Chapter 2: The Forest Temple
2: The First Sage
The courtyard is small, with two trees and a hole in the wall on the far side that I guess used to be a door. The stones from the wall are crumbled and scattered over the yard and vines cover every centimetre of wall left. ‘Wow, if this place was old when Link was here, it has to be ancient now,’ I think to Navi.
‘Yes, it was very old. Now it’s been about a thousand years,’ the fairy nods as she sits on my shoulder.
“Okay, so this is the Old Temple. I’m sure no one would mind if we go through it,” Adam says and starts walking, but two howls come and a duo of Wolfos jump out.
“Come here, doggy, doggy,” Nura taunts one as Alex sneaks around it.
“Want some meat? I’m all you can eat buffet!” Adam yells, distracting the other Wolfos.
I dash forward and slash the Wolfos in the side. It recoils and looks at its bleeding side and growls at me. We circle each other before it jumps forward and catches my leg with its claws. Ignoring the slight pain, I smack my shield into its snout and jump to the side, stabbing its back. It howls one last time before erupting in the usual blue flame.
“What are these?” I look at Nura to see her picking up a berry the shape of a heart.
“They’re Healing Berries. Kokiri use them instead of potions,” Navi says.
“Think fast, Linky!” Nura tosses one over and I glare at her for the use of the nickname before eating the berry.
‘What in Nayru’s Love do they put in the potions to make them horrible?’ my thought must be showing on my face, because Nura and Adam laugh.
“What is it, Linky?” Adam asks.
‘These berries are good!’ I hand him some, silently ordering him to eat them.
“I hope you’re not trying to kill me,” he says and eats them. His face instantly changes from unsure to bliss. “These…are…AWESOME! Nura! Eat these!” he shoves them into her hand.
She eats them and smiles. “Wow, I really hate the maker of potions,” she laughs.
“Hey bro, try these!” Adam goes to his brother, who scoffs and turns his head away.
“I’m not eating anything that comes from this place.”
‘You’ll die if you’re picky on this quest. I had to eat raw Kargarok egg once because it was rainy and I was out of food,’ I shudder at the memory.
“What’s wrong, Link?” Nura asks.
Navi tells them what I thought and Adam turns pail, Nura looks sick to her stomach, and Alex looks disgusted. “I am so sorry for you. Why where you out of food? Aren’t you usually prepared and have you pack filled with it?” Adam wonders.
‘Yes, but a certain Imp, who I didn’t like at the time, ate it all,’ I think to myself before we walk through the hole where the door once was.
The moment we step in, I hear a scuffling and look up to see a Skulltula lying in wait on the roof. I put my arm out to stop the others and take a Clawshot out, aim it at the giant spider, and kill it. It falls to the ground and I hear a yelp and turn to see Adam hiding behind his brother.
“It’s just a spider, Addie,” Alex rolls his eyes.
“I have arachnophobia, it’s not my fault!”
Ignoring the Buttheads, I wave for them to follow and we walk through a still-intact door. We enter a room like a lobby and we blink in awe. It is roughly the size of the courtroom with doors to the north, west, east, north-west and north-east. But the last two compass directions either have a blue block or bars preventing any access. There is a walled in aria in the middle with a tall wooden box without sides in the centre, four torches are burning on the corners of the walls: Red, Green, Blue and Violet.
We take a step closer to the box, but there are four cackled laughs before four different coloured Poes show up beside the flame of their colour, but they look more like wrinkled old ladies than floating ghosts, and I can tell the others can see them. “Oh, so we have visitors?” the red Poe swings her lantern.
“It has been a long time since visitors have come to ‘play,’” the green one giggles.
“Julie, I feel that same power coming from the green clad one as the Hero of Time had,” the blue one tells the purple.
“I sense it too, Vela,” Julie says. And without a word, the Poes take the flames and leave before we can blink, making the box shake and go into the ground.
‘Seriously? This happened in Arbiter’s Grounds!’ I think angrily.
“Well that’s just perfect,” Nura says sarcastically. “Now what?”
I start walking to the only unlocked door and the others quickly run after me. After killing a Bubble and coming into another room, we find three skeletons scattered around. Some bars come down and the skeletons shift, making me sigh in annoyance as I take out my sword.
The three Stalfos come alive, making someone (cough*Alex*cough) scream and I look over my shoulder to see Alex pulling on the bars. Rolling my eyes, I look back at the Stalfos, who are laughing their bone-rattling laugh, and get ready.
“Well, what do you know, it’s the kid who killed Master Ganon,” the tallest one smirks.
“We heard that you are trying to stop the Twilight Smog from coming,” the fat bodied Stalfos says.
“You idiot, he wasn’t supposed to know that!” the tall Stalfos punches the fat one in the face.
“Uh, brothers, I believe that the kid and his friends are staring at us,” the shortest and skinniest one says, making the tall one look at us as the fat one rubs his rotting jaw.
“What’s that kid’s problem?” the tall one asks, gesturing behind me. I look to see Alex still trying to get out.
‘Just ignore him, he’s annoying,’ I think as I shrug.
“Eat Bomb Arrow!” Adam yells and shoots the fat one’s head off, but the body walks over and gets the head back on.
“That was cheap,” the fat one complains.
The tall one smacks the back of his head, “Shut up! We need to kill those three and bring the elf to Master.”
‘What’s an elf?’ I wonder before running forward and stabbing at the tall one, but he brings up his sword and parries my blow.
“Hey, useless, get the stupid kids!” he yells at the other two as I jump away and slice at his legs.
I see the other two run from my sight and back flip to my friends. ‘Over my dead body!’ I think as Adam knocks another arrow to his bow and Nura gets her double headed spear out, Alex is still trying to get out.
