The Legend of Zelda: The Alternate Link

Chapter 31: Triggering a Crisis

She had known that he was going to pull the Master Sword from the pedestal. She had known that, so why hadn't she stopped him? Now her gaze was transfixed on the new arrival, who was most definitely female. Her young looking face and stylishly short hair were the same metallic shade of light blue. Tetra thought of herself as more adept than the average person at concealing her emotions, but this woman was truly emotionless from top to bottom. Her eyes bore no pupil and were glassed over with the same color as the rest of her inexpressive face. She wore a formfitting dark purple dress with a large diamond-shaped brooch at her neck, the sparkling blue gem nestled inside a golden frame. She appeared to wear some kind of cloak, divided neatly into two separate colors that fell in elegant folds over her arms. Only when she distanced herself from Kid slightly could Tetra see that the woman had no arms, and the rippling purple and blue fabric served as the missing limbs. Green straps crisscrossed up the length of the dark hued stockings on her legs and it was unclear as to if she was wearing shoes or if they were part of her stockings.

Tetra and Kid could do nothing but stare at the figure before them as she addressed Kid in the same feminine monotone as before, however this time it seemed that the words that passed her lips were rehearsed, "When you retrieved the sword from the pedestal, I was awakened from my eternal slumber. Upon my waking, the goddess has aroused an aura in my memory. It is now possible to dowse for what you seek."

"Uh…w-what?" Kid stammered in confusion, "I…who are you, why are you calling me 'Master', and err…what does dowse mean?"

"I apologize. I was under the impression that you recalled my personal designation. As this is not the case, I shall once again provide you with it. Fi is the name I was given. While you are not the original Master I have memory of, you are the Master in another life, and I am obligated to address you as such even if you possess no prior recollection of our time together. Dowsing is a treasure-seeking ability of the Goddess Sword, what you may know as the Master Sword, and with it, you can find any object or person that is available for a dowsing target," Fi rambled off the answers to all of Kid's questions in prompt succession.

The information made little to no sense in Tetra's head, and by the look on Kid's face, it became apparent that he wasn't having any luck in comprehending Fi's words either.

"It appears you are still perplexed. Perhaps additional information is required to correct your emotional state. I am the servant of the goddess Hylia. Essentially, I am a sword spirit and reside in the sword you hold in your hand," Fi explained, her voice portraying no feeling of any kind.

Kid briefly glanced down at the Master Sword clutched tightly in his left hand, and then back up at Fi. "So…you're the spirit of the Master Sword?" Kid questioned, attempting to make some sense of the information she was giving them.

"Affirmative," Fi inclined her head slightly in what Tetra interpreted as a nod.

"And I'm your Master because…" Kid trailed off, hoping Fi could provide him with the rest of the sentence.

"You bear the Triforce of Courage and the spirit of the hero," Fi finished for him.

"Right…" Kid nodded slowly, as if replaying the words in his head to make better sense of them. It was then that Tetra noticed the Triforce symbol was standing out on Kid's left hand, shining fiercely like a beacon. Thankfully the fragment of the Triforce of Wisdom around her neck did not react, but that hardly mattered. There was no way their companions weren't seeing this right now. Tetra couldn't bring herself to confirm this though and kept her eyes trained on the sword spirit, trying to come up with something to say. Anything to take some attention away from Kid.

"You say that you are the servant of the goddess Hylia," Tetra began, silently hoping that Fi would speak to her as well, "but we don't even know who Hylia is. Could you tell us?"

To her surprise, and relief, Fi turned her unchanging gaze on Tetra and said, "I calculate that much must have transpired in the time my consciousness was sealed within the Master Sword if the goddess's identity has been forgotten. I believe I can provide you with adequate information on her. Originally, she was a divine entity, the youngest sister of the goddesses, Din, Nayru, and Farore. After her elder sisters had departed the world they'd forged, Hylia was charged with the task of protecting the Triforce. One day, the earth split open, and the Demon King, Demise, and his demonic hordes came forth, intending to make the world their own by taking the holy relic for themselves.

To prevent the power of the Triforce from falling into the Demon King's hands, Hylia gathered the surviving humans on an outcrop of earth with the Triforce and sent them skyward, beyond the evil tainting the Surface and beyond even the clouds. The goddess then joined forces with the five tribes who inhabited the Surface, and together they waged a war with the demons. Hylia managed to seal away Demise, but in doing so, she suffered grave injuries. With the knowledge that the seal would not contain Demise's immense power and his freedom would mean the destruction of the land, she came up with two plans to eradicate the Demon King. Her first plan entailed creating me with the purpose to assist her chosen hero throughout his journey. The second consisted of a great sacrifice. Hylia decided to abandon her divinity and her immortal form in order to transfer her soul to the body of a mortal, so that she could one day use the ultimate power her sisters had created.

Hylia is now known by various names. 'The Goddess' and 'Her Grace' are most likely no longer used. I predict that you now refer to her as: 'Zelda'." The startled gasp from behind her barely registered in Tetra's mind which was suddenly drowning in thoughts with Fi's explanation. Zelda. As in Princess Zelda. As in the Princess of Hyrule. As in…her.

Tetra knew that she had probably turned five shades paler just from that news. Being told she was a princess of a forgotten kingdom was enough to make her go crazy. Now, being told that she was a goddess was more than enough to break her completely. She didn't know what she wanted to do. Breaking down and crying seemed like a logical response, but her eyes remained dry. Fainting would have worked too, and although she felt light-headed, it was simply because of all the thoughts running around her brain, becoming entangled in each other until she couldn't tell the difference between the beginning of one and the end of another. Her voice refused to cooperate, as well as her limbs, so she remained silent, standing completely still as her head filled itself fit to burst with information both new and old.

