to address this when she was having her audience with the commander. After what seemed to be a few minutes, the Gerudo Guard returned.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“The commander is ready to see you. Follow me.” She said, leading the way for Impa into the fortress.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]At the same moment, Rauru entered the Great Fairy’s Fountain which had been relocated to a different part of the road to what was once Hyrule Castle. Rauru then summoned the Great Fairy, whom appeared in the same fashion as the Great Fairy of Power. The Great Fairy of Magic blinked once she saw who summoned her.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Rauru, the Sage of Light! What is the occasion of your visit?” The Great Fairy asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Ma’am, can you tell me where your Queen Venus is located? I wish to see her regarding a matter of the highest importance.” Rauru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“And what is this matter you speak of?” The Great Fairy asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Rauru then explained to the Great Fairy the events that have been going on so far, from the return of Majora to the resurrection of Ganondorf, from the devastating attack on Hyrule, the destruction of the Temple of Time and so forth up until the untimely demise of Link and four of the Sages. To say that the Great Fairy was shocked was an understatement. [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“…this is why we seek your Queen, to bring the deceased ones back to life so we stand once again united against these vile creatures whom had taken them from us.” Rauru said, finishing his explanation.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I… understand. I never could have thought or imagined that this would happen, I offer my sincerest sympathies for your loss.” The Great Fairy of Magic said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Thank you.” Rauru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“As for my Queen, I have not seen her in some time, but I can tell you that she usually resides within a sanctuary hidden within the Great Bay area. This sanctuary consists mostly out of water and ice however, so watch your step.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We will, ma’am. Thank you for giving me exactly the information that I need.” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It’s no problem. However, I do also advice you to ensure that you’re armed or otherwise bring an escort force with you; there may be beings around that will hinder you in your quest.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Thank you. We will ensure that we will succeed.” Rauru said, before the Great Fairy vanished and Rauru began to proceed on his way back to where Darunia and Navi were.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa was led in a room deep within the fortress, where several Gerudo Guards stood present, two at the door, two at the sides of the throne at the other side of the room, where another Gerudo sat on wearing green garments, next to the traditional Gerudo jewelry. Impa walked on towards the throne, before the Guard told her to stop, after which she left. Impa showed no sign of fear or hesitation as she stood in front of the throne, not even when the Gerudo leader rose up.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I am Aveil, I’m in charge of the Gerudo Fortress and the Pirate Area within the Great Bay, Termina. State your name and purpose for being here.” She said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I am Impa of the Sheikah and the Sage of Shadows. I requested this audience to give you disclosure of the events that have occurred up to this point as well as the fate of the well respected leader and Sage of Spirits, Nabooru.” Impa replied.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]That spiked an interest within Aveil, causing her to frown.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You know where Nabooru is?” She asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yes. It is with my greatest regret that I have to inform you that Nabooru is not among us anymore.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“WHAT?! Nabooru’s dead?!” Aveil asked in horror, also stirring up reactions from the other Gerudo present in the room.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yes. In fact, she was murdered.” Impa said, noticing she had received her attention.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Are you pulling a joke on us, Sheikah?! Because if you don’t explain yourself within the next few seconds, I’ll show you what happens to those who make a mockery of the Gerudo Tribe!” Aveil said, glaring at Impa, while the Guards held their weapons closely.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]It was then that Impa brought out her trump card.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What the Sheikah said is true, Aveil.” A Gerudo female’s voice then said within the room, causing Aveil and the guards themselves to look around in utter confusion, ignoring the shadow of Impa extending forward and a spirit rose from it… turning into Nabooru’s spirit.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Upon seeing the spirit of the exalted Nabooru, leader of the Gerudo Tribe, in person, the guards screamed of fright as this happened and Aveil immediately jumped back out of shock.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“L – L – Lady Nabooru!” Aveil stuttered, right before she bowed towards the spirit, not wanting to show disrespect for her superior. [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The Gerudo guards, after mustering their courage, also bowed, partially out of respect for Nabooru herself as well as preventing to earn the ire of their own superior Aveil in turn.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I – I am surprised at seeing you here again, but why are you in the form of a spirit?!” Aveil then asked after getting up.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Impa was telling the truth, Aveil. Because of the actions of our former King Ganondorf, I and four of my best friends have joined the ranks of the dead.” Nabooru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“No! It can’t be!” Aveil said, collapsing in front of her throne, trying her best to regain her composure, while the guards in turn all blinked at this.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“This is no joke, no sign of forged sorcery or no magic spell. Only truth, Aveil.” Nabooru said, ignoring the guards that collapsed either out of fright or sadness.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“My Lady, forgive me for almost jumping to conclusions.” Aveil said, bowing her head in shame.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What is with that posture anyway? Last time I checked, the Gerudo were genuine allies of Hyrule’s Royal Family. What exactly has happened in my absence?” Nabooru then asked, frowning at Aveil’s actions.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Allow me to explain, My Lady. Ever since the news of Ganondorf and Majora’s return after you had informed us of his evil deeds, our tribe has been in disarray. Several brave Gerudo Warriors have fought alongside the Hyrulean Army against the Army of Darkness as you know, but at the end, most of them were either killed or captured during their retreat or escape. We believe that they are held in the underground dungeons or even worse have been brainwashed to work for Ganondorf. They managed to attack this fortress, but they were repelled in the nick of time. However we learned later that this attack was a diversion, initially intended to take several of our warriors and even our children, but then we heard the news of the survivors of our Fortress in Great Bay, which was also attacked and successfully taken by the forces of the Evil Two.” Aveil said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“And from where did they launch their attack?” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We don’t know how; all we know was that they suddenly came from the air in our Great Bay outpost and began to attack us there. We hardly had the time to fight back properly due to us being caught by surprise.” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Spirit Nabooru began to think.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I and my four friends have encountered some strange vessels that somehow traveled in the air during our trip in what was supposed to be an outpost-under construction in an unknown area that somehow lies between the Woods of Mystery and Ikana Canyon, due to the area being intended to be colonized by the Deku or where the Deku Kingdom has a complicated shrine there to whatever they may worship. It also felt like a peaceful place for the dead to roam there, it seemed like an idyllic landscape. So I presume the attack must have been launched in secret from that land, although my friends and I defeated the forces of Ganondorf and Majora there…” She said, trying to put two and two together.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So you believe that Ganondorf is building forces on unknown locations so that they might launch surprise attacks against us?” Aveil asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You bet. I reckon that Ganondorf and Majora are taking advantage of the technology that Termina has at its disposal which Hyrule does not have. Which is why Impa is here to inform you of the situation at hand as well as seeking your help.” Nabooru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What can I do for you?” Aveil then asked Impa.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We are looking for a way to bring the fallen ones back to life and completely restored to full health. However we also require information as to the whereabouts of their troops so that we can launch a counteroffensive that will soon lead to Ganondorf’s permanent downfall, at least we hope that it will be. But to do so, we need to gather information from the enemy itself.” Impa replied.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I understand, but how are you going to pull this off?”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I intend to use the spirits of the fallen ones to temporarily take control of enemy units, so they may communicate with their ‘comrades’ and as such hopefully reveal information that can be vital for us to use in our own mission to bring Ganondorf and Majora down.” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Aveil nodded.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I see. It isn’t easy to pull something like this off, especially if the enemy is being more cunning or otherwise acting suspicious to maintain their secrecy. However, the best chance of pulling this off might be done in the Spirit Temple. I’ve overheard that some of the enemy forces have managed to reach the Temple and retake it as a new stronghold from where they can launch attacks from the desert area into other parts. This stronghold isn’t complete yet, but I can assure you that it’s quite occupied with enemy forces now.” Aveil said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Thank you, Aveil. This information will be very useful.” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“There is one thing I’d like to know; who have been at your side during those adventures of yours, Lady Nabooru?” Aveil asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Four brave, courageous children, two of which are of Royal Status and two others having been raised within the forest.” Nabooru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I… I see. I do wonder why you’ve been taken into Impa’s Shadow…” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It’s because of the dangers that come with this form. Under normal circumstances we would have passed on to the heavenly realms and await our resurrection there, but due to personal regrets and wishes, we couldn’t bring ourselves to completely pass on and watch the others down in Hyrule and Termina nearly getting themselves killed. Which is why we have chosen this route so that we, while in spirit form, can still contribute to saving both lands and perhaps the entire world in succession.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Aveil nodded.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Then I can trust you with something that I overheard as I made my escape from our Great Bay fortress. I am not certain if this is true, but I overheard enemy forces talking about having set up an outpost within a mountain region that lies between Ikana Canyon and Snowhead, but to get there, one must find a hidden path that lies within the Woods of Mystery, which leads to a high cliff overlooking the vast lands of Termina and perhaps even Hyrule altogether. It has been said that travelers have to be very careful, rumors are going out that the place feels like a maze and yet they hold something that can be of great use there…” She said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Hmmm, that is something worth looking into. Thank you for your time.” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Don’t mention it. I’ll have someone assigned as an escort for you whom can guide you safely to the Spirit Temple, just in case.” She said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Alright. I swear to you, as the Sage of Shadows, Nabooru will rejoin the ranks of the living.” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I trust you can keep that promise. In return for your intervention on our behalf, we’ll offer our fortress and its training ground as a place for you and your friends to hide and train in if you deem it necessary.” Aveil said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa nodded, bowing in gratitude as Nabooru’s spirit sank back into Impa’s shadow to hide as part of the plan, before Impa was led out of the fortress and Aveil summoned one of her underlings to join the Shadow Sage as an escort force.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]‘Oh boy, this is getting harder than I thought… I never thought to see my people falling into a civil war because of this…’[/font][font=Verdana, sans-serif] Nabooru then telepathically said to Impa.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]‘Gerudo versus Gerudo… leave it to Ganondorf and his hunger for power to involve the rest of Hyrule and Termina into this. I feel sorry for what your people must be going through.’[/font][font=Verdana, sans-serif] Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]‘It’s alright, you couldn’t have known. Nevertheless, we should be able to find something in the Spirit Temple if they’re using that as a stronghold again. It does bring back bad memories…’[/font][font=Verdana, sans-serif] [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]‘That explains your distrust of Koume and Kotake when we encountered them in Termina…’[/font][font=Verdana, sans-serif] Link butted in.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]‘Damn straight; it’s because of them I’ve been forced to fight you as an Iron Knuckle, brainwashed by them to do Ganondorf’s bidding…’[/font][font=Verdana, sans-serif] Nabooru replied as she sighed, [/font][font=Verdana, sans-serif]‘…now I feel like I’m experiencing a déjà vu, but now I’m doing this on my own accord.’[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]‘Look at it this way, Nabooru; once we have our temporal bodies, we should be able to wreck some havoc instead once we have the information we need.’[/font][font=Verdana, sans-serif] Zelda said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]‘True, although you should be careful regarding your first step.’[/font][font=Verdana, sans-serif] Nabooru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]‘I wonder what could be suitable for us…’[/font][font=Verdana, sans-serif] Saria said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]‘We’ll see once we get there.’[/font][font=Verdana, sans-serif] Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]‘This is going to be a trip to remember.’[/font][font=Verdana, sans-serif] Ruto said, just as Impa was being greeted by her escort and the gate to the Haunted Wasteland was opened…[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Ganondorf was still sitting on his throne, as if waiting for someone, while Majora was having some fun with torturing the prisoners they decided to keep within their dungeon. It was then that a Stalfos with an improved sword and shield came in, as if he was the commander of a contingent of Stalfos troops along the way.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Report.” Ganondorf said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Our outpost in the hidden sanctuary of rock and lava has been set up, but the one beyond the Woods of Mystery was however lost as you had foretold. We also have occupied the Spirit Temple and we're in the works of reinforcing the Stone Tower Temple.” The Stalfos Commander said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“At least there are some results. Anything else?” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“A search party has been working on finding the landing location of the five people you sought. We managed to locate it, but all we found was a pond of water which was mixed with blood throughout. There were no bodies to be found, but from the traces we could discover, we concluded that the bodies have been picked up by someone else and relocated elsewhere. The search party has been following that trail and will report once they have found the location.” The Commander responded.