By Samuel Guzman
January 16, 2019

 
Foreword: In this fan fic I present my take on the events of the child time line which lead to Link’s ultimate fate as Hero’s Shade in Twilight Princess. There is use of alcohol/tobacco, suggestive themes, and an overall dark tone to the story. I feel it is a PG-13 read, or T for those of you used to the Game’s rating system. I hope you enjoy reading it, as I progressively update the Fan Fic with more chapters.

Chapter 1

Lon Lon Ranch, Present…

The falling snow flakes looked like a bright endless rain of white feathers to Malon as she peered through the window of her warm room gazing at the cold snowy blanket that covered her father’s ranch.

Winter had just started, and yet they had gotten at least 10 inches of snow in the last three days. Malon always thought that snow was a beautiful gift from the Goddesses. At least it was beautiful while freshly fallen, especially if it fell during nighttime which was the case that night as she took a sip from a warm mug of hot chocolate .

“With this weather, I sincerely doubt Lord Stonard will visit you anytime soon. At least while the snow is still pouring down he won’t.” Her father Talon said as he sat beside her with a mug of beer in his hand.

Malon smiled. Her big blue eyes still gazing into the distance. She truly cherished these night talks with her father. Talon had grown older, balder, grayer, and fatter in the last few years. A sign of Time’s incessant passing, a warning that someday the night talks would inevitably end forever.

“About a year now…” Malon replied in a soft voice.

“What?”

“It has been about a year since that man started courting me Papa.” Malon explained taking another sip from her mug.

“A fine lad he is! Already a Captain of the Royal Guard. His family owns a state to boot. A father could do worse than to marry his only princess to a man like that…a lot worse.” Talon said placing his hand over her shoulder in a comforting gesture.

“and yet…” Malon whispered as she looked away from the window for a moment with a faint sad smile turning her gaze to peer directly into her mug.

“And yet the fairy boy.” Talon finished her sentence.

Malon smiled running her hand through her long flowing red hair, and nodding as she turned her gaze back to the window before turning her attention to her father again.

“Papa …I think Lord Stonard intends to ask for my hand in marriage any day now. As you say he is a handsome, accomplished, and honorable man. And yet my fairy boy is the one I await for every night that I sit here gazing at the ranch gates.”

“My sweet little girl …I wish I could help you in that one I really wish I could. On a positive note at least this time he didn’t take Epona with him before disappearing!” Talon said breaking out in a small laughter.

Malon and Talon could laugh now about Link’s initial 2 year disappearance from the face of Hyrule. At the time that it happened however, it was anything but a laughing matter, in fact that two year period had been the most traumatic, sad, and anxiety filled time in Malon’s young life.

Both Malon and Link had been about 11 winters old then. Malon remembered Link arriving from Hyrule’s Castle asking her to borrow Epona for a few weeks as he wanted to travel deep into Hyrule’s forest in search of his missing Fairy friend companion Navi.

Malon happily consented to his request, after all Epona loved Link, and Link loved Epona back. They had a strange bond, those two. Link left that very same night, and then as the days turned into weeks, and weeks into months, Malon began to worry that something had gone terribly wrong.

At the year mark she convinced her father to go out in search of both the Fairy boy and her beloved pony. Poor Talon old, bald, and fat was no warrior. He had to hire two bounty hunters to escort him to the outskirts of the woods. Once there he asked nearby villagers and woodsmen about the boy, but no one had an answer. One of the hunters knew of tales of “Forest Children” deep within Lost Woods. Talon and the hunters ventured forth, and spent nearly a week lost in the woods before a green haired forest girl with a Fairy led them back out. The girl seemed to know Link, and was actually the last person to have seen him, and the pony before they ventured far north west into the depths of Hyrule forest.

The Forest Girl had also led a search party months before Talon, and the Hunters arrived but it had been to no avail. Link and Epona were officially lost.

When Talon arrived empty handed Malon couldn’t help but fall into a deep state of depression. Following the devastating news she made a habit of sitting by the window every night in order to gaze at the ranch gates hoping and praying that Link would show up galloping through the gates with Epona.

