Silent Courage

Chapter 11: Trouble at Snowpeak

Chapter 11: Trouble at Snowpeak

“Do I even want to know what took you so long?” Midna asks as we find her in Zelda’s study.

‘We got taken to Dodongo’s Cavern, and we got the Fire of Din, too!’ I tell her, taking the bag off my back and tossing it at her. ‘It was a pain to get, I’ll tell ya.’

“Well, we have it. Doesn’t matter how you got it. Now all we need is the Love of Nayru,” Midna says, putting the bag beside the pouch with the Wind of Farore.

“Any clues as to where that will be?” Sheik asks, arms crossed as he leans on the wall.

“Not yet, Zelda’s in the library trying to find it,” the Twili explains. “In the meantime, you guys do whatever it is you need to do. We’re not in any rush.”

‘Actually,’ I think, remembering what Sheik said about my puppy moments. ‘We might be in a rush.’

“Oh Twili Lord, what did you do now?” Midna rubs her forehead.

‘S’not my fault, the puppy in me is starting to get worse!’

“What do you mean by that?”

“The longer she stays a puppy, the more she’ll become it. It’s happened twice in the last two days that her human side’s taken over by the puppy, and she doesn’t remember anything that happens while she’s a puppy,” Sheik says. “They happened when we were traveling back from Old Hyrule and in Dodongo’s Cavern.”

“Hum, that doesn’t sound good…go tell Zelda. She’s probably still in the library.”

‘‘Kay, thanks,’ I think and run to the library. I nose the door open and peek in, making sure the lady in charge doesn’t notice, and sneak in, hiding under a table when the lady goes by. I think her name’s Gladys or something. I’ll just call her Glad, despite what an oxymoron it is.

I wait for her to go by and I run down on of the aisle. Where’s Zelly’s favorite place to read again? Gah! I never come in here! I walk around the corner to see Vaati sitting at a chair, mumbling about something. Has he really been here this whole time? Wow, somebody needs to get out more.

I walk down the next aisle to see Glad sweeping and duck behind the bookcase before she can see me. I peek around just in time to see her round the corner on the other end. I keep walking through the aisles when I hear yelling, “What is a mutt doing in here?!” I cringe and look over my shoulder to see Glad running at me, holding the broom.

Groaning, I turn and run as fast as I can, not completely paying attention, and when I see the back of Zelda’s head, I mind-yell at her. ‘I don’t want a broom to be my death!’ she turns just in time for me to run past and hide under a chair.

“You just love trouble, don’t you?”

‘No, it loves me.’

“Excuse me, princess, but have you seen a dog around here? I need to get the mutt out,” I hear Glad say and I make sure my tail isn’t sticking out.

“I haven’t seen any dogs. Sorry, Gladys,” Zelda says and I hear the cranky old woman huff.

“Thank you anyway, princess. If you see it, come find me,” the click-click of high heels tells me that she’s gone. I crawl out from under the chair and shake my fur, getting the dust off me.

‘Thanks, Zelly.’

“How come you took so long?”

‘Well, I was tricked to go into this chamber thing, there was a picture on it, and I couldn’t understand the text, it was really weird,’ I say absentmindedly.

“Link.”

‘Right, reason I took so long. After I was tricked, a demon called Ghirahim found me. I’m guessing Midna told you?’

“Yes, I know I’ve heard that name before, but I can’t remember where…” she crosses her arms, thinking.

‘Same here. Anyway, he came and showed me this portal/image thing of Sheik lying on a platform in the middle of a lava pool. I fell through the image and landed near the pool. After going through the place we were in, it was Dodongo’s Cavern, we fought the Queen, got the Fire of Din, and were teleported to the Bridge of Eldin,’ I explain.

“Well, at least we didn’t have to waste time looking for that one. I haven’t found out where the Love of Nayru is yet, though. I can’t seem to find any books on it,” she sighs.

‘And there’s something else,’ I think. ‘Sheik and me think that I…might just be turning into an actual puppy. Apparently it’s happened twice that my mind’s been controlled by it.’

“That’s not good,” Zelda shakes her head. “If that’s so, then we have a time limit to find the last element, bring it here and get the potion started. Looks like we’ll need to look up all the books we can. And yes, by ‘we’, I mean you too,” she says before I can sneak off.

‘Dammit, I’m a fighter, not a reader,’ I groan.

“Doesn’t matter, I’ll go ask Midna and Sheik for their help. Stay hidden here so Gladys doesn’t find you,” Zelda says and walks off, seeming deep in thought.

Sighing, I crawl back under the chair, sneezing at the dust. ‘I really, really hate this.’

-Later-

The candles dim as the pile of books grows higher. All four of us, even with the help of Navi, have been reading book after book, but we haven’t found the Love of Nayru yet.

‘Nope…nope…nope…nope,’ I think to myself as I flip the pages with my nose.

