The whole world of twilight princess players are talking about Midna. They already made probably over 100 videos of her and link, or just herself. Everybody wants a sequel, and they want link and her to see each other again in it. Now I have this crazy idea, but Nintendo would reject it probably. I was thinking about sending this in when I'm done with it, I mean it's a pretty good story, I've had replies on other forums about great chapters. Hopefully. OMG MIDNA IS SO CUTE Chapter 6 is being worked on now. These are chapters 1-5. The Legend of Midna Prologue "Why?" Those sapphire eyes, once shining brightly with determination and courage, were dull, filled with sadness as Link stared unseeingly at the platform. The last of the mirror shards settled into the sand as Princess Zelda bit her lip, choosing her words carefully to both explain and provide a modicum of comfort. "Link, Midna did not mean to hurt you at all; by breaking the Mirror of Twilight, she did what she thought was best for both worlds..." The princess rested one gloved hand on his shoulder. "And also, I think, for you." The Hero of Twilight remained silent, waiting for her to explain. "I believe Midna wanted you to be happy. Had the mirror been intact, you would have been torn between both realms; between your friends and Midna." They stood in silence for a while; she had begun to give up hope of Link ever speaking when he spoke. "She should have asked me." His voice was think and subdued, as if he'd been crying. Bending down, he picked up a small shining object off the floor. "I would have gone with her." As he turned to go, the princess glanced at the object that rested on his palm and gasped. It was Midna's tear. Chapter 1 "Great job today, Link!" called Fado, waving his hand enthusiastically as Link guided Epona out of the ranch. Instead of replying with a witty remark, as he'd always done, the farmhand merely raised a a hand in fairwell. Shaking his head, Fado closed the gates. "What's gotten into him? He's never been so slow before..." Ignoring the jovial cries of his fellow villagers, Link steadily trudged homeward, unwilling to speak to anyone. A distant half of him expected Midna to pop out of his shadow and lecture him for being so slow. Of course, it would never happen. The fact that she was gone was still too much for him to bear even now, four months after her departure. He refused to accept the fact that he would never again hear her voice of see those amber eyes gaze back at him. Epona nickered softly, tugging at the reins. Startled, Link drew himself out of his thoughts to look for the cause. Ilia stood next to the ladder to his house, studying him closely. He avoided her gaze as he led Epona to a nearby tree, tying the reins around its trunk. It wasn't as if he needed to tie her there; not once had she had ever wandered off on her own. "Link." He froze as Ilia gently put her hand on his shoulder. "You know you can talk to me. What's troubling you?" Link shrugged her hand off. "What makes you think something's wrong?" he snapped. "Oh, Link..." Ilia turned from him to stare off into the sunset. "We've barely even heard you speak since you came back." It was true, too; since Link had returned to Ordon Village, the villagers had begun to notice that the once ever-cheerful farmhand was no more, replaced by a moody and reclusive stranger. Though everyone in the village had attempted to talk to him about it, he refused to answer them. Only Ilia and Rusl, those closest to him, had persisted. "You never acted this way before you left." She turned to face him once more. "I don't know what happened to you on your journey, Link, but surely there's someone out there who does. If you won't talk to me, then..." Ilia sighed helplessly. "At least talk to them." When he failed to even acknowledge her remark, she left, tears quietly streaming down her cheeks. Surely there's someone out there who does. Despite his stoic appearance, the words had hit home with Link. He'd need some time to think about it, but for the most part Ilia was probably right. She usually was. -------------------- Early the next morning Link locked his house, climbing quickly down the ladder. As he place a food sack into Epona's saddlebags, a quiet voice rang out from his left. "Link, we must talk." The Hero of Twilight whirled around to find the very person he was off to see. Princess Zelda sat on a rock, her hands folded neatly in her lap. "Princess! Why are you here?" Although relieved that he didn't have to travel, he wondered why she had sought him out. "To be honest..." She examined a flower by the rock, admiring its large petals. "The oracles have been receiving ill omens as of late. I myself have seen such omens in my dreams. In them, a dark cloud loomed over Hyrule; all seemed lost until two rays, one of shadow and one of light, shot out from the desert, driving back the dark clouds." Zelda caught and held his eyes with her own. "As the Hero of Twilight, I felt you should know. I do not know how or when this will happen, but you must be prepared." Link had stopped listening, choosing instead to watch the sun slowly rise above the horizon. They sat in silence for a few minutes until the princess spoke. "You haven't been able to forget Midna, have you? I can see it in your eyes." Her voice was gentle. "No." A bush to Link's right began to shake. Is someone there? wondered Link, eyeing the bush suspiciously. As its stopped moving he shook his head, dismissing its movement as the work of a small animal. "The end of your journey was far more painful than the journey itself could ever have been, and for that I am truly sorry." The princess seemed to hesitate, stiffening as she eyed bush intently. After a moment, she relaxed. "You loved Midna, didn't you?" Link opened his mouth, intending to tell her that it was none of her concern, when Ilia's words stopped him short. I don't know what happened to you on your journey, Link, but surely there's someone out there who does. If you won't talk to me, then... at least talk to them. He cleared his throat, the words slowly forcing themselves out into the open air. "Yes... I did. I still do..." His voice trailed off. She must have sensed his discomfort, for she said, "If you're not comfortable talking to me about this, then perhaps another one of the villagers would -" But Link was already shaking his head. "What would I tell them? That I fell in love with a woman from the Twilight Realm? That she's a princess there? That by the end of my journey, everything I did was for her?" Link snorted, half laughing. "It's so outlandish that no one would ever believe or understand me." Zelda sighed. "I suppose you're right." "Is there any other way to the Twilight Realm?" It was an idle question; it wasn't as if Link had not already heard the answer. "No, I'm afraid not." He fiddled with a pebble, unwilling to meet Zelda's pitying gaze. "I wish she had told us what she was going to do," said Link softly. "If you had known, Link, would you have let her break the mirror?" "... No. I guess not." Zelda nodded. "Exactly. I can tell you this, Link - Midna did love you, more than she ever let on." Link's questioning gaze compelled her to explain. "When she and I were one, I felt and experienced everything that she did." The princess paused, plucking the flower from the ground. "I know this will be hard for you to hear and even more difficult to do, but Link... you must move on." Link sighed and threw the pebble away. "It's not that easy. I don't travel anymore; do you know why?" Link looked at her, a sad smile spreading itself across his face. "Because everywhere I go, there are memories of... her." Folding her hands and flower in her lap, Zelda regarded him thoughtfully. "Perhaps you should visit the mirror chamber and leave flowers there, as a remembrance." "She's not dead, you know!" "No, she's not. But it will help." the princess smiled sadly. "I know." She was silent then; Link knew she could only be thinking of her father, buried deep within the royal tomb. "He was a good king. It wasn't his time to go," he said. "No, it was not." She turned to him, putting the weight