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    Shadows of Hyrule [complete]
    • Chapter 60

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      Link awoke with a start. His head was pounding. He opened his eyes and waited for his vision to focus. He didn't recognize the room he was in. Where the hell was he? There was a grunt at his side, and he turned over and almost rolled over Daruk who was also laying on the floor. His eyes were closed, but his waving hand indicated that he was not completely asleep as he waved off Link.

      “Five minutes,” he grunted simply.

      And then it all came back to him. The club Revali dragged them to. The loud music, the drinks, the dancing. He remembered the stares as they walked through the city. It had been a while since the big media blow up, and since then, they had basically been preoccupied with school. But as they hit the town, they were noticed. Revali picked a fight with a few of them, but others looked upon them with admiration. Young kids ran up to them excitedly, asking for their autographs. It was unlike anything Link could have imagined.

      And it surely explained why they got into the club without so much as a glance at their IDs. Link didn't exactly plan on drinking, but when the drinks came for free, it would have been rude of him to say no. Mipha, on the other hand, had no problem refusing the drinks, and Revali gladly accepted the ones offered to her.

      At some point in the night, Zelda had disappeared completely. The only thing he could remember clearly was Daruk and Urbosa dancing together. And damn, they made a good team. It seemed to Link something straight out of a movie. Of course, that could have been the alcohol clouding his brain.

      “Wassup, bitches?” Revali called loudly as he burst into the room. He looked down at Link and grinned. “Aw, is little noob hungover?” He tossed a bottle of pills at him, and they landed in Link's lap.

      Link winced and his lips pulled into a snarl. “What the hell, man?”

      Revali's grin widened. Teba appeared over his shoulder. He, too, was grinning.

      “Aw, man,” Teba said. “Do you remember anything last night?”

      Link hesitated, then shook his head. “No, not really.” He rubbed at his forehead, then opened the bottle and quickly downed two pills.

      “Yikes,” Revali said. “Let's hope Mipha doesn't.”

      Link's face whitened, and Revali and Teba exchanged gleeful glances.

      “What-what does that mean?” Link stuttered. “Is she okay? What happened?”

      Revali laughed loudly and Link winced further. “Oh, man, what didn't happen?”

      Daruk sat up at that moment, practically hissing. “Shut up!” He looked around, blinking for a moment as he took in his surroundings. “Where are we?”

      “In my basement,” Revali said with a shrug.

      There was a shriek from somewhere above them, and this brought Link and Daruk to their feet. They pushed passed Revali and Teba, who were laughing together, and ran upstairs to the source of the yell.

      “Revali!” Urbosa screamed at the top of her lungs. “You're so immature!”

      Daruk and Link skidded to a halt in front of a door where Urbosa was standing in her underwear. Her nostrils flared as her gaze landed on them.

      “I swear to Hylia,” she hissed threateningly. “I will kill you all.”

      Daruk blinked blankly at her, still groggy. He rubbed at his eyes. “What's wrong?”

      “That asshole put plastic wrap on the fucking toilet!”

      Mipha came out of a door just down the hall, rubbing her eyes. When she lifted her arm, her t-shirt slid up slightly, revealing her bare thighs. When her vision focused and her gaze fell on Link, she yelped in surprise and fell back against the wall. She scrambled along it before falling back into the room, the door slamming behind her.

      “What the fuck is happening,” Link muttered to himself.

      “I need a fucking shower,” Urbosa hissed.

      “I need an adult,” Daruk mumbled.

      “You are the adult, man,” Link said.

      “Shit.”

      Fuming, Urbosa slammed the bathroom door closed, leaving Daruk and Link standing dumbly in the hallway. Daruk turned to him, and it was then that he realized what exactly Link was wearing. He snorted first, then burst into laughter.

      Link looked down, first at his bare chest, then at the skirt that he recalled Urbosa wearing earlier in the night.

      “What the fuck,” he muttered.

      “And take off my skirt!” Urbosa yelled through the door.

      “Dude,” Daruk gasped between bouts of laughter. “What the fuck?”

      Link turned and snarled at Revali as he and Teba made their way up the stairs.

      “I have to admit,” Revali said with a grin. “You do pull it off.”

      “Don't worry,” Teba said, his face serious. “Most of the craziness happened when we got here.” He turned to glare at Revali. “I made sure of that.”

      Daruk wiped at his eyes, tearing up, still grinning. “Why?”

      “You guys really don't need any extra media attention,” Teba said. “Despite how Revali thinks he can win them over with his charm.” He air quoted the last word with his fingers.

      “Revali, I'll fucking kill you!” Urbosa called from inside the bathroom as the shower turned on.

      “Where are my pants?” Link said with regret. He never thought he'd ever have to say those words. “Will someone tell me what the hell happened?”

      Teba threw Link's jeans at him. “Don't listen to Revali,” he said. “Nothing happened.”

      “Why do you have to take the fun out of everything?” Revali whined.

      “Give him a break,” Teba said. His lips curled into a smile. “He has a lot of feelings to sort through.” He and Revali broke into laughter.

      “Man, you like to talk when you're drunk,” Revali said.

      Link traded the skirt for his jeans quickly. “I will kill you both if you don't start giving me answers,” he said in a deep growl.

      “That's so scary coming from Mr. Feels-a-lot,” Revali said with a grin.

      Link lunged at him then, knocking them both to the ground. It didn't take long for Link to pin Revali, despite his struggles.

      “When the fuck did you get that strong?” he grunted under Link's weight.

      Urbosa stepped out of the bathroom at that moment and stared at the two men on the floor. She was dressed, her hair pulled back in a wet ponytail. She shook her head at them. “Do I even want to know?”

      “Link's butt hurt because he acts like a gossipy girl when he's drunk,” Revali snarled.

      Urbosa frowned. “Stop teasing him,” she said. “You wouldn't know the pain that comes with being in love.”

      “I – what?” Link sputtered out.

      “Don't worry,” Urbosa said. “You only confessed everything to me. Revali, unfortunately, just happened to overhear.”

      “Great,” Link muttered, not daring push the conversation forward.

      Revali grinned up at him, grunting slightly when Link pushed him forcefully against the floor. He opened his mouth to speak further, but it snapped shut when a door opened from behind them.

      Mipha squeaked when she stepped out into the hallway. Link turned and glanced at her over his shoulder, then pushed himself off of Revali, shooting him one last dirty look. He turned back to Mipha, noticing then how white her face had become. “What's wrong?”

      Mipha blinked at them for a moment. Her eyes dropped to the phone in her hand, then back to Link. “Termina is under attack.”


      xox *~* MiSsKaTrInAlYnN3 *~* xox
      I write stuff sometimes
      Shadows of Hyrule | Shadows of the Yiga

    • Chapter 61

      I apologize in advanced for these next few chapters and the lack of actual detailed action within them. I actually changed a lot in this area, rearranged chapters completely, deleted others, and changed entire ideas, and it got to the point where I was finally able to reorganize myself and the story and get back on track, but then I admittedly got frustrated and, well, the resulting next two chapters or so are just kind of rushed through. I probably could have just deleted them entirely without changing much of the plot but, whatever, it is what it is lol. So I'll probably just post these quickly so we can get back to the better stuff ;P

      Display Spoiler


      It took them less than twenty minutes to dress and make their way to the shrine, but each second felt like a second too long as Mipha frantically tried to get through to her parents. The calls were either dropped, or simply rang endlessly without answer, and the texts came in jarring pieces, mostly warnings for her to stay in Hyrule. That, of course, was the last thing she was going to do. Her parents, and likely all of Termina, were in trouble, and if it had anything to do with Ganondorf, they were the only ones that could save them.

      Zelda and Impa were aware of the situation and waiting for them at the shrine when they arrived. Impa's response, however, couldn't have been less than ideal for Mipha.

      “I cannot risk sending you over there myself,” she said to them. “Termina does not take kindly to the Sheikah. Hyrule is on thin ice with them as it is.”

      “It's a four hour flight over there,” Mipha shouted in frustration. “It will be too late!”

      “I can get you there in two. Termina's army will be able to hold strong until you get there.”

      “What exactly are we dealing with?” Zelda asked.

      “Is it a portal?” Daruk followed.

      Impa shook her head. “No, a portal has not opened. It sounds like it is part of Ganondorf's army. Nothing you can't handle.”

      “Why are they there?” Urbosa asked.

      “Chances are, they expected to find Mipha there,” Impa said. “The moment they knew her parents were back in Termina, they made their attack.”

      Within a few minutes, the sound of a helicopter buzzed in the sky, growing louder as it neared. The Champions looked up, watching as the craft landed before them, blowing their hair out behind them. Impa hurried them into the helicopter, and just as quickly as it landed, it took to the sky once more, bringing them to Termina.

      The Champions were not alone. As the helicopter moved away from the city, others began to rise and follow suit. Six more helicopters trailed behind them, each one carrying troops of Hyrulean soldiers to come to Termina's aid.

      And just as Impa had promised, they had crossed the sea and made it to Termina in two hours.
      The helicopters flew over the remarkably flat lands of Termina until the walls of the city rose in the distance. A few of the helicopters had moved ahead of them, lowering themselves to allow for the soldiers to jump out. They immediately began to shout to one another as they rushed at the city where Ganondorf's forces had already broken through.

      The helicopter with the six Champions, however, moved closer to the city, gradually getting lower and lower before circling the air above the city. From where they were, they had a clear view of the battle.

      Termina's forces desperately pushed against Ganondorf's undead army, but their weaponry, as the Hyrulean soldiers had learned earlier, were no match for the skeletal soldiers. Slowly, the enemy army gained ground, hesitating only when Hyrule's forces flanked from behind and caught them off guard. Some of the soldiers had even traded their modern guns. Though swords weren't exactly in demand, they did bring with them various knives, daggers, and bayonets. A few tossed smoke grenades, giving the mortal soldiers a slight advantage as they plunged their weapons into their enemies, taking them by surprise.

      This was not the time to be suffering from a hangover.

      “What's the plan?” Daruk shouted over the noise of the helicopter.

      “Let's make it clean and quick,” Zelda shouted back. “No casualties. Watch what you're hitting. And find and protect Mipha's parents.”

      Link glanced at Mipha, but she spoke before he had a chance to open his mouth.

      “Don't even think about asking me to hang back,” she snarled at him.

      The helicopter continued to move over the city, away from the battle, before lowering in an open area inside the walls. Hyrule's Champions jumped out as it hovered above the ground. They hurried back to the battle, immediately getting lost in the chaos as they threw themselves at their enemies, offering aid to the Hyrulean and Terminan soldiers. Even in the midst of battle, Link could clearly see the locations of his friends. Revali's arrows soared while Urbosa's lightning struck the ground around her. From time to time, the ground shook with the force behind Daruk's power, and even Mipha kept herself busy healing those who had fallen with the help of Daruk's shield.

      It wasn't long before Link picked out a bigger threat; the commander of Ganondorf's army. A large, skeletal creature clad heavily in armor that barked orders to his troops, consisting of not just the skeletal army, but Bokoblin soldiers of varying sizes as well.

      But the orders the commander shouted at his soldiers were what caught Link's attention. He was shouting for them to pull back. It wasn't an order to retreat from being overwhelmed, but because they had exactly what they had come to Termina for.

      Mipha's screams immediately alerted Link to this, and he sprinted through the battle desperately as she was pulled backwards, surrounded by three larger Bokoblins. Link lunged at them, just as Daruk came crashing through, and within moments, Mipha was freed from their clutches, clinging to Link. She pulled at his arm, shouting to him.

      “They have them,” she said. “Let them take me.”

      “Are you fucking insane?” Link shouted at her.

      “They'll bring me right to them,” she barked. “We'll find them, and we can save them.”

      “No,” he said fiercely. “Absolutely not.”

      But Mipha was already pulling away from him. He grasped at her, but only grabbed air as she threw herself back into the chaos. Link let a chain of vulgarities flow out of his mouth before chasing after her. He waved Daruk on and they pushed themselves through the battle in search of Mipha once more.

      When they heard her shouts again, Link and Daruk were reunited with Revali, Urbosa, and Zelda. From the edge of the battle, two more Bokoblins were dragging Mipha away from the battle. Link waved them on, and they hurried after her, keeping back and watching to see where they brought her.

      Just as Mipha predicted, she was dragged to where her parents and various other people were held hostage. They first dragged her down a narrow alleyway where they disappeared in a door in the wall which lead to a narrow and complicated tunnel system under the city. There were more Bokoblins and skeletal soldiers guarding the hostages, and they were prepared when Hyrule's Champions made their surprise attack, immediately springing up to meet their attacks head on.

      The Champions, however, took this smaller troop out with ease, but they were far from out of danger. The impact of their attacks threatened the integrity of the underground systems. The ground trembled and the walls cracked. They desperately tried to dodge to rubble that dropped from the collapsing tunnels as they ran back into the city and into the heart of the battle once more.

      The escaped hostages, however, were met head on by more of Ganondorf's troops, quickly overwhelming then. But Hyrule's Champions sprang into action once more, defending the hostages and taking out the enemy soldiers en masse.

      With the enemy troops significantly reduced, the Hyrulean and Terminan soldiers were able to finish the battle quickly and easily. As their enemies dropped, the survivors started to pull back, making their escape as they rushed out of the city. The soldiers continued to chase after them, taking out as many as they could, not daring to let a single one escape alive.

      Helicopters and fighter jets rushed over the city, moving outside of the city walls, to wear the few survivors remained, sprinting desperately as they retreated. The pilots chased them down, pushing them further away from the city where they promptly gunned them down and dropped bombs to take out the remaining troops. After hours of fighting, the battle was over, and Termina was victorious.

      xox *~* MiSsKaTrInAlYnN3 *~* xox
      I write stuff sometimes
      Shadows of Hyrule | Shadows of the Yiga

    • Chapter 62

      Display Spoiler


      The Hyrulean helicopters brought the soldiers back home, leaving one behind to return with the six Champions. It waited quietly on the landing pad with Daruk, Urbosa, Revali, and Zelda standing just outside. It was late in the evening and the battle had ended hours ago, but they held back to ensure the safety of the city as Mipha was reunited with her parents.

      To Link's relief, they agreed to let Mipha remain in Hyrule, promising her they would return soon, though not as soon as they had originally planned due to the battle. And though they didn't seem eager to let Mipha continue on with her heroic duties, they didn't argue or push the matter further. She was sure there would be more to discuss upon their return to Hyrule, but she would deal with that when the time came.

      Eager to return home to study for her last few finals, she hurried back to wait with her friends at the helicopter, the engine now started and the blades running.

      Dorephan followed them out to the helicopter pad, though hung further back. “You and King Roham cannot possibly ensure the safety of Termina,” he said as he walked beside Link. “Try as you might. Mipha is in danger, and it very well may be putting you in danger, too. I won't say I care much for you, Link. But I care deeply for my daughter. I will do anything for her – even break my ties with Hyrule. I won't see her die in this war.”

      “I won't let her die,” Link said. “I will give my own life before I let something happen to her.”

      Dorephan eyed Link carefully for a minute. “I see.” He clasped his hands behind his back. “And what intentions do you have for my daughter?”

      Link blinked at him, taken aback. “What?”

      Dorephan turned and looked at Link at the corner of his eye. “When are you going to tell her you're in love with her?”

      Link pulled his eyes away. “Never.”

      He raised a brow. “Never?”

      He watched Mipha as she chatted and laughed with their friends. “She deserves better. Better than someone who will definitely get gutted by the King of Evil.”

      “You should have a little more faith in yourself,” Dorephan said. “I would be lying if I said I wasn't impressed with the way you handled that attack. I'd say Hyrule is in adequate hands.”

      Link glanced skeptically at Dorephan but said nothing further.

      “But know I will kill you myself if something happens to my daughter.” He smiled down at Link.

      “Right,” Link said. “Get in line.”

      Mipha turned and watched her father and Link curiously. She frowned. “I hope he’s not giving him a hard time,” she muttered.

      Urbosa turned her gaze to them and shrugged. “I’m sure he is,” she said. Her face turned serious and she pointed a finger at Mipha as she mimicked his voice. “You protect my daughter with your life or I’ll kill ya.”

      Mipha rolled her eyes. “Yeah. I don’t think so.”

      Urbosa smiled. “You're his kryptonite,” she said dreamily. “He'll do anything for you, you know.”
      Mipha glanced over at them once more. Dorian was making his way back to the city, and Link trotted down the steps of the base. His gaze met her’s.

      “Sometimes, I think you're more of a distraction that anything,” Urbosa continued. “He's too focused on you and making sure you're okay. Really, he's only doing this for you. I think you're the only thing keeping him going.”

      Mipha held her gaze on Link, and Link showed no sign of breaking away. After a moment, he moved towards them and pulled at Mipha's wrist.

      “Can I talk to you?”

      Mipha hesitated, her gaze moving from Link to Urbosa, then back to Link. She nodded once and let him lead her away from the group, desperately trying to ignore the stares from their friends.

      “They're so OTP,” Urbosa gushed happily as she watched them together.

      “You did not seriously just say OTP,” Daruk said.

      “Shut up,” Urbosa snapped, still grinning. “Romance turns me into a nerd!”

      This conversation, however, went completely unnoticed by Link and Mipha.

      “What's wrong?” Mipha asked carefully. She watched Link, but Link did not look at her.

      “Last night,” he started.

      Mipha grinned. “Oh, wait, let me guess,” she said. “Is it about the selfies you took in Urbosa's skirt?”

      Link glanced at her for a moment, his brows furrowed. “What?”

      “I mean, Revali did keep his promise. He dared you to put it on in exchange for ten rupees. You said you would have done it for five.”

      “Right,” Link said. He shook his head. “Wow. What the fuck.”

      Mipha laughed. “Or, did you want to apologize for spilling your beer all over my shirt?”

      “Sorry?”

      Mipha shrugged and smiled at him. “Don't worry,” she said. “Whatever Revali may have said, you weren't that much of an embarrassing drunk.”

      Link hesitated. “Did I... do or say anything else?”

      Mipha's smile disappeared. “Like what?”

      “I don't know,” Link muttered, turning away.

      Mipha seemed to think about this for a moment, then shook her head. “Not really. Nothing out of the ordinary.”

      That was a relief, to say the least. How did the expression go? Drunk minds speak sober hearts? He didn't exactly believe Revali, but he felt instantly better knowing that he didn't actually saying anything to Mipha. Not that he would have regretted such a conversation. But being drunk was not the way he wanted to do it. Not that he had planned on doing it at all, really. Not at first. But maybe. Just maybe.

      “Whatcha thinking so hard about?” Mipha asked, her smile returning.

      “Nothing,” Link said quickly. “Just that I need to get the hell home and to bed if I'm going to survive another final tomorrow.”

      Mipha sighed. “Crap,” she said. “Why did you have to remind me?”

      *****

      The trip back to Hyrule was uneventful, and once they landed, the Champion’s felt able to relax again, even returning to their earlier end of the year high.

      “So,” Revali said, practically bouncing ahead of them as they walked through the city. “Where should we take this party?

      Mipha shook her head. “No way,” she said. “I’m out this time. We do have more finals this week.”

      “Lame,” Revali said. He turned to Urbosa and Daruk. “C’mon, we don’t need these babies.”

      Daruk considered this for a moment, the nodded. “I’m down. Let’s do it.”

      Urbosa waved them off with a hand. “You boys have fun,” she said. “I’m hitting the mall.”

      Zelda perked up at this. “The mall?” She put a finger to her chin thoughtfully. “I could skip a night of studying,” she said. “I need a new bathing suit.”

      “I changed my mind,” Revali said quickly. “I wanna go shopping, too.”

      Daruk narrowed his gaze on him. “No, you don’t. You want to -”

      “I have excellent fashion sense,” Revali said quickly, cutting him off. “I’ll be the judge of which bikinis look best. May I suggest a little thong? It says ‘I’m a fun and adventurous ruler of Hyrule.’”

