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    Shadows of the Yiga [complete]
    • Chapter 39


      Display Spoiler


      It only took a couple of hours before they reached the edge of the Faron Woods. Daruk pulled the SUV off the road, following an overgrown dirt road as far as he could before it came to an abrupt end.

      “Looks like we're walking from here on,” Daruk said as he cut the engine. They left the vehicle on the dirt road and began the hike through the forest, though they really had no clue where they were going. But time was not on their side, and they couldn’t waste any time trying to find the spring. Even Link had grown quiet by the time they reached the forest, another reminder of what little time they had left. His eyes had begun to darken slightly, and each step he took seemed to bring on a growing pain.

      Zelda glanced over his shoulder at him as she lead the way through the forest. Daruk stayed at his side, his worried gaze on his friend, while Revali took up the rear, watching carefully, his expression a mix of fear and anger. She knew she could not rely on Link to help her find the spring, but as much as she tried, she couldn’t find any clear sign that they were even remotely close. For all she knew, she was leading them in circles. She forced her breathing to steady, straining to try to hear something - anything that could have been a sign from the Goddess herself, but her mind was empty. No voice called to her like Hylia had done before. No spirit guided her through the forest. She could help but to panic as a sense of desperation washed over her.

      Link wrestled against the darkness that threatened to creep into his mind as they wandered the forest. He knew too well how the darkness worked, now; it came on silently until it suddenly overwhelmed him. And the more it happened, the weaker he became, and the more the darkness taunted him. It came on slowly, yet surely, making him sick to his stomach and bringing along with it a pain that seemed to overcome every part of him. It seemed to move slower each time, as if enjoying the torture, and Link had no clue when it would take him over. All he knew was that he couldn’t let it; he had to hang on just a little longer.

      The forest seemed just as dark as his mind, despite the strong, warm light that broke through the cover of the trees. His body felt cold and numb, his knees barely able to hold his own weight until finally, he could move forward no more and he collapsed to his knees.

      “Link!” Zelda tried to hurry to him, but Revali pulled her back.

      The darkness flashed through him quickly, and just as it had done countless times before, it took over, his eyes flashing red.

      “Shit,” Daruk muttered.

      “Take him out!” Revali barked. “I'm not killing him today!”

      Link lunged at them, and in one, swift movement, Daruk sent a fist flying into him, knocking Link to the ground. A hiss escaped his throat as Link scrambled back to his feet.

      “You held back,” Revali said. “Idiot!” He pulled out the gun in his back pocket, and when Link lunged once more, he caught him long enough to slam the butt of the weapon against his skull, knocking him unconscious.

      Zelda breathed a sigh of relief. “Fuck,” she muttered. “Is he alright?”

      Daruk threw his limp body over his shoulder, gritting his teeth together. “Hardly the worst thing to happen to him.”

      Revali pocketed the weapon as they moved forward once more. He shook his head. “There was a time when I would have enjoyed knocking him out. Dumbass.”

      “I'll tell him you said that,” Zelda muttered.

      “At least I can knock a guy out.”

      “I had to hold back!” Daruk barked. “I would have killed him.”

      “Hmph.”

      They continued on quietly, hardly uttering a word to one another. Their pace quickened, and soon, Zelda’s eyes lit up as she felt a pulling sensation in her chest. It was just the sign she needed to tell her she was on the right track. The spring - it had to be close. She followed her instinct, stepping over fallen trees and rotted logs, and moving through brush until the entrance to the spring revealed itself; a mass of stone with the Triforce etched in deeply. It was barely discernible through the overgrown weeds and moss, but it was there nonetheless.

      “How do we get in?” Daruk asked. He stepped closer, pausing only when the Triforce on Link's hand pulsed darkly.

      “The hell does that mean?” Revali muttered.

      “I got this,” Zelda said, stepping forward. She moved passed Daruk, raising her own hand in the air. The Triforce on her hand - still pure - glowed brightly, and with a long rumble, the door rolled open before them. They stepped through carefully, the cool air immediately rushing them. The rays of the sun seemed to find their way into the spring, giving it light, but not warming the air. They stepped down into the cool, sparkling water and gazed upon the large Goddess statue that stood before them, seemingly bathed in the light of the sun.

      “Now what?” Revali muttered.

      Daruk lifted Link off of his shoulder with one hand and let him drop into the water, where he immediately awoke upon impact with a groan.

      “Nice,” Revali said with a grin.

      But Link was still in his darkened state, and once he returned to his feet, his red eyes narrowed on them, and his lips pulled into a snarl. He lunged at them, but just as he did so, a bright, golden light shot forth from the Goddess statue, temporarily blinding them before plunging their world into complete and utter darkness.

      The darkness swallowed him whole. He was alone in the emptiness. He spun on his heels, desperately searching for a way out, but he was trapped.

      “No!” He shouted but could not hear his own voice. His heart raced and he dashed forward blindly. He ran and ran with no intent to stop. He would have kept running for all of eternity, but something pulled at him, slowing him. He fought against it, pulling his arms out of the grip of an invisible entity. He stumbled forward, but continued running once he regained his balance, stopping suddenly only when a bright figure appeared before him.

      He gazed upon the woman as her features began to take shape. Her face was unmarked by age, yet something about her seemed very old, ancient even. Her smile was playful, her laughter and voice warm and comforting. He knew all of this before she even opened her mouth.

      “You have done well to seek me out,” Farore said. “Hylia expected your arrival.” Her head cocked slightly, and she frowned. “But darkness clouds your soul. I fear there may be nothing I can do for you, now.” She stepped forward and let her fingers brush against his forehead. Her lips pursed.

      “There has to be something!”

      It was then that Link realized he was not alone. He turned to see Zelda behind him, her brows knit together angrily.

      “I’m afraid the darkness has completely taken over,” Farore said. “It’s too late for him.”

      “No!” Zelda barked. “Hylia would not give up like that.”

      “You’re right,” Farore said simply. “She wouldn’t.” Her face softened. “I promised her if there was anything I could do, I would fix it. While her power dwindles, she only has us to rely on. We will do anything for her and for all of Hyrule, but even these this is out of our control.”

      “No,” Zelda pressed. “You can’t -”

      “Enough,” Link growled. “It’s too late. You knew this could happen.”

      Zelda stared blankly at him. Her heart started to race, and she had to hold back her tears. Her brows furrowed in determination as she regarded the Goddess before them once more. “What do I have to do?” she said. “Hylia can fix this.”

      “No,” Farore said sternly. “Your Grace -”

      “She can fix this!” Zelda snapped. “She said -”

      “If you give yourself up to Hylia,” Farore warned, her voice strong. “You will lose your power. You could lose your life.”

      “She is a part of me,” Zelda said. She pulled her shoulders back. “My very existence is to serve her and protect Hyrule.”

      “Zelda,” Link hissed.

      “Enough! This is what must be done!”

      A strong, golden light enveloped her suddenly, and Link ran forward, his arm outstretched towards her, shouting her name, but his voice seemed lost in the emptiness. Though he ran, he could not get close enough to her to stop her. Just when it seemed like she was just out of his reach, the golden light burst forth. He felt the force of it against his chest, knocking him off his feet. He tried to shield his eyes with his arm, but the light was much too bright. It overwhelmed them completely before suddenly snapping back to darkness.

      Link stood alone in the darkness, though he sensed a presence behind him. He turned to see a familiar figure that he had only seen a couple times before. She was pure and, though her features seemed otherwise nonexistent to him, she was beautiful. The figure that stood before him was not the Goddess Farore, but Hylia herself.

      She reached towards him, and without hesitation, Link took her hand.

      “There is no such thing as a good or evil power,” she spoke to him. “It only matters how we choose to use the power that was given to us. Your heart is pure, Hero. Your soul will never truly be darkened. Now go!” She released his hand and Link immediately felt himself fall. He fell and fell into a seemingly endless pit, but he did not feel fear, nor doubt. For the first time in his entire life, he felt at peace.

      *****

      “What the fuck just happened?”

      The light had subsided, and Daruk and Revali found Zelda and Link motionless on the ground. Daruk dropped to Zelda’s side while Revali hurried to Link, though he hesitated as he neared, as if expecting him to jump up at any moment and attack him. But when he didn’t so much as take a breath, Revali dropped to his knees and searched for a pulse.

      “Daruk.” Revali’s voice raised in uneasy warning. “What the fuck, man? What’s going on?”

      “There’s no pulse,” Daruk hissed.

      “Get the fuck up, Dude,” Revali sneered at Link, as if he would hear. “Get up!”

      He gasped for breath. His eyes blinked as the world came to, and he fought against rising nausea as his mind slowly came into focus. He practically yelped when he saw Revali hovering over him, much too close for comfort.

      Revali breathed a visible sigh of relief before backing away slightly. “The fuck was that?”

      Link hesitated, still trying to process all that had just happened. He turned his gaze to the back of his left hand where the Triforce was glowing, pulsing softly, before disappearing completely.

      “Dude,” Revali muttered.

      But Link was hurrying to his feet, his eyes darting around until he found Daruk still kneeling beside Zelda. He ran to them as Zelda awoke suddenly, gasping for breath as she pushed herself up.

      “What the fuck were you thinking?” Link barked down at her.

      Zelda sneered up at him. “You were going to give up!”

      “You could have died!”

      “What did we miss?” Revali muttered.

      Link held his hard gaze on her. “What did you do?” he said through his teeth.

      Zelda hesitated. She tore her gaze away.

      “What did you do?” Link shouted at her.

      “What the hell is going on?” Daruk hissed.

      “She gave up her powers,” Link sneered.

      Zelda was looking down at her hand. She turned it over, then made a fist.

      “You what?” Revali snapped.

      “It was the only way,” Zelda said softly.

      “The only way for what?” Daruk asked.

      “The only way to save him.”

      “I told you not to,” Link growled.

      “Hold up,” Revali said, raising his hands. “You two were practically dead on the ground over here. Where the fuck do you think you were? Fucking Goddess land or some shit?”

      “It doesn’t matter.” With Daruk’s help, Zelda got to her feet.

      But Link continued on. “You idiot. Now we have nothing!”

      Zelda glanced at him. “What do you mean we have nothing?”

      “Of the two of us, you were the only one with a damn chance to stop the Yiga.”

      Zelda stared at him, quiet for a moment. “You don’t… you can’t…”

      “No!” Link shouted. “I don’t have what you had! I can’t do shit!”

      “But,” Zelda started, looking down at her feet. “Before… the Yiga…”

      “It’s gone,” Link hissed. “You should have let me die.”

      Zelda shook her head. “No, Link.”

      “We don’t stand a damn chance against the Yiga Clan,” Link continued to yell at her. “You knew what needed to be done. Your the fucking queen; it’s your damn job to keep Hyrule safe, and you just fucked everything up. You’ve sentenced everyone to their deaths.”

      “Link -”

      “I asked you to do one fucking thing, Zelda, and you couldn’t even do that!”

      Zelda closed her eyes, a lump forming in her throat. “I’m -”

      “There’s nothing we can do, now. You let them win. You fucking -”

      “Enough!” Revali’s fist flew into Link’s chest, sending him stumbling backwards with a loud grunt.

      Link sneered at him, but Revali pulled his shoulders back, ready to attack again.

      “What are you going to do about it?” Revali snapped. “You can’t go Hulk on us anymore.”

      “Don’t even get me started on you,” Link hissed. “You should have killed me!”

      Revali took the gun out from under his jacket and threw it on the ground. “Fuck you. Take your fucking gun and -” He stopped suddenly and bit his lip. Instead, he kicked the gun across the ground.

      Link cursed loudly and kicked at the water of the spring.

      “Alright,” Daruk started. “Can everyone just calm the fuck down for two damn seconds so we can talk about this like normal people?”

      “I’m sorry,” Zelda said softly. She glanced toward Link. “But you do not get to ridicule me for choosing to save your fucking life.”

      “Yeah, well, you know what?” Link started. “I’m not in a position to be in anyone’s debt.”

      Zelda smiled and averted his gaze. She shrugged. “Call it even.”

      “So, is it true?” Daruk asked carefully. “You don’t have your power anymore?”

      Zelda hung her head. “No,” she admitted.

      “Are you sure?” Revali pressed.

      “Pretty sure.”

      “So, what?” Daruk pressed. “What does that mean?”

      “It means we’re going to get our asses kicked,” Link said.

      “We’re not alone in this,” Zelda said. “My father and Dorian - they were never expecting us to be able to handle this. We still have everyone - you guys, Urbosa, Paya. We’ll have all the Sheikah, too.”

      “And, what?” Link sneered. “I’m supposed to hang back and watch?”

      “Of course not,” Zelda said.

      “What do you think I can do?” Link narrowed his gaze on her.

      “I don’t know,” she said. She met his gaze. “But this is you we’re talking about. I’m sure you’ll figure something out. You always do. Never miss out on anything.” She offered him a smile, but he was not amused.

      Revali sighed heavily. “Right,” he started. “I guess all that’s left is to take on the Yiga Clan. We have some planning to do.”

      “Look,” Zelda said to Link as they made their way out of the spring. “What’s done is done. Are you going to be pissed off and resent me forever?”

      “Yes,” Link said simply.

      “I won’t apologize for my choices,” she said softly. She looked at her feet as they walked through the forest. “Too much depends on your survival. You’re right; it’s my job to protect this kingdom. And in doing so, you need to be alive.”

      “You could have done it without me,” Link said.

      “That’s the thing,” Zelda started. “No one can do this without you. We need you, Link. Aryll, and Mipha, and you father, and me… I know you think it’s your job to put your life on the line for this kingdom, but that’s where you’re wrong. Heroes need to stay alive in order to do their job. Dying for this world will not save it. You need to be here to do that.”

      “You’re really pulling at strings, now,” Link muttered. “Because if I’m the one that was putting Hyrule at risk -”

      “But you weren’t,” Zelda said. “You didn’t. I told you I wouldn’t let it come down to that, didn’t I?”

      Link sighed. “Zelda.” He hesitated. “You let her act in your stead. You let her emotions get the best of you. She’s not exactly unbiased when it comes to me.”

      Zelda’s cheeks reddened and she turned her face away, her pace quickening slightly. “I acted on my own accord,” she said. “To save a friend. To do what I thought was the best option for my kingdom. Simple as that.”

      xox *~* MiSsKaTrInAlYnN3 *~* xox
      I write stuff sometimes
      Shadows of Hyrule | Shadows of the Yiga | Shadows of the Future [prequel]

    • Chapter 40

      Display Spoiler


      It was late when they returned to the ranch. Aryll hurried to the window when she heard the sound of an engine coming down the dirt driveway. With a yelp, she ran to the front door and hurried off the porch and outside with the others following close behind. She stopped, her heart racing, as the SUV pulled to a stop. She watched as her brother stepped out of the passenger side. He was rolling his eyes and firing back at Revali, who stepped out from behind him, but he was cut short when Aryll threw herself against him.

      “You're welcome,” Revali said smugly as he walked by. “Revali saves the day once again.”

      Link slouched slightly, too tired to argue, or do much of anything, really. He was exhausted from the trip. Not only that, he couldn’t even remember the last time he good anything close to a decent night’s sleep. The last few weeks were such a blur, he could have slept for a hundred years. He yawned loudly and wrapped his arms lazily around Aryll. His gaze moved to his father, standing near the barn with his hands in his pockets, and he offered him a tired, reassuring smile. When Mipha stepped forward, he turned his attention to her. For the first time in what felt like a long time, he didn’t feel afraid to be near her.

      “What happened?” Aryll asked, looking up at him. “Are you better?”

      Link shrugged as another yawn escaped its hold. “Guess so.”

      Aryll frowned. Her eyes narrowed on her brother. “You guess so?”

      “Can we talk about it in the morning?”

      Aryll rolled her eyes but didn't argue with him. She reached for Mipha, pulling her into their hug. Link allowed himself to lean against them slightly and sighed.

      *****

      For the first time in a long time, Link slept through the entire night – even late into the morning – without any trouble. It was near noon when he finally rolled out of the bed, still groggy. He trudged through the old farm house, following the voices he heard downstairs and into the kitchen. He hesitated around the corner, listening in.

      “Hyrule’s army won't stand a chance against the Yiga Clan,” Paya's voice said. “This needs to be handled delicately as with Ganondorf and his army.”

      “It would be nice to go into this with some kind of back up,” Revali said.

      “As far as my father is concerned,” Zelda started, “we are traitors. He won't help us.”

      “He won't abandon you,” Mipha said. “You're his daughter.”

      “As long as I'm on Link's side,” Zelda said. She hesitated. “He doesn't trust Link.”

      “We don't need him,” Riju said. “We've done this before without him, we can do it again.”

      “We?” Urbosa echoed.

      “Yeah!” Riju said. “We!”

      “We don't even know how many of them there are,” Daruk said. “We may not stand a chance.”

      “We didn't stand a chance before,” Revali said. “That's the thing about superheroes. They beat all odds.”

      “Except we're not superheroes,” Daruk reminded him.

      “I beg to differ. You don't get super powers and not call yourself a superhero.”

      “Link doesn't have a superpower,” Riju said.

      “You're right,” Revali said. “Which means we all need to work extra hard to protect his lame ass.”

      “You shouldn't have gotten rid of Dark Link. At least he was good for something.”

      “Yeah,” Revali said. “He would have kicked our asses.”

      Riju shrugged. “I like a challenge.”

      Link looked down the hallway as footsteps approached. Aryll rounded the corner, stretching her arms over her head. She smiled when she saw Link, then hesitated when she saw him against the wall. She cocked her head to the side and leaned against the wall beside him. She searched his face, but he was staring hard at his bare feet.

      “So,” Daruk started. “It sounds like either way, we're screwed. We'll be severely outnumbered with no back up.”

      “I'll talk to Grandmother,” Paya said. “She won't abandon us. Neither will King Roham. I'm sure of it.”

      “I wish I had your confidence,” Zelda muttered. “He's disowned me.”

      “What's he going to do?” Revali said. “Lock us up if we show our faces?”

      “Probably. He can be petty like that.”

      “I'll show 'im,” Riju said. “He'll think twice about messing with me!”

      “Threaten him,” Urbosa warned, “and you'll definitely never see the light of day again.”

      “Hmph.”

      “So,” Mipha started. “What do we do?”

      The room was quiet. Aryll slouched against the wall, frowning. She sighed, then pushed passed Link and walked into the kitchen.

      “You kick Yiga ass! Isn't that what you guys do? Fight the bad guys?” She crossed her arms. “That's what superheroes would do.” She made her way to the coffee machine and pulled a cup out of the cupboard.

      “That's what I've been saying!” Riju said. She moved towards Aryll, peering over her shoulder. “Hey, make me some!”

      “Make your own!” Aryll shoved her aside with her hip.

      “Come on,” Riju whined. “I got stuck sleeping on that awful couch.”

      “Riju,” Urbosa warned. “This isn't a hotel. Be grateful Talon is letting us stay here.”

      “Hmph.”

      Link dared to step around the corner and into the kitchen, yawning loudly. He ignored his friends as he strode to the refrigerator in hopes of quieting his growling stomach. He opened the door and peered inside for a long moment.

      “You could at least put a shirt on,” Daruk said.

      Link shrugged. “But then you won't be able to appreciate all of this.”

      Riju skipped to his side and joined him at peering into the fridge. “I could still kick your ass.”

      “Probably,” he said with a nod. “We can't all have superpowers.” He straightened and closed the door, an apple in hand.

      “Oh?” Riju crossed her arms. “Spying on us?”

      “Nope,” he said as he bit into the apple. He looked around the kitchen, noticing then a few missing faces.

      “Where’s Kit?” he asked.

      Revali shrugged. “I dunno,” he started. “Said something about checking in on the bar, stocking up, and something about some Sera chick.”

