Chapter 71 - The Child is Gone
“Do you think they’ll bless her with the gift?” A soft voice murmured.
“Hard to say, she was never on good terms with the elders, always running off to be with that Link fellow.” A second voice answered.
Malon’s mind was slowly coming around. It seemed her thoughts were nothing but a bowl of mush being churned for someone else’s amusement. The last thing she could remember before passing out was this enormous brute hovering over her, the tip of his manhood violently trying splitting her apart. That was swiftly followed by warm blood splashing onto her face and then nothing. She dared not open her eyes, lest she betray to her captors that she was awake.
“That might be true, but she is still one of us, is she not? She is Gerudo.” The first voice refuted.
“Aye, but her behavior just before her departure was one of great disrespect and shame to our king. I don’t think the witches will take kindly to that and bless her like they did us.” The second voice reasoned.
The knowledge of being in possession of the Gerudo caused Malon to crack open an eye to get her bearings. She appeared to be inside a room of brick and mortar, the entrance flanked by two torches set into elaborate golden sconces. To her left were several other cots similar to the one she was lying in now. Malon was dressed once more in the garb of a lowly Gerudo apprentice. At least they had the decency to cloth her properly.
The first voice sighed longingly, “Such a shame. She is so beautiful. I can see why some of the elders wanted her for their beds.”
The second voice clucked her tongue, “Don’t let her entice you with her looks. We have a job to guard her until Kotake and Koume return. Since Ganondorf is not with us, they are in charge in his stead. We will see what they want to do with her.”
Malon couldn’t resist any longer, she opened her eyes fully and gazed over to her right where the voices were coming from. Sitting on a benched table next to a low alcove set into the wall, two women were leaning close and talking in hushed tones. A small candle was between them revealing their ivory robes. They weren’t apprentices but full blown soldiers. Malon breathed a small sigh of relief. If they were elders, she wasn’t sure if she had the prowess to take them on directly.
The first woman flicked her head in Malon’s direction, “Look who is awake.” She said softly with a grin.
The second woman stood up and gracefully strode over to Malon’s bedside, “Good evening my dear. You are lucky we came when we did, you were almost run through.” She chuckled at her own joke as she looked down upon Malon serenely.
Sidling up next to her was a second woman who looked remarkably similar to the first. Malon had to do a double take to ensure she was seeing things properly. The two women laughed at her confusion, “You aren’t seeing things, we look like twins but we are not. We are…”
“…one and the same person.” Finished the first woman with a smirk.
“I…don’t understand.” Malon said, almost stumbling over the words.
One woman wrapped an arm around the other’s shoulders, “Thanks to Kotake and Koume, the Gerudo have been given a new boon to combat Nevachrea! They toiled long and hard to provide us this advantage. You are fortunate to come back during the very night we are preparing to strike back.” They both smiled at Malon disturbingly.
Malon sat up and turned to the two creepy twins, “Wait…how is this an advantage? There are two of you…I don’t see what the boon is.”
Both women gave each other an askance look before facing Malon, “We were created from one body. I had died during one of the sieges of this sanctuary. Kotake and Koume gave me…gave us another chance!” The woman’s eyes were burning bright with pride.
More bewildered than ever, Malon practically spat out her frustration, “Stop beating around the bush, what in Din’s name was done to you?”
The second woman turned to the first, “She wouldn’t know. She left before the incantation was completed.”
The first nodded before explaining, “One night after seeking refuge here in the desert colossus, the two spiritual elders came flying in about a week ago. They blessed all our people here with a powerful new spell of protection. Whenever one of us is killed, two copies of that person rise up and continue the fight. If either one of those copies dies, two more rise. It is the only way we stand a chance of defeating their sheer numbers.”
“It’s brilliant!” The second woman chimed in gleefully.
Malon’s eyes widened with horror, she tried her best to hide her utter dismay at this terrifying news. Those vile witches might have just unleashed something more unholy onto the world than the Nevachreans ever could! Under the leadership of those two hags or Ganondorf, this Gerudo army could be as bad if not worse than Nevachrea. Her eyes darted around to see if there were any escape routes. Her shoulders slumped when all that was discernible was the lone doorway just past the two women. Her friends had to be warned!