      Urbosa slapped him upside the head. “You’re disgusting.” She turned to Zelda and offered her a smile. “I could use some retail therapy. Let’s go.” She shot a dirty glance at Revali as she took Zelda’s wrist and lead them away from the group.

      Revali groaned loudly. “C’mon, Daruk,” he said. “Let’s go find us some tail.”

      “Classy,” Mipha muttered.

      Daruk shrugged and grinned, waving to them as he followed Revali, parting ways and leaving Mipha and Link alone.

      “Guess I can’t convince you to hang out,” Link said, turning to Mipha.

      She narrowed her gaze on him. “Don’t you think it would be worth putting a little effort into the finals?”

      Link groaned and threw his head back as he walked ahead of her. “Fine,” he said, dragging the word out into another groan. “But only because Ganondorf hasn’t had the balls to show his face around here yet.”

      “That’s the spirit,” Mipha muttered.

      Link looked at her over his shoulder and smiled. But something else had caught his attention in the form of a flash.

      Mipha’s brows furrowed and she followed his gaze, noticing then a man and a woman with a camera. The woman had a microphone in her hand with the logos of one of the news stations. She smiled and waved to them excitedly.

      “Is this my life now?” Mipha said, her shoulders slumped. “I didn’t sign up for paparazzi.”

      Link took her wrist in his hand and pulled her forward. “Don’t worry,” he said with a grin. “They’ll see soon enough how boring you are and lose interest.”

      “Ha, ha,” Mipha said, but she lead Link lead her quickly away from them and towards home.

      xox *~* MiSsKaTrInAlYnN3 *~* xox
      I write stuff sometimes
      Shadows of Hyrule | Shadows of the Yiga

    • Chapter 63

      Display Spoiler


      To Link's relief, the rest of finals week went off without further incident, and by the end of the week, Mipha's parents had made it back to Hyrule safe and sound. Summer vacation was officially in full swing, but Hyrule's Champions could not enjoy in their new found freedom, for they still had another portal to find. And with school no longer in the way, they had to dedicate themselves fully to the fast approaching war, and take every moment they had to prepare for Ganondorf's return.
      When Saturday morning rolled around, the six Champions met at the edge of Lake Hylia in preparation for their trip to the Forgotten Temple. The largest lake in Hyrule and with forests that bordered one side, it offered them plenty of protection from prying eyes - Impa and Mipha’s parents, specifically - however, to their dismay, they would so learn that getting into the Forgotten Temple would be very difficult, and next to impossible to even get out.

      “The entire temple is under water,” Paya informed them regretfully. “It sits in the Tanagar Canyon, just at the end to the north.”

      “So,” Revali started. “Can’t you just bippity-boppity-boop us in there?”

      Urbosa rolled her eyes, already exhausted with him.

      Paya pursed her lips with a slight frown. “I don’t know,” she admitted. “I don’t have the same strength my grandmother has,” she reminded them.

      “What’s the worst that could happen?” Daruk asked.

      “Well,” Paya said softly. “I mean. It could kill me. It could kill you.”

      Daruk sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. “Right. Of course.”

      “Sheikah power is not something to be messed with,” Urbosa said. “Paya has only just begun her own training. We can’t expect her to be able to do everything for us.”

      “Then what’s the plan?” Revali snarled. “Borrow a sub? Rent some scuba suits? I mean, come on.” He threw his arms in the air.

      “I scouted out as much of the area as I could,” Paya said. “If we need to get inside, I think ,” - she emphasized this heavily as she spoke - “there may be a way to get in from the top of the temple.”

      “But?” Zelda asked.

      Paya shrugged. “But, any number of things could go wrong. For starters, the temple is thousands of years old. It could be completely demolished on the inside, getting us nowhere. Or, it could very well collapse on top of us. The temple is very large, and we could be so high up that we simply fall to our deaths.”

      “You mean they didn’t have elevators?” Revali muttered under his breath.

      “We don’t know where the portal is,” Urbosa said. “It might not be in the temple at all.”

      “I didn’t see anything around, though,” Paya said. “But, I didn’t have a lot of time to go hunting around, either.”

      “Fine,” Zelda said, growing anxious. “Let’s just get there and see where the day takes us.”

      Paya nodded. “It would be best if we don’t take every car, though,” she said, looking at everyone’s cars around her.

      “We’re driving,” Urbosa said, indicating to Daruk. “Our cars will handle the terrain best.”

      Revali whined for a moment, then hurried to Daruk’s SUV. “Shoutgun!” Once he was seated inside, he waved a hand at Paya. “Sheikah’s with us.”

      Urbosa frowned. “I don’t want the two of them with me,” she said, thrusting a thumb at Link and Zelda. “What if we crash and die? Then it’s my fault that the Hyrule’s only heroes are dead.” Her tone suggested this was more of an inconvenience than a genuine concern.”

      “Fine,” Revali said. “Let’s go, Zelds.”

      Zelda’s brows furrowed. “Zelds?” She trudged toward the car as Daruk got in behind the wheel. “I don’t like that. Don’t call me that.”

      Urbosa frowned. “Please take care of her,” she shouted to Daruk. “Don’t let anyone hurt my little bird.”

      Zelda turned a desperate gaze in their direction. She mouthed the words ‘help me’ before climbing into the car.

      “Aw, come on, Zelds,” Revali teased. “This is the fun car. This is the car without Link.”

      Link rolled his eyes. He, Mipha, and Paya followed Urbosa to her Jeep.

      “And we’re the car without Revali,” Urbosa said with a playful wink.

      Though the drive to the Forgotten Temple was uneventful, it was also long, and it was well after noon when they finally arrived at the canyon, crossing the bridge as the rapids raged below. Over the years, the area had turned into a bit of a tourist attraction, and there were various cars parked along the edge in dedicated lots. It wasn’t particularly busy with tourists, but there were plenty of teens and young adults enjoying their summer, challenging each other as they dove into the calmer areas, despite the clearly marked signs that warned them of such dangers. The area was meant simply as a place to sightsee. From the dedicated lots, one had a great view over Hyrule, but otherwise, that was all that seemed impressive about the canyon. None knew of the temple that seemed to sleep beneath the surface and all the history it held.

      The Champions navigated away from these lots, their eyes open for anything out of the ordinary, but they found no signs of a portal. They continued their drive north, away from the more active tourists spots, and soon away from the concrete, following the makeshift dirt road that continued to follow the canyon, even up through the woods. It was likely the path was carved by other rebellious teens over the years, looking for a place to escape reality. They drove as far as they could until the brush became to dense. They stopped and stepped out, looking around them for a moment before moving deeper still into the forest.

      They were about to give up their search in the woods, none eager to get lost, when they heard the screams from somewhere close by. They hurried towards the screams until they came upon four teens, just around their age. The Champions did not recognize them, likely being from another school around Hyrule, but the teens definitely recognized them as they came to their rescue.
      There was no direct sign of the portal, but the Champions were not surprised to see the Bokoblins that swarmed the teens as they cowered. The creatures were quickly dispelled by the Champions, and the moment the Bokoblin broke ranks, the four teens made their desperate escape, dashing through the woods without looking back at the short battle.

      When the Bokoblins were defeated, the Champions decided to press on, for surely the portal would be close. And close, it was. It came upon them quite suddenly, in fact, as they plunged seemingly through the forest floor until they landed with a thud on the hard ground. The ground, however, was sloped downward, and they continued to tumble through until they dropped once more, landing in what had to have been a small, underground room where more Bokoblins waited.
      The Champions sprang into action, quickly taking out the second small troop of creatures, but their presence had not gone unnoticed. From somewhere deeper underground, more Bokoblins waited, and upon hearing the battle, they quickly came to aid their fellow soldiers.

      However, the force of their attacks quickly threatened the integrity of the room they were in, and the floor began to tremble. Cracks shot up the walls and the ceiling began to crumble. Zelda shouted to her friends, urging them to cease their attacks and simply escape while they still could. It didn’t seem likely that they would be able to return to the surface from where they came, the climb much to steep, but it didn’t matter as the opening began to cave in around them. Instead, they ran further, deeper through the tunnel as it continued to move deeper underground.

      They quickly outran the rest of the Bokoblins, who’s battle cries quickly turned to panic screams, which were then promptly silenced as the cave in crumbled on top of them. The Champions didn’t stop running until they reached the end of the tunnel, which promptly opened up to the wide open insides of the Forgotten Temple.

      They jumped out of the tunnel as it closed up behind them from the cave in. Bits of rock and dirt followed them into the temple before the cave in ceased completely, sealing their only way out of the temple. They took a moment to catch their breaths and look around them.

      In the center of the temple, they could clearly see what they had come for. The open portal pulsed threateningly, as if feeding off of the energy of the temple. Though there were no other Bokoblins in the area, it seemed entirely plausible that this was where they had come from, and were making their way to the surface to launch their attack on the nearby cities and towns. But that wasn’t all that caught their attention.

      Dark purple goo seemed to cover most of the inside of the temple, coating the walls, ceiling, and various areas on the floor around them. There were puddles of water around the edges of the walls where water had seeped in over the years in various cracks in the structure. It seemed a miracle that it didn’t crumble under the pressure of the water, or that it wasn’t completely submerged in the first place, but it seemed the goo played some sort of role in preserving the temple.

      Or so they first thought.

      “Malice,” Zelda said. “I read about it in one of Impa's old books.”

      “I'm assuming it's not good news,” Revali muttered.

      “Not at all,” she said. “We can't let it touch us.”

      The malice dripped down the walls, the stone hissing as it burned and crumbled away beneath it. Water began to spurt through the weakened points of the temple in the wake of the malice as it continued to drip, moving slowly down the walls and across the floor, as if determined to trap Hyrule’s Champions.

      One thing was clear to them: if the malice didn’t get to them first, they would surely be killed by the collapsing temple

      xox *~* MiSsKaTrInAlYnN3 *~* xox
      I write stuff sometimes
      Shadows of Hyrule | Shadows of the Yiga

    • Chapter 64

      Display Spoiler


      It trailed down onto the ground where it seemed to creep in around the six of them, slowly closing in and trapping them. They inched closer together, their eyes moving between the trails of malice as it moved towards them. It splashed down from the ceiling at their feet, threatening to rain down upon them. Daruk erected his shield, enclosing them in safety. But as the malice dripped down on top of it, the barrier steamed and hissed, slowly melting away and allowing the malice to fall into their only means of protection.

      Link quickly pulled Mipha out of the way as the malice started to drip in. He pulled her into his chest, shielding her as best as he could with his own body and holding her tight against him. He looked around in a desperate attempt to find an escape as Daruk and Revali pulled Urbosa, Paya, and Zelda into their own huddled protection. The malice was all around them now, leaving no opening, and Daruk's shield was quickly starting to crumble around them, allowing more and more malice to drip through.

      “Close the damn portal!” Link shouted at Zelda.

      “Wait,” Zelda said quickly. “There’s no way out of here. Except.” She hesitated and turned her gaze to the portal.

      “No,” Paya interjected. “We can’t go through there!”

      “Then we die in here,” Zelda hissed.

      “We don’t know where that thing goes,” Urbosa said. “We could be just as fucked through there.”

      The malice dripped onto their bodies, hissing as it made contact with their clothing and quickly burning away their shirts. Their skin burned and sizzled with each drip, and even Daruk could not hold back his yelps of pain as the malice melted away the skin on his body.

      Zelda struggled against Revali as he fought against the pain brought on by the malice. She couldn't bear to be protected while the malice was slowly killing her friends. There had to be something she could do, and she was certain there was, but the more she struggled to free herself, the harder Revali clung to her.

      When she finally did manage to break free, she threw herself to the edge of Daruk's protection as the last of the barrier melted away. She desperately summoned the power within her she had only been able to use a few times prior, but the energy pulsed through her and burst out of her body just as she had hoped it would. A strong, golden light shot forth, temporarily blinding them as it filled the cavern before subsiding, eliminating the malice as it did so and promptly closing the portal.

      For a moment, they seemed to be safe, and Mipha hurried out from under Link, unaware that she was all that kept him standing. He fell to his knees with a soft whimper as Mipha spun around on her heels and hurried back to him, dropping to his side. Her hands hovered above his back for a moment as she stared in horror. She moved her eyes to Daruk and Revali, who barely stood on their feet, their bodies in similar fates. Their skin had seemingly melted away where the malice touched them, leaving charred muscle and even bits of bone exposed, and bringing with it the smell of burned flesh. Her stomach churned sickeningly and she held her breath, fighting desperately not to pass out from the sights and the smells.

      “I can fix this,” she muttered.

      Link shook his head, wincing, and balanced against her as he forced himself to his feet. “No. We need to get out of here. Now.”

      The walls, now weakened under the destruction of the malice, began to tremble.. Cracks shot their way up towards the ceiling, causing pieces to crumble away and rain on top of them, the temple threatening to collapse. The ground trembled violently. Link pulled at Mipha's wrist and broke into a sprint, pushing her and the others ahead of them as the temple began to collapse. The walls broke away and the water from the lake burst through the cracks and lapped at their ankles. They stumbled as they ran, their pace significantly slowed by the pain brought on by the malice, but they pushed forward, desperate to find an escape before they were buried alive.

      But they could not outrun the collapsing temple. The ceiling rained down on them and moved ahead as the structure continued to weaken dramatically. Rubble piled up on the ground and they had to work harder to avoid it, jumping to the side and climbing over the larger pieces. Before they knew it, the temple began to crumble far ahead of them, stopping them in their tracks. They watched in despair as the rubble piled high before them, completely blocking their path. The water that flooded in crashed against the blockade before settling around their ankles, slowly rising as it continued to gush in.

      Stunned, they stood motionless, only their eyes moving about as the situation began to settle in their minds. Trapped in rising waters, they were surely doomed to die there.

      “No,” Zeda murmured, her head shaking slowly. “No!”

      Link looked around them, frantically searching for some way out. The water had already risen past his ankles and was quickly at his knees. His eyes moved around his group of friends, the same, terrified expressions on all their faces, causing a wave of anger to rush over him for dragging them into this mess.

      He moved to the blockade, desperately grasping at the rubble in an attempt to free them, but the stones refused to loosen. Ignoring the searing pain that shot through his body, he continued to scratch his fingers against the rock until the skin was raw and bloody. He shouted in anger and dug his nails into any crevice he could find, still to no avail.

      The water had risen to his thighs and Zelda had begun to sob, her hands covering her face. She muttered to herself, over and over, shaking her head. “Hylia, no, this cannot be happening.”

      Breathing heavily, Link finally stopped grasping at the rocks before him. He turned his desperate gaze to Daruk, who's face had grown paler than Link had ever seen.

      “Do something.” It was all Link could think to say. He didn't have the answers anymore. He needed someone to turn to. Someone had to have a better idea than he.

      “It might kill us anyway,” Daruk muttered. “But I have an idea.”

      “No,” Urbosa started. “It will definitely kill us.”

      “We're going to die, anyway,” Revali muttered.

      Daruk stepped forward regardless, the water now at their hips and waists. He pushed Link behind him and flexed his fingers, then cracked his knuckles. “We're getting out of here,” he said through clenched teeth. He made a fist, braced himself, then let a punch fly straight into the pile of rubble. The blockage cracked and shuddered under the weight of his punch, but it was hardly his full strength.

      “Wait,” Mipha said suddenly. “We need to get higher. We need to break through the ceiling. We’ll have a better chance of not being crushed by the temple or the force of the water.”

      They fell silent for a moment. A hole in the ceiling of the cavern would cause the space they were in to fill much more quickly with water. But they would have a way out. They could surely swim through and, assuming Mipha was right, to the surface.

      “Nothing is ever that easy,” Zelda muttered. She sniffed slightly. “It won't work.”

      Daruk turned his gaze to Link. “You're the boss.”

      The water was to their chests. He didn't want to be the boss. “Just do it,” he muttered.

      They quickly started to climb the blockage, reaching to one another to help each other up. Their feet slipped as rubble shifted under their weight, but otherwise, they managed to get close enough to the ceiling. The water was still rising quickly below them, lapping at their ankles as they climbed, chasing them.

      Daruk turned his attention to the ceiling. Despite their climb, they could not out race the rising waters, and they simply gave up to tread water. Daruk steadied himself, stretched his neck to the side, then let his fist fly as hard as he could against the ceiling. His fist burst through the ceiling of the temple and the water came rushing through. The pressure of the water cracked the rest of the ceiling, and they pressed their faces to take in the last of the air before the temple completely filled with water.

      Link blinked underwater, taking a moment to orient himself. Daruk was already pulling Urbosa and Paya through the water towards him and pushing them up. The sun was shining through the surface, lighting the underwater world around them, making fresh air seem just in their reach.
      Link found Mipha and pushed her forward, where she swam quickly and easily catching up to Urbosa and Paya. Revali pulled Zelda with him, and he and Daruk quickly followed suit.

      Already, he could feel his lungs burning from the extra force he had pushed onto his body, and his mind started to feel dizzy from lack of oxygen. He was quickly disoriented as he fought against his mind to stay in focus. He recognized the sunlight from the surface, but could no longer see his friends. He kicked hard, swimming up towards the light, but the surface only seemed to move further and further away.

      The edges of his vision began to blur and darken and he had to fight against his brain to open his mouth and take in oxygen that wasn't there. He fought against every instinct he had until he could feel his mind begin to shut down, and without realizing it, his lungs quickly filled with water.

      He wasn't sure if he had closed his eyes, or if his vision had simply given up on him, but his world was very dark, and his mind very quiet. He didn't even notice the hand that grabbed at his wrist and yanked him through the water. Revali pulled him up onto solid ground where he choked and sputtered, throwing up the water he had swallowed unwillingly. He coughed and gasped, his head pounding and spinning, and slowly but surely, his vision returned to him.

      He was on his knees, staring at the green grass as he choked up the last of the water that was in his lungs. They burned in his chest, but otherwise gladly welcomed the fresh air that filled them. He put a hand on the ground to steady himself and let his eyes wander. The sword lay just a few feet away against the grass. and Mipha was kneeling beside him, her wet hair and clothes plastered to her body. Her brows knit together in concern as she looked him over.

      “Are you okay?”

      Link sighed in an attempt to slow his breathing and grunted in response. His body, now realizing that he was out of harm's way, let the rush of pain flood back to his mind, and a small whimper escaped his lips as the searing pain on his back returned. His elbow shook under the weight of his body and he let himself collapse to the ground, his eyes closed.

      “Link!”

      “Don't touch me,” he grunted, forcing the words out instead of another whimper. “Just let me die here, now. Thanks.”

      But the pain was already diminishing. He could practically feel his wounds healing; the muscle regenerated fresh, healthy tissue. His skin pulled and tightened as the pieces formed and came together, as if he were being stitched close. Within a few minutes, the pain was gone and his wounds were completely healed.

      “There,” Mipha said softly, her warm hands against his bare back. “Good as new.”

      Link rolled over lazily and sighed loudly. “Thanks.” He opened his eyes, but Mipha was not there. He pushed himself up, looking around. Mipha was already at Revali's side, who was also on the ground, doubled over in pain from the malice wounds on his back. Zelda held his hand in her best attempt to comfort him. Just yards away, Urbosa was letting Daruk lean against her. She said something to him and smiled. Daruk did he best to return her grin, but he was wincing at his own pain.

      Link turned away from the sight of his wounded friends and took the opportunity to look around them. They were somewhere along the edge of Lake Hylia. He could barely make out the bridge in the distance, but had no idea where they had come from. He tried to busy himself with his phone, but it was dead, either from the malice or the water. There would be no calling for help and no use of the GPS to get themselves back to the shrine.

      After a few minutes, both Revali and Daruk were healed, though Mipha was worn from the process. She was sitting on the ground with Urbosa, her eyes closed as she leaned against her. Urbosa let her fingers run through Mipha's hair, looking up as Link approached them and offering a tired smile.

      “I have a new found hatred for this damn country,” Revali muttered, his arms crossed. “Let's get out of this shit hole.”

      Link stepped aside as Daruk approached, bending down and lifting Mipha into his arms. “You know what we look like, right?” he muttered.

