Silent Courage

Chapter 12: The Pack of Snowpeak

Chapter 12: The Pack of Snowpeak

Ooh, my head hurts. Groaning quietly, I open my eyes to see I’m in a cave. What the…how did I get here? I shake my head and try to get to my feet, but my legs collapse under me. It’s like someone hit me over the head with something. I put my paws on my head to rub the sore spot, wincing slightly when I feel a small claw mark. Were we attacked?

‘Oh wait…dammit, I think I became Shorty again,’ I groan, when will it stop? I lift my head and look at the mouth of the cave. I don’t see anything around, so I can make a break for it. I run at the entrance, when a large Wolfos jumps in front of me, making me smack into its snout. I fall back and look up at him, will he attack me?

He snorts in my face. “You foolish child,” his voice is somewhat like an echo and deep, I can hear authority. “You thought you could fight me before, are you as foolish now?” he circles me, I just keep my eyes locked with his. He stops and growls, scratching across my face with his sharp claws. “You will pay your Alpha respect!” he says, stepping on my back and pinning me. “You are part of this pack now, and you will not disobey me, you will do anything and everything I demand of you, and as you are new to the pack, don’t expect any easy tasks just because you are a pup, you’re lower than an Omega here,” he takes his paw off me and orders me to stand. I do so quickly, knowing full well he can kill me with one good hit.

“Now get outside!” he steps over me and I follow to find a problem. We’re on the edge of a ravine, and when I look over, I see an endless void. Note to self: stay the Din’s Hell away from this. “Outsider!” the Alpha barks. Not wanting to get pushed off, I walk behind him as we go up a snow bank to see a small grove of strange trees. Instead of leaves, they’re thin, like needles, and are still green, despite the cold atmosphere.

‘Huh, that’s odd,’ I muse as I keep pace behind the Alpha. I’ll just call him Al.

Al takes me a little further until we come to a small space in the trees, where the rest of the pack is. Pups, all bigger than me, dammit, play in the snow, on and around a female Wolfos that’s lying down patiently, some of the pack are fighting, others are just napping. “Everyone,” they all look at him, except the pups. “Outsider is now part of this pack,” he picks me up and tosses me forward, making me land in the snow in the middle of them. “She is to be treated under an Omega until she can prove her worth, and I don’t care that she’s a pup, my rule is law,” he growls, looking pointedly at a slightly grayer Wolfos, which rolls its brown eyes. “Understood?”

“Yes, Alpha,” they all nod in unison.

He nods back. “The hunting party is leaving soon, get ready,” he orders and some Wolfos move while others go back to their business.

I only walk two steps before the pups run at me and all tackle me down, yipping. “Why are you so small?” one asks as I try to get out from under them.

“Are you a runt?”

“Mama told me you were with a human! What did it look like?”

“Why are you not talking?”

‘With all these questions, I couldn’t get a chance even if I could,’ I think as they continue to pester me.

“Alright, pups, that’s enough,” the female Wolfos comes over and they stop bouncing on and around me, but two of them are still on top of me. They move off and she lowers her head. “Come, Outsider,” she growls at me. She picks me up in her mouth and walks off, coming to a large tree where the grey Wolfos is resting. “Elder,” she grunts, tossing me to him. He wakes and lifts his head to look me in the eye then looks at the she-Wolfos.

“Thank you, Soft Wind,” he speaks in a slow voice, but it’s strong and impossible to misunderstand him. She bows her head and trots back to her pups, leaving her paw steps in the snow. I look up at the Wolfos when he sniffs my head, and I see his eyes shine with a kind of mischievous glint. “I thought there was something off about you, you do not smell like a pup,” he smiles. “You smell like a human.”

I blink, does he know? He barks, laughing as if he heard me. “You’re eyes tell me all I need to know. Has anyone ever told you that they can tell what you’re thinking through your eyes?” he asks. I tilt my head slightly, what’s he goin’ on about? “For some, my dear, eyes are like a mirror into someone’s heart, they betray what the one is thinking sometimes, weather you want them to or not. Some can hide their emotions from their eyes, but it is not an easy task. And you seem unable to hide anything from others.”

‘No one’s mentioned that before,’ I think to myself. Well, maybe Ilia did once… yeah, I think when we were eight and seven, she told me my eyes were windows. I didn’t know what she meant back then. This must be what she was saying.

“So it was a long time ago,” he nods. “Now, I asked Soft Wind to bring you to me while to slept, as I need to talk to you, and explain what’s going on to the only sane mind around here.”