“Here are some more on spells,” Navi says as she flies over, somehow carrying five books and dropping them on the table I’m under, making the legs wobble.

‘Careful where you put those, Navi, I don’t wanna be a squashed pup,’ I think as I close the book and push it away, grabbing another one with my teeth.

“Well, it’s not a plant,” Midna says, tossing the large book on the ground and picking up one on minerals. “We’re wasting so much time.”

“While you read, I’ll be off getting information on the element,” Sheik says, gets up and leaves before we can say/think anything.

‘Oh great, more for us,’ I think sarcastically.

“If you’re so eager, read this,” Midna pushes the mineral book at me. I sigh deeply, I brought that on myself.

I flip through only ten pages before my eyes start to droop. Yawning, I put my head on my paws and let sleep tug me away.

I open my eyes to find myself lying on my back in the Sacred Realm. What am I doing here this time? I sit up and blink in surprise when I can. I look down at myself to see I’m Hylian again, and I flex my hands in front of my face with a smile.

‘YES!’ I jump to my feet and fist pump the air. ‘I’m me again! Finally!’ I laugh as I back flip and spin childishly.

“Nice to see you again, Link,” the voice makes me jump and I turn around to see the Hero of Time standing there, looking amused at me as I realize I had an audience, which makes me rub the back of my head in embarrassment. “You’re doing great. Took me forever to find the Sages.”

I just shrug. ‘What am I here for? Is the Twilight Smog coming?’ I ask.

“Sadly yes, it’s already starting to bite at the edges of Snowpeak. I need you to go there and see if you can find the source of the Smog.”

‘That shouldn’t be too hard,’ I think, nodding.

“But there is a setback,” I tilt my head slightly. “The Smog corrupts any being that it touches, and turns them into the exact opposite of what their real selves are. There’s only one way to prevent it or fix it.”

‘And that would be…?’ I trail off, waiting for him to finish.

“I’m…not sure.”

I blink at him, awkward silence filling the chamber as he rubs the back of his neck sheepishly. ‘You’re telling me that there’s something that can stop the Smog from taking over someone…and you have no idea what or where it is?’ I ask, making sure I heard him right.

“Yes,” he nods. “I know about it, but I’m not even sure what it is. Don’t look at me like that, I got the information from an old book, the pages are ripped out at the part I was looking at.”

‘Great. Hey, I’d like to ask something,’ I say.

“I’m listening.”

‘What’s Termina?’ he smiles softly, eyes falling into the distant void of the Sacred Realm, he seems to be lost in memories.

“That’s a name I haven’t heard for a long time,” he sighs, almost dreamily. That’s different… “Termina is a place that’s basically an alternate universe to Hyrule, you can get there, if you couldn’t guess, through the Lost Woods. It’s a very strange place, and there are people there who will most likely remind you of others you know.”

‘Have you been there?’

“Yes, after I fought Ganondorf, I went to search for Navi. When I was wandering through the Lost Woods, I was thrown off my horse and knocked out. Not long after, I was robbed by a Skull Kid who had acquired a strange mask that gave him dark, powerful magic,” I shiver, always magic. “The most terrifying thing, however, was the moon.”

‘The moon? What’s so bad about a moon?’ I ask, scratching my head.

“It was going to crash into Termina, destroying everything and everyone.” My eyes widen, a mask could do that much damage? Dear Nayru. “It was stopped, obviously, and Termina has been hidden away from Hyrule. Why do you ask?”

‘Well, there’s this fancy pants knight who said he came from there, his name was…Edwardo or something,’ I shrug, not really carrying enough to remember Pretty Boy’s name. ‘Anyway, he said he was from Termina and I was wondering what it was. I thought it was a village, because he said his village was raided or something.’

He puts his hand on his chin, closing his eyes. “Hum, that doesn’t sound quite right. People from Termina don’t know much about us, and we don’t know much about them. And the only human village is Clock Town. I’d watch him if I was you, Link. He might not be truthful about his claims,” he warns.

I blink a bit. ‘I’ve already been watching him, he has a really bad feeling about him-oh! There’s another thing I want to ask, did you ever get visions of a giant beast with red/black scales, way too many teeth and likes to roar?’

He thinks for a moment. “I don’t think so…no. I only had a few visions when I was getting the Sages. But they were of some enemies and a vague one of Ganon, but he looked like a demon or something familiar.”

‘Demon?’ I think, looking down slightly. ‘Like Ghirahim?’

Link looks up into the dark sky for a few seconds and nods, looking back at me. “You must go, the Smog is growing as we speak. Try to get the plant I told you about and get to Snowpeak. I’ll see you again.”

Like before, everything flashes white and I blink open my eyes to find myself still under the table, a wolf pup again. I shake my head and look out from under the table to see Zelda or Midna gone. Shrugging, I go over what Link told me in my head. The Smog’s starting to form, and there’s something to prevent it from corrupting someone, but we don’t know what it is. Brilliant. Looks like there’s more trouble than we thought.