      “Too many rumors I care to be associated with,” Zelda said. She sighed as she tried to turn her phone on. “We're definitely getting the cops called on us.”

      “Three guys with no shirts and a passed out girl.” Urbosa shook her head. “What could go wrong?”

      xox *~* MiSsKaTrInAlYnN3 *~* xox
      I write stuff sometimes
      Shadows of Hyrule | Shadows of the Yiga

    • Chapter 65

      Display Spoiler


      Though they managed to close the portal and escape the crumbling remains of the Forgotten Temple, Hyrule’s Champions were not out of the woods. Unbeknownst to them, several more Bokoblins had managed to make their way out of the woods undetected and were pushing forward in their own mission to cause even more chaos in the land. They had just managed to pull themselves out of the waters of the canyon and navigate through the woods when they first noticed something was amiss.

      It came first as a tremble, seemingly deep beneath their feet. They hesitated, their eyes darting around for danger, but the world was still. The trembling ceased, but only for a moment before it returned, stronger, closer, until the ground erupted just yards from them. They stumbled backwards, their horrified gazes locked on the strange machine that rose from the cracks and crevices in the ground. Two spidery, mechanical legs emerged first, quickly followed by what could only be some sort of head on top of a dome. The head turned left and right quickly, its mechanics squeaking and groaning with years of disuse. After a moment, it turned completely around, revealing a single, blue center, much like an eye. It moved until it found the seven teens, seemingly alerted by their presence. It focused in on them, then turned red. The mechanics whirred to life as it pulled itself out of the ground, revealing four more legs.

      Now completely emerged from the ground, it moved quickly towards them on its six legs, and the Champions didn’t have to think twice, turning on their heels and sprinting back into the woods. But the machine charged after them regardless, taking down the trees that dared hinder its attack. It closed the space between them quickly, and in a matter of seconds since it locked on to them, a deadly blast shot from the center eye, just barely missing the Champions. The ground burst where the attack hit and the dry grass and leaves instantly ignited.

      They pressed onward, as fast as they could, desperately dodging between the trees in hopes of throwing off the machine that pursue them, but it quickly became clear that they would not be able to outrun it for much longer.

      “Paya,” Zelda shouted. “Get us out of here!”

      “Don’t you think we should, I dunno, stop this thing?!” Revali barked at her.

      Urbosa stopped dead in her tracks, spinning on her heels to face the machine. With a snap of her fingers, lightning struck violently. The machine stuttered for a moment, then came to a stop as the shock of the attack moved through its internal structure. It seemed stunned, if such a thing were possible for a machine. But after a few moments, it came back to life and picked up the chase once more, its blue eye quickly turning red as it locked onto its target.

      Urbosa hurried to catch up with her friends, but not before snapping her fingers again, taking every advantage she could to hold the machine off. It stuttered and hesitated once more, allowing them to gain their lost ground back, if only for a moment.

      “Paya!” Zelda shouted once more.

      “I can’t!”

      Link grit his teeth together, slamming on his own breaks and drawing out his sword. He turned and ran towards the machine, just as Urbosa let another strike of lightning slam into it. When it was stunned, Link swung his sword at the nearest mechanical leg, and it sliced through it with ease. He jumped backwards just as the machine regained itself, and he and Urbosa turned to run once more.

      “Five more times,” Urbosa said with a grin. “We got this.”

      But the machine seemed irritated to have its leg cut off. Despite its missing limb, it seemed to move faster, bursting through the woods and knocking down every tree in its path. The time between its attacks seemed to increase, and the Champions found themselves having a more difficult time dodging the deadly blasts.

      Once more, Urbosa and Link stopped between blasts. Urbosa stunned the machine, and Link threw himself at the next leg he could reach. With two legs missing, they picked up their pace, narrowly dodging another blast from the pissed off machine.

      The blasts came quicker still, and more erratic. The next one struck much too close, sending the Champions stumbling to the ground, allowing the machine to quickly close in on them, readying another blast.

      Daruk’s shield burst forth around them, but it immediately shattered behind the force of the blast. The machine was quick to prepare another attack, and they just barely had enough time to throw themselves out of the path.

      Urbosa stunned it once more with another attack, and Link lunged himself at the third leg, slicing it clean off from the body of the machine. But being down to its last three didn’t seem to hinder its movement as much as they had hoped it would, and still, it pressed on, firing blast after blast at the exhausted Champions. Urbosa could no longer keep up with its speed, and Daruk did not have the energy to continue to erect barriers around them for protection.

      While his friends continued to run for their lives, Link turned to face the machine once more, this time waving his arms in the area in an attempt to catch its attention. The blue eye turned red again as it focused on him, then locked on, following quickly as Link brought it away from the group. He sprinted through the woods, narrowly dodging three more blasts as the machine chased him.
      From somewhere behind him, Urbosa tried desperately to slow down the machine. Lightning struck the ground around Link and the machine, hitting everything else and knocking trees down around them, giving Link more obstacles to avoid. From the corner of his eye, he saw Paya appear just a few yards to his left. She thrust her palm out and an invisible force wave pulsed through the forest, taking with it even more trees. It knocked Link off of his feet, but in turn, it pushed the machine violently, sending it flying backwards a few more yards.

      Before he had a chance to react, a hand yanked him back to his feet, and Revali ran beside him as the machine took up the chase once more.

      “What’s your fucking plan?” Revali snapped at Link.

      “I don’t have one!”

      Without realizing it, they had come to the edge of the forest. The trees had thinned, and before them was nothing but the canyon. Unless they wanted to dive back into the raging rapids, they had nowhere else to go.

      Before Link had a chance to even comprehend the situation he had found himself in, he felt a hard, blunt force against the entire left side of his body, knocking him abruptly to the ground where he lay stunned for a moment. And then he realized the sounds of the machine had silenced. He pushed himself up onto his knees and saw first Daruk’s red barrier above him. Then, beside him, Revali lay motionless. Paya was already hurrying to him, dropping to her knees beside him.
      From the treeline, Urbosa and Daruk - still carrying Mipha - emerged. Zelda was standing a few yards in front of them, her arm outstretched, which explained why the machine seemed to have fallen silent. But to Link’s dismay, it was not yet defeated, though visibly and badly damaged. It whirred to life once more, turning its red eye back towards the forest where it promptly shot off another blast. From behind it, Link could not see where it hit, but his heart dropped when the barrier around him shattered abruptly.

      “Daruk!”

      Lightning strikes pummeled the machine, one after another. There was a loud crack that seemed to split the air, but it did not come from Urbosa’s attacks. Panicked, Link’s eyes darted back and forth until they landed on what could have only been a mirage of sorts. The old Sheikah leader stood before them, both arms outstretched, and suddenly, Link felt the all too familiar force of being seemingly ripped through time and space.

      It was not at the shrine where Link found himself. In fact, he didn’t recognize his surroundings at all. But he barely had a chance to even try to put the pieces together before he was being pulled abruptly to his feet. He only barely recognized the man that grabbed him as Dorian, Impa’s next in command. His gaze was fierce on Link, and based on the sudden wave of energy he felt, Link assumed Dorian was healing him, but he pulled himself out of Dorian’s grasp as his eyes darted around.

      Around him, he could now see that the room was buzzing with energy. Voices shouted to one another and bodies hurried about. Link recognized a few of the people to be other Sheikah based on their signature tattoos and similar white hair, while others were draped in scrubs, some already stained with blood.

      Link’s brows furrowed as he tried to figure out what was going on around him. He caught a glimpse of Urbosa’s red hair, and as people passed between them, he could see that she, too, was in the clutches of another Sheikah. Their confused gazes met briefly before more people hurried between them.

      Link was jolted backwards, and he let himself be pulled by Dorian. They moved briskly out of the room, down a bustling hallway, before finally turning through another doorway that brought them into a dimly lit room. The door closed loudly behind them. Link stood in the middle of the room, staring dumbly at Dorian. His eyes took a moment to adjust to the change in light, and that’s when he realized he was in some sort of hospital. He turned his gaze to Dorian, who regarded him coldly.

      “What the fuck did you do?”

      xox *~* MiSsKaTrInAlYnN3 *~* xox
      I write stuff sometimes
      Shadows of Hyrule | Shadows of the Yiga

    • Chapter 66

      Display Spoiler


      Link continued to stare at Dorian, and this only angered the Sheikah further. He stepped forward and grabbed Link by his shirt. His nostrils flared as he shouted at him.

      “What did you do?”

      “Uh,” Link started. “You know. Went out for tea and fruitcake.”

      Dorian thrust him forcefully. His lips pulled back in a sneer.

      “We closed a fucking portal,” Link shouted at him.

      “Impa gave you no orders to close a portal,” Dorian barked back.

      “I didn’t know I needed to take orders from Impa,” Link sneered. “We had an idea where one of the portals could be, so we checked it out.” He crossed his arms. “Maybe if Impa was a little more forthcoming -”

      “Idiot,” Dorian snapped. “You had no business being at the Forgotten Temple.”

      Link narrowed his eyes on the Sheikah. “No business? It’s my damn job to close those portals so we have a damn fighting chance in this war.”

      “Your job,” Dorian hissed, “is to do as Impa says, when she says.”

      Link held his gaze on Dorian. Something didn’t sit right with him, but he knew he would get no answers from the Sheikah.

      “You’re friends almost died for that stunt you pulled,” Dorian continued. “You’ll be lucky if they pull through.”

      He suddenly remembered Daruk and Revali and Mipha. His forehead creased with worry, then narrowed on Dorian once more. “Where are they?”

      “They’re being taken care of,” Dorian said, his voice softer. “They will stay here until Impa approves them to leave.” He turned to the door. “This is a highly secure, classified military support hospital. Do not step foot outside without permission from Impa.” And with that, he left Link alone in the room.

      *****

      It took awhile for Link to navigate the hospital in search of his friends. Most of the doctors and Sheikah ignored him completely, too busy trying to save lives. And from what Link could gather, there was a lot of lives in the hospital needing saving. Hyrulean soldiers milled about the hallways, some gathered together in casual conversation while others seemed to be stretching their legs after their own recovery. Though, Link couldn’t imagine what they were recovering from. He was sure he would be aware of any and all battles that would be going on. Clearly, secrets were being kept from him, but he couldn’t worry about that until he knew his friends were alright.

      He finally found Zelda, Urbosa, and Paya in one of the waiting rooms. They stood quickly when they saw Link, their faces torn with confusion and worry.

      “What’s going on?” Zelda asked. “What did Dorian want?”

      Link shook his head and shoved his hands in his pockets. “Nothing,” he lied, then shrugged. “To tell me I’m an idiot.”

      This didn’t seem to satisfy Zelda as she held her gaze on him, but she didn’t press further.

      “Where is everyone?” Link asked. His brows knit together as he looked around, hoping for some sign.

      “I don’t know,” Zelda admitted. “I think Revali and Mipha are fine,” she continued, then hesitated. “Daruk was hit pretty bad. He was trying to protect Mipha.”

      Link cursed under his breath. His knees felt weak, and he felt suddenly exhausted. He let himself fall into one of the seats and dragged his palms down his face. Zelda sat next to him.

      “I’m sure everything will be fine,” she said in an attempt to sound reassuring, but her own voice shook. She turned away from him and slouched in the seat slightly, feeling defeated.

      Time ticked by endlessly as the four of them sat and waited. Soon, the waiting became too much for Link, and he paced back and forth, his mind racing. His fists were balled at his side, causing his fingers to cramp. He flexed them at his side for a moment before they curled into his palms once more, his nails digging into the skin. The room was much too quiet as everyone waited in solemn silence until Zelda finally muttered.

      “Your pacing isn’t going to make things go any quicker.”

      In a moment of weakness, a wave of frustration washed over him, and he punched his fist through the wall. He immediately regretted it as he felt his knuckles shatter from the impact and he had to bite his lip to keep himself from shouting angrily. Instead, however, the anger continued to course through his blood, and he resorted to kicking his shoe into the wall. After another hole was put into the wall, he tossed his sword across the room and it clattered loudly against the floor.

      He stood for a moment, his breathing heavy, staring at the sword, until he finally calmed down enough to let himself lean against the wall. He slid against the wall until he met the floor where he stared at the floorboards in silence, still holding his broken hand.

      “Link.”

      He turned his gaze to Zelda and in that moment, he felt the water well in his eyes. He closed them in an attempt to keep the tears at bay, turning suddenly when a door opened and Impa emerged. She turned to look at the two holes in the wall, then turned her gaze onto Link as he got to his feet.

      “I’m sure you plan on fixing that,” Impa said.

      Link bit his tongue, fuming once more.

      “Is Daruk going to be alright?” Urbosa asked softly.

      Impa sighed. “Yes, but we’ll need to move him to ICU to be watched for the next few days. My power can only do so much in these instances. I suggest you all get home and get some rest yourselves. It’s only a matter of time before Ganondorf shows himself. You must take time to prepare yourselves.”

      “I leave when we all leave,” Zelda said, and Urbosa nodded.

      Impa shrugged. “Suit yourselves.” And with that, she left them alone in the waiting room.

      Paya moved toward Link hesitantly, her hand outstretched for a moment before taking his wrist. Link said nothing as she worked at healing his broken knuckles. When she was finished, she offered him a smile as he pulled his hand away.

      “Thanks,” he muttered. He wiped the still fresh blood on his jeans without a second thought, and without another word, he left the waiting room. He couldn’t stand to be there any longer, but he didn’t know where else to go, so he wandered the hospital aimlessly until he stumbled upon the room where Mipha slept. He poked his head inside, then slipped in quietly and took the seat against the wall, facing the bed.

      He slouched in the chair and let his arms dangle loose over the sides as he watched Mipha. The heart monitor beeped in steady rhythm, and her chest rose and fell with each soft breath. Satisfied that she was alive and well, Link let himself drift off to sleep.

      xox *~* MiSsKaTrInAlYnN3 *~* xox
      I write stuff sometimes
      Shadows of Hyrule | Shadows of the Yiga

    • Chapter 67

      Display Spoiler


      It took Mipha a few moments before she realized where she was when she woke up. She blinked for a moment as her eyes adjusted, then tilted her head to the sound of a soft snore. Link was oddly sprawled out on an oversized chair, one leg managing to drape over the arm while the other was outstretched, his heel on the floor. His body was twisted around to allow his head to rest on one arm as a pillow while the other hung off the chair. It was enough to make her giggle, which awoke the groggy Link.

      He blinked in the light before pushing himself upright. He let out a yawn as he stretched, then blinked a few more times in the light before turning his gaze to Mipha. He smiled, then settled back into the chair. “How was your nap?”

      Mipha's smile disappeared. “Uh. Not very restful.” She hesitated. “How long have I been out?”

      Link shrugged. “Most of the night.”

      “Oh.” She sighed lightly and turned her attention back to Link. “How are you?”

      “All in one piece, thanks.” He stood and stretched. “And now that you're awake, I won't feel so bad taking the bed.” He grinned and pushed her over, sitting beside her and stretching his legs out. He nestled in close to her, letting himself sink into the pillow with a sigh.

      “Have you been here the whole time?”

      “Yes.”

      “You didn't have to be,” she said softly.

      “I know,” he said through a yawn. “There's a lot of things I don't have to do. But I do them anyway.”

      Mipha smiled and looked down at her hands. “I know. But sometimes I wish you wouldn't.”

      “Hm? Why?” Link's eyes were closed and he was quickly fading.

      “I don't know.” She hesitated. “I know you want everyone to stay alive, but you have to stay alive, too.” When he didn't respond, she looked over to him. His eyes were open, but he seemed to be staring off into space.

      “What’s wrong?” she asked softly.

      Link shifted and shrugged with one shoulder. He closed his eyes and sighed softly through his nose. “Nothing.”

      Mipha said nothing for a moment. She looked around, her eyes moving across the wires that were attached to her when another concern came to mind. “Is everyone else okay?”

      Again, Link did not respond, and Mipha moved her gaze back to him.

      “Yeah,” he finally said after a moment. “I guess.”

      Mipha’s brows furrowed. “You guess?” She bit her lower lip. “What happened?”

      “What didn’t happen?” Link muttered.

      Mipha sat up, causing Link to drop back against the bed. He sneered at her briefly for the disturbance, then tore his gaze away immediately.

      “What happened?” she asked again, her voice hard. “Are they alive?”

      “Yes,” Link said in aggravation, but his voice softened. “I think. Yeah.”

      Her voice raised. “You think ?”

      He lay back against the bed and closed his eyes. He didn’t want to have to discuss it with her. He didn’t want to relive the events that happened just twelve hours ago. He didn’t want to think of his best friend seemingly hanging on for dear life. He wanted to ignore it all, at least for a little while.
      And he definitely didn’t want to cry, but the lump formed in his throat all the same. It seemed to cut off his airway completely and he sighed loudly in an attempt to keep himself from breaking down.

      He didn’t open his eyes until he felt Mipha settle back into the bed beside him. Her fingers brushed stray strands of hair out of his face. He met her worried gaze and did his best to offer her a reassuring smile before closing his eyes again. Her fingers moved between his, squeezing tightly in an attempt to comfort him, unsure of what else she could do.

      “Everything’s going to be okay,” she said softly.

      Link tore his gaze away. “Who else has to get hurt? Who has to die?”

      “No one’s going to die.”

      Link straightened and met Mipha’s gaze, his brows knit together. “You can’t heal everyone, Mipha. You can’t bring back dead.”

      Mipha hesitated and averted her gaze. “No one’s -”

      “I won’t let anyone die for me,” he said fiercely.

      “Would you do it for us?”

      His expression softened. “Yes.” He paused. “But I’m allowed to. It’s my -”

      “It’s not your job,” Mipha said sternly. “It’s no one’s job. We volunteered to do this. We want to help you, Link, no matter the consequence.”

      “I care about the consequences,” Link said. “I don’t want my friends dying over this.”

      “Well,” she started softly. “We don’t want you dying over this.”

      Link hesitated and met her gaze, but said nothing more. He was simply to distraught and exhausted to be able to hold any kind of conversation. He sighed loudly through his nose and settled back into the bed beside Mipha. He hadn’t meant to close his eyes, but they felt so heavy, and he thought he would for only a moment.

      Mipha smiled as he let his head rest against her. He moved closer against her, his arm draping over her. Within seconds, he was snoring softly.

      *****

      Link slept soundly for the next couple of hours, but to Mipha’s relief, Urbosa had found them both and quickly and quietly explained what had happened to them after their escape from the Forgotten Temple. Since then, they had learned of the machines that were known as Guardians. Thanks to Zelda’s excessive research, they learned that the Sheikah had created the Guardians thousands of years ago to aid them in the approaching war with Ganondorf. Upon his return, however, he turned the Guardians against Hyrule, which resulted in the Sheikah being blamed for the destruction that had followed.

      It was no mystery to them that the Sheikah weren’t exactly favorable in Hyrule, or the rest of the world for that matter. They had seen the way some of the Hylians acted toward Impa and Dorian, but now it was a little more clear as to why. The Sheikah, though always loyal to the Royal Family, were clearly a powerful and mysterious race, and that was enough to make any other ordinary person weary. To learn of the weapons that they had created - and then had turned against them - did not shed them in any better light.

      Regardless of the intent of the Guardians, they had been long sealed away - or so the Hylians thought. It was a mystery as to how and why they had resurfaced, but Zelda seemed sure it had something to do with the portals. Still, it didn’t explain why Impa had kept the Guardians a secret from the Champions.

      Mipha also learned that the Guardian that chased them down was not the only other Guardian to surface. In fact, many others had surfaced all around Hyrule, and Hyrule’s army was in full force defending the country from their attacks. Of course, the Hyrulean soldiers fared far better than the Champions, as their modern weaponry easily stopped the Guardians in their tracks, unlike the rest of Ganondorf’s minions. Still, there were many casualties, and the media was in an obvious frenzy with the recent Guardian attacks.

      Clearly a lot had happened in the mere twelve hours Mipha was unconscious. And all the while, her friends had suffered greatly. She couldn’t help but to feel guilty for not being able to heal them sooner when they needed it, the second time around.

