Chapter 76 - Revelations of the Goddess
A gentle stroking of his wings awoke him. He lifted his head and rotated to the side to see who was manipulating his plumage. Seeing that it was Zelda, he smirked and plopped his head back onto the balled up fabric he had fashioned as a pillow. A quick pinch of the bone trailing the top of his appendage regained his attention. He looked back up at her with irritation. "Yes Zelda? It's the middle of the night. Is something wrong?" He tried his best to contain the impatience in his voice. All he wanted to do was get back to sleep.
She was kneeling next to him with an urgent look in her face, something in her eyes set him off into thinking something awful had occurred. She went to assuage his fears, "Nothing serious. But there is something that I feel should be done tonight. I don't believe we'll have another chance to come back this way." A waver was noted in her tone.
He pushed himself up onto his knees and looked around the cave at the others. Saria and Xavier were curled up together with Nabooru was sleeping further back against the far wall. Darunia was situated by the passage leading deeper while Cayla was nowhere to be found. He turned to her, "Is she out patrolling still?"
"I'm afraid so." Zelda sounded worried as she gazed out through cave mouth, the gale winds bringing snow into their sleeping alcove. "I've been awake this whole time, I just can't sleep. She hasn't stepped in once."
Link stood up and stretched his arms and wings, yawning as he did so. "I'd say just let her be. She is probably off somewhere trying to get her head on straight. I think it'd be to her benefit honestly." Zelda shot him a look but said nothing. Now fully awake, he faced her with curiosity evident in his eyes, "So what's going on?"
Zelda's focus turned to the passage leading past Darunia. Without turning to look at him, she asked, "Who actually found this cave?"
Link rotated his arm until he felt a good pop in his shoulder before answering, "I recall hearing that Saria found it while being carried by Darunia. Why?"
She nodded at this confirmation of her suspicions. "It is as I thought."
“What?" Link asked quizzically, utterly confused he had no choice but to follow the determined Zelda past the sleeping Goron king and down the dimly lit passage. The glimmer of light still emanating from the glowing embers of the fire did little to illuminate the dark tunnel; regardless, it did not slow her down. She weaved through the passage until she reached the spring at the base of the decline. It was more of an underground freshwater lake.
Link stood at the edge of the tarn looking out across its inky blackness, spying several stalactites descending from the roof of the cavern and dipping deep into the waters. Without waiting for a response, Zelda continued talking as if he weren't even there, "The Kokiri, I've suspected, have always had a special connection with the Goddess Hylia. I can't exactly prove my theory, but it is something I've come to believe. I don't think it was an accident Saria felt drawn to this specific cave on the mountainside. I think she was feeling the holy essence of this spring." She raised a hand to indicate the water before her.
"I'm not following Zelda. Why is it you brought me here?" A slight tone of concern pervaded his words, he was worried about her and was wondering if she wasn't under some despicable spell or sorcery. He debated whether going back for his sword by his pack or apparating one into his hand. He liked the idea of having a weapon at a moment's notice but loved the feeling of actual steel in his palms.
Zelda closed her eyes. Should she go through with this? Impa said she had to relive memories of her past self to truly understand who she was. Could she truly ask her dearest friend to drown her in this spring to be reborn in the past? What if she was wrong? What if this wasn't the right place and she ended up drowning for real? Should she take that chance?
With one final, shuddering breath, she smoothly slid the nightdress off her shoulders and let it slip to the ground. The chill of the air assaulted her warm skin, making her shiver involuntarily. Link's eyes bulged as he beheld the nude form of Zelda leisurely treading into the surprisingly warm water. The combination of seeing Zelda unclothed and the dream he was awoken from involving Malon did little to contain his rising interest. He admonished his body for revealing his wicked thoughts unbidden. She was his friend, not his lover!
She waded in as deep as her stomach before turning to Link, revealing her gorgeous beauty, completely unashamed. If she noticed his throbbing bulge, she did little to draw attention to it; instead she beckoned him to enter the water beside her. "Please come beside me Link. There is something important I must ask you to do."
