Silent Courage

Chapter 3: Death Mountain

Chapter 3: Death Mountain

The burning returns as we appear in front of the Deku Tree. I can barely keep my eyes open as I see blurs running off somewhere.

Navi’s blue aura shines in my eyes, but I don’t really see her, only a blue blob. “It’ll be alright, Link. Nura’s climbing the tree to get the fruit,” Navi tells me.

It’s really hot. That’s weird, last time I was here, it was cool. There can’t be a fire, no one’s freaking out or barking orders to get water. Huh, my bite mark is only throbbing now, did I eat the fruit without knowing? Maybe I should rest, if I already ate the fruit, then I’ll be fine.

I don’t hear Navi’s frantic words as I am consumed by darkness.

Opening my eyes, I see a clear, blue sky. What? Aren’t I in the Lost Woods?

I sit up, wincing at the dull throbbing pain in my shoulder, and as far as I can see there’s a field of tall grass, flowers of all sorts and a river cutting through it. Where am I?

I stand up, looking around in awe, when I hear footsteps. I spin on my heel to see a girl, maybe about twelve, standing there, a smile on her face. She has shoulder blade long, wavy, forest green hair, a green dress and forest green eyes. “Hi there, you looked surprised to see me, Link,” the girl giggles.

How does she know my name?

She laughs again, “Can you not guess who I am? I’ll give you three tries!”

As she says this, I feel my left hand become warm. Curious, I lift my hand to see my Triforce glowing. My jaw drops as I look at the girl, she’s Farore!

“Heh-heh-heh! You got it!” who knew the Goddess that blessed me was a kid? “It’s true, I am Farore! C’mon, you need to come with me, your friends are getting worried,” she grabs my hand and drags me behind her. “The poison made you faint before you could take the fruit, but your Gerudo friend practically stuffed it down your throat, so you can go back now.”

‘Where am I exactly?’ I ask.

“This is the place your inner-consciousness comes to when your badly hurt, but can still live. It reduces the pain and time doesn’t pass, so it gives me time to heal you.”

We come to the river and Farore stops. “Okay, time to go back now!” she says and pushes me in the water.

________

‘Ow…’ I open my eyes slowly to see Navi fluttering in my face. ‘Hey, Nav’, what’d I miss?’

“Good to see you’re awake, Nura had to stuff the fruit down your throat after you went unconscious,” she tells me.

‘That’s why my throat hurts,’ I muse as I sit up, relived to see the bite mark left only as a scar. ‘Where are the others?’

“They’re asleep,” she says as she sits on my shoulder.

‘Isn’t it ironic that Sage is the Sage of Forest?’ I ask, laughing quietly.

“Yes and no, her name might be Sage, but she’s also the descendant of Saria, who was the last Sage.”

‘She said that to me when I first met her, I wasn’t sure what it meant, but I know now,’ I say.

“So, do you know where you’re going next?” Navi asks.

‘Yes, if I’m going to be fighting, I might as well use the Master Sword. I’m going to the Sacred Grove after the others wake up.’

Navi nods as I lay back down with my arms behind my head. After some silence, Navi speaks, “Link, do you mind if I come with you? I want to see Hyrule again, no doubt it’s a lot different.”

‘No, I don’t mind, it’s nice having someone to talk to without it being a guessing game,’ I smile.

-The next morning-

Now with everyone awake, Nura and Adam won’t stop asking me how I turn into a wolf and who that ‘frog headed guy’ was.

With Navi’s help, I tell them that Zant was the cause of the Twilight a few months ago and that he cursed me to turn into a wolf. I don’t say anything about Midna, even though I miss her, I don’t think they would understand.

“Wow, you really did go through a lot,” Adam whistles.

“Whatever, I don’t care what he did, can we just get out of these woods now?” Alex scowls as we walk through the Upper Lost Woods.

‘Not yet, I need to go somewhere,’ I think and head in the direction of the Grove.

“Where are you going?” Vaati snaps.

‘Stay, I’ll be right back,’ Navi translates before following me as I run.

After getting lost a few times, I make it to the Grove and walk into the ruins. The statues still look intimidating as I walk up the stairs. I go to the sword, nothing’s changed. It’s still silver with the indigo hilt and has the sense like it’s calling me. I take out the sword, smiling from the familiar weight as the scabbard appears on my back.

When Navi and me return to the others, we find them fighting…again.

“Will you just shut up? You’re so full of yourself!” Nura is yelling at Vaati.

“You manage to ignore him after a while,” Shadow states. “Looks like Mr. Hero’s back,” he smirks. I roll my eyes as the others stare at my back.

“Where did you get that?” Adam asks.

I just shrug as we head off and through the woods.

Sometime later, we come to the clearing with the oil selling bird. Like before, I don’t look at him as we walk through and come to the gate.

“Oh great, this stuff again,” Alex growls and I take out my lantern.

“That will take too long,” Vaati shoves me aside. “Let the master show you how it’s done.”

“Now all we need to do is to find the master,” Shadow remarks as Vaati summons a tornado. He sends it through the trees and clears it of the fog.

‘Well that works,’ I think.

After making it to Hyrule Field, Alex speaks, “So, Mute, where are we going?”

I roll my eyes and think. Zelda should know about Zant, in case he tries to take the castle again.

“Well, first of all, why don’t we tell this Princess about the insane Twili?” Shadow asks. I blink in surprise at us thinking the same thing.

Just then, a far off roar bellows over the field. I look to see three black forms running towards us. Twilight Messengers!

I jump off Epona and run at them, Master Sword drawn. The others, besides Alex, who is hiding behind a tree, come in just as the familiar red barrier surrounds us. ‘We need to kill them at the same time, if we leave one alive, it will revive the others,’ I ‘say’ to Navi.

She translates for the other four as the Messengers make the first move.

The closest one slashes at Shadow, who turns into his namesake and sneaks up behind it. As he’s doing this, Vaati is distracting it with a fire ball he summoned.

The second Messenger is shot through the eye by Adam, while Nura lies in wait above it in a tree.

And I deal with the last, getting ready to stab it through the heart. ‘Navi, when I give the single, can you shout ‘now’?’

She nods and I position my feet. I nod and she calls out to the others.

Shadow jumps from the ground and stabs the first Messenger through the neck. Nura falls and sends her spear into the head of the second, and I quickly jump forward and take out the last through the heart.

Just like every other time, they blow up into Twilight Particles and a portal forms above us.

“That wasn’t so hard,” we all glare at Alex as he comes out from behind the tree.

‘Try doing it on your own,’ we mount our horses, Shadow travels as a shadow and Vaati uses his wind, and gallop to the castle.

By the time we make it to Castle Town, it’s well passed noon. I get off my mare and pull out a cloak from my bag, throwing it to the Wind Mage. “What in Din’s Hell are you doing?” he glares.

“Well, obviously it’s not very common to have someone with purple skin waltzing through Castle Town,” Nura says with a roll of her eyes.

Vaati growls something to himself as he pulls the cloak over his back, lifting the hood to hide his face.

We quickly make our way through the Town and halls and soon we make it to the throne room. ‘Stay, I’ll tell her about what’s happened,’ I walk in without the others and find Zelda talking to someone.

Not wanting to be detected, I go into the shadows and use the Kokiri Stone.

“You’re Highness, surly you can trust me. I am not but a Duke’s son, coming here for negotiation between Hyrule and Termina,” the man, a very tall, white haired man with onyx black eyes, says, bowing respectfully.

“I wish to make this treaty, Sir Edward, but I have heard of a threat to befall Hyrule, I must make certain that my people are safe before considering this agreement,” Zelda always sounds so formal around other rich people.

“Of course, but do you mind if I stay in the castle for tonight? I will make my way back to Termina tomorrow and tell the Duke, informing him of this dilemma,” Edward requests.

“Yes, I will send a squire to take you to your chambers, good day, Sir Edward.”

He leaves as Zelda puts her head on her hand, eyes closed. I use the Stone and walk to her side, tapping her shoulder and smirking when she jumps. ‘Hey.’

“I see you’re back,” she smiles.

‘No need to sound disappointed,’ I tease as I sit on the throne’s arm.

“But why are you here? Something tells me you’re not here for some idle chat,” Zelda says.

‘That’s ‘cause I’m not. Zelda, Zant’s alive,’ her eyes grow wide. ‘When we were in the Forest Temple, he was in the last room, I don’t know how he lived, but it can’t be good that he did.’

“But, didn’t you say Midna killed him?” she asks, sitting up straighter.

‘Yeah, but he lived after blowing up into dust. And there’s more, something called the Twilight Smog is coming, it’s like the stuff at the Twilight Palace that turned me into a wolf when I went into it.’

“How did you hear this?”

‘By some Stalfos I got on our side in the Temple, them, and along with two other people, will help us.’

“Who are the other people?”

‘I’ll show ya,’ I get up and run to the doors. ‘You guys can come in now.’

“Hey there, Princess,” Shadow smirks as Vaati basically rips my cloak off him.

“You’d better not be an annoying brat,” the Wind Mage mutters.

“Vaati the Wind Mage, I’ve heard about you through some of the books in my library,” Zelda stands.

I see Vaati’s red eyes brighten slightly at the mention of the library. “Really?” he smirks arrogantly, eyes dulling back to normal.

“Yes, and you can go there whenever you like while you stay in Hyrule,” dang Zelly, you know how to get on someone’s good side.

‘Oh, Zelda, who was that guy you were talking to?’ I ask.

