Chapter 91 - Becoming a God
Zelda backed up a few paces as she stared up at the hideous mask. Ganondorf had risen up to his full height but he was not in control of his own body. The fighting around them had ceased. Everyone was looking at the new intruder in their midst, something clearly not right. With a flourish, Majora swept back his cape and looked around the group, making sure to make brief eye contact with each one.
“What a delightful band of merry folks you’ve gathered here today Hylia! It seems to be quite the successful turn out!” A small gurgle of laughter reverberated within Ganondorf’s throat.
Holding his sword aloft, pointing it directly at Majora, Link stepped close to Zelda and placed a protective arm around her waist. “I thought I said to find the one person who would be able to resist its control so we could destroy it! Do you not remember our talk?”
Her shoulders tensed as Majora’s gaze swooped back onto the two them. She quickly whispered out of the side of her mouth, “When you said the Triforce had already been split when Ganondorf touched it, I figured he would still have it. What better to resist it than if you had the Triforce of Power?”
Link’s eyes were rooted as Majora examined him strangely, tilting its face awkwardly this way and that, deciding what exactly to do with him. He susurrated, “Oh, now you take my stories to heart? You probably just gave Majora the power of the Triforce as well!” He swore harshly under his breath.
“I know you.” Majora churned, raising a finger up and pointing at Link’s chest. “Yes…your face is familiar to me. You deceived me into thinking you were only there to alleviate my endless torture of being the lock that binds this world together. You were just like all the others…coming to claim my power! I should have eaten you when I had the chance!”
Zelda’s memories came flooding back, she recalled her champion being imprisoned for a crime he did not commit, a being sent by Demise under Link’s guise tasked with destroying Majora. She was just a dragon eternal then, one of the eldest, who stood outside the bounds of time to keep neutrality between the principalities of the world. She stood at the epicenter of space and time to maintain the balance. Upon her death at the deceit of Demise’s greatest weapon, he entered their world seeking the Triforce, causing the first war for the Triforce.
Link shuffled his feet, dragging Zelda back with him as Majora advanced upon them. Everyone was silent, even Naar and the Kokiri were watching with rapt attention at what was to occur next. “It’s not his fault!” Zelda exclaimed heatedly.
The masked face swiveled to her, its beady green eyes dissecting her soul. “Of course it wasn’t, was it Hylia? Always the defender of your precious champion! He is a brigand and a liar!” The voice boomed through the temple. “I have grown weary of your incessant warring Hylia. I was always to keep the balance, but neither you nor Demise honored my duty. Were we not placed here by the Goddesses to guide the Huma’s path to divinity? To show them that there is a better path? Look where your petty quarrel has got you now!” Majora extended an arm and swung it around the group. “A far cry from what the Goddesses decreed!”
Kotake, due to some inner instinct to protect her king, plunged down sharply before leaping off her broom, remarkably spry in her old age. She stromped right up to the imposing Gerudo king with the parasitic mask enveloping his features and waggled a knobby finger, “I don’t know what you are but you release my son right now!”
Majora crooked its head at an angle as it glared down at the stunted witch, “But he was never really your son, now was he?” Kotake took a step back as she gasped at the awful allegation. “Always pulling the strings of your own people, there is a reason your tribe is doomed to die. You have thrown your allegiance to those who would seek evil and conquer the Triforce. You have failed and you will be punished for it.” The last sentence was delivered with a deeper vibrato than previous. It was as if Ganondorf himself spoke it rather than Majora.
A dreadful shriek erupted from Kotake as her very flesh started melting off her bones. She tore at the air as she tried to emit small puffs of flame or shards of ice to ram it through the body of her king. Presently, her arms slumped to her sides as her clothes swallowed her whole. Reddish pink goo slithered out of the openings of her fabrics, slowly spreading into a disgustingly sticky mess.
Everyone backed up from the lethal figure, still bellowing with laughter from the death of the old hag. It seemed to dance wickedly as it clapped its hands. “That felt remarkable!” It gleefully crowed. Spinning swiftly, it locked eyes on Zelda once more. “You should thank me. I am about to put an end to your silly struggle with Demise. There have been far too many attempts to claim the Triforce which has brought nothing but hardship for me. I’ve lost count how many times I had to restore the balance. Well, no more! With the Triforce of Power in my grasp, I will make sure there is nothing left to fight over!”
With a high pitched, raging snicker, Majora raised his hands to the ceiling. With an earth shattering crack, the entire ground shifted beneath their feet. Everyone fell to their knees as the entire roof of the temple exploded outward. Chunks of marble and alabaster hurtled through the air, some pieces landing as far south as the remnants of Lon Lon Ranch. Several of them screamed as the remaining portions of the roof collapsed around them.