I sneak out of the library without any trouble and run down the corridors, skidding to a stop when I see Pretty Boy and the end of the hall. I hide behind a suit of armour and strain my ears for any signs of him leaving. I hear him whispering something, but I can’t make out what he’s saying. Everything falls silent and footsteps echo in the empty corridor. Pretty Boy walks passed my hiding place, pauses for a second, and continues walking.

Once I can no longer hear him, I come out and run to the main courtyard. As I thought, I find Zelda there, still reading. ‘Zelda, I talked to the Hero of Time again, he said the Twilight Smog’s coming in from Snowpeak. I need to go there as soon as possible, but the Smog changes anyone who goes into it.’

“It seems we’re having a race now. Alright, is there anything else?”

‘Yeah, he mentioned that there’s something that can prevent me from getting affected by the Smog, but he doesn’t have a clue what it is. He said he got it from an old book, but the pages were ripped out.’

“Things are never easy, are they?”

‘Never,’ I shake my head.

“First thing’s first, we need to figure out what prevents change, then we can go to Snowpeak.”

‘We?’ I ask.

“I need to see it for myself, if I do, I can tell what it looks like if, and more than likely when, it reaches Hyrule,” Zelda explains, skimming over a book page.

‘Okay, any clue what it could be?’ I trot over and sit beside her.

“I have no idea, but I’m sure we’ll be able to find it,” she says, flipping the page.

‘I hope so, it might help me keep my human side,’ I think, putting my head on my paws. Zelda only nods and continues reading. I gaze around the courtyard, lazily taking in the familiar sight. I’m worried about Yeto and Yeta, if the Smog’s hit them, it could be bad when we try to go up there. They are really kind, but it can be…dangerous to get between them.

I know from experience. My side hurt for a week after Yeto knocked me over.

I hope they’re alright, I don’t want to have to fight either of them, let alone Yeta again. I wonder what the thing to help us is, all I can hope is that it’s not magic involved. Why is everything so much harder than it has to be? It could be simple, we could just find the thing to help us, and get going. But we need to know what it is first.

I’m taken out of my thoughts when I hear Navi’s voice call mine and Zelda’s names. I look up to see the blue fairy flying in, panting. “We have some trouble…”

‘What’s going on?’ I ask as I sit behind Zelda’s throne.

“I’m not sure, but stay quiet,” she whispers.

The doors open and I can’t help but peek around to see what’s happening. A man walks in, his right arm limp and bloody as he’s helped by another man, who has a cut on his forehead. “Princess,” the man with the cut forehead talks in a raspy voice. “We were hunting out in the fields, when this strange black beast came out of nowhere and attacked us. We lost three of the others and only managed to escape because an even weirder man came and told the beasts to leave. He let us go, but only if we deliver a message to you.”

“What did this man look like?” Zelda asks.

“We never saw his face, he wore an odd helmet the entire time, reminded me of a fish or a frog.”

‘Zant,’ I glare at the wall, resisting the urge to growl.

“And what was his message?”

“He said, ‘I will let you live, but on one condition: You tell your princess that she and her little helper can try all they like, but they will not stop the Smog from coming. I will not bother to fight them, for they shall parish once the three of us have taken over the land.’”

‘Three of us?’ I wonder. ‘He must mean himself, Ghirahim and that crazy lady Sheik, Midna and me heard in the Palace of Winds.’

“Is that all he said?” Zelda asks.

“Yes, princess, that is all he said before he disappeared,” the man nods, starting to tremble from the weight of his companion.

“Thank you. I will have a servant take you to the healer’s wing, you may stay until you have both recovered,” Zelda nods for their dismissal and three servants help the men out. Once the room is empty, Zelda lets her composer fall and she hits the back of her head on the throne.

‘We really are running short on time,’ I frown inwardly. ‘What are we going to do?’

“We need to go to Snowpeak, with or without help to keep us sane. We’ll need to know what we’re up agenised and this might be the only chance we have. I’ll tell Matthew that I’ll be away for a while,” Zelda gets up and walks out of the hall, I gallop to keep up with her.

Navi flies beside my head as she asks, “The Smog is coming?”

‘Yeah, it’s already on Snowpeak. There’s supposed to be something to help us not change in the Smog, but we don’t know what it is,’ I tell her.

“Well…I know about a plant that, when eaten, can help someone remember who they are. It was used on corrupted solders a long time ago. If I remember correctly, it was called Memory Unlock. It grows near water,” she explains.

‘Really? Well we won’t have to worry after all, we need to go through Zora’s Domain to get to Snowpeak,’ I think. ‘Are you coming?’

“No, I’m going to help get information on where the Love of Nayru is. I’ll be able to help you any time after that,” she says.

