The Legend of Zelda: Union of Evil Powers

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Chapter 51: The longest scaling…[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]After climbing over some stones and rubble, the group proceeded down the large corridor, before jumping down a large hole that led into the inner section of the tower as a whole. Immediately the group could see that the environment was somewhat different. Instead of the green-tinted stones, partially due to the green torches in the outer section of the tower, this part had a more bluish hue to it overall. There were several large holes in the ground that had a small patch of lava in it, as if a lava ditch was moving through the room, with several solid stone bridges spanning over it to reach every part of the room without having to specifically go around every bit. There was also a rotating platform in the center with a statue that apparently was holding a grotesque stone pillar that ran all the way up to close to the ceiling, being several tens of meters high overall! Another pillar was standing nearby and sported a staircase going all around it, but several parts of it were broken or missing, forcing the group to take the scenic route all around the room just to get to the top of the room if they had to progress. As if that wasn’t enough, the room itself had the presence of some very large Dodongos with maws big enough to swallow two of the children simultaneously whole, making Link shudder as it reminded him of the Big Dodongos he had encountered back in North Termina Field. It almost appeared as if these Dodongos were related to the grotesque King Dodongo, considering their overall size and the spikes on their backs. Looking around the room even more, the group also located several Fire Keese flying around aimlessly, two sets of two Death Armos whom were guarding a bridge each, two Iron Knuckles whom each were at the far side of the room, standing in front of a wooden barrier, a single Floormaster patrolling the first staircase directly ahead, Red Bubbles which were now more actively appearing out from the Lava and leaping over the bridge, as if daring an unsuspecting traveler to cross it without getting knocked off of them and falling into the lava itself, a few Blue Bubbles on a platform at the far side of where the first staircase ended, two White Bubbles patrolling around the rotating pillar and a Green Bubble being present at another higher-laid platform that required the group to reach using the floating platforms and Clawshot Targets which were practically all over on strategic points. For the rest, there was a combined patrol of Assault Sword Soldiers and Stalfos at the far side of the room itself, right behind the pillar with the staircase containing the patrolling Floormaster. Finally, there was a platform on ground level which contained several chests and a suspicious looking shadow among them. The only odd thing was that there were a few Bomb Flowers spread over that very platform on the corners and the center.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, it appears our troubles have only begun.” Nabooru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I agree; there’s likely more enemies around, probably lying in wait to ambush us.” Zelda said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“At least we have some more room to fight in, just stay clear of the lava ditches.” Darunia said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Right. We should try to lure the Fire Keeses over first.” Link said, preparing his bow and Silver Arrows, also locating several more chests around the area.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We’ll keep watch in case any of the other enemies make their approach. The Death Armos and the Bubbles seem to contain themselves for now, but that only leaves the others.” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“The Stalfos and those Assault Sword Soldiers are likely the main threats whenever they see us,” Darunia said, “with the Dodongos merely walking around aimlessly and the Iron Knuckles staying put until they’re hit…”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Then it’s settled; we’ll take out first the Fire Keeses and the more aggressive threats, especially considering how relentless those sword soldiers are…” Link said, being serious.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Right.” The Sages said in unison, nodding as they found this a logical battleplan…[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]With their plan established, the group carefully proceeded in the room, intercepting any Fire Keese that came too close for comfort, the Silver Arrows proving their worth again, especially when the group moved to lure the Stalfos and Assault Sword Soldiers over. This didn’t take long as the Assault Sword Soldiers immediately went to charge at them once they saw them, together with the Stalfos, although a few of the soldiers didn’t look where they were going and subsequently fell in the lava, due to the edges of the path around the ditch having nothing like guard rails or the like to prevent one from falling from those platforms. While this gave the group a few less enemies to deal with, it didn’t make much of a difference due to the relentless attacks of the enemies as a whole, with the Stalfos using a Jump Attack of their own to cross the gaps to attack the group. Thankfully, due to the room being large and having little to no rubble in the way, the group saw them coming and responded accordingly to their attacks by moving to the side or backwards in order to avoid them, with Link, Zelda and Saria pulling off a picture-perfect back flip before using the momentum of the Stalfos’ attack to strike at them, damaging the skeleton warriors, while at the same time Darunia clobbered several Assault Sword Soldiers to the side, while Impa and Nabooru intercepted two other Assault Sword Soldiers whom tried to strike at the children from the side. Ruto attempted to assist the group by launching a Silver Arrow at a Stalfos. While she missed the Stalfos she was aiming for, the Silver Arrow buzzed on and by pure luck managed to strike and destroy one of the White Bubbles that was currently floating in place. Link and Zelda made use of the momentum from the Stalfos’ attacks to roll behind them and perform the Backslash, while being cautious as to not fall in the lava ditch or being crushed underneath the nearby floating Death Armos. To prevent one of them from crushing Saria as she was dangerously close, Link intercepted one by striking it with a Silver Light Arrow, turning the Death Armos upside down, before deliberately moving underneath it to make it strike the ground head-fist, fatally damaging it before the group pulled back as it exploded, taking one Assault Sword Soldier out with it. Still, this left one more Death Armos to deal with, floating in place akin to the Anubis in the Spirit Temple, although it was far more resilient. Saria managed to intercept a few more Fire Keese using her Slingshot, saving some precious ammunition from her Bow and Arrows like this, while Link and Zelda both took on the Stalfos together, being backed up by Nabooru and Impa, whereas Ruto took out some Assault Sword Soldiers with her Silver Arrows, relieving both Darunia and Rauru, who were fighting them, from some pressure.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Once the last four Stalfos were dealt with, Link and Zelda went to engage the Death Armos on the left bridge that was left, leaving the two other Death Armos on the other bridge for what they were at the time, not wanting to put the group under too much pressure as Zelda used a Silver Light Arrow to turn the Death Armos upside down before Link again deliberately made it hit the ground before it detonated, just like its comrade before. Once the Assault Sword Soldiers and Stalfos were dealt with, the group focused on the two remaining Death Armos’, which both Link and Zelda took out by repeating the procedure they did before.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]After defeating the two last Death Armos, the group now had one of the Iron Knuckles close by in front of a Wooden Barrier, while Link was also keeping tabs on the Floormaster on the nearby staircase, which was patrolling up and down the stairs. Deciding to focus on the Iron Knuckle for now, the group moved backwards as Link, Saria and Zelda began to toss Nice Bombs at it to both wake it up and damage it, taking advantage of its slow speed to keep their distance while also looking around to ensure they didn’t make a misstep and fall off the bridge they stood on. Once the Iron Knuckle lost its outer armor and gained speed, while still wielding its deadly axe, the group pelted it with arrows instead before eventually defeating it, making it disintegrate into nothingness.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“One Iron Knuckle becomes quite easy to deal with when we’re in a group like this.” Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I agree.” Zelda said, nodding as they made their way towards the lonely platform with the chests, the Bomb Flowers and the suspicious shadow on the ground.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What’s with the shadow here? It can’t be another Invisible Floormaster, can it?” Saria asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“No, it’s not. It could be from something high up in the air…” Link said, just as a lit Bomb landed near the group, courtesy of a Bomb Soldier that had appeared on one of the higher platforms where the two Blue Bubbles were. Although Ruto took out the Bomb Soldier, the group couldn’t prevent the Bomb from detonating, causing the nearby Bomb Flower, which was the closest to the shadow, to explode as well, causing the shadow to tremble for a split second…[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Without warning, a Dead Hand suddenly burst from the shadow on the ground, the sudden shock and scare causing Link, Saria and Zelda to stumble over the Bomb Flower behind them, falling flat on their rears on the ground.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What in the name of Hyrule is that?!” Ruto exclaimed, horrified by the grotesque appearance of the monstrosity as it was scuttling on the ground toward the three downed children.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa however was serious and immediately came to the aid of the three children by jumping to the platform, slashing the Dead Hand in the face. The Dead Hand remained undeterred as it kept moving on, opening its grotesque maw to attack Impa, although Impa was having none of it and kept striking at it until it moved away and buried itself back underground.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Where did it go?” Nabooru asked, joining the group, as the others were close behind.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I don’t know, must be somewhere underground!” Link said, preparing another Bomb to lure it out.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Tossing it into a corner, the bomb exploded which brought the Dead Hand out again this time, this time Link moved to take a Jump attack, delivering a successful strike in the creature’s face. However, the creature recovered before Link could regain himself due to the momentum, just as Zelda attempted to strike at the beast. However, she tripped on a re-growing Bomb Flower she didn’t see, causing her to bump into Link who caught her, merely moments before the Dead Hand struck. With a *CHOMP*, the monstrosity bit both Link and Zelda into one of their legs, causing the two children to scream in pain. Although the bite was only short and not enough to break the bones, it did leave a set of bleeding bite marks there. Immediately Saria went postal on the creature, catching and ensnaring it in her vines, before Nabooru slashed its head off, killing it instantly, before Saria went to treat the wounds of the two, using her Forest Sage abilities to disinfect the wounds, with Impa taking some Red Potion for the two to drink. Link was able to bite through the pain himself, but Zelda was outright whimpering as she didn’t expect this to happen.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What was that for a beast?!” Ruto asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“A ‘Dead Hand’ as they describe it. Usually dwells within the depths of the Kakariko Well and the Shadow Temple, but I never thought to encounter one here…” Link said, hissing a little as his injuries were being rapidly healed thanks to the effects of the Red Potion he drank, seeing that Zelda too was also calming down.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Just rest up for a little and you’ll be good enough to go in a couple of minutes.” Impa said, smiling.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Thanks, Impa.” Both Link and Zelda said in unison, before giggling at this.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Rest for now, we’ll take out the remaining enemies on the ground floor here for you.” Impa said, while Saria fired a Silver Fire Arrow at the Floormaster, killing it… and making it split into three.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Darunia moved over to pound those three mini-Floormasters into dust before they could do any harm, allowing the group to focus on the remaining Iron Knuckle. While Link and Zelda rested to let their wound heal over with the aid of the Red Potion, the others managed to awaken and defeat the Iron Knuckle using the usual strategy of using ranged weapons to break its outer armor and defeat it while ensuring that they kept their distance from it. No sooner had they defeated the Iron Knuckle, when a few more enemies entered the area, this time being only a few Lizalfos and Dinolfos, whom the group had little to no troubles with in taking them out.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]With the enemies so far eliminated, the group returned to Link and Zelda, helping them recover from their wounds, which fortunately weren’t too serious, allowing the group to continue on their mission, first moving to gather all the loot they could find from the present treasure chests, being primarily ammunition of arrows and bombs, although one contained a Bombchu and another turned to be a trap as an icy breath came from it, momentarily trapping the three in  a block of ice before it broke, thanks to our body warmth… Once fully restocked, the group proceeded towards the first stairway and ascending it to its top, which led to several  floating platforms and Clawshot/Hookshot targets. Using this to reach a more solid platform with a floor switch, Link took out the Green Bubble that was floating on that platform in place. After that, he stood on the floor switch which the Green Bubble had been guarding before, which opened a cell back in the pillar with the first staircase, which contained a cage. Taking aim with his bow, Link launched a Silver Arrow at the cage, breaking it. From the cage came another Goron, who smiled at being released, putting down two Goron Powder Kegs on a platform after arriving downstairs, before making his way out.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You guys and girls wait here.” Darunia said, hopping downstairs to take one of the Powder Kegs and used it on the wooden barrier in front of him, destroying it in order to enter a small, single room with several chests which contained some additional ammunition for Bombs and Arrows… as well as some new shields! These shields looked larger and even more polished than the current Red Shield the group had with them… Taking the Shields with him, he then took the second Powder Keg and used it on the second Wooden Barrier, also obliterating it, before finding a switch which he activated. The result was that one of the statues against the wall was replaced with a different statue as if it stood on a rotating platform, the new statue providing the group with better access to the platform that contained the two Blue Bubbles, which Saria and Zelda took out with Silver Arrows, allowing the group to reach the chests there and reunite with Darunia, who then came upstairs to show the shields he found.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Whoa! The Mirror Shield! Where did you find these?” Link said, blinking.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“In the small room to the right of the staircase.” Darunia said, handing the shields over to those who wanted them as he had plenty of them.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Sweet! I feel a lot more protected now!” Zelda said, giggling.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What’s even better; these shields can’t be consumed by Like-Likes.” Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That’s an advantage indeed.” Saria said, while Navi, Tatl and Tael appeared to help the group out.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We’ll help you with showing you where to proceed using the Hook- and Clawshots, just take a good look at where we are and above all, don’t look or fall down.” Navi said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Understood.” Link said as he got ready.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Following the trail that Navi, Tatl and Tael left, Link and the Sages used the floating platforms, Hook- and Clawshots where needed in order to move from platform to platform, making their way up in a clockwise direction until they arrived at a solid platform with a broken path at the far side of the large room as a whole, which pointed straight towards the rotating pillar which had sections of a broken path on it as well.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We need to time our jumps here, otherwise we’ll fall down.” Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Right. We should be able to reach the second staircase on our left with ease.” Ruto said, nodding as Link hopped on the path first, waiting as he let the pillar continue on to take him to the staircase, before hopping off the platform and onto the staircase, where he once more waited for the others as he slowly walked up the staircase to its top, before he stopped.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Once the others were with him, the routine was started again of Navi, Tatl and Tael showing the group where to go by floating near the best targets to reach and the platforms to move on, letting the group move on further to the top, this time in a counter-clockwise direction, past one of the other statues, going all the way around until they reached the highest level of the staircase, before hopping on the rotating pillar once more. Looking up, they would see a Hookshot Target above which they could reach one by one, which took them to the flat surface of the pillar’s top. However, as soon as he reached the top first, Link was immediately confronted by two Aeralfos whom had been waiting for him! Knowing the routine of how to defeat him, he waited until he could snag one of them towards him by using his Clawshot on the reptilian’s shield to take it down, before slashing it apart with his Golden Master Sword. The second one was ready to retaliate, but it was intercepted by Zelda, whom repeated the same movements that Link had made, defeating the Aeralfos. Two more approached however, ready to attack, only for Saria and Ruto to take care of them, now knowing how they could be defeated.  Once those two Aeralfos had been dealt with, two more approached! This time, Nabooru and Impa took the initiative and also brought those two down, before one more Aeralfos approached, which in turn was taken down by both Rauru and Darunia, finally allowing the group to enter the room at the top, which had a suspicious red glow emanating from it.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Entering the room, the group noticed that they stood on a grating as a floor, with underneath them being a very shallow lava pool. Looking around, Link saw a ladder to his left, which Zelda was already climbing, before he went after her, using his Clawshot to reach a second ladder that reached the ceiling, before he moved using the ceiling’s pathway to move into another opening, seeing a Stalfos already ahead in the next room. The next room also had grating on the floor, where Link landed on as soon as he entered it, ready to fight the Stalfos. Zelda and Saria quickly came to his assistance, with the three taking the Stalfos out with ease, just as the others arrived.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Watch it, guys and girls, the lava appears to be slightly boiling here.” Darunia said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Good grief, this place is tall!” Ruto said, looking up.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The others looked up as well, seeing what Ruto was seeing.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We really have to climb that all the way up, huh?” Saria asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We have no other choice.” Link said as he moved into a crevice in one of the walls, beginning to make his way up, with the others following.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]However, as Link reached a platform where he prepared to hookshot himself to the other side, he suddenly looked down as he saw something moving… looking down, he saw that the grating had vanished underneath the lava…[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Oh, you have to be flipping kidding me!” He said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What is it?” Zelda asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“A major problem! The lava has begun to rise! Our only way to escape is to climb this tower all the way to the top!” Link said, before using the Hookshot to reach the target on the other side of the room, before hopping on a larger platform at another corner as he traveled in a clockwise direction, using the ladder latched on that third platform to climb higher up the tower, reaching a platform high enough to take a short breather while aiming for another crevice with his Clawshot.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Oh man, talk about being under pressure…” Zelda said as she joined him, with Link nodding as he shot the Clawshot at the crevice, being taken up into it and climbing further upwards.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“The lava is fortunately rising slow and steady, but it isn’t stopping at all!” Darunia shouted.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It should leave plenty of time to let us reach the top properly.” Saria said.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]In the crevice, Link used his Clawshot to reach another nearby ladder, using the second one to reach another ladder, and from there he kept using the Clawshots to make his way up using the grating spread across the wall before he  managed to finally reach the opening, leading into a corridor with a stairway at the end. Once inside the corridor, Link stopped to take a breather, while waiting for the others.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Once the others had arrived in the same corridor, they first looked down for a bit.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, looks like we’re really stuck in here now…” Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I’ll say. Makes me wonder if the lava isn’t pouring out of the windows or into the room we’ve been in before…” Saria said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Let’s not dwell on that and keep moving. The sooner we are out of danger, the better.” Rauru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Right. Not even Ganon’s original tower was this bad.” Link said as the group moved to the staircase, spotting crates alongside the walls and two chain rails that carried platforms from the right to left from their position.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Arriving at the top, they saw that there were platforms moving over the chain rails towards their position as if it held a hidden contraption somewhere and several Normal, Fire and Ice Keeses were flying about in the room, altogether with two sets of two Green Bubbles in the central area and a single Blue Bubble on the platform at the far side of the room they were in. The group had no troubles in taking out the Green Bubbles with ease, but the Keeses proved more resilient in the way of the group having to either wait for them to dive down towards them or otherwise score lucky shots, which was a few times the case against the Fire and Ice Keeses. Link, Saria and Zelda also had to go to the ground level of the current area to lure the Keeses to them and take them out, with eventually the group managing to take out the Keeses after a couple of tedious minutes. Moving back to the others, Link, Saria and Zelda climbed the ladders present to move back to where the staircase was, before hopping on the moving platforms one after the other, in effect repeating the procedure they did before back in the now-destroyed underground headquarters. The group managed to safely reach the other side, using the Hookshot to latch on the nearby post and reach the path, that was essentially a corridor with three Blue Bubbles inside. While Link and Zelda were successful in taking out two of them, the third managed to bump into them as well as Saria before Ruto took it out, in effect jinxing the three as an eerie bluish-purple glow was pulsing around them.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Huh?! What happened?! Why can’t I draw my sword?!” Zelda asked, panicked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“And what is this bluish-purple glow around me?!” Saria asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We’ve been jinxed by one of the Blue Bubbles.” Link casually said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You seem pretty neutral with that.” Impa said, frowning.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It’s because I have the means to wash this away in a jiffy.” Link said, before grabbing his Ocarina and played the Song of Storms, which caused it to rain inside the tower for a brief moment, in effect washing the jinx curse placed on the group away like it was nothing. Link demonstrated the cured effects as he was able to draw his own sword again.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Normally the jinx curse would last for about a minute or two or so, but the Song of Storms allows it to wash away instantly, making the curse little more than a troublesome nuisance rather than an actual curse.” Link said, before casually side-stepping a bit before a Wallmaster dropped on the place where he stood before, after which Nabooru took out the fiend with her sword in a single strike.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]After moving through the corridor and opening the chests present inside to obtain some of the ammunition they needed on Silver Arrows and the like, the group entered a room which had several floating platforms around, a plain floor at the bottom with a ladder to reach the corridor again and a small lava pond to the far right, with a floor on a higher side which the group needed to reach using the Hookshot and the floating platforms, which had a large hole on its other side. On the last floating platform however stood a single Bow Soldier, ready to strike at the group from a distance. However, Link wasn’t stupid; he hopped on the first floating platform and used a Silver Arrow to take out the fiend from a long distance, defeating it instantly as it fell in the lava pond. Now the group could proceed onward without worry, not letting themselves be distracted from the melting corpse as it sank below the surface of the lava, never to be seen again.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What’s with the lava out here?! This is no volcano like Death Mountain!” Ruto said as the group carefully made their way over the platforms towards the spot where the Bow Soldier stood.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That it isn’t, but perhaps this lava was taken or placed here using magic, knowing how wicked Ganondorf and Majora are.” Zelda said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That’s right; there was also lava in the Fire Room of Ganon’s Castle in the Future that Almost Was after all.” Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You got me there. Perhaps their dark and wicked powers can make such normally impossible things possible.” Ruto said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“True. Don’t forget that the Training Grounds in the Gerudo Fortress has lava too, but that’s due to the complex being mostly underground…” Nabooru added.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa nodded at this, remaining silent on the matter as the group used their Hookshots to reach the area on the far side, seeing that there was a path with a corridor down the hole they had seen.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Figuring that they had to go through there in order to proceed on, the group hopped down onto the path, breaking a cage behind them which released another fairy which healed any injuries the group had before leaving through the nearby window. After watching her leave, the group made their way on through the corridor into a large, cylindrical room, where the door locked itself behind the group once everyone was inside.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yikes! We’re locked in!” Ruto said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I’m not so sure about that…” Link said as he looked up… right before he went wide-eyed for a moment.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Seeing this, the others looked up as well. The main thing was that this particular section was tall, and I do mean tall! Practically a hundred meters or so, if not more in height, with a rotating spike trap on the tower’s wall to skewer anyone unfortunate enough to be falling into that direction, while numerous, numerous floating platforms were scattered in random locations around the room’s center, some of them being occupied by Bow Soldiers, who were ready to intercept anyone who would cross their paths.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Now how are we going to get up there?” Saria asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Judging by how the platforms are placed, it’s practically saying that we should simply find our way up. Some platforms can be skipped with ease, others look like they can be used as fail saves and others could be merely distractions…” Link said, popping his neck a little and stretching out.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, it’s going to be quite a climb, that much is certain.” Zelda said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Indeed. I just wonder what we’ll find at the top.” Darunia said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, like they say: ‘Only one way to find out’.” Saria said.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Bracing themselves, the group moved towards the ladder with a wooden platform at its top, that served as nothing more than a decent spot for the group to begin their ascension of the tower using those floating platforms. Looking up, Link could clearly see some silhouettes of the Bow Soldiers that were present.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Just be careful on the way up; this looks like we will be encountering the last defenses.” Link said, pointing to the waiting Soldiers further up.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Thanks for the heads up.” Zelda said, smiling.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Don’t mention it.” Link said with a smile of his own, before the group proceeded to hop over to the floating platforms one after the other, while Link took out one of the Bow Soldiers easily before continuing on.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]However, just as everyone was a few meters up in the tower, when the heat inside the room increased.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What in Hyrule-?!” Link said, before looking down, seeing that lava had appeared in the room and was now covering the floor![/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Oh you HAVE to be joking!!” Ruto said, seeing this as well.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I’m afraid it’s not a joke, we need to go!” Rauru said as the group began to continue making their way up, with the lava rising agonizingly slow, giving the group some form of reprieve as it allowed them to properly time their jumps and take out Bow Soldiers along the way.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Link and the Seven Sages managed to make their way past the first spiked ring on the wall that was spinning around, taking out the Bow Soldiers that were a hindrance, while also keeping a close watch on each other as well as the lava below, not wanting to make any slip-ups that could cost them their lives. They needed each other more than ever now, so losing each other was now completely out of the question. Fortunately, the trip went without incidents, although the group stayed clear of the Bow Soldiers which were inevitably knocked off their platforms because of the arrows, falling down all the way into the still-rising lava below. Finally, after a few minutes, but what seemed like an hour, the group managed to reach the top of the room, with an open door leading into a new corridor which went onward in a curve to the right and the left.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Whew, that went better than I expected.” Ruto said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Link smiled, patting her on the back.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We’re at least still together as a whole, that’s what counts the most. So in that regard, we still have a fighting chance.” He said as the group went on their way.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That’s right. I just wonder when we will eventually reach the top.” Zelda said.