I nod, lying down as he yawns and shakes his head, his shaggy fur sending snow everywhere. “Now, as you can tell, everyone gets affected by the strange world that now consumes us. We turn into our opposite minds. But with that said, you wonder why my pack was hostile towards you. Well, my dear, my pack is the only non-hostile pack on this mountain. We do not fight outsiders, we stay away from them in a neutral peace as they travel, we have plenty of meat where we live. But now the Strange World has taken over the minds of the pack, and the very few Keese that leave people alone.”

So that’s it, the Twilight Smog did corrupt this pack, but instead of making them peaceful, they’ve become hostile. But one question still stands, where are Zelda and Navi?

“You worry for your companions,” he says, I give a small nod. “Well, dear, I happen to know where they are,” he gets to his paws stiffly and turns, starting to walk to a small, ice-covered pond. I follow and he sits down, making me sit beside him. “Now, lift your nose in the air, and sniff,” he says.

I do so, but I can’t smell anything over the snow and wind. I sneeze. “Oh, we have a problem,” he stands and picks me up, tossing me on his broad head. “Come, I know what can heal you.”

We travel through the pin-leaved trees, the strange, dusky sun making the snow glisten as he walks further and further away from the pack’s home. I look back to see if anyone’s following us, out of habit, and see a shadow move behind a tree for only a split second. I’m about to alert the old Wolfos when he stops and tilts his head forward, making me fall into the snow.

He calmly turns and looks into the trees, speaking in his slow, loud voice. “Moondusk! Stop with your silly games and come out here!”

With a sigh, a strange creature walks out, it has green skin like a Bublin, but not as dark, a small red cap is on its head and it wears stitched together animal hide, it’s head is wide with a square jaw and small, triangular ears are on top of its head, pointing up like arrow heads. It’s body is square-ish and it has a small potbelly. It walks on four legs, but has an arm-like limb for a tail, which it uses to bounce over to us and land in the snow, making a wave of it cover me. I get my head out to see that it’s roughly the size of a new-born Ordon Goat, so it’s about three feet tall.

“Ya look like you’ve never seen a Gongrot before,” it laughs, flicking my nose with its long fingers. The claws are long and an unnatural red I can’t place.

“Moondusk, I need a potion, this child is going to get a cold if she doesn’t drink some soon,” the old Wolfos tells the…Gongrot? What the heck is that?

“Sure thing, Wrinkle Face,” Moondusk says, walking around me and inspecting me. “I’ll need three pinecones, seven pine needles, a pine needle branch, cleared of all its needles, and about two pounds of ice,” he says, taking a small pouch off the belt around his waist with his tail/arm.

The old Wolfos nods and trots off saying over his shoulder, “Oh, and dear, I wouldn’t worry about your friends. Cosmos spoke to me and told me that your yeti friend took them to his mansion after he recovered from his transformation.”

I let out a sigh of relief, thank Nayru those two are save. I’d hate myself if anything bad happened.

“Heh, so,” Moondusk smirks down at me, “You wonder what I am, do ya?”

‘Kinda,’ I nod.

“Well, sit back and kick up yer feet, kid,” he sits down heavily and puts a clawed paw around me, dragging me into his side. “A Gongrot is a creature like me that lives deep underground. We are from a strange world, where creatures of all sorts live. Well, used to live, before the red robed guy came and ruined everything,” he rolls his slit-pupil green eyes. “Anyway, we know all sorts of remedies for illnesses, and it’s all made from natural ingredients, anyone can easily make ‘em. But Gongrots are not all like me, because even when we aren’t affected by anything abnormal, like this cloud that now surrounds us, we’re not patient and can get rather…nasty around strangers,” he grins. “There, now you know what a Gongrot is, now, go sit over there so you’re out of my way,” he pushes me towards a smaller tree.

Mind-grumbling, I sit down and start thinking of Navi and Zelda, hoping that they’re okay. I’m not sure what happened, all I can get from when I was Shorty is screaming and growls, so I assume that they got attacked and where left in the snow. All I can do is wait and see. I still want to know why this Gongrot asked for those things.

The Elder Wolfos comes back, carrying a branch in his mouth with strange nuts on it and the pin-leaves. “Great!” Moondusk leaps over and snatches the branch out of Elder’s mouth. “This will be just enough, now all I need is that two pounds of ice. Go help ‘im!” he picks me up in his tail and puts me in front of Elder.

“Be patient, Moondusk, getting the ice will be easy,” Elder chuckles and I follow him. “You’ll have to excuse him, he’s normally like that.”

I just shrug it off and we come to a small frozen pond. ‘How exactly will we know how much two pounds is?’ I wonder.