“Thanks for your help, Navi,” Zelda smiles. “Now we don’t have to waste so much time.”

“Always here to help,” the fairy bobs up and down before flying off.

‘I hope that the Domain’s recovered from the drought,’ I think.

“We’ll have to wait and see. If it hasn’t, we can probably find some in Jabu Jabu’s Lake.”

‘Just hope I don’t get eaten again,’ I shake my head. Thinking of being in the whale-fish’s stomach, I think of Cerberus and Chimera. Are they alright? Those two helped us a lot.

“You shouldn’t have to worry. He’s healed now, remember?”

I nod as we enter her room. I sit in front of the door as I wait for Zelda to change. She does so quickly, and is now wearing breeches and a plain shirt. ‘It’s weird not seeing you in a dress,’ I think.

“It was weird seeing you in a dress,” she replies, smirking slightly as I feel my furry face heat up.

‘It was a once in a lifetime thing,’ I think, looking down. The thought of almost kissing Sheik still on my mind. I’m surprised it hasn’t been completely awkward around him, but that might be because we both got distracted with Dodongo’s Cavern.

“Alright, I just need to talk to the Chancellor. Wait here until then,” Zelda says, leaving and closing the door behind her.

Still hard to believe I wore a dress. So many different things happened that night. Adam and Nura got all lovey-dovey, Pretty Boy wanted to dance with me, for some reason, and then Sheik saved me on an impulse. I find that so weird, he really seems like someone who thinks of plans, yet he asks me to dance. I wonder what drove him to help me.

Questions. The only thing that seems to be on my mind lately. And I hate it.

Once Zelda comes back, we head out. When we’re just outside the stables, the ground moves and Logan the Mogma pops up, holding a bag. “I got the powder you asked for,” he says, handing it to Zelda.

“Thank you, Logan,” Zelda smiles and he burrowed back into the earth after petting my head. I shake my head and look at Zelda.

‘What’s that about?’ I ask.

“I asked him to get some stones and make dust out of them. This is just an ingredient to the potion to cure you,” she says, putting it into her satchel. “Let’s go, we should try to make it to Snowpeak by nightfall.”

We go into the stables and Zelda brings out her grey stallion. Oh great, I’m going to have to go into the saddlebag again, won’t I? Like I thought, I’m put into the bag. ‘No one can let me have my pride, can they?’ I mind-grumble, huffing when Zelda laughs. ‘And that includes you.’

“Link, after this, you’ll probably never have your pride again,” she says as she leads her horse out of the stables.

‘Thanks, Zel,’ I roll my eyes.

She just laughs and makes her horse gallop. My mind buzzes, but it only lasts for a few seconds, so I just shake it off and put my head on my paws, closing my eyes in boredom.

Guess I fell asleep, since the next moment I hear Zelda trying to wake me up. ‘A few more minutes,’ I mind-mumble, turning away from her.

“Link, if you don’t wake up right now, I’ll zap you with magic,” she says calmly and my head shoots up.

‘I’m awake,’ I think as I stand up in the saddlebag. We’re above Lake Hylia now and the sun is an hour and a bit passed midpoint. ‘Back to where I was cursed. Why do I always end up back to where things happen to me?’ I ask.

“You’re just unlucky,” Zelda says and helps me out. We look over the edge of the bridge to see the lake full, so the Domain must be close to being back to normal or is. Either way, we can get up there and not have to worry about the heat.

‘Hey, how will I get down? I can’t grab onto a Cucco, I’ll hurt them,’ I think.

“I’m not sure. But there should be a side path down there,” Zelda says, walking over to the side of the cliff and looking down. “Here we are, we’ll have to do some rock climbing, but it’s better than me teleporting you down,” she says as I trot over, looking over the side.

‘How could I miss this?’ I ask myself.

“Face it, Link, you’re not the most observant person out there. And in more ways than one,” I tilt my head, but she just smiles and I see a glint of knowing in her eyes. What does she mean by that? Ugh, I need to stop asking myself these questions.

Looking over the edge again, we start to descend down the path. Still can’t figure out how I never saw it before. It could explain how Fyer got down, but I guess I never questioned that before.

We come to a small space of grass and go into the water. At least I can still swim, and since I still have the Dragon Scale, I can easily swim in the water without having to worry. That’s a plus. ‘Hey, Zel, how are we gunna get to the Domain?’ I ask.

“Adam told me that there’s a tunnel that leads to there, so we can use that,” she says.

I blink, really? Wish I would have known that before Shadow flew up on the Guay. Would have saved us a lot of bruises. Sighing quietly, I follow Zelda to the spot beside the waterfall. I can’t see any tunnel. ‘Are you sure?’ I ask.

“Yes,” she nods, going towards the waterfall and stepping into it. When she doesn’t come out, I go over and walk behind it to find the tunnel.