of her gaze on his shoulders. "Promise me you will visit the mirror chamber?" The Hero of Twilight nodded. "I'll go today, I guess. If I leave now, I can make it by sunset." He stood to go and looked for the seven guards that traveled with the princess. "Did you come here alone?" She shook her head. "My escorts are waiting for me by Ordona's spring. But before you go..." Zelda reached behind the rock and lifted a small box, handing it to him. "Take it." Link opened it, staring at its contents. It was the broken Fused Shadow that had served as Midna's helmet. "You have more of a claim to it than I do," she said. "Thank you... thank you for everything." He fought to keep tears from falling as he bowed to her and mounted Epona. As the mare's footsteps receded into the distance, the princess turned her attention to the bush. Quiet sobbing could be heard from its direction. "Ilia," called Zelda gently. The weeping girl emerged from behind the shrub; he eyes were red and puffy. "Oh, dear..." The princess dabbed at the spots under Ilia's eyes, drying her tears. "How did you know I was there?" sniffled Ilia. "I sensed you there. I thought that perhaps you wanted to know why Link was depressed." Ilia nodded. "I was waiting there to ambush him and force him to talk about it, but... I... I never thought that he was..." She trailed off as she burst into tears again. Zelda held her close, murmuring, "It seems Link is not the only one who has been wounded by love." As her tears finally subsided, Ilia remembered belatedly who she had been talking to. I just made a fool out of myself in front of the princess! she thought sheepishly. The expression on her face seemed to have given her thoughts away, for Zelda said, "Do not think your actions have made me think less of you, Ilia. Your reaction was perfectly normal; you would need a heart of stone to not be broken by such revelations." The princess got to her feet slowly, Ilia scrambling to help her up. "Take care of him, Ilia." And with that, she was gone. ------------------ Link left Epona at Lake Hylia; taking the cannon up to the Gerudo desert, he mounted an armored boar stationed at its entrance and set off across the large, flat expanse of land known as the Gerudo mesa. It was an easy ride made difficult as memories of Midna, forged throughout their journey around Hyrule, resurfaced, playing themselves before his eyes. Midna freeing him from his cell. Midna wounded by Zant. Midna exhausted by the use of the Fused Shadows. Midna's depature to the Twilight Realm. "Enough!" roared Link at the air. The boar snorted, stopping in its tracks. "Huh? Not you; keep going!" said Link, exasperated. The boar eyed him warily, then began to move forwards once more. As the memories faded away, Link checked his position. The sun was well past its apex; it was probably around two or three in the afternoon. The Arbiter's Grounds - and the mirror chamber deep within - loomed in the distance. Eating a hastily prepared meal of cheese, bread, and water, the Hero of Twilight urged his mount onward. It was sunset when he reached the sacred mirror chamber, flowers in hand. Laying them by the mirror, he looked around. "Nothing's changed," he said aloud. "Link, I.... see you later." It seemed as if it had only been seconds ago she had been standing there. As he stood reminiscing, the Fused Shadow burst out of its box, floating to the center of the mirror platform. "What the?!" Link walked up the stairs and slowly reached out to touch the Fused Shadow. As he did, purple lightning lanced out from it to the mirror shards on the floor. They crackled with energy as the Sages, roused from their slumber, cried out in alarm. Behind Link the intricate carvings of the mirror were traced in the air where the mirror had once been. A beam of light shot out from this phantom mirror onto a large stone tablet, seemingly forming a passageway with no end in sight. "Impossible!" cried the Sage of Light. "The portal to the Twilight Realm is open! How?!" His words hit Link like a pile of bricks. The portal was open; he could see Midna again! Without pausing to think, the Hero of Twilight snatched the Fused Shadow from its floating position and stepped into the beam of light, wincing as the familiar sensation of dissolving began. "No!" cried the Sage of Shadow, but it was too late. Within moments he was gone. The mirror shards, their energy spent, became dormant as the portal closed. -------- Link opened his eyes as the portal behind him vanished. In front of him was not the mirror chamber, but a large and intimidating palace. He smiled. He was in the Twilight Realm Chapter 2 Cries of pain and anger filled Link's ears as he surveyed the Palace of Twilight with growing horror. The place had become a battlefield; sections of the once majestic palace had been blasted away, while dead bodies of the Twili lined the walkways. Supressing his horror and nausea for the time being, Link unsheathed his sword and shield. Ignoring the multiple skirmishes that raged to his right, he raced into the palace, a single thought driving him onwards: find Midna. --- Midna twirled her three Fused Shadows. Calling upon their magic, she sent three purple fireballs hurtling at the armored knight slowly advancing upon her throne. She howled with rage as they bounced his armor, failing to make even the slightest dent. Laughing, the knight picked her up and threw her against the far wall. Midna forced herself to her feet despite the burning pain that racked her body, the Fused Shadows swirling around her body protectively. Bolts of lightning lanced from the three fragments, glancing off the knight's armor harmlessly. How is he doing this? wondered Midna, fighting her rising panic. The magic of my ancestors can't be reflected by mere armor! "Now, you're probably wondering how I'm resisting that powerful magic of yours, aren't you, little princess?" said the knight mockingly as he pointed his gargantuan sword at her. For once, she remained silent; there was no point in insulting an opponent who clearly had an advantage over her. The knight tapped his armor. "I, Orthos, the Twilit Fury, am wearing magic armor. Isn't it nice? It nullifies any magic attack you throw at me." Orthos lowered his sword. "I have to hand it to you, Princess Midna, you put up a good fight. But you can't win. Give up, and I'll make your death quick. Resist, and -" He never finished his sentence as several lethal shards of debris hurtled toward him. He batted them away effortlessly and raised his sword once more. "Well, I guess I have your answer then!" Raising his sword, the knight slashed at her, missing her by a hair as she dived out of the way. Bringing the power of the Fused Shadows to bear, she summoned a large phantom lance, aiming it at Orthos. "Strike," whispered Midna. It impaled him in his chest; drained by her continuous use of magic, the princess fell to her knees, keeping her eyes locked on the unmoving knight. Though she had been raised with the knowledge that the magic of the Fused Shadows was powerful, she had only recently found out that using their power rapidly sapped her strength. Please be dead, she pleaded silently. Whatever hope she had that the battle was finished went up in flames as Orthos shattered the sword with a lazy flick of his wrist. Midna struggled to stand as the knight meandered over to her, savoring his victory. "It's been fun, but I'm afraid I have other people to slay; namely, those annoying council members." As Orthos raised his sword to deal the fatal blow, an arrow whizzed out of the shadows, striking the knight on his exposed back. Roaring with pain and anger, he whirled around to find a man clad in green standing at the entrance, sword and shield in hand. "Leave her alone. If you have any business with her, you can take it up with me." Midna's amber eyes widened as she heard the voice. It can't be! She strained to see past Orthos' gigantic figure, but to no avail. The knight wrenched the arrow out of his back, wincing slightly. "Well, well. Someone wants to play hero; I'll enjoy cutting you down limb by limb!" As the two circled each other and her rescuer came