Chapter 5: The Demon Within
By: Hugo Reed
Chapter 5: The Demon Within
Over a few months, Natallia became a part of the group of people Link had rescued from attacked towns. It wasn't much, but they were around two hundred. Link was now a skill warrior. He possessed a speed and flare of passion within his swordplay that was impossible to imitate. He was gifted with a natural fighting ability that would surpass any, given enough training. Not to mention that he was the owner of the triforce of courage and had a steely determination not to give up. He was close to a war god.
Yet, for every inch of power he possessed, so too was there another who gained the power. For every inch of good he had in him, so too was there and edge of evil within his soul. Link may have been an excellent fighter, but he was not an army. He did have his limits, god-like as they may be. Once, he was been protecting villagers from certain death by Redead or magician. He was cut in places, and had been fighting for the better part of a full hour. His arms and legs were lead. He had stripped himself of his shield and supplies.
He was weary and nearly out of magic ability. Yet again, he struck down a foe. The sun was nearly set, and then he would be alone with the Redead in the darkness. He lifted his blade and brought it down upon the creature's head. He felt a long and thick blade rip through cloth and skin. Blood rushed down the metal of the Redead's blade. Link moaned and held his side as another attack came rushing right at his face. He could do nothing to block it. He was helpless.
Yet, he was not alone. Hero of time he may be, yet another force, one perhaps even more powerful, lived within him. To all outside spectators a demonic transformation was taking place upon the village turned battlefield. Link's pupils disappeared all together so his entire eye was just a pure, almost holy, white. His blonde hair flew up and off his forehead as though it was being blown from a strong wind. All the while, within his head a fierce battle was about to be underway.
"Ah," said a man, not quite human or shadow. "Great hero of time, so good of you to come."
The figure bowed down before Link. Link did not even begin to return the gesture.
"Please," said the shadow. "Why on earth do you believe I should share your name? Am I not my own person? Do I not have my own name?"
"A clone has no right to consider itself worthy of the original."
"Maybe, yet I am far more powerful then you, my hero."
The shadow moved in the blink of an eye. Sudden Link spun and sparks flew as metal clashed against metal.
"Just in case you were wondering, which I do doubt, my name is Raiaka."
Link shoved him off.
"A dead man's name has no further meaning for him."
"Meaning you intend to kill me?"
"Meaning that a beast whom was once a man, as you are must've died an age and a half ago."
Raiaka vanished again and again the blades crossed in the thick, foggy air. Link backed off, holding his stinging arm. Then he pressed the attack, using all his skill and magic to increase his speed and power. Raiaka was forced to give ground and go on being purely defensive. The battle was fierce and raged on for more then half-an-hour. Both contestants were filled with hate and rage for the other. Link kicked out high, though his movement was slow. He was tired, worn and exhausted.
Sweat beaded and ran down Link's forehead as he felt the blow he'd received to his head mingle and mix with the sweat. It itched and bothered him, yet he couldn't scratch it. Dark Link moved with what strength he'd had left and caught Link in the ear. Link fell down screaming. Then he felt Raiaka place his hands upon his back.
"Prepare to be lose everything…"
Link didn't remember what happened after that for a while. He had learned however, that when dark Link took over his body, he gained markings upon his face and his pupils disappeared completely. Then he was a beast of battle and a monster of war. His movements were perfect, utterly useful. Not a single inch of a swing was unneeded. The blade he had been wielding had been dropped and a large black, hand-and-a-half blade had appeared in it's place.
The beast that was once the hero of time had movements far too fast for the normal human eye. Bodies fell in heaps and rapidly multiplying pieces. No one stood a chance of escape. When the creature was finally finished, it stood alone in the middle of a large, ever-burning crater.
Link would never be aloud to forget or forgive that experience. He would be forever cursed with visions of people, friend and foe alike, falling before his flashing blade. Thinking on this now, Link drew the Master Sword and studied it. It glowed with the bright intensity of one hundred stars, as it did for only him. Link thought back to the blade that Raiaka had used. It had been pure black, and reminded one of a never-ending hole.
Sometimes, late at night, Link would be woken for a terrible dream and it was the same one all the time. He would fight dark Link in his mind, and every time, no matter what he did, he lost. The shadow was far faster, stronger and smarter then he.
Link wearily rubbed his hands across his face. He needed to get away. What better was there for a war god to forget himself then in war itself? The problem was, war god or not, Link couldn't kill an entire army. It was time to do a bit of scouting. He got up wearily and leapt onto Epona's back, ridding off into the sunset.
When he reached a landmark of a tree that stood on it's own in an open field. Finally, as the completely disappeared behind the hills, Link built a fire and lay to sleep. For a while he lay down, his rest peaceful and relaxing. The owl fluttered and landed at a nearby tree and studied Link for a short time. Then, it flew at Link, dropping a note in his lap.
The Koriki are being put under attack by midnight tonight. We beg you for your help!
Midio of the Great Koriki woods.
