The Legend of Zelda: The Alternate Link

Chapter 27: Fighting the Unseen

Running. It was an action that many associated with cowardice, but that wasn't necessarily true. Running got you places faster, it was great exercise, and, Kid viewed this asset as the most important, it could save your life. For instance, when there's a monster larger than a building after you, running was the best option. Of course, admiring its colossal beauty was an option too, but that would ensure your imminent death in about five seconds flat.

That was why they had turned tail as soon as the creature had blinked. The sheer size of its eye was enough to deter them from loitering there to catch a glimpse of whatever being it belonged to. Their small group careened around a left turn. Despite their head start, Kid could hear the creature behind them. It was a consistent pounding that caused the ground to heave. Somehow they managed to keep running despite the tremors.

They turned yet another corner, and Kid instantly noticed that the sounds of pursuit were fading away. Slowing to a jog Kid, turned around. As expected, nothing was there. A small group of blue and green colored mushrooms illuminated their path.

"Did we lose it?" Tetra wondered, as she slowed down her pace with everyone else.

"That seems unlikely," Princess Zelda pointed out.

"Yeah, but maybe its sight isn't as great as we think," Link suggested. A loud boom sounded from ahead of them, startling them all into silence. They stared in the direction that the noise had come from, expecting to see something. However, when a few seconds passed, and they saw nothing, they became confused. A large shadow fell over their group, and they all looked to the sky.

It was unclear as to what was causing the shadow. Choosing not to tempt the fates, they hurried away from the dark outline. A second after Kid managed to get out of the way, the guardian came crashing down. Everyone else had been ahead of him and had the time to distance themselves a little more. The force of the creature arriving sent out a tidal wave like tremor which threw Kid forward a few feet. The breath was knocked out of him when he landed but only for a split second. He got to his knees and looked behind him.

The guardian was huge to say the least, and its appearance was also a strange one. For the most part it resembled a deadly spider with intimidating pincers that could end his life with one snap. The strangest thing about it was probably the faint green, paper-like wings protruding from its back. They looked too fragile and out of place for the guardian's commanding presence. Still, it explained how it got above them in the first place.

Kid got to his feet drawing his sword and backing up towards his companions who had also drawn their weapons and were staring up at, the hulking mass of brown that was the guardian.

It opened its mouth wide, and let out an ear-splitting screech that made them all cringe. The guardian then charged at them, its agility shocking him. In less than two steps it was practically on top of them. Kid dodged to the right when it tried to impale him with one of its long brown legs. He focused on weaving through its spindly appendages instead of running directly under its body, lest it decided to crush him beneath its full weight.

Two more legs and then he'd be free. Suddenly the obstacles disappeared right in front of his eyes. One moment they were there, the next they were gone as if they'd never existed. Kid skidded to a stop and looked skyward, wondering if it had jumped. That was impossible though. He'd been watching the legs the entire time and not once had they bent in unison to indicate a leap.

Kid glanced around him, shooting his companions a puzzled look which was returned to him in a second. Even though he couldn't see anything, Kid could still sense a lingering presence. He didn't know how he knew. It was just a sudden feeling, like the eerie sensation that comes with being watched.

A flash of blue caught his eye, and he turned toward the source. Princess Zelda had put up her magical barrier of blue light. He didn't get why until a second later. Something banged against the outside of the shield and a familiar screech met their ears. It wasn't like the triumphant one from before. This cry held anger in it.

"Watch the ground closely," Princess Zelda ordered. "There's a faint shadow of the guardian visible." Kid directed his befuddled gaze to the ground. A shadowy outline of the creature could be seen. So it hadn't moved, just turned invisible. He scanned the rest of the floor carefully. He noted a brief second of movement and turned his attention towards it.

"Tetra, move!" Kid called to her, realizing that it was planning to strike her from above. She nimbly leaped to the side, and what he supposed to be one of the legs came crashing down in the place she'd previously been standing, the soft soil breaking under the pressure.

A second later Kid was surprised by an attack. His attention had been on Tetra and this had left him susceptible to the creature who kicked him away with an invisible leg. He didn't go very far until his back slammed into the wall. Pain registered in his mind, but he was so used to working around it by now that it was easily ignored. Kid stumbled to his feet.

"How are we supposed to fight what we can't see?!" Tetra screamed in annoyance, dodging another attack as she made her way towards him.

"Let's try to lose it again, so we can think," Link recommended, motioning for them all to follow him. Kid fell into step beside Tetra, and the princess caught up to them soon enough. They sprinted away from the invisible creature with Link in the lead. The loud thuds and pounding of the ground were the only indicators that it was following them.

Three turns later and the sounds of pursuit faded. Kid knew that meant next to nothing though. When it lost sight of them, it took advantage of its feeble wings to search for them with an aerial view of the entire web of earth-made walls they were entangled in. It wouldn't be long until it arrived.

"We could fight it using its shadow," Zelda proposed.

"That's too unreliable. Especially here," Tetra argued, gesturing around them. This section of the great maze was poorly lit. The lighting wasn't suitable enough to provide much of a shadow.

"There must be another way…" Link mused, staring at the ground hard in thought. A boom much like the one from before startled them all out of their thoughts and back on guard. Kid watched the ground, anticipating a shadow. When it appeared, it was barely visible. They distanced themselves just in time. The guardian arrived with a gloating air and it shed its guise. Now visible the spider-like being menacingly clacked its oversized pincers together.