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Chapter 52: Close at hand…[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The group entered a room that appeared to be closed off ahead, but as they stepped in, the door closed behind them, trapping them in the room.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Now what? Not lava again?!” Ruto asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Just then, the group was surrounded by a group of Armored Dinolfos, ready to hack the heroes into pieces… only to be disabled without warning by a few cannonballs smashing on top of them, making the group blink.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What the-?!” They all said in unison.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Hey, you!” A female voice then came from above.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Link and the Sages looked up and saw a woman whom was piloting some kind of aircraft coming towards them. It was a Gerudo woman, whom had a smile on her face. At first, the group blinked at this, but then the ship came to a halt next to the platform the group stood on, making the group blink at her. Link was the first to speak.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Reimu?! How did you get here?!” He asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We’ve been following your travels out here with a ship of our own to assist you. At first, we went down the mountain trail you went down before, when we felt the explosions caused by the destruction of the underground base. At this point we went back to the ship to collect these babies to look for you, the search eventually leading to this tower.” Reimu said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I see. So, where did you get these air machines? We’ve only seen these kind of airships with some of the enemy troops…” Nabooru asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“The Terminans were quite helpful in giving this a redesign to make it more suitable for moving around quickly without that balloon being a hindrance in these tight areas, before the invasion of Termina caused the plans for these to be stolen by the enemy troops. What it basically is now is a boat that can move on water, but with these booster rockets at the back, it can also maneuver into the air. This is one of the only solid and perfectly functioning prototypes we managed to save and keep out of enemy hands during the invasion.” Reimu said, smiling.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I see.” Nabooru said, nodding.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Come on, hop onto the ship. Leia’s waiting for us with some other Gerudo. We can take you towards the top where Ganondorf and Majora have been staying for some time now.” Reimu said, getting ready for take-off.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Link, Saria, Zelda, Ruto and Nabooru hopped on right away, with Nabooru taking place next to Reimu, Link and Saria behind them, with Zelda sitting behind Link, Ruto behind Saria, Impa went behind Zelda and Rauru behind Ruto, while Darunia took place at the back seat, at the rear cannon.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Make sure you hold on tight; this is going to be quite a ride.” Reimu said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Right.” The group said, before Reimu used the boosters to take off.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Reimu steered the vehicle further up into the cylindrical room the group was in as a whole.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“By all that is holy out here, how big is this tower?!” Ruto exclaimed.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Definitely higher to rival the Stone Tower, if not even higher than that!” Link said, looking around.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Geez!” Zelda exclaimed, before the airship shifted to normal position as they went through a door which opened for them, leading in a room where numerous gears and cogs were moving around and about, as if operating some kind of heavy machinery. There they met up with Leia and most of the liberated and allied Gerudo the group had encountered and freed, including Reimu’s personal guards and the four Pirates whom accompanied the group throughout the Inverted Stone Tower Temple.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Ah, sister, you found them!” Leia said, smiling.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That I did. It must have been quite a climb for you…” Reimu said, turning back to the group.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That it was indeed, coupled with a bit of haste since lava began to rise in the inner areas…” Nabooru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What?!” Leia asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yes, we were in a bit of haste regarding that.” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Reimu nodded.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, we’ll now take and escort you to the top room where Ganondorf and Majora dwell. In a way we too have a score to settle, but we know that we wouldn’t stand that much of a chance against him if we would face him now. The least we can do is to help you to him and join you in the final battle.” Reimu said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Thank you, we appreciate that.” Zelda said, smiling, before the small fleet went on their way.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]No sooner had the fleet took off, making their way through the giant gears around, when suddenly another set of ships came towards them… these were being piloted by Corrupted Soldiers however…[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What the-?! Enemy soldiers here too?” Link asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“They’re coming about and preparing weapons!” Leia warned.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We have weapons too! Do what you must, but make sure that our friends make it through here safely!” Reimu shouted.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We’ll help too! Just make sure everything remains stable during flight!” Link said, preparing Silver Bomb Arrows to fire.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Right. I’ll keep you on the ship.” Impa said, harnessing her Shadow Sage powers to extend her shadow to grab Link, Saria, Zelda and Ruto as they got ready to engage the enemy.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]As soon as the enemy soldiers lined up their craft and began to prepare their forward cannons, Darunia blasted them with the rear cannon he was controlling, while the four children helped by launching Bomb Arrows at those which Darunia couldn’t reach or would be at a too awkward angle to be actually hit. The four children took turns in firing, so they could continuously fire at the enemy aircraft while ensuring they couldn’t take advantage of the gaps that were left between firing and reloading.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The four children aided Darunia in taking down several enemy airships, sending the soldiers down to the ground, some of them becoming stuck on the gears and or end up being crushed among the cogs that kept moving about without pause.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“EVERYONE, KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR SURROUNDINGS!” Reimu barked to the other pilots, as if to prevent them from suffering a similar gruesome fate.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Thankfully each of the other Gerudo airships had one controlling it and a second Gerudo being in charge of weapons control, with the only exception being Reimu’s own ship for obvious reasons. Reimu took a few sharp turns  while avoiding as many of the gears and enemy fire where possible, while Link, Saria, Zelda, Ruto and Darunia helped in retaliating and destroying enemy airships, with the four children going so far as to intercept those trying to attack the escorting Gerudo ships.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So far, so good, keep it up; we’ve gotten them almost down!” Leia exclaimed to them as she watched the enemy numbers dwindling rapidly.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The group continued on shooting at the enemy craft until none of them were left pursuing them in this area, allowing the group some reprieve.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Wow, if this keeps up, we’ll be running out of arrows and bombs more rapidly than expected.” Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Don’t worry, I’ve got a stash of both of them on this vessel, just take what you need in order to fend them off.” Reimu said, opening a hatch close to Darunia’s position that revealed a good stock of bombs and arrow bundles to use as ammunition.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Thanks, Reimu.” Zelda said as she and Link restocked right away, before letting Saria and Ruto restock as well, ensuring they had plenty of ammo on their hand in case it was needed.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Once the fleet had gathered once more and the children had restocked on ammo, Reimu proceeded onward with her airship into another door, which opened up, leading into a corridor where several pillars were in the center and in offsets to the left and right as if making it obstructions for the group to pass over them. Reimu was taking it slow to prevent the children from falling off or otherwise damage her airship, wanting to be sure the group reached the other side safely. After passing by the pillars, another set of doors opened, revealing a room that had pillars on the sides and a pool of water at the bottom.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Wow, they really must have taken their time with this place.” Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I’ll say; this is much bigger than I actually expected it to be.” Zelda said, nodding.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yeah. I wonder how they have been able to build this in over less than a year’s time…” Saria said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Probably they used magic or the tower itself must have existed for some time, it’s distant location made it simply fade into obscurity in a way that we just never heard of it.” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Those are the only probably causes.” Nabooru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Reimu sighed as she moved through a corridor, blocked initially by a set of doors which opened up one after the other, leading into a much larger room with pillars all around the place and murky water at the bottom.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Wow, what in the world did they have in mind with this?!” Nabooru asked as she looked around.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I don’t know, but it looks like it has no actual purpose other than just being a supporting room…” Reimu said, but then Link suddenly spotted something.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Enemy vehicles approaching from behind!” He exclaimed as he prepared his Silver Bomb Arrows once more.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“All hands to the weapons! We must fend them off until we have diminished their numbers!” Reimu said, moving to steer on to pull off evasive maneuvers where needed.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]This time, the battle was more fierce as the enemy appeared more numerous this time around, thankfully the other ships offered assistance right away.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Oh man, talk about an air strike…” Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I’ll say… what the-?!” Zelda then said as one of her Silver Bomb Arrows hit one of the pillars by accident, immediately causing it to crumble down into the murky water below, taking several enemy ships with it.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Watch the pillars!!” Leia said as one Gerudo also made a pillar collapse while shooting down enemy ships along the way.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“YIKES! Low bridge!” Link said as a pillar crumbled down just beside him, missing Reimu’s ship, but taking out several enemy ships which he had missed.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“WATCH IT!” Nabooru said as parts of another pillar narrowly missed her as it collapsed from another Gerudo ship shooting at it, the debris colliding against another enemy ship, although it did cover an enemy shot that struck Reimu’s ship from the side, in retaliation Saria fired a Silver Bomb Arrow at the enemy’s engines, sending it careening out of control and towards the water, only to collide with the already sinking debris from an already destroyed pillar, destroying the ship.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The whole fight lasted only for a few minutes, despite the numerous enemy ships. The pillars did an excellent job in ‘helping’ in dwindling the numbers of the enemy soldiers rapidly, although most of them were shot down. Reimu’s fleet didn’t come out unscathed though; while all of the group were still alive and all, their ships were showing signs of damage.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Darn, that was a bit too close for comfort.” Reimu said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Sis, your ship…” Leia said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I know. We should still be able to make it to where we have to take our friends, but after that we may need to repair the ships…” Reimu said as the fleet regrouped and took off for the other side, past an entrance between two pillars and entering a corridor, leading into a large tunnel, where four spinning wheels were present, the first and third spinning clockwise and the second and forth one spinning in a counter-clockwise direction. Each of the spokes had spikes on them, although there were large openings between them, allowing the fleet to fly through in turns.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I have no idea where these machinery are for and frankly I don’t want to know either.” Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That makes two of us.” Zelda said, shivering as the group moved on to the far side of the room itself, seeing an exit in the form of a circular passageway that led into a room with numerous pillars at the side and mirrored tiles on the floor.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, this is as far as we can take you. We can’t go any further than this, for which I’m sorry.” Reimu said as the group entered a room with a gate opening above.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It’s alright, Reimu. At least you could take us for as far as you could.” Nabooru said as the gate closed up once the rest of the fleet had entered the room itself as well, the ships gently parking on the ground before the engines were shut down.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Link and the others disembarked from Reimu’s ship, smiling.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You need any help?” Saria asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Thanks for the offer, but we can manage. Just be careful when you go up there, Ganondorf and Majora are waiting for you at the top.” Reimu said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We’ll keep it in mind, Reimu. Thanks for the help.” Zelda said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“If we’ll make it through and Hyrule is safe, I’ll make sure you’ll be rewarded for your efforts.” Nabooru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Thank you, Lady Nabooru. It is an honor with such a wonderful leader such as yourself.” Reimu said, bowing politely.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Nabooru smiled, patting Reimu on the shoulder, before she and the others moved on down the corridor which had this time a purplish hue to the tiles of the floor and the walls, while further up ahead the bluish hue from the inner section returned. The corridor was long, that was for certain, but the thing that was out of place was the deadly silence that resonated in the area; that is the only sounds being audible being the group’s footsteps and their breathing whenever they were standing still…[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Hopping down a hole ahead, the group arrived in a completely different room. The first things to note were that the tiles on the walls and the ground now had a yellowish hue to it and a circular staircase was up ahead. Seeing this, Link went to the room available below the staircase itself and just sat down, indicating he wanted to rest up a bit before he would continue on. The Sages went to join him, obviously understanding his point and reason in that. Link and the Sages could already feel the ominous presence of their nemesis being strong, which indicated they should be close to the top. Link sighed, although there was a bit of a smile on his face.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, I guess this is it, huh?” He asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It appears so. It’s been quite a long trip to get all the way here…” Zelda said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Considering what we have gone through up to this point, I believe the whole thing must have been working on our bodies as well…” Saria said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What do you mean?” Ruto asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Face it, we’ve been teleported to one of the most hellish regions in Termina, got ambushed by Stalfos, had to deal with a prancing prick multiple times, entered an unknown land with an unknown, mystical history, dealt with death and resurrection, went through outposts in a forest and a vast lava sanctuary, went into a rather empty temple, entered a vast mountain area, went through an underground base that is likely destroyed now and  finally this entire frigging tower,” Saria said, “if this hasn’t done anything to our bodies physically as in making us stronger, I don’t know what has.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Saria has a point,” Link said, “all the traveling we did on foot and all must have improved our condition one way or another. Now that I think of it, my legs did feel kinda sore on several occasions, but since I was too focused on the objective at hand, I either ignored it or just bit through the pain.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The others nodded at this, while Darunia smiled.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That’s my Sworn Brother, never giving up no matter the odds.” Darunia said, patting Link on the back, making the boy on his turn yelp at this.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“But now that we have gotten this far, how are we going to handle this?” Ruto asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We’ll see if the two first play up to their usual fighting styles, or if they want to first figure out whether they can find a way to counter our new skills. My Dark Self may have fallen for the Mortal Draw technique successfully, but I feel certain that Ganondorf knows better and would try to strike me from afar, probably trying to set up a Dead Man’s Volley game. As for Majora, he may try to use his Mask again to attack at first, perhaps summon remains of the bosses we’ve beaten before to further antagonize us, use a fire beam of its own which we can use the Mirror Shield to counter or use its tendrils to attack, I don’t know for sure.” Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Right. You should keep us posted on Majora’s attacks, since you’re the only one of us whom have fought him in person.” Rauru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That I will. It’s only a matter of staying alive and keeping a close watch on our nemeses.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Right. We should rest up for as much as we can; we probably need every bit of energy we have at our disposal to properly fight them, even though we are still having the benefits of unlimited magic, thanks to the Chateau Romani we drank at the underground headquarters yesterday.” Zelda said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So it’s only today and tomorrow that we can benefit from it before it wears off?” Saria asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That’s right. I feel it will be more than useful in the time to come.” Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“No specific time planned?” Nabooru asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I just have no idea how long this will take.” Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Point taken.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I’ll keep watch, just in case.” Darunia said as he moved up to the entrance of the crevice underneath the staircase the group sat in.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Right. Even though this isn’t exactly comfortable, we’ll just have to make the best of it.” Link said, yawning as he moved into a for him comfortable position to rest in, using his quiver as a makeshift cushion.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]A few hours later, the group woke up, feeling well rested as they geared up once more. Although they had been asleep for a decent time, to say that it was pleasant would came out wrong. Link in particular suffered from a harsh nightmare in which he and his friends were overtaken/covered by the lava during their escape from the doomed headquarters or otherwise falling into the lava due to platforms collapsing or enemies kicking them off. This was in particular caused during Link’s initial travels in the Fire Temple and Death Mountain Crater in the Future that Almost Was, coupled with a few close calls in the Gerudo Training Grounds, Ganon’s Tower and the lava outpost with the hidden temple altogether. However, since he knew it were just a couple of bad dreams, Link didn’t make too much of a fuzz about it, even more when he remembered that he and the others had very much survived through it all up to this point, fueling his drive to finally put an end to the suffering and misery that Ganondorf and Majora had caused and bring back peace and prosperity to Hyrule. He sincerely hoped the Triforce by itself would help in repairing the damage done, even if it was to restore life to the ruined parts of the lands which the forces of Ganondorf and Majora had laid waste to, Hyrule Field in particular. Zelda also hoped that they could rob Ganondorf of that Triforce of Power he had in his possession and complete the Triforce for their own wish to restore peace to their homeland. Nabooru on her turn wished she could brighten up the reputation of the Gerudo tribe now that this all had taken place. Gerudos in general weren’t exactly viewed as good people because of their thieving skills and usual disdain for men, but it was definitely apparent that even the Gerudo had standards; as of now, the majority of the tribe has shunned Ganondorf and his vile, despicable ways and would rather live with an outsider as their ruler instead of following the Gerudo laws of accepting him, considering the statement that every male Gerudo born should automatically become King, seeing as males are born once every 100 years among the tribe itself. Ruto had her wish of purifying the Zora’s domain and by extension the Zora River and Lake Hylia, mostly due to her concern that the deity her people worshipped, Lord Jabu-Jabu, would feel ‘green around the gills’ shortly again if the area remained unchecked. Saria wished to purify the forest on her turn and perhaps help in kick-starting the growth of a new Deku Tree, seeing as Ganondorf had killed the Great Deku Tree itself and felt that the forest needed a guardian in case of her and Link’s absence. On top of that, it would also guarantee the safety to her fellow Kokiri so they could once again play outside, like before. Speaking of which, the Kokiri themselves were still in their homes, trying to pick up their lives as much as they can, hoping that Link and Saria somehow have gone to a nicer place together, where they are free of the worries and other bad things that have been bothering them ever since Link initially returned to them so long ago. Impa and Rauru on their turn didn’t have any specific wishes, although Impa suspected something was going on in the Kakariko Well, so she would have to find a way to strengthen the seal again, while Darunia on his turn wanted to ensure the Gorons would still be able to mine the rocks from Dodongo’s Cavern without anyone trying to seal the entrance again. As long as it would ensure that the Gorons would not be deprived of their primary source of food ever again…[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Straightening his outfit, Link moved to the base of the staircase, sighing as he braced himself for the inevitable, the Sages joining him as they walked up the circular staircase.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“This reminds me more of Ganon’s Tower itself, although this staircase is a bit shorter when going in a circle…” Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Really?” Saria asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yes, coupled with the fact that those stairs had red carpet on it in the center area…” Link said, as the group reached the top of the first staircase, seeing a corridor with a door in the center of the wall to the right and another staircase at the far side of the corridor.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, looks like they can keep people in suspense…” Saria said as the group moved onward to the second staircase… only to receive a slight scare as the door suddenly opened up as they passed by, revealing a hidden room…[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What the-?!” The group said in unison, deciding to check it out.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Entering the open doorway, the group entered a room with two pillars that each had green torches within them to illuminate the area, which was for the rest empty.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Is this some kind of a joke?” Ruto asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Wait, there’s a net down here hanging against the wall…” Zelda said, having made a turn to the right and spotting the net.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I can also see platforms on a higher level… perhaps it’s leading to something…” Saria said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Let’s check it out, perhaps it will lead to something…” Link said, moving to Zelda as she went already up the net, followed by Saria.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We have to take a good jump from here…” Zelda said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I can arrange something…” Saria said, before using her powers to create vines in the lines in lieu of a bridge for the group to safely cross the gap to a set of wooden planks which went to the right.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Turning to the right, they came across a large path with a small corridor leading into a room with several Business Scrubs. Initially trying to attack, the Business Scrubs were immediately foiled in their defenses by a safe Goron Pound courtesy of Darunia. Immediately after that, one of the Business Scrub, whom apparently looked in charge of the whole set, approached them.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Please, quit it! We’ll never do it again. If we’ll offer you some of our merchandise, will you let us go?!” He asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What do you have?” Darunia asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Everything you need: Arrows, Bombs, Deku Nuts, Deku Seeds, Deku Sticks, Bombchus, Potions, you name it.” He said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, this is very convenient; we need to restock anyway.” Link said, smiling.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Alright. Speak to one of my charges to get the items you need.” The Lead Business Scrub said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It’s kinda funny to do a bit of shopping before facing our nemeses…” Zelda said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, as long as have plenty of ammo…” Saria said, giggling.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“True.”[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]After purchasing what they needed on ammunition and medical supplies (being just the Red Potion), the group thanked the Business Scrubs and made their way back down into the corridor, moving to the right to the second staircase. Going up the stairs, they blinked at seeing another corridor with yet another staircase at the far side and several chests at the walls. Opening the chests, the group blinked at seeing they all contained Silver to Giant Rupees, each with the 100 to 200 Rupee value.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Wow…” Saria said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I guess these could be collected in case we were running short on Rupees…” Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Let’s leave them for now, I doubt we have much use for them on this part.” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You’re right. Let’s go.” Zelda said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Leaving the rupees for what they were for now, the group moved towards the last staircase. At its base, Link stopped for a brief moment, taking a few deep breaths to calm himself. Zelda and Saria understood this all too well.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, this is it. No more turning back, the fate of the world lies on our shoulders.” Link said, looking up before he and the Sages went to ascend up the third staircase, possibly one of the longest as it went up and up and up… Being one of the last to move up, Impa took a brief look behind her, before joining the rest. After about a minute or two, the group finally arrived at the top of the tower, which by itself looked like a large, circular arena with a rocky wall surrounding it, preventing them from falling off. Looking around, the group noticed they were really high into the air; looking to their left, they could see the Stone Tower in the far distance, while on the lower areas, they could see the landscapes of both Termina and Hyrule beneath it, including the ruined Hyrule Castle… but they all seemed so distant from their current height…[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So, you have finally arrived…” a dark voice said.  [/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Looking forward, Link and the Sages immediately saw someone with his back turned to them, showing off the cape he was wearing. They all recognized him right away, due to the flaming red hair and the sickly greenish skin, wearing the black knight’s armor that was a trademark of his, as well as those unnatural red eyes. It was Ganondorf in person and he seemed unnaturally calm…[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I didn’t think you would even be bold enough to scale this tower completely, much less having lasted against our forces…” He said, before turning to the group…
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Chapter 53: An unexpected turn of events[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Link and the Seven Sages were immediately on full alert, seeing Ganondorf standing there, his arms crossed, a scowl on his face instead of a more devilish grin. Behind them, the doorway to the staircase leading to the rooms below closed and sealed up, effectively trapping the entire group on top of the tower by itself. The group didn’t pay attention to this, their focus being mostly set to the nemesis in front of them, who stared them down in a form of almost unnatural calmness that hid the anger, despite the expression showing that he was, suffice it to say, none too pleased with seeing the group.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Insolent pests,” Ganondorf said, sighing in annoyance, “it angers me that you have been able to get here so swiftly. Nonetheless, I must commend you for being able to get this far; no mere mortal has ever scaled this tower and lived to tell… if they didn’t end up being caught and brainwashed or imprisoned that is…”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Hmph. That’s so like you to show no remorse…” Zelda said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“The only thing I’m sorry for is that I didn’t kill you sooner; you’ve been working against me ever since you found me out. But no matter; this saves me the trouble of going after you instead, so now I’ll take your powers by force.” He said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Think again, Ganondorf; you won’t get us again like last time.” Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Getting bold, are we?” Ganondorf asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You bet; unlike you, we’ve been working hard to get here.” Saria said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That I can see. Too bad it’s all for naught…” Another voice said, just as a floating mask appeared from behind Ganondorf.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Majora… I almost thought you weren’t here.” Link said smugly.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You certainly have become quite cheeky with such an attitude…” Majora said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“If I had a rupee each time I heard that…”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Oh, that’s it. When you die here, your corpse will be displayed on a spot for everyone to see as a sign of what will happen when you defy us!” Majora said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Like that will ever happen.” Ruto said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Do you have any idea whom you’re dealing with?” Ganondorf asked, narrowing his eyes.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Of course we do, two arrogant pricks who enjoy seeing innocent people suffer.” Zelda said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That does it, have at you!” Majora said, charging up his fiery eye laser attack and fired it towards Zelda… only for the princess to bring out her Mirror Shield and deflect the attack towards Ganondorf, striking him head on.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Ganondorf grunted as he was hit, preparing his electric sphere and fired it towards the princess, only for Link to intercept the attack, striking it with his sword, sending it towards Majora who received a hit on his turn as well, being zapped by the electricity from the attack.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“YEEEEEAAAAAARRRRRGGGHHHH! CURSE YOU ALL!!!” Majora howled as it recovered from the attack as tendrils appeared from its back, only for Link to suddenly leap at it and struck it with a jump strike.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“SHUT UP!” Link snarled at the deadly mask.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Enough of this, time to meet your doom!” Ganondorf said as he began to float in place.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]With that, the Final Battle for Hyrule and Termina began. The Sages first split up in two groups, with Rauru, Darunia, Impa and Nabooru moving to engage Ganondorf in combat, while Zelda, Saria and Ruto came to Link’s aid while he fought against Majora. Given the enormous strength of both foes, the heroes decided to attack in numbers on their turn, knowing that using co-operation would continuously put pressure on the enemies, giving them little to no chance to charge up a potentially dangerous attack. Link decided to keep the Purified Fierce Deity Mask aside for the time being, intending to use it as a last resort due to the massive power it contained by itself and by extension give Ganondorf and Majora an even harder time as soon as the right time to use it was at hand. But for now, it seemed as if the battle was even. In the air, the sky was getting darker as the dark clouds kept bellowing around the top, almost making it pitch black, although briefly illuminated by the lightning strikes that appeared at regular intervals within the clouds. This all perfectly added to the atmosphere of the arena itself, with in the far distance the sky being an eerie beige/yellow, while the black clouds themselves were almost like a static disk circling around the whole parameter of the tower by itself, increasing in layers the closer one would be to the top of the tower.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Zelda struck Majora’s Mask with a Silver Light Arrow, sending the deadly creature to the ground, after which Link and Saria engaged it with their Golden Swords, striking relentlessly at it as if both received a good measure of payback for what has been done to them not so long ago, before the Mask used its tendrils to grab the children and zap them with electricity, before tossing them against the rocky edge of the arena. Zelda and Ruto followed up with another Silver Light Arrow, once again stunning the Mask, before Ruto went in and struck the Mask several times, before using her Water Sage abilities to teleport behind Majora, avoiding its tendrils the first time and striking it in the back with her Nice Boomerang, right as Link and Saria recovered and went back in the fray. Using Link’s knowledge of Majora itself as a whole, the four children had some form of advantage, even though Majora seemingly had no difficulties taking them all on. This was not just because the four have been active on the battle field for some time, but they were also still children in a way; their small bodies allowed a certain level of agility with them that made them a bit harder to catch, even more when their form of teamwork was that one or two proved a distraction for the others to strike at the Mask, deflecting its own attacks were necessary.