Silent Courage

Chapter 10: The Fire of Din

Chapter 10: The Fire of Din

The rest of the walk back becomes awkward, now that I realize just who I danced with and almost kissed. I’m still calling myself stupid for not noticing it earlier. This could be why Midna keeps calling us ‘Denials’.

It feels like an eternity comes and goes by the time we get back to the Upper Lost Woods. Now all we have to do is worry about getting out of here without getting into more trouble.

But I think someone has it in form me…

We find ourselves lost, and I can tell someone’s not happy about it. “Where are we?” Sheik yells, his voice echoing.

‘Something’s not right,’ I think, looking around. ‘Your voice shouldn’t echo, this place is supposed to be filled with too many sounds.’

“Are you sure? I don’t hear anything.”

‘I’m positive. When I came here before, I couldn’t get the noises out of my head while trying to chase down Skull Kid,’ I run my paw down my mouth at remembering the headache I got. ‘Something’s wrong.’

We look around in the shadows when three pairs of eyes open, glowing in the dim light. ‘This can’t be good,’ I think before the owners of the eyes bark. They step out and I blink when I see Cerberus jump out, all three heads barking. ‘Huh?’ I think before he tackles into me, sending both of us into a puddle, where he sniffs and nuzzles me.

He barks in my face and picks me up by my ruff in 2’s mouth, 3 jerking its head for Sheik to follow as the three headed dog runs off. “Where is he going?” he yells.

‘Don’t expect me to know!’ I mind-yell back, trying not to struggle as I hang in the air.

Cerberus comes to a cave and puts me down as Sheik catches up, only slightly out of breath. We look around the cave, when I spot something glowing at the end of it. ‘What’s that?’ I look at Sheik, who shrugs.

“Not sure, but I don’t like it,” he says, taking out his throwing knives. We keep going and find the source of the glow.

‘A rock?’ I ask, looking at the giant bolder. ‘I don’t get it, why did Cerberus bring us here?’

“I’m not sure,” Sheik says as Cerberus starts to tug my tail. I look back at him and he barks before running down the cave more, this is really weird.

We keep following the three headed dog until we finally come to the end, where some sort of...thing is lying down, almost camouflaged into the rock. “What the Din’s Hell is that?” Sheik asks.

‘I was about to ask you the same thing,’ I say, trotting up to it to sniff it. I reel back, gagging, it smells like rotting flesh. ‘Bad thing about being a wolf, you never forget senses,’ I think, putting my paws over my nose to try and block out the smell.

“It wouldn’t matter even if you were Hylian,” Sheik remarks, pressing his shawl over his face.

Cerberus barks and growls at the thing, clearly not liking it. ‘Is this what he wanted to show us?’ I wonder.

“Guess so, but why he’s showing us is what I’m wondering,” he walks closer to the thing as I sit down, looking it over with confusion.

That’s when the rocks shift and split open in front of me, letting me see my reflection in a gleaming, yellow orb. ‘What is this?’ I think, backing up as the cave shakes, causing rocks to fall from the ceiling. I jump out of the way in time for a stalactite to smash into the ground where I was once standing and I roll under more falling rocks as dust blinds me.

As the dust settles, I get to my paws and shake myself, making a small coating of the dust fall off my fur. ‘That was close, eh, Jerk?’ I think, looking around but having my ears fall when I see the cave in. ‘Oh-no. Sheik!’ I mind-yell, jumping onto a rock and I start to climb up.

I spot a small hole and look through to see him getting up on the other side, rubbing his head. ‘You alright?’ I ask, making him look at me.

“I’m fine, just banged my head,” he gets to his feet and comes to the caved in rocks. “Let’s move these.”

I’m about to nod when I feel something pick me up by my tail. ‘Wah! Whoa!’ I struggle and gulp once I see the yellow orb again, but now I know what it is.

An eye.

The eye of some huge creature that’s bigger than Yeto. It’s tree trunk-like fingers hold me high as it examines me. It snorts and shrinks itself to the side of a tall man, holding me up by my ruff, like everyone else does. “Hum…you can work,” he smirks to himself, his voice low and rocky. “I need your help with something.”

‘Oh great, what do I need to do now?’ I think, not liking where this is going.

“You see that hole?” he points to a small tunnel. I nod. “Well, as you can see, I’m too big to fit in it, even in my smallest form. But with you this size, you can get through and bring me the gem that’s in there. You do that, and I can clear this cave of the rocks. Deal?”

‘It’s like he knows I’m Hylian,’ I muse, nodding.

“Good, now get going pup, and do it quickly, my power drains as I’m in this form,” he tosses me at the hole and I grunt as I hit the ground. Resisting the urge to growl at the size-changing thing, I get on my stomach and crawl into the hole, just managing to fit.

‘Look at the bright side, Link, at least you don’t have to go through a huge as Din’s Hell dungeon or Temple,’ I think to myself.

-With the size-changer thing-

Chuckling, she changes back to her normal self, her chuckling soon becoming crazed laughter as she dances around joyfully. “Oh! I can’t believe how gullible that Hylian is! Aheheheheh! I gotta tell Debby about this! Ohahahaha!” she laughs shrilly, causing Sheik, who was sitting on the other side with his head resting on the wall, to sit up and look at the cave in.

Eyes narrowing, he gets up and walks to the collapsed rocks on cat-quiet feet, looking through a hole to see something humanoid, but overly tall and muscular dancing and twirling around in glee. “Once that Hylian gets out of that tunnel, he’ll be in for a surprise! Ehehehehe!”

Sheik feels himself freeze slightly, this person knows Link’s not a wolf? Where is the Shorty anyway?

