Legend Of Zelda Fan Fiction ❯ The Legend of Link: Lucky Number 13 ❯ The New King of Evil Pt. 01 ( Chapter 11 )

[ Y - Young Adult: Not suitable for readers under 16 ]

Chapter Eleven

We both walk outside hand in hand, and almost arm in arm. Our sexual escapades began again at about noon, leading us from the bed down the hall and into the bathroom-and I'm still standing! Kinda surprised it's still light out, but that light is sunset, so that observation will change in an hour or two.

"Do you think they heard us?" Nab suddenly asks, perhaps feeling the heat from the crowd's eyes. Smirking some, I don't immediately respond. For even with my ordinary gauntlets on, I can feel happiness radiating through her hand into my own. She even walks a little bolder-chest out, shoulders back, and head tilted almost to the sky. Surprising still, she's yet to stop smiling.

I laugh, but finally reply, "Do they have ears?"

The smile on her face grows, as does a faint blush in her cheeks, but she doesn't seem to be too concerned. As for me, I could care less if all Hyrule heard. Which they probably did thanks to her bathroom wailing. Who knew Nabooru would get so into being done from behind? Not I, but that's something that I'll file to memory. In the present, we stand once again in the Archery Track.

"Think you can break your old score, Hero?" Nabooru asks giving me that sly grin. I prepare to kiss her when I feel multiple presences. Must they always follow her?

"I guess I'm on display again, huh?" I say to the group of smiling faces, all of which smile that we-heard-you-two-screwing smile. "Well, since I do have my bow and we've acquired this lovely horse, I'll give it a go." I know it isn't really like that with them; it's just sort of a "Let's all meet the new guy and see if he goes crazy" kind of thing. Walking towards this horse, I know I'm being watched. Obviously, I know they're watching me, but so is something else. I've felt this gaze before, but where? Ah well, I'll deal with it in time. I mount the horse and take a second to get acquainted.

"Yah," I snap the reins and take off towards the far target. Nice speed, even stride, and good pacing-excellent quality this horse is. I take my bow and an arrow from over my shoulder, and draw back: Pot one, smashed. Pot two, smashed. And then another. I leave the rest for my second pass, and focus on smashing bull's eyes. 300 points off the first high target alone. Come on, just a little bit more. Yes! The final four pots are smashed to pieces; two more bull's eyes are all I need. My last two arrows are going into the final high target. Deep breath, hold it, and quick release-one bull's eye and… the 20-point ring. Damn.

"Your score is 1,920. Not bad, Hero," Nabooru says sweetly, though, obviously mocking me. "I thought you had 2,000 for sure this time."

Sure, just because she can get a perfect score with her eyes closed, and I can only get a constant 1,920, I need pity.

"Damn near 10 years of doing this and I still can't get 2,000." I shrug and dismount the horse. Great, can't even do this right anymore. "Guess I can add klutz to my list of names now."

How I managed to drop the stupid bow I'll never know…whoa. She's rubbing my back with this many Gerudo around?

"What happened to your back? Looks like a bunch of sand leeches on it."

Geez, Sepaaru doesn't cease to amaze with her boldness.

"Stop that!" Nabooru shouts, grabbing the girl's wrist.

"Nah, it's all right," I respond to her agitation. "I was chewed up. That's the first time anyone's said the scars looked like sand leeches, though." I stand tall again, rubbing the matching oblong scars on my chest, and awaiting more questions.

"Chewed up by what?"

And to my shock, I get them.

"A giant fish named Gyorg."

Majora's Mask was a cakewalk compared to that thing. I must admit, though, I haven't looked at a fish the same way since. I can tell she has a few more questions, but under the look Nabooru is giving, I'd be silent too.

"Anymore questions?"

It's not like I have anything to do today, and this could break some of the awkward staring. I give Nab a small smile to indicate I really don't mind answering the questions, which she eventually accepts.

"How come you got chewed up?" Sepaaru asks that like I had a choice in the matter.

"It's hard to fight underwater, not to mention fight a fish that swims faster than most horses run," I reply, making my way over to the crates. I may as well sit down because I have a feeling I'll be talking for a while. "Got too close to its mouth and…chomp! It sucked, but I lived. So, it all worked out."