“You were there for that?” she asks as she comes over, the others continue to talk. “He’s the Duke of Termina’s son, apparently they want to sign a peace treaty. But I denied him because of the problems we’ll face during this time.”

‘Okay. Do you know where we’re supposed to go next?’

“Do you remember what the Hero of Time told you in your dream?” she whispers.

‘Um…he said, ‘they are in the Lost Woods, in Death Mountain, at Zora’s Domain, in Gerudo Valley and the last is one of the Sheikah’ if I remember right,’ I tell her.

“Then it would make sense to find the Sages in that order.”

‘So, next stop is Death Mountain?’ I guess.

“Exactly, you should head out tomorrow, it seems your traveling companions can’t keep going like you,” I turn my head to where Zelda’s looking to see Adam yawning and leaning on Nura, who’s too tired to care, and Alex actually looks pleasant without his constant scowl, Navi’s asleep in my hat already. Vaati has left, probably the library, and Shadow is sneaking out, most likely going to traumatize some poor, unsuspecting noble.

‘I forget that not everybody’s been all over Hyrule,’ I chuckle.

“If you want, you guys can head back to your rooms, you all look half-asleep,” Zelda suggests.

“YesI’llseeyatomarra,” Adam mumbles something and Zelda and I glance at each other, uncertain how to respond before I burst out laughing.

Zelda rolls her eyes and motions for the three to follow. I stay behind and look up at the Triforce above the throne, still finding it hard to believe I actually met Farore. Never thought I would be able to say that.

Smiling slightly, I make my way back to my room, looking around absentmindedly as I muse about the last two days. I’m still wondering how I turned into a wolf in the Temple, guess I’ll think about it later.

Suddenly I find myself on the ground, shaking my head. I look up to see the Edward dude looking down at me, do I see…deep hatred in his eyes?

“Sorry about that, wasn’t looking where I was going,” he says as I get up. Dang he’s tall.

“I know who you are,” he states. “You’re that Sir Link guy who saved Hyrule, aren’t you?”

I nod slowly, unsure what to make of this. He smirks, his black eyes feel like they’re look through me. I roll my shoulders, feeling reeeally uncomfortable. ‘Uh, I gotta go,’ I quickly leave, trying to ignore the bubbling fear in my stomach. I feel like I know him, kind of like the feeling around Navi, just darker.

“You okay, Link?” speaking of Navi, the fairy flies out of my hat and lands on my shoulder.

‘The Edward person, I feel something…bad about him,’ I look over my shoulder to find him gone.

“Don’t worry, he’s gone by tomorrow, remember?”

‘You eavesdropper,’ I snicker.

“Like I have to believe you don’t eavesdrop,” Navi says.

‘I was spying,’ I reply as I enter my room.

“Big difference,” she says sarcastically.

I laugh as I head to bed. Navi flies to my pillow and I smirk. ‘Geronimo!’ I mind yell as I jump onto the bed, causing Navi to fall off. I laugh as she flicks my nose.

“Think that’s funny, eh?” she crosses her arms. I nod, chuckling. “Alright,” she flies behind me and the next thing I know, she hits the base of my neck and the feeling of changing covers me. I now find myself on my back, as a wolf.

I flip onto my stomach and pant, looking at her in surprise. “Teh-heh-heh! You’re still wondering how you turned into a wolf in the Temple, right?” I nod. “When you ran at the Poe and stopped short, I bumped into your neck, right above your shoulder blades, and I guess a pressure-point there triggered your transformation.”

‘Weird,’ I think, trying to see the back of my neck. ‘I think I’ll run in the field for a bit, it’s been too long,’ I get off the bed and shake out my fur as I trot over to the door. I manage to open the door and sniff the air to make sure no one’s coming. Satisfied, I gallop through the corridors and quickly make it outside undetected.

I sneak through the streets, not wanting to cause a panic, and once I make it to the field, I full blown run.

It really has been too long. Two straight months without this, two months since my first adventure ended, and two months of re-establishing Hyrule with Zelda.

With a burst of forgotten strength, I dash over the field at top speed, smiling all I can.

I skid to a stop on a hill, panting. I close my eyes as I take in the familiar scents, the wind ruffling my fur as it whistles by. I look at the sky and see the moon, I can’t help myself, I howl. After getting that out of my lungs, I lie down with my head on my paws, simply enjoying the cool, late autumn night.

My nose and ears twitch, my head shoots up from my paws, alert of the odd scent and sound. The scent smells like hot desert sand and steel, the sound is like air, sure and light-footed.

I almost jump out of my fur when I hear a thud behind me. I jump to my feet and growl at the shadow figure, head low. The figure steps into my line of sight and I blink, he has a blue body suit with a ripped, white tunic over his torso, on the tunic is a blood red eye that looks like it’s crying blood. He has a white shawl around his head, making his bright sun blonde hair fall in front of his left eye. The eye I can see is crimson red, like blood.

We just stare at each other, will he attack? I’m just a wolf in his eyes, so will he think I’m a threat?

“Sheik!” I look to the side to see a girl in the same clothes as ‘Sheik’, but her hair is black. “C’mon, Master is waiting-huh?” she spots me, her crimson eyes narrowing. Out from her elbows, blades appear with the flick of her wrist, making me crouch if she tries to attack.

“Sonja, relax,” Sheik tells her. “If this wolf was a threat, it would have attacked me when I was just staring at it.”

“You heard Master! ‘Never let your guard down, it could mean your end!’” she’s not convinced easily.

“C’mon, Sonja, like you said, Master’s waiting,” Sheik turns, but Sonja keeps her eyes on me.

To prove that I’m not hostile, I sit, tail wagging, and drop my ears down my head.

It seems to work, she smiles and comes over, her blades retracted. She bends down to my height and scratches behind my ears, making my tail wag harder in the dirt. “Good wolf, guess Sheik was right. Bye,” she pats my head once more before disappearing into the darkness after Sheik.

I shake my head and stand, ready to go back to the Castle.

Once I make it to my room, I nudge Navi with my nose to get her up, not wanting to sleep as a wolf and scare a servant if they come in. “Oh, you’re back. You’ve been gone a while,” she says as she hits the pressure-point.

I just nod as I stretch and yawn, exhausted from the adrenalin rush I had as a wolf. I get into bed and pull the covers over my head, eyelids growing heavy. ‘‘Night Navi,’ I yawn again before falling asleep.

-The Next Morning-

“Link, get up!” I feel something tug my ear, so I shake my head to make it go away.

“Link!” this time I sit up as something zaps me. I glare at Navi as she acts all ‘innocent’.

‘Good morning to you, too,’ I think dryly.

“C’mon, I know for a fact that you have an endless stomach,” she says as I kick my legs over the edge of the bed, just as my stomach growls.

I stick my tongue out at her as she laughs, getting up and heading to the kitchen in bare feet. “You alright?” Navi asks. I look at her in confusion. “You kept thinking to me in your sleep, all I could understand was ‘tornado’, ‘sword’ and ‘surface’.”

‘Weird, I don’t remember dreaming last night,’ I put my hands behind my head.

“Link!” I snap out of my musings to see Ilia running up. “I wanted to see you again before you go and try to kill yourself.”

‘Thanks for the support,’ I smile at her as we walk.

“Have you seen that Edward guy? He came by yesterday morning when I was in the stables.”

I nod, suppressing a shiver. “He’s pretty hansom,” Ilia muses. I gag, whether or not that she knows I am not joking, I have no clue.

After having breakfast and ‘talking’, Ilia leaves and I head to the throne room. I peek my head in and see Zelda talking to Edward again, Nura, Adam, Alex and Shadow waiting just inside the door.

“Hey, sleepyhead,” Nura greets as I come to her side.

I nod as Edward and Zelly talk. “So your home was attacked late last night, and you got a letter saying that it would be safe for you to stay here?” Zelda asks.

“Yes, I hope that it doesn’t cause any in conveyance for you,” Edward says.

“Not at all, you may stay in the chamber you have required here until you can return home,” Zelda nods and Edward leaves, nudging me and making me stumble on his way out.

‘Jerk,’ I turn my head to Zelda, who stands up.

“The next Sage to find is in Death Mountain, the Fire Temple is deeper inside the mountain than even the Goron Mines, so it will be much hotter.”

‘The Goron Mines were hot enough,’ I mind grumble.

“If you talk to Gor Coron, I believe you-” just then, a loud rumbling shakes the castle, in the distance, I can hear a roar.

“What was that?” Adam asks.

“That roar sounded familiar,” Navi whispers on my shoulder. “But I can’t place it.”

We all run outside and my eyes widen. Death Mountain’s cloud, it’s…red, like dried blood. Another roar bellows over the land and I pinpoint it, from the mountain itself.

‘The Gorons, they’re in trouble!’ I panic and sprint through the castle, not bothering to slow down for the others. I have to save them!

After saving Darbus, the Goron’s made me their honorary ‘Brother’, meaning I was seen as one of them and made a pact to help them whenever they needed it. And they defiantly need it now.

“Slow down, Link!” I hear Nura yell at me, but I ignore her as I dash through the halls of the castle and out into the courtyard.

I run through the panicking Castle Town and leave through the West Gate, the fastest way to Death Mountain. I hear the others behind me, but I don’t slow down, the sooner I get to my Brothers, the sooner I can help them.

“Link, you need to slow down,” Navi says and I finally skid to a stop in the middle of the field, staring at the cloud above Death Mountain.

“Wow, for someone so short, you can sure run,” Adam pants and falls to the ground behind me.