The Stalfos Brothers cackle to each other in their language and I can tell by the smirks on their faces that they thought of something. The fat one and the tall one slice at me, making me roll to the side, and when I come up, they are still coming at me while the short one goes to the others.
The two Stalfos keep slashing at me from different sides, so I can’t attack one or the other will get me, and I can’t get away since they cut me off. I soon find myself with my back to the wall, sporting cuts and scratches from the monsters. I glance at the others and see the short Stalfos is advancing on them slowly, playing with them.
‘Navi, can you make the bars go up?’ I think as I block a blow with my shield.
‘For a few seconds, but what about you?’ Navi asks.
‘Don’t worry about me, just get them out,’ I grit my teeth as I try to keep both Stalfos’ blades away from me.
I see Navi fly out of my hat and freeze the short Stalfos before a blue aura shines around the bars, lifting them. “Navi, what about Link?” Adam asks as he glances at me.
My knees buckle slightly and I close my eyes, focusing on the fight.
“I’ll come back for him. Go!” Navi says and I hear the door slam shut and the bars come down as the tall Stalfos kicks behind my leg. I collapse to the ground and try to get up, but the tall one kicks my stomach and I fall again, clenching my middle.
“Master will be pleased. Get this brat into the basement!” he snaps and everything goes dark.
I wake up groggily, my vision slowly coming to focus. I lift my head and see I’m a few feet off the ground. Confused, I look at my hands to see them chained to a wall with me suspended in the air. I sigh before yanking my arm in an attempt to get free, but this only makes my skin rub raw and bleed. Wincing at a sudden pain in my side, I look down to see my tunic ripped and black/blue bruises covering my skin.
‘Din’s Hell, what happened and where am I?’ I look around. I almost jump out of my skin when I see a pair of red eyes looking at me from my right.
“Hey, you, could you wake the lazy butt beside you?” the red eyed person asks, making me look to my left to see the outline of another person.
I look at my feet to see them chained to the wall too, so kicking the guy is out of the question. I look at the red eyes and shrug.
“Oh, great, you’re a mute,” the guy mutters. “Alright, just spit on him!”
I raise an eyebrow at him before turning my head and spitting the other guy in the face. “Huh? What? Dude! Why did you just spit on me?!” the guy yells, looking at me with gold eyes.
I jerk my head at the red eyed guy and the man beside me glares at him. “You couldn’t tell him to yell at me?”
“He’s a mute, idiot,” the red eyed guy snaps at the shadow like I’m not here. “So, Mute, you’re just the guy we need to get out of here.”
I blink at him. ‘Really?’
“Look above you,” Red-Eyes demands.
I look up to see a shaft of light in the centre of the room where a hole is. “You’re in the right position that if I use my magic I can send you out and you can get us out,” Red-Eyes says.
I have to admit, it’s a good plan, whatever magic he uses on me, but there is a slight flaw… I am chained by my feet and hands, how will I grab the hole? The golden eyed guy seems to have noticed the same problem. “He has his arms and legs chained to the wall, he’s not going to be able to grab it.”
“You just had to say it, didn’t you Shadow?” Red-Eyes glares.
“Of course Vaati, you always have a flaw in your plans, why do you think they never work?”
Wait…Shadow? Vaati? Why do those names sound familiar?
“My plans were going great until that brat of a boy and his three clones got in the way!”
“Give me a break, you would have failed even if they didn’t try,” Shadow smirks.
“I’m still going to kill him and his reincarnations,” Vaati grumbled.
“You know perfectly well that you’ll lose to them all.”
“I’m going to kill all of Link’s descendants!”
I look at the ground in alarm. Now I know why they sound familiar, one of my past selves defeated them or Vaati at least. I’m in trouble.
“Anyway, ignoring Vaati’s pointless rant, we still need a plan to get out of here,” Shadow says.
“We wouldn’t be in this mess if you hadn’t tried to get that stupid bow,” Vaati glares.
“Maybe, if you used your oh-so-great wind magic, I wouldn’t have had to do that!”
‘Oi vey,’ I think I feel a slight headache.
“Alright, how ‘bout I show you my magic!” Vaati yells and sends a gust of wind at Shadow, but I get caught in the middle and bang my head.
“Oh yeah? Well, eat Keese!” Shadow yells and some Keese come down and attack the Wind Mage.
An idea comes to me. I stare at Shadow until he looks at me, “What?”
I look at the Keese and jerk my head at the keys just outside the bars. “Shadow, you’re an idiot,” Vaati says, somehow recovered from the bite marks.
Shadow orders the Keese to get the keys and they fly over. “Alright, now, unlock us-hey, why are you unlocking the mute first?!”
I look at the Keese in confusion as they unlock my legs first then my hands. I drop and land on my feet before looking up and to see the outlines of the other two. The second unlocked is Vaati, he uses his wind to slow himself down, but it blows me across the cell and I rub my head after banging it on the wall. Shadow lands on his feet as I get up and the cell door is opened.
“Good, let’s get out of here,” Vaati says and we walk out cautiously. We walk for a few minutes until we come to a courtyard. I wince when we step in, the sudden light seems bright after the dark cell.
“Finally, now we can get- hey, you look a lot like someone I used to know,” Vaati cuts himself off when he looks at me.
I cross my arms calmly, but inside my head I’m panicking a bit, if he tries to fight me, I can’t defend myself since my weapons are taken.
“Blond hair, blue eyes, green tunic and…a stupid green hat…” he slowly forms a smile, his red eyes gleaming. “Well, well, looks like we have a Link here. Shadow, you can see in the dark, why didn’t you tell me that this guy was the one we helped out? We could have let him rot in the cell!” he yells at Shadow.
“I knew the entire time, but you never asked,” Shadow smirks as he leans on a wall.
“Well, you heard what I said before. Time to die, Link,” Vaati summons some wind and sends it at me before I can move. I’m sent flying across the courtyard and grit my teeth as I slam into a wall. I pick myself us and brace myself for the next attack.