'Come on think,' Kid willed himself as the guardian regarded them like a meal, 'The body is too sturdy to pierce it with a sword. It turns invisible too quickly. The eye is its weak spot, but those pincers are in the way. If we were to get close we'd just be cut in two. Besides, it turns invisible after a while and if we can't see it then we can't locate it…' Suddenly an idea struck him. It was most likely fool hardy, but it was the only one he had, and no one else seemed to be coming up with any brilliant plans.

Kid sheathed his sword and retrieved his compass from where he'd stowed it away earlier. He held it tightly in his left hand, waiting for the guardian to make a move. After a couple seconds it appeared to grow tired of delaying its snack. It probably hadn't eaten in years. Decades. Centuries even. Which, unfortunately, made their small group look very appetizing.

The monster let out a battle cry, opening its mouth wide. It could definitely swallow him in one gulp. Swallowing a compass would be even easier for it. Kid drew back his arm and hurled the small object at the guardian. His aim was perfect and the compass disappeared into the spider's gaping maw. The guardian snapped its jaws shut, ignorant of the metal it had just swallowed whole.

"What did you do that for?!" Link exclaimed, shocked that he would throw away a goddess given gift.

"You'll see!" Kid replied as he turned around and began to run. "Just follow me; I have a plan!" Without question, his companions trailed behind him.

As they ran, Kid shouted directions over the loud thuds of their pursuer, "Get out your compasses and set them to find mine!" While everyone did as he suggested, Kid stole a glance behind him. The guardian was nowhere to be seen, but he knew that it was still there by the way the ground trembled underneath them. They rounded a corner and a loud crash was heard as the creature slammed into the wall. Apparently sharp turns were not its strong suit.

"Now we can track it. Nice thinking," Princess Zelda commended him.

"Have any ideas on how to actually damage it?" Tetra wondered.

"Yeah, but I'm not sure about how we'll go about doing it," Kid admitted, nearly falling on his face in his haste to make the next turn.

"Tell us what you've got then. Maybe we can think of something," Link said as they raced down the unfamiliar passage.

"Well, its body is really tough so swords won't do much good, but if we can cause an explosion then we might be able to hurt it. The only way we can do that safely though is if we do it from a distance. I don't know about you, but I can't throw bombs that far."

"You have bombs?" Link asked, seeming uncertain about his exact reaction.

"Yeah," Kid answered as if carrying explosives was something everyone did on a daily basis.

"Uh…okay. I think I have a solution, but we have to shake this thing off our tail first," Link announced. They easily confused it with a couple more sharp turns.

Darkness covered most of the new area aside from a few fragments of light given off by the small mushrooms scattered around the place. Kid watched as Link pulled out his bow and arrows followed by what appeared to be a bomb.

"Link, it's straight ahead," Zelda reported, keeping an eye on her compass.

"Okay, give me a sec," Link muttered, trying to concentrate affixing the bomb to the tip of the arrow. He got it to stay and lit the fuse. Kid wondered why he had never thought of doing that. It was a genius idea, if a bit dangerous. Link notched the arrow and aimed straight ahead, angling the bow slightly upwards. He released the arrow and it flew into the darkness, the small spark of the fuse the only indicator of its arcing path.

A brilliant explosion appeared up ahead and the monster let out a screech of pain, losing its invisibility instantly. Kid could only see it because of the cluster of luminescent mushrooms near it. It had collapsed onto the ground in a tangle of limbs. The single yellow and green eye was spinning dizzily in a daze. The top part of its head was smoking, so he presumed that that was where the bomb arrow had met its mark.

Kid whipped out his own bow and arrows. He drew back a single arrow with the bowstring and aimed for the eye. Kid let his arrow fly. It cut through the air with deadly accuracy and buried itself in the pupil of the colorful eye. The guardian let out a screech, so loud that they were all forced to cover their ears.

Stumbling clumsily to its feet the spider-like creature shook itself, trying to dislodge the arrow. It succeeded and cloaked itself in invisibility once again. The foursome took that as their cue to escape while they had a chance. They happened to travel down a dead end and were forced to turn back. Luckily, the guardian was still disoriented and could be heard crashing into walls near the other side of the room which caused dust and dirt to rain down from the ceiling.

They found a well-lit section and paused to catch their breath.

"I think it's flying again," Link notified them, angling his compass so Kid could see too. The needle was spinning around in a never ending revolution. Unfortunately, Kid's compass couldn't be tracked in the sky.

Before anyone had time to comment, a great gust of wind knocked them all off of their feet. The ground trembled under the weight of the invisible guardian. Kid scrambled to his feet, turning around to face where he presumed the guardian was. Link didn't waste time standing up. He kneeled down on one knee and aimed his arrow, which already had an active bomb strapped to it. The bomb arrow collided with its target, and the creature was forced out of its invisible shell once again.

Princess Zelda attacked its eye with a swirling ball of fire, and Kid let loose another arrow. It fell a little short though and bounced harmlessly off of the monster's body. He gritted his teeth, glancing at his quiver which held three lonely arrows. He couldn't afford to be missing his target. Even if he wanted to try again, the opportunity was lost as soon as the guardian got to its feet and gave chase.

