The Legend of Zelda: The Alternate Link

Chapter 33: No More Secrets!

"Hey! I almost got it that time!" Aryll exclaimed in elation as a grape bounced off of her nose. Kid caught the small fruit before it could hit the floor. Since they'd been reunited fifteen minutes ago in the castle's library, they'd been eating lunch which had somehow turned into a competitive sport. In that time, they'd also explained just where they were to their friends, although they left out the part about the evil sword spirit. Kid ate the grape in his hand and picked another one, throwing it at Medli who wasn't paying attention.

It bounced off of her forehead, and she snapped her head up to look, red eyes searching for the culprit. When they came to rest on Kid, she gave him a slightly irritated look. "Ya know, you guys just pretty much told us that everything I was doing here the entire time was for nothing. You can at least let me mourn the waste of my time in peace."

"Don't be like that, Medli," Kid chastised her, "It's not like it was a total waste. Plus every piece of information you gathered makes sense now, doesn't it?"

"Well…yes, but there was no point in collecting it in the first place," Medli sighed, looking down sadly at the piece of paper filled with notes that she'd taken over the course of the last few days. She had explained to them earlier that she'd asked someone to read her the books, claiming that she was doing research and was illiterate in Hylian. It had seemed believable enough since she was a Rito, and no one in Hyrule had any knowledge of the race enough to know that they did not have a written language of their own as Medli had told them when they'd questioned the notes she was taking. Kid would have liked to see the look on that person's face if Medli had told them that she was writing in Hylian.

"Some of the books were in ancient Hylian though, so you got to practice," Tetra spoke up, tossing an apple from hand to hand. Kid hadn't seen her take a bite of it yet. She just seemed to be playing catch with it.

"That's true…" Medli admitted, "I guess it wasn't a total loss."

"I still wish that we could have come with you guys!" Makar piped up from his spot on the square table they were all situated around. "I can't believe you met the Great Deku Tree, and I wasn't there!"

"Maybe all of us could pay a visit to him later," Kid suggested. He doubted that they would be allowed out of the castle for any reason at the moment, but they might get a chance before they return home.

"But we are going home soon, right Big Brother?" Aryll questioned him, her emerald green eyes mirroring his.

"Yeah, soon," Kid nodded. They would be going home soon. However, Kid could not define the word soon. It was a vague response, he knew, and it was one that he'd always hated to hear when he was younger. Now he realized that the word was a blessing. It was the word that one used to provide hope when there was none. To distract his little sister, and himself, from dwelling on the matter, he held up another grape as if asking for her permission to throw it. Aryll nodded eagerly, eyes shining with determination to catch the morsel of food in her mouth.

He tossed the grape into the air and watched as his little sister tilted her head back, mouth open. Aryll closed her mouth a second too early and prevented the fruit from entering. She caught it in her own two hands before it could fall to the floor.

"Aww…I missed again. Why's this so hard?" Aryll pondered staring at the red grape cupped in her hands as if it would respond.

Tetra set her apple on the table and reached forward, plucking a grape off of the bunch in the middle of the table. She inspected it for a second before flicking it into the air and trapping it in her mouth when it descended. "I don't know what you mean. It's not that hard," Tetra shrugged picking up the apple again and resuming her independent game of toss.

Aryll gaped at her incredulously, "How'd you do that?!"

"Weren't you watching?" Tetra asked her.

Aryll nodded furiously. "Yes, but…" she trailed off looking at the grape in her hand. She threw it up into the air, higher than Tetra had, and tried to catch it. The round fruit bounced off of her forehead and onto the table where it came to rest. Aryll pouted. "You can only do it 'cause you're a pirate," she accused Tetra.

"That has nothing to do with it, and don't advertise that," Tetra ordered, slamming the apple down on the table. "You don't know who could be listening." Kid had a feeling that she was talking about Midna. Kid's eyes flicked to the shadows in the room. There weren't many aside from their own and the tall phantoms that the bookcases cast. He couldn't see anything unusual, but that didn't mean she wasn't there.

"What's the big deal? I thought you said we weren't in the past, so we can't mess anything up. Who could be listening anyway?" Aryll wondered, picking the grape up from the table and popping it into her mouth.

"I don't know, but you can't be too careful," Tetra said, "and just because that's true, doesn't mean that you can say whatever you please."

"You guys haven't told anyone about our world yet, have you?" Medli predicted.

"Well, so much happened at once, and…there's a lot to explain so…no. We haven't gotten to it yet," Kid sighed.

"That's sure to be a shipwreck," Makar commented.

"Shut up, Makar, it will not," Tetra retorted, "It's not like there should be any real reason for an extreme reaction since everything is over and done with by now." Kid had a feeling that she didn't believe the words she was saying. He certainly didn't. It didn't matter that this world and theirs weren't the same one. He had a feeling that the reaction they got from Princess Zelda, Link, and Midna would be extreme either way. Just to imagine that the kingdom that they knew was forgotten and buried beneath buckets of water…it would seem unreal to them. For him, the absence of the ocean that posed as the kingdom of Hyrule's grave seemed unreal, and yet it was obviously tangible.

Kid became worried as he realized that their companions were most likely to question a certain family. The royal family. He knew that Tetra was at her wits end to begin with, and he wondered how she would deal with it since she seemed to be barely hanging on as it is.

"What will you do though?" Kid questioned Tetra. She seemed confused by his question at first, and then realization dawned on her face. The pirate captain held the crimson apple firmly in both hands, worrying her bottom lip in thought.

Just as Kid was beginning to regret posing the question, Tetra answered, gritting her teeth, "With the new information we were given, the princess probably already figured it out, so there's nothing I can do." She took a bite of the apple as if silently telling him that she didn't want to talk anymore.

"Figured what out?" Aryll asked, her eyes wide with curiosity.

"Um…nothing," Kid quickly answered his sister for Tetra. "Here, try again." He tossed a grape to Aryll, and she caught it in her hands. The little girl was more than happy to try again like her brother requested, though Kid suspected she hadn't forgotten about the topic so easily.

Medli seemed to catch on to Tetra's mood too and changed the subject, "So, speaking of home, what do you think the others are doing to look for us?"

"Probably either getting drunk, or tearing the place apart…or tearing the place apart while drunk…" Tetra mused, leaning back in her chair and throwing the apple into the air, being sure to catch it when it came down. She suddenly started as if she'd been shocked. "Goddesses! I hope they aren't damaging anything! We haven't gotten a good haul in a while, so we're already low on money."

"I'm sure they didn't damage anything, Tetra," Aryll assured the young pirate as she balanced the grape that her brother had given her on her nose.

"You don't know them like I do," Tetra insisted.

"At least this time when we return they can't claim that we were only gone for ten minutes," Kid pointed out.

"When did that happen?" Medli wanted to know.

"Three or four months ago," Kid replied.

"You had an adventure and didn't tell me about it!" Aryll accused him, abandoning her balancing act and letting it fall into her awaiting hand. "You have to tell us now, Big Brother!"

Kid glanced at Tetra who simply shrugged as if she could care less. He took this as a sign that he could speak.

"Okay, well, you know the rumors about the Ghost Ship, right?" Kid began. At his sister's nod, he continued, "Tetra and I hunted it down."

"What? Why?!" Medli cried in horror.

"I thought it was a just group of pirates up to no good. I mean, there are rules to being a pirate after all. You can't just do whatever you want," Tetra answered.

"There are?" Aryll asked.