Soon we are playing a life-or-death version of tag, he sends his magic at me, and I run as far and as fast as I can away from it. And throughout the time, Shadow is laughing and enjoying the show.
“So, you don’t know magic, huh?” I dodge a fire filled tornado by jumping behind the remains of a wall. “That makes everything much easier.”
‘I need fight back and end this, but I can’t get close to him for hand-to-hand and I have no weapons,’ I think as I keep my back to the broken down wall. I hear Vaati’s footsteps coming over and need to think fast. ‘He can’t fight me if he can’t see me,’ I grab the stone. The world grows and I hold my breath when he comes around.
“Well you look at that, he’s gone,” Shadow snickers as he comes over, arms crossed. “I guess he does know magic.”
“He’s still here, but where could he be?” Vaati glares at where I once was, like he is expecting me to turn up right there. I back up more and hide in a crack in the wall, careful not to be spotted.
I go as far as I can and smirk as they started walking away, but a squeak from behind me makes me tense up and slowly turn around. I gulp when I see a large purple rat sleeping there, mouth open to show its sharp, yellow teeth. I start backing away, but I trip over something. I look at my feet to see the rat’s tail coiling up around my foot, preventing me from going.
I flip onto my stomach and try to crawl away, but the tail tightens and starts pulling me back. I look over my shoulder, almost expecting the rat to be awake, but it’s sound asleep as I come within three centimetres of its face. It releases my foot and I quietly get to my feet, careful not to wake it, and wince when the small hole shakes, thanks to Vaati for kicking it out of frustration. Dust falls from the roof and I have to plug my nose to not sneeze, but the dust keeps coming and I am having a harder time.
I put my tunic over my mouth and risk a small sneeze, but it is enough for the rat. It opens its beady, black eyes and the first thing it sees is me. I grin nervously at it. ‘Nice rat,’ I think as I hold up my hands and start walking backwards away from it.
It gets to its feet and puts its head to my level as it follows my steps. It successfully backs me into the wall and I have to put my hand on my hat when the rat sniffs me to not lose it. It comes closer and I just stare, wide eyed, as its yellow teeth are all I can see as it sniffs right above my head.
Suddenly, it pushes my body into the wall with its head and I gasp as I start to lift off my feet, my air being pushed out of me. It takes its head away and I fall to the ground on my butt before looking up and seeing the teeth clamp down on my tunic before lifting its head. I struggle but the rat only leaves the crack and runs through the courtyard, which Vaati is still looking for me in.
Shadow is off to the side, leaning on the wall with an amused expression as Vaati blasts a Deku Baba with powerful gusts of wind. ‘Nononono!’ I think urgently and pull on the rat’s whisker. It lets out a squeak before dropping me and running off.
I see Vaati looking over and hide under a leaf as he walks over. His shadow comes over the leaf and I gulp slightly. “What are you looking at now? It was just a common rat,” Shadow says as he came over.
“It had something.”
“Probably food. Can we now? Those Stalfos will go to the cells soon and they’ll come after us when they find them empty.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, just get to the Entrance,” Vaati says and they walk to some stump.
‘Entrance? What’s an-’ my thoughts are cut off when they jump on the stump and disappear from view just as the Stalfos Brothers come out of the tunnel. I pick the leaf up and start walking to the bridge for safety when the Stalfos surround me. I peek out to see they aren’t looking at me, but I can’t move or they will find me.
“So, where did those traitors and hero go?” the fat Stalfos asks.
“How should I know? I ain’t an idiot keeper!” the short one snaps.
“Shut up, the both of you!” the tall one whacks the back of their heads. The fat one’s comes off and lands around me, making the ground shake and I pull the leaf around me more.
The body comes over a little too close and I gulp when the foot comes over and kicks the head, which hits me on the way and sends me rolling with it. My tunic gets caught on one of the bone fragments as it comes to a stop and the head is picked up and put onto the fat one’s body. I am dangling just behind the eye so I can see out, but I need to get out so I can hide.
“Alright, so where should we look?” I clamp my hands on my ears as the fat one speaks.
“They couldn’t have gotten far, the door’s locked and there are fresh footprints in the ground. Three different ones,” the tall one says. “Now stop being a fat idiot and help out!” the world shakes as the fat one’s head is taking off again and I am sent flying and land right beside the bridge.
I quickly get under and press my back to the stone as the Stalfos Brothers walk around the courtyard, and let out the breath I don’t know I was holding when they leave.
I back up and freeze when my back hits something. I turn my head slowly to see my face but with gold eyes and black hair. “AHH!” both me and Shadow yelp in surprise before turning our bodies and falling back. We sit up and stare at each other.
“So that’s where you went,” Vaati’s red eyes gleam in the dark. “I see you have the Kokiri Stone.” I look down at the stone around my neck before looking back at the Wind Mage. “But you know, the only way to become large again is to have the stone in your possession,” he grins.
I gulp and start backing up quickly before turning around and sprinting from under the bridge. But a gust of wind catches me and sends me back. I smash into the side of the bridge and groan as I slide to the ground. Vaati laughs as he comes over and snatches the stone from me with his wind.
I get up as he starts heading for the stump and sprint after him. I fling myself at him and tackle him to the ground, where we start wrestling for the stone. “There’s no way I’m letting my chance to kill you go!” he yells.
‘There’s no way I’m letting you keep me this size!’ I pulled the chain as he pull the other way. We are on our feet now, and using all our strength to play a hard game of tug-o-war.
“Shadow!” Vaati yells.
“Yes?” he replies casually as he sits cross-legged on the ground a few inches away.
“Take this brat down! I can’t work my magic if I keep moving!”