"O..ok." Link stuttered. Visions of the night when he and Zelda almost copulated back in the Gerudo fortress flashed before his eyes. He was exceedingly jumpy and speculated just what exactly she was wanting from him. Slightly embarrassed at his longing for her, he grimaced the moment he splashed out into the water, soaking the entire length of his tights. His wings were unwieldy and obtrusive when it came to swimming. He still hadn't mastered the art of controlling them when they were so buoyant in the water.
At length he managed to make it to her location and gently grabbed her hand for support. She giggled at his ineptness. "They do make you a bit of a klutz don't they?" She beamed.
He scowled at her, "You try growing wings and see how well you adjust! I've gotten used to them mostly, but in the water, I'm helpless!" Link exasperated.
Zelda shook her head in mirth at her dear friend. She guided him by the hand closer to her until they were mere inches from each other. Link was blushing a furious red. Why were such wayward thoughts churning in his head right now? Zelda took a deep breath and looked him straight in the eyes before saying softly, "Link, I want you to place my entire body under the water and hold me there."
Link blinked twice, he hadn't quite heard her right. "You want me to bathe you?" He asked incredulously, cocking his head slightly at the foreign prospect. She could have asked for far worse things. She was always massaging his wings for him. This shouldn't be too deviant regarding their friendship. He could do this for her.
Zelda chuckled at his inability to grasp what she was asking, "As much as I'd like that," the glow in Link's cheeks burned hotter, "I'm asking for you to hold me under the water until I am no longer breathing. Even if I kick and scream to be let up, do not let me go. Force me to stay under the water. This is necessary."
Whatever carnal interest was building inside his loins, it instantly wilted the moment he realized what she was requesting him to do. She was asking him to drown her! "Zelda…I can't." He moaned miserably. "Why are you asking me this?" He took a few paces back, causing ripples to shatter the smooth glass surface around them.
"I can't really explain right now. Impa did this to me once before." She tried to reach out for his hand that he had withdrawn, hoping to draw him back in.
"Impa drowned you once before?" Link exclaimed. He couldn't believe that the Sheikah would do something like that!
She nodded her head helplessly. She could sense she was losing him. "It is the only way to revisit memories of who I once was. Impa said it was the key to helping us win this war!" Zelda cried inwardly. How crazy her proclamations sounded coming from her lips, even she admitted how irrational they seemed. One look on Link's face sealed her fate. She knew she had lost him. He was preparing to get out of the water and leave. "Please…Link, I know I am asking you to do the unthinkable."
As if remembering something from a dream, Navi slammed into Link's head with the force of a banging gong, Link! Listen to her! Remember that creepy man back in Glaun'rung with the masks?
"You were awake for that?" Link spoke. Zelda was confused for a moment before realizing that he was talking to his inner guardian fairy, Navi. "I thought it was all just a dream." He finished.
Part of it was, but we were most certainly awake. Because I remember your conversation with him! The ringing of her voice was grating in his mind, he wished she would calm down and talk softer. That man said Zelda would one day ask us to do the unthinkable. We should listen to her!
"And why should we trust him? He is just some crazy old man who gave me the worst 'gift' imaginable. What if he was lying?" Link spouted back; clearly angry at having to revisit a bad memory.
Have I ever steered you wrong? Link snorted at this but allowed her to continue. Listen, I may not agree with this course of action Zelda is asking us to do, but I do know there is something familiar about it that I can't place my finger on.
"And what if we are wrong?" Tears began to form at the edges of his eyes, "I would have killed one of my friends."
Trust in me Link, just like you trusted in Saria. We each have connections to the Goddess. Something about this place speaks to me as being sacred. I can't describe it, but I can feel it. Will you do as she asks? Her chime was pleading but insistent.
Wiping the tears away with his forearm, he spun around back to Zelda, who seemed a bit taken aback from his sudden change in demeanor. He marched up to her and spoke firmly, "I will do as you ask this one time. Do not ask me to hurt one of my friends again, even yourself."
Zelda numbly bowed her head and flashed a weak smile, she wasn't sure if she had crossed a fatal line in their friendship. She had no idea how protective Link was for her and the others. Her cheeks flushed as he laid his strong hands on her frame. Her body reacting to his warm touch as she arched up to allow his other arm to reach below her and steady her back. With one hand on her chest and beneath her body, he lovingly lowered her into the water.