By some miracle, or curse, the guardian still appeared to be capable of sight as it pursued them. Kid noticed that Link was fumbling with another bomb and arrow as they ran. Once he successfully lit the fuse, Link turned briefly and, almost without aiming, fired the projectile at the creature.

This elicited a pained cry from the monster, and it collapsed on the ground behind them. Kid slid to a stop, drawing his sword. He whirled around and rushed at the creature, intending to cut the eye with his sword instead since arrows and fire didn't seem to be doing much damage. Link had the same idea and was right behind him.

Kid reached the creature before Link and delivered the first blow. He ignored the irritating sounds it emitted and tried to focus on swinging his sword instead of the ringing in his ears. Link took the other side of the giant eye, and they both were able to get a few decent hits in. Aside from the guardian's pained cries, nothing indicated that they were dealing any actual damage. The guardian suddenly snapped its pincers in an attempt to ward them off. Link and Kid back flipped out of range of before the warning could harm them, and the creature scrambled clumsily to its feet, the tips of its long limbs digging into the broken soil for purchase.

The spider-like guardian decided to assail them with a new attack. It twirled around once, its legs striking out around its body like lethal needles. Kid only had time to bring up his shield. The force of the attack sent him stumbling backward. His struggles to stay upright were in vain for he fell down a second later. The monster had completed its spin and was now standing firmly on its eight legs. The next second the guardian disappeared, and Link, who had somehow managed to dodge the attack without his shield, hauled Kid to his feet and pushed him in the other direction to get him moving. Kid didn't need any encouragement. He ran. Princess Zelda and Tetra were already ahead of them and turning another corner.

"Don't go too far ahead!" Link called to the girls, now running beside Kid. The guardian was advancing quickly, and Kid tried to speed up his pace.

"Come on, faster," Link ordered him. He had pulled ahead of Kid a little and fell back to stay with him.

"I…can't!" Kid gasped out. He didn't really have the energy to be doing this much running in the first place. Sure, the potion Zelda had given him had healed him completely and even restored his magic, but it didn't compensate for the blood he lost or the energy he'd expended earlier. Kid wished that he'd brought a bottle of blue potion from home. While the potions here tasted better, the bitter tasting ones from home were much more effective.

"Yes, you can," Link encouraged him, "Just a little farther." The ground rolled like the waves of the ocean which made running hard and running fast even harder. They finally rounded the corner that the girls had cleared before them. Tetra was waiting there impatiently.

"Come on, Zelda's found a place we can stay to confuse it," Tetra proclaimed, motioning for them to follow her. They both did so without complaint, wary of the fast approaching threat. Tetra didn't take them far before turning sharply towards the left-hand wall and pointing downward. Kid directed his gaze to the ground and noticed that there was a barely noticeable slope leading down into the earth. Trying not to think about how far beneath the ground they already were, Kid followed his friend into the darkness with Link right behind him.

The alcove was small, but it provided enough space for them all to be somewhat comfortable. A small ball of fire hovered over Princess Zelda's open palm, providing them with light. Outside of their tiny shelter, the guardian passed by, its heavy steps dislodging soil from the ceiling. Kid closed his eyes and covered his nose so he wouldn't accidentally breathe it in.

Once it passed the princess dared to speak up, although it was a whisper, "I do not think we are damaging it at all."

"Yeah, seems more like we're playing with it," Tetra agreed with a nod.

"What should we do then?" Kid asked once he had caught his breath.

"Maybe we should stop running away from it," Link suggested.

"No, thanks. You can be stupid on your own," Tetra objected.

"Just hear me out," Link pleaded with her. "In Nayru's temple we needed wisdom to figure out how to defeat the guardian, in Din's we needed power. Now, in Farore's, we need courage."

"There's a fine line between courage and stupidity," Tetra pointed out.

"I don't think it's stupid. There's probably something we're missing by running away every time," Kid interjected.

"There could very well be, but on the other hand there could also be nothing, and we would just be putting ourselves in more danger than necessary," Princess Zelda commented.

"We'll never know until we try," Link stated, "Come on." Link moved towards the opening and peered outside. He stepped out, so Kid assumed it was clear and followed him. Tetra came out next, with Princess Zelda, who had extinguished her tamed flame, in tow.

Kid glanced at Tetra's compass. The needle was spinning. That meant it was in the air searching for them. Kid scanned the sky, not expecting to see anything. A shadow fell over them quicker than he'd anticipated. Link had a bomb arrow ready and fired it directly above them. The bomb blew up upon impact and the guardian's invisibility fell off like a blanket.

Kid was surprised when the monster didn't fall. Instead bits of copper colored metal fell down from above. He raised his shield over his and Tetra's heads. The metal bounced off harmlessly. When the strange rain stopped, Kid lowered his shield and peered up at the creature. Its underbelly was noticeably softer than the rest of its body.

Link let another explosive arrow fly and this time Kid was sure that it did damage. They all scattered as the creature fell from the sky. Kid turned around to face the monster. Tetra had followed him, so he presumed that Link and the princess were on the other side of the guardian. They appeared to have retreated to the rear of it where there was no weak point to strike. However, he did notice something different about the very back legs. They appeared to have pieces of the same copper metal that had covered its stomach jutting out at regular intervals.

"Hey, Tetra, give me a boost," Kid said, venturing closer to the legs.

