The Legend of Zelda: The Alternate Link

Chapter 37: The Final Battle

Hesitance. It seemed to be present in everything she did as of late. While the boys charged forward, fully intent on battling their way to Ghirahim, she lingered where they'd deserted her. Her attire was far from battle ready, and she almost began to understand why princesses were always depicted as weak maidens. Doing anything productive in a flowing dress constructed of expensive materials was nearly impossible. Tetra wasn't terribly concerned with ruining the dress, so much as tripping over it and endangering herself.

She recalled that she had aided the Hero of Winds in vanquishing the evil Ganondorf once before in the same outfit she wore now. Back then she bore the mark of the three sacred triangles, signifying that she held one of its pieces. She had sworn to protect the Triforce of Wisdom before she even knew what it was and what it could do. Now, it had been stolen from her, and her greatest efforts, though maybe they weren't as great as she thought, were not enough to prevent Ghirahim from taking it. However, even with the sacred relic, she knew that she wasn't much use. Firing arrows of light was just about her limit in dealings with magic. She couldn't pull off any of the spells that her counterpart could. Shields of blue wouldn't rise to protect her, wind wouldn't whisk her out of harm's way, and fire certainly didn't ignite from her palms to burn her enemies.

Letting her gaze drift towards the swarm of monsters, Tetra felt the urge to do something. Here she was, letting the boys handle it as always, yet that didn't feel right. They were constantly protecting her. She wanted to protect them, but she didn't know how. The monsters didn't appear to be very tough. Most of them died with a couple hits, whether it was from the blessed blade that Link wielded or the sharp sword that Kid brandished. Nevertheless, the sheer number of creatures automatically made them a powerful mass to deal with and, as she watched, her companions seemed to pick up on this fact as well.

Midna materialized out of Link's shadow, and she saw them both share a glance. It lasted for just a second, but in that second a plan had been communicated and agreed upon. Well, that might be a bit of an exaggeration. She was sure that they shared a few words but she wasn't close enough to catch the conversation.

Link took a few agile steps back, distancing himself from the monsters, before throwing the Master Sword over the heads of the dumb creatures. Tetra blinked in bewilderment. Just what was he up to?

In one swift movement, executed so perfectly that Tetra couldn't even comprehend how it had been done, Midna disappeared into Link's shadow and a wolf stood in Link's place. Immediately he dashed forward, knocking startled monsters out of the way since they were too taken aback to defend themselves. Wolf Link leapt into the air and caught the hilt of the Master Sword in his mouth.

Kid, who had been frozen in a state of shock and confusion, or maybe it was just awe, suddenly came to life, sheathing his sword and running towards the wolf who had slowed his pace just enough so Kid had a chance to catch up to him. Apparently, she was the only one still lost on the plan since Kid seemed to know what he was doing as he managed to mount the wolf while the animal while still moving. Wolf Link turned his head, letting the sacred sword slip out of his mouth. Kid caught it by the hilt, flipping the sword around, so he was holding it properly. She was thoroughly astonished that they had completed this maneuver so flawlessly in the span of less than a minute.

Already the duo were cutting through the horde of evil creatures, paving a path in an attempt to reach Ghirahim. It was an insane way to get the job done, but it appeared to be working.

Unfortunately, her presence had not gone undetected by the monsters so she couldn't watch her companions fight for long from the sidelines. Her attention was begged for by the monsters closing in, and she was more than happy to give it since she preferred to stay alive. Tightening her grip on the bow Kid had given her to defend herself, her ocean blue eyes scanned the approaching monsters. The closest one was a Lizalfos, approaching to her left. Tetra slid an arrow out of the quiver slung over her shoulder and aimed the projectile at the creature's head. Upon releasing the arrow, she felt confident that it would hit its intended target. That confidence was shattered as soon as the Lizalfos raised its armored arm in defense. The arrow bounced off of the metal, the wooden shaft splintering from the impact before sprinkling the ground with its remains.

'No!' Tetra practically whined in her head, 'Why can't you be stupid?'

She tried hitting a different part of the Lizalfos with the same results. Choosing to ignore the monster for now, she turned to those less likely to defend themselves and disposed of four Bulblins and three Chus with a few well aimed arrows. Tetra knew that the Lizalfos was drawing closer and took a few steps away from the protection of the town to give herself some range. She fingered the arrows in the quiver and selected two. Thoughtfully, holding one between her teeth, she notched the first and let it fly towards the Lizalfos. As expected, the monster shielded its stomach. She quickly took the second arrow out of her mouth and pulled back the bowstring. Without much aiming on her part, she loosed the arrow and it embedded itself in the Lizalfos' temple.

She didn't waste any time watching the monster disappear. Instead, she spun on her heel to face the other monsters that were coming towards her. Two more Lizalfos were in the mix along with six Bulblin. Tetra took an involuntary step back. She was vastly outnumbered. Behind those on the front lines, there were other monsters, impatiently pushing those in the front forward to get their turn. She launched a few more arrows into the crowd of monsters. Those that vanished did little to lessen the threat that the congregation posed.

Bailing out and seeking the safety of Hyrule Castle Town was a fools dream now. Tetra soon found herself surrounded on all sides without an inkling to indicate how it had happened. Her long range weapon wouldn't protect her for much longer. A Chu jumped at her, attempting to latch onto her in order to feast. She stumbled back, just barely avoiding the red blob and bumping into a different monster in the process. The Bulblin screeched, irritating her sensitive ears. Before she had a chance to process what was happening, Wolf Link and Kid appeared among the throng of blood lusting monsters.

Kid hastily scrambled off of the greyish green wolf's back and grabbed her by the wrist, wrenching her away from the monster. "Go with Link," Kid ordered her before turning to face the monsters that surrounded them.

"But what about you?" Tetra wasn't fearful of voicing her concern for him. She was met with the usual answer. The automatic answer. The fake answer. 'I'll be fine.' At any other time, she would have argued, but Link nudged her hand, probably telling her to hurry up. She was barely on his back when he bolted from the area. She ducked low so the weapons of the monsters they passed, and barreled over, didn't touch her.

The animal beneath her was panting from exertion, but she knew that he wouldn't take a break even if she suggested it to him. None of them could afford a break unless they planned on dying.

Once she felt balanced enough, perched on Wolf Link's back, Tetra began to pick off monsters. This tactic was a lot more efficient than her previous one. They weren't moving terribly fast, but they were moving which made them a difficult target for swords and the like. Most of the creatures didn't even know what had hit them before they disappeared in purple smoke as a result of a well-placed projectile.

Wolf Link was helping in more ways than one. Other than keeping them mobile, he also occasionally ended a nearby monster with a ferocious bite. Tetra wondered whether attacking monsters in such a fashion unnerved him. Maybe he didn't realize what he was doing all the time, but eventually he had to realize that he'd just bit into the flesh of a living creature. That was just plain gross. If Link was disgusted by the fact, he certainly didn't show it.

After a few more minutes her confidence was boosted back to relatively normal levels. She had caused at least fifteen monsters to meet their demise in that time. The two of them were getting closer to Ghirahim as well. In fact, she could clearly see the demon lord. His movements both startled and confused her for he appeared to be, of all things, dancing. The evil sword spirit seemed to be unaware of their presence, either that, or he was confident that his army of monsters would protect him.