Cerberus, who had his first and second head resting on his paws and the last one guarding the entrance of the cave, gets to his feet and growls lowly. Sadly for the Sheikah, the figure hears and turns to the cave in, spotting the hole he’s looking through. Thanks to his training, he easily leaps into the air and hangs onto some stalactites, watching as the figure explodes the rocks and makes a cloud of dust. Thankful for his shawl, Sheik waits for the figure to look around and, hopefully, leave.

His hopes are dashed when Cerberus attacks the figure, biting his strong jaws into their leg. “Get off me, you mutt!” she screeches in outrage and flings the three headed dog across the cave, making him hit the wall with his back and become still. “Come out, come out, where ever you are!” she calls out. “I know this mutt ain’t here alone!” she sings, scanning the walls.

Suddenly she looks up, somehow spotting the Sheikah even with his stealth. A large, viscous smirk appears on her face as she speaks, “Perfect.”

-Link’s POV-

Once I finally make it out of the hole, I look around the dark room to see torches, hear the flapping of Keese wings, and spot a single column of light coming from the roof of the cave. Ears perked for any sign of danger, I walk forward and trot up the stairs that lead to the light, both the Hylian and puppy in me curios about this place.

Now that I think about it, it is a really bad thing to combine my natural curiosity with the naïveness of a puppy. I’m probably gunna get into a lot of trouble. Shaking my head, I sit in the light, looking up at the hole in the ceiling to see it makes the shape of a sun, which is ironic, because the sun is almost at midday and will fit through the hole exactly in a few minutes.

I look around the room, there isn’t much here other than the odd flapping of leather wings, so all I can do is wait for the sun to fit through the hole.

Luckily it doesn’t take long, and the entire room brightens when the sun hits the center of the sky. Somehow. What I see is…freaky to say the least. There’s a picture engraved in the rocks in front of me and, as I trot up to it, I become confused and…frightened. I see the beast from my dream. The one with the black/red scales and the rows of teeth.

It’s drawn as a diagram, and, slowly, it becomes something almost human. It looks huge, possibly even bigger than Ganondorf, and has a large, black sword in its hand. Holding the sword over its head, lightning strikes in the background as a small figure, who looks like their running around it, is holding their own sword up, tip pointed to the sky. Under it, a text is seen and I start to read it.

A___r ma__ h_rd__ips, it’s o_er. No _n_ k__ws of t__s _ave, so I _el__v_ it is _a_e to p_t this h__e. G____H____ do I __pe so. D______, the D__o_ K__g, is de_e__e_. B__ w_a_ d_e_ he m__n by c____ing his and my d_____ents to __ght for ____nity? Re__car_a___ns? R____rn ag__n? I j_st d_n’t ge_ it. He p__ a cur__ on me, my fri___d and h__sel_, ap___ent__, __d now wh_t? Wh__ d__s this h_ve to do wi_h _ny__ing? I’m __t go__g to l_ve a__in, I k_o_ ___s, b__ I f__l so ____nge no_, _ik_, e__n a__er I d_e, no_ eve_t__ng will j__t be t__ s___ as __ual. M___ j__t be me b_ng my w___d s__f, as a____ys. B_t, if you__e r___ing this, I g____s you fo__d this ___e, huh? M_ frie__ told _e th_t it’s po__ib_e for the D___n __ng to _e__r_ a_a__, a_d __e’s the on_ w__ _o_d me to w__te this d__n, so w_y not? N_t li__ I’m g___g to pic_ a f__ht w__h h__, s_e c_n ge_ r__her…s__ry w__n she’s an_r_. A__w_y, be___es __at, I ___ss I sh___d g__ to _he p_in_. If t_is is a r__nca_n__io_ of m_ne, a__ho_gh I h__hly do__t it, __ep a l_ok ou_ f_r _em__e an_ his c__ny. ___n if t__y are __fea_ed, t_ey mig__ _ot be d___. A__ if t__s i_n’t m_ re__car_at_on, go t_ll m_ ____car____on ab__t t_is. If __ey’re r__l th__ _s.

Once I finish looking at it, I sit back, confused. It’s like someone came here and made sure the faded words were unreadable. Some words I can tell have their letters forcibly taken out, but why? What’s this person want to warn someone about?

When all light is taken from the room, I jump to my feet, eyes darting around for anything wrong. “Well. Well. Well,” a voice says slowly, making me growl and turn around in slow circles. “I see you’ve found the words of the old hero. Such a shame you can’t read it,” I turn to see Ghirahim standing at the top of the stairs, smirking at me with crossed arms.

The fur on my back rises as I crouch, getting ready to use Galore’s Necklace to run a hole through his stomach. I charge at him, but he steps out of the way and down on my back as I fall forward. I growl and snap at his hand as he reaches for me, but he picks me up anyway in a tight grip. “You really don’t get it, do you? You can’t win. I know your weakness,” he hisses and my eyes widen when he snaps his fingers and his curved sword shows up.

‘Oh Goddesses,’ I struggle to get away, but he grips my ruff tighter.

“Now, now, be a good boy, you wouldn’t want me to hurt your friend, would you?” he asks and snaps his fingers again, letting me see an image of Sheik knocked out cold and lying in the middle of a pool of lava, a weird, solid platform the only reason he’s not dead yet. “That’s right, if you try to fight back, it’s goodbye platform, goodbye Sheikah,” Ghirahim grins cruelly. “There’s only one way you can save him, you let me take your life, and I let the Sheikah live.”

I look at Sheik, I have to save him, but Midna always yelled at me that I’m more important. But I don’t care, I need to save him! I growl and manage to bite Ghirahim’s hand, letting me drop down and fall. Expecting to hit the ground, I brace myself, but I fall through the image and land on the small ring of earth surrounding the lava. I shiver as I get to my feet, the tingling feeling like I get when I warp fills me and I look back to see the image of the Demon Lord close, much to his anger I guess.