Ignoring the short comment, I can only gape at the mountain, it’s rumbling slightly and I feel fear in the pit of my stomach, something’s going to happen if I don’t stop it. Once the other two catch up (Shadow and Vaati stayed at the castle), we enter Kakariko to see the people there getting into carriages.

“Hey! You kids better get in,” a bald man yells at us. “The mountain will most likely erupt.”

“What about the Gorons?” Nura asks the question we’re all thinking.

The man glares at her before answering rudely, “What about them? And why would a Gerudo like you care?” he walks over to us and sneers at my friend.

I step to Nura’s side, arms crossed and eyes narrowed to slits. I see anger in his eyes, but he shuts up and leaves, but not before I hit him in the back of the head with a Deku Seed. I whistle innocently when he glances over his shoulder.

“Thanks, Link,” Nura grins, but it doesn’t meet her eyes.

I frown, that man really did hurt her. I don’t know much about Gerudo, but I know they have their pride, when someone singles out one to be the same as her sisters, it is one of the biggest insults that can be made. Especially if the one who did it is a man.

We walk up the mountain in silence, besides the odd tremors that occur.

Once we make it to the Hot Springs, I gasp, where are the Gorons?! There are usually at least some here! But, not one is in sight.

Something’s really wrong. I jump down and wade through the water, desperate to see at least one Goron.

When I do find one, it is not what I expected. I sink to my knees beside the dead rock-being, his skin is charred black and his once black eyes are cloudy and unfocused. A long gash of three claws run across his chest and stomach, leaving deep scars and dry blood covers the body.

‘What did this? It looks like this Brother was burned and clawed at the same time!’ I think sadly as I place a hand on his rocky chest.

“Link…” Navi flies down and lands on my shoulder as I feel tears in my eyes. I knew this Goron, he was the first one who helped me up the mountain despite his orders. His name is…was Bruce.

I stand up slowly and look around, I now see the remaining arms, legs and even a head of other Gorons. ‘Mother of Nayru, what did this?’

Stiffly, almost Redead-like, I walk through the steaming water, but it feels like I’m walking through ice. My blood continues to run cold as I climb up the rocky cliff. Once I pull myself to the top, I see the other three looking around, just as repulsed as I feel.

Suddenly, my emotions rush at me. Pain, fear, anger and sadness pretty much slap me in the face and I clench my fists, still on the ground. I’m going to kill whatever did this!

The roar bellows over the mountain again and I waste no time in following the echo. Once I come to a tunnel, my eyes narrow as I see red haze inside. ‘I need to get in there, but it will be too hot,’ I sigh and close my eyes, trying to calm down.

The sound of rocks moving makes my ears twitch and I look up in hope to see a young Goron child coming out of a pile of boulders. I walk over, resisting the urge to sprint, and crouch in front of the young Goron.

‘Are you alright?’ I ask silently as I place a hand on his shoulder.

He sniffs and looks up at me, tears leaking down his rocky face. Suddenly, he flings his arms around my neck, almost chocking me, but I hug back as he cries into my shoulder, telling me what happened.

“H-he t-took them…all! Petrarch Darbus…hid me and the other –hic, sniffle- Goron kids away, but he and the rest of the tribe-gasp- were taken by a giant dragon!” he wails.

“What? Dragon?” Navi’s blue aura turns crimson in her worry and panic. “It-it wasn’t…Volvagia, was it?”

Volvagia? I wonder who that is…

“Y-yeah! Some guy in weird clothes and a frog helmet-” my head shoots up and I look at Navi “-came and thrust this glowing sword into the mountain, and out came Vol-that dragon!” the Goron kid pulls out of the hug and wipes his eyes with his arm.

“Do you know where he is now? The frog helmet man?” Navi asks gently.

“No, he left soon after, saying something about Zora’s Domain,” the Goron boy hiccups.

‘He’s targeting the Zora’s, too? Navi, we need to get in there and help the Gorons, kill this Volvagia, and get to the Domain before Zant can hurt them too!’ I think frantically, running a hand through my hair.

Sensing my distress, the Goron boy looks up the one centimetre at me. “You’re planning to go after the dragon, aren’t you?” I nod. “Well, I guess you’re in luck, I have the Goron Tunic with me, it will help you survive the heat. I guess Darbus was right in giving it to me before…”

He passes the tunic and I give a small smile. “Don’t worry,” Navi flutters in front of his face. “Well save all the Gorons, we promise.”

“Really?” he looks at us hopefully.

I grin cross my arms in an ‘X’ across my chest, it’s what Ilia and I always do.

The boy nods, a quivering smile on his lips, and runs off to hide.

I quickly take off my tunic and replace it with the other. I step forward and crack my knuckles, ‘Time to kick some dragon butt!’

______

I entre the Death Mountain Crater and shake my head at the sudden heat. Ignoring it, I walk on and find myself at a destroyed bridge. ‘Great, now what?’ I ask Navi. ‘I don’t have my Clawshots.’

“What happened to them?”

I blushed. 'I, uh, left them at the Castle...by accident...oops...'

“Do you have your stone?” Navi asks.

I almost face-palm myself, ‘I can’t believe I forgot…’

“Hey, your mind was panicking,” Navi shrugs and flies off my shoulder as I grab the stone.

_________

So, the Hero’s arrived, has he? a figure stands on a tall rock, watching the Hero being taken over the lava by the fairy. “Well, I’ll make sure to have fun with him, but I will kill him this time,” onyx eyes narrow before the figure disappears.

_________

I look down the hole, there’s a ladder, but I can’t see the bottom of the decent. ‘Time to save the Gorons,’ I grab the ladder and head down.

About halfway down, I nearly have a heart attack when my foot meats air. I gasp as I slip and grab onto the bar tightly with my feet dangling under me. After my heart slows down, I look at Navi. “You okay?” she asks.

I nod and look down, I still can’t see the ground.

A loud, groan-like sound fills my ears and we look up to see the ladder start to sway. My grip tightens as I jerk and the sound of metal detaching from itself causes my ears to fall.

Before I can do anything, I start to fall. I try to grab something on the wall, but the stone is too smooth for me to get a grip.

“Link!” Navi screams as I start to fall faster. I look around desperately, I can’t use my stone (I’m too panicked) and Navi can’t possibly help me.

I turn myself around and get ready to roll, it may not be the best plan, but it’s the only one I have. I hit the ground hard and roll, but manage to crash right into something.

With a grunt, I take out whatever it is and we both continue to roll on until I find myself face-first on the ground with the thing on top of me.

“Ow, Farore’s Spirit, what was that?” the thing on me asks.

I hit his back with my hand and he jumps off of me. Nodding my thanks, I stand up to see the guy from the other night, Sheik, standing there. Only, this time he’s wearing a red version of his other clothes.

“Who are you?” he asks, taking out some throwing knives, just in case I guess.

I look around to find Navi, but…she’s nowhere in sight. ‘Navi?’ I ignore Sheik and turn around, trying to look for the fay. ‘Navi, where are you?’ I mind yell.

“I asked you a question,” I keep ignoring him and jog to where the ladder is supposed to be.

‘Navi!’ I look up into the darkness. ‘Where is she…?’ I frown in confusion.

“Hey! Hylian!” I turn to Sheik, he looks kinda ticked… “Are you meaning to annoy me?”

I shake my head. “Then say something!” I shake my head again and put a hand on my throat. “You’ve got to be kidding me…you can’t seriously be mute, can you?”

I nod, he groans and face-palms. “Oh, wonderful, the only person to help me out is a mute.”

“Link!” I smile and turn quickly to see Navi flying over. “Are you okay?”

‘Yep, I’m fine, crashed into this guy, though,’ I jerk my head at Sheik.

“A fairy? You know, I’m not even going to ask,” Sheik sighs.

“And who would you be?” Navi asks.

“Sheik,” he says. I think I see Navi’s aura glow a bit brighter at this, but it quickly dims.

“I see. I’m Navi, and this is Link.”

The Temple shakes and I remember why I’m here in the first place. I run passed Sheik and come to some stairs. On both my left and right are doors and statues with fire mouths stand in front of me, the middle one taller than the other two. Two Fire-Keese come at me, but I quickly deal with them and go through the left door, since it’s not locked.

I entre the room to see rocks and pillars standing in the lava, making a pathway to the other side where a large door stands, ‘So, the dragon might possibly be in there,’ I ‘say’ to Navi.

“I would believe so,” she bobs up and down.

“Who’s there?” I look up to see a large bolder fall on the center pillar. The ‘bolder’ stands up and I feel a smile form on my face. It’s Darbus!

The Goron looks down at me and smiles. “Well, if it isn’t Brother Link! I see that blasted dragon got your attention,” he says as I hop onto the pillar.

‘Hard not to,’ I muse as I crane my head back to look at his face.

“I also see that Darunia gave you the tunic,” I look down as he gestures to it. “That kid is really something…Link, I need your help. As I’m sure Dar told you, the entire Goron race has been taken by the dragon and is being held captive somewhere in this Temple. Interesting when history repeats itself,” he says thoughtfully.

I give him a curious look. “This same thing happened during the quest of the Hero of Time, the Gorons were taken by the dragon. You will help me, won’t you Brother?”

I nod, pulling my sword off my back. He smiles broadly, “Thanks. Now, I need to distract the dragon so he doesn’t feast on my people. I may not have the Megaton Hammer, but I’ll give it a shot. Good luck, Brother,” he claps my shoulders, making my legs buckle, and heads off through the door, locking it behind him.

“Alright, Link, let’s go,” Navi tugs my ear and I follow her. I open the door to see Sheik picking the lock of the other.