"Of course. We're not savages, Aryll. Anyway, I was hoping to expose them as a bunch of frauds and take their treasure, but it turned out that it wasn't pirates…" Tetra left the sentence open, looking at Kid to suggest that he finish.

"So it really was ghosts!" Makar concluded.

"Not exactly…" Kid trailed off, recalling the evil being he'd fought. Bellum hadn't been a ghost. He was snapped out of his thoughts by an unfamiliar voice.

"Excuse me, I've been ordered to escort Kid and Tetra to a meeting with the princess."

Kid swiveled around in his chair to see a servant with mouse brown hair that brushed her shoulders standing next to the nearest book case. Kid slid out of his chair and turned his attention to Tetra. She held the apple tightly in her hands, as if scared to let go of it. She released it after meeting Kid's expectant gaze and stood up, nodding for him to go first.

He did so, knowing that she was right behind him. They followed their escort out of the library and down the maze-like halls of Hyrule Castle. Kid almost couldn't believe how big it was. He didn't recall the castle he'd been to beneath the waves being this impressive, but that could have been because he didn't have access to every inch of it.

Before he knew it, the young woman had dropped them off at a door and left. Kid glanced at Tetra to see if she was ready to go in. He knew this conversation would be harder for her than it would be for him. Tetra winked at him, and Kid silently prayed that everything would turn out okay. He reached for the handle and turned. The door opened and they strolled inside, shutting it behind them. This conversation was only for their ears. Kid had known that as soon as they'd been dropped off at the door. No servants or soldiers were going to be around to hear what they were going to say.

He wasn't nervous before, but now, as they walked closer to the head of the table where Princess Zelda, Link, and Midna sat, he felt anxious. Kid took a seat opposite Link, and Tetra sat down next to him.

Princess Zelda shattered the silence that filled the room. "We must discuss Hylia's plan," she announced, eyeing the two of them specifically as she said it. "It seems that the increase in monsters lately hasn't been just a coincidence. It has been the work of the evil sword spirit that must be defeated. However, I've detected a flaw in the plan as Link and Midna explained it to me. It requires the assistance of four Triforce bearers. Two must wield the Triforce of Courage, and two must wield the Triforce of Wisdom."

"Huh, that is a problem…" Midna agreed from her perch on the back of Link's chair, "Maybe the goddess miscalculated and your counterpart didn't get teleported here like Link's did?"

"That's possible," Princess Zelda admitted, "But I have another theory, and while there is evidence to support it, the evidence I have isn't enough to prove it."

"What's your theory?" Link wondered. Kid could take a guess. He was almost positive that Princess Zelda suspected Tetra of being her counterpart.

"I'm not going to voice it unless I am positive, which means I need to collect more information," Princess Zelda told him. She then directed her frostbitten gaze on them and said, "Since we now know that you are really from an alternate realm and not from the future, there should not be any issues with me asking the both of you to explain what your world is like. More importantly, what became of the royal family?"

Kid and Tetra exchanged a glance. The glance communicated everything that they couldn't with words. They were both uncomfortable with voicing the truth since their companions were actually from the kingdom that they knew to be lost hundreds of years before they had even taken their first breath. Tetra was concerned that Princess Zelda would catch on through their tale, but they both knew deep down that she already had and just wasn't saying it.

"How should we explain it?" Kid asked Tetra, knowing that their audience was growing impatient.

Tetra leaned back in her chair and took a deep breath before saying, "This is but one of the legends of which the people speak…"

"Ugh, more stories? Can't you just tell us and make it simple?" Midna sighed in annoyance.

"I can't make it something it's not, Midna," Tetra responded in exasperation, "It's more complicated than you think, and this isn't a repeat of the story we just heard about the Hero of Time. This is a different version."

"Fine, go ahead," Midna nodded, leaning on her hand as if she was bored.

Tetra continued, reciting the legend word for word from memory, "Long ago, there existed a kingdom where a golden power lay hidden. It was a prosperous land, blessed with green forests, tall mountains, and peace. But one day, a man of great evil found the golden power and took it for himself. With its strength at his command, he spread darkness across the kingdom. But then, when all hope had died, and the hour of doom seemed at hand a young boy clothed in green appeared as if from nowhere. Wielding the blade of evil's bane, he sealed the dark one away and gave the land light. This boy, who traveled through time to save the land, was known as the Hero of Time. The boy's tale was passed down through generations until it became legend... But then, a day came when a fell wind began to blow across the kingdom. The great evil that all thought had been forever sealed away by the hero once again crept forth from the depths of the earth, eager to resume its dark designs. The people believed that the Hero of Time would again come to save them...

…But the hero did not appear. Faced by an onslaught of evil, the people could do nothing but appeal to the Gods. In their last hour, as doom drew nigh, they left their future in the hands of fate. What became of that kingdom? None remain who know…The memory of the kingdom vanished, but its legend survived on the wind's breath."

"So you're saying that the kingdom of Hyrule was destroyed when Ganondorf broke free?" Link asked, attempting to put the story into a simpler form.

"Weren't you listening? She said that no one knows what happened to it!" Midna chided Link.

Tetra shook her head, "Those words aren't mine. I was just repeating the legend word for word as it has been told for centuries. It's what most people know, not what's necessarily true."

"Then why mention it?" Midna wanted to know.

"Because, as I said before, what happened in our world is complicated. It's something too overwhelming to say all at once, so I'm starting you off small," Tetra explained. Kid had to admit that it was a pretty smart idea. They would start off by presenting their companions with vague information and gradually add various details to it, so by the time they got around to who Tetra really was, everyone would understand that it wasn't as cut and dry as it seemed.

"Continue please," Princess Zelda prompted.

Tetra nudged Kid in the side. He took that as his cue to speak, and opened his mouth to do so but quickly came to the conclusion that he had no idea where to go from there. "Um…what do you want me to say?" Kid dared to ask Tetra.

"You don't expect me to explain everything by myself, do you?" Tetra questioned him in irritation.

"No, of course not!" Kid replied quickly so Tetra didn't get the wrong idea, "I just don't understand what you want me to explain exactly. I mean, you just told them the entire legend."

"Yes, but I didn't say what happened to the kingdom," Tetra pointed out nonchalantly.

"You want me to explain what happened to Hyrule," Kid asked, although it sounded more like a statement than an inquiry.

"Have fun," Tetra smirked in response.

Kid gaped at her. That was completely unfair. If anyone, she should be the one explaining it. She was the princess, after all. Kid couldn't argue the point with her though. It wasn't time for their companions to know who she was just yet. Kid sighed in defeat and began to explain, choosing his words carefully, "Well, when the people prayed to the God's, their prayers didn't go unanswered. The goddesses heard their plea and decided to seal away Ganondorf by creating a flood. Of course, the kingdom paid a price for Ganon's temporary imprisonment because it was sealed away along with him. Some people were notified before the flooding and commanded to seek refuge on the mountaintops. Those chosen were charged with the task of building a new country, and they were the only survivors of the Great Flood."

What?!" Link exclaimed, standing up in shock and outrage, "Why would the goddesses do that? Why wouldn't they warn everyone? And why a flood?!"

"I'm not from the light realm, but I have to agree with Link here. That was a pretty dumb move by the goddesses. Couldn't they have just, I don't know, done something else?" Midna wondered.