A groan alerts me of Sheik waking up and I look over to see him open his eyes. I feel my tail wag as he sits up and rubs his head, moaning. “What hit me?”

‘Sheik!’ I mind-yell and he looks over, his gaze quickly fixing on something behind me.

“Link, turn around,” he says and, gulping, I turn to see the eyes of some sort of giant lizard staring at me. The lizard roars, making me fly across the lava and land on the other side and I hit the wall. I grunt as I hit the ground but get to my feet as it comes out of hiding. That’s one big Dodongo. It’s much larger than the ones I fought in the Mine.

It tastes the air with its tongue, hissing. “If you wish to fight me, you must find me,” it speaks before rolling into a ball and crashing through a wall, creating a large tunnel.

“…Did that Dodongo just speak?” Sheik asks, standing up on the platform and being careful not to let it tip.

‘Oh, good, I wasn’t the only one who heard it,’ I let out a sigh before walking over to the tunnel, it leads deep down and I see a faint glow far below. A shiver goes up my spine and I back away, why do I have a feeling I’ll need to go down there? ‘Where are we anyway?’ I ask as Sheik easily jumps over the lava pool and lands on solid ground.

“We’re under the Goron Mines, this is where the old Dodongos lived before the Hero of Time took out their king,” he explains. Why does he know more about my past self than I do? Maybe it’s a Sheikah thing.

‘How’d we get here? We were in the Lost Woods before.’

“I was taken here by the crazy woman we heard arguing with Ghirahim, she tricked you into going through the tunnel,” he explains.

‘That would explain why Ghirahim was there,’ I think to myself. ‘But what was the point of that? And why does the Dodongo want to fight me?’

“Well, we better get going. I have a feeling as to why the giant lizard wanted you to fight her,” Sheik says, picks me up and slides down the tunnel on his feet, dodging stalagmites and the occasional bolder falling from the ceiling. When we finally come to the bottom, we see a large Dungeon, lava covering mostly all of it, but what catches my eye is the giant Dodongo skull. It’s yellow with age, the teeth are all but gone, and the lower jaw is half missing, letting me see a large hole of where the throat is supposed to be.

I look around to see pillars somehow rising up and down in the lava, there are about ten different corridors and all of them lead to darkness. I have a sense of Déjâ Vu, like I had in Jabu’s stomach, the Palace of Wind and just about everything in Old Hyrule. Was one of my past selves here before? I’m guessing it’s more than possible, with all the crap we’ve all gone through.

We jump to the pillar in front of us, then the crumbling platform in the middle, looking at the different ways to go. ‘So we need to find the Dodongo, but which way did she go? There are ten different corridors that she can fit through, so it doesn’t give us much option,’ I think to Sheik, frowning internally.

“Well, I suspect we’d find her were the most Dodongos are. She seems to be the queen of them, and it would make sense that she has some kind of servants guarding her,” Sheik says.

‘Or she could be where the least of them are, wanting us to think she’ll be with them. Dodongos aren’t human Sheik, even if they have a monarchy, they have a different way of ruling it. The Queen and Kind Dodongos are the strongest and biggest of them all, they don’t need anything else to protect them. They’re scales are too thick to slice with a sword, only it’s face is variable, and their claws and teeth can break through anything, possibly even diamond. They’re not something you want to fight every day,’ I think unknowingly.

Sheik gives me a look. “Where did that come from?”

I look at him confused. ‘Where did what come from?’

“What you just told me about the Dodongos, how’d you know that?” he asks.

I blink, looking down slightly. ‘I…don’t know. It just came out. Huh, weird, this happened when I was fighting Ganondork,’ I miss the smirk on his face, ‘I kept thinking ‘I need to hit him in the spots his armour doesn’t cover, I need to use my speed, not my strength, to throw him off and land an attack, I will definitely need to dodge his magic attacks’, stuff like that.’

“I guess you do get some memories from your past lives, even if they’re only small,” he muses, arms crossed as he looks away, his eyes going distant as he thinks about something. “Hum, I was told only the keeper of the Triforce of Power could remember their past lives, expect for their first, and the other two had their memory wiped when they were born, so they wouldn’t suspect anything.”

‘Told by who? You’re teachers?’ I ask.

His mood instantly darkens, he glares at nothing in particular as he turns around, heading towards one of the tunnels. “Coming, Shorty?” he asks, sounding more than irritated.

I blink. ‘What did I think?’ I wonder before trotting after him, confused as to why he seems angry at the mention of his teachers. Maybe he had some sort of fight with them, and he doesn’t like them anymore. I’ll try not to mention them, he looks really upset about it.

We walk in an awkward silence until we come to a room with some sort of…stairs? I guess? It’s about thirty meters high and we can’t climb on, since the steps are too far away for us. Well, me anyway. Sheik can probably just run up the wall if he could. I see some bomb flowers surrounding the bottom, a two block square separating the two rows.

‘I’m confused,’ I state.

“We’ll need to blow up both rows of bombs. It should be easy if we hit them at the same time,” Sheik says.

He walks up to the first bomb when something catches my eye. I turn my head to the corner to see rows of Armos standing still at the wall, right beside the bombs. My ears fall, if we blow up the bombs, then they’ll wake up and attack us. ‘Sheik, don’t-!’ the sound of a bomb going off makes me look at the row. ‘Ah! Defuse it!’ I mind-yell, running to the bomb but having it explode in my face, making the others blow up in a chain reaction. ‘Oh-no.’

Every single Armos wakes up, sees us, and starts jumping at us. We get back to back and I growl at them, changing Galore’s Necklace for strength. “Why do we always get in trouble?” Sheik grumbles, taking out his knives.

‘Because the Goddesses find joy in watching our lives go spiraling out of control,’ I reply, growling as the statue enemies come closer. ‘Ready, Jerk?’