      Link chewed thoughtfully. He was sure he’d get an earful from Sera whenever they made it back to the city.

      “Where’s Dad?” Aryll asked his other question.

      “Car’s gone,” Daruk said. “Guessing he took off last night.”

      Link raised a brow. “What for?”

      “We thought you’d know,” Urbosa said.

      Link hesitated. He took another bite of his apple. “Uh-uh.”

      “Excellent,” Revali muttered.

      “We need to start planning our attack on the Yiga,” Zelda said.

      “We don’t stand a chance on our own,” Urbosa said, shaking her head. “We’ll be walking right into our deaths.”

      “Let me go into the city,” Paya said, turning to Zelda. “I’m sure we can get the help of the Sheikah. If Dorian is true to his word, he will back us up.”

      Zelda hesitated. “And if not?”

      As if in answer to her doubts, the sound of tires on the dirt drive caught their attention. From somewhere in the house, Talon cocked his rifle.

      “Are ya’ll ‘spectin’ company?” he asked in a wary voice.

      The Champions hurried outside, watching as a convoy of black vehicles made their way up the dirt road and turned into the drive. They pulled in one by one, lining up side by side, filling the driveway and spilling out onto the sides of the road.

      Link watched carefully as the doors opened to the vehicles, and Hyrulean and Sheikah soldiers spilled out around the vehicles. In the front, three more men stepped out, dressed in similar uniforms. A bullet proof vest protected Teba. One hand rested on the butt of the gun on his hip, while the other was tucked into the pocket of his pants. He slouched enough to show an appearance of his usual, casual disinterest, yet his eyes were fierce with determination. Rusl lacked the bullet proof vest, but was equally equipped with weapons on his body. He brought a cigarette away from his lips with a smug grin and flicked the ash to the ground. Dorian stood beside him, his arms crossed, and he regarded his friend with a look of only slight annoyance.

      “Well, shit,” Daruk said.

      Link narrowed his gaze on his father. “What’s this?”

      “An army,” he said proudly. “You lot sure as shit can’t do this with just the few of you.”

      Link raised a questionable brow. “Roham just let you take his men?”

      “Goddesses, no,” Rusl said with a laugh, then shrugged. “But we didn’t bother ask.” He gestured with his chin toward Teba. “Those are Teba’s guys. They’re on team Zelda.” He then gestured to Dorian. “Dorian’s guys. Also team Zelda.” He stepped aside, then turned to look over the men that stood behind him. “Those are my boys.”

      “How does a dead guy get the biggest team?” Revali asked.

      “I know people,” Rusl said simply. “And people like a good back from the dead story.”

      “And you know, I gave his son stolen blackmarket weapons,” Jini said, stepping forward. “It was this, or do more time behind damn bars.”

      At that moment, the air snapped, and Impa and Purah appeared before the convoy. Impa held what looked to be brown pieces of material in her arms. They seemed to be mid-argument when they appeared, but Purah stopped abruptly as her gaze landed on Link. The old Sheikah squealed with delight, then waved off her sister as she made her way to Link.

      “I can’t believe you were keeping this good looking man from me,” she said. She stopped in front of him and reached up to pinch his cheeks. She stood on her tiptoes and looked passed him, smiling at Rusl over her shoulder. “He’s almost as handsome as you, Russy-boy.”

      “How dare you compare us,” Rusl said. “You said I was your favorite.”

      “Oh, Russy,” Purah said. She grinned widely. “You’ve been trying to get with me for years.”

      “That’s weird,” Revali muttered.

      Purah patted Link’s cheek. “You might have a chance if you play your cards right.”

      Link looked to Impa helplessly. Impa sighed and pressed a finger to her temple. “Please leave him alone.”

      Purah moved her hands to pull at his ears and giggled. “That’s some strong Hylian bloodline. She picked a good one.”

      “That’s debatable,” Impa muttered.

      Purah waved her younger sister off with a hand. “It was probably for the best,” Purah said, stepping away to look him over. “Impa has that tough love thing going on. I would have coddled you.”

      “She beat me with a stick,” Link muttered.

      Purah grinned. “That’s so Impa. I see why she likes you.”

      “I don’t think she does,” Link said slowly. He met Impa’s gaze and the old Sheikah grinned.

      “Atta boy,” she said simply.

      Purah put her hands on her hips and smiled. “Well, enough chit-chat, then. Looks like everyone’s all here. It’s time to put this plan into motion.”

      “There’s a plan?” Daruk asked.

      “Of course there’s a plan,” Purah said. “Haven’t you fought a war before?”

      “Yes,” Revali sneered. “By our damn selves.”

      “That’s not true,” Impa hissed.

      “It didn’t seem likely we’d have anyone on our side,” Urbosa said.

      “Oh, come now,” Purah said, waving them off with a hand. “You always have the Sheikah on your side.” She turned and narrowed her gaze on Impa and Dorian.

      “Even if it seems like they’re against you at times.”

      “Purah,” Impa warned.

      Purah ignored her and turned her attention back to the Champions. “Impa and I work very differently. Regardless.” She moved her arm to the side, gesturing to the team behind her. “You’re not alone in this fight. In fact, I’ve been doing a little extra research myself, and I think I found just the thing to give you an edge.” She pulled the Sheikah Slate out from under her jacket and waved it in the air.

      “That’s the Sheikah Slate,” Zelda said.

      “See - it does a lot more than activate shrines.”

      “My daughters have uncovered the four Divine Beasts that were used thousands of years ago,” Dorian explained.

      Purah’s fingers flew across the screen of the slate. “They were used against the Great Calamity. Robbie has been able to activate them with the Sheikah Slate. You will be able to use them to easily take out the Yiga Clan’s hideout.”

      “The Divine Beasts,” Urbosa mumbled. “They’re still functioning?”

      “You know of them?” Mipha asked.

      “Just legends,” Urbosa said.

      “We’ll need each of you Champions to man one of these machines,” Purah continued. “The Sheikah can get you each to your respective Divine Beasts to blow up the Yiga Clan hideout, then back in a flash to finish them off.” She looked up at them, her shoulders pulled back, and smiled. “Questions, comments, complaints, grievances, or anything else I don’t care about?”

      “Yeah,” Daruk said with a grunt. “We need a raise.”

      “I’m afraid I can’t offer that,” Pura started. “But I did come with a plan, didn’t I? And a team?”

      “We brought the team,” Rusl said.

      But Purah ignored him. “And, I didn’t come without gifts.” She took the brown pieces of material from Impa’s arms. “Take these.” She threw them at each of them and, upon opening them, Link realized they were long cloaks.

      “Oh, swell,” he said with false enthusiasm. “These will be so useful to us in that wasteland of a desert where it's going to be so damn cold.”

      Impa did not hesitate to smack him upside the head. “Boy, I'da killed you a long time ago if I could have,” she snarled at him. “Don't test me.”

      Urbosa frowned at the cloak. “These are the least fashionable things I've ever seen.”

      “Fine,” Impa said with a grunt. “Die out there.” She turned away from them and sucked in a deep breath. “You will not be able to fight off the heat of the desert,” she attempted to explain to them. “That being said, you will not stand a chance in the cold nights, either.”

      Purah grinned and anxiously offered to finish explaining for Impa. “Listen up, Linky boy. Those cloaks have been reinforced with Sheikah magic and will keep you cool during the day, and warm at night. Without it, you will freeze to death on the first night.” She leaned in toward him. “And we definitely don’t want that to happen. Because you’re just too cute to die!”

      Link hesitated, blinking blankly at her. “Thank… you?”

      “I'm going to go ahead and assume you expect us to walk that damned desert,” Revali said.
      “Of course,” Impa said. She turned back to face the group. “The outskirts of the desert is one thing, but nothing will survive the sandstorms in the wastelands.”

      “Us included,” Daruk muttered.

      “I suppose the army may have some nice equipment that you could borrow,” Purah started, but she shook her head. “but you'll only draw more attention to yourselves.” She shook her head. “Your safest bet is to go on foot.”

      “Urbosa, Revali, Daruk, Mipha; you will each man one of the Divine Beasts, while Link and Zelda make their way to the Yiga Clan. On Teba’s command, you will each use the control panels on the Divine Beasts to fire at their hideout. The Sheikah there will be able to assist you and get you back to the desert to join the fight.”

      “What about Thing One and Thing Two?” Revali threw his thumb toward Link and Zelda. “You’re leaving them powerless.” His brows furrowed. “No offense, but you’ll both just get in the way.”
      Zelda hesitated. “We’re not staying behind.”

      “They will have the Sheikah with them,” Purah said. “They will be safe until you all return.”

      “Your power is not gone, Zelda,” Impa said. She patted the back of her hand. “The Triforce is still a part of you, even though Hylia used all of its energy. You are Hylian, and like all Hylian’s, that power sleeps inside of you. You’ve always had the power of the Triforce to enhance your abilities, but they are still there, as they are in all Hylians.” She smiled. “You just have to work a little harder to find that power and bring it out.”

      “What about Link?” Riju chimed in. “Does he have it, too?”

      Impa hesitated. She met Link’s gaze and her eyes narrowed on him. “He’s too stupid to be able to access any power he might have.” She turned her back on them. “While all Hylians have the power, that doesn’t mean they have the ability to bring it forth.” She met Rusl’s hard gaze.

      “Always a loser,” Revali said. He turned to Link with a smug grin.

      “Bite me,” Link muttered.

      Impa turned back to the Champions. “Prepare yourselves. You’ll set out tonight.” She smiled. “May Hylia keep your sorry asses from frying.”

      xox *~* MiSsKaTrInAlYnN3 *~* xox
      I write stuff sometimes
      Shadows of Hyrule | Shadows of the Yiga | Shadows of the Future [prequel]

    • Chapter 41

      Display Spoiler


      When night fell, Dorian’s daughters, Cottla and Koko were the final two to join the team of heroes. Much like Impa and Purah, they seemed to be mid-argument when they appeared suddenly before them, but they cast their chatter aside when their gazes fell upon Link.

      “Look who it is,” Cottla said cheerfully. She strode over to Link and pinched his cheek. “Little Linky.” She flicked his ear. “Looks like you didn’t turn out half bad afterall.”

      “Cottla,” Koko warned.

      Link rubbed his ear and frowned. “I thought I got rid of you.”

      Cottla put her hands on her hips and cocked her head to the side. “Miss me?”

      “No.”

      “Aw, yes you did,” she said, rustling his hair with her hand. “But I missed Aryll more. Did you ruin her like we all thought you would?”

      “Yes,” Link muttered. “She’s just as weird as you.”

      “Hey,” Aryll snapped at him. “Screw you, man.” Her gaze turned to the two Sheikah with a raised brow. “Who are they?”

      “It’s been too long,” Cottla said.

      “Not long enough,” Link muttered.

      Cottla ignored him. “Koko and I used to take care of you all the time when you were a baby.” She glanced at Rusl over her shoulder and grinned. “Because the men in your life were way too incapable to handle a baby.”

      “Oh.” Aryll paused as she tried to recall them, but nothing came to mind. She shrugged. “Well, I guess I owe you my thanks for keeping me alive. Why’d you stop coming around? I could have used you for a lot longer, you know.”

      Cottla grinned and folded her arms across her chest and straightened. “We’ve been keeping pretty busy, you know. Doing Sheikah things.”

      Koko stepped forward and thrust a thumb over her shoulder. “Dad’s had us doing everything else but actually fighting in this damn war,” she said.

      “Dads, right?” Aryll said. “Mine faked his death.” She grinned at her father, who gave her an exasperated look. He was never going to live that down.

      “Don’t worry,” Koko started, sneering at her own father over her shoulder. “We’ve been kept in the dark, too.” She turned back to Link and offered him a smile. “But we weren’t standing around doing nothing. We’ve been helping Robbie prepare the Divine Beasts for ya’ll. They’re in tip-top shape and ready to demolish a Yiga Clan hideout!”

      “And we’re assigning team captains,” Cottla exclaimed. She looked the Champions over carefully for a moment, then one by one, selected the teams.

      “The hot one,” she started, pointing at Revali first.

      “Here we go,” Urbosa muttered.

      Revali narrowed his eyes at her. “How old are you? I can never tell with you Sheikah.”

      “Hey,” Cottla barked. “Rude! I’m not like a hundred years old!”

      Revali shrugged. “Just deciding if there’s gonna be a thing here.”

      “I’ll kill you,” Dorian sneered.

      Revali put his hands in the air. “Right, right. Almost forgot your dad’s crazy.”

      Cottla grinned. “You get Vah Medoh.”

      “Vah-what?”

      “Vah Medoh,” Koko said. “The Divine Beast.”

      “They have names?” Daruk asked with a raised brow.

      Cottla continued. “Vah Medoh with Koko.”

      Revali shrugged in response, and Cottla chose her next target.

      “The other hot one.” She pointed to Urbosa.

      “Urbosa,” she said dryly.

      “Vah Naboris with me.”

      Revali wiggled his eyebrows at Urbosa, and she rolled her eyes.

      “Muscles.” Cottla pointed at Daruk. “You’re on Vah Rudania with Purah.” She turned to Mipha and smiled. “That leaves you, Red, with Impa and Vah Ruta.”

      “Red?” Mipha said quietly.

      “Because you have red hair,” Revali said in an obvious tone.

      “She’s so clever with her nicknames,” Aryll said with a roll of her eyes.

      “We good, then?” Cottla said, her hands on her hips.

      “What exactly are we supposed to be doing with these Divine Beast things?” Daruk asked.

      “We’ll show you,” Koko said. “We all know how to control the Divine Beats. And we’re each getting a team of Sheikah to assist us.”

      “That’s that, then,” Cottla said, clapping her hands together. She turned on her heels and saluted her father. “Move ‘em out.”

      Dorian sighed, and Rusl grinned.

      “Don’t ever change,” Rusl said.

      Cottla winked at him. “Finally, some real action!”

      Dorian barked his orders, and soon the teams were split. The Champions glanced hesitantly at each other one last time before one by one, the teams disappeared with four loud cracks, leaving Zelda and Link with the rest of their makeshift army.

      “This is weird,” Zelda said. “I don’t think we’ve ever been split like this before.”

      “They’ll be fine,” Dorian assured her. “They’ve got a lot more going for them than the two of you right now.”

      “He’s right,” Aryll said, crossing her arms. “What do you think you’re gonna do against a bunch of Yiga?”

      “Kick their asses,” Link said.

      Aryll frowned. “You can’t do shit.”

      Link pressed a finger against her nose and smiled. “Watch me.”

      Aryll’s nose wrinkled and her brows furrowed angrily. “You’re an idiot,” she sneered. She turned her gaze to her father. “You both are!”

      “Well, it’s worked out so far,” Rusl said with a shrug.

      Aryll sighed and wrapped her arms around her brother. “Whatever. Just come back.”

      Link hugged her back. “I always do.”

      He pulled away, and Aryll watched as he joined Zelda with the rest of their army. She turned her gaze to her father as he approached.

      “Behave,” he said simply.

      Aryll rolled her eyes. “You’re stupid,” she said, her voice cracking slightly.

      Rusl hugged his daughter. “I love you.”

      Aryll let her head rest against him. “I love you too, Dad.”

      “Don’t you worry,” Riju said, pulling her shoulders back. “I’ll babysit - again!”

      Rusl winked at Riju. “I know she’s safe with you.”

      Aryll wiped at her eyes when he pulled away, and when they were gathered together, the air snapped, and they were gone.

      *****

      When the world snapped back into focus, they were standing in the vast desert. Though it was late in the night, the sky was clear, offering them the light of the large, full mood to guide their way. A cold breeze blew around them, and they pulled their cloaks over their heads. Just as Impa had promised, the cloaks offered protection from the cold night. Within a few hours, they would soon see if it held up against the heat of the desert during the daytime hours.

      There were a handful of other Sheikah already there when they appeared, as if waiting for their arrival. Dorian moved to them quickly, their voices low as they spoke to one another. When they were finished, Dorian nodded to them, and they disappeared in a snap. Dorian turned back to Zelda and Link.

      “It seems the Yiga are not yet aware of our approach,” he said to them. “However, they are aware of the activation of the Divine Beasts, and many of them have been dispatched to stop the attack.”

      “How do they know?” Zelda asked.

      “They’re just aware of the Divine Beasts as we are,” Dorian said. “That’s why they’ve had the Sheikah Slate in their possession; to keep you from gaining control of the machines. Naturally, after the slate went missing, they sought out the Divine Beasts. We were able to get them activated before the Yiga could stop us, but now they may be there waiting for the Champions. I have no doubt that they will be able to take care of the Yiga, though. Only a handful have been dispersed to each of the Divine Beasts. You’ve dealt a lot of damage to their forces already. They cannot afford to thin their army here any further. But that being said, they will be searching for any sign of us, and they will be ready for us. My men are doing everything they can to keep an eye out for them and will alert us to any movements they make.”

      “This is nice,” Link said. “Having someone else do all the planning for once.”

      “Better than any planning you’ve ever done,” Rusl said.

      “That’s kinda my thing,” Link said. “I just wing it and hope for the best.”

      “Let’s get going, then,” Zelda said. “We might have a very long walk ahead of us.”

      The night was uneventful as they moved seemingly undetected across the large desert. While they had a general idea of where the Yiga Clan hideout was and what direction to go in, it was impossible to tell just how far out they were, with no path or landmark to show the way. They walked through the night, stopping only once just before dawn to rest in the protection of the darkness.

      When the sun rose over the horizon, it brought along with it a scorching heat that their cloaks easily warded off, thanks to Impa’s magic. They stood atop one of the dunes, pausing for a moment to take in their surroundings. The desert seemed endless. The yellow sands of the desert blurred into the pale blue sky, the horizon line barely discernible in the wave of the heat. The barren landscape offered nothing to them; not even a trace of the Yiga Clan hideout. The heat of the sun seemed to bounce off the desert sands, intensifying immensely, but their cloaks continued to offer unexplainable protection, and they didn't feel nearly as hot as they should have.

      As a whole, they were relatively quiet as they walked through the day. The Sheikah occasionally spoke amongst themselves, and Link, Zelda, and Teba partook in their own casual chit chat. Dorian and Rusl, however, had somehow ended up at the front of the group, and from the looks of it, were too deep into their own conversation to seem to even remember that they were about to start a war on Hyrule’s biggest enemy.

      Link watched them as they journeyed, noticing how varied their interactions were. In one moment, they seemed to be in a secret, serious discussion. But the next moment, Rusl was laughing, even obnoxiously as he teased Dorian at times, and to Link’s surprise, a small smile split Dorian’s otherwise stone cold face. Dorian turned to Rusl, saying something further, and Rusl grinned widely. He looked over his shoulder briefly at Link, then turned back to Dorian. His grin disappeared as Dorian spoke again, and they were seemingly back to a serious discussion. Though they were a ways ahead, Link strained to listen in. Their voices rose as their argument turned more heated.

      “We already discussed this,” Rusl said through his teeth. “There’s no other way.”

      “It might not need to come down to that, anyway,” Dorian said. “You’re rushing to conclusions.”

      “I’m considering the worst possible scenario.”

      “You’re not considering it. You’re acting on it.”

      Rusl stopped walking, and Dorian turned to face him.

      “What else am I supposed to do?” Rusl hissed.

      Dorian hesitated, then glanced in the direction of Link. His brows furrowed, and with a wave of his hand, they disappeared.

      Rusl was still glaring at him, unfazed at their sudden transportation. Their surroundings, however, seemed to have gone unchanged; just another area in the vast desert. The only difference was that they were far away from anyone hearing their discussion.

      “You’re supposed to survive!” Dorian barked.

      “Look,” Rusl started. “You’re supposed to be on my side.”

      “I’m on the side where you live.”

      “You know that can’t happen.”

