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By Cere

Chapter 9: Recovery

              Black creatures surrounded him. Link turned in fear, but there was no escape for him. Snarling and snapping noises came from the dark. The shadows were a shifting mass of horrors waiting to spring on him. His shield was in pieces on the floor. His sword looked pitifully small in his hand. Navi lay broken and pale in his hand.
              Then the shadows attacked him.
              Link screamed and broke partially out of his dreams. He couldn’t think straight, but his mind was filled with a sensation of coolness. Around him, it seemed like rain was falling, but none of it touched him. He thought he saw Navi, a bouncing ball of light floating above him.
              A hand rested on his head. “Sleep,” a female voice said. “You’re not ready yet.” Link obeyed, but his dreams were still troubled.

              Wakefulness again came to Link. As he groaned softly and stretched his limbs, he was surprised to discover that he wasn’t in pain anymore. He slowly opened his eyes and looked at his right arm. The skin was pink and fresh. There was no sign that it had been engulfed in flames earlier.
              He turned onto his side and pushed himself up into a sitting position. Where was he? He was inside a cool, square chamber with water perpetually falling down its walls. There was an opening, and through it Link could see red light and wavering hot air, but inside it was cool and refreshing.
              His thoughts were interrupted when Navi excited flew up behind him and spun around his head with glee. “You’re all right!” she exclaimed. “I was so worried.”
              “It’s okay,” Link said, laughing softly. He cradled the overjoyed fairy in his hands. “What happened? Did you save me?”
              “No, she did,” Navi replied.
              Link turned around and saw another person occupying the chamber, sitting on the air in front on a fountain. She was large, bigger than the adults Link had seen. Her body was covered in twisting ivy, and her bright pink hair gathered into three tails flowing behind her head. Link was amazed and a little embarrassed by her scant clothing.
              “Couldn’t have you dying on my doorstep,” she said with a small sense of humor. It was the same voice Link had heard when he had briefly woken up.
              “This is one of the Great Fairies,” Navi said. “She possesses many magical gifts, including that of healing.”
              Link stood up and bowed. “Thank you,” he said.
              A small smile crept across her face. “How were you injured?” she asked, sitting up straight. “Did the Gorons attack you?”
              “No!” Link said in astonishment. “I was fighting the Dodongos in Dodongo’s Cavern.”
              Her eyes opened wide in astonishment. “Why were you doing that?”
              “Because the Gorons were starving,” Link replied. “I wanted to help them.”
              The smile vanished and she dropped her head. “Why would you do a thing like that?”
              “Because I’m going to be a great hero. I’m going to save Hyrule.”
              The Great Fairy gave a small chuckle. “Really.”
              Link was taken aback by her reaction. “Yeah, what’s wrong with that?”
              She turned her head and fixed Link with her pink eyes. “What’s the price you’re willing to pay?”
              Link couldn’t answer.
              “I saw how roughed up you were,” she continued. “You must have taken quite a beating in there. Is it worth it? You could die! Those things could bite your head off and you would never walk on this earth again. I heard you calling out in your sleep. I know you’re afraid of it.”
              Link just hung his head and started shaking. “I didn’t expect it to hurt so much,” he mumbled.
              “Don’t listen to her, Link,” Navi said, fluttering next to his head. Then she turned her attention to the Great Fairy. “What do you think you’re doing, talking to him like that? He’s on a great and noble mission.”
              “I’m trying to help him,” she replied. “There’s no use in helping other people. He’ll only end up hurt in the end.”
              “How can you, a Great Fairy, say things like that?” Navi asked.
              “I’ve learned a lot,” the Great Fairy said. “I used to be friends with the Gorons.”
              Link lifted up his head. “Used to be?”
              “We had a peaceful coexistence and a mutual understanding between us,” she said with nostalgia in her eyes. “I performed numerous favors for the Gorons, and they provided me with company.” Sadness entered her eyes. “Then came the battle with Volvagia.”
              “A great and terrible dragon, born out of the fires of this mountain. It sought to rule and devour the Gorons. A horrific war followed.” She hesitated, remembering what had happened. “I was injured during it. The dragon thrust me into the mountainside and I was buried inside a cave. Because of my injuries, I could not release myself.”
              “Couldn’t you heal yourself?” Link asked.
              “Fairy bodies are different from those of mortals,” she said. “They take a long time to heal. A hundred years passed before I was able to break free. But in that amount of time, things had changed drastically.