An abrupt pain erupted from her right arm, stealing her focus and causing her to tumble off of Wolf Link. She laid on the ground in a daze, wondering what had hit her and why she was stupid enough to allow distractions to get through. If she'd been keeping her eyes on the monsters and not their goal then maybe this wouldn't have happened. Her animal companion immediately stopped and came back to her, just like a loyal pet. He whined to voice his concern since he couldn't actually speak.

She pushed herself up into a sitting position and stole a glance at her arm which throbbed with an unknown pain. There was no evidence of a wound, though she suspected bruising beneath the cool, silky fabric of her glove. She'd gladly take bruising over a laceration any day and got to her feet, patting Wolf Link's head to communicate that she was okay.

They were soon on their way again, seeking to kill as many monsters as possible. Tetra ignored the ever present flicker of pain every time she moved her right arm. Her earlier spill had, unbeknownst to her, drained her supply of arrows. She had twenty left at most, a little less than half of the original amount.

"Hey, Link," she said, leaning forward to make sure he heard her over the growls and nonsensical cries of the monsters and clashing of weapons, "Let's check on Kid. I think he might need some help." The wolf doubled back the way they had come in response, heading towards the place they had left Kid to fend for himself. She didn't know what caused the suggestion to pass her lips. Perhaps it was guilt for leaving him behind earlier or maybe he really was in trouble and her goddess side was trying to tell her that.

Upon arriving, the pair found that Kid indeed needed help and that help had already come. At some point, the Twilight Princess had slipped out of Link's shadow and flew over to Kid in order to aid him in battling the monsters. The two of them were now fighting back-to-back, but it appeared that they were losing judging by the agitated looks on their faces and the multiple enemies surrounding them. From her view, neither of them seemed to be injured, and Tetra chose to believe that it was true.

Instead of charging into the fray like Tetra expected him to, Wolf Link gave the swarm a wide berth as he trotted around it in a circle. After a few more seconds had passed Tetra raised her weapon, catching on to her companion's plan. She pierced the monsters on the outer edges with arrows as her mount circumnavigated the group, slowly drawing closer on each lap.

"About time you show up!" Midna admonished when she finally took notice of them. Tetra witnessed her launch a large ball of shadow magic at the monsters in front of her. The majority stumbled back, stunned. Only two disappeared. "We could've used the help ages ago."

Tetra had nothing but a mumbled apology to give and returned her attention to the disoriented monsters, dealing with them all in quick succession. Wolf Link and Tetra continued to circle the group, chipping away on the outside while Midna and Kid battled from the inside. This strategy was quite effective, and Tetra estimated it to be about five minutes later that the last monster fell.

Sweeping her eyes over the field, Tetra spotted some leftover monsters, but it appeared the main mass had been defeated. A golden light caught her eye from across the expanse of green. The source appeared to be Princess Zelda. If it wasn't for Ghirahim still dancing around her like the sadistic freak he was proving to be, she would have thought it a good thing. Wolf Link appeared to have the same thought and rushed forward, determined to reach Ghirahim before he could complete his ritual.

She stole a glance back and glimpsed Kid running after them. Midna must have returned to the shadows. They were probably twenty feet away from Ghirahim when Wolf Link struck something solid and was thrown back. Tetra was dislodged from her seat from the unexpected jolt and landed on the ground with a cry of surprise. Kid slid to a stop and held out a hand to help her up. She gratefully accepted it and let her best friend haul her to her feet. Wolf Link was just shaking off the blow.

"What just happened?" Midna wondered, popping out of Kid's shadow, "I didn't even see anything hit you guys."

"Me neither. I don't know what it was," Tetra confided, sweeping her eyes over the area in front of them in an attempt to see what had prevented them from passing. Nothing obvious presented itself, and Tetra was left hopelessly confused.

Wolf Link let out a bark and they turned their attention to him.

"Got something to say?" Midna asked him. Then without questioning him further, not that he could have responded anyway, she transformed him back into a human. Link quickly stood up.

"There's a barrier surrounding him," Link reported.

"I don't see anything," Kid pointed out, his eyes drifting over to Ghirahim as if he thought he might have missed it.

"You wouldn't be able to. I could only see it as a wolf because animals have a sort of sixth sense, so they can see things we normally can't," Link explained.

"So if you could see it, then why'd you bang into it?" Midna challenged him, crossing her arms and smirking.

"I didn't see it at first," Link admitted sheepishly.

"So if there's a barrier, how do we knock it down?" Kid wanted to know.

"That's the thing. I don't think we can," Link replied.

"But we need to!" Tetra exclaimed in desperation. If they didn't get to Ghirahim soon, she was sure that he would steal Princess Zelda's soul, and she really didn't want to know what he planned on using it for.

"We will," Link assured her, "As far as I can tell, it's like one of those rooms in a temple or dungeon where you have to defeat all of the enemies in the area, so you'll be able to move on."

"You can tell all that just by looking at the thing?" Midna wondered, skeptical.

"No. It's a theory since when I banged into it, it flung me back which means it's something we shouldn't be touching, and if we can't touch it, then we can't break it which means it needs to be dispelled somehow," Link elaborated.

"Are you sure we can't just break it with the Master Sword because I shattered an invisible force field before with it," Kid interjected.

"You can try it if you want," Link shrugged, and Kid took a step closer to the barrier that none of them could see. Since he couldn't see where the barrier started, Kid took a few experimental swings. On his third attempt he struck something solid. Immediately the force Kid had put behind the attack was reflected back at him and he was thrown to the ground with a groan.

"Well, that didn't work," Midna observed. Kid sat up, shaking his head to clear it.

"So do we have to kill the rest of the monsters now?" Tetra asked, sure that she knew the answer. Link nodded in response to her question as Kid stood up and handed him the Master Sword.

"You'd think that guy would have at least looked up at us by now, huh?" Midna noted, nodding at Ghirahim. He wasn't even phased by their conversation or their futile attempts to break in.

"Maybe the barrier blocks out sound too?" Kid suggested.

"Possibly," Link agreed.

"Let's test it!" Midna decided and before any of them could advise her against it she yelled, "HEY PRETTY BOY! IF YOU'RE REALLY AS FABULOUS AS YOU CLAIM THEN TURN AROUND!”

Tetra sucked in a breath, her eyes on Ghirahim's back. The demon lord didn't even flinch.

"Huh…guess he's not," Midna announced, lowering her voice to a less irritating decibel.

"Okay, no more of that. Let's go finish off the rest of the monsters," Link dismissed the Twilight Princess's antics was a wave of his hand.

"You're not going anywhere," a voice scoffed from behind them. Tetra whirled around so fast she almost fell. Zant stood dangerously close, and in her peripheral vision she witnessed Kid draw his sword from its sheath.

"Zant, who are you to stop us? Ghirahim is just using you like your last, 'god' did. The outcome isn't going to be any different from last time. When are you going to learn?" Midna questioned him. She almost sounded sincerely interested to hear his answer.

"Ghirahim is my ally, not my god," Zant corrected her, "He and I have an arrangement that we'll both benefit from in the end. It'll be vastly different from last time, I assure you. This world will be covered by shadow and our people will thrive while the light dwellers cower in any crevice they can find. I'll be the king of course but don't worry, I'll let you rule beside me, princess."

"In what world?" Midna spat, "I'm the leader of the Twili, and you're just a shadow that can't let go of the past! I'd never harm this world to expand my own! This is exactly why you're not a king, Zant, and you never will be."