"Uh…there weren't many options," Kid answered, feeling like they were yelling at him for the fate of Hyrule in his world. Kid actually did feel a little guilty since he and Tetra were the reason why the little that had remained of the kingdom is now flooded for good. Kid attempted to defend the goddesses, and himself, by saying, "The hero was gone and the goddesses knew that waiting around for another to be born and grow up wouldn't bode well for the kingdom. They couldn't let Ganon take it over either, and since they couldn't kill him, they had to buy time somehow. Everyone was desperate. Even if it was only a temporary seal, it bought precious time for a new hero to be born. Besides that, there wasn't much room for everyone to live on the mountaintops."

"I imagine that the royal family was among those notified about the flooding in advance, yes?" Princess Zelda inquired after a brief pause to collect her thoughts.

Tetra chose to answer, and Kid let her, relieved to be out of the spotlight. "Yes. However, the king of Hyrule at the time chose to remain in the kingdom while the goddesses turned it into an ocean."

"Why would he do something crazy like that?" Link wondered, sitting down once again.

Tetra shrugged, "Dunno, but it was his kingdom. If you were the ruler of a kingdom would you really be able to abandon it just like that?"

"True," Midna spoke up, "If something like that ever happened to the Twilight Realm, I'd be reluctant to leave. I mean, it's like starting over from scratch with absolutely nothing."

"So did the royal family not survive the flooding?" Princess Zelda inquired, changing the subject slightly.

"No!" Tetra replied, shaking her head as if the prospect was ridiculous, "While the king did remain in the kingdom, he didn't really die since he stayed in the castle and that had a magical barrier around it which kept the water out. The castle became frozen in time. Anything inside it didn't really live or die. The only family the last king of Hyrule had was his daughter. When the warning was given by the goddesses, he ordered the princess to flee with a group of her servants to the mountaintops. However, he knew that Ganondorf would eventually find a way to break the seal in the future. When that happened, he didn't want his daughter, or her descendants, to be found, so he split the Triforce of Wisdom into two fragments. He made a necklace out of one of the fragments and gave it to his daughter before she left. The other, he kept with himself."

"Is it even possible to split it up like that?" Midna asked, looking to Princess Zelda for the answer.

"I'm not sure. I suppose it is since the Hero of Time's Triforce piece shattered, but I've never attempted it myself with the Triforce of Wisdom, and to be honest I do not know how one would go about doing such a thing…" Princess Zelda responded, staring down at the table in deep thought. "Besides that, I don't even know how to get it into a physical form. For it to be something you can hold and break…that's beyond my expertise."

"Look, I don't know how he did it, I just know that he did it," Tetra stated, irritation hinting in her tone, though Kid suspected she was just pretending to be annoyed, so they didn't catch on to how nervous she really was.

"Wait, how would splitting it up help anything?" Link wondered, confused. "Wouldn't it be more dangerous to have it in a physical form?"

"Well…if it's split up other Triforce bearers can't detect it unless they really try," Tetra said, evidently choosing her words with care.

"Now I'm going to ask the question everyone wants to know the answer to," Midna announced proudly as if doing so would yield a reward. "How do you two even know all of this if the memory of the kingdom really vanished like the legend said?"

"Remember how flooding the kingdom to seal Ganondorf away was to just buy time for another hero to be born?" Tetra asked them all. At their nod of confirmation she continued, elbowing Kid in the ribs, "Well, that hero's right here sitting next to me."

"So…hold on a minute," Link ordered putting up a hand to stop them from saying anything else. He addressed Kid when he spoke next, "I know I should have seen this coming because you said earlier that you've been on two adventures before, but it still shocks me. This means that you killed Ganondorf, right?"

"Yeah," Kid confided sheepishly.

"Wow…" Midna regarded him in awe, "That's really impressive and sort of scary too now that I think about it. How did you get mixed up into that stuff anyway?" She seemed to be more engaged in the conversation than she had been earlier.

"Well….it started on my thirteenth birthday as I said before," Kid began a bit nervously, "That was the day I met Tetra. She sort of dropped into my birthday party without an invite." He meant it as a joke, but apparently Tetra didn't find it very humorous because she punched him in the arm. Hard.

"Ow!" Kid complained, rubbing the spot where she'd struck him. "Why'd you do that?"

"Because you're not funny!" she informed him in a haughty tone, "And I didn't interrupt anything! You weren't even having a party!"

"I was going to have one later though..." Kid argued half-heartedly before dropping it. "Anyway, let me rephrase that. I met Tetra when a giant bird kidnapped her and dropped her into the forest on top of my island. I then rescued her, she insulted me, and left. Then the bird came back, mistook my little sister for Tetra and grabbed her instead, and everything went downhill from there," Kid summed up.

"Aryll was kidnapped? How'd you get her back? If you live on an ocean then obviously walking is out of the question, so did you have a ship or boat then?" Link queried.

"The ocean is actually called the Great Sea, and no, I don't have a ship, but Tetra does," Kid answered, turning all eyes to Tetra.

"You own a ship?" Princess Zelda wondered. "Is that common for children your age?"

Tetra frowned at the princess referring to her as a child but let it slide and replied, "Yes, I own a ship, and no, it's not common. It's actually really uncommon, and as far as I know, I'm the youngest person to own one. Although it was my mother's first, and it's not just a ship. It's a pirate ship."

"A pirate ship?" Link asked, incredulous, "You're a pirate?"

"Pirate captain actually," Tetra corrected him with a smirk painted on her face. Midna gave a low whistle of admiration.

"So much makes sense right now…" Link trailed off, staring at Tetra as he realized where her attitude got its origins.

"But you're so young. How did you get into something like that?" Princess Zelda inquired curiously.

"My mother was a pirate first," Tetra said. Each sentence she spoke was a bit hesitant, as if she was uncertain about the words she was speaking, "She was the captain and had a crew of men. As her daughter, I was considered a pirate too, although I wasn't forced to be. I wanted to be a pirate though because that's what my mother was, and I wanted to be just like her. I got my wish. Just not in the way I was expecting. She died when I was just little enough to remember her but too old to forget her. Before she passed she gave me something and told me to treasure it. She then instructed me to guard it with my life. I promised her I would, but I didn't understand why because I didn't know what it was."

"Do you know what it is now?" Link wondered.

Tetra nodded in response saying, "I just found out last year."

"What is it? A family heirloom?" Midna guessed.

"Something like that…" Tetra nodded, tight-lipped as if she didn't want to say any more but knew that the longer she waited, the worse it would be. Her next words were almost a whisper, "It was a necklace."

Kid's attention was suddenly focused on the princess as a small gasp passed her lips and her eyes grew wide. Her elegantly gloved hand flew to her mouth in shock, and Kid could practically see the disjointed puzzle pieces falling into place behind the glass of her eyes. Princess Zelda had figured it out. She knew who Tetra was.

"What is it, Zelda?" Link questioned her in concern and confusion.

The princess seemed to be blinking back tears as she trained her eyes on Tetra who stared back at her counterpart in a mix of emotions.

"You…you didn't know…I can't even…but you're….you…" Princess Zelda shook her head slowly as she stammered, failing to form a coherent sentence in her shock.

"Maybe explain what the heck's going on because I am genuinely lost right now," Link stated, glancing at the princess, Kid, and Tetra who seemed to be caught up in a different world. Midna seemed to be contemplating the words that had just been uttered a bit earlier, trying to make sense of what had rendered the princess speechless.

It took Midna another few seconds before she realized. The Twilight Princess accidentally slipped off of the back of the chair and startled Link when she fell into his lap, a stunned expression on her face.