"Did you catch Link's stupid?" Tetra questioned him, hands on hips, "What do you plan to do? Climb the thing?"

"Yes," Kid answered, surprising himself a little by how quickly the answer escaped him and how calmly he uttered it.

Tetra shook her head as if in disbelief, "What's the point in climbing it though?"

"Remember all the other guardians? They had a power source which was the tear. Once we took it away, they shut down on their own," Kid explained.

"And you think the tear is on its back?" Tetra inquired, seeming to get what he was building up to.

"Well, yeah. Where else could it be?" Kid replied.

Tetra sighed, "Fine, I'll help you." Kid and Tetra hurried to the right back leg. The first piece of metal was too high for him to reach, just as he'd expected. Tetra gave him a small boost, and he grabbed onto the metal, which was fairly warm to the touch, with his left hand. There were metal handholds on the other side too. It almost resembled a ladder. Kid scrambled up it as quickly as possible. When he crested the top he could see a green glow illuminating its back. A grated piece of copper tinted metal protected the suspicious light.

Confident that he'd found Farore's Tear, Kid clambered onto the back of the guardian. Its tough hide offered no handholds. The monster's cries, of what he now knew to be annoyance, not pain, rumbled beneath him. Kid carefully stood up and balanced his way closer to the middle of its back. Now he could clearly see the diamond shaped bottle placed face down nestled in between the two fragile wings. The metal shield covering the bottle fell off as soon as he touched it, courtesy of Link and his bomb arrow from earlier. Just as he reached for the bottle the creature beneath him shook. It was standing up to its full height now. He dropped low, abandoning his prior mission and trying to hang on instead. He was a good amount of feet off of the ground. He did not want to fall.

Kid crawled a little closer to the tear, reaching out a hand. He could almost grab it. Just as his fingertips brushed the cool glass, the guardian became aware of his presence on its back. It executed another one of its spins in an attempt to discard him. It worked.

With nothing to hold onto, Kid flew off of the behemoth spider's back with a surprised yell. Kid tried to right himself in the air, but couldn't quite do it in his panic. He hit the ground hard, gasping as the air was forced out of his lungs. Then he could breathe again, and he just laid on his side, trying to figure out where the pain was coming from or if there was any at all.

"KID!" Tetra screamed, he could hear her getting closer, or maybe it was guardian. Both of them sounded loud in his mind at the moment. He shut his eyes, trying to reorient himself since his mind seemed to still be in the air. He could still hear the running footsteps, but something louder blocked them out, and he instantly knew that it was the monster.

Kid forced his eyes open just in time to see the guardian's leg getting ready to crush him. He gritted his teeth, bracing for impact. Suddenly Princess Zelda appeared in front of him in a swirl of wind. With her back to him she put up a barrier of blue around them, protecting them both from the guardian. Tetra arrived soon after with Link on her heels.

"I told you it was a stupid idea, stupid!" Tetra scolded him as Link helped him sit up.

"Could you not yell?" Kid requested, his head pounding and heart racing from the sudden rush of adrenaline.

"All of you, hurry. There’s no guarantee as to how long I can hold this," Princess Zelda reminded them.

"Can you walk?" Link asked him, getting up and holding out a hand to help him to his feet.

"Forget walking, we need to run," Princess Zelda spoke up. "Just carry him." Link looked to Kid as if to silently ask for his consent. Kid gave it with a nod of his head, knowing that he was too disoriented to stand, let alone run. Link scooped him up in a second and began to run the other way, with Tetra not far behind.

"Okay, Zelda, let's go!" Link yelled over his shoulder. Princess Zelda followed them after the next strike bounced off of her magical shield. The princess caught up to them in record time.

"Is there another niche like the one from earlier around here?" Link interrogated Princess Zelda as they ran.

"I don't know, I only found the last one because I had time to stop and look around," came the princess's hurried reply. The guardian had disappeared again, so there was no point in looking over Link's shoulder since he couldn't even judge how close it was to them. Kid turned his head to see where they were heading. The passage laid out before them was straight, and he didn't see any indications of a turn off point in any direction.

They reached the end of the wide corridor. It was a dead end. Perfect. Princess Zelda fired a barrage of brilliant balls of orange and red fire that burst upon contact. This seemed to work much like the bomb arrows and the guardian shed its invisible skin. However, unlike the bomb arrows, the princess's attacks did not immobilize it.

Link carefully set Kid down on the ground and pulled out his bow and improvised projectiles. Link lit the fuse on one of them and pulled the bowstring back. He fired it, and it exploded with a loud boom that seemed to bounce around in Kid's skull.

"Now let's get back to the niche we used before," Link declared, picking Kid up again and going around the fallen creature. Tetra and the princess followed close behind, and they soon reached their previous hiding spot. Princess Zelda went first, a fireball in her hand to provide some light. Link slid down the small slope next and Tetra came down soon after.

Link set Kid down and then demanded, "What the heck was that?! Why were you on top of it?"

"I was trying to get to the tear," Kid said, wincing as the pain in his right shoulder made itself known with the waning of adrenaline.

"The tear is on its back?" Princess Zelda wondered, looking up briefly from a small pouch that Kid just noticed she was rummaging through with one hand.

"Mmhmm. Right in between its wings," Kid replied.