Then one a night when Malon least expected it, two years after his fateful departure, he arrived with Epona, galloping through the gates. Malon screamed at the top of her lungs as her heart stopped at the sight of such a miracle. It was like seeing a dead loved one suddenly walk through the door after the reality of their perpetual and eternal absence had sunk in for good.

As she ran out of the house to greet them, for a moment she thought she was seeing ghosts. She was 13, almost 14 winters old. She had blossomed into a young woman, and eerily enough her beloved Link and Epona hadn’t aged a day. It was like they had never left at all. Link was still a boy of 11 winters, and Epona was still her pony self.

The fact that this time Link had left without taking the horse worried her though.

“Yes…but maybe it would have been better if he had taken Epona with him. That way he knew he had to return because he had taken something tangible from me.” Malon regretted, ‘Instead he took my heart, but does he know?’ Malon thought to herself.

Link did return that one time, with a wondrous tale of falling into parallel world, and reliving an endless 3 day cycle, which would explain why he didn’t age while the rest of the world did.

Malon wasn’t certain of the tale at first, but everything about Link was as absurd as the tales of his exploits. Link first ran into her with a living breathing fairy. Link also had an Ocarina that could create a thunderstorm on a sunny day. Link was full of magic and Hyrule was a land full of it and of Ancient mysteries. It was possible that everything that Link had told her he had done was true.

His tales usually involved some form of time travel of sorts which is why there were no eyewitnesses of his exploits to speak of, except Navi of course, but she was gone.

The other strange thing about Link that would, in part, confirm some of his heroic deeds was his relationship with the Royal family, namely; Princess Zelda, despite being just a forest boy with no social status of importance to speak of.

There was some resentment on Malon’s otherwise noble and pure heart at the remembrance of Zelda’s name. After returning from his two year hiatus with Epona, Link spent the next two years living at the ranch for prolonged seasons. Those two years were the happiest and most adventurous times she had ever lived. She created the most cherished memories in her heart, and it all ended with a Royal summons from Princess Zelda herself. Link left for a few days, then returned with a changed demeanor, saying he had to go to the Forest. It would be the last she would see or hear of Link her eternal Fairy boy.

“Papa…I cannot accept a marriage proposal from Lord Stonard, not until Link comes back…” Malon said with a determined expression on her youthful blue eyes.

Talon could only shake his head. He wasn’t angry with his daughter, but he was afraid Malon was making a mistake making a powerful man like Lord Stonard wait. Stonard was the son of General Marcilus Stonard, one the most powerful men in Hyrule, and the right hand of the King. He was a renowned warrior, and he seemed to be in line to succeed his father’s position.

Talon didn’t care much for social status, in fact, personally, he liked Link more. Talon owned vast stretches of farm land that Malon would eventually inherit so he knew she would be well off regardless. Link however could make Malon feel the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, and that was concerning to the old farmer.

“Marriage isn’t something you should jump into with regrets…”

“And yet?” Malon interrupted Talon on mid sentence.

“And yet Link is an unpredictable child. He lives for adventure. I like the boy, in fact I love that boy. He is a natural in the ranch. I will always be in his debt for opening my eyes on Ingo.” Talon explained as he gulped a mouthful of beer from his mug.

“And yet?”

“And yet, he could be dead at the bottom of a pit in an ancient temple for all we know. That’s his nature. That’s not husband material. Do you want to live out the rest of your days peeking at that window wondering when and if he will return home to you?” Talon questioned with the stern and concerned face of a father who wanted the best for his daughter.

Malon let out a sad sigh, “He is alive.” It was all she could say.

Talon stood up with a resigned look on his face. He patted his eternal little girl on the shoulder. It was getting late. He gave her a good night kiss on the forehead and he exited Malon’s room. He stopped at the sound of his daughter’s voice.

“Papa…If by first snow fall next winter, Fairy boy hasn’t returned…I will marry Lord Stonard.”

Chapter 2

The Arbiter’s Grounds, 2 Years in the past…

The Arbiter’s Grounds seemed and felt eerily familiar to Link. He had traversed an ancient structure like it before in the very same Gerudo Desert.

