The Legend of Zelda: The Alternate Link

Chapter 30: From Chasing to Reawakening

Like a star guiding them, the sphere of white and silver danced ahead, just beyond their reach. It wove them between trees and over dirt paths swathed in fallen leaves. A light breeze ruffled the treetops, sending the trees whispering amongst themselves. The wind brought a small chill with it, and Kid wondered if it signified the changing of seasons. He knew that it had been the end of the summer months when he and everyone else had left. Judging by the faint tint of color to the swaying leaves, he could only infer that it signified the beginnings of autumn.

On the Great Sea the line defining one season from the next was imperceptible. The only signal they had that something had changed was the intensity of the heat and, sometimes, the amount of storms that raged across the ocean. Autumn normally consisted of uncertain months as the weather switched between unbearably hot and comfortably warm while the days gradually began to shorten and dusk fell much quicker than it used to.

In Hyrule, Kid found that there was a more noticeable change and briefly contemplated what winter was like. He'd seen snow and braved freezing temperatures before, but they were always confined to a single island. The notion of witnessing a large expanse of land that seemed to go on forever endure something like that once a year was somehow alluring.

The startled whinny of Princess Zelda's horse brought Kid out of his reverie, and he snapped to attention, wondering what had elicited the sound from the generally calm animal. A plant-like creature that resembled a Boko Baba had suddenly revealed itself from the underbrush.

"That wasn't here yesterday," Kid said, distinctly recalling the previous morning when they had come this way to reach Faron's Spring.

"Which means Zant has been busy since the last time we saw him," Link sighed, dismounting and drawing his sword. He killed the monster quickly and climbed back on Epona. The silver orb had stopped a few feet ahead, unperturbed by the interruption and waiting for them to start moving again.

They continued with Epona in the lead, the girls trailing behind so the princess's horse wouldn't get spooked if any other monsters decided to make an appearance. Link slowed Epona to a trot, and as they progressed, more monsters made themselves known. None of them seemed too menacing. There were the plant monsters, which Link referred to as Deku Babas, and Keese, which they only found when passing under low lying branches and through a couple caves.

All the while, their guide had stayed within sight, unfazed even when the Keese tried to snatch it out of the air.

Once they came to a large clearing, Kid immediately noted the copious amount of thick purple fog covering most of the area.

"Zant's work too, I assume," Princess Zelda spoke up, glancing at Link.

"Yup, but we can handle it. The fog disperses for a while with firelight so I can use my lantern to cut a path for us," Link replied, hopping down off of Epona.

"Aren't we taking the horses too?" Tetra asked Link as he refilled his lantern with the oil they had bought at Trill's humble little shop yesterday.

"My lantern will only clear a space large enough for the four of us to walk through safely. We'll have to leave the horses here, but where ever this thing is leading us, it can't be much farther if it took us this way," Link explained.

Everyone else dismounted, and Link instructed them to stay close before venturing to the edge of the fog, which he had informed them was poisonous. Kid obediently followed Link's directions, wary of the deadly vapor surrounding them. Tetra was the only one that lingered near the border's edge where the clear area stopped and the fog began.

"Tetra, maybe you should stay closer," Kid advised his pirate friend, watching nervously as the tendrils of fog began to creep over the edge, tainting their safe zone.

"I'm fine, Kid," Tetra replied, rolling her eyes and inching away from the fog a little so the tendrils wouldn't latch onto her. Glancing at Link, Kid could tell that he was getting fed up with her not listening, so he thought about trying to persuade her again.

Just as he opened his mouth to attempt it, a shape materialized out of the thick purple fog. "Tetra-" Kid began to warn her, sure that it was a monster now as he could see its outline better.

Tetra heaved a sigh of annoyance and turned to look at him, "Look, I told you already. I'm fi-aiiiii!" Her words cut off in a scream as she was dragged into the fog by an unidentified monster. Kid instinctively unsheathed his sword and shield and rushed into the fog after Tetra and whatever had grabbed her, ears deaf to Link yelling at him to wait. He could only think of getting Tetra back, focusing on the dark outlines through the mist. For a few seconds his mind didn't even register that the strange vapor surrounding him was harmful, and he kept running.