“That’s…amazing.” She managed to sputter. Neither woman noticed her shift in demeanor. “So do either of you remember anything of your former body’s…um…life?” She was trying to stall the conversation so she could think about the next course of action.
The second woman nodded her head vigorously, “Of course. We simply rise up from the corpse of our former body and keep going. It is as if death is an inconsequential nuisance now.” A small lilting laugh sent a chill down Malon’s spine, “It’s almost as if we are immortal!”
“Isn’t it wonderful?” The first woman eagerly proclaimed, placing her hands on Malon’s shoulder enthusiastically. “Don’t you want it done to you when they return? You are our sister now and you have returned to us! You must join us in our battle again the Nevachreans!”
Malon wanted nothing more than to extricate herself from those urgent hands, to run away from these profane women. This ‘gift’ sounded more like a fate worse than death. She wanted no part in that. What was worse, she had no idea the effect it might have on her since she was pregnant. Would there be two copies of her unborn child? The implication of this profane magick was making her mind reel and scream at her to escape.
“No!” Malon finally screamed. Both women stopped and stared astonished at her outburst. “I will have no part in this blasphemous gift! A curse is more like it!” She shouted angrily.
Malon bounded off the cot into a roll which took her right past the first woman. Rising up from the ground, she slipped the scimitar from the belt sheath of the second woman. A cry of shock erupted behind her as she swirled around and made a thin gash across the midriff of the first Gerudo. Blood spurted out from her abdomen as she fell forward clutching her stomach. The other woman was upon her in an instant, swiping out her leg to trip up Malon’s footing.
Malon leapt over the first leg and knocked the other attempt out of the way with her free arm before bringing the butt of the weapon hard onto the woman’s nose. A sickening crunch echoed throughout the room as warm fluid gushed from the Gerudo’s nose. She screamed in agony, stumbling backward towards her comrade before kneeling to remove the unused scimitar from the body.
Surging in to prevent the woman’s recovery, Malon sliced down through the air but was met with harsh resistance when the Gerudo brought up the scimitar to meet hers. The resulting clang jolted down Malon’s arms making them ache painfully. A slight popping was heard which distracted Malon long enough for the woman to punch her hard in the gut forcing her to take a knee. Two women, carbon copies of the old, were rising up from the cadaver whom she had sliced open just moments before. Each one had a fresh sword belt complete with gleaming steel encased within its leather.
Malon swore an oath before jerking back to avoid the swipe cutting the air just before her nose. Utilizing her momentum from the movement, she rolled over to the table and stood up kicking the nearby chair at one of the women. The three clones crowded in with scimitars raised before Malon got the idea to climb up onto the table. Her nerves were shot and beads of sweat were trailing down her temples as she held out her weapon, staring down the three Gerudo who had nothing but murder in their eyes.
The woman on the left lunged forward with her sword extended. Malon sidestepped the attack before twirling around and lopping off the woman’s head. Another attack slammed in from the right as cold steel brushed against her calf drawing a cry of pain from her. She kicked the offending woman in the chin, causing her to reel backwards from the shock. Before she could react, the third woman tackled her off the table and to the floor.
Malon landed hard on her back with a whump. She could barely move or breathe, so forceful was her landing. She had the split second decision to continue the force of movement and kick her assailant off of her towards the wall mere feet away. The woman slammed into the brick before landing head first onto the stone floor with a snap, her neck twisted at an awkward angle.
Trying to inhale deep gulps of air, Malon rose, exploiting the table as leverage to lift her body back up. She raised a scimitar high as the third woman came running at her, impaling herself onto the cold steel with a look of surprise. Malon let go of the weapon and let it drop with the body.
Staggering from the exhausting battle, she turned to look at the three fresh bodies she had just slaughtered in astonishment. Rising from the prone, immobile bodies were six furious women, all of whom were once one single Gerudo.
“By the Goddesses, what is this magick?” Malon despaired, quickly picking up two other scimitars hoping two weapons would help defend her better.
The first attack came from the right. Malon parried the blow with one weapon while raising the other to defend against two slashes from the left. In an instant, all six women were upon her, weaving and ducking her futile attempts at landing a solid blow. Malon screamed in fury at her inability to ultimately win against such opposition.