She embraced the warm liquid enveloping her body, wrapping her like an earnest blanket. She was nervous when Impa performed this on her so many moons ago but with Link she was completely at ease. The urge to breathe began to rise within her chest. She winced as she knew the inevitable was going to occur, it would hurt so much. Water began flowing into her throat and gurgling out her nostrils as her legs kicked out in automatic response. She flailed and screamed into the water as the seething burn wracked her insides, but true to his word, he kept her firmly beneath the surface.
With one final cry, she awoke upon the mountaintop once more. The grotesque abomination stood before her, its black scales oozing vile toxins down its sides giving it a gleaming coat of poison. Its multi-tiered laughter made her skin crawl just hearing it again, "It seems, my Goddess, that your champion has fallen." The beast growled feverishly.
The name of the foul demon crouching before her sprung to her lips as if she had known it all her life, "Demise, you cannot win this battle." She gripped her flowing, shimmering cloak about her and stared down the slavering monster.
Demise looked up into the sky at the rising island of stone, the last lingering demons slipping from its edges and falling to their doom below. A blood curdling cackle emerged from its gullet as froth began to form at the sides of its razor bordered maw. "I may have lost the prize of your subjects, but I can still attain your soul Hylia!"
Leaping from its six legs, it bounded towards her with unnatural speed. Hylia cried out in shock as she raised a hand to defend herself. A discharge of pure light erupted from her fingertips and smote the demon lord in the chest, blasting him out of the air before toppling him over the cliff face. She raced to the edge and peered over onto the war torn plains below, hoping to see some confirmation of the demon's corpse.
"I will enjoy ripping your spirit from your bloodied carcass right before I devour your body!" Demise bellowed. Hylia shuddered as she witnessed the twisted limbs scrambling up the sheer bluff like some horrific spider, its maw open like some vile abyss eager to consume her.
With a cry, she vaulted herself into the air as the snapping jaws clamped shut around the very air she had previous occupied. With a roar of fury, Demise leaped into the air to ensnare the floating Goddess but just missed. He thundered a terrible scream as he fell to the plains below. With a breath of relief, she directed her flight towards her fallen champion.
The Gorons were putting up a decent fight against the demonic horde. The Zoras had all but been wiped out. Several of her faithful robot servants were valiantly fighting a losing battle against several Hungers who were ripping them to shreds with their internal mandibles. Worse yet, many of her subjects were being assaulted by vile bug-like demons that invaded their mouths, wriggling down their throats and twisting them inside out before moving onto their next victim. She wanted to weep for her loyal subjects. They were all encircled around the object of her attention.
Her champion had fallen, his body shredded to ribbons, yet he remained remotely alive; his heart still beating feebly beside his form. A young red-headed man was next to him pouring his energies into his torn body, keeping him alive despite all odds. Hylia had begun to move forward to comfort her hero but was stopped by a low snarl. Shutting her eyes tight, she deliberately turned to face her mortal enemy.
She opened her eyes to look upon his bipedal form. The raging mane of fire was now his hair, its repulsive flames biting at the sky. In his hand was a jagged sword of immense length and size. She knew that sword well, for it was the interloper who had caused the rift between their worlds and brought misery upon them all. To impersonate her champion and trick the immortal being who stood outside of time, that despicable creature should be thrown into the depths of Din's forge.
"You have nowhere to run, my Goddess." The last words were hurled with mocking disdain. "I suggest you run and flee like those Humas you so dearly love. There is no hope for you anymore. Where have you hidden the golden triangles? Hand over the Triforce and I just may let you die a swift death." The demon lord laughed cruelly.
"The Triforce is not mine to give or to have. It was my duty to protect it from misuse. You cannot use it, for the same reasons I cannot! The Triforce has gone to a place which you will never reach, a sacred place that evil will never violate. There to be protected by my devoted people." Hylia shouted back, sparks of light emanating from her fingers, a spell upon her lips.