One minute she was Tetra, the next Zelda, and the next Hylia. The only thing all the names had in common were that they'd all been forgotten. Hylia was a forgotten goddess, Zelda was the princess of a forgotten kingdom, and Tetra had forgotten who she was. Was she even a pirate anymore? She might have been able to make Pirate Princess work, but Pirate Princess, secretly a goddess turned mortal? She didn't think she was capable of dealing with all of those titles at once. They were too different, each one with more responsibilities than the last, and picking one didn't seem to be an option.

A startled cry from behind temporarily snapped her out of it, and Tetra whirled around on her heel to look, hand instinctively resting on the hilt of her dagger. She was utterly shocked when she was greeted with the sight of a multitude of monsters, ranging from small to large, making their way closer. Zelda and Link, who Midna had still neglected to change back to normal, now had their backs to them in fighting stances.

"Where'd all these guys come from? The place was just empty!" Midna exclaimed eyeing the monsters with disgust. She was right. Something was off.

"Master, I predict there is a 95% probability that awakening me is responsible for these monsters' abrupt appearance." Fi announced.

"How?" Kid breathed in surprise as he watched the horde of monsters draw closer.

"When my previous Master defeated Demise, the Demon King's consciousness was absorbed into the Master Sword where I, in my sleep-like state, guarded it. As long as I was asleep, so was he. Now that I am awake, my data suggests that the remains of his essence has escaped," Fi replied. Her tone of voice neither suggested that this was a good nor bad thing. However, Tetra knew that it was a very bad thing. If she'd been able to speak without her voice shaking she would have yelled at Kid for being so stupid. Yet, wasn't it her fault for not stopping him? Wasn't all of this her fault? She'd been the one to find the treasure map. She'd been the one to insist on following it, dragging not only Kid into it, but Medli, Makar, and poor little Aryll too. Now they were facing an army of who knows how many monsters and besides that they'd just unleashed an ancient Demon King. Things couldn't get much worse. 'Yes they can,' she realized, 'Link and Zelda won't let this one slide. We probably already have one hundred questions to our names.'

Fi flipped into the air and became a ball of bright light before she disappeared into the Master Sword. An ornate sheath appeared on Kid's back, and he stumbled forward with the extra weight, hastily trying to remove his other sword and sheath.

Midna flew over to them, her eyes asking a thousand questions. However, all she did was snap her fingers, and Kid's old sheath and sword disappeared from his back in a flurry of twilit particles. "I'll hold on to these for now, but as soon as this is over you're giving Link the sword and explaining," Midna informed him. Before he had a chance to reply she returned to her post on Wolf Link's back and stated, "Link and I'll go ahead to clear a path, you guys follow up the rear, got it?" Tetra, Kid and Princess Zelda nodded in comprehension. Satisfied, Midna and Wolf Link charged forward into the horde of enemies. Midna used her third arm to whip around the monsters surrounding them, crushing some, knocking the wind out of others as she brought the large orange hand down. Princess Zelda charged ahead as soon as the pair disappeared down the steps. Kid was suddenly animated upon seeing this, but Tetra didn't move an inch.

Noticing that she wasn't following him, Kid turned back.

"It's okay; don't think about it," Kid attempted to reassure her, reading her thoughts like a book.

"How can I not?" Tetra asked, her voice sounding small and distant even to her own ears. It was just like the time she'd been told she was Princess Zelda. She felt detached from herself. Back then she'd had the luxury of being in a quiet room all by herself, but now, being forced into a battle, she wasn't sure she could do it. She was in too much of a daze to fight.

"I don't know," Kid admitted, "but just try." Taking her hand in his, Kid declared, "You don't have to fight, but you can't stay here either. Come with me; I'll protect you." Protect her. That was all he'd ever done and for what? For this? For getting lost in some foreign place and battling dozens upon dozens of monsters? She didn't voice these thoughts. Instead, she let herself be led slowly, then more quickly, until they were running, down the marble steps and out of the arched doorway and into the clearing where they both stopped dead.

Stretching out in front of them was an entire legion of monsters, almost none of them familiar, and some only vaguely so. Their companions were spread out across the area, fighting fiercely amongst the sea of monsters.

"Stay close," was all Kid said before releasing her hand and taking out his shield. He then ran into the fray with Tetra close behind. She had her dagger drawn, but didn't think she would be able to use it. Not now. Not when her thoughts were eating away at her sanity. Rational parts of her screamed to drop the weapon and run. Flight over fight, but her traditional nature made her grip the small blade tighter. She couldn't shut down. This wasn't the time nor place for it.

"What is that?!" Kid exclaimed, backing up as he held his shield in front of him, eyeing an overweight red monster in surprise and disgust. It wielded a large spear and square metal shield.

"This massive monster is known as a Moblin," Fi explained, suddenly appearing from the sword, "My calculations conclude that the best course of action to take when battling one, is to use Skyward Strikes to attack from a distance. As its shield is quite large, it is possible to climb over it as if it were a wall. However, given your diminished size, I calculate a 50% chance of this strategy succeeding."

"Uh…thanks, Fi," Kid acknowledged the sword spirit as she disappeared once again. After a couple seconds Kid exclaimed, "Wait! What's a Skyward Strike?!" Kid and Tetra were forced to roll out of the way of the Moblin's long spear as it took a swing at them, and Fi reappeared, an endless dictionary of information. "A Skyward Strike is executed by raising the sword skyward and releasing the energy gathered when it reaches its zenith."