"Those who don't bow to their superiors shall be punished!" Zant declared, clearly enraged by Midna's defiance. Deadly blades appeared from his long sleeves, and Tetra eyed the weapons warily. Red runes laced the shining black blades. She couldn't see the handles of the weapons for they were concealed beneath the billowing fabric of Zant's robes.

Without warning Zant lunged at Midna. Metal scraped metal as Kid blocked the attack with the flat of his sword. He was at an obvious disadvantage since Zant was bearing down on him with the edges of two swords, and Tetra could see his strength wavering. Midna had the sense to back away so Zant's attack couldn't reach her, and Kid dropped his sword and rolled out of the way in favor of keeping all of his limbs.

A ball of shadow magic was launched at Zant. Even though it exploded against his strange helmet, the attack didn't leave a scratch.

"Go! I'll deal with him," Midna ordered them, her hair glowing dangerously like flames.

"Are you sure?" Link asked. It was apparent that he didn't want to leave her by herself, and, to be honest, Tetra didn't approve of it either. Zant had overpowered Midna before.

"Just go already! I suggest getting that barrier down if you don't want to be throwing Zelda's funeral!" Midna snapped at him. That was more than enough incentive to get them all moving. Kid took a few steps back but his eyes lingered on one spot. Tetra followed his line of sight. His abandoned blade gleamed in the spotty sunlight, trapped in the space between the two dueling Twili.

"Come on!" she urged him, grabbing his wrist and pulling him away from Midna and Zant who were now launching various magic spells at one another. Kid resisted a bit at first but eventually he fell reluctantly into step beside her. Glancing over her shoulder, she saw Link just leaving their previous spot. He'd probably been arguing with Midna more, but she had made her decision and wouldn't be swayed.

Tetra let go of Kid's wrist as he sped up his pace. Up ahead, she could discern three monsters and immediately became worried. Kid wasn't armed anymore and, while he did have other weapons, she doubted they'd do much good against Lizalfos. Kid came to an abrupt halt as soon as the monsters noticed him. Perhaps he had just realized that he didn't have a plan.

Her hand unconsciously tightened on the bow she held as if reminding her that she had a weapon and could use it to help. Watching as the Lizalfos charged towards her friend, she automatically grabbed an arrow and readied it. She leveled the projectile at the Lizalfos that posed the most immediate threat. Kid held his shield up in anticipation of a blow that was sure to come, while he rummaged through his belongings with his free hand, delving for an item he couldn't seem to find.

She stepped to the left a bit, so she had a better shot at her target. Just as she prepared to shoot it, a distinct sound of metal striking metal met her ears. The closeness of the sound startled her into sacrificing both her concentration and her grip on the arrow. Tetra whirled around on her heel to discover the source, completely ignorant of the fact that her arrow had missed and landed in the ground somewhere instead.

Link's sword was about an inch from her head, the only barrier between her and a monster's sleek blade. How did she not feel the monster sneaking up on her? Lizalfos weren't exactly known for their expertise in stealth. She really had to start paying more attention. Link batted the creature's sword away and glanced at her to see if she was alright. She gave him a small nod and a grateful smile in return. It wasn't much, but it was all she could do, pitiful as it was.

Knowing that Link could handle the monster, she redirected her attention to Kid who looked like he could use some aid. She was more than obliged to provide it and reached for another arrow. Tetra was shocked to find that her supply had been dramatically depleted since she'd last checked. Only two arrows remained in the quiver. She bit the inside of her cheek as her fingers toyed with the feathered ends of one of the arrows. Using the last of her arrows would be troublesome when they reached Ghirahim. Only light arrows, it was assumed, and the Master Sword could harm him. If she exhausted her entire supply of arrows she wouldn't have any left to turn into arrows of light when she reclaimed her Triforce piece. Even if she didn't get the Triforce of Wisdom back right away, Kid could use light arrows too, and he needed regular arrows for that to work.

On the other hand, if she didn't use them, they might not even make it to Ghirahim alive.

"Some help would be nice!" Kid called over his shoulder, pulling her out of her ambivalent thoughts and back to the imposing situation.

Link surprised her by tossing Kid the Master Sword, after alerting him that he was going to do so, of course. Kid easily caught the goddess-blessed sword by the hilt and wasted no time in engaging the monsters before him in combat. Tetra's concerned gaze switched from her best friend to his counterpart in an instant. Now Link was defenseless, or so she thought.

Tetra watched, somewhat impressed, as Link recklessly tackled the Lizalfos. He wasn't heavy enough to bring the monster down, but he certainly succeeded in startling it into temporarily losing its balance. The Lizalfos attempted to compensate for its lowered guard and lashed out with its tail. Link jumped over it at the last possible second. As soon as he landed on his feet, Link bashed his shield into the lizard-like creature's hand, causing it to involuntarily drop its weapon.

Link grabbed the fallen blade in one swift swoop and made to attack the Lizalfos with it. Unfortunately he didn't see the monster's tail flick in agitation like Tetra had, and she was too slow to alert him of the danger. The powerful tail whipped into Link's legs, effectively knocking him to the ground, and Tetra winced, knowing that it must have hurt despite the jagged edge of the tail missing him.

Before the Lizalfos could put any effort into another attack, Link jumped to his feet and plunged the sword deep into the monster's chest. Normally it would be sickening to watch but monsters don't bleed the way humans do. Instead, the creature burst into filaments of wispy purple smoke with a single choked off screech serving as its dying breath. The weapon also dissolved in Link's hand and a disappointed expression appeared on his face.

"I was hoping I could keep that for a little while," Link muttered, staring at his empty hand as if he could will the monster's weapon back into it.

"Link, watch it!" Tetra warned him as she noticed another monster coming closer. Suddenly she wished that Link could have kept the weapon too.

All of the action had attracted the interest of the other remaining monsters, and as Tetra surveyed their group, not much comfort was provided upon realizing that she could count the number of enemies using only one hand. The majority of those defying them were Lizalfos which was unfortunate for them since they didn't have many sharp weapons at their disposal.

Tetra kept her eyes transfixed on the Lizalfos drawing closer to Link and decided to notch one of her arrows, keeping the string taut but refusing to release it. She still wasn't positive she wanted to shoot. It was likely that her attack would bounce off of the creature's armor. Even if it didn't, the monster would take at least two arrows to fell.

Thankfully she didn't need to decide, for Kid finished off the monsters opposing him a second later and returned the Master Sword to Link. With a sword in his hand, Tetra knew that he would be fine. She redirected her aim to a Bulblin eyeing Kid. This time she felt more comfortable releasing the projectile and was satisfied when it buried itself in the red flesh of the monster, turning it into nothing more than a puff of purple haze that quickly dissipated into the atmosphere.

Now reduced to a single arrow, Tetra endeavored to save it for later if it was at all possible. She glanced between the two boys to assess their progress. Link had reduced the Lizalfos to harmless smoke and was turning to add another to the list. Looking to Kid she saw him remove the Skull Hammer from his bag and prepare to launch it into the Lizalfos's side.

The hammer looked like it would connect with the creature's scale covered skin, but the monster quickly crushed this prediction by whipping its tail out and intercepting the blow. The force of the Lizalfos's parry combined with the recoil of swinging the hammer sent Kid stumbling back and he fell, unable to right himself. The Lizalfos saw this as an opportunity and poised its weapon to strike.