into view, Midna gasped. It's Link! But how...? Link was a whirlwind of motion as he dodged the knight's first swing, rolling around to strike at his unprotected back. Orthos yelped and swung his blade again, its razor sharp edge burying itself in the hero's shield. Tugging it free of the broadsword, Link smashed his shield against the Twilit Fury's face and jumped skywards, knocking off his helmet with a single blow. As the Hero of Twilight touched the ground, Orthos swung with surprising speed at Link's head. He watched, stunned, as the Hylian shield shattered to pieces under Orthos' sword. After countless battles, it was hard to believe that his faithful shield had finally been destroyed. Rolling under Orthos' next swing, Link slashed at his armor, slowly but surely carving pieces off. The battle raged on; Link could never remember how long they fought for, locked in mortal combat. Neither one could get a clear hit on the other until at last, with a terrible thud, the last piece of Orthos' armor fell to the ground. "You're... good," panted Orthos. "But I am the Twilit Fury; I LIVE on pain! I'm just getting started, and you're already tired!" he crowed. As much as the Hero of Twilight hated to admit it, he was right; despite his formidable stamina, he was already near exhaustion. His Ordon sword had numerous cracks throughout the blade; whole sections were falling off now. Tossing his sword aside, Link unstrapped his bow from his back, taking careful aim - when Orthos simply vanished. "I don't think so," whispered a voice behind him. Relying solely on instinct, the Hylian rolled to his left, Orthos' massive blade crushing the tiles where he had stood only seconds before. "I have to thank you for removing that armor for me; now that the Princess can't use her magic, it's next to useless. I'd rather have the full advantage of my speed!" As Link began to turn around Orthos smashed into him with his shoulder, sending him flying into the far wall. Before the fallen hero could get up the Twilit Fury was next to him, kicking him mercilessly with one iron boot. In desperation Link pulled out a clawshot and grappled to the other end of the room, coughing up blood. He's too fast for him, and I can't do anything to help! thought Midna, clenching her fists in frustration. She watched helplessly as Link was thrown and kicked around like a rag doll numerous times, unable to even lift a finger against his foe. The hero rolled to a stop next to the throne, Orthos slowly approaching him. I won't die here; not after I've finally gotten to see Midna again! thought Link, staggering to his feet. There was only one trick that could work now; if he failed, he was as good as dead. Attaching bombs to the end of his arrows, he made it look as if he were going to fire them. "You're persistent, "hero"; just die!" sneered his foe, using his blinding speed to position himself behind the Hylian. Orthos swung his sword - only to have it meet empty air. "What?!" Despite the searing pain wracking his body, Link had rolled behind him. Bomb arrows in hand, he stabbed the Twilit Fury in the back, stumbling away as Orthos let out a howl. "No. You die," said Link quietly as Orthos exploded, his body consumed by purple flames that flared once - then vanished, leaving no trace that he was there except for the gigantic sword stuck into the ground. The Hero of Twilight, battered and bruised, turned to look at Midna - and fell to the ground as everything went black. "Link!" ---- "You know the rules, Princess! Those from the Light Realm who make it here must be put to death!" "He saved my life, High Chancellor Balore; I don't care what the rules are, but he will not be executed, and that's final!" Balore sighed, rubbing his forehead. They were in the council chamber of the Twilight Palace, where 13 chancellors and the current ruler decided over new laws. None of the other 12 chancellors had been able to make the council meeting, preferring instead to hide in their safe rooms lest another battle erupted. "Princess Midna, you know I will do everything in my power to have the rules upheld," said the High Chancellor, a hint of steel in his voice. "And I'm telling you to let it slide for once!" Midna glared at him. "I'm sorry, but I cannot. The execution will be held two days from now, unless..." Balore paused. "Perhaps you have a better idea?" The princess hurriedly came up with a plan. It was shaky at best, but she had utter faith in Link's skills. "How about this, then; he fights for his life in an arena battle?" He chuckled. "You just sentenced him to a public death!" And that's where you're wrong, thought Midna, barely keeping a smug smile off her face. "Very well, Princess; I'll arrange the God of War to personally oversee his execution. And now, if you'll excuse me, I have other matters I must attend to." Balore stood up to go; as one of the tallest Twili, his head nearly touched the ceiling. "As do I," she retorted. Without a second glance she flung open the door and slammed it shut behind her, stomping up to her rooms. He watched her go, a troubled expression on his face. "Since when have you cared so much about those of the Light, Midna?" ---- Hours later, Midna sat in a chair by her sleeping hero, brushing a few stray strands of hair off his face. "You always try too hard," she told the sleeping Link. She couldn't forget the last time she had seen him; it had been a memory that had haunted her every waking moment since her arrival in the Twilight Realm. “Link…I…” Every bone in her body wanted to tell him; to express her feelings after all their time together. But she knew it wouldn't be fair to tell him something so heartfelt, only to leave him forever. "See you later.” Finally, she let her tears flow free. The Mirror of Twilight shattered, and she turned to go back home. Midna sighed. It had been too difficult for her to say the words then, and it was even more difficult for her to say them now in light of what she would ask him to do when he awoke. How can I tell him I love him and then ask him to go home and never see me again? It wasn't right. She stiffened and watched as Link stirred and opened his eyes. "It's about time you woke up; I thought you were going to sleep forever!" she said, hiding her feelings behind her words. For the first time in months an honest smile crept onto Link's face. "It's good to see you, Midna." Link sat up, ignoring the pain that raced up and down his body. "I did say I'd see you later," said Midna playfully. "Yeah. I guess you did." Neither of them spoke for a while, each content to watch the other, until at last Link said, "You're wondering how I got here." She nodded. Quickly he related the events to her, leaving out his feelings and conversation with Zelda. Midna shook her head. "I don't know what to say; I've never heard of this happening before." She was pacing now, occasionally stopping to look out the window. "I'm sure there's some way we could send you back to the Light Realm..." Link blinked. "I'm not going back." The princess sighed. "Link, don't make this harder than it already is; you know light and shadow can't mix." She refused to meet his eyes, afraid that they would give away her true feelings. "Have we ever tried?" he asked simply. Ignoring his comment, she said, "What about Ilia? Zelda? Rusl? Colin? They need you there, Link." And I need you here, Midna added mentally, unable to say the words out loud. Link winced as she said each name but shook his head. "They can manage without me." Link folded his arms across his chest. "You have a life there, Link, and -" At this he burst into laughter, tears streaming down his cheeks. "What's so funny?" she asked, irritated, as Link gasped for air. "I don't have a life there, Midna; not anymore. My life..." He had come to stand next to her, looking into her eyes. "Is here. With you." Before she could say anything he pulled her close and kissed her. Midna blinked, shocked, then returned the kiss, simply enjoying the moment. "I love you, Midna," said Link as they parted to catch their breaths. Now's the time to finish that sentence of yours! screamed part of her. "Link... I... love