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Hmmm, that confirms my suspicion that the remaining Sages must have found them before we did and managed to take the bodies with them. Keep a close watch on the search party and report back to me the minute you have discovered their hideout. Despite being lesser in numbers, they are still a credible threat, especially the Sage of Fire Darunia.” Ganondorf said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yes, sir. I have another thing to report though; one of my soldiers saw the Sheikah woman traveling in the direction of the Gerudo Fortress and has been tailing her in secret for some time. I am not certain why, but I believe that she may be seeking out the Gerudo there for assistance.” He said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What? Impa seeking out the Gerudo? This is unexpected... she could be after our renewed stronghold in the Spirit Temple. Send a scout out to warn our forces there of the incoming enemy. Remain cautious though; the Shadow Sage can manipulate the Shadows and the darkness into her advantage; it was because of this that she was able to get herself, Darunia and the Light Sage Rauru back out to Hyrule Field before we could end them like how Majora and I ended Link and the Sages. While I am pretty certain that those five may have not survived their harsh landing, I want the search party to confirm that they're dead. I am not taking any chances, especially when it comes to those Sages.” Ganondorf then replied.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Forgive me for the inquiry, but why do you bare such an animosity for those people?”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Because they're the only ones capable of actually stopping me. They did it once before by exposing my plans when I tried to swear 'allegiance' to the King of Hyrule and in a different time they managed to defeat me there. So as a combined force, The Hero of Time and the Seven Sages are more than enough to stop me if given the time to properly grow stronger. We were lucky this time that they severely miscalculated the power I just received, partially due to my alliance with Majora, but still; that group of eight people have the capability to learn from their mistakes. See to your orders, commander.” Ganondorf said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I understand, sir. Your will shall be done.” The Stalfos commander said before moving off to have the orders executed.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Ganondorf nodded before the Commander left, sighing.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]‘Maybe I should have finished the group off at once and taken their powers for myself... but I feel certain that I can rectify that mistake...’[/font][font=Verdana, sans-serif] He thought to himself, rubbing his left side and left thigh, wincing at the injuries that Link and Zelda both left behind on him as a final act of defiance or resistance before Ganondorf hurt the both of them so badly that he knew that they would have succumbed to their injuries at any given time after that. But now that their bodies weren't discovered, he began to wonder what has happened to them... [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]He decided to simply await the report first before he would move to action. Perhaps Majora could be useful again in seeing what can be done about their bodies, if they are found that is...[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Majora on his turn was beginning to feel a bit bored, recently placing a curse on a small group of Gerudo women that were captured by turning them into Gibdos and ReDeads, although one Elite Gerudo caught his interest in remaining defiant and battle-hardened. He decided to do what Kotake and Koume had done before to Nabooru herself; he brainwashed the Gerudo Elite and encased her in an armor that turned her into an Iron Knuckle, sending her off to guard the prison area in his absence. Majora cackled as the remaining Gerudo watched in horror from their cells as this happened, some of them even crying as it showed perfectly what kind of a sicko Majora really was...[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Darunia was still sitting patiently in the Ice Cave while Epona had moved off to get something to drink and warm up a bit after he had showed the horse the way, while Navi decided to stick with the horse, also needing some time away from the place, promising the Goron Leader that she would be back soon. Darunia simply nodded, sighing as he remained in position... until he heard footsteps coming in the Ice Cave after about 15 minutes. Multiple footsteps in fact! This unsettled him as he rose up, his bulky frame itching at delivering some pain to the intruders. Sure enough, a group of Stalfos suddenly barged in the room, each of them ready.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You fiends... even now you choose to disgrace this land with your presence... allow me to put you in the place where you belong!” He said, cracking his knuckles as he got ready to attack![/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The Stalfos on their turn raised their shields and readied their swords, ready to show the foolish Goron for getting in their way. It was then that one of the Stalfos took note of the bodies it could barely see behind the icy wall and attempted to warn its comrades of it, only for Darunia to knock its head clean off, the skull smashing in pieces against the icy wall at the back, its body disintegrating in blue flames.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You vile beings of darkness do not belong here! DIE!” Darunia said as he then attacked the Stalfos, whom retaliated in kind. [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The Stalfos did put up quite the resistance, but Darunia was way stronger and delivered a serious pounding to the invading Stalfos, showing them how pissed off he was by this desecration of the Ice Cave. As the fight lasted, it was clear that Darunia had the upper hand, but as he was being occupied by the Stalfos, he failed to notice the presence of a Poe that sneaked into the same room and reached the ice gravestone which contained the five bodies which were now frozen over and through this also conserved. Using this information, the Poe retreated while letting Darunia finish off the Stalfos, intending to take the information to the Stalfos Commander, but not before it witnessed, while turning invisible, Darunia slaughtering the Stalfos forces present, effectively wiping out the initial search party in response. Darunia simply let himself go in his own action of rage and vengeance, showing the Stalfos his wrath as he unleashed parts of his own frustration onto them, breaking their bones and crushing their skulls as he delivered strike after strike from his massive fists. As two of the Stalfos tried to attack him from the side, Darunia retaliated by delivering a dual-punch to the side that knocked the ribcages of the skeletal fighters clean off from the rest of the body, killing the Stalfos in question instantly as their remaining bones clattered on the ground, disintegrating. The Stalfos Search Party was soon completely decimated as it didn't stand a chance against the raging Sage of Fire. Once the battle was over, Darunia himself panted as he stood among the disintegrating remains of the Stalfos, having received several cuts here and there, but despite that still battle-hardened and ready to engage any other enemy that tried to get in. He then turned towards the area where the encased bodies of Nabooru, Saria, Link, Zelda and Ruto laid, whom still were present there as if nothing had came to them or tried to take their bodies away. They were left completely undisturbed. Sighing of relief, Darunia relaxed, so he could tend to his injuries properly.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]'How did those evil goons get here?! I don't understand... wait... of course! They must have followed the trail we may have left behind while we were carrying the bodies of Brother Link and his dearest friends all the way here! They did lie in that pond, so they must have been following the trail that came from any remaining wounds that bled out as well as the trails of bloodied water from the pond! Curses, it appears we may need to relocate to a different place if this keeps up!'[/font][font=Verdana, sans-serif] Darunia thought to himself as he thought about what has happened, being agitated at the fact that more minions of Ganondorf and Majora could come if they would follow the trail. He would discuss this with Rauru once he came back... and where in the name of Hyrule had Impa gone to?! She never let him know where he went... but perhaps she was still in a too much of a turmoil in order to even return... he couldn't blame her for that; after all she lost the one person she was supposed to watch over herself... but still, where had she gone to? Darunia hoped that Impa didn't get herself into any trouble, or there'd be hell to pay! Any form of carelessness now was not needed, could not be used and was not desired at any level, considering what has happened so far... He sighed as he nursed his wounds a bit, cauterizing the worst-looking ones regarding the cuts he received a bit so they wouldn't bleed anymore and just waited for the healing process to kick in.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]'Impa... Rauru... Navi... please return safely...'[/font][font=Verdana, sans-serif] He thought to himself as he sat back down to calm down a bit, glad that the invading troops was repelled for now, but if more of them would dare to show their faces, he would be ready to cave their skulls in!
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Chapter 17: Ninja Control[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The Gerudo Escort guided Impa along the Haunted Wasteland, using the flagpoles to reach at least the center hideout that were present, before both women ventured throughout the desert sand towards the Desert Colossus, the area which was home to the Spirit Temple itself. Thankfully the desert wind was blowing much more softly this time around, giving the women a better sight over the path ahead, which in turn allowed them to reach the Desert Colossus safely.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, here we are.” The Gerudo said as the two arrived at the Desert Colossus. [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“The Spirit Temple itself... it looks so huge and majestic...” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It is, huh? This used to be the stronghold of Ganondorf and his troops, before the young man in the green tunic went into the Temple and liberated it from its clutches, coupled with the liberation of the exalted Nabooru, whom we later learned was being brainwashed by those two witches Koume and Kotake...” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“And now it's being occupied again, right?” Impa then said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Indeed it is...” The Gerudo said, sighing, “...they managed to get here during the staged attack on our fortress. It's as if they intended to create the diversion to keep us occupied and leaving us unable to call for reinforcements, even more when our main opponents were our comrades who were either brainwashed or otherwise willingly joined the ranks of Ganondorf and Majora in turn...”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa sympathized with the young Gerudo, whom obviously was agitated.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I take it things must have been hard for you then?” She asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yes,” The Gerudo responded, “even more when I later discovered that one of the captured Gerudo was my elder sister. I haven't heard from her ever since she was taken away, so I assume she must have been brainwashed to do Ganondorf's bidding as well... or even worse...”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Look, we'll do whatever we can to put an end to Ganondorf's diabolical schemes, but I can't make any guarantees as to how long it may take. The deaths of Nabooru, Saria, Link, Zelda and Ruto shocked all of us...” Impa replied.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Those are the names of Lady Nabooru's friends?” The Gerudo asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yes. Nabooru admired each of them for their own skills, with Link having earned her respect for outright stating to her that he hates Ganondorf. Nabooru told me later on that she liked Link because of that statement, stating that he had the guts for simply saying it to her face and also appreciated his efforts for helping her in retrieving the things that Nabooru was looking for herself, until she became brainwashed that is...”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The Gerudo nodded.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So this could be a déjà vu for the both of them then, huh?” She asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That it is indeed...” Impa replied, sighing deeply, “at least both will be able to do their part in wrecking havoc among Ganondorf's troops here, fighting side by side.” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“True.” The Gerudo said, nodding as the two advanced carefully to the Spirit Temple, taking out a few Leevers that tried to be a bother along the way.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Rauru safely made it back into Hyrule Field with his disguise still on, before he turned himself into a Light Wisp again and made a rapid dash towards the Lost Woods area again, intending to move to the Ice Cave where Darunia was still present. He was unaware of what has happened so far regarding the invasion of Stalfos in the Ice Cave or what Impa had been doing, thus remaining oblivious to the fact of Impa's negotiation with the Gerudo and using her own plan to wreck some havoc within the Spirit Temple. Rauru did stop for a moment as he saw a Floormaster patrolling in Hyrule Field, obviously being on its way to a different destination, waiting until the monster had passed by before continuing on towards his destination. It was quite a hectic trip, but he would see to it that he would prevail. Hopefully Darunia could be of assistance with taking the bodies to the Fairy Queen's residence as they would go and find her to see if she could grant them their wish.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Tatl and Tael were on their way back towards the Ice Cave as well, with the siblings flying next to each other. [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Tael, are you sure that this is a good idea?” Tatl asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Trust me, Tatl, as long as we stick around with them and help them in any way we can, perhaps we can have a bit of redemption of our own.” Tael said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What do you mean?” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I just feel bad for the time I hung around Skull Kid while he was being possessed by the Mask and being unable to stop the mask from letting the Skull Kid do the things he did. I was a fool back then… which is why I was happy that someone was able to stand up to him… Meeting Link was a godsend” Tael said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I see…” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You know, if it wasn’t for him, we too would have perished if that mask succeeded in using its powers to bring the moon down on Termina, along with the Skull Kid itself and everyone in Termina altogether.” Tael then said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Tatl floated in place for a moment.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Thanks for that particular flashback, I needed that.” Tatl muttered sarcastically under her breath, before flying off behind her brother, obviously upset because of what her brother just said.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa and her Gerudo escort safely entered the Spirit Temple, dodging the Flying Pots as they arrived at the entrance, noticing the small elevator platform that was on the hallway at the far side of the room they were in, with the left side providing entry for the children while the other side was for adults, although Impa and her escort used the elevator to reach the first floor right away, figuring that they had to go there, before walking over a path of which the giant blocks with the Gerudo Emblem on it had already been pushed in their respective holes.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That’s strange; this path was supposedly blocked before…” The Gerudo said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Maybe the forces who have re-occupied this temple have been clearing the path first?” Impa asked, thinking that some of the strongest goons could be good enough to push those heavy blocks into their appropriate holes…[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Could be…” The Gerudo said as the two proceeded carefully.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The two carefully proceeded on until entering the Colossus Room, which was apparently empty, coupled with the sight of already opened chests and solved puzzles. However, Impa leaned in to the right as if listening in to something.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What is it?” The Gerudo asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It’s a Floormaster. It’s patrolling on the higher staircase to our right.” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So there are forces that have occupied this Temple after all…” The Gerudo said as the two walked on.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It appears so. Link and Zelda both told me that they don’t like the Floormasters one bit because of its resilient nature and just dashing straight into you all the time, but they find one enemy WORSE than the Floormaster…” Impa said, looking up suspiciously.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“And what would that be?” The Gerudo asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa responded by grabbing the Gerudo and hopping backwards, a split-second later followed by another disembodied hand landing on the spot where Impa and the Gerudo once stood, right before Impa ended the creature’s life rapidly.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What in Nabooru’s name was that?!” The Gerudo asked terrified.