Without consulting herself first, Tetra rushed over to the pair. How she made it there in so little time with the ground a slippery mess and a floor length dress draped over her small frame, she'd never know. All she knew was one minute she was standing between the two boys and the next she was standing protectively in front of Kid. The Lizalfos didn't pause in its attack, and she soon found over a foot of sharpened metal heading her way. Instinctively she brought up her arms as a weak form of defense and squeezed her eyes shut as she braced herself for the weapon to hit. A hand found her shoulder a second before the blade struck her with enough force to knock her to the ground. Strangely enough, it didn't hurt in any sense of the word.

Tetra allowed her eyes to open but didn't get a chance to take in her surroundings before Kid, who was behind her, removed his hand from her shoulder and grabbed her wrist instead, pulling them both out of the way of another sword swipe from the Lizalfos.

"What…" Tetra trailed off looking to Kid for an explanation. He showed her a purplish-pink crystal cradled in his free hand and grinned. She knew vaguely what it was only because she'd heard him speak of it before. Never had she been truly interested in the notion of magic armor. Partly because it sounded ridiculous and partly because she thought it sounded like cheating, a cowardly way to defend yourself. After all, it wasn't a good, nor fair, fight, if your opponent couldn't hit you.

Now she felt differently. The wispy, barely visible barrier surrounding the two of them was a life-saving resource. "How did you know it would protect both of us?" Tetra asked him, recalling something he had told her once when she was pretending not to listen. He'd said that it protected him and never mentioned it protecting anyone else.

"I didn't really," Kid admitted, "I just kinda hoped it would, but let's try not to get hit anymore. I already lost double the amount of rupees I normally would."

"How does this armor work?" she wondered, as they dodged another attack aimed their way.

"Well, to equip it I need magic which I have at the moment but once that runs out so will our protection. Any time I get hit it drains me eighty rupees but because it's protecting us both it apparently drains twice that amount. My magic is probably depleting faster too," Kid explained, his eyes focused on the Lizalfos instead of her. She vaguely wondered why the armor caused him to lose rupees but figured it was some sort of fair exchange deal. It protected him as long as he had magic and because it has to sustain hits for him, it charges a fee of sorts. Tough bargain, but it was still useful.

"Maybe we shouldn't use it anymore then," Tetra suggested, giving their foe a wary glance. She didn't want to get hurt, but she didn't want to drain all of Kid's magic before they reached Ghirahim. She had a feeling that reclaiming their Triforce pieces won't be as simple as she hoped it will be and if that was the case then Kid needed enough magic to launch at least one light arrow at the demon.

"Link's not finished with the sword yet, so I can't have it, and none of my other weapons are going to work," Kid pointed out, "Besides, I don't think my shield can protect us both and this way we won't get hurt if we get hit."

"Let's sit it out then," she proclaimed. Normally she'd want every part of a fight but not when she knew she couldn't win.

"And leave Link by himself with three Lizalfos? No way!" Kid protested as they evaded another attack.

"Fine then, let's help him," Tetra conceded, nodding towards the Lizalfos that had lost interest in them and was now targeting Link's exposed back. The two of them tailed the Lizalfos, shouting a warning to their companion. Thankfully he got it in time and executed a spin attack just when the sneaky Lizalfos readied its weapon. Two of the three Lizalfos vanished, and it was at that time that the wavering magenta barrier surrounding Kid and Tetra disappeared as well.

"Aww, out already? I thought it would last at least another minute," Kid said, annoyed as he released his hold on her and shook the crystal like it was a pen that had suddenly refused to write, and he was trying to remind it of its job.

"What's that?" Link wondered, taking the time to register what the two of them were doing as soon as he finished off the last monster. He must have done it swiftly for Tetra hadn't even noticed.

"It's my magic armor," Kid replied as he stowed the now useless crystal away.

"If you have magic armor maybe you should put it on before we go over there," Link suggested, indicating Ghirahim with a wave of his hand.

"As much as I'd like to, I can't. I'm out of magic and without magic it won't work," Kid announced.

"Do you have any magic potions?" Tetra inquired even though she was almost positive of the answer she'd receive.

"No," Kid sighed, "and I still need my sword back. The only reason why I had to use the armor is because I didn't have anything to fight back with."

"Then let's go get it. I bet Midna could use some help with Zant anyway," Link said, motioning for the two of them to follow him. Tetra concentrated on the battling forms of Midna and Zant. The duel was moving at a fast pace that she couldn't follow. Her eyes were immediately captured by the flashing colors, almost like fireworks, that seemed to surround the pair.

A golden light caught the corner of her eye and her gaze wandered over to land on its source. However, she knew prior to looking that it was Princess Zelda. What she didn't expect was to see the princess actually floating off of the ground while Ghirahim held his hands over her body, not quite touching her. Fear boiled hot in her veins. This new display couldn't bode well at all.

Tetra slowed her pace and redirected her path. The boys would be fine without her. She would only get in the way if she followed them. Her conscience screamed at her not to break away from their little group. There was strength and safety in numbers. If she apprehended Ghirahim, she'd only get herself in trouble. However, wasn't Princess Zelda already in a lot of trouble? By the time they were finished with Zant, it may be too late to save her.

As she drew closer, Tetra noticed that Ghirahim was aware of the fighting. There were no barriers between them now. With Ghirahim's attention focused on the others, Tetra's presence wasn't noted. She wasn't really trying to get caught. In fact, she was aiming to avoid that. Tetra was simply interested in discovering a way to help her counterpart.

She wasn't sure if she could interrupt the process now, it seemed to be near completion if the intensity of the light emanating from the princess's still form was anything to go by. It was then that she realized just how much magic energy Ghirahim must have been using. Despite the fact that he was a demon, no one was all powerful, and Ghirahim was no exception. While his magic supply might be larger than would be considered normal, it could still be depleted the same as anyone else's. Using magic in battle, combined with summoning monsters and creating such an intricate barrier on top of performing some ancient ceremony, must have consumed most of his magic by now. That meant he was weak. Maybe he could be hurt by a normal arrow. Perhaps it was possible to kill him with a shot to the back of his head.

Tetra chose to believe the idea for it was the only hope she had of stopping the ritual in its tracks. This time her movements were certain as she notched her last arrow and pulled back the bowstring. A brief pain flickered through her arm as she did so, reminding her of the small injury she'd sustained earlier. Doing her best to ignore it, for it was a trivial matter, she narrowed her eyes as she aimed at her target who seemed to be intrigued, or perhaps irritated, by the fight going on between Zant and her companions.

She experimentally tried to will light into the ordinary arrow but, just as she'd anticipated from the start, nothing happened. She would have to pray that a normal arrow would suffice. Tetra could feel the presence of the little magic energy she possessed, but found that she could not call on it to aid her. She was fine with that. The magic she possessed was old, no ancient, and she wanted no parts of it. It was the magic of a goddess, and she had no faith in her abilities to control it if she let it free.

Ghirahim was still distracted. It was now or never. Tetra felt her right arm wavering as it held the arrow in place, and she unconsciously held her breath as if deep down she believed it would help her keep her arm steady. She released the arrow and watched as it cut effortlessly through the air and towards its intended target. Witnessing the arrow bury itself in the back of the demon lord's skull should have brought her joy, but it didn't because she missed. In fact, she missed the mark by at least a foot and the arrow sailed harmlessly past Ghirahim's face. Unfortunately for her, he couldn't ignore that, and spun around to face her.