I tap his shoulder and he jumps up, placing a knife on my neck. ‘Hi to you, too,’ I think as I push the knife away.

He puts it back and looks me up and down, stopping at my eyes. “Do I know you?” he asks. “You seem familiar.”

I shrug, whether he knows I’m the wolf or not, I don’t have a clue.

-Sheik’s POV-

I know I’ve seen this guy’s eyes before, but where? My mind drifts back to the night I saw that wolf, it acted oddly, and it wasn’t going to attack, it was only in a defence stance.

Could he be…? No. It’s not logical, a human can’t turn into a wolf, and even with those rumours of the Human-Wolves, those guys only show up with a full moon, the wolf was out with a half moon.

I see Link’s ears twitch and the short kid frowns as he looks around me at the door. He runs passed me and I follow to see what he heard. A strange creature with the body of a bird and a woman’s head is flying through the room, chasing something.

“You’ve seen things like this?” I look at Navi as she talks to Link. “How?”

The fairy must be able to communicate through telepathy.

“Oh, that’s why they’re around…anyway, what is it?” Link shrugs. “Guess it doesn’t matter. But what’s it chasing?”

A screech from the bird-woman catches our attention and we look up to see she’s spotted us. “Ah, so the little elf has come,” she lands harshly on the ground in front of us, towering over Link as I go into the shadows, bringing out my knives. “I was wondering when you’d show up.”

Link takes out his sword and glares coldly at the hybrid. “You dare challenge me? Fine, I shall have joy in ripping you apart,” she grins, showing sharp teeth, and lunges at the Hylian.

Link jumps out of the way and slashes at the hybrid’s stomach, but she flies up and circles over his head. “You are slower than a Moblin compared to me, now let me show you my people’s power!” the hybrid speeds up, causing a bright, shining orb of white light to form in the spot she’s spinning around.

I hold my knives tighter, what is this thing planning?

“I don’t know, Link.” Apparently, the Hylian was thinking the same. “But be ready for anything.”

The hybrid sends the orb at Link, much faster than any of us expected. Link tries to jump out of the way, but the orb hits him and he falls back into the wall. I blink when he gets up slowly, his body covered in burns.

I jump nearly three feet into the air when I hear a voice, ‘Ow. Okay, Navi? We might need to keep in mind that the glowing ball of whatever-it-is still hurts with the tunic.’ It sounds like a girl’s voice, maybe around my age.

“Are you okay?” I look over and see Link getting to his feet painfully.

Link nods and looks up at the hybrid, who is frowning. “How did you survive that? I killed seven people with that already!”

The Hylian just smirks and takes out his bow, notching an arrow. ‘Guess I’m just lucky,’ okay, where is that coming from?

Link releases the arrow and it prices the hybrid through the neck. She falls into the lava and Link covers his nose as Navi hides in his hat. ‘Goddess, that smells gross!’ the voice exclaims.

“Burning flesh is never a pleasure to smell,” Navi’s muffled voice comes from the hat.

Suddenly, Link falls to his knees. Navi flies out as I come out of the shadows. “Guess now that that’s over, your burns hurt?” Navi asks.

‘Understatement,’ the voice mumbles.

Let’s see, a girl’s voice starts coming into my head after I come into this room, the only girl in this room is Navi, but when she speaks to Link, it’s like I hear his response, which isn’t possible since he’s mute. So where is the voice coming from?

“Maybe you should rest for a bit,” I suggest, snapping out of my thoughts.

Link nods and, to my surprise, falls asleep on the ground. “That has got to be a record,” I muse as I sit down, back on the wall.

My thoughts go back to the voice, the clues I picked up running through my head.

After ten minutes, I start to notice Link tossing and turning in his sleep. I hear the voice again, only this time it’s tired and quiet, ‘Gotta…Surface…to stop…G(whatever she needs to stop, I can’t understand)…stop the…Imprisoned. AHH!’

I jump when Link sits up fast, breathing heavily and looking around. ‘That dream again?’ it clicks. I know where the voice is coming from, but how?

“Did you remember it this time?” Navi asks, floating in Link’s face.

‘Kinda, I remember this large, black monster thing, but that’s about it…’ Link rubs the back of his (her?) head.

“Strange…” Navi says thoughtfully.

“We should get going,” I say, I’ll get more information before I confront the Hylian.

-Link’s POV-

Why’s he looking at me weird? Ah well, I guess it doesn’t really matter.

I rub my head again, the stinking fire-ball of death is going to be annoying me now.

‘Hey, Nav’, what exactly was that thing?’ I ask, sword ready in case another one comes along.

‘I could only get some information, but I think it’s called a Harpy,’ the fay says as she sits on my shoulder.

Is Sheik still around? I look over my shoulder to see his eyes slightly unfocused, like he’s thinking about something. Weird, before he wouldn’t stop talking. I stop walking and wave my hand in front of his face, making him shake his head and come back to reality.

I look at him curiously. “Uh…it’s nothing. I’m just thinking,” he shrugs and walks past me.

Blinking, I follow the Sheikah until we cross the bridge, where a locked door is. I sigh and look around, spotting another door on the far left. That could work.

I head over and hop across the moving blocks before coming to the door. I open it and walk through, coming to a corridor with a torch. My ears twitch, I can hear something at the end. Taking out my sword, I slowly walk down the corridor. I make it to the end to find a cell, with a Goron inside.

I step on the switch, opening the cell, and I walk up to the curled-up Goron. I put a hand on the Goron’s back and I feel a jerk. “Please don’t eat me!” I jump back a step as the Goron yells. “I’m not tasty!”

“We’re not here to eat you, we’re here to help,” Navi says.

The Goron calms down and uncurls himself, letting out a sigh of relief when he looks down at me. “Oh, good. I was worried it would be my turn to be eaten.”

“Where are the other Gorons?” Navi asks.

“More Gorons are deeper in the Temple. I was separated because I was to be taken to the dragon next,” he shivers. “But, thanks for freeing me, Brother.” He claps me on the back and almost sends me to the ground before rolling away.

‘That still hurts…’ I mind-mutter as I open a chest. ‘Seriously? What idiot puts a key inside a cell?’ I wonder.

“It’s happened before,” Navi shrugs as I walk out of the corridor.

I come back to the locked door to see Sheik playing a golden harp. Heh, cool.

‘Where have I heard this song before?’ I muse to myself before shaking my head.

“Wow, I guess that’s one way to pass the time,” Navi says from my shoulder.

‘Hey, Sheiky,’ I poke his shoulder and snicker when he jumps up, pulling his knives out.

He frowns, obviously not amused. “Alright, let’s go. The faster we save the Gorons, the faster I get out of here,” he says with a board tone and takes the key out of my hand.

‘Wait,’ I think, forgetting he can’t hear me. I go in front of him, looking at him in disbelief. ‘Is that the only reason you’re helping? To save yourself?’

“Basically,” he says.

I glare, ‘What?! How could you say that?! The Gorons are nothing but peaceful! They don’t deserve to die!’

“Peace never lasts,” he says indifferently.

‘As if I don’t know that! I once lived as a ranch-hand, nothing more, nothing less. I lived in a peaceful village until King Bublin came along! It all started as a search for my friends that turned into saving Hyrule! You wanna know why I did it? Because I wanted to save everyone! I was the only person who could help, and I almost died fighting Ganondorf! Another person like him is coming, and I am going to risk my life again if I have to confront him! So yes, I know peace doesn’t last forever, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be restored!’ I finish my rant, panting.

He stares at me for a few seconds. “It also doesn’t mean it can. I’ve seen war, too. I know what it’s like. And sacrifices have to be made,” he says calmly, not looking me in the eye.

‘An entire-’ I stop, realizing something. How…can he hear me? ‘How can you read my thoughts?’ I look at him suspiciously.

His eyes widen, probably figuring out he answered me, even though I’m mute. He thinks it over. “You tell me,” he shrugs. “But it doesn’t matter, I can find my own way out.” He turns to leave, throwing the key back at me.

I narrow my eyes as he walks to the edge of the lava. He takes out a Deku Nut, but before he goes, he looks over his shoulder, “But I have to say, I never suspected that you were a girl.” And he leaves, causing me to flinch by the Deku Nut flash.

I blink in astonishment for a few seconds, confused beyond belief.

“That was strange,” Navi says, breaking the silence.

I nod, still mulling the conversation we had in my mind. ‘L-let’s go,’ I unlock the door and walk through, coming into a room with a chain-link fence, more lava, and a block on top of a fire geyser. ‘How can he hear?’ I ask Navi.

“I have no idea, Link. Has this happened before with anyone else?”

‘Let’s see, the only people who can hear me without the Triforce are you, Midna, the Twili, and now Sheik. But I don’t have a clue as to how he can,’ I sigh, shaking my head. ‘But it doesn’t matter. He doesn’t care, so let’s just forget about him.’

I look at the fence and at the lava below me. If I take a running jump, I might be able to make it. I back up until I come to the wall and dash at the edge. I jump across and grab the fence, much to Navi’s dislike.

“What were you thinking? You could have fallen into the lava!” Navi yells as I climb up the fence.

‘Yep, I could have, but I didn’t!’ I smirk.

“You know what I mean, smarty breeches!” Navi flicks my ear and I laugh as I pull myself up.

‘It’s fine, Navi,’ I smile as I jump down to the platform, waiting for the geyser and block to come down.

I jump onto the block and stumble a bit when it goes up. Once I reach the top, I get off and go to the door.