The sky was wide open with blistering winds swelling the falling snow, smacking the small pieces of hail into their faces. Looking above, the entire earth trembled as the rising moon slowly began to rotate. Majora continued to raise its arms high as it laughed maniacally. Malon and Giana screamed with fright when they saw the horrible visage upon the moon. A horrific pair of red eyes glowered down upon them all, with a huge macabre smile revealing rotted teeth.
“No…no…no!” Link moaned as he stared in disbelief at the spectatcle above them. “It’s happening all over again!”
Zelda began crying, “I’m so sorry Link! I thought I was doing the right thing! I thought I had made the right decision!”
Lowering its head to regard Zelda one last time, Majora purred, “When there is nothing left of this world, then there will be nothing left to fight over. Balance shall be restored!” With a hoot, Ganondorf’s body rose into the air and soared off southwards.
With the immediate danger passed, Nabooru walked up to Link, placing a palm on his shoulder nearly causing him to jump with surprise. “Link, we need to go. There is nothing left for us here.”
Navi gonged out a warning. Link pushed Nabooru aside as he jerked his head back. A small dagger sailed through the air where their heads had been. He twisted around to block the incoming blow from Naar. Bringing his sword down, he swatted Naar’s to the side. The general quickly followed it up by apparating a small dagger and thrusting it forward towards Link’s belly. Shifting his weight, Link altered his shield to that of short spear and stabbing downwards into Naar’s arm, knocking him off balance.
“It’s just as well!” Naar cursed as he lay on the tile, rabidly trying to remove the spear pierced through his forearm. “May Majora burn all you Hylians to dust!”
With a wrathful cry, Link sliced Naar’s head off, watching it roll a few feet before settling onto its cheek. “Then you will die too! Do you not even care?”
Ripping the spear free, Naar’s body tossed it at Link who sidestepped it easily. It began to crawl over to its head to reattach. Naar spat venomously, “My life ended the moment my family was murdered!” His pupils glared at Zelda nearby, “Your grandfather ordered the execution of all Nevachrean nobility and government before he isolated us. They tied me to a post! They raped and burned my family in front of me! My wife! My little girl! May you all rot in Din’s Forge and Ballos claim your souls!”
Link snorted with disdain as he glanced over at Zelda, “They clearly haven’t got the bad news about Ballos have they?” Zelda returned the grin but dismissed it swiftly. Link plunged the Master Sword deep into Naar’s chest, twisting it and dragging his body back with it.
“You are no nephew of mine! You would rally to my cause and destroy those that harmed our family!” Naar seethed.
“Being family does not excuse your actions!” Link roared, trying in vain to keep Naar from reaching his head. The man’s strength was incredible, even while being plowed through by the Master Sword. Why was it not working? Wasn’t this the sword of evil’s bane? Shouldn’t it be preventing him from regenerating?
Josclyn observed the frenzied proceedings below when a fellow defiled Kokiri offered up the question, “Should we continue to attack?”
She thought about it a bit before responding, “No.” She looked off at the floating figure hovering over the fields south of them. The moon had begun to rain down what looked like tears from above. They were slowly growing red from entering the atmosphere and were gaining speed. “I think we have a far more drastic enemy we must combat. He could ruin all our plans.” With a flash of gossamer wings, they all soared off together into the night sky, intent on stopping Majora from its present course of action.
Nabooru had vaulted herself away from the skirmish and was currently embroiled in one of her own. Apolloni was twirling and spinning between her and Merin, clashing swords and snarling at each of them in turn. Seeing her final grip on sanity leave her in an extravagant display of devastation, she had no one left to anchor her firmly. She had nothing left but to lash out at those who she felt responsible for their current plight.
She snaked low before rising up to strike one weapon against Merin’s steel before flipping backwards over Nabooru’s swipe. She landed promptly on her feet before backhanding Merin with the butt of her scimitar, knocking her to the floor unconscious. She lunged forward after Nabooru, eager and intent to behead her fellow Elder.
“You were always his favorite! I always hated you for that!” She raved, thrusting forward with a blade.
Nabooru sifted through the attack before retaliating with one of her own, “Seems like you rectified that quite handily. How many times did you have to degrade yourself to get within his good graces? Probably at the tender age of ten I’d wager, you little whore.” She taunted.