“The Spirit Temple” Link muttered under his breath as he walked alongside Zelda, King Hyrule, Impa, and General Stonard through what seemed like an endless labyrinth of hallways, made of sand colored stone, full with engravings, statues, and markings of a language unknown to Link or anyone else in the party except for one. The group had a tour guide, an old, balding, gray haired, frail looking Hylian named Simpas who acted as a keeper of the grounds.

“Just a little further your Majesty. It is important to traverse these halls carefully.” Simpas said as he carefully steered them towards the heart of the colossal structure. “The lower levels are haunted…yes…haunted. Much anger and anguish from the Civil War remains within the walls your Majesty.”

Link nodded. The King and the General seemed impervious to it, but Link could feel a heavy presence of malevolence in the chilly desert air. At times he swore he could hear distant screams. Hundreds if not thousands had died, or more likely been executed within the walls. The Arbiter’s Grounds was after all a prison for the most renowned and feared war criminals to have ever walked the land. Amongst them were powerful sorcerers, well versed in magic, and other dark arts. Having fought the undead before Link knew that the spiritual world could very well have an impact on the physical one.

Hyrule claimed ownership of the structure as the constant presence of a 500 strong garrison of Knights around the grounds reminded anyone who would entertain the thought of claiming the place. Link could clearly see that the Arbiter’s Grounds was a Gerudo construction at its core. This was evident in King Hyrule’s indifference towards the magnificence of the structure and his annoyance at Simpas’ constant historic references every time they passed a new room or chamber.

Finally after what seemed like an eternity to Link they reached their destination, the Mirror Chamber. Despite its name it wasn’t a chamber, but a massive, round, coliseum shaped, roofless clearing with towering Ornate Pillars surrounding it. Six crested pillars in total, one for each ancient Sage as Link could make out each individual medallion that represented them. The pillars and the structure were so large that the entire complex could be seen for miles away.

It was roofed by the stars on the clear skies and chilly desert night. All the eyes of the party however were lined up on the one individual at the center of the chamber, bound to a massive ebony stone slab with what seemed like the thickest strongest chains a Hylian Smith could have built. It was none other than the Gerudo King Ganondorf.

From the distance at which they stood, observing from a balcony on the second level of the chamber, Ganondorf didn’t appear to be the imposing two and a half meter tall man who had killed a dozen Hylian Knights in the siege that got him captured 5 winters prior. The surprise siege had been thwarted by King Hyrule after being warned of it by Zelda and Impa.

Much to Link’s annoyance, the King and the General were oblivious to his doing in all of this, in fact he wouldn’t have been invited to witness the event had Zelda not exercised much to her father’s dismay her right for a Royal escort of her own choosing. She also argued that Link should be present as a representative of the Kokiri who Ganondorf had greatly harmed when he poisoned the Great Deku Tree.

Links thoughts were quickly disrupted however when Ganondorf spotted them.

“And so the coward King and his whore Princess make their appearance.” Ganondorf yelled at them from a distance.

The King remained calm as did everyone else, except Link whose spine shivered at the sound of his deep voice. Unlike the rest of the party, Link had a personal history with the chained man. They fought to the death, traded curses and blows with each other in what seemed at times to him a lifetime ago.

To Link’s surprise Ganondorf eyed him and yet seemed to have no recollection of him. It should have been comforting that the anger of such a powerful enemy wasn’t directed at him, but shockingly he found himself annoyed at the fact that his greatest adversary didn’t show a hint of emotion at his presence.

After returning from the future, it felt to Link that he was a non factor in any proceeding regarding the well being of Hyrule. Having his archenemy completely oblivious to the fact that he was his archenemy drove that point home resoundingly.

Before Link could ponder any further on how the mighty (himself) had fallen, the Ancient Sages as if summoned by some invisible magic, appeared in front of their respective medallions. Link was far away to be able to discern much details, but they looked like six scrawny pale ghosts. It was a surreal scene, and for the first time he could see that both King Hyrule and General Stonard were clearly disturbed, even scared of what was unfolding in front of them. Impa took a step forward making clear that if something went wrong the only way to Zelda would be through her.

Link himself clenched his fists as the ghastly shapes spoke in unison.