'I can't believe it. Imissed?' Tetra thought incredulously, awfully upset with herself and terrified at the same time. Now she truly was defenseless. She desperately tried to remember why this idea had ever registered as a good one in her mind. That's probably because it was a good one, until it went awry, like most of her schemes tended to. She attempted to hide the bow behind her back but knew that it was futile. Ghirahim had seen it already, and even if he hadn't, there was no one else around. She was the only one that could have possibly fired that arrow at him, and he knew it.

She expected fury to be burning a scowl permanently into his facial features as he peered down at her in disgust, but that wasn't what she saw. All things considered, Ghirahim appeared to be startlingly calm and collected as he regarded her with the air of someone expecting the other to break the uncomfortable silence that had settled between them. At least, it was uncomfortable for her. Ghirahim seemed to be enjoying her insecurity.

"Let her go now," Tetra ordered him, standing as tall as she could and trying to regain the tone of authority she normally used when she wanted others to obey her.

Ghirahim's neutral expression transformed into an amused smirk. "Let her go? I must say I am disappointed. You manage to both elude death and have the audacity to come after me. All of that grandeur and the best you can come up with when you get here is 'let her go'? What makes you think that I'll comply with your request, hmm?"

"I was just seeing how being polite worked with you. Apparently it doesn't," Tetra replied, struggling to keep her terror from rising to the surface.

"You call glaring at me and telling me what to do polite?" Ghirahim feigned surprise. "Well then, where are my manners?" The demon lord threw his hand up towards the sky, and Tetra tensed, expecting to get launched into the air. To her astonishment, Princess Zelda was raised up even higher off the ground, still glowing with a golden light that was beginning to hurt her eyes.

Snap!Tetra tore her gaze away from her counterpart and back to the evil sword spirit. Five red bulblins now stood in front of Ghirahim, neatly lined up in a row with large blades held at the ready.

"Dispose of her," Ghirahim ordered the monsters with a dismissive wave of his hand and a triumphant smirk in her direction. The monsters let out guttural battle cries and charged. She reached for an arrow that wasn't there and crept closer to panic when her hand closed on empty air. Now she really wished she knew how to use magic.

Fleeing was her only option and she embraced it, faithfully letting her feet guide her away from the monsters and hoping that her faith was well placed. She didn't spare as much as a glance over her shoulder even when she was sure at least one of the Bulblins was almost upon her. Faith didn't carry her as far as she would have liked. Her next step jeopardized her entire mission to escape her pursuers as the material of the skirt of her dress happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Tetra tripped and was unable to stop herself from falling to the ground. Even though she knew she shouldn't, she looked back anyway. One of the red skinned monsters was already standing over her, preparing to dispose of her as its creator had ordered.

A lightening quick flash of yellow struck the unsuspecting Bulblin in the side of the head and it lowered its weapon as it attempted to regain what little wits it had. Meanwhile Tetra was yanked to her feet by the same hand that had disoriented the monster. Her perplexed eyes landed on Kid as he put himself between her and the creature that Ghirahim had summoned to kill her.

"When did you get here?" Tetra wondered. She hadn't even noticed him once and they were quite a distance from Zant over here. It was hard to believe she didn't see him before now. Then again, she'd been preoccupied with Ghirahim and the monsters, so it was possible he could have slipped over here without her noting it.

"Just in time it looks like," Kid replied as he attacked the closest Bulblin. The two of them were forced to back away from the monsters numerous times since the Bulblins were adept at using their weapons to deflect Kid's blows and they had much more endurance than the other monsters.

"Vertical slice to your left!" Tetra called out helpfully from her spot a couple feet behind Kid. She found that as an unarmed spectator she could still be useful in alerting her friend to enemy attacks and weak points that he wasn't fast enough to catch on to. She watched as Kid brought his sword down just as she'd suggested and caused the monster to burst into red and yellow diamond shards that quickly faded into the air.

There were now three of the red-skinned creatures opposing them, and Tetra analyzed each of their movements closely. Two of the monsters planted themselves firmly in front of Kid, legible distractions, while the last attempted to pen them in from behind. "Take care of the one on your far right," Tetra advised. The last thing they needed was to be surrounded.

Kid glanced briefly in the direction she'd mentioned before his attention was drawn back to the two monsters before him as they both raised their weapons and brought them down in an attack that was unusually synchronized for Bulblins. Kid hopped back out of range, his shield raised as an extra precaution. Tetra backed up farther to give him more space to fight and directed her wary gaze on the third Bulblin which had almost completed its trap.

"Kid, hurry, they're going to surround us," Tetra urged him.

"I'm going as fast as I can!" Kid shouted, ducking under one of the Bulblin's blades and aiming for the exposed flesh on its stomach.

"I've got this," Midna announced, suddenly bolting out of Kid's shadow and flying past a startled Tetra. She whirled around just in time to see the Twilight Princess vanquish the Bulblin with a well-aimed ball of concentrated Twili magic.

"Midna?!" Tetra exclaimed, "I thought you were fighting Zant!"

"I was. So was Kid. We came over to help you once we realized that you ran off by yourself," Midna informed her with a sly grin, "You really shouldn't do that you know."

Tetra shrugged off the light admonition and asked about more pressing matters, "But that means you left Link fighting Zant alone!"

"He'll be fine," Midna responded nonchalantly. She spoke as if Link had already won, but Tetra doubted that was true. Still, she had to admit that Link was more than capable with a sword and wielding the Master Sword improved his chances of victory tenfold. Midna's confidence in him certainly wasn't misplaced. "We have more concerning matters to address." Midna gestured to the sky.

Tetra could scarcely believe what she saw. The princess was completely enveloped in golden light now. She was like a mini sun, and Tetra guiltily directed her gaze to the ground. It should have been her up there, not her counterpart. In attempting to spare herself, she'd endangered the Princess of Hyrule. It was a weird concept to wrap her mind around. She was technically the Princess of Hyrule as well, but for her, there was no Hyrule. In fact, she wasn't even positive that there was a land large enough out there for her to rule. She had nothing to dictate, but her counterpart did. Yet, Tetra hadn't known the consequences of making herself a difficult fish to catch. Of course, that also begged the question, if she had known what her actions would provoke, would she still have gone through with them?

She chose to ignore the question because she didn't want to admit the answer. Returning her attention to the current situation, Tetra watched as Kid's sword sliced through the side of the last monster that Ghirahim had summoned and it vanished much like the others had.

"Hey, where'd Zant go?" Kid wondered, looking over to where Link and Zant should have been dueling. Tetra followed his line of sight. Link appeared to be dedicated to taking on Ghirahim since he was making his way towards the demon lord while the false King of Twilight was nowhere to be found.

"He probably realized he was too lame to prevail in a fight against Link and left," Midna scoffed with a smirk on her face. "Seriously though," Midna added at both her and Kid's uneasy expressions, "It doesn't really matter as long as he's leaving us alone."

There was little Tetra could say in disagreement. One super powerful villain was more than enough for the four of them to handle so Zant's backing out, whether it was from cowardice or something else, was a welcome change of plans.

"Here," Tetra said, holding the bow and empty quiver out for Kid to take, "Sorry I used all your arrows."

"It's fine. I should've known that we'd need more," Kid replied as he accepted the items and stowed them away.