“Wait, something’s wrong,” Navi whispers.

‘Is something in there?’ I ask.

“Hey!” a voice makes me jump and I look up to see a strange creature with the top half of its body like an eagle and the bottom like a cat of some sort. Its feathers are copper red and the fur is golden in colour. “Thanks for dealing with that Harpy! It almost ate me!”

“What are you?” Navi asks and I look it up and down as it flies to the ground. It’s about the size of a cat.

“I am a Gryphon!” his eyes shine proudly as he circles my head. “That Harpy was chasing me for a meal, but she wouldn’t listen when I said someone was coming to kill her.”

“You knew we were coming?”

“Well, not exactly, I’m not psychic, but I did get a feeling that something was going to help me. And someone did!” he lands on my shoulders. “My name’s Felix.”

“I’m Navi, and this is Link,” Navi says. “Now, if you’ll excuse us, we have some friends we need to save.”

“Do you mean the rock people? I know where they are! They’re about two or three rooms from here. I can help you if you like,” he offers.

“How can you help?” Navi asks.

“My eyesight is the best of my kind,” he puffs out his chest proudly. “I can spot an ant on the ground from the top of a mountain. I can easily spot a giant rock-man.”

I nod, ‘I’m fine with it. He could help a lot.’

“Great! Come this way,” he hops off my shoulders and walks over to the door.

I open the door to find a two way cell, some slugs on fire, a crystal, chain-link fences and flames surrounding one of the fences that lead up. “Alright, there’s a key in there, but none of your rock friends,” Felix tells me as I climb onto an elevated platform to the left.

After killing the Fire Slug, I jump across and push the block off the edge where the crystal is. After pulling it to the end of the grove, I climb on and up the fence. I look down at the crystal, about to jump down and hit it, when Navi stops me. “You need to hit it from here, if you go down, you can’t make it to the fence in time to get past the flames.”

‘Okay,’ I nod and take out my bow. I hit the crystal and climb onto the last platform, quickly going up the fence before the flames come back.

I open the door and walk through to find a maze, do I hear rumbling?

“We’ll have to be careful, if my memory serves me right, then there will be some boulders in here,” Navi says.

‘Good to know,’ I think and look around a corner, jumping back when a boulder almost runs me over. ‘I see what you mean…’

“Wow, how do those keep moving?” Felix asks.

I shrug as I run the opposite way of the boulder, but almost get run over by another. I back up to the wall and feel Felix jump onto my leg as the boulder rolls by. After my heart slows down, I run off, Felix still on my leg, and find a small groove in the wall.

I sigh in relief as I back up, leaning on a wall to rest. “I don’t like those boulders,” Felix says, finally letting go of my leg.

I nod in agreement before heading out again. Felix runs after me and we soon find a door. We go through to see lava, a chain-link fence held in the air so I can walk on it, and two doors, one to the side, the other at the end.

I jump onto the fence and start to go when I hear flames behind me. Curios, I turn and gasp when I see a wall of flame moving towards me. I start to run as Felix flies, Navi’s in my hat, muttering something. A Fire Bubble comes out of the lava and I manage to dodge it and make it to the other side, climbing the elevated platforms to get to the door.

“We’re safe up here, the flames won’t reach us,” Navi tells me.

I nod as Felix lands on my shoulders, feathers puffed up. “I don’t like this place.”

I laugh as I open the door. I find myself on the top of the maze and see a hole on the platform in front of me. After killing the Fire Slug, I climb down and push the switch down, opening the cell both ways to find the room I was in before. I take the key out of the cell and head back up, groaning in annoyance when I see another Fire Slug.

I go back into the room with the fire wall and jump down, mind muttering when I see the wall come up behind me. I climb onto a pillar in front of the elevated door and wait for the wall to pass before jumping. I unlock the door to see another room with boulders, pillars that blow fire, and random poles everywhere.

I jump down and head to the left and try to walk through some poles, and nearly have a heart-attack when a fire wall erupts from them. It takes a few seconds to realize that Felix is clinging to my arm, claws extended. I tap his head and he looks up, getting a sheepish look in his eyes. “Er, sorry,” he mumbles, jumping off and onto the ground.

“Huh, I forgot about these,” Navi says.

‘You…forgot?’ I ask, looking at her in disbelief.

“You try remembering everything after about a thousand years,” she huffs.

I shake my head and walk on, making sure not to run into a fire wall. Sadly, I get tricked three times. Now I’m burned and my hair’s charred. ‘I don’t like this place,’ I mind-whine.

“Quit complaining, it isn’t that bad,” Navi says. I glare at her, she managed to come out unscathed.

“You should talk, I’m almost a roasted chicken over here!” Felix says, his feathers and fur black from the ash.

‘Chicken?’ I wonder.

“We’re almost at the door, you should be fine in there,” Navi says. I roll my eyes at her changing the subject and go to the door, luckily without mishap. I open it to see a hall of cells, Gorons everywhere.

‘Finally!’ I think as I run to the closest. I knock on the cell and the Goron inside, Gor Coron, stands up, crossing his arms.

“Well, if it isn’t Link. Nice to see you Brother,” he greets. “Do you think you can get us out? That blasted dragon is going to get hungry soon.”

I nod and easily push a switch on the wall. The cell opens, but the doorknob down the hall turns. “Quick, get in!” Gor Coron pulls me into the cell. Felix runs in just before the cell closes and hides behind my legs.

Coron hides me in the shadows and curls up as footsteps come down the hall. I gulp and shrink back, Felix jumping into my arms as we wait with short breath.

What comes into view is defiantly something I don’t want to see any time soon. A big beast about the size of a tall man walks over, the top of its body is a bull and the bottom half is clearly a man (to my displeasure, this thing doesn’t wear anything). The bull/human hybrid snorts and sniffs the air, I shrink back and slowly use the wall to lower myself.

‘What is this thing?’ I think, my chest staring to hurt from holding my breath.

The beast looks into our cell and snorts. Gor Coron unrolls and stands up, it’s unnerving seeing him look up at this thing (considering he’s tall to me). “I smell something other than you in that cell,” the bull-man says gruffly. “What is in there?”

“Nothing of importance,” Gor Coron answers calmly. “Is there any other reason as to why you are here?”

“Time for your rock,” he says and throws one small rock into the cell, it lands by my feet and I tuck my foot under me. This isn’t enough for a Goron, they need to eat about six big rocks a day to keep their nutrition.

Gor Coron sighs as the bull-man gives the other Gorons rocks and leaves. I let out the breath I was holding, feeling light-headed. “As you can see, we are in a bit of a tight place,” Coron says, taking the rock and sitting beside me. “Now the problem is getting you out.”

“That won’t be a problem,” Navi says, coming out of my hat. “Link has the Kokiri Stone, he can shrink down to my size.”

“Hum, well I won’t get in your way. But before you go, Brother, I need to warn you, that bull-man is a Minotaur. There are only men and it is rather disturbing how they breed,” he explains, munching on his rock. “Be grateful you aren’t a girl.”

I gulp, that’s never something I want to hear. I go to the edge, Felix jumping out of my arms. “So, what are you going to do?” he asks, looking up at me.

“Link will use the stone around his neck to become the size of me,” Navi explains, flying at eye-level with the Gryphon.

I hold the stone and smirk at Felix’s shocked eyes. “Whoa, that’s awesome,” he lies down and puts his head on his front talons to look at my level. “Heh, you’re even smaller than Navi like this.”

I roll my eyes and walk out of the cell, making sure nothing is coming when I use the stone again and open Coron’s cell. He nods to me and we open the rest. Soon, I’m covered in bruises from the hugs the Goron’s gave me, particularly the older brother of Darunia. After the Gorons leave, the Elders come to me. “We have a request. Now that we are freed, will you try to help Darbus? He may be powerful, but even he is venerable to the dragon,” Coron tells me.

I nod. “Now, to fight this dragon, you must find the Megaton Hammer, it was used by the Hero of Time himself,” Gor Amoto tells me. “It should be somewhere still in the Temple.”

“Good luck, Brother,” Coron leaves with the others in tow.

I smile, at least I saved more Goron’s from that gruesome fate. Now I have to help Darbus.

‘Okay, where would the Hammer be?’ I ask Navi.

“I’m not sure. It could be anywhere. But I know a room where we should start,” she flies to the other end of the hall. I open the door cautiously and sigh in relief when I see no Minotaurs around. I’m on the other side of the last room I was in and see a door behind me and to the left.

After maneuverings through the maze of fire walls (luckily not getting burned this time), I step on a switch and the larger fire wall on the risen platform goes down. I run over with Felix on my heels and nod when we make it. I try to open the door, but it moves and comes down.

I fall back and yelp when the door slams down on my foot, crushing it before going back to its place on the wall.

‘Stupid door,’ I mind mutter as I back away, holding my foot.

“That looked like it hurt,” I glare at Felix. “What?”

I shake my head and try to stand up, but when I put pressure on my foot, I feel nothing but pain. With a gasp, I go into a crouch, holding my foot with gritted teeth.

“Do you have any berries or potions?” Navi asks.

‘Nope, I ate all the berries for my burns and the last potion I gave to Felix when his paw got burnt,’ I think, sitting back down.

“Hum…Okay, I think it’s time for a rest anyways. You’re getting overtired,” Navi says.

‘How’d you know?’

“If you weren’t tired, you would have gotten out of the door’s way in time.”

‘Right.’

“Where can we rest? If one of those Minotaur comes, then we’ll be in trouble. They hate Elves with a passion,” Felix says.