"Midna?" Link wondered, cautiously placing a hand on her shoulder.

"I-I…can't believe that…" Midna whispered as if she hadn't even heard Link or felt his touch.

"What can't you believe? I'm so confused right now," Link groaned in frustration.

"Tetra...do you have the necklace on you now?" Midna asked, looking up, so she could see Zelda's counterpart. At her barely perceptible nod Midna said simply, "Show Link." Tetra hesitated to comply with Midna's request. Kid knew that she must have come to the same conclusion that he had: Two of their companions figured it out already, so what was one more? Her hand found her bandana and tugged on it. The necklace was immediately freed from its hiding place. The golden fragment was now visible for all to see just below the red of her bandana.

"Oh…" Link trailed off as if he didn't really understand. Then his expression turned into one of pure shock and his tone changed into one of comprehension, "Oh! That's…goddesses you're…"

The silence that fell over the group somehow became the loudest sound in the room. Their companions were stunned into silence. No one knew what to say, where to look, or what to do. Glancing at Tetra, Kid could see that she was upset that everything was out in the open, but there was also a flicker of anger that flashed in her eyes. Kid soon realized why. Right now, their companions were pitying her. That was the problem. Tetra neither liked nor needed to be pitied. She needed understanding deeper than anyone could provide. Kid tried to put himself in her shoes countless times, but each time he could never convince himself enough to believe that the emotions that came with the prospect were tangible. He couldn't achieve true empathy no matter how much he tried.

"Well…there isn't a kingdom…." Midna dared to speak up eventually, breaking the uneasy silence, "so why worry about the princess thing? Can't you just be a pirate like before?"

Tetra shook her head and directed her gaze to her lap, tears reflecting in her eyes and making them brighter than usual. Outlined in sapphire, they almost looked like sea foam had formed around them. "I have to…we have to…" Tetra bit her lip, not able to finish her thought.

Kid luckily knew what she was trying to say and decided to help her in any way that he could. Right now, that meant explaining what she couldn't bring herself to. "Tetra doesn't have much of a choice," Kid spoke up, calling attention to himself, "After we both worked together to defeat Ganon, the King of Hyrule told us that he wasn't really any different than Ganondorf himself since he was living in the past and refused to let go of it. He ordered us both to go find a new land to make Hyrule."

"I tried to get him to come with us but…he didn't want to," Tetra whispered, her voice a bit unsteady as sensitive memories resurfaced.

Kid continued, sadly staring at his lap as the scene replayed in his mind. "Yeah…he chose to drown with the remainder of the kingdom because he claimed that the land we found wouldn't be Hyrule. It wouldn't be his land. It would be our land…so we set off to find it, and we're still looking."

"No offense but you guys are still children no matter what you've been through. The king shouldn't have the right to dump something like this on your shoulders! Think about it a second. If the kingdom is gone, then the king has no authority over you," Midna declared, reclaiming her previous perch and crossing her arms over her chest in defiance, "Besides that, if he had to put it on someone, why children? Shouldn't he have ordered someone older to do it?"

Tetra startled Kid and everyone else by jumping up from her seat and slamming her hands down on the table. "Don't you get it yet?" Tetra asked, her tone hushed but deadly, "The person that looks for this new land has to be a member of the original royal family. They have to have royal blood running through their veins, and guess what? In the whole Great Sea, in the entire world, there's only one. Me."

"It still isn't right…" Midna muttered quietly, "You didn't even know. You weren't brought up as a princess. How does he know that you even know what to do?"

"Midna, I don't know who I am, much less what to do!" Tetra cried in despair, clenching her hands into fists. Tetra kept her head bowed but from where he was sitting Kid could see that she was fighting back tears and on the brink of losing. Before, everyone had kept the thought in their own heads. Admitting it, made it real.

Kid wanted to console his friend, but he didn't know how to go about doing so. His goal before had been to distract her and keep her mind on some other topic, so she didn't have the time to tear herself apart from the inside out. Now distracting her was out of the question. He knew that it wouldn't work now, and he was ashamed to admit to himself that he didn't have an alternative plan.

Link stood up as well and walked around to the other side of the table so he stood in between Kid and Tetra. "Tetra, come into the hallway with me for a minute," Link requested. Kid had no idea what his counterpart was up to, but he hoped that whatever he had in mind would help. Maybe he wanted to calm her down. 'If that really is his goal then good luck to him,' Kid thought. He'd never witnessed Tetra this upset before, but he had come pretty close on one occasion shortly after their initial adventure ended. Getting her acting like herself again had taken him a week even with the input from her crew, so he doubted that Link could do anything, but he supposed that it didn't hurt to try.

"Why?" Tetra wanted to know, trying to sound annoyed but only succeeding in sounding tired.

"Because I want to tell you something," Link informed her. He held out his hand to her. "Will you come?"

Kid expected Tetra to refuse, but instead she seemed to be contemplating Link's offer. She accepted it a few seconds later by placing her hand in his. He led her out of the room, and Kid wished that he could go with them. In fact, he would have followed if Princess Zelda didn't start interrogating him.

"Did you both find this out last year at the same time?" Princess Zelda wondered.

"Yes. The King of Hyrule revealed the truth to both of us," Kid replied, thinking back to that exact moment, the heart-thudding moment just before the two pieces of the Triforce of Wisdom became one again, the brilliant flash of gold that seemed to last a lifetime, and the confused princess in pink it left standing in the fiery pirate captain's place. He remembered it all clearly and doubted that he'd ever forget it.

"And why was it kept from her in the first place? I understand that her mother was a pirate, but surely her mother had to have known of their true heritage?"

This question was a bit more difficult, so Kid took his time answering, "Well, I don't know that much detail. I mean, Tetra doesn't talk about her mother much at all, but since her mother did have the piece of the Triforce of Wisdom then I'd imagine that she knew what it was but didn't have time to explain it to Tetra. My guess is that she was going to tell Tetra the family secret when she was older but never got the chance."

"Why was everything a secret though?" Midna asked, "It doesn't make sense to me. Hyrule was flooded and the princess fled for the mountains with the other lucky people that were supposed to build a new country. That's what they were meant to do and yet…as far as I understand, that didn't happen. The royal family went into hiding until their existence disappeared along with the kingdom and the remaining survivors did as they pleased, becoming blissfully ignorant hundreds of years later. So my question is: why?"

"I'm not really sure about that. Your guess is as good as mine," Kid admitted, wishing that he knew more so he could answer their questions with more confidence. "But I think it might have had something to do with the fact that the King of Hyrule didn't want his daughter to be found. Just splitting up the Triforce of Wisdom wasn't enough. If he truly wanted to make sure that she wasn't found then he had to ensure that no one knew where she was. That would mean that she had to create a disguise of some kind with her servants. I guess they decided to play pirate. The only problem is that their disguise turned into something real over the centuries. Though they did a good job of hiding everything I guess if members of the royal family don't even know that they're members." He added the last part of it with a nervous laugh.

"None of this seems like it can be real," Princess Zelda sighed, massaging her temples as if she had a headache, "but perhaps that is because I don't want it to be." Kid didn't know what to say to that. Was it rude to say that he's grateful for the Great Sea? That he couldn't imagine growing up in a place like this? He didn't know where those statements would get him and chose not to venture down their paths.

Midna was quick to distract him with another inquiry, "Hey, wait a minute. If your adventure started because you went to rescue your sister then how in the world did you end with killing Ganondorf?"