      “You don’t know what will happen.” Dorian’s voice softened. “We could just as well be able to take care of this without him.”

      “Perhaps,” Rusl said. “But if not, you know as well as I that this is what needs to be done. And I will do it.”

      “The difference is that you’ve already planned to throw your life away.”

      “I’m prepared for the worst.”

      “What you need to do is stay alive. They already lost you once. You can’t do that to them again. You can’t do that to me.” His brows furrowed. “Don’t you think we’ve all lost enough?”

      Rusl pulled his gaze away. “Nothing would change,” he said. “If not now, I would have done it then. For Carissa. For Uli. For Koko and Cottla.” He glanced back at Dorian, but his expression was torn. “Come on, D,” Rusl muttered. “Don’t give me that look. I’m not dead yet.”

      Dorian’s gaze hardened. “I hate you.”

      Rusl grinned. “No, you don’t.” He pushed Dorian’s shoulder. “Come on. Is that what you’re last words are going to be to me?”

      “Yes.”

      “You’re a stubborn, tight ass son of a bitch, you know that?”

      “I’ve hated you since the day I was forced to work with you.”

      “I love you too, D.”

      “Shut up.”

      Rusl spread his arms, gesturing with his fingers. “Bring in it, man. "

      Dorian shook his head, but he stepped forward regardless and hugged his friend.

      “If Kohga doesn’t kill you,” Dorian started. “I will.”

      Rusl smiled. “Yeah, I know.”

      Dorian pulled away quickly, stiffening. “Yiga.”

      The air snapped as Dorian brought them back, and Rusl saw then that the Yiga had them surrounded.

      “Rusl!”

      Rusl was pushed back suddenly. When he landed on the ground, he hurried for the blade at his side, but when he looked up, Dorian was in front of him, his power knocking the Yiga that had sprung up backward. But just as quickly, two more sprung up, and though Rusl jumped to Dorian’s defense, the blade of the second Yiga still clipped Dorian’s side before he sprung back and disappeared again.

      “D!”

      “I’m fine,” Dorian muttered as his hand moved to his side, and he quickly began to heal himself.

      “Don’t even try to save my life,” Rusl hissed at him.

      “Wouldn’t dream of it,” Dorian said. “Just stay out of the way.” The air snapped, and he disappeared.

      “What did you do?”

      Rusl’s gaze turned to Link as he stood before him. His hand hovered over the gun at his side.

      “Nothing,” Rusl said through his teeth.

      “You two disappear and we get ambushed,” Link hissed. “That’s not nothing!”

      Rusl held his composure as he regarded his son. “You think I did this?”

      Link hesitated, holding his gaze on his father. His hand moved to the blade on his hip, and he lunged at him.

      Rusl was quick to block the blow, pushing back against Link and causing him to stumble backwards. Link regained his footing, jumping to the side as his father pressed in to attack with his own dagger. He swung his leg around, momentarily tripping Rusl and catching his arm, pulling him forward and bringing his blade down in the process. Rusl pulled back, narrowly missing Link’s attack, but Link did not hesitate to throw his fist toward him.

      Rusl caught his fist and twisted his wrist, throwing him backwards once more and charging at Link with his blade again. Link blocked the attack with his blade, pushing forcefully against Rusl, then swinging the blade around to dislodge him. He ducked as Rusl swung the blade back around, and as he rolled out of the way, he grabbed his gun from his holster, spinning around to point it at his father. He stopped suddenly as Rusl, too, had his own gun pointed at Link.

      They breathed heavily, but neither moved any further as they stared each other down. It was Rusl who spoke first, a sly smile tugging at the corners of his lips.

      “Do it,” he said. “Kill me.”

      Link’s gaze hardened on him. “What’s stopping you?”

      Rusl’s expression softened. He hesitated as he regarded his son. His arm lowered, and he let the clip drop from the gun. Link watched as it fell to the ground, then turned his gaze back to his father. His arm lowered slightly, but he did not give up so easily.

      “Don’t you think if I wanted to kill you I would have done it by now?” Rusl said. “For the love of Hylia, I know you have trust issues, but make up your fucking mind.”

      “What the hell am I supposed to think?” Link said. “I don’t even know who you are.”

      “I’m your father,” Rusl snapped. “Alright? Nothing has fucking changed.”

      Link held his gaze on him. Rusl’s expression softened and he pulled his gaze away. He looked over the desert where the war had already begun just below them.

      “I’m sorry,” Rusl said. “For everything. I’ve made mistakes. And I know you have no reason to trust me. But everything I did was for you and Aryll. Everything.” His expression hardened. “Not for the sake of some damned destiny.” He hesitated. “You and Aryll… you weren’t mistakes. For the love of Hylia, you were all that kept me going. And I wouldn’t change any of it. Not if it meant losing you both.” Het met Link’s gaze once more, his brows knit together, hardening his expression. “You have enough damn sense to know what you need to do. And if that means you don’t trust me, then so be it. I haven’t exactly done anything to earn it.” His gaze softened again.

      Link pulled his gaze away. “Why are you saying this?”

      Rusl smiled. “Just in case a damn Yiga finally kills me,” he said. “I want you to know I’m proud of you. And I’m sorry things ended up this way.”

      “I’m going to kill you before a Yiga does,” Link muttered. “You’re really trying my patience.”

      Rusl grinned. “Yeah. Dorian might beat you to that, though.”

      Link glanced at his father, then at the war raging below them as Sheikah and Yiga soldiers clashed together. The air snapped, and Dorian appeared once more with Zelda and Teba. Teba was shouting into his radio for the other Champions, but there was no response from anyone.

      Teba’s face whitened as he stared at the radio. “Do it! Now!”

      Link’s heart dropped as he turned his gaze to the sky, waiting for a sign of the Divine Beasts to prove that his friends were still alive.

      xox *~* MiSsKaTrInAlYnN3 *~* xox
      I write stuff sometimes
      Shadows of Hyrule | Shadows of the Yiga | Shadows of the Future [prequel]

    • Chapter 42

      Display Spoiler



      [quote='I'm on the edge of the war. I'm holding on and hanging by a thread. I am the eye of the storm, and you haven't seen the last of me just yet. I'm falling down but I'm not out. I'm coming back for more. I don't give in, I don't give up. I won't ever let it break me. I'm on fire, I'm a fighter. I'll forever be the last one standing. Black vultures circling the sky, pick at the pieces. Scavengers wait for me to die, but I'm not defeated.','I'm on the edge of the war. I'm holding on and hanging by a thread. I am the eye of the storm, and you haven't seen the last of me just yet. I'm falling down but I'm not out. I'm coming back for more. I don't give in, I don't give up. I won't ever let it break me. I'm on fire, I'm a fighter. I'll forever be the last one standing. Black vultures circling the sky, pick at the pieces. Scavengers wait for me to die, but I'm not defeated.']Black Vultures – Halestorm
      [/quote]
      Urbosa stood atop her Divine Beast, Naboris, looking out over the desert beside Cottla. Cottla pointed a finger in the direction toward the Yiga Clan hideout, and a wicked grin split her face.

      “You bitches are going down,” she said. She put her hands on her hips proudly. “They won’t even see it coming!”

      “Let’s hope not,” Urbosa said.

      Cottla smiled. “It’s kind of an honor to be able to see something that was once used to defend our world.” She turned to Urbosa. “I wonder what they were like? The heroes from generations past.”

      “Something tells me they were better cut out for the job,” Urbosa said.

      Cottla’s grin widened. “I have complete faith in you all,” she said. “I’ve known Link a long time. He’s a hero, alright.” She flipped the radio in her hand, bringing it to her ear quickly as it crackled to life. She strained to listen to the voice on the other end, but the Sheikah that guarded them were quick to react, throwing up their defenses as Yiga Clan soldiers lunged at them out of thin air.

      “Urbosa!”

      Urbosa snapped her fingers, her powerful strikes of lightning striking the around them.

      Cottla shouted into the radio. “We’re under attack!”

      Teba’s voice came through clearly after a moment. “Now! Do it now!”

      Urbosa slammed her hand against the controls and the Divine Beast began to tremble. The Sheikah continued to stave off the attacking Yiga’s, keeping Urbosa and Riju in their protective barrier as Naboris began to pull in energy before releasing a mighty blast toward the Yiga Clan base.

      *****

      “This thing’s a piece of junk,” Revali said as he peered at the controls. “I mean, sure, it may have been advanced technology back in the day, and yeah, it’s intimidating as shit.” He crossed his arms. “But what’s it got on a couple of nukes, anyway? We’d be far better off.”

      “I’ve heard legends of the ones who once manned these machines,” Koko said. “From Impa.” Her lips pulled into a smile. “The one who controlled Vah Medoh, here, reminds me of you.”

      Revali raised a brow. “How so?”

      “He was an arrogant asshole who hated the Chosen Hero.”

      Revali smiled. “Maybe we’re related,” he said with a grin. “But I wouldn’t go so far to say I hate Link. I tolerate him.”

      Koko tensed, throwing up a protective barrier as Yiga soldiers appeared out of thin air, lunging at them.

      “Shit,” Revali spat. He listened to the radio as Cottla’s panicked voice came through. Soon after, Teba’s command rang loud and clear, and Revali threw himself at the control panel to launch the attack as Purah had explained to them.

      Vah Medoh was not nearly as close to Gerudo Desert as he had hoped to get it, but it would had to be close enough. The Divine Beast perched itself on the edge of a canyon, the engines roaring as it gathered in energy, and in a flash, it launched it’s deadly attack.

      *****

      Mipha watched as the trunk of her Divine Beast, Vah Ruta, moved up and down, water shooting into the air. She cocked her head and smiled as it responded to her touch. “It really is incredible,” she said to Imap, who stood at her side. “To think these machines were onced used to save our kingdom. And the ones who controlled them… I wonder what they were like?”

      Impa smiled. “I see a lot of them in all of you,” she said. “I suppose Hylia has a way of finding the traits of heroes in others, no matter what generation they are.”

      Mipha turned her gaze to Impa. “And how many generation of heroes have you seen?”

      “There’s nothing that gets by you,” Impa said. She looked out over the horizon. “In this body, only this one. But my spirit has seen countless.” She smiled. “It’s a funny feeling,” she continued. “Seeing the reincarnations of the heroes present themselves every time. I can’t help but to remember their first reincarnations. It’s like seeing a dear friend whom you haven’t seen for a very long time.”

      Mipha’s smile faded after a moment. “Yet, they don’t remember you.”

      “I believe a part of them does,” Impa said. “In some way. Afterall; the spirit of Hylia and her Chosen Hero live on in them. Even they must feel a sense of recognition and familiarity towards one another at times.”

      Mipha’s brows furrowed. “They do?”

      But Impa did not have a chance to speak further as the Sheikah around her sprang into action, quickly fending off a surprise attack from the Yiga soldiers.

      “Quickly!” Impa barked at Mipha. “To the controls!”

      Mipha hurried to the control panel as the radio nearby crackled to life. She could barely hear over the sounds of the fighting, but Teba’s voice rang through loud and clear. “Do it now!”

      Vah Ruta’s engines whirled as it positioned itself, facing toward the Yiga Clan hideout. It gathered in energy, then shot its attack towards the enemy base.

      *****

      Daruk looked out over the mountain range where Vah Rudania was perched. Even as far up as they were, Hyrule seemed to stretch on endlessly. There was no sign of the southern desert, and his brows furrowed.

      “Are you sure about this?” he asked Purah. “I mean, we can’t even see the desert. We’re hundreds of miles away.”

      Purah put a hand on her hip and rolled her eyes. “You know, I’m smarter than I look,” she said. “Trust me, this will work.”

      “And if it doesn’t?”

      Purah sneered at him, leaning forward with both hands on her hips. “It will work!” She straightened and crossed her arms. “It worked last time.”

      “That was thousands of years ago,” Daruk muttered.

      Purah waved him off with her hand. “Never doubt the abilities of a Sheikah.”

      “I don’t,” Daruk started. “But I do doubt the reliability of a machine that has been sitting around, undetected, for thousands of years.”

      “That’s still a doubt on Sheikahs,” Purah said. “We don’t make things that break so easily.” She turned to the radio as it crackled to life. Urbosa’s voice came through first.

      “What?” Daruk hissed. “They’re under attack?”

      “Get ready,” Purah barked at him. “We’re firing on all cylinders whether we get Teba’s command or not.”

      “I don’t -” But he was cut off by Teba’s voice. Without hesitation, Daruk slammed a fist on the control panel, and the Divine Beast roared to life, gathering in energy before firing off toward the horizon.

      *****

      One after another, the Divine Beast shot their deadly blasts, dragging four red tails behind them as they fired at the Yiga Clan hideout. Though the hideout was hidden in the valley just at the edge of the desert, Link could clearly see the eruption from the blast. Smoke, sand, and debris clouded the area around the hideout, and at their distance, they could even feel the tremor from the attack as it stretched across the desert just ahead of the sound of the blast.

      Just moments after the blast subsided, the air snapped as one by one, the Champions returned. After a moment of taking in their surroundings, they turned their gazes to the blast where a cloud of sand still hung over the valley.

      “Bullseye,” Revali said. He brushed his hands together. “Champs: one. Yiga: zip.” He turned his gaze to Link. “What are you hanging around here for?” He grinned.

      “Oh. Right. Silly me.” And in another snap, he was gone, only to appear in an instant on the battlefield below, bow drawn as he plunged into the battle.

      “Idiot,” Urbosa hissed.

      “I’d say he’s going to get killed,” Mipha started. “But I think that’s wishful thinking.”

      Urbosa grinned. She cracked her knuckles, winked at Link, then followed after Revali with Daruk on her heels.

      Before Link could think to argue with them, they suddenly found themselves surrounded as several Yiga soldiers appeared before them suddenly. They sprung into the air with their blades raised, then plunged down toward them.

      Link was quick to block a blow with his dagger, pushing forcefully against the Yiga that attacked him. But just as the Yiga seemed to back off, several more pressed forward. Link dislodged them quickly, jumping backwards to avoid their swings and spinning around on his heels to block another attack.

      Lost in the heat of the battle, his mind went on autopilot, easily remembering all the training that Impa had beaten into his head. Though his blade was a little shorter, and admittedly less deadlier, he had no problems keeping up his defenses, blocking their blows and giving him enough space to keep out of their reach.

      Without the extra reach of the sword, however, Link was able to do little more than block their attacks. He was wasting too much of his energy on defense; he needed to find a way to deal some damage. It was risky, but if he didn’t act soon, he would exhaust his energy and make careless, costly mistakes.

      So when the next Yiga sprung at him, he stepped out of the way, grabbing at the Yiga’s arm, catching him in surprise and causing him to stumble and fall. As he did so, Link pulled the Yiga soldier toward him, plunging his blade into his enemy’s guy. He yanked it out quickly, letting the Yiga drop to the ground where he choked and gasped, the light fading from his eyes.

      Link was already moving on to his next target, but the Yiga had already picked up on his change of tactic and were better prepared than his first victim, dodging him with ease as he lunged at the next one. They came at him faster, crowding him, and he had no choice but to move back to his defensive stance, moving quickly to block and dislodged their blows.

      Within moments, he found himself completely surrounded. He looked around as they pressed in, grinning wickedly at their cornered prey. His knuckles whitened as he gripped the blade in his hand and his pulse quickened nervously. It didn’t seem so long ago he had found himself in a similar situation; only this time, he didn’t have the dark power to rely on. He knew he would not be able to fend them all off, and he was sure they would not give him any opportunities to escape their hold. He was sure they wouldn’t kill him right away; they still needed to harness the power of the Triforce. But if he ended up as their captive again, he was a dead man. Even if it meant taking his own life before they could take the Triforce from him.

      He really considered this option as they continued to press in. He would not hand himself over so easily. If it was what it came down to, he was prepared to do it without hesitation. He went to move his hand to the butt of his gun, but just as his arm twitched, the Yiga soldiers lunged at him all at once with raised blades.

      He didn’t have time to react. He raised his blade defensively before him, but it did him no good. He was knocked violently to the sandy ground, and a sudden, piercing pain in his side overwhelmed him. He clutched at the wound as the blade was withdrawn, blood seeping through his fingers. When he looked up, all but one Yiga had backed away. The Yiga stood over him threateningly, tossing his blade confidently in the air. He gripped it in his hand, raised his arm, and Link closed his eyes, preparing to meet his certain death.

      xox *~* MiSsKaTrInAlYnN3 *~* xox
      I write stuff sometimes
      Shadows of Hyrule | Shadows of the Yiga | Shadows of the Future [prequel]

    • Chapter 43

      Display Spoiler


      State of my Head - Shinedown
      We’ve been shot up, beat up by the fallin’ of the arrows. Yeah, I’m full of deep cuts right down to the marrow. But there’s no doubt we’ll get out from the bottom of the barrel. Oh, our flag is tattered, and my bones are shattered, but it doesn’t matter, cause we’re movin’ forward. Round ‘em up, round ‘em up, let’s go. Round ‘em up, let’s go. Oh, my eyes are seein’ red, double vision from the blood we’ve shed. The only way I’m leavin’ is dead, that’s the state of my, state of my, state of my head.

      How many times had it been now? Three? Four? No, more than that, though he was sure he could still count the number on just his two hands. A handful of times he had been stabbed, gutted, or otherwise mortally wounded. And all he could think was ‘For fuck’s sake, Revali will never let me live this down.’ Even in death, he was sure Revali would curse his name. It would be carved into his gravestone: Here Lies the Hero That Got Gutted… Again! He would have laughed - and he almost did - but the pain in his gut was causing his vision to darken. He would have been disappointed if there weren’t tally marks on his gravestone. Not that he would know one way or another.

      His eyes opened, then, realizing that he was - by another miracle - still alive. He looked up warily, but was not prepared for what he was about to witness.

      The Yiga soldier that had his blade raised now lay lifeless on the ground. His father stood before him, holding his ground just as the other Yiga soldiers lunged at him. His arms crossed in front of him and the Yiga soldiers were suddenly pushed backwards. Rusl grunted under the impact and stepped backwards, but otherwise, remained standing. As they landed on the ground, Rusl thrust his palm out, and a sudden forcewave shot forward, sending them flying violently further back, their bones snapping from the impact before they even dropped to the ground.

      Rusl turned to face Link, studying him for a moment with concerned eyes.

      “You’re alive,” Rusl grunted.

      “Not dead yet,” Link muttered, wincing at the pain. He turned as Mipha dropped to his side and did his best to ignore her angry glare as she worked to heal the wound as quick as she could. When she was finished, Rusl pulled him to his feet. With the wave of Yiga that had ambushed them cleared, they had a moment to examine the rest of the battle field. The Champions continued to fight strongly against the opposing Yiga, and for the first time in a long time, Link felt a glimmer of hope.

      “Are you going to explain that stunt you pulled?” Link asked. He narrowed his gaze on his father. “How long have you been hiding that?”

      “Years,” Rusl said simply. “All Hylian’s are capable of wielding that sort of power. I don’t compare to Dorian’s strength, but it comes in handy.” He turned and met Link’s gaze, his eyes fierce. “If you want a damn chance at winning this and coming out alive, you need to find that power.”

      Link hesitated. “That seems like the kind of thing that takes a lot of training,” he muttered.

      “For most, yes,” Rusl started. “But you’re the Chosen Hero. You’re not most.”

      Link turned his gaze away. He cracked his knuckles absentmindedly. “Alright,” he said. “Guess it’s time to join the Superheroes Club.” He hesitated, then glanced at his father. “Any tips?”

      Rusl held his gaze on Link for a moment, then shrugged. “Don’t die.”

      Link’s brows furrowed. “I mean on this Hylian voodoo you expect me to use.”