“Of course, Shorty, when am I not ready?” I hear the smirk in his voice before I jump forward, bashing my skull into an Armos’ face, shattering it. I jump away as it blows up and I leap over an Armos, landing on another’s head and crushing its skull before jumping to another one. I jump on two more Armos heads and land on the ground, the Armos blowing up behind me and scattering rocks and dust everywhere.

Three Armos surround me and I spin, knocking them back and letting me run between them, only to crash into another. I smash right through its base and make it fall forward, causing the three following me to fall with it. The large explosion sends me flying and I land on the ground on my butt, thankfully not crushing my tail. I’ll really need to dip it into some potion after this, the pain might be gone for now, but I need it to heal or it might cause problems for when I’m human. Don’t want a broke tailbone, it would hurt to sit.

I head-butt another Armos to find one sneaking up behind me, knocking me down and about to attack me, but I roll out of the way to find Sheik in trouble, having no way to fight them other than knives. Where’s his chain-whip? I shake my head and run at an Armos, smashing it into dust and skidding to a stop in front of Sheik, growling at the rest. ‘Look at that, I’m not the one in trouble,’ I think, smirking mentally as I kick an Armos into the wall, where it blows up.

I know he’s rolling his eyes. “Shut up, Shorty,” he says, jumping out of the way of an Armos. I just smile wolfishly to myself and keep attacking the living statues. Finally, after about fifteen minutes of fighting, the rest of the Armos are defeated and Sheik and me are panting as we sit, too many explosions.

I hold my head with my paws, groaning as I feel a large lump. ‘Note to self: Galore’s Necklace gives me the power to break rocks, but it doesn’t mean I’m immune,’ I think, rubbing my head.

“Nothing can make you immune to everything,” Sheik says. “Well at least we won’t have to worry about the Armos anymore. C’mon, we should blow the bombs up and get out of here.”

‘Just hope there aren’t any more Armos,’ I think and we hit the different bombs for the rows. They blow up and the stair-like platform rumbles loudly as it comes down, making me cover my ears. I go to the first stair and jump, but it’s too high for me to fully get onto, and I glare at Sheik when he laughs at me, only my front paws on the stair as I’m hanging. ‘You tell anyone about this, I’ll tell them I had to save you from Armos as a puppy,’ I threaten.

He doesn’t stop laughing as he comes over, arms crossed. “No promises,” he snickers more as my back paws scrape the stone as I try to pull myself up. “Need help, Shorty?”

‘No I do not!’ I think, grunting as I almost make it, but fall back.

“You sure?”

‘Yes!’ I nod stubbornly. ‘I need to keep some pride you know!’

“With you as a puppy, you have no more pride.”

‘Thanks,’ I sarcastically think. My paws suddenly slip and I fall back, but I stop. I groan, please don’t tell me- I look up to see Sheik smirking at me.

“What was that about pride?”

‘…It’s gone,’ I would be pouting if I could.

He laughs again, probably happy at being right as he jumps up the stairs. Once we’re at the top, he puts me down and we walk on the platform surrounding the wall and leave through the door to find a small round chamber with Fire Keese, Armos and a switch on top of the pillar in the middle. Sheik jumps to the top of it and hits the switch, making the bars on the next door go up.

But the only thing we find is a caved in aria, so we’re forced to go back to the entrance. We go down another path and find a hallway with Dodongos roaming around, tasting the air with their snake-like tongues as they patrol the hallway. ‘Their weak spot is on their tail, if we hit that, then they’ll get hurt,’ I think.

“Alright, you know more about fighting these guys than I do,” Sheik says as he takes out his knives.

‘What happened to your chain-whip?’

“It’s still in the cave, I’ll go back there after we get out of here,” he says.

I nod before running at the giant, lizard-like beast. I use Galore’s Necklace to glide over its head and land on its tail, biting it quickly before it can throw me off. It spins around and I jump off before it clamps its teeth down on me, instead it bites its own tail. The Dodongo lets out a stream of fire as it hisses in pain, I duck just in time for the fire to soar over my head and hit the wall behind me, charring it black.

Sheik uses this distraction to throw three knives at the Dodongo’s tail, making it cry out as its feet collapse under it. It blows up and we keep going. After a few minutes of walking, we find a dark tunnel and go into it to find about seven Dodongos, eight Lizalofs and a Dinalof. We start backing up slowly when I bump into something scaly. Looking over my shoulder, I see the open mouth of a Dodongo, the back of its throat glowing.

‘Wah!’ I roll out of the way just in time so I don’t turn into Dodongo food and I feel myself get picked up as Sheik runs for the exit. But the Dinalof jumps over our heads and lands in front of us, holding a jagged sword.

It roars and leaps forward, making Sheik jump to the side and put me inside a pile of rocks. ‘Hey! I can help you know!’ I mind-yell at him when he closes the hole with another rock.

“I can do it just fine,” he says.

-Sheik’s POV-

I take out my throwing knives and stand in front of the rock fort protecting the Shorty. I don’t know why, but I feel like I need to keep her safe as a puppy, I’ve noticed that she’s starting to get tired. Actually, I feel like I just want to keep her safe. I shake my head as I dodge the Dinalof’s sword, I need to stop thinking about feelings I can’t have!

The Dinalof takes in a deep breath and breathes fire at me, but I bring up a shield spell, blocking the flames. I let the shield drop and dash at the Dinalof, stabbing it in the stomach as I run passed it. It clenches its stomach as black blood flows from the wound, looking at me with furious yellow eyes. It slashes forward and catches my upper arm. I ignore it and jump over its head, throwing down a knife and it lodges into the Dinalof’s skull. It falls forward and blows up, and I have no time before I’m fighting all eight Lizalofs.