It was a fair enough question, and one that he sometimes wondered about. He couldn't say that there was a definite answer because he could come up with so many. However he chose to reply with the one that he found made the most sense. "One thing just led to another."

"Hmm…alright," Midna muttered as if she wasn't completely satisfied with the answer he had given her. Silence enveloped the three of them, and Kid strained his ears in an attempt to detect any sound that he could from the hallway. However, the wood that made up the door was thick. Too thick for voices to penetrate. After a while, he stopped trying to eavesdrop and settled instead for distractions of his own. He knew that Princess Zelda and Midna were still trying to digest the knowledge that had overwhelmed them in a few short seconds so their minds were preoccupied.

Kid had nothing to do but wish to be able to peer past the sleek silver curtains blocking the two immense windows in the room so he would have something interesting to look at. The room they were in was quite plain and almost dreary looking. The floors were polished wood and royal blue splashed the walls. Other than being the longest table Kid had ever laid eyes on, the table in front of him wasn't very eye-catching either. The chairs they sat in were padded with blue material but that didn't make them any more impressive than any other piece of furniture in the room.

The joyous chirps of birds from outside seemed to be an invitation to escape every worry his mind dwelled on. Going over to one of the windows and flinging back the curtains didn't seem appropriate, so Kid simply sat and waited patiently like everyone else, although it was debatable if they were patiently waiting or lost in their own heads.

Kid imagined that only a few minutes had passed, but because he had been doing nothing, it felt like it had been an eternity when Link and Tetra finally stepped back into the room and reclaimed their seats. Kid was amazed to find that Tetra didn't show any signs of the tears that she'd nearly shed before she'd left the room. She also seemed changed somehow, but Kid didn't know what it was exactly. Maybe it was the way she held herself or the way that her eyes smirked at him, taunting him with some secret that she knew and he never would. No matter how curious Kid was, he decided to leave well enough alone. If she was calm now that was all that mattered.

"So, Zelda, what are we going to do about this sword spirit guy?" Link wondered, casually changing the subject as if starting the conversation over again and ignoring everything that had transpired before as if it had never even happened.

Princess Zelda seemed almost unwilling to drop the previous topic, but after a brief hesitation she agreed by stating, "In the message that the goddess left for the four of us, she stated that this evil had never been defeated before. That leads me to believe that we must dispose of it at the earliest opportunity."

"But how?" Midna questioned the princess. "I'm pretty sure that creep's still hanging out in the Twilight Realm like he owns the place."

"Perhaps we can draw him out somehow?" Princess Zelda suggested.

"I don't think that will work," Kid interjected, surprising everyone, including himself, with this statement.

"Why not?" Link wanted to know.

"Because he wants Tetra. We still don't know exactly why that is, but that doesn't make it any less true. If he was really that easy to draw out then why would he send Zant and all of those monsters out to do his dirty work?" Kid explained.

"True…" Princess Zelda admitted, nodding sagely, "so what do you propose we do if we can't draw him out?"

"Well, if we can't get him to come to us then we need to go to him," Kid said.

"There's a big problem with that though," Midna sighed as if she was disappointed to have to point it out. "The only portal between the light realm and the Twilight Realm is gone, so we've no way to get there."

"But you got here from the Twilight Realm," Kid countered, "There must be some other way of getting back."

"Me being here is Zant's doing as I explained before when we first met," Midna replied, "Zant is the only one that can create portals between both realms now." Kid vaguely remembered a discussion days ago about a shattered mirror and ancient Twili magic.

"Then we should trick Zant into creating a portal for us," Tetra declared as if the answer was painfully obvious.

"How?" Link inquired, and Tetra shrugged to show that she didn't know.

"I think I have an idea," Midna announced, a mischievous smirk creeping onto her face as a plan took shape in her head.

"What is it?" Kid asked after a couple moments of suspense-filled silence.

"If they want Tetra, then why don't we give her to them?" Midna said.

"What?! No way! Why would you hand me over to them?!" Tetra objected, eyes wide in shock that Midna would propose such a thing.

"Don't worry," Midna replied calmly, waving her hand as if brushing aside all of Tetra's doubts, "We won't really be handing you to them. They'll just think that we are."

"How does that work?" Link wanted to know, just as skeptical about Midna's plan as the rest of them.

"Simple, we use a decoy," Midna stated proudly.

"Where the heck are you supposing we get one from? And wouldn't they be able to tell the difference? Zant already knows what I look like!" Tetra reminded her.

Midna just giggled and flipped off the back of Link's chair out of sight. However Tetra was the one to step out from behind the chair, and Kid became confused. He quickly turned to his right, where Tetra had been sitting just a second ago and…found her still sitting there. Kid whipped his head back to the Tetra standing triumphantly next to Link with a characteristic smirk on her face.

"Well? Can you tell the difference?" she asked, placing her hands on her hips as he gaped at her. He recognized her voice as Midna's. It was Midna?!

"You can transform yourself into other people?!" Kid exclaimed in shock and awe. He hadn't known that Twili magic had so many impressive abilities.

"I wouldn't say transform," Midna mused, stretching her arms above her head, "I can just replicate what I see and make others see it. It's a type of trickster magic that Twili can learn. It's actually not that hard and not that useful unless you want to prank someone but for this, it works perfectly. Although, it would be even better if I could copy voices, but unfortunately I'm not very good at impressions."

"So your plan is to get yourself captured?" Tetra wondered, quirking an eyebrow.

"Nope," Midna shook her head, placing her hands at her sides. She looked so much like Tetra that Kid couldn't tell the difference, which was kind of unsettling as he thought about it. Did that mean that Midna could impersonate him if she wanted? "My plan," Midna continued as she took a seat across from Tetra, "is to trick Zant into opening a portal by pretending to be you."

"How do you plan on doing this?" Princess Zelda questioned Midna.

"I was thinking that we would all go into Hyrule Field, you four will hide somewhere and I'll stumble out so the monsters can see me and pretend to faint. Then they'll call Zant or whatever, I'm sure they have a way of doing that since they tried taking you before," Midna said, glancing at Tetra, "and then he'll open a portal. I remember from when he brought me here against my will that the portal he opened didn't close right away. I'm not sure how long it stayed open. Maybe a minute, maybe a little less, but regardless, it should be enough time for you guys to follow. Then, I'm betting on Zant to go report to his colleague and I'll kill the monsters holding me captive by changing back into myself, though I might need a little help with that part."

"Good plan but the monsters still might hurt you even if you pretend to faint," Tetra pointed out, "I mean, they never really tried killing me, but they definitely want to take me to whoever when I'm unconscious. They seem to be very specific about that, so it's possible that they'll hit you just to make sure."

"Hmm…okay then," Midna hummed in thought, "What if a wolfos suddenly attacked me and knocked me unconscious for the monsters? Wouldn't that be convenient?" She shot a sly glance at Link which he caught and held.

"So you're saying that you want me to attack you as a wolf?" Link clarified.

"It's called acting, Link," Midna said with a wink. "It'll all be staged. Of course you won't actually hurt me, and I won't actually be unconscious, but it'll look that way to our audience and that's all that matters!"

Kid had to admit that the plan was sound. It could work. If they did it correctly, they would have an easy ticket into the Twilight Realm. His stomach suddenly dropped to the floor. The Twilight Realm…Didn't Link say that the power of Twilight turned him into a wolf? No matter how cool it looked, Kid didn't want any parts of that. Conducting the wind was his thing. Turning into an animal? Not so much.