      Rusl’s lips pulled into a small smile. He pulled his gaze away and sighed. “No.”

      Link pinched his lips together, then focused his attention on the battle waging below them. His tongue stuck out between his lips slightly as he focused his attention, then thrust his palm out like he had seen his father do.

      But nothing happened.

      Rusl snorted, and Link scowled at him.

      “I don’t see you helping!”

      “Hyrule is doomed,” Rusl said, shaking his head.

      “Shut up,” Link growled. “I don’t need your stupid Hylian shit.” He exhaled angrily, then left his father alone on top of the dune, sliding on the sand to quickly join his friends in the battle.

      The battle between the Yiga and Hyrule continued on. Hylians, Sheikah, and Humans alike fought side by side against their enemy, and though Link could not find the power within him, he pressed on, determined to do whatever he could to stop the Yiga Clan once and for all. He fought beside his friends, he fought beside his father, and he fought beside comrades who gave their lives to support Link, despite all that had happened in the last few weeks; despite the lives he, himself, had ended. But as he fought, he didn’t think of any of it. He focused only on doing what he did best; what he was born to do. He focused on saving Hyrule and preserving the kingdom’s future.

      It wasn’t long before he found himself overlooking the battlefield once more. Teba had managed to find him in the chaos and pulled him aside with Zelda, Dorian and Rusl. His gaze was fierce as he regarded them.

      “I lost contact with the Divine Beasts,” he said.

      “What do you mean you lost contact?” Dorian sneered. “What’s going on?”

      “The last person I spoke with was Purah,” Teba explained. “She said they fought off the last of the Yiga that ambushed them. But that was almost half an hour ago.”

      Dorian pressed in closer to Teba, getting into his face angrily as he spoke. “Where the fuck are my daughters?”

      Teba hesitated. “I don’t know.”

      “Dorian,” Rusl warned, but Dorian was too busy shouting profanities at Teba to listen.

      At that moment, however, the radio crackled to life, and Cottla’s panicked voice came over in broken pieces.

      “... back-up... Teba… he’s here… Kohga… here...”

      Dorian didn’t wait a second longer. The moment Cottla mentioned Kohga, Dorian was gone in a snap. Rusl looked at the space where Dorian once stood, his lips pinched together nervously. He turned his gaze back to Link.

      “Fuck,” Teba muttered under his breath. “Fucking shit.”

      “There’s nothing we can do about it now,” Rusl said. “Dorian will take care of it.”

      Teba turned his gaze to Zelda. “We’re getting slaughtered out there,” he said. “The Sheikah can hold their own, but right now, they’re working twice as hard to fight and hold up defenses. My guys are taking a beating. They won’t last much longer.”

      Zelda’s brows furrowed and her frown deepened as she looked over the battlefield. “I know,” she said softly.

      “You knew they wouldn’t stand a chance,” Link growled. “You shouldn’t have dragged them into this.”

      “I didn’t,” Teba snapped. “They offered. The least you can do is be a little more grateful for their sacrifices.”

      Link’s face softened as he regarded Teba, though his stomach knotted sickeningly. He never wanted anyone to do this for him. He pulled his gaze away and bit his lip.

      “Pull them back.”

      The three men turned their gazes to Zelda.

      “What?” Rusl sneered.

      “I said pull them back,” Zelda snapped. “We’re done here.”

      “Right,” Link started. “Because the Yiga will just let us retreat. They’ll still be a damn problem we need to stop!”

      “We’re at a stalemate,” Zelda said, narrowing her gaze on him. “At this rate, they’ll only exhaust themselves. As soon as that happens, we’ll lose. We need to regroup and consider our options. We’ve already dealt a great deal of damage. Their hideout has been destroyed. They’ll be an easier target next time. When we’re better prepared, we’ll make our move.”

      “They won’t wait for you,” Rusl reminded her. “If you leave, you’ll leave Hyrule without a defense. Impa is the only thing keeping them out of the city. They’ll go after her. They will kill her. The ward will drop, and the city will be exposed. If you pull them back, the war will be lost.”

      Zelda hesitated. Her forehead creased in worry as she watched the battle wage on. After a moment, she turned to Teba.

      “The choice is yours,” Teba said.

      “I want your professional opinion,” she said simply.

      Teba held his gaze on her for a moment. “Rusl’s right,” he finally said. “Pulling back will only seal our fate.”

      “But you said so yourself -”

      “People die in war,” Teba growled. “It’s a few of our men, or it’s all of Hyrule. It’s not the most ideal way to look at the situation, but…” He hesitated. “Hyrule is what we’re fighting for. Let them defend their kingdom.”

      Zelda turned her gaze back to the battle. “I liked it better when we were the only ones doing the fighting,” she said softly.

      “This has become more than you can handle alone,” Teba said. He glanced at Link, his gaze narrowing. “Both of you.”

      “Why are you looking at me?” Link hissed.

      “Because I know you have a habit of running in blind thinking you can take care of everything yourself.”

      “That’s my job.”

      “Your job is to keep Hyrule safe,” he snapped. “Not be an idiot.”

      “Well you just take the fun out of everything.”

      “Someone has to control this fucking circus you call heroes.”

      “I’m the ringleader,” Link said, thrusting his thumb into his chest.

      “You’re the idiot that wants to get shot out of a canon.”

      Link smirked and shrugged a shoulder. “Someone has to do the shit no one else wants to do.”

      “Alright,” Zelda growled at them. She sighed. “We stay put then.”

      “I guess I can’t convince you to go back to the city?” Teba said.

      “Of course not,” Zelda hissed. “I won’t run and hide and leave them -”

      “Running and hiding is usually the best option when you’re the one they want,” Teba said, narrowing his eyes on her. “If Kohga gets his hands on either of you, we’re just as fucked.”

      “Look,” Zelda said. “Either we all run, or we stay put. It’s one or the other. Pick your poison.”

      “There’s no reasoning with you,” Teba muttered.

      “Are you so surprised?” Link said.

      “Look who’s talking,” Zelda snapped at him. “I’m just trying to keep up with you.”

      “You’re supposed to be the reasonable one,” Link said.

      “Well, what good does that do if no one ever listens to me?” She turned her nose up at him.
      “Have you all forgotten that I am the queen?"

      “Here we go,” Link said. “It’s highschool all over again.”

      “You know,” Zelda sneered. “I’ve really had it with you. I should have just let you turn and killed you myself.”

      “That’s the Zelda I used to know,” Link grinned. “I preferred it when you hated my guts.”

      Rusl sighed loudly. “Are you done?”

      “She started it,” Link muttered.

      Rusl glanced at Link. “That’s real mature.”

      Link grinned at his father. He opened his mouth, prepared with a snappy comeback, but a snap in the air caught his attention, and he quickly turned his gaze back to the battle below, which appeared to be temporarily disrupted. The two armies had parted, a distinct space of desert sand between the Yiga army and the Hyrulean army. A man stepped forward from the Yiga army. He took a few steps into the empty space before turning his gaze to the dunes where Link and Zelda stood. A wicked grin split his face.

      Without hesitation, Link and Zelda lurched forward, despite Teba’s shouts. They slid down the sandy dunes until they stood just yards away from Kohga. They held their grown as Kohga faced them.

      “There they are,” he said with a light sigh. “I’ve been looking for you.” He regarded his army over his shoulder, nodding his head slightly. At his command, Yiga soldiers sprung toward the Sheikah, and one by one, they disappeared, until only the Hyrulean army remained to fight off the other approaching Yiga soldiers. Unmatched to their power, however, the soldiers quickly fell at the hands of the Yiga. The Champions moved quickly in an attempt to fight off the Yiga, but in the chaos of the fight, they soon found themselves at the mercy of the Yiga. A Yiga soldier stood behind each of them, an arm wrapped around each of their neck’s, blades pressed against their skin. But Link knew the threat was just for show, for their own power was far greater and more destructive. The deaths his friends would suffer by a mere blade would have been a far kinder fate.

      Through it all, Kohga hadn’t moved an inch. He stood between them and their friends, and with a pleased smile, he turned his attention to Link and Zelda once more. “Now, I’m sure I don’t have to say this,” he started, “but if you so much as blink, I will have their heads.”

      “Let them go,” Link growled. “And you can have me.”

      Kohga laughed. “It seems you still don’t understand,” he said. “I will take what I want and destroy anyone and anything that stands in my way. There is no negotiating here.” He raised his arm, his palm out toward Link.

      His mind went blank. In that moment, all he could think to do was prepare for his inevitable death. there seemed nothing more they could do. He closed his eyes as Kohga’s power burst forth, throwing him forcefully to the ground where he lost consciousness.

      xox *~* MiSsKaTrInAlYnN3 *~* xox
      I write stuff sometimes
      Shadows of Hyrule | Shadows of the Yiga | Shadows of the Future [prequel]

    • Chapter 44

      Display Spoiler


      You’re Going Down - Sick Puppies
      It's been a long time comin' and the table's turned around, cause one of us is goin', one of us is goin' down. I'm not runnin'. It's a little different now, cause one of us is goin', one of us is goin' down.

      Whether from the force of the attack or how hard he had landed on the ground, he was only unconscious for a fraction of a moment. But it was enough to knock the wind out of him. He felt the rough sand hit his face, but except for the pain of the force he felt against his body, he felt no other pain to suggest he was even remotely injured.

      As Rusl pushed his son out of the way, Revali sprang into action behind him, moving at speeds faster than he ever had before, oblivious to the Yiga soldiers that held him and his friends at knife point. In one motion, he broke free of the Yiga’s grasp and grabbed the blade, slicing it immediately across the soldier’s neck. Before the Yiga soldier even dropped to his knees, he had the others free, bringing the blade across their captives’ necks as well.

      Without hesitation, he moved to Kohga, but to his surprise, Kohga was seemingly just as fast, and the moment Revali appeared behind him, the Yiga Clan leader thrust a palm out towards him, sending him sliding across the desert sands. The force of it stunned him, and the speed at which he was knocked back caused road rash on his body from the sand.

      All of this happened in only a fraction of a second. As Link pushed himself onto his knees, he realized, then, that the force that had knocked him to the ground was not Kohga’s attack, but his father. He quickly searched for his father, seeing Revali first groaning on the ground, not where he had originally been. When he found his father, he had his arms crossed as Kohga hurled another explosive attack towards them. The attack exploded against Rusl’s defense instead, the force of it bringing Rusl to his knees. The shield around them dropped immediately, and Kohga took advantage, stepping forward and grabbing Rusl, pulling him up violently. Link watched in horror as Kohga thrust his blade into his father, and Rusl promptly dropped to the ground out of Kohga’s hold. Link screamed to his father, but a crack in the air drowned out his voice as Dorian appeared before them. In just another fraction of a second, Dorian’s power burst forth, and in that same instance, Kohga and his foot soldiers disappeared into thin air, narrowly missing Dorian’s attack.

      Dorian’s shoulders dropped as soon as their enemy disappeared, and he hesitated before turning around. His heart dropped at the sight of his wounded friend; he was too late.

      Link scrambled against the sand toward his father as Rusl clutched at the blade in his chest. His hand instantly moved to the blade to remove it, but Mipha’s voice stopped him suddenly.

      “Don’t! If you move it, he’ll bleed out and die.”

      Link’s hand hovered above the blade. His eyes turned to Mipha. “Fix it,” he growled.

      When Mipha spoke again, her voice was barely audible. “I… can’t.” She swallowed at the lump that formed in her throat. “As long as the blade remains, the wound cannot be repaired. But he will bleed out as soon as it is removed. It will be too quick for anyone to heal.”

      Rusl started to laugh, but choked and winced in pain instead.

      “No,” Link started. He sneered at Rusl. “You think this is fucking funny?”

      “Little bit,” Rusl managed to choke out.

      “I don’t!” Link’s voice cracked slightly.

      Rusl’s eyes closed. “It was me or you, Kid.”

      “You’re an idiot,” Link said, his voice hard.

      “Yeah, well.” His breath shuttered as he exhaled. He put his hand on Link’s. “Don’t let that bastard win.”

      “Dad.” His voice softened and broke as his father squeezed his hand. “Don’t.”

      Another shuttered breath left his body, and after another moment, his grip loosened on Link’s hand. His arm dropped to the ground where it landed with a soft thud against the sand.

      “No!” His fingers curled into his father’s shirt, and he desperately search for a pulse, but his heart was silenced forever. His body shook with each breath he took, and without realizing it, he steadied himself against his father’s chest. In a moment of anger, he pulled the knife lodged in his father’s chest and let it drop to the ground.

      The world was silent. His vision blurred as he looked upon his father. He let out his held breath, and with it, the tears fell. He closed his eyes and forced his grip to loosen. He struggled against the hard lump in his throat, cutting off his airway, but it only resulted in a soft sob. His tears dropped silently onto his father’s chest.

      Link didn’t even notice the Triforce pulsing softly on his hand at first. It wasn’t until he felt the unsettling sensation of a strange power washing through him did he turn to watch the Triforce. In that instant, it grew and brightened until it seem to envelop him completely, and for a moment, he thought they had failed; that the darkness had won and was taking over.

      But the feeling was not like the dark power that once surged through him. It felt lighter. Pure. And just as quickly as it began, the light from the Triforce was cut off abruptly, sending a forcewave out from his body and across the desert, blowing the sand around them.

      He pulled his bloodied hands away and stared at the sand as the wind softened, blowing steadily across the desert. His fingers curled into his palm, his nails cutting deep into his skin. Only then did he look up, first to Dorian. The Sheikah’s expression was an odd combination of surprise and grief that Link had never seen before. He didn’t utter a word to Link, but instead stared at Rusl’s lifeless body. Link then turned his gaze to his friends, but found no comfort in their similar gazes.

      Link forced himself to his feet. His eyes moved to his father’s body one last time. He reached for the weapon at his side automatically, realizing then that he no longer needed it. He turned an angry gaze back to Dorian.

      “Where is he?” he hissed.

      Dorian met his gaze, his expression still pained. “Link -”

      Link thrust his arm out and the ground began to tremble. “I’ll fucking kill him!”

      Dorian’s gaze hardened on his. He nodded once. The air snapped, and they were all pulled through violently through the world in an instant. When the world snapped back into focus, they could see that they were in the heart of battle. The Sheikah fought against the Yiga, but this time, with a few extra Sheikah on their side. Cottla, Koko, Impa, and Purah had all returned from defending the Divine Beasts and now fought alongside the rest of the Sheikah.

      The Champions quickly sprang into action, but Link’s mind was elsewhere, the rage still pulsing through his veins as he searched out Kohga, his only target. But in the chaos of the battle - between the Sheikah and the Yiga and the explosion of their power - it seemed that that task would be impossible. His gaze narrowed as he searched for his enemy, and after a few minutes of studying the battle, he noticed a break in the chaos. It seemed Kohga, too, had been seeking Link out, and at that moment, their eyes met.

      A grin split Kohga’s face and his chin lifted, taunting Link. But the moment Link took a step forward, he lept into the air and disappeared in a snap. Link’s gaze moved frantically around the battle as he sensed the air snap once more, finding Kohga on the far end of the battlefield. Link sprinted to him, but just as he neared, the air snapped and Kohga disappeared again, his laughter lingering and echoing in Link’s mind.

      When Kohga appeared again, he was atop one of the dunes, and he beckoned to Link with a single finger. But Link had tired of the cat and mouse chase, unwilling to give Kohga the advantage of tiring him out or drawing him further away from the protection of his friends and the Sheikah. Instead, he forced himself to think rationally, slowing his mind and his breathing as he focused his attention on Kohga.

      He noticed, then, a change in Kohga’s demeanor. He regarded Link warily, and in that moment, the world seemed to slow around him. He watched as Kohga’s muscles twitched, indicating he was about to make his escape, but before he could disappear, Link thrust his palm out toward him. The power surged and pulled through his body, practically pulling the breath right out of him as it collected in the palm of his hand and shot forth toward his enemy. His attack was quick, and the force of it was enough to knock Kohga to the ground, stopping him from disappearing once more.

      Though he took a moment to regain himself, Link knew he could not close the distance between them without him disappearing again. He broke into a sprint across the sands and up the dune, hurling another attack at Kohga before he could regain himself. The attack sent him sliding across the sand along the dune, and as Link neared, he thrust his hands toward the ground, causing the sand to erupt around them and sending Kohga high into the air.

      But Kohga was able to regain himself as he plummeted back towards the ground, and in a snap, he disappeared before he landed, appearing just behind Link as he crested the dune. Sensing his presence just a fraction of a second before he appeared, Link spun around, pulling his blade out in the process and catching Kohga off guard. He swung the blade at Kohga, and Kohga stepped backwards, narrowly missing Link’s attack. Link lunged forward, but Kohga leapt back, another grin splitting his face. He raised his arm in a one swift movement, the blade was knocked from Link’s hand. It flipped through the air until it landed several yards away.

      But this didn’t discourage Link. In fact, he had hardly noticed that it was missing, and instead threw another attack towards Kohga. Kohga continued to leap backwards, and in between dodging Link’s attacks, he hurled his own attacks at Link. And when Kohga tired of the endless back and forth, he disappeared, only to appear once more behind Link in an attempt to throw him off and catch him off guard. But Link was prepared for Kohga’s desperate attempts to break the cycle, and he ducked just as Kohga appeared behind him. He swung his leg around, knocking Kohga to the ground. Before Kohga even touched the sands, Link sprang toward him, throwing his arm out toward him and promptly paralyzing his body, pinning him against the ground.

      Kohga grinned up at Link. Though Link had him paralyzed, he was unable to kill him.

      “Well?” Kohga started. “What’s wrong, Hero? Can’t kill me?” His slow, wicked laughter grew manically. “I gave you strength and power,” he continued. “But instead, you chose to be weak. That choice has cost you a life, and it will continue to cost more lives.” He watched as the pain flashed across Link’s face, and he grinned. “What will you do, then, if you cannot finish me?”

      Link tore his gaze away. Every part of his being wanted Kohga dead, and he wanted to be the one to do it. Despite that, he couldn’t bring himself to end his enemy’s life, and it only infuriated him more. As long as he kept his power moving through him, Kohga would be unable to escape, but it was he who felt paralyzed. It was only a matter of time before he would exhaust himself, and Kohga would be free again. Free to bring Zelda and him to their knees. Free to use the Triforce against them and bring Ganondorf back into their world. Free to continue to kill and destroy. Everything and everyone he loved - gone.

      Link hadn’t even noticed, then, that the battle that was behind them had quieted. The army of Yiga soldiers that had swarmed the Champions now lay defeated, their bodies scattered over the battlefield. The Champions looked upon their lifeless enemies before turning their gazes to Link as he stood over Kohga, neither moving. Revali’s brows furrowed and he shouted to Link, but Link still did not move.

      Link felt the slight snap in the air and the breeze against his skin as Revali appeared suddenly at his side, an arrow drawn in his bow. His eyes were determined and angry as he looked down at Kohga, the arrow pointed at his neck. Kohga, however, was unfazed by the turn of events, and he grinned up at Revali. Revali sneered at the Yiga Clan leader.

      “You know you have no other options,” Kohga continued. “You’re a killer, Link. A murderer. And now, you don’t have anything to blame for it.” He smiled. “You and I aren’t so different now, are we?” He let his words linger for a moment before he went on. “It seems that without me, you wouldn’t have made it this far.”

      “Say the word,” Revali hissed to Link.

      “You know,” Kohga pressed on. “I regretted it when your father escaped. But it worked out so much better. You had the ability to kill me and you didn’t even know it. You could have saved him. Watching him die right in front of you, by my hands, well, that was a treat for me.”

      Revali released the arrow and it plunged into Kohga’s neck. He instantly gasped as his airway was cut off. He choked and sputtered as the blood pooled and seeped out from between his lips. It would not be an immediate death, but one that Revali hoped would be slow and painful. Still, he drew another arrow in preparation for whatever could happen next.