“Nah, you’re the ‘all powerful Wind Mage’ you don’t need my help,” Shadow puts his hands behind his head lazily as he puts his back on a rock.
I use this distraction to grab the stone and I kick Vaati in the shin. “Ouch! Hey, Blue Link did that to me!” Vaati glares as he hops on one foot.
“Did he? That would be a sight to see,” Shadow says thoughtfully as I pant.
I put the stone in my Dimensional Bag to keep it away from Vaati, but he tackles me down and we start fighting on the ground again. “Stupid mute, I can’t get it now!”
‘That’s the idea,’ I kick him off and jump to my feet.
“Hey Vat, maybe you should shut up,” Shadow says calmly as he walks over.
“And why is that?”
“Because there’s a Deku Hornet’s nest right above us and they are getting irritated.” I look up and low-and-behold, a large hornet nest is right over our heads, the hornets are buzzing and are obviously getting annoyed by us.
“If they come, I use magic,” Vaati shrugs.
I keep watching the bugs and my ears fall down when I see a rather large one looking at us. I knock their heads and jerk my head up, their faces fall when they see more hornets have noticed us. We look at each other before looking back at the nest, and slowly start back away from it.
But that doesn’t work too well. Soon we are running from the angry hornets. “Hey, Reincarnation Link, can’t you just use the stone and swat them away?” Shadow asks.
“Idiot, to use the stone you need to not be moving and to be calm,” Vaati snaps. “But we don’t have to do that. Get to the Entrance!” Vaati uses his magic to make himself faster and Shadow turns into, well, a shadow and they head to the stump, leaving me behind.
I gulp as I glanced over my shoulder, the hornets are closing in on me fast. I look forward and start sprinting as fast as I can go, when a foot almost steps on me. I skid to a stop, but still hit the boot and fall on my back. I look up to see Vaati smirk at me and my ears fall.
He grabs an arrow as I start to run, but his foot comes down and pins my lower body. I try desperately to get out, but he grabs a bit of my tunic and stabs the arrow head through it, making me pinned to the ground with my left hand under me. I start to reach for the stone, but he grabs my arm and breaks it before getting up and walking away.
I grit my teeth as I gasp, my right arm lying useless beside me, as buzzing fills my ears. I look up to see the hornets coming at me and duck my head, waiting for them to sting me. But when I hear yelling, I look behind me to see them swarming around Vaati’s head.
Despite the pain I am in, I burst out laughing. Taking this distraction, I start pulling my body away from the arrow, gritting my teeth as my arm burns. ‘Stupid Wind Mage, he’s so lucky I don’t have my sword,’ I hear the final rip and get free. I grab the stone before something else can happen and glare at Vaati as I hold my arm.
“Vaati, if you’re done playing with your new friends, you may want to look behind you,” Shadow smirks as he sits on a rock, enjoying the show as Vaati tries, and fails, to get the hornets away.
“What? Can’t you see I’m busy?” Vaati growls and finally gets the hornets away. I come over and kick him in the back, sending him into the wall. He spins around and scowls at me. “At least I can still kill you.”
“Vaati, don’t you remember why we were in the cell in the first place?” Shadow asks.
The Wind Mage crosses his arms and grumbles under his breath, “I agreed with the Goddesses to help the hero in exchange for my freedom of the Sacred Realm.”
‘Help me? And yet you break my arm?’ I look around. I spot the Healing Barriers and grin as I go over, at least I don’t have to take a potion. I grab a hand full and smile slightly as my arm’s fixed.
“Alright, but when this is over, Link, I’m going to kill you,” Vaati glares at me.
I just shrug before we start walking. ‘Now all we have to do is find the others and we can look for the Poes after,’ I think as we come into the main lobby.
“Alright, which way?” Shadow asks.
“For starters, let’s get that bow. It’s the only thing that will kill the Poes,” Vaati says as he walks to a now unlocked door.
We walk for about five minutes before coming to a twisted corridor. “Ugh, this room again,” Shadow frowns. “I hope that thing isn’t back.”
“One way to find out,” Vaati smirks and sends a gust of wind at me, making me fly down the hall. I land on my back just outside the corridor and glare at him. “I would look down if I were you.”
I raise an eyebrow as I stand and look down to see a shadow cover me. I jump to the side just as a decaying, purple hand drops down and I kill it before it can get back up. “Wallmasters, I hate them,” Shadow growls as we walk through a door and come to some stairs. I see a painting of the red Poe and sigh in annoyance when it goes into another when I get close.
“Vat, can’t you, I dunno, hit them with your magic?” Shadow asks.
“No. Magic doesn’t work well with Poes. It’s one of the reasons I hate them,” the Wind Mage says as I continue down the stairs. I walk through a door and mentally swear when iron bars slam down behind me.
‘Of course, these places always hate me,’ I look around cautiously. I have no weapons, so I am going to bring a fist to a knife fight. It’s dark in the room, but I can make out a gaping hole in the floor, just waiting for me to fall.
I hear bones rattle and groan when the Stalfos Brothers come up. “Well, well, looks like you got out with the traitors. Time to di-wait, you don’t have any weapons,” the tall one cuts itself off. “Well, that doesn’t work for a fight does it? Steel, pass the shrimp a spear!” the tall one tells the short one.
“Got it,” the short one says and tosses a spear to me. I blink at them in confusion.
“Surprised? We may be Stalfos kid, but we do have our honour. We never fight if someone doesn’t have something to defend themselves,” the fat one says as we all get ready to fight.
The fat one, despite his heavy bones, runs quickly and slashes at my side. I jump away and stab at his ribs, but he sidesteps and brings his sword down. I block it with the spear’s shaft before stabbing his leg. He grunts and jumps back before Steel comes forward and catches my arm with his sword. Ignoring the pain, I roll to the side and come up to stab Steel in the back, only to get knocked over the head by the tall Stalfos. I roll into the wall and rub my head as I start to get up, but the same Stalfos pushes his foot into my throat, making my head bang on the wall, and brings his sword to my forehead.