‘Why are they always hidden?’ I wonder.

“They’re hidden to you, because you always manage to find the hard way to places.”

‘Can’t argue with that,’ I shrug as we follow the tunnel. Water drips from the roof and small streams trickle down the walls and across the floor, making the only sounds other than our footsteps.

It doesn’t take too long, and soon we come out to see the Domain once again filled with water, the Zoras all relaxing or swimming. We stop for a short while to see if we can find the plant, but we don’t know what exactly we’re looking for. Not wanting to waste time, we go to the icy path that leads to Snowpeak and head up, Zelda taking out a cloak and tying it around her neck. Just like before, a huge snowstorm blows across the mountain base, the frozen lake covered in ice flows and the occasional ice burg.

I shake my fur and we start walking, going down the small cliff that lets us go to the lake. I look into the black water and shiver, I feel into that stuff more than once when I first came here, and all I had was the Hero’s Clothes, since the Zora Armour’s weakened by ice.

“Alright, can you find the fish scent?” Zelda asks.

‘Uh,’ I sniff but can’t find the smell. ‘No, Yeto must not have taken any fish for some time. The snow’s wiped the smell away.’

“Looks like we’re doing this by eye,” Zelda says.

‘Great,’ I think, remembering the times I got lost. ‘Let’s hope I can remember the route,’ I trot to the first ice flow and step on, legs wobbling uncontrollably on the slippery surface. ‘Okay, at least this is better than when I was Hylian,’ I think to myself. I slide to the edge and jump to the next flow, digging my claws into the ice before I can fall into the water.

At the fourth flow, I see the water ripple at the far end. Sensing danger, my ears perk up and I attentively walk towards the edge, careful not to slip. I look back to see Zelda looking around, sensing the danger too as she takes out a bow. I look back to the water to see the ripples gone, but the unease still hangs in the hair.

The flow I’m standing on suddenly rumbles and shakes, making me slide around it. I see a shadow in the water before it comes out, soaking me to the bone with freezing water as it does. Shivering, I look up to see a large Octorock towering over me, its many eyes locked on us.

It slams a tentacle at my flow, making one end dunk into the water, and I start sliding down when it rights itself and tips the other way, sending me back. Zelda shoots an arrow and strikes one of the Octo’s eyes, causing it to flail its tentacles and hit my flow again, making it capsize. I slam into the water and gasp as the freezing liquid burns my skin. I swim to the surface, shivering and already having the water on me turn to ice, and look up to see the Octo ram me over as it swims at Zelda.

I toss and turn in the water as the cold starts to affect me. I start to slow down, my body trying to stay warm, and my eyes start to close when a hand grabs the back of my rough. Through fuzzy vision, I see Zelda’s carrying me and running. I can hear the Octo chasing us when Zelda jumps, turns in the air and lands in the snow on the other side of the lake, facing the Octorock. She holds me in her cloak with her left hand and takes out her thin sword with her right, calmly standing her ground as the giant, squid-like monster charges.

She dodges the rocks it spits at us and once the Octo’s near the edge, ready to slam into us, she jumps at it and stabs it between its eyes until only an inch of the blade and the hilt are outside of the Octorock’s head. She kicks off its head and lands in the snow again, sheathing her sword on her hip as the Octorock falls back into the water.

‘W-wow, n-nice going, Z-Zel,’ I think, still shivering. Zelda tucks me inside her cloak more and surrounds me in it.

“It’s always you,” she says as she starts walking. “Just try to stay awake and don’t move, you don’t want to waste your body heat.”

‘Okay,’ I nod internally as she dries me off as best she can, still going up the mountain.

Somehow I manage to stay awake and we come to a small cave that’s protected from the storm, only having a couple Ice Keese and a pack of two Snow Wolfos get in our path. Zelda takes a spare cloak out of her bag and wraps me inside it before starting on the fire. She makes a small one and starts to cook some meat, and we wait in silence as the smell fills the tiny cave.

‘How bad will I be affected once I turn back to normal?’ I ask, snuggling as far as I can into the cloak.

“I don’t know, all we can do is hope you don’t get any major problems, like frost bite or a broken tailbone,” she says, taking the meat off with a dagger.

‘I’m sorry,’ she looks at me in confusion. ‘I know it’s not my fault being like this, but I feel like a burden.’

“Link, you’re not a burden,” Zelda says, sitting down beside me and giving me some meat. “You help others no matter what, others helping you shouldn’t make you feel like you’re helpless. You get so caught up in making other people happy and safe that you don’t realize that you need others to do the same with you. You should know by now that you have many friends that will help you through anything.”

‘I know, but I can’t help it,’ I think, eating the meat and letting it heat my insides.

“Link, when you’re back to normal, I’m making you have another short rest before going to find the last two Sages. And I’m not letting you protest,” she says like she wants me to dare arguing.

‘…Fine,’ I sigh, putting my head on my paws.