      Link dropped his arm then, releasing his hold on Kohga, but Kohga was slowly dying, and he made no effort to retreat. His hands clutched at his throat, his fingers scratching desperately in an attempt to grasp the arrow and pull it out, but he could not seem to get a grip as his strength quickly started to fade.

      Link turned his back on him and paused. He listened to Kohga’s desperate gasps for life and felt the anger rush through him once more. Through his dying breaths, Kohga still managed to speak, digging deeper into Link’s fresh wounds.

      “Hero… their deaths… are on you…”

      Link grasped the gun on his hip and spun on his heels, firing three quick shots, one after another, and Kohga fell silent forever. Link held his stance as if expecting Kohga to spring back to life. His eyes were fierce as he glared at Kohga’s body, his shoulders heaving with pained, heavy breaths, until he finally found it in himself to lower his arm. He tore his gaze away, pocketing his weapon once more, and stepped away, moving down the dunes with Revali at his side.

      All around them, bodies were strewn over the desert sands. Sheikah moved quickly to the bodies that still showed signs of life, working frantically to heal them and keep them from their untimely deaths. Bodies that belonged to Sheikah and Hyruleans alike. Those who battled against all odds to help keep Hyrule safe. And all for what? A dark future was all that was in store for the people of Hyrule. Despite all they had done, Hyrule would fall to the very thing they protected it from. The lives sacrificed… it was all for nothing.

      Link’s mind began to spin as he looked over the bodies. His stomach churned and his blood boiled. He was suddenly overcome with a wave of emotions. Anger, fear, depression, anxiety. It all rolled together inside of him, ripping through him, causing him to panic and hyperventilate. He suddenly felt more out of control than ever, and there was nothing he could do to fix anything. All he knew was that he couldn’t be in that damned desert any longer.

      He didn’t even hear Revali calling to him until he gripped his shoulders, forcing Link to meet his gaze, his eyes wide with the anxiety that pulsed through him. He couldn’t hear a thing as Revali regarded him with concern. He spoke to Link, but Link could not make out his words. He glanced over at Dorian as he appeared at his side. Dorian’s brows furrowed. He pressed two fingers against his forehead, and Link’s vision darkened.

      xox *~* MiSsKaTrInAlYnN3 *~* xox
      I write stuff sometimes
      Shadows of Hyrule | Shadows of the Yiga | Shadows of the Future [prequel]

    • Chapter 45

      Display Spoiler


      Dorian caught Link as he fell forward, unconscious. He looked him over quickly, ignoring Revali’s angered shouts.

      “The fuck did you do?”

      “He’ll come to in a bit,” Dorian said. He set Link against the ground and stood. “He’s been through enough. Let him rest.” He pulled at the radio on his vest and spoke into it sharply. “Get the med flights in here. Now!” He regarded Revali. “Our power has run thin and we need to focus on healing those we can. We can only get you out of here the old fashioned way.”

      Revali looked down at Link and frowned. “Fine,” he said simply. He looked up as the others made their way over, and Dorian disappeared into the the bustle of the other Sheikah as they worked to heal the wounded.

      Mipha dropped to the ground, pulling Link onto her lap. Her fingers brushed his hair out of his face as she cried softly. The Champions stood together silently, looking to the sky as the engine of the first helicopter neared. It flew low as it came in sight, the Hylian Crest emblazoned on the side. The Sheikah were helping limping bodies over to it before it even landed, and stretchers were quickly taken out and moved to retrieve those who could not walk.

      Over the next half hour, helicopters flew in and out of the desert, each one taking as many of the wounded as possible. As they waited, Link finally came to, slightly disoriented. His head throbbed, but otherwise, he felt fine. Calm, even. He looked around him until his gaze landed on Mipha, her brows furrowed in concern.

      “Hey,” she said softly. “Are you okay?”

      He couldn’t hold it back any longer. He let himself fall into her arms, and he cried.

      *****

      It wasn’t long after he came to when a helicopter finally arrived to take the Champions out of the desert. They boarded it eagerly, despite the force of the breeze that almost pushed them backwards. Once they were all on board, it climbed into the air before turning around and soaring over the vast, empty desert. Within a couple of hours, they made it out of the desert, landing at one of the military bases just outside of the desert where a van waited to bring them across Hyrule and back to the ranch.

      They sat in the back of the van, bench seats lining both sides of the vehicle. In one corner, Link sat with his legs pulled to his chest. He leaned his head back against the corner, occasionally looking out the window as they drove, but mostly keeping his tired eyes closed.

      Mipha sat beside him, his hand in her’s, but she didn’t dare to force him to come out of the shell he had put himself in. When the pain started to overwhelm her, she let herself lean against Urbosa and allowed the tears to fall down her cheeks. Between Mipha on one side of her, and Zelda on the other, Urbosa felt determined to provide comfort to her friends, which only proved to be difficult for her as they each broke down into quiet tears.

      Across from them sat Daruk, Revali, and Teba, each equally as quiet, struck with remorse. After the first hour of driving in silence, Teba pulled a flask from out of his vest and offered it wordlessly to Revali beside him.

      “Dude.” Though Revali’s voice was soft, it seemed much too loud in the quiet van. “I love you.” He took the flask from his friend eagerly and drank.

      Teba smiled, and when Revali was finished, he passed the flask to Daruk, who took it was a shrug before drinking.

      The drive was painfully quiet, each of them lost in their own thoughts, with war still weighing heavily on their minds. Though they had ultimately won the war against the Yiga, none of them felt particularly victorious, suffering too great a loss for them to feel any relief.

      Despite their feelings of helplessness, the sun broke through the clouded horizon, bringing the promise of a new day and warming the land. It hadn’t occurred to them that they had fought well through the night, and now it was morning. Though the van pressed onward, their eyes closed, and for the rest of the day’s drive, they slept as much as they could.

      They drove through most of the day, stopping late in the night at a rest area off the highway where they opted to stretch their legs and grab a pizza. They were gathered around the van, chatting quietly amongst themselves, and from time to time, Teba answered a call and took to pacing the lot as he spoke into the phone. All the while, Link remained in the van, refusing to even respond to Mipha when she tried to talk to him.

      After a couple of short hours, they continued their trip across Hyrule, driving straight through the night and into the early morning hours. It was nearing noon when they finally arrived at the ranch. Aryll was sitting on the front steps of the porch when the van pulled to a stop. She jumped up excitedly as they climbed out, but her smile quickly faded when she realized her father was not among them. Not only that, their faces were somber as Aryll made her way to them, her pace slowing.

      “No,” she said, meeting Link’s gaze. Her face quickly paled. “No. Where is he? Where’s Dad?”

      “Aryll,” Link started, his voice breaking. He pulled his gaze away from her.

      “No!” she shouted. “What did you do?”

      Link winced as his sister shouted at him. “Aryll -”

      “How could you?” She was sobbing now. Her hands moved to her face and she shook her head. “He just came back! He came back, he came back…” Her voice trailed off as her body shook. Link hurried to his sister and she fell against him, sobbing into his chest.

      “I’m sorry,” Link murmured against her. “Aryll… I’m sorry.”

      Aryll wrapped her arms around him and her sobbing quieted for a moment. “Is it over?” she whispered. “Please tell me I won’t lose you, too.”

      “It’s over,” Link said softly. “I promise.”

      Her body relaxed slightly in his arms. She stared at the ground, watching as her tears splashed against the dirt drive. “What happened?”

      Link said nothing as he stared at the ground. Aryll pulled away and regarded him angrily.

      “What happened?” she repeated, louder this time.

      Link hesitated. “It doesn’t matter.”

      “I want to know!” she insisted. “I want to know why he’s dead!” The tears returned quickly, running down her cheeks.

      Her words caused him to wince again and he pulled his gaze away. Without another word, he pushed passed his sister.

      “Where are you going?” Aryll snapped at him.

      “I need a shower,” Link hissed. “I have his fucking blood on my hands.” He hesitated and his face whitened. He looked down at his blood stained hands, then immediately turned away again. He could feel the anxiety rising once more in his chest, and it took all his effort to remain calm. He didn’t want to break down in front of his sister, so he forced himself into the house, slamming the door behind him.

      Aryll stared after her brother for a moment, then turned back to the Champions. Mipha hurried to her, and Aryll let herself fall into her arms where she sobbed.

      *****
      Link didn’t see Aryll or his friends for most of the afternoon, though he didn’t exactly search for them, either. He was sure they were around, somewhere, but it was for the best; he didn’t particularly want their company, anyway. Instead, he leaned against the top rail of the paddock. It felt like a century ago he stood there with his father. Nothing that happened since then felt real. Not their battle with the Yiga, or his father’s death, or even his new found power that now slumbered deep inside of him. Though he was clearly mourning his father’s death, part of him expected his father to turn the corner at any moment with a cigarette between his lips. He felt stuck between the real world and the shut out world he put himself in, though he felt certain that would only meant it would hit him much harder when he found his way back to reality.

      At some point during the afternoon, Link had managed to wander back into the house where he absentmindedly helped himself to the beer in the fridge. When evening turned the sky to an array of darkened watercolors, Link found himself sitting on the hood of his father’s car, his knees pulled up to his chest where he rested his chin. One arm was wrapped loosely around his legs while the other was at his side, a beer in hand. He absentmindedly turned the half empty bottle in his fingers as he stared out toward the horizon. After a moment, the bottle slipped out of his hands. It rolled down the hood of the car, then dropped to the ground where the rest of its contents drained out. His gaze was still fixed on the horizon, listening as the bottle dropped, and with it, a few stray tears rolled down his cheeks.

      He watched silently as the sun started to dip below the horizon, until only a sliver of it remained. But as the last of the sun sunk below the horizon, a flash lit the sky around it, as if making one last desperate attempt to bathe the world in light before finally succumbing to the mercy of night.

      Link watched in awe as the rest of the sky grew dark, and slowly, one by one, the stars began to dot the sky, until Link finally pulled his gaze away. He slid off the hood of the car, letting his fingers run along the body as he walked around it. He watched his fingers move along the paint until he reached the end of the car. He looked up then, catching a figure standing before him. His heart leapt as he swore he saw his father, but as soon as he glanced toward the figure, it disappeared in an instant. A light breeze blew his hair around him as he stared at the empty space.

      After a moment, he realized how exhausted he felt, causing him to become oblivious to the presence watching him. He turned his gaze to the porch where Revali stood. He made his way up the front steps, his hands shoved in his pockets, and he stopped at Revali’s side. After a moment, Revali spoke.

      “Teba said Dorian sent his guys to scout the area,” he said. “Once they’re sure the Yiga Clan is no longer a threat, we can go back home.”

      Home. The word felt foreign to him. It felt like such a long time since he had been home. And even when he was home, home didn’t feel like home. It felt like a deep, vast hole where he was trapped with only his memories and thoughts of what could have been. It was a broken, lifeless void where he had lost himself. Home hadn’t felt like home since his father died - the first time. It was just a painful reminder that he was powerless to stop the true evils of the world. He couldn’t return to that home. It would have been too painful.

      But Aryll needed to be home. She needed stability now more than ever. Would he be able to provide that for her?

      “Link?”

      “Yeah,” he said. “Home.”

      Revali narrowed his gaze on Link. “This is… a really stupid question.” He let out a breath. “Are you gonna be alright?”

      Link hesitated. He knew too well what Revali was referring to. But he forced a smile. “Yeah. I’m not going anywhere.”

      *****

      In his exhaustion, Link finally settled onto the couch in the living room. Most of the house was dark, but he could hear voices coming from the kitchen were Mipha, Urbosa, Zelda, Revali, and Daruk had gathered to talk quietly. He didn’t have the energy to listen in, and before he knew it, he had drifted off to sleep.

      He awoke to the feeling of something in his palm. Warm fingers placed themselves delicately in his hand. He opened his eyes, half expecting to see Aryll, but was instead greeted by Mipha, who he was just as grateful to see. He blinked for a moment before relaxing back against the couch.

      “Sorry,” she whispered. “I didn’t mean to wake you.”

      Link sighed through his nose. “I wasn’t sleeping.”

      Mipha frowned. “What can I do?” she asked softly.

      Link pushed himself up. His head was pounding, and his eyes felt hot and tired. He shook his head.
      “Is Aryll okay?” He should have been with her instead of dozing on the couch, especially considering the last thing he had said to her. He was far from comforting to his sister, and he regretted being so cold with her.

      “She’s fine,” Mipha assured him. “She’s sleeping.”

      This relieved him. He couldn’t be sure when she last got a decent night’s sleep. Despite all that had happened, he was grateful she had at least found a chance to rest. They would have to return to the city - and their lives - soon, and Link wanted nothing more to give her a sense of normalcy once more. He felt Mipha’s hand on his cheek and he met her gaze.

      “Stop worrying,” she said with a soft smile.

      His face relaxed - he hadn’t realized how tightly his brows were furrowed - and he sighed. He put his hand on top of hers and pressed his lips against hers.

      “You should get some sleep, too,” she said softly.

      She was right, of course, though he wasn’t sure if he would be able to sleep as easily as Aryll. And in truth, he was terrified. Terrified that the nightmares would return and he would fall into the same dark pit he barely escaped from. Still, he didn’t resist when Mipha pulled him up, and he followed her tiredly into one of the bedrooms. The moment his head hit the pillow, sleep overcame him, and to his relief, it came quietly and uninterrupted.

      xox *~* MiSsKaTrInAlYnN3 *~* xox
      I write stuff sometimes
      Shadows of Hyrule | Shadows of the Yiga | Shadows of the Future [prequel]

    • Chapter 46

      Display Spoiler


      It was late in the morning when Link awoke, and he was alone. He stared at the wall for a moment, working up the strength to pull himself out of the bed, if only for Aryll. With a great sigh, his feet hit the floor, and he shimmied into his pants and shirt. The house was quiet as he navigated downstairs. When he turned the corner into the living room, he saw Aryll was sleeping quietly, stretched out on the couch. The floorboard squeaked slightly, and she awoke, looking at her brother through half-opened eyes. Her hand reached for him as he walked by, and he let his fingers run along her palm as he used to do shortly after their father had died - the first time - reassuring her that he was still there. This satisfied her, and with a soft sigh, she fell back asleep.

      Link wasn’t sure if she were truly awake during the interaction, but it didn’t matter. He didn’t want her to feel like she needed to get up any time soon. Hylia, let the poor girl sleep.

      After making his way through the rest of the house, it was clear that no one else was inside. He ventured out onto the front porch, greeted by the bright rays of the sun. He squinted into the light, and when his eyes adjusted, he saw that his friends were gathered together in the drive. They had looked up at him when the door opened.

      “Hey,” he grunted.

      “It’s beer-thirty,” Kit said with a grin. He held an open beer bottle in his hand. “Thirsty?”

      “It’s like, eleven o’clock,” Link said.

      “Never stopped you before,” Kit reminded him.

      “It’s five o’clock somewhere,” Revali said with a shrug.

      Link shrugged, not needing further convincing. He trotted down the front steps and took the bottle Kit offered him.

      “To Hyrule’s Champions,” Kit said, raising his beer. “Without them, I would have no one to exploit. My bar is officially a tourist attraction.” He grinned proudly and Revali snickered.

      “To Rusl,” Daruk added, and their bottles clinked somberly.

      When they finished their drinks, Revali cleared his throat. He pulled his phone out of his pocket and proceeded to dial before making his way away from the group.

      “Where you going?” Urbosa called to him.

      “Not to call my Dad and make amends, that’s for sure,” he grunted. He brought his phone to his ear, still walking. “Fuck that - hey, Dad.”

      “What a loser,” Daruk muttered. He hesitated, then turned away. He shot Link an apologetic look. “Me too. I owe that guy a beer.”

      “Talk about Daddy issues,” Riju said, rolling her eyes.

      “Aren’t you gonna call yours?” Kit taunted her.

      Riju crossed her arms. “We don’t need no man.”

      Kit nodded thoughtfully. “Ah. So, you got ‘em, too.” He grinned. “That’s hot.”

      Urbosa sneered at him, zapping him lightly with a point of her finger, causing Kit to yelp.

      “Careful, Urbosa,” Kit said once the sensation passed. “I might like it.”

      Urbosa made a sound of disgust, and Kit’s grin widened.

      As Revali and Daruk made their way back to the group, the door opened and Aryll stepped out hesitantly. Link forced a smile at Aryll as she joined them in the driveway. Without a word, Link handed her a beer. She cocked her head slightly, then took it from him. Link draped an arm around her shoulders, and she leaned against him. She peered into the bottle, sniffed, and scrunched her nose. Revali laughed.

      “There’s no fruity drinks here,” he said. “You wanna play with the big dogs, you gotta drink like the big dogs.”

      “Funny,” she said. “I see nothing but poodles here.”

      Daruk grinned. “Nice.”

      “Poodles are actually pretty vicious,” Revali said.

      Aryll frowned. “Oh, Revali, did you get your ass kicked by a poodle?”

      Revali grinned. “I like this one. She’s funny. Say something mean about Link.”

      Aryll smirked at him. “You just won’t grow up, will you?”

      Revali shrugged. “What’s the fun in that? Life’s too short.”

      Aryll studied her beer. “Yeah.”

      They fell silent until a snap in the air caught their attention, and three figures appeared before them; Dorian stood in the drive, with Koko and Cottla on either side of him. While the expressions of his daughters’ showed visible pain and exhaustion, Dorian’s was back to his usual, fierce gaze as he regarded Link. Without a word, Link pressed his beer into Aryll’s hand, leaving the group to make his way to Dorian.

      “The Yiga Clan is done,” Dorian said. “You won’t have to worry about them ever again.”

      Link said nothing in response. He had his hands in his pockets as he looked toward the horizon.
      Dorian’s voice - along with his gaze - softened when he spoke again. “The casualties are being brought back to the city.” He hesitated. “What do you want to do?”

      “What do I want to do?” Link repeated. His brows furrowed as he glanced at Dorian. After a moment, he bit his lip and pulled his gaze away. “I don’t care what you do.”

      Dorian frowned. “I know this isn’t easy -”

      “He already has a damn grave,” Link muttered. “I don’t… I don’t care what you do.”

      “How can you say that?”

      Link and Dorian turned toward Aryll’s voice. She stood before them, her cheeks wet with fresh tears.

      “I didn’t even get to say goodbye!”

      Link pulled his gaze away.

      “I want to see him,” she said softly. “I want to see Dad.”

      Link couldn’t bring himself to say anything further. To his relief, Dorian stepped in.

      “I’ll take care of everything,” he said. He turned away from them. “Get yourselves home.” And in another snap, the three Sheikah disappeared.

      Aryll turned to argue with her brother, but before she could speak, he strode away from her, disappearing into the house once more. Aryll stood alone, staring after him. She didn’t move even as the others approached her.

      “What happened?” she asked softly, to no one in particular. She started to grow angry with him. “It’s just like last time,” she blurted out. “I mean, I know I was like, eleven, but still! He didn’t say a damn thing to me! No explanation; nothing!” She started to cry again. “I’m just supposed to accept that he’s gone? I don’t even get to say goodbye?”

      “You can,” Mipha said. She pulled Aryll into her arms and let her cry on her shoulder.

      “He was protecting us,” Revali said. “Protecting Link.”

      Aryll quieted for a moment. She pulled away from Mipha and wiped her hands across her eyes. “He did it,” she whispered. Her brows furrowed. “I… I suspected… I didn’t think… it would come to that.”

      “Come to what?” Urbosa asked.

      She shook her head. “I don’t… It doesn’t matter.” She regarded her brother’s friends - her friends, and sighed, suddenly feeling exhausted. “Can we go home, now?”