      Link had awoken somewhere in the midst of their conversation, but he made no notion that he was awake. He listened quietly as Mipha and Urbosa spoke until Mipha had been completely filled in and the topic of the conversation turned to a lighter, more casual note. It was then he decided to make his presence known, stretching yawning loudly before turning his gaze onto Urbosa.

      “Can’t a guy get any sleep around here?”

      Urbosa’s head tilted and she smiled. “Get your own damn bed.”

      Link straightened and stretched his arms over his head. His legs swung to the side of the bed and he yawned again. When Mipha caught his yawn, he turned to regard her over his shoulder. “You’ve been sleeping for twelve damn hours.”

      Mipha crossed her arms. “Bite me.”

      Link grinned. He opened his mouth to make a snarky comment, but was interrupted when the door opened. He turned to see Impa poke her head in, then help herself into the room. Her eyes moved over the three of them, then frowned.

      “Where’s the other one?”

      “Zelda?” Urbosa asked.

      Impa waved a hand at her. “Why can’t you all just stick together? I have a hard enough time keeping tabs on you lot. Revali’s ordering me around like I’m some servant.” She huffed in aggravation. “Apparently having a room with a tv isn’t enough for Daruk. And where is Zelda?”

      Link jumped off the bed. “Daruk?”

      “Yeah, yeah,” she said, turning back to the door. “I swear to Hylia, you heroes are all entitled.”

      But Link wasn’t listening to her anymore. He stepped around the elderly Sheikah and hurried out of the room.

      “Entitled,” she called after him. She turned back to Mipha and offered a warm smile. “Well, guess that means you’re all up, now. Excellent. I need these beds, so get out of here before we raise any more suspicions, hm?”

      It didn’t take Link long to find Daruk’s room, thanks to the loud cussing that came from down the hall. He rounded the corner and poked his head into the room where Daruk sat on the bed, practically growling at the tv. His gaze turned to Link for a moment.

      “I save the world, and all I can get is three damn channels?”

      Link blinked at Daruk for a moment, as if unsure of whether he believed what he was seeing. Daruk growled at him in aggravation, and Link moved to collapse in the chair against the wall. In truth, he still felt overwhelmed from all that had happened, and seeing his best friend alive was enough to make him feel like breaking down again. He stared at the tv as Daruk flipped through it five more times, as if to prove to Link that there was, in fact, only three damn channels.

      He finally tossed the remote control onto the table beside the bed and sighed loudly. “This place sucks. Can we leave yet?”

      Link shrugged. “I guess so.”

      Daruk’s brows furrowed. “Wait, we all lived?”

      “Unfortunately.” Link grinned. “I heard Revali’s making demands of everyone.”

      “Mipha? She’s good?”

      Link nodded. “Yeah.”

      Daruk seemed relieved at this news. He sighed. “Well, shit,” he said. “What the shit was that, anyway?”

      Link sprawled out on the chair, letting his legs hang over the arm. “Your guess is as good as mine.”
      Daruk scratched his head. “He must be close,” he said after a moment, his expression serious, but then he grinned and punched the palm of his hand. “I’ll pound him into oblivion!”

      “Sure,” Link said, looking up at the ceiling. “You do that.”

      “Just do me a favor,” he said. “Stop running head first into everything. I can’t possibly protect our passed out healer and the idiot hero.”

      Link frowned. “You know what sucks?”

      “What?”

      “I have to thank Revali for saving my life.”

      Daruk snorted. “What? No way. Revali? Your life?”

      “And if I don’t acknowledge it,” Link continued, “Revali will bring it up, anyway. Either way, I lose.”

      “That’s what you get,” Daruk said. He shook his head. “You know, I helped, too. Where’s my thanks?”

      “You almost got killed,” Link said, his brows furrowed at the ceiling.

      “And you were gutted by a damn sword.”

      Link shrugged. “Don’t let it happen again.”

      Daruk smiled. He picked up the remote and flicked on the tv once more. A female reporter was on the screen, her forehead creased as she spoke to the camera of an attack in Faron.

      “Right,” he said. “Anything for you, brother.”

      xox *~* MiSsKaTrInAlYnN3 *~* xox
      I write stuff sometimes
      Shadows of Hyrule | Shadows of the Yiga

    • Chapter 68

      Display Spoiler


      Mipha and Urbosa joined Link in Daruk’s room, and before long, Zelda, too, had appeared to join them. After a few minutes of casual conversation, Link met Zelda’s gaze, and she quietly signaled to the door.

      In the hallway, Zelda’s voice was hushed as she spoke with Link, informing him of her own confrontation with Dorian which was surprisingly similar to Link’s.

      “I don’t like it,” she said, shaking her head. “If you ask me, there’s something going on with him, and it sounds like Impa may not even be aware.”

      Link crossed his arms and glanced down the hall. “What about the Guardians?” he asked. “If we don’t get rid of them now, we won’t stand a damn chance.”

      “I agree,” Zelda said. “As far as I know, our army has it all under control. The attacks were sudden. There have been a few casualties, but nothing compared to what it could have been. They’re being destroyed, and the Sheikah have gone out to try to find any others that may remain, above ground and underground. The Guardians will be a thing of the past.”

      It was the first reassuring thing Link had heard in a while. At the very least, it proved that not all of the Sheikah were suspicious. Whatever was going on with Dorian, or even Impa, it seemed the others were innocent, at least for now. If they were willing to prevent the Guardians from being an issue in the future, than that had to count for something. Maybe.

      There were a lot of unanswered questions. It made Link’s stomach knot with anxiety. But there was nothing he could do about it. Not yet, anyway. Their main objective still remained their first priority; prepare for Ganondorf’s return, defeat him, and seal him away, which would hopefully lead to the sealing of the final portal. With all of that taken care of, there would be time to worry about everything else.

      Mipha emerged from Daruk’s room. “I’m going to check on Revali,” she said.

      Link frowned. “Why?”

      “Because he’s our friend,” Mipha said with a frown.

      “He is?”

      Zelda grinned. “Yeah, that’s news to me.”

      Urbosa came into the hall behind Mipha, an arm on her hip. “Me too,” she said. “But I did promise him a bag of chips from the machine.” She shrugged, then lead the way down the hall to Revali’s room, stopping to retrieve his snack first.

      Inside his room, she tossed the bag of chips onto his lap, and he eagerly ripped into them. He licked the salt off of his fingers and sighed.

      “I don’t remember the last time I ate,” he said before emptying the contents into his mouth.

      “How are you feeling?” Mipha asked.

      Revali pressed at his temples with his fingers. “Fine. Except for this headache. Comes and goes.” He looked up as Link came in and sighed. “Oh, look,” he mumbled. “There it is.”

      “Well, that’s enough Revali for me for one day,” Link said, turning on his heels, but Urbosa grabbed his arm and pulled him back.

      “Why can’t you two just get along?”

      “What’s some teasing between friends, hm?” Revali said.

      “He’s right,” Link said with a nod. “We’re best friends. Didn’t you know?”

      “Well, that might be pushing it,” Urbosa muttered.

      “Not at all,” Link said, grinning. “Because Revali saved my life, didn’t you, Buddy?”

      Revali regarded him carefully. Link was up to something. “I would not do it again,” he said. “It really hurt.”

      “Yeah, but you did do it.”

      Revali rolled his eyes. “And I regret doing it so much.”

      Link frowned. “Revali, you're ruining this.”

      “Come over here so I can slug you,” Revali barked.

      “Get out of that bed, Asshole.”

      Revali sighed and leaned back against the bed. “Too much effort. I’ll kill you later.”

      “Well, this is nice,” Urbosa said. She rolled her eyes. “Glad your near death experience made you a better person.”

      Revali peered into his empty bag of chips and laughed. “Near death? Please. I was faking. Had to make Link feel bad.” He frowned and attempted to get the last of the crumbs into his hand.

      “Right,” Zelda said, crossing her arms. “Let’s get out of here,” she said to Urbosa, turning back to the door.

      “Thanks for visiting, come back soon,” Revali said dryly as Urbosa and Mipha turned to follow Zelda out of the room.

      “Whatever,” Link muttered, turning to follow suit, but Revali stopped him, his face serious.

      “What’s your plan?” Revali said to him, narrowing his gaze.

      Link hesitated. “Not die?”

      Revali nodded thoughtfully. “That’s a good start,” he said. His eyes moved to the door, as if checking to make sure no one was in earshot. “What do you know?”

      “Nothing,” Link answered slowly.

      “Don’t play games with me,” Revali hissed. “I know you know something. And it has to do with Dorian and Impa.”

      Link said nothing, but this was enough for Revali.

      “I don’t trust them, either,” he said. “Let’s get on the same page; from here on out, they’re out of the picture.”

      Link turned his gaze away and looked out the door.

      Sensing his unease, Revali settled back into the bed and busied himself with the empty chip bag once more. “Besides. We’re Hyrule’s Champions. We don’t need them. Not with me around saving everyone’s damn lives.”

      “Right,” Link said. He glanced at Revali. “Just keep your beak shut.”

      “Aye, aye, Captain.”

      Link’s lips pulled up at the corners, sneering at Revali.

      “Come on, man, don’t you trust me?” Revali whined. He flashed him a grin, then his expression turned serious once more. “Stop trying to get fucking killed, alright?”

      Link shrugged. “K,” he said, turning back to the door. “See ya.” Behind him, he heard Revali crumple the empty back of chips, and it landed softly on the floor beside the trash.

      *****

      By late afternoon, the Champions were officially discharged from the hospital. Impa was all too eager to get rid of their ‘sorry asses’ and with a wave of her hand, the seven of them found themselves back at the shrine. The setting sun shone on the shrine on the hill, just in their eyes, but the warmth of the rays was welcomed on their faces.

      After a brief discussion between the Champions, it was determined that there was nothing more they could do but wait for Ganondorf’s arrival, whenever that may be. It didn’t seem ideal to be playing the waiting game, but they had done all they could to prepare for the war and give themselves every advantage they could. So, they parted ways for the evening, each of them eager to return home to their beds and catch up on much needed sleep.

      Link, however, was not particularly anxious to get home and try to act like everything was fine in the world. Still reeling with the emotions of the last twenty-four hours, he much preferred being alone to his own thoughts, without the interrogations of his father, or even the worries of his innocent sister, who seemed to know more than she lead on. But with no where else to go, he simply wandered the streets of the city until he ended up in the driveway, looking up at the house.
      He blew heavily out of his nose and opted to sit on the trunk of his father’s car over going inside.

      But his presence had not gone unnoticed, and within a few minutes, his father poked his head outside. He stepped out into the cool night air, bringing with him two beer bottles. His father sat beside him on the car, passing him the opened bottle. Link took it without a word and quickly finished the entirety of it.

      “Alcoholism is a good career choice, too,” his father said. “Goes well with the title of hero.”

      “I learned from the best,” Link muttered.

      “Don’t learn from my mistakes,” he said. “I’m a bad role model.”

      “I know.”

      His father sighed. He was quiet for a moment, sipping his beer, before he spoke again. “Did I ever tell you about my last deployment?”

      Link glanced at his father. He never spoke of his time in the army. “No.”

      “It was shortly after your mother found out she was pregnant with Ary,” he said. “And when she got sick. I had been in and out for the last year, but they decided to let me go home for good. You know, right after one last mission.” He paused to drink, then used his bottle to point at his son. “King Roham spent a long time trying to find that sword,” he said. “Before anyone else could get their hands on it first.”

      “Like the Yiga Clan?”

      “They’ve been a thorn in our side for years,” his father said. “And they were just as set on finding it as we were.” He drank again. “They ambushed us while a few of us were in Faron doing some scouting. And you know how the Sheikah are. Now imagine a rogue Sheikah with vengeance in his eyes. Those motherfuckers don’t stop at nothing.” His father grinned. “But we had Dorian on our side. Hell, we hardly went anywhere without him. We would have all been six feet under long ago if it weren’t for him.” He paused and his smile faded. “You know, all I wanted to do was go home. I was so done with it all. And I was certain in that moment, I was going to die. There was no walking away from a Yiga ambush, that was just the fact of life. But I was also ready to die. For your mother. For you. For Aryll.” He leaned back on one arm and finished his beer.

      Link’s brows furrowed. Where the hell was he going with this?

      “Are you so willing to do the same?”

      “Yes,” he said.

      “That’s idiotic, Link. It didn’t take me long to realize how stupid that was, and you need to understand that, too. You’re no good to them - to anyone - dead. If you die, your friends are doomed to die anyway. If you want them to survive this, you need to survive. You need to fight and end this.”

      “Easier said than done,” Link muttered.

      His father’s voice softened. “Yeah.” He pushed himself off the car and turned to face his son. “You’re crazy,” he said with a grin. “Running head first at a Guardian with a damn sword. The fuck is wrong with you?”

      Link shrugged. “I took a chance.”

      “Use your damn head once in a while,” he said.

      “Sure,” Link said. “As soon as you stop stalking me.”

      “It’s my job,” he said with a shrug. “And Dorian tells me everything.” With that, he left Link alone outside.

      xox *~* MiSsKaTrInAlYnN3 *~* xox
      I write stuff sometimes
      Shadows of Hyrule | Shadows of the Yiga

    • Chapter 69

      Display Spoiler


      Without school or the threat of the portals, life in Hyrule seemed relatively boring. Still, the Champions embraced their temporarily mundane lives, welcoming it eagerly, for they were sure it would not last long. Even Revali - who was perfectly happy to ignore Link outside of school - seemed to enjoy his company as the six of them spent their days together. It felt like a long time since they had any sense of normalcy in their lives, and Riju was even able to convince them to team up in a game of laser tag, much to the dismay of the arcade owner. Though, in truth, he had missed his best customers, but was quick to remind them that the course was not to be used for ‘hero practice.’

      That didn’t stop Link, Daruk, and Revali from getting carried away nonetheless, capturing Hyrule’s princess and using her as bait. Zelda, however, was less than amused with their antics, and found herself more concerned over her broken nail than anything else.

      When their days turned to night, Link and Mipha found themselves alone. When they were together, they almost completely forgot about the approaching war, too content in each other’s company to care about anything else. They took to long drives out into the countryside of Hyrule where they would lay on the roof of the car, talking about nothing and gazing at the starlit sky.

      Link lay on the roof with his head draping over the windshield, while Mipha lay the opposite way, just beside him. She looked up into the night sky with a sigh. The light, summer breeze felt cool on their faces compared to the heat of the sun during the day, and it blew their hair over their eyes slightly. She closed her eyes and smiled. She cherished these quiet moments together, now more than ever. She couldn’t help but to wonder if Link cherished their time together, too.

      “What do you think we’ll do when this is all over?” she asked quietly. She opened her eyes to gaze at the stars once more.

      Link was quiet for a moment. His mind was repeating his father's words over and over like a broken record. He had come to realize that he wanted nothing more than to keep his friends – to keep Mipha – alive, even at the cost of his own life. It seemed almost unavoidable. His fate – the fate of the world – seemed to hang by a delicate string that could snap at any moment, and he lived day after day with that fear. He would be responsible for whatever happened, and that thought festered in the dark corners of his mind, causing him to feel sick.

      But Mipha's voice and presence were a comfort he, like her, had come to cherish. He turned his gaze to Mipha, who had turned to look at him questioningly. “Live normal lives?”

      “That doesn’t seem possible,” she said with a soft laugh. She turned back to the sky. “I don’t remember what normal is anymore.”

      Link sighed lightly but said nothing further.

      “I suppose we’d have to go back to school,” she continued. “That will feel normal, even boring, compared to these last few months.”

      “I’d be okay with boring,” Link said.

      Silence fell between them, with only the melody of the crickets, and the sad cry of a distant loon to remind them the world still turned. It was a while before Mipha finally spoke.

      “I’m so terrified,” she admitted to him softly.

      Link’s brows furrowed. “Of your dad kicking your ass?” he said in a hopeless attempt to ease her worries.

      Mipha frowned. She turned her head to him, but Link’s eyes remained on the stars. “I’m scared… for you.” She hesitated. “I’m so afraid you’re going to do something stupid and get yourself killed.”

      Link smiled. “That sounds about right.”

      “It’s not funny,” Mipha said, her brows furrowing. She sighed. “I wish you would take things seriously.”

      “I do,” he said. He propped himself up on his elbow and met her gaze. “Mipha. You won’t let me die even if I wanted to.”

      Mipha frowned, but Link continued.

      “I wouldn’t be alive right now if it weren’t for you. I don’t even know where I would be without you. Don’t you get that?”

      Mipha blinked at him. Her forehead creased as her mind processed his words. After a moment, she met his gaze once more.

      Link’s eyes traced the features in her face that he had come to know so well. “I’m scared, too. Scared of losing you.” He hesitated. “You've always been in my life, and I never want that to change. If I'm fighting for anything in this forsaken war, it's for you. Everything I do is for you. To keep you safe. To keep you with me.”

      Mipha pulled her gaze away. “Don't say that.”

      “I didn't want to throw my life away for this world. I didn't want any part of this. But you're in this world. You're worth saving. You're what I want to fight for.” He shrugged and grinned. “And if it means I have to save everyone else in it, too, then I guess that's what I gotta do.”

      Mipha blushed and avoided his gaze. Her lips pressed together. After a moment, she turned her gaze back to him. “Just promise me one thing,” she said softly.

      “Anything.”

      “You have to stay alive, too. You have to see this through to the end. Because I can't live without you, Link.” She hesitated a moment and took his hand in hers. “I don't want a life without you in it. I love you.”

      Link blinked at her, and for a brief moment, her heart felt as if it had stopped completely, torn between the fact that she had just admitted so much to him, and the fact that there was a very real possibility he did not feel the same way.

      But Link put her hands on her cheeks and pulled her in, and suddenly, his lips were on hers. She wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling him as close as she could. She melted against him as his arms wrapped around her. She stopped kissing him for a moment, letting her forehead rest against his and breathing in his scent. His hand moved to her cheek, brushing her skin lightly with his thumb, and her breath caught in her throat.

      “I love you, Mipha,” he whispered against her. “And I promise.”

      His fingers moved to her chin, pulling her up just slightly until her gaze met his. His fingers moved across her cheek and into her hair where they lingered for a moment. Mipha pressed her lips eagerly against his once more, pushing him back until he was laying against the car once more, her body on top of him. Their kiss deepened for a moment until she pulled away.

      His chest moved with each soft breath he took, reminding her how grateful she was that they had all made it this far. She could feel the soft thump-thump of his heart in his chest, an even rhythm that seemed to fall in sync with the chirping crickets and the sad song of the distant loons. They stayed together until the night brought on a chill, the clouds moving in to cover the starry sky. The first few drops of rain weren’t enough to part them until it fell heavily suddenly, quickly soaking them as they laughed and scurried to the shelter of the car.

      It was just passed midnight when they drove back into the city and a text from Urbosa came through on Mipha’s phone.

      Your parents called. I told them you were crashing at my place. Where the hell are you?

      Mipha typed out her brief and mysterious reply. Thanks. Talk later.

      Urbosa sent varying emojis, one that suggested she was curious. The others that followed, however, were seemingly innocent enough, yet when put together, suggested that she was hooking up with someone. Mipha chose not to respond, knowing well enough that it would drive Urbosa crazy, but that she wouldn’t pry further. Not until at least the morning.

      After driving aimlessly through the city, neither willing to cut their night short, they found themselves moving quietly through a darkened house, being careful not to wake either of sleeping souls that belong to Link’s sister and father. They lost themselves in the sheets of the bed until the night turned to dawn, and with a heartfelt goodbye, Mipha hurried out before the morning alerted anyone else to her presence.


      xox *~* MiSsKaTrInAlYnN3 *~* xox
      I write stuff sometimes
      Shadows of Hyrule | Shadows of the Yiga

    • Chapter 70

      Display Spoiler


      It was late in the morning when Link finally trudged out of his room, dragging his feet across the floor as he made his way downstairs. He had hardly slept - for obvious reasons - and only managed to catch a few hours after Mipha made her sneaky escape. On the plus side, he was officially on summer vacation, and he had the entire summer to sleep.