I kick two away, throw a knife into another one’s eye, punch one in the gut and trip two more, but they start to back me up into the wall. I let them surround me until I summon my fire spell and incinerate three, making burning flesh fill the tunnel. Thankfully my shawl blocks out most of the stench, but I can’t say the same for Link.

‘Oh dear Farore, that stinks!’ I hear her think as I can only imagine her covering her nose.

I just ignore her complaining and throw a knife at a Lizalof’s throat, making it fall back into a companion and get impaled with a sword. The body’s kicked aside and crashes into the rocks where Link’s hiding, but I have no time to get over there before a Lizalof hits me in the gut and I roll between its legs, making it fall over. I leap to my feet and stab it in the back before it can recover. I drop low and kick at the next Lizalof’s legs, kicking its legs out from under it before stabbing it in the heart.

Suddenly the Dodongos run out of the cave, followed by the rest of the survivors. Raising an eyebrow, I look around when the ground shakes and a deep rumbling fills the tunnel. I see Link pull herself out from under the Lizalof and shake herself, glaring at me before sniffing the air. ‘Why’s it smell…hot?’ she asks.

I look down the tunnel to see a faint glow coming towards us like thick water. I groan in annoyance, will we ever get a brake? I pick up Link, to her displeasure, and run from the oncoming lava. But with our luck, the ground in front of us crumbles away to let us see more lava just waiting for us to fall into it. We look back to see the molten rock slowly coming at us, almost taunting us that we’re going to die.

Link looks at the lava pool in front of us and seems to spot something, since she gives a relived sigh and jumps out of my arms. ‘Alright, I know what to do! We need to jump toward the lava!’ she says this happily and I’m starting to think she’s a few inches short of a sword.

“Are you crazy?!” I yell, looking at the lava pool then the lava coming being us.

‘Yes, but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong!’ she grins and hunches down, getting ready to jump.

“Link, there’s no way jumping to the middle of a lava pool will save us,” I state.

‘Yes there is! You have to trust me!’ she thinks. I look at her in surprise. The last person to say I had to trust them was Rosalie, and I know how well that worked. But something in Link’s eyes makes me look at the lava and sigh.

“Alright, so what exactly do you want us to do?”

Her tail wags, but I don’t know if she notices. ‘When the lava is a foot away, we jump to the pool! Ready?’ she asks as said lava comes closer.

“Ready when you are, Shorty,” I get ready to jump, waiting for the lava to come closer.

‘Okay now!’ she jumps forward and I jump not a second later, eyes widening as the lava pool comes close. Suddenly, a solid platform rises from the lava and we land on it before a lava geyser shoots us up into the air, bringing us to another level. We jump and land on the ground, both of us panting as the platform falls back down. We both look over the edge of the level we’re on to see the flowing lava make contact with the pool and take out the platform. I look at Link in surprise, she just looks back with a smile. ‘See? Told you you could trust me!’

I stand up and follow her as we come to a small cave where we can rest for tomorrow. As I lie down, I see Link curl up half a meter away, quickly falling asleep. How she does it is beyond me.

I lie my head down on my arms and close my eyes, soon falling into the dream world.

I look around, confused. What is this place? I’m in some sort of dungeon, chained to the floor and when I turn my head, I see Link lying unconscious beside me, and she’s Hylian again. She has a long scratch on her forehead and her wrists are rubbed raw from the chains on them. “Link? Wake up, Shorty,” I nudge her with my foot and she rolls over, opening her eyes and looking at me. She doesn’t ‘say’ anything to me, she just stares at my face dully, almost like she doesn’t know who I am.

She shakes her head and sits up, looking around to see we’re trapped. “Any ideas how to get out?” I ask her, she just side-glances at me before looking out of the bars, why do I have a feeling that she actually doesn’t know me? “Link?”

Suddenly, everything changes and I find myself standing on a hill. In the distance I can see Link, but there’s also someone else there. I run over and freeze when I see the other person.

Her hair is long, tied back into a braid, and black like the midnight sky. Her Sheikah red eyes are soft, like rose petals, and her face is pale. She’s wearing a traditional Sheikah garb, but it’s black instead of blue. “I see you haven’t forgotten me, Sheik,” she speaks in that familiar, rich voice.

“How could I forget you?” I ask.

“You’ve moved on,” her rose eyes get darker, almost scarlet, and her fist clenches around a dagger in her hand. “You try to forget all that we’ve been through, you try to forget your own people, your own love.”

“I can’t go back, remember? You were there,” I feel my own fists clench at the memory.

“That doesn’t mean you need to forget. But I see that you found someone else,” she pulls Link, who I didn’t see was unconscious again, over by her tunic. “What does she have that I don’t, hum, Sheik? Is she catching your eye so much that you refuse to remember the good times we had?”

“Of course not! I don’t love her!” I say, crossing my arms.

“Is that so? Then you won’t mind if I-” she takes out a knife and slits her throat, making something in my heart feel like it’s broken.

“Link!” I yell, running forward as she lets the Hylian drop lifelessly on the grass, blood dampening the ground crimson. I hold her body and feel myself shake. I look up at her and whisper one word, “Why?”

“You don’t love her, so why let her get in the way of us? We can finally be together, Sheik,” she puts a hand on my face but I jerk my head away, scowling at her.

“Why now? Why do you choose me now?” I snap, standing up as I carry Link’s body bridle-style.

“Because I was so young and naïve,” she puts a hand on her heart, head turning away. “I didn’t know what I felt, and how real it was. Until I lost you,” she tries to move closer, but I pull back, feeling hatred and sadness bubbling in my stomach.

“No, get out of here!” I scream.

“You can’t run, Sheik,” she warns, coming closer as I turn and run, holding Link’s body close. “Sheik…Sheik…Sheik…”

‘Sheik!’ I sit up fast to see Link looking at me, fear and worry written all over her eyes. ‘Are you alright? You kept tossing and turning, then you rolled over and crushed me, waking me up. You looked like you were having a nightmare.’