you, too." She sighed with relief and happiness. As she kissed him again, she remembered her conversation with Balore. "But there's a problem, Link." She paused; he waited for her to continue, concern reflected in his eyes. Midna took a deep breath. "An old law that says anyone from the Light Realm will be executed." "What?!" "Wait! I managed to argue you out of that, but you're going to have to fight your way out of your execution... through an arena battle." She kissed him softly. "I know you can do it, Link." He nodded at first; not a single person or enemy - including Ganondorf himself - had ever managed to best him in a duel. Then he remembered his broken weapons. "I could, if I had a sword and shield..." he remarked, silently mourning the loss of two of his most faithful weapons. The Ordon sword and Hylian shield had carried him through most of his adventure; it pained him to think that they had finally kicked the bucket. "I knew you'd say that." She reached into a treasure chest, pulling out an obsidian blade and shining shield. Link looked them over, marveling at their perfection. The blade was made of black steel, polished until it had a sinister gleam. Set on the crosspiece was the image of a wolf; small triangular marks - Link assumed they were bite marks - were engraved into the pommel. The shield was silver; runes had been carved into the polished surface. The image of a wolf had been imprinted in the center, reminding the hero of the power that dwelled within him. "These are the Sacred Beast Sword and Shield." Midna paused, looking at the floor. "They were my father's." "Midna..." he began, but she shook her head. "Take them." This, more than anything, proved to Link that she trusted him absolutely. He took the sword and shield from her reverently, placing them on his back. "And..." She reached into the chest again, pulling out a set of clothes. "Here. I wove these myself; they're spelled so that they will resist sword cuts and magic attacks." Midna turned away as he tried them on. As he finished, Midna turned around to admire her handiwork. The outfit was an exact copy of his Hero's Tunic, except it was dyed black; there was even a matching black hat. Red runes had been woven into the white undergarments; Link could only guess what they meant. She nodded approvingly. "You could be one of the Twili with that outfit." A sudden explosion rocked the palace, anrgy shouts from below drifting upwards. "What's going on out there?" asked Link, but the princess was shaking her head. "I can't tell you, not now. After you win in the arena," she promised, and kissed him again. "Rest, Link. You'll need it tomorrow." As he settled down to sleep, she could only wonder what would become of them. Link... don't you dare die on me. Chapter 3 Pale orange light filtered through the window, arousing Link from his slumber. Midna lay next to him, one arm draped across his chest as she slept peacefully. He lay in bed, content to watch several clouds roll by, until it hit him - today he would be fighting for his life. Unwilling to wake Midna, he gently eased her arm off his chest and laid it back on the bed. Grabbing his new sword and shield, he headed out onto the balcony and began to stretch gingerly, testing his body's limits. To his surprise, most of his serious injuries had healed; only a few cits and bruises remained from his battle with Orthos. The Triforce of Courage had done its work, it seemed - the relic of the goddesses endowed the user with the ability to heal all but the most lethal injuries, given time. I didn't think they'd fully heal for another day at least, he thought, then shrugged, unsheathing the Sacred Beast Sword with a single fluid movement. He blinked; both the sword and the shield were as light as a feather. I can't use these, he thought, dismayed. They'll shatter the instant I hit something! He sighed and began to practice, performing every hidden skill and move he knew with ease. Link avoided slamming the sword against the ground as much as he possibly could, afraid it would shatter. "You know, Link, that sword's unbreakable. It's made of the toughest metal known to the Twili, spelled to be weightless. The shield's the same way," came a soft voice. Link looked over at the entrance to the balcony. Midna leaned against the doorframe, her cloak wrapped around her. "Did I wake you?" he asked, but she shook her head. "No. I'm usually up this early, attending to court matters." The princess rolled her eyes. "Hours of sitting in a chair listening to old men argue; honestly, it drives me crazy!" "How long have you been standing there, anyway?" Link had sheathed his sword and was leaning against the wall, looking out at the orange sky. "Since you finished stretching. You should have seen your face when you tried using the sword! It was priceless!" Link let out a mock-groan while Midna giggled. As her laughter subsided she gestured at the sky. "This is dawn in the Twilight Realm. Do you like it?" Link nodded. "It's beautiful, but..." He had turned to face her. "It pales in comparison to you." Link grinned as she blushed a deep shade of red, then wrapped his arms around her and kissed her softly, enjoying the moment. Midna reluctantly pulled away as a faint voice called for her. "Princess, it's time; bring the Hylian to the arena." "All right," she called over her shoulder, and turned back to Link. His face had hardened, becoming an emotionless mask that Midna had seen far too many times throughout their journey. "Link." Though she didn't want to disturb his current state of mind, she had to let him know what he was up against. As they walked down the stairs she summed up everything she knew about his opponent. "Cesar, known to most as the God of War, has never lost a battle. Not one. He's one of the few that rejected magic in favor of weapons, and he's very skilled at using them. Be careful, Link; don't underestimate him," she warned as they approached the arena door. He nodded. "I won't." ----- Link walked into the arena. As his clothes and weaponry came into view, a low murmur arose from the crowd of Twili that sat in the stands. Midna and the council members had taken their places at the front row; Balore's eyes narrowed as they caught sight of the Sacred Beast Sword. He turned to Midna, furious. "You gave him the royal family's weapon?!" Midna shrugged. "What? Do you have a problem with that?" she asked, an impish grin spreading itself across her face. Balore grunted and turned to watch the action. Link walked towards the God of War, taking the time to examine his foe. Cesar stood barechested, his legs covered by several iron plates. His toned muscles glistened in the harsh orange light; in one hand was a curious-looking sword, and in the other was a large axe. The sword did not seem normal; it seemed to be made of pieces of metal connected by a chain. The Hero of Twilight suspected that there was more to his weapon than what he saw, but remained silent, stopping a few inches away from the God of War. Both remained motionless; Link had not even drawn his sword yet. "Well?" asked Cesar. "Shall we begin?" Link shrugged. The twilight warrior's eyes narrowed as he raised his sword to strike. At that instant Link's hand flew to his sword. What happened next confused the majority of the Twili - one moment Cesar had been poised to strike, and the next he was flying through the air, a large gash stretching from shoulder to abdomen on his chest. The hero was in his battle stance now, waiting for the God of War to stand up. Dusting himself off, Cesar winced as he got to his feet. "A careless error on my part," he boomed, and swung his sword. Link's eyes widened as the blade extended towards him; if he hadn't already been shielding the blade would have skewered him. It's like a clawshot, thought Link, surprised at such a unique weapon. The Hero of Twilight rolled out of the way of several more attacks as Cesar advanced, twirling his axe. Sparks flew as the axe glanced off Link's shield. Seizing his chance, Link rolled behind the God of War and dealt a savage slash to his back. Cesar roared and swept his chain blade on the ground, snaring