The Stalfos sighs, “I am sorry, but this I must do.”
I blink at him before seeing a small, dark orb in his bony hand. “Stone, you’re not thinking…” the fat one trails off.
“I am, Shard, sorry kid, but you need to see this,” he says and cracks the orb onto my head, making everything go black.
I am floating above an army, all standing in defence of a village. They have heavy armour and weapons as they wait. “Brother,” a short (but still tall to me) solder comes up to a tall commander. “What will happen if we don’t defend the village?”
“Then may we live a cursed life until our Honour is restored,” he replies calmly. “We will do our best, Steel.”
“Commander, all the women and children are safe,” a big boned and slightly fat man comes to the tall man. The three all have brown hair and red eyes.
I land on the ground with a soft thud, curious about what is happening. Suddenly, the image shifts and I am standing in the middle of a blood bathed battle. Screams are heard all over, swords clash, gasps of death surround me. I look beside me to see a big thing with a club take out five men at once. ‘What is that?’ I think and jump when the club slams down beside me.
“Orcs, who knew they were real,” the fat solder says quietly to his brothers as they fight off two of the Orcs.
“Brothers, what’s that?” Steel points to a thing that is a mix between a bird and a woman, it’s ugly as Din’s Hell. The bird/woman hybrid screeches, making all of us cover our ears, and comes down at the short brother. The hybrid’s sharp talons scrap through the thick armour like butter and blood flows out of Steel’s mouth as he falls to his knees, then stomach.
“Shard, get him to the village!” the tall man orders the fat one as he walks through me. I shiver and turn to see Shard carrying the dead brother to the far off Village. The man turns and slices the hybrid’s head clean off, the body falls to the ground at my feet. I look up at the man to see him stony faced as he stabs an Orc in the heart and cuts the arms off a bull-human.
“Stone!” Shard runs over with Steel still in his hold. “T-the village…was destroyed from the…back. N-no one lived…” he pants.
Stone looks around at the battle field with sorrow, “War is an ugly thing, so much blood shed…so many lives lost…it is horrific. We shall all die this day, but I swear that every woman, man and child will rise from the dead to reclaim our honour, pride and lives.” Stone holds a dark orb above his head and slams it into the ground just as an Orc kills both brothers.
I soon stand in a quiet field, bodies lying everywhere as the last solder dies only a few feet away from me. I walk to the Village and see it burnt down. A skeleton of a kid makes me stop short. It has something by its hand and I bend down to pick it up, but my transparent fingers won’t grab it. I bend forward and see a small, burnt ball.
I jump when the hand of the skeleton twitches. The sound of rattling bones and lanterns fill the air and I look around to see Stalfos, Stalchildren and Poes come from everywhere. I stare as the once dead bodies stand up and look at each other in confusion.
“Everyone,” all heads turn to three Stalfos, it’s the tall one that spoke. “The Goddess has granted our desire, she will let us live to reclaim our pride and honour. We will walk the earth until we are free of this curse, then we will rest in peace at last.”
I come back to reality with a gasp. I am shaking as I look at Stone, his glowing red eyes looking sad. “You wonder what you just saw, do you not?” I nod. “That is the origin of the top races of Undead: Stalfos, Poes and Stalchildren. My brothers and I were born in a small village and we were ambushed by a caravan that was passing through. What you just saw was our deaths and the secret of Stalfos. I risked a lot showing you this, but I believe you are the one that can help us.”
I blink as a Stalchild comes out, it has a burnt ball in its hand. I gasp and look at Stone. “Yes, this young one was my daughter, her mother died in childbirth and I had hid her away before the ambush, but she got out when her ball rolled away. She is the first Stalchild and my brothers and I are the first Stalfos. Young one, we ask-no, we beg, please help us pass on. For some of our kin, it is too late, but my brothers and daughter are not taken by the darkness. Will you help us free ourselves?”
I look at my hands, they tried to kill my friends, they captured me and they fought me into a wall. But, can I really let them suffer? All they want is to pass over. I look Stone in the eye and nod, he beams. “I thank you dearly. What may we help with to regain our honour?”
I think about it, we will need help if we get into a battle, but can I really ask them to fight? Fighting got them in this spot in the first place. “Kid, battling will be the only thing to release us,” Steel says.
“Steel here’s a Mage. He can use telepathy,” Shard says.
‘Good, ‘cause I wanna ask something.’
“Go ahead,” Steel nods.
‘Where are my friends?’
“Ah, those three, they are safe, we sent them out of the temple and they are currently in the care of the Kokiri.”
I sigh in relief as I stand up, ‘Thanks. So, what you said before, about the Twilight Smog, what is it?’
“I was wondering when you’d ask that. The Twilight Smog is, as you can guess, smog that is even more dangerous than the Twilight. While the Twilight only turns people to spirits and they feel the evil, the Smog hurts them like-”
‘-Like they can’t breathe,’ I think with him. ‘Like the Smog in the Twilight Realm, that stuff that turned me into a wolf agenised my will.’
“I see you’ve experienced it. Yes, but unlike you, others will turn into mindless beasts like the Twilight Messengers.”
“I feel so left out,” Shard says.
“Shut up,” Stone growls before turning to me. “We will stay here until you call for us. Good luck, kid,” and with that, they go into the ground, the bars rising up.
I open the door to see Shadow charging at it. I step aside and he falls through and onto his face. “Of course, now the door decides to open,” he mutters as he picks himself up and Vaati walks through.
“What happened to you, Mute Link?” Vaati asks. I glare at him before walking away.
“I thought you complained about how much Red Link used to talk, but now you’re getting mad when a Link doesn’t talk? Make up your mind.”