Kid raised his sword, pointing it towards the sky. Tetra watched from behind as a light started at the tip of the sword and traveled down the blade at a steady pace. In just a few seconds the blade flashed briefly with the same light. It glinted faintly in a pale purple hue. With no knowledge as to how to use it, Kid took a gambit and slashed downwards, cutting the empty air in front of him. They were both surprised when a beam of lavender light escaped the sword, traveling towards the strange-looking Moblin, who was too slow to move its shield to block the ranged attack. It hit the bulky monster's side which provoked it to let out a grunt of pain.

"It shoots laser beams now?!" Kid wondered, regarding the sacred sword in his hand incredulously, "Sweet!"

"Do it again, Kid," Tetra ordered him, "Focus on that monster, I'll deal with the others."

"Tetra, are you sure?" Kid questioned, glancing back at her in uncertainty.

"Yup," Tetra nodded at the same time that her mind screamed no. She wasn't sure. In fact, she was convinced that she wouldn't be able to do much, but she knew she had to try. She couldn't let Kid do everything because goddesses above knows that he couldn't. No amount of courage would protect him. Only she could.

That is why she turned her back to him, focusing her stony gaze on the few unfamiliar Bulblins that had taken notice of them. There were at least five, none exactly the same as the other. The closest monster, a green skinned creature with a hammer, rushed at her, intending to do harm. It swung its weapon, aiming for her head. Tetra ducked and rolled forward kicking it in the chest and sending it stumbling back. She got to her feet and jumped over a machete aimed for her legs. She thrust the dagger in her hand forward and pierced the monster's red skin. It shrieked, backing away from her. It then produced a horn she'd failed to notice it carrying. A low humming erupted from the curved horn as the creature filled it with air, and she took advantage of its distraction, using her dagger to reap the air from its lungs and silence it for good. However, the damage had been done, and the reinforcements it'd called for swiftly arrived from out of nowhere.

Tetra now found herself surrounded by the creatures, separated from Kid who was engaged in battle with the Moblin a few feet away while he tried to keep blob-like enemies, which reminded her vaguely of Chuchus, at bay. Taking action, Tetra moved toward the closest Bulblin, and raised her dagger to strike it. To her amazement, the blue skinned creature grabbed her wrist and squeezed, jerking it to the side, so she was not only forced to drop her dagger but throw it a short distance away. Since when were monsters smart?!

Looking past that, she twisted out of its hold and ran to retrieve her dagger, fearlessly pushing past the monsters penning her in. She was almost to her dropped weapon when she felt a forceful tug on her right ankle. The next thing she knew she was flat on the ground with a throbbing jaw. Even though she knew it was futile, she tried to grab her dagger which was tantalizingly out of reach. Tetra kicked out in an attempt to free herself but missed her target. Her attempt did not go unnoticed, and she only succeeded in making the monster angrier and thus dig its claws into her ankle as it pulled her farther away from her treasured dagger.

As it made to lift her up in the air, Tetra managed to kick the creature with her free leg, and it dropped her with a strangled cry as its hands flew instinctively to its face. Tetra scrambled to her feet, ignoring the flicker of pain in her right ankle, and quickly retrieved her dagger. She then whirled around to face her assailants, weapon held defensively in front of her.

Somehow she managed to defeat the enemies, and Kid regrouped with her, profusely apologizing for being separated in the midst of battle. The pair then pushed ahead through the army of monsters. Even with the casualties the monster army had suffered, it didn't appear that the odds were evened in the slightest. Monsters of all shapes and forms inhabited the battle field, some fighting, others impatiently waiting their turn as if it were a popular game that everyone wanted to play. A game without rules or guidelines of any sort. A full out blood bath with no clear goal other than to kill.

Kid and Tetra intended to take out the most gruesome looking monsters in hopes that, if they defeated the correct one, the rest would be called off. They headed towards the ruins where a dragon-like monster with three heads encased in bone swayed back and forth, awaiting its turn to battle.

"Fi, what's this monster, and how do I fight it?" Kid asked, drawing up short of the creature and glancing at the sword spirit that materialized out of the Master Sword upon hearing his voice.

"Staldra is a snake monster from before the dawn of time. Three bone-plated heads and a thirst to cause pain keep it writhing even beyond death. My analysis shows that to defeat this cursed snake, all three of its heads must be simultaneously destroyed," Fi helpfully supplied, disappearing as soon as she'd finished delivering the information.

Kid stepped forward, attracting the attention of the Staldra. It's electrifying blue eyes flashed a dangerous shade of crimson, and its heads lunged, hungry for blood. Kid backed away, and then raised his sword upon seeing all of the heads align. He slashed horizontally and sliced off two of the three skulls. Kid distanced himself as the creature reared back, regaining its severed heads in seconds.

His following attempt was successful and the headless Staldra collapsed on the ground, disappearing in a puff of purple smoke. Tetra had noted this change as soon as she'd defeated one of the unfamiliar monsters earlier. No longer were the monsters disappearing in a shadowy substance. Now it was purple which could only mean one thing. The monsters were someone else's' creations. They weren't Zant's anymore.

A sudden motion in her peripheral vision alerted her to the presence of an object flying towards her. She side stepped out of the way and looked down. An arrow. Tetra peered up in the direction the projectile had come from. Perched on top of the ruins, on what once served as a railing but was now crumbling away, were six Bulblin archers.

"Kid, look," Tetra said, pointing out the enemies.

"Uh oh," Kid stated as soon as he saw the archers.

"What do you mean 'uh oh'? You have your bow don't you?" Tetra questioned him.

"Well, yeah, but I only have three arrows left," Kid confided as they both stared up at the enemies readying their bows. Tetra's eyes flicked to the arrow at her feet.