Link's foot. He tugged and sent the hero toppling to the ground. "Got you!" roared the warrior, raising his axe to strike. Link winced as axe glanced off his tunic, but did not cut or wound him. Silently thanking Midna for his tunic, Link untangled his leg from Cesar's blade and clawshotted away, bringing out his bow. He loosed several arrows, but to no avail; Cesar blocked them effortlessly as he advanced towards the hero. The God of War unleashed a string of ferocious attacks, determined to drive the Hero of Twilight into the ground; Link found himself using his sword as well as his shield to foil his opponent's attacks. Finally, with a shout, Cesar raised his axe and attempted to cleave Link in two. The Hylian sidestepped the attack and rolled away, gasping for breath as the twilight warrior attempted to pull his axe out of the ground. It wouldn't budge. Fuming, Cesar turned to face Link, chain sword in hand. The hero had attached bombs to his arrows; lighting the fuse, he took careful aim and fired. The arrows buried themselves in the dirt at Cesar's feet. "What the?" began the twilight warrior as the bomb arrows exploded. A thick veil of smoke rose from the ground, obscuring everything from Cesar's vision. The God of War looked around nervously. Suddenly the Hero of Twilight shot out of the curtain of smoke, slamming his opponent upwards with the flat side of his sword. Link jumped into the air, locking eyes with the warrior for the briefest of seconds, before slamming him back down into the earth. As the smoke cleared the crowd craned their necks to get a better look. Cesar lay on the ground, breathing heavily; Link held the Sacred Beast Sword against his neck. "You're a better fighter than I have ever seen," rasped the God of War. "And you're nearly as good." Link removed the sword from his neck. "You're needed by your people, Cesar; I refuse to be the one to take you away from them." He sheathed his sword, offering to help the warrior up. As Cesar got to his feet an explosion rocked the arena, sending shards of debris hurtling towards the two fighters. Link raised his shield, angled so that it would cover both of them, and weathered the hailstorm of rock, wincing as each large piece glanced off his shield. As the last of the pieces fell to the ground harmlessly the Hylian lowered his shield and checked his surroundings carefully. A large dust cloud swirled in the center of the arena, blotting everything past it from view. As the dust settled both Midna and Link's eyes widened as they stared at the figure at the center of the arena in disbelief. It was Zant. His customary headpiece shined sinisterly in the light as he turned to face the hero. "Zant?! You're dead!" shouted Link, reaching for his sword. "Well met, Hero of Twilight. I did not expect to find you here..." said Zant calmly. Link privately thanked the goddesses that the sane portion of Zant seemed to be talking. "Why are you here?" asked Link through gritted teeth, his grip on his sword slowly tightening. "To issue an ultimatum." Zant abruptly turned to the stands, locking eyes with Midna. "Surrender and live under my rule... or suffer as the power of the sorcerer of legend consumes this world!" Suddenly Link leaped at him, sword raised, only to be sent flying backwards by Zant's magic. He didn't even move! thought Link, getting to his feet. He eyed the sorcerer warily. Neither he nor Cesar were in any condition to fight; their battle had sapped most of their strength. Midna stood up, drawing the three Fused Shadows hidden in her cloak. The fourth piece emerged from Link's pocket, floating over to join its companions as they circled the princess. She leapt from her seat, landing on the ground soundlessly. Zant smirked as the Fused Shadows locked themselves around her head. "Have it your way, Princess," he snarled as the huge, spiderlike creature sprouted from her slender form. The Fused Shadow Beast let out a roar, raising its giant spear to attack. Before it could strike Zant lifted his hand, a large black beam from his palm blasting it back. It landed on the far side of the arena with a colossal thud and vanished, replaced by Midna's unmoving form. "Midna!" screamed Link, sprinting to her side. Dropping to his knees, Link lifted her up by her shoulders and shook her gently. "C'mon, Midna, wake up," he urged. The crowd was silent; even Zant had turned to watch, listening for a response. For a moment it seemed as if there wouldn't be one. Then - "What are you shaking me for?" Midna opened her eyes, smiling wearily at him. "I'm all right. Just get Zant before he tries something else!" Link nodded and got to his feet, turning to face the sorcerer. Zant had raised his hand again, his palm glowing with dark energy, when Cesar stepped in front of him, swinging his chain blade with every ounce of power he could muster. The weapon struck Zant and bounced off harmlessly; with a flick of his wrist, the warrior was blown backwards into the wall, several shards of stone pinning him upright. The mage returned his attention to Link, who was sprinting towards him, sword raised. "You dare to defy me? Foolishness," boomed Zant, and raised his palm. The Hero of Twilight froze in mid-stride, as if he were a statue. "Whatever abilities you possessed that allowed you to defeat me before are meaningless! My benefactor has seen to that," he said smugly, raising his hand again. As a nimbus of black energy crowded around his palm a primal scream erupted from the back of the arena. Cesar's chain blade extended towards Zant, smacking the sorcerer in the temple. Blood dripping from a gaping hole on his arm, the God of War called the chain back and lashed out again and again, each attack scoring a solid hit on Zant's forehead. "You... will... not... hurt them, or my people," he raged, continuing his assault. Link took the time to struggle against the magic that held him; with a whoop of joy the invisible force that held him shattered. Taking out the Gale Boomerang, he threw it at Zant - only to have it batted away. "Enough! You will all perish -" The sorcerer stopped in midsetence, staring up at the sky. He abruptly dropped his hand and began to walk away. "You have a week to think about what I have said. Choose wisely," he said, vanishing in a burst of dark particles. ---- "I don't understand how Zant's still alive," said Link, handing Midna a glass of water. She took it gratefully and struggled to sit up on the mattress. "Don't," he said, easing her back down. "You need to rest," he said sternly as she opened her mouth to argue. "... Fine." Midna propped herself up on a pillow. "There were only two people who could order our princess around like that: her mother and her father." Balore stood by the open door, looking thoughtfully at Link. "What are you doing here, High Chancellor?" asked Midna, irritated. "This is my private chamber." Balore bowed. "Forgive me, Your Highness, but I came to lend my knowledge of the past. You heard Zant talk about the sorcerer of legend, did you not?" The princess hesitated, then motioned for him to sit down. He did so, taking a seat by a small circular table. "Before we start, I'd like to ask something." The High Chancellor eyed the pair. "Am I right in assuming that the two of you... are in love?" Midna shifted uncomfortably. "How did you...?" The council member shrugged. "The signs were everywhere; one merely had to look for them. I don't particularly approve of this relationship - he is one from the Light Realm, after all - but... it cannot be helped." Midna's eyes flashed dangerously. "Link is the one who saved me and the whole of the Twilight Realm from Zant. " Balore blinked. "You mean he is the one who -" Link stopped him with a wave of his hand. "Look, enough about that. Can you tell us about this sorcerer of legend?" Balored sighed and closed his eyes, his hands folded on his lap. "This is a tale every Twili is taught when they are young. Many years ago, when the Twili still lived among those of the Light, there lived a sorcerer by the name of Majora. He was powerful beyond belief, skilled in forbidden arts of destruction. It is said not even the