              “The Gorons didn’t even recognize me when I emerged. They were very distrustful, especially when I claimed to be the Great Fairy. ‘The Great Fairy died,’ they said. All it took was a few expressions of my great power for them to change their minds. But then they started to worship me.”
              She hugged herself, wrapped up in her memory. “I didn’t want that. If they worshipped me, we could never be equals. But when I tried to make them stop, they grew angry again. All it took was one voice to condemn me in their minds. I retreated to my fountain, and now I spend all my days here, alone.”
              She lifted her eyes to stare at Link again. “Do you see? I tried to help but they abandoned me in the end. It’s no use. Try to help people and you get hurt.”
              Link thought a moment about what she’d said, and then he smiled at her. “I don’t believe you,” he said.
              “What?” she said softly.
              “There are many great things about helping,” Link said. “If I think of doing nothing, people’s faces enter my mind.” He stopped and thought of everyone he had met so far. “If I can do something to help them, if I can do something to save them, then I have to.”
              “But what about the pain?”
              “I’m strong,” Link said proudly, “and I’m getting stronger. I can handle it. And if I can’t, then my friends will help me.”
              The Great Fairy sighed. “I don’t have any friends.”
              “Yes, you do,” Link said, walking up to her. “You have me.”
              “And me,” Navi said.
              She looked at them with guarded hope. “But…why?”
              “Because you healed me,” Link said, smiling broadly. “You still care.”
              The Great Fairy found she couldn’t continue to look into the boy’s eyes. She turned her head to hide her watering eyes. It was too much to hope for, and yet here this boy stood in front of her. She put a smile on her face and turned back to him. “Thank you,” she said.
              “No problem,” Link said, still beaming.
              There was a respectful pause between them. Then the Great Fairy spoke. “Do you have to leave soon?” she asked.
              “I don’t know,” Link said. “How long was I asleep?”
              “Through the evening and the night,” Navi answered. “It’s tomorrow.”
              “Wow,” Link said, “no wonder I’m so hungry.” He turned and looked out the doorway. “But then why is it so dark outside?”
              “Actually,” the Great Fairy said, “we’re not really outside. We’re inside Death Mountain.”
              “Inside?” Link asked in amazement. That’s why it felt so hot earlier. “Then how do I get out? It’s so hot.”
              “I can offer protection from the heat,” the Great Fairy said. “It will last long enough for you to exit the mountain safely.”
              “Thank you,” Link said, bowing again. “That would be very helpful.”
              “So then,” the Great Fairy said, “when will you be leaving?”
              Link sighed. “I actually had better leave soon,” he said. “I have to save the kingdom.”
              The Great Fairy dropped her gaze. “Are you still going to do that?”
              “I have to,” Link said. “I must get the Triforce before someone else does.”
              The Triforce! The Great Fairy was shocked by his statement. Did he really mean to obtain the ancient divine relic? The old legends ran through her mind. Yet, if anyone was worthy enough to find it, this boy might be the one.
              “So, then, I’d like to be going now,” Link said, “if that’s alright.”
              The Great Fairy thought for a second. “I’d like to give you something,” she said.
              “It’s something that might help you on your quest.” She suddenly rose up and hovered in the air. Link was surprised, but the Fairy held out her hands in reassurance. Then she concentrated her mind, and a circle of yellow light formed around Link’s feet. He felt strange, as though energy were coursing through his entire body. Then the feeling subsided and the light faded.
              “I’m impressed,” the Great Fairy said, settling back onto the ground. “Your body is very conductive to magic spells.”
              “Magic?” Link said. “I have a magic spell now?”
              “Draw your sword,” she instructed with a small chuckle. Link did so. “Now, concentrate on your sword. Imagine it radiating with power.”
              These instructions seemed strange, but Link tried to do as she had told. He wasn’t sure what to expect, so he envisioned his sword shining with a bright, pure light. To his amazement, a glowing aura started to encircle his sword. He was so surprised that he lost his concentration and the aura faded.
              “That’s it,” the Fairy said, “but practice with it outside, please. That aura has a destructive power when released. With some practice, you’ll be able to easily employ it at will.”
              “Also, be careful not to use it too much,” Navi said. “This spell has awakened the magic energy inherent in your body. You use this energy to power your spells, but even though this energy replenishes itself over time, it is possible to drain your reserves faster than you can replace them.”
              “Amazing,” he said, looking at his sword with fascination. He never knew that this power was inside him. Saria will love to hear about this. “Thank you very much.”