A large blast of wind exploded like a bomb burst in the center of their melee, each woman went flying in multiple directions across the room. Malon was thrust backwards, ramming the small of her back into the side of the table. She immediately crumpled to the floor groaning in pain, dropping her weapons with a clatter. In through the doorway swept Kotake and Koume in full turban and robed regalia.
“Ho ho ho. It looks like we have a brawl on our hands sister!” Kotake cackled.
“He he he. I dare say that our magick worked like a charm. We should really thank Princess Midna for such an invaluable spell. It sure took a while to master it!” Koume chortled.
Kotake turned her bulbous eyes on Malon, cocking her head a moment until she recognized her. She exclaimed, “Oh, what do we have here? The little gutter rat has come back to us!”
Koume stepped up to the recovering Malon, eyeing her intently, “Indeed sister. This little tart should be taught manners in respecting her elders. Always swooning for that young man, Link! Disgraceful!”
“Shut up!” Malon roared, pushing herself up shakily on one hand off the table. She glared at the two witches.
“Tsk, tsk. Don’t you know dearie?” Kotake crooned before clenching her fist. Malon was vaulted into the air before crashing back down onto the table with a cry. “No Gerudo under our king’s rule is allowed to choose their mates! We decide who has a child and when!”
Koume slithered up next to the table before placing both hands on Malon’s wrists. She shrieked in agony as flames shot down her skin fusing her burnt flesh with the wood of the table. “And you defied the ancient laws set down by our predecessors! Don’t think we weren’t aware of your relations with Link!” Koume sneered.
Grinding her teeth against the pain searing across her wrists, she spit in Kotake’s face. “What’s it to you hags?” She trilled, breathing arduously, “I am not officially Gerudo! I never have been! You’ve all never accepted me! I was Talon’s daughter before I was ever Nabooru’s!”
With a look of scorn, Kotake forcefully wiped the spittle off her face. In one swift motion, she backhanded Malon across the face. “That is inconsequential. You were born with Gerudo blood. You belong to your king. To us!” She rebuked.
“Haven’t you heard?” Koume gurgled as she made her way down the table. She tried spreading Malon’s legs apart but was met with great resistance. “Your father is dead. Ganondorf killed him not even a fortnight ago.”
“W…what?” Malon managed to sputter. That was the opening Koume needed to split the legs apart, within moments another spine tingling cry rent the air as Koume melded Malon’s ankles to the wood. Tears were running unbidden down her face. “You lie!”
“What do you plan to do with her?” The duplicated women inquired, having all recovered from the shock of the two witches’ entrance. Several looked genuinely worried.
With a wave of her hand, Kotake ushered them all out forcefully. “That is none of your concern. We must deal with this upstart before she becomes a problem.
“That is all you need to know!” Koume seethed, glowering at the insubordinate women as they filed out of the room.
“My father isn’t dead!” Malon cried, unwilling to believe such blatant lies. “Ganondorf was working with us. We were together on fighting General Naar!”
Kotake crowed at her naivety, “You silly, stupid girl! Ganondorf has been nothing but loyal to the Gerudo and their common interest.”
“After long days of searching for you, you show up at our doorstep letting yourself get captured!” Koume simpered. She traced a finger up the crotch of Malon’s leggings, burning a small opening revealing her womanhood underneath.
“What do you intend to do to me?” Malon trembled visibly, her heart beating frantically at the thought of being utterly helpless against these witches.
Kotake tapped a finger to her chin, “Well at first, we were ordered to simply kill you back at Glaun’rung.”
Koume finished for her sister, “But after some thought, wouldn’t it be better to just use you as a pawn in our grand game? It would hurt Link all the more.”
Malon’s eyes widened in horror as Kotake began pressing down on her stomach, slowly applying pressure to keep her back firmly on the table. “However, there is one small snag we must rectify before you will be of any use to us.” Kotake ominously spoke.
Koume held out a hand over Malon’s pink folds, an abnormal sensation began permeating throughout her lower abdomen. The witch squawked at her revelation, “She has twins, sister! A girl…and a boy!”
So shocked with the news, Kotake briefly released Malon’s belly. “Inconceivable! All Gerudo at birth are unable to have boys unless we grant them that permission!”