"Hey…the Twilight Realm won't change me into a wolf, will it?" Kid asked timidly, scared to hear the answer.

"No, it won't," Midna responded and Kid breathed a sigh of relief, "However, if you want to change into a wolf I can make that happen." Midna taunted him as she made the Shadow crystal appear in the palm of her hand.

Kid held up his hands and shook his head, "No thanks. I'll pass."

"Hmm…suit yourself," Midna shrugged, reluctantly closing her hand around the object and causing it to disappear in a flurry of twilit particles, "but I'm sure you'd make a cute little wolf." Kid didn't reply to that. He wasn't sure if she meant it as a joke or was serious.

"I'm actually more worried about if my realm will accept Tetra," Midna confided, flicking her eyes to the pirate captain sitting opposite her.

"Why wouldn't it accept me?" Tetra inquired, her tone a bit offended.

"Because your Triforce piece isn't whole. I don't know if it'll protect you," Midna explained.

"Protect me? From what?" Tetra wondered, curiosity apparent in her tone.

"From the twilight," Midna sighed, putting emphasis on the word as if Tetra was being dumb. "See, beings of twilight can't exist as more than shadows in the world of light, and if they're exposed to too much of it, they'll die. It's the same way in the world of twilight for light dwellers. If a being of light enters the Twilight Realm without any sort of protection, such as the Triforce, then they'll die and fade out of existence."

"But if that's true, then how are you still alive?" Kid asked.

"Back when Link and I had our adventure, I'd been exposed to a light spirit's light. Princess Zelda was the one that saved me. She passed her Triforce of Wisdom on to me so I could withstand the light. Of course, I gave it back, but the effects stayed. I can now live in both the light realm and the Twilight Realm without consequence. However, I still prefer my realm." Midna said, morphing back into herself and reclaiming her previous perch as if to finalize her words.

"Well…if we have to then….we could…." Tetra trailed off, playing with her necklace, nervously turning the pendant over in her hands, "…put it back together."

"Really? You have the other piece then?" Princess Zelda gasped in what Kid interpreted as some emotion similar to excitement.

"Kid has it," Tetra replied, focusing her gaze on him.

"Oh yeah. Do you want me to get it out?" Kid asked Tetra as he began to reach for his pouch. She nodded silently, and Kid began to delve for the golden fragment among his supplies. He always kept it separate from his weapons, nestled inside a small velvet bag he'd bought for keeping it safe. When he found the bag in his pack, he was puzzled as to why it was open. He didn't remember opening it. Without taking it out, he peered inside. His stomach dropped for the second time that day. It was empty. 'Well, that's not promising,' Kid thought to himself as he pushed aside other items in his pouch, hoping that it was in there somewhere.

"Ahem…uh okay, don't panic-" Kid began after sifting through the items in his pouch for almost a minute.

Tetra abruptly cut him off with a shout, "YOU LOST IT?!"

"I might have lost it," Kid corrected her, as he continued to rummage through his pouch.

"Kid!" Tetra exclaimed in rage, "I'm going to kill you!" Well, at least that sounded more like Tetra. And knowing Tetra, Kid was smart enough to stop searching and get out of his seat before she lunged at him.

"Hey, you told me you hated it anyway," Kid pointed out as he backed away from Tetra who was quickly advancing, a scowl on her face. It was true. After their initial adventure she had constantly cursed the sacred item, claiming that she loathed it.

"I do, but it's a sacred relic you idiot! You don't have the right to lose it!" Tetra argued. With nothing to counter with, Kid ran away from her around to the other side of the table. This kind of thing happened a lot back at home. Normally it was about something stupid and they would laugh about it later, but this wasn't a laughing matter. Kid truly had no idea where the second fragment could be if not in his possession.

"Let's refrain from killing each other, please," Link said, grabbing Tetra's arm as she tried to pass him to get at Kid who had deliberately chosen to run past his counterpart, knowing he would intervene.

"Kid, are you positive you didn't leave it at home?" Princess Zelda questioned.

"Yes. I always carry it with me. It must have fallen out or something," Kid reluctantly replied.

"When do you last remember seeing it?" Tetra asked him, her tone suggesting that if he responded with anything other than what she wanted to hear, he was dead.

"I checked everything before we left your ship that morning," Kid informed her honestly, "I had it then."

"That means that it can be anywhere in Hyrule!" Tetra cried in exasperation, settling for glaring at Kid instead of advancing on him even though Link had released his hold on her.

"Maybe we can go look for it?" Kid suggested shrinking under Tetra's pressing gaze.

"I don't think we have time to look for it," Midna interrupted them before they could continue their quarrel. "We have to kill this guy as soon as possible. If you have a way of tracking the other fragment, then fine we can look a little, but if not, I say give up on it for now. You have most of it, so it should work. Right?" Midna looked to Princess Zelda for her confirmation.

Princess Zelda addressed Tetra in reply, "Is the power in both pieces less because they are split apart, or is it absent all together?"

"The Triforce of Wisdom still has power as far as I know," Tetra said, "I don't know how much is in each piece, but I would think that most of it is in here." She tapped the golden pendant at her chest.

"If that is true then there is a good chance of it working. I do not believe that it will not work at all. However, the amount of protection it provides for you in the Twilight Realm may be compromised or temporary," Princess Zelda stated, thinking aloud.

"So it's settled. We're all going to the Twilight Realm," Midna declared as if to end the conversation.

"Not quite," Princess Zelda interjected.

"What do you mean, 'not quite'?" Midna challenged the princess, "We've got a plan to get there and everyone we need to kill this guy can go."

"Not everyone," Princess Zelda admitted, "I cannot accompany you."

"What? Why not?" Link wondered.

"My father didn't exactly approve of my little outing. There wasn't much I could say in defense since after we came back from visiting the light spirits there have been even more monster sightings than the few that had spotted the kingdom before. In short, he scolded me saying that me going off on an excursion that I refuse to explain the intention of is irresponsible and unacceptable behavior for one of my status. My father has gotten the prospect into his mind that it's a result of my absence from the castle that caused the monsters to appear. Therefore, he has forbidden me from stepping foot outside of it unattended," Princess Zelda explained.

"Here's an idea. Disobey him," Tetra announced as if the solution was simple.

"Here's another idea. Don't take Tetra's advice," Kid added, knowing that Princess Zelda's position wouldn't allow her to perform such rebellious actions without serious consequences.

"What's wrong with my advice?" Tetra challenged him, placing her hands on her hips and glowering at him. Kid immediately realized that whatever he countered with would condemn him to Tetra's wrath, so he chose to remain silent to spare himself.

Thankfully, Link saved him from Tetra's penetrating gaze by saying, "Tetra, your advice tends to be…wrong."

"You don't get anywhere by doing things the right way," Tetra countered, redirecting her heated gaze to him.

"Enough," the princess interrupted them holding up a hand to halt their exchanges, "The point is, I cannot come with you, and there is no possibility that I will even attempt to go against my father's orders. I am in enough trouble as it is. Creating more is unwise."

"Still...we need you for this to work," Midna pointed out, "And where was your father during the Twilight invasion? Why didn't you get in trouble for that?"

"He was at another kingdom for a vacation of sorts. He came back after everything was over. Explaining what had happened to the castle was a bit of a hassle but in the end he believed the entire story," Princess Zelda explained.

"Hey! I know!" Kid exclaimed suddenly as an unexpected idea popped into his head, "Since Zelda can't leave the castle without guards, she could organize the soldiers for battle while we go to the Twilight Realm. Instead of fighting the sword spirit while we're there, we could challenge him to a fight in Hyrule. That way, we can all fight him."