“For attempting to enter the sacred realm, the murder of the Great Deku Tree, the countless of lives taken, and betraying the Royal family by attempting to enter the Sacred Realm. We the Ancient Sages who have watched over Hyrule for centuries untold sentence you Ganondorf King of Thieves to die!” The sound of their voices had been even more chilling than Ganondorf’s own final cry when the Sages pointed a shining blade at him.

“Curse you all!”

Link watched stunned as in the blink of an eye the sword pierced Ganondorf’s mid section, killing him almost instantaneously.

Both the King and The General broke the silence that followed as they smiled pleased at the turn of events,
“See? He was just a man after all. Demon King nonsense.” The General boasted with a new found courage that seemed utterly missing seconds before Ganondorf’s demise.

“Something is wrong!” Link said instinctively. There was no reason to blurt that out, but he felt it even before his left hand and Zelda’s right hand began to glow.

“The Tri-Force!” Zelda replied in astonishment.

There was a collective gasp coming from the Sages. The gasp was even more chilling then their words had been when passing down their judgments. Ghosts crying out in sheer terror at the sight of a moving, living Ganondorf was a sound that would haunt Link for the remainder of his life how long or short that may be.

“You shouldn’t have sent me back.” Link cursed under his breath as he drew his sword much to the surprise of King Hyrule and General Stonard who were too stunned to move. ‘Perhaps Ganondorf was right about the King being a coward’ Link thought.

Other than Link, only Impa seemed willing and ready for whatever Ganondorf would do, as the King of Evil seemed to have no trouble breaking his chains.

In what seemed like another blink of an eye, Ganondorf shattered one of the sages with a punch. It had been the one that had stabbed him. Judging by the shattering of the water medallion, it had been the end of the Water Sage.

For a moment Ganondorf turned his eyes toward Link, a blinding anger burned within them. He had regained the god like form that Link remembered.

“He remembers.” Link muttered ready to face the nightmare yet again before the giant opaque mirror behind Ganondorf began to glow.

Ganondorf, blinded by hatred for Link, didn’t realize he was being sucked into the mirror until it was too late for him to escape it. Once Ganondorf disintegrated into the mirror, the device went back to its opaque self, and the sages disappeared leaving the stunned party alone in the chamber with only the sound of the desert wind left as company for them to digest what had transpired right before their eyes.

“Oh The Sage of Water…” Simpas solemnly lamented. The old man really seemed perturbed.

“What the hell happened?” General Stonard cut in, grabbing the poor decrepit Simpas by the shoulders, and violently shaking him in a futile and misguided attempt to extract information.

“General! You are embarrassing yourself!” Zelda commanded in clear frustration. “This poor soul knows no more than we do.”

“I-I apologize your Highness.” Stonard said as he loosened his grip on the old man. Link curiously eyed the General. He didn’t seem too bright or particularly formidable. Both the general and the King looked at each other dumb founded. Simpas seemed to know more than he let on, but Link figured the old man was afraid to say anything that would incite the fiery General to further question him.

To Link however, what had transpired was clear. Just like in the future Ganondorf couldn’t simply be killed. They should count themselves lucky that the Gerudo King didn’t turn into Ganon after receiving the mortal wound. The silence in the chamber continued until Link decided to add his two rupees.

“Ganondorf cannot die…he holds the Triforce of Power.” Link informed them as-a-matter-of-fact as he sheathed his sword back in its scabbard.

“Foolish forest boy! Ganondorf never made it to the sacred realm, we saw to that!” General Stonard erupted again, this time directing his ire towards Link. It didn’t surprise the youngster, the entire point of his previous comment had been to out stage the general.

“Not on this timeline…” Link replied as he turned to face Zelda, “You shouldn’t have sent me back.”

Stonard forcefully grabbed Link’s shoulder. He was a massive tan skinned man with a broad jaw line and broad powerful chest. He was easily twice Link’s weight and yet Link didn’t flinch as he stared him down.

“Touch me again and you will lose your hand.” Link stoically warned him. Before Stonard could reply the King intervened,

“Impa! Take the Princess and the forest runt back to Hyrule! I will hear no more of this nonsense.” Impa nodded at the command. Zelda dutifully followed and Link simply turned around to follow suit. He too was tired of the nonsense himself and had to ponder hard on what Ganondorf’s survival and the Triforce still being split into three parts meant for Hyrule’s future and his.