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“A Wallmaster. The kind of beings that can take you all the way back to the entrance of this temple if you’re not careful. It’s the kind of sneaky pieces of shit that you want to avoid like the plague.” Impa said, before putting her daggers away.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“They can do that?!” She asked, blinking.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You bet; my friends have seen plenty of them during their adventures and I can't blame them for their animosity to those creatures.” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The Gerudo gulped at this as the area seemed calm for now.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So, where to now? We may need to go up here somewhere, but is it the safe area to our left or is it the area where the Floormaster is patrolling around?”Impa then asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Not sure... I think we should look either side to see if we can find what we are looking for...” The Gerudo said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The Gerudo nodded, seeing what Impa was getting at as she was ready to follow, first climbing up the area to the left and through that ignoring the area with the Floormaster for the time being. Moving through the door, they entered a stairway that led to a room with different Sun Blocks, which remained in place.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Security isn’t quite heavy around here; are they trying to rebuild this?” Impa asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It appears so, or they could be conversing in a different room altogether.” The Gerudo said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Hmmm…” Impa said, thinking.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Lady Impa, how come you have been able to keep the spirits of the fallen ones with you?” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I’m the Shadow Sage; I’ve been training in using my medallion to manipulate and control shadows if I see fit. It hasn’t seen much action so far, but I believe it’ll come of great use here. What I’ve done now is using my own shadow to hide my friends’ spirits inside for their own safety.” Impa replied.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The Gerudo nodded in understanding as the two proceeded on, avoiding the present Beamos and Red Bubbles as they continued on their way.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Darunia watched as Navi was currently sleeping on top of the Fairy Statue, evidently being tired and needing some rest. He simply waited again, being on guard and not letting anyone else visit this cave… He was ready to fight to protect the gravesite. Little did he know that the Poe whom had escaped flew on to meet with the Stalfos Commander at the far side of Hyrule Field, close to the entrance to Lake Hylia in fact, intending to report what it had seen, believing that Ganondorf and Majora would love to hear the result of this, considering what they have done. However it also meant that the loss of the Search Party had to be reported as well, since Darunia took care of all of them in his own wrath-induced rampage. He knew the Stalfos Commander wouldn’t be happy to know that one of his squads had been decimated…[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa and the Gerudo managed to sneak their way into the next corridor, which was apparently empty. They could hear voices at the other side of the door up ahead.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What’s going on out there?” The Gerudo asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Shhh.” Impa said, motioning for her to be quiet. [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]As the two listened, they could hear the talking, but it was too muffled to hear clearly what they were saying.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Hang onto me.” Impa whispered. [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The Gerudo did so, right before she saw herself and Impa sinking into their own shadows… or rather one shadow, as the Gerudo’s was now connected to Impa’s! She wanted to look at Impa’s, only to have her reassure her.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Trust me.” She said, right before the two were submerged into Impa’s Shadow, right before it moved itself underneath the door and into the room where Link first had fought an Iron Knuckle. [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The throne on which the Iron Knuckle had seated before was still there… and was now being occupied by what appeared to be a group of goons whom were wearing robes that concealed their appearances. From a distance, Impa rose her head from her shadow, as did the Gerudo, spying on them from behind a pillar.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Who are those?! I’ve never seen them before in here…” The Gerudo whispered.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I have no idea…” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I have…” A young boy then whispered.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Link?!” Impa asked, blinking at seeing Link’s head popping up from the shadow, followed by Zelda’s…[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“These are Garo Robes, a type of ninja I’ve seen dwelling around the Ikana region…” Link said, whispering as he observed the still unaware group of enemies.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“But what are they doing here?” Impa asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I don’t know… either Majora has planned and/or brainwashed them, or they could be here for a mission of their own…” Link replied back as Zelda moved next to him as they watched…[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So, you understand what we must do?” The Garo in the purple cloak, which Link had identified as the Garo Master, asked its underlings.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yes, we must spread out in Hyrule to look for the remaining Sages as well as the bodies of those whom were killed. We also need to look for surviving villagers or other people to be captured if they do not obey to the will of Ganondorf and Majora.” One of them said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Correct, since Ikana Canyon is in a stalemate, we need to ensure that other nations will not become a threat to our land. We already had suffered numerous losses in our battles against the Ikana Kingdom; we need to be sure that other nations will not come and take advantage of this. Our new allies have said that a small group of various races alone can be a credible threat if given the right circumstances, so we need to be sure that we will not fall prey to them, wherever they may be.” The Garo Master said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So where do we spread out?” A second Garo asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Our leaders have their desire to spread out over time. Once this Temple has been secured, they will fall out to take over the village at the base of the erupting mountain, Ikana itself and the vast forest that connects Hyrule with Termina in order to cut off any potential supply lines that is needed to keep the survivors fed and through this force them to submit to our leaders.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Understood.” The second Garo said.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Hmm, those Garo can come in useful for you and the others.” Impa then said to Link.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“How so?” Zelda asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“These Garo are shrouded in mystery and will leave no corpse behind when perished. Considering the fact that they are ninjas can be excellent for stealth and obtaining the information we need.” Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Alright, so how do we control them?” Zelda asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We’ll stun them first for you, after which you can enter their bodies and take control of them.” Impa said as she was determined to pull this off, as the spirits of Link and Zelda sunk back in the shadow, while Impa and the Gerudo rose from it instead, hiding behind the pillars in order to plan their strike. Impa handed some Deku Nuts over to the Gerudo for assistance, whom accepted it with a nod.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Remember, shield your own eyes when throwing one; these will release a blinding flash upon impact.” Impa whispered to the Gerudo.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Understood.” She said as the two women took position.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So, this land will soon follow the rule of Ganondorf and Majora, so we can cease all obligations and ensure that we benefit from this alliance and hopefully defeat the Ikana Kingdom once and for all.” The Garo Master said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Think again, buster!” A female voice then said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What the-?! Who said that?!” The Garo Master said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We did.” The Gerudo said as she and Impa came into view.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What?! How did you get in here?! You must have a lot of guts to invade on our meeting here!” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“For the record, the Spirit Temple is part of GERUDO territory; you don’t belong here!” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Very well, since you obviously hold claims to this area, let’s see if those claims are valid!” The Garo Master said, arming itself with its flaming swords, while the Garo Robes had their regular blades with them. [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa however smirked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Let’s see what you got then.” She said, crouching low as if preparing to jump.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Without hesitation, the four Garo Robes and their Master attacked, only for Impa and the Gerudo to leap over their attacks and let several Deku Nuts fly around, covering their own eyes while the Garo on their turn were being stunned by the Deku Nuts’ blinding flash released upon impact.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Now!” Impa shouted, extending her Shadow to the stunned Garo Robes and their Master.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Immediately the spirit forms of Link, Saria, Zelda and Ruto charged at the Garo Robes, while Nabooru went for the Garo Master, entering those bodies simultaneously. For several second, the Garo bodies convulsed a bit as the dark and empty spirits were vanquished and the good spirits assumed control over their bodies, in effect ‘transforming’ from Spirit forms to Garo forms. After about a minute, the five spirit had full control over their new bodies.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Whew, this is going to take a bit to get used to.” Garo Zelda said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I know right? The first steps will definitely be a bit clumsy, but once you get used to it, it’ll feel a bit natural.” Garo Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Good thing this is only temporary…” Garo Saria said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Will this affect our normal bodies in the slightest?” Garo Master Nabooru asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Regarding physical moves and abilities, no. What remains is simply the memory of how to use such a body in case this kind of control is needed again.” Garo Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Wow, it feels quite exquisite to be in control of a body other than my own.” Garo Ruto said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I wonder what our role will be here…” Garo Saria said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“According to this one’s memories, this group is technically a unit of spies, which will serve this quest well…” Garo Master Nabooru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“True, but have they remained together?” Garo Zelda asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“In this case, yes. They were actually making a plan of action to move out and spread among Hyrule so they could spy on everyone here.” Garo Master Nabooru replied.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Hmmm, perhaps we should put that to the test…” Garo Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What do you mean?”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You said that the Garo Ninjas wanted to spy on everyone in Hyrule, according to their memories, correct? Why not ‘prove’ that to Ganondorf and Majora by doing actually this against their soldiers here and show them exactly how well the Garo can handle themselves.” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I see where you’re going with this; by putting it into practice, it gives us the chance we need to get an insight on their plans, right?” Garo Zelda asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Not just that; if Ganondorf and Majora find out that we have become aware of their plans and that the Garo have been spying on them, they’ll likely concentrate themselves to sit with the Garo Leaders to find out what exactly has happened there, which in turn keeps them occupied long enough for us to make a getaway…” Garo Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“… and through that continue with our own plans, which includes your resurrection!” Impa said with a smile catching onto Link’s plan.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Wow, looks like you’ve been thinking this over.” Garo Saria said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, it proves that strength isn’t everything to best an enemy. Besides, we should take advantage of the fact that, through this, we’re technically part of the undead.” Garo Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“No argument there.” Garo Ruto said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“But what about you, Impa?” Garo Zelda then asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“My escort and I will hide amongst the shadows and will be standing by to help out if needed. Just be careful though; there are likely more enemies around; I’ve already seen a Floormaster in the room with the Colossus and the room containing several Sun Blocks are almost swarming with Red Bubbles and Beamos.” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The Garo group nodded.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We won’t be bothered much by them due to our new disguise, it’s just you and your escort that need to remain careful, especially against sneaky enemies like the Wallmasters.” Garo Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Have they been that much of a pain to you?” The Gerudo escort asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You have no idea.” Garo Link and Garo Zelda said in perfect unison.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Garo Saria and Garo Ruto shuddered at this, while Garo Master Nabooru also looked somewhat uncomfortable.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I understand. You should get going and, by all means, act as natural as possible; that way the enemy won’t see through your disguise.” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Thanks for the heads up. Hopefully they’ll be as easily fooled like when I’m wearing the Stone Mask.” Garo Link said, before turning to Garo Master Nabooru.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So, ‘Master’, what are your orders?” Garo Link then asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Huh?!” Garo Master Nabooru asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Garo Masters are like the superior officers to the Garo Robes; heck, when I was wearing the Garo Mask, they actually appeared before me, thinking I was their Master, before realizing their mistake and attacking me.” Garo Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Ah, I see.” Garo Master Nabooru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We should line up then.” Garo Zelda said with a chuckle.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Garo Saria and Garo Ruto both giggled as they stood next to Garo Link and Garo Zelda.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Alright then. Your orders are simple; stick around here and gather intelligence as best as you can. Link, you know this temple by now, at least part of it; you, Saria and Zelda should be able to get most what we need. Ruto and I will go the other way, but keep in touch and report back to me the minute you have some valuable information.” Garo Master Nabooru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yes ma’am.” Garo Link, Zelda and Saria said in unison before moving off.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We’ll be moving around as well to ensure everything goes as planned.” Impa said, letting herself and her escort sink back in her shadow to hide.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The five reformed Garo Ninjas then went on their way, moving back to the Colossus Room from where they would split up and execute their mission.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Darunia looked up when he heard another set of footsteps coming his way, but this time it was a single set. He got up, his arms at his side, ready to defend himself.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Relax, Darunia, it’s me, Rauru.” A male voice then said, right before Rauru himself walked in the room.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Seeing this, Darunia did stand down right away.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You’ve been gone for some time.” Darunia said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I know. It wasn’t easy, but I managed to retrieve the rest of our friends’ equipment as well as having the information that we need to resurrect them.” Rauru replied.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You have?”