"However stupid he is, he's right," Tetra spoke up, her arms crossed over her chest, "The tears are the power sources for these guardians. We can hack and slash at it all we want, but the fact is that we won't be able to defeat it that way. Weapons can only subdue it temporarily. If we want to finish it for good, we need to take its power source away."

"Here, Kid, drink this," Princess Zelda interrupted their conversation, forcing a bottle into Kid's hands. He had no choice but to take it. The liquid inside was clear and sparkled despite the lack of light.

"It’s spring water," Princess Zelda informed him, noticing his hesitation. He hadn't known that it was safe to drink, but then he remembered that Tetra had drank it earlier and she was completely fine now. Deciding to do as he was told, Kid downed the bottle's contents. It didn't taste any different from normal water. A few seconds later a wave of energy rolled over him. He noticed as the weariness that was dragging down his bones disappeared at once as well as the pain. Nothing hurt anymore.

"Wow, that stuff works miracles," Kid commented handing the bottle back to the princess.

"Don't get used to the energy boost. It'll fade with time," Princess Zelda advised him as she put the bottle away.

"Anyway, about the guardian, if it's really like you say then all we have to do is get behind it, right? Isn't that how you got on top of it?" Link wondered.

Kid nodded, "Yeah, the back legs have metal pieces sticking out of them. It forms a ladder, sort of. I used that to climb up."

"Okay, let's go," Link said after checking that the coast was clear. They all hurried out of the alcove and into the open.

"It's flying," Tetra noted after a quick glance at her compass. Link prepared a bomb arrow but didn't light it yet. They didn't have to wait long for a shadow to fall over them. Kid tried to locate its backside by the shadow. To his left he could see the shadow of the pincers. That meant they had to dodge to the right. Link fired the arrow and the guardian became visible.

"To the right!" Kid instructed them. Thankfully, they all made it in time before the creature fell. It laid there in a daze as they all approached the closet back leg. Link could reach the strange handholds without assistance and climbed up the limb with little effort. Kid and the rest of his companions waited with tensed muscles on the ground, ready to spring into action if Link needed assistance.

"I can't get it out!" Link shouted to them.

"Try twisting it instead of pulling," Tetra suggested. Without warning the guardian started to get to its feet and they all retreated.

"Got it!" Link announced, not a second later. The guardian fell in a heap to the ground, its many legs failing to support it.

"What about my compass?" Kid dared to ask. Even though he had been the one to sacrifice it, he still didn't want to lose it for good. It could be essential later on, after all.

"That's here too. Catch," Link reported, tossing the object to Kid who caught it. Not a scratch was on it. It was as if he hadn't ever even thrown it into the mouth of a monster. Link carefully climbed off of the dysfunctional guardian and joined them on the floor, holding the diamond-shaped bottle high so they could all see it. An ivy green orb pulsed inside of it.

"Three down, one to go," Link declared, adding Farore's Tear to their collection.

"Wait a minute, there's only three goddesses, so there should only be three tears, right?" Kid pointed out.

"Yeah, aren't we done with these stupid temples?" Tetra chimed in, obviously fed up with everything.

"Lanayru said that every light spirit was entrusted with a tear. There are four light spirits, so there must be four tears," Princess Zelda reminded them.

"Still, they're right. I've only ever heard of Din, Nayru, and Farore. I never heard of any other goddess," Link spoke up.

"Neither have I," Princess Zelda confided, "but that doesn't mean that there isn't one I suppose. History isn't always recorded properly…"

"But a goddess? Why would someone want to hide her existence?" Link wondered.

They all pondered this question as they wandered around the maze-like room searching for the exit. After a few minutes, Kid thought that he had finally formed a coherent answer. Perhaps the goddess had not been deliberately erased from history. Based upon what had happened to the kingdom of Hyrule, or what was going to happen to it, he supposed that it was possible that she ceased to exist over time and was therefore forgotten. The exact reason for this, he couldn't even begin to guess, but maybe they'd be able to get an exact answer from the next light spirit.

The exit turned out to be in the middle of the great labyrinth of hard-packed walls of dirt and clay and bulbous mushrooms of varying sizes. Tetra stepped into the puddle of blue and Kid followed her.

The magic whisked them away to the peaceful shore of Faron's Spring. The sunlight filtering through the treetops was brighter than before. While the leaves blocked his view of the sky, Kid estimated that it was a little past noon. It felt like they'd been in that temple for years, not mere hours.

"So you're finally back. I was getting tired of waiting," a voice spoke up with a yawn. Kid turned his attention towards the voice. Sitting with her legs crossed on a low hanging branch was the imp girl from before. However, she looked different than the last time he saw her. Her body appeared to be covered in shadow, so she was just a dark silhouette. Only her eyes stood out against the darkness.

"Hey, Midna, no trouble while we were gone?" Link asked, walking closer to her, completely unfazed by her appearance.

"Nah, it was boring," Midna declared, standing up and stretching, "I would have much rather gone with you guys. Looks like you had fun."

"We didn't," Link assured her.

"So what's the plan now?" Midna wondered, changing the subject.

"Go home, relax, eat, sleep, prepare for tomorrow," Link listed.

"Ooh, what adventure's endangering our lives tomorrow?" Midna questioned. By the way she said it, Kid couldn't tell if she was truly curious or just being sarcastic.

"The last temple," Link answered her as he started to walk towards the horses, "Now are you coming, or not?"