“Don’t tell me what to do, Shadow. I could kill you easily.”
Ignoring the two idiots, I look around and spot something on the ground. I pick it up and grin, it’s a bow and quiver. Not mine, but I can still use it. I put them in my bag and an idea comes to me. ‘If I can’t get near the Poes without them disappearing, then I’ll hit them from far off,’ I smirk as I open the door to the Red Poe and walk through.
I shoot the paintings and the Poe goes to the bottom of the stairs, where I can fight it. It spins around, going invisible, and swings its lantern at me. I jump back and wait for it to become visible before shooting it in the face. It goes invisible again and I dodge a blow to the head.
Three more shots later, the Poe screeches and is consumes in its own flame. The torch beside the door burns and a chest shows up. Kicking it open, I find a key and meet up with the other two, who are arguing. I knock them over the heads as I pass and whistle innocently as I open the door.
I hear them both grumbling as they catch up to me, just in time to see me shoot the blue Poe, killing it, and making the torch burn. “So that’s what happened to it. Oh well, I have my own bow,” Shadow pulls a black bow out and Vaati glares at him, clearly ticked off.
“You had a bow the entire time? You could have spared us getting dragged into the cell.”
“You never asked,” Shadow shrugs. I roll my eyes as we walk up the stairs and come to another corridor, but this time it is straight.
We come to a room with only one picture of the green Poe. The only way out is bared down and I glance above us to see five cubes hovering in the air. ‘I bet if we hit the picture, the cubes will fall and we will probably have to make them fit together,’ I think as I make sure I am clear of the cubes before shooting the Poe.
The picture burns up and not a second later the cubes fall and we start pushing them together as a timer goes off. The other two keep arguing about where to put them, and this makes us run out of time. The blocks lift up, spin in a different direction, and come back down, messing up our work.
“Great going, Shadow, now we have to do it again,” Vaati snaps.
“Shut up and push,” Shadow grunts as he pushes a block one way, while I pull another.
“You can’t tell me what to do,” Vaati grumbles as I feel the block I am pulling start to get pushed. I stain my neck to see over it, and wince when I see the head of a Darknut, it’s pushing it. I let go and jump back, but I bump into something and I look to see another block. I jump to the side and stumble over my feet, glaring at Vaati.
“What? It’s not like I saw you,” the Wind Mage smirks. I still glare at him as I get to my feet and push the last block into place. The blocks melt into the ground and the Poe shows up, but gets killed by two arrows and a sword.
The bars open and we start walking, but I am lifted off my feet by my tunic. I gasp with surprise and look to see the Darknut. ‘Vaati,’ I think, grumbling.
“Hey, Vat, you might want to get rid of the Darknut,” Shadow says nonchalantly.
Vaati just shrugs and snaps his fingers, the Darknut vanishes and I fall on my face. I glare at the Wind Mage as he smirks at me, “Watch where you’re falling.” I am really tempted to punch him, but I restrain myself as I walk through the door to find the main lobby.
The last Poe is in the middle, just sitting there and waiting. “What’s it doing?” Shadow asks.
“Waiting for us,” Vaati replies.
We jump down and the Poe turns. I am expecting it to make three copies of itself. That’s why it scares me to the Sacred Realm and back when it grows to about the size of Dibaba and laughs so loud we all have to cover our ears. It swings the lantern and smashes the side of the wall, making it fall all around us and tarp us under the pile, but there’s a round air pocket we’re standing in.
“F***,” we all say and/or think.
“Link!” my ears twitch when I hear my name being called. Suddenly Navi comes through a small hole and flies at my face. “There you are. I was separated from the others after we were taken.”
‘Hey Nav’, finally, now I won’t go insane,’ I think to her as the other two start arguing again.
‘Vaati and Shadow? I’ve heard of them. They’re helping you?’
‘Yeah, I dunno the details,’ I shrug. The two are getting louder and I sigh. Then the ground shakes, and I can only guess that the Poe is starting to hit the ruble around us. ‘If it caves in, we’re going to be killed.’
‘Why don’t you use your stone, I can fly you out, then you could try and kill it,’ the fairy suggests.
‘Tell that to the idiot duo too,’ I think and she laughs quietly before ringing like a bell, getting the attention of the other two.
“Since when did you get here?” Vaati asks.
“Since just five seconds ago,” Navi replies before telling them the plan.
“Why didn’t I think of that?” the Wind Mage asks.
“Because you aren’t that smart, Vat,” Shadow says and the two start fighting again, making Navi and I roll our eyes.
I grab the stone and blink as everything grows, I’m still not used to the feeling yet. But before anything can happen, the Poe, regular size, comes in and laughs, “You two are useless. Now tell me where the hero is and I’ll let you free.”
I hide behind a piece of ruble with Navi, who dims her light to almost nothing, and pray that they won’t give me away. “You’ll let us out, but only if we get the hero?” I cringe at Vaati’s voice.
“Yes,” the Poe laughs.
I feel the ground drop under my feet and gasp as I’m brought into the air, despite my best efforts to get free. The Poe’s clammy hands wrap around me and she tosses me into her lantern, where I try not to get burned by the purple fire. “You living creatures are brainless. You really expected me to let you free that easily?”
‘Navi, can you hear me?!’ I think, getting a bit too hot in the lantern.
‘Yes, are you alright?’
‘Forget that! The three Stalfos from earlier, I was able to get them on our side. Can you call them?’ I wipe the sweat off my brow as my vision clouds around the edges and becomes fuzzy.
‘Sorry, I won’t be able to. I can’t talk to the Undead,’ she thinks sadly.
‘W-what’s hap-it’s hot in here-pening out there?’
‘She just revived her sisters and they’re giving the two a hard time. One trapped my wing under a rock and I can’t move. You’ve got to use your stone to get out!’