"Link probably has more arrows. You can ask him if we get close enough," Midna interjected.

"Let's go then," Kid insisted, his anxiousness washing over Tetra and pressuring her to agree.

Midna slipped into Tetra's shadow, and she and Kid made their way towards Ghirahim, praying that they'd have some type of plan formulated for when they closed the distance between them. Of course, praying for a plan and actually coming up with one are two completely separate things. Tetra attempted to distinguish their remaining options among the sea of thoughts that were just wishful thinking.

It was a definite fact that Ghirahim had already expended an abundance of magic energy and, as far as she could tell, was still expending it in the ritual. Assuming that his magic supply was low meant that he was weaker than he was earlier. Perhaps if they attacked him all at once he wouldn't be able to keep up. But that was only if he was as weak as she assumed he was and even then it was an unstable plan.

'Maybe we don't have to defeat Ghirahim,'Tetra thought as she ran beside Kid, 'Maybe we just have to take away his concentration. That should interrupt the ritual and the spell will be canceled.'

She opened her mouth to inform Kid of her idea but the words died in her throat. Her legs suddenly refused to function as her surroundings changed in an instant. Immediately she found herself staring up at the sky roiling with dark, ominous clouds tinged with red. The air itself had an eerie feel to it, and it chilled her skin with its breath. It was then that she realized she couldn't feel the ground, and the tops of the bushy trees providing her a window of the sky seemed a little too close to be normal.

Tetra attempted to change positions but found she couldn't. Some force was holding her there. The most she could do was turn her head but even those small movements took more effort than they should have. Lying flat on her back and feeling exposed, Tetra contemplated where she was and how she'd gotten there as her mind bordered on panic.

Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you looked at it, she wasn't left to wonder for much longer. Suddenly a new sensation engulfed her, and she couldn't help but scream. Pain mixed with an uncomfortable feeling in her chest she couldn't describe. Since she couldn't sit up, she threw her head back instead to try to see what was going on. A monster, easily as large as a building stood below, its gaping maw opened wide and devouring a golden light which was flowing into it like water from a fountain. Squeezing her eyes shut, she wished for it to stop and, to her surprise, it did.

Her screams faded into nothing, for they'd never been real in the first place, and suddenly she was standing upright, back in Hyrule Field with her mouth partly open in a scream that never made it out of her throat. Dazed, Tetra sank to her knees, breathing hard with a headache quickly developing.

"Tetra, what happened?" Kid asked, crouching down next to her in concern, a hand hovering uncertainly over her left shoulder.

Had he not seen it? Had she imagined it? No, the scene had been too terrifying to not be real. A hallucination then? A mirage? She couldn't understand how it could have been either of those things. She hadn't been spacing out or day dreaming, so what was it? A vision? She certainly hoped not.

"Hello? You okay there?" Midna questioned, snapping Tetra out of her jumbled thoughts. Tetra raised her eyes to meet Midna's skeptical gaze. Taking a deep breath to calm herself, she nodded and stood.

"I just…got dizzy for a minute," Tetra lied, "I'm okay now. Let's keep going."

Her companions both accepted the excuse, Midna more readily than Kid. As they continued to approach Ghirahim, Tetra made sure she didn't fall behind and tried to shake away the event. It didn't mean anything. It never meant anything. The more she tried to convince herself of this, the more she was certain that it really was important. It couldn't have been a vision though. She'd only ever had prophetic dreams, and she wasn't asleep. She'd never had them when she was awake before. There was no way to have them while awake, hence why they were called dreams. However, the familiar headache throbbing against her temples begged to differ.

The strangest thing of the entire experience was that she could identify the petrifying creature composed entirely of ebony scales and sharp white teeth. That wasn't to say that she knew exactly what it was or what it could do, but a name did come to mind right away. The Imprisoned. It wasn't a promising name since she hadn't noticed any chains or restraints of any kind on the massive beast. It sounded appropriate for some reason in her mind, but she couldn't put her finger on why.

Tetra was so lost in her thoughts that she failed to realize that Kid had stopped short, and she bumped into him. Kid didn't protest and she didn't waste any words on mumbled apologies for Ghirahim was just a few feet away. Neither one of them dared to draw closer, lest they get in Link's way as he aimed the Master Sword at Ghirahim's chest.

The sword spirit merely chuckled and batted the blade away with his arm. To everyone's shock, Ghirahim's entire arm, from the fingers to the shoulder, burst into a flurry of white diamonds and, when they dispersed, a metallic black replaced the skin that had once been there.

"Surprised I see. Isn't it such an exquisite form?" Ghirahim grinned, marveling at the enhanced state of his arms. The color of the rest of his skin had changed slightly as well. Jagged black lines traveled up his left leg and practically dominated the left side of his face, giving the appearance of some ugly scar.

Link attempted to hit him again and the demon lord simply held up an arm in defense. The Master Sword bounced off with a metallic clang immediately.

"You'll find the supple skin of my arms more durable than any armor," Ghirahim informed him with a manic glint in is eye and a grin to match.

Link stepped back, eyes carefully calculating and searching for some way to land a hit.

"I must say, you took your time getting here," Ghirahim mused as Kid and Tetra inched closer to Link. "Unfortunately for you there is such a thing as too late."

'No way. We can't be too late,' Tetra told herself, 'We couldn't have gone any faster. He's lying. He has to be.'

"The spell is complete!" Ghirahim announced, throwing his arms up as if he wanted to hug the sky. Princess Zelda let out a small cry and Ghirahim laughed.

Link cursed and lunged forward, intending to wipe the smirk off of the demon lord's face. Unfortunately Ghirahim was prepared for this and sent him flying back with a single punch. Tetra ran over to where Link had fallen with Kid on her heels.

"Are you okay?" she asked, kneeling down next to him.

"Yeah," Link replied, wincing as he sat up.

"How are we supposed to beat him now?" Midna wondered, appearing out of Tetra's shadow.

Before Link could form a response an agonized scream cut him off and they all directed their eyes to the sky where the princess was suspended in the air. Midna made to fly up there since she was the only one that could, but Link caught her arm before she could get very far and pulled her back.

"Hey! What are you doing, Link?!" Midna fumed, "I'm the only one that can reach her! Maybe I can stop whatever is going on."

"You can't Midna. You heard Ghirahim, the spell's already complete. You can't change it."

"You never know. Maybe I could if you'd let me try!" Midna argued, attempting to slip out of Link's grip, but his hold was too strong.

Link countered with an argument of his own but the words were lost to Tetra's ears. She could only hear the princess who was screaming in pain and writhing in the air, much like she had been in her little episode earlier. Could she have been seeing through her counterpart's eyes? Looking around, she didn't see any trees and their leafy branches that had constructed the window of sky like she'd seen, and the sky itself, though it was overcast, wasn't nearly as foreboding as it had been. The Imprisoned was also missing. The only thing that held true was the golden light which was flowing out of the princess and…

Tetra gasped at what she saw. Ghirahim stood back, surveying the scene in approval while Tetra stared on in horror. The golden light, which Tetra could only assume was Zelda's soul, was flowing into a blood red urn that she presumed Ghirahim summoned with his magic. The golden light acted like hands, strong and abusive as they broke the red ceramic into fragments and began scooping up ashes as it dipped into and out of the scattered pieces and weaved the ashes together in a swirling mass.