“What made you think you were a burden in the first place?” Zelda asks.

‘I don’t know, I think it’s instinct to help others, but it’s not instinct when others help me.’

“You will probably get used to it, because I think someone would help you no matter what,” she smiles mysteriously.

‘Midna?’

“She’s one of them, but not the person I’m thinking of.”

‘…Ilia?’

“No.”

‘Uh…the Resistance?’

“They’re not who I’m thinking of. Come on, Link, you can’t tell me you have no idea who I’m talking about.”

‘…I have no idea who you’re talking about,’ I think with a sheepish look as she sighs, lying down on her back.

“You are very unobservant, Link,” is all she says.

I blink. Who would help me no matter what? And why?

And why does everyone tell me I’m oblivious or unobservant? About what?

‘I’m gunna get a headache if I think on this any further,’ I think, shaking my head as I curl up, my fur only slightly damp now. I sneeze a little, but pass it off and eventually drift to a light sleep.

-The next morning-

I open my eyes after a restless sleep, blinking dully as I lift my head and yawn widely. “How are you feeling?” I look at the fire to see Zelda tending to it.

‘Ugh,’ I respond and put my head back down. ‘I’ll live.’

“The storm settled last night, so we’ll have an easier time up to Snowpeak.”

‘Well that’s something,’ I think and get to my feet, pushing my exhaustion to the back of my mind. ‘Well I can move again, that’s always good.’

Zelda just smiles and puts out the fire as I try, and fail, to roll up the cloak. I get my back paw tangled in it. ‘How did this even happen?!’ I ask myself as I tug it out.

“Do you need help?” Zelda asks, smiling in amusement.

‘Please?’ I sigh.

She laughs and folds up the cloak, putting it back into her satchel before hanging it over her shoulder. “Let’s go, we don’t want to waste daylight.”

We leave the cave to see the snow only gently falling now, like dust. I look up at the peak and feel my ears and tail drop. ‘Zelly, we might have a problem,’ I think. Surrounding the top of Snowpeak, there’s a large, purple cloud, obscuring any view of the top. It looks like it’s slowly moving at a snail’s pace, inching its way down the mountain. ‘Is that Twilight Smog?’

“It must be. This is worse than I thought,” Zelda mutters. “We need to get up there and see if Yeto and Yeta made it out of their mansion before this happened.”

‘Sure hope so, they’re really nice,’ I think to myself as we start walking, at a faster pace than before. Despite the snow touching my stomach, I don’t feel cold. It’s probably the realization of what kind of thing we’re up agenised.

We climb up the mountain as the sun burns away the clouds, letting us see to the frozen lake and the rest of Snowpeak. I occasionally look up at the Smog, feeling dread fill me whenever I do. It’s like an omen. What’s worse is that, other than the ones we saw last night, no Snow Wolfos or Ice Keese seem to be around. It’s like they vanished. We finally come to the highest point before the Smog, and I can see red markings covering it. I can feel a harsh, evil aura coming from it and I gulp as we get closer.

‘Are you sure about this?’ I ask, looking up at Zelda.

“I thought I was,” she replies. “I had hoped we’d be able to find the yetis, but it looks like they’re trapped in there. I don’t think it would be smart to go in.”

‘Without the plant Link and Navi told us about, we can’t,’ I think when I hear something come from the Smog. It’s almost like a whisper. ‘Do you hear that?’ I ask.

“Yes, and I don’t trust it,” Zelda says, taking out her bow. After long seconds of silence, the Smog ripples like disturbed water and my breath goes short when I see a darkened version of Yeto come out, his once white-grey fur a deep purple like the Twilight Smog and his yellow eyes now full white irises. His fangs, which had been long before, have grown and his claws have become wicked sharp. In other words, it looks like he just walked out of Din’s Hell.

‘Farore’s Spirit,’ I think, eyes wide. ‘Yeto?’

The giant yeti roars loudly and we take this as a signal to run. We sprint the other way, but find that he’s now chasing after us, running quickly despite his size. He leaps forward and lands in front of us, swiping at us with his claws. We dodge just before we’re sliced into pieces and he doesn’t take this lightly. He takes a frozen tree out of the ground and swings it like a club, just missing Zelda as she jumps out of the way.

“We need to make it to the lake, he won’t be able to cross!” she yells as the storm picks up again.

‘Alright!’ I mind-yell back as something sharp almost hits me, it enables itself into the snow before I can see what it is.

I look over my shoulder to see Yeto still pursuing us, his eyes wild. I wish there was something I could do.

“Zelda! Link!” I hear Navi’s voice cut through the gale of snow and look up to see her blue aura amidst the storm.

‘Navi!’ I call, the storm is now blinding me. ‘What are you doing here?’

“I have what you need to get into the Smog!” she yells, flying to my face and holding a plant that looks like a small piece of vine. “This will let you go. What are you running from?”