"So how'd you hold your breath long enough to kill it?" she asks letting more and more of her grown-up façade fall off.

"Didn't have to, I was a Zora at the time so I could breathe fine."

Three, two, one…

"What? No way!" Can I call them or what?

"Hero, they don't know about the masks," Nabooru adds in reference to all the blank stares.

"Yeah, I think you, Ruto, and Saria are the only people I showed those things to." I shrug it off, and prepare to explain myself. "Anyhow, I guess I could show the rest of you later on." The majority seemed appeased with that, except for one.

"I wanna see now."

From adult, to amused teen, all the way down to a whining three-year-old, the many forms of Sepaaru.

"Enough, if he says we'll wait, we'll wait." Nabooru interjects on my behalf, bestowing the "look" upon the girl.

"If you want to see that bad-and I'm not trying to undermine the Queen and all-go to her room and look in that bag I was carrying. There should be three masks inside."

We both look at Nabooru who seems to be thinking something over at present.

"You can go, but it isn't my room any longer," she amends, bestowing me with that dazzling smile. "It's our room now." She takes a seat on my lap, and my face defaults to smile.

"Excuse me, go to our room and get the masks." I steal a kiss, and, by the way that she's leaning into it, I'm not stealing at all.

"I'll be back in a second!" Sepaaru yells already more than halfway across the track.

"Anyone else have any questions until she gets back?" I feel kind of like a show-and-tell project, but what's a guy to do?

"I have one: why are you all cut up to begin with?" Nabooru asks. "You drank that blue stuff and all the wounds Sepaaru caused disappeared without a trace." She looks over my body this time not with lust, but in wonderment at the faded burns, claw marks, sword slashes, and random teeth imprints.

"Fairies," I tell her, "they healed me up. They leave scars, though. If I had been thinking, I would've stayed knee-deep in the potions, because they heal and get rid of the evidence all in one gulp. The price one pays for being cheap, I suppose." Hmmm, guess you were right; my sense of humor does stink. "Did I say something wrong?" Goddess, everyone looks so sad all of a sudden. Their eyes all cascade down my body… the scars? "What's the big deal?"

"Have you ever looked in a mirror?" one of the women finally asks.

Of course I have, what kind of idiot hasn't looked in a mirror?

"Yeah," I say flippantly.

"Can I see your shield for a second?" I don't answer; I simply move Nabooru off my lap and give the woman what she asks for. "Look at yourself. I mean, really look at yourself." She shakes under the weight of the shield, but holds it steady enough for me to see a flawless reflection of myself.

I sit here and stare at my upper body. While I made a mental note of every wound I've ever received, I don't think I've really ever seen them all at once or bothered to pay them any real attention until now.

"What's the matter, Hero?" I hear Nabooru ask. "You act like you've never seen them before."

I hear what she says, but it just doesn't register. I'm too lost in the memories now.

"Most of these I got when I first started the Hero of Time bullshit," I suddenly snap in a spiteful monotone. "I was just a little boy wandering around alone, attacked at every turn by something out for my blood. I see a lot of them got what they came for." My left hand, my sword hand, begins to shake as I recount some of the worst times. "Rolled over by that giant dodongo, electrocuted to within an inch of my life by that jellyfish thing in Lord Jabu-Jabu's belly, then burned by that flaming dragon Volvagia-it was just the first time, though. I had to do it again, and again, and again. Keep getting up, Link! Keep moving, they're coming, Link! Link, look out! Get up, Link! Bleed later, Link! You have to keep going, and fulfill the prophecy, Link!"

I sit here alone talking to myself in the mirror, touching each of these scars, and remembering the pain. More than that, though, I remember the cruelty of the beings that sentenced me to that hell. I glance at my stomach now; this scar is the clearest of them all. It covers the entire length, left to right, of my belly and it's about three or four inches wide. My eyes begin to twitch, pulsating with the intensity of my gaze into that mirror. They narrow, seeing only that pain in my life and none of the joy. I killed them all except for those three, and I know I'll never get a chance to make them pay for any of this.

"Who gave you that one?"

My eyes move toward the voice this time, surprised to find another person, but slowly move back to the reflection. Funny, I forgot anyone else was here for a second there. I casually rub my stomach-the dealer is not going to enjoy hearing this. I try to ebb the anger and hatred down before I speak, but it isn't going well.