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Ganondorf on his turn generated multiple of his electric blasts in rapid succession, but Nabooru and Impa intercepted them, striking the spheres with their blades to swat them aside or towards Ganondorf, where Ganondorf either blocked them or where the spheres he fired collided with the ones headed for him, effectively cancelling them out. This was more done as a diversion as Rauru prepared a larger Light Sphere attack, in lieu of a Light Arrow of his own to stun Ganondorf with as he fired it, scoring a direct hit on the Dark Lord, sending him to the ground. This allowed Darunia to charge at him and deliver a serious pounding to the male Gerudo.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That one was for Link and this one is for Zelda!” Darunia said, slugging Ganondorf twice in the stomach, like how he hurt Link and Zelda badly back at the ruined Hyrule Castle all those days ago.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Darunia never forgot what happened on that fateful day, seeing Ganondorf ruthlessly slugging first Link in the stomach before draining him of whatever strength he had left and tossing the Master Sword aside as if it was nothing, after which the Evil King unceremoniously kicked Link away from the ruined Hyrule Castle Tower, dooming him to die a slow, painful death back then. Ganondorf then turned his attention to Zelda, whom attacked and hit him the second after Link was sent flying, with Zelda being treated to a similar punch in the stomach before she was blasted away with a magic blast in a similar style to how Link was kicked away. Darunia had silently sworn to himself to avenge his Sworn Brother, even after the resurrection and now he was making good on that oath, although he also knew Impa wanted to take a shot at him as well. Ganondorf grunted as he was slugged in the stomach multiple times by Darunia’s Fire Punch Combo, before using a dark explosion wave to throw him off, only for Impa to appear from the shadows and slashed at his face, cutting him on the cheek and the chest area before he knocked the Sheikah woman away, intercepting Nabooru in the process. This moment of reprieve allowed Ganondorf to float up again, now ready to charge a bigger attack. Rauru intervened by blasting him with a powerful Light spell, stunning Ganondorf to make the attack he was charging strike him instead, sending Ganondorf down to the ground, allowing Impa and Nabooru to strike, with Nabooru using her Golden Sword Spark and Impa just slashed away at him, at several points striking the scars of what remained of the wounds that Link and Zelda both inflicted on him before.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Majora however was having a rather hard time against the four children; whenever it was focusing on attacking any one of them, the others were pelting its vulnerable backside with arrows, bringing it down in order for the group to strike at it with force. As they say: Payback is a bitch and she’s back in heat! Majora then twirled around like a saw blade, trying to cut the four in half, but its attempts were cut short due to either clashing against their shields, before Link used the Great Spin to stun the mask again, allowing Saria to strike it again as a form of payback on her side once more. After several slashes, Majora grabbed the four children in its tendrils and tossed them towards the far side of the arena, before transforming into Majora’s Incarnation, with the thin arms and legs and the single eye on its head, attempting to pelt the group with a rapid-fire onslaught of energy spheres. Link was prepared for this however and went on the defensive, blocking the attacks with his shield, before rolling to the side and striking Majora with an arrow, stunning it. Majora howled as it once more was stunned, allowing the four children to rush in and keep striking it.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Ganondorf on his turn was getting frustrated at the relentless attacks from his four opponents. Having had enough after being pelted with a Light Arrow for the 5th time now, followed by a few strikes of the others nearby, he decided to play their game and remained on the ground level this time around, drawing two blades of his own in order to engage the four adults. In retrospect, he saw the irony in this current stand-off; Majora had been acting like a child despite its crazy behavior and tremendous power through curses and he was now up against four children, while he, the Great Ganondorf, was more mature and held his own against four adults. However he wasn’t stupid; he knew that these people were likely able to succeed in thwarting his plans again, although he would be able to put up a decent fight. He narrowed his eyes as he saw Nabooru approaching, preparing to engage him. Deciding to actually fight her, Ganondorf charged, forcing the Gerudo on the defensive as she moved to block and parry every strike he made.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Such a shame to see such a strong woman fight against one of her own.” Ganondorf quipped as he attempted a double cutting swipe with his blades, which Nabooru avoided.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Shut your face!” Nabooru snarled, jumping up to perform a double spin attack.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Ganondorf grunted as he blocked the strike, trying to strike her in her side, only for Nabooru to flip over him and perform a successful Back Slash technique, hurting him.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You could have been anything you desired if you only would follow me.” Ganondorf said, smacking Nabooru aside with the hilt of the sword in his right hand, before moving to engage her again.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“SHUT UP! I’ll NEVER bow down to someone so despicable as you!” Nabooru roared back, being forced on the defensive once more.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So be it then.” Ganondorf said, swinging his blades down to where he almost cut Nabooru’s head off, but Nabooru blocked the attack with her own swords, before slashing at the Evil King’s body herself with another Dual Spin attack, this time forcing him on the defensive.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Ganondorf eventually managed to kick Nabooru away and attempted to charge at her, only for Darunia to intercept him and clobbered him in the face, stunning him enough for Impa to deal in several strikes with a Shadow Clone. Ganondorf on his turn eventually kicked Impa herself away and cut her Shadow Clone in two, effectively dispelling it before turning his attention to Rauru as he finished preparing another Light Sphere to stun him, avoiding the strike by teleporting beside the old Sage and knocking him to the side, only to be hit in the back by another Back Slash from Nabooru. Grunting, he smacked Nabooru to the side, before dashing at her and thrusting his swords down to the ground, although Nabooru rolled out of the way in time to prevent herself from being impaled onto the arena floor, using the momentum of her roll to get back on her feet and regain her swords she had dropped when Ganondorf struck her. Growling, Ganondorf attempted to attack her again, only to be intercepted by a set of fireballs courtesy of Darunia, the Goron Leader showing he still had a bone to pick with the Evil King for not only first depriving his people from their primary food source, but also imprisoning them in the Fire Temple in the Future That Almost Was, to be fed to the dragon Volvagia as a form of ritual sacrifice, mostly to show to the other races what would happen if they were to oppose Ganondorf’s reign. He was grateful Link came to save them, before coming to aid him in slaying the evil dragon.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]At the same moment, Majora was now angrier than ever after he was hit several times more by the four children whom clearly weren’t impressed by his crazy routine of dancing and prancing. It even went so far as Saria using her vines to intercept Majora to hold him in place so Ruto, Link and Zelda had the time to catch up with him and attack him. Howling to the sky after smacking the four away for the moment, Majora then began to pump up its muscles, transforming into Majora’s Wrath as it now towered over the four children and the adults altogether. Link, Saria, Zelda and Ruto grueled at the sight of Majora’s muscles rapidly swelling, coupled with tendrils growing on its hands which it now used to attack in a whip-like fashion after completing his transformation, managing to strike Link, Saria and Zelda with it before Ruto fired a Silver Light Arrow at it to stun it, the Zora Princess moving in with several strikes of her own before Majora teleported to the far side of the arena and struck Ruto in the same fashion as it did with her friends before. Link however wasn’t stupid and pressed on, firing a Silver Light Arrow on his turn that struck Majora in the face, causing the monstrous behemoth to shriek in sheer agony, which in turn began to break parts of the rocky edge apart, sending them floating into the air.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Curse you all… I hate you… I HATE YOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUU!” Majora howled as it promptly grabbed Link and Zelda in one tendril and Saria and Ruto in the other, before rearing them up into the air and smashing them on the ground, causing the four to yelp in pain as they landed face-first onto the ground, after which Majora just repeated this brutal move before callously tossing the four to the side, making them land on the ground before striking them to the wall like bowling pins, causing Saria and Ruto to get dazed for a moment.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Now getting pissed himself, Link got up, before pouring energy into his Golden Master Sword.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“The feeling’s completely mutual, Majora!” He said, before he felt a hand on his own which held his sword.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Turning to his left, he saw Zelda looking at him. Like Link, she was battered and had several injuries all over, but still battle-hardened and ready to strike. Nodding at him, Zelda then helped Link by raising his sword with him while holding her own sword in her other hand, before both children thrusted the sword forward, launching a golden Sword Beam at the monstrosity, striking it head on. One more Majora howled in agony  as it collapsed of the sheer pain the attack inflicted on it, its body shimmering with the sacred Golden Light of justice. This alone wasn’t enough to take Majora down so easily though, as he got up, using a Spin Attack of his own to knock Saria and Ruto to the side, before promptly kicking Link and Zelda both to the other side of the arena again, after which he proceeded to use his tendrils as whips to strike them, performing a Rapid Whip Barrage on both the hero and the princess, leaving red gashes on their backs as well as a few holes and tears in their respective outfits. Both Link and Zelda yelped as they were hit several times, before Majora grabbed them and tossed them unceremoniously to the far side of the arena again, the two bouncing off the rocky wall before landing on the ground, grunting as they landed. This also proved to be an opportunity for Saria and Ruto, as they recovered from the Spin Attack, they moved in together to strike Majora with Silver Light Arrows of their own, stunning him long enough to strike him several times before Majora performed a back flip in order to escape from the two children, which in turn allowed Saria to focus her own Sage powers to heal Link and Zelda to a degree, able to lessen the injuries on their backs while Ruto used a Water Spout to douse Majora in water, sending him momentarily into the air before he landed flat on his face on the ground with a *THUD*. Link and Zelda both managed to get up after a minute thanks to Saria’s healing powers, bringing them back into action.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Thanks, Saria.” Zelda said, smiling while Link nodded in kind.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Don’t mention it. Now let’s get back at that freakazoid.” She said, her two friends nodding, before the three went to assist Ruto in tackling the insane monstrosity.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Ganondorf on his turn was also brought to his knees as the distraction provided by Nabooru was enough for Rauru to strike him in the chest with another Golden Light Sphere, causing the Evil King to grunt in sheer pain at this. He looked up towards them in great anger, not believing he was being bested, again! Getting up, he managed to fire a dark blast at Rauru to knock him to the ground, before grabbing Impa and Nabooru and bashed their heads against each other, causing the two women to grunt and hold their heads in pain, only for Ganondorf himself being fiercely knocked to the ground by another Fire Punch courtesy of Darunia. Sitting up and looking to his right, Ganondorf saw Majora writhing in agony from being hit with the Silver Light Arrow by the four children. Seeing Impa, Darunia and Nabooru approach, Ganondorf used his own dark powers to teleport next to Majora, standing next to the fallen behemoth.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“As much as I hate it to say, I have to admit that you have improved a lot in comparison to the last time we met. Then it’s safe for me to say that this is going to take longer than I expected.” He said, looking around at the group.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What are you talking about?! You’re through, finished! Hand over the Triforce of Power and begone from this place forever!” Zelda said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Ganondorf however smirked  at the Hyrulean Princess, chuckling even.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You seem to have gathered the same wit and attitude as that forest kid whom became the fabled Hero of Time… amazing what spending time with him has done to your spirit…” He said as he picked Majora up, whom was hanging a bit limply as he held him by the neck, with only Majora’s calves, feet and tendrils remaining on the ground, “however, I wouldn’t give yourself or your beloved friends for that matter any form of decoration just yet, Zelda… because this battle isn’t finished by a long shot… in fact, it has only JUST BEGUN!”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]With that, Ganondorf suddenly thrusted his free hand into Majora’s back, causing the monstrous creature to howl in agony as dark energy flooded his entire being, causing Link and the Sages to look at this in utter shock and horror, while Ganondorf himself only had this sick grin on his face. It was then that flames appeared all around Majora, being blue and black flames that began to eat away at his entire body, as if it was disintegrating right in front of them.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“YOU MONSTER!” Link and Zelda both shouted in utter disgust as they witnessed Majora writhing away within the flames, his body deflating as if its energy was being drained from it, initially reducing Majora’s body to nothing more than an empty, lifeless husk of which the head, arms and legs soon vanished, leaving only the Mask of Majora behind. Ganondorf then willed the Mask to attach itself to his own chest, merging it with its own armor as tendrils shot out to engulf the armor as a whole, turning the once black armor into a sickly flesh-colored wall of pure muscle, with the mask itself now serving as the armor plating by itself, retaining the spikes that now were set on his shoulders and on his sides. During this scene, Rauru, Nabooru, Impa and Darunia all regrouped with Link, Saria, Zelda and Ruto, who stood together by each other, watching the scene unfold, although Link had prepared another Light Arrow, intending to fire at it at any moment’s notice. Ganondorf chuckled at this.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Fools… while I commend you on having made it this far and having held out up until now, you are overlooking a minor detail; that we have been improving on our own skills too. It may haven’t looked like it, but trust me when I say you haven’t seen anything yet.” He said, right before his eyes changed to the dark eyes that belonged to Majora.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Link immediately was on guard, his bow at the ready, while the Sages stood by to assist him. Ganondorf saw this and chuckled again.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So… hero… you and your royal girl called me a monster?” He then asked, addressing Link and Zelda directly as he had a sick grin on his face, “allow me to show you the TRUE face of the ‘monster’ that you see before you.”[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]With that, Ganondorf first showed off the mark of the Triforce of Power on his hand, before hunched over at first and grunted as he tightened every muscle in his arms and legs. Before Link and the Sages could react or even respond to it, they could hear the unmistakable sound of bones snapping and resetting as Ganondorf’s body began to convulse and jerk all over in place, right before his body began to grow. But as his body grew, his muscles were bulging and growing along with him, his form beginning to change as his legs snapped backwards in form and his feet becoming boar-like, as spikes also emerged from his head, standing upward while his hair grew partially over his back. Tusks appeared from either side of his jaws, becoming as sharp as predatorily fangs but the most disturbing thing was that he just kept growing… outgrowing the inner ring of the arena as the muscles in his chest, arms and legs grew to hulking proportions, each pulse of energy that flowed through his veins pumping them up until they were big enough to engulf the entire group of heroes. His teeth elongated into menacing fangs that made him even more demonic, while the spikes on his shoulders and sides also grew to where they could easily be used to skewer the group onto each of them.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Link, Saria, Zelda, Ruto, Nabooru, Impa, Darunia and Rauru all watched in utter horror and disgust as the transformation took place, but as it entered its final phase, with the growing of Ganondorf’s body length and muscle mass being the most prominent, coupled with the disgusting sounds of bones snapping and readjusting while his vocal cords changed to give the Evil King’s voice a far more demonic sound, another emotion came through the entire group… fear! For the first time, Link found himself subconsciously taking a few steps back as Ganondorf… or better yet the entity FORMERLY known as Ganondorf began to tower over them with hulking proportions, becoming higher than the houses in Hyrule Castle Town, while two massive blades appeared within the monstrosity’s hands. At specific spots on the bare arms and legs, it appeared as if the skin burst open as veins could be clearly seen through it, these veins beginning to glow green much like the eyes. The hair also received a more radical change, becoming also akin to tendrils on the tips as the normal hair grew down to over the neck. It went so bad that Saria and Zelda both grabbed Link close as the transformation finalized, with Ruto holding Link from behind, while he was stepping closer to the adults. As the transformation was completed, what now stood in front of the group was an entity with the appearance of the beast known as Ganon, but where it had once had a knight’s plating as armor was now a fleshy wall of pure muscle, with the armored part being the shape of Majora’s Mask with spikes protruding from its sides and shoulders, the tusks circling upward and its jaws bearing razor sharp teeth that could cut through flesh like a knife through butter. The outer part of his hair ended up in tendrils, which he too could use as whips, while in its hands were two massive blades that were bigger than each of the group by itself.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“No longer am I the beast known to you as Ganon… I am… Ganjora, the one who will end your pitiful lives!” It proclaimed, roaring in the sky as lightning crashed around the area fiercely.
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif]
[size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]Chapter 54: A hopeless battle?[/font]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]Link and the Seven Sages watched in utter horror as the now monstrous Ganjora  towered over them all like a sick, mutated pig that was covered in nothing else but flesh, bearing the sickly multiple colors of primarily magenta, dark blue, pink and violet/purple, interlaced with bright green-glowing veins pulsating from under the bare skin, while also sporting those soul-piercing eyes from Majora’s Mask on the chest, while his normal eyes had green sclera and lacked the presence of irises and pupils. The jewel on its forehead was now acting as a third eye akin to Majora’s Wrath, and the sides of his face were protected by two horns that curled outward, ready to skewer anyone close and unfortunate enough to get caught if he would charge at them. He retained some level of clothing through the Gerudo garment around his waist, under arms and around the shoulders, the initial knight plating being completely destroyed during his growth, the only remnants being the torn cape at the back and some garment on the shoulders.  His feet had been replaced by boar-like hooves and for the rest he was completely packed with bulging muscles, being actually far more buffer than the Ganon Link had fought in the Future That Almost Was. The fiery red hair also had grown longer, the tips molding together to create tendrils akin to Majora’s, and on his shoulders and on his sides were now deadly spikes that were raised to protect them from there. It also grew a tail that was big enough to almost rest on the other side of the arena itself! But the thing that scared the group the most was the sheer size of him; whereas Ganon was already big enough to easily tower over both Link and Zelda and several remains of his old castle, this new Ganjora stood at least at TWICE that height, showcasing the tremendous power combination that both Majora’s Mask and the Triforce of Power had pumped into Ganondorf. With a bestial howl and a roar, Ganjora then plunged his oversized blades into the ground of the arena, creating a shockwave that practically launched Link and the Seven Sages off their feet, while at the same time raising the outer ring of the arena itself, where as more of the rocky wall around it began to crumble and tear, some pieces floating up in the air, while others fell all the way down from the tower. Lightning crashed around the area with loud thunderclaps that resonated throughout the area, as if Ganjora’s power was big enough to disorient the atmosphere around them.[/font][/size][/font][/size]

[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]Reimu and her troops narrowly managed to fly out of the tower itself as parts of it were already beginning to crumble down under the sheer pressure and force of the power increase Ganjora was boasting, coupled with the lava now melting anything that could be melted by it around, varying from the crates that were stacked around to the remaining corpses of Ganondorf and Majora’s forces that Link and the Seven Sages had slain before. Whatever lava had risen throughout the inner area of the tower and streamed out of the open windows were now covering most of the tower itself and its surrounding areas, almost appearing as if the world had cracked open on that part and revealed an artificially created volcano which seemed to be contained within the vast mountain area it was located in.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Oh, dear Goddesses, look at the size of that monstrosity!” Leia shouted, seeing the silhouette of Ganjora’s form sticking out from the position she was in while she looked up at the tower.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It’s frigging huge!” One of the Gerudo Pirates exclaimed.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“And our leader Nabooru and her friends are up there! We have to help them!!” Another one said.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“How?! That monster’s likely able to keep outsiders out!” A third one asked.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We won’t stay here and do nothing. Besides, I also have a score to settle with that freak for brainwashing me and almost making me kill my beloved sister. I’ll show him that we Gerudo don’t need such a vile, despicable ruler that Ganondorf is!” Reimu said, moving to keep a close watch on the battle, waiting for her chance.[/font][/size][/font][/size]

[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]Getting up after the harsh landing on the outer ring, Link and the Seven Sages were all faced with the monstrosity known as Ganjora, whose menacingly looked down upon them like they were insignificant insects to it. Ganjora stared at them with those menacing, green-glowing, empty eyes, before heaving another howl which roared like thunder, causing Link and the Sages to cover their ears to prevent their ear-drums bursting from the deafening sound. This was done right before Ganjora thrusted its blades onto the ground again, sending the group flying into the air, before Ganjora smacked them all with the flat portion of the blade in its right hand. The force of the impact alone caused the group to be sent flying over the outer ring to the right, spreading them out a bit so it would take time for them to get together again. At this point, Link and Zelda both landed next to each other, skidding a bit over the outer ring at their landing point before laying still, enough for them to at least try to get up, but their injuries weren’t making this easy. Looking behind them, they saw that the other Sages had been spread behind them, but too far to properly catch up due to Ganjora preparing himself for another assault.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Darn it! Now he’s even more crazy than before!” Link said, observing it for a moment while wiping blood from his mouth.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Now what are we going to do?! There’s no way we can fight him alone like this…” Zelda said.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We’re on our own at this for now, but I’m not going to stand here and let him kill us.” Link said, looking to his right, seeing that the area there was clear.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What are you planning?” Zelda asked, seeing as Link was attempting to move first to ensure he wasn’t hindered in his legs from injuries as well as watching at where Ganjora was currently looking at.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“If Ganjora has the appearance of a mutated Ganon, I’m inclined to think that the tail is his weak point and I’m gonna try to exploit it. You can come with me if you wish, but we need the others to keep him occupied or otherwise keep moving to avoid his attacks!” Link said, tossing his shield aside in order to maintain speed and not wanting the weight of his other equipment, save for the bow and arrows, become cumbersome to him during his movements.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Right.” Zelda said, just as Link went on his way, Zelda following right away while telepathically contacting the remaining Sages, who understood it, although some of them were badly wounded.[/font][/size][/font][/size]

[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]It was as if in this moment, the respective Triforce Pieces that dwelled within both Link and Zelda began to glow on the back of their hands, which in turn empowered the two to run around the outer ring forward while hoping that the Six Sages could keep Ganjora occupied long enough for them to reach its tail, to which they believed to be its weak spot to be attacked. They just didn’t care about any gaps or obstacles; they just kept going as if adrenaline was empowering them to run as fast as their legs allowed them to, intent on finishing the fight once and for all. Interestingly, the Six Sages shared this mentality as they did their best to keep Ganjora occupied with the best of their abilities, however Ganjora already noticed something was off; why were only six of those pests attacking it, while he was clearly facing eight?! He then looked around where the other two were, before spotting movement from the left corner of his eyes. Turning into that direction, it saw Link and Zelda running towards its tail. Realizing what it was planning, Ganjora roared angrily and attempted to strike them down with one of its massive blades, only to be hit by a Silver Light Arrow courtesy of Saria. This made it howl in pain for a moment, enough time for the Sages to regroup.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“LOOK OUT! IT HAS SEEN YOU!” Nabooru shouted towards Link and Zelda, who were almost at the monstrosity’s tail.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]Hearing this, Link then grabbed Zelda’s hand while continuing onward, hoping the beast would stay stunned long enough to at least get one strike on the tail in. When the tail was in reach, both Link and Zelda drew their blades, ready to strike, but then Ganjora recovered and attempted to strike them down with its massive blades. As it thrusted the blade down however, Link jumped into the air, taking Zelda with him, causing the blade itself to miss them, but get lodged in the side of the outer ring, becoming stuck inside it. Seeing this, Link immediately seized the opportunity to run up Ganjora’s massive arm, holding his arms out to the side as if to maintain balance while running towards the tail, which was now curled upward against the far side of the arena, before smacking it with his Golden Master Sword. Hearing Ganjora’s howls of pain, Link continued his assault, soon joined by Zelda whom attacked the tail itself as well, while making sure she was out of the way of Link’s attacks. The fact that Link himself was left-handed when it came to wielding his Golden Master Sword was very helpful in this. Both managed to deliver several strikes to the beast’s tail, before the tendrils of Ganjora’s hair picked the both of them up and tossed them off of it, right into the other Sages, knocking Saria, Ruto, Impa and Nabooru over in the process, while Ganjora succeeded in freeing its blade from its position, now free to use it against the group once more.  [/font][/size][/font][/size]

[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]Link grunted in pain as his head collided with Saria’s during their involuntary toss off of Ganjora, while Saria tried to shake the stars out of her head to focus her powers in healing the worst injuries, while Impa held her stomach area after receiving Zelda’s feet against it during her landing. Getting up, Impa saw that Ganjora was preparing an electric current between the tips of its horns, as if it was preparing to electrocute the entire group.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“EVERYBODY RUN! IT’S GOING TO ATTACK!” She said, grabbing Zelda and Ruto along the way.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]Darunia helped Link, Saria and Zelda up while Rauru picked up Nabooru, the Gerudo leader rubbing over her jaw as if checking there weren’t any loose teeth from the impact of Zelda’s head against it, or otherwise the area swelling from the impact. With the group now on the run, the electric current missed them safely due to them constantly moving, but Ganjora wasn’t giving up so easily. It then used the tendrils on its hair to strike at the arena a few times, intending to either smack or trip the group while they were on the run, intending to reach the tail one way or the other. Thrusting its blades into the ground again, Ganjora launched the group straight into the air, before smacking them in the faces with the flat portion of its left blade. Although grunting in pain, this didn’t stop Link in the slightest as he got back on his feet and continued on his way, feeling the energy pulsing in his veins, letting him continue. The Sages on their turn shared this mentality and, despite their own injuries, also kept going as best as they could. It was then that Ganjora reared up and thrusted its chest forward, powering the eyes of Majora’s Mask and getting ready to prepare its fire beam from them. Seeing this, Link stopped for a moment and fired a Silver Light Arrow in an attempt to strike the behemoth in the chest to stun it, only for it to block the arrow using one of its humongous blades, before firing the fire laser directly at him. Link now ran for dear life as the fire laser followed his trail closely, almost touching him even, only for Zelda to fire a Silver Ice Arrow at one of the mask’s eyes, disabling it and weakening the laser, before Saria used a second Silver Ice Arrow to freeze its other eye. Ganjora howled at this as it hunched over in pain, standing still as it attempted to thaw its chest out. This gave the group some form of reprieve as they now ran on towards the tail. Just then, the ice on the chest shattered as Ganjora itself removed it with force, before turning to face the group once more, rage and hatred clearly visible in its eyes. With a menacing roar, it used one of it blades to sweep down over the arena, although the group clocked him and dove forward on the ground, keeping themselves flat as the blade passed over them, feeling a slight gust of wind blowing from behind due to the momentum of the blade’s movement, before getting back up and resuming their way towards their target, although Ganjora wasn’t making this easy at all.[/font][/size][/font][/size]