"But how do we know this guy will even agree to that?" Tetra questioned him, "The goddess said not to underestimate him, so he's probably smarter than Zant and a lot more powerful. Luring him out by making deals like that with him might not be possible."

"We could always ask Fi. She seemed to know who he was," Kid said, racking his brain to remember what the spirit of the Master Sword had stated after she was finished reciting the ancient words of Hylia. His brain was already overwhelmed by so much information that he couldn't recall what Fi had said. He was certain that she had given them a name for this evil sword spirit, but his mind refused to remember it.

"Good idea, Kid," Link praised him. Link glanced over his shoulder at the hilt of the Master Sword and said with a hint of uncertainty in his voice, "Fi? Could you come out? I need to ask you something."

Fi flipped gracefully out of the sword, so she hovered beside Link's chair, her feet just shy of touching the floor. "Yes, Master? How can I be of assistance?"

"Can you tell me more information about the evil sword spirit that the goddess mentioned in her message to us?" Link requested.

Fi gave an emotionless inclination of her head and stated, "The sword spirit the goddess Hylia spoke of is the Demon Lord Ghirahim. Unlike myself, he is full of various emotions and displays them at every opportunity."

'Ghirahim…so that's his name,' Kid thought to himself. It was a peculiar name but then again, that was to be expected if Ghirahim truly was the lord of demons. Just his title made Kid wary of him. Demons were creatures bred from darkness, so their only profession would be in the field of evil. Kid wasn't entirely sure that Ganon had been a demon. He had definitely been evil, but that didn't automatically mean he'd been a demon, so did that mean that Ghirahim was even more dangerous than Ganondorf? If that was true then Kid knew that he certainly couldn't take him on by himself, not that he would, but in the event that he had to. Ganon had nearly killed him and Tetra multiple times, and Kid knew that the only reason why they won that final battle beneath the waves was because of the king's wish on the Triforce. Without it, Kid was sure that they would have lost, which made him start to wonder if going into this was such a good idea. Would he be an asset or a burden?

"So even though he's a sword spirit like you, he's different?" Link asked Fi, causing Kid to snap back to the conversation.

"Yes. I am the spirit of the Master Sword which is a holy blade blessed with light that can repel evil. Ghirahim is the opposite. He is the spirit of the Demon Sword, a cursed blade of darkness with an intention to taint the light," Fi reported.

"He is your counterpart in a sense then?" Princess Zelda wondered.

"Correct. He is different from me in every way. While I lack emotion, he possesses an abundance of it. While I am light, he is darkness. While I am good, he is evil. My Master is a chosen hero. His Master is a demon king."

"Do you think that it would be possible for us to lure him here? For example, if we were to go to where he is and challenge him to fight us here in Hyrule, would he accept?" Link questioned Fi.

"I calculate a 90% probability of this proposition succeeding," Fi said.

"The goddess told us not to underestimate him, so is there anything we should look out for when making this deal with him?" Tetra wondered.

Fi seemed to contemplate her response, or perhaps she was just reviewing the data she had stored in her head. "Ghirahim displays superior mental and physical prowess, as well as expert command of magic. Though possessing some gentleman-like qualities, he will devolve to his true nature when enraged. However, as a result of the overconfident and formal façade he has demonstrated to put forth at first, it should not be difficult to persuade him to agree to a duel in a particular area."

"What's his true nature like?" Kid inquired. Overall, he found Fi's description of Ghirahim's personality rather strange. Kid failed to comprehend how a Demon Lord could be classified as gentlemanly. He would think that Ghirahim would be addicted to killing anyone that he found unlikeable.

"Ghirahim has a tendency to play with his victims and cause them to suffer until he is satisfied. All available data on his personality indicates that he possesses an overwhelming appetite for bloodshed and seeks the brutal massacre of his enemies. While Ghirahim displays numerous traits, the one he fails to exhibit is mercy," Fi replied as calmly as if she was stating the weather.

"Well, doesn't he sound like a ray of sunshine?" Midna commented, her words drowning in sarcasm. Kid had to admit that Ghirahim sounded terrifying. Every evil being that he had fought up until now had just had one goal in mind. To kill. Ghirahim, according to Fi, is a sadistic person who adores torturing his enemies. Kid had never been tortured before and it certainly wasn't an experience he ever wanted to have.

"Do you know how to kill Ghirahim?" Link inquired.

"Master, I have sufficient data for a full explanation as to how to engage Ghirahim in combat. However, my previous Master never managed to kill him. Even after analyzing previous battles and fighting patterns, I cannot discern effective means of guaranteeing Ghirahim's death," Fi answered him.

"Okay then….what's the best way to fight him?" Link wondered, evidently disappointed that Fi couldn't provide him with the information he'd hoped for.

"Which of his forms do you wish to know how to battle?" Fi questioned. Link gaped at the sword spirit in disbelief as she stared back him with her expressionless face.

"Forms? He has different forms?!" Link exclaimed. He seemed to hesitate a little before saying, "I'm not sure I want to know but…how do I fight his first form?"

"In his first form Ghirahim begins the battle weaponless. He has the ability to grasp your sword with his bare right hand. He observes the angle you hold your sword at and plans his defense accordingly. Attacking from the direction opposite his hand is effective. Should he catch hold of your sword, swing your sword upward to escape his grip. If Ghirahim manages to take your sword from you, in order to reclaim it you must either retrieve it after he throws it at you, or if he attempts to strike you with it, execute a well-timed shield bash to make him drop it. Halfway through the battle he will draw a saber-like sword. Ghirahim also uses daggers which will align on a single plane in one of three orientations: horizontal, vertical, or diagonal. It is possible to repel the daggers with a single swing of your sword. However, this maneuver is difficult and, based on my previous Master's performance with this particular maneuver, I do not recommend it. Ghirahim has the ability to teleport and will use teleportation to repeatedly move around you. Your chance to attack is directly after he teleports. He will also attempt to flank you. When he does, I suggest executing a spin attack," Fi explained.

"Are you sure that's his first form?" Kid questioned, skeptical about the information Fi was giving them.

"It is his first and weakest form, Master," Fi confirmed. If that was Ghirahim's weakest form, Kid didn't want to hear about his toughest form.

"Don't worry, Kid. All of us are going to be fighting him together," Link reminded him, "It shouldn't be that difficult since he doesn't seem to have many ranged attacks. He'll only be able to focus on one or two of us at a time and the rest of us will hit him from behind."

"But isn't he a demon?" Tetra interjected, "Doesn't that mean that only the Master Sword can hurt him?"

"I don't know," Link shrugged and turned to Fi, "Is that true? Can Ghirahim only be damaged with the Master Sword?"

"Ghirahim can only be wounded by the Master Sword," Fi confirmed, "Items will have no effect."

"Even light arrows?" Kid wondered.

"I do not have any data on the effectiveness of light arrows on Ghirahim," Fi reported.

"In my opinion, light arrows would work," Princess Zelda said, and Tetra nodded her agreement.

"So we've got a plan then," Midna sighed as if the conversation wore her out, "If Ghirahim appears to us in any of his other forms we can just get Fi to explain how to fight him, and it's all of us against him and Zant. We've got numbers on our side."

"Not unless you count their army, which they'll probably bring with them," Tetra pointed out.

"Zelda has an army," Midna countered, "And if we can break the spell over my people while we're there, then we'll have another army."