"Oh this," I answer lightly, but with something bubbling just beneath the surface. "You gave me this little number." I try to elevate my voice into a happy register, but, as it left my mouth, it sounded like aggressive sarcasm blended heavily with accusation.

"I did not!" Nabooru shouts.

"On my very first trip through time you did." And even that sounded harsh, but I can't help it! I tear my eyes away from the reflection, unclenching my sword hand to an obnoxious sound of knuckles popping back into place. "Koume and Kotake-Twinrova to you all-had captured you, Nabooru. In that time, I guess they thought you'd be better as an Iron Knuckle guard. To make an even longer story short, you swung low when I thought you'd go high. And for my error, I was disemboweled and dead for the third or fourth time in the Desert Colossus alone."

I pause for a breath and to give her time to respond, because you just don't tell people you've died three or four times and expect them to accept it.

"There's no way you could have died three or four times," Nabooru says in a mix of sadness and logical sense.

"Three or four?" I ask in disbelief of such a low count. "Hell, I've been dead at least 20 or 30 times. It just so happened that I always carried a fairy with me wherever I went. Usually, I was only injured to a point where I could barely open the bottle to let it out before my heart quit beating. However, in that case, I was cut open like a fish. Lucky me, I fell on the bottle with the fairy, releasing it to resurrect me again. From there, I managed to beat the rest of the armor off you, which broke the witches' spell. I went on to kill them, which led to a bunch of other pointless pain and suffering, and that led me to do it all over again. All in all, a damn nifty way to grow up."

This time my voice manages to reach the happy tone, but it doesn't help group morale.

"I'm not sad about it," I assure them, throwing in the good smile for affect, "a little angry, but I'm not sad." I have to say something motivational; I can't take all these sad faces, especially when hers is one of them.

"I found the masks!" Sepaaru shouts running to a sliding stop in front of us.

Whew! Maybe this can lighten the dreary mood I've put them all in.

"You said there were three, but I found this funny one of you. So I brought it, too."

I wonder how I forgot that one. Why didn't I use that mask to fight Ganondorf? Easy, I didn't know if it would have any effect. I was definitely thinking about it, but I had this dream I used it and got sent back. Not only was I sent back, but I got sent back with a message from Zelda: "If only you didn't wear that mask. We would've been together." Needless to say, the mask option became void after that. You know, out of all the masks, I don't think I've put this one on since the events in Termina. That's probably because I felt a little too connected to it, and who knew the consequences of walking around in that thing for a few days.

"Let me get that from you." I don't even want to know what the results of her putting that on would be. "It's been a while, but here goes." I take a few casual breaths before bringing the Zora Mask to my face.

In a distant part of my mind, I hear a few startled gasps, more than likely from the sounds of my bones being cracked and reformed. The transformation completes with a pop and a flash of light.

"So, how do I look?" I look like a fish-man, duh.

"Cool!" Sepaaru says, idly poking one of my fins for authenticity. "What can you do now?"

I definitely have enough magic to do this.

"Not much in this heat, but I can do this." I flare up the electric shield, which is met by a bevy of amazed gasps. "Other than... ah! Don't touch! You can get fried." Gyorg's kids are a testament to that. "Beyond that there's only Zora fighting techniques, a fishbone guitar, and a built-in boomerang. All of which I can mess with later, cause this heat is killing me."

Nabooru arches forward hearing that. Carefully choose my words? Now you tell me.

"Do this one next!" Can I not take a moment to breathe before she insists I contort again?

"Goron Link it is then." Fine, I'm a sucker for a cute kid. "Aaah!"

Did I happen to say this mask's transformation hurts like a bitch? I hope my stitches don't split because of this. Why do I think they would split? Hmm, let's see. It could have something to do with the fact my muscles grow until they're the size of tree trunks. At any rate, pain is definitely well defined with this one.

"Wow! Your arms are huge!" Sepaaru punches one of my massive limbs, but looks a little befuddled by the creature I have become.

"Yeah… Blah, I forgot my voice gets all screwy when I'm in this form. But check this out," I say in mid-tuck. Before they know it, I'm off and rolling… literally