Picking it up, she turned to Kid, "Now you have four."

"But there's six of them," Kid protested, eyeing the arrow in her hand.

"So? We'll wait for them to fire again, and then we'll have more ammo," Tetra declared.

"You're a genius," Kid said, smiling as he took the arrow from her and dug out his bow and quiver. The six Bulblins let their arrows drizzle down on the pair before Kid was able to ready his weapon. Kid and Tetra huddled under Kid's shield as best as they could. All six arrows bounced off the metal, their flimsy wooden shafts breaking upon contact. Tetra suddenly noticed how dangerous her idea was. They wouldn't be able to protect themselves with the shield if they wanted to use the arrows their enemies bombarded them with.

Kid dropped his shield as soon as the assault was over, notching an arrow and pulling back the bowstring in a matter of seconds. After taking careful aim he released the arrow and it buried itself in the head of one of the archers which died instantly. Kid managed to kill one more before another Bulblin dared to take a shot.

In this short period of time Tetra's mind had wandered, of its own accord, back to her previous thoughts. She wasn't even aware of spacing out. One moment her eyes were watching, yet not registering the arrows that her friend released towards the sky, the next a projectile was cutting the air on a straight, unwavering path towards her.

Numbly, she watched in a daze as the arrow traveled closer. Before she could make a decision about what to do, Kid tackled her to the ground.

"You alright?" Kid asked her as he sat back on his heels, allowing her to sit up. Her confusion temporarily retreated, and she was now focused on the current moment.

"Yeah, I'm-Kid your head!" Tetra suddenly gasped upon noticing the long gash slicing across his temple, already welling up with blood. The arrow must have grazed him.

"I'm alright," he assured her as he stood up, using the back of his hand to wipe away the crimson liquid that was trickling down his head. If only she wasn't so spaced out worried about her identity, she would have been able to dodge it on her own, and he wouldn't be hurt. Kid acted as if he wasn't even injured and let loose another arrow towards the Bulblin archers. However, his aim was off and the arrow missed the Bulblin's head by inches.

"Give me that," Tetra demanded, grabbing the bow and last arrow from Kid's hands despite his protests. She aimed at the Bulblin that Kid had failed to hit. The creatures happened to have their bows trained on her as well, ready to fire. She waited until they loosed the projectiles and deftly dodged them all before letting her arrow fly. It struck her target in the shoulder which cause it to immediately disappear into purple vapor. Tetra then swiftly picked up a fallen arrow, notched it, and aimed at the next monster. Before she could send it towards its destination, she was yanked backwards off of her feet, dropping the weapons in her hands.

She was about to shout for Kid to help her but noticed that he was busy battling an enormous spider as Fi showered him with information about the creature. From what she could tell, some kind of purple and black scaled Lizalfos had her in its grip, squeezing her tight as if trying to squeeze the breath from her lungs. After a few seconds it became apparent that that was exactly what it was trying to do, and Tetra struggled in an attempt to free herself.

Tetra used one arm to keep the creature from crushing her as she reached for her dagger with the other. The monster put its other hand to her throat in response. Why it didn't just kill her, she didn't know. It seemed to be deliberately trying to subdue her without injuring her too much. The scream that escaped her was quickly cut off as the creature choked her. Black ringed her vision.

A deep growl sounded from behind, and her captor threw her forward. She suddenly found herself flying towards the ruins, which were probably steps at one time or another but were now heaps of broken stone. Tetra put her hands out in a futile attempt to catch herself, or at least minimize the amount of damage she was about to take. It didn't do much to stop her head from banging into the debris. Black consumed her vision for a second. Maybe it was two seconds, or even a minute. She wasn't quite sure, but upon opening her eyes she saw stars. Her vision swam, and she closed her eyes to try to make her them focus on what was in front of her.

"Tetra!" Kid's voice sounded unnecessarily loud, but he didn't seem to be yelling since she felt that he was right next to her, a hand on her shoulder. She allowed her eyes to open and, ignoring the spots of color dancing across her vision, turned her head slightly, so she could see Kid. He was kneeling down next to her, face etched in concern and blood running down his temple in rivulets.

Fi suddenly appeared without being called and calmly reported, "Three in our party are injured and require medical attention at the earliest opportunity. Master, I predict a 98% chance that victory is nonviable given the current circumstances. I highly recommend a prompt retreat from this battle."

"That sword spirit girl is right! We can't keep going like this," Midna added as she knocked aside an approaching monster with her hand of hair. It was then that Tetra noticed Wolf Link and Midna were with them, standing protectively in front of the pair and keeping the monsters at bay. They must have been the ones that made the Lizalfos release her. Tetra was about to ask who else was injured since, as far as she knew it was only Kid and herself, but then she glanced at Wolf Link and noticed that he was favoring his front right leg as he stalked a monster.

"Where will we go?" Kid questioned Midna as he helped Tetra sit up a little.

"Good question. Unfortunately, I don't have the answer," Midna replied, "Even if we managed to escape this area I'm sure there'll be more monsters waiting for us. None of us are really fit to fight. You three are wounded and Zelda and I are exhausting our magic the longer this goes on." Wolf Link let out a bark, irritating Tetra's developing headache.

"Link, you know I can't understand you, and I don't have time to change you back right now!" Midna snapped at him, launching herself off of his back and into the air as she created a ball of crackling red and black energy and released it towards the nearest foe. She then glanced behind her and ordered, "Link, you can't fight properly with a hurt leg. You'll only get hurt worse if you try. Stand down, I've got this."