As they made their way back to the entrance of the Grounds Impa broke the silence,

“Kid, threatening a knight more so in the case of a general can lead to incarceration and execution.”

Link shrugged at the warning with a dismissive gesture. He had seen how easily the entire Hyrule Army had fallen to Ganondorf before. He had little respect for them or their pompous leader. He was the one who had saved them all. He wasn’t an arrogant person before, but he was quickly turning into one due to the lack of respect shown towards him.

“I didn’t save this land, twice now, to have a fool like Stonard question me.” Link replied sternly before smiling, “Anyways, I have nothing to worry about. It seems you Hylians do a fine job at executions. Today couldn’t have gone better-” before he could insert another smart comment Zelda cut him off.

“Your behavior is disgraceful. I risked a lot to get you here so that you could witness the end of this story. And what do you do?” Zelda yelled at Link she didn’t seem to appreciate his mocking tone and sarcasm.

“I did nothing your Highness. I stated the truth. Ganondorf has the Triforce. What he did in the previous timeline has an effect on the Triforce on this timeline it seems. We all have it still! This isn’t the end of the story. You sent me back and you shouldn’t have!” Link responded in an aggressive tone.

Zelda walked in front of him and turned to face him. Her blue eyes glistening full of determination and anger.

“’You shouldn’t have sent me back’ that’s all you have been repeating since you arrived that day to warn me of Ganondorf’s plot. I am not ‘her’ but if she sent you back then she had her reasons. Your duty is to your King and to the land, which you accomplished well, and now you get to live the rest of your life in peace for you efforts. But you are not happy with that it seems!” Zelda stated. Link had seldom ever seen her so distressed. She was right though, he had never been able to get over the fact that he was sent back against his will. But how dare her down play his now anonymous sacrifice? He had given everything he had to save Hyrule, to save her.

“You are right. I can’t blame you…or anyone. You have no recollection of anything I did in the future to save the land…from the fiery pits of Death Mountain to the frozen lands of the Zora. No one in the world will ever know. Your father never believed me. He had dozens of men killed in Castle Town because he didn’t apprehend Ganondorf when I first warned you. I am just a ‘Forest runt’ after all. I assume now after this I shall be dismissed and I will never see you again since I am no longer needed and all.” Link vented out, and he felt good about it.

Zelda stood there frozen, her eyes became shallow pools of water. It seemed to Link like she was trying to find strength to say whatever she was about to say next. It wasn’t going to end well for him that much he knew from the look she gave him.

“We all have our duties…” Zelda motioned for Impa to leave them, “Go on ahead Impa we know our way out.” Impa nodded and walked away from them.

Zelda clutched her chest with both hands. Link was used to that. She would clutch her chest every time she was under extreme anxiety.

“Do not think for a second that I haven’t missed you. That I didn’t miss you when you left on your Fairy’s search, and that I didn’t miss you when you returned my Ocarina, and left for the ranch. That I will not miss you when I send you away for a final time today. And that it didn’t hurt the other ‘me’ to send you back.” Tears began to stream down Zelda’s cheeks as she took a deep breath looking briefly away from Link in order to avoid a complete breakdown.

Zelda swallowed hard and straightened herself. She would be Queen someday and tough decisions had to be made. Duty hurts sometimes, Impa had taught her that. “My duty as the only heir to the throne is to keep the country unified and in peace. After what happened today, my duty is to submerge myself in my studies to see if Ganondorf is gone from Hyrule once and for all, and if he is not, to prepare myself and the ones who follow after me for an eventual return. When I assume the throne I will reward you with lands and lordship, and I will have the scribes write about your deeds, as it seems that is all you care about. And so…” she swallowed her tears and resumed, “and so Link, bearer of the Triforce of Courage, and my….the Hero of Time. I release you from your duties to your King and country so that you can resume your life in the forest or however you see fit. This is good bye.”

Link couldn’t believe what he was hearing. She sent him away again. Silent tears flowed again from the Princess in reaction to Link’s own silent and solemn tears. The wind got a bit chillier but it wasn’t the temperature, it was a stirring inside of him that shook in utter disbelief that after all he had gone through Zelda could just send him away like that. Again.