[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]After a couple of more of such swipes, alternated with some electric bolts trying to strike them, Ganjora thrusted its blades again into the floor of the arena, the force of the impact sending the group into the air, leaving them vulnerable to another swipe in the face using the flat edge of its blade. Getting back up again, the group resumed their run towards their target, although Ganjora kept turning in their direction, ready to unleash another attack against them, this time in the form of a barrage of electric spheres. While he was hit a few times by them himself, Link recovered and eventually proceeded to smack them back towards Ganjora with his sword and Mirror Shield, intercepting other blasts or otherwise striking Ganjora itself, hurting the beast as it grunted. While the Sages on their turn did receive hits from these blasts as well, they soon joined Link in the retaliation action, sending multiple blasts back at it, until it roared and apparently collapsed enough to lodge the blade into the inner side of the outer ring, allowing the group to run up the beast towards their target. While Link ran ahead with Zelda following close behind him, Saria and Ruto caught up with them, with Saria releasing vines to catch and constrict the tail, allowing the group to strike at the tail with vigor using sword strikes, arrows, punches, Sage abilities and even magic/energy blasts, anything the group could do to strike at their target. Ganjora howled in pain as the tail received hit after hit, whether it was with the Golden Master Sword, Silver Light Arrows, Fire Punches or with other conventional weapons or abilities, which went on for about a good half a minute before the behemoth snagged them all in its tendrils, separating the group for a brief moment, before the tendrils moved them in front of its face, letting the group hang face to face with its own, staring at them with its soul-piercing, green-glowing eyes.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You… ignorant buffoons,” Ganjora snarled, his voice being bestial in appearance, “don’t you realize you’re up against the mighty King of Darkness and Destruction?!”[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Ah… s… screw you!” Link snapped back, trying to wiggle himself free of its grasp.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You think you have had the upper hand on me, yet you don’t realize that all your efforts are in vain!” Ganjora roared as he then moved the tendrils which it held Link and Zelda captive with, before colliding them with each other, while at the same time letting Impa collide with Nabooru and let Saria and Ruto bash against each other in turn as well. Ruto howled in extreme pain, while Saria mustered her powers to use her vines as a wrench to free her arms, grabbing her bow to prepare a Nice Silver Light Arrow in frustration. Seeing this, Ganjora moved Link and Zelda right into the path of the arrows she fired, with one Silver Light Arrow striking both Link and Zelda in the back, causing the two children to scream in pain, but before Ganjora could laugh at their misfortune, the THIRD Silver Light Arrow of the cluster Saria fired struck it in its snout, causing Ganjora to howl in pain as well as the light of justice stunned it for a brief moment. This was all the time Darunia needed to free his own arms using his own brute strength and pull himself towards Ganjora on the tendril holding him captive and clobbered the beast straight in the left eye, causing it to howl even more as it reared back, using its hands to grip his eye, dropping its massive blades in the process. At the same time, Link pulled the arrow that had hit him out of his back, biting through the pain before pulling his own hands out, retrieving his bow and firing it as another Silver Light Arrow right into Ganjora’s other eye, causing it to howl again. However, this only succeeded in making Ganjora even more angry than it already was, first regaining or tightening the grip on the group, before using those tendrils to smash Link and the Sages on the floor of the arena itself.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You fools… this is your end!” Ganjora said, putting pressure on the tendrils in an attempt to break the ribcages of the group.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Not so fast, monster!” A female voice shouted, before several blasts were fired that struck and severed the tendrils, freeing Link and the Sages in the process.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]Ganjora shrieked in pain as it lost the tendrils used to keep the group captive, looking around for the offender, only for an airship passing by. It was Reimu, whom came to the group’s aid using one of the Gerudo Pirates to help her with the cannon, before Reimu moved at first away, before turning around to prepare for another assault. At first, Ganjora fired an electric blast which Reimu avoided, letting her comrade fire the cannon at it, nailing the beast in its face. Now pissed off, Ganjora roared and prepared a blast from its mouth, firing it at Reimu’s ship as it moved away.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“REIMU, LOOK OUT!” Nabooru shouted.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]Reimu saw the blast coming and tried to fly in a position to ensure the blast wouldn’t hit too many critical parts… only for another ship to fly up behind her to intercept the blast for her, only for that ship to be destroyed, causing its occupant to be launched from the debris with a scream.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“LEIA!!!” Reimu screamed as she saw the woman falling, trying to move after her to catch her, only for another Gerudo ship to arrive and catch her.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We got her. She’s unconscious, but alive!” its pilot said, making Reimu sigh of relief.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]Seeing this however made Ganjora go mad, unleashing another ear-piercing howl before thumping its massive fists on the ground, destabilizing the tower underneath it, while at the same time breaking the outer ring off of its position, making it float up as a portal opened up high in the sky, before Ganjora itself began to fly upwards, towards the portal.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“He’s trying to get away!” Impa exclaimed.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Not on my watch!” Link said, standing up despite being badly wounded and blood seeping from the wound on his back, using his Hookshot to reach one of the now-rising platforms, seeking out the nearest target to reach.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]He was soon joined by Zelda and Saria who, despite their own wounds, shared Link’s determination to finally defeat the evil monstrosity.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“How are we ever going to beat him?! He seems to be growing stronger every minute!” Zelda asked.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We’ve managed to hurt him, but it didn’t accomplish much other than making him angry… looks like their union was pulled off far better than I expected.” Link said as he kept on making his way to the top, seeing the other Sages approaching as well.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“But there has to be SOMETHING we can do to defeat him, right?!” Saria asked.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You bet there is, but I just don’t know what. However I won’t rest until he has been defeated!” Link exclaimed, moving higher and higher as he went along on the broken, floating platforms.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]The Sages followed his every move, even though they could see that Ganjora was staring them down, floating in place as if watching them closely. It also seemed quite agitated at them due to seeing them still alive and able to fight. The group could hear it growl, before inhaling and unleashing a roar that had an effect of a vice shout on them, causing the group to cover their ears as they stood on the platforms. Recovering afterwards, Link resumed his way to the top, eventually reaching the highest platform, preparing a Nice Silver Light Arrow, just as some of the other Gerudo ships came to their aid and began pelting Ganjora with their own cannon blasts in their attempt to distract it. This worked as Ganjora was swatting at them now with both its massive hands and its tendrils, allowing Link to charge up his Nice Silver Light Arrow Shot, just as Zelda came next to him, also preparing her attack, soon to be joined by Saria and Ruto. Just as Ganjora turned to them, the four children fired their arrows, striking Ganjora in the face, with several of them striking it in the eyes! Ganjora let out a inhuman howl of agony as the Light of the Silver Light Arrows blasted through its body like a knife through butter, making it at first collapse down to the lower part of the arena, much to the delight of the entire group.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Direct hit!” Nabooru shouted.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Whew, hopefully that will be the end of it…” Zelda said, wiping the sweat of her forehead.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I hope so… we need to get our wounds patched…” Saria said.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]Link however remained on guard and carefully moved to the edge of the platform he was on to look down towards the arena… or what remained of it…[/font][/size][/font][/size]

[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]Suddenly, without warning, a bright light shot up from the arena, directly in the center of the platforms that were floating in the air. Immediately, Link jumped back in shock, blinking at the scene, while the Sages were startled and instantly went at Link’s side, only for a figure to suddenly float in front of them. This figure didn’t look like the monstrous beast form of Ganjora, but had a more Humanoid appearance. In fact, this figure looked like a tall, slightly beefed up version of Ganondorf, while having the green-glowing veins, spikes on the shoulder and the mask-turned chest armor from Majora. It was as if the spikes now became part of the shoulder armor that Ganondorf wore, while it retained those sickly green eyes. This was the Humanoid form of Ganjora, whose hair was now also flaming a bit upward and its teeth retained its carnivorous appearance with the sharp fangs in place of normal teeth. His skin was still a menacing dark color, although it was no longer blue like in its beast form. Tendrils had appeared on the hands, while a few minor ones were still at the hair. It looked quite pissed, while Link instinctively grabbed his sword and shield, the latter he had picked up along with the rest of his gear during the ascension of the platforms a few minutes ago.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You are far more resilient than I thought, but it takes more than that to defeat me. You may have slain the monster, but the beast still lives,” Ganjora said, “and as long as I have the Triforce of Power in my possession, I doubt you will ever be able to TRULY stop me!”[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Hey, I defeated both you and Majora once before, what makes you think I can’t do it again?!” Link snarled, getting in a defensive position.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“HAH! You were lucky that time,” Ganjora said in Ganondorf’s voice, “and for the record, you didn’t exactly kill me. Yes, you defeated me, but all you did was making me vulnerable enough for your friends to seal me away in the Sacred Realm. As I was drawn in, I swore to you that I would kill your descendants whenever I would break free from it, but it appears my good friend Majora made things easier for me.”[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]Ganjora then looked with an amused expression at seeing Zelda drawing her blade as well, also ready to fight, making it chuckle. This made Link and the Sages blink, wondering what the monstrosity was chuckling about.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“While I should be very pissed off at you for ruining my plans time and time again, coupled with my current powers being able to kill you easily as I did before, I find your defiance of what appears to be your fated doom amusing. That’s why I’m issuing a challenge to all of you.” Ganjora then said.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“A Challenge? What challenge?” Impa asked.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“A very simple one. No new temples, no new puzzles, no new enemies to fight. Just follow me through the portal so we have a more, shall we say, ‘comfortable’ place to fight in. So if you feel you can still defeat me, all you have to do is follow me through this portal. Your friends can come along too. I’ll be waiting for you on the other side.” Ganjora said, before it floated up, straight into the portal, laughing menacingly.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]Link and the Seven Sages watched it leave through the portal, dismayed at the sight of their nemesis still alive and well… and apparently stronger than it ever was before.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“This is just great! NOW what do we do?!” Ruto asked.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I wish I knew… we could either stay here and let death come to us, or go in the portal and make our stand there. Either way, it seems Hyrule and Termina will be lost after all…” Impa said, sighing.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Not exactly…” Link said, whom was currently holding something in his hands.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Huh? What are you on about?” Zelda asked.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Remember that day where Majora transported us into the depths of Ikana Canyon and we encountered that Deku Scrub there on the second level of the Skulltula cavern?” Link then asked.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]Zelda blinked at this, getting pulled into a flashback…[/font][/size][/font][/size]

[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]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.[/font]

[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I remember now, it said that some of the tougher enemies required an enemy of the same caliber… I still wonder what he meant by that…” Zelda said.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I believe now that he means that such an enemy has to be faced with someone of the same power, instead of fighting in numbers.” Link said, his expression as serious as it can be.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So, what do you propose then?” Saria asked, overhearing the conversation.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yeah, surely we can’t go all the way back to that lava outpost and ask assistance from the Ancient Fire Sage, right?” Impa asked.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We won’t have to. What I propose is that we as a group combine our powers into a single entity, using this.” Link said, before showing the Purified Fierce Deity Mask to the group.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Huh? You mean that we use some kind of fusion to even the odds?” Nabooru asked.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yes.” Link said.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I can see why Link is proposing this,” Zelda said, “after all, I DID fuse with him momentarily when we fought against Majora alone in a stone cavern after breaking free from a petrification spell he inflicted on us to turn us into stone…”[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“And we did split back up once he had retreated…” Link said, to which Zelda nodded.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I see, so you believe that a fusion between the eight of us will give us the edge against our enemy now?” Darunia asked.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I do, but I’m willing to listen to any of your ideas if you have alternatives. Either way, we need to destroy the tools that powers those two or otherwise take it away from them.” Link said.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]The Sages nodded.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I support Link’s idea,” Saria then said, making the group turn to her, “if Ganondorf and Majora have combined their bodies and powers in their fashion to best us, what makes them believe we can’t do the same to counter it?”[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Saria has a point,” Link said, “after all, there should be always a counter for something…”[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]The other Sages went to think about it for a moment.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, what do we have to lose anyway?” Nabooru then asked, “I’ll join in.”[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Very well then. I believe we unanimously agree to Link’s proposal. Besides, if the fusion can be undone similar to Link and Zelda’s, it’s only a matter of just getting in, beat Ganjora and take its power tools before we can go back home.” Darunia said.[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Right,” Rauru said, “let’s proceed then.”[/font][/size][/font][/size]
[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=small][size=small][font=Verdana, sans-serif]Link nodded with a smile, while Zelda moved to instruct the others on what they have to do for this…
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Chapter 55: Clash of the Titans[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]On the highest platform of the ruined arena of the tower’s top floor, the Six Sages known as Saria, Ruto, Nabooru, Impa, Darunia and Rauru stood in a circle around Link and Zelda, preparing themselves of what could be a risky yet endearing move to finally put an end to the threat that Ganjora poses to the lands of Hyrule, Termina and beyond. Link held his Fierce Deity Mask close, sighing as he tried to stay calm despite the situation. Zelda put a hand on his shoulder.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Relax, Link. Once this is over and Ganjora’s defeated, we can hopefully move back to our normal lives…” She said, smiling.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Thank you, Zelda. I only hope we can eventually come out of this alive.” Link said, nodding as he was ready.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We all hope that, but we mustn’t let that hinder us during our fight, which I know will be very difficult.” Rauru said, nodding as he understood Link’s concern, as did the other Sages.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“May the Goddesses be with us.” Ruto said, holding her hands to her chest for a moment, before looking up to her left as she felt a hand on her left shoulder, only to see Impa smiling at her with a reassuring nod.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Alright, let’s do this. For Hyrule, Termina and the rest of the world.” Zelda said, to which the Sages nodded.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]When Link got in position, the Sages each prepared themselves in a similar fashion as they did before they opened the gate in the Sacred Realm to seal the defeated Ganondorf inside, turning themselves into wisps that remained in position for a moment, waiting for the Princess of Destiny to do her part. Seeing this, Zelda turned to Link, who smiled as he looked at her.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, I guess I’ll see you all later then.” Link said with a smile.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Zelda giggled, planting a soft kiss on Link’s forehead, causing the young hero to blush for a moment.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That you will. Just take comfort in the fact that we will be fighting together as one for real this time around.” She said, before nodding to him and turning herself into a similar wisp, waiting for Link to do his part.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, here goes nothing. I hope you’re prepared, Ganjora, since we’ll be coming for you!” Link said, after which he put the Purified Fierce Deity’s Mask on, which instantly clamped around his face, igniting the beginning of the transformation as he felt a rush flowing throughout his insides, bracing himself.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The instant Link hunched over as the transformation took place, all seven wisps then moved around a little before promptly entering Link’s body as he was staying like that by flying directly at him, touching him all at the same time, causing Link to grunt for a moment as the energy flowed into him, coupled with the ongoing transformation…[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Having regained herself after the shockwave of Ganjora’s new transformation sent her reeling over for a bit before frantically trying to re-stabilize her ship before she would fall off, Reimu first checked on her comrades to see if they were alright, in particularly her sister Leia, whom was still unconscious yet stable. They were still around, although Leia’s ship was destroyed due to Ganjora’s attack, but one of her comrades managed to intercept and catch Leia before she could fall to her doom from the tower.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Will she be alright?” Reimu asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Give or take a few minutes, she will be back on her feet before you know it.” The Gerudo Pirate said, nodding as her comrade was nursing Leia, having bandaged her wounds.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Before Reimu could reply, there was a white flash, followed by another explosion. This explosion shook the area, while a few platforms around the direct vicinity either partially or completely crumbled into pieces, the debris falling all the way down the tower, onto the ground or within the lava far below. For a split second, there appeared to be a distorted scream that came from the upper area, which was abruptly cut off by the explosion.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What was that?!” Reimu asked as she regained balance and brought her airship back under control.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“LOOK! UP THERE!” Another Gerudo shouted as she saw the source of the explosion by looking up.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]As Reimu and the rest of the Gerudo looked upward, they could see that a rainbow-colored shockwave ring exploded outward, vanishing after a few seconds, while a white aura was present on top of it. This aura was shrinking down slowly, but it was still big enough for the group to see, while the dark clouds directly above the source split open for a brief moment, showing a clear blue sky above before the clouds closed up again, although their color was at first a bit lighter, as if the shockwave from the explosion briefly dispelled the darkness that was in that area altogether.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Oh dear… what has happened?!” Another pirate asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It’s likely that our leader and her friends are planning something.” The first pirate said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Seeing this, Reimu sighed, making up her mind before turning to the Pirate tending to her sister, first gazing sadly down upon her unconscious form. Then, she looked at the pirate herself, determination within her eyes[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I want you to take good care of my sister. In my absence, she is in command of the fleet once she regains consciousness.” She said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What are you going to do?” The Pirate asked, confused and curious.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I’m going to help our friends to reach their destination. You can stick around here if you like, but as far as I know, there’s nothing else for us to do here.” Reimu replied.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I understand.” The pirate said, nodding.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“One more thing: when she recovers, tell her… that I’m sorry.” Reimu said, before she flew off on her machine.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Sorry for what?! Reimu?!” The pirate asked, but Reimu didn’t respond as she was now beyond hearing range…[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The Gerudo didn’t understand why Reimu was acting like this, but felt that she should heed to her orders.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]‘Ma’am, I hope you know what you’re doing…’[/font][font=Verdana, sans-serif] She thought to herself as she watched her leader approach the higher platforms…[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]As Reimu appeared at the top platform where she found the epicenter of the new explosion and light she saw, she gasped at what she saw. In the center of the platform, was a man, obviously in kneeled position, before getting up. What Reimu saw, was that the man had white hair, facial markings in the appearance of a V-shape mark on his forehead in a glowing blue, while red glowing stripes were present around his eyes and on his cheeks. He wore a light blue tunic underneath a metal cuirass, which bore a lunar crest and triangle on the breast plate while on the belly area was the crest of the Hyrulean Royal Family. On the areas between the lunar crest, triangle mark and the insigna of the Hyrule Royal Family were symbols that were only found on the Sages’ Medallions, representing Light, Forest, Fire, Water, Shadow and Spirit. On his hands were metallic gauntlets with gold plating on the top, his legs were covered by black leggings and his boots remained brown in color, although they were now reaching to just below the kneecap. His eyes were completely white, lacking the presence of irises and pupils which left only the sclera, but what bothered Reimu the most so far was his height, as if the man stood two heads taller than a normal adult Hylian. In his hand he held a large, double helix-edged sword, which was now pure gold in color instead of the turquoise and green, which by itself could inflict even more damage than the original by the mere size alone, coupled with the power that was flowing through it! The man relaxed, before spotting Reimu, remaining silent. Deciding not to press on it, Reimu sighed.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I want to help you to take you to the portal to the one you seek.” Reimu bluntly said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The man nodded, moving to her airship to get on board, making sure his massive sword didn’t damage the ship or Reimu herself for that matter.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So, how should I call you, sir?” She then asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Just call me… Fierce Deity.” He said in a gruff voice, obviously similar to Adult Link’s voice, but with a deeper, more firmer undertone to it, almost like it had a bit of Darunia’s voice mixed in it.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]It was also there that Reimu could notice the appearance of the Fierce Deity itself, looking quite buff while retaining a slim appearance as a whole, making him appear more agile and athletic as if the muscles have been fitted to match his length and size properly. Nodding, Reimu then powered her airship up, steering it towards the portal and flying towards it. The other Gerudo present watched them go, each of them praying in good fortune towards them…[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Entering the portal, both Reimu and the Fierce Deity looked around the area, blinking as they observed their surroundings. The air itself looked like it was an infinite stretch of blue sky with a sun shining in the air and clouds in the far distance around, making it almost reminiscent of the paradise-like appearance of the moon due to Majora’s magic or curse placed on it. But instead of a grass field around and a single large tree in the epicenter where the children wearing the masks of the slain bosses were playing around and the child wearing Majora’s Mask was sitting at the base of the tree, there was now plain, flat ground with what appeared to be water standing on sole-height, as if walking on top of an infinite mirror. Both the Fierce Deity and Reimu looked around, traveling along using Reimu’s vessel for quick transportation, but where the Fierce Deity looked focused and determined, Reimu was more apprehensive and nervous, something which the Fierce Deity himself could sense with the way she was looking around, as if she was expecting something to attack them while they were en route. Thankfully there were no such attacks in the first place, but Reimu remained alert, just in case. When the two saw a lone figure standing in the far distance, the Fierce Deity knew it was the one he was looking for.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Stop here.” The Fierce Deity said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Reimu did as she was told to and stopped the vessel, letting it lower enough for the Fierce Deity to disembark from it.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It is likely that Ganjora will use some kind of barrier that will prevent you from interfering. I suggest you stay here or otherwise back up a bit to get some proper distance in; this fight will get brutal.” The Fierce Deity said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I understand. Just be careful out there and good luck. You’re going to need it.” Reimu said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Thank you.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I’ll be waiting at some distance from here, close to our entry point. Just make sure you win.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I don’t plan on losing, Reimu, but thanks for your support.”  The Fierce Deity said, smiling at her despite his rather fearsome, intimidating appearance.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Anytime.” Reimu said with a nod, smiling at the Fierce Deity, before retreating with her vessel to where she said she would be waiting.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The Fierce Deity watched her leave, before turning again to the lone being in the distance ahead. Taking a look at his right hand, he saw that both the Triforce of Courage and the Triforce of Wisdom were glowing strongly, this confirmed to him that the battle was drawing near, coupled with the presence of the third piece, the Triforce of Power. With his Golden Double Helix Sword lifted over his left shoulder, the Fierce Deity marched onward, towards his target.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]After a few minutes of walking in a straight line forward, the Fierce Deity was finally addressed.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You have exceeded my expectations…” Ganjora’s voice said, as the being suddenly appeared at a closer distance in front of the Fierce Deity.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“… You took up my challenge after all, but I didn’t expect you to appear in your stronger form.” Ganjora said, before his eye fell on the Medallion insignias and the crest of Hyrule’s Royal Family, surprising him.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The Fierce Deity’s expression remained serious, his sword still laid on the shoulder.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, this is… an unexpected change. Combining the powers in a new effort to defeat me? You are most certainly creative, I’ll give you that much.” Ganjora said, blinking.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You did the same before, albeit in a different way. I just took the liberty of evening the odds.” The Fierce Deity said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You got me there, cretin. At least one thing you’ve bested me in already.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“But now that I’m here, let’s cut the talk and let’s settle this.” The Fierce Deity said, drawing his massive blade.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Very well then, let’s see how well you’ll hold up now.” Ganjora said, preparing its invisible barrier around the two, before drawing his own weapon.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]For a moment, both the Fierce Deity and Ganjora stared each other down, before charging at each other, their blades clashing against each other as they tried to best each other in this battle. While Ganjora had the advantage of a smaller sword that enabled him to move more rapidly, the Fierce Deity’s blade was stronger and was capable of inflicting far more damage, even shooting out Sword Beams whenever he wanted to. For about several minutes, the two were trading blows with their swords, most of the time blocking or parrying each other’s strikes, but also managing to get a few stabs and cuts here and there in, with the Fierce Deity sneaking in several Back Slashes, Jump Strikes and the Great Spin, the latter of which now was a circle of pure golden energy. Ganjora on the other hand preferred the use of his own rapid strikes, coupled with dashes to charge in at the Fierce Deity, whom did his best to block or parry the incoming strikes despite him having no shield for proper defense, although he was hit on a few occasions or otherwise avoided it altogether. The Fierce Deity managed to get several strikes in the sides as well, proving that Ganjora wasn’t as invincible as it thought that it was. This all began to power the Fierce Deity’s vigor to beat Ganjora into submission and finally bring peace and prosperity back to Hyrule and Termina and beyond. Things were made even more painful for Ganjora when the Fierce Deity managed to strike those points where Ganondorf himself had those scars, even though his fusion with Majora pretty much covered those wounds/scars with new flesh as if to camouflage it. Still, both Ganjora and the Fierce Deity fought like never before, intending to finish the other off right there, but so far the battle was a stalemate, with neither side gaining an actual advantage so far…[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]After a while, Ganjora was frustrated enough to bring out a second blade, dashing towards the Fierce Deity and performed a cross-slash on his chest area, making the Fierce Deity grunt. In response, the Fierce Deity let his own blade shimmer with sparks, indicating he was charging magic power into his sword, getting ready to retaliate as he fired one Sword Beam, which Ganjora easily avoided, only to be struck by a second one which blasted him a few meters away, the golden light zapping him all over and around as if he was hit by a Light Arrow directly. This stunned Ganjora enough for the Fierce Deity to dash in himself and delivering a vicious strike across the chest, leaving a cut straight through the left ‘eye’ of Majora’s Mask on Ganjora’s chest, causing Ganjora to grunt in visible pain, before the latter recovered and used one of its tendrils to smack the Fierce Deity across the face, before moving in to strike him in the side with his swords. The Fierce Deity recovered on his turn after the first strike and blocked the second strike, before moving in to deal a powerful upwards kick to Ganjora’s chin, followed by a spin kick and a sword slice across the abdomen, causing Ganjora to drop his swords. This in turn surprised Ganjora, not expecting the Fierce Deity to throw in a bit of the Zora fighting style in the current battle, before seeing the Fierce Deity approaching with his sword poised to deal damage. Ganjora decided to play the Fierce Deity’s game and promptly unleashed another Fire Beam from its torso, which the Fierce Deity avoided by hopping or rolling to the side whenever it followed his direction, while still coming closer to his nemesis. Before the Fierce Deity could strike him, Ganjora leapt above him, before delivering a powerful strike to the ground; akin to the one Ganondorf used in the Future That Almost Was to make it harder for Link to cross the gap from the corner of the room to the center area where Ganondorf attacked him from. This punch created a shockwave that caused the Fierce Deity to stumble forward to the ground, before he rolled to the side to avoid another punch that could have damaged his back. Getting back on his feet, the Fierce Deity had little time to react before he was grabbed by one of Ganjora’s tendrils and tossed to the far side of the barrier encompassed area, after which Ganjora pelted the warrior with numerous electric sphere-like attacks; akin to Majora’s Incarnation’s primary attack. Even though some of them hit their mark, the blasts were either blocked or avoided by the Fierce Deity, whom let his sword shimmer again, retaliating with several powerful Sword Beams that flew directly at Ganjora, striking it multiple times which made Ganjora howl in agony as it was stunned. This allowed the Fierce Deity to charge directly at Ganjora, performing a powerful Jump Strike against the enemy that made it howl in pain, indicating it had received quite the damage. In return, Ganjora retaliated by delivering a powerful kick of his own to the Fierce Deity to knock him away for a bit, after which it began to charge up a powerful magic sphere cluster, firing it at the Fierce Deity. Clocking the blasts, the Fierce Deity readied his sword and used the Great Spin to send the spheres back at Ganjora, which hit him and stunned him again, long enough for the Fierce Deity to come back in close combat and deal another vicious strike across Ganjora’s chest. Grunting, Ganjora used its tendrils to grab and toss the Fierce Deity away again, allowing Ganjora to pick up his swords and charge at his opponent with his swords crossed, intending to use a scissor-like double-slash to cut the Fierce Deity’s head off, showing that Ganjora was getting angry. The Fierce Deity however saw him coming and prepared another Sword Beam, firing it at the charging menace to zap it with its energy and stop its advance with success, before charging at it himself and pounded against Ganjora’s abdomen with the hilt of his sword, sending Ganjora flying. Now getting really pissed, Ganjora promptly tossed his swords away, one to each side, before charging at the Fierce Deity with its fists and tendrils ready, intending to beat the living daylights out of him, first striking him full in the face which in turn caused him to drop his Golden Double Helix Sword in turn, although regaining his balance, before summoning vines of his own to smack Ganjora across the face much like how Ganjora used its tendrils to strike the Fierce Deity with. The Fierce Deity then extended his own shadow to catch Ganjora, teleport himself to closer range and dealing a swift combo of Zora Kicks and Goron Punches to send Ganjora flying, with the last punch being used to extract a bit of Ganjora’s life force and power in the process. The Fierce Deity then focused his power to launch a beam of magical energy to zap Ganjora with, its execution being similar to how Zelda used her powers to keep Ganon at bay so Link could deal the death blow back in That Future, before summoning a Light Sphere to strike the nemesis right in the chest, knocking it to the ground. Using that bit of reprieve, the Fierce Deity then summoned a few vines to quickly boost up the healing of his own injuries, smaller wounds vanishing rapidly while the more serious cuts either slowed down or stopped bleeding altogether, regaining  some of his own stamina back in the process.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Dispelling the vines after seeing Ganjora rise again, the Fierce Deity decided to take matters in his own hands by charging directly at his opponent, delivering an onslaught of punches and kicks that seemed like a flawless combination of the Goron and Zora fighting styles altogether, battering Ganjora around for a moment. He didn’t give Ganjora a chance to fight back properly as he rolled around it when it tried to strike back, occasionally using a Shadow Trap to aid him in scoring a few more hits in ways that would make a Gerudo proud to achieve. Coupled with using a double-axe handle punch in the style of a Jump Attack or Jump Strike, a Spinning kick as his Spin Attack and even a double heel kick as a second jump attack made the Fierce Deity quite versatile, although Ganjora eventually managed to strike the Fierce Deity several times in the back, chest, belly and the face whenever he missed a few specific moves or got caught in the momentum of other moves that left him open to counter attacks. But whenever Ganjora was kicked away at a distance, the Fierce Deity rapidly summoned a few vines to give him a bit of their life force to heal him to a degree in order to keep fighting and deter where this new Ganjora had its primary weaknesses to exploit, for what the Fierce Deity himself believed was that if Ganjora would remain unchecked or even come out victorious, the powers he would take from him would make Ganjora strong and perhaps even confident enough to challenge the three Goddesses themselves, perhaps bringing about the apocalypse to Hyrule which had once been prevented in Termina. The very idea of Hyrule, Termina, the rest of the world and its entire population suffering under rule of eternal darkness or otherwise be destroyed using an apocalyptic event by Ganjora’s hands, while the Hero of Time and the Seven Sages’ corpses would be withering away in an endless void between dimensions, never to be seen ever again was enough to strengthen the Fierce Deity vigor to let that not come to pass, whatever the cost may be. As such, his own fighting style was starting to become more aggressive in nature, despite his attempts to remain focused and be on the watch for potential counters or intercepting attacks. The Fierce Deity did have one advantage, which was that Ganjora was ironically enough mimicking this aggressive behavior of offense, mostly due to it wanting the exact things to happen which the Fierce Deity wanted to prevent. If this form of stalemate would remain as it is, the two would likely be fighting here for a long time, perhaps the combat outliving Reimu who was still waiting for the outcome of the fight in anticipation and also in nervosity, hoping that the Fierce Deity would be able to land the death blow, otherwise she’d be joining him in the void as their eternal grave. Coupled with what has been done to Reimu would make the revenge all too sweeter whenever Ganjora would be finally beaten into submission. She didn’t understand fully how it could have come to this. Had she become too careless when defending her home and her sister which eventually led to her capture due to being caught by surprise? It would seem logical due to the complex nature of the Fortress, but she didn’t understand why the Gerudo did fall into a civil war. Her mind went blank as soon as the brain-washing spell was activated on her after she was captured and after her subsequent liberation courtesy of her sister Leia, she sought out a path of redemption for the pain she had caused. She hoped that she was still able to contribute in some way, even though this wasn’t her fight. A tear slipped past her eye as she watched the two beings duke it out in the far distance.