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yes. I was told about Venus, the Queen of the Fairies, whom currently resides on an island somewhere off the Great Bay area. If we go to her, perhaps she can help in resurrecting them.” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I see. How do we even get there?”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We’ll discuss that once we’re underway. By the way, where is Impa?”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Impa needed some time by herself after the realization that by weakening us, the Master Sword lost part of its power and through that Ganondorf was only wounded, not killed by Link’s hand. Which in turn allowed Ganondorf to deal the deathblow to him and his best friends… she hasn’t returned for some time now. Then again, I was too focused on keeping this shrine safe to keep proper track of her movements. About half an hour ago, a group of Stalfos came here and attacked. I decimated them all, but…”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Wait, you fought a group of Stalfos here?! How did they get here?!” Rauru asked, appalled.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“My best guess is that they must have followed a trail or something we unwittingly may have left behind while carrying the bodies of our friends to here. It could be residue from fresh injuries or their clothes had soaked up a big portion of the water from the pond they fell in.” Darunia said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“This is most unfortunate. This all but increases the haste for us to move out before they return with reinforcements.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I decimated every Stalfos that came in here, so no one escaped. However, this does not rule out the possibility of others following that trail.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Right. First, we need to get our friends out from their grave here, so we can take them with us.” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“How are we going to do that without their bodies decomposing underway?”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Leave that to me.” Rauru said. [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Darunia shrugged and went to work to carefully breaking the ice wall around the group, using his Fire Sage abilities to actually weld a slab of ice out of the wall to keep the bodies sealed within the ice, which eventually resulted in a large ice block that contained the five bodies in. Rauru then invoked his own powers to seal the ice block in a blue crystal to keep the cold inside, before that crystal was magically shrunken down to the size of a large Rupee, which Rauru pocketed for the time being.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Through this we can carry their bodies with us, yet have our hands free in case we need our powers for combat underway.” Rauru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Darunia nodded.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Now we need to find Impa and let her come and join us.” He said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Rauru concentrated as if he was trying to locate her.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I have sensed that Impa has been invoking her Shadow Medallion for her own purpose. I just need to pinpoint her location as she was constantly on the move before…” Rauru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Darunia nodded, before seeing Navi waking up and flying to him.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I found her; she’s at the Spirit Temple in the Desert Colossus, past Gerudo Valley.” Rauru said after several minutes.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What?! Why would Impa be all the way there?” Darunia asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We’ll find out once we get there. Let’s go.” Rauru said as he turned to leave. Darunia and Navi followed suit.
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Chapter 18: On the move[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Upon returning back to the Colossus Room, Garo Link, Garo Zelda and Garo Saria separated themselves from the others to proceed with their part of the mission, heading towards the other side of the Temple. Surprisingly, the enemies fell for the trap as the resident Floormaster in the Colossus Room ignored them and went back on its patrol, allowing the group to proceed further. [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Where are we going?” Garo Saria asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We’ll check the room where I used to fight another Iron Knuckle to get a different shield as a reward after. If we don’t find anything of importance there, we need to reach the room where I had to lower a platform on the top floor that will allow us to reach the corridor to the room where I had fought Twinrova before.” Garo Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Twinrova?” Garo Zelda parroted.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“The fused entity of Koume and Kotake.” Garo Link explained.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Those two witches we saw back in Termina?” Garo Saria asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yep. Back then, they had brainwashed Nabooru and tried to kill me.” Garo Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yikes! That must have been quite a fight!” Garo Zelda said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It was. The only good thing was that I had my Mirror Shield with me that allowed me to reflect their magic back at them, which was the only way to actually beat them.” Garo Link said as the three continued on their way.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Wow, that must have been quite dangerous.” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It was. Their attacks could drain life rather quickly, so I had to be certain I was either out of the firing line or had the shield ready in time. Which is why I decided to use only my shield first.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Garo Zelda could see the logic in that.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Such stories could be great to be passed on to our descendants…” Garo Saria said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“True. But first we need to ensure the distraction needed for our resurrection has been placed. We’ll first eavesdrop a bit around do see what they’re talking about. Perhaps we could use that information to progress properly; acting too soon or too much aggression may reveal our intentions or expose us.” Garo Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Right. Besides, we’re dead already, so this could be even more dangerous than ever.” Garo Zelda said.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Report.” The Stalfos Commander said once he saw the Poe coming to him while standing in front of the broken gate towards Lake Hylia.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I have good news and I have bad news.” The Poe said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Start with the good.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I have located the bodies of the five whom were mauled by our masters. They are most definitely dead; their bodies have been sealed inside a wall of ice that could most definitely be done to preserve the bodies.” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That is terrific, what’s the bad news?”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“The Stalfos Search Party that joined in on this was wiped out by Darunia, the Sage of Fire. I managed to get out before he could get to me.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The Stalfos Commander bowed his head.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Those were some fine soldiers. However, we did reach our objective in finding the bodies of the fallen ones; Lord Ganondorf still wishes for that forest boy and the princess of the Hylian people to be brought to him because of the Triforce Pieces they wield. You may go and keep an eye on the area. I’ll need to bring report to Lord Ganondorf soon.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Understood, sir.” The Poe said before it vanished out of sight.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The Stalfos Commander watched it vanish, doing some thinking.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So, those five are indeed goners… but if the others are so relentless, this could be a problem in case we try to retrieve them… looks like I need to assemble a new group of Stalfos…” He said as he went on his way.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]While underway to Hyrule Field, Darunia, Rauru and Navi were soon enough joined by Epona and later on by Tatl and Tael, explaining that Impa for some reason was within the Spirit Temple. They first decided to bring Epona back to Lon Lon Ranch for the time being, considering that the ranch was so far still untouched, as if it was of no interest to Ganondorf and Majora both for the time being. Even though there were still Guays moving around at night and it was dangerous to go out during the day regarding deliveries of the delicious Lon Lon Milk, the ranch owner Talon, his daughter Malon and the worker Ingo were largely ignored by Ganondorf and Majora’s troops; the only ones that did form a bother were the Poes, but those harassed any traveler along the way, regardless of where or who they are. Luckily Darunia and Rauru weren’t intimidated in the slightest as they brought Epona back to the ranch, much to the delight of Malon whom was worried about her. Afterwards, the two Sages and the three Fairies made their way into Gerudo Valley, towards the Haunted Wasteland.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Garo Master Nabooru and Garo Ruto, while being tailed by Impa and her escort whom were hidden amongst the shadows, went in a different direction, exploring the area which Link had explored before while being in the Temple a year before, which was shown by the already solved puzzles, unlocked doors and the opened chests. They could hear some chatting in one of the rooms up ahead, which turned out to be a room where Link had to use a Bombchu in order to get light to shine on a sun face on the floor. As they watched, they could see two Lizalfos conversing together, while Baby Dodongos were roaming around in search of something to eat and a Beamos was keeping an eye out against any intruder it could detect.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So, have you heard about the planned attack?” The First Lizalfos asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What? Did Lord Ganondorf and Majora have something in mind?” The Second Lizalfos responded.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yeah, now that those Sages and their Hero are out of the way, both plan to spread their influence out over Hyrule and Termina.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“And how are they going to do that?” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“They’ve set up outposts in the least suspected areas, in particular within areas between the known regions so they can gather up and attack from two or even more than two fronts simultaneously.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Really? That requires some major preparation then.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“True. The only setback is that an outpost in the land beyond the Woods of Mystery was discovered by mere coincidence and the forces there slaughtered by those five whom Ganondorf and Majora killed, but that outpost was set up only recently, so the losses weren’t that exactly big.” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Hmmm… do you know where the others have settled?”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Of course. One outpost was recently set up in a different part of the forest between Hyrule and Termina, while another, more advanced outpost was placed in a nigh inhospitable land within a vast sanctuary consisting mostly of rock and lava. The paths there are passable, but it’s definitely quite sophisticated.” The first Lizalfos said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“And from where can they launch attacks then in that area?” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“The sanctuary’s hidden somewhere between Ikana Canyon and Snowhead, considering the presence of a mountain area as well as an actual volcano, which explains the lava. It was supposed to be inaccessible, but recently a path towards it has been excavated… in fact, you need to go to the Southern Swamp to get there properly, since the entrance to it was hidden very well.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I see.” The second Lizalfos said, nodding.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Another thing is that the area is like a maze, which is perfect to stash our best equipment and soldiers for the invasion there.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“True and since those five are goners, we can take over the lands without much opposition.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Exactly. Couple that with the amount of troops we’re building up now, it’ll only be a matter of time before this whole world is under our control.” The first Lizalfos said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Hmmm. I have one question though; Ganondorf may be out looking for that forest boy and the princess. What will happen if he gets to their bodies?”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That’s for Ganondorf to know. He’ll likely take their Triforce pieces and will have either their corpses stuffed and mounted somewhere or perhaps reanimated to have them work for him for all I know.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Unknown to them, they were being watched by Garo Master Nabooru and Garo Ruto as well as Impa and her Gerudo escort. Needless to say the four were currently seething with fury for being mocked like that, with Impa’s fury directed mostly at what Ganondorf’s plans could be. They were lucky that Link wasn’t with them now, since he would have likely gone ahead to decapitate the Lizalfos for suggesting such a thing. Thankfully the four retained their composure and moved on, with only Impa and her escort invisible, Garo Master Nabooru and Garo Ruto passing by as if nothing happened and the Lizalfos, aware of the presence of the Garo Ninjas already, ignored them…[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Ganondorf once again sat on his throne, Majora floating beside him, when one of the Poes came to him, presenting two bottles with each containing a crimson-red liquid which obviously had a darker and perhaps even a thicker substance to it than the medicine known as the Red Potion..[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We managed to get some of the blood of the young forest boy and the princess that remained on the tower, my Lord.” The Poe said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Good, very good.” He said, smirking.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What exactly are you up to?” Majora then asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Just watch.” Ganondorf said, as the Poe opened the bottles.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Igniting his Triforce of Power for a moment, Ganondorf directed some of his dark magic into both bottles. Within seconds, the contents of those bottles began to boil and turned pitch black, before rising from the bottles like it became thick, black smoke, both of which settled in front of Ganondorf, after which both plumes began to grow and contort into humanoid shapes… one male and one female… For now retaining their rather foggy shape, their eyes opened, which revealed the eerie crimson red eyes as if they were made out of pure evil, before their shapes got more solid.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Your orders?” Both asked in a tone that sounded clear yet with a low pitch that added to their demonic side.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Go forth and seek out the remaining sages, but do not reveal yourselves yet. I want you to stay hidden from their sight and spy on them, I want to know exactly what Darunia, Rauru and Impa are up to, so report back to me once you have located them and know of their intentions.” Ganondorf said, watching as both figures now gained the full appearance of both Link and Zelda, but both having a distinct dark appearance, consisting mostly out of dark gray to pitch black, save only for those blood-red eyes.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yes, my Lord.” Both Dark Link and Dark Zelda said, bowing before they left to execute their orders.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Huh?! What is that good for?” Majora asked, confused.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“If the Sages are concerned, they will definitely seek out a high power that is capable of resurrecting the ones we killed back then. Anticipating this, I had the order given to collect what can be salvaged of the blood of the two I manhandled personally, so they can later on begin with causing some confusion and orient on ensuring that they can reach those places where we couldn’t go before or otherwise had no access to and yet these two can. Perhaps if they can even get their hands on some of the treasure that the others still may have in their possession, coupled with their memories and everything…” Ganondorf said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So, by making these dark clones, you could try to coax some of their remaining friends to join us then?” Majora asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“In a way, yes. In case those two are resurrected, let’s see if they can clear their names if it comes to that…” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Just then, the Stalfos Commander came in.