“I want no lands, not this way. I will leave and never bother you again but first I have to say this.” This time it was Link’s turn to look away for a brief moment in order to gather himself, “You won’t remember because I met you twice at the courtyard. Because I was sent back you will only remember when I came to warn you. But the first time I met you…I felt…something inside me jump in a scare…I haven’t figured out why yet. Maybe I never will but my soul remembered something that day.” Link stared into her eyes for a brief moment ‘We were meant to be together’ Link wanted to say but instead he bowed down before the Princess. If she wanted a formal dismissal of his services she would get one.

He stood up, looked at her one last time, and resumed his walk towards the exit but not before stopping and with his back still turned to the Princess he said his final words.

“My duty…was only to you.” And with that he left.

Chapter 3

Hyrule’s Forest, Present Day…

In the seven years that passed since Ganondorf poisoned the Great Deku Tree, its protective magic waned and weakened allowing for more Moblins and other dark creatures to make their way into the deeper areas of the forest threatening the Kokiri’s way of life.

Link would routinely patrol the outskirts of the forest killing foes in an effort to protect his home and the other children. While the Tree’s magic had remained strong for a few years following its demise, after Link’s return from Termina winters got colder, more sections of the forest lost their leaves during Fall seasons, and monsters crept closer to Kokiri Forest.

Link’s duty had been to protect the Kokiri boundaries long enough for the Deku Sprout to mature in order to renew the magical barrier at full strength. The sprout which talked and had recovered most of its former self’s memories had enough power to protect Kokiri Forest but not Lost Woods.

And so in this latest patrol he ventured to the far northern boundaries of Hyrule’s forest. The freezing temperatures and the chilly snow charged winds had dulled his sense of smell as he battled a runny nose and a growingly numb face.

Through it all he could still perceive a faint smell of smoke in the winds. Smoke could only mean a pack of Moblins, specially that far north in the woods.

“We should turn back, it’s getting heavier by the hour.” A tiny female voice behind his left shoulder advised.

“No. We are close Aryl. I can smell the smoke.” Link replied.

Though he had to admit that Saria’s fairy had a point. They had ventured far north from Lost Woods, and the inches of freshly fallen snow kept piling up on the ground. Link wasn’t as cold as he should have been as he wore a Zora tunic underneath his winter thick woolen Kokiri one. His fingers and face however were exposed to the cold and felt very numb for it. Visibility was being impaired too. The trees of the area looked dead and leafless, but there were plenty of them at every turn making the place darker than it should have been. Perhaps that far out from Lost Woods under those conditions didn’t really help Kokiri Forest either way whether he killed a Moblin or not.

“Aryl, the wind has slowed a bit for the moment. Fly up and look for fires.” Link commanded, and the Fairy flew up in a burst of light looking like a tiny moving star maneuvering through the falling snowflakes.

As Link looked up tracking Aryl, he couldn’t help but miss Navi. Aryl was a capable Fairy, and their friendship had grown over the past few years, but she was still Saria’s fairy, Navi had been his. Link didn’t have enough time to sulk on his thoughts however as Aryl quickly flew back down to his shoulder. Once the Fairy was safely tucked between his back and his shield she confirmed Link’s suspicions,

“You are right, northwest, about 10 minutes at our current pace. A bon fire, three shapes around it.”

“Moblins?”

“Most likely, big shapes.” Aryl affirmed.

“Okay then. You know the drill.” Link said as he resumed his march.

The drill was simple. Aryl would stay hidden, other wise they could risk getting spotted from a considerable distance by the enemies. Fairies were brighter than torches. They were hard to miss. Finally Link would try to stealthily approach and kill the enemies with carefully shot arrows. It is a formula that had always worked for the most part. The times it didn’t? Link had to get his hands and sword dirty.

In what seemed and felt like the longest ten minute walk he had ever taken, Link finally caught a glimpse of the fire and the party of three Moblins. Aryl had been right, the Moblins were good sized. More interestingly they were well armored. Their pig looking heads were exposed though, and because of the wind they had picked a clearing at the bottom of a small hill to get their fire going.