      With the exception of Ganondorf’s ominous return.

      His sister sat at the table, her legs swinging under the chair as she colored in a coloring book. Link sat himself with a sigh beside her. His stomach was growling, but he wasn’t ready to put in any effort into making food. He looked around, noticing then his father’s absence.

      “Where’s Dad?”

      “He had to run to work for a little bit,” Aryll said without looking up from her coloring.

      “Oh.”

      “I wanted Mipha to make me breakfast,” she continued as she scribbled away.

      “Why would she do that?”

      “Because you were having a sleepover and I wasn’t invited.”

      Link practically jumped up in his seat. His gaze narrowed on his sister. “How do you know that?”

      “Because I saw her. Duh.”

      “Don’t tell Dad,” Link snapped.

      Aryll paused her coloring, meeting Link’s gaze with a frown. “Why?”

      “Because he can’t know, okay?” he said, flustered.

      Aryll looked at him curiously. “Why?”

      “Because - Just - Because I said so, alright? Just keep your mouth shut.”

      Aryll crossed her arms. “That’s not very nice.”

      Link rolled his eyes. “Promise, please, Ary?”

      Aryll’s gaze narrowed on him for a moment, then she shrugged and returned to her coloring. “Fine,” she said. “But only if you let me paint your nails.”

      Link groaned, but agreed to her terms. He found the energy to make himself a bowl of cereal, and once his stomach was silenced, he moved to his room to dress, returning to the living room to await his fate. Aryll already had the nail polish out, organizing them on the coffee table in rainbow order. Link slouched on the couch and clicked on the tv as his sister set to work painting his toes.

      She had finished one foot when their father entered, but Aryll took no notice, too busy painting her brother's toenails in lively colors.

      His father took one look at his son, snorted, and grinned. “Ah, how the tables have turned, Sucker.”

      Link rolled his eyes.

      “Link said I could paint all his toes if I kept my mouth shut about Mipha sleeping over in his room.”

      Link yanked his foot back from her angrily. Her jaw dropped at the realization that she had spilled the beans. She jumped up suddenly, spilling the contents of the open nail polish bottle, and jumped forward towards Link, narrowly missing his groin as she pulled at his shirt.

      “I'm so sorry, Link!”

      Link grunted, his hands moving to protect himself. “Get off!”

      But she continued to pull and shake him. “I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry!” After a moment of this, she flung herself on top of the couch, her arms dangling as she regarded her father with an apologetic look on her face. “I fibbed, Daddy,” she said. “Don't ban Mipha from coming over ever again!”

      Their father looked between them for a moment, still standing in the kitchen as the spectacle took place before his eyes. After a moment, he grinned, laughed, and moved across the room. When he passed his son, he hit him upside his head. “At least he won't die a virgin,” he said to seemingly no one as he rounded the corner to make his way upstairs.

      Aryll turned to her brother questioningly. “What's a virgin?”

      “Nothing,” Link muttered.

      “It can’t be nothing,” Aryll said stubbornly.

      “Are you done with my damn feet?”

      Aryll moved to pick up the nail polish bottle that was on the floor. She hurried into the kitchen to grab some towels, then returned to attempt to clean up the spill she had caused. Most of the polish simply smeared and would require additional efforts, but Link couldn’t have cared less at that moment. When Aryll finally gave up, she looked up at her brother with big, sweet, innocent eyes, and stated “I still have some more toes to do or they will look funny.”

      “They already look funny,” Link said with a sigh as he settled back into the couch. “Hurry up.”

      Aryll sprang up gleefully and sat herself on the couch, taking her brother’s foot once more and set back to work. “Are you gonna show Mipha later?”

      “Yeah,” Link said with a roll of his eyes. “Sure. She’ll love ‘em.”

      Mipha nodded, still concentrating on painting her brother’s toes. “Almost as much as she loves you.”

      Aryll spent another half an hour perfecting Link’s toes and blowing them dry before finally releasing her brother from the torture. He wiggled his toes in faux admiration, then got up to retrieve his phone, dialing Mipha’s number.

      “You know,” she said, answering the call. “You’re supposed to wait three days so I won’t think you’re needy or something.”

      Link grinned. “I’m needy.”

      “Clearly.”

      “I just had my toe nails painted by Ary,” he whined. He chose to leave out the bit about her spilling the means to their father. “I need an excuse to get out of here before she starts braiding my hair.”

      “So, now I’m just an excuse?” Mipha feigned being hurt. “And here I thought we had something special.”

      “Okay, goodbye,” Link said.

      “Wait,” Mipha said quickly. “I promised Urbosa we could hang out today.”

      Link’s gaze narrowed as he spoke. He was sure that could only mean gossip. “So you can give her all the juicy details?” If a blush could have been heard, Link heard it.

      “What?” she started, then laughed nervously. “No. What? Goddess, Link. No. What. No. No!”

      “You’re a good liar. But if you could at least work in somewhere that I’m a proficient and passionate lover, that would be great.”

      “Proficient?” Mipha repeated. “That’s a big word for you. Who you trying to impress?”

      “Just trying to give myself an edge in the dating world for when you find something better.”

      “I thought you were a catch?”

      “Well, I sure like to think so.”

      “Alright, Fabio,” Mipha said with a sigh. “I guess you can tag along.”

      “Great,” Link said. “Let me just put on my heels. Ary did an excellent job painting my toes.”

      *****

      Mipha made sure to warn Urbosa in advance that Link would be with her, and thus blowing their plans of gossiping all together, but as it worked out, Riju had insisted on tagging along as well, quickly and easily convincing Revali that they needed a rematch against Link. By the afternoon, Hyrule’s six Champions, including Riju, Teba - and now that school was out - Suki, had found themselves between the park and the soccer field, Riju bouncing a soccer ball from knee to knee. She looked up just as Mipha and Link approaching, making the group complete.

      “Finally!” Riju shouted, drawing the attention of the group to Mipha and Link. They were hand in hand and either in the midst of conversation, or simply staring lovingly into each other's eyes, which the group assumed to be the more plausible explanation. Riju's outburst brought them out of their gaze, however, and they turned their attention curiously onto their friends.

      Riju bounded up and down, clapping her hands together. She pointed to Mipha and Link, then to herself, then back to the new couple excitedly. “I called that, you guys, you heard it, I called it. I knew it! I told ya! I did that!”

      Urbosa put a hand on her hip and shook her head, grinning. “Yeah, sure, Riju, you called it.”

      “So, this is finally a thing, now?” Zelda said. “Officially? The ship is sailing?”

      Mipha's brows knit together, her cheeks turning a soft shade of pink. “The ship?”

      “Apparently everyone knew it but the two of you,” Teba said with a tone of disinterest.

      “I was starting to wonder if Link would be single for the rest of his life,” Revali said with a smirk.

      “That doesn't say much for me,” Mipha muttered. Link elbowed her playfully in the ribs.

      “Ignore them,” Urbosa said, waving her hand at them.

      “I’m not here for gossip,” Revali said, clapping his hands together. “I’m here to kick Link’s ass.” He grabbed the ball from Riju and grinned devilishly at Link.

      “Shirts!” Riju yelled. “Me and Revali, you and Daruk.”

      Link turned a helpless gaze to his friend. “Can’t you just punch him?”

      “I’m not losing to Revali,” Daruk said. “And definitely not Riju.”

      Link sighed, pulling his shirt over his head as he jogged after the four of them onto the field. Once the game started, Teba and Suki had wandered off, leaving Urbosa, Mipha, and Zelda alone to watch the game.

      Urbosa put a hand on her hip and grinned at Mipha. “You hit that.”

      Mipha yelped lightly and buried her face in her hands.

      Zelda turned to her in surprise. “You hit that?”

      Urbosa nodded. “She hit that.”

      “Can we stop saying that?” Mipha muttered.

      Urbosa shrugged. “You fucked? Screwed? Made love?” She bent over and grinned. “He put his dick in your -”

      “Urbosa!”

      “You promised me details!”

      “I hate you,” Mipha muttered.

      “Remember last time?” Urbosa said, reminiscing happily. “We were right here when I told ya you needed to get laid. And you finally took my advice.” She patted Mipha’s head. “My little girl is all grown up.”

      Mipha groaned loudly. She turned her attention on the game, which had apparently stopped for a moment while Urbosa was teasing her. A group of young children had swarmed the field, jumping up and down around the players. One made a muscle with his arms, and Daruk was clearly pretending to be impressed with the little guy’s biceps. Another made shooting motions with his arms, as if shooting a bow, and Revali was in all of his glory as he signed an autograph for the child. A couple more were fighting with imaginary swords, while the other was telling an apparently very thrilling and animated story to Link, judging by the way his hands circled around him and made what appeared to be explosion gestures. Riju shared in this child’s excitement, engaging just as excitedly in the conversation.

      “You’re totally gonna have his babies,” Urbosa said.

      Mipha met her gaze. She hadn’t realized she was smiling while watching Link.

      xox *~* MiSsKaTrInAlYnN3 *~* xox
      I write stuff sometimes
      Shadows of Hyrule | Shadows of the Yiga

    • Chapter 71

      Display Spoiler


      Link.”
      Daruk passed the ball to Link, but it flew right by him as Link spun on his heels, meeting Zelda’s gaze. His eyes narrowed, then moved to look out over the city. Revali sprinted by him, chasing after the ball and dribbled in between his feet.

      “That was weak, man,” he shouted to Link over his shoulder. But when Link did not have a comeback for him, he stopped and turned around, following his gaze out over the city. Something wasn’t right. “Link?”

      At that moment, the ground started to tremble, now bringing the game to an end. Their eyes darted around, searching for the source of the trembling, but the world seemed otherwise quiet. After a moment, the shaking ceased, but was quickly followed by a dark, strangely blinding light that split the sky like an explosion. They shielded their eyes, and when the light subsided, the sun had seemingly disappeared all together. The sky had turned a dark, eerie shade of purple twilight, though no stars shone through. Curtains of sheer darkness seemed to move ominously over the sky like the northern lights would do high in the mountains.

      “That can’t be good,” Daruk muttered, standing at Link’s side. The Champions slowly gathered round, their eyes turned to the sky.

      “Do you think this is it?” Urbosa asked.

      “Ganondorf,” Revali hissed.

      Link.”

      Zelda’s phone rang. She answered it wordlessly. She nodded as the voice on the other end spoke. Her brows furrowed. “We’ll be right there.” She hung up and turned to her friends. “There’s a large army heading this way, just south of the city,” she said quickly. “Our army is prepared and is heading out to defend the city. Ganondorf is not with his army, but Impa suspects he is not far behind. She and my father are waiting for us.”

      Urbosa nodded. “Let’s not waste any time, then,” she said.
      Riju frowned, looking up at her sister. “What about me?”

      “Stay out of the way,” Urbosa growled to her.

      Riju didn’t dare argue with her sister. For the first time since it all began, she was afraid for her sister. She turned her gaze to Link, her brows furrowed. “Don’t let her die.”

      “I think Urbosa can take care of herself better than I can,” he said.

      Urbosa winked playfully at him.

      “We’ll bring her home,” Suki quickly offered, and the Champions hurried to their vehicles, climbing in and speeding through the city.

      Just as promised, Impa and King Roham were waiting for them at the base just outside of the city. Troops of Hyrulean soldiers had already made their way out to defend the city. Though the battle was still a couple of miles away, Ganondorf’s army was moving in quickly. They were gathered in a small room with a monitors. One screen had one of the news stations playing on it; the media was on full alert to the approaching battle and were warning people to stay in their homes.

      Impa pulled Zelda and Link quickly out of the room, glaring at the rest of the Champions as they tried to follow. They remained where they were, heading her wordless warning, and turned their attention back to the screen.

      Impa walked briskly down the hall of the base, speaking quickly as Zelda and Link trailed behind her.
      “There’s no report on Ganondorf’s whereabouts,” she informed them. “But my men have both eyes on every corner of the country. As soon as he shows, we’ll know. You know what your jobs are.” She turned a corner and moved briskly through into a dimly lit room. She regarded the two heroes over her shoulder for a minute, then shrugged. She pulled two vests from a table and threw them at Zelda and Link.

      “Put them on,” she instructed. “You’ll need all the help you can get.”

      “These are bullet proof vests,” Zelda said. “I hardly think they’ll be able to stop Ganondorf’s power.”

      “Maybe, maybe not,” Impa said. She moved to snatch it away, but Zelda pulled it out of her grasp. “If you don’t want it,” Impa continued, “don’t wear it.”

      “No,” Zelda said quickly. “I won’t take my chances.”

      Impa smiled, pleased. “Good. I’d like you to stick around a little longer.” With that, she left them alone in the room. Link and Zelda exchanged uneasy glances.

      “I’m not ready for this,” Zelda whispered, her gaze fearful. “I can’t do this, Link. I can’t. I -”

      Link grabbed her wrists, feeling suddenly calm about it all. He shoved the vest into her chest. “Why are you the one panicking right now?” he hissed. “You’ve got a hell of a lot more going for you than I do. You’ll need to save my dumbass, remember?”

      Zelda blinked at him, then turned her gaze to the back of her hand. She pulled out of his grasp, then worked at putting the vest on. “Right,” she muttered. She forced a smile. “You really did get the shit end of the deal. Everyone’s got a cool power but you.”

      “Don’t remind me,” he muttered as he, too, fastened the vest around him. “This thing is not gonna do shit if I get gutted.”

      “Don’t get gutted.”

      *****

      Revali paced the room as they waited. In the background, the reporters continued to speculate and warn their viewers of the war that had broken out outside of the city. Reports came in of troops all around Hyrule, moving in to attack other various cities. From time to time, questions arose above the Champions that had made the appearance just weeks ago, and the debate of the legends picked up once more. Could the fate of Hyrule really rely on six teenagers?

      Soldiers hurried about the base, shouting orders to one another. What little they caught of passing conversation was enough to tell them that the war for Hyrule was not going in their favor, and this only made Revali more anxious.

      “What are we waiting for?” he muttered. “We need to get out there!”

      “Don’t like missing out on all the fun?”

      Mipha looked up at the figure that stood in the doorway. Link's father leaned against the frame, his arms crossed. He was dressed in the Hyrulian army's typical uniform, which she hadn't seen on him in over a decade. There was a weapon on either hip, and she was sure another hidden under his vest. She knit her brows together as he met her gaze.

      “Does Link know you're here?” she asked.

      “Hello to you, too,” he said.

      Mipha rolled her eyes at him. “He's not going to be happy.”

      “My deepest apologies,” he said. “I didn't realize he ran this country. Hero or not, I don’t take orders from him.”

      Mipha frowned, but said nothing more. She turned her gaze back to the live news coverage.

      “What are you doing hanging back here, then?” Revali asked. “Missing out on all the fun.”

      “None of your business,” he said coolly. He stepped out of the doorway and back into the hall as Zelda and Link made their return. He met his son’s angry gaze and frowned. “Why is no one ever happy to see me?”

      “What are you doing here?” Link snarled.

      His father said nothing for a moment. He sighed softly through his nose, then turned away from his son. “Let’s talk.”

      Link hesitated, then followed his father around the corner. When he stopped, he turned back to face him.

      “What are you doing here?” Link repeated.

      “Same thing as you,” he said dryly.

      “This doesn't involve you,” Link hissed.

      “Look; when the king calls, you answer.”

      “You're retired.”

      “Not anymore.”

      Link hesitated. His father had made no mention to him that he was back in Hyrule's army. He hadn't been since just before Aryll was born. “You can't do this,” Link said, beginning to panic. “What about Aryll?”

      “I'm not going anywhere,” he said. “King Roham was kind enough to keep me around here. Besides, Aryll’s fine. She’s safe with Riju.” He hesitated for a moment. “Well, probably in more trouble than if she were home alone.” He shrugged. “But Riju said I could pawn her off on her.”

      Link's lips twisted into an annoyed snarl, but his father only grinned.

      “That look was more terrifying on your mother,” he commented.

      “This isn't a joke,” Link hissed. “She’s not safe. No one is safe. And you're not supposed to be a part of this.”

      “The whole world is a part of this,” his father said. “This is a war, Link. You cannot possibly end this by yourself. The sooner you realize that, the better off you'll be.”

      “And when did you plan on telling me this?” Link muttered.

      His father hesitated. “Never.”

      “Never?” Link repeated, growing more enraged with him.

      “See, that's how this parenting job works; I don't have to tell you shit.”

      “And what happens if you get yourself killed?” Link hissed.

      “You underestimate me,” his father said. “I have a lot more experience under my belt than you do.”

      “No,” Link said. “I have enough on my plate. I can't be saving your ass, too.”

      “You're the one that's going to need help.”

      “I'm the one that's going to lose a father!”

      “Well I won't lose a son!”

      Link stared blankly at his father. After a moment, he pulled his gaze away and looked down the empty hallway. At the corner of his eye, he watched as his father fumbled with one of the weapons at his side. He pulled out the small hand gun, slipped in the clip, and handed it to Link. Link turned to look at the gun questioningly, then up at his father.

      “That's useless to me,” he said.

      His father shrugged. “Never know when you'll need it.”

      Link took the weapon slowly, turning it over in his hands.

      “That's the trigger,” he said with a smirk, pointing to the trigger on the weapon.

      “I'm not an idiot,” Link hissed. He pocketed the weapon regardless.

      They stood facing each other wordlessly for a moment.

      “You know,” his father started. “I did alright.”

      Link blinked at him. “What?”

      “Your mother said I couldn’t do it, but,” he crossed his arms, “I showed her. I raised a decent kid.”

      Link rolled his eyes. “Right,” he muttered. “Keep telling yourself that.”

      His father pulled him into a hug. Link wrapped his arms around his father, but just as soon as they embraced, his father pulled back and forced a crooked smile.

      “Go kick some ass,” he said.

      Link said nothing. He looked passed his father as more soldiers filed out of the base. One of the men paused and watched them.

      “Rusl!” he called.

      His father hesitated, glancing over his shoulder, then turned his gaze back to his son. He saluted him playfully. “Come back alive, k?” He turned away to join his comrades.

      Link watched as he rounded the corner and disappeared. He jumped slightly when he heard Mipha's voice. He turned to her as she appeared around the corner. She regarded Link with worry.

      “Are you okay?”

      “Peachy,” Link muttered, unsure of how much of his conversation with his father was heard. But Mipha gave no indication to what she heard. He met her gaze, then pulled her towards him, pressing his lips against hers. After a moment, Mipha pulled back, her lips hovering over his as she hesitated. She met his gaze. She opened her mouth to speak, but the room began to shake suddenly.

      Link caught her as she stumbled forward. The shaking stopped for a moment, and they hurried outside of the base. The world was still cast in an eerie twilight, but something was different. A dark cloud seemed to shroud the palace, and the shaking picked up once more. A deafening boom echoed across the country. On the tv screen inside, the reporters that had surrounded the palace ran in panic. Cameras dropped to the ground as they made their escape, though they continued to record as the King of Evil stepped forward out of the darkness.
      xox *~* MiSsKaTrInAlYnN3 *~* xox
      I write stuff sometimes
      Shadows of Hyrule | Shadows of the Yiga

    • Chapter 72


      Display Spoiler


      The city was overrun with monsters as they followed Ganondorf out of the darkness that enveloped the palace. Though most of Hyrule’s army was preoccupied elsewhere, defending the cities around the kingdom from the earlier attacks, the soldiers that remained to stand guard by the capital were quickly dispatched inside the city to defend against the newest threat.

      The Champions were gathered together in the base just outside of the city, shouting at one another as they watched the battle unfold before the media outlets cut out completely. Each of them had their own idea of how to take on Ganondorf and his army.

      “We can’t just dive in head first,” Urbosa said in a desperate attempt to rein them in. “We need a plan.”

      “Urbosa’s right,” Revali said. “We know how rash and irresponsible Link can be.”