Apolloni cried out in fury, “You filthy wretch! I tried so hard to be useful for him! To be the elder he wanted! And then there was you, the one person who wanted nothing to do with him and here you were, having children with other men! You fecund bitch! I will gouge out your eyes and shove them so far down your throat that you’ll be able to see my sword slice through your innards!” She somersaulted past another jab before rising up to ram her shoulder into Nabooru’s chest, pushing her off her feet.
“You can’t protect them forever old man!” Argonim laughed, tossing another apparated bomb at the base of Rauru’s barrier. It exploded in a cacophony of sound, forcing a grunt from Rauru as he strained to maintain the aura.
The Defilers had either all left with the Kokiri or were killed. Malon had retrieved her spear that had impaled one of the demons. She was crouched low next to Giana and Saria, each looking beyond Rauru at the beefy man assaulting them. At this rate, the ancient sage would lose ground and succumb to the successive blasts of his oppressor. When that happened, she needed to be ready to attack him with extreme prejudice.
Ashley was wheeling Epona about the fractured temple foyer, directing the mare around shattered columns and piles of rubble. He decided to take a more passive role in the conflict, preferring to hang back and fire poisoned arrows into the fray. He had struck two Kokiri earlier, prior to the masking of Ganondorf, and they were no longer a threat.
He tried to fire an arrow into the mix of Naar, Link and Zelda but the three of them were moving at such a high tempo that he dared not release another for fearing of striking one of his friends. The Cyn’Taak was of little help. It was clear it wanted to join in the battle and rip Naar to shreds, but the amputation of its tail had induced a lot of blood loss and she was exhausted. Its greenish life force spreading out beneath her, hope looked dim that she would survive the night if someone didn’t attend to her injury.
He attempted a few potshots at Apolloni but her internal instincts of survival seemed to have bolstered her situational awareness tenfold. She deflected the bolts handily with some almost scraping either Nabooru or Merin as they rebounded off her scimitars. He decided to wait that out until Apolloni was in a more compromising position to try that again.
Ashley’s focus rested on Argonim. He wasn’t doing anything particularly difficult, preferring to stand arrogantly and toss explosive devices towards the group of young girls. Spying the valid target, he nocked an arrow to the string and let it sail. It speared Argonim’s right arm straight through.
Argonim roared in agony as his right arm began to bubble up in bloody cysts. A rather jagged sword materialized in his left hand and he painfully brought it down upon his right shoulder, carving the arm straight off. He staggered to the side at the initial shock of the situation, his right arm flailing uselessly as it burst in a splattering mess. The large brute dropped to a knee as he panted in misery, clutching the stump of an arm as cerise fluid flowed past his fingers.
Seeing the opportunity, Malon cried out to Rauru, “Drop the shield! We need to strike now!”
Rauru nodded his consent and dispelled the barrier. In a flash, Malon hurried forward with the spear level, she gouged it straight through Argonim’s heart until it busted out the other side. Enraged at his own incompetence, he reached up and swiftly grabbed her by the neck with his lone hand. He raised her high as he rose to stand, her legs kicking fruitlessly in the air.
“It’s about time you died. Dead or not, you will be fine pleasure to me. I have no qualms fucking a corpse.” Ignoring the searing pain pulsing through his chest, Argonim began squeezing his palm around her neck tighter in preparation of snapping it.
With a boost of magickal speed from Rauru, Saria tore through the air with wings flustering. She had Link’s dagger up by her face and was extending it outward the closer she got to the colossal man. He saw the movement and attempted to toss Malon at Saria but it was already too late. Zipping right past his head, he didn’t realize what had happened until he felt the intense stinging all along his neck. A long streak of red began to form at his throat before his head lolled off to the side, hanging by a small thread of muscle and sinew.
Saria brought herself around, anticipating another pass but literally shook with relief as she saw Argonim drop Malon to the ground. She scrambled away on all fours as she coughed up spit, trying to breathe fresh air. “It’s hopeless.” Malon sobbed upon seeing Argonim resituate his head. “They just won’t die!”
Link had already cleaved Naar from sternum to groin, fatigued from fighting an insurmountable foe. He simply kicked Link back and began using his separated body halves to stuff his organs back in so he could regenerate anew. Link stared at the Master Sword and wondered why it wasn’t working like it should. If Naar had indeed acquired his power from the demons, shouldn’t it stop this blasphemous rejuvenation?
Then the idea finally hit him. The mask of Ballos blessed by Hylia! It didn’t function because pieces of it were missing! Each Nevachrean he had fought in this war revived because of their unique sliver embedded inside them from the mask! Rauru said he would have the ability to heal anyone or anything he touched for a short period of time. Would that work with the mask?