“We’ll estimate,” Elder says, chuckling when I jump. I’m not used to knowing people can read some of my thoughts through my eyes, it’s unnerving. Shaking my head, I start scratching at the ice, scraping some of the top layer off.

Once we have enough, I think, we head back to see Moondusk putting the ingredients into a small fire pit he has ready. “‘Kay, got the ice?” he asks as Elder drags the branch we put the ice on. He lets the steam drop from his mouth and sits down as Moondusk takes the ice.

“You may want to stand back,” Elder whispers to me and I back up, I’m not going to like this, am I?

Moondusk nods to himself and stands on his tail, tossing the needles and ice in. A small smoke cloud rises and the Gongrot smirks before flipping and landing with his tail in the fire. I tilt my head curiously, it’s like he’s immune to the flame, he’s not even wincing from the heat as it flickers and crackles. ‘Whoa, that’s kinda cool. But what does this have to do with anything?’ I think.

“Hey kid, get over here,” he waves for me and I gulp a little. I won’t like this. I can feel it. “C’mon, I don’t got all day,” he says impatiently. I just stay still, I’m not going. Obviously not going to take ‘no’ for an answer, Moondusk walks over, picks me up by the ruff, and puts me in front of the fire. “Now, eat this,” he puts down a bowl of green/brown goo in front of me. Where’d he get the bowl? I think that’s the least of my worries. I just stare at the goo. I’m not a picky eater (you can’t afford to be in Ordon) but really? I don’t want to eat this, it looks like something I would see a Moblin eating. “Eat it or suffer sickness later on,” Moondusk pushes it to my paws.

I hope it tastes better than it looks. Reluctantly, I bend down and lick some of the goo, shuttering at the cold, strong taste of the tree needles and the weird nuts. Ugh, might as well eat it quickly. Trying not to gag, I force myself to eat the rest of the goo until only a bit is in the bowl. My mouth is so dry, and my stomach feels like a battle’s goin’ on inside it. I know for a fact the first thing I’m doing when I’m back to normal is having some milk and sleeping for the whole day.

“There, that wasn’t so bad, was it?” Moondusk gives me a toothy grin. “Now, I’m off Wrinkle Face. And keep a look out, kid. The thing you’re looking for isn’t an object,” he gives me a knowing wink before evaporating into thin air.

‘The thing I’m looking for? Wonder what he could mean by that?’ I think, confused.

“Well, you will need to rest for a bit before the potion takes effect. You should try to stay away from the others of the pack,” Elder advises as we start to walk back. My mouth still tastes funny.

We come back to the snow patch and I see the she-Wolfos, Soft Wind, coming over. She growls down at me before looking Elder in the eye. “Elder, Alpha is going on the hunt now. He said you are to rest in the cave until he comes back, said something about the good of the pack,” she says. I look at her, something’s up, I can feel it.

“Thank you, Soft Wind,” Elder nods and leaves. Soft Wind looks down at me and growls slightly.

“Okay, Outsider, go to the cave and stay out of the way, if you bother anyone you’ll answer to me. Got it? Good, now get going,” she cuffs me over the head and I run back to the cave. It’ll probably be best to do as she says, I need to be alive to find Zelda and Navi.

As I stroll down the cave path, I hear barks and snarls coming from the cave. I slow down and peek around the edge to see the Alpha and Elder arguing about something. “Alpha, surly you must be regaining your right of mind? You have to be stronger than this strange world,” Elder says.

“Right of mind? You bark as if I’m crazy,” Al growls, pacing as he eyes the Elder, who is sitting calmly. “Elder, you told me that if I found a pup that smelled different, that I had to bring it to you. I did. What now?”

“The pup needs to stay here, she will help you and the pack remember who you are. You are not monsters, Alpha.”

“You are positive Cosmos told you correct? Or are you not being truthful when you say you spoke to him?”

“Alpha, I have never lied to you before, and I never will. You’re father and I were like brothers, and I have vowed to keep you safe in his place, to do that, I cannot lie.”

“Don’t bark about my father!” Al growls deeply. “He left for a stronger pack, that isn’t our ways of life, Elder!”

“Your father was a good Wolfos, who died protecting this pack from our rivals. You know your part in this, you are the only one that can lead this pack down the right path. To do so, you will need all the help you can get.”

“From a pup?”

“Every little thing helps. Alpha, you’re becoming yourself again,” Elder’s eyes smile.

“It’s strange, that meat you gave me seems to be helping me come back to mind,” Alpha says, stopping his pacing and looking at Elder with a piercing gaze. “What did you put in it?”

“Me? I didn’t put anything into your meat, Alpha. I am not sure why you are coming back to your right mind, but perhaps there was something the animal ate that was still in it when you ate it.”