‘I guess I could use the stone and hide,’ I suggest, yawning.

“Good idea,” Navi bobs up and down. I grab the stone and the second I’m tiny I fall asleep.

-Third POV-

Navi shakes her head as she picks Link up by her arms and drags her over to the side. After making sure she was in a comfortable position, the fairy sits beside her.

“Your friend’s strange,” Felix says, lying down in front of them. “He had a panicked look in his eye when the rock-man said the Minotaur only attacked girls. Why would he be worried? He’s a boy; the Minotaurs will only lock him up.”

Navi looks at Link, who mind-mumbles something in her sleep as she turns over. ‘Should I tell him? I’ll ask Link first though.’

“I think he’s just worried for a friend, she’s on the mountain,” Navi says. It was probably the truth, too.

After some silence, Navi speaks up, “I’m just curious, how did you and those other creatures come here?”

“I’m not sure. When I was with my clan, all we saw was this dark light take us away from our home. We found ourselves in this mountain and have been hiding here for about a month now,” Felix explains. “So, why is Link helping the rock people? He’ll most likely be killed or hurt.”

“Link is not the average person. He cares a lot about those he befriends, he would rather himself get hurt than someone close,” Navi says. “But I have a feeling that if someone close does get hurt he’ll lose his temper.”

“Heh, I know someone with a temper, she’s my older sister,” Felix yawns, stretching out his talons. “Do you want me to keep watch?”

“No, I can, thank you,” Navi says and Felix nods before curling up and falling asleep like a cat.

After half an hour, Navi realizes that Link isn’t mind-mumbling in her sleep. ‘She must be too tired,’ she thinks and smiles slightly as she watches Link. The Hylian turns in her sleep, snuggling her head into an arm pillow. ‘Sometimes, she acts so much like Link that it brings back memories.’

Then the ground shakes, waking the Hylian up as Navi gets to her feet. ‘Wha’s goin’ on?’ Link thinks groggily.

‘I’m not sure, stay hidden and I’ll look,’ Navi tells her and flies up, gasping when she sees a Minotaur coming through the flames.

She flies back down to see Link using the wall to stand up. ‘There’s a Minotaur coming!’ Navi thinks, helping her up.

‘Oh Twili,’ Link winces.

The fairy and Hylian start to head into the shadows when Link remembers. ‘Felix!’ she gets out from under Navi’s arm and limps over to the Gryphon. She pushes on his head in an attempt to get him up. ‘Felix, wake up! Please!’

The Gryphon’s gold eyes open and he lifts his head, making Link fall over. He looks down at her and blinks when the ground shakes again. Looking up, his feathers puff up when he sees the Minotaur coming over to him.

Thinking fast, Felix picks Link up in his beak and hides her in his feathers, scratching the floor to hide her sneeze.

“Little Gryphon, what are you doing here? How did you get out of that cave?” the Minotaur snorts, looking down at Felix.

“I’m small enough,” he shrugs.

The Minotaur sniffs the air. “I smell…a female here. Where is she hiding?” the bull-man picks Felix up by the ruff, not noticing Link fall out of the feathers and hold onto Felix’s tail.

“Female? The only female is the fairy,” Felix says, looking at Navi, who quickly flies away from trying to get Link off Felix’s tail.

“Hum, but I smell another female…human…” the Minotaur says. “We cannot allow the humans to know we are here. Find female, and bring her here.”

Felix nods and the Minotaur drops him. The Gryphon gracefully lands on his talons, but Link falls off his tail and gets the wind knocked out of her.

-Link’s POV-

Breathe, breathe!

I pant as I sit up, slightly dizzy from the swinging motion of the tail. The ground shakes again as the Minotaur (I’m calling him Burt) leaves. I sigh in relief when the ground stops shaking and Felix looks down at me. “He’s gone. I don’t know why he smelled a human female. But Minotaurs have better smell than Gryphons,” he shrugs.

‘Yeah, I wonder why,’ I mind-mumble as Navi helps me up.

“Can you walk?” she asks, looking down at my foot.

‘I think so,’ I let go of her and stand, testing my foot. It hurts slightly still, but it’s not broken. ‘Alright, I’m good,’ I use the stone and stretch.

“Alright! Now how can we get through the door?” Felix asks.

“We could bomb it,” Navi suggests.

‘I don’t have my bombs anymore, they got taken away in the Forest Temple,’ I tell her.

“Oh! I know somebody who can get the door down! I’ll be right back!” Felix flies off and into a hole in the roof.

“What’s he planning?” I shrug.

After waiting for five minutes, I hear Felix flying down, but I also hear larger wings. My jaw drops when a Gryphon the size of a horse comes down, its feathers are black and its fur is a sandy-gold colour. It lands and ruffles its feathers, smacking me with its wing as it does. I shake my head as I sit up, gaping at the large bird-cat.

“Link, this is my older sister, Elsie,” Felix’s eyes smile as I get to my feet.

“Hum, so this is the kid you were talking about?” Elsie lowers her head to my height. “Kinda small, isn’t he?”

“He’s big to me,” Felix mutters before brightening. “Can you bust the door down?”

“Sure, easy,” Elsie nods and goes to the door. Dust soon fills the air as she walks back out. “Done and done. Need any help, Baby-Boy?” her eyes smirk.

“I’m not a baby! I’ll soon become of age!” Felix growls.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” she flicks her tail.

As the siblings bicker, I open the door, getting pushed aside when Elsie comes in, her brother flying in behind her. I get to my feet and look at Navi, ‘Somebody has an attitude.’

She bobs up and down in agreement as we look around the room. Nothing significant is in here, only a small fire in the corner. I go to the block in the middle and stumble back when it erupts in flames. The fire in the corner jumps into it and becomes a body with fire limbs and a black circle in the middle.

“A Flare Dancer,” Navi whispers.

How can we fight this thing?

The Flare Dancer spins around ballet style and red flames fall over the ground in a circle. “What are we going to do?” Felix asks, jumping onto my shoulders.

“Obviously, we’re going to need to get the body out of the fire,” Elsie rolls her eyes. “Move aside, elf,” she shoves me over again and I stick my tongue out at her back.

She extends her brutal looking talons and crouches as the Flare Dancer glides around the room. She lashes out and catches the Dancer in the middle, knocking the body out of its fire limbs.

“Take that!” Elsie says smugly as she slashes the Dancer’s body.

The black ball jumps back into the fire and comes out with blue fire limbs this time. “Wasn’t expecting that,” Felix remarks as it spins again.

I grab my bow and put an arrow on. I let it go, but the Dancer swiftly moves away from it and lets blue flames out. And the blue flames start coming at me. ‘What the-’ I jump over them, trying to avoid getting burned.

“Hum, that’s new,” Elsie says thoughtfully as I come to her side. “We’ll need a different game-plan.”

“Like what?” Navi asks, using her limited magic to push the flames away.

“This,” I feel the back of my tunic be lifted up and I fly through the fire to crash into the Flare Dancer, receiving more burns than I would like.

I jump to my feet and stomp on the body hard. Once it’s kicked enough times, it jumps back into the fire and comes out again, but with green fire limbs.

‘Okay, I’m staying away from Elsie now,’ I think as the Gryphon crouches.

“Elf, come over here,” I narrow my eyes suspiciously. “I won’t throw you this time.”

Reluctantly, I walk over and her eyes spark. “Okay, stay here and don’t move at all,” she tells me and leaps up, hanging from the roof.

The Dancer comes over and looks down at me, it’s really tall, and it doesn’t help my nerves when it grows its limbs. It reaches out and tries to grab my tunic, but Elsie jumps down from the roof. Sadly, the Dancer moves out of the way and the big Gryphon misses and lands on me.

“Dance on this!” Felix glides over and sinks his talons and back claws into the fleshy ball of the Dancer. Elsie gets off of me and I scramble to my feet, shaking my head.

It screeches and the flames extinguish. We all move away as the Dancer starts to flash red and blow up.

“Nice fighting, kid,” Elsie ruffles my hair with her talon, messing it up more. “You might work out after all…” she taps her beak thoughtfully.

I raise an eyebrow, work for what?

Her honey-brown eyes gleam as she seems to confirm something. “Hey, Felix, did you tell him the problem with the other Gryphons?” Elsie asks.

“No, I was trying to lead him there after we saved his rock friends,” the younger Gryphon looks at me sheepishly.

“Well, you see kid, the other Gryphons are being controlled by those Minotaurs,” Elsie explains.

“The dark brown furred Minotaur that we saw earlier was the leader,” Felix puts in. “He’s the one who controlled them.”

“For some reason or another, neither Felix nor I were affected by the control. We suspect it has something to do with having more power than most,” Elsie continues.

“But we acted like we were. Elsie came up with the idea that I get out and pretend I was doing patrol of the air for any escapees,” Felix says. “That’s why the Minotaur earlier didn’t hurt me.”

‘I’m calling the Minotaur Burt,’ I think to Navi, who I know is shaking her head.

“Can you help the other Gryphons come back to their senses?” Elsie asks.

‘Wow, how many races are going to ask me to help them?’ I wonder.

“I have a feeling something really bad is going to happen,” Felix says, jumping up to my shoulders. “We think to free them, we’ll have to kill the Boss Minotaur.”

‘Call him Burt, see what happens!’ I think.

Navi sighs, “Really Link? Out of all the names in the world, you choose Burt for a Minotaur?”

‘Yep,’ I nod as Felix laughs so hard he falls off my shoulders. Elsie snickers quietly.