Electrified with purpose he shouted to Zelda, “Keep him busy for me! Do not let him get up!”
“Coward!” Naar roared. “Are you truly running away afraid because you cannot beat me?” Zelda swiftly shut him up by crushing his brain with her spiked baton, cringing slightly as she felt it crunch into his skull.
Tearing across the slippery tile, for it had been covered in the blood of multiple combantants; he skidded to a halt and dropped down to rip open the rucksack. Taking out the mask that looked so similar to his own face, he held it aloft and regarded it intensely. He exhaled in surprise as he felt a flow of energy percolate through his limbs and down into the mask. It was so subtle that he couldn’t perceive it at first but it didn’t take him long to realize that the lower cheeks of the mask were whole again.
“He’s not moving!” Zelda informed him loudly.
Still holding the mask, Link gripped the Master Sword and ran back to her. He looked down on the bloody mess that was Naar. He had been in the process of reforming when he restored the mask. He didn’t even get to say a word of protest. There was no fantastic blaze of glory. No grand ceremony. He simply died. Link stood dumbfounded that it was even real. His most hated foe of many cycles was finally dead. Without warning, he belted out a hearty laugh. Zelda looked at him alarmed but he couldn’t stop laughing at the absurdity of it all.
“Link! Is everything all right?” Zelda probed nervously. She had never seen him so entranced like this. He did not answer her but continued to gaze down at Naar’s body and laugh.
Argonim had noticed that Naar was unable to recover and recognized the danger he was currently in. He began to make a run for the temple entrance when a swift blast of air from Rauru aimed specifically at his feet flipped him over. Spiraling a full revolution, he landed squarely on his chin, nearly cracking his own neck.
Ashley began to take aim when Malon rose up a hand to stop him. “Don’t! He’s mine.” She intoned maliciously.
She paced forward and grabbed the arrow directly out of Ashley’s hand. He raised his eyebrows at her spunk but decided to let Malon have her justice. What business was it of his that she gets this one bit of solace? Standing next to the reeling brute, she kicked him over hard before stabbing the spear directly into his stomach. He grunted from the pain but continued to glare at her.
“You think so highly of yourself, don’t you?” Malon droned; her face an impassionate façade. With one hand she ripped down the front of his trousers to reveal his elongated phallus. She spied a dagger at his belt and yanked it out of its sheath. With one fluid motion, she lobbed off his member. Argonim howled like a raving animal as he twisted and writhed from the sudden shock to his body.
“May you receive what you’ve given others!” Malon yelled as she stuffed the abominable organ into his mouth before stabbing Ashley’s arrow into his forehead. She stepped back as his body ballooned outwards and finally exploded. She began shivering uncontrollably at what she had done. She crumpled to her knees and began puking up the contents of her stomach. Saria floated over to comfort her.
Nabooru had been dazed by Apolloni. Her ruby was cracked and fissured. Her perception of reality was skewed as a result. She had no idea how losing such an integral part of herself would be so incapacitating. She endeavored to creep over to her two swords that had been flung during the melee. She was almost upon them when a set of youthful hands grasped them. She looked up to see the beaming face of Ashley holding the cold steel.
Apolloni had hopped onto Merin’s back and was jerking her head back by the hair. She had a scimitar to her throat and was chortling at her victory. “And you,” Apolloni accused, saliva dripping into Merin’s ear, “thinking you could betray your own people and side with Hylians. You are no Gerudo! How dare you trick Ganondorf, your king, like that! You shall pay for your insolence!”
With a rapid gesture, she brought the sword to Merin’s scalp and began cutting into her head, agonizingly slicing off an inch of hair from her head. Merin shrieked and pounded the ground as it became unbearable. An intake of breath and a fresh flow of liquid poured over Merin’s face as the torture stopped. Merin craned her neck to look up to see two swords gutting Apolloni’s throat. The Gerudo’s eyes were rolling around, trying to comprehend what had happened.
“Stay away from my mother, you bitch!” Ashley boomed. Link and the others stood stock still, none had ever heard the boy speak a word until now. With a heave, he lifted the swords and threw Apolloni off Merin before rolling her over and hugging her dearly.
“Oh, Ashley!” Merin weeped, she began cradling his head and holding him tight. She kissed him by the ear many times. “I love you so much! My son…” Merin knew she may never have a child of her own flesh and blood but Ashley was as good as any.