“If that is so, why is it that I am the only one who was affected?” Alpha snaps, walking to the mouth of the cave. I hide behind a rock as he stops and sits not a foot away from me. “You put something in that meat. And I don’t like it. Elder, until this strange world is gone, I banish you from the pack.”

“Alpha?” Elder snorts in surprise, I hear him get to his paws. “You can’t be saying what I think you are?”

“I am. You are no longer part of this pack. Get out,” Alpha turns and goes back into the cave, I look around the rock, what’s going on? What’s wrong with Al?

Elder pounces on Al, pinning him with surprising strength for an old Wolfos. “Alpha, you’re turning back to your shadow self! Don’t let it take over! You are stronger than this!”

Al snarls and kicks Elder off, sending him into a stalagmite with a yelp. Al lunges forward and sinks his teeth into Elder’s hind leg, making the old Wolfos howl in pain. Elder bites back and gets Al on the snout, making him back up before slashing Elder down his side. Blood pours over the cave floor as Al tries to rip Elder apart, but I run in without thinking.

I jump onto Al and bite down on his ear, making him leave Elder and start tossing his head, trying to buck me off. No way am I letting him kill his pack mate. He runs around the cave as I scratch and bite him, when he rolls over and crushes me. I’m forced to let go and we pick ourselves up before turning to each other. He growls, his eyes glowing red. “You ungrateful little runt! I let you into the pack, and you disregard my choice!” he leaps forward and bites down at me, but I run under his legs and turn, clamping my teeth down on his tail.

He spins and smashes me into a wall. I grunt, but bite harder on his tail, not giving him the chance to knock me off. Obviously fed up, Al flings me up and bats me away with his paw as I come back down. I land beside Elder, a small cloud of dust rising as I hit the ground. I force myself to my paws and pant, my front left paw feels twisted or sprained.

Al walks up to me and pushes me away, making me roll into a small puddle. I lift my head shakily to see Al standing over Elder. “Leave.”

Admitting defeat, Elder stiffly gets to his paws and limps out, giving one last, painful look at Al before walking out of the cave. I’m watching the cave mouth when paws step in front of my face. I look up and give Al stare for stare. “You will pay for your foolishness.”

-Third POV-

Navi flies over the mountain, trying everything she can to find Link. Where could she be? The fairy can feel another storm threating to come, and if Link’s injured she might be in trouble. She flies through the trees of a pine needle forest, making sure she’s not being followed, when she sees an old Wolfos limping through. He’s injured badly, as if he has been attacked.

“Back again, Wrinkle Face? Didn’t take long, did it?” a bazar creature jumps down from a tree branch and lands in front of the Wolfos.

“Not now, Moondusk. I need your help. You know that herb you found and put in the meat of the Alpha’s?”

“Of course, I don’t have short-term memory loss, ya know.”

“I need more. I’m afraid the Alpha will punish that pup for trying to protect me.”

Pup? Navi flies a little closer, but not so close that they’ll notice her.

“That kid just likes trouble, don’t she? Well, I can try to find more, but it ain’t easy to get, Wrinkle Face,” the creature known as Moondusk says.

“That pup will help the pack. She must be alive to do that.”

“What can your Alpha do that’s so bad?”

“He can do many things, Moondusk. I don’t ask for much, just get that herb if you can.”

“What do I get outta all this?”

“You get that freedom you so desire,” Navi watches as Moondusk’s face changes to shock and hope.

“Really? I can finally escape this prison?” he motions to the trees around him with his hand/tail.

“Yes. My pack can easily take down that beast that binds you here.”

“…Deal, Wrinkle Face,” Moondusk nods determinedly before jumping into the trees and traveling through them like a monkey.

“You can come out, you know. I still have my right of mind,” the old Wolfos says clearly, basically stating that he knows Navi’s there. She flies out and hovers a foot away, cautious.

“You mentioned a pup, what did she look like?”

“Well, she has black and silver fur, a strange mark on her forehead, she is quiet the runt-”

“Yep, that’s Link,” Navi says.

“Is that her name? Well, it’s certainly an odd one.”

“Is she okay?”

“I am not sure, but I don’t think so. I had to leave because the Alpha exiled me. She tried protecting me, the reckless pup, and now I think she will pay dearly for it.”

“Where is she?” Navi asks, her aura going black with worry.

“Our pack lives in that direction, you can’t miss it. There’s a hidden cave down a path and she should be there. You must hurry though, I’m not sure what damage the Alpha could have caused yet.”