"Heck yeah! These trees have no personality! I like your shadow much better," Midna exclaimed in a huff, hopping off of the branch and melting into Link's shadow. Kid became puzzled by her last comment. Did shadows normally have personalities? He still didn't understand Midna and doubted he ever would.

Link helped Tetra mount Epona since the effect of the spring water was beginning to wear off, and began to lead the horse to his house. Kid followed close behind, as Princess Zelda led her own steed by the reins. As they crossed the large suspension bridge, Kid tried to see in between the boards, almost expecting to see ocean. Of course, there was nothing but a long drop beneath them. He suddenly decided to keep his eyes in front of him, the threat of the long drop making him uneasy.

Kid inwardly sighed in relief when they reached the other side. Heights didn't normally unnerve him, so he didn't understand why it gave him a bad feeling now. They passed the spring on the way to Link's house. He'd only made this journey once before and back then he was so excited to reunite with everyone else that he'd blocked out most of the things around him. Now everything was calm, and he could appreciate the way that the shallow spring sparkled in the afternoon sunlight as they passed it, and how the trees cast immense shadows that were both intimidating and comforting at the same time.

After a short trek they reached Link's house. Kid held out a hand to help Tetra down. She almost refused the aid, but when she nearly fell off the animal she grabbed his hand and shot him an annoyed look, as if he was the one that had caused her to nearly fall off. Once Tetra was safely on the ground, they both turned to follow Link and the princess up the ladder leading to the house's entrance.

Kid liked Link's house. It was strange in a good way. The prospect of a house built into a tree was a new one for him. The only thing that set him on edge was the fireplace. One wrong move and the house was toast. As soon as they were inside, Midna drifted out of Link's shadow. She still looked like a shadow herself, and Kid wondered why. He contemplated an inquiry but in the end chose not say anything, not wanting to sound rude.

The rest of the day wasn't quite as action filled as the first half of it had been for which Kid was grateful. Shortly after they arrived at Link's home, Princess Zelda gave Tetra a potion to help her sleep since, after ten minutes of laying down, she complained about not being able to sleep despite her fatigue. Tetra was out in a manner of short minutes after that. They enjoyed a late lunch which was mostly based around the conversation of Midna and the Twilight Realm. Kid had learned that she really was a princess, and Zant was not, in fact, the king as he claimed. It was also revealed that the Shadow Beasts he had fought earlier were actually citizens of the Twilight Realm, transformed by dark magic. This information caused Kid to feel guilty about fighting them, but Midna went on to explain that he did not actually harm them. He'd simply defeated the evil controlling them. After they had eaten, Link left to restock on their potions and Kid tagged along, bored out of his mind with nothing else to do. Midna accompanied them too, although she retreated to Link's shadow for the duration of the trip and didn't speak. The shop where they had bought the potions, and lantern oil since Link had run out, was not in the village of Ordon like Kid had expected. It was near the outskirts of Faron Woods and run by a peculiar little bird named Trill. Hyrule was definitely stranger than he'd imagined, but then again, he'd thought the Great Sea was generally normal until he had actually sailed it. During the remainder of the quickly fading day, Princess Zelda offered to mend and clean his tunic. He accepted with a twinge of guilt, though he couldn't exactly say why. Maybe it was because he was used to doing things himself by now instead of having others do it for him.

Reflecting back on it now as he lay down trying to sleep, Kid attempted to cling to those thoughts in favor of the rather unsettling ones from earlier in the day. If he'd learned anything over the course of time after he'd become a hero, it was that you don't think about bad things before you fall asleep. That always ensured nightmares. Sometimes he would have them regardless so the system wasn't perfect, but the probability of him having one was lower than it would be if he were to be dwelling on thoughts of battle before sleep claimed him.

He wasn't actually conscious of nodding off, although he must have done so at some point since he was being pulled out of sleep now. Kid sleepily opened his eyes, noting how the fire still danced out a lost tale in the fireplace and the house was just as dark as it had been when he'd last been conscious. He propped himself up on an elbow, rubbing his eyes to clear the blurriness from them as he tried to distinguish what the voices in the room were saying.

"…so why can't you just give it to me?" that was Tetra's voice practically pleading. Somehow she managed to sound exasperated at the same time and he immediately wondered what the problem was.

"Because it will do more harm than good. Try to get back to sleep on your own," the new voice belonged to the princess. Her tone was hushed, evidently attempting to be quiet while Tetra had no qualms about raising her voice up a few decibels.

"What's going on?" Kid wondered, turning to face them and still trying to push the enticing embrace of sleep away.

"Kid, go back to sleep," Link answered him. He sounded tired himself, as if he'd just woken up. The three of them were gathered in the middle of the room. As much as Kid would have liked to return to the world of dreams, he found that he couldn't. Not yet anyway. Not until he figured out what was wrong with Tetra.

"Look, you can't have any more of the potion so why don't you just tell us what is making sleep so difficult for you?" Link sighed, addressing Tetra. Kid looked to his best friend, wondering if she'd confess about whatever it was that was troubling her.

"Talking doesn't make things better," Tetra declared as if she was stating a fact rather than her opinion.

"Bottling stuff up does not help either," Princess Zelda countered.

Tetra was silent for a few seconds, contemplating her next words carefully, "Okay…I'll talk, but not to you guys."