I pant as I try to get a grasp on my mind. It was only a dream, she’s not here and Link is alive. She’s fine. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders as my breathing returns to normal. “I’m fine,” I say. She climbs onto my lap and looks me in the eyes.

‘You wanna talk about it? I know a lot about nightmares, and it helps if you tell someone,’ I’ve never seen her act so serious, even when fighting she still carries the childish nature I’ve grown to like in her.

“It was nothing…just someone from my past,” I say, looking away and trying not to look in her eyes, knowing that if I look too long I’ll tell her everything.

‘Oh, it’s a personal thing. Okay, I hope you don’t get something like that again. It was kinda scary seeing you look so scared and alone,’ she shivers slightly.

I nod as she curls up, still on my lap as I put my left hand behind my head and gently pet her head with my right. It feels like she’s trying to comfort me and keep the nightmares away. My mind keeps drifting back to all that’s happened between us, and I keep thinking about what Midna and she have been saying. Do I really and truly love Link? Or is it just something to make me feel something other than hurt and betrayal?

Mind filled with memories of both her and Link, I fall back into a restless sleep.

-Link’s POV-

I stay awake, looking at Sheik’s hidden face as he turns his head. It really did frighten me when he was calling my name and the other name. I can’t remember what he said, but he sure looked scared when he woke me up and rolled on me. I hope that it’s not his past haunting him, he really seems to hate something about it. Maybe I can help a little, I won’t nose my way into his problems, but I’ll let him know he can talk to me any time.

I nod to myself and lie my head down on my paws, not minding Sheik patting my head. If he finds comfort in it, I don’t care of what pride I have. I still can’t believe it took me so long to figure out everything, but it would explain why I felt like I knew Sheik during the dance. Huh, he said that he didn’t think when he saved me from Pretty Boy, but he always seems to be thinking about every step he takes, so why did he just come out of the blue and help me?

Ah, so many questions, not enough answers. Bottom line, Sheik’s a mystery, and I might never fully understand him. It’s amazing that we’re able to stand each other, we’re so different. But I guess they do kinda say opposites attract. This could be why we’re getting close as friends.

Once again, it feels like I’m lying to myself when I say we’re only friends. Weird. And is this warm, tingly feeling normal? I don’t understand why I feel like I would risk my life for him. Maybe it’s just something that happens when you becomes close to someone you’ve really just met?

I shake my head and yawn, I’ll think about this later. My puppyness isn’t going to let me stay up for…long…

-Later-

We come out of the cave to find some narrow passageways, I can smell Dodongos down them and hear Blade Traps slicing the walls on their way to cut anything in their path. ‘We’ll have to be careful, I don’t think either of us want to lose a leg.’

“Definitely not,” Sheik shakes his head and looks around the first corner. “There’s a Dodongo down there, it’s larger than normal, but not the Queen.”

‘I have a bad feeling about this,’ I think.

“I think we’ll have to sneak passed these guys, they don’t look nearly as stupid as the smaller ones,” Sheik pulls back and puts his hand on his chin, seeming deep in thought. I wait patiently as a smirk grows on his face. “I got it. I know a spell that will make us go invisible.”

My ears fall, ‘Spell? As in…magic?’

“Yes.”

‘No! Remember what you promised? You can’t use magic around me!’ I shake my head hard.

He lets out a sigh, “Right. Well, do you have a plan, Shorty?”

‘Yes, Jerk,’ I nod and look around the corner, seeing the large Dodongo head looking down the passage. I grab a rock in my mouth and throw it at the opposite wall, making the Dodongo look at where the rock hit and I sneak to the next gap in the passage, turning and smirking at Sheik.

He rolls his eyes and scales the gap until he’s halfway and jumps to the gap above me. I move as he lands on the ground and smirks back at me. ‘You make it look so easy,’ I think.

“I get that a lot,” he shrugs and I look around the corner to get pulled out of the way of a Blade Trap. “You’re getting less observant.”

‘I am? That can’t be good,’ I frown mentally, what is wrong with me lately?

“We can probably ask Zelda later, right now we need to get out of here and find Queen Dodongo. Let’s keep moving, Shorty.”

‘After you, Jerk,’ I mock-bow and he rolls his eyes as he steps out and jumps above the Trap, easily getting to the other side.

I kick a rock into its path and leap over it, but the gap where Sheik is suddenly grows a wall and I smack head first into it. I wobble dizzily on the ground and I swear I see Guay flying around my head. I shake my head and look back to see the Blade Trap coming at me and I yelp before running away from it. But then I walk into the path of a Dodongo and I cover my head as it stomps over me, its back foot almost stepping on me.

I run under its tail, just missing getting crushed by it, and hide in a corner where a Blade Trap almost hits me. I growl in annoyance and spot a ledge on the other side of the passage. If I can get to there, I don’t think I’ll have to worry about anything. I run after the Blade Trap as it slides back into place and I jump over it as it comes back, grinning in relief when I climb onto the ledge and sit down.

Looking around, I see a tunnel down at the other end. I look behind me and jump when Sheik jumps down from nowhere. ‘Thanks for scaring my fur off,’ I remark dryly.

“No problem, Shorty,” he shrugs and walks over me, making me duck my head and I glare at the back of his head.

‘Jerk,’ I mind-mutter, trotting to keep up with him.

We walk down the tunnel and come to a rope bridge that hangs over the skull of the Dodongo. So where back in the first chamber. We keep finding ourselves here, but why is that? Suddenly I see a figure walk in from one of the corridors, and even from here I can recognize the frog helmet. ‘Zant,’ I growl quietly as the tyrant struts in like he owns the place.