      “When have I ever done anything rash or irresponsible?” Link said, crossing his arms.

      “I have a list,” Mipha said dryly. “It’s alphabetized.”

      “There isn’t much we can do,” Zelda said. “Link and I need to get in there and end this, sooner rather than later. You need to cover our asses while we do that.”

      “Absolutely not,” Link said. “It’s not their job to cover us.”

      “They’ll do a hell of a better job than our army,” Zelda said.

      “No,” Link said sharply. “We go alone. End of story.”

      “Then what the hell do you expect us to do?” Daruk said, his gaze narrowed on Link. “We’ve been a part of this since the beginning. You can’t expect us to back out now.”

      “Yeah, get off your high horse, man,” Revali said. “We’re not sitting this out. Those soldiers don’t stand a damn chance. They need us.”

      Link grit his teeth together. He knew he wasn’t going to win this. But at the very least, they would be out of the way of the bigger threat; Ganondorf. “Fine,” he muttered, his brows knit together. “But if shit goes south, get yourselves out. Understand?”

      “Alright,” Zelda said with a nod, her gaze fierce on her friends. “Let’s end this."

      Without a moment to lose, Hyrule’s Champions made their way back into the city with the next wave of troops. In the short amount of time since Ganondorf’s return, the city had transformed into a completely unrecognizable battlefield. Cars were strewn about the streets where people left them, fleeing in panic. Soldiers were either escorting the remaining citizens to safety, or were plunged deep in battle with Ganondorf’s army. On the edges of the city, medics had their hands full with soldiers and civilians alike, causing Mipha to hesitate as they hurried through the city. She could help them. She had to help them.

      When she spoke up, Link didn’t think twice. He was unwilling to let her follow him and Zelda into the heart of the battle, and it seemed the safest place for her to be while still doing some good. Mipha didn’t waste a moment throwing herself into the chaos as the wounded were moved away from the battle, and she quickly disappeared.

      “Look,” Zelda said quickly. “Link and I are going to find Ganondorf. Don’t follow us.”

      “You’re insane,” Revali said.

      “Our army needs help here,” she hissed. “Don’t get in our way.”

      “Fine,” Revali said. “But the second Link drops the ball, we’re coming to save your asses.” He flashed Link a grin and a wink.

      “Give him hell,” Urbosa said with a nod. “We’ll be here.”

      “Crush ‘im!” Daruk called after them as they ran towards the palace.

      They moved through the battle with relative ease, fighting through the occasional hoard of monsters that were not hindered by Hyrule’s army. To their dismay, however, Ganondorf seemed to be nowhere near the palace, despite the mysterious darkness that shrouded it. In fact, they were completely alone, not a soldier or other soul in the area. They looked out over the battle, their brows furrowed.

      “Where is he?” Zelda hissed.

      *****
      Mipha dropped to her knees beside a Sheikah, working furiously to save a young woman who lay unconscious on the ground. She hadn’t been there more than twenty minutes, helping the other Sheikah and medics healing the injured, but it felt as if she had been there an eternity, and the wounded continued to come in quicker than they could heal.

      “The boy,” the Sheikah said quickly, indicating with his chin. Mipha moved her gaze to a boy who stood just a couple of yards away, looking on with terrified eyes as the strange man worked at saving his mother. He had a deep gash in his head and it was bleeding profusely. Mipha hurried to him, and as she approached, the boy broke into tears. He trembled as she took him in her arms and placed a hand over the wound. Within moments, it was healed. The boy’s crying quieted as he patted his head where the gash had been. He looked at Mipha.

      “Are you a Sheikah, too?” he asked.

      Mipha smiled and shook her head. “No, not exactly.”

      He frowned, but his attention was turned to his mother as she choked and coughed, catching her breath. He shouted for her and ran to her, throwing himself in her arms. Mipha stood, but she was immediately jerked backwards as Revali grabbed her wrist.

      “Time to go,” he said.

      Mipha pulled her arm out of his grasp. “What are you talking about?”

      “Link will kill me if you die,” Revali spat. “And I’m not about to let that stupid asshole gut me with his stupid sword.”

      She opened her mouth to argue further and question his motives, but she quickly got her answers. The ground began to tremble suddenly, and though she stumbled as she ran, Revali was quick to pull her up, keeping her on her feet as they continued to sprint through the busy city streets. Before she knew it, she was reunited with Daruk and Urbosa. The ground shook violently again, then exploded just yards ahead of them, splitting the ground and preventing them from moving further.

      “What’s going on?” Mipha shouted as they slid to a stop. They turned on their heels, but they were completely cut off from the rest of the battle by the same strange cloud of darkness hat shrouded the palace. A wicked laugh seemed to come from the darkness. A cloaked figure stepped through. In one hand, he carried a large, deadly sword. He held his other hand up before him, and a piece of the Triforce glowed and pulsed. In his palm, the darkness swirled and moved as if it were being sucked into his hand. For a split second, the air fell silent, then the darkness burst forth in the form of a ball of energy that plunged towards them, only to bounce off of Daruk’s shield. Daruk yelped under the force of the attack and his shield quickly fell as the attack was diverted.

      Ganondorf moved towards them, removing the hood of his cloak and smiling wickedly down at them as they stumbled backwards. Daruk and Revali pushed Urbosa and Mipha behind them, but Ganondorf pushed in closer still, raising his arm once more.

      “Where are they?” he growled. When they didn’t answer him, his smile disappeared. “You cannot protect them from me,” he hissed. His fingers curled into his palm and once more, the ground began to tremble. He thrust his open palm toward them and in one final, desperate attempt to keep his friends alive, Daruk erected his shield around them and braced himself for impact.

      But the impact did not come. Instead, the darkness that swirled in Ganondorf’s palm was quickly diminished by a warm, golden streak of light. It slammed into his palm, knocking him backwards and providing enough of a distraction as Link threw himself at Ganondorf, sword in hand. There was a loud clang as steel met steel and Ganondorf pushed back against Link’s surprise attack. But Link held his ground, grunting under the force until he found the strength to dislodge himself, jumping backwards as Ganondorf came at him with his sword.

      “Let's go,” Daruk said with a grunt, pulling at Mipha's wrist, but Mipha pulled out of his grasp.

      “No!” She tried to run to Link, but Daruk pulled her back once more and ran forward to catch up with Revali and Urbosa.

      “We'll only get in the way,” he hissed back to her. “We agreed to stay out of the way.”

      Mipha hesitated, looking over her shoulder once more before letting Daruk drag her away. She didn’t want to leave Link alone, but she knew Daruk was right. It was just as Urbosa had said to her only a week ago. She was too much of a distraction. She couldn’t be the reason for Link getting hurt.

      The sound of clanging steel continued as Link lunged at Ganondorf, every attack met with a strong defense. As Ganondorf dislodged Link’s blade, he came at Link with his own. He was much stronger, however, and Link could not deflect the blows as he had hoped, leaving him to resort to jumping and dodging each swing. He had the advantage in speed however, which was just enough to allow him to spring forward immediately after he dodged Ganondorf’s attack, only to have his attack blocked again and again.

      Ganondorf’s sword came down across Link’s once more, but this time, the block didn’t feel as forceful. He bared down against Link, but otherwise, showed no signs of continuing the battle. He grinned at Link, seemingly pleased with himself.

      “How much more must we continue this, Chosen Hero?” Ganondorf said. “You know as well as I do that I get stronger and stronger, each and every time. And you have become more and more foolish.”

      Link ignored his words as he put the weight of his body behind his sword, pushing Ganondorf backwards, but Ganondorf was quick to dislodge himself before Link could do so, and with a simple, all too easy swing of his blade, the Master Sword was flung from Link’s hands. Before Zelda had a chance to react, Ganondorf thrust his palm out toward her, and she immediately dropped to the ground.

      Link shouted to her, his gaze moving from her, to Ganondorf, to the Master Sword, and back to his enemy. He stepped backwards as Ganondorf pressed forward, closer to him.

      “Hyrule is mine,” he hissed. “The Triforce is mine!” He raised his arm, collecting another ball of dark energy, and threw it at Link. Link threw himself out of the path of the attack, rolling away as it burst upon impact with the ground beside him.

      “Die!”

      Mipha looked over her shoulder as they ran, stopping suddenly and yanking her arm out of Daruk's grasp. Daruk, shouting to Revali and Urbosa, slid to a stop, spinning on his heels to catch Mipha once more, but his attention moved beyond Mipha to the fight before them as Ganondorf's sword plunged into Link.

      Link looked down, horrified, at the sword that had pierced his gut, his vision quickly fading. Mipha's shrieks echoed through his quiet mind as his hands clutched at his stomach. He struggled to breathe, but his lungs could not fill themselves, and he could only gasp desperately as he dropped to his knees.

      Mipha’s vision blurred as she tried to run to Link, ignoring everything else around her, but once more, someone pulled her backwards, and the force caused her to fall to her knees as she screamed for Link. She watched in horror as the darkness seemed to swarm in around them. But just before it had a chance to cut them off from the rest of the world, a bright, golden light burst forth, arching over them and dispelling the darkness completely.

      Ganondorf’s booming shouts could be heard throughout the city as Zelda stood before him, her arm raised to the sky. The golden light enveloped them quickly, seemingly stopping Ganondorf in his tracks completely.

      Mipha screamed Link’s name once more, but there was no sign of him. In the bright light that Zelda had created, she could no longer see where his body lay. The hands that had stopped her pulled her back to her feet, and she turned to sob into Rusl’s chest.

      “I can heal him!” she shouted, pulling back, but Rusl’s hands were tight on her wrists. “Let me heal him!” She could barely see through the tears that welled in her eyes, but was still surprised to see Link’s father clutching her. At this realization, she fell against him once more and sobbed.

      Rusl wrapped his arms around her. He looked passed her to where his son fell, to where Zelda stood tall, holding back Ganondorf as he continued to shout with rage. He looked up as Daruk’s shield erected around them, then over his shoulder through his blurred vision as Ganondorf’s troops hurried towards them.

      “That fucking asshole,” Revali spat, but he, too, was just as distraught as his friends. “What the fuck are we supposed to do?”

      “We can’t leave Zelda up there,” Urbosa said. Her cheeks were wet, but she turned her gaze to Zelda.

      Rusl pushed Mipha away from him and reloaded his weapon. “Get out of here,” he barked at them. “Get out of the city, to the base. Dorian will be there waiting.”

      Daruk opened his mouth to argue, but Rusl cut him off abruptly.

      “If you all die, we’re fucked! Now move!”

      Daruk pulled at Mipha, and once more, they were running through the city. They didn’t know what would happen next, for none of them had planned to lose the war. But if anyone would have an answer, surely it was the Sheikah. Surely the war could still be won...

      xox *~* MiSsKaTrInAlYnN3 *~* xox
      I write stuff sometimes
      Shadows of Hyrule | Shadows of the Yiga

    • Chapter 73


      Display Spoiler


      The world was strangely white, empty, and silent. There was no sun, no ground, no sky, no sign that life should exist at all. And yet, he existed. There seemed to be no breathable air, yet his lungs were full. His heart beat in his chest. He could see, yet there was nothing to see. It seemed he was simply in a void, yes despite all he knew to be logical, he could feel a breeze on his skin. His feet could walk on a surface that did not seem to exist. And he was not alone.

      Her voice was melodic, sweet, beautiful and peaceful. When she spoke his name, he felt a sense of familiarity. Of safety. Of love. The woman who spoke his name was the woman he had loved so dearly, perhaps in a past life, but he knew it well, as if he had never not known it. He knew her. He knew her so deeply. He had memories of her he could not have recalled before this moment. In any other moment, none of it would have made sense to him, but in that moment, there, in that void with her, it all made sense, and all felt right in the world.

      And when his gaze fell on her, it was as if he had never forgotten her. Her features were so striking, so sweet, so lovely, he felt ashamed just to be in her presence. Though she was a familiar figure, the part of him that had completely forgotten saw Zelda in her. She was truly Hylia’s descendant. A reincarnation of Hylia herself, it seemed.

      And he, her Chosen Hero.

      Hylia smiled as she looked upon Link. She moved toward him and let her hand rest on his cheek. Their eyes met, and Link could not pull his gaze away from her. He didn’t want to. If he could have, he would have stayed with her forever.

      But he couldn’t. She wouldn’t let him.

      “You are too important for this world,” she said. “Your work there is not yet finished, Hero.”

      Link wanted to speak with her, but he found himself at a loss for words. In fact, he wasn’t even sure if his voice would allow him to speak at all.

      “I cannot interfere so easily,” she said softly. “Not like I once could. My power weakens with each generation of heroes.”

      Still, he could not speak, but his eyes pulled at the corners in fear.

      “Do not fear for me,” Hylia said. “For I will always live on in Hyrule. In you and in Zelda. As long as you two remain, I know Hyrule will be safe.”

      Link’s brows furrowed. He had so many questions for her. He wanted to save her. He had to save her. How could her power be weakening? What did that mean for Hyrule? For him? He didn’t want to be without her; he couldn’t.

      “Do not fret,” Hylia continued. “All will be as it should be, thanks to you.” She took a step backwards, her sad smile returning. “I will do everything in my power to save you, Link. Please - save Hyrule.” She raised an arm out before her. “And when all of this is over, will you come to wake me up, too?”

      Link awoke with a start, his chest heaving as his lungs filled with air. He winced in the bright light, shielding his eyes with his hand as everything began to come into focus. The room was buzzing with voices, and he suddenly realized that there were nurses and doctors surrounding him. His chest ached as if he something heavy had slammed into him. Impa’s face hovered uncomfortably close over him, causing him to gasp and choke in surprise. Impa straightened, her arms folded over her chest.

      “You get one of those,” she said fiercely. “You stupid, idiotic, foolish little -”

      Link sat up and sneered at her. “I get it!” He looked at the back of his hand, realizing then that he was hooked up to machines. The nurses stepped away, regarding him wearily before Impa shooed them out, leaving her and Link alone. She shook her head and pressed a finger to her temple.

      “How do you feel?” she asked him.

      Link hesitated. He looked himself over; he appeared as good as new. Surely Impa’s handy work. “Fine,” he said slowly. His chest was still aching, however. He poked at himself with a finger, half expecting his chest to cave in, or something else to explain the pain.

      “Guess Hylia had other plans for you,” she said. “Because those paddles sure as hell weren’t doing the trick.”

      That explained the pain. Impa poked him in the nose - it beat slapping him upside the head - and the pain was gone. “There.” She smiled at him. It was the kindest smile he had ever seen on her hard, wrinkled face. But just as quickly as it appeared, it disappeared, and her gaze hardened once more. “I believe you have a war to win, no?”

      Link blinked at her. He looked around the room, unsure of where he was, how he ended up there, or how long he had been there.

      “Zelda,” he said quickly. What had become of her? Mipha? His friends? Hyrule?

      “She’s holding Ganondorf back,” Impa said. “But she won’t be able to for much longer. Save her, Link. Save Hyrule.” Impa held the Master Sword in her hands. She thrust it into his chest. Link took the sword from her, gazing at it for a moment. He nodded, but before he had a chance to speak further, Impa thrust a palm against his chest, and he was instantly pulled through time and space, experiencing the same unsettling feeling he had felt too many times before.

      When the world snapped into focus, he found himself at the shrine. From where he stood, he could see the bright, golden light around the palace that held Ganondorf back. He was familiar with Zelda’s - Hylia’s - power, and even from the distance he was at, he could tell that Zelda was quickly growing weaker with each passing moment. He hardly had any time to even process what had happened, but there was no time for his thoughts - Zelda, and all of Hyrule, needed saving.

      *****

      None of Hyrule’s Champions were quite able to think straight, but with Rusl’s quick thinking and guidance, they were able to get themselves out of the falling city and back into the base just outside. Though, none of them knew what they were supposed to do next. In that moment, there were only two things on their minds; how to save Zelda, and the fate of the fallen hero.

      Rusl’s mind was clearly occupied with these thoughts as well, but it took the four heroes by surprise when he burst through the doors of the base and confronted Dorian with a raised weapon. His nostrils flared as he approached the Sheikah.

      “Rusl,” Dorian warned, but Rusl had no interest in listening to him.

      “Shut up,” he barked. “This is your fucking fault!”

      Dorian’s gaze narrowed on Rusl, but he continued to shout.

      “You’re the reason my son is dead!”

      Dorian hesitated, his face whitening slightly. He looked over Rusl’s shoulder at the four heroes behind him. They watched with pained and confused expressions.

      “What’s your plan, Dorian?” Rusl snarled. “Zelda’s going to die holding that bastard back if you don’t get your fucking shit together!”

      “Put your gun down,” Dorian hissed.

      Rusl cocked the weapon. “What’s a measly little gun to you, Sheikah?”

      Dorian turned his back on Rusl. “You’re right,” he said simply. “But you won’t kill me, and I won’t kill you.”

      Rusl hesitated. His arm lowered slightly. He held his gaze on Dorian, his expression torn.

      “We need to get Zelda out of there,” Dorian said. “Her hold on Ganondorf will drop. I will get them -”

      “No,” Rusl hissed.

      Dorian regarded Rusl over his shoulder. “You don’t trust me?”

      “I should have killed you when I had the chance,” Rusl said, his voice cold and even.

      This didn’t seem to faze Dorian, however. “Fine,” he said simply. “I’ll send Paya with you. She will get them out of harm’s way for the time being.”

      “And then what?” Revali said, his gaze narrowing on Dorian. “Leave Ganondorf to destroy the city?”

      “Our concern is the safety of Hyrule’s Champions,” Dorian said, raising his voice.

      “Your hero is dead!” Revali barked. “The war is over. We lost!”

      “As long as the Triforce stays out of Ganondorf’s hands, Hyrule will have a chance.” Dorian turned to face them, his gaze hard. “Are you going to take that chance, or let Link die for nothing?”

      The Champions fell silent. They turned their gazes to Rusl. His lips pulled back in a sneer at the mention of Link’s name. His furious gaze was back on Dorian. But after a moment, he pocketed his weapon and, without another word, he turned and left the base.

      The Champions followed him out quickly. Revali pressed him further for answers.
      “The fuck was all that about?”

      But Rusl did not answer him. Revali jogged ahead and stepped in his path. His hard, angry gaze met Rusl’s.

      “I want answers,” he said. “Now!”

      “There are no answers,” Rusl hissed. “I have no fucking answers.”

      Revali’s gaze narrowed on his. “You know more than you lead on,” he said. “And we need this information.”

      “You’re right,” Rusl said frankly. “There’s a lot that you don’t have a fucking clue about. This war has been in motion since before you were even a thought in your mother’s head.”

      “What do you know?” Revali pressed. “What’s the deal with Dorian?”

      Rusl broke his gaze and continued forward. “I don’t know,” he said simply.

      But Revali wasn’t about to let him go that easily. “What do you mean you don’t know?” he hissed, keeping up with Rusl.

      “It’s of no concern to you,” Rusl said. He shook his head. “I should have killed him a long time ago. But I didn’t.” He stopped walking and looked up at the golden light that shrouded Ganondorf. “I didn’t do it. I didn’t stop him. And it’s because of me Link is dead.”

      Revai hesitated. He turned his gaze to his friends, but only found pain and confusion in their eyes. Silence fell between them until Daruk stepped forward.

      “Zelda needs us,” he said, his voice soft. “We need to get her out of there.”

      Rusl pulled out his gun and casually checked the clip inside. He shoved it back into place in the weapon with a nod. He regarded the four Champions over his shoulder for a moment. “Alright,” he said simply. “Let’s go save the princess.”

      xox *~* MiSsKaTrInAlYnN3 *~* xox
      I write stuff sometimes
      Shadows of Hyrule | Shadows of the Yiga

    • Chapter 74

      Display Spoiler


      Zelda could feel her power quickly diminishing as she stood her ground against Ganondorf. Though he was infuriated at first with the disruption of his power, he, too, knew it was only a matter of time before Zelda’s defenses would fall. He simply paced in waiting, his lips pulling up in a wicked smile.