She found herself mesmerized by the sight, but it wasn't fascination that held her in place. It was fear like she'd never known before. Of course she had been scared on the Ghost Ship, she'd been literally petrified by Bellum, and when Ganon had captured her she was so scared she couldn't think straight. The fear that uncoiled inside her now was different. It was so much more than being afraid. It wasn't the fear that came with being apprehensive about doing something and then second guessing your decision when it was already too late. Nor was it an unexplainable fear. It wasn't quite the terror that struck your heart when you knew that you were going to die. It was more akin to the terror that struck your heart and caused it to stop beating because all of your fears had been realized at a single moment. At this moment.

Tetra was glad that she was already sitting down because she knew that her legs could not support her.

"Dear Farore…" Kid breathed, sinking down beside her as he stared at the quickly solidifying figure that was being built from the ground up before her very eyes. She managed to tear her eyes away from the sight to share a fleeting glance with her best friend. Fear was swirling inside his dark emerald orbs, clouding them with its influence and chasing out the courage that normally shined so brilliantly there. He was shaking badly as well, and it was then that she realized she was too.

"What's up with you two?" Midna wondered, "Oh….that's not good…" The Twilight Princess's voice quickly faded as her gold and red eyes landed on the form that had them both trembling with fear. Link must have seen it too for he didn't say anything, but Tetra couldn't be sure since she didn't turn around to check.

The screaming ceased as soon as the golden light died and the princess went completely limp. Tetra couldn't focus on her counterpart for more than a few seconds. Her attention was drawn to the new arrival who was just opening his malice-filled, golden eyes. It was true that his appearance was altered. He wasn't the large man that she remembered, though he was still quite tall, but she knew it was him. His hair was the same shade of orange, his eyes the color of pure gold. Typical traits of a Gerudo. The similarity was uncanny and, unlike the monster she'd unconsciously dubbed The Imprisoned, she knew for a fact the name of the armor-clad man and just what he was capable of. Ganondorf.

Her eyes traveled down to his right hand and even from this distance she could see his Triforce piece resonating. Suddenly, Ghirahim snapped his fingers and pointed at Ganondorf as if accusing him of something. The Master Sword which had previously been held loosely in Link's left hand, suddenly shot away from him, nearly catching Tetra's ear as it whizzed past. She was too shocked to register the danger of it, for the sacred blade cut through the air like it was a thrown spear and buried itself in Ganondorf's chest.

The Gerudo's shock at suddenly being impaled by a sword was as clear as day, and Ghirahim used this to his advantage. Before Tetra could even comprehend what he was doing, the evil sword spirit sprung forward, and repeated what he had already done twice before. Once to her, and once to Kid. He snatched the Triforce of Power out of the air, indifferent to Ganondorf's struggling, although with the Master Sword imbedded in his chest Ganon couldn't do much of anything.

As soon as Ghirahim took away the Triforce of Power, he summoned one of his own swords and in one swift motion, slit Ganondorf's throat. Tetra expected to see blood but the former Gerudo king disintegrated into ash instead and the Master Sword fell to the ground. The golden light that had resurrected him, flowed back into what had originally produced it, Princess Zelda.

Confusion replaced fear and Tetra watched as Ghirahim turned towards them, relishing in their bewildered expressions.

"What did you expect? Did you honestly think I'd bow down to my Master?" Ghirahim scoffed, a smug look on his face, "Last time I did that he imprisoned me, and in that prison within myself, I realized something." Ghirahim allowed his sword to burst into diamonds and a maniacal grin crawled onto his face. "My Master is holding me back!"

"What better solution but to end his existence for good, hmm? I thank you humbly for letting me use the goddess sword to do so. Magic comes in handy when sacred swords get a little too hot to touch, don't you agree?" Ghirahim chuckled.

"I suppose I should give you a little something in compensation. Here, take the girl; she's served her purpose well," Ghirahim flicked his wrist and the Princess of Hyrule began to fall from her place in the sky. Link scrambled to his feet and ran forward to catch her. He just barely got there in time and slipped in the grass as he caught the still unconscious Princess Zelda in his arms.

"Now then, I believe I can have whatever it is I desire," Ghirahim smirked, snapping his fingers and cradling the three pieces of the Triforce in his hands. The three triangles reacted immediately upon being reunited and flew into the sky, shining brightly. The sacred relic left by the golden goddesses themselves constructed itself in front of their eyes. Tetra knew she couldn't let him have that wish. 'I wish he was dead,' Tetra thought bitterly. This notion invigorated her and she got to her feet. If she could just make it there before the relic made it to the ground then perhaps she could touch it first. Kid seemed to have the same idea for she soon found him running beside her, a familiar look of determination on his face. Tetra smiled to herself. They could do this.

Ghirahim's calm façade shattered as soon as he caught sight of Kid and Tetra. He summoned two black sabers and regarded them in annoyance as he proclaimed, "I was going to let you run with your meaningless lives but if you insist…it'll be my pleasure to take them from you." Ghirahim laughed as Tetra glared at him and Kid drew his sword.

"Go for the Triforce, I'll hold him off," Kid whispered.

"Don't die," Tetra ordered him.

"Wouldn't dream of it," Kid returned. Tetra waited until Ghirahim was fairly close to them before ducking under one of his ebony blades and running towards the descending Triforce. It was a symbol of hope, just as the gods intended. Ghirahim suddenly obstructed her view of the shining relic and she gasped, her momentum too great to stop. She stumbled right into him and immediately recoiled, but Ghirahim held her there.

The demon lord suddenly gasped in pain and whirled around, releasing Tetra who stumbled back. She looked past Ghirahim to see Kid, wielding the Master Sword. She quickly concluded that he must have picked it up on the way over and was very grateful for his quick thinking. Tetra chose to continue her mission and raced past the distracted sword spirit.

She couldn't help but look back over her shoulder when she heard Ghirahim let out a yell in rage. Kid expertly dodged and attempted to strike the demon lord once again, but Ghirahim brought his arms up into an X position and blocked the attack.

What neither she nor Kid expected was for Ghirahim to lash out with his dual blades. Caught completely off guard, Kid couldn't get his shield up fast enough and only one of the blades was deflected. The other bit into his left shoulder and he cried out, dropping the Master Sword and backing away from Ghirahim who brought the sword he'd struck Kid with to his lips and flicked out his tongue to lick the metal.

Repulsed, but knowing that she couldn't leave her friend to fend for himself with that sadistic freak, Tetra whirled around and bolted back to the pair, instinct driving her forward. She attempted to push Ghirahim off balance. Unfortunately, he sensed her presence and grabbed her outstretched arms. Before she could make a sound he whipped her around. She lost her balance when he released her and fell back into Kid who was closer than she expected him to be. With a pained yelp from Kid and an alarmed cry from herself, they both fell to the ground.

She'd barely regained her senses when Ghirahim stepped forward and raised both of his swords, preparing to finish them both off. 'Goddess Nayru, protect me!'Tetra prayed, instinctively raising an arm to fend off the attack as the demon lord brought his swords down. To both her surprise and her assailant's, a light blue barrier prevented Ghirahim's black sabers from spilling any blood. Ghirahim pushed past the shock much faster than Tetra did and struck the barrier again. Cracks spread out like spider webs across the transparent blue surface and Tetra flinched involuntarily. Another hit like that and their protection would break.