"They rest in the hands of Humas? Curse you Goddess! Ah…but what if I devoured your soul and made it mine? Would that change things I wonder?" Demise mused. Seeing that the pretense of negotiations were over, he advanced upon the Goddess.
The red-haired man stepped up beside Hylia, a resolute expression on his face. She looked down upon his slender form. "My friend! If you stop your healing, he will most certainly die!" A look of shock splayed across her face.
"My lady," Without looking at her, he bowed his head in reverence, "If I do not assist you, then you will die."
Setting her face with resolve, she turned back to the approaching demon lord, "Very well. Let us defeat this menace together."
Ignoring the shrieking cries and bloody images of her subjects being torn apart by the demonic horde, the two beings combined their magick together. Demise raised a flaming eyebrow at their unexpected response. Before he knew what had happened, a dazzling sword exploded from their hands and slammed itself deep into his forehead. A look of utter surprise solidified on Demise's face as the sheer force of the impact collapsed the ground around them forming a deep, spiraling crater. With one, final, agonizing cry, the visage of Demise faded into the ground, sealed beneath the sword now turned to solid stone. A glowing symbol was all that was left of where the demon lord had stood.
As the dust and debris settled about them, Hylia looked above her at the newly formed mesa. Their lord having been defeated, the demons skirled and brayed before fleeing to the far corners of the realm. Exhausted from their conjoined spell, she stepped over to where her champion's body lay and collapsed next to him. She lifted his upper body into her arms and gazed down upon her most loyal and true subject. She wept bitterly over his battered form.
"My dearest hero, Link. Your imprisonment was willed by the heavens. By the hands of our enemy, you were imprisoned unjustly, however it was meant to make you strong. Like a sword hammered and honed so that it would never break, it was necessary to transform you into one fit to wield the Master Sword." The champion's eyes fluttered as he gazed adoringly into his Goddess's eyes. Her smile was one of sadness as she continued, "The sword was tempered by your spirit. You woke it, and it will serve its master faithfully for all eternity. This is because you deeply loved the land of Hylia and all its people, as I do."
The red-haired man edged up beside Hylia, forlornly regarding the one true hero. Without regard to his presence Hylia held Link's gaze as she continued to speak to him, a frail smile continuing to display on her face. "But because of this, your life has been full of suffering. I have watched you, and felt your pain like a knife through my body. I will ensure that your gentle, heroic spirit will live on eternally. And I…I shall shed my divinity. The next time we meet, I wish to stand before you as a simple Huma. Whenever the land of Hylia is in danger…we shall be reborn."
Link's heart rested outside of his body, its pulsations beating faintly as he listened to her words. His soul finally at peace, the organ finally beat its last as an exhalation of respite released itself from his lips. At long last, he slumped in her arms dead. Her loyal servant knelt down beside her as she wept terribly over the loss of her champion. He placed a meager hand on her shoulder, giving her a warm grin to let her know that it was over and all would be well.
Without letting go of Link, Hylia turned to the man, "My dear Ballos. You are ever loyal to the last. Will you grant me one last favor?"
Ballos bowed his head low, "Anything, my lady."
"Take that lovely harp of yours and play a song for Link. Seal his courage, determination and heroism for all time. Keep it with you as a symbol of our pact. May your kin serve as protectors of the Triforce and…of me." She requested.
Placing a supple hand on the harp brought forth from the folds of the man's satchel at his waist, she blessed the instrument before allowing him to play. Within minutes, Link's body had dissolved to nothing but ashes on the wind. What was left behind was a mask of his visage, eyes glowing white. Taking the mask deferentially, he placed it carefully into his bag; the first of many.
Ballos looked at the sunken form of his creator, heartache in his voice, "Must you go?" He wrung his hands with the gravity of it all.
Sparkles of light began to ascend from her form as Hylia slowly faded away. She took in his face one last time before vanishing into the winds, "Yes, my dear Ballos. Keep the smile that I so love on your face, I want you to remember the happy times. Farewell my faithful servant." In one single, defining moment, Ballos was left alone in the crater left behind from Demise's defeat. He stood there for days staring at the place Hylia disappeared.