Link walked among his friends, surveying the decimated scene. Naar and Argonim were dead. The last vestige of Ganondorf’s influence died with Apolloni, who was still choking and moaning on Nabooru’s scimitars. He jogged over to Xavier who was whimpering and clawing the tile as she attempted to rise up and give him a hug.
Without looking away from her eyes, he called out. “Rauru!” The old man promenaded over and looked down upon the beast. “Do you know of ways we can heal her?”
The man shook his head, “Not by myself.” He looked up at Zelda. “But with Hylia’s help, I just might be able to.”
“Yes. It is our responsibility to take care of her. We did take her from her rightful mother after all.” Zelda nodded gravely. She knelt down beside Rauru and they got straight to work.
Drained but unwilling to relax, Link made his rounds to ensure each of his friends were safe and okay. Setting aside the mask onto the floor, he sat down next to Giana as she huddled next to Saria. As he opened his arms, she abandoned the Kokiri and leaped into his embrace. She began bawling into his chest. He cuddled her into his arms allowing the stream of tears flow down his chest.
“It’s okay little one. Your knight is here. You are safe.” Link soothed.
Malon walked over and sat down next to them, he leaned over and they kissed passionately. Their eyes met and they shared a common sorrow, not only had Talon died but an unborn child as well. Link placed a hand on her belly. She clasped it with her own and held it firm. There was still one last symbol of their love still remaining. They would do everything in their power to protect it.
“Malon, I am so sorry that I left you behind. I-” Link began to apologize, crystalline tears forming at the corners of his eyes as he beseeched for forgiveness.
She placed a finger to his lips, “Please…don’t. We are here now. I love you.” Malon caressed his face, her fingers lingering on the fringes of his wounded eye. She moved in to kiss him again.
Several deep shockwaves coursed through the ground causing several to cry out in bewilderment. Rauru gazed upwards and pointed at the demonic moon. “Up there.” He informed. All eyes turned to the sky to see multitudes of meteors falling from the eyes of the moon. They were crashing into the earth spawning rising spires of flames and smoke. They could dimly hear the distant screaming of the army and their friends beyond the temple walls.
Nabooru got to her feet shakily and lurched over to Link before stumbling and utilizing him as a handhold. Her forehead throbbed and her vision was blurred, she had no idea if this condition was permenant with the passing of her ruby. “What do we do about Ma…Maje…” She stuttered on the name.
“Majora.” Link corrected decisively.
Both Zelda and Rauru glanced up from their work on Xavier to see what Link’s choice would be. Everyone turned to him for the answers. He felt that he didn’t have the answers. The solutions would not come to him. Why were they all relying on him to make the decision here? He looked down and saw Giana looking up at him with such hope in her eyes. She truly believed he was her knight and that he would deliver them all from evil.
Link’s eyes scanned around trying in vain to find something that might help him before it settled on the mask. His mask. It stared at him with its vacant white eyes, but there were no whispers coming from it. With resolve, he inclined over and picked up the mask and raised it to his face. Several things happened at once; Rauru stopped the healing and began running towards him, Saria’s eyes went wide with an unholy vision as remembrance slammed into her brain.
“Don’t lose control of yourself!” Rauru barked. “You are tainted! You have the Triforce of Courage but you now have that lust for power! Stop! I beg you!”
“Link! No!” Saria squealed. She levitated off the ground and began skyrocketing towards him in an effort to snag the mask from him.
All were in vain. The mask had touched his nose the moment Rauru spoke. Link’s upper body jerked back as blinding white light shout out of his mouth and eyes. An inhuman wail emerged from his throat as the very foundations of the temple around them began crumbling into dust. Giana yelped as she was thrust off of his lap and he shot backwards clear across the ground before hitting a pile of rubble, his tattered green tunic turning a pale shade of blue.
Link clawed at the tile, sliding across the floor as energy surged through his very being, trying to rip him apart. Nabooru, Merin and Saria cried out as one as they both saw the terrible scene before them. Even Malon, who recently recalled her nightmare, saw it coming to life. Sprouting from the destroyed nubs of his glorious white wings were six lengthy appendages. They fanned out in a circular pattern, three on each side. His feathers were of pitchest black and reeked of malice.
With one final bellow, Link slumped to the ground. All was quiet as they beheld this new being before them. Some wondered if it was still Link, but Nabooru, Merin, Saria, Malon and Rauru knew better. At length, Link pushed himself off the ground and considered the people around him. The scarlet warpaint around his eyes and azure runes inscribed on his forehead gave him a frightening appearance. He concentrated on Zelda alone.
With the deep voice of a hundred souls he spoke, “Hylia, where is my sword?”