      *****

      It was getting late in the evening when they found themselves back in the city where they each made their separate ways for the night. Aryll was the first out of the car when they pulled into the driveway, all too excited to be home. But when she stumbled through the door into the darkened house, her heart stopped. She stood in the doorway, staring into the darkness, not moving even when Link and Mipha stood behind her. After a moment, her hand dropped from the door knob, and she stepped inside without turning on a light.

      Link hesitantly trailed in after her, taking a moment to look around. Het met his sister’s gaze, and her shoulders fell.

      “This… doesn’t feel like home anymore.” She pulled her gaze away and let herself drop into one of the chairs. She stared at the table. “What the hell do we do, now?”

      Link sucked in a breath to steady himself, and smiled in an attempt to lighten the mood. “Well, you get to go back to school in a couple of weeks.”

      Aryll’s eyes widened. “Fuck,” she muttered. “I spent half my summer on the damn run?” She turned and sneered at her brother. “And you expect me to just go back to school like nothing fucking happened?”

      “Hey,” Link snapped. “If I had to do it, you have to do it.”

      Aryll slouched in the chair and frowned. “Right,” she said. “It’s like… nothing changed.” Tears began to well in her eyes once more. “How is anyone supposed to live like this?” she sobbed.

      “Well, I drink,” Link offered, but by the look his sister gave him, it was clear she did not find him funny.

      But Aryll was starting to realize the burden her brother carried, and the pain he endured through the years. It explained so much, of course, which only made her fear for their future. Would her brother fall into that same dark pit again?

      Link could practically see her thoughts as the emotions flashed across her face. He dropped into the chair beside her and took her hand. When she met his gaze, he smiled.

      “I could go for some pizza,” he said.

      Aryll stared at him blankly for a moment, then a smile tugged at her lips. “Yeah,” she said. “Me too.”

      Mipha sat across from them, her chin in her hand, and sighed. “You haven’t had enough pizza these last few weeks?” she said, slightly irate.

      “It’s an essential part of a teenagers diet,” Aryll confirmed.

      “It’s got a serving of veggies,” Link confirmed.

      “Dairy in the cheese,” Aryll added.

      “Throw on some bacon,” Link continued.

      “Don’t forget the dough.”

      “Alright,” Mipha sneered. She shook her head and smiled. “Pizza it is.”

      Aryll stood from the table as Mipha called in their order. She moved to the light switch on the wall, then frowned when she flipped it and the room remained dark.

      “Yeah, see,” Link started. “I’ve been too busy to pay the electric bill, so they probably shut off our power.”

      “We’ve hit a new low,” Aryll said. “Pizza in the dark.”

      “Do you think I can get my old job back?” Link asked thoughtfully.

      “I don’t know,” Aryll started. “But I have a feeling if we were able to watch the news, you would not be painted in a good light.”

      Link shrugged. He pulled out his phone and proceeded to look over all the bills that had been missed, and frowned. “You didn’t want to take a shower any time soon, did you?”

      Aryll sat back at the table with a sigh. “Before school starts up again?”

      Mipha took his phone from him. “I think I owe you rent, anyway,” she said casually.

      “I think you owe me -” He stopped himself short, glancing toward Aryll. She made a look of disgust at him.

      “Please shut up,” she begged him. “I still live here, you know.”

      “There,” Mipha said. She slid the phone back to Link. “I’m sure power will be back on tomorrow.”

      “It’s a good thing you smartened up and made up with her,” Aryll said. “I don’t think we’d survive without her.”

      “You’re both hopeless,” Mipha said.

      “I’d be fine,” Aryll said. “Link, not so much.” She folded her arms across her chest. “Don’t plan on having babies with his pathetic ass. He’d drop it on its head in a week.”

      “For the record,” Link started. “I took care of you when you were a baby.”

      “And look how I turned out,” she said.

      “You’re alive, aren’t you?”

      She sighed, but smiled. “Like nothing has changed.”

      xox *~* MiSsKaTrInAlYnN3 *~* xox
      I write stuff sometimes
      Shadows of Hyrule | Shadows of the Yiga | Shadows of the Future [prequel]

    • Chapter 47

      Display Spoiler


      It was early in the afternoon the next day when the Champions found themselves gathered together inside the palace. They kept inside the walls of the palace, away from the crowd and reporters, as Zelda held a press conference. Link, however, paid no mind to the coverage on the tv screen, and instead searched for his sister, somewhere within those same walls. It didn’t take long to find her, having a good hunch of where she would be.

      He stood in the doorway of the small temple inside the palace, his hands shoved in his pockets. He watched as Aryll stood over their father. Though she spoke softly to him, her voice carried.

      “Anyway,” she said. She paused to sniff and wipe at her tears. “I dunno. Maybe it’s dumb. But I just wanted a chance to say goodbye this time.” She shrugged. “No one else ever gets a second chance like we did. Only you would manage to pull something like that off.” She smiled to herself, then after a moment, she sighed shakily. “Thank you for coming back,” she whispered. “I wouldn’t change that for the world. Link, either, I know. You guys...” She chuckled lightly. “You guys are both so damn stubborn. I guess there’s a lot of you there. So, that’s not so bad.” She forced a smile. “I know you’d be like, making a stupid joke right now or something.” She paused. “I know we’ll be okay. You made sure of that.” She allowed the tears to roll down her cheeks. “And don’t worry. I won’t burn anymore books.” She hesitated, holding back a sob. “I love you, Daddy.” After a moment, her ears twitched, and she turned her gaze to the ceiling and smiled.

      She noticed her brother then, and turned toward him. She offered him a smile as he approached her. He stood at her side when he reached her, but his gaze was fixed on the casket in the front of the room.

      “Do you resent me?” he asked quietly.

      Aryll’s brows furrowed. “What? No. Why would you ask that?”

      “Because everything's my fault.”

      “Why would you say that?”

      “I didn’t… I could have… prevented this.”

      Aryll wrapped her arms around her brother. He stiffened in her hold.

      “It’s not your fault,” she said softly. “I know it’s not.”

      Link’s shoulders dropped and he wrapped his arms around his sister. “Okay,” he said simply.

      Aryll pulled back and met his gaze. “Don’t you believe me?”

      Link forced a smile. “Yeah.”

      Aryll raised a brow. “Really?”

      Link sighed tiredly. “Yes, Aryll.”

      Aryll smiled. “Good.” She made her way out of the room, not bothering to check to see if her brother was following her. “I think we should get pizza again tonight. This time, I’m thinking a veggie lovers.”

      Link turned his gaze back to the casket. He remained standing in the middle of the room, his hands back in his pockets. It felt strange to be back in the city, as if all that had happened over the last couple of months was just a distant dream. He didn’t particularly feel any better about being home and instead found himself wishing he were back at the ranch. Despite it all, at the ranch, everything felt right, even if for just brief moments. Aryll happily grooming the horses. His father smoking a cigarette against the fence as his daughter pressed for a ride. Staring at his father’s casket didn’t necessarily make his death feel any more real, but it made those small moments more concrete in his mind. And he smiled.

      Aryll was right. They were given a second chance. And despite how they were torn apart once more, he wouldn’t have traded those moments for anything in the world. He tore his gaze away, turned around, and followed Aryll back into the hall where she waited just around the corner with the rest of their friends.

      “Who knew she’d be so comfortable making speeches,” Daruk said.

      “I knew,” Revali said with a nod. “This is Zelda, we’re talking about. All she ever does is lecture us and make speeches.”

      “Are you guys leaving, now?” Aryll asked with a frown.

      Revali draped an arm around her shoulders. “Not me, kiddo. I’ve still gotta recruit your brother to work for me.” He looked up, meeting Link’s gaze, and gave him a wink.

      “I already moved in, and out, and in again,” Mipha said. “I don’t plan on going anywhere for a long time.”

      “I was actually thinking about moving back for a while,” Urbosa said thoughtfully. “You know, in case Revali really does need a lawyer.”

      “Oh, so I’m the asshole that’s not going to stay?” Daruk said.

      “Pretty much,” Revali confirmed.

      “You’re breaking us up, man!” Aryll scolded him.

      Daruk sighed. “You guys have never been to Eldin,” he said. “It rocks over there.”

      “I never thought I’d say this,” Revali started, “But I’m going to Kit’s bar. Guess it’s time to be a regular there.”

      “Kit has a bar?” Urbosa asked with a grin. “Jeez, he never talked about it.”

      They turned as footsteps rounded the corner and Zelda greeted them with a tired smile.

      “We’re going drinking, apparently,” Daruk said. “You coming?”

      “I don’t think so,” Zelda said with a frown.

      “This is it,” Revali said. “This is where she leaves us to be a boring queen.”

      Zelda offered an apologetic smile.

      “Ah, we don’t need her,” he continued, waving her off. “Let’s go.”

      “Have fun,” Urbosa said. “Zelda and I have our own plans.”

      “Whatever,” Revali grumbled.

      “I’ll meet you there,” Link said. There was still something else he had to do. Someone else he wanted to see. He parted from his friends, wandering the palace halls aimlessly until he rounded the corner to the temple once more. The doors were closed, now, and two guards stood on either side of it. A third person - and just the person he wanted to see - stood in front of the doors.

      Dorian stared at the closed doors, his face torn in grief and regret. It took him a moment to notice Link’s presence, but when he did, he turned to him. His expression hardened once more, offering him no greeting, and he watched as Link approached him.

      “What’s up?” he asked simply.

      “I, uh just wanted to apologize. For not trusting you.”

      Dorian seemed to study him carefully. He pulled his gaze away. “That’s not necessary,” he said. “I did nothing to earn your trust. You had no reason to trust me.”

      “But Dad did,” Link said. “And that should have been enough for me.”

      Dorian said nothing.

      “And,” Link continued. “I wanted to say thanks. For everything you did for him, and for us.”

      “Ah, don’t thank me,” he said, his shoulders dropping slightly. “I only did it because your father would have killed me otherwise.”

      “Right,” Link said. The corner of his lip pulled into a crooked smile. “Like he could have killed a Sheikah.”

      “You underestimate him,” Dorian said. “He was terrifying when he wanted to be.” He turned his gaze back to Link. “Is that all?”

      Link raised a brow. “Are you trying to get rid of me?”

      “Well, no offense, but you’ve been my problem for the last twenty-six years.”

      “Right.” Link’s lips pulled into a small smile. He put his hands in his pockets and turned away. “See you around, D.” He could practically feel Dorian’s furious gaze on him as he walked away and rounded the corner.

      *****

      To his surprise, Kit’s bar was lined with bodies. As expected, Daurk, Revali, Mipha, and Aryll were there, along with Teba and even Sera. They took up a majority of the bar seating while the rest of the room remained relatively empty, one other patron sitting alone at a booth in the corner. They all turned to see who had come through the door, and upon seeing Link, Sera jumped to her feet and ran to pull him into a hug.

      “For fuck’s sake, Link,” she barked at him. She pushed away at arm’s length and looked him over. “Please tell me all of Kit’s wild ass stories aren’t true.”

      “They probably are,” Link said. He stepped around her, ignoring her angry gaze, and joined his friends at the bar, sitting himself beside Mipha.

      “You didn’t believe me,” Kit said. “Why else do you think I’ve been MIA? I’ve been helping his sorry ass!”

      Sera returned to her seat at the bar, her head shaking. She glanced at Link. “For real?”

      Link shrugged. “He was an annoying presence,” he said simply.

      “If it weren’t for me -”

      “If It weren’t for you,” Mipha sneered, “he wouldn’t have run off on some suicide mission.”

      “But then he wouldn’t have found Dad,” Aryll pointed out.

      “Oh, that guy would have found you one way or another,” Revali said.

      “Wait,” Sera started. “You left out that part.” She sneered at Kit.

      Kit cleaned an empty glass absentmindedly. “It’s a touchy subject right now.”

      Sera frowned. She turned back to Link. “So, now what?”

      “Do you think I can get my job back?” Link asked.

      “You defeated the entire Yiga Clan, and you’re worried about getting your job back?” Sera stared at him in shock.

      “Heroes gotta get paid,” Link reminded her.

      “Oy.” She pressed a finger to her temple, then sighed. “The office has been pretty boring without you.” She opted to turn her attention to Aryll, and smiled. “Are you going to make it through your last year of high school? Or is Link going to have to bust you out of jail or something?”

      Aryll shrugged. “We’ll see how I feel come September,” she said with a grin.

      “Does that attitude run in the family?” Sera asked.

      “Yes,” Link and Aryll both confirmed.

      Sera smiled.

      “Refill?” Kit pointed down the line of patrons seated at the bar. When he got to Link, he skipped over him, and pointed at Aryll. His gaze narrowed for a moment on her, then shrugged.

      “Beer, or fruity drink?”

      “Beer,” Aryll confirmed.

      “Do you want to lose your license?” Sera sneered.

      Kit straightened and spread his arm out before him, indicating the very empty bar, then laughed. “Like I have one of those.” He turned to fetch their drinks, speaking once more when he returned. “Besides. Girl could use a drink or two right now.” He handed Aryll a bottle and winked at her.

      “You’re a good man,” Aryll said. “A gentleman and a scholar.”

      “She’s drunk,” Revali said.

      “Hey, fuck you.”

      Link peered at his sister curiously. “How many have you had?”

      Aryll held the bottle up proudly. “One.”

      “And before I got here?”

      “Three!”

      “What a lightweight,” Revali said.

      “You didn’t learn your lesson last time?”

      Aryll slunk back in her seat.

      “Oh, shit,” Kit said, remembering what had happened last time. “I can’t encourage that behavior.” He moved to take the bottle from her.

      “I’ll be good!” Aryll said. “I’ll pass high school and everything! I deserve this drink!”

      “That’s how it starts, you know,” Kit warned. “Your brother is an expert.”

      Aryll frowned. She turned her gaze to the bottle in her hand. When her brother patted her head with his hand, she met his gaze.

      “You are smarter than me, remember?”

      “This is true,” she confirmed. She lifted the bottle as if in toast, and drank.

      The man that sat alone stood at that moment and mosied over to the bar, pushing himself between Link and Aryll.

      “Son of a bitch,” he said, looking Link over. He held a card between his fingers and handed it to Kit. “They’re drinks are on me.”

      Kit eyed him carefully. “Sure,” he said with a one shouldered shrug. “You’ll regret that.”

      The man leaned against the counter. “I don’t think so,” he said with a grin. “So, Rusl really did find himself a chick and a couple of kids.”

      Link narrowed his gaze on him. “Excuse me?”

      “I grew up with him,” he said. “At Telma’s. I’m Karsen.”

      “Telma’s?” Aryll echoed. Karsen turned his attention to her. “Were you guys like, foster brothers or something?”

      Karsen made a look of disgust and laughed. “I guess so. Shit, last time I talked to him was almost thirty years ago.”

      “He never talked about you,” Aryll said frankly.

      Karsen smiled. “I’m sure he didn’t talk about any of it,” he said.

      Aryll considered this. “Yeah. That’s true.”

      “Camilla’s been up my ass about finding you two,” he said.

      “Camilla?” Aryll raised a brow.

      “Telma’s daughter, that old hag.” He straightened and took his phone out of his pocket. “I dunno. She promised Telma she’d give you some shit Telma had been holding on to. Said Rusl wanted you to have it.” He showed his phone to Link, a number displayed on the screen. “Give her a call, I guess. I did my part.”

      “Stalking us?” Aryll asked, narrowing her gaze.

      “Well, it’s not that hard when the entire kingdom is hearing about some shit with this Yiga Clan.” He shrugged. “I always knew Rusl was living in the city. Figured it was likely you were still here. Once I started seeing all that shit on the news, I decided to come around and see if I could track you down.” He let Aryll take the phone from him, and he wiped his hands together. “I did my part. That’s all I came for.”

      After taking down the number, Aryll handed the phone back to him. “Where are you going?”
      Karsen smiled and pocketed his phone. “I dunno,” he said. “I usually just wander around and see where life takes me.”

      Aryll raised a skeptical brow. “Right. You’re weird.”

      “And you are totally Rusl’s daughter.” His grin widened and he turned away from them. “See ya later.”

      Revali watched him leave, his gaze suspicious. “What the fuck was that about?”

      “I’m gonna call,” Aryll said, jumping to her feet.

      “No, you’re not,” Link sneered.

      “Aw, come on,” she whined. “I wanna see what stuff Dad had laying around.” Her face brightened. “Maybe we have an inheritance!”

      “Unlikely,” Link said.

      “Never know unless we call,” she said, already dialing the number. She tapped her foot as she waited, then beamed when a voice answered. “Camilla? Karsen gave me this number.”

      “Bless Hylia,” Camilla’s voice said. “If it isn’t little Aryll.”

      xox *~* MiSsKaTrInAlYnN3 *~* xox
      I write stuff sometimes
      Shadows of Hyrule | Shadows of the Yiga | Shadows of the Future [prequel]

    • Chapter 48

      Display Spoiler


      “Tell me again why you’re dragging me out here in the middle of fucking Faron?” Link hissed at his sister.

      “Because,” Aryll started excitedly. “We’re gonna meet Camilla and get our money!”

      “There won’t be any money,” Link said dryly. He winced as Aryll hit a pothole. “Watch it!”

      “Hey, I’m driving,” she barked.

      “Do you even know where you’re going?”

      “Yes,” Aryll said. “That’s why I’m driving.”

      Link settled back against the seat and sighed. “What if she’s crazy? What if this is all a trap?”

      Aryll gave her brother a skeptical look. “A trap? To what? Give us warm cookies and milk? That’s what old ladies do.”

      “Maybe Telma was on team Yiga,” Link said. “And Camilla is the last remaining one, and she’s going to kidnap us, take the Triforce from me, and -”

      “Dude,” Aryll cut him off. “Fucking chill. For the love of Hylia!” She checked the GPS on her phone, then slowed in front of an old, Victorian styled house. She perked up, grinning, and pulled into the drive. “This is it.” She cut the engine, then bounced out of the car excitedly and up the stairs, not waiting for her brother to follow. She knocked three times on the door, then glanced at Link over her shoulder as he begrudgingly followed behind her.

      “This is -”

      But the door opened, cutting him off. An older, dark skinned woman stood before them, her dark, salt and pepper hair pulled back in a large bun. Camilla put a hand on her hip and smiled. “Well, if you ain’t a sight,” she said. “You look just like ‘im.” She gestured for them to enter, stepping aside as they cautiously crossed the threshold. “I’m glad you both came by,” she started. “Your father made me promise to give you some stuff.”

      “What kinda stuff?” Aryll asked curiously.

      “I honestly don’t know,” she said. She walked through the old house, gesturing for them to follow her. She spoke as she lead them through the large house. “But, a promise is a promise, hm?” She laughed lightly. “You know, your father was always my mother’s favorite,” she said. “I was so sorry to hear what happened to him.” She stopped at a door and pushed it open. The walls of the room were lined with boxes stacked on top of one another. They were all clearly labeled with various names and dates.

      “Telma was so attached to the kids that came to her,” she continued. She started to sift through the boxes casually, selecting a few of the photos that were contained inside and smiling at them. “She shared in all their joys and triumphs, and all their failures and pain.” She laughed lightly. “Sometimes, it seemed she liked them more than me, her own daughter.” She frowned. “We lost too many too young. She always felt like she had failed them when that happened.” She moved across the room and looked through a few more boxes before selecting one to place in the middle of the room. On it, the name ‘Rusl’ was scribbled on the side.

      Aryll opened it and looked through the photos, smiling down at them. Some of them were of when their father was much younger, playing with some of the other boys in the barn, or chasing after chickens. There were many of him riding bareback on various horses, or playing with them in their paddocks.