Kid could clearly see the silhouettes just a couple feet in front of him now. For whatever reason, Tetra didn't even seem to be struggling in her captor's grip. Suddenly, he became aware of the poisonous fog's effects, but pushed forward in sheer determination even as his vision became blurry and his limbs grew heavy. Determination didn't carry him as far as he would have liked, and before he knew it the distorted shapes and colors in his vision became even more indistinguishable, and everything faded to black.

The first thing Kid was aware of was a small pain jabbing into his lower back. The second, was the sick feeling in the pit of his stomach, and the third, the pounding of his head. He tried to remember what had happened since he didn't feel like he had the strength to open his eyes just yet. Tetra had been dragged into poisonous fog by a monster, he had followed like an idiot and passed out. Which prompted the question: Where was he now? The only way to find out was to open his eyes.

Kid slowly allowed his eyes to open. Everything was fuzzy at first, but after a few seconds his vision came into focus, and he was left staring up at a light blue sky dusted with white clouds. The high, leafy branches of trees outlined his view of the sky.

"Oh, look. You're not dead!" Midna announced in a matter-of-fact tone, her shadow bathed form coming to hover just above him as she positioned herself in such a fashion that it appeared she was laying down on her stomach, her head propped up by her hands in interest.

"Barely," Kid groaned, forcing down the urge to cough.

Link, who Kid just realized had been sitting next to him, waved Midna away and helped him sit up, easing the pinprick of pain in his back. It was then that he realized he'd been laying on a small pebble. "Hey, Kid, you still have your red potion right? Link wondered. Kid gave a small nod in confirmation.

"Drink it. It'll make you feel better," Link urged him. In all honestly, drinking anything was the last thing Kid wanted to do because of the nauseous feeling in his stomach, but he took Link's advice, knowing that the feeling was a result of the poison working through his system. It took a few seconds of fumbling around in his stash of various items to find the bottle filled with the red liquid.

Once Kid found it, he uncorked the bottle, and tried not to think about how much his stomach hurt at the moment as he began to drink it. Being better tasting than the potions he was used to consuming, definitely helped him keep the food that he'd had earlier in the morning down. Halfway through, he had to stop, fearing that he would be sick. Eventually he finished it all, and after a minute or two the medicine set to work, forcing away most of the pain in his head and stomach.

"Better?" Link checked, watching him in concern.

"Yeah, I'm good," Kid nodded, "Is Tetra okay?"

"She hasn't woken up yet, but she was in there longer than you. Since you're up I think she should be awake in a minute or two," Link replied. Tetra did, in fact, wake up a few minutes later. She appeared to feel just as terrible, if not worse, than Kid had upon waking, but after drinking a bottle of red potion her condition improved. Princess Zelda ordered them both to do nothing more than sit for the time being since they were still weak despite the medicine they'd consumed.

At first they settled for chatting about what had happened after Kid and Tetra had disappeared into the fog. Because of the purple mist, Link and the princess couldn't move quickly enough to get to them, so Midna had been the one to defeat the monster, which was a low-life Bulblin, and retrieve them both since the fog had no effect on her. They then had to backtrack to where their silver guide was waiting, while dealing with the challenge of carrying two unconscious kids and keeping the poison vapor at bay simultaneously. Once they found the silver orb again, they were continuously interrupted by Keese and a group of Bulblin. Finally they made it out of the fog and followed the light to the clearing they were currently in. Though it was not their destination, Link, Princess Zelda, and Midna thought it would be a good resting spot.

"Honestly, you should have dropped as soon as that fog touched you," Midna informed Kid, "but for some reason, you kept going for a few seconds."

"Why doesn't the fog affect you?" Tetra inquired, seeming annoyed that Midna was the only one immune to it.

"Aww, jealous?" Midna teased her, and then proceeded to answer her question, "I'm not really sure why it doesn't affect me, but I did sense some twilit particles in it, so that probably has something to do with it."

"How did the monsters survive it?" Kid wondered.

"I don't know. We only encountered normal Bulblin, but the fog was probably created in such a way that the monsters would be immune to it. It was actually pretty smart, putting the Bulblins in the fog, so we couldn't see them until it was too late," Midna mused.

"Yeah, that wasn't even fair!" Tetra complained. "The fog was so thick that I couldn't see the monster coming."

"I tried to warn you, but you cut me off," Kid interjected.

"That's only because I thought you were on my case again about being too close to the fog," Tetra defended herself.

"Which you were," Link reprimanded her, "I told you to stay close to me, and you did the opposite."