Zelda surged out of the water nearly knocking Link over in the process. She screamed out in terror at having witnessed her own death. Clearly alarmed at her feral behavior, Link made a motion to calm her down. Sensing movement, Zelda shot forth a blast of light in his general direction. Link swooped out of the way just in time as it flitted past his left wing, blistering his feathers. A low rumble shook the mountain as the energy hit the far wall across the lake, causing a dark scorch mark to appear on the rock face.
"Zelda?" Link asked nervously, picking himself up from the water. "Is everything okay?"
She had been lost in her own world, slowly taking in the new found knowledge of who she was and what she was capable of. She was entranced with her hands, as sparkles of holy magick danced around her fingertips. Only at the sound of his voice did she turn her head in his direction. A brief moment of confusion passed over her features before she recognized him.
"Link?" She queried flatly. So this was her champion reborn. Dear Nayru, he was even more beautiful now than he had ever been. And now here she was, a mortal Huma like him. She never wanted him more than she did now. "Link." She confirmed with finality. She strode through the liquid as if it wasn't there. In one full motion, she wrapped her arms around Link, deftly maneuvering around his wings. She placed her lips determinedly against his.
A muffled cry of surprise was suppressed as Zelda's hands roved over his naked chest and back. He couldn't explain it, but a highly erotic euphoria was diffusing through his body instantly making him hunger with lust. Another yelp of shock emerged from his mouth as she floated them over to the dry rock beside the cavernous lagoon, unable to comprehend what was happening. She was straddled atop him. Her hips were grinding hard against his member, now begging for merciful relief.
"Zelda…please…stop…what are you-" His brief moment of respite from her intoxicating kiss was short lived as she pressed her lips back onto his. The feel of her lips, the scent of roses permeating his nostrils, all of it was sending him into irrational thoughts. He could barely think, somehow she was unaware of what she was doing to him. She was using some magick to harness his inner, lascivious need and he could barely resist it any longer.
She withdrew from him, roughly grabbed his wings and gathered them around her, forcing them to encircle her nude form. Link cried out in discomfort as she held them there with a force he couldn't see. Her eyes were not her own. She was looking at him, but it was not him she was ultimately seeing. Her voice was husky, her breath hoarse, "Link, your Goddess demands it."
With a wave of her hands, his tights disappeared as if they were never there. Link squeaked at this new, interesting wrinkle to this awkward situation. With renewed vigor, Zelda grinded her folds across his swollen phallus, moaning deeply at the silky, yet hard feeling of it. Link groaned in agony at the pleasure of it all, he was about ready to tip over the precipice when a single thought, a single voice cried out in his haze of lust.
Link! Think of Malon! This is not what you should be doing! Navi screamed into his brain.
Seeing Zelda rise her hips up to take him fully into her, he moved his legs to the side quickly as she descended down onto his thigh. A note of annoyance entered her manner as she looked down at why she was being denied what she was seeking. "Zelda!" Link gasped, clearly in misery at having to deny even himself this exquisite pleasure. "You are not yourself. I am bound to Malon. Please understand!"
A brief moment passed as she stared down at him, finally her pupils dilated as she took him in fully with her eyes. She glanced down at the position they were in and gasped in dismay. In an instant, his wings were released from their hold and they dropped like dead weights onto the rock. She hastily disentangled herself from him before apologizing, "I'm so sorry Link. I don't know what came over me."
Link sat back up, but decided it best to avoid standing in hopes of making his attraction less visible to her. He stretched his plumage, it felt so eerie to have it held enthralled like that. "Is everything all right? What happened? You were only under the water for a few seconds after you went limp."
Zelda walked over to her night gown and pulled it up to her chest, trying to be modest about her nudity. "I now know who I am. I am the physical reincarnation of the Goddess Hylia. I now know who you are and what the mask we retrieved from Glaun'rung is." Her focus flickered down to his raging member, she hesitated, "Were you actually going through with it?"
He shot her a look of crossness, "Well, excuse me 'Goddess!' You weren't the one who was suddenly assaulted by the reincarnation of a holy being who apparently has powers to completely dull your senses and succumb to their every wish!"