Without another word, Navi zips through the trees, dodging branches with ease and zapping anything that gets in her way. That includes an unlucky Keese that thought it would be a good idea to have a nice flight. Not much later, Navi finds the Wolfos pack and doesn’t stop to look around, she just dashes down the path and into the cave to see a large Wolfos, the Alpha, throw Link into the wall, making her yelp.

“Hey! Leave her alone!” Navi yells and shocks the Alpha with a strong electrical charge. He is sent flying into the opposite wall, his fur smoking. Navi flies to Link and shakes her head. “Link, are you okay?”

‘I-I’ll…be fine,’ she replies, getting to her paws. Navi notices she’s favoring her right front paw, and it’s hard to miss the cut on her left leg. ‘T-thanks.’

The Wolfos growls as he comes over. He snaps at Navi, but she doesn’t even flinch as his jaws clamp down not even a centimetre away from her. “You stay away from her!” Navi zaps him with more electricity and makes him back off, she smiles when she sees slight fear in his eyes. Suddenly he runs out of the cave, making the two confused.

‘Huh?’ Link tilts her head.

“I don’t know,” Navi says slowly when they hear a growl. They turn around to see a Twilight Messenger materialize and shake itself, turning its disk-like face towards them.

‘That explains it. C’mon, we need to get outta here,’ Link backs up and keeps her eyes locked on the Messenger, which is watching her, waiting for any quick movement.

She almost makes it out when two Wolfos jump over her head and run at the Messenger, howling as they attack it. The Messenger easily shakes them off and starts to claw at them, but the Wolfos gracefully dodge. The rest of the pack runs in and I need to duck with my paws over my head so they don’t step on me. I look up to see them all surrounding the Messenger. The Alpha female jumps on the Messenger’s back, digging her claws into its skin so she can hold one while she bites the back of its neck, as she does this, the Beta male bites and snaps at the Messenger’s ankles.

‘Wow, so this is how a Wolfos pack fight,’ Link muses, she’s only ever seen a one or two Wolfos fight at a time. ‘It’s like they have silent signals. It’s amazing.’

She’s taken out of her thoughts when one Wolfos is kicked by the Messenger and sent her way. She jumps to the side, wincing when her left paw hits the ground too hard, and barely misses getting hit by the Wolfos. She looks at the fight to see the Messenger toss the Alpha female off and send her into another pack member. Al jumps on in the place of the Alpha female, but only gets to bite the neck once before he, too, is thrown off.

‘Goddess dammit!’ Link tries to run, but can only take two steps before remembering her paw. She swears quietly. ‘I can’t do anything, my paw’s too injured. Navi, the Messenger will kill the entire pack!’

“I know, but what can we do? You’re hurt, and I can’t defeat that thing.”

What they don’t notice is a certain Gongrot hanging upside-down from the cave’s entrance, grinning widely. “Sorry, am I late for the party?” he asks, swinging in and landing beside the two. He’s holding Memory Unlock.

Link raises an eyebrow, how will that help them now? Moondusk smirks, “The Wolfos pack works better when their leader isn’t insane.” He runs towards the Alpha and holds him down, easily pinning him. “Open up,” he stuffs the plant into the Alpha’s mouth and Link watches as Alpha turns from the black furred, red eyed beast back into a grey furred Wolfos she’s always seen around Hyrule Feld.

The Alpha’s eyes blink a few times before turning back into a yellow-green and he looks around the cave, blinking dazedly. He lets out a short breath and sees Link, growing confused. He barks and Link translates, ‘He’s asking who I am and what’s going on.’

Navi turns to the Alpha, “Her name’s Link. You had lost your mind when the Twilight Smog overlapped the mountain and now that you’ve eaten the Memory Unlock, you’re at your right mind now.”

He barks again. ‘He said that this had happened to him before, after he ate some meat givin to him by the Elder and remembered what kind of Wolfos he was. But it wasn’t enough and only worked on half his mind.’

“That explains why he and the pack attacked us on the way to the ruins,” Navi says thoughtfully.

The Alpha’s ears perk up, and he looks at Navi and Link guiltily. The whimpers make the Alpha look towards the Messenger and he growls as he jumps to his paws, crouching low as he silently walks towards the beast, sneaking up behind it before biting its leg. The Messenger kicks the Alpha back, but he barks at the Beta male, who jumps onto the Messenger with three others of the pack, bringing it down.

Link just stares with wide eyes as Navi hides behind her head, not wanting to see the Wolfos pack rip the Messenger apart. ‘Okay, that’s just gruesome,’ Link thinks as Moondusk laughs, watching the ‘show’ without any problem.