"I'm guessing you want to talk to me then?" Kid ventured, taking that as his cue to speak up.

"Yes," Tetra replied, seeming to notice that he was awake for the first time.

"Whatever, will help I guess," Link submitted. "If you guys want to take a walk that's fine with me, but don't take too long, or I'm going to assume something is wrong and come find you."

With their mutual deal in place, Kid and Tetra departed. Kid followed Tetra in silence, letting her lead the way to their destination. A light rain that he had failed to notice earlier drizzled down from the sky. The perfectly round droplets of water bounced off of them as they walked. Kid had forgotten that he'd even been wearing the blessed necklace in the first place, so the absence of water soaking through his clothes and coating his skin startled him at first, but he was quick to get over it.

Tetra finally stopped when they reached the middle of the suspension bridge.

"Why here?" Kid wondered, a little curious as to why she had chosen this exact location.

Tetra shrugged, sitting down on the bridge and dangling her feet over the gorge below, "It seems safer than anywhere else. The light spirits seem to know everything going on in their provinces. That," she pointed in the direction they'd just come from, "is Ordona's Province, and that," she pointed in the direction of Faron Woods, "is Faron's Province. This bridge is between the two. Therefore, it doesn't belong in any rightful province, so it shouldn't be monitored. Whatever we say here can't be heard by anyone, not even the spirits." Kid nodded in comprehension, following her example and sitting down beside her.

Kid suddenly realized why the bridge had caused him uneasiness earlier in the day. It was because it held an uncanny resemblance to the wooden suspension bridge that had once allowed access to the Forest of Fairies on Outset. The same bridge that his sister had been kidnapped on, and the same bridge that had broken, setting forth a course of events that could never be undone. Basically, the day that the bridge fell apart was the day that his life did as well.

He shook the memories out of his head. They weren't here for him to dwell on such things. They were here to discuss whatever was bothering Tetra. Kid glanced at his friend, she was gazing at the sky, watching the rain as if she didn't expect it to stop. It was just a shower though. It would pass.

"So…uh, what's up?" Kid asked, breaking the silence.

Tetra sighed softly, playing with the slightly frayed edge of one of the ropes, trying to gather her thoughts. He waited patiently for her response, knowing that talking things out wasn't exactly her strong suit. She was much more comfortable taking action than sitting and chatting about her problems.

"This is all because of a dream I had…" Tetra began.

"Go on," he urged her wondering if it had been a dream or a nightmare, but not daring to ask lest he cause her to rethink telling him.

"It was…a prophetic dream," Tetra said, her last words were so quiet that he almost didn't hear her. A prophetic dream? He knew that she occasionally had them, but she'd sworn to always tell him as soon as she had one. Why she'd ignored that agreement, he didn't know, but he wished that she hadn't. Then again, her silence had been in favor of keeping their secrets. If she'd blurted this out with everyone listening then they'd probably be able to piece together the seemingly unsolvable puzzle of who they were and where they came from. After all, messages from the goddesses were not a normal package to be receiving. Only the chosen ones could have them, but Kid found that he'd never had one. Tetra had assured him a long time ago that he didn't want to and he believed her. They didn't sound pleasant by the way she described them.

Another thing that bothered him was that the light spirits seemed to imply that they knew exactly who they were by addressing their group as the "four chosen ones" every time. Their companions had to be questioning that one by now. Yet it was possible that the spirits knew nothing of their origins and were simply addressing them the way that they'd been instructed to. Kid hoped the latter was true.

"What was it about?" Kid questioned her, eager for the answer but at the same time afraid of what he might hear. There had to be more of a reason other than keeping secrets that she didn't want anyone else to know.

"It was the worst one I've ever had. I mean, I know they're all warnings, that's a given or I wouldn't even have them in the first place, but…this one was different," Tetra said, glancing at him out of the corner of her eye as if she couldn't exactly bring herself to look at him.

"What was different about it?" he gently prompted.

"It…it's always bad but…" Tetra trailed off, and he waited, a bit impatiently, for her to continue. She took a deep breath as if to calm herself before doing so, "No one ever dies."

"Who died?" Kid immediately asked her, his voice hushed as if they were speaking of forbidden things. Sleep seemed so far away now. He was wide awake and slightly terrified to hear the answer.

Tetra turned away from him slightly, seeming to be debating whether she should tell him or not. He refrained from asking once more knowing that if he pressed too far she'd lock everything inside again.

"…You," Tetra replied, not daring to look at him.

"W-wait. Me?" Kid clarified, unable to mask the trembling in his voice.

"Link too," Tetra added quietly. Kid was lost for words.

"What? But I don't…" Kid trailed off not knowing how to react. How do you react when someone tells you that you're going to die soon? Of course he knew that he'd die someday, it happened to everyone; it was the unfortunate circle of life. He just didn't anticipate that he would expire so soon. "Are you sure we were…dead?" he dared to ask, dreading the answer.

Tetra still wasn't making eye contact with him, but she slowly nodded, and Kid sucked in a shaky breath as if it was his last. Everything was silent then. Kid's ears didn't pick up the consistent drum of the rain's fingers on the wood of the bridge, the small wind might as well have been nonexistent too for he couldn't hear its whispers. His mind was too loud with thoughts of what Tetra had just told him to concentrate on these petty details of nature.