power of the royal family could stop him." Midna smiled grimly. "If Zant's using Majora's power, then we know that's true; you saw how he batted me aside..." She nodded her head at Balore, who cleared his throat and began his story again. "There's not much to tell after that, but the legend goes that Majora was sealed inside a mask and sent to a distant land... No one knows what happened to the mask after that." Link sat back in his chair. "So Zant's using the power of Majora's mask?" A chill ran down his spine as he spoke the sorcerer's name. "I don't know," said Midna, and looked at Balore. "He did not seem to be wearing it, as far as I could tell. This bodes ill for the realm..." The High Chancellor trailed off. "There is not a power here or in the Light Realm that can defeat Zant if he is indeed using Majora's power." The princess shook her head. "We don't know that for sure." She paused. "Link, we need to go visit the Shadow Beasts." "The what?" asked the hero. Balore sighed. "The Shadow Beasts are the guardians of the Twilight Realm, just as your Light Spirits are the guardians of the Light Realm. There are 4 of them, one in each province. Shadow to balance Light." The chancellor was looking thoughtully at Midna. "You may be right, princess; they may know a way to stop Zant." She nodded. "Then it's settled. We leave tomorrow." Link blinked. "'We?' Midna, you're not coming with me on this one. You saw what Zant can do; I can't protect you if he finds us..." The princess shook her head. "I don't care. I'm not going to sit here and do nothing. I'm not Zelda, you know! Besides, how will you find your way to the springs where the Shadow Beasts live?" "Princess Midna, you can't be serious. You cannot just go traipsing around the country, especially at times like these!" shouted Balore. "And I'm telling you I'm going!" There was an edge to her voice that Link had only heard rarely. The Hero of Twilight sighed and shook his head. "There's no point in arguing with her, Balore." Link stood to go. "I'm going to get supplies." Balore shook his head in resignation. "All right. I shall await your return to the palace, princess." With that he left, leaving the two of them alone. As Link turned to walk out the door Midna's voice stopped him. "Link, I'm not going to let you do everything for me this time, and I won't sit back while the man I love risks his life for me and my country... it's why I'm going." Without turning around, he nodded. "I know, Midna. I love you." "I love you too." Chapter 4 Zelda looked out the castle window, growing increasingly impatient. The messenger from the desert had not returned and was five hours overdue for his report. It had been two days since Link's disappearance by the Arbiter's Grounds; it seemed no one knew where he had gone after that. The entire country had been in an uproar, sending out search parties to look for their hero, but to no avail; not a piece of evidence had been found. The princess knew Ilia was worried about Link; she'd received a letter from her stating that Epona had returned home without her master and asked politely if she knew where he was. She paused in the middle of writing a response to Ilia, her thoughts turning to the Hero of Twilight. Link, a farmhand-turned-hero with a penchant for helping those in need. Other than that, Zelda knew next to nothing about him, a fact that perturbed her. It was only through the brief period that she had spent merged with Midna that she knew what little she did. She was well aware that her namesake had known her own hero well enough, aiding him in his quest to liberate Hyrule from Ganondorf's reign of terror whenever she could. It pained Zelda to know that she would never know Link as her predecessor had known her own hero; he would forever remain an enigma to her. Lost in thought, she failed to notice the bright white spirit floating to her right. "Princess Zelda of Hyrule, I have come with ill tidings." She turned to find the Sage of Light floating in front of her, glowing faintly. "You know what's happened to Link." It was not a question, but a statement. The sage nodded. "He was transported to the Twilight Realm." If Zelda showed any sign of surprise, she did not show it. "How?" The spirit was quiet, staring at the floor. Zelda stared at the sage in disbelief. "You don't know?" A breezy sigh issued forth from the Sage of Light. "I'm afraid we do not. It happened so quickly that none of us are sure what transpired." She looked back out the window. "Did he go willingly... or was it an accident?" The sage was silent for a moment before saying, "He went willingly." Zelda said nothing, her suspicions confirmed. The spirit floated over to her, radiating anxiety. "I'm afraid I have more ill news." One by one the remaining sages materialized in the chamber. How could it possibly get worse? wondered Zelda. "The Arbiter's Grounds have fallen under a veil of darkness produced by something from the void." Oh. It's worse. "What happened?" asked the princess, facing the other 4 sages. It was the Sage of Forest who answered. "A portal to the void opened and released dark beasts; we were forced to flee as a curtain of darkness descended upon the sacred grounds. It felt as if our very souls were being consumed!" The princess shuddered at the thought of her soul being eaten alive. "But if twilight covers Hyrule once more, then -" The Sage of Fire interrupted her. "Not twilight, girl, darkness! Pure darkness that will corrupt anything it comes across!" The Sage of Shadow nodded in agreement. "If this force is not stopped, it will consume all of Hyrule." This was the omen in my dreams, thought Zelda, dismayed. I had hoped it would not be something as dire as this, but it cannot be helped. "Thank you for your warnings, O Great Sages; it is most appreciated. Do you know of any way to save..." She trailed off as the Sage of Light slowly shook his head. "Now that the Hero of Twilight has taken his leave of this realm? No, I'm afraid we know of no way to save Hyrule." Zelda hope's plummeted as the weight of despair, cold and familiar, settled on her shoulders. Link, you may have found happiness in the Twilight Realm... but at what cost? ----------- There's a certain irony in this, noted Zelda as she picked up her sword and belted it on; it hung awkwardly from her dress as she turned to take her bow from the chest by her bed. Here I am again, fighting against the inevitable... only this time, all hope has already been lost. It was a sombering fact that threatened to drown her in sorrow. Pushing those thoughts aside she walked out the door and down the stairs to the entrance hall. The army had managed to cram themselves into the courtyard of Hyrule Castle. They patiently waited as she climbed up the steps to a podium and prepared to speak. Looking at their pale, gaunt faces, she took a deep breath. Goddesses, give me strength, she implored silently, and began to speak. "Friends, Hylians, countrymen, lend me your ears!" Whatever little chatter there had been faded away, all their attention on the princess. "I come not as your princess, but as one of your own." Many of the soldiers snorted derisively. "I failed you once, and that is something I deeply regret; for while I have the feeble body of a woman, I have the heart of a king." Zelda swept her eyes over her men. "Another threat, another war; again, we do not know who we face or why they wish to invade our fair land of Hyrule, but let us make them wish the thought of doing so had never crossed their minds!" The Knights of Hyrule cheered as Zelda raised her sword. "Take heart in what she says!" shouted one soldier. Zelda raised her hand and instantly the army quieted, eagerly awaiting her next words. "These are the times that try men's souls! The sunshine soldier and summer patriot have no place in this war; only those fully committed to the cause shall survive. I ask you, not as your princess, but as as a citizen of Hyrule: will you fight to save this land?" A resounding cheer spread through the ranks of the army as every single soldier drew their swords and thrust them into the air. "For Zelda! For the hero! For