      “He really took a liking to the horses,” she explained. “So much so, that Telma promised to let him ride and give him lessons if he worked hard enough. And he did. And whenever he got his free time, he would jump right on and take off.” She laughed. “I always told Mum that one day, he’d never come back. But he always did. He took care of those horses like they were his kids. He made sure they were nice and cooled off, fed and happy before he went right back to do his chores.”

      “He never really talked about Telma,” Aryll said with a frown. She held a picture in her hand of some young kids gathered around a woman who she assumed to be Telma. “Why was he in foster care?”

      “Both his parents spent a lot of time in and out of jail,” she said. “Drugs and the like. He was a troublemaker himself when he came to Telma. At that point, he had been bounced around to a few different places. He was a rotten kid when he was younger.” She laughed. “Goddesses, how he would torment me. I was in high school when he came around, and he just loved to scare off my boyfriends.”

      “That seems so unlike him,” Aryll said.

      “I guess he didn’t turn out to be so bad,” Camilla said. “Mum always hoped for that.” She reached into a box and pulled out a disc, then smiled. “She was obsessed with documenting everything.” She slipped the disk into a player, then turned on a small tv screen in the room. “She tried to take some videos before he joined the army. Before he left, she gave ‘em all a day off. A little send-off party, I s’pose.” She played the video. A young boy’s face appeared, his brows knit together angrily.

      “Say somethin’ nice, Karsen,” Telma’s voice said.

      Karsen grinned. “Hey, Rusl. Kill all those fuckers dead! Kill ‘em all, man!” He made a head sawing motion with his hand.

      “That’s that same guy?” Aryll muttered. “Yikes.”

      “Lovely,” Telma said dryly. “Where did I go wrong with you, you twisted little child?”

      Karsen’s grin widened. “And come back soon and get me outta here, man! Telma’s gonna make me go crazy!”

      The video darkened for a moment, then a younger Rusl came into view. He looked at the camera with an annoyed and exasperated expression.

      “Can you please stop with that thing?”

      “Never,” Telma said. “I’m gonna need something to show those kids of yours someday.”

      Rusl rolled his eyes and moved his hand to block the camera’s view. “Right,” he muttered.

      The camera lowered, giving them a view of the ground.

      “Hey,” Telma started. “Don’t you keep running away. I know you’re scared, ‘unnie. But you are not just a pawn in a war that waits on our horizon. You are so much more, Rusl. And that boy - he’s gonna be the greatest thing in your life, hero or not. His future - his destiny - none of it will matter, because he will be your son, and I know you will do everything for him. But don’t think you’re doing him any favors by running from him. Don’t try to stop him from coming into your life. You need him. And he needs you. Understand? And when he comes around, you better let me meet him. You hear me?”

      Rusl was hesitant. “Yeah, Telma. I will.”

      The camera shifted, then the screen turned dark.

      Aryll frowned. “I wish we could have met her.”

      “Me too,” Camilla said. “She would have loved on you more than me.” She grinned at them, then removed the disk from the player.

      Aryll continued to sift through the box until she came across a small bag. “What’s this?” She held up the bag, inspecting it. Inside was a small card that she recognized.

      Camilla peered at it curiously. “Dunno,” she said with a shrug. “Nothing I’ve seen before.”

      “It goes in a phone,” Aryll said, already taking it out and inserting it into her own phone. She tapped on the screen and opened the file. A twenty year-old Rusl’s face appeared, his brows furrowed.

      “Hey, Kid,” his voice started. “You’re not around yet. Who knows when you’ll come around.” He grinned. “I don’t even have a girlfriend. So, you know, that’s going well.” His face turned serious. “Unless you’re like, really young when you’re watching this, then use protection and shit.” His face softened. “But hopefully you’re not young. Because you shouldn’t be seeing this until after I’m gone.” He hesitated, then cleared his throat. “Look, this is where I grew up.”

      The camera moved around as he stepped outside, giving them a view of Telma’s farm. “I promised Telma I’d let her meet you. I guess this is as close as it gets.” The camera turned back to face him. “Anyway. Going through all her shit made me realize she wasn’t as crazy as she seemed, sometimes. And, I dunno. I felt like I should leave you with something. Because one thing’s for sure; there’s a lot you’re not gonna know. About me, about you. About this fucked up destiny that’s been thrust upon us.” He sighed. “I’m not telling you any of it. You don’t need to know. You have enough shit to deal with then to know the truth about me.” He shrugged. “But I guess I can’t leave you with nothing, either. Unanswered questions and shit. I know that would drive me crazy. But you need to understand that there’s a reason I couldn’t tell you this before, when I’m… was… alive. Because if you’re anything like me, you’ll try to stop it. You’ll try to save me. And that can’t happen.” He paused for a moment before continuing.

      “See… we all serve a purpose in this life, I guess. And mine is to bring you into this world… and leave. As long as I’m alive, you will never be able to access the full power of the Triforce.” He shook his head. “For reasons D tried to explain to me. Hylia’s power is weakening, blah blah blah. I’m sure you’ll learn some of this. I’ll tell you as much as I can, when I can. I won’t leave you in the dark about everything. But the point is, if you’re going to be able to save the world, I will need to die. I’ve known this for a while. Well, I’ve had my suspicions, anyway. I’ve accepted it. Because even though you don’t even exist yet, and I don’t even know when you will.” He hesitated. “I love the crap outta ya. I will do anything and everything for you, especially to give you a normal a life as possible. I never got that. Not that I was born a hero destined to save the world or anything. But you deserve better than the crap I went through. You know, a father who’s actually around. I’ll give you everything that I can. I just want you to understand why things will happen - or, happened - the way that they will, or did, or something. I’ll give my life for you, kid, hero or not. It doesn’t matter to me who you are. That’s why I can accept this, I guess. Because I’d do it in a heartbeat. Again and again and again. Anything to give you the life you deserve. Hopefully, a life of peace and happiness. And I know you won’t accept it. That’s why I can’t - couldn’t - tell you. I’m sorry that this is the way it has to be, but I know you’ll be fine. If I can survive this shit, you can, too. You’ve got a lot more going for you than I do, anyway.” His gaze moved beyond the camera as he looked over the farm.

      “I guess she was right. I need you. I just hope everything I do will be enough.” His gaze moved back to the camera, and he shrugged. “Alright, well, I guess that’s it, then. You know the truth. Don’t be mad at me. I did what I had to do. Just know that. Everything I’ll ever do in this life is for you.” He smiled. “And that’s all I’ve ever wanted, really, so it’s okay. Okay?” He paused. “I love you, kid. I’ll see you soon.”

      The video ended.

      Aryll stared at her phone until the screen darkened. She jumped when her brother got to his feet, and he abruptly left the room.

      Link stormed outside angrily. Leave it to his father to bring secrets to his damn grave. He was furious at him for not telling him the truth. Of course he wouldn’t have let his father make such a sacrifice. If he had just been honest with him, they could have found another way. His father could have still been alive.

      But he was right. As Link looked back at the battle that had taken place only a week ago, his father was right. Link didn’t stand a damn chance against the Yiga. Not without the Master Sword. And certainly not without the full power of the Triforce. Surely, if there was anything he could have done to bring that power forth sooner, Impa would have trained him for that. She would have beat the power out of him. Despite it all, Impa knew what of their destinies. She knew how to prepare them for the approaching war. Which meant that she knew Link would not be able to use his power like Zelda could, so she had to compensate in other ways.

      There was nothing he could have done. As long as his father remained alive, he would not have been able to access that power that allowed him to stop Kohga once and for all, and he would have failed to protect Hyrule. To protect Aryll. To protect his friends. Which was all he really wanted to do. Just as his father only wanted to protect him.

      He cursed loudly and kicked at the tire of the car. It didn’t matter how much he justified in, or how logically he looked at the situation; he was still furious. He never wanted anyone to have to sacrifice their lives for him, his father most of all. But he wasn’t angry with his father. He was angry that he was the one to be thrust into such a destiny. That his father had to pay the price, regardless of whether he wanted to or not. Why in the hell did it have to be him? And who else would have to die so that Hyrule could stay safe? He couldn’t do it anymore; he couldn’t fight another war. For the love of Hylia, let it all be over with…

      He turned to the house as Aryll stepped outside. Her eyes were wet, but she regarded Link fiercely, her phone in her hand.

      “There’s something else on here,” she said. Her brows furrowed. “It looks like info to a bank account. There’s a phone number on it, too.”

      Link moved to her side and peered at the information on her screen. Curiously, he dialed the number and gave the account number to the woman on the line.

      “Ah, yes, here we are,” she said, her voice light and cheery. “This account is fully mature. It looks like it opened up for you just a couple of weeks ago, and will remain open until you wish to close it. Would you like the money wired over to you now, Link?”

      “Money?” Link echoed. “What money? How much is in there?”

      “Your account balance is one million, two hundred -”

      The phone dropped from Link’s hand. He stared at it, his mouth gaping.

      “Link? What’s wrong?” When her brother did not respond, Aryll picked up the phone. “What’s wrong? What happened?”

      “Oh, I’m sorry,” the voice said. “I can only speak to the holder of the account.”

      “Of course,” she sneered. She glanced at her brother, still seemingly in shock, though he met her gaze. “Link’s gonna have to call you back.” She ended the call and handed him the phone, her brows knit together. “What is it?”

      “There’s… over a million…”

      “A million?” Aryll shrieked. “I knew it! An inheritance!” She jumped up and down excitedly. “Oh my Goddesses. I can go to college?”

      “He fucking robbed a bank,” Link muttered. He turned to his sister. “Where the fuck would he have gotten that kind of money?”

      Aryll frowned. “I can’t go to college using dirty money.” She hesitated. “Do you really think he stole it?”

      “Well,” Link started slowly. “Either that, or he was a drug lord.” He shrugged. “Maybe he was a serial killer who harvested and sold organs on the black market. Or sold secrets to the Yiga Clan. Or -”

      “Yeah, alright,” Aryll snapped. “He wouldn’t have done any of those things.” Her gaze softened. “What are you going to do?”

      Link met her gaze. “I don’t know,” he said slowly. “What would you do with that much money?”

      “Send me to college! Buy me a car! Pay the damn electric bill!”

      A small smile tugged at the corner of his lips. “You have to graduate high school, first.”

      “Alright,” Aryll pressed. “I’m gonna graduate, okay? Jeez, Link! Give me my money!”

      “Right,” he said. “When you graduate and figure out what the hell you want to do, then we can talk.”

      Camilla appeared in the doorway, her gaze hesitant. “So, I love my mother and all, but I can’t keep holdin’ on to this shit. You want it?”

      Aryll took the steps two at a time as she bounded to Camilla’s side. “Yes,” she said quickly. “Give me.” She grinned up at Camilla. “Thanks for tracking us down.”

      “Ah, well,” Camilla started. “It’s the least I could have done for Rusl’s kids.”

      xox *~* MiSsKaTrInAlYnN3 *~* xox
      I write stuff sometimes
      Shadows of Hyrule | Shadows of the Yiga | Shadows of the Future [prequel]

    • Chapter 49

      Display Spoiler


      Link slid into the stool beside Dorian. It was by no means five o’clock, so it came as a surprise when Cottla told him where to find her father. He never picked him to be a barfly, but he was the last person to judge. It had been a few weeks since he and Aryll found Cremia, and thus discovered their strange inheritance, and since then, Link found himself at a loss with what to do with the money. Since then, he had picked up his job again, thanks to Sera, and before long, Aryll had returned to school to begin her final year in high school. Everything was relatively back to normal, and despite all that had happened, Link felt like he had his life in control. Still, he couldn’t help but to feel a strange emptiness when he was home, which brought him to the decision that it was time to move on with their lives, for better or for worse. He had to leave the place he once called home and start a new life for himself.

      “I heard you met Camilla,” Dorian said, not looking at him as he sat.

      “Where did he get the money?” Link asked, his gaze hard on Dorian.

      But Dorian only smiled, not meeting his gaze. “Don’t spend it all at once,” he said cryptically.

      “I’m not taking it,” Link hissed. “Not unless I know where it came from.”

      “Why does it have to come from anywhere?” Dorian said. “He’s had that thing around for a long time.”

      “Nobody has that kind of money,” Link said. “Not unless you’re the damn king of Hyrule.”

      Dorian shrugged. “Heroes need to get paid. You said so yourself. Your father saw to it that you would get just that.”

      “And I’m supposed to just accept that?”

      “Yes,” Dorian said simply. “If you don’t want it, I’ll put it to good use.”

      “Yeah, right,” Link said. He sighed.

      “Just take it and be grateful,” Dorian said. “It’s what he would have wanted.”

      Link looked down at the counter for a moment. When the bartender came by for his order, Link shook his head.

      Dorain turned his gaze to Link. He stared at him for a moment, longer than he intended. When Link met his gaze, he turned away.

      Link’s brows furrowed. “What?”

      Dorian smiled. “Nothing,” he said at first. “I forget how much you look like him.”

      Link turned away, but said nothing.

      “We sat at a lot of bars together,” Dorian continued. “It kind of felt like that for a second.”

      “I wouldn’t have picked you for a bar guy.”

      Dorian chuckled. “I wasn’t.” He shrugged. “What are you doing here, anyway? Did you just come to give me shit?”

      “Yes,” Link started. “Among other things.”

      Dorian raised a brow.

      “I decided to sell the house,” he said. “Once Aryll graduates, we’re leaving the city.”

      Dorian simply nodded.

      “Don’t worry,” he started. “I’ll be sure to come by once in a while to bug you.”

      Dorian smiled. “Right.”

      “And I got more shit than I need to take with me,” he continued. He pulled an envelope out of the inside pocket of his jacket. “I thought you might want these.” He passed it to Dorian with a shrug. “We have plenty, and I don’t care for your ugly mug.”

      Dorian opened the envelope and pulled out the photos inside. The image on top showed a young Rusl and Dorian. They both had a beer in hand and were dressed in their uniforms. Rusl was flipping the camera the bird while Dorian seemed to be mid eyeroll. He smiled down at the picture, then proceeded to flip through them. There were various other pictures, including some of him and his wife, and all three of them together. There was even one of Rusl with Dorian’s daughters. Cottla was on his shoulders, though he was crouched down on Koko’s level while she tried to get at her younger sister.

      “Who knew he was such a sucker for kids?” Link said.

      “I called him out on that once,” Dorian said. He frowned. “He punched me.”

      Link turned away. He studied the bottles on the shelves behind the bar. “I know everything,” he said softly. “I know that he… he didn’t plan on coming back.”

      Dorian was quiet for a moment. His voice was soft when he spoke. “There was nothing you could have done. You never would have been able to utilize your full power as long as he lived. It has been that way since the very beginning. The spirit of the hero manifests only in the one worthy of the Triforce. The one with extraordinary qualities that make a hero. And, in turn, it takes two extraordinary people to bring such a being into the world. A part of that spirit rest within your parents. And as long as that part of the hero was there, you would be unable to utilize your full power, especially without the aid of the Master Sword. It has been that way for each and every hero before you and will continue on. That’s just the way it is.”

      Link looked down at the counter. “I wish… it didn’t have to be that way.”

      Dorian glanced at him. “I know.” He sighed. “For what it’s worth, I was on your side. I tried to stop him.”

      Link’s lips pulled into a small smile. “And all this time, I thought you weren’t on my side.”

      “Yeah, well.” Dorian sighed. “I have a lot of regrets. But everything I did was to keep you and Aryll safe. And, once in a while, keep your damn father alive. Hylia knows he didn’t make that easy for me.”

      “Yeah. I know.” He stood and turned to Dorian. “Well, thanks for everything. That’s all I wanted to say.”

      “Sure.”

      “See you around, D.”

      “Don’t call me that,” he sneered.

      Link grinned and left him alone in the bar.

      *****

      To his dismay, there were two extra women in his house when he returned home. Aryll, Mipha, Cremia, and Anju were sitting around the table, each with their own bowl of ice cream, and Cremia was in mid sob as she spoke to her friends. She paused when Link entered, then seemed to forget about whatever crisis she was facing, beaming at Link cheerfully.

      “Well, look who it is,” she said in greeting.

      “So,” Anju started. “Are we done talking about the bastard that cheated on you?”

      Cremia sighed and put her chin in her hand. “This is not how I planned on spending my first day as a senior,” she said.

      “I’m sorry you couldn’t fuck in the bathroom,” Aryll said dryly. “But you’ll have all year to be disgusting.”

      “Please,” Cremia said. “I’m classier than that.”

      “I don’t think you are,” Anju said.

      “I missed this,” Cremia said. “I’m glad you’re not mysteriously on the lam anymore.”

      “Yeah,” Anju started. “So, you’re really not going to explain that, like, at all?”

      “I told you,” Aryll insisted. “We were on… vacation.”

      “You went on vacation,” Cremia started, “with your brother and his girlfriend?” She grinned at Link. “What a buzzkill.” She then turned her attention to Mipha. “You could have dumped her on us.”

      “Why?” Link started. “So you could get drunk and crash another car?”

      Cremia slouched in her chair. “Oh, you remember that, huh?”

      “You’re lucky we went on vacation after that,” Aryll said with a grin. “He would have gone all Hulk on you, otherwise.”

      “Hulk?” Anju echoed.

      Aryll dismissed her with a wave of her hand. She put a spoonful of ice cream in her mouth. “So, how are we getting revenge on that dick?” she asked, changing the subject. “You can’t let this first day define the rest of the year. You gotta put him in his place and make him regret the day he was ever born.”

      “You are in the perfect place to destroy his entire senior year,” Anju added in agreement. “We have to take advantage of that.”

      “Wow,” Link muttered. “Is that what women really do?”

      “You should have seen what we came up with when you and Mipha were broken up,” Aryll said casually.

      Link glanced at Mipha, and she shook her head, but grinned.

      “She’s pretty twisted,” Aryll said. “I wouldn’t piss her off if I were you.”

      “Trust me,” Link started. “I know.”

      “Anyway,” Aryll continued. “We gotta make this year epic. Really go out with a bang.”

      “Not a car crash,” Link added.

      Aryll ignored her brother. “Because after this, I’m ditching this joint.”

      Anju frowned. “You guys are really moving out of the city?”

      Aryll nodded. “Well, they are. I haven’t decided where I’m going, yet. I’ve got my pick of colleges.”

      “Remind me how that happened, again?” Cremia asked suspiciously. “Last year, you were pretty sure you weren’t going to college.”

      “I changed my mind,” Aryll said. “I’ll earn some money stripping or something. That was the plan all along, really.”

      “Makes sense,” Cremia confirmed with a nod.

      “Or,” Anju started. “Hear me out. Scholarships.” She grinned.

      “Well, sure, there’s that,” Aryll said. “But I liked my plan, better.”

      “So, are we getting pizza?” Link asked in a desperate attempt to change the subject. “I’m thinking pepperoni?”

      “I don’t want to look at another pizza for the rest of my life,” Mipha sneered at him. “I am so sick of pizza!”

      “We need a divorce,” Link said.

      “I can’t believe she just said that,” Aryll said with a grin. “Next thing you know, she’ll tell us we can’t have peanut butter and banana sandwiches.”

      “You are both hopeless,” Mipha said, shaking her head. She took the empty bowls. “Don’t you have a summer project to do?” she asked Aryll.

      “Yes, mother,” Aryll hissed.

      “How come you got an extension?” Cremia whined.

      “I met special circumstances,” Aryll said simply.

      “Your month long vacation is a special circumstance?” Cremia raised a skeptical brow at her.

      “I don’t think they were on vacation,” Anju said.

      “Probably witness protection or something,” Cremia said, rolling her eyes.

      Aryll laughed. “Right. That’s it.” She stood. “Are you going to help me bullshit this project or what?”

      Cremia sighed. “So, I guess we’re done talking about me?”

      “You’re never done talking about you,” Anju said dryly.

      “We’ll come up with our revenge plan while we work.”