Yeto suddenly comes out of the storm, landing in front of us and sending a wave of snow over us. I somehow end upside-down in the snow and my head becomes stuck. ‘Him. It’s Yeto, can you make him eat the plant?’ I ask, trying to push my head out.

“I should be able to, yes!” she yells. I wait as patiently as I can as I feel the snow tremble around me. Yeto found me.

I hear voices and finally I get my head unstuck. Shaking the snow off, I look behind me to see Yeto lying on the ground, slowly fading back to his normal colour. Navi’s hovering over him and Zelda’s trickling some red potion into his mouth. I trot over as he opens his eyes, which are hazy and back to their normal yellow. He groans as I sits up, holding his head. “What happen?” he asks himself in his usual deep, intimidating but kind voice.

“You were possessed by the Twilight Smog,” Zelda tells him gently, taking the vine from Navi. “This plant cured you. Can you tell us what happened?”

“Yes, little human. Yeto was making more soup for Yeta after we go sledding, it was fun time, when suddenly dark cloud come and slowly consume house. Yeto ran to Yeta as fast as he could, but before he get to room, his head become fuzzy and his body start aching. Yeto tried to find what wrong, but then Yeto’s mind went blank,” he explains.

“Do you know what happened to Yeta?” Zelda asks.

“After we find mirror and give to even tinnier human,” I huff when Navi giggles, “We find way to guard room. If Yeta still there, she safe from weird cloud.”

“Good. Don’t worry, Yeto, we can find Yeta and bring her out of the cloud. You stay here and if the cloud expands, move down the mountain, okay?” Zelda tells him.

“Okay, Yeto go do that,” he nods and stands, smiling. “Yeto wait by tree while little human find Yeta,” he steps over to a tree, almost stepping on me, and sits.

“Thank you,” Zelda nods as I shake myself. “Now we shouldn’t have to worry about changing in the Smog. There’s enough for all three of us.”

‘Okay,’ I nod as she breaks off a piece of the vine and hands it to me. I take it and chew, resisting the urge to spit it out. ‘It tastes like frogs,’ I think, seeing Zelda eat and swallow her’s quickly.

“And how would you know what frogs taste like?” she asks, drinking some water before passing some to me.

‘What? I was three, bored, lonely and naïve,’ I defend myself.

“One of those things you still are,” Navi remarks.

‘I’m not that bored, I’m just getting tired of being a pup,’ I think.

“That’s not what I mean,” she sighs, taking the piece Zelda gives her.

Shrugging it off, I feel my mind become clearer and more alert. I hope this works in the Smog. We climb back up the mountain, once again finding ourselves at the edge of the Smog. ‘I’ll go first,’ I think and walk up to it before Zelda can say anything. I close my eyes and walk through. Once the feeling of cold water passes me, I open my eyes to see the world turned into a warped, dark version of itself. And many, many black Snow Wolfos and grey Ice Keese. So this is where they went. Oh boy.

I look back to see Zelda walk through and Navi flies in, landing on my back with her wings falling. ‘What’s wrong?’ I ask.

‘This place is filled with so much dark force, I can’t take it all at once,’ she gasps, only able to talk through telepathy.

‘You don’t have to come,’ I think.

‘I’ll adjust to it quickly, I only need to rest,’ she tells me.

‘Okay,’ I’m still worried, but I push it out of my mind. Looking ahead, I can see the cave that brought me to the ruins before. We walk over and I frown as I think. How can we all get through this?

“Stand back, Link,” Zelda says, taking off her right glove and walking up to the wall. I do as she says and watch as her Triforce glows, her eyes closed as she runs her hand over the stone. Her Triforce piece glows brightly when she reaches the far left of the stone, right above the spot where I can dig to get through. The whole wall flashes before disappearing into thin air.

‘Nice, all my Triforce can do is make me fight monsters,’ I think.

“That’s only a small bit of it. You’ve never had to use you Triforce, Link, you haven’t even unlocked all you can do yet,” Zelda says as we start through the tunnel/cave.

It doesn’t take long to get through it, even with a few stops from killing Ice Keese that have turned a deep, almost black, navy blue, and we come to the top of the mountain. The frozen tree with the large leaves is still standing and we walk up to it, the path to the mansion stretched on like before us. Zelda pulls out her bow and hits the steam of a leaf, letting it fall.

‘Why didn’t I think of that? I just rolled into the tree,’ I think.

“Link, I don’t know if you haven’t realized this, but you like to take action over thinking,” Navi says. I glare at the snow in front of me.

‘Thanks, Navi,’ I think sarcastically.

“You’re welcome.”

I feel my ear twitch in annoyance. Everyone’s a smartarse. And that includes me.

Suddenly I spot something in the snow and trot over to it. I dig around it to find a Snow Wolfos bone. Why in Hyrule would this be here? This doesn’t make any-

Bone!