Link sighed. Midio was the self-proclaimed leader of the forest, so what help did they possibly need? Link looked at the owl and spoke to it.
"But why? I was sleeping so well, and without any fighting or death and pain."
Link untied Epona from the tree and saddled his young horse up. Link placed his left foot in the stirrup and hoisted himself up, seized the reins and rode off in to the cool night. Link rode at a high pace to and through the forest he had grown up in and knew so well. Everything was still the same as it had been when he had been growing up. He smooth guided Epona through the trees and small pathways, heading for a clearing.
Then Link could clearly see the wonderful Deku sprout of the forest.
"Ah Link…" said the sprout. "You've come at last. I've sensed a new evil growing in the deaths of the land of Hyrule. However, this is not Gannondorf, he was vanquished. This Evil is from--"
Suddenly a flame came from nowhere. The fire was so bright that it lit the entire wood up and the eyes of the sprout seemed to shine as the flame headed for it. Link ran at it as it smoothly dodged tree after tree, yet it passed right through him. The fire burned the Deku sprout down as it struggled to tell Link something, but the message was unclear and whatever it meant to say was lost.
"You've outlived your use Deku tree," said the new figure.
Link started swinging his sword but whomever it was vanished in a flash of darkness, and Link sank to the ground trying to remain calm. When, at last, he had got a grip on himself, he considered the situation. Without the Deku sprout Koriki forest would fall in to chaos. He would have to find another protector to take its place, or move the children somewhere safe before he did anything else.
So as fast as he could, he dashed to Epona calling as he went "The Deku tree has been burnt down run now get out of the forest!"
Luckily, everyone trusted Link enough to flee. Arrows came out of nowhere, fleeing the strings of the bow such as demons fleeing a holy man might move. Two fleeing children fell in a dark, red pool of blood. Link shot down an archer as he rode out. All of a sudden, just as Link was moving to cross the Hyrule borders a stray arrow hit Epona. Her head went down first, and as her body fell Link flew off her.
"No! Epona!" Link yelled.
Epona had been with Link through countless adventures. She had even tried to get into Gannon's castle to help him, and now she was simply gone. He could call her until his voice was gone, but she would never come. Link wept and looked at the dirt that had gathered on Epona's side and in her flaring nostrils. Even in death, she refused to give up.
"Epona," he moaned.
Link stared into her face, she had given her life to save his. He would have his revenge. Link wanted to get up and find the leader of these monsters, and pull his guts out, then cut of his head and feed his body to a wolf. He couldn't though, not yet. He wouldn't leave Epona's body to these monsters. He knew that if he threw her body into the river it would float down to the towns. Hopefully they would find her body.
He dragged Epona's body to the Hylian River, feeling her ruff fur sliding through his hands, and tried to hide. It was no good as sword wielding Redead came he was spotted. Then, from the black depths of night, a horse jumped over him and it's rider struck down a Redead after Link. Arrows hit several others then two more riders came and drew swords, causing the Redead to flee. A rider slowly approached Link.
"We recognize you, Hero of Time. We are the remaining people loyal to Hyrule known as the Hylian Riders and we need another rider for our cause. Will you join us and serve justice again?"
Link looked at the rider, and could detect no sense of lying in the man's face. His intuition rarely failed.
"Fine, it will be an honor to fight amongst true Hylians once more. But my horse was killed, so I may not be able to ride with you."
Another Rider rode up, atop a stead as proud and black as night.
"You needn't worry about that we shall give her a proper burial."
"That voice… I recognize it. Zelda is that you?"
The rider threw down her hood and a face that Link knew well was before him again.
"Yes Link, I joined the Hylian Riders when my castle was over-run we think Gannon is back."
Link replied quickly, "No it can't be Gannon the Deku tree said he had left."
"Strange, then this evil is new. It was a fear we tried to shove aside. Now, Terra have him suited!"
Another female Rider came and cast his old cloak off, throwing on a new one and handed him new chain-mail armor.
"Thank you, these are heavenly gifts. Still, there is still no way I'll keep up with you guys on foot and still be ready to fight."
"Do not worry yourself hero." said Zelda.
They brought out a white horse. She was brilliant and shone with her own inner beauty. She was a horse any man would kill to ride.
"We said we needed an extra Rider. Her name is Snowfire."
Link mounted Snowfire and rode around a bit.
"Again, such a kingly animal, and you offer it to me?"
Then, he got down and helped Zelda dig a grave for Epona. After they buried her Zelda put a magic spell on the grave so no enemy would disturb her, and Link scratched an inscription to Epona. Soon after he saddled up Snowfire and followed the pack, glancing back at the grave.
"Zelda, I need a place for the Koriki children to stay."
"Terra go tell them to head for the forest temple, and take someone else with you for a guard."
"Where are we going?" asked Link.
"To stop the enemy before they give news of our location away!" replied their leader, a man in a brilliant white cape, whom Zelda called Mikio.
Link soon caught sight of the Redead, not a bowshot away.
"There!" he cried.