Hyrule!" shouted an army commander. The men filed out the gates, heading to the entrance of Castle Town, where the defenses were even now being fortified. It's going to take a miracle to save this world, thought Zelda, returning her sword to its sheath. "You did well, Princess; you know how to rouse the army to fight," said the army commander; unlike his men, he had remained behind, watching as the princess stepped off the podium. "Thank you, Rayn," she said, and walked over to him, noting his battered armor. "What happened to you?" The commander's face fell. "We... tried to save the messenger from the Gerudo desert... but before we could, the shadow beasts tore him to pieces. We fought several of them off before running away," he said quietly. "No, don't apologize. You did everything you could." Zelda hesitated, then placed one gloved hand on his shoulder. He blinked and shifted uneasily. "Tell me: will the hero be present at this battle?" asked Rayn. Zelda looked off into the distance, feeling the crushing weight of the truth landing on her shoulders once more. No, I can't tell him; it will dishearten him. It's better to give him and the troops a false hope... than none at all, she thought. "Men are looking for him as we speak. Once he has been found, I am sure he will rally to our cause. Until then... we fight. Speaking of fighting... have the Zoras and Gorons responded to our pleas?" Rayn sighed, and dug inside his armor for two tattered pieces of paper. "The Gorons have agreed to lend us their strength; Prince Ralis of the Zoras is unsure and asks for a day to consider his options." Zelda fumed inwardly. His mother would never have hesitated so... then again, what right to I have to criticize him? Shaking her head, she motioned for him to follow her. Wordlessly they went out the gate and down Castle Town's main street, heading for the gate. As they walked Rayn began to whistle a soulful tune, one that Zelda had only heard performed on sacred days. The bards had called it the Requiem of Spirit, a powerful song said to be taught to them by the hero of old. When he reached the end, however, the commander added in his own stirring notes, the song hanging in the air before finally fading away. "Rayn, that was... incredible!" she exclaimed, but he merely shook his head. "No, milady, it was nothing." The princess stared at him. "Don't be so modest," she replied, but let him be as the passed the town gates into Hyrule Field. Dirt walls, several feet high and thick, encircled the whole of Castle Town; archers stood by the wall, bows drawn back to fire. Behind them stood pike wielding soldiers, ready to skewer any enemy that escaped the wrath of an archer's arrows. Several feet behind the pikesmen were line upon line of soldiers, various close combat weapons at the ready. To the left were Gorons, flexing their powerful muscles in preparation for battle. The smaller Gorons were in a crouching stance, as if ready to roll away at any moment. These were the rollers, Gorons with the ability to force spikes out of their backs as they rolled. Darbus stood erect, holding the gigantic metal hammer of legend. "How soon?" asked Rayn. "Not long now," grunted Darbus as he pointed at the black tide of monsters that swiftly advanced upon their position. Zelda drew her sword, steeling herself for the battle ahead. The five Sages materialized next to the leaders, emitting a solemn emotion. "Why are you here?" asked Zelda, startled. "Ha! While we know of no way to help the... situation... we will certainly lend you our powers in battle!" said the Sage of Fire. "It is as my fellow sage said. We shall fight among you, for the fate of this realm hangs in the balance," said the Sage of Light. A loud cry came from the forefront as the archers loosed their arrows. Zelda looked at the black mass seething in front of her eyes. So it begins. Chapter 5 "So, this is it, huh?" asked Link, looking at the waterfall in front of him. "Yes, this is where the Shadow Beast Domor, who presides over the Domor province, lives." Midna sat down on the blue grass and rested her head against a tree. Blue was a recurring color in the Twilight Realm; the grass, bushes, flowers, and even leaves were all a light blue. It gave the land an eerie - yet somehow beautiful - feel. Only the mountains had remained the same, a dusty brown haze in the distance. "Link, do you mind if we rest? We've been walking all day." The Hylian sat down beside her, stretching out his legs. "No, not at all. I still can't believe I didn't see this before..." Midna let out the giggle he had become so fond of during their travels. "You should have seen your face!" He sighed. This was something that she probably wouldn't forget for a while. Link and Midna had departed at dawn, every Twili at the palace watching them leave. Even Cesar had managed to hobble out of bed to watch, an uncountable number of bandages wrapped around his body. "Take care of the princess or I will have your head!" shouted Balore. Link sighed. "I get the feeling he doesn't like me," said Link. "I wonder how you got that idea," said Midna drily. The hero rolled his eyes and walked on until he had reached the edge of the palace. "Where do we go from here?" he asked, but Midna had raised her hand and begun to hum a strange, haunting melody. When it finished a glowing blue stairway descended from the edge of the palace to the dark depths below. Link stared at it. "How did you...?" She smiled at him. "Isn't it lucky you're traveling with one of the royal family? This stairway extends all the way to the surface of the realm." Seeing his blank look, she added, "What? You didn't think we lived in the air all the time, did you?" Link gestured at the void. "There's nothing down there!" he shouted, waving his arms frantically at the blackness. Midna shook her head. "Honestly, Link, do I have to do everything for you? Use your eyes for once!" "I am using them," he muttered, scowling. "I don't see what you're -" He stopped in midsentence as he peered into the void. Is that... dirt?! Laying his sword and shield on the ground, Link leaned back against the tree, enjoying the cool breeze. It was the first time in four months that he'd actually enjoyed not doing anything. He pulled an apple out of their food sack and took a bite out of it, savoring its sweet taste. "Hey, Midna?" "Yes?" Midna had closed her eyes, wrapping her cloak around her as a makeshift blanket. "If the Shadow Beasts are supposed to protect this world, then why didn't they do anything when Zant took over the first time?" She opened her eyes. "Link, what do you think the first thing Zant did was?" "I wouldn't know." The Hylian looked at her. "What?" She sighed. "He sealed the Shadow Beasts away so that he could create his own perverted version of the Twilight Realm, the one we ventured through, without interference. When he died, everything returned to normal." Link thought for a moment. "Then wouldn't that be the first thing he'd do this time?" Midna opened her mouth to answer when a Twilian ran out of the cave behind the waterfall, screaming gibberish. The princess stood up, concerned, as the woman dashed straight into her arms. "What is it? What's wrong?" she demanded, but the Twilian continued to babble incoherently. "We can't understand you," said Link, glancing at Midna. She shook her head. "We really can't understand you," he confirmed. The woman stared at them in fright. "Beast... offer... killing... wrong... help..." With a sudden spasm she fainted and lay motionless on the ground. The Hero of Twilight picked up his weapons, preparing himself for battle. "I think that answers my question. Midna, you know what we have to do." The princess nodded. "I do. But that doesn't mean I'm going to like doing it. Link, we can't kill the Shadow Beast, only subdue it." She drew out the Fused Shadows out of her cloak, feeling their familiar power flow through her body. ----- Bodies of the Twili lay strewn next to the spring set in the back, numerous puncture wounds perforating their still bodies. Shaped in the form of a bull, Domor let out a snort as Link and Midna entered his domain. "Great Shadow