      “You know,” Cremia started. “I did my project. Why should I have to help you?”

      “You called that a project?” Anju said. “It was pathetic.”

      “You’re gonna help me because you almost killed me,” Aryll reminded her.

      “I could have died, too, you know.” Still, she followed Aryll and Anju upstairs, leaving Mipha and Link alone in the kitchen.

      “I don’t remember high school being that dramatic.”

      “We were too busy fighting Ganondorf’s minions,” Link said. “We had our own drama.”

      Mipha smiled. “Wow. I feel really, really old. I can’t believe that was like, ten years ago.”

      “Yeah,” Link started. “I think I’m already getting gray hairs.” He pulled at a few strands. “This one is Aryll, and this one is Mipha. And look, here’s a bunch more Arylls. Hm. Way more Arylls than there are Ganondorfs.”

      Mipha pushed his arm playfully. “You know,” she started. “It will be nice to finally have a house to ourselves.”

      “Where should we go?” Link asked. He grinned. “The world is our oyster.”

      xox *~* MiSsKaTrInAlYnN3 *~* xox
      I write stuff sometimes
      Shadows of Hyrule | Shadows of the Yiga | Shadows of the Future [prequel]

    • Chapter 50

      Display Spoiler


      10 months later...
      “I don’t see why I’m moving my stuff in here when I’m just going to have to move back out in like, two months.” Aryll carried one of the boxes in her arms, placing it carefully on the front porch. “This is more moving than I want to do.”

      “At least you weren’t dragged into helping,” Revali said. He stopped next to her and put his own box down. “I don’t even live here. Why am I helping?”

      Urbosa moved passed them with two boxes in her own arms. She sneered down at them. “The boxes go in the house,” she said to them. “Not on the porch.”

      Aryll straightened and stretched her back. “I almost don’t want to leave here,” she said. “Going to college is going to suck, now.”

      “Please leave,” Link said, carrying a box up the steps. “Go to college right now and leave me alone.”

      Aryll smirked at her brother, then picked up her box again. “You’d miss me too much.”

      Daruk followed suit with three boxes in his arms. “He would,” he confirmed with a nod.

      Aryll grinned. “I know.” She followed them into the house. “I still can’t believe Talon gave us this place.”

      “He didn’t,” Link said. “I bought it.”

      “For, like, half of what it’s worth.”

      Link shrugged. “You were the one that didn’t want him to sell in the first place.”

      “Yeah,” she said. “But it’s better to go to us. We’ll take care of it.”

      “I’m thinking he got the better end of the deal,” Revali said. “He’s living his best life on a damn beach right now, and you’re stuck here shoveling horse shit for the rest of your life.”

      “If we didn’t,” Aryll started, “You would have bought it and turned it into some stupid mall or something.”

      “Not me,” Revali said. “There’s nothing out here.”

      “Someone like you would have ruined all this.”

      “It’s hardly ruined if it’s bringing in money.”

      “You just can’t appreciate what’s here.”

      “You’re right,” Revali said with a shrug. “Not my thing.”

      Link returned outside, ignoring Aryll banter with their friends. He watched as Mipha fished through the car for more boxes, and smiled. His fingers traced over the ring box in his pocket, and in that moment, it felt right.

      Mipha selected a box marked ‘plates.’ When she turned around, her gaze landed on Link down on one knee, a small black box in his hands, and she promptly dropped the box.

      “Plates!” Link winced as it crashed to the ground and the plates shattered.

      But Mipha didn’t seem to notice, her hands covering her mouth in shock. “What are you doing?”

      Link frowned. “I don’t know,” he said. “What does it freaking look like? Tying my damn shoe?”

      Mipha’s gaze narrowed with irritation. “Hey! You can’t marry me with that attitude!”

      “Who said I wanted to marry you?” he sneered.

      “You have a damn ring!”

      “Oh, that’s what that is.” He rolled his eyes.

      “Oh, for the love of -” She rushed to him as he stood and threw herself against him, kissing his lips. “Yes, you damn fool, yes!”

      “Dibs on maid-of -honor!” Aryll shouted from the doorway. The others gathered anxiously behind her, and they practically fell out of the doorway to see what was going on.

      “You can’t even drink legally,” Revali reminded her. “Oh, shit. Dibs on best man! We’re going to have the craziest fucking bachelor party!”

      “Oh my Goddesses,” Urbosa sobbed. “It’s about damn time!”

      “I don’t think dibs applies, here,” Daruk said.

      “Because obviously you’re going to get it,” Revali sneered.

      “What do you care?”

      “Because you’ll plan a boring bachelor party!”

      Daruk rolled his eyes. “You can do all the planning,” he said. “But I am not spooning with him again.”

      Revali snickered. The air snapped as he flashed away from Daruk, narrowly missing his heavy handed punch. He appeared at Link’s side, his arm draped around his shoulders.

      “It will be legendary,” he said. He caught Mipha’s angry gaze and sighed. “Relax, will ya?” He turned back to Link. “I warned you not to do it.”

      Aryll bounded down the steps with the others following behind and peered at the ring on Mipha’s finger. She smiled. “I still think it’s romantic,” she said. “I don’t care what Revali says.”

      Mipha frowned. “How long have you been planning this?”

      “Too long,” Daruk confirmed.

      “Well, you know,” Link started. “I thought about it, but getting kidnapped by the Yiga kinda put a hold on my plans.”

      “Wow,” Mipha said with a grin. “You really do move fast. We had only been dating for like, a week at that point.”

      “I figured I had to get in before I fucked up again.”

      Revali snorted. “She can still divorce your ass and take you for everything you have.”

      “That’s not much,” Link said. “She’ll be sorely disappointed.”

      “Bull shit,” Revali spat. “We all know Aryll isn’t going to college on her good looks.”

      “So I made a few favors and slept with a few people,” Link said.

      “Don’t tell me you blew through that money already,” Daruk said.

      “Of course not,” Link insisted. “What are you, my financial advisor?”

      “Mipha will spend it all on that wedding,” Revali said.

      “Will not,” Mipha hissed. “Besides, my father -”

      “Daddy’s money,” Revali said with a nod. “That’s right. I forgot he’s loaded.”

      Mipha rolled her eyes.

      “You mean we can’t just like, go to city hall and call it a day?” Link said with a frown.

      “Hey, I put up with your shit long enough,” Mipha said. “I’m wearing a white fucking dress walking down that aisle and all you bitches are gonna cry.”

      “Someone has high expectations,” Revali said. “Who cries at weddings?”

      “Me,” Urbosa said with a nod. “I’m totally gonna ball.” She pinched Link’s cheek. “My little Link is gonna get married.”

      “I did not think this through,” Link muttered.

      “You’re gonna have so much planning to do,” Aryll said excitedly.

      “I am?” Link groaned.

      “I’ll take care of it, Hunnie,” Mipha said with a grin. “Just show up when you’re supposed to.”

      “That’s a relief,” he muttered.

      Aryll shook her head, then clapped her hands together. “Come on, people. These boxes aren’t gonna move themselves, yanno.”

      “Definitely not if you just sit there and stare at them,” Revali said.

      “Look who’s talking!”

      Aryll and Revali continued to bicker as they removed more boxes from the car. When the car was finally empty, Link closed the trunk and twirled the keys in his fingers for a moment before shoving them in his pocket. He glanced over the car, then turned to the house. Aryll and Revali took a moment to pause on the porch once more, despite Urbosa’s scolding. He picked up the remaining box and made his way into the house, home at last.

      xox *~* MiSsKaTrInAlYnN3 *~* xox
      I write stuff sometimes
      Shadows of Hyrule | Shadows of the Yiga | Shadows of the Future [prequel]

    • Epilogue

      Display Spoiler


      Song for Dad, Keith Urban
      Lately I've been noticing I say the same things he used to say. And I even find myself acting the very same way. I tap my fingers on the table to the rhythm in my soul, and I jingle the car keys when I'm ready to go. When I look in the mirror he's right there in my eyes starin' back at me and I realize the older I get, the more I can see how much he loved my mother and my [sister] and me. And he did the best that he could and I only hope when I have my own family that everyday I see a little more of my father in me.

      Link stretched his arms over his head in an attempt to crack his back. When did he start to feel so damn old? A few years ago, trimming hooves was the easiest part of his day. But, then again, he didn’t have to deal with a spunky little filly, either. He patted the young horse’s neck and she snorted. He felt the air snap as a presence appeared, but he didn’t turn to his visitor.

      “Hey, D,” Link said casually. He glanced at Dorian over his shoulder.

      Dorian narrowed his gaze on him. “You don’t get to call me that,” he sneered.

      Link ignored his comment. “What are you doing here?”

      Dorian put his hands in his pockets. “Looking for Cottla and Koko.”

      “You know they’re grown ass Sheikah women, right?” Link said with a grin. “And they have phones. You could have called them.”

      Dorian glared at him. “Are they here?”

      Link rolled his eyes. “Yes. They’re with Aryll.”

      “Uncle D!”

      Dorian turned to the little boy that ran up to him. He smiled and picked up the child. “What’s going on, Dude?”

      “Are you here to play Sheikah?”

      “I don’t think so,” Dorian said. He put the child back on the ground. “I gotta get going.”

      The boy whined. “You always say that!”

      “Sorry, Rus. You know how it is.”

      Rusl cocked his head to the side. “Okay,” he said simply before running off again.

      “You don’t have to check up on us, you know,” Link said. He turned back over his shoulder, but Dorian had his back to him. He met Link’s gaze briefly, a smile tugging at his lips, and in a snap, he disappeared.

      He turned back to the horse and smiled. He pulled a carrot out of his pocket to treat the filly, then set back to work at trimming her hooves. When he finished, he gave her one last pat, then set at putting his things away. He turned to greet his sister when she appeared in the doorway.

      “You’d think they were like, sixteen years old,” Aryll practically whined. “Jeez, Dorian is a tight ass, sometimes.”

      “Are you really surprised?” Link asked.

      Aryll sighed. “I guess not.” She shrugged. “I suppose it’s for the best. Cottla only wanted to feed Rusl sugar before everyone got here.”

      Link stepped around her, moving back to the horse. He scratched at her ears and cooed to her. “Dorian thinks he’s a big, scary Sheikah, doesn’t he? But he’s not, no he’s not. You’re such a cute little thing, yes you are.”

      “You're sickening.” Aryll rolled her eyes and sighed. “What happened to you, man?”

      Link grinned and scratched the mare's neck. “Kids make you soft.”

      At that moment, Rusl came running back towards them from around the corner, this time with a stick in hand. He jumped at Link and roared as threateningly as he could.

      “Shit, Ary, look at that thing!” Link picked up his son and threw him over his shoulder. “Now that's scary!”

      “Down, Daddy!” Rusl giggled, waving the stick in the air as Link placed him back on his feet. “You're the scary monster!” He swung the stick at him, his brows knit together. “I'm gonna beat you.”

      “Not with that footwork you're not,” Link said.

      “He doesn't care about footwork,” Aryll said.

      “Hey! Impa pounded that shit into my brain. If this kid's gonna do anything right, least he can do is learn how to fight.”

      “Because sword fighting is such an important skill.”

      “You don't know!” He took the sword from his son. “Look.”

      Rusl laughed and ran off to collect another stick, returning and doing his best to mock his father.

      “What did I say!” Mipha shouted from the house. “You're not teaching our son to fight with swords!”

      “I'm not doing anything!”

      “Yes, you are!”

      Aryll giggled and picked up her nephew. “Come on, Mr. Hero. You need a nap before everyone gets here.”

      “That sounds like a good idea,” Link said with a yawn.

      “Wasn't talking to you,” Aryll said over her shoulder as she carried the child back to the house.

      Link followed behind her, only to be met by the angry glare coming from his very pregnant wife. His shoulders dropped and he offered her an apologetic smile.

      Mipha sighed and shook her head. “Honestly,” she said. “Can’t you teach him something more useful?”

      “Like how to use Hylian powers?” Aryll asked excitedly.

      “I’m gonna be a Sheikah!” Rusl proclaimed.

      “No!” Mipha barked. “For the love of - teach him the damn alphabet or something. That’s what kids should be learning.”

      Link frowned. “Oh. No. That doesn’t sound right.”

      “How the hell are you a father?” Aryll said with a grin. “Honestly, Mipha. Why did you think that was a good idea?”

      Mipha sighed, defeated. “I really don’t know.”

      Link took the child from Aryll and placed him on his shoulders. Rusl giggled and waved the stick in the air.

      “I’m gonna be the hero, Daddy,” he announced. “Just you wait!”

      “You got it, Kid,” Link said. He looked up at the child over his head and smiled. “You already are a hero.”

      xox *~* MiSsKaTrInAlYnN3 *~* xox
      I write stuff sometimes
      Shadows of Hyrule | Shadows of the Yiga | Shadows of the Future [prequel]

    • Coming Soon

      Display Spoiler


      He stared down at the body at his feet. He felt the panic start to rise in his chest, causing his heart to race and his stomach to twist sickeningly. He tried to speak, to yell, to cry, but when he opened his mouth, nothing came out. The world was silent; all he could hear was his pulse in his ears, pulsing loudly. He shook his head, stepping away from the body. He didn’t need confirmation from anyone, for he knew that he had killed that man. He was bad, just like they had said. He had proved that, to them, to himself. He didn’t mean to do it. He didn’t even know how he did it. But now, that man was dead, and he would be next. They would hunt him. They would find him. And they would kill him.


      He stumbled over his own feet in panic, falling backwards against the wall. He tore his gaze away from the body, then scrambled to his feet, hurrying out the door and into the cold, dark night. He ran as far from the house as he could, across the grass and into the nearby woods. But as soon as he stepped into the treeline, the darkness became to great, suffocating him. He could hear voices; their voices. Her voice. Voices he couldn’t possibly begin to explain, or even understand, for her voice was in a different language completely.


      Despite it all, her voice was soothing. He wanted to find her voice. He thought he would be safe with her. But just as every other time he found himself in the woods, he only got lost searching for her, and eventually, the darkness swallowed him completely until he heard nothing at all.

      xox *~* MiSsKaTrInAlYnN3 *~* xox
      I write stuff sometimes
      Shadows of Hyrule | Shadows of the Yiga | Shadows of the Future [prequel]

    • Deleted Scene(s)

      Display Spoiler


      Snippets of deleted scenes that reveal an alternate plot twist at the end. I ended up scrapping it because 1). I just couldn't do that to Link and Rusl, and Uli is a good, pure, sweet, best girl that puts up with Rusl's shit and 2). It wouldn't make sense for Link to be a Sheikah, or come from Sheikah parents. So, yeah, I scrapped that completely, though it made for a fun twist to write, anyway! Again, these are just bits and pieces of different scenes (as opposed to posting all of it) to give an idea of what I had planned originally.

      *****

      This big reveal happened after Link is 'cured' and just before they go to war with the Yiga Clan.


      “What’s wrong?”

      Rusl’s brows furrowed. He avoided Link’s gaze. “Nothing.”

      “Don’t give me this shit,” Link muttered. “Out with it.”

      His lips pinched together and turned away from his son. “I was never going to tell you,” Rusl finally said.

      Link was quietly watching him, waiting. When his father still didn’t speak, he pressed further. “Why not?”

      “Because it didn’t matter,” Rusl snapped.

      Link hesitated. “And it does now?”

      Rusl’s torn gaze flickered to his son, then away again. He looked to the horizon. “Your mother. I’m the reason she died.”

      Link’s heart skipped. His gaze narrowed. “What are you talking about?”

      “She wasn’t sick,” Rusl continued. “It… it was a cover up. I had her killed.”

      Link felt as if he were hit by a train. His emotions flew wildly through him. Anger, confusion, betrayal. The only logical conclusion for his father coming to such an action could only have meant that his father was not who he thought he was.

      “You what ?” he growled between his clenched teeth.

      Rusl glanced at him once more. “She was working with the Yiga Clan.”

      Link nearly choked as his chest seemed to close up tightly. “ What ?”

      “She was a Sheikah, regardless of where her loyalties lay. And being a Sheikah comes with various innate abilities, including the ability to sense the incarnation of the Chosen Hero. She took advantage of that knowledge with the hopes of turning you against Hyrule and taking the Triforce.”

      He felt sick to his stomach. Clearly, this showed in his face, as his father regarded him with concern.

      “No,” Link muttered. His expression hardened. “You’re lying,” he hissed. However, he could see the pain of the truth flash across his father’s face. The pain that came with being betrayed by the woman he loved. Link took a step back in an attempt to balance himself. “No,” he repeated, shaking his head.

      “I went to Dorian when I found out,” Rusl continued, breaking his gaze. “And she was killed.”

      *****


      Link's mother's entrance would have come around the time Kohga revealed himself, before Rusl's death.


      The Yiga’s eyes pulled up at the corners, grinning wickedly beneath the cloth that covered her face. “It’s been a long time, Rusl,” she said to him. She pulled off her mask, revealing her face, and she glanced up at her son with a smile.

      “Link,” she said. “I’d know my own son anywhere.” Her head cocked to the side. “Are you done fighting for the losing team?”

      Link’s face whitened as he recognized his mother’s face. His mouth opened, but he made no sound. Revali stepped forward with his bow raised, and she threw her head back in laughter.

      “I don’t take any of you for fools,” she said. “You know too well that I could end his life - all your lives - with a snap of my fingers.”

      Revali narrowed his gaze on her, but lowered his bow slightly.

      She turned her gaze back to Rusl, still immobilized by her power, though he glared up at her. “I may not have died, but I have waited a very long time for my revenge.”

      “Uli,” Kohga said, stepping up behind her. “Stop playing with them and finish them.”

      She straightened and turned to regard the Yiga leader over her shoulder with a grin. “You promised I could have my fun,” she said with a light whine. “You told me to be patient, and I was.” Still, she released her hold on Rusl.

      Rusl gasped for breath, rolling over with a groan before pushing himself back to his feet. He pulled his gun out and pointed it at Dorian. Dorian’s face remained hard and cold. Uli's laughter rang through the air once more.

      “Come now, Rusl,” she said. “I know you’re capable of so much more than petty weaponry.” Her gaze flashed to Link and her grin widened. “You and Link both. But it seems you still haven’t been truthful with him, have you?”

      Rusl’s shoulders dropped slightly and he let the gun fall from his hand. This pleased Uli.

      “That’s better,” she said. She walked passed him confidently and toward her son. She regarded him for a moment, standing just out of his reach, then moved her gaze across the others until her eyes landed on Mipha, and she smiled.

      “Little Mipha,” she said warmly. “After all these years, you still put up with my son?”

      Link pushed Mipha further behind him, snarling up at his mother.

      Uli raised a brow and grinned. “Oh. More than friends, are we? I always hoped you two would get together.” At the corner of her eye, she watched Revali raise his bow, and she laughed lightly, unfazed by his threat. She took Link’s wrist, pulling his left hand up for her to examine. As she did so, she snapped her fingers on her other hand, and Revali’s arrow snapped in two.

      She looked at Link’s hand with a grin and pulled him closer, despite his attempt to pull out of her grip. She met her son’s gaze and smiled. “It must kill you, Rusl, seeing so much of me in him.” She regarded Rusl briefly over her shoulder, still smiling. When Link jerked his arm away once more, she released her hold. Uli straightened and shrugged. “We were an adorable little family, weren’t we? You were so jaded, Rusl. Blinded by your own damn love. It was all too easy.” She turned to face him. "Let me put you out of your misery, then."

      *****

      Cue fight scene. Ultimately, Rusl would have killed Uli, and Kohga still would have killed Rusl.

      xox *~* MiSsKaTrInAlYnN3 *~* xox
      I write stuff sometimes
      Shadows of Hyrule | Shadows of the Yiga | Shadows of the Future [prequel]