      She needed a plan, but in her desperation, she couldn’t think straight. Her mind was lost in the chaos of war, playing the images over again and again in her head. And all the while, in the back of her mind, a voice repeated the same thing over and over; he’s dead. Link’s dead. We lost.

      She choked out a sob as she fell to a knee. She used one hand to steady herself as she kept her other hand raised, desperate to keep her hold on Ganondorf as long as she could. There was no chance she could win this without Link. Not really. But, perhaps she could put a hold on things. If she could still seal Ganondorf away, maybe, just maybe, it would give them the edge she needed. She was sure she couldn’t do it without Link’s piece of the Triforce, but she had the sealing power in her. It probably wouldn’t be secure, but she could do it. She was sure it would be enough for them to escape the city. To take the Master Sword and return it to where it belonged, thus closing the final portal. All she needed was that extra time. Just a little extra time.

      But her power was growing weaker and weaker with each passing moment, and she couldn’t help the feeling in the back of her mind that crept forward; a feeling that told her that this decision would likely end her life, too. The strength needed for such power was beyond what she could muster, and if she should succeed, it would be her final act to save Hyrule. The rest would fall into the hands of her friends; her entrusted Champions.

      She was running out of time, but her mind was made up. She knew what she had to do to save Hyrule. It was the only option left. She pushed herself back on her feet, but let her arm drop. The golden light that held Ganondorf back disappeared, and Ganondorf looked down at her with a wicked smile.

      “Have you finally given up?” he said.

      Zelda glared at Ganondorf. Her lips pulled into a snarl. “Never.” She thrust her arm forward, willing every ounce of energy through her body and out through her palm. But before her power had a chance to burst forth and seal Ganondorf, she was knocked to the ground forcefully. In the spot where she stood, the ground erupted with Ganondorf’s own attack.

      “Idiot,” Link hissed at her. He pulled her abruptly to her feet, and Zelda stared at him.

      “No!” Ganondorf shouted as he thrust another attack towards them.

      Link pulled Zelda out of the path of the attack once more. “Stop him!”

      Zelda nodded, and before Ganondorf had a chance to hurl another attack at them, she thrust her palm out once more. The light shot forth and collided with Ganondorf. He roared loudly as the light cut off his own source of power and rendered him immovable for a moment. It was just a moment, but it was enough for Link to plunge his sword into Ganondorf, and with a horrifying shout, the King of Evil fell to his knees.

      Link pulled his sword out and stumbled backwards as Ganondorf gasped for breath. But he looked up at Link and Zelda, his wicked smile still plastered on his face.

      “Fools,” he spat. “Hyrule will be mine.”

      The ground began to tremble violently. Zelda stumbled backwards into Link’s arms. They watched in horror as Ganondorf rose to his feet. The strange darkness burst forth from him, as if coming straight out of him, and shot forward across the city, temporarily blinding all within its boundaries. When the darkness subsided, a giant, wicked beast stood in place of Ganondorf. Its wicked, red eyes glared down at the two heroes. It raised an oversized paw and swiped at them, roaring loudly as Zelda and Link narrowly dodged it.

      “Fucking awesome,” Link muttered.

      Zelda stood tall, holding out an arm where a golden bow took form. She drew back on the string, and an arrow took shape in her fingers. “I’ll hold him back,” she said as she narrowed her gaze on the rampaging beast. “Finish this.” She released the arrow and it soared through the air. It hit the beast harder than it seemed possible for such a dainty arrow, and as it did so it burst into a golden light. The beast roared loudly as it stumbled backwards, shaking its head before pouncing forward once more.

      Link and Zelda dodged it as Zelda drew another arrow, holding steady as she took aim once more. Link searched the beast desperately. It seemed unlikely he would be able to get many shots at the rampaging giant; he had to make each attack count. For a moment, he couldn’t help but to think of the video games he once played, before he got caught up in hero work. Every enemy had a weak point, and a strategy had to be in place if he wanted to win the battle. Why should real life be any different? It had gotten him this far, anyway.

      He dodged another oversized foot as it came crashing down to the ground. By now, he and Zelda had split, and though he lost sight of her for a moment, he could see her arrows soar through the air, each one hitting their target. With each arrow that hit, the beast became more and more distraught and seemingly disoriented, but this only caused him to grow more and more furious as he continued rampaging about. His roar bellowed over the city as he plunged himself at Link and Zelda whenever he could.

      After a few moments of dodging and analyzing, Link came up with his plan to not have a plan at all. Through most of their battles, he really never had much of a plan, so it only seemed appropriate that he dive in head first once more. Truth be told, he couldn’t waste any more time second guessing himself. Zelda was barely able to dodge the beasts attacks. She was slowing down, growing weaker with each passing moment. And though her arrows were enough to provide a distraction and weaken the beast, even their power was weakening.

      So, when the beast was distracted, Link threw himself at the creature, plunging his sword into the beast’s leg. The beast roared and threw itself about in a desperate attempt to dislodge Link, but Link pressed the sword deeper, using it to hold himself onto the beast. When another arrow distracted the beast for a moment, Link pulled the sword out and took the opportunity to climb its leg.

      Once he reached the beast’s back, he plunged his sword in once more just as the beast tried to dislodge him for a second time. Link held tight to the sword until the beast was distracted, then pulled the sword out and dashed across the creature’s back. But the beast reared up on its hind legs, throwing its head back with another trembling roar, sending Link flying off of his feet and sliding down the creature’s back.

      He plunged the sword into the beast once more as he fell and clung to the blade as it ripped through the beast’s flesh before coming to a stop. The beast threw itself backwards, and Link just barely rolled out of the way before the large creature toppled down on top of him. The sword pressed deeper into the beast’s flesh when it landed, and with another painful roar, it quickly turned over, but not before Link had a chance to throw himself onto the beast once more.

      As the beast rampaged, Link scurried across its back towards the sword. He could barely find it in the mass of fur, and it had been plunged deep into the flesh, making it difficult for Link to pull out. But Zelda’s arrows continued to plummet the beast, giving Link just enough time to pull the sword out and run the length of the beast. Again, it reared back on its hind legs, but not before Link had a chance to throw himself forward, plunging the sword deep into the skull of the beast.

      A pained roar ripped through the beast’s throat as it collapsed onto the ground. It trembled as the sword was withdrawn from it’s skull, a second roar promptly cut short. Link jumped down from the beast as Zelda thrust her palm out, and a golden light shrouded the beast. The Triforce pieces glowed on their hands as the light pulsed and grew before enveloping the entire city.

      *****

      Rusl and the Champions hurried through the city, battling their way through enemy troops as they desperately tried to reach Zelda. When the golden light that shrouded Ganondorf disappeared, they turned their panicked gazes towards the palace, fearing the worst for Zelda. But to their surprise, she was not alone, and they caught sight of the familiar blond hair of Hyrule’s Hero.

      Their distraction did not come at a cost, however, as they were quickly surrounded by another wave of enemies. Rusl threw himself in front of the Champions in an attempt to shield them from further attacks, taking a rusted sword into his shoulder. Daruk’s shield erected around them and Revali dragged Rusl back into Daruk’s protection as Urbosa sprung forth, quickly finishing the hoard with a violent and electrifying attack.

      They pressed onward, hurrying towards the palace to come to the defense of the heroes as the beast emerged. For a moment, they were out of the battle, and they watched in stunned horror as the beast rampaged about. Daruk moved to hurry forward, but Rusl pulled him backwards, growling at him to stay out of their way. Though they didn’t want to stand by helplessly and watch the battle, the Champions knew that only Link and Zelda could finish it and end the war once and for all.

      And to their relief, the heroes did. They had to shield their eyes as the light shot through the city. When it subsided, they looked up at the palace from the street below, just as Link and Zelda collapsed to the ground. The Champions sprinted forward toward their friends, leaving Rusl behind to stare at the scene. After a moment, he choked back a sob of relief and radioed in for a medflight. Once he received confirmation that help was on its way to Zelda and Link, he took a moment to inspect the rather unfortunate stab wound he had received on his shoulder.

      The wound had been bleeding heavily, but had since slowed. Still, it was fresh and vulnerable to infection, so he tore at his shirt and pressed it against his shoulder. Sheikah and Hylian soldiers hurried up the road behind him, making their way to the palace to check on the heroes. With one last glance toward the palace, Rusl turned and made his way back to rejoin his comrades. And perhaps get a proper bandage for his throbbing shoulder wound.

      His phone rang as he walked through the city. Seeing Riju’s name on the screen, he answered it quickly and smiled when his daughter’s voice came through.

      “Riju said we won!” Aryll said excitedly. “Did we win, Daddy? Are you and Link coming home now?”

      “Hyrule one, Ganondorf zip,” he said. He looked up as the helicopters soared over head towards the palace. “Let me talk to Riju.”

      The phone shuffled before Riju’s voice came on the line. “‘Sup, Chief?” she said cheerily. “All’s quiet on the western front. I loaded Ary up with sugar and she’s ready for her return.”

      Rusl pinched the bridge of his nose. “I warned you not to do that,” he said. “Now she’s going to be a little Gremlin.”

      Riju giggled. “Not my problem, now!”

      “Actually,” Rusl started, and Riju groaned. “Can you keep her occupied for a bit longer?”

      “I suppose,” Riju said. “What’s in it for me?”

      “I don’t kick your ass.”

      “Ah,” Riju said with an understanding tone. “That’s where Link gets it from.”

      “I gotta get to the hospital,” he continued. “I’ll text you later and you can bring her down.”

      Riju frowned. “You know,” she said. “I get to kick your ass if something happens to my sister.”

      “That’s Link’s department, not mine,” he said. “She’s fine. I’m fine, too, thanks.”

      “Yeah, sure, I’ll tell Aryll,” she said. “Hit me up later.”

      “Hit me up?” Rusl repeated questioningly.

      “Oh, come on,” Riju shouted at him. “Even my grandma knows what that means!”

      “Goodbye, Riju,” he said before ending the call.

      After the long awaited threat of Ganondorf’s return, he was defeated and sealed away once more. The battle was over. The war was won, and Hyrule was safe from his threats once more. Hyrule’s Chosen Heroes and their Champions were victorious, if not a little worse for wear.

      xox *~* MiSsKaTrInAlYnN3 *~* xox
      I write stuff sometimes
      Shadows of Hyrule | Shadows of the Yiga

    • Chapter 75

      Display Spoiler


      Link noticed the brightness first, but he couldn’t find the source of the light. It was making his head hurt and all he wanted to do was turn it off and stay in the dark. He groaned and shifted, noticing only then a solid presence against him. He felt a warm hand on his arm and realized how cold he felt. He turned his face towards the form beside him, but still only saw a strange, bright red color.

      “Link?”

      He tried to speak, but no sound came out. He wasn’t even sure if he was moving his lips to make any words form. And then it hit him; his eyes were closed. He opened them slowly, and the light only seemed to get brighter, but the red color disappeared. He blinked quickly, allowing his eyes to adjust, and as they did, shapes and colors started to come together. He looked down towards the voice to see Mipha laying against him. Her concerned gaze met his, and though his head pounded, he smiled reassuringly at her.

      “Hey.” His voice was hoarse and it hurt his throat. He closed his eyes and sighed.

      “Hey.”

      He could hear the smile in her voice and couldn’t help but to let his mouth turn up once more. He tried to clear his throat, but did not open his eyes. “Where… when… what’s up?” He couldn’t quite figure out what he wanted to ask first.

      Mipha laughed. Her fingers moved between his. “Where? You’re in a hospital. When? It’s been two days since you and Zelda sealed Ganondorf away. I’m Mipha, you’re Link, and you were so delusional you tried to hit on a male nurse.”

      “Hm.” Link nodded. “I don’t remember that.” Or much of anything, if he were being honest, but he didn’t want to worry her anymore.

      “You’ve been in and out of consciousness,” Mipha said, her voice softer.

      Link settled into the bed and wrapped his arms around her. He pressed his cheek to the top of her head. He let his fingers play with her hair and she sighed.

      “I guess it’s all over now,” she said.

      Link nodded and kissed her hair. He closed his eyes for a moment and sighed. “At least we still have a few weeks left of summer break.”

      Mipha laughed. “Guess we will have to go back to our ordinary lives.” She pulled away slightly and met his gaze. “Are you even going to try this year?”

      Link shrugged and grinned. “Guess I don’t have any more excuses.”

      Mipha fell silent. Her gaze lingered on his for a moment, the tears quickly filling her eyes. She pressed her face against his neck and moved her body as close to him as she could.

      “I thought you were dead,” she sobbed softly. “You were dead!”

      Link pressed his face against her. He had no answer for her, for he was certain that he had died.

      “I can't fix dead,” she said, her voice shaking.

      “It was you or me,” he muttered, but Mipha only slammed her fist against his chest, and he winced and grunted.

      Her sobs quieted, however, and after a moment, she turned her face up to him. “What happened to you?” she asked softly.

      “I could ask you the same thing.”

      Mipha shook her head and let her head rest against his chest. “Not now,” she said with a sigh. “A story for another time.”

      Link frowned but didn’t argue further. He didn’t particularly feel like talking about it, anyway. He brushed her tears away and pressed his lips against hers. But to his dismay, they were not alone for long. Revali happened to walk by, and seeing Link was up, burst into the room with Daruk on his tail.

      “My bitches,” he said cheerfully. “Are you awake for real this time? Or are you going to try to get in my pants again?”

      Link hesitated and met Mipha’s gaze. She grinned and shook her head quickly.

      “Don’t ruin all my fun,” Revali whined. “What’s the point of having a delusional friend if you can’t exploit him once in a while?”

      At that moment, Urbosa’s head poked in around the corner. Her gaze landed on Link and she grinned. “So, this is where the party’s at.”

      “Mipha already pooped on the party,” Revali said, crossing his arms.

      Mipha rolled her eyes. “Your presence ruined the party, Revali.”

      “Hey,” he snapped at her. “I am the life of the party.”

      Urbosa put a hand on her hip and leaned against the doorway. “Zelda’s up, too,” she informed them. “Looks like we can all get out of here soon.”

      Link’s brows furrowed. But before he could say anything further, Daruk spoke up, his tone serious. He met Link’s gaze.

      “We’ve gotta get you both caught up.”

      “Caught up?” Link echoed. “On what?”

      “Don’t worry about it,” Revali said. He turned his gaze to Urbosa. “I thought you were bringing along that little thing with you.”

      Urbosa raised a brow. “Thing One or Thing Two?” She grinned and looked over her shoulder. “They’re on their way.”

      But Link didn’t have to ask who, as he heard their loud voices coming from down the hall. The sound of skipping souls on tile grew closer until Riju and Aryll both skidded to a stop in front of the doorway.

      At the sight of her brother, Aryll flew through the door and threw herself onto Link, ignoring his pained grunts as her arms clung around his neck. “Finally,” she exclaimed. She poked his nose with a little finger. “You take too long to get up all the time!”

      Link smiled sheepishly at his little sister. “Sorry.”

      “I don't like being here,” she said, crossing her arms and pouting slightly. “Can we go home now?”

      “Soon,” Link said. “I'm sure we can go soon. Why are you here, anyway?”

      “Where else am I gonna be?” she said as if it were obvious. “I wanted to be here with you and Dad until we could all go home together.”

      Link turned a nervous gaze to Mipha as Aryll continued on.

      “Urbosa and Riju tried to make me leave with them, but I didn't want to, so Mipha said she would stay here with me.” She turned to Mipha and grinned at her.

      “He's fine,” Mipha assured him, and Link visibly relaxed. “We got caught up in... some trouble. He saved us.”

      “Oh.” Link's brows knit together as he tried to put the pieces together. So much had happened in that battle; so much he was unaware of, and it made him feel uneasy. He turned his attention back to his sister. She had retrieved the Master Sword from the table across the room and was holding it carefully, sitting cross-legged at the end of the bed. She was smiling and speaking to it quietly.

      “I bet Fi took good care of you,” Aryll said, looking up and meeting her brother's gaze with a smile. “She promised me she would.”

      Mipha sat on the edge of the bed and raised a brow to the sword. “Fi?”

      “That's her name,” Aryll said proudly.

      Mipha turned to Link and grinned. “Is that what you named her?”

      “I didn't name her that,” Link muttered. He crossed his arms. “It's just her name.”

      “Sometimes I think you like that thing more than me.” Her grin widened playfully.

      “Maybe the same,” Aryll said, running her fingers along the dull of the steel. “She's special.”

      “Room three-sixteen,” Revali said over his shoulder as he made his way out of the room. Urbosa and Riju followed suit, making their way down the hall, Riju speaking excitedly about the hot doctor she saw earlier in the day. Revali made a comment, and judging by the yelp that followed, Urbosa had hit him upside the head.

      Daruk smiled and shook his head. “See ya later, brother,” he said before following his friends down the hall.

      Link turned another questioning gaze to Mipha, but Aryll answered his unspoken question.

      “That’s Daddy’s room,” she said. She placed the sword down at the foot of the bed and jumped off. “He said I had to come over here and annoy you so you would wake up. You must’ve known I was comin’, Link!” She grinned up at him.

      “I heard you a mile away, Ary,” he said.

      Aryll jumped up, clearly pleased to hear this. “Okay, I’m going to play with Riju, now,” she said. She brushed her hands together. “My job here is done!”

      “Stay out of the closets!” Mipha shouted at her as she ran out of the room. “And no running!”

      Link snorted. “You’re such a mom,” he said.

      Mipha blushed and crossed her arms. “Someone has to be,” she muttered. “Without you or your dad, she’s been running around like a cucco with its head cut off.”

      “Wasn’t that Riju’s job?”

      Mipha rolled her eyes. “Please. You know how well that had to have gone.”

      He turned to the wires that seemed to come out of every place on his body, and he frowned. He pulled gently at the one on his arm; an IV that seemed to be simply pumping fluids into him. He groaned lightly - more like whined - and settled back against the bed.

      “Get me out of here,” he murmured. He was beyond done with hospitals and anything that was even remotely relative to the battle he had endured just a couple of days ago. He wanted to stretch his legs, and more importantly, see his father. And Zelda, though the thought of that made him unexplainably anxious. He stretched his legs and wiggled his toes. “I’m so done with hospitals.”

      Mipha stood and stretched her arms. “Me too,” she said with a sigh. She tilted her head and smiled at him. “I know you’re fine, but,” she shrugged, “you know, logistics.” She turned and made her way to the door. “I’ll hunt down Impa and get things moving. Don’t go nowhere.” With one last smile, she stepped out into the hall, closing the door behind her.

      Link looked around the room. He checked his body quickly, ensuring that he was really all in one piece, then found the control for the tv that hung on the wall. He clicked through it with a bored sigh, but most of the channels were still abuzz with news reports of the battle that had taken place in the city.

      On one channel, a female reporter stepped carefully through rubble and debris in the city streets. The palace stood tall in the background of the shot. She looked around her as she spoke, occasionally turning her eyes to the camera.

      “There’s still no word on the number of casualties,” she informed her viewers, her gaze somber. “King Roham’s statements, however, seem to hold true. Despite the chaos that took place just two days ago, it seems Hyrule has fared better than expected.” She went on to mention reports that came in from other reporters from around the kingdom, and the screen flashed to another reporter. The clip was dated nearly twelve hours ago as he, too, reported on the Faron region.

      Link clicked off the tv. He had no interest in hearing anymore about the battle, though he knew he wouldn’t be able to escape it so easily, especially once he stepped foot out of the hospital. He was sure reporters would be waiting to shove their microphones at him. Not only that, they still had to find and close the fourth and final portal - or the first one, however they chose to look at it - and apparently, there was much more to be discussed.