Wolf Link reluctantly backed away from the fighting and carefully made his way over to Kid and Tetra. He let out a concerned whine upon seeing Kid's bleeding forehead, but Kid waved it off and placed his left hand on top of the animal's head. "Say something. I'll be able to understand it," Kid told him.

"What?! You can understand him like that?" Midna exclaimed in shock and wonder as she fought to stay focused on the monster she was battling. Tetra was less impressed. It only made sense. They both had the Triforce of Courage, so of course they'd be able to communicate through it somehow.

"Yes, but it only works if I'm touching him," Kid answered Midna.

"Does he have a solution for us?" Midna questioned, never faltering in her attacks. Kid tilted his head to the side as if listening for something, keeping his hand on top of the wolf's head.

After what felt like a long time but couldn't have been more than a few seconds, Kid spoke up, "He says to warp us out of here to somewhere in Hyrule Field, preferably far away from here and not too close to the castle."

"You're not asking for much are you?" Midna scoffed, sarcasm heavy in her tone. "It's hard enough to warp one person without a portal, and you want me to do four?" Midna sighed, flicking a monster aside with her extra limb made of hair. "I'll try since it seems like our only option right now, but I can't promise we won't end up in enemy territory. Besides that, I'm low on magic, so this is going to absolutely drain me."

"But you can do it?" Kid wondered. It was unclear if he was voicing his own thoughts or Link's.

"Yes, I can, but we need Zelda over here, so she doesn't accidentally get left behind. I'll go get her, but that means I have to leave you guys. Can you still fight, Kid?"

"Yup," Kid nodded, determination written on his face. Tetra could see him tighten his grip on the decorative hilt of the Master Sword.

"I'll be quick," Midna promised before flying over the heads of the advancing monsters and heading in Princess Zelda's direction. Kid then stepped forward to take Midna's place while Wolf Link hung back, standing in front of Tetra, ready to pounce on any monster that dared to come near them.

"Uh, hey, Fi, got any info on this thing?" Kid wondered, eyeing the Stalfos-like monster that was approaching. Tetra vaguely recognized it as the strange, four-armed Stalfos they'd fought earlier.

"This is a Stalmaster, an elite captain of the undead soldiers," Fi explained, "When provoked it has the ability to strike with all four of its sword-wielding arms. I recommend inflicting damage when the slight gap presents itself as it readies its swords to attack."

Kid took Fi's advice and, whether it was less skilled than the previous one or not, he managed to get it to reveal all four of its weapons quicker than seemed possible especially considering his injury. The Stalmaster left no time for celebration and brought all of its weapons close to its body before lashing out. Kid barely lifted up his defenses in time and stumbled back, leaving himself wide open. The Stalmaster thrust forward with one of its swords aiming for Kid's chest.

Without any prior warning, a thin blue barrier appeared between Kid and the skeletal monster. The sword bounced off of the shield, and they all turned to see Princess Zelda and Midna. The princess let the barrier fall, and Kid scrambled back before the Stalmaster could lash out at him again, retrieving his bow from where Tetra had dropped it and sliding his sword into its sheath.

"Everyone huddle close to each other," Midna ordered them, "It'll be easier for me to warp you that way." All of them gathered near the ruins and Midna closed her eyes in concentration.

The world in front of Tetra blurred to the point where she couldn't made out individual shapes or outlines. Her world was a mass of swirling, fast moving colors. Some unidentified force kept her frozen in one position, and she barely felt the presence of her companions anymore. It felt as if she was being raised upwards, but she didn't appear to be moving. Soon the same force gently pushed her down to earth and the array of colors arranged themselves accordingly. Whatever had rendered her immobile previously, suddenly vanished as the world came back into focus.

With nothing to support her, she began to fall back but caught herself before she went too far. Midna looked like a shadow once again and produced the shadow crystal which she touched to Wolf Link's head before slipping into his shadow, presumably to rest.

Human once again, Link stood up as the transformation completed itself and looked around to see just where they were. In Tetra's opinion, it looked like they weren't anywhere specific. Water flowed nearby, and Tetra noticed that there was a rushing river in front of them. Mountains and jagged cliffs rose up to their left. To their right was a bridge to cross to the other side of the swiftly moving water. Looking beyond that was a nice view of the top of Hyrule Castle.

It was then that Kid nearly collapsed. Princess Zelda caught him before he hit the ground since she was standing the closest.

"Sorry," Kid mumbled, trying to right himself.

"Don't apologize!" Link exclaimed, "What the heck happened to your head?"

"An arrow nicked me. That's all," Kid replied as Princess Zelda helped him lay down on the grass. Tetra couldn't believe that he'd left out the most important part. The arrow hadn't been meant for him. It had been meant for her.

"Tetra are you alright?" Princess Zelda questioned her, looking over her shoulder, so she could see Tetra.

Surprised by the change of topic, Tetra blinked dumbly for a second before answering, "Yes. I'm fine."

Princess Zelda then turned her attention back to Kid who was thankfully still conscious. She then sighed and announced, "I hate to be the bearer of more bad news, but we left the horses in Faron Woods. Tetra heard Link mutter a profanity under his breath. At first she didn't understand why. Then she realized what it was. It wasn't just that they had no means of transportation. It was much more than that. The horses had been carrying their food, blankets, and, most importantly, their medical supplies.

"I thought you were carrying some other potions and stuff!" Link cried, his voice distraught.

"No. I put the potions I was carrying back in the bag on my horse after finishing the last temple because I didn't think we would need it," Princess Zelda shook her head. "The most we have in terms of medical supplies are the red potions, and they aren't very effective on a wound like this." Princess Zelda examined Kid's forehead, pushing his golden blonde hair out of the way to see better.