"Tetra…get off," Kid groaned. His voice was unusually strained and she automatically wondered if she was blocking his air flow. Before she could move, the barrier protecting them both shattered like glass, and the two of them were thrown back almost as if a bomb had exploded and the force of it had repelled them.

Disoriented and winded, Tetra struggled to draw in a breath as she rolled to a stop. It was odd. She felt drained, as if she'd used magic, but she hadn't, had she? The barrier had to be Zelda's.'Zelda can't be awake yet,' Tetra reminded herself. 'So…didIdo that?'

A quite moan to her left caused her to become concerned for her friend and she turned her head to look against her better judgement. Kid laid on his left side, his face scrunched up in pain. His eyes were closed but she didn't think he was unconscious. He was too tense.

"Kid," she said tentatively, hoping he would respond.

To her relief, he cracked open an eye and mumbled, "Tetra…go."

She shook her head vehemently. "No, I'm not leaving you alone."

Without even trying to hide his grimace, Kid sat up slightly, using his right arm for support. Tetra could now see the generous amount of blood flowing out of the wound on his shoulder, staining both the sleeve of his tunic and the green grass beneath him crimson. "Link has that fairy we caught earlier," Kid reminded her, "I'll be okay so go. If Ghirahim reaches the Triforce first, it's all over."

Tetra got to her feet, knowing that her friend was correct. They could not afford to let Ghirahim get his wish. Her eyes found the awaiting Triforce immediately. It was on the ground now, and Ghirahim was running towards it which was strange since she expected him to be teleporting. 'Maybe he can't,'Tetra thought, 'but maybe I can.'She recalled Princess Zelda using some type of teleportation magic. If she really had been the one to create the barrier that protected both her and Kid, then it wasn't unreasonable to attempt to teleport.

Even as Tetra broke out into a sprint she knew that Ghirahim would most likely reach the golden relic before her. He'd had a head start and even without his teleportation he was fast. She couldn't run as fast as she normally could because of the regal attire she was forced to wear. Unless she could figure out how to teleport in the next few seconds they were all in big trouble. She was virtually clueless as to how she'd even created a barrier before in the first place. As she recalled, she hadn't really done much of anything to make it appear. She had simply been scared that Ghirahim would kill them and prayed to Nayru to…protect her. Could it really be as simple as praying to the goddesses for help?

Tetra sincerely doubted that was all it took but decided to try it anyway. 'Goddess Farore, allow me to reach the Triforce before Ghirahim,'she willed in silence. She didn't break stride and no wind, besides the imaginary one stirred up from her constant movement, whipped around her to deliver her to her destination. "Please?" she added as an afterthought out loud. Still, nothing happened.

She shook her head free of the notion. It wouldn't work. She'd just have to rely on Ghirahim tripping or something. Tetra sped up her pace as much as she dared, her eyes not on her enemy but on the Triforce. It was intended to be a symbol of hope for all mortals and while she now realized that she may not have always been mortal, she certainly was now, and it was the only hope she had of stopping this catastrophe of a day from getting any worse.

'Ineed to get there first,' she told herself, envisioning herself standing beside the three golden triangles in memory of a game she'd played with herself when she was a child. Whenever she'd wanted something she knew she couldn't have, she'd picture herself already having it. Of course, it never actually worked, so Tetra was stupefied when one second she was running towards her goal and the next she was right beside it. Unfortunately for her, Ghirahim was close to it as well and if her sudden appearance startled him at all, he didn't show it. Instead he lunged for the Triforce, and she did as well. Relief washed over her when she felt the warm hum of the magic relic buzzing beneath her fingertips. However, upon glancing up at the demon lord who stood on the other side of the sacred relic she noticed that he had his hand on it too.

This situation had certainly never occurred before as far as she knew, and Tetra frantically wondered whose wish it would grant. Whoever had touched it first probably, but that yielded no answers because she had no idea who had laid their hand on it before the other. She could only hope that she had. There was only one way to find out, and she took a deep breath, steeling herself for either the end of this nightmare or the beginning.

"Gods of the Triforce…grant that which I desire!" she began, using the very words her ancestor had when calling on the power of the Triforce so very long ago. "I wish for Ghirahim to join his Master in death. May neither of them return, by resurrection or reincarnation of any sort, ever again!"

Ghirahim seemed genuinely appalled by her wish and his facial expression portrayed his worry that it would come true. She watched him carefully as he glanced himself over to make sure he was still solid. After a few more seconds teeming with suspense it became apparent that nothing was going to happen, and Tetra felt her heart skip a beat. Ghirahim redeemed his lost composure and smirked at her. "Well, will you look at that? I'm still here. Too bad for you. This is a good lesson, actually. You see, life's full of disappointments."

Despite knowing the wish wasn't hers, Tetra kept her hand on the Triforce. She couldn't accept it. The wish couldn't go to Ghirahim. Yet, that wasn't her decision. She had been just a fraction of a second too late.

"I wish for a portal that only I can access that will take me to the alternate world. While, you're at it, whisk those accursed sages, the Earth Sage and the Wind Sage, back to their respective abodes. There, that is what I desire, so let it be!" Ghirahim announced his desires to the heavens with his usual theatrics. The Triforce's power was in no way amplified by the wisher's volume, but Ghirahim seemed to think that it was and his voice rang out triumphantly across the field.

Tetra could only stand there in stunned silence as she began to comprehend the demon lord's wish. Unfortunately, the goddesses couldn't harness the power of the Triforce. If they could, she was sure that they'd summon a portal to send Ghirahim back to whatever dark fissure he'd crawled out from. The Triforce was originally created as a beacon of hope for the mortals as Tetra understood. It was unbelievable how hope could suddenly become corrupted into despair when in the wrong hands.

Even with the soul of a fallen goddess she was powerless to disrupt the scene playing out before her very eyes. The Triforce responded to the demonic sword spirit quicker than she thought it would. He was a demon, no, a demon's weapon. He wasn't mortal so the sacred relic should not have worked and yet…it did. She let her hand slide off of the Triforce's smooth surface and backed away.

A slightly wavering and out of focus purple and teal portal materialized behind Ghirahim, and the Triforce dissembled itself. Despite his ability to use it, Ghirahim could never completely control it for his heart and soul were not pure. The stolen pieces of Wisdom and Courage charged towards their original owners, and Tetra presented her right hand to the oncoming golden triangle instinctively. The Triforce of Wisdom reclaimed its destined place and she stared at the back of her hand as the symbol of the Triforce appeared. Little good it did her now.

Tetra looked up just in time to see the Triforce of Power shoot towards Ghirahim. It had no one else to inhabit, so she supposed it made sense, but it also filled her with dread as the mark of the Triforce came to life on the back of the evil sword spirit's right hand.

Before Tetra could decide on a course of action to take, or realize that she really had no options, Ghirahim spoke, his voice louder than needed and tone gloating as he stood before the portal, ready to step through. "I must say, it's been a pleasure deceiving you," Ghirahim dropped down low into a mock bow, before glancing back up and continuing his speech, "However, I'm moving on to bigger and better things, and I doubt we'll ever meet again. Though, by the slim chance that we do, keep in mind that then I will not be so…lenient. If you seek to kill me, be sure that I will kill you first in the most gruesome of ways. I've suffered for far too long. Now, it's your turn." While these words were enough to chill her to the bone, they weren't what set her on edge. It was his parting words as he stepped back into the portal and disappeared that sent ghost-like fingers crawling up her spine. "Game over heroes. You lose!"

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