      Link sighed and closed his eyes. Though he had seemingly slept most of the last two days, he felt exhausted, and all he wanted to do was sleep some more.

      xox *~* MiSsKaTrInAlYnN3 *~* xox
      I write stuff sometimes
      Shadows of Hyrule | Shadows of the Yiga

    • Chapter 76

      Display Spoiler


      When Mipha returned, she brought Impa with her. The old Sheikah was just as short with Link as ever, but she seemed genuinely relieved that he and Zelda had made it out alive and in one piece. After a few sarcastic remarks about him being the laziest hero she had ever met, she barked orders at the doctors in the hallway until one entered with a clipboard. Impa snatched it out of his hands and flipped through the pages with a disinterested glance at them. With an annoyed look, she tossed the clipboard over her shoulder. The doctor just barely caught it in his arms as Impa waved him off.

      “Discharge,” she barked at him. “Get him out of this bed. He’s wasting our resources.”

      Within the next few minutes, nurses came and went, working at unhooking him from the various machines. When he was finally free, he stretched his limbs, wiggled his fingers and toes, and got to his feet. He stumbled slightly until his legs seemed to remember how to hold up his weight. After dressing, he ventured out of his room, looking up and down the hallway to get a sense of direction. He took a guess and turned to his right, making his way down the hallway and examining door numbers as he passed various rooms.

      The first door he stopped at wasn’t his father’s, but Impa had hurried out into the hallway, nearly knocking Link over. She sighed loudly and shook her head at him. “You’re still here?” She threw a thumb over her shoulder. “Take her majesty with you.”

      Link watched as Impa moved quickly down the hall, still barking orders at the various doctors and nurses she passed. Link turned back to the door as it opened and Zelda poked her head out. She seemed surprised to see Link, but her expression softened and she stepped inside, saying nothing to him. Link hesitated before following her in and closing the door behind him. Zelda regarded him wearily for a moment before she sat on the edge of the bed with a sigh.

      “What the fuck, Link?” she muttered, meeting his gaze.

      “Yeah,” he said. “Rough day at the office?”

      She sneered at him for a moment, but then found she was just too tired. She pulled her gaze away. “What happened to you?”

      Link hesitated. “Well,” he started softly. “I fucking kicked Ganondorf’s ass.” He grinned, but Zelda was unamused. Her eyes were glassy as she stared at the corner of the room. She met his gaze for a brief moment. Her mouth opened to speak, but she couldn’t find the words she wanted to say. They stared at each other in silence for a moment before she finally spoke.

      “You saw her, didn’t you?”

      Link watched her for a moment, studying her. Hylia looked so remarkably like her - rather, she looked like Hylia. His heart pulled in his chest and he tore his gaze away. “Did you?”

      “Yes,” Zelda breathed. Link dared a glance at her, but she was looking at the floor.

      “I hadn’t realized,” she started, but paused. Her lips pinched together. She looked up at him. “How much of her… her own memories, it seems…” She trailed off, desperately trying to find the words to explain how she felt. How Hylia felt.

      “Yeah,” Link said simply. “I know.”

      Zelda blinked at him. “You… you too?”

      “He totally wants to bang her.”

      Zelda sighed and shook her head. “You are so immature.”

      Link shrugged and grinned.

      “For the record,” Zelda said quickly. “I don’t… Hylia’s the one… She… ugh.” Her cheeks reddened. “I wish she would get out of my head.” She threw her arms down in frustration. “She’s so fucking in love with you.”

      “Not me,” Link said, crossing his arms.

      “Well, I’m not either.”

      Link rolled his eyes. “I’m a catch.”

      Zelda’s lips pulled into a sneer, but after a moment, her face softened. “You feel it, too, then?”

      “I’m trying not to,” he muttered.

      Zelda nodded and stood. “Good. Do me a favor and keep it that way.”

      Link hesitated. “Is this going to be a problem?”

      “No,” Zelda said quickly. “Only if we let it become a problem.”

      “Well,” Link started. “I’m not him.”

      “Clearly,” Zelda muttered. “I’m sure he was much more suitable as a Chosen Hero.”

      “Just like old times,” Link said, turning to the door. He hesitated with his hand over the handle. “Did Revali talk to you?”

      Zelda frowned. “Briefly. Something that happened?” She shook her head. “He was quite vague about it all.”

      Link pinched his lips together. “I’m ready to be done with this,” he muttered.

      Zelda nodded. “Me too.”

      *****

      It didn’t take long to find his father’s room. The door was already open, the number Revali had given him was labeled just on the wall to the right of the door. His father’s nose was buried in his phone. His shoulder was wrapped, but otherwise, he was safe and alive. Link leaned against the frame of the door, his arms folded across his chest. “And I thought I was the only idiot that ended up here,” he said.

      His father looked up from his phone. He regarded his son for a moment, then smiled. “Can you believe how awful the WiFi is here?”

      Link smiled and took the seat beside the bed. He draped his legs over the arm of the chair and leaned back to gaze at the ceiling. “Mipha told me what happened.”

      “You mean how I got my ass handed to me by a pile of bones?”

      “For what it's worth, I'm pretty sure their bones are made of steel.”

      His father considered this with a small nod.

      “Thank you,” Link said. “For protecting them.”

      His father turned his attention back to his phone. “Someone had to.” He looked up, his brows furrowed, and met his son's gaze. His lips parted slightly, as if he wanted to speak, but then they pinched together instead. His face softened for a moment before he turned back to his phone. “You're grounded.”

      Link's brows knit together. “The fuck? For what? I saved this country!”

      “For getting gutted by a sword.”

      Link slunk down against the chair and turned his gaze back to the ceiling.

      “I told you not to get yourself killed.”

      “I didn't,” Link muttered. “I’m here, aren’t I?”

      “Hm. Guess Hylia has other plans for you.”

      Link groaned. “I sure as hell hope not.”

      His father smiled and let his phone drop on the bed. “Have you seen your sister?” he inquired. “She was bugging the shit out of me, so I sent her to bug you.”

      “Her and Riju are wreaking havoc and flirting with doctors.”

      Rusl frowned. “She told me boys smell.” He shook his head. “I knew this day would come.”

      Link rolled his eyes. “No one said they were flirting with male doctors.”

      Rusl groaned. “Girls are just as bad,” he said. “They lure you in with their good looks and charm and next thing you know, you’re married with two damn kids.”

      “You would know.”

      Rusl nodded. “Don’t worry,” he said. “You’ll end up the same sucker.”

      “Let’s see if I can graduate senior year, first.”

      “If there’s one thing you’ve been smart about, it’s picking your women. Cute and smart. With a little luck, maybe Mipha can get you through the year.”

      “I’m banking on cheating off of her the whole year.”

      Rusl looked up at the ceiling. “Well, at least he has a plan.”

      “I always have a plan.”

      “Not that I’ve seen,” Rusl said.

      “Life plans and battle plans are two totally different games, you know.”

      “I would know,” Rusl said. “I’ve been doing it a lot longer than you, and not once did I get myself gutted by a sword.”

      “You’re not going to drop that, are you?”

      Rusl sneered at his son. “Seriously?” He opened his mouth to argue further, but was cut short by the sight of his daughter in the doorway. Her mouth was pulled into a full blown, childish frown.

      “Are you guys fighting?” she asked.

      “Yes,” they answered in unison.

      “I knew it,” she said. “You always fight!”

      Rusl patted the bed. Aryll trotted to his side and he lifted her to sit beside him. “We fight because we love each other.”

      “Promise?”

      “She’s going to be so dysfunctional when she gets older, you know that, right?” Link said.

      Rusl grinned. “Dysfunctional? Never.”

      “She won’t have any solid relationships because she doesn’t know how normal people show affection. That’s what you’re doing to her. That’s where strippers come from.”

      Rusl turned to his daughter and poked her nose. “You’re not going to be a stripper, are you?”

      “Daddy,” Aryll whined. “I dunno what that is.”

      “You’re not going to have dysfunctional relationships, right?”

      Aryll sighed, already giving up with their conversation. “Probably.”

      Rusl planted a kiss on her head. “Ah, that’s alright,” he said. “You don’t need to have any kind of relationship. No dating until after you’re married.”

      Aryll raised a skeptical brow at her father. “Okay, Daddy.”

      “She’s too smart for you,” Link said.

      Rusl frowned. “Yeah. I got lucky with you. You were stupid and easy.” He sighed.

      Aryll grinned, her eyes closing. “Link is smart now,” she said. “He’s the smartest and bravest around!”

      “Well, I don’t know how he got like that,” Rusl said.

      “From you, silly!”

      Rusl pointed a finger at himself, a look of surprise on his face. “No way.”

      Aryll nodded enthusiastically.

      “Huh,” Rusl said. “Well, I guess it runs in the family, then.”

      Aryll nodded. “Yeah, probably.”

      Link snorted, but said nothing further.

      “I guess I have the best family, then,” Aryll said.

      “Well, I’m glad you think so,” Rusl said teasingly. “I think so, too.”

      “So, can we go home, now?” Aryll asked her father.

      “I’m sure we can soon,” Rusl said. “As soon as one of those doctors gives me the a-okay.”

      “I’m friends with them,” Aryll said matter of factly. “I’ll tell them we can go home now.”

      “Right,” Rusl said. “But take back-up with you just in case they give you a hard time.”

      Aryll hopped off the bed and pulled at Link’s wrist. “Come on, back-up guy,” she said.

      Link sighed but stood and let his sister pull him out of the room. He glanced over his shoulder one last time at his father, who was grinning. “Keep her out of trouble,” he called to him as Aryll pulled him down the hall. Rusl watched as his children disappeared, and he smiled.

      xox *~* MiSsKaTrInAlYnN3 *~* xox
      I write stuff sometimes
      Shadows of Hyrule | Shadows of the Yiga

    • Chapter 77

      Display Spoiler


      Just as Link expected, the media had gathered around the hospital, anxiously waiting for Hyrule’s Champions to make their appearance. But to his relief, they were also greeted with heavy security detail, and despite Revali’s eagerness to brag to the cameras, they made it through the crowd without incident and into the awaiting town cars.

      All Link wanted to do was go home and sleep in his bed for the rest of the summer. But even though the war was over, there were still some loose ends that needed tying up. For one, the sword needed to be returned to where he found it, which would - hopefully - close the last portal, sealing Ganondorf away once and for all.

      Secondly, there was the matter of Revali’s mysterious remark to him and Zelda. Something still weighed heavily on the minds of the Champions. Something that Link and Zelda were completely unaware of. Link hadn’t the slightest idea what had happened while they were seperated, but the thought festered in his mind and made him sick to his stomach. He wanted nothing more than to put the entire thing behind him.

      And as he thought about it, another realization came to mind. There was still the unanswered question about the Yiga Clan. Zelda had her suspicions that there was a mole among the Sheikah entrusted with the safety of the royal family. She had mentioned that Impa had warned her not to look into the Yiga Clan. Surely she wouldn’t have made such a warning if there was nothing to hide.
      He hoped, at the very least, the hardest part was over.

      The Champions found themselves in each other’s company once more. They were gathered together at the park. The same park they so frequently visited. The park where their last soccer game was suddenly interrupted by Ganondorf’s return. On this cool, summer evening, however, the park was empty as they huddled together, keeping their voices low as they spoke.

      “So,” Link started, shoving his hands in his pockets. “What’s the deal?”

      The four Champions exchanged wary glances for a moment before Revali spoke.

      “We think the Yiga Clan is still in business, and we think there’s a mole in the Sheikah. Someone is working with them.”

      “Right,” Zelda started, slightly hesitant. “I know.”

      Urbosa narrowed her gaze on Zelda. “What do you mean you know?” she hissed.

      “I mean. Well. I… had my own suspicions,” she admitted.

      “Since when?” Daruk asked.

      “For a while,” she said.

      “And you didn’t think to tell us?” Revali said.

      Zelda narrowed her gaze on him. “It was just a suspicion.” she said. “It’s not like there was anything I could do about it unless it amounted to something. I have no proof.”

      “Well,” Revali started, crossing his arms and turning his attention to Link. “If it’s proof you need, your father’s got it.”

      Link’s brows furrowed. “What the hell are you talking about?”

      “It seems he and Dorian are out to kill each other,” Daruk said. “It’s a wonder they haven’t offed the other yet.”

      Link shook his head. “They’re best friends.”

      “So, threatening each other with loaded weapons is your idea of friendship?” Urbosa said.

      “I wish I had known that,” Revali said with a grin.

      “What are you talking about?” Link sneered.

      “Look,” Daruk started seriously. “After you got gutted for a second damn time, we thought we were fucked. Zelda was holding that dickwad back with everything she had, and we needed to get her out of there and come up with a damn plan.” He hesitated. “We went to the base outside the city, but your dad had other plans. I thought he and Dorian were going to kill us all right then and there.”

      “He said he should have killed Dorian when he had the chance,” Revali said simply.

      “And he was the reason everything happened,” Urbosa said.

      “Everything?” Zelda echoed. “Like…”

      “Like opening the portals and giving Ganondorf every advantage he could, probably,” Daruk said.

      “Exactly what a Yiga bastard would do,” Revali confirmed.

      “No,” Zelda said quickly. “Dorian… he’s not with the Yiga. He’s Impa’s second in command. She trusts him.” She grew angry. “And don’t you dare tell me she’s one of them, too!”

      “Probably not,” Urbosa said. “But it’s likely she doesn’t have a clue.”

      “Or she does,” Daruk pointed out, “and she’s just not telling us.”

      “And she won’t say anything,” Urbosa said.

      “No, she won’t,” Zelda said slowly. “She knew I was looking into the Yiga Clan. She pulled me aside and told me to stay out of it.”

      “That’s enough for me,” Daruk said. “Sounds like the Yiga Clan is still a very real threat. And if Dorian is a mole, that’s even more bad news for us.”

      “What do you think they’ll do?” Mipha asked.

      “I’m sure they’ll do everything in their power to bring Ganondorf back and fuck up everything we’ve done to get rid of his sorry ass,” Revali said.

      “How could they do that?” Mipha’s brows furrowed together.

      “I’m sure they have their ways,” Urbosa said. “And we shouldn’t wait to find out. I’m not doing a second war with that giant dick.”

      “What do you want me to do about it?” Link muttered.

      “Oh, I don’t know,” Revali said, rolling his eyes. “Get your dad to talk.”

      “He won’t,” Link said. “He won’t tell me shit.”

      “How can you be so sure about that?” Zelda said. “After everything we’ve been through already -”

      “Because he’s been hiding shit from me since the beginning,” Link snapped. He hesitated and kicked the toe of his shoe into the dirt. “And he probably has every reason to. If I needed to know, he would have told me.”

      “I’d say if it has to do with the safety of Hyrule, you should know,” Urbosa said. “You are the Chosen Hero, afterall.”

      “Yeah,” Link grunted. “Let me know what that means anything to anyone. It doesn’t give me any special treatment.”

      “So, you can’t put that on your resume?” Revali said.

      Link sighed. “Are we done? I have a sword to get rid of a portal to close.”

      “I’ll see what I can find,” Zelda said. “About Dorian and the Yiga.”

      Urbosa pinched her lips together. “Be careful. Don’t do anything without us.”

      “I’m the princess of Hyrule,” she said. “What is he gonna do? Kidnap me in my own home?”

      “I’m not coming to anyone’s rescue,” Link said, turning his back on his friends. “My job is done.”

      “Don’t relax too much,” Revali warned him. “We may be kicking Yiga ass next.”

      “Sure,” Link said over his shoulder. “As long as I can sleep the rest of the summer away, first.”

      *****

      His father was home when Link got home. He and Aryll were happily stuffing their faces with pizza when Link entered. He sat himself at the table with a heavy sigh and reached across to snag his own slice.

      “Did they have pizza in the olden days?” Aryll asked with a mouthful of pizza.

      “The olden days?” Rusl repeated.

      “Yeah. Like. Do you think Hylia liked pizza?”

      “I don’t think they had pizza, Ary,” Link said.

      Aryll frowned. “Those poor people.” She shrugged and took another bite of her slice. “So, tomorrow,” she continued, changing the subject. “We’re gonna get a puppy, right?”

      “I don’t think so,” Rusl said.

      “But you said if we won we could get a puppy!”

      “In my defense,” Rusl said. “I was fairly sure we would lose.” He grinned at Link.

      “Ha. Ha,” Link said sarcastically.

      “Well,” Aryll said. “We win. And I get a puppy.”

      Rusl put his chin in his hand and sighed. “We’ll see.”

      “When I’m a Mom, I’m gonna get all the puppies and do what I say!”

      Rusl laughed sharply. “We’ll see about that.”

      “Yeah huh!”

      “That’s the best part of being a parent,” he said. “You get to be the biggest hypocrite you want, and your best excuse is ‘because I said so.’”

      “You say that all the time, Daddy.”

      His grin widened. “It’s a wonderful world, Ary. Someday you’ll appreciate it.”

      Aryll turned a helpless gaze to Link, and her brother simply shrugged.

      “Why do you bother, Ary?” he said. “You’re old enough to know by now.”

      “I’m six!”

      “When I was your age,” Rusl said, “I had to walk -”

      “Uphill, both ways, in the snow,” Link said dryly.

      Aryll gasped at Link. “You’re turning into him!”

      “No way.” Link shook his head. “I have a better excuse than that.”

      “What, saving the world?” Rusl said. “That won’t get old fast.”

      “I’m milking that one forever.”

      “Does that mean you and Mipha are gonna have babies?” Aryll asked.

      Rusl snorted and Link choked slightly on his pizza.

      “Hylia, I hope not,” Rusl said. “Do you really think he could keep a damn kid alive?”

      “He could make them peanut butter and banana sandwiches!”

      Rusl nodded. “Ah, yes, a key category in the food pyramid, with all the nutrients a growing child needs.”

      “Don’t you have to go to bed or something?” Link said to his sister.

      Aryll shook her head. “No! It’s summer! I get to stay up all night!”

      “Go to bed, Ary,” Rusl said.

      Aryll frowned. “Do I gotta?”

      “Yes,” they said in unison.

      Aryll turned her gaze to each of them, then sighed. “Alright,” she said as she slid off the chair. “But only because I’m gonna build a fort in Link’s room and play his video games.”

      “Have fun,” Rusl said as Aryll skipped out of the room.

      Link listened as her feet hurried up the stairs and waited for the faint sound of a closing door before he spoke.

      “So,” he started, taking another slice of pizza. “What’s the deal with Dorian?”

      Rusl met his son’s gaze, his brows furrowed.

      “Come on,” Link said. “Don’t do this shit. Everyone told me what happened.”

      Rusl still did not answer his son. He picked at his pizza for a moment.

      “Is Dorian working with the Yiga Clan?” Link pressed, his gaze narrowed on his father. “Is he going to fuck up everything we’ve done to stop Ganondorf?”

      Rusl met his son’s gaze once more. If there was anything he knew, Link could not have guessed what it was. His father’s expression was completely void of any emotional response. He held his gaze on his father, and when endless minutes passed of no response, he got to his feet angrily.

      “Stop hiding things from me!”

      Rusl smiled and returned to his pizza. “Your job is done. There’s nothing more you need to worry about.”

      “There is if the Yiga Clan is going to undo everything we’ve done,” Link sneered. “I’m not doing this again.”

      Rusl’s smile disappeared. He regarded his son once more. “I won’t let you do it again,” he said softly. He took a bite of his pizza. “Stop worrying. You’ve done your part. Leave the rest up to us.”

      Link hesitated. “What about Dorian?”

      Rusl leaned back in the chair and met his son’s gaze. “Don’t worry about it. It doesn’t concern you.”

      Admittedly, Link was not happy with this answer, but he trusted his father. “I thought you were friends.”

      “It’s complicated.”

      “Is that what your Facebook status says?” Link grinned.

      Rusl smiled and got to his feet. “Promise me you’ll drop it,” he said fiercely.

      Link hesitated, then nodded. “Fine,” he said. “But I can’t promise Revali will, or anyone else.”

      Rusl considered this with a shrug. “Convince them. I don’t need any more trouble than I already have.”

      Link frowned. “I don’t like this.”

      “I know.” Rusl sighed. He patted his son’s shoulder as he left the kitchen without another word.

      xox *~* MiSsKaTrInAlYnN3 *~* xox
      I write stuff sometimes
      Shadows of Hyrule | Shadows of the Yiga