He looks around the chamber before taking out a cursed sword and stabbing it into the ground. Sheik pulls me into the shadows as he rises and we watch with wide eyes as all sorts of undead come out of the ground, and not just Redeads. Dodongos with jaws or eyes missing, Lizalofs with only a torso or missing an arm and Keese, some cut in half while others have their heads hanging on by a thread of skin. The undead look up at Zant as he speaks. “Find the wolf and the Sheikah, and do not let them escape,” he orders and we look at each other. Finding the Dodongo Queen just got a lot harder.

‘What are we going to do? Those things will be roaming around here and there’s no way we’ll find Queen Dodongo if we’re being chased by them,’ I think.

“I now you hate it, but I’ll have to use my spell to turn us invisible. You have to be willing for it to work,” Sheik looks at me.

‘Then I can’t be invisible, I’m too afraid of magic to let someone use it on me. Sorry,’ I sigh.

He rubs his forehead when something catches my attention. A…bomb flower? I tilt my head to the side as I think, ‘It looks like a ball.’ It rolls out of the tunnel on the opposite side of the bridge. What’s that supposed to-? My eyes start following the bomb flower, I feel my tail start to wag and my feet hit the ground.

What’s…going…on?

Ball!

No! I dig my claws into the dirt, trying to fight back agenised the puppy. I can’t let it take over me! I…can’t…

Everything goes blank.

-Sheik’s POV-

I rub my forehead as I think of a way to get Link invisible when I see her pupils grow. Odd, this is what happened when the puppy took over before-

I’m cut out of the thought when she dashes across the bridge. Caught off guard, I run after her when I hear the bridge boards creak. She keeps running and yelps loudly when a board breaks under her. I jump forward and grab her just before she falls, but her yelp has made some Undead Keese fly up. I lift her up and run across the bridge, trying to keep her under control as she tries to look around.

I put her on the ground once we’re on the other side, but this is a mistake. She runs after a bomb flower, which is somehow rolling into a tunnel. I call out to her, but she just ignores me. I remember last time, when she was running at the Wolfos, she answered to ‘Shorty’, not ‘Link’. It’s worth a shot.

“Shorty!” I call and she stops, panting as she looks at me. She barks and runs over to me, standing on her back paws as she puts her front paws on my knee. “Uh…stay with me,” I say awkwardly. She barks and sits down, wagging her tail as she looks at me, tongue hanging out of her mouth.

I look back at the skull, something tells me we’ll have to go through it. “Alright, let’s go, Shorty,” I start walking to the bridge again and Shorty follows. I stop above the skull and pick up Shorty, who lets me hold her much easier than she would as Link, and jump onto the top of the skull. But even with my silent landing, I catch the attention of every. Single. Undead.

“You’re luck’s rubbing off on me, Shorty,” I grumble at her, but she just looks at me with puppy innocence and I jump through the eye socket, landing on a Dodongo with no head. I jump off of it and run towards the back of the throat, but Redeads and two Lizalofs rise out of the ground. Still holding Shorty, I jump on a Redead’s head, making it fall forward, and throw a knife at the other one’s face before it can screech at me. I kick my leg up at the Lizalof in front of me and send its head flying off, but it still stands as if nothing happened.

The decapitated Lizalof scratches my leg with its claws before I can react and I hiss in pain as it kicks me back and I slam into the cheekbone of the skull, getting the wind knocked out of me as I fall. I feel Shorty wiggle out of my arms and put her paws on my shoulder, sniffing my face as she whines.

“I’m fine,” I say as I start to get up, but the torso and head of a Redead bursts out of the ground and bites my leg, making me scream in agony.

Then Shorty does something that, truth be told, frightens me. Her eyes turn from curious orbs to dangerous slits in a split second, the deep blue of her eyes turns slightly lighter, making them look more like ice, and her fur becomes bristled as she bares her teeth at the Redead. She jumps at it and sinks her teeth into its throat, so it can’t screech. That might be a good strategy for later use.

When the Redead falls and fades away, Shorty’s not back to normal. She turns to the headless Lizalof and leaps at it, knocking it to the ground as her claws dig into its torso. She bites and scratches the lizard-like beast until it stops moving. She gives one look to the other beasts and they all, Redeads included, retreat back to the earth.

She turns her head back to me and I grimace at how…monstrous she looks. She doesn’t even look like she has a trace of human or puppy in her. But the moment the thought crosses my mind, her eyes grow back to orbs and she sits down, panting as her tongue hangs out, oblivious to the blood on her maw. She comes over to me and noses my bite, making me wince and she whines.

“I’ll…be fine,” I say slowly. She wags her tail and I pull out a cloth, wiping the blood off her snout.

I use the wall to get to my feet and swear under my breath at the stinging in my leg. Why didn’t I ever pay attention in the healing lessons? Oh right, because I thought it was boring. I’m really kicking myself right now. I do my best to ignore the pain as I go towards the throat, looking down to see nothing but darkness. Oh boy, here we go.

I pick up Shorty and go down, sliding into dead Dodongo’s body. I land on my feet at the bottom when I feel Shorty moving in my arms. ‘Ooh, what happened?’ I look down at her to see her eyes are back to normal, she’s herself again. She looks up at me with a dazed look in her eye. ‘It happened again…didn’t it?’

“Yes. Is it really that hard to keep your human mind?” I ask, putting her down as she shakes herself.

‘For some reason, it’s getting even harder. It’s like the longer I’m a puppy, the more I become one,’ she thinks.

I put my hand on my forehead, that’s exactly what’s happening! “Great, now we have more problems than just turning you back to normal! We need to keep you from turning into a full puppy. If we don’t, I have a feeling you’ll never be able to turn back.”

She groans as she hits her head on the wall, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me! Why do you take joy in my pain, Goddesses?’ she mind yells to the roof. ‘I have a feeling that they’re laughing at me.’