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]It was clear that, even without his powerful sword, the Fierce Deity was more than a formidable opponent for Ganjora to beat, since he was not only making use of just his fists and feet to fight with, he also employed the very magical abilities that the Sages, even combining some of them with each other for extra power or speed, depending on how he was using the abilities. However, Ganjora was able to put on the pressure on the Fierce Deity as well, pummeling him with several fierce crosses and jabs, before elbowing him in the stomach, kneeing him in the face, followed by another fierce punch in the stomach, which was a particular painful one since the punch was similar to the one Ganondorf used to torture Link and Zelda both with. Despite this, the Fierce Deity recovered and clocked Ganjora in the face, followed by a spin-kick in the stomach and a fierce cross in the face, right before punching Ganjora between the eyes. In retaliation Ganjora used its tendrils to grab the Fierce Deity and toss him around, smashing him on the ground a few times before tossing him in the air and blasting him with a powerful magic sphere, sending him down to the ground, although the Fierce Deity recovered during his fall and landed on his feet, before charging at Ganjora once more, striking him head-on in the face with a fierce right hook, followed by a vertical spin kick which planted his feet in its face heels-first, which was used as a momentum to jump more forward to he landed behind Ganjora, before spinning around and kicking the fiend into its back, sending it flying forward and skidding over the ground, but Ganjora rapidly got back up, using the momentum to launch himself back at the Fierce Deity with a ferocious headbutt. The Fierce Deity grunted visibly at this, but recovered and retaliated with an elbow strike and another spin kick, followed by a vicious Goron Fire Punch Combo, with the last punch striking Ganjora hard in the stomach to send him flying backwards for several meters.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Ganjora got back up, now being pissed enough to charge directly at the Fierce Deity, its arms and tendrils raised to again attempt to beat him to death. The Fierce Deity was ready however and manipulated his own shadow to even the odds, moving to retaliate against Ganjora as they engaged in an onslaught of rapid-fire fisticuffs, with neither side gaining the upper hand for a few seconds as their own attacks were continuously blocked or parried by the other, although Ganjora eventually got the upperhand by dispelling the Shadow Manipulation that the Fierce Deity was pulling, unaware that the Fierce Deity was within reach of his Golden Double Helix Sword. The Fierce Deity didn’t let himself be beaten any time soon and, mustering all of his strength, he dashed forward, delivering a rather vicious uppercut to Ganjora’s chin, sending him flying for a moment. In this momentum, the Fierce Deity grabbed his Golden Double Helix Sword and charged at Ganjora with unseen vigor, the Triforce on his hand glowing brightly, stunning Ganjora in the process. This was more than enough for the Fierce Deity to act as he then proceeded to repeatedly strike the menace several times in rapid succession, delivering serious injuries to it, before using a final Sword Beam in the stomach to blast Ganjora away.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“A being that seeks pleasure in harming the innocent and those who seek to protect the lands deserves to meet its end!” The Fierce Deity proclaimed before launching the beam to send Ganjora flying, sending him tumbling backwards and skidding over the ground, the ironic echo being as it was similar to how Link skidded over the ground after being launched from the Ruined Hyrule Castle, but now there were no cliffs or the like to halt its skidding, only gradually slowing down.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Grunting, Ganjora moved in a sitting position, visibly weakened, but not entirely finished yet. Looking ahead, it saw the Fierce Deity, his sword ready to deal the death blow, but being wary as he watched it getting up, not taking any risks for potential sneak attacks which it could pull. Overlooking its own body, Ganjora saw the damage done to it, with numerous slashes spread across the chest, belly, arms, legs and face, before forming its hands into fists, now being royally pissed at feeling it was being denied its wish of conquering the world... He then looked at the Fierce Deity, who was still poised to strike at him.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You…” Ganjora growled, which immediately caught the Fierce Deity’s attention, the latter going immediately in a defensive stance as Ganjora first bent down, obviously in pain as it tried to get itself together…[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]It was then that Ganjora howled in the air in rage as it began to float up, gusts of wind emanating from it as he apparently was preparing something, right as an aura appeared around Ganjora, pulling itself towards it as it floated higher and higher in the air, now outraged at the Fierce Deity…[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Arrogant deity! I shall erase your very existence and of those who created you! HYRULE AND TERMINA ARE MINE TO CONTROL!” Ganjora roared as a hideous sphere of dark magic enveloped it, consisting of a very volatile dark purple to black color combination, all the while the Fierce Deity had to shift his stance in order to maintain balance, just as the purple and black sphere dissipated into nothingness, leaving the area silent for only a few seconds…[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]A few seconds later, the Fierce Deity blinked as the sphere now returned, being a pure crimson red with white and black shining from it, after which a being appeared from it. This being appeared at first to be Ganjora, but was now wearing robes and a hood over its main body and arms, coupled with a mask over its face. From the eye-holes in the mask were eyes that were glowing a hideous crimson to blood-red, while the mask itself had an uncharacteristic mouth-piece that was enough for one to breathe through safely. This all to the shock of the Fierce Deity himself.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I am Garo Ganjora, the one who will end your miserable life!” The being proclaimed as it armed itself with two blades, which also looked different; instead of red flames, both were flaming an eerie dark purple, similar to the torch that Meg, one of the Poe Sisters was holding when Link confronted her.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The Fierce Deity also spotted a vicious battle-axe on Garo Ganjora’s back, which indicated it was from an Iron Knuckle, but this one had an eerie green flame around it, as if it was also empowered similar to Garo Ganjora’s blades. One thing was for certain, this was the beginning of the end, but for who? That was the question that went through the Fierce Deity’s mind right now…
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Chapter 56: At Hell’s End[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Once Garo Ganjora had landed and showed off its purple flaming swords, the Fierce Deity knew that this was going to be it. Without hesitation, the Fierce Deity attacked, intending to eliminate the threat once and for all before it would become too strong to defeat, raising his Golden Double Helix Sword, intending to cut its head off. However, Garo Ganjora simply raised his purple flaming blades and blocked the incoming strike with ease, much to the Fierce Deity’s shock and horror.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Weak… very weak… DIE!” Garo Ganjora said, before launching a powerful dark magic attack that enveloped the Fierce Deity, causing him to scream as apparently the sphere that appeared was doing a different kind of damage to him, before it exploded, sending him flying… right before his body began to glow… and promptly exploded, after which Link and all of the Seven Sages fell out of the explosion… as if the attack had dispelled the fusion of the group in a single strike… and from the looks of it, the attack also destroyed the Fierce Deity’s Mask, since it did not fall out of the explosion, except for some rapidly disintegrating debris.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]While this pleased Garo Ganjora, it puzzled him as to why the Golden Double Helix Sword was still present and completely intact, even as he watched the group tumble backwards, each of them with their faces down, although Link regained balance and got back to his feet as he landed, forcing him to stop his skidding, taking a moment to catch his breath, growling. Seeing as the Golden Double Helix Sword was within his reach, Link grabbed it and picked it up, similar to how he wielded the large Great Fairy’s Sword he once received from the Great Fairy of Kindness in Ikana Canyon, before straightening his stance to properly face Garo Ganjora and look him straight in the eye. It was this that made Garo Ganjora blink… as Link’s face at first appeared normal, were it not for the facial markings that were normally present on the Fierce Deity’s Mask! It was as if he somehow retained those markings, but whether this was for decoration or something else was that Garo Ganjora didn’t know. But the biggest shocker came for Garo Ganjora when Zelda got up to face him, as he spotted that the princess had the SAME facial markings that Link had… and from the looks of it as each of the Sages got up, each of the Sages also had those markings. But this was something that Garo Ganjora quickly put to the side as he saw that each of them was ready to attack, ready to fight until they couldn’t fight anymore. This angered Garo Ganjora to no end, now moving to action.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You shall not stop me, whatever it takes!” It said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We’ll see about that!” Link said, his sword ready as it shimmered at his command, just as Zelda came to his side.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]With this, the battle proceeded once more, this time in a 8 vs. 1 fashion once more as Link and the Sages engaged Garo Ganjora together, whose eyes were glowing menacingly as it charged at them in kind. Holding his blades in a scissors-like motion to cut through anything in its path, Garo Ganjora rushed at the group, only for the Sages to avoid him, while Link raised his shield to block the strike. However, Garo Ganjora teleported up in the sky and attempted to land on top of Link, which didn’t succeed as Link rolled out of the way, recollecting himself before delivering the first strike against the menace, who promptly responded by smacking Link to the side before belching out a stream of blue fire at him. Zelda pulled him out of harm’s way, before firing a Silver Light Arrow at Garo Ganjora, striking him in the side. While Link got back to his feet, Saria and Ruto both engaged the enemy, with Ruto firing her Nice Boomerang to stun him so Saria could strike him with a Silver Bomb Arrow, which hit its mark. Angered, Garo Ganjora powered a magic  blast and fired it towards Saria, only for Saria to knock it back, this time engaging in the Dead Man’s Volley herself for a brief moment, before she smacked the blast hard enough for it to hit Garo Ganjora, causing him to howl in pain as he was zapped by his own attack. This moment allowed the group to attack him fiercely, using Silver Light Arrows, before coming up close and dealing some heavy damage in melee attacks, with Link being at the front wielding his massive blade, ducking at the right time as Darunia came in with a Fierce Goron Fire Punch, before Ruto hopped over the Goron Leader and planted her feet in Garo Ganjora’s face, leaping off of him so Saria, Zelda, Impa and Nabooru came in with several sword strikes, after which Rauru finalized the attack with several powerful punches reinforced by the evil smiting Light power, before Garo Ganjora threw everyone off, summoning tendrils to even the odds in his favor, smacking the group around or grabbing them and tossing them around wherever it was needed. In retaliation, Saria summoned vines of her own to keep the tendrils at bay for as long as possible, before she focused her powers to create a set of powerful, stiff leaves which she used to toss at Garo Ganjora, being akin to throwing knives. Garo Ganjora on his turn was teleporting around like the Garo Master, intending to surprise the group wherever it was convenient for him. But Link knew the tactics of the Garo Master and knew to anticipate, remaining on the move so Garo Ganjora couldn’t land on him and potentially crush him underneath his feet in the process. Ruto summoned water spouts from below in her attempts to extinguish the flames that were surrounding the axe and the blades to no avail, as Garo Ganjora defended himself against them, although this did leave him open for Nabooru to perform a spinning Jump Attack with her arms outstretched to let her Blades cut into her target as she spun mid-flight, almost like a sawblade. In response, Garo Ganjora elbowed the Gerudo leader in the back, sending her flying against Impa, knocking the two women over in the process.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Darunia came in with a Spiked Goron Roll, having moved to a distance to power it up properly, running over Garo Ganjora successfully, causing the menace to shriek in pain as it was hit by the spikes multiple times before Darunia broke off his assault and delivered a Goron Pound to send Ganjora flying forward. This in turn gave Rauru the chance to pelt him with powerful Light Spheres, but while Ganjora was hit by several of them, he fired a blast of his own that knocked Rauru backwards, causing the elder Light Sage to grunt as he landed. Continuing his assault, Garo Ganjora unleashed his Blue Fire Breath for a second time, which Saria narrowly avoided by using a wall of vines as a shield, which was promptly burnt to cinders as Saria used a backflip to get out of the firing range. Nabooru then charged ahead at him, her swords ready. Garo Ganjora saw her and moved to intercept, only for Nabooru to jump upward, revealing Link and Zelda whom managed to strike the stunned Garo Ganjora in the sides simultaneously, before kicking him in his rear to send him flying forward, right on time to let his chin meet Darunia’s fist as the latter performed a vicious uppercut to send the menace up in the air, where Nabooru intercepted him with several slashes in the back, before Impa joined the assault on the front. Shortly after that though, Garo Ganjora caught both women in his tendrils and smashed them down to the ground, before powering a large sphere of purple fire which he tossed at the group. Link was having none of that and charged directly at the sphere, hacking ferociously at it with his might blade with the aid of Ruto as she fired a Water Beam which eventually dispelled the sphere, allowing Link to charge ahead. Garo Ganjora had his blades ready to intercept him, but Link was faster and dealt a vicious strike against Garo Ganjora’s Mask, leaving a cut in it and sending Garo Ganjora flying again, although he teleported before he could gain momentum from it, landing at a close distance of Link and Zelda both, before using his Blue Fire Breath to set them ablaze. Both Link and Zelda screamed as they were burned by the attack, but they extinguished the fire rapidly by rolling over the wet, mirrored floor just as Ruto aided them by dousing them gently in water to prevent them from gaining serious burning wounds, leaving only parts of their skin, but primarily the clothes, cinched or burnt because of it. In retaliation, Saria ensnared Garo Ganjora’s arms in her vines in an attempt to sap him of his strength, but Garo Ganjora’s blades easily cut through the vines like a knife through butter, before smacking the Forest Sage aside as if she was a mere nuisance. This didn’t sit well with Link as he took out a Silver Ice Arrow and shot it at Garo Ganjora, freezing him for a second or so before the ice broke around him. Garo Ganjora shot a tendril at Link to catch him, only for him to block it with his Sword, the movement of it beginning to cut into the tendril itself as it tried to get around it to still reach the young hero, only for Darunia to grab it and yanked on it, pulling Garo Ganjora towards him and clocked him in the face with a Fierce Goron Punch, sending him careening backwards for a bit, only for Darunia to run up to him and used a Shoulder Ram to make him fall backwards on the ground. Getting up, the enraged Garo Ganjora then proceeded to use his tendrils to grab the group each and proceeded to zap them with an electric surge, but Ruto countered it after a few seconds by using a flow of water to ignite a feedback that zapped Garo Ganjora in turn, making him drop the group as a whole. Gathering themselves back together, Link and the Sages prepared for another assault, watching as Garo Ganjora put his purple flaming swords away for the moment, now retrieving his green-flaming battle axe, holding it in a style akin to the Iron Knuckles.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Being alert, Link and the Sages did their best to stay clear of the axe while at the same time wanting to end this once and for all. As Garo Ganjora approached, Link began to study his movements, as if he was remembering the patterns of the Iron Knuckles in the first place, narrowing his eyes.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Keep your distance and pelt him with explosives wherever you can,” Link said softly to where only the Sages could hear him while letting his own sword shimmer, “if we can get rid of his weapons, perhaps it will give us the opportunity we need to end it.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Right, this has gone for long enough.” Zelda said with a nod, observing the numerous wounds she, Link and the Sages had, although Saria did her best to cast a healing spell in conjunction with Rauru and Nabooru in times she had a reprieve from the continuous attacks.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Garo Ganjora chuckled at this.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What are you muttering about? Chanting a little prayer before your death?!” He cackled as he approached them.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You wish.” Link said, getting up, not caring that the ground around them as well as his clothes were practically soiled with blood, while his clothes, as well as those of the Sages, were tattered and torn all over.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Garo Ganjora scowled.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You know, if you would have just let me take your powers and just put you out of your misery, you wouldn’t be dealing with this pain.” He said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It’s not over yet, Ganjora, we’re not finished yet!” Zelda growled.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Then let me finish it for you! I’ll make it quick and painless, considering what you had to endure.” Garo Ganjora retorted.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Over our dead bodies!” Darunia said, pumping up his fists as he was ready to join in the assault.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We will see.” Garo Ganjora said, swinging his battle axe to create a wave of green fire that spread towards the group.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The group grunted as the flames hit them, but thanks to Ruto having doused the group with water beforehand and Darunia’s own rock-hard body while shielding the Zora Princess, none of the group was set on fire this time around. Link retaliated on his own terms by unleashing several Sword Beams that struck Garo Ganjora, zapping him all over as he howled in pain, stunning him long enough for Zelda and Saria to strike at him using Silver Light Arrows. This in turn allowed Darunia to get in close with a vicious Fire Punch combo, while Saria summoned vines to keep the tendrils at bay for as long as possible, while Nabooru gave her some relief by cutting the most vicious ones off, putting them out of commission. Garo Ganjora then smacked Nabooru and Saria down with one of the remaining tendrils, before shoving Ruto to the side, punching Darunia with them and smacking Rauru and Impa backwards, leaving only Link and Zelda as the two charged at him. Garo Ganjora then teleported upward like the Garo Master, but Link anticipated it and, taking Zelda with him, rolled to the side to avoid the landing spot of Garo Ganjora, before slashing at the monster’s legs, causing it to shriek in pain, before turning around, attempting to immolate the two once more using its Blue Fire Breath. This time the attempt failed again, partially due to the two children moving out of the way as well as their soaked outfits delivering a slight bit of fire-proof protection to a degree as the flames didn’t get stuck on them, instead being rather extinguished quickly. In frustration, Garo Ganjora swung his axe again, nearly decapitating Link and Zelda both in a single strike, but because the two ducked under the swing in time, they were spared, although their respective hats were caught by the axe and were taken off instead while also being cut in two. Not letting it get to them, both Link and Zelda managed to get in close and struck Garo Ganjora in the abdomen several times, before the menace grabbed them using its tendrils and smashed the two together, before pulling them close, wrapping them up in a single tendril, bringing them close to his face, growling menacingly through his mask, putting extra pressure on them as he pressed them together, as if wanting to squash them. However, Impa reacted and in a swift motion she severed the tendril that held the two children captive, only for the part that remained attached to Garo Ganjora to smack her and the children both to the side, before teleporting away, intending to crush them, only to be intercepted by Darunia using his rock-hard back as a shield, which in turn knocked Garo Ganjora backwards, giving Nabooru the opportunity to slash at the monster while he recovered, narrowly avoiding being cut across the belly by his axe in the process. The momentum of the swing however left Garo Ganjora open for a counterattack which Rauru seized to blast him with a powerful Light Sphere, stunning him long enough for Ruto and Saria to recover on their turn, with Ruto blasting Garo Ganjora with a water geyser from below, before Saria once more utilized her Stabbing Leaves technique, tossing razor-sharp leaves like throwing knives at Garo Ganjora to cut him everywhere she could, managing to sever two more tendrils before Ganjora teleported away, this time behind the Forest Sage. However Darunia clocked him and punched him before he could harm Saria, while Link and Zelda joined in with a Double Jump Attack.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Zelda did note that Link seemingly had no difficulties in wielding the oversized Golden Double Helix Sword by himself, she mused that all the travels made a positive influence on his strength. That and the use of the Goron Bracelet helped a lot with the situation at hand, as well as Link’s earlier experience with using the Great Fairy’s Sword he obtained in Ikana. Link still did have the sword, but he didn’t use it that much in favor of his Gilded Sword and his shield, which in turn granted Link a greater defense capability in order to block incoming strikes, something that was impossible with wielding two-handed swords after all. While Saria did use her own Sword and Shield where necessary, she also utilized the aid of the Forest Spirits in combat due to her being the Forest Sage. This in turn allowed her to summon the vines and leaves whenever she pleased, as well as using their powers to heal her friends and other comrades she had around. This in turn made Saria almost become the embodiment of life, as she now deployed multiple vines to help her closest friends recover more rapidly than Ganjora  did, although Ganjora did his best to sever the vines on occasion to disrupt the healing, despite the remaining Sages doing their very best to keep him occupied. Still, this didn’t leave Saria out of the fight, showing that she is quite formidable by herself. While Darunia was without a doubt the toughest of the group, Saria was far more agile and capable of landing in sneak attacks due to her small size, just like Ruto, Link and Zelda. Nabooru and Impa on their turn also showed a nice display of their agility, making them also quite a tough target for Ganjora to hit, although he did score in several blows against them nonetheless.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Persistent little pests!” Garo Ganjora snarled at the group, “I should have killed the last three of you as well or banished you all to the gap between dimensions! You do not belong in my Kingdom!”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What Kingdom?” Nabooru snapped back, slashing at his legs, “You’re the king of NOTHING!”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]In response, Ganjora grabbed her by using one of his tendrils.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I am the destined ruler of our world and don’t you forget it!” He growled at her, before tossing her into Rauru, who grunted as the both of them were sent backwards by a meter or so. This only earned Garo Ganjora another fist in the face courtesy of Darunia.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You’re the destined ruler of NOTHING, fool!” The Goron leader said, punching the menace right under his chin, comically flattening his jaws for a split second before Garo Ganjora was sent flying for a bit, before recovering and blasting Darunia with a magic sphere attack.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Although Darunia was blasted away, Impa took his place right away, using a shadow clone to batter him around, slicing at him vigorously before the menace destroyed the shadow clone and knocked Impa against Darunia, injuring her in the process. Link and Saria then both attacked simultaneously while Zelda and Ruto approached from the other side, but before they could strike, Garo Ganjora’s tendrils grabbed them and smashed them against each other, nearly cracking Link and Saria’s skulls in the process, forcing Saria to once again let vines appear to heal those injuries as quickly as possible. Zelda and Ruto got better off due to Ruto using a water sphere to cushion the impact, but it didn’t leave them unscathed either as both had a serious headache due to the impact. Regardless, Zelda retaliated with firing a Silver Fire Arrow, setting Garo Ganjora ablaze for the time being, although he rapidly extinguished the flames, only to see a raging Darunia come at him before he could move to hit Zelda, opting to strike her with a tendril instead before Darunia reached him.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Darunia clobbered Garo Ganjora several times across the face, followed by a Light Sphere by Rauru and several sword sparks courtesy of Nabooru, before the enemy teleported away to the far back, charging up another powerful magic sphere which was intended to finish the fight.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Now, feel the TRUE taste of Hell!” Garo Ganjora roared, preparing to throw it to the group in a last ditch attempt to finally kill them.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]However, Link and Zelda both clocked it, noting its instability and reacted accordingly..[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You first, Ganjora!” Both the hero and the princess shouted, firing their Silver Light Arrows, striking their mark, causing Ganjora to howl in pain as this happened, causing him to lose control of his attack which fell down on top of him, causing it to explode.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]While Ganjora survived the explosion, he did lose his grip on his swords and his battle-axe, which were torn off from him due to the detonation of the magic sphere attack. It was at this moment that Link saw his chance and, with a burst of energy that made his facial markings glow for a split second, he promptly charged straight at the menace, running at high speed while having the sword tightly in his hands, the sword itself beginning to shimmer as gold sparks were flying from it. Once he was at full speed, Link then leapt towards Garo Ganjora, who was stunned at seeing him coming, before he swung his oversized sword at the monster, catching him in the side, right where the scar was, with Garo Ganjora grunting a little as the sword met his flesh.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Despite the sword being lodged into his side to a degree, Garo Ganjora just stood there, smirking a little as he saw Link struggling to push on. However, he blinked as he saw Link actually shifting his stance, looking him straight in the eye. At this moment, Link pushed on with all his might, the energy on his sword beginning to get more intense as veins began to visibly pulse within the bare parts of Link’s body, being his neck, his calves and his underarms as well as around his forehead and on the facial markings. Before Garo Ganjora could throw Link off of him, Zelda came to the hero’s aid and grabbed the sword as well as Link himself, pouring her own energy into him and the sword to assist him, not caring if she would be put in a similar state as Link was. Saria also came over to assist, followed by Ruto, Nabooru and Impa, adding more pressure onto Garo Ganjora. This situation intensified when Rauru and Darunia joined in, creating an odd situation where eight people were appearing to hold each other as well as a single sword against a menace who had apparently no trouble in fighting each of them off. Garo Ganjora was now using his tendrils to grab onto Link and the Seven Sages, seeing them struggling greatly against the pressure put on them as the pulsing veins were now so thick and throbbing so intensely they were about to burst right open. When trying to push them away however, he blinked at seeing Link actually pushing the tendril on his face backwards, while boldly taking a step forward to shift his stance and weight, effectively stabilizing himself with his friends following suit, feeling that the sword was beginning to break through Garo Ganjora’s defenses.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That’s………… it……… keep…… going…” Link uttered through clenched teeth.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Nodding, the Sages banded together with Link, supporting each other as they pushed on, while Garo Ganjora did his best to throw them off. This all didn’t help him very much as a sphere was beginning to form on the sword, right on the level with Garo Ganjora’s belly as it intensified. Feeling Garo Ganjora buckling under the pressure, Link and the Sages pushed on, finally able to push the sword all the way through, leaving a deep cut within Garo Ganjora’s gut, while the sphere itself remained in place as the group was caught in the momentum of the sword’s swing as Garo Ganjora was lifted off his feet…[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]With a deafening explosion that shook the direct vicinity of the area around, the sphere suddenly detonated in a mighty wave of magic and energy combined in practically all colors of the rainbow, mixing red, orange, gold, yellow, lime green, green, blue and purple all around the outer area of the beam itself, while the center of the beam was a brilliant mixture of gold and white, engulfing Garo Ganjora in its wake. Garo Ganjora was helpless as the entire beam racked his entire being, tearing through him like a knife through butter. Garo Ganjora’s eyes widened at the sudden pain, when suddenly a loud cracking sound was heard through the diminishing sound from the explosion, as the beam slowly dissipated, leaving Link, Zelda, Saria, Ruto, Nabooru, Darunia, Impa and Rauru neatly in place, their bodies calming down from the pressure, but they could see that the damage was done; Garo Ganjora’s chest plate, which consisted of Majora’s Mask due to the fusion between Ganondorf and Majora was sporting some serious cracks all over, coupled with similar cracks being present all over his entire body, like bursts within a glass or porcelain surfaces as if they were busted. Even his facial mask had a set of cracks all over them, indicating that his power was now being disrupted.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“W… W… WHAT?!” Garo Ganjora shouted as he floated down to the ground after the massive beam had dissipated, taking several steps backwards in shock as he was now obviously damaged, “IMPOSSIBLE!!!”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]He was horrified to see himself so badly damaged, but what startled him more were Link and the Sages were approaching him, determination all across their faces.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“This ends now!” Link said, his fist and his sword ready, while Garo Ganjora could have sworn that the facial markings on Link AND the Sages altogether were starting to pulse…