Princess Zelda began searching for something in her cloak. Soon she produced a cloth and pressed the fabric to Kid's head to completely stem the flow.

Tetra's stomach twisted with guilt, and she took up great interest in the blades of grass beneath her. No matter how she looked at it, everything was her fault. Not just this scenario: being lost in the past, or so they assumed, and hurt besides. The ailments of Kid and his little sister were her fault too. No, scratch that. The ailments of everyone on the Great Sea was her fault. After all, she was the princess, and they were technically her people. All she'd done was put them in danger and steal from the stupid ones when they weren't looking. Some princess she was. Some goddess.

She wasn't even fit to be anyone's friend. Look what had happened to Kid. He was in pain now because of her. Because they were friends, he wanted her to be safe and got hurt himself. All she had to do was deal with a blow to the head. She'd taken so many by now, she was surprised that they didn't knock some sense into her. Provide her with answers to her long asked questions. Deep down, Tetra knew that her questions had no answers. How could they? No one had been forced to deal with these specific problems of hers, so no one held the answers as to how to handle them. Maybe there truly was no answer. She'd lose either way. Go insane either way, so what did it matter?

If what Fi had said was true, that Hylia was the youngest sister of the golden goddesses, then she hated her sisters. She despised them, loathed them, and detested them for everything they'd done to her. If she was indeed their baby sister then why had they let her throw away her divinity so carelessly? Why had they let her exist as a mortal that didn't know herself anymore? Was she even a person, or a vessel to be filled by whichever soul is needed at that given moment, be it pirate, princess, or goddess?

Her temples throbbed from thinking about it, but that didn't stop her mind from spinning. The thoughts just came faster, like they'd been held at bay by a dam and the sturdy wall wasn't as sturdy as it'd appeared. There was too much to hold, and it all came out in an overwhelming rush, crushing everything in its path. All sense, all rationality, every part of her, until she felt as if she really was an empty shell.

Tetra wanted to scream and shout and cry how it wasn't fair. It wasn't fair that her mother had died and she was left without a true family. It wasn't fair that she'd been given something to protect with her life, something she didn't even know the origins of. It wasn't fair how she, as a little girl barely aged six, had made a vow to protect that mysterious something. It wasn't fair that the goddesses chose her, no cursed her, with the sacred mark, the Triforce of Wisdom. It wasn't fair how she was a valuable prize to be hunted for the immense power she possessed.

It was then that she realized just what she was. She was a lost little girl with no true name or identity, for she had many and couldn't tell you which was real and which was fake, which was a disguise and which was her true face. Worst of all, she was "blessed" with a power so great that she didn't even know how to use it. All she could do was create arrows of light and without a bow, they were useless and consumed more of her energy than they seemed to be worth.

However, she couldn't scream or shout or cry like she wished she could. Even if she did, no one would help her. They wouldn't be able to even if they tried. She was broken and forgotten about long ago. There was no way that she could be fixed, and she knew it. That is why she stayed silent, staring at the blades of grass and envying them for their short, simple lives. When they were trodden on, when they died, they came back brand new, bursting with life as if they'd never been bent out of shape. They always came back perfect. Always…

A simple, high pitched whistling tune consisting of three notes temporarily disrupted her thoughts, though it was not enough to pull her out of her daze. For all she knew, the sweet music was in her head and her ears weren't really hearing anything. Tetra could not decipher if this was true or not, for the melody seemed to grow fainter as it progressed. It was then that she noticed that the individual blades of grass had blurred together until they were a single stroke of green in her vision. She became painfully aware of the throbbing in her head and soon knew no more.

When she awoke next she was instantly disoriented upon being greeted with darkness. As her eyes adjusted, she was left staring up at the dark, star speckled sky of nightfall. She barely even remembered nodding off. The air had a brisk feel to it that made her shiver. Tetra then noticed the fabric draped over her and realized that it was a blanket.

'Where did a blanket come from?' Tetra wondered, fingering the soft fabric and pulling it tighter around herself as a fleeting chill passed through the air. She had thought that they didn't have any supplies. Propping herself up on an elbow, she surveyed her surroundings as far as her eyes would allow her to see in the dark. Her vision adjusted enough, so she could vaguely see the shapes of her sleeping companions. She also noticed the dozing forms of the horses a few feet away.

There was no way they'd been able to retrieve the animals while she was asleep, was there? Unfortunately, no one else was awake, so she couldn't inquire about the subject. Instead she laid back down and wished that they had a fire going, not only would it be a reliable source of heat, it would also produce a bit of light for them, but she figured that was exactly the problem. If there was light in the darkness then not only would they be able to see it, but others would as well. A fire was too risky.

Before she knew it, her eyes were closing of their own accord, and she drifted off to sleep with far less trouble than she'd been expecting given her chaotic thoughts.

Light greeted her eyes upon waking, and her head didn't ache as much as the night before. Birdsong twittered in the distance, a series of inquiries and their echoed responses. The grass beneath her swayed gently, tickling her bare skin. Deciding, that she didn't like the sensation, she sat up a little. Immediately, she regretted it as the shapes in front of her rippled out of focus. She blinked in vain to correct her vision.

"Tetra, you're finally awake," Link said, relief evident in his voice, "I was worried when you fainted. Ya know, you should have said something when Zelda asked you if you were okay."

"I did. I said I was fine," Tetra mumbled as she regained control over her eyes.

"Just give an honest answer next time," Link sighed, kneeling down next to her. He then pressed an uncorked bottle into her hand. "Here, this should help you." She took it in both hands, not trusting her coordination at the moment, but didn't bring it to her lips just yet. Instead she stared at the blue liquid in the bottle.