"But I was still in the safe zone," Tetra argued, "It's not my fault that the monster grabbed me."

"You were at the edge of the safe zone," Link corrected her, "and it wouldn't have been able to grab you so easily if you were where you were supposed to be."

"Whatever," Tetra breathed in exasperation, standing up and stretching, "Can we get going now?"

"If you two feel fine then sure," Link said, relief apparent in his tone that Tetra didn't press the matter as much as he'd been anticipating. Kid got to his feet, surprised at how well the potion had worked considering that they'd been poisoned. He briefly questioned his companions about it, and Midna was able to provide him with the answer. The poisonous fog was not, luckily for them, intended to kill, but to immobilize and trap its victims until whoever wanted them could retrieve them.

The foursome then continued following their silvery guide on foot. They passed Trill's shop and decided to refill on lantern oil and red potion. Curiously enough the talkative little bird wasn't there.

"That's weird," Link said, noting the mini shopkeeper's absence, "He never leaves his shop unattended."

"Perhaps the monsters forced him out," Princess Zelda suggested.

"I don't see any," Kid pointed out, taking another look around the area.

"Oh well, let's grab the stuff and go," Tetra declared.

"I'm going to pay for it," Link announced, as he set to refilling the bottles.

"Why? It's not like he'd know we took anything," Tetra insisted.

"I don't know if no one has ever said this to you before, but in case you haven't heard it, I'm going to say it now. Stealing is wrong, okay?" Link lectured.

"Is it really? I've never heard that before," Tetra commented, her tone indifferent. Kid couldn't tell if she was being serious or not, and he had thought he was almost an expert at interpreting her by now.

"Tell me you're joking," Link pleaded, corking the bottles he'd filled.

"You decide," Tetra shrugged, taking the bottles of red potion from Link and handing one to Kid as Link dug some rupees out of his wallet and dropped them in the payment box.

Kid and Tetra put their bottles of red potion away, and they resumed chasing the ball of combined goddess tears. It led them up a large, slightly curving root of a grand tree coming out of the ground. The root created a raised platform of sorts for them to stand on. From their vantage point, Kid could see that they were on a cliff of sorts. A decent sized, sturdy branch grew out of the big hollowed out bridge to their left, almost resembling a platform.

To their surprise the silver and white sphere continued, flying over the lip of the thin root that created a natural, unscalable wall in front of the edge, and skipped ahead so they couldn't see it anymore.

"How are we supposed to cross?" Kid wondered. The bridge wouldn't help them, and even if they managed to somehow get on top of the wall there was no way they'd be able to jump the far distance to the mini log platform.

"There should be a golden cucco around here somewhere," Link muttered, scanning the area. The foursome split up to search for the animal. Kid began to delve in a patch of tall grass, and a Deku Baba shot up in front of him, regarding him as if he were a snack. Kid unsheathed his sword and side stepped out of the way when it lunged at him. He then cut the vine that served as its neck, and it melted into a shadowy substance.

Kid surveyed the rest of the area, but didn't see anything golden in color. Five minutes later, they met up at the middle of the clearing. Their search had yielded no results.

"What now?" Tetra wanted to know, looking to Link expectantly.

"…I don't know," Link admitted after a hesitant pause. "The golden cucco should be here, but it's not. I'm not sure that there is an alternative."

"Sounds like you need my help," Midna interrupted, slipping out of Link's shadow and joining the conversation. She didn't look like a shadow anymore. Instead she was in her solid form, turquoise runes standing out bright against her black and white colored skin.

"Midna what are you talking about?" Link asked, seeming wary of the Twili's next words. Instead of replying, a mischievous grin came over Midna's face, and she held out her right hand, palm up. A small bout of shadow magic burst from her palm and faded away to reveal a strange object. It looked like some kind of weird charm. Kid could only infer that it was composed of some kind of substance native to the Twilight Realm. The charm was cut in a jagged fashion, mostly black with the exception of bright orange outlining some of the runes etched into it.

"No," Link stated instantly, eyeing the charm as if it would bite him.

"Oh, come on!" Midna sighed, rolling her eyes. She drifted closer to Link, causing him to back up, acting as if she was pointing a deadly weapon at him. "With this, you can be over there in no time, and you can carry everyone else over too. Think about it, we've already wasted enough time with that poisonous fog business. The longer we wait, the more opportunity Zant has to strike."