"Well, wasn't that an interesting conversation?" a voice giggled from behind them. Snapped out of their solemn mood, Kid and Tetra whirled around to locate the owner of the voice. The imp girl stood there, a sly look drawn onto her face, hands laced behind her head. No longer did she resemble a shadow. She looked as he'd first seen her, a black and white imp with greenish blue runes crawling over various parts of her body. Her hair, which was a bright orange, practically glowed in the poor lighting, almost like flames.

"M-Midna?" Kid stuttered. How long had she been there?

"How much did you hear?" Tetra demanded, raising her voice to express her anger.

"Oh, a little of this, a little of that," Midna mused tapping her chin in thought, "and just about everything in between."

"Why are you here?" Tetra asked vehemently.

"Link sent me," Midna replied nonchalantly.

"I'm going to kill him," Tetra declared, standing up and clenching her fists at her sides in her rage.

"By the sounds of that dream someone already has it covered. Besides, Link didn't send me as a spy," Midna said, floating up into the air a few inches since she was apparently weary of standing.

"Then why did he send you?" Kid wondered.

"To make sure nothing happened to you guys. With Zant and his new affiliate on the loose, you never know what could happen, especially at night. You guys aren't even armed. If you were to be attacked now, you'd be helpless. That's why he sent me to keep you safe. Think about it, if Link's intentions were to solely spy on you, then don't you think he would have come himself?"

"No," Tetra scoffed without a second thought.

Midna shrugged, "Alright, don't believe me, but that dream's a problem. We should sort it out."

"Oh, yeah, right. How are you going to solve it? Tell Link and the princess about it? Lot of good that's going to do," Tetra practically yelled, her displeasure prominent in her tone.

"No, I'm not going to tell Link and Zelda," Midna proclaimed in a level voice, flashing them a mischievous grin.

"Seriously?" Kid and Tetra asked simultaneously, shocked by this new piece of information.

"Well, yeah. As I said, I was only here to make sure you guys were protected. I wasn't really here to do any spying. I just overheard some stuff which I'm deciding to keep to myself," Midna explained. "Now, Tetra, why don't you elaborate on that prophetic dream you had?"

They were both stunned into silence for a few moments. While Midna's vow of silence over this matter was comforting, it was also disconcerting in a way. Why did she feel inclined to help them? They hadn't even known each other for a day. Tetra apparently felt the same way, for she was hesitant to comply with Midna's request, analyzing it as if to weed out any falsity.

"The dream started off with me alone, walking down a dark hallway," Tetra finally spoke up and Kid listened intently along with Midna, "In the dream I somehow knew that we had all separated intentionally, but the purpose of it eluded me. I had a goal set in mind: Find everyone else. Eventually the long corridor I was walking down ended, and I was left to turn a corner. Once I did…" Tetra trailed off, biting her lip, evidently unwilling to voice the proceeding course of events.

"That's enough," Midna assured her once she'd stopped. Kid was surprised. He'd thought that she'd prompt Tetra to continue. "I think I've got a solution," Midna announced after a few brief seconds of quiet contemplation. "Since you said it was intentional, then we won't separate. I'll help make sure of that, but make sure to take my side in it if the argument comes up. That way we'll outnumber Link and Zelda and we'll get majority rule. If we absolutely have to separate for whatever reason, then we'll split into two groups so no one will be alone."

Kid considered the idea. It could work. In fact, he hoped that it worked. If it didn't well…he didn't want to think about that. It had to work.

After seeming to scrutinize the plan for flaws in her head, Tetra nodded in agreement, "Yeah, I think that'll solve it."

"I hope it works," Kid chimed in.

"It will," Midna declared with more confidence than Kid had at the moment, "I don't know much about prophetic dreams, but I do know that they're just possible outcomes of one situation. If we take steps to stop the situation from occurring in the first place then we should be fine." Or their deliberately taking steps to avoid the event in the first place was just leading them closer to it. This thought nagged at the back of Kid's mind, but he chose to keep it there. He didn't want to get Tetra stressed out about the premonition all over again.

"So, what do you say? Should we head back? Are you good now Tetra?" Midna asked, drifting back in the direction of Ordon.

"I'm okay now, I think," Tetra responded with a wink which let him know that she was okay. Now hopefully they could all get some sleep. Or at least Tetra could, he had a feeling that he might be too haunted at the moment to sleep with that single what-if thought plaguing his mind.

They abandoned the bridge and headed back the way they'd come, Midna stowing away in Tetra's shadow just like she had apparently done to him on the way out. Kid thought it strange that he hadn't even known she'd been there. At first, he hadn't known how to feel about their new acquaintance but that was no longer the case. Midna was sort of like them in a way. She wasn't in her normal realm, and didn't have a way back either.

When they returned, not many words were exchanged. He and Tetra had simply confirmed that the problem was solved, and then went to bed. Tetra was actually able to fall asleep before him. Kid tried not to think about his potential premature death. Just as sleep was beginning to pull him in, he somehow managed to snatch pieces of whispered conversation out of the air.

"So?" Link's voice asked quietly.

"So, what?" Midna's voice returned.

"No trouble?"

"Nope."

"Is it really solved?"

"She's sleeping, isn't she?"

"…Yeah. What was the problem?"

"Don't know, I wasn't really listening…"

At this, Kid let a small smile grace his lips before letting the ever persistent sleep claim him.


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