Koume squinted her eyes in grim determination, “You are making a mockery of our king, trying to have a son to usurp the throne of leadership! You cannot and will not have this child!”
Malon thrashed with all her might but had to stop due to the severe pain at her ankles and wrists, every rash movement forced further tearing of her skin. “No…I’m not! Just let me have my babies in peace! I promise I won’t have them usurp Ganondorf’s place as leader. I don’t even care! Please-”
Another quick smack to the face stopped her pleas, “Enough!” Kotake fumed. She placed her hands back onto Malon’s belly with renewed vigor. “You must learn your place. If this is what it takes…”
Koume opened her palm above Malon’s crotch and began a slight pulling motion in the air; Malon yelped in shock as an unnatural heaving moved within her abdomen. She continued to beg the two crones to stop this madness but they presently ignored her appeals. She began weeping bitterly as she felt a small object slowly being dragged out of her. With one final yank and a screeching shout, a small bloody mass of flesh with a dangling piece of cord hovered in front of them. Malon blinked twice at the barely recognizable object, her mouth agape with revulsion.
“Behold your son.” Koume laughed uproariously. The entire fetus and its cord erupted into scorching flames. Kotake watched the object twist and writhe as Koume made the fetus dance through the air, much to the amusement of them both.
“No!” Malon screamed. She continued screaming as she looked on in disbelief at her unborn child burning away to ashes in front of her eyes. Her voice was hoarse but she kept screaming. Ignoring the pooling blood beneath her, she sobbed passionately to the point she had to gulp in air just to breathe. “You evil bitches! Why? Why!?” She shouted at them.
“I believe we already explained that to you.” Kotake intoned calmly, both of them staring at her disturbingly.
“Might as well remove the other…” Koume suggested as she let the string of ash fall to the floor.
“Get away from me!” Malon smoldered. No longer caring about the ripping of her flesh, she tore one hand off of the table with a cry. She knew in her heart that she couldn’t possibly win against two adept sorceresses but she couldn’t bear the thought of having the other child ripped out of her as well.
“Feisty one, isn’t she?” Kotake laughed before placing a steady grip on Malon’s free wrist, digging her nails into the oozing wounds caused by its escape from the wood.
“That’ll all be fixed sister when we wipe her mind. She won’t even know she is killing her lover until after she does it!” Koume cackled.
“You’re evil! You are horrid!” Malon yelled, trying with all her might to fight back against the magick that was now impressing itself upon her womb.
“Easy does it…” Koume serenaded as if lulling a child to sleep.
Malon couldn’t restrain her bawling as she felt that all too familiar hand of sorcery reach deep inside and begin to tug on her other child. She could feel the fetus moving closer to the canal which would ultimately spell its doom as it would be forcibly yanked out of her cleft and into the open air. She moaned loudly as the child’s cord began to slowly make its way up the canal.
An arrow whizzed through the air before sinking itself deeply into Koume’s throat, so intent they were on removing Malon’s unborn child that they did not realize intruders had stepped into their midst. Koume stopped the flow of magick and reached up to her neck to feel the flow of warm blood gushing down her fingers. She gurgled an incoherent sound as another arrow thunked into her head, the arrow tip bursting out of her eye. She turned to Kotake in supplication but collapsed to the floor.
Kotake pivoted to the interlopers to see a young youth with an arrow pointed right at her, beyond him were two Zoras of unknown identity. She barely had enough time to react to the third arrow as it sailed through the air. A wall of ice slammed up into the ceiling deflecting the blow. The youth was already on the move as he maneuvered around the thin wall with another arrow already nocked.
The witch was unprepared for such a full scale surprise assault and proceeded to blast the boy with a burst of ice. Turning to her left, the male Zora was upon her with a jagged scimitar slicing downwards through the air. She tucked herself into a ball and released a surge of energy knocking both the Zora and the young boy off their feet. She took the opening to scoop up her dying sister onto a broom she had just apparated and whisked off down the corridor, knocking the female Zora onto her rear.
Malon stared at her rescuers with indifferent eyes. Her whole body was numb and unresponsive. She cared little that she was saved. She cared little that Ashley maimed and possibly killed Koume. She cared little to what happened to her next. The child was gone…