She drew her gaze to the floor in shame, "I'm very sorry Link. I didn't know where I was or who I was." She shivered slightly at the chill in the air, "Can we go back to the others and get into our bags where it's warmer? I'll explain everything to everyone tomorrow morning."
Now that there was no restraint betwixt them, Link stood up unabashed about his nude form. He walked over to Zelda and gently tugged on her gown. After some reluctance, she let him take it from her. He beamed fondly, "I have an idea that will help the both of us."
She allowed him to lead her to their bedrolls. The others had surprisingly slept through the commotion. Cayla was still nowhere to be seen. She made to grab another piece of dry clothing from her bag when he stopped her with a gentle hand on her wrist. "Do you trust me? Nabooru taught me something about sleeping in cold weather."
Zelda took in his gesture as he offered to share his sleeping bag with her, she looked up at him with disbelief, "You want us to share a roll together? Naked? Wasn't it awkward with your wings?"
"Zelda," Link began, "I may not be able to…help you in the way you were needing at the spring, but let me at least keep you warm tonight. It is the least I can do for my…Goddess." He hesitated before adding the last word, still unsure if what she was saying was truth at all.
Timid at the situation, especially with so many witnesses in the cave, she shyly slipped herself into the folds of the bag. He came in beside her, ensuring that he was further up so his wings could be free of the bag. She flushed as he wrapped his arms around her stomach and held her close. After a few minutes of silence, the tenseness in her muscles relaxed as she realized Link was right, it really was a lot warmer sleeping nude with another to share the body heat with.
A small voice interrupted their reverie, "Seriously Link? Must you try and impregnate every girl you know?"
Link jerked his head hard to look back over his wings at Saria, her eyes looking at them in the dark as she leaned back against Xavier. "Saria? Were you watching us this whole time?"
"Kind of hard not to with you two coming in after a huge explosion happened just down that passage you came from." Saria waved her hand off in its general direction. Not waiting for a response, she continued to grill him, "So why are you two naked then if you aren't intending on giving her a child like you did me?"
It was Zelda's turn to jerk around to look at Link, "You did what?" She stammered.
Link rapidly turned from Saria to Zelda and back again, "It's not what you think. Saria! That was between us!"
"Link? Is this true? How could you even-?" Zelda was appalled that such a coupling even took place, Saria appeared like a child!
"It was not how it was!" Link was fumbling with his words, his thoughts swirling madly out of control. He jerked back to Saria. "We're naked only because it's better to share the warmth between two people without cold or wet clothing." He feebly tried to explain the briskly deteriorating situation to the Kokiri.
"Is that true? Thank Farore!" Saria exclaimed as she hopped up from her bundle of furs. With one nimble movement, she stripped herself of her tailor made Kokiri clothing and forced her way into the bag with them. "You have no idea how ineffectual Xavier is as a sleeping buddy. She can't hold heat in worth anything!"
"Saria…no! Ack!" Link yelped as Saria's fingers and toes attacked his body with fervor, they were icicles piercing his skin like cold daggers. "You are freezing!" He yelled, his wings entangling them all as him and Zelda strived to escape her frozen clutches.
"Link!" Zelda gasped as an errant foot touched her backside, sending shivers of frost up her spine. "How could you defile her like that!" She made to get out of the bag only to have his flailing wingtip bash her across the head, throwing her back down on top of them both.
Oblivious to the raging misunderstanding between Zelda and Link, Saria was lost in the warmth of their bodies. "Oh…You have no idea how hot you two are! You were right Link! Sharing a bag with someone is infinitely better!" She smugly grinned as she curled up close to Link's squirming body.
"Its…not…" more shifting of bodies, "like…that!" Link wheezed.
A cool laugh emitted from Nabooru's bag, she was propped up on one hand as she gazed amused at their position. However, with stark realization, Link realized that she wasn't exactly laughing at their awkward situation but rather who had just walked in to view it. Cayla was standing just feet away from the three of them, a tangle of nude bodies, limbs and feathers. Hands on her hips, a look of scorn was evident on her face.
Link sheepishly wiggled away from Saria's cold body, "Cayla…I can explain."