Beast, stop!" shouted Midna, but Domor only let out another snort and lowered his head. Two dark horns glinted dangerously as the Shadow Beast charged at them. "Move!" shouted Link, rolling to his left and lashing out with his sword as Domor passed by. To his surprise the Sacred Beast Sword met nothing but air; the bull's body was insubstantial. "Midna, I can't hit it!" "All right, I'll give it a shot!" replied Midna, and brought up the magic of her ancestors. Lightning flashed across the battlefield and struck Domor, each bolt simply evaporating as it touched the Shadow Beast's physical form. Link sheathed his sword and brought out his bow, firing off arrow after arrow at the rampant bull, but each arrow simply phased through its body, lodging themselves in the far wall. He clawshotted onto the ceiling as Domor charged at him, dropping a bomb below in hopes of damaging the Shadow Beast, but to no avail. "Nothing works!" called Link as Midna sent a storm of phantom blades towards Domor, only to have them bounce off its black form. "Link, look for a weak point! Something! Anything!" shouted the princess, diving out of the way as Domor blew past her. "Ok! Here!" The Hero of Twilight tossed her his other clawshot; she caught it and swiftly latched onto a point on the wall, high above the floor. Link lowered himself down slowly, timing it so that Domor was at the far side of the battlefield. He strained his eyes, looking for something, anything out of the ordinary about the bull, but nothing stood out. The Shadow Beast ran towards the hero, horns pointed at him. Link threw himself to one side at the last second, looking at Domor's head as it raced by. It was then that he saw it - a small shadow bug, one of the insects that had held the Tears of Light back in Hyrule, latched onto the bottom of Domor's head. Of all the places! fumed Link. How am I supposed to strike under there?! The Hero of Twilight clawshotted to Midna's resting place as the princess fired off fireball after fireball in an attempt to distract the bull. "Midna, there's a shadow bug under Domor's head." She stared at him in surprise. "You're joking. That's what controlling him? I thought all they did was contain the power of Light Spirits!" "Yeah, they're actually a lot more sinister than we'd imagined. Look, I don't how I'm going to strike at it; there's not a single opening I can see where I can slash the bug without getting myself gored. Any ideas?" Midna began to shake her head, then stopped. "Well, there is one idea..." she said hesitantly. "Tell me. It's better than nothing," he replied. Midna leaned in close, whispering the idea in his ear. Link nodded. "That'll have to do." With that he let go, reducing the impact as he hit the floor by rolling. Domor let out a growl and pawed one foot on the ground as it lowered its head, pointing its horns at the Hero of Twilight. Come on, just a little more, thought Link, every muscle in his body tensing as the bull charged at him. Ok, close enough! Link dropped onto his back as the Shadow Beast trampled past him, its hooves coming mere inches from his face and shoulders. Link stuck his sword up, knocking the dark insect off of the bull. Freed from its influence, Domor collapsed on its side, breathily heavily. The insect attempted to skitter away, managing only a few yards before a fireball from Midna turned it into ashes. The princess lowered herself to the floor, holding the clawshot out to her hero. The Hylian shook his head. "No, keep it. I rarely need to use both of them anyway," he said, pushing it back towards her. Midna accepted it gratefully and turned to the guardian of the Domor province. "Great Domor, are you unharmed?" she asked. Domor slowly gained its footing again, its legs shaking a bit as it answered. "O Princess of Twilight... and you, the brave hero... A thousand thanks for freeing me of that vile insect's control. What is it you need of me?" The bull turned one shining eye towards the Hero of Twilight. Link gulped. "We need to know if there's any way to defeat Zant and how he got Majora's power," he said carefully, unwilling to offend the Shadow Beast. "You are holding it." Domor trotted over and nudged the Sacred Beast Sword with one horn. "That blade contains fragments of the weapon that sealed Majora in his mask." The hero looked at Midna. "I knew my father had that sword forged using pieces of an ancient weapon, but I had no idea about this," she confessed. Link turned back to face Domor. "If this is really the sword that defeated Majora, it's completely useless now. I couldn't get close enough to strike Zant," he said, still skeptical. The bull snorted. "That is because the sword has lost its power over the years." Domor turned and walked back into the spring. "I cannot say how that foul sorcerer has acquired Majora's powers, but perhaps one of my brethren knows. Seek them out, but be wary, for Zant has most likely found a way to enslave them, as I had been." The bull began to fade away, becoming one with a spring. "Take my blessing, O brave hero, and restore the light to the ancient blade!" The Sacred Beast Sword began to pulsate with a silver light; both Link and Midna stared at it, dumbfounded. "Domor... entrusted you with its power," whispered Midna, shocked. She reached out to touch the blade but flinched as it flared a bright silver. "I don't think it likes you," remarked Link, sheathing his sword. "Look, we should get going...." he began, but Midna shook her head. "No. We have to bury my people first," she said softly. Without another word they set to work - Link dug the graves while Midna gently lowered the bodies into them, then covered the grave with fresh soil using the power of the Fused Shadows. It was nearly nighttime when they finished. Link stood up, brushing pieces of dirt off his tunic. He stiffened as he registered movement from the corner of his eye. "Who's there?" The Hero of Twilight had drawn his sword, ready to attack at the first sign of hostility. "Has Domor... wait, you..." The Twilian from earlier had cautiously entered the cavern. Her eyes widened as she saw Midna. "Princess Midna?! You must get out of here, Domor -" "Has returned to his normal state of being," finished Midna. "Are you from Garo Village?" The woman nodded. "Yes." "What were you doing out here?" asked Link. The Twilian motioned towards the spring. "It is a custom to honor Domor for guarding and protecting us... only this time, he..." She stopped talking, unwilling to finish her sentence as she eyed the graves. "You buried them... Thank you, Princess." She sniffled and wiped her eyes. "Do you need a place to rest? It would be an honor to have you stay with us, if only for a day." The princess looked at Link. "We do need a place to rest for the night," she began hesitantly. "I wouldn't mind," he said, half-yawning. "All right, we'll accept your kind offer. Can you show us the way?" Nodding, the woman led them out of the cave and into the night. Domor watched them go; when they had vanished from view the Shadow Beast emerged from the spring, tossing its head as it snorted. "And so the cycle begins anew... yet whether this one will end in tragedy or triumph, I cannot tell, for elements of both are afoot..." ------- Zant threw a fit, hurling several ornate vases against the wall. "Curse you, Link," he snarled. "If it weren't for you my plans would be working to perfection!" "Relax," came a deep voice. Zant immediately dropped down on one knee as a figure, cloaked and hooded in black, appeared from the shadows. "Master," said Zant, shivering as one gloved hand rested itself on his shoulder. "If you wish to rid yourself of this petty "hero"... then send one of my creations after him. I trust this realm to you, Zant; do not fail me." The cloak figure swept past him, heading for an intricately carved door. "Master, where are you going?" Zant had risen, watching as the figure turned to face him. Two narrow red eyes stared at him in amusement. "To oversee the destruction of Hyrule... personally." Chapter 6 is being worked on now. I would like you to reply and tell me what you think so far, but please be respectful about it.