Tetra couldn't force down the thoughts that sprang to mind. Even though she'd just woken up, her worries had remained with her, almost as if they had been waiting all night just so they could prey on her in the morning. Now they were closing in, and she felt like she'd suffocate. Maybe they weren't even her thoughts. Maybe they were Zelda's or Hylia's. She couldn't distinguish the difference. Did she even have thoughts of her own anymore, or were they even hers to begin with?

"Tetra, hey, you alright?" Link asked her, squeezing her shoulder in an attempt to get a response. Tetra disentangled herself from the jungle of thoughts and managed a small nod. 'Get it together,' she ordered herself in the sternest internal voice she could muster, 'Don't make Link think that something's wrong with you. Just drink the darn potion.'

She desperately wanted to take her own advice but nagging thoughts held her back. Pushing them aside took great effort. Somehow, she managed to corral them, so she could drink the blue potion. It tasted vaguely like some type of slightly sweet, slightly sour fruit that she couldn't name. Nevertheless, it was not an unpleasant taste.

Once the bottle was empty, Link took it from her. She could tell without so much as a glance in his direction that he was watching her carefully and did her best to keep the unwelcome thoughts from barging in to the front of her brain. The medicine began to work a minute later, gradually dulling the pain in her head until it was completely gone. Tetra wished that it would take away her confusion and doubts too, but of course it didn't.

"What's wrong?" Link questioned her, the tone of his voice portraying his concern.

"Nothing just…" 'Everything,' she finished the answer in her head. Everything was wrong. Tetra refused to let Link know that. Sure, he was irritating at times, but that was just because he was overly protective and didn't understand that she and Kid weren't like other children their age. All in all, Link was a nice enough person, she supposed, but she didn't feel particularly comfortable confiding in all her worries and fears with him. It was the same for everyone else she knew, even Kid. None of them would understand completely, so they couldn't help her, and if they could not help her then what was the point in her voicing her feelings?

Tetra knew that she had to finish the thought since Link was waiting patiently for her to continue.

"Kid got hurt 'cause I didn't move fast enough," Tetra admitted. Well, at least it wasn't a total lie. It was one of the things that was bothering her.

"It's okay," Link reassured her, "Kid's alright now, look." She raised her head to see. Sure enough, Kid was curled up on the ground sleeping soundly a little ways away. His bangs hid a thin pink line that was barely visible against his light skin tone. Not a trace of blood lingered.

"How'd he heal that fast?" Tetra wondered.

She only realized that she'd said it out loud when Link replied, "Blue potion. It works pretty well. It even fixed my sprained wrist." Tetra simply nodded, keeping her mouth shut in case any of her other thoughts escaped.

A few minutes later, their dozing companions began to stir. They all began to eat breakfast, which was rationed from the few provisions they had left since, when the horses had made the run by themselves from the heart of Faron Woods to their current location, monsters had grabbed some of the bags in passing. From what Tetra understood, Link had called Epona with a special song, and it was just by pure luck that Zelda's horse had followed suit.

As they ate it was only natural that the dreaded conversation came up.

"So, mind explaining about what happened yesterday at the Sacred Grove?" Link wondered. The way Link introduced it so casually made her want to slap him, but she restrained herself, knowing that it wouldn't solve anything.

"Well, when you and Midna were fighting the Shadow Beasts, Tetra and I ran around to where those statues were, so we could see better," Kid started to explain, "We noticed the goddess tears we'd been following before had stopped at the steps. We thought that it couldn't be much farther, so we continued to follow it and it went into the Master Sword. Then I pulled the sword out because…I don't know. I guess I thought that was what we were supposed to do, right? I mean, why would it lead us there if that isn't what we were meant to do?"

"I would like to know how you have the Triforce of Courage," Princess Zelda spoke up.

"Yeah," Link agreed, "I don't know the entire history of the Triforce, but I do know that there's only one, so there can only be one Triforce of Courage."

"At a time," Kid said, causing confused looks to pass over their elder companions' faces.

"What do you mean by that?" Princess Zelda questioned him. Kid and Tetra exchanged a glance as if asking for the other's verification.

At an almost imperceptible nod of her head, Kid took a deep breath before blurting out, "We're from the future." Those words set off an explosion.

"WHAT?!" their companions exclaimed in unison. Even Midna's shadowy form, popped out of her hiding place in shock.

"How?"

"Tell me you're joking!"

"Are we related then?"

"What's the future like? Is it nice?"

"How far into the future are you from?"

"Are you here on a secret mission?"

"Does this kind of thing happen often to you guys? Is that why you're so experienced?"

The wave of questions kept coming one after another. Tetra couldn't even tell who was asking anymore since they were all speaking loudly to be heard over each other.

"Too many questions!" Kid cried, flopping down on the grass as if the wave of inquiries had physically flattened him to the ground. Their companions got the hint and ceased fire, fidgeting in anticipation.

"For Nayru's sake, have some order!" Tetra glowered, crossing her arms bossily. "We can't answer any questions like this." She intended to answer each question as minimally as possible since she wasn't even positive that they were in the past to begin with.

After a unanimous vote, Princess Zelda began the interrogation, "How did you manage to time travel in the first place?"

"Medli and Makar played a set of music notes we found. We don't know what song it was, and none of us can remember how it went," Kid said, sitting up, "Anyway, after the song ended there was a really bright light, and then we woke up here somewhere."

"Who are Medli and Makar?" Midna wondered.

"Our other companions. They come from the future too," Tetra supplied.