“Okay, so we kill Burt, and the others get freed. Deal?” Elsie gives out her talon. I put my hand in and shake, trying not to wince from the strength of the talon as it crushes my hand.

“Alright, let’s go get that hammer!” Felix jumps onto the block and I climb on with Navi sitting on my head.

‘You should sleep, I know you stood watch during my sleep,’ I tell her.

I smile to myself when I hear her protest, but fall asleep anyway.

The two Gryphons and I rise up and come to another small room.

-Transition!-

This place is starting to get on my nerves. Between the stinking Fire-Keese, statues that spit fire, fire walls and sneaking around Minotaurs, it’s gotten to the bottom of my liking list.

Eventually, we come to a room with a big hole in the middle, a switch and a fire hiding a chest on the far side of the room. “Okay, quick plan, you’ll stay here, while I fly Elfy over and open the chest,” Elsie says to Felix, who nods.

“Okay!” he goes over to the switch as Elsie grabs my shoulders in her talons.

Once we fly over the gap, Felix steps on the switch, making the fire diminish. Not taking any chances, I open the chest quickly and take out the thing inside. It’s a hammer, about as long as my arm and with a head the size of a Goron’s foot. And it’s heavy.

I bite my lower lip as I lift it with both hands, my muscles screaming as I lift the hammer. I walk a few steps and get confused as it becomes lighter, not by much, but I can lift it easier. “I can’t believe it, the Megaton Hammer is still here!” Navi exclaims.

‘Now we can help these guys and the other Gryphons, along with getting to Darbus,’ I smile, putting the hammer in my bag. ‘Let’s go!’

“Looks like we’re in luck, our pride is up there,” Elsie looks up at a narrow hole in the roof. She grabs my shoulders again and flies up. “Felix! We’re going in!”

“Alright!” the young Gryphon flies up as Elsie throws me up and onto her back. I grab onto her black feathers and hold on tight as Navi hides in my hat. Elsie goes up at a 90% angle and I hug her neck to stay on as I look back, the ground is far below us now.

“Hold on, kid,” Elsie’s eyes grin as she speeds up. I do as told and gulp as she flies up towards the hole. It looks like it won’t fit us.

But Elsie proves me wrong when she folds her wings in, covering me to my displeasure, and squeezes into the hold, gabbing onto the wall with her talons and claws. “This might be a little rough,” she says.

‘Understatement,’ I think as I feel myself being squished between her and the wall.

She starts to climb and I shake my head as feather after feather goes into my mouth. We finally come out and I fall off Elsie’s back once we make it to solid ground, coughing.

Felix comes up and lands beside me, “You okay?”

I nod, smiling at his concern, as I stand up. I look around and gasp, about twenty large Gryphons are everywhere, lying in sleep, flying through the air or being bossed around my Minotaurs. I gulp when I see the bull-men, this won’t end well…

“Alright, smash the ground there,” Elsie points in the middle of five Minotaurs and ten Gryphons. “That’s the weakest. The Gryphons can fly away and the Minotaur will fall.”

‘How will I get there?’ I wonder.

Felix seems to read my mind, “Elsie can hide you under her wings, the Minotaur haven’t seen you yet so they won’t know where you are.”

Before I can think anything else, Elsie grabs me and hides me under her wings. I cough and sneeze, shaking my head when she kicks me. “Be quiet!” she snaps and starts walking.

I peek out from some of her feathers to see a Minotaur walk beside her, my heart pumping at the thought of being caught and-

I’m knocked out of my thoughts when Elsie stops and Felix causes a commotion. Quickly, I roll out of her wings and stand, and talk out the hammer, slamming it into the ground. It breaks like glass, basically shattering the stone.

The Minotaurs turn their heads to me and I grin nervously as two of them advance on me. They step down and the ground falls, bringing me with them before Elsie can grab me.

‘Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit!’ I continually think as I roll and hit the walls of the hole.

I eventually come to a stop, but a large piece of rubble falls onto my leg. I suppress a cry of pain when I hear a crack and feel like crying when I see one of the Minotaur coming over to me. It’s Burt, the one I named.

“You’re the one sneaking around the Temple,” he says, grabbing my hair and lifting my head. “I thought I smelled a female around that Gryphon, looks like he thinks you’re a male, since no one can lie around a Gryphon, not even a Gryphon itself.”

I shiver and try to tug my leg out, but Burt only laughs. “Nice try, but you’re trapped,” Burt laughs. He takes off my hat and looks at my face. “Hum, such a nice looking thing you are. You’ll do nicely…”

My eyes widen and I try to get away from him, fear bubbling in my stomach. He grabs the back of my tunic and keeps me still on the ground, “Now, now. The less you struggle, the less it will hurt.”

I feel wetness come into my eyes as I try to free myself. This can’t be happening. This isn’t happening.

“Stay away from her!” Navi flies out of my hat and zaps Burt with all the magic she can get. ‘Link, use the stone now!’

Nodding, fear still running through me at what could had happened, I grab the stone and shrink, my leg coming out from under the rubble. But I’d rather not have seen it, my leg looks like it’s broken and it hurts like a *itch.

Despite the pain, I use the rubble to stand up and limp into the shadows, careful not to put too much pressure on it. ‘Link,’ Navi flies down as I collapse, feeling hot tears run down my face. ‘Link,’ Navi says softly. I sit up and hug her, trembling and crying.

“It’s okay, nothing happened, it’s okay,” she says, her voice soft and filled with worry. “You’re okay.”

‘H-he almost-’ I can’t bring myself to think it, I just burrow my head into her shoulder.

“I know, I know.”

-Navi’s POV-

I feel my own eyes prickle with tears as Link hugs me tightly like I’m her last lifeline. With the things she’s done, I forget that she’s only seventeen, eighteen at most. She’s still so young and she doesn’t deserve to have thought of what that monster could have done.

“It’ll be okay,” I tell her, rubbing her back and putting a hand on her head. “We’ll get out of here and everything will be fine. C’mon, we need to get that leg on a split,” I start to slowly stand up, bringing Link with me. I put an arm around her shoulder as she puts hers around mine and we start walking, but Link falls, tears still running down her face.

I brush her messy hair out of her sweaty face and pick her up bridle-style, smiling softly as she put her arms around my neck. That experience will haunt her forever. I’m so glad I was able to stop the unthinkable from happening. I fly up and out of the hole, feeling Link calm down as I do. Her crying becomes soft sniffles and she lifts her head, looking around. ‘I feel like a five-year-old,’ she thinks, rubbing her puffy eyes with the back of her hand.

“There’s nothing wrong with crying, especially for what could have happened to you,” I sooth.

‘I hope Burt starves down there,’ she looks down at the bottom of the hole. I shake my head, still wondering where she got Burt of all names from.

We finally make it back up and I see the Gryphons all gone, except for Felix and Elsie. The younger Gryphon flies over and looks at us in concern, “You okay?”

“Yes, just a little shaken,” I say. “He’ll be fine, but his leg’s broken.”

“That’s not a problem, I can numb the pain for a while until he gets to a proper healer,” Elsie says.

I nod, gently putting Link on the ground where she used the Kokiri Stone. She shakes her head as Elsie’s honey-brown eyes glow. Link winces for a second before sighing, smiling gratefully at the Gryphon. “Alright, kid, let’s go find that dragon to help the Rock-Guy,” she says and helps Link up, letting her lean on her side.

I fly into Link’s hat and pat her head, ‘Everything will be alright.’

‘I know.’

-Link’s POV-

I smile to myself the entire way to the large door where Darbus went through. Navi has helped me so much. I’m so happy she wanted to come, if she hadn’t left the woods-

I shake my head from the thought, no, I can’t think about that. It’s too frightening.

At least I can’t feel my leg hurting, I should be able to fight and kill that dragon for doing this to the Gorons. We come to the door and entre to find a large chamber with a platform in the middle, nine circles of lava on it. Lava surrounds the platform and I can see someone standing in the middle of the platform. It’s Darbus.

Elsie moves slightly and I look at her. “We can’t stay here, kid. We need to go to our pride before we lose them. I’m sure you’ll be fine,” she says and she and Felix go back out of the door. I stand and look at the platform. Taking a running start and ignoring the pain in my leg, I jump over the lava and limp to Darbus’ side.

“Brother Link,” he inclines his head, acknowledging me. “Be careful, I just saw the dragon retreat. But I don’t know where it’ll show its ugly mug.”

I nod, looking around and taking out the hammer. “So you got it, I assume I don’t need to ask if you freed my people?” I shake my head. “Thank you. At least they’ll be safe.”

The chamber rumbles and I turn around, I think I see something swimming in the lava. Suddenly, the dragon emerges from the molten rock, its entire body is red and it has long, fiery hair. A helmet-like thing covers its face as it looks at me through bright red eyes. Darbus turns and starts to run at the dragon as I look it over, why does it seem so familiar?

Suddenly, a flashback plays in my head.

-Flashback-

‘Okay, I’ll just be gone for a little bit. Rusl and Uli won’t know I’m gone,’ ten-year-old me thought as I snuck out of Ordon and Faron, going towards Hyrule Field. I smiled to myself as I looked around, the bright moon letting me see during the dark summer night.

I trotted around for a while until coming across a small tunnel. Curious, I crawled into it and followed the tunnel until I came to a cavern, crystals on the walls and the ceiling. Something was glowing at the end of the cavern, with a bright red light. I walked over to it to find an egg, about the same size as me, sitting alone in the hollow of a bolder.