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Chapter 57: The Final Strike[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Garo Ganjora couldn’t believe it. He SERIOUSLY couldn’t believe it! Was he truly being beaten after only such a short time in existence?! Why was his power failing him; he should be having that meddling group on their knees or otherwise dead at their feet, not being at their mercy! Enraged at what had happened to him, he promptly charged at the group, intending to strike them down. Link was the first to react and, for the first time, he actually struck Garo Ganjora in the face with his fist after jumping up to hit him there, being backed up by the Triforce of Courage. In retaliation, Garo Ganjora kicked him in the stomach, before using a tendril to intercept Saria and Rauru respectively before getting hit by Zelda. Striking the Hyrulean Princess in the stomach as well, Garo Ganjora then smacked Impa to the side, blocked an attack by Ruto before being kicked in the face by Nabooru, only to be swept off her feet by a sweeping kick, after which Garo Ganjora leapt at her, causing both the Evil King and the Gerudo Leader to roll over the ground for a moment, before Nabooru kicked him up in the air, after which Darunia grabbed the menace’s face and smashed it into the ground, before jumping up further, taking him with him and smashed his face on the ground again, making it skid over the ground for a bit before Darunia stepped on Garo Ganjora’s left arm with his right foot, after which he began to punch Garo Ganjora’s face repeatedly, damaging the mask even more as the Goron Leader delivered a brutal smackdown on the menace.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Doesn’t feel too good to be on the receiving end of a beating, huh?!” Darunia snarled as he kept going, “well, you deserve EVERY HIT of it!”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]After a few more hits however, Garo Ganjora viciously clocked Darunia in the face, rolling around and turning the tables, now beginning to pound on Darunia.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You are not worthy! NONE OF YOU ARE!!” He growled as he punched the Goron leader a few times more, before Darunia grabbed his face and held him up so he could get up from the ground, just as the other Sages and Link approached rapidly.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]First kicking Darunia in the stomach before punching him to the side, Garo Ganjora first stopped Link and Saria’s advance short by elbowing them in their faces which almost broke their noses, before striking Zelda in her back after spinning around her own strike, using the momentum to grab the princess and tossed her against Impa. After that, Garo Ganjora delivered another vicious ground smash that knocked the group off their feet, before he turned his attention to Nabooru and slugged her in the stomach, causing Nabooru to scream out, before she retaliated by cutting him across the face with her own blades, right before Garo Ganjora smacked them out of her hands and kicked her away, after which he avoided several attacks of Rauru before knocking him to the side and kicking Ruto in her back to send her flying against Darunia.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You are nothing!” Garo Ganjora declared.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Shut your face!” Zelda sneered as she got up.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You all should know your places and remain in obscurity for all eternity!”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“SHUT UP!” Link and Zelda both hollered, striking Garo Ganjora in the chin with a knee strike with aid of Darunia.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Garo Ganjora grunted as he was kicked before grabbing Link and Zelda by their heads and bashed them against each other, only for Saria to deliver a Back Slash that forced him to release her friends, before he turned to her.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We’ve had ENOUGH!” Saria shouted as she showered her enemy with an array of her Cutting Leaves attack, causing Garo Ganjora to grunt in discomfort, before smacking Saria to the side.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Not until you lie dead at my feet!!” He snarled, readying his tendrils to attack once more, first swiping at the group using the tendrils as whips again, managing to strike the group, although Darunia managed to ignore the pain by letting them strike his rock-hard back, rending the tendrils useless on them, before sending a fire blast over to strike Garo Ganjora and make him cease his assault instantly.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Impudent fools! Don’t you realize you can’t win against me?!” He snarled.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Says the one whom is having trouble against us!” Link snapped back as he charged in again, only to be stopped short when Garo Ganjora planted his left foot in his face, before spin-kicking around and catching Zelda in the side, only to receive a similar kick in the face by Impa.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]He recovered swiftly and clocked the Sheikah woman in the left cheek with a tendril, before smacking Darunia and Rauru aside, delivering gut punches to Link, Saria, Zelda and Ruto in rapid succession, before using a tendril to grab Nabooru by her neck and hoist her up in the air, the Gerudo leader struggling to breathe and get the tendril off. Zelda managed to bail her out using her own sword to strike at the tendril holding Nabooru, causing Garo Ganjora to drop her before receiving a Silver Bomb Arrow in the face courtesy of Link. The chaotic situation of this battle made it apparent that both sides were in a fight as if they were making their own respective last stands; both sides had suffered numerous injuries, but neither side was backing down and intent to land the final death blow on their respective adversaries. Darunia was eventually knocked out cold after Garo Ganjora delivered a vicious kick in the back of his head, before taking Rauru out with a kick in the gut, leaving the elder Sage out of commission as well. He then proceeded to smack Impa against Nabooru, causing them to tumble over Saria and Ruto, who both yelped as the four fell to the ground. This distracted both Link and Zelda, who were then in turn grabbed tightly by their necks through two tendrils which Garo Ganjora held back for the moment, before they were hoisted in the air, being brought towards Garo Ganjora’s face, who looked amused as both Link and Zelda struggled against the grip.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You two have been a thorn in my side for FAR too long. It’s high time you understand that this time, I get what’s coming to me and you will be left in this area to be forgotten by time. It matters not to me what you do in here then. Now, hand over the Triforce Pieces you have taken for yourself and give me what I desire!” Garo Ganjora said in a nearly deranged voice as both children’s faces were becoming a bit red and also slightly blue, indicating they were now beginning to suffer from a lack of air.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Impa woke up from her dazedness and saw that the two were placed in a near inescapable chokehold, both of them threatening to choke to death as their movements were beginning to weaken.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“GIVE THEM TO ME!” Garo Ganjora demanded, just as the backs of Link and Zelda’s hands began to glow and pulse, indicating that he was about to succeed![/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Both Link and Zelda panicked as they could feel Garo Ganjora beginning to extract their respective Triforce Pieces, struggling as best as they could, holding onto their respective Triforce Pieces for as long as they possibly could, but the lack of air wasn’t doing them any good as their movements slowed down, much to Garo Ganjora’s delight. While Impa struggled to get free, not wanting to fail her duties as Zelda’s attendant, despite being unable to get Nabooru off of her for the moment, another of the Sages recovered swiftly and saw Link and Zelda in Garo Ganjora’s grasp, even watching as the two children were about to go limp in his grasp. Having none of this, he rolled up and charged up a Goron Roll, before smashing into the menace like a spiked boulder crashing into him, causing Garo Ganjora to drop both Link and Zelda, with the two children taking in fresh gulps of air that they were almost deprived of, gasping and coughing loudly as they sat together on hands and knees, trying to get themselves back together. As Impa came to them after she finally pulled herself out from underneath Nabooru’s unconscious body, she saw that both children still had their respective pieces, but this was only barely in time, causing her to breathe a sigh of relief. Shaking his head, Link saw that Darunia was locked in a fierce fist-fight with Garo Ganjora, who was now getting borderline insane from being deprived of his victory like this, just when he was so close to win the whole thing. While Zelda herself tended to Nabooru, Link boldly charged ahead to assist his Sworn Brother, dashing up to the menace and leaping up towards him. Garo Ganjora didn’t see him coming until the last moment and was shocked to find Link’s head collided with his, cracking his facial mask even further while Link fell to the ground and Garo Ganjora was forced backwards. Link himself fell on the ground as well, grunting in pain as he did, before being helped up by Darunia himself.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Thanks, Brother.” Darunia said, nodding.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Link acknowledged this with a nod and a smile, just as the other Sages came to join them, each of them having recovered a little so Saria could proceed with her own healing spell once more. Just then, the entire group heard Garo Ganjora scream, causing them to cover their ears as the piercing howl was similar to when the Majora-possessed Skull Kid howled to let the moon proceed with its descend to the Clock Tower during his own confrontation with Link in Termina that year ago.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“HOW DARE YOU DO THIS TO ME?! I AM THE KING OF EVIL, THE RULER OF DARKNESS! I WILL NOT LET MYSELF BE BEATEN BY A GROUP OF MEDDLING KIDS AND ADULTS!” Garo Ganjora roared in an extreme pissed off fashion, his red eyes growing intensely fierce due to the madness he was experiencing, the madness of being humiliated again.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]As Link and the Sages watched on, they saw that a battle aura had appeared around the menace, causing them to get ready again.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“All the time have the eight of you interfered in my plans. All I wanted was to rule the world and live in a place other than that hellish desert I was raised in, but you all thwarted my plans time and time again! I WON’T ALLOW THIS ANYMORE!” Garo Ganjora howled as he powered up now out of desperation, but his power increase wasn’t noticeable… was he actually getting weaker now?[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Nonetheless, Link and the Sages each took a battle stance, knowing that a cornered fox is more dangerous than a jackal, so they took no chances and waited for what Garo Ganjora’s next move would be.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You will not interfere any further with my rule, cretins! Your lives mean nothing to me! I will take what is coming to me and you can all rot together in this endless void, never to return to my world again!” Garo Ganjora snarled, clearly having lost his mind.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You have no world, Ganjora,” Ruto retorted, “all you have is this sick, twisted dream of having one, while you know your plans have failed and your world is non-existent!”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“SHUT UP, ZORA WOMAN!”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I shall not! You’ve lost and you know it, so stop whining like a crybaby and admit your defeat!”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That’s it, I’ll take pleasure in tearing off your flesh or otherwise fry you to death!”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Not on my watch!” Link said, growling as his facial markings flashed brightly for a split second, as if they were fueling him with power, coupled with the addition of the Triforce of Courage on the back of his right hand.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Garo Ganjora growled, getting angrier with the second.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I will rule this world whether you like it or not, have at you!” He snapped, preparing his tendrils for a new assault.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Using his tendrils and his fists, Garo Ganjora went postal on the entire group, first clocking Zelda and Saria in the face, elbowing Impa in the stomach, smacking Rauru, Nabooru and Ruto around with his tendrils, before kicking Darunia in the side. However his rampage was cut short as Link used the opportunity to hop on Darunia’s arm as he reeled back before jumping forward to Garo Ganjora, grabbing the latter’s outstretched leg with his left hand, pulling himself towards the menace before clocking him in the face with a fierce punch, having dropped his sword after Garo Ganjora had hit him in the stomach earlier. Skidding backwards a little, Garo Ganjora looked like he completely lost it, intending to punch the heads of the entire group off. But then Link did something crazy of his own, standing in position, but not making a single move to block the incoming strike. In fact, Link was reeling backwards himself, as if preparing to charge in turn. As Link then moved his head forward however, his forehead met Garo Ganjora’s fist, but Link didn’t budge at all! It was as if he had performed a headbutt on the fist, which was evident as a sudden shockwave reeled through the outstretched arm of Garo Ganjora, sending his insides in a further turmoil, in particular on the other hand.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“ARGH! N… No……” Garo Ganjora said as he stepped backwards, his body now shaking all over, having it difficult to maintain his balance… as if he was about to collapse.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]While some of the Sages on their turn blinked at this sudden action, the only exceptions being Zelda, Saria, Darunia and Nabooru, they recomposed themselves within seconds upon seeing their nemesis staggering, his legs wobbling as he collapsed to the ground, indicating that he was getting weaker. Battered, bloodied, seriously injured, but not broken in the slightest, Link and the Sages kept approaching their enemy, intending to end it for real.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You’ve been a fool for wanting to rule Hyrule, Termina and the world!” Zelda said as she approached it, her royal attire in tatters and her hat absent.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Your hunger for power has cost you in the end, look at where you are now!” Nabooru snarled, ignoring the fact that some of her jewelry were either cracked or destroyed.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You even let people of your OWN KIND suffer, what kind of ruler does that to his own people?!” Ruto snapped subconsciously nursing one of the fins on her arms as she approached him.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You dare to… talk like this?!” Garo Ganjora growled in his turn, only to be met with a fierce straight punch courtesy of Darunia, sending the menace stumbling and falling backwards a couple of meters, landing on his hands and feet.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We dare, since you’ve made our lives miserable ever since you showed your TRUE colors!” Impa said as the group continued to approach the menace as he tried to get up and failing.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You think you could get away with what you did? Well, you thought WRONG, mister!” Darunia said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Now all the innocent people whom were either cursed or killed by your hands will be avenged!” Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Garo Ganjora still tried to get up, ignoring the fact that his power was beginning to fail him.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“H… How can these morons… be so strong?!” He asked as he tried to get up, only to receive a vicious uppercut by Saria, sending him backwards and down to the ground again.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That strength… is supposed to be mine… I am the King of Evil… you all... should be down, bowing… down in front of me…  I will not let you deflect my will, you hear me?! I WON’T LET YOU!!!” He said, finally getting up and mustering all of his remaining powers, as a sickly dark purple aura surrounded him, his crimson red eyes now glowing blood-red, his tendrils and fists at the ready, before promptly launching a desperation charge at the entire group, striking each and every one of them simultaneously in their faces; his fists met Darunia and Rauru’s faces, while the others were hit in the face by his tendrils, but the entire group didn’t let out as much of a single grunt, not even when they were forced back a little due to the force of the impact…[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Garo Ganjora smirked, thinking he had finally managed to deal damage to the group. But his smirk turned to utter shock as he saw Link grabbing the tendril with his bare hands… and was his appearance changing color?! Garo Ganjora now began to sweat as Link’s normal appearance began to change as the facial marks began to glow one last time, this time changing him into a child-like version of the Fierce Deity, complete with the empty eyes, the white hair, the light-cyan colored tunic, black leggings and the boots and gauntlets, but this time without the body armor itself, this coupled with Link actually pulling the tendril from his face… which for the first time contained nothing more than pure, undiluted rage and hatred for him… and had his canines grown into fangs?! A sense of dread came over Garo Ganjora as the now-awoken Fierce Deity Link held the tendril firmly in his grasp, before tearing it right off and casting it aside like it was nothing. Garo Ganjora gasped at this, but his shock intensified when he spotted Zelda undergoing a similar change, as if she had inherited part of the Fierce Deity’s power, just like Link himself! But before he could even react on that, he saw that each of the sages were having similar changes as well, right before they too severed whatever tendrils had hit them or otherwise snapping Garo Ganjora’s wrists.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We’ll never forgive you for what you’ve done!” Both Fierce Deity Link and Zelda said in unison as they got ready.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“N… no… it… it can’t be!!” He said, right before the changed Darunia and Rauru slugged Garo Ganjora in the stomach, making his eyes go wide, after which the now-turned Fierce Deity Nabooru and Impa delivered a vicious uppercut that cracked the mask even more, almost shattering it even.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Finally, Fierce Deity Ruto, Saria, Zelda and Link each then struck Garo Ganjora in the face, hard enough to destroy the facial mask and send him flying away, before each of them took a moment to recollect themselves for a moment, observing their changed forms… just as a bright light came from Garo Ganjora’s right hand, right before a triangle-shaped object was flung from it and floated towards the Fierce Deity Group. This was the one thing that Garo Ganjora held on as his primary source of power, intending to use it to cause the heroes’ downfall and obtain the True Triforce, but now it was swiftly taken from him… The Triforce of Power. This relic flew towards the Fierce Deity Group, before it manifested itself on Link’s hand for the time being, even if it was just to keep it safe and out of Ganjora’s grasp.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Garo Ganjora then floated up, the tendrils severed and his hands practically useless.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“This… is not my destiny…” He lamented/wailed, a portal at a distance behind him opening as if he was trying to escape.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You haven’t… seen the last… of me… I will get you… back for this!” He said as he floated towards the portal.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]However, Fierce Deity Link was having none of that and immediately picked up his Golden Double Helix Sword, feeling its power flowing through him as he got ready to strike one more time.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“This is your end!” He snarled, first running towards Garo Ganjora’s position, before smashing his sword onto the ground, lifting himself up and launching himself towards the now shocked menace, taking his sword with him.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Within a matter of seconds, Fierce Deity Link was upon Garo Ganjora and brought his sword down upon him again, this time at the side of Garo Ganjora’s neck. Immediately a golden aura surrounded both warriors, but it was launched against Garo Ganjora’s position, as if another beam was fired towards him. Once again Link could feel his veins pulsing throughout his body as he put the pressure on his nemesis in front of him, but he didn’t care; as long as he could do his part in returning peace and prosperity to Hyrule, he would gladly make the sacrifices that were required of him. As if on cue and wanting to be sure that the threat was finally over, each of the Sages launched themselves towards Link’s position, once again assisting him in his effort to bring the oversized sword to where they wanted it. With them too, the pressure increased on their bodies as much as it had with Link, but because of them sharing the effort equally, they could handle it. It took only about 30 seconds or so, before the sword was finally brought down, cutting through Garo Ganjora as a knife through butter. While the strike wasn’t enough to vivisect the menace, it did succeed in cutting Majora’s Mask in two, effectively disrupting or destroying the final bits of power which Garo Ganjora had relied on. Garo Ganjora’s eyes went wide at this realization, feeling the last of his powers leaving him rapidly.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]With an agonizing howl, Garo Ganjora was for a moment sent flying backwards as his body destabilized, dark energy surrounding him like an aura, while beams of light were shining out of him as if the core of his body became visible, just as Link and the Sages were sent flying towards the ground on their turn, but positioned in a way where they could see Garo Ganjora’s body destabilizing rapidly with the second.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“CURSE YOU! CURSE YOU ALL! I HOPE YOU WILL ALL DIE A SLOW, PAINFUL DEATH! YOU HEAR ME?! CURSE YOU ALL TO HELL!” He howled as his voice also became distorted, trying his best to curse at the falling heroes, before he finally went silent.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]With a massive explosion, Garo Ganjora’s body burst asunder, sending dark magic and energy in a shockwave in all directions outward, visible through a big circle which enlarged itself horizontally until it dispersed to naught like a circle in the water. At the same moment, whatever dark magic and energy Garo Ganjora used to have was also dispelling rapidly, just as the force of the shockwave sent Link and the Sages tumbling towards and over the ground, the Golden Double Helix Sword clattering over the ground, while at the same time the entire group returned back to normal. As each of them landed on their backs and looked up towards the air where Garo Ganjora was, all they could see was the dissipating energy and magic, with no single trace of the menace remaining behind. While at first remaining apprehensive and alert, the group visibly relaxed after nothing else happened over the next few minutes. It was finally over. Once the realization kicked in, Link suddenly chuckled, before weakly laughing in triumph, despite blood streaming from his mouth as well as numerous other injuries he had suffered beginning to finally take their toll on him.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We… we finally…… did it…” He said, before he finally passed out while a smile remained set across his face.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Zelda on her turn crawled at his side, seeing him pass out, but hearing what he said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That… we did…” She said, before she too lost her consciousness, with the other Sages following shortly.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]In fact, each of the Sages also held a smile on their faces before passing out from their injuries, knowing that the threat that Ganjora posed was now no more and would likely never be a threat again for the rest of their lives. As they laid there unconscious, the area around them seemed to clear up, the clouds that had gathered within the endless void clearing, as if the weather improved along with the situation at hand. A gentle breeze swayed over the whole area and, were it not for the blood mixing with the water here and there, the sight was as if Link and the Sages were lying on top of a polished mirror…
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Chapter 58: The Wish[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]It took about an hour for Link to finally regain consciousness, moaning as he was now literally hurting all over his body. Looking around, he saw the Sages stirring as well, each of them laying on a more comfortable position on the ground, as was Link himself. Trying to look around as the clouds within the endless void had cleared to reveal a clear blue sky with a sun shining high above in the air, he could feel someone was watching him. It was Reimu, who had approached them once she felt the battle was over and helped them in their comfortable positions, although she had great trouble with moving Darunia. This was evident as she was sweating, hunched bit over her steering wheel, panting a little, but she had recovered far quicker than they did. Groaning, Link moved to a sitting position, holding his head as he obviously was in pain or otherwise still was recovering, coupled with the injuries that were still present around his body, being bruises, cuts and other lacerations, although the most serious wounds have for the most part stopped bleeding and had been bandaged for as good and as bad as it could. As he watched, he saw Zelda and Saria both attempting to sit upright, silently chuckling to himself as he noticed the girls were right at his side, before he stretched his legs, wincing a little as he moved over a bruised part…[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]His attention was caught by a few other moans, seeing Ruto holding her head for a bit before nursing one of her arms, Saria was having pain on her belly and back, while Nabooru was nursing her right arm, in particular the spot which had been broken in the events leading to her initial demise, but was reset prior to her resurrection by the Great Fairy Venus. Impa coughed, instantly feeling pain in her lungs as she sat up, trying to calm herself, while Rauru groaned as he gently rubbed over his calves. At the same time, Link subconsciously wiped the blood from his mouth away, before rolling his head around his shoulders to pop his neck a little, being bothered by the stiff muscles there, allowing him to relax a bit as one particular pop made him feel better. Looking in the direction of Zelda, he watched as she tried to get up, but her arms were wobbling, causing her to collapse a few times before finally being able to lift herself up. Then he tried himself to shift his position to a bit more comfortable one, but his movements were slow and painful, despite biting through it.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Ugh… what happened?” Link asked Reimu as he eventually sat upright, rubbing his sore thighs as he then moved to relax his breathing pattern, being still quite tired from the events that had taken place up to this point.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I came here as soon as I witnessed the massive explosion from a far distance. I do not know what has happened so far as you requested to fight your enemy alone, but from what I can tell is that you eventually came out victorious.” Reimu said, smiling.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Are you sure? I apologize, but my head is a bit woozy…” Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Look around you, my friend.” Reimu said, showing Link the pleasantness of the bright blue sky, the gentle breeze swaying across the area and the gentle warmth as if a sun was shining on them being present in the area.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“The darkness in this area… has been completely vanquished…” Impa said, smiling.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Indeed, Ganjora is no more.” Rauru said, confirming what happened.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“But what had happened to us? I mean, we did fuse together, but when Ganjora terminated it by force, we all had those facial markings that used to be on the Fierce Deity’s Mask…” Zelda said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I think I have an explanation for this…” Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You do?” Saria asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yes. When Garo Ganjora hit the Fierce Deity so hard it terminated the fusion by the force of it alone, the Fierce Deity’s Mask was destroyed in the process. I believe however that its power, before its initial destruction, was perfectly split between the eight of us, which in turn explained how we got those markings, much less temporarily transforming into adaptations of my Fierce Deity self in turn.” Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So we all had a bit of its original power until now, right? Like its power having split between us the moment the fusion was terminated, which in turn destroyed the mask itself?” Saria asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yes, it’s the only way I can explain it.” Link said, nodding.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, now that we’ve finally won this battle, all that is left to do for us is to summon the Triforce for our wish…” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Indeed.” Rauru said, as the group got up.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So, how are you going to do this?” Reimu asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We don’t exactly know how this will go. It depends mostly on those who are in possession of the Triforce pieces themselves.” Rauru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Looks like it’s up to us then.” Link said to Zelda.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That it is.” Zelda said, as the two moved forward a bit, supporting each other as their injuries had not fully healed completely.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Once they had a decent distance ahead of the group, Link and Zelda stopped and stretched their hands out, after which the respective Triforce Pieces they had on their hands began to glow. A few seconds later, the sacred triangles that represented those Triforce Pieces appeared from the marks and began to float further ahead, assembling together as they did, with the Triforce of Power on top, the Triforce of Wisdom to the left and the Triforce of Courage to the right. As the distance between the pieces decreased, the glow around them increased, which only intensified as the three pieces made contact with each other on the respective tips, creating the completed, full Triforce in all of its glory. Mesmerized by it, both Link and Zelda approached the ancient relic with equaled, slow pace, while the Sages and Reimu followed. Oddly enough, Link and Zelda were holding each other’s hands, but the Sages felt that this was due to both of them being holders of parts of the relic itself as well as being nervous of approaching it. After all, this was the relic of legends, the very thing that the Goddesses Din, Farore and Nayru had left behind after their departure from the world after they had done their part in creating it. The knowledge of this did make the group approach it in silence for the most part.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Wow…” Reimu said, blinking at the sight of the Triforce glowing in front of the group.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Impressive, isn’t it?” Nabooru asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That it is. I only heard of the Triforce because of Ganondorf babbling about it before his failed coup d’état, but I never thought that I would see this with my very own eyes.” Reimu said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Let’s hope there will be no interference.” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I doubt there will be,” Rauru said, “aside from the now-deceased Ganjora, we are the only ones here.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Indeed. I hope Link and Zelda can provide the wish that will lead to a hopefully bright future of our homelands…” Nabooru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I have faith in my Sworn Brother and the Princess; their hearts are pure and balanced, unlike Ganondorf’s.” Darunia said, smiling brightly.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Indeed. If Ganondorf would see this now, he’d probably go insane with rage.” Nabooru said, just as the Sages stopped, letting Link and Zelda continue on to speak on their behalf.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Reimu herself also stopped, lowering her aircraft to ground level, after which she waited, mostly out of respect for the ones she had helped out in their time of need.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Both Link and Zelda then stood in front of the Triforce itself, watching it glow.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Do you already know how to address our wish to the Goddesses?” Link asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Don’t worry, leave everything to me. Besides, this should possibly also make up a bit for what I have done in the Future That Almost Was.” Zelda said, smiling at Link.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Link returned the smile, acknowledging it with a nod, before both he and Zelda touched the sacred Triforce with their free hands, holding onto it in order to make sure their wish would be granted. It was then that Zelda spoke.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Goddesses of Hyrule, hear that which we desire! Restore the lands of Hyrule and Termina to how they were before Ganondorf and Majora’s forces invaded and defiled them! Heal the souls of the innocent ones whom have died during the conflicts that ensued because of the evil beings! Free the ones whom have served the forces of evil against their will from the spells or bindings that held them! Restore the ones whom have been cursed into altered forms back to their normal state of beings! Heal the ones whom have been seriously to gravely wounded during the ensuing conflicts from their injuries and revive the ones whom have fallen in the battles! And give the Hero of Time the privilege of entering the Sacred Realm with the Seven Sages at will.” She said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The last one made Link blink at Zelda, who merely smiled at him in return. The glow around the Triforce itself intensified, glowing in acceptance of Zelda and Link’s desires, both of them having balanced hearts. It was then that a glow appeared around the both of them as well as the remaining Six Sages, which lasted for several seconds, before dissipating… and the group discovered that their injuries had indeed been healed, much to their delight, as some of them were slowly getting weaker due to the numerous wounds, cuts and lacerations inflicted on them during the last battle. As the healing process went underway with them, they could also feel their strength returning, much to their delight.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]From the portal in the sky, a gentle white-golden glow began to shine for a brief moment, washing itself over the lands of both Hyrule and Termina. Whatever dwelled on evil beings within the open lands of Hyrule and Termina were instantly vanquished, the people whom were brainwashed to do Ganondorf and Majora’s bidding were subsequently released from the spells that bound them into these unwilling servitudes and also restored to full health. Other people whom had received serious to critical injuries from the battles also were restored back to health, while those soldiers and civilians from any race whom had given their lives to protect others were revived, thus given a second chance at life and in turn be reunited with their loved ones among the living. What was once the desolated, destroyed Hyruined Field, filled with dead trees and bushes, coupled with the whithered corpses of previously slain enemies and soldiers alike was cleansed and restored back to its former glory, much to the delight of those whom often ventured in the field itself, like Talon and Malon, which allowed them to visit Hyrule Castle Town again. Speaking of Hyrule Castle Town, the town itself was also cleansed of all hostile presence, leaving only the abandoned buildings that were salvageable enough to be rebuilt and restart business as before. While Hyrule Castle and the Temple of Time still laid in ruins, most of the bases of those buildings remained intact, making the rebuilding and restoration processes much easier for the people. Whatever water bodies were poisoned thanks to the actions of the now-deceased Dark Ruto were also purified, allowing the Sea Zoras to freely swim around in their domain as well as Lake Hylia again, while Ruto herself had already cleansed the waters around Great Bay for the Zora population there prior to their travel towards the hidden temple and by extension Ganjora’s lair as a whole.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Reimu’s sister also made a swift recovery as she was covered in a similar glow like Link and the Sages had been covered inside the portal, much to the delight of the Gerudo whom were watching over her, while they also still waited for news of their commander Reimu, keeping a close watch on the portal. In regards to the rest of Termina, the lands were also restored to their former state as in after Link had vanquished Majora there the first time, with an added bonus of peace being brought to those innocent souls dwelling within Ikana Canyon whom were still lingering with regrets, making the haunted lands at least safer for travelers to go through. Of course there were those that could not be revived, which included Sakon as he was crushed to death by Dark Saria and had his soul destroyed by Dark Nabooru. Others whom weren’t revived were of course those whom had gone too deep into corruption to properly redeem themselves, like specific Corrupted Soldiers or Gerudo whom willingly sided with Ganondorf and Majora and were subsequently slain in the following battles, as well as those whom were killed before the whole mess had started.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Link, Saria, Zelda, Ruto, Nabooru, Impa, Darunia, Rauru and Reimu watched as the Triforce fulfilled its task of granting the group the wishes that they had, which would hopefully bring peace and prosperity back to the world as a whole. Once the task was finished, the Triforce itself then vanished, leaving the group behind.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Where did it go?” Reimu asked, blinking.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Possibly back to the Sacred Realm to await its new owner. But as far as I’m concerned, this may take decades or even longer, perhaps even long after we’ve passed on to the next life.” Rauru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Let’s hope that, for our sake, this will take a long time, so we can have some time to ourselves and both Hyrule and Termina will know peace for a long time to come.” Link said as he and Zelda joined the group again, smiling.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Indeed. Hopefully no new evil beings will come to disturb the peace this time.” Zelda said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Don’t jinx it, Zel. But as long as the Triforce of Power is secured back in the Sacred Realm and Majora’s Mask destroyed, we have at least two vile beings less to worry about.” Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“True.” Zelda said, although blushing again at the affectionate nickname Link gave her.