"Midna, you make it sound like we are going to war," Princess Zelda informed the Twilight Princess.

"Well, we are," Midna replied, "It's the same way it was a year ago, only this time the stakes are higher, and since your army is actually able this time, then we'd be fools not to take advantage of it."

"That's true," Princess Zelda confided.

"Of course it is," Midna said with a hint of pride in her voice, "Now, we know how we're going to do this, but when should we do it?"

"Tomorrow," Princess Zelda answered her before anyone else had a chance to reply, "That should give me enough time to get everything here ready."

"What will we do in the meantime?" Tetra wanted to know. Kid knew without asking that the prospect of doing nothing appalled the pirate captain.

"You two will tell us all about your adventures and in return, we'll tell you ours," Midna announced.

"Every detail?" Kid wondered.

"Every single detail," Midna confirmed, narrowing her eyes, "None of it is to be left out."

"Then we'll have to have our friends help us explain," Tetra responded.

"Fine by me," Midna declared as if she'd just accepted a challenge. She jumped up from her seat and disappeared into Link's shadow. Link dismissed Fi, and they all exited the room.

When they emerged into the hallway, the princess left them to attend to preparations for tomorrow. The rest of them continued on to the library where they found their companions and exchanged quick greetings. Their newly expanded group left the library and made their way to the room that the boys had shared on their previous stay at the castle. Princess Zelda had told them that it was still theirs to use so they headed there, thinking it would be a more private place to exchange stories.

Once in the room everyone made themselves comfortable in one position or another, either on the bed or floor. Aryll was disappointed at first when they informed her that they wouldn't be explaining the ghost ship encounter until later, but she quickly perked up when Kid said that they'd be telling the entire adventure from start to finish, so she would finally get to know what she always wanted to.

Kid began his tale and found himself telling the majority of it aside from a few side comments from his friends and little sister. He hadn't thought that he would enjoy remembering all of the ordeals he was forced to endure the previous year, but he soon found himself relishing Link's reactions. Describing each boss fight probably took longer than it should have since everyone was constantly interrupting with predictions and exclamations of surprise. Every time Kid had to shamefully admit that he forgot something there was always a collect groan that shook the room. He was almost positive that they were being much too loud at some points in the story since they'd all either burst out laughing at the description of certain scenarios, or started yelling over each other to get in a remark of their own. At one point Kid took out his sea chart and indicated the routes that he took and the islands he visited, which Link found very interesting but also confusing since he couldn't read any of it himself.

When Kid finally got to the part where it was discovered that Tetra was Princess Zelda, Aryll was beyond surprised. She found the idea amazing, and claimed that she wanted to be a princess. Tetra half-heartedly asked her if she wanted to switch, to which his little sister replied with an ecstatic yes. As he explained the final battle with Ganondorf no one dared to interrupt. In fact, he was almost positive that everyone, besides Tetra, held their breath as he described as much of the fight he could recall.

Kid's story had rendered Link speechless by the end until all he could do was shake his head in astonishment.

"Ghost Ship time!" Aryll demanded from her seat next to Link, whom she had dubbed her second big brother, "You promised!"

"There's more?" Link asked, incredulous.

"I told you I had two adventures," Kid reminded him, "That was the first one. The second one happened a few months ago."

"None of us have heard that one yet," Makar piped up.

"Except for Tetra. She was there," Aryll stated, jealousy hinting in her tone. Tetra shot her a pointed look and she quieted down. Kid then began to inform everyone about his second adventure which was interrupted more frequently than the first to the point where he constantly found himself losing his place and having to start over. Halfway through his second tale, dinner was delivered to the room and that took up their full attention for the next twenty minutes or so. When Kid finally managed to finish his story, the light of the sun had long ago been replaced with the flickering orange glow of candles. He didn't remember talking so much at once in his life and was rewarded with a slightly sore throat.

"I think Aryll fell asleep," Medli announced, nodding her head at Kid's little sister. Sure enough Aryll was curled up beside Link, breathing softly as she slept.

"She's making me tired," Tetra complained, stretching and fighting back a yawn.

"Why don't you guys head to your room then?" Link suggested, "Do you know how to get there?"

"I do," Medli said, "Should we take Aryll with us?"

"Leave her here," Kid told her.

"Why?" Tetra wondered.

'Because she's my little sister,'Kid wanted to say, 'Because I can imagine that I'm home right now if I'm sleeping next to her.'He didn't say any of that. Tetra wouldn't understand what he meant, and she'd probably just tease him for being homesick now of all times and seeking something familiar. Kid simply shrugged and replied, "She's already here. What's the use in waking her? She's not harming anything if she sleeps here tonight."

Tetra just rolled her eyes and sighed, "Whatever. Come on Medli,"

"Don't forget me! I'm coming too!" Makar cried using his leaf propeller to fly after the pair and landing on Medli's head, startling the Rito girl and making her jump.

Once the three of them were out of the room, Midna cautiously slinked out of Link's shadow, being sure to stay in her shadow form in case Aryll woke up. Kid didn't understand why Midna wished to keep her presence such a secret. Sure, the others would be a bit spooked at first, but they'd warm up to her if she gave them a chance.

"Your adventures are much more interesting than Link's," Midna informed him quietly as she flowed through the shadows like water to sit beside him on the other bed.

"Tell me about your adventure," Kid requested glancing from Link to Midna.

"I don't know…we might be up all night if I do tell you," Link mused, obviously teasing him.

"I won't say anything until you're finished," Kid promised, silently thinking that it wouldn't be too hard to keep his mouth shut since he'd been running it since the afternoon and needed a break.

Link agreed and began to tell Kid about his own adventure with Midna's input. They all struggled to keep the volume down so they wouldn't wake Aryll at certain parts as Midna made sly remarks that caused them to laugh. Kid was impressed by the monsters that Link had battled. Some of them sounded absolutely terrifying, and he had developed a new bred hatred for Zant now that he understood just what the corrupt Twili had done. He'd been intrigued to hear about the Zora since there were none on the Great Sea and hoped that before they left they might be able to pay a visit to Prince Ralis. Link's tale was a dark and heart wrenching one, and yet, his counterpart still claimed that Kid's was much worse.

They argued about it for a while before Midna finally got fed up and threatened them saying that if they didn't shut up she'd turn them both into wolves. That silenced their squabbling and they agreed to go to bed. Midna seemed to be satisfied with that decision and slipped into Link's shadow as he was removing his gear. Kid was so used to having the familiar weight of the weapons on his back that he almost forgot to take them off.

After kicking off his boots, he set to removing his sword and shield. Following a small struggle with taking off his gear, Kid set his items beside the bed and laid down next to Aryll, carefully moving her over a bit, so she wouldn't fall off the edge if she moved around during the night. She stirred a little when he did this but didn't fully wake.

Closing his eyes, Kid could almost convince himself that he was at his house on Outset Island. That he would wake up in the morning to the sun peeking over the blue of the horizon and the music of the wind mixed with the cacophonous singing of seagulls filling the air. And when he woke up his life would be as dull and boring as it had been. As he sometimes wished it still was. Simple. Him, his grandma, and his little sister. His small, isolated world. That was what he had referred to it as. Now it was different. He knew that the other world he'd been a part of had been a fantasy. No matter how much he wanted to, he couldn't call his family his entire world anymore because he knew the reality of it. The world was much bigger than anyone could imagine, and it broke all of those other fantasy worlds into pieces.


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