Link said nothing, but it was apparent that he was still against whatever idea Midna had come up with.

"What is that thing?" Tetra questioned Midna, pointing to the strange object that appeared to freak Link out.

"It's called a shadow crystal. It's composed of dark magic," Midna explained, balancing it on the tip of her pointer finger.

"What does it do?" Kid wondered.

"You wanna see?" Midna responded with a question of her own.

"No, he doesn't," Link answered for Kid before he could reply.

"Yes, I do," Kid protested.

"Me too!" Tetra added.

"It's decided then!" Midna declared, "Link come 'ere!" Link chose to run instead which prompted Midna to chase him. Midna couldn't fly as fast as Link could run, but she did succeed in keeping Link in the clearing they currently inhabited.

"Link, this is a bunch of ludicrous. Just let her get it over with!" Princess Zelda called to him as he circled the entire clearing for what must have been the fourth time.

"If you feel that way then why don't you let her use it on you instead?!" Link yelled back.

"Because we both know it won't work the same way," Princess Zelda replied calmly. Link was about to shout back a retort, but skidded to a stop upon realizing that in humoring the princess by responding to her comment, he had left Midna a chance to corner him.

"Midna," Link spoke slowly in hopes that if he chose his words carefully enough he could spare himself. "We can find a different way across."

"Oh yeah? Care to tell me what that 'different way' is?" Midna taunted him as she advanced.

Link thought for a few seconds and came up empty. "Alright, so I don't have a different way," Link finally sighed, "but…if you have to do it then please be gent-ahhh!" Link yelled as Midna mercilessly touched the shadow crystal to his forehead.

Immediately the scene wasn't as comical as before, and the smile that Kid had previously been wearing fell into an uncertain frown. Beside him, Tetra gasped in surprise, her eyes wide as she watched Link collapse on the ground. Princess Zelda was unmoved by the display, as if it was an everyday occurrence. Shadows seemed to writhe around Link before consuming his form, reshaping it. Mere seconds later the shadows retreated to reveal a foreign type of animal.

It resembled a dog of some kind, but if that was what it was, then it was the largest dog Kid had ever laid eyes on. The animal had an elongated snout and ears that stuck straight up from its head. Thick greyish fur with a tint of green covered its entire body. White fur sprouted from its underbelly and on certain parts of its face.

Midna almost seemed humored as it dropped into what Kid interpreted as a fighting stance and growled at her. She floated down to eye level with it and, still grinning, cupped its chin in her hands. "Now, now, do we have to go over manners again?" Midna asked as if speaking to a particularly disobedient child.

The beast slowly relaxed its stance, and Midna patted it on the head, "Good boy," she praised before doing a flip in the air and purposely putting her full weight down when she landed on the animal's back, making it stumble forward slightly.

"Eee hee hee, you two should see your faces!" Midna giggled as she and her unique ride drew closer, causing Kid and Tetra to involuntarily back up.

"Don't be scared. Link wouldn't dream of hurting you," Midna informed them. As if to show that what Midna said was true, the beast, let his ears droop down to rest against his head, lowering himself to the ground so he was laying down a couple feet in front of them.

Kid was speechless. ‘That's Link?!’ he thought in disbelief. Quicker than he thought it would, his mind began to wrap around the concept and accept it. ‘After all,’ he consoled himself as he reached out a tentative hand to touch the animal that Link had become, ‘I've seen weirder.’ It was true. Once you saw and traveled with a talking boat, you never went back. It made things like this almost seem normal. Almost.

Link didn't react at first when Kid touched his head, but after a few seconds he picked up his ears. Kid instantly noticed that the blue earrings that Link normally wore were present. Link's eyes were the same piercing blue that he'd become so used to seeing, but if he didn't know any better he'd say that they were glowing slightly. Of course, it was only a trick of the light that made them look that way.

"Is it still Link inside?" Tetra asked Midna.

"Yup," Midna nodded, "He's completely aware. It's not like he's suddenly gone feral or something just because he turned into a wolf." With this new information Tetra felt more confident about venturing closer. She gingerly traced the symbol on Link's forehead with her finger, making Kid wonder how much the transformation hurt. He couldn't question Link about it at the moment though since he couldn't communicate with him unless he asked yes or no questions.