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Come on, board the ship. If anything, the exit of this realm should still be open. It’s time to go home.” Reimu said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Right.” The group said as they boarded the ship one by one.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I trust you have little occupations as of this moment?” Nabooru then asked Reimu.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I think so, I’ve still been trying to redeem myself for what I’ve done, regardless of the matter not being my fault.” Reimu replied.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, I think you’ve redeemed yourself well enough over the days you have associated with us. I’m giving you a couple of days to settle your personal affairs where needed, whether it is with your family, the area you were watching, your guards, whatever that needs to be addressed. I expect you to visit the Fortress soon after you do.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Understood ma’am. Anything else?”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yes, when you’re summoned to the fortress, bring those four Pirates that accompanied us from the Stone Tower Temple and your sister Leia with you. Consider it a form of audience with yours truly and my second-in-command Aveil. What it’ll be is a surprise.” Nabooru said with a genuine smile.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Very well, ma’am. I’ll be sure to be present with the others you wanted to see once the time is there.” Reimu said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That reminds me, I’ll also expect you to arrive at Hyrule Castle soon for a similar audience.” Zelda said, first making Reimu blink, before she smiled in understanding.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Very well, Your Highness.” Reimu said, smiling and bowing politely.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“In fact, I expect Link, Saria, Ruto, Darunia and Nabooru herself to be present during that audience as well.” Zelda said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I’ll be there, Zel. You can count on that.” Link said, smiling.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I’ll be present too for sure.” Ruto said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Same with me. Don’t look up surprised when Link and I arrive side by side.” Saria said, while Tatl, Navi and Tael floated around them, wondering what it was going to be about.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Right. Let’s go home.” Nabooru said as she sat down in Reimu’s airship.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]With a smile, Reimu activated her airship and steered to where she had emerged into the void between dimensions with the Fierce Deity himself to ignite the final battle.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Exiting the portal, Reimu smiled as she observed the now clear blue sky above instead of the dark clouds bellowing around the tower, while the Gerudo forces and Leia herself all cheered when they saw them coming out of the portal, with the portal itself closing up once the group was out, sealing the gateway to the void between dimensions up again.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Whew, that was one battle I wouldn’t want to experience again.” Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I’ll say. Although I have to admit that I kinda liked being like you as a Fierce Deity…” Zelda said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I agree with Zelda here, it felt to me as an unknown strength coursed through my veins like someone granted me extra power.” Saria said, nodding.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Link giggled at this.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, that’s because the mask must have divided its power between us for the time we needed it.” He said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“True. I do wonder what is going to happen now with the Purified Fierce Deity’s Mask destroyed…” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I honestly have no idea. It’s likely we must have kept a fragment of its power for ourselves or it must dissipate over time or already has dissipated… it’s likely that only time will tell what has fully happened to it.” Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I see your point.” Rauru said, just as Reimu reunited with the fleet and in turn got a reunion with her sister Leia, hugging her.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So, now that we’ve lost our respected Triforce Pieces, what’s going to happen now?” Link asked Zelda.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I have no idea, but I believe that we may have kept part of their respective essences in turn, so it would do nothing to hinder our wisdom and courage respectively,” Zelda said, “but I see why you’ve asked that question, given that our general objective is complete.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“At least you two can rest with the comforting thought of having used the Triforce together for the cause of good and not for a selfish desire in regards to power or anything.” Impa said, putting a hand on both children’s respective shoulders.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Do you have any idea where you want to go now?” Darunia asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, it depends mostly. I think we should look up our friends at the forest to show them that we’re back and once more alive.” Saria said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Saria has a point; I doubt the other Kokiri are aware of our initial resurrection…” Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Let’s tell them that the wish of the Triforce brought you back alive. It should work with the wish in the first place.” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“True. It would supply us with a decent cover-up in regards to what has happened to us overall.” Saria said, nodding.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Indeed.” Link said, nodding.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“The Gorons should know that I’ve been around alive and well, but what about the Hyrulean Sea Zoras? I haven’t seen them around as well…” Darunia said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I should go and visit them to let them know I am fine, if only to deter my father’s worries about me.” Ruto said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I say we all should take time off to settle our personal affairs first and return for a get together and whatever meetings require our immediate attention. That way we should be able to get things done quicker.” Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Great idea. It should help us getting back in the swing of things again.” Saria said, smiling at Link who smiled in return.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So, it’s settled then, we’ll first handle our own personal affairs and then proceed with the meetings.” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I’ll send couriers out to let you know when the meetings will be held so you all have time to prepare yourselves accordingly. Later on I shall pass on the invitations to those whose presence is required and who is invited to join in.” Zelda said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Right, Saria and I should be around the Forest or the Sacred Forest Meadow. I’ll be sure to make a map or something to ensure he won’t get lost.” Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That is most considerate of you, Link.” Zelda said with a smile.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Where will you go, Nabooru?” Impa then asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I’ll definitely be heading to the fortress to see how things are there and will set things straight where needed. I may be more lenient to those who seek redemption, but I won’t be as forgiving when it comes to those whom have taken pride in betraying me and/or willingly joining Ganondorf’s side.” The Gerudo leader said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Oh? What do you plan to do with them?” Link asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Those who show genuine guilt will be spared of the worst punishments, but they’ll likely have to start from the bottom again to earn their redemption. This may also include putting them on probation for several months to a year or so, depending on how severe their acts were and how much they are willing to give to earn it. As for the ones whom don’t show remorse, they’ll likely be exiled to a distant land, as long as they don’t show their faces here and within our settlement in the Great Bay area.” She replied.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So you won’t be killing them?” Saria asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“No, unless they decide to do something stupid and we are forced to strike them down in self-defense, but other than that, I consider death being too good for them. I prefer the notion of letting them stay alive and let them live with the shame they have brought upon themselves, coupled with the humiliation they would have to suffer from. The worst cases also will be stripped of their homes and possessions. Consider it a discommendation for them if you will.” Nabooru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I understand.” Zelda said, nodding.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, I guess it’s time for us to go home then.” Reimu said after she and her sister Leia moved on Reimu’s ship, as Leia’s vessel was destroyed by Ganjora in his beast form prior…[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I also want to thank you for bringing those airships along, Reimu. Without them, I would be at a loss as to how we would have gotten down from here without falling to death.” Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It’s no problem, Link.” Reimu said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I could have made some leaves to use as parachutes for a soft landing. Then again I wouldn’t be sure where we would even land.” Saria said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It’s alright, Saria. Be glad we got some help from an outside, friendly source.” Darunia said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That I am indeed.” Saria said, smiling brightly.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Darunia smiled, thumping his arms on his chest in happiness as he stood there, Reimu safely taking them to the ship where they would take the survivors and freed prisoners along with them towards their respective homelands.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I hope Epona’s alright.” Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I’m sure she’ll be fine; Romani and Cremia should be taking care of her for the time we spent in Termina altogether.” Zelda said, reassuring Link, who smiled in response.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I am so glad that the battle is finally over,” Ruto said, “for a moment I did fear that it would be our last fight and that Ganjora would kill us all.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I understand your concerns, Ruto. Be happy that we managed to come out on top after this long, excruciating fight.” Nabooru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You have no idea.” Ruto said, smiling at Nabooru.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You can use the rest once we’re on the ships, we’ll see to it that we’ll return to Hyrule safely.” Reimu said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Thank you once more, Reimu.” Zelda said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Don’t mention it.” Reimu replied, smiling as the ships came into view after passing over the areas that still had trails of the snowboard ride and the destroyed underground headquarters.
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Chapter 59: Aftermath[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]In the days that followed at the end of the final battle against Garo Ganjora, much changed within both Hyrule and Termina. Once the word got out that the menace was finally defeated, the populations of both lands erupted in cheers and went on massive celebrations. The survivors returned to their respective homes to be reunited with their loved ones, those soldiers who were on the run due to having sided with the enemy were eventually captured and those who managed to evade capture had bounties placed on their heads. This didn’t just count for the Hyrulean and/or Terminan Soldiers though; this rule also applied to the Gerudo. In fact, some groups looking for the fugitives consisted of both soldiers and Gerudo altogether. At times the search parties had success in finding the fugitives, although there were soldiers and Gerudo, whom regretted what they did, whom actively sought out such parties in order to turn themselves in, leading to their more peaceful arrest due to their full co-operation. Still, there were soldiers and Gerudo whom were still on the run, still believing they did nothing wrong or otherwise couldn’t or wouldn’t believe that their ‘masters’ were finally dead. There were only a few occasions where the groups would find the ones they were looking for having committed suicide, due to them wanting to prevent capture or otherwise being unable to live with the shame that their actions had brought upon them.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]When the heroes finally arrived back into Hyrule, they could see that Hyrule Castle was already in the process of being rebuilt. Much to Zelda’s delight, there were several people waiting for them, including Zelda’s father, the King of Hyrule.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Father, you’re alive!” Zelda said, hugging him.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yes, my dear princess, I am.” He replied.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“How did you survive? I haven’t seen you ever since I was taken away with my friends to Termina…” Zelda said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I did my best to buy enough time for most of the civilians and others to escape, before several of my advisers told me that I did everything I could and I should retreat myself, knowing that Hyrule would inevitably be lost. I decided to disguise myself to prevent capture when it became obvious the battle was lost, but I haven’t stopped there; I’ve launched several operations of my own to come to the aid of my people and took down several enemies myself. What has happened to you, my child? Your clothes are in tatters… and where is your hat?”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It’s a long story, but my friends and I fought together against the main enemies and eventually won. We also made the wish on the Triforce to restore the damage that those two have caused during their time here.” Zelda said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I see. I do expect to hear everything from you once we’re alone.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yes, father. I’ve also wanted to request to hold audiences on my behalf in the upcoming days.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Consider your requests granted, we all have tough times behind us. It is only rightful to honor the sacrifices we made and the people who fought for us in order to bring this all to a good end.” The King said, nodding with a smile which in turn made Zelda smile.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The King then turned to Link and the Six Sages.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I understand you’ve been at her side. It pleases me to come to know my daughter’s closest friends.” The King said, acknowledging even Nabooru as a friend.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Your Highness.” Link said, bowing politely, as did the others.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“No need for formalities, child. Friends of my daughter are friends of mine.” The King said, smiling.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Thank you.” Link said, smiling.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Once the group had fully disembarked from the ship and were safely escorted to Hyrule Castle, they went their separate ways in order to inform their other friends that the war and the battles were finally over and that they could finally live their lives in peace. Link and Saria both returned to the Kokiri Forest, where upon their return, with Navi, Tatl and Tael at their side, were almost being dog-piled by the remaining Kokiri whom were elated to see them again. Only Mido and Fado were more controlled, but happy to see Link and Saria again. Ruto was being held closely by her own father, King Zora, upon her return into Zora’s Domain, with Ruto this time accepting the hug with glee, having matured over the course of the travels. All the Gorons in Goron City, Death Mountain all cheered when Darunia returned, with Goron City having returned to its former state thanks to the wish of the Triforce as the lava had either dried up over time or otherwise whisked away by the wish on the Triforce, with Death Mountain and its crater being now more at ease. Rauru returned to his duties as the Guardian of the Temple of Time, although he did his part in rebuilding the temple by using his powers in order to keep the debris from collapsing again as the workers reinforced the structure. Nabooru returned to the Gerudo Fortress with Reimu, Leia and the Pirates whom decided to move in the fortress, where they were being received with open arms by Aveil and the other Gerudo whom remained loyal to her or otherwise made a heel-face turn over the course of the whole war. As for Princess Zelda, she and Impa both held a private meeting with the King of Hyrule himself after the princess got a brand new hat to wear, where Zelda told her father everything what has happened to her, with Impa confirming the story as a whole. The King was impressed to learn that Zelda traveled through all those places, grueling at the mentioning of the places like Ikana Canyon and the Skulltula cavern as well as the numerous injuries Zelda herself had suffered along with the others over the course of her grand adventure, although he had to stop Zelda at a point when she mentioned her death at the hands of Ganondorf…[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Wait right there one second, Zelda… you actually died?!” The King asked, blinking as he had to make sure he had heard it right, although Zelda’s expression pretty much confirmed it for him…[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yes, father,” Zelda said with a solemn expression, “there was a brief period where I didn’t make it, but I was not alone. Four of my friends, including Link himself, had died along with me back then.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“How did that happen?”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It was Ganondorf’s doing; he and Majora first weakened us so that the Master Sword would lose its power on its turn, before torturing Link. Once he was thrown off the tower, I tried to make a last stand of my own, only to be met with a similar treatment. What made it worse was that Link actually took the hit of an attack Majora sent at me for me by pushing me out of the way.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I see, so how were you brought back? Was it the Triforce?”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“No,” Impa interjected, “We first secured the bodies to ensure they wouldn’t decompose over time, while I personally hid the spirits of Zelda, Link and the three others within my own Shadow. We eventually learned of the Queen of the Fairies named Venus, whom we decided to visit. It was she whom restored Zelda, Link and the three others back to life. We regret not having told anyone about their initial resurrection at first, but this was mostly done to keep whatever friends they had in other places whom were still alive out of Ganondorf and Majora’s clutches as potential bargaining chips or having them being killed out of spite.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I see,” The King said, nodding, “so how did you manage to hold out for so long?”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“The bodies were sealed into an ice cavern in order to preserve them properly, while I secured their spirits. Together we’ve worked on infiltrating enemy ranks to see what they were up to and what their plans were, from which we learned they had set up outposts within the vast forest between Hyrule and Termina as well as a barren lava sanctuary hidden between Snowhead and Ikana to prepare for an invasion in Termina. After the resurrection, we managed to disable both of the outposts, but we couldn’t prevent the invasion taking place while we were moving through the depths of the lava sanctuary itself.” Impa said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“During the times we traveled around, we also grew stronger, gained some new weapons and learned some new skills, which we put to great use against our enemies as well as solving puzzles within an abandoned, hidden temple which was mostly void of enemy troops around, save for a Skulltula or two.  We figured that hidden temple could be made of great use as a training ground for our soldiers.” Zelda said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I see.” The King said, nodding again as he listened with interest.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Once we went through the temple, we came across a coastal area where a boat was waiting for us. We took the boat towards the island where Ganondorf and Majora’s lair was, coincidentally stumbling across their underground headquarters. We messed up their plans there, but Majora then tried to drown us in the lava that was present around the area, eventually causing the machinery to overload before it exploded. We barely managed to escape with our lives from the explosion, after which we finally arrived at the humongous tower that was their lair.” Zelda said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So they did make a tower?” The King asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“More or less; due to its complexity we actually wondered if they simply modified it next to the occupation. The darn thing was taller than the Stone Tower in Ikana!” Zelda said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Zelda!” Impa said, chatisizing her for saying a bad word.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It’s alright, Impa,” The King said, nodding to her, “but was that tower really that tall?!”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It was, and filled with enemies, rising lava traps and tons of complicated devices we’ve never seen before.” Zelda said, nodding.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Eventually we confronted our nemeses at the very top of the tower, leading to a long and hard battle which eventually resulted in our victory. And here we are.” Impa said, concluding the story.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I understand. I believe I do owe you an apology, Zelda.” The King said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Father?” Zelda asked, blinking.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I should have taken your warnings and premonitions regarding Ganondorf more seriously. Then again, I’ve ruled the unified lands for over ten years, perhaps the comfort of the peace around must have made me careless. Perhaps if I would have seen this treason coming sooner, this all would have likely never happened.” He said, expressing a tone of genuine regret in his voice.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It’s alright, father. Even I have done things of which the consequences were unexpected to me. Perhaps we can make use of the time of peace we have now to fix our mistakes.” Zelda said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I do believe you are right. Let’s prepare the ceremony that will be at hand, I’ll see to it that you and your friends will be rewarded for your efforts in the battles we faced.” The King said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Thank you, father.” Zelda said, smiling.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Several days later, after having settled their personal affairs, Link and the Six Sages were being summoned to Hyrule Castle. Having packed what they needed, Link and Saria prepared themselves and Epona for their trip to the castle. The Kokiri looked on in curiosity, while Mido approached them.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Where are you going this time?” He asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We’re headed back for the Castle. A friend of ours wishes to see us.” Link said, smiling.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I see. How long will you be gone this time?” Mido then asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I hope not too long, but you’ll never know with what she has planned. Either way, there won’t be any battles for now.” Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Not for the time being at least.” Saria said, agreeing with Link with a smile.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I understand. Just be careful underway.” Mido said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Don’t worry, we will.” Saria said as she and Link mounted the young horse, whom neighed in content, before she took off on a gentle, eased pace towards the exit of the Kokiri Forest towards Hyrule Castle.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The Kokiri waved them off with a smile, with Link and Saria smiling and waving back before they were out of sight.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So, what do you think Zelda wanted to see us for?” Saria asked as they entered Hyrule Field.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I have no idea, but she said it was of high importance. In any case we’ll be meeting the King of Hyrule formally and all of the other Sages and our friends are going to be there as well. I also heard that Zelda wanted to see Reimu and her band at the castle.” Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“The whole thing is making me quite excited actually, I don’t know why…” Saria said with a smile.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Heh, maybe it’s because we finally are going to participate in something that doesn’t require fighting? It’s actually about time something peaceful happened…” Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That bad, huh?” Saria asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yeah, the first peaceful night back at home, I was a complete wreck.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You’re not the only one. According to Fado, we slept for about two days straight. She even wondered why we both were sleeping in your house.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Good thing we told her it was mostly to chase the nightmares away. It shouldn’t be too surprising that we slept that long though; physically we may be all fine and dandy, but mentally… that’s another story altogether.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Touché. After all we both experienced quite the traumatic events, our deaths being the worst ones.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Not to mention all those monsters we had to face. At least we have a few things in common…”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“True that. Hey, the castle is in sight with its drawbridge down.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Looking forward, Link and Saria saw that the drawbridge was indeed down, allowing them to enter the now-greatly renovated Hyrule Castle Town, where the two saw several civilians continuing repair work or otherwise being in business, with several Hylians, Gorons, Zoras and Gerudos watching them pass by.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Let’s grab the invitations so the guards can let us pass.” Saria said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Right.” Link said, nodding.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The Hyrule Castle Gate was one of the things that was quickly rebuilt over the days after Garo Ganjora’s defeat and the subsequent restoration of the lands because of the wish made on the Triforce. The resident guards did a double-take when they saw a young, red horse with white manes and two children approaching them, coming to a halt in front of the gate.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Uh, aren’t you two a bit too young to be coming here?” The Guard asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We’re here on a special invitation by Her Royal Highness, Princess Zelda.” Link said as he and Saria brandished the invitation.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The guard looked them over, nodding as both sported the genuine autographs of the Princess herself.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Very well, you may pass. Have a safe trip.” The Guard said as he ordered his comrades to open the gate, which they did.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Thank you, sir.” Link and Saria said as they watched the gate open up, before passing through the open gate and moving on the path towards Hyrule Castle.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Arriving at the front bridge of Hyrule Castle, they saw Rauru, Darunia, Ruto and Nabooru waiting for them.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Hey there.” Link said, greeting them with a smile.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Hey, kid.” Nabooru said to Link with a smile, nodding towards Saria as well.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“The Princess and Impa should be with us soon, Reimu and her followers should be arriving later.” Darunia said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Alright. So, what is this about?” Saria asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It appears that His Royal Highness, the King of Hyrule, wants to see us in person.” Nabooru said, just as the drawbridge came down, with Impa and Zelda standing on the other side of it.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Hey there.” Zelda said, smiling as she and Impa approached the group.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Hey, Zel. I take it you’re coming to get us?” Link asked, with Saria giggling at seeing Zelda blush lightly once more at Link’s affectionate nickname for her.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That’s right. Father wishes to meet you all in person, even though he knows Darunia already.” She said, smiling.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, let’s not keep my other Sworn Brother waiting.” Darunia said, smiling.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]With that, the group moved into the Castle itself, with Zelda and Impa leading the way towards the throne room.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Entering the throne room itself, the group would see the row of Royal Guards standing at either side of the red carpet, with the King himself sitting on his throne, smiling warmly at his daughter and her friends.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, if it isn’t my Sworn Brother Darunia. It pleases me to see you present here.” He said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Likewise, Brother.” Darunia said, smiling as he thumped his chest in enthusiasm.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Link, out of habit, got on one knee and bowed down towards the King as a show of respect.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Your Highness, it is truly a great honor to meet you.” He said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Rise, young one. It pleases me to see one of the people whom has been aiding my daughter when she needed it in person as well. In fact, the stories I heard of you two working together with your other friends have been quite intriguing. Better yet, seeing each of you from the different races that dwell here show a sign of perfect co-operation, as if the races of Hyrule truly have united together.” The King responded with a smile.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]This brought a smile to Link’s face, even more so when the King readily accepted Nabooru as the representative and spokeswoman on behalf of the Gerudo tribe, something that Ganondorf himself tried to do before, but failed as a result of his plans of treason being exposed. Nabooru’s efforts to make an alliance with the King of Hyrule was unsurprisingly far more successful, especially since Princess Zelda herself had a lot of faith in her, which was proven over the time they spent together and fighting enemies together. Nabooru also explained to the King about how her tribe as a whole got into a civil war, with the King nodding in interest, especially when Nabooru informed him that those Gerudo whom opposed Ganondorf in the first place have done their best to gather and guard the survivors alongside any surviving soldiers where needed, which by itself would increase the trust the King had in Nabooru herself, especially when the information she gave him was confirmed and backed up by the others.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]After listening to the group about what they had gone through in order to save the lands, the King finally spoke.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I cannot express enough how thankful I am that you have fought so valiantly to save the lands and their people, even through the hardest of times. Which is why I’m informing you that tomorrow a ceremony shall be held in your honor. Until then, consider yourselves as Royal Guests of the Castle and its princess.” The King said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Thank you, Your Highness. We expect the other people whom have done their best to aid us in the conflicts to arrive tomorrow as well.” Nabooru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The King nodded in understanding and acceptance with a smile, before flagging down one of the Royal Valets whom served as a butler.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Escort these heroes to the Royal Guest Chamber near the room of my daughter. It is time for the bad ceremony to take place.” The King said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What do you mean by that?” Saria asked curiously.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“There have been several soldiers whom have served me whom have shown acts of cowardice and treason. Impa will be attending as I need someone to see whom is lying or being truthful if they wish to explain their actions. I will be good enough to show mercy to those whom have genuine regrets or otherwise have redeemed themselves over the course of the conflicts, those whom show no regrets in their treasonous actions will be met with severe punishments, varying from being stripped of their titles, ranks and/or houses, demoted or perhaps even exiled or, in the case of the high treason offenders, executed.” The King said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The group nodded in understanding.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“For now, you can go to your guest quarters to rest up there. Tomorrow will be a day of celebrations.” The King said, smiling.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Thank you, Your Highness.” Link said, bowing again.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You can join them if you wish, dear Zelda.” The King then said to his daughter, who smiled at him in kind.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Thank you, father.” Zelda said, moving off with the others as the valet took them to the guest room.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Several minutes later, Link, Saria, Zelda, Ruto and Nabooru had gathered inside the Castle’s Courtyard, a place where Zelda loved to spend some time in the open. It was also a bit of a trip down the memory lane for both the young hero and the Hyrulean Princess, as the very courtyard was the spot where they also met for the first time.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“To think that our adventure as a whole began over a year ago…” Link said as he sat on the steps towards the platform where Zelda spied on the clandestine meeting between her father and Ganondorf a year prior.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yeah. It’s hard to believe that only a few decisions and actions can influence events so big that they could have lasting consequences…” Zelda said, nodding.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I’ll say. I mean, how long has this whole chain of events lasted?” Nabooru asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I lost track of time to be honest, but I feel certain that it must have taken up at least a month or so, maybe more, considering we’ve been traveling primarily on foot or by horse or by boat…” Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Not to mention the times we were rendered out cold or when we were among the dead…” Ruto said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yeah… and the times we also had to rest also took up some time. I’m surprised we eventually made it through this all.” Saria said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yeah. Time also flies whenever you’re occupied with something, like all those long battles…” Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“True, not to mention all those puzzles we had to solve underway…” Zelda said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We definitely need a vacation, I assume.” Nabooru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That’s right. At least we can now do the things we WANT to do instead of the things that we HAVE to do.” Ruto said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Indeed, it should definitely do us good to have some time off and relax for a change.” Saria said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Right, that way we should have cleaned our minds too in a way by thinking of the good things.” Zelda said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You bet.” Link said as the five relaxed in the courtyard, absentmindedly picking up the sounds from Zelda’s father doing his work as a King by passing judgment on the traitors and granting mercy to those who showed genuine remorse or have in any other form or fashion redeemed themselves from their mistakes.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Nabooru was listening in the most on this, seeing as she was going to do a similar act upon her return to the Gerudo Fortress.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You know, I would like it if you four would accompany me towards the Gerudo Fortress when it’s time.” Nabooru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Oh? Any reason why?” Zelda asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“The main reason is that each of you will receive the Gerudo Membership Card, this way you can access and enter all areas of the Fortress at will. I’m extending this also to Darunia, Impa and Rauru as well.” She said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That is really nice of you.” Zelda said with a smile.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Nabooru smiled back at her in response.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Perhaps this will be a sign of long-lasting peace between our respective races.” She said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The others nodded as they relaxed, wishing that this time of peace would really last for a long time to come. Still, they would make sure the lands were safe and were more than ready to come to the people’s aid in the time of need, but for now they wanted nothing more than relaxing and just put their thoughts and minds aside, although Link, Saria, Ruto and Nabooru were curious as to what the ceremony of tomorrow was going to be about. Zelda had a distinct feeling that it would be something to express gratitude for their efforts to keep the lands safe. She would soon realize that it would be something more than just an act of gratitude…