My vision starts to go black as I reach for the stone, but my arm won’t move. ‘I-I ca-can’t mo-move my arm…’ I think before everything goes black.
“C’mon buttheads, we need to move the ruble,” Nura says as she and the brothers pull out the rocks.
“I got a big enough hole, we can get in,” Adam calls and they run in to find the four Poes giving some trouble to a purple guy and someone who looks like the dark side of Link. The three join the fighting and soon only the purple Poe is alive, holding the lantern it has like a life-line.
“I hate living creatures, they always get in the way,” she pants. “But you can’t win. We will prevail, we will make eternal Darkness shroud across the land!”
Suddenly, Navi hears Link’s thoughts. ‘N-Navi…w-what’s goin’ on?’
‘That’s not important right now. Link, do you know Farore’s Wind?’
‘I’ve…been sorta practicing it…I can only go so far though.’
‘Use that to get out,’ Navi tells her.
‘Okay.’ There’s a flash of green light inside the lantern before Link shows up on the floor, still small and holding her head.
“Hey, Poe!” Nura calls so the monster doesn’t noticed the dazed Link being taken away by Navi. “Why don’t cha fight somebody your own size?” she asks and smacks the Poe with a rock.
“You fool!” the Poe screeches. “I have what I came for, you are no longer a threat!” she disappears, not knowing her plan has failed.
‘Are you okay, Link?’ Navi asks as she feels Link’s forehead.
‘I’ve been better,’ Link shrugs with a grateful smile. ‘Thanks.’
“I wouldn’t turn back yet if I were you,” Adam says as Nura drags Vaati and Shadow over.
Link nods before starting to stand up, but the world spins and she falls onto her back with a groan. “We should rest,” Nura says. “Fighting those Poes weren’t as easy as I expected.”
-Later. Link’s POV-
“We saved your sorry butts! The least you can do is be grateful!” Nura yells at Vaati as the rest of us watch. We are now resting before going to fight the last Poe, a fire crackles and our shadows bounce off the walls as the Gerudo and Wind Mage continue to fight.
“I’m not thanking someone when I could have saved myself!” Vaati looks away with his arms crossed.
“This’s almost as bad as you and Alex, Link,” Adam says as I sit cross-legged on his shoulder.
I nod in agreement as the two go on bantering.
“I’m just surprised she hasn’t slapped him yet,” Navi says, sitting on a rock.
“Spoke too soon,” she sighs.
“Ow! You b***h! How dare you slap me! I’m the great Wind Mage Vaati, and you slap me?”
“Yep,” Nura says, popping the ‘p’.
I roll my eyes and rest my head in my palm. ‘Hey, Navi, did I know you in one of my past lives?’ I ask.
Navi blinks, ‘Yes. I was the guardian fairy of the Hero of Time.’
I smile. ‘That’s why you seem familiar. I’ve had a funny feeling that I knew you.’
Navi just nods.
“Well, this is dandy and all, but we should probably get going,” Adam says.
“Yeah, the sooner we kill this Poe, the sooner we can get outta here,” Nura stretches as everyone gets up.
“Alright, so where do we go?” Adam asks.
“We can’t find the Poe by looking for her. By now she probably noticed she doesn’t have him,” Shadow jerks his head at me.
“She’ll be expecting us to try and find her, but, what if we don’t go to her. What if we make her come to us?” Alex smirks.
“How?” Nura raises an eyebrow.
“Bait,” my ears drop when he looks at me.
“I like the way you think, kid,” Vaati laughs darkly.
‘I don’t like where this is going…’ I think, nervously looking at Navi.
‘What did I do to deserve this?’ I mentally grumble as I hang from a string attached to a stick. The string is secured around me, pinning my arms to my side.
“You sure about this?” Adam asks.
“Of course I am! The stupid Poe will come and try to take Mute-Boy and we just swing him out of the way,” Alex shrugs.
I curse him mentally as Shadow keeps his hold on the other end of the stick. I still don’t see why I’m the bait.
The croaky laugh of the Poe fills the room and she appears a few meters from me. “Well, you managed to slip out of my grasp, but not for long,” she reaches out to me but the world spins and blurs as Shadow moves me out of the way. They come out of hiding as Navi unties the rope-er-string and I grab the stone, drawing my bow.
“You fowl living beings, you tricked me!” she yells, a blackish mist hovering around her.
‘She’s going to grow again!’ I think frantically. Before she can, though, a Deku Nut flashes from behind us and Sage runs in front of us, Shelly looking even redder beside her head.
The Poe’s eyes widen, and she smirks as she stares at the green haired Kokiri. “You are coming with me,” she says and chargers. I jump in front of Sage, but shiver when the Poe goes through me and picks Sage up by her tunic. I turn and glare as Nura and Adam get ready to fight, the other three don’t seem to care.
The Poe remains visible as I run at her, ready to stab her with an arrow. But she pulls a cheap shot and brings Sage up to like a human/Kokiri shield. I pivot on my feet in the last moment and stumble over my feet, growling at the Poe.
Wait, did I just…literally growl?
I hear someone scream behind me as I feel a familiar sensation of bones rearranging. After my vision clears, I hesitantly look down to see paws, a shackle still attached to my left. I’m a wolf again. Alright, time to take down this Poe.
I crouch, slowly stepping towards the Poe with my ears back on my head, teeth bared and growling. I jump forward and slash the Poe across the face, making it let go of Sage. The cute Kokiri girl falls limply to the ground as I attack the Poe, making it fall back and erupt into violet flames. I shake my head as the sensation of changing back into human fills me and I fall on my rear, not used to that for two months.
“Holy Goddess,” I turn my head dazedly to see Nura walking over. “I never knew you could do that.”