“Well we have the upper ground. I should be able to hit them before they even know what’s going on. Either way, be ready.” Link whispered, Aryl’s silent reply meant she was on board.

Link drew his bow, with his left hand he placed an arrow, pulled the string, and took aim. His aim was directed at what seemed to be the leader of the Moblin trio. The biggest, most muscular Moblin would be the first one to die.

It was a 30 yard shot, a shot Link could nail under normal circumstances while blindfolded. But the wind, snow, and numb fingers added a degree of difficulty. That said, he made the shot without any major inconveniences. The arrow struck right through the forehead of the Moblin, immediately causing a commotion with the two remaining foes. Before the first arrow had hit its intended target, Link had already reached for a second one, so the Moblin directly to the dead one’s right fell from an arrow that struck his neck.

So far so good and yet the third one sprinted to Link’s right, disappearing from view.

“Aryl! Fly!” Link shouted prompting the fairy to fly away from Link while maintaining a low altitude.

The idea was that Aryl’s otherworldly brightness would attract the attention of the remaining Moblin giving Link ample time and space to spot and kill him.

The tactic had worked flawlessly before, so it came as a shock when Link heard a war cry and thudding steps right behind him. Instinctively, Link dived and rolled out of his stationary position, and good thing he did considering a massive club smashed the area where he had just been kneeling in.

Link dropped his Fairy bow and drew his sword and shield. Moblins were dumb brutes, but the one currently threatening Link’s life was an exception to the rule it seemed, but the fact remained that at the close distance at which they were about to clash Moblins were dangerous and deadly.

Link was 17 winters old, though his time traveling adventures made him feel twice that age at times. His body however was that of a scrawny 15 year old kid. The time he had spent in Termina had frozen his aging process for two full winters. The disparity in size didn’t escape this smartest of Moblins, as he bum rushed Link, grabbed a hold of his shield, and tossed him like a rag doll against a nearby tree trunk.

Link felt the wind knocked out of him, and almost didn’t roll his head in time to survive a massive fist to the face from the Moblin. The punch still devastated Link as it caught him on the left cheek bone sending him on a what seemed like a fateful tumble down the bottom of the hill where the Moblin’s bon fire still burned in the middle of the two fresh pig men corpses.

‘Killed by a Moblin’ Link lamented as he came to a crashing halt at the bottom. For a moment, the memories of Malon’s bright smile and Zelda’s always worrisome expression flashed before his eyes. Zelda seldom smiled he thought. ‘Zelda…It was always Zelda.’ The realization of those thoughts flashed out like life long revelations.

‘You shouldn’t have sent me back’ A sadness suddenly overtook him. Link wasn’t afraid. He was too stunned to feel fear. He wasn’t even angry at his killer to be. He was however full of regrets. Regrets which he secretly carried, some which he had denied to admit even to himself and now flowed as freely as the blood from his wounds in his last agonizing moments. He regretted not opening himself up to Zelda, not giving Malon a chance, not staying at the Ranch, and even not being properly grateful to poor Saria. Most of all he regretted the fact that he would be forgotten, even possibly by the former two women. Saria wouldn’t forget him, ‘She never would’ he took some comfort in that.

The Moblin was upon him now, with his massive club in hand, burning red eyes and a blood thirsty grin as he showed him his fangs. He couldn’t move out of the way. He was too bloody and broken for that. He could taste his own blood with each swallow. His left eye has closed and his cheekbone felt broken. As the Moblin raised his club for a final strike, a most unexpected thing happened. Aryl launched herself at the Moblin’s face disrupting his motion for a second. A second long enough for Link to stand and thrust his blade under the Moblin’s pig like jaw.

Link’s hand had never released its grip on the blade even as he fell tumbling down the hill. Old habits die hard, and that habit of clutching his blade no matter what turmoil befell him had saved his life this time.

He did forgo his habit after stabbing the Moblin though, as he didn’t have the strength to pull the blade back out. As it turned out he didn’t even have the strength to remain up right as he fell to the side with a thud.

He survived the Moblin, but his world was quickly turning black all the same. The last his eyes saw was the dimming silhouette of Aryl…or was it Navi?