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Chapter 60: Epilogue[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The next day, Link woke up for a new day, blinking at first at seeing he was now in a royal suite that was fitting of an honored guest room within a castle, before blinking again at seeing that Saria, Zelda, Ruto, Nabooru, Impa, Darunia and Rauru were sleeping, while on different beds, in the same room as he was. He then remembered why he was here, yawning a little and stretching his arms, before plopping down on the cushion again for another moment. As he was now dressed in some night clothes the valet had supplied him, he decided to get out of the bed in search of the bathroom to wash up properly. As he got out to where he could wash himself, he startled as he saw the King outside the room.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Ah, Your Highness!” He said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Well, good morning, young lad. My apologies for startling you.” The King said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It’s alright. What can I do for you?”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I wanted to speak to you alone for a little while… at least until the others wake up.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Sure thing.” Link said, nodding as he was curious to know what the King himself had to say.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“First of all, I wish to express my sincere admiration for your skills in battle. From what my daughter Zelda has told me, your battle skills and valor are putting those of most of my soldiers to shame, especially since you refused to give up in even the darkest of times.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It’s no problem, Your Highness,” Link said, getting a little bit shy to be complimented by a King no less, “I just do what I believe is right to protect the lands and those I care about.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“And the result of that has paid you off in space, especially since you simply do it without being paid or simply told you to do. Which is why I want to give you an offer.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]That piqued Link’s interest.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“An offer?”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yes. I wish for you to give my soldiers some pointers for when it comes to their fighting skills, so they can help in keeping the lands safe in future calamities more properly.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“You mean like a battle instructor or tutor?”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Something like that, yes. It may seem odd considering your current age and everything, but believe me when I say that this can be of great benefit. You can expect soldiers at first not taking you seriously, until you actually show them what you’re made of. With the skills you’ve gained over time, you’re practically the best and youngest swordsman Hyrule has at this moment.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Link nodded, smiling at the King.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I accept your offer, Your Highness. I feel certain that the soldiers will benefit from being taught some new skills. I can even recommend a Sword Training School in Clock Town, Termina that will suit the needs for the soldiers over there, or something the soldiers here can benefit from too in case I get occupied by other matters that require my attention.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Very well, I will take it into consideration. In which part of Clock Town is that school located?”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It’s located in West Clock Town, close to the gate leading to West Termina Field and by extension the Great Bay area. The school can definitely give some pointers in the basics and a challenge for those who think they are ready to take the Expert Course.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I thank you for your information. I also want to express my admiration for your courage and selflessness. I find that Zelda has become also quite more assertive as of late. She has become quite interested in you, I might add.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“She is?” Link asked, subconsciously feeling his heartbeat increasing a little.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Yes. She admires not only your battle skills, but also has felt touched at your blatant disregard for your own safety; she seemed the most touched when you took a shot that Majora fired at her yourself in her defense, regardless of what happened after.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Link was actually at a loss for words here, all he could give in response was having a slight grin on his face while scratching the back of his head. The King smiled at this.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I also feel like you and your closest friends can also have another job to be added to this.” He then said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Oh?” Link asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Since you have friends of each race that live here, I think it would be fitting that you and Zelda both could form a council of sorts, which your friends acting as representatives for their respective races, so you can discuss the matters at hand in times of need and see what you can do to assist those who need it. Through this it will show that Hyrule truly is a united land where no one gets left behind, if you get what I mean.” The King said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Link gave it a serious thought.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That’s not a bad idea actually, I’ll see what they think of it first so I have their input on the matter. Besides, it shows that everyone will be treated equally.” Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“A very wise decision indeed. You seem to have quite the talent for making the right decisions. You’d make quite an amazing ruler of a country that has the full support of the people once you’re old enough.” The King said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Link felt quite flattered at this compliment, making him smile.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Your friends should be waking up anytime soon now. I need to make the preparations for the ceremony today, so I will see you soon.” The King said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Thank you, Your Highness.” Link said, bowing once more, before the two parted ways for the time being.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Unaware to Link, Zelda had woken up after he had left and was stretching out. She got out of her bed and walked to the door, being slightly distracted at hearing Rauru grunt a little as he moved to lay in a different position, therefore not noticing the door opening as Link got back in the room, while Link himself watched the King walk away down the corridor. Just as Link turned around to get back in the room, he bumped straight into Zelda as she walked out of the room, causing Link to fall flat on his rear as he grunted, but he had no time to look up as Zelda fell on top of him.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“OW!” both children said as they landed.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Oh, sorry about that. I didn’t see you there.” Zelda said to Link.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It’s alright, I should have looked where I was going too.” Link said, as both children got up.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So, what were you doing out here this early?”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Nothing special really, except having had a private word with your father, the King.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Oh? What did he say?”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“He revealed parts of what is likely going to be our reward for helping the people and defeating our nemeses. In fact, he offered us a job.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What kind of job?”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“He said something about the eight of us forming some kind of council in which we can discuss the matters within Hyrule and beyond at hand and see what we can do to help each other, as in the respective races, out. I think that can be used to our advantage; we could use the Chamber of the Sages as the meeting place for this.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Hmmm, you bring up a very interesting point there. Anything else?”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“His Royal Highness also offered me to help the loyal soldiers out in sharpening their sword skills. I even went so far as to recommend the Sword Training School in Clock Town for this, so they have the basic course and the Challenge course altogether.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That’s not a bad idea, but you do realize that Clock Town is days away from here, even on horseback, right?”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I know that. It’s actually part of my idea to also make it a test of will and determination, to see which soldiers are willing to become the top-notch swordsmen they aspire to be and which soldiers are either complete slackers or wish to excel in other weaponry, such as archery or artillery.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“And it also gives the soldiers experience with riding a horse for a long distance or just go on foot while also having kind of a survival thing going on. That should not only improve their sword skills, but also their condition too.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Exactly. That way they can prove to us that they are doing whatever they can in order to prepare themselves for any other events that require them to defend the lands from evil, just in case.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I agree. Perhaps we can bring this up in our first council meeting so we can set up a proper training program as well. Perhaps the Gerudo can help in instructing with other matters of sword combat or when it comes to the use of spears and glaives.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“My thought exactly.” Link said, smiling.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Looks like we have quite the planning to do then.” Zelda then said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Indeed, but as long as there is peace, we should take advantage of it. Perhaps we can travel around and see what else we can possibly learn to improve our skills even further.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Indeed. We could make it into our vacation then as well.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Say, when will the Temple of Time be accessible again?”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“This afternoon at best. Why?”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I wanted to know, since I think it’s the time again to put the Master Sword to rest again until it’s needed to slay evil. I’ll still have the Golden Sword and the Great Fairy’s Sword to defend myself with though…” Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Wise idea. Besides, we should keep the Master Sword as a secret weapon in case the time was there. Which reminds me, has it gone back to normal actually? Since the Fairy Queen Venus has merged the Master Sword with your Gilded Sword after our resurrection...”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I think so; when I got to bed upon our return to the Kokiri Forest and all I saw that I was carrying two swords again. Perhaps the influence of the Fierce Deity’s Mask had something to do with it, since I had been wielding that oversized Golden Double Helix Sword during our last confrontation with Garo Ganjora. I didn’t pay much attention to it at first to be honest; getting the much needed rest after all those hectic battles and all other events was my primary concern, same with Saria; she’s been sleeping over at my place ever since we got back, mostly to help in chasing any potential nightmares away…” Link said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Zelda understood this all too well, in fact it was one of the rare occasions she actually felt comfortable with Impa’s company during the night so she could sleep easy as well. Given Impa’s duty as Zelda’s attendant, it was only the right thing to do.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We should check it once the ceremony’s over. I wouldn’t want to keep father waiting.” Zelda said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Right.” Link said, nodding as the two got prepared for the day.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Several hours later, the ceremony was on its way. The King of Hyrule sat on his throne, the royal guards standing in a row along the red carpet and at the main doors. Several civilians from Hyrule and Termina both, including Gorons, Zoras and Gerudo along with the Hylians, were present as they had been invited. Among them were also Malon, Talon, Ingo, the Indigo-gos, the Goron Elder from Snowhead, Romani and Cremia.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I wonder what this is about.” Romani said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“This is in celebration of those whom have helped in saving the lands of Hyrule and Termina.” Cremia said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]It was then that trumpets sounded in the hall, indicating the ceremony was about to begin. Everyone went quiet as eight people stepped in the room. Malon’s eyes went wide.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“It’s the Fairy Boy from the forest… and is that the Princess?!” She asked her father.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“That they are… and look, they must be friends of theirs, considering the friendly glances they give each other…” Talon replied.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]As soon as Link, Saria, Zelda, Ruto, Nabooru, Impa, Darunia and Rauru stood in front of the throne, the King spoke.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Ladies and Gentlemen, we are gathered here today to honor those people whom have contributed in saving our homes, our families, our loved ones and our friends. These people have gone through great lengths and have faced many trials and fought many enemies to accomplish the nigh-impossible task on defeating the villains responsible for this crisis. These people here have shown the power, wisdom and the courage needed to overcome all of these trials to reach their ultimate goal, which is to bring peace and prosperity back to our lands.” The King said, before approaching the group, drawing his sword, but keeping it low.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Link and the Seven Sages kneeled in front of him, each with a smile on their faces.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Citizens of Hyrule, words cannot describe how grateful we are of you having successfully achieved the peace that you have fought for, defeating our sworn enemies once and for all. By Royal Decree, with this sword, I shall dub thee Knights of Hyrule.” The King said, before performing the accolade ceremony on each of the group, giving them a new rank by giving each of them a gentle stroke with the flat part of his sword  against the sides of their necks.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The resident audience blinked at seeing the Princesses Zelda and Ruto being given the same title as Link, but they were happy for them nonetheless, as it showed that everyone of the group has done their part. Once each of the group had been dubbed knight, they rose as the King handed them the insignias of their new order, which consisted of a badge with the crest of the Royal Family, with an added touch of having a custom-made insignia on it that represented their respective element/force, the latter being the wisdom for Zelda and the courage for Link. This was done as the King had been informed by Zelda of their adventures after all. Each of the group happily accepted this new insignia as a badge of honor, coupled with the new privileges that came with their new title. The surprising thing to most people  remained was that Zelda was being given the same privileges as well, as if she was being treated equally despite being the King’s daughter. Then again, not many have witnessed a princess doing her part in fighting off enemy forces personally, which in turn has effectively debunked the stereotypical part of princesses being a damsel in distress as observed in most stories. So seeing someone of royalty being also an active combatant was definitely a welcome change, in turn increasing the people’s respect for her altogether.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Congratulations to your new, added titles. You are now part of the Order of the Knights of Hyrule! May you serve long and well. Great songs will be sung of your deeds. You will be remembered with honor.” The King said, after which the audience erupted in cheers, giving the group a standing ovation.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]This all brought a smile to Link’s face, not just because of being given this title at his age, but because people recognized him for his heroic deeds to save the lands of Hyrule and Termina.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Now, bring in the Gerudo Reimu, Leia and their entourage.” The King said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]As the group and the audience turned around, they saw the group of six Gerudo entering the throne room. Each of them were quite nervous, but since word got out of their own heroic deeds and their quest for redemption for the most of them, people actually began to respect them. Which is why they were here as Link and the Sages stepped aside. The six Gerudo also kneeled in front of the King, showing their genuine respect for him.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“The six of you have faced quite the trials of your own as well and most of you performed acts that were out of your control, due to an malevolent, outside force making you do those heinous acts. Yet, when you were freed, you took responsibility for those acts and as such you have sought to redeem yourselves by fighting alongside our soldiers against the hated enemies and secured the safety of the survivors and those who sought refuge in distant villages. For these deeds you will be recognized. Therefore I am giving you a probation time for three months. Prove to us that you would do anything to complete your redemption and prove your loyalty towards your own leaders and those of other races. Once the period is over and your loyalty has been proven, you will be given Honorary Citizenship. All that we ask from you is to cement your loyalty to us. Consider it a final test.” The King said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Thank you, Your Highness. We shall prove ourselves worthy to be at your command.” Reimu said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“See that you do. You are dismissed.” The King said with a smile.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Don’t forget, I’ll see you in the Fortress later today.” Nabooru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We’ll be there, My Lady.” Reimu said, bowing before she left with the others, except for Leia as she was held back.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Leia, you have sought out our aid ever since I came to the fortress myself and helped me in ensuring that those Gerudo who  were brainwashed were liberated, giving them the chance to redeem themselves. Which is why you are being given the Honorary Citizenship right away in recognition of your deeds to aid us against our enemies.” The King said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Thank you, Your Highness.” Leia said, bowing again.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The King nodded with a smile in recognition of Leia’s deeds before Leia herself left. With most of the ceremony complete, the festivities began in celebration of the preservation of Hyrule and Termina and the destruction of the evil that had infested it.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]A few hours later, Link and the Seven Sages were now standing in the Room of Time, where the Pedestal of Time was still present and miraculously intact even after the destruction of the Temple of Time. With the Temple itself being partially rebuilt and its structure reinforced to make it more resilient against attacks against it, Link felt it was now the right time to return the Master Sword back into its pedestal, to close the gateway between Hyrule and the Sacred Realm in the process, until the time comes where the sword is once more needed to slay the forces of evil. With the iconic thrust downward, Link plunged the Master Sword into its pedestal while the Seven Sages stood around it, the platform they stood on glowing for a brief moment in acceptance. Once this was done, Link and the Seven Sages gazed once more on the evil-banishing blade, before leaving the Temple of Time, heading towards the Gerudo Fortress to complete some of their final tasks before the group would travel around once again. This time, Navi, Tatl and Tael remained at the group’s side, not leaving them as they too had grown to learn the value of having a companion by their side, so they were not alone. Before leaving, Zelda played the Song of Time on the Ocarina of Time, closing the restored Door of Time to close off this part of their lives, until the time would come where it would be needed again. This also would ensure that no outsider would barge into the temple and take the Sword for themselves, especially when they were not in possession of the very treasures that could give one access to the Master Sword in the first place. Despite Link’s current Golden Sword having lost some of its power, it was by itself still twice as strong as the Gilded Sword by itself once was, making it still a formidable weapon, being only surpassed in power by the Great Fairy’s Sword.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Later on, as the group entered Gerudo Valley, the resident Gerudo blinked as they saw Nabooru approaching with an entourage of non-Gerudo people. Some of the guards there reacted on natural instinct and attempted to move to intercept the group, but one quick glare from Nabooru herself made the guards back off immediately, not wanting to risk the ire of their leader. Upon entering the Gerudo Fortress, the resident guards and other Gerudo immediately gave Nabooru a wide berth as well as bowing in respect, evidently recognizing that their leader was now back on business. After dismounting their horses, Epona among them, Link and the Seven Sages then entered the main room of the Gerudo Fortress where Aveil was waiting. Aveil had spent most of the time brooding within the fortress, but as word got out of Nabooru’s resurrection and the subsequent liberation of their brainwashed comrades and the arrest of several traitors gave the Second-In-Command hope. Hope which was justified as she instantly rose upon seeing the revitalized Nabooru and her entourage entering the room.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Lady Nabooru! It pleases me to see you back in the flesh once again.” Aveil said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Likewise, Aveil. What’s the status on the prisoners?” Nabooru asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“At your request we have separated those who wish to repent for their wrongdoings from the ones whom still believe they have done nothing wrong. We have detailed accounts on their actions from eyewitnesses. Some of the Gerudo whom sought redemption also helped in apprehending their more treacherous ‘comrades’, although the latter ones had to be restrained on multiple occasions as they wanted to kill those whom ‘sold them out’. Even in jail some of the treacherous Gerudo are still being violent within their cells.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I see. It’s time to get to business. First, I would like to have Reimu, Leia and those four Gerudo Pirates whom have been accompanying them here.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“As you wish. And what of your entourage?”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“They are my friends whom have helped me out within the battles of the past month and vice versa. I want to give them the Gerudo Membership Cards so they can make use of our training facilities whenever they please.” Nabooru said in a tone where she would not accept any retorts or protests.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“I understand, My Lady. Your will shall be done.” Aveil said, before she went to work.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]A couple of minutes later, Link, Saria, Zelda, Ruto, Impa, Darunia and Rauru were given the Gerudo Membership Cards that allowed them free access to all the facilities the Gerudo Fortress had to offer, before Nabooru took her seat as leader of the Gerudo with Aveil at her side. Then several Gerudo Guards accompanying Reimu, Leia and the four Pirates came in the room, with the Guards taking position at the sides of the carpet and at the door, awaiting further orders. Once again Reimu and Leia as well as the four Gerudo Pirates were quite nervous, but relaxed as they saw Nabooru smiling at them.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Reimu and Leia, you and your comrades have served me well, despite the initial interference from certain outside parties,” Nabooru said, “since most of you are in the last stages of what you believe to be your quest for redemption, I have decided to give you a special assignment.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Reimu and Leia looked up, remaining silent.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Reimu, your assignment is to be my personal guard along with your sister Leia. Since I will be off traveling around soon again, I need two of my comrades as bodyguards and to assist my friends in their time of need. After observing your records and actions I have concluded that you two are the best qualified for the job.” Nabooru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Thank you, Lady Nabooru. We shall prove ourselves worthy of this honor.” Reimu said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“See that you do. As for you four,” Nabooru said, turning to the remaining Pirates, “you will be assigned a similar position, but you will be at Aveil’s command.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Both the pirates and Aveil nodded in understanding and inwardly Aveil was happy; she had been in danger when the Gerudo Civil War came out and, while she did remain safe, she didn’t come out unscathed and several of her loyal comrades were either injured, captured, brainwashed or killed in the ensuing conflicts. So she could use a group of Gerudo who would remain loyal and protect her in case of Nabooru’s absence.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“We accept the assignment.” One of the pirates said as all four of them bowed.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Good. If the rest of the redemption seeking Gerudo are as wise as you demonstrated, I have no doubt that our people will over time be more respected than ever before, especially since we have allied with the King of Hyrule. You may go to your posts now.” Nabooru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The six indeed went to their posts.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Alright, bring me the other Gerudo who are seeking redemption.” Nabooru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“As you wish. You have anything special in mind?” Aveil asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Since I’m in a good mood, I’ve decided that each of the Gerudo whom are seeking redemption can stay with us and will therefore not be stripped of their ranks and homes. However, this doesn’t mean they get away with it scot-free; I want to test them to see if their redemption-seeking quest is genuine.” Nabooru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“What do you have in mind?” Aveil asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“If they really want to show that they want to redeem themselves, they must show it. A specialized training course will be prepared for this in our training center, where they must face several of the enemies we have captured there.” Nabooru said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Would this also count for some of the traitors?”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“No. I have decided that all of the traitors will be exiled from this fortress and sent to either the isolated Gerudo Pirate fortress in the Great Bay area or otherwise into the Forest area close to that Forest outpost I have visited. Since that area is largely abandoned, it should be a fitting place for the exiled to gather there to live with the shame they have brought upon themselves. I regret having to take this course of action, but I have to show that such heinous actions of treason are simply intolerable.”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Will this also mean they have a chance to come back?” Zelda asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Only if they have an actual change of heart and are also seek redemption. But this will go at a different level than with the redemption-seekers here; those who are exiled will have nothing to their name and thus must be willing to work VERY hard if they ever want a chance at regaining their honor.” Nabooru asked.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“So in a way it’s like what my father does as a discommendation act, am I correct?”[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Suffice it to say, your old man inspired me to follow this kind of example.” Nabooru said with a smirk, to which Zelda responded with a smile and an acknowledging nod.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Soon enough, the judgments have passed. While the redemption-seeking Gerudo were elated that they at least had a place to stay, despite being on probation and earning what they seek, the treacherous Gerudo were upset in regards to being exiled. While some of the Gerudo appeared to show signs of remorse by accepting their fates with a bowed head, others had to be dragged out of the chambers while shouting curses at their fellow kin as well as Nabooru’s friends. Link’s fingers itched to show them a thing or two, but Nabooru stopped him.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]“Remember this, kid; sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” She said.[/font]
[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Nodding, Link relented and stood down, wondering if it was still because of the Fierce Deity’s Mask’s influence that made him a bit on edge when his friends were concerned. A comforting hand around the shoulders from both Zelda and Saria put him at ease, causing him to hug his friends.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]As business picked back up in both Hyrule and Termina, it appeared that both lands seemed to enjoy a time of peaceful co-existence and co-operation. Lon Lon Ranch for instance agreed to a brand partnership with Romani Ranch, which would prove to become a positive influx on the businesses of both ranches respectively, so much that the Gorman Brothers eventually forfeited their own business and began to focus more on the horse racing department, their milk business already having sealed its fate once their acts to put Romani Ranch out of business became public knowledge. Clock Town’s Sword Training School also received a positive influx of business, primarily because of Link’s recommendation to make use of its facilities to get down the basics of Sword combat, coupled with the Expert Challenge that would earn those who passed a legitimate certificate which would later on become mandatory for those aspiring in becoming professional swordsmen. Both Clock Town and the rebuilt Kakariko Village would also observe an increase in tourists, with the market area in Hyrule Castle Town also becoming more popular among tourists from Termina.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]The Indigo-go’s, the famous Zora band from the Zora Cape in the Great Bay area, had gathered around the grave of their fellow band member, comrade and hero Mikau, paying their respect to him by holding a moment of silence, while also playing the song they had been composing in his honor. The Gorons in Snowhead were occasionally seen visiting the Goron Shrine in the Mountain Village to pay their respects for their hero Darmani the Third, believing that his wandering spirit was still around to safeguard them and ensure that the Goron Village would remain safe. The Deku Butler was on his turn comforting the Deku Princess as they visited the final resting place of the Deku Butler’s son, the Princess’ love interest, whom was the first victim to be killed/cursed by the rampaging Majora before his arrival in Clock Town and by extension Termina itself. The Deku King himself was also present, saddened at seeing his only daughter crying bitter tears at the loss of her love. Several Gerudo have been working on a graveyard of their own at the backside of the Gerudo horseback archery challenge, burying the bodies of their fallen comrades whom they had been able to retrieve over the course of the past days. The King of Hyrule himself attended the funerals of those soldiers and civilians whom had fallen in the aftermath of Ganondorf and Majora’s rampage, while those who were resurrected also attended to honor those whom had made their sacrifices. The Kokiri on their turn also still mourned the loss of the Great Deku Tree, even though there was still hope for them as a new sprout was beginning to grow, in effect making sure that the Kokiri would still have a guardian tree watching over them over the years to come.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]Link was once more traveling through the forest area while riding his trusty steed Epona, but this time he was not alone. Sitting behind him was his childhood friend Saria, while five other horses were accompanying them. One of those horses was a Royal Gray which was rode by Impa with Princess Zelda in front of her, the four other horses being the generic horses which were rode by Nabooru and Ruto, Rauru, Reimu and Leia respectively. The one who didn’t need a horse was Darunia, as his rolling speed easily matched the speed of a galloping horse by itself. Flying close to Epona were the fairies Navi, Tatl and Tael, whom felt quite comfortable in such a big company. Of course, Tael couldn’t resist teasing both his sister Tatl and their friend Navi, which earned him being chased by the two female fairies in kind, earning a good laugh from the others. Seeing the bright sun up ahead, the group noticed they were coming close to a clearing as they continued to explore the forest, in search for a good place to spend their vacation. Seeing it as a potential spot, they let the horses gallop towards it, with Darunia leading in his role to prevent injury to the horses themselves, as if in search for a new and hopefully more peaceful adventure. And as the group moved towards the clearing, the first tunes of Saria’s Song resonated throughout the area.[/font]

[font=Verdana, sans-serif]THE END.
Top Bottom