              The Great Fairy smiled. “You don’t need to thank me so much,” she said. “It’s just gifts between friends.”
              Link smiled back. “Well, I have a mission to do,” he said, sheathing his sword.
              “Yes, of course,” she replied with a tinge of sadness. The Great Fairy held out her hand and a blue force field appeared around Link. “That should last for a couple minutes, enough time for you to exit the mountain.”
              “Thank you,” Link said again. “I’ll come back and visit you.”
              “I’ll be here,” the Great Fairy said.
              Then Link turned and left. As he walked through the doorway and into the crater, the feeling of coolness stayed with him as the scenery drastically changed. Though Link couldn’t feel it, he could see how hot the air was around him. The soft blue light of the fountain was replaced by a harsh red light coming from below him. He looked over a ledge and saw a gigantic pool of lava at the bottom of the mountain with two enormous mounds of rock reaching up over his head. The smoke issuing from those mounds blocked out the blue sky above. As Link looked, he thought he saw something else across the bottom of the crater, hidden in the wavering air. It looked like an entrance to something…
              “Come on, Link,” Navi said, bringing him back to himself. “This field won’t last forever.”
              He turned and looked around. A patch of startling blue caught his eye. He walked over to a nearby ladder and watched with amazement as the force field conformed to his hands to provide protective gloves as he climbed. At the top, he saw an archway that led outside. The force field faded as he walked through it.
              Outside, on the top of Death Mountain, he sat down and grabbed some food he had stashed in his Pouch while at home. As he ate, he looked around with fascination at the land stretching out around him. A spread of green to the south looked like Kokiri Forest. He felt a pang of homesickness when seeing it, but he also reminded himself of the mission he was supposed to complete. When it was over, he would return to the forest and tell Saria of everything that had happened to him.
              When he finished his meal, he stood and started walking down the mountain, Navi offering cautionary advice along the way. The path was treacherous in spots, and Link had to occasionally use bombs to destroy boulders in his way. As he walked farther down the mountain, the sounds of Gorons reached his ears. He turned a final corner in the path and saw a line of Gorons reaching down towards Dodongo’s Cavern.
              The last person in line was Darunia. When he turned and saw Link, a huge smile stretched across his face and he ran over to Link, arms outstretched. Darunia’s gratefulness lessened the discomfort of his bear hug.
              “Many thanks,” Darunia said, finally releasing Link. “The whole Goron family is in your debt.”
              Link took a deep breath. This was the moment he had been working for. “Can I ask for something?”
              “What is it?” Darunia asked. “Anything that is within my power to grant will be yours.”
              “I’d like the Spiritual Stone of the Gorons,” Link said.
              Darunia raised an eyebrow. “The Goron’s Ruby?”
              “I just want to borrow it,” Link said in a rush. “After I’m done with it, I’ll give it back to you, good as new.”
              “Slow down,” Darunia said. “To the warrior who defeated the Dodongos, I will give the Spiritual Stone of Fire. But I ask only one small thing.”
              “That the warrior who receives the Goron’s Ruby may be called my brother, a true member of the Goron family.”
              Link laughed. “Sure,” he said. “I would love to be the brother of such a strong people.”
              Darunia smiled deeply and curled a hand to his chest. A red light formed out of his heart and solidified into a red gem flanked by gold. Darunia cupped it in his hand and passed it to Link.
              “How did you-?”
              “The best place to hide something is in your heart,” Darunia said with a glimmer in his eye.
              “Well, I can’t do that,” Link said, taking the jewel in his hands, “but I have someplace else just as good.” He pulled out his Pouch and slipped the Goron’s Ruby inside. He thought he saw the two Spiritual Stones glow slightly as they rested against each other.
              “Well,” said Link, closing the Pouch, “if it’s okay with you, I have somewhere else that I have to go now.”
              “Of course,” Darunia said, “but before you go, you must tell me your name. A nameless brother is ill luck.”
              “I’m Link.”
              “Brother Link,” Darunia said, “embark on your next quest. Show the power that a child can possess. Someday, I would like to fight by your side.”
              “I would enjoy that,” Link said. Then he ran down the path, waving goodbye to Darunia as he did.
              “Where to next?” Link asked Navi as he ran.
              “The Zora,” she replied.
              “The Zora,” Link whispered to himself. His quest was almost done. Soon he would retrieve the third Spiritual Stone and rescue the land from the evil Ganondorf.