“Who says the Goddesses can’t enjoy your misery?” I shrug and look around when I feel eyes on me. My gaze follows the trail in front of us until I spot a cave, when the green eyes of Queen Dodongo open, making Link and I jump.

“So you do wish to challenge me? I will show you your mistake,” she steps out and rolls into a ball, rolling at us.

-Link’s POV-

We jump separate ways, and when I find out she’s solely after me, I run as fast as my stupid legs can carry me. I feel her spikes graze my tail when I dive out of the way, making her slam into the wall head first and turn, not even dazed. If that happened to me, I’d probably have brain damage.

Queen Dodongo takes in a deep breath and throws her head back. I duck with my paws over my head as fire soars over me, singeing my fur slightly. I look up to see her charging at me again and spot a bomb flower in the corner. An idea growing in my head, I run under her legs, making her get confused and look at me from between them, and I grab the stem in my mouth as she turns, ready to take another breath.

I toss the bomb through the air, but she closes her mouth with a loud snap and backs away, kicking it back for it to explode in my face. Just my luck, eh? I shake my head and yelp when I see fire coming at me, when a blue diamond surrounds me, making me gasp and back into the wall when I feel magic. Get it away, get it AWAY! I feel myself shake, despite the heat of the flame, and my tail goes around me as I put my paws over my eyes.

Once I feel the magic gone from the air, I lift my paws to see I’m in the shadow of the Queen Dodongo, who’s laughing. “Some hero you are, afraid of a simple shield spell!” she flicks me into the air and catches me on her head. I’m lucky I haven’t been skewered by her spikes. She tosses her head and sends my flying across the room, landing on the other side in a small cloud of dust.

‘Stupid over-grown lizard,’ I mind-grumble, getting to my paws and I spot Sheik climbing onto the Dodongo’s back. What’s he doing?

He takes out a bomb unnoticed and waves at me to come closer to the Queen. Confused, I walk towards her as she comes at me, and when she opens her mouth, Sheik throws the bomb in. He jumps off before the bomb explodes in the Queen’s stomach and she falls, slightly weakened from the explosion.

‘I get it!’ I think as me and Sheik run from her. ‘So I distract her and you make her eat the bombs.’

“I don’t trust you on fighting something that big as a pup,” he says.

‘I don’t trust me either,’ I shrug as we split up to work with the same strategy. I taunt Queen Dodongo by facing her and putting my paws forward, pretending I want to play.

“You stupid little-” she opens her mouth and swallows another bomb thanks to Sheik. She falls again after it explodes and she’s obviously had enough. She throws her head back and bellows a blue stream of fire, sending it right at Sheik. Eyes growing wide, I run under his legs and trip him, making him fall on me but luckily not get eaten by the flames. I wiggle out from under his back to see his head hit a rock I didn’t see. Oops. I look up at Queen Dodongo to see her hissing at me. She stomps over and snaps at me, but I run towards the last bomb flower in here. “No you don’t!” she roars and runs after me.

I keep my eyes locked onto the exploding flower, not daring to look back in fear of tripping and getting eaten. I pluck the flower just in time for the Dodongo’s jaws to close around me. I start to fall down its throat but I drop the bomb and grab a piece of skin in my teeth, causing Queen Dodongo to roar in pain before the explosion goes off.

I’m sent flying through the air again, but thankfully I land safely on my paws beside Sheik, who’s still knocked out. Queen Dodongo falls again, steam coming out of her mouth and nose. She picks herself up and looks at me, a playful smirk in her eyes is the last thing I expect.

“Nice fight, kid,” she smiles, showing me her sharp teeth. “I haven’t seen something like that since I watched my father get killed by your ancestor.”

My jaw drops in surprise. “Yes, I know perfectly well that you’re Hylian. And, unlike my father, I know when to quit. I need to keep my people alive, don’t I? Like I promised, I will give you this,” she stomps the ground, making me bounce on my paws, and a small, ruby red fire comes out of the ground. “This is the Fire of Din. It has been protected by Dodongos since the Goddess gave it to us when we were still in hiding. If you take it in this bag, it won’t hurt you,” she takes a cloth off one of her spikes and tosses it at me.

It lands on my head, and I hear her laughing as I shake it off. “Goodbye, little hero, I won’t see any of your decedents for a long time,” she walks over us, her tail almost hitting my head, and crawls back into her hole, hitting the wall and making the rocks collapse in after her.

‘What a weird day,’ I muse and smack Sheik in the face with my tail, waking him up with a jolt. ‘Morning sunshine, we got the Fire,’ I point to the flame with my nose.

After we collect the flame and look around, we see the blue light I used to get to the Chamber of Sages. We step onto the light and find ourselves in Hyrule Field near the Bridge of Eldin. Good, won’t take long to get to the castle.

As we walk, something that’s been bothering me comes up. ‘Sheik, do you think I’ll be able to keep out the puppy? Or should I not fight it?’ I look up at him.

He barely gives me a glance before answering, “If you fight it, I think it might come on stronger.”

‘So you think I should let it take over my mind?’

“I don’t know. All I know is that the puppy side of you likes to be called Shorty,” he says. Is he hiding something? Did I do something as a pup that scared him?

I laugh mentally to myself. Yeah right, like an oblivious puppy can be dangerous!

-Third POV-

The Demon Lord cuts his sword through the pillar in frustration. “Not only did the hero save his friend, but now he has two of the three elements he needs to change back!”

“Calm down, Debby, let everything play out. Fighting the brat will be more fun if he’s Hylian,” she laughs at his annoyed face.

“Stop calling me Debby! I don’t even know where you got that idea!” he yells at her.

“Because you were fabulous when I found you.”

“I will kill you one day.”

“Sure you will, Debby.”


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