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I take it you have a report to make?” Ganondorf asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yes, sir. I can confirm that Link, Zelda, Saria, Ruto and Nabooru are indeed dead; one of my underlings has seen their corpses sealed inside a hidden ice cave somewhere in the vast forest between Hyrule and Termina. However the Search Party that accompanied it was completely wiped out by Darunia, the Fire Sage.” The Stalfos Commander said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I see.” Ganondorf said, nodding.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I request to have a new battalion of Stalfos assigned to compensate for the loss.” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Very well. You have given me some vital information, as I already have sent soldiers out to spy on the surviving Sages. I need you to reinforce our outpost at a different part of the forest in preparation to invade Termina, so you came exactly on the right time.” Ganondorf said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yes, My Lord. Your will shall be done.” The Stalfos Commander said, before he left to perform his assigned orders.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Ganondorf nodded at him.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Majora, I want you to aid our forces at the Fire Sanctuary and ensure they reach every spot possible to look for things that could be useful to us. It’s time for us to enter the field, so to speak.” He then said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Alright, consider it done. What about you?” Majora asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I’ll go and see how the situation at the Spirit Temple is, if everything is ready to plan our next move within Hyrule itself.” Ganondorf replied as he got up.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Alright. How long do you think you’ll be gone?” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I’ll be there for a while, just to be certain that everything goes as planned.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Very well. I’ll see you later then.” Majora said before he left.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Garo Link, Garo Saria and Garo Zelda managed to make their way to the room where Link, in the future that almost was, discovered the Boss Key in the temple which was needed to gain access to the room where Koume and Kotake held the brainwashed Nabooru captive. There they saw an Iron Knuckle sitting on its throne, whom looked in conversation with other beings. Thankfully they weren’t noticed at all, the conversation was apparently running deep. On their way however, when passing through the Sun Puzzle room, they could hear the unmistakable trotting of a Floormaster, while two Stalfos were standing guard. They also spotted an apparently docile Wallmaster, but they figured that it was waiting for any unsuspecting traveler to pounce onto. Thankfully their disguise as Garo Ninja helped wonders, which pretty much allowed them to explore the Temple on their own accord. The Stalfos and the Floormaster ignored them completely, obviously heeding to the alliance that they had and just let the Garo Ninja go where they wanted. This caused Link to do some thinking while watching things through his robe as they continued on. Once inside an empty corridor, the three stopped to take a breather, before entering the room they were in now…  As they looked around, they saw the Iron Knuckle having a conversation with a Stalfos, while Torch Slugs crawled around calmly. The three decided to sit down within the shadows, listening in to the conversation, although it was mostly about the affairs going on within the Spirit Temple and how the forces of Ganondorf and Majora have been gathering. This in turn gave the three a bit of time for some reflection.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I still have difficulties with grasping this…” Garo Saria said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Everyone of us has, Saria,” Garo Link said, “I have to admit that I’ve stared death in the face more than I can count, but this is the actual first time that I actually did die.” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Same with me,” Garo Zelda said, “in fact, Ganondorf tried to crush Link and myself under the debris of his castle in the future that almost was. I find it strange that memories have carried over…” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Perhaps all that time traveling must have held influence on it too. I mean, I know for sure what has happened back then, but I never could have imagined that these memories also carried over to you…” Garo Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Maybe it’s because of the Sages in that future having taken a part of this. After all, their powers are reflected within the Master Sword and considering the events that preceded it all…” Garo Zelda said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That’s a good possibility.” Garo Saria said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So what are we going to do once we’re brought back to life?” Garo Zelda said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Personally I would first review the facts of where did it go wrong with us then and then make a different plan of action in order to still bring victory to us. We now know that Ganondorf and Majora both have become stronger, possibly having given each other a portion of their respective powers. Given the possibility that Ganondorf too may have received memories from his own future counterpart, I’d say that he actually knew that we were coming and thus acted accordingly to ensure his will would be absolute. It’s only a speculation, but it would explain why he did what he did to me. I never expected you two, much less Ruto and Nabooru, to eventually share my fate, so to speak.” Garo Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Point taken.” Garo Zelda said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I just remembered something, wouldn’t Red Fairies be able to help?” Garo Saria asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Normally yes, but considering the way we were being manhandled, coupled with the dark magic or energy we were being struck with and add the fact of how severe our injuries were at the end, I doubt they could be of help. Besides, we didn’t have any Red Fairies with us and Impa told us that we were already dead by the time we were found. Our spirits did already leave our bodies back then…” Garo Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Hmmm, looks like someone of higher power is needed then.” Garo Zelda said, before the three sighed.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Their conversation was fortunately not heard by the enemies on the far side of the room, but still…[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Using their wisp forms to travel quicker, Darunia and Rauru arrived after several minutes within the Desert Colossus area, with the entrance to the Spirit Temple ahead.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Here we are.” Rauru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I wonder why Impa decided to go here…” Darunia said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“There’s only one way to find out for sure…” Rauru said as he moved to the entrance of the Spirit Temple, only for himself and Darunia to come under attack by Leevers, which prompted them to fight their way to the Temple itself.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Wait… I can feel a dark presence approaching the Temple!” Rauru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We should hide right away.” Darunia said, before he and Rauru turned themselves back into wisps and went into the Great Fairy’s Fountain entrance to hide for a moment and spy there. [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]It was apparent that the two Sages weren’t taking any risks now, especially if they wanted to prevent themselves from sharing the fate of Link and his closest friends after all… As they watched from their hiding spot, they could easily see dark clouds beginning to form slightly over the Temple and soon enough the dark presence they sensed appeared in front of the Temple, causing their eyes to go wide, although Darunia’s was mostly out of fury as the one being whom they hated the most showed up in front of the Temple…  the King of Evil, Ganondorf.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Why that no-good- how dares he show up here?!” Darunia hissed, his veins pulsing within his forehead and arms.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Stand down, Darunia. I know you want to pound his face in for what he did to Link and our fellow Sages, but at the current moment it would only make things worse as it is. I presume that he’s here to check up on how far the Spirit Temple has progressed if he is working on reclaiming it…” Rauru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That sounds logical… but Impa is somewhere in here too!”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I know, but there is not much we can do but pray that Impa too has sensed him and is hiding somewhere to remain out of sight of him.” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Darunia grunted in utter frustration, yanking a piece of rock from the wall he stood on and munched on it, trying to calm his nerves through this. Rauru simply sighed, being the most calm of the two.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Trust me when I say that this isn’t any easier for me than it is for you, Darunia, but the three of us definitely won’t stand a chance against him now.” He then said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“But we can’t just let him get away with this, right?!” Darunia asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Of course not. Ganondorf may have won the battle, but all things considered, this is still a war. All we need is something that can help us turn the tide of the war in our favor, the resurrection of those whom Ganondorf killed being one of them. But we can’t make any progress if we would go and confront him now.” Rauru replied.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Hmmm, I see your point.” Darunia said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Think of it this way; Ganondorf believes Link, Zelda, Saria, Ruto and Nabooru are dead, but he hasn’t seen the bodies yet. Therefore he is more likely to stay on edge and concentrate on his own political matters, while at the same time trying to find their bodies so he can still claim the very pieces of the Triforce that Link and Zelda have taken with them to their grave. And as long as we have their bodies with us, we have the advantage as we are, in a way, denying Ganondorf the things he’s looking for.” Rauru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That is as long as he doesn’t catch us.” Darunia said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Exactly. So as long as we stay out of his sight, we have a chance to bring our friends back. All that matters now is Impa’s safety so she can join us in our trip.” Rauru said.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Speaking of Impa, she was still keeping a close watch on Garo Master Nabooru and Garo Ruto as they were underway to meet up with Garo Link, Garo Saria and Garo Zelda, having sensed Ganondorf approaching. So they decided to meet in the Sun and Mirror puzzle room to be out of sight as well as preventing problems, considering the animosity between the group and the Evil King himself. Once inside the room, the group conversed, while the Gerudo escort was terrified of all the creatures she saw around; the resident Gibdos she saw nearly gave her a heart attack.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So, what’s the state of affairs? All we know is that the activity of Ganondorf and Majora’s troops is concentrated around this temple, this we learned from a conversation between a Stalfos and an Iron Knuckle…” Garo Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, first off, Ganondorf himself is on his way here, obviously to check on his troops.” Impa said, instantly causing Garo Link and Garo Zelda to freeze up a bit in fear.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Second, it is now confirmed that their forces are gathering in unknown areas of this world in order to stage their attacks on Hyrule and Termina. One of which being a hidden sanctuary in the area between Snowhead and Ikana Canyon and another being located in a different part of the forest that connects Hyrule with Termina.” Garo Master Nabooru said. [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I see, but how are we going to tackle those?” Garo Saria asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We’ll first concentrate on bringing the five of you back to life, seeing as Rauru has gone to find a way that can help us to bring you back with us in corporeal form instead of spiritual. Then we’ll mess up their outpost in the forest area, since this might endanger the areas like the Deku Palace, the Kokiri Forest as well as any supply lines that are running to keep the surviving population of Hyrule and Termina fed which in turn run through the forest.” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The Garo Ninja group nodded, understanding Impa’s plan.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Now that we know about their plans, we should get out of here and meet with the others. We got where we came for here and it would be a bit too suspicious if we decide to wreck havoc here now.” Garo Ruto said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Ruto has a point, especially considering that Garo Ninjas usually pull a form of ritual suicide once they are defeated, thus in fact dying without leaving a corpse behind. That’s the way of the Garo Ninja. Belief or disbelief rests with you.” Garo Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Wow, you certainly know a lot about them…” The Gerudo escort said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, I had the Garo Mask in possession during my time in Termina, which in effect allowed me to communicate with the Garo Ninja spirits while being in Ikana Canyon. Thanks to them I got some helpful tips to solve the situation there and eventually solve the puzzles in the Ancient Castle of Ikana and through that obtain the things I needed to get into the Stone Tower.” Garo Link said, to which the group nodded, confirming his story as Link told them about it before, with the Gerudo escort herself nodding in kind.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We should get going before Ganondorf finds us.” Garo Zelda said, shivering.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Right,” Impa said as she used her powers to extend her shadow to what looked like a dark mass, “hop into my shadow, I’ll take you outside to the others.” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Nodding, the group, with Garo disguises and all, entered Impa’s shadow, before it regressed back to normal size after which the shadow began to move to make its way out of the Spirit Temple, fortunately unnoticed by the enemy forces present inside, taking the newly-obtained information along with them. As long as the enemy was none the wiser, the group decided to look for a way to turn this into their advantage. But how that will turn out is something that they need to figure out…
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Chapter 19: Back to Termina[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]While Rauru and Darunia still waited within the Great Fairy’s Fountain, Impa led herself and the others out of the Spirit Temple using her shadow, seeing as Ganondorf was inspecting his troops on the far side of the Temple. This in turn gave the group the opportunity to escape from the Spirit Temple unseen, primarily thanks to Impa’s Shadow Medallion giving her the ability to manipulate shadows and overall darkness at will. Once they were out of the Temple and moving on the sand, the shadow moved towards the Great Fairy’s Fountain in order to take a breather there. But as they arrived in the dark area of the fountain and Impa herself rose from the shadow, she was surprised to see Rauru and Darunia there as well.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Huh?! What are you doing here?” Impa asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We could ask you the same thing.” Darunia said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, I was here for a personal mission, mainly to gather intelligence on the movements of the enemy units.” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I see. Wasn’t this dangerous?” Rauru asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Normally yes, but I had help.” Impa said, as she then showed her Gerudo Escort to the group.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Was she the only one?” Darunia asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Uh, not exactly.” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]It was then that the Garo Master and the four Garo Robes appeared in front of the group. Immediately Darunia was ready, but Rauru stopped him.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Wait, something is off about these Garo.” He said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Huh?!” Darunia asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]It was then that the Garo Ninjas disintegrated in sheets of green flames… revealing the spirits of Link, Saria, Zelda, Ruto and Nabooru underneath them![/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“By the Goddesses! How is this possible?!” Darunia asked, blinking. [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We’re spirits lingering with regret, regret of being unable to have seen this coming or otherwise unable to save each other…” Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Impa helped us out using the Song of Healing, which in turn gave us focus to help in gathering intelligence.” Zelda said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We’ve been using the bodies of the Garo Ninja to mingle among Ganondorf’s troops undetected.” Saria said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“And because of this move, we’ve learned the locations of two more outposts of Ganondorf and Majora’s troops.” Nabooru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It was weird to have inhabited a body other than our own though.” Ruto said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That I can understand. But before we go to either one of these outposts, we should head for a lost island within the Great Bay area.” Rauru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What for?” Link asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Because I’ve been told by one of the Great Fairies that the Fairy Queen, known as Venus, resides there. Hopefully she can aid us in your resurrection.” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well then, I guess we should get going before the Evil King finds us?” Saria asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Hmm, I can try something that should cut off most of the trip. Zelda, can you please hand me the Ocarina of Time for a moment?” Link then said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Sure.” Zelda said, giving Link what appeared to be the Ocarina of Time.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Link then began to play the Minuet of Forest on the Ocarina, a melody that instantly caught on with Saria as she began to play along on her own Ocarina. No sooner had they done this however, or the entire group was being encased in a green magic sphere which suddenly bolted off into the sky, before landing at the Sacred Forest Meadow, releasing the three sages, the Gerudo escort and the five Spirits.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Wow! We’re in the forest like that?!” Ruto asked, looking around.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yep,” Link said, “apparently the magic of these songs are still in effect to this day, even after we managed to prevent the Future That Almost Was.” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“At least it saves us on backtracking, but now we need to reach Termina.” Rauru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Right.” Impa said as she hid the five spirits within her shadow once more, before three went on their way.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Impa, how come you don’t have their Triforce pieces and medallions by doing this?” Rauru asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I actually gained those things the first time around, but I had to let them enter my body first before I could transfer them into my shadow, which in turn returned their Triforce Pieces and medallions to them.” Impa said as they went further in the forest.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Ganondorf in the meantime found that his troops did well in regards of preparing themselves, but he couldn’t help to think that something was amiss. Apparently a small number of Garo Ninjas vanished, although troops reported to have seen some of them wandering around in the Temple in relative peace. However, now that he was here, these Garo were missing altogether. He mused that because they are ninja, they apparently were underway to execute their mission already before he arrived. He just hoped to receive a report from them any time soon; he couldn’t afford to get careless now, lest he wants to get his hands on the complete Triforce. He ordered his troops to keep a lookout on the forces in case the Garo Ninjas came back. If those ninjas have betrayed him… then there’d be hell to pay. He decided to play the waiting game on this account, hoping that he would get the right information soon enough…[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa, Darunia, Rauru and their Gerudo escort were making swift progress through the forest, joined by Navi, Tatl and Tael. Epona the horse was in the meantime resting at Lon Lon Ranch in the stable, with Malon taking good care of it. Talon was this time putting some work in himself, much to the relief of Ingo, seeing that it lessened the workload for him and allowed him to have some time for himself once the work was done. It in turn made Ingo also quite nicer because of this help, although he remained weary at first as he remained well-aware of Talon’s tendency to actually fall asleep whenever he was taking a rest. It did help that a few Cuccos were around at the ranch this time, so Ingo and Malon respectively could make one crow next to Talon’s ear to wake him up. It was a little trick that Link had given to Malon, which Ingo caught on rather rapidly…[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So, where exactly is this Lost Island you spoke of?” Impa then asked Rauru.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I was told that it’s somewhere off the Great Bay Coast area, it can be reached by boat. Perhaps if we take one of those more advanced boats that Link told us about, we should be able to reach it at a fair speed. He said the Fisherman could be of help, seeing as how the Gerudo Pirates are more secluded/isolated and already are in trouble themselves, so we should avoid them wherever we can.” Rauru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Point taken.” Impa said as she moved along.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Where did you come across the spirits of our friends?” Darunia then asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“After I ran from the Ice Cave into a clearing, since I still had trouble coping with what had happened, I sat down on a rock near a small running brook of water and just cried there for some time. It was then that I eventually heard someone calling my name and when I looked to the direction of who called me, I saw Zelda’s spirit right there. It turned out that the regrets those five had couldn’t make them pass on to the next life, so I tried to ease their spirits by playing the Song of Healing, which did bring them relief to a major degree as you know.” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yes, they did mention that part.” Darunia said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“But knowing that you wanted to resurrect them, I told them they could enter my body, through which I used my Shadow powers to hide the group inside my own shadow. This in turn would keep their spirits safe from immediate danger, even though we did exploit it to infiltrate the Spirit Temple after I consulted one of my fellow Sheikah from the past.” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I see,” Rauru said before turning to the Gerudo, “and what is your story, young lady?”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I was assigned by my commander Aveil to escort Lady Impa to the Spirit Temple. Suffice it to say, the Gerudo were no better off than any of your races.” The Gerudo said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Oh? What makes you say that? And I don’t think we know your name either…” Darunia said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Oh, pardon me. I was so focused on my task that I didn’t introduce myself. My name is Leia.” The Gerudo said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Pleased to meet you.” Impa said, smiling.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“As for what happened to the Gerudo, it appears that our race has become divided in two camps.” Leia then said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Two camps?” Rauru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yes. On one side, there’s the Gerudo whom have joined the Hyrulean Army against the forces of Evil and are through this on your side. Both my commander Aveil and myself, are part of that camp and have taken refuge in the Gerudo Fortress in the Gerudo Valley here in Hyrule.” Leia said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I see. And who’s the other camp?” Darunia asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Those are the Gerudo whom have resided in their own fortress at the Great Bay area. They have once again been coaxed in the promise of finding expensive treasure and have openly and willingly joined the side of Ganondorf and Majora, or were otherwise brainwashed in doing so, which in effect ignited the Gerudo Civil War.” Leia said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Oh dear…” Impa said, shivering.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“How’s the war progressing then?” Darunia asked, believing that Leia somehow knew more.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“The war’s pretty much a stalemate; both sides have suffered losses and taken Gerudo of the other side whom survived the attacks prisoner. However, the Gerudo Pirates as the ones in Great Bay call themselves are also enacting on things like brainwashing in order to bolster their numbers; they suffered most of the losses due to the complexity of our fortress here in Hyrule. I learned later that, while the Pirates were in fact attacked by the forces of Evil themselves, most of the pirates there willingly joined due to being coaxed into gaining treasure, while other pirates simply refused. Those pirates eventually fled, or were either killed or capture during their escape. On our turn though, we managed to convince some of the pirates we captured that all Ganondorf and Majora wanted was to control the world and make it into their image, thus leaving the treasure out of the question or otherwise having to do things that go against their policies and laws they normally abide by, so they switched sides and joined us instead.” Leia said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I see. So it’s Gerudo versus Gerudo in this as well. Why have you decided to join us in this?” Rauru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“My elder sister Reimu was one of the Gerudo whom was captured during the staged attack on the fortress. I believe that she’s been taken to the fortress in the Great Bay, so I wanted to know if she’s still alive.” Leia said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Even if there’s a chance of her being brainwashed?” Impa asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yes, as long as there’s a sign of life of her…” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa could notice that Leia was either loyal and/or looking up to her sister if she’s that worried about her. Given the state the Gerudo tribe as a whole was in now, this would make sense. Then again, not much of the Gerudo was known up to this point other than that they were all-female thieves with only one male being born once in the hundred years, as well as the occasional Gerudo roaming around Hyrule Castle Town to search for a boyfriend.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The Stalfos Commander in the meantime managed to assemble a new force of Stalfos, this time also having several Stalchildren in his ranks as they marched through the forest towards their outpost there. He was told to oversee the construction of their forts there and intended to assign the Stalfos and Stalchildren he had with him to guard the place with him as he went to oversee the area itself by settling in there for some time before moving on according to his orders. He wouldn’t let his masters down, that was for certain and he would see to it that their will would be executed. Being one of the higher ranked soldiers among the forces of Evil, he had a decent amount of influence over his troops and commanded them where needed while his masters had their attention elsewhere. It was as if the Forces of Evil had taken on a military hierarchy similar to the regular army, which in effect allowed the easier deployment of troops for when the time of invasion would come. Currently the forces were being assembled and prepared, all for the cause of world conquest.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]It took the group several hours, but eventually they managed to reach Termina itself, arriving within the waterworks area that led towards Clock Town.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, here we are.” Darunia said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Hmmm, it feels strange to be in such a different land.” Leia said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It is, but I’m certain we will be guided around fairly soon.” Impa said as they entered the town.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Upon entering the town, they saw the people going about on their daily routine of life. It seemed suddenly incredible to them now that everyone spent their day as if it was just like any other: working, eating and sleeping… it all seemed so safe and tranquil…[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So, where do we go from here?” Darunia asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Link told us that Clock Town lies directly in the center of Termina. Following the compass directions, there is Snowhead to the North, Ikana Canyon to the East, the Southern Swamp to the South, Milk Road to the South-West and the Great Bay Coast to the West of town.” Rauru said, recalling the meeting he had with the other sages and Link himself where the young hero told them about his adventures in Termina.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So it’s up to the west then.” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Wait, now that we’re here in town, do you mind if I get some supplies for underway? You’ll never know what we’ll come across.” Leia then said, wanting to help.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Do you have the money with you?” Impa asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I have about 200 Rupees with me, so I can get us some additional ammunition for sure.” Leia said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Hm. It is definitely not going to be an easy mission, so having some extra supplies won’t hurt.” Rauru said, nodding as the group went to West Clock Town.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Navi, Tatl and Tael followed the group wherever they went, with Navi becoming more anxious with the hour. Fortunately, Tatl and Tael kept her at bay, but it was clear that Navi could hardly wait for the resurrection to take place. Hopefully she could still see Link again and tell him what she wanted to tell him. Navi then suddenly sneezed, startling Tatl whom was flying in front of her.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Bless you.” She said to Navi.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Thanks. Maybe I should have stayed not so long in the Ice Cave.” Navi replied.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You were just a bit too upset to think about it.” Tael said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“True.” Navi said, sighing as she continued on with the other two.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The children who were part of the Bombers’ Secret Society of Justice spotted Tael and Tatl in the area though and went to greet them.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Hey, Tatl and Tael! What brings you here again?” The lead child named Jim asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Oh, hey Jim. We’re on a long trip and made a stop here to get some supplies.” Tatl replied.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Oh? What happened?” Jim asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It’s a long story. To keep it short, two very powerful evil beings have resurfaced and we’re basically on a trip to find a proper way to stop them; they’re currently too powerful for us to be taken down in the first try, so we’re looking for a way to counteract what makes them strong.” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I see. It appears things haven’t been peaceful for long then?” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“No, I guess not.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, if you need any help, just don’t be afraid to contact us. We like to help people out and make them as happy as we can.” Jim then said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I’ll keep that in mind for sure. See you around.” Tatl said, before moving after Tael.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Later, Tatl.” Jim said, waving her off.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Using the directions that Link told them about, the group managed to buy some additional arrows, Deku Nuts and bombs, while Darunia blinked at seeing a Goron in the Bomb Shop. After some chatting, Darunia purchased a Powder Keg from the Goron salesman, knowing it could come in handy sometime. With their additional equipment on hand, the group moved out of West Clock Town, heading straight for the Great Bay area. A green Leever was approaching the group to strike them, but Darunia just smashed it back into the ground without even looking.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Those Leevers are such a pest.” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You said it.” Leia replied.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Upon entering the Great Bay Coast area, the group could see the Marine Research Laboratory, the building which took care of the Zora Eggs directly ahead, coupled with the vast waters of the Great Bay Ocean. To their left, the group could see two buildings, one being the Fisherman’s hut, the other was the Oceanside Spider House. They decided to meet with the Fisherman first, who was present in his hut.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Huh? Oh, hello. It’s been a while since I had a visitor or two. What can I do for you?” The fisherman asked, seeing the group approaching.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We’d like to rent one of your boats, please.” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What for? Are you going to fish?” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“No, we’re on a trip to the Lost Island, which should be somewhere around here.” Darunia said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“The Lost Island you say? Hmmm, that is a tough one. Not many people know about its existence until recently; during one fishing trip I saw these strange airships flying over the area. One portion of it was headed for the Gerudo Pirates’ Fortress, the other went further down the Ocean towards an island I could barely see. I think that’s the one you’re talking about.” He said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Why is it called the Lost Island anyway?” Leia asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Its location makes it impossible to see it directly from the coast. Heck, even I didn’t know of its existence until a couple of days ago when I went fishing; I saw the island in the ocean at about the same distance as how far the Great Bay Temple is away from the Zora Cape.” The fisherman said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I see. That explains its name then, coupled with it being a perfect place to plan attacks from if the enemy knows about it, but we don’t.” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“And I take it you have reasons to go there?” The fisherman asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Of course, but these are personal ones.” Darunia said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I understand.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So, how much for the boat?” Rauru then asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Never mind the price; I’ll take you to it myself. I know exactly where it is.” The fisherman said as he got his gear out, moving towards his boat.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The group followed the fisherman as he prepared his boat, letting the group climb on it once it was well enough in the water. Once everyone was in, the fisherman got in himself and started its engine, making it move over the water on a decently fast speed.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What is this? I have never seen one of these before.” Leia said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It’s a motorboat, one of the greatest inventions here in Termina. It allows us to cross the seas and oceans and all at a far quicker time than when we’re using rowing boats. It’s been of great help out here.” The Fisherman said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That I can tell, the ocean is crossed a lot quicker.” Impa said, before the Fisherman took a turn to the once on the open sea. [/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]At the same moment, they were being watched by a group of people from the Pirates’ Fortress, using a telescope to look at the boat that contained the fisherman and the passengers. The woman looking through the telescope gasped.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What are you doing out there?” A voice called out to her.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Ma’am, I’ve just detected the fisherman with passengers on a boat passing by our territory. They’re headed for the Lost Island!” She said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What?”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Come here and see for yourself!”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Alright. Geez, I swear, if you pull something like this on me again, I’ll-“[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I’m not joking, ma’am.” The Gerudo Pirate said as another Gerudo came up on the platform.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Alright, step aside and let me have a look.” The second Gerudo Pirate said as she peeked through the telescope, indeed spotting the boat with the group headed for the Lost Island.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Are you frigging kidding me?! They’re headed right for a place where our forces are trying to uncover its secrets and treasure! Send a warning out to intercept them at once and make a group of Pirates ready while you’re at it; we’re disembarking for the same island right away!” The second Gerudo Pirate said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yes ma’am!” The first Pirate said, saluting before moving off to execute her orders.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa turned to the left, almost looking behind the boat. She could see in the very distance a large building, which was being surrounded by a very powerful cyclone of water.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What’s with that building in the distance there?” Impa asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That one right to our left with the cyclone surrounding it?” The fisherman asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yes.” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That’s the Great Bay Temple, although it is nothing like the temples that you may know where deities or anything of the like are being worshipped or something.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“How so?”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“The Great Bay Temple, according to what I’ve heard from the folks that come around here, is actually one big factory, with churning gears, rooms and passages illuminated by neon lights and the previously cited water-based elevators and valves. Apparently whoever made the whole damn thing is using the water as some kind of power source; the motion of the water within the temple just keeps things flowing and moving inside.” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Hmmm, that is really interesting.” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yeah, but crossing it is a different story though; even though it was liberated from a curse which on its turn caused the water here to get warmer and murky as a result, the Temple by itself remains very complex. In fact, its position from our coast effectively makes it already nigh-impossible to even enter the thing to see what’s moving in there.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Wow, that explains why not many people know about it.” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Indeed. Look, your destination is just ahead.” The Fisherman then said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]As the group looked forward, they could see in the distance an island coming in view, with some high cliffs and a beach area that came into view.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I’ll stop at the pier so you can disembark. I’ll stick around here for a while too in case you want to go back to Great Bay.” The fisherman said as they approached it.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Thank you.” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“No problem at all.”
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Chapter 20: The Lost Island[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The fisherman guided his boat alongside the pier before coming to a full stop, which allowed Impa, Darunia, Rauru and Leia to disembark from the boat. Navi, Tatl and Tael were floating above the first aforementioned three, giving the Sages a Fairy Companion in a way.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, here we are at the Lost Island. Rumors say that a sanctuary lies hidden within this area, but no one has been able to enter it so far.” The fisherman said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Alright then. How long will you stick around?” Impa then asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Look, trust me when I say that I’ll be waiting for you here. Unless you have the ability to fly or are powerful swimmers, you can only reach this area by boat. I’ll probably be moving off to divert attention away, but I’ll be close around.” The Fisherman said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Very well then. Just be careful on your journey.” Darunia said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I will, you be careful as well.” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Thanks for the heads up.” Rauru said, before the fisherman left and the group walked over the pier towards the beach.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So here is where you said the Queen of the Fairies resides?” Impa asked Rauru.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yes. If what the fisherman said about such a sanctuary is true, then I wouldn’t be surprised if she would actually be inside the sanctuary herself.” The Light Sage replied as they moved on the beach area, hearing the resident seagulls flying over and the water crashing against the shore.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Point taken.” Impa replied as they now moved on the beach.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]No sooner had they ventured on the beach itself when a small group of Lizalfos and Dinolfos spotted them and went to attack them.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Oh, look! We got ourselves a welcoming committee.” Darunia said, cracking his knuckles.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Leia brought out her own weapon, which was a glaive, getting ready to engage a Lizalfos herself, before charging at one as the others went on the offensive as well. Rauru decimated the Dinolfos with a Light Based spell that summoned a flash of light from underneath the creature, causing it to writhe in agony in a way similar to when someone was struck by a Light Arrow or when hit by light reflected off the Mirror Shield. Darunia simply grabbed two of the present Lizalfos and bashed their heads together, cracking their skulls in the process which killed them instantly. Impa used her daggers to slice a Dinolfos to bits, while Leia impaled one other Lizalfos on her glaive before tossing it into the ocean to drown. After the first batch of Dinolfos and Lizalfos were dealt with, the group proceeded on by moving up a path towards a small cavern, only to have their path blocked by an Eyegore. [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What the-?! How do we beat this guy?!” Leia asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]It was then that Link’s spirit popped up.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Its eye is its weakness. Use a ranged weapon like arrows or Deku Seeds to strike the eye when it colors yellow to damage it.” He said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Right.” Impa said, nodding while Leia was given a bow and some arrows from Rauru, allowing Leia to shoot the Eyegore as advised. [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]After using four arrows, the Eyegore collapsed and explodes into nothingness, only for the group itself to be faced with a Club Moblin at the far side of the cavern. Taking a few arrows more, Leia shot the Club Moblin from a distance, which took three arrows to be taken out, disintegrating in sheets of blue flame. Once the Club Moblin was gone, the group could proceed in the cavern, walking over a bridge that spanned over a body of water.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Hey, I think I’m seeing some kind of water cavern down here.” Leia said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Hmmm, should we check it out?” Impa asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You can go on ahead if you want, we’ll wait here.” Darunia said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Are you sure?” Impa asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Look, we Gorons aren’t exactly the best of swimmers; our rock-like bodies would be stuck at the bottom of a lake if we jumped in. We can walk through shallow water bodies with no problems at all, but bigger or deeper water bodies will form a problem to us.” Darunia said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Ah, I understand.” Impa said, nodding as she and Leia dove in the water, diving down into the cavern.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Just don’t drown yourselves.” Rauru warned.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa and Leia swam swiftly through the surprisingly fresh and clean water, eventually resurfacing in what appeared to be a small room with the entrance in its center. There they saw a few treasure chests that were obviously been placed there somehow by its previous occupants. Sitting nearby, vast asleep, was a single Gerudo whom looked worse for wear, considering her tattered and torn outfit. Leia wanted to be sneaky and try to find what the chests contained, but Impa stopped her, pointing to the jewel on the Gerudo’s forehead.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What’s the matter?” Leia whispered.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Take a look at that jewel…” Impa whispered back.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Leia did so, looking closely at it without alerting the Gerudo.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That’s weird; its color seems off… something’s fishy; normally all Gerudo have the same color in their jewelry.” She said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Looks like someone’s been messing around with the Gerudo as you said.” Impa said, just as the sleeping Gerudo stirred, waking up.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Huh?! What the-?! Hey! How did you two get here?!” The Gerudo asked, instantly grabbing her weapon, which was a glaive similar to Leia’s.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Simple, we swam through here.” Impa casually replied.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The Gerudo growled.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Lord Ganondorf won’t be pleased when he finds out that you have been trying to steal the treasure here…” She said, inadvertently showing something off within her eyes as she faced the two, which was something both Leia and Impa noticed.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You call that megalomaniac, homicidal brute your ‘Lord’? Give me a break; you should know that we don’t steal from the helpless, right? Or have you fallen under his spell to make you do things against your will, like attacking your own comrades?” Leia then said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Enemies of the great Ganondorf are enemies of mine! Now surrender before I impale you on my glaive like a piece of meat on a spit!” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Very well then, you leave me no other choice.” Leia said as she grabbed her own glaive, ready to retaliate.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Don’t make this any harder for you as it is.” The Gerudo then said, getting in a stance.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Hmph. You’re one to talk, woman. You definitely are not yourself.” Leia replied, just as she blocked an incoming strike from her opponent.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Okay, that’s it! HAVE AT YOU!” The Gerudo replied, moving in to strike again.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Impa, get out of here and go back to the others! I’ll deal with this traitor myself!” Leia said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Right, just be careful!” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I’ll be fine, just go!” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa then dove in the water, swimming back to Darunia and Rauru who were waiting for her, while Leia got locked in a fight with the ferocity of a mortal combat against her fellow kin.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Rauru and Darunia frowned as they saw Impa resurfacing alone, with Navi flying towards Impa.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Where’s Leia?” Darunia asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“She’s locked in combat with a fellow Gerudo, trying to keep her occupied to prevent her from sounding the alarm. It appears we may be dealing with brainwashed Gerudo out here, so we should at least help to break the spell casted on them.” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“And how do we find out if that is the case?” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“The color of their jewels on the forehead is different from the Gerudo we know. Perhaps Nabooru can help to identify them from those whom are actively hostile.” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Alright, let’s continue on then.” Rauru said, moving up a ladder he saw against the wall, which led to the other side of the island, being part of a cliffside with some constructed bridges to connect the pathways as well as two structures that served as either a home, lookout post or even a training facility. Despite their crude and old-fashioned appearance, being constructed out of mostly wood, these structures looked surprisingly very stable, tough and very durable. Further up ahead, set inside the rocky pathway, was a door that was more stone-like in appearance and didn’t have the usual handles to open them. In fact, it had more the characteristics of a gateway that required a switch to open. However, there was no switch around to open the gate right away. For the rest it seemed like a dead end, although the only things that stood out were two, pyramid-shaped pedestals that looked dormant and docile, as if someone just carved them out of the stone ground. A Lizalfos was standing on guard, but with its back to the group, allowing Impa to sneak up behind the reptilian guard and silently snapped its neck before dumping the corpse over the side of the cliff, making it land in the water.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That’s one pest less.” Impa said, snorting at the sinking corpse.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Darunia smirked at this.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“The silent kill… a more subtle approach, but very effective.” He said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa chuckled as the group moved on to the larger area of the cliff, right in front of the door.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“This thing looks sealed shut.” Impa said, inspecting the door.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“And it won’t budge either. Looks like some tight security is in place here.” Darunia said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“HALT! Who goes there?!” A voice then said behind them.