My eyes widen, oh-no. The plant just stops us from changing into the opposites of who we are, but I don’t think it helps with the-

Everything goes blank.

-Third POV-

“Well, we should get going, we don’t want to stand in the open and get attacked,” Zelda says as she turns and frowns when she sees Link gnawing on a bone. “Link?”

She just ignores Zelda as she bites the bone, growling lightly and playfully. “I don’t know what happened, she just saw the bone and starting acting like this,” Navi says, trying to get Link’s attention off the bone.

“This must be what she was talking about,” Zelda says, walking over and crouching, Link just ignores her. “Her mind sometimes gets overruled by the puppy in her.”

“Oh Deku Sprout,” Navi mutters. “What are we going to do?”

“We’ll wait and see if she recovers from it. If she doesn’t by nightfall, we’ll need to keep going.”

Navi bobs up and down, looking worriedly at Link, who has now thrown the bone away and is digging in the snow. “She’s not going to have any of her pride left if this keeps happening.”

“She’ll just try to forget this ever happened,” Zelda says as she sits under the tree. “So this has happened three times now, and only in the last few days. If this keeps up, she might not even be able to be herself again.”

“If that’s the case, then we’ll need to find the Love of Nayru fast, and hope it’s not too late.”

“How did you find us exactly?”

“Well, I had a bad feeling, so I flew to the Domain as fast as I could. As I was going through, I saw the vine and it matched what I remembered. After that, I knew I would find you two on the mountain, so I just flew up.”

“You’ve been a great help, Navi. I appreciate it.”

Navi’s aura shines slightly brighter at this.

The blackened sun of the Twilight Smog seems to stand still as time goes by, the fairy and princess trying to keep an eye on the hyper-active wolf pup that won’t stop moving. Eventually, she goes up to Zelda with a small stick in her mouth, sitting down in front of her with her ears down and her tail thudding in the snow happily.

Smiling softly, Zelda takes the stick and throws it into the snow, making Shorty run after it barking, her tail wagging like no tomorrow. She digs in the snow until she finds the stick and runs back. For the next ten minutes, Zelda continues to throw the stick for Shorty, unaware of the pack of Snow Wolfos in the shadows of the mountain until they growl.

Zelda grabs her bow and stands, attaching an arrow as she scans the area, whistling for Shorty. The naïve, pup version of Link runs over and pants, stick still in her mouth. The Snow Wolfos emerge from the shadows and snow, snarling as saliva dripped to the still white blanket. The Snow Wolfos look different than their un-smog counterparts, instead of the pure white fur, they have storm cloud gray coats with white on their chests, and their usual red eyes are a crystal blue.

The Smog changes everything it touches, does that include these Wolfos? Zelda wonders, raising her bow at the closest wolf-like creature.

Apparently not. Just like the Ice Keese they had encountered in the cave, the Smog Wolfos attack. Two of them jump at the Hylian, who dances around them and shoots one in the shoulder, making it howl as dark purple blood falls and stains the white snow. “So the Smog changes their blood too, not just their outer look,” Navi says, zapping a Wolfos that tried to swipe at her.

“Seems like it,” Zelda nods, shooting the second Wolfos that jumped at her through the heart.

Unnoticed by them, a particularly large Wolfos, most likely the Alpha male, is creeping up on Shorty, who by now has sensed the emergency coming from the human and fairy she’s with. She drops the stick and stands up, crouching at the Alpha with teeth bared. The Alpha snorts in her face, seeming to laugh at her for trying to seem brave, but blinks when the pup in front of him scratches his snout. He doesn’t feel it, but the shock of this pup actually attacking him causes him to take a step back.

Regaining his composure, the Alpha growls at the nerve of the pup before snapping forward. Shorty yelps and stumbles back, getting the tip of her ear taken off by the large Wolfos. She growls back at him, when Navi flies over and zaps the Alpha with a strong blast of lightning. The Alpha howls and bats the fairy away into the snow with enough force to knock her out.

Zelda curses under her breath, something she doesn’t normally do, when she sees the obvious Alpha male bite at Shorty, but luckily misses, and she curses again when another large Wolfos, maybe the Beta male, leaps over her and takes her bow. She takes out her sword but doesn’t get the chance to raise it when a Wolfos she didn’t hear behind her bites her leg, making her scream as she falls to the snow, clenching her bleeding calf.

The Wolfos close in around her, the Beta ready to take her down, when the Alpha howls at them. They look at him to find the pup in his mouth, not moving, but still breathing. With a silent command, the Wolfos follow after the Alpha, ignoring Zelda and Navi as they head down a side path of the mountain.

Zelda, still unable to move, tries her best to get up, but the burning pain in her leg stops her. The world started to blur as her energy left her, and she could do nothing as her head fell, the blood from her wound staining the snow crimson.


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