“Now this is a fight,” he snickers as the pack climbs off it. The Alpha looks at all the Wolfos of his pack, who even in their corrupted forms know who he is.

He barks orders at them, and they all leave the cave, ignoring the three sitting by the entrance. He walks up to them with a kind look in his eyes. Smiling, he barks a few times to Link, who gives him a smile back. ‘He says that he’d like us to guide him to Elder.’

“Well, c’mon. Wrinkle Face is waiting,” Moondusk leaps out of the cave, followed by Navi, Link and the Alpha.

-Link’s POV-

“I am sorry for the trouble I caused,” Al says to me as we follow Moondusk. His voice is no longer an echo and is not as deep. “I can’t believe I exiled my closest friend.”

‘We all make mistakes. But you weren’t in control of yourself anyway,’ I think to myself.

“So your name is Link? That’s an odd name.”

‘Don’t remind me,’ I shake my head, out of all the people I’ve met, only a few have not commented on my name.

“Wrinkle Face is up ahead, he’s resting by some pool. And I have to say, the water is way too perfect to be normal,” Moondusk says from the trees.

Al blinks a few times. “Too per-” he cuts himself off, his ears and tail falling. “No. He can’t be,” he mutters in disbelief before running ahead of us. I run after him, forgetting my injured paw, and find him standing in front of Elder, who is sitting calmly in front of a glassy pond. “Elder?”

“Ah, Alpha, you’ve come to your senses,” he says, looking over his shoulder to smile at him. “It’s good to see you’re back.”

“Elder, I’m sorry. I wanted to stop myself, but the strange buzzing overtook my mind and made me mad!”

“You don’t have to explain yourself, Alpha. I know what the problem was. Now, forget that. Isn’t it a beautiful night?” Elder asks, motioning for Al and me to sit beside him.

“Yes, just like the night I became Alpha,” Al nods, looking up at the night sky.

“Look at the water, Alpha,” Elder says and Al looks down, and in his reflection is a Wolfos with his head held high, much higher than Al’s is right now. “You look too, Link,” he says. I look down and gasp, I see me as myself, no longer a puppy. “This pool shows the one who looks into it their true selves. Alpha, you see yourself looking like a leader, which you are, and Link, you see your true form. The outsides of us change, we don’t physically stay the same forever, but the inside of us stay the same. Unless something tragic happens, you remain the same you always have been. I want you to remember that.”

“Why are you saying this Elder?” Al asks, looking at him.

“Because it is a lesson I was taught by my father, the last Elder, before he passed through the gates of Cosmos’ realm.”

“You mean, you’re-”

“Yes, Alpha, my time has come, and Cosmos, the Great Wolfos, is calling. When I leave, the things I taught you will allow you to become the new Elder. The very first Alpha to have this ability. Alpha, I want you to keep this gift save, and only pass on this knowledge to one who deserves it,” Elder says, standing up stiffly and stepping towards the water. “And Link, the thing you’re looking for is no solid object, it surrounds us, and is part of what makes us living creatures,” his words confuse me, but I nod.

Head held high, tail wagging slightly, and ears relaxed, Elder walks forward and steps onto the water, not into it. My eyes widen as he walks across the glassy surface, which isn’t even rippling as he continues on. When he reaches the middle of the strange pond, a misty shape appears, and a ghostly white Wolfos materializes in front of Elder. Elder nods to the misty Wolfos, which nods back before turning and opening an equally misty gate. Not even looking back, the two Wolfos walk through with a bright light that blinds me and Al, making us close our eyes. When we open our eyes again, we find the Elder gone.

We just sit as the wind blows softly. What is this pond?

“He was a good Wolfos, he never strayed from who he truly was,” Al says. “I am proud to be the Elder in his stead. This water is said to be where the first Wolfos came from. All Wolfos are decedents of those two Wolfos, and my pack is the closest related to them. In honour of our ancestors, we come here when we grow old and let Cosmos, the first male Wolfos, take us to the Goddesses Realm.”

‘Wow,’ is all I can think as I stare at the water.

“Link?” Navi flies over and looks around. “Where’s the Elder?”

‘He’s gone,’ I think. Understanding, Navi bobs up and down before turning to Al.

“Will your pack be okay?”

Al nods as he gets to his paws. “We will be fine. Now that I have my senses back, I can figure out where we can live until the-Twilight Smog did you call it?- is gone.”

I translate for Navi and Moondusk leans on the trunk of a tree. “So, ya leavin’, kid? Well, peace to ya. I’ve got a little thing I need to do. It’s called freeing myself of this mountain,” he laughs loudly and runs through the trees, whooping and hollering into the night.

“He’s very strange,” Navi muses out loud.