I climbed on top of the bolder, wanting to get a closer look, to find the egg cracking. I watched, transfixed, as the crack grew until it covered the entire egg. The egg burst open, and out came a large lizard of some sort. The lizard was red, with short, fiery hair and a mask-like helmet on its head. It looked up at me and croaked, “Mama.”

I could help but smile. ‘I’m not your mama, but I’ll take care of you,’ I thought and patted the lizard’s head.

The lizard followed me into Faron Woods, where I would sneak out to at night to play with and feed. He grew fast, until he was the size of a large horse. I was thirteen, taking some meat to feed my friend, when I found Rusl and two royal guards wrestling with him.

“Ma!” Rocky, as I had called him, cried when he saw me.

I ran over, but Rusl kept me back, holding me back as I tried to get to my friend. I looked at Rusl with pleading eyes, but he forced himself to look away. “Link, I know you’ve been taking care of it the last three years, but he must leave. He’ll frighten away all the game and leave us starving.”

I looked at Rocky, feeling tears well up in my eyes as he was tied up, looking at me with his glowing red eyes. “Ma…” he weakly said, tears falling down his own, scaly face.

‘Rocky…’ I thought, gulping the lump in my throat away as he was taken out of the woods.

-End flashback-

I gasp as I come back to reality, Rocky…

I look up at a roar and see him trying to get away from Darbus. It couldn’t have been Rocky killing everybody, it couldn’t have.

Shaking my head, I run forward, dropping the hammer, and wave my arms around. ‘Stop Darbus! Stop!’ I shout in my mind, desperately wanting him to hear me.

Rocky backs up to the lava’s edge looking at the angry Goron with fear. Before Darbus can take the final blow, I run forward, standing in front of Darbus with my back to Rocky. “Brother?”

‘Don’t hurt him,’ I plead, looking at Rocky over my shoulder. He has his claws over his eyes, trying to not look as he waited for his death. I kneel beside his massive head and put a hand on his nose. He flinches, but when he doesn’t feel pain, he slowly moves his claws to peek through them and sees my face.

“Ma?” he whispers quietly so only I can hear.

I nod, blinking away the tears as I pet my old friend’s nose. “Brother? What are you doing?”

I tell Navi about how I met Rocky, but she looks skeptical, “He says he watched the dragon hatch. But that’s not possible, Link. Volvagia lived and died in this place.”

‘No, this isn’t Volvagia, this is Rocky,’ I shake my head, smiling at Rocky as he coos at me.

“Are you sure?”

‘Positive, Rocky can’t even breathe fire,’ I scratch under his chin.

“What does he breathe if he can’t breathe fire?” Navi asks.

‘Water,’ I shrug.

“Come to think of it, this dragon’s much smaller than the other one,” Darbus says, coming over. Rocky backs away slightly, but I reassure him it’s okay.

Then a thought comes to mind, ‘Wait, Navi. If this is Rocky, and the dragon Darbus has been fighting this whole time…then where’s Volvagia?’

Navi’s blue aura dims in realization. “Oh Deku Sprout,” she says before a loud, low roar bellows throughout the cavern.

Rocky whimpers and I put my hand on his horn to keep him calm as Darbus cracks his knuckles, “Where is the b*****d?”

He’s answered by the cavern wall caving in and a dragon, a lot like Rocky but much bigger, emerges from the darkness, blood red eyes dim. It lands on the platform with us and I feel my jaw drop at his size. He’s the one I heard from the castle.

Volvagia soared into the air, letting loose a stream of fire from its mouth, just to show off.

“Ma, I’m scared,” Rocky whimpers quietly.

I point to the lava, telling him to get in and hide. With a nod, Rocky jumps onto the lava and disappeared.

I turn to Volvagia and pick up the Megaton Hammer, ready to smash the skull of the bloody dragon that killed those Gorons and tried to put the blame on Rocky.

He charges at Darbus, but I throw a rock at its head and it looks at me, irritated. I make a motion with my hands, clearly saying ‘bring it’ to the dragon. It roars and charges on me.

I duck under the belly, aiming a blow with the hammer, but Volvagia moves out of the way and comes back around, blowing fire. I put the hammer into the bag and drop to my stomach before the fire can engulf me. Before I can get up, I feel claws wrap around my legs and drag me up, holding me upside-down. I look around and struggle frantically, gulping when I see Volvagia looking me over.

“You’re not much of a threat,” he growls. “Even the last kid that came here was bigger than you.”

He starts tossing me in the air, making the world spin as he continues talking. “But I won’t stop having fun with you. It would be too unsatisfying if I just killed you,” he says, smirking as he holds me by my foot.

I shake my head from the dizziness and glare at him, ‘Didn’t anyone tell you not to play with your food?’

His eyes smirk and he throws me into a wall, pinning me with his tail. I gasp as the wind is knocked out of me and try to push the tail off. Suddenly a bolder is thrown at his head and I look around him to see Darbus standing there, holding the Hammer. What? Did…did it fall out of my bag?

Hissing, Volvagia walks over to him, forgetting about me, but I grab his tail before I can fall into the lava. I hold on in a bear hug as he slinks on the platform, his tail hanging over the edge as I try to not fall.

“You are one annoying Goron. I suppose I’ll have to get rid of you first,” Volvagia says as I start to climb up his tail. I make it to the middle of his long body before he charges at Darbus and hits the Goron to the ground. Before he can get up, Volvagia slams his clawed paw onto Darbus and I wince as I hear rock breaking. Darbus tries to get up, but Volvagia opens his mouth and breathes fire. I look away before the fire makes contact and feel tears prickle my eyes as the smell of burning rock-flesh fills the air.

I dare to look down and my ears fall when I see Darbus looking at the world through dead eyes. How will I tell the Tribe?

Volvagia laughs and turns, but he spots me on his back and I give him a nervous smile as he glares at me. He snatches me off his back and holds me by my torso, slowly squeezing me with his claws. “I was almost disappointed, I thought you had fallen into the lava,” he smirks. “I guess my fun with you is over. So long, Hero,” he opens his mouth and I feel heat on my face as he flips me upside-down. My eyes grow wide as I see the fire start to form in the back of his throat.

‘Navi?’ I ask.

‘I’m trying!’ the fairy is on Volvagia’s head, trying to get his attention on her, but to no avail.

Right before the dragon burns me to death, a smaller, but still loud, roar goes through the cavern, shaking the roof. Rocky comes out of the lava, flying towards us. He body slams Volvagia, making the older dragon drop me, and catches me in his paw. He puts me behind his head and I grab his horns as he growls at Volvagia, who has smoke coming out of his nostrils.

“You’re not going to hurt my Ma!” Rocky yelled, growling at Volvagia.

The older dragon laughs darkly, “Ma? You just called that little snack ‘Ma’?”

“She was the first thing I saw when I hatched! Of course I’ll call her Ma!” Rocky growls.

Volvagia just laughs and shakes his head. He opens his mouth and I see him preparing to burn us. I cringe, taking Rocky’s hair and holding on, and wait for it to hit.

But Rocky has grown a lot over the last five years. And that includes his fighting skills.

Rocky opens his own mouth wide and I see a blue orb form in his mouth, his eyes glowing an icy blue instead of the usual red. He closes his mouth, tilts his head back (making me hug his neck to stay on) and shoots a torrent of water down Volvagia’s throat.

The large dragon chocks as the water goes down his windpipe, his eyes growing wide with panic. He thrashes around, trying to breathe again, when his tail comes around and smacks Rocky in the face, sending him into the wall, and making me crash into it with him. Rocky and me start falling and I hit the ground first, gasping as the wind is knocked out of me. I gasp again when Rocky lands on me, his heavy body squishing me into the ground.

Volvagia flies down and laughs as he looks at us, I try to wiggle out from under Rocky, but without success. I feel something grab my tunic and I grit my teeth as Volvagia picks me up again. “Hello again, I’ll make this interesting. Why don’t you watch your friend burn?” his eyes glint cruelly as he holds me tightly in his claw, almost crushing my ribcage.

I gulp and struggle to get free as he gets ready to breathe fire. Not thinking, I grab the Master Sword off of my back and stab it into Volvagia’s paw, making him roar in pain as he drops me.

I crawl to the Megaton Hammer, my leg hurting again as Elsie’s magic wears off, and I struggle to stand up as Navi flies by my ear. “One good blow to the head, and he’s dead,” she tells me.

Volvagia clenches his claw and narrows his eyes at me before charging. I position my feet, ignoring the pain in my leg, and swing the hammer, making it collide with Volvagia’s skull. I hear a loud crack as the hammer makes contact and Volvagia crashes into me as his head bursts open. His body burns me as he starts to turn to ash and I pant once he’s gone.

There…now the Goron’s are safe…

I smile as I lie there, gasping for breath. I feel something lift up my back until I’m in a sitting position and I look up to see Rocky smiling at me. “Ma,” he coos, rubbing his head into my body.

Despite the pain, I hug him and gently rub the scales between his eyes. ‘Rocky,’ I sigh as a blue light shines on the platform. There’s our way out. With Rocky’s help and Navi’s encouragement, I limp towards the light and feel the pain in my leg leave as we’re teleported to the Sacred Realm.

I stand up straight as Darbus comes out of the red circle. He smiles at me, “Well, Link, it looks like I’m the new Sage of Fire. Tell my people I’m proud of them, and tell Dar that his time to rule has come.” I nod. “Link, take my power in this medallion,” a red medallion falls and I grab it. As everything flashes white, I hear the humour in Darbus’ voice as he speaks, “Good luck, Sister.”


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