"Not to rush you or anything, I know you two are still processing this, but can we start moving?" Midna wondered in a bored tone from her perch on Link's back.

"Even though Link's a uh…wolf now," Kid began, hoping he'd said the foreign word correctly, "How does that help us get across?"

"With my help, he can jump really far distances, so the plan is, he will carry you all over on his back one by one," Midna explained and then quickly continued, "Zelda will go first while you guys come to terms with the whole Link's-a-human-but-he-can-turn-into-a-wolf thing."

Wolf Link got to his feet, and Midna jumped off of his back and into the air. Princess Zelda followed Wolf Link as he padded up the big root that they had been standing on before. Kid and Tetra trailed behind, and it was then that Kid noticed the chain around the wolf's front left leg. He had no time to ask about it though, for the princess had already climbed onto Wolf Link's back.

Midna flew over the edge and turned around once she came to hover above the log that served as a small platform. Kid watched in surprise as her already fiery orange hair, glowed brighter and seemed to get bigger. Her hair morphed into a large hand, and she waved it, as if beckoning. The sight was absurd, but after what he'd just witnessed happen to Link, it didn't seem like that big of a deal.

What happened next was even more incredible. Even though the jump should have been impossible, Wolf Link leaped over to Midna with agility and grace that shouldn't have been plausible given his size. Midna then disappeared around the bend, and with another great leap the wolf and princess were lost as well.

Roughly a minute or two later Midna came back into view, and Wolf Link followed shortly after.

When they were all on the same platform Midna announced, "Tetra's next."

"Why me?" Tetra wondered, obviously still uncomfortable with Link's new form.

"Well, you are being hunted by Zant, and if we leave you alone and something comes I don't see that knife of yours doing all that much," Midna replied, her tone somehow teasing and serious at the same time.

"First of all, it's a dagger, and second of all, I happen to be an expert with it," Tetra returned.

"Expertise won't matter if it's a shadow beast," Midna reminded her. Tetra was silent for a few seconds, contemplating her options. Deciding not to risk it, she complied and stepped closer to Wolf Link.

"What's up with the chain on his leg?" Tetra questioned Midna as Wolf Link sat down so she didn't have to struggle to get on.

"It's a long story, but I guess I can give you the short version. When Link and I first met, he was imprisoned." Midna motioned to the metal cuff around Wolf Link's leg. "I cut the chain, so he could move around and find a way out. Then he became my slave. The end." Wolf Link suddenly jumped up in protest to Midna's title for him.

"Whoa! Midna, don't make him mad!" Tetra squeaked in mild fright as she gripped Wolf Link's fur in her hands, so she wouldn't fall off.

"I'm not," Midna assured her, and then advised, "I'd hold on tight if I were you and lean forward a bit; don't want you falling off. It's a long way down." Tetra did as suggested, and Midna flew ahead. Wolf Link backed up a little, and then took a running start. He jumped over to Midna, landing lightly and expertly on the log as if he'd done it a thousand times before. Kid found himself alone a second later as they passed out of sight.

He wasn't lonely for long because Midna and Wolf Link appeared once again, joining him on the nature-made platform.

"Last one," Midna sighed as if aiding Wolf Link in jumping long distances was particularly strenuous. "Climb on, hold on tight, and let's go." Wolf Link lowered himself to the ground again, so Kid had easier access to his back. As soon as Kid was positioned correctly, Wolf Link stood up, a bit slower than he had for Tetra, and Kid quickly realized that this wouldn't be like riding Epona.

While Wolf Link wasn't nearly as big as the horse, he was big enough that Kid couldn't touch the ground while the wolf was standing. Kid buried his hands in the soft fur on the nape of Wolf Link's neck since it seemed to be the only place that would provide a decent handhold. He grasped the fur there lightly, not wanting to cause Wolf Link discomfort.

Midna went ahead of them, and got in position encouraging them to jump over. Kid leaned forward a bit, remembering how Midna had instructed Tetra to do that earlier. Instead of moving forward or backing up to get a running start, Wolf Link turned his head slightly, so he could see Kid a bit.

'You have to hold on tighter than that,' a voice informed him silently. The voice in his head was not his own. It sounded like Link's which proceeded to freak him out.