‘Yeah, but he’s very helpful,’ I agree. I look at Al and bow my head in goodbye before I head out. It’s time to go to the ruins.

“Save journeys! And thank you for your help!” Al howls and I look back, smiling before letting out a short howl and limp away.

-Later-

‘Finally!’ I think when we come to the doors of the Snowpeak Ruins. Now I can see if the others are okay. I walk through the open doors and look around, still ruins, still filled with ice. This place hasn’t changed in any way inside, but everything has changed outside. Careful not to slip too much, I use my claws to walks over the icy floor in front of me and go to the double doors. ‘So, how was Zelly when you last saw her?’

“She was awake when I left, and other than being tired she was fine.”

‘Good,’ I sigh.

I poke my head into the living room to find the fire burning, but no one’s here. ‘Didn’t Yeto say something about the bedroom being untouched by the Smog?’

“Yes, and it actually worked. I never knew yetis could do that.”

Walking through the ruins, I can’t help but feel like a cold shadow is following me, but when I look behind me, I don’t see anything. But seeing and feeling are different things. My eyes fall to the corner and I see a small black shape move slightly, and when I do the shape jumps from the floor and charges at me. I roll out of the way but it moves sharply and slams into my side, making me roll across the floor until I’m stopped by the wall. ‘Ouch,’ I think, getting to my paws before dodging the shadow. It rams into the wall and I use this distraction to run from the room, making sure I’m going in the right direction to the bedroom. Thankfully I find myself on the spiral walkway to the room and run up it as fast as I can, the shadow still after me.

I make it to the door and claw at it as loud as I can, turning my head over my shoulder to see the shadow coming closer. ‘Open up!’ I mind-yell and push on the door with my paws, as if doing just that will open it. To my surprise, it opens and I fall forward, just out of reach before the shadow can grab my tail.

“You make interesting entrances,” I look up at Zelda and roll my eyes.

‘Tell me about it. You okay?’ I ask as she closes the door, Yeto and Yeta aren’t around.

“I’m fine. I just need to rest some more,” she says, sitting on a spare bed. “What about you?”

I explain what happened after I woke up in the cave, how Moondusk helped, what happened to the Elder, everything. ‘…And Moondusk said he was called a Gongrot,’ I finish. ‘I guess he’s another Mythical Monster like the gryphons. So how are Yeto and Yeta?’

“Yeta was safe in here, and Yeto gave her some of the Memory Unlock, so they’re out now, probably catching fish from Zora’s Domain. It seems that the Unlock keeps you sane for a long time, so we can leave in the morning, now that we know what we’re up against.”

‘Okay. Hey, I just remembered, both Moondusk and the Elder said that the thing I’m looking for isn’t a solid thing. Any clue what that means?’

Zelda thinks about if for a few seconds. “I have an idea. I’ll ask Yeto and Yeta when they get back.”

‘Ask them what?’ I ask.

She’s about to say when the door opens and Yeta walks in. I go under the bed, not taking the risk of being stepped on, and look out as the she-yeti starts chatting with Zelda. “Husband is making soup, uh,” she says, her voice soft and calm as usual. “It should be ready soon, uh.”

“Thank you, Yeta. I appreciate your hospitality,” Zelda says.

‘You use big words too much,’ I think.

“You’re welcome, uh.”

I look around when a shiver goes down my spine. My head snaps to the door and I see the shadow twitching as I feel its non-existent eyes looking at me, it’s just waiting, it seems. But for what? Does Zelda sense it? Or is the last of my sanity gone?

Psh, didn’t have a lot of sanity to begin with anyway.

The shadow sneaks around the edge of the room before going up the wall. It jumps to a windowsill and starts stretching, forming into something else. I growl when I see a certain tyrant standing there. ‘Zant,’ I come out as Zelda stands, telling Yeta to leave the room. The she-yeti complies and makes it out just before the door is frozen shut.

“You just had to come here, didn’t you?” Zant asks, irritated. “You couldn’t leave other’s matters alone.”

“Not if it’s a risk to every person in Hyrule,” Zelda says, taking out her bow. “I won’t let you hurt my people, Zant.”

“How…revolting. You’re human emotions make me sick. Compassion? Willing to fight knowing you’ll lose? Humans are all foolish, following a leader like blind dogs. Not knowing what to do when that leader can’t help them. You’re all useless.”

‘You act as if Twili don’t have emotions,’ I think.

“We do, but we don’t feel them nearly as strongly humans. There are some rare exceptions, like that worthless princess,” I growl, no one talks about my friends like that! “But other than that, Twili can hide their emotions.”