"There's really five of us that made the trip. Me, Tetra, Medli, Makar, and my little sister," Kid added, "The others are waiting for us at the castle.

"Wait if you guys are from the future, and you have the Triforce of Courage and your name is Link, then does that mean we're related?" Link asked Kid.

Kid contemplated it for a second before answering, "Yes, I think so."

"How far into the future are we talking here?" Midna queried next.

"I'm not positive," Tetra admitted, studying the ground as if it'd give her the answer, "I still haven't figured that one out, but because the Era of the Hero of Time has already passed, then it can't be more than two hundred years, right?" She looked to Kid for confirmation.

"I don't know. You're the history wiz," Kid shrugged.

"I am not," Tetra scowled.

"You are too. You know more than anyone alive seems to," Kid argued.

"Whatever, it's an estimation at best," Tetra sighed, waving Kid's words away, "It could be accurate, or it could be way off. Either way, it doesn't really matter much. Not for us anyway. We still need to get home. Us being here is a mistake and the longer we stay, the longer we risk changing something if we haven't already."

"That said, I suppose you're not going to tell us what your home is like, huh?" Midna commented, disappointment apparent in her tone.

"Nope. I don't want to mess things up," Tetra replied.

"For the record, I think things are pretty messed up already," Kid stated.

"True, but it can get worse," Tetra pointed out. That's how things normally went for them. From bad to worse.

They finished the rest of their breakfast lost in their own thoughts. For Tetra, this meant completely spacing out, so she didn't even realize until Kid poked her in the side that they were getting ready to leave.

Midna had given Kid his sword back, and Kid had, in turn, handed the Master Sword over to Link who currently had it out of its royal blue and gold sheath, speaking to Fi about how to use the dowsing ability. Oddly enough, Fi also addressed Link as "Master".

When Fi disappeared into the sword, Link slowly moved it around. Tetra could see a faint light pulsing through the blade as he moved it. The steady pulse suddenly became stronger as he pointed it towards the bridge. Moving past the structure it grew fainter, and Link directed it back to the spot it was reacting to. He raised the sword a bit higher and shifted it over to the right a few inches. The Master Sword flashed briefly and kept a strong purple glow that encased the entire blade and beat quickly like an overactive heart.

"So, it's that way," Link announced.

"What exactly is 'it'?" Kid wondered.

"I have no idea." Link stated nonchalantly, causing Kid to laugh. "But it's probably where we have to go next. The next line was something about a castle right?"

"Yeah, but it's not pointing at Hyrule Castle," Tetra said.

"Oh well, we'll see," Link shrugged, sheathing the sword, "I'll check again when we get closer."

They mounted the horses and set off in the direction of Hyrule Castle Town at a brisk pace. Not ten minutes later they encountered monsters. Two pesky Kargaroks flew overhead, while a small group of Bulblins inhabited the ground, waving around their sharp weapons and uttering irksome battle cries.

The enemies on the ground were easily dispatched since they were quite vacuous and ran willingly into the horses' paths, getting trampled in seconds. The airborne monsters were a bit more troublesome. Every time a Kargarok drew too close, the princess's horse became skittish. Tetra couldn't really blame the animal though. The monster-birds were intimidating, especially when they swooped down in an attempt to dislodge the riders from their perches.

Princess Zelda launched a series of controlled spheres of fire at the closest Kargarok, but none of them made contact since she was also charged with the task of keeping her mount under control.

"Guys, go ahead! I'll get them with bomb arrows while they're focused on you!" Link shouted over to them. The horse picked up speed and Tetra found that the ground moved by in a blur when she looked at it. The speed was exhilarating, and she could almost convince herself that the wind hitting her face was a natural ocean breeze.

A loud boom and an enraged squawk from above caused her to wince and instinctively slouch down lower in her seat. After another explosion sounded a little ways to their left, the animal beneath them slowed, and Tetra sat up a bit straighter. Kid and Link appeared beside them a few seconds later, and their small group continued on.

The next half hour consisted of a bunch of disjointed stops and starts as they confronted monsters, which only seemed to grow in number as they drew closer to Hyrule Castle Town. It was late morning, almost noon, when they finally approached the east gate.

All of them were surprised to find four sentries stationed there, two flanking each side of the large double doors. Everyone dismounted and began to approach the guarded doors that led to the main town in Hyrule. Leading her horse by the reins, Princess Zelda lowered her head, so the hood shadowed her face.

However, this proved to make little difference for the guards inclined their heads respectively towards her.

"Princess, it has been requested that we escort you to the castle upon your return," one of the guards spoke up, standing in a quite formal manner.

Princess Zelda raised her head to address him, "Who issued the order?"

"The King," came the swift reply.

"I see…" Princess Zelda trailed off seeming to be wracking her brain for an excuse to give the guards a hard time. Upon finding none, she glanced at the three of them and said, "Do what you have to, then return to the castle. I shall let the guards know to expect you, so there should not be a problem gaining entry."

With that, the princess, along with her horse, were led through the immense wooden doors by one of the guards. The remaining three soldiers, then trained their gaze on the trio.

At first Tetra didn't think that the sentries would let them through. After a small bout of awkward silence one of them cleared his throat and spoke up, addressing Link of course, "You may pass, but if you have business to attend to, I would keep it brief. There are other patrols walking around town, if they catch you wandering around, they will most likely escort you to the nearest hotel since all civilians are supposed to be indoors until further notice."

"If it's shopping you're after, you're better off just going to the castle as the princess said," another one of the soldiers added. "All of the shops are closed for the time being."

The three guards then stepped aside allowing Tetra, Kid, and Link, who was leading Epona, through the great wooden doors.


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