              Ganondorf sat in a small reading room inside the Royal Hylian Library, flipping through pages of ancient books. He sighed and looked up, rubbing his eyes. The size of this library had at first been a great asset, but now it seemed like a horrendous burden, having thousands of books and scrolls to search through. It was all very simple; he just needed to know where the Ocarina of Time was.
              With a huff, he arose from his chair and paced around the room. Outside the window, he saw that despicable princess playing with her guardian. He let out a small snarl and turned back to the pile of books on the table.
              A black figure was standing next to the table. Ganondorf straightened in shock, but then he realized that it was Vindari. “Announce yourself next time,” he said gruffly.
              Vindari bowed. “I’m sorry, master.”
              “What do you want?” Ganondorf asked, returning to his chair and sitting down.
              “Link has retrieved the Spiritual Stone of Fire. He is on his way to Zora’s Domain right now.”
              “Good.” Ganondorf took his map from his pocket. Moving some books aside, he spread open the parchment and drew an “X” over Death Mountain. His eyes wandered over the other “X” and to Zora’s Domain. Only two pieces left and his dream would be within his grasp. He couldn’t stop his heart from beating a little quicker in excitement.
              But the reality of the present returned to him. The Ocarina of Time still lay outside of his reach. And with the boy working steadily on retrieving the Spiritual Stones, he didn’t have the time to look through endless books hoping for the essential clue.
              His gaze turned to Vindari. It was sitting patiently, waiting for its master’s next command. This made an idea enter his head. “How much do you know, Vindari?” Ganondorf asked.
              “How much do you want me to know?” it answered.
              “The whereabouts of the Ocarina of Time,” he said. “Where is it?”
              “Give me a second, master.” Vindari disappeared, reappearing moments later with a satisfied expression. “The princess has it. I saw her give it to Link after he collected the three Stones.”
              Ganondorf’s eyes widened. “Of course.” He searched through a stack of books, found the one he wanted, opened it, and flipped through pages, looking for a particular line. Vindari walked over and watched with interest.
              “There,” Ganondorf said. He pointed to a couple lines and read them out loud. “The flows of time are but a song / Played by the youngest of Royal lineage. I thought it meant the youngest king in Hylian history, but it instead meant the youngest of the family. Where does she keep it?”
              Vindari disappeared and reappeared again. “With her always.”
              “Then it shall be easy to obtain,” Ganondorf said with a smile. The map caught his eye. He thought about the one Spiritual Stone that remained. “Very easy.” Another idea started turning in his head. He turned and addressed Vindari. “Kill the Zora Princess and retrieve the final Spiritual Stone.”
              Vindari’s eyes shot open in surprise. “What?”
              “Didn’t you hear me? She’s inside Lord Jabu-Jabu right now.”
              “But I told you, I can’t take objects with me when I teleport.”
              “Then don’t. Take the Stone and walk out of the fish. Continue walking until you meet Link and give him the Stone. Tell him you went ahead and got it for him.”
              “I must protest, for your own benefit. Fate already dictates that you will enter the Sacred Realm. Messing with fate could disrupt our entire plans.”
              “Fate will have the boy slay me. I will make my own fate. If you are so worried, teleport into the future and see if my plan will work.”
              Vindari looked down. “I can’t travel into the future.”
              Ganondorf thought for a second. “That isn’t true. You just traveled to the future to see the princess give Link the Ocarina of Time.”
              “I actually didn’t travel to the future. I traveled to the past. Let me explain, master. My own personal timeline extends backwards to the point when you created me. I can follow this timeline even further backwards in time to see how events happened before my creation.”
              “Regardless, you still had to move forward in time to return here.”
              “But because nothing had changed. The past is fixed, and thus destinations are easily known. However, the future now, because my intervention has changed it, is unclear. No future exists for me to jump to.”
              Ganondorf considered this for a moment. “Then perhaps it would be wise to cooperate with fate,” he said, “if only for now. In the time it takes for the boy to retrieve the third Stone, I will carefully observe the princess and see when she is most vulnerable. Until then, you watch over the boy. Help him if you have to. His success is our success.”
              “Yes, master,” Vindari said, bowing. Then he disappeared, leaving Ganondorf alone in a room with now-useless books. He again looked out the window at the princess. You are my final piece, he thought with a smile.


Chapter 8<-- Back to Legend of Zelda -->Chapter 10

What did you think? Your feedback is welcome! E-mail me at cere_8@hotmail.com

Link and all related characters are the property of someone else. This is a work of fanfiction and no copyright infringement was intended. Vindari is my own creation.