'I'm imagining things,' Kid tried to convince himself as he tightened his grip. As soon as he did so Wolf Link turned his attention back to Midna. Okay, so maybe he wasn't imagining things. It was then that he realized it must be because of the Triforce of Courage that he could understand Link in his new form while no one else could. An unwelcome notion squirmed its way into his head. If Link could be changed into a wolf because he possessed the Triforce of Courage, then did that mean that, if touched with the Shadow Crystal, Kid could be transformed into a beast too? Kid hoped that Midna never found out he had the Triforce of Courage as well. He had a feeling that she wouldn't hesitate to use the crystal on him if she knew.

Kid felt Wolf Link tense beneath him, preparing to jump. When they did jump over to the beckoning Midna and her magical hair, Kid found himself holding on even tighter as they seemed to glide over to the log. Midna got out of the way and flew over to the next foothold. This one was a bit smaller than the first.

'Ow, not that tight,' Link's voice complained in his head. He immediately loosened his grip, and Wolf Link looked back at him as if in question. Kid was at a loss for what to do, so he just smiled innocently, and that seemed to satisfy the wolf.

Wolf Link leaped over to Midna, and she glided towards their next destination. They turned and jumped onto a longer portion of land. Up ahead was a bridge angled away from them. Wolf Link came to a stop at the edge staring at the wooden bridge.

'Seriously? The wind decides to change it now?' Link's voice sighed in exasperation in Kid's head.

"Well, that's annoying. Guess we have to wait until another gust comes along," Midna commented, voicing Link's thoughts, or what Kid perceived as Link's thoughts since they were most certainly not his own.

Kid instantly thought of the Wind Waker and how useful it would be right now. It was nestled somewhere in his pouch along with most his other items, but he knew that he could not utilize its power here unless it was an absolute emergency, and there was no alternative solution. As it was now, they weren't in a huge rush, so they could spare the extra time.

After a couple minutes, a strong gust of wind came and whipped the bridge into position. Midna wasted no time in darting forward and getting in position to help Wolf Link make the jump.

Once they were on the bridge, they had to wait another three or four minutes for a strong enough breeze to blow through the area in the correct direction to reposition the bridge. Wolf Link touched down on another piece of land. Looking ahead, Kid became more convinced that the place was an obstacle course designed to kill them. A small piece of land was placed between two logs which were suspended from ropes and swaying from side to side like blades. Midna floated over to the small portion of land, creating a third arm out of her hair once again.

"This is the tricky part," Midna announced as she signaled for Wolf Link to follow with her magical hand. "Kid, don't lean forward too much or you'll throw Link off balance, and you'll both be in trouble." Kid took her advice and leaned back a little, still clutching the soft fur at Wolf Link's neck. Wolf Link watched the first log swing back and forth like a pendulum, and immediately after it passed by them for the third time, he took to the air, landing deftly on the small piece of land Midna had previously been hovering over.

With another great leap Wolf Link and Kid landed in a safer area with land stretching out ahead of them. Wolf Link trotted forward and past a strange looking stone with a hole in the middle of it. They then passed under a natural arch constructed of thick, twisted branches and into another section of the forest where the girls and their forever patient guide were waiting. Kid slipped off of Wolf Link and onto the ground as his eyes drank in the new scenery. The vegetation was thick and immense trees rose up towards the sky. Surrounding them was a wall of aged wood, its veins visible and overgrown with vines. The canopy of leaves above was so dense that even the sun's rays had a difficult time wriggling their way through.

"Are you going to change him back now?" Tetra wondered indicating Wolf Link with a nod of her head.

"Hmmm…" Midna tapped her chin in thought. "I could…or," here she plopped herself down on Wolf Link's back and leaned forward, tugging hard on one of his ears which prompted a growl from him, "I could keep him like this for a while."

"Midna, that is unnecessarily cruel," Princess Zelda admonished the Twilight Princess who just giggled in response.

"What's cruel is you all got a turn to ride him, and I didn't," Midna pouted, "Besides, Link's got more sense this way." At this, Wolf Link let out a loud bark of displeasure, glaring at the mischievous imp girl poised on his back. He had obviously unearthed the insult in her little joke.

Midna let go of Wolf Link's ear and straightened herself in her seat. "Alright, let's see where this thing's leading us. Chase that light!" Midna ordered, tapping the wolf's shoulders with both of her hands to prompt him forward. Wolf Link started walked over to the ball of fused goddess tears with a bit of reluctance. It moved ahead of him once he was almost below it, and he quickened his pace. Kid, Tetra and Princess Zelda trailed behind the beast and his rider as the sphere of silver and white guided them through the confusing, yet beautiful, forest labyrinth.