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]As the three turned around, they saw a small group of Gerudo warriors, armed with glaives, although two wielded twin scimitar swords, stood there, being alarmed.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It takes quite some skill to come snooping around here so silently. I don’t know whether you are foolish, brave, bold or simply having a death wish.” A female voice then said, just as a Gerudo approached them, also armed with twin scimitar swords, approaching them.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa judged her to be in command, given the different style of clothing and the different style of how her red hair was set in a tail with the jewelry. Speaking of which…[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, this is unexpected,” Impa said, “I wouldn’t know if you are foolish yourself to follow someone whom doesn’t give a shit about anything except for power.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What?! You dare to insult the Great Ganondorf and Majora?” The commander said, going in a fighting stance, although it appeared a bit shaky.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yes, I dare, since you obviously are being deceived by them. Or he must be playing mind games.” Impa said, as if she was trying to buy time.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The commander growled.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That is one mistake you won’t live to regret!” She said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Oh really?” Another voice said, just as a spirit made itself known. It was Nabooru![/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Darunia chuckled at this, having noticed Impa’s shadow extending forward from the corner of his eye, but remained fixated on the Gerudo to keep the element of surprise in.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What the-?! Who are you?” The commander asked the spirit form of Nabooru.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I’m disappointed in you for forgetting who I am. I am the exalted Nabooru, I hail from the Gerudo Fortress in the Haunted Wasteland and Gerudo Valley in Hyrule!” Nabooru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Immediately the group of Gerudo bowed, which showed that they did recognize her.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“At least some of you are wise enough to bow where it is required…” Nabooru commented.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“But why are you here?” The commander asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We’re not here for any treasure; this is a personal matter. It is also part of our mission to defeat Ganondorf once and for all!” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What?! You want to defeat Ganondorf?”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You heard me.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“But I thought you were under his command as well!”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I was in the past, but I saw Ganondorf performing actions that goes against our policies, like stealing from the weak and killing innocent people. Heck, he isn’t shy to harm even children just to get what he wants! He has become a megalomaniac fool whom won’t allow anyone else to challenge his authority! Hah, we’ll prove otherwise!”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The commander then bowed her head.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Do you understand what I said?” Nabooru asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yes, I do… and I know what I must do…” She replied.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Nabooru frowned at the tone of this, apparently expecting the next answer.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I must make you see that NOBODY goes against the Great Ganondorf!” The commander then snarled, her blades ready.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Really? You’re really willing to serve someone who doesn’t give a shit about the well-being of others and only cares about power? Puh-lease; I know a forest kid who has more guts than that Ganondorf ever will have. But enough talk, have at you then!” Nabooru said, before she retracted into Impa’s shadow, while Impa herself drew the Gilded blades that Nabooru herself used to wield before her death; Rauru collected the weapons while on his way to the Great Fairy back at the ruins of Hyrule Castle.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The battle raged on, with Darunia and Rauru having little trouble keeping the Gerudo Guards at bay, while the commander herself was having her own troubles with facing Impa, whom looked calm and focused, as if she was trying to figure something out with the commander, in particular eyeing her jewelry. However, despite the advantage in strength, they were still outnumbered. Just as Impa gained some distance from the commander, she saw one of the Gerudo Guards breaking formation and charging at her with the glaive pointed forward, while the commander watched with a smirk… only to have the charging Gerudo smacked aside by the pole side of another glaive, just as another Gerudo landed in the area… accompanied by Leia![/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What the-?!” The commander asked, blinking at seeing one of her guards smacked aside by one of her own. [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa was confused at this too, until she spotted that the Gerudo who came with Leia was missing a piece of her head jewel, which in fact looked quite damaged.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You can help your friends, Impa; I’ll deal with ‘commander’ Reimu myself.” Leia then said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What? How do you know my name?!” the commander then asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I know your name since I know you personally, Reimu.” Leia then said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“And for what reason?” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Don’t you remember? You’re my sister!” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“WHAT?!” The commander asked, blinking for a moment as she apparently felt memories entering her mind. [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]However an unknown force seemed to try to block the memories, causing Reimu to grab her head and scream in pain, her jewel having an abnormal glow to it.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Just as I thought, you were brainwashed. And I’m going to help you get rid of it.” Leia said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Uh… Urrrrrggghhh, no! You will NOT defy the Great Ganondorf!” Reimu said, her blades ready.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Too bad I’m already doing so, sister. What are you going to do about it?” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I’LL KILL YOU!” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Then come at me, see if you have the guts to harm your own flesh and blood!” Leia said, her glaive poised to strike.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I’ll make you regret this!” Reimu said, before charging at her sister.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]With the help of Impa and the Gerudo Guard whom was apparently liberated by Leia, Rauru and Darunia turned the tides of the battle in their favor and subsequently freed the remaining Gerudo of the brain-washing spell by either busting, damaging or breaking the jewels on the Gerudo’s foreheads, effectively freeing them from the spell that bound them to serve the forces of Evil by force. They were then witnessed to the battle between Reimu and Leia, whom both were fighting for their lives. While Reimu was superior in weaponry regarding her blades, Leia used her glaive expertly in combination with her agility, occasionally using the glaive to pole-vault over an incoming charge from Reimu to get some space in. This battle lasted for a good minute or two, before Leia charged in herself, pole-vaulting in the air before yanking the glaive from the ground, using the momentum to land on the blades of her sister as she made a stabbing motion, right before bringing the sharp end of the glaive down on her sister’s head… cleaving its head jewel clean in two, but sparing the rest of her head. The instant the jewel was destroyed, Reimu dropped her blades and gripped her head as she howled in agony as the brainwashing effect was dispelled of her, collapsing to the ground, before getting on her knees, looking around in a confused way.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Huh?! What happened?! Where am I?” Reimu asked, right before she saw someone crouching down in front of her.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Sister…” that person said, making Reimu look up, looking straight in the eyes of her sister Leia.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“L… Leia… what have I been doing all this time?” She asked, just before Leia hugged her sister.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Reimu returned the hug.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You’re free sister. You’ve been living in a nightmare… it’s over… I woke you up…” Leia said, sobbing.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Reimu smiled at this, hugging her sister close, causing the others to smile and make up with the others, apologizing for their actions to Impa, Rauru and Darunia.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Later on, the group sat together outside by one of the campfires that the Gerudo had set up, each of them calm and yet also very much relieved.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So, what are you doing all the way here?” Reimu then asked Impa as the group rested up from the battle.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We’re on a mission to resurrect five people whom Ganondorf and Majora killed not too long ago; Nabooru’s one of them.” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What? Ganondorf killed Nabooru? What for?” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Nabooru openly rebelled against Ganondorf in regards to the latter’s abhorrent actions in his lust for power, wanting to thwart his plans herself. We tried to stop them, but Ganondorf’s alliance with Majora apparently made him much stronger than we expected, resulting in the deaths of five of us, Nabooru included.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I see.” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We were told that there is a sanctuary hidden behind this door, which could lead to the person we believe can help us.” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Hmmm, there is indeed something behind this door, but what it is precise is also unknown to us; despite our efforts so far, we’ve been unable to figure out how to open this damn thing. It wouldn’t budge by any means.” Reimu then said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Obviously something else is needed to open the door then.” Leia said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Indeed, but we’re stumped by what it could be.” [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Is there anything of interest here?” Impa then asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, either one of the buildings here has one sphere-like object inside, one in silver and one in gold. We assumed these to be something of great value, so we kept them in the buildings.” Reimu said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I see. Do you mind if we take a look at them?” Impa asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Sure, we’ll lead you to the one in the building to the left from that giant door.” Reimu said, getting up. [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa followed, as did Darunia and Rauru, being curious to see them as well. Leia was in the meantime chatting with the other Gerudo, bringing them up to speed of what has happened in Hyrule and what Impa told her in short.  Needless to say, the Gerudo were shocked and swore fealty to Nabooru, seeing her as the new leader who would hopefully unite the Gerudo tribes and lead them to a new era of prosperity, provided the forces of Evil could be defeated of course. But regardless of the situation, Leia smiled as the liberation of the mind control/brainwashing led to bolstering their numbers. She hoped it would help in rebuilding the army that was needed to fend off Ganondorf and Majora’s troops and hopefully help in defeating the two evil beings once and for all. Of course it wouldn’t be easy, but as long as they could exert any effort in helping them, it would be enough. This way they would prove that the Gerudo were capable of fighting for an honorable cause, despite having the notorious reputation as pirates and thieves. [/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Upon entering the building, Reimu led the others to the sphere that they held in the building. It wasn’t very far away, seeing as the building in general was small and was used as a Lookout post for over the sea, while also having some accommodation areas available so the resident Gerudo troops could rest up from their duties. They were led in a chamber that contained the sphere, which was indeed a solid object that was gold in color and seemed to have a glowing core within that gave it its shiny surface. [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“This is it?” Impa asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yep, that’s the thing. We honestly have no idea what it is or what it does.” Reimu said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What the heck?!” Link’s voice then said as his and Zelda’s spirits appeared from Impa’s Shadow.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What’s the matter?” Impa asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“These are almost the same spheres that Link and I came across in that horrid dream world Majora sent us in after Sakon’s diversion knocked the both of us out.” Zelda said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Really? What did you have to do then?” Reimu asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We had to place these on top of some kind of pyramid-shaped pedestal of some kind that eventually opened a door ahead for us.” Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Hmmm, you reckon that these could be for the same purpose as what you experienced then?” Impa asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Come to think of it, there are some pyramid-shaped stones outside… perhaps those spheres have to be put on there?” Reimu asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It’s worth a try.” Impa said, nodding as Darunia carefully picked the sphere up to carry it outside.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I’ll have my guards go get the other one.” Reimu said as she went outside to give the orders.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The spirits of Link and Zelda moved along this time, before hiding back in Impa’s shadow with the others. Darunia carried the sphere outside and put it on one of the pedestals, which immediately began to react to it and connected with the sphere, causing the pyramid to glow and sink a bit into the ground.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I’ll be darned; it actually fits.” Darunia said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Leia and Reimu both blinked at this, as did Impa.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Looks like Link and Zelda were right.” The latter said, flabbergasted while the guards came back after a minute, carrying the other sphere together.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Where do you want us to put it, ma’am?” One of the guards asked Reimu.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Put it on the other pyramid-shaped pedestal carefully.” She said, after which the guards moved on to do as instructed.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Once it was done, the pedestal lowered itself into the ground like the other one, also followed by the glow and the connection it made to the sphere. Mere seconds later, a creaking sound could be heard… right before the giant door began to open in a Y-shaped pattern, revealing a cavern going inside.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“By the Goddesses!” Reimu said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“The doorway is open?!” One of the guards said, blinking as she did a double-take.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well then, let’s keep going then.” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Just then, Leia howled in agony as she was impaled on a glaive through her right shoulder as it went through her.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“STOP THEM! A distant voice said, obviously female.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“More Gerudo!?” Darunia asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“They’re here to stop us!” Rauru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Hold them for as long as you can, my guards! Be sure to strike their jewels if you get the chance! I’ll take our guests and my sister into the opening here!” Reimu then said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The Gerudo under Reimu’s command saluted and instantly went to take defensive positions while the three Sages, followed by Reimu and the injured Leia, went inside the cavern that was opened up, before they arrived at what appeared to look like a different room as it had different looking tiles on the floor, walls and ceiling. Further ahead was an opening that looked dark as it obviously was enough to lead to somewhere…[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Looks like we need to go through here.” Impa said as she was ready to enter the dark area.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Just be careful.” Darunia said as the group proceeded through the opening, with Reimu praying that her guards could hold them off for as long as they could.
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