‘Nether did I,’ I think as I get to my feet. We hear a moan and I crouch beside Sage, she’s pale, but otherwise alright.
A rumbling fills the room as all the torches are lit, the box from earlier rises and I pick up Sage bridle style.
“So, we go down there?” Adam asks.
“We’ll have to fight the monster in this temple to free the Sage,” Vaati says, arms crossed.
After a few turns of going down, we all come to a round room with different coloured flooring and holes in the walls. ‘Well, it didn’t change since Link’s been here,’ Navi thinks to me as she sits on my shoulder.
‘Less work for me,’ I think back.
“Lazy,” Navi mutters and I smile as I feel Sage come to.
I look down at her and she waves slightly. I really do love kids.
We walk down the hall and come to a large, locked door. Great, I never found the key to this place.
“Now what?” Vaati scowls. “We don’t have a key.”
“I do,” Nura takes the large key out of her belt. “I was wondering what it was for.”
Like in the other temples, the key floats out of Nura’s hand and fits into the lock, turning and opening it.
‘Are you ready?’ Navi asks as we all walk in.
‘Never,’ I shake my head as we go up a small flight of stairs.
To keep her safe, I put Sage down by the wall before the roped in ring. “I’ll be fine,” she smiles and I nod as I straighten. I walk into the ring and the others follow, but a loud shink echoes through the room and I turn to see poles blocking the others out.
“Link,” Adam says, eyes going wide, “T-turn around.”
I turn and let out a small gasp. It can’t be. It’s not possible!
“Surprised to see me?” his nasally voice hasn’t changed a bit. I pull out my bow and arrow, eyes narrowing as the Tyrant Twili looks down at me through his frog helmet.
‘Zant,’ I internally growl. This man was the reason that Hyrule was taken over by Ganon. He was the one who hurt and almost killed Midna! How is he still alive?!
“Young Hero, you don’t seem too thrilled to see me,” Zant says.
‘You have no idea,’ I ready an arrow.
“You think you can kill me with that? Think again, Hero. But, I’m not here to fight you, I’ll let my monster do that,” he disappears in Twilight Particles and rumbling fills the room.
I hear a girly scream (I’m guessing Alex) as a large, moldy and rotting Moblin lands on the ground, making me almost fall over. Almost.
Redead Moblin: Morbid
The voice rings through my head as the fat, rotting beast slowly comes at me, one foot dragging behind it.
I hear the ground move and see, to my horror, Redead-like Bokoblins rising out of the ground, poison drool falling from their mouths. I shoot the Bokoblins, and manage to hit Morbid a few times, but for every one I kill, three take its place.
“Link! Morbid’s weak spot is his back, it’s so ripped that you can see his heart, if you can get it, he’ll fall,” Navi shouts from above Morbid’s head.
I nod and jump over the Redead Bokoblins’ heads, not wanting to be bitten. I jump onto Morbid’s head and hang on with my right hand as I grab an arrow with my left, stabbing it into Morbid’s back.
Not impressed, Morbid shakes me off and I grunt as I land on the ground. “Link, look out!” Navi cries and I look up to see a Redead Bokoblin standing over me. It lunges and sinks its rotten teeth into my shoulder, an agonizing pain rushes through my body as I stab the Bokoblin in the eye.
I pant as I get to my feet, my vision blurry. What’s happening? Why am I feeling like I’m…burning?
A distant roar brings me out of my thoughts and I look up to see Morbid coming at me, heavy spear pointing at me.
I shake my head and grab another arrow, trying my hardest to focus on the monster.
I dash forwards, jump over Morbid’s head, and grab his shredded skin. I gag at the smell, but ignore it as I stab the arrow through his heart. Once again he flings me off, but I manage to land on my feet this time, kicking a Redead Bokoblin away from me and into one of its comrades.
My vision blurs and I sway on my feet, but a scream wakens me from the daze. I spin around to see Nura and Adam trying to keep Sage safe from some Redead Bokoblins as Vaati and Shadow kill the monsters. Alex is trying to stay as far away from them as he can.
‘I need to end this.’ With this in mind, I take out my bow and notch an arrow on, running behind Morbid despite the fuzzy and spinning room. I fire my arrow and it pierces his heart, making him let out a strangled cry as he falls to the ground heavily.
Like every other monster, he blows up and the Redead Bokoblins return to the ground.
I fall to my knees, my skin burning and the bite mark spilling blood. My vision is still swarming as I faintly see Navi flutter in front of my face. “Link, can you get up?”
I just blink blankly, it’s like I’m hearing her through water.
“Hey, Link,” I feel a hand on my not bitten shoulder and dazedly look up to see the blurry image of Nura. “C’mon, we need to get out of here.”
“We can’t leave through the door, it’s locked,” Alex’s voice says.
“That’s not our way out,” Vaati says.
“Okay, Link, we’ll get your wound healed up,” Nura grabs my arm and helps me up, putting my good arm around her shoulders.
I weakly walk with her, not really knowing where we’re going. When a flash of bright, blue light fills my eyes, I blink and see everything clearly. “Welcome back,” Nura smirks and I roll my eyes as I stand up straight.
“Where in Din’s Hell are we?” Vaati scowls.
‘Sacred Realm,’ I think as the green circle glows.
When I see Sage in front of me, I think of the irony, but only now I realize that she wasn’t with us when we walked into the light thing, probably because I was half alive.
“What do you know? I’m the Sage of Forest!” Sage laughs, clapping her hands. “While you’re here, nothing can hurt you, not even the poison in your blood.”
My eyes widen slightly, I have what in my blood?
“Don’t worry, the Deku Tree has fruit that can cure any injury, even poison. But before you go, here! You need to take my power!” there’s a small flash of green light and I see a small medallion in front of my face. When I take it, everything flashes white. “Good luck! Find the other Sages! That sounds weird…”