The orb led them to a clearing with large crumbling and broken walls encircling the area. Kid inferred that the place used to be a building before age, weather, and goddesses only knows what reduced it to ruins. Rocks were also strewn around the once grand area. Kid, Tetra and the princess preferred to use the vines that grew off to the side to climb most of the way down before being forced to drop the several remaining feet while Wolf Link chose to simply leap off of the ledge to the leaf covered ground below.

Still the ball of silver light continued to move forward, and the group of five had no choice, but to follow.

"We can't be far now. There isn't much back here," Midna observed, as they were led up a narrow grassy slope and into another clearing, this one more expansive than the previous.

As if encouraged by Midna's words to move faster, Wolf Link dashed ahead with a bark, catching Midna by surprise and forcing her to hold on tighter. The silver orb glided to the right, faster than before, heading towards a doorway.

Without warning large black and red crystals appeared and touched down on the ground in sync. A red barrier connected all of the oddly shaped posts, trapping Wolf Link and Midna inside. A black portal with sharp edged red runes appeared in the sky, dropping Shadow Beasts into the arena.

"Hey! Who invited you guys to the party?" Midna questioned the seven shadow beasts surrounding them almost as if she respected an answer. "I don't appreciate party crashers."

Wolf Link had dropped into a fighting stance as soon as the barrier appeared and was now glaring at the Shadow Beasts. Kid immediately wondered how Link was supposed to fight in his new form. He couldn't use a sword so cutting them all down at once would be impossible. Midna apparently had a solution to this problem. Kid watched in shock and awe from the sidelines as Wolf Link tensed up, and Midna formed her hair into an arm again. This time she held it high in the air, the hand unmoving as if waiting for the opportunity to slam it down. Around the two appeared a large, dark circular energy field, teeming with what looked like red electricity.

Wolf Link moved slowly as he captured all the Shadow Beasts in the circle and ominous red light crackled around their bodies. Once all seven had been touched, he lunged forward, leaping from one, to the next, to the next, and so on until he'd ended each one's life in swift succession. When he landed on his feet, Kid thought that the barrier would lift, but it did not.

The ear-splitting screech of a Shadow Beast cut through the air, causing Kid to cringe along with his companions. In the arena, Wolf Link stood tense, his ears flattened to his head while Midna practically laid on his back, burying her head in his fur as if it'd help block out the terrible noise.

The seven defeated Shadow Beasts were resurrected. The closet one took a swipe at Wolf Link, who barely dodged in time.

"How did we miss that one?" Midna wondered in annoyance as she glanced at the lone Shadow Beast near the ruins of some kind of abandoned structure. Wolf Link raced towards it, leaving the other seven Shadow Beasts to their own devices. Fortunately, the Shadow Beasts weren't big on the custom of pursuit, and Wolf Link could get away from the group without an issue. Wolf Link was now closing in on the unsuspecting Shadow Beast and leapt into the air, meaning to tackle it. However, right before he would have made contact, a barrier of red flashed between them and sent him flying back. Midna was ejected from her seat with a startled cry and tumbled in the air a couple times before righting herself.

Wolf Link gingerly picked himself up from the ground, appearing to check himself over for injuries. Midna flew over to the wolf and lowered herself onto his back.

"Shake it off," she told him, patting his side as if in encouragement. "We'll have to go around. You should have known better. You can't just go rushing into things, stupid wolf." Midna said this with a playful grin. Wolf Link ignored her comment and ran to the other side of the collapsed structure, passing through an archway and disappearing out of sight.

"Where are you going?" Princess Zelda inquired, her tone unidentifiable. Kid turned his attention to his right where Tetra stood a few feet away.

"I'm going over there to see better," Tetra answered, pointing towards the doorway flanked by two strange looking statue sentries that their guide had disappeared into. "Once Link starts fighting that thing, we won't be able to see any of the action. Are you coming?"

"I'll come," Kid agreed, realizing that he didn't want to miss any of the battle either. Even if they couldn't physically do anything to help, at least they could cheer him on.

"I have a fine view from here. You two go on, but be careful. Don't touch the fence."