“Why is this so important?” Navi asks. “You act as if you’re going somewhere with this.”

“You’re voice annoys me,” he states, making Navi turn red. “But none of this matters now. This is the last time we will meet again.”

‘And how many times have you said that to me?’ I ask, smirking.

He doesn’t say anything, he just opens a portal on the wall underneath him. “Goodbye,” he says before vanishing.

The room becomes quiet, and we wait with baited breath as the portal ripples slightly, like water. Then we hear the sound of heavy footsteps, and the room shakes as a giant foot steps out of the red and black portal, followed soon after by a creature with a single eye in the middle of its fat head. It has ugly orange skin, a brown loincloth, and carries a heavy, wooden club over its shoulder. The pale grey eye of the creature locks on us and it snorts, grinning with its thin mouth.

‘What the heck is that thing?’ I ask. ‘It’s uglier than a Moblin.’

It roars and hits the ground with its club, making an indent in the floor as it shakes the room. Lifting the club back up, it starts walking at us, and the usual voice speaks “King of the Cyclops, Typhoon.”

Typhoon swings his club at us and we barely dodge the blow, jumping to different sides. I run around the back of him and bite his ankle, but it’s like I tried to bite a rock. I stumble back and clench my mouth shut, my teeth aching. ‘Okay, don’t bite the thing,’ I tell myself, shaking my head as Zelda shoots Typhoon in the back of the head, but the arrow bounces off his thick skin. How can we defeat him? Obviously his weak point’s his eye (like every other freakin’ monster), but he’ll most likely be expecting us to hit his eye, with the way his eye is only half open, he’ll just close it and it will be fine. So where’s his weak point?

I look around the room, is there anything we can use? My eyes travel up the wall until I look up at the chandelier. I got it. Smirking, I’m about to tell the other two when Typhoon kicks me aside, making me crash into the bed post. ‘Ow…’ I moan as I hit the ground.

I blink a few times to clear my vision to see Zelda trying to hit the chandelier, apparently she saw it when I did, but Typhoon keeps moving in the way and blocks the arrows, as if he knows the chandelier will hurt him. I force myself to my paws and bark at Typhoon, making him look at me. ‘Nananananana!’ I stand on my front paws and look at him through them, distracting him. ‘Come and get me, fatso,’ I think as I run between his legs. He roars and slams his club down behind him, almost hitting me, but I roll out of the way before it crushes me. He starts running after me and I see Zelda aim at the chandelier again out of the corner of my eye and lure the Cyclops under the chandelier, making sure he won’t have time to run when he realizes what we’re doing. I keep jumping out of the way of his club when I hear a chink and rattling. Smirking, I back flip from his last swing and the chandelier falls on top of him, making him fall to the ground as pieces of it fly everywhere.

While he’s down, I jump on top of him and grab a part of the broken glass. I force his eye open and stab down, making him roar loudly and send me flying backwards. Luckily I land on the covers of the bed this time, and I bounce a bit as he continues to roar, trying to see again as he stumbles to his feet. Zelda grabs the bed sheet and I jump off it as she throws it around Typhoon’s legs, making him fall over and into the portal, which has been open the entire time, and the roar of the Cyclops echoes through the room long after the portal closes.

The door defrosts and opens, letting Yeto and Yeta in. “You okay?” Yeto asks.

“Yes, we’re fine.”

‘No kidding, that guy was surprisingly easy to beat.’

“Leg good? Uh,” Yeta asks.

“It’s good as new. Thank you both. We will just stay tonight and leave in the morning.”

-The next morning-

“Thank you for helping us,” Zelda says as we stand at the door to leave the ruins.

“You are welcome, uh,” Yeta smiles.

“I wanted to ask you two something. Do you know what the Love of Nayru is?”

The two yetis smile. “Love of Nayru, uh, is just that, love. To be blessed with Love of Nayru, you must be with one you care for most, uh.”

I blink a few times. ‘Are you kidding me?! All I had to do was stay with someone I care about?! So all that reading was pointless?!’

Zelda ignores me and bows politely, “Thank you. You’ve really helped us.”

“Goodbye, uh.”

Saying our final goodbyes, we leave the ruins and head up the slope. It’s always harder going up than going down, but we manage to make it to the peak of the mountain and start heading down. As we come out of the tunnel and look down at the frozen lake, I hear howls and look up to see the pack standing on an outcropping. I smile a bit and we leave the Twilight Smog, the world is once again bright and the sun is blinding yellow again.

I can’t believe our luck, not only do we know how to deal with the Smog, but now we know how to get the Love of Nayru. Looks like I won’t be a pup for much longer.


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