"Like you have to tell us twice," Tetra smirked, "Link just gave us an excellent example of what not to do." Tetra motioned for Kid to follow her, and the pair ran around the outskirts of the red barrier. Most of the clearing was now an arena, but there were some parts that were not included. The small staircase, if it could be classified as such, leading up to the cleanly cut stone arched doorway was excluded while its protectors were trapped.

As she neared the steps, Tetra slowed and pressed close to the moss covered stones that made up the wall, wary of the fence to her left. She climbed over the small sloping railing and glanced back at Kid, gesturing for him to hurry up.

Kid made it through the small gap between the harmful fence to his left and the ancient stonework to his right. He climbed over the railing in the same manner that Tetra had. When he moved to get off of the solid railing and onto the step, he caught sight of the congregation of tears waiting at the foot of white marble stairs just a few feet ahead. Kid slid off of the railing, and then turned to Tetra, tapping his friend on the shoulder to get her attention.

"What?" Tetra sighed, focusing her attention on him rather than the battle.

"Look," he instructed her, pointing to the silver ball of light. Tetra stepped away from the fence and towards the orb while Kid watched her. When she reached out to grab it the sphere floated halfway up the steps, enticing them to follow.

"Come on, let's follow it the rest of the way," Tetra suggested, waving him over.

"But didn't you want to see Link and Midna fight?" Kid queried, confused at her sudden change of interests.

"I did, but they obviously have it handled, and we can't help them anyway." Tetra declared as if it was common knowledge, "Besides, aren't you curious?"

Kid bit his lip and glanced back at the battle. From what he could see, Link had just managed to fell the Shadow Beast and was heading back the way he'd come to do away with the rest. There wasn't much of the battle left to see anyway, and his curiosity was almost suffocating.

"Alright," Kid relented, jogging over to Tetra, "but if it takes us too far we're waiting for everyone else."

"Don't worry, it can't take us much farther," Tetra assured him as she began to ascend the steps. Kid and Tetra hurried up the staircase, chasing the pulsing orb. When they made it to the top, Kid found that Tetra had been correct. Their guide really couldn't take them much farther, for they now stood in a clearing, remnants of columns and walls scattered along the edges. Green hedges and tall, scrawny trees sprouted around the border of the clearing. Kid, however, was more focused on the pedestal and sword towards the rear.

The silver sprite leading them seemed to take an interest in the sword as well and danced its way over to the pedestal. Kid and Tetra trailed behind it and became surprised when it darted away from them for the last time. It flew up high into the air and circled above the sword four times, as if in celebration of rediscovering a lost friend, before it hurtled downwards and disappeared into the pommel of the sword.

Kid knew it was the Master Sword instantly. The hilt's color and design was exactly as he remembered it, and the blade itself was a shining silver. The weapon brought back memories both good and bad. He'd always thought that given the chance to touch it again, to wield it, that he wouldn't take it. Yet as the opportunity presented itself, Kid felt compelled to take it even though he knew he shouldn't, especially under the circumstances.

Beside him, Tetra eyed him wordlessly, probably guessing what he was thinking. She happened to be very good at that. A triumphant shout from Midna and a wolf's howl alerted the pair to their companions' victory. This was it. If Kid was going to take it, he had to do it now.

Kid stepped forward and grasped the hilt first with his right hand, and then hesitantly added his left. Beneath his fingertips he felt the sword pulse. He thought that he saw a pale purple light engulf the sword as well, but it could have just been a trick of the sunlight filtering in from the side, creating a dramatic setting. He took a deep breath to compose himself, and then pulled upwards.

The sword slipped free easily, and he found himself holding the sacred Master Sword in his left hand once again. Suddenly the sword flashed with a bright purple and blue light. A form leap out of the blade, flipping gracefully into the air and landing in front of him, with its head bowed.

Kid let out a startled squeak and fell backwards off of the raised pedestal and onto the hard ground. Before he could recover, the figure, which was most definitely a woman, was hovering above him, her light blue face disturbingly close to his own. What shocked him the most was that her facial features were akin to those of the Queen of Fairies. She held him in the most intense, calculating gaze that he'd ever been subject to, which was especially disconcerting on account of the fact that her face seemed to be frozen in a permanent blank stare, as if she was incapable of expressing emotion. He found himself unable to look away, eyes wide and mouth agape in some emotion that he couldn't identify.

The strange woman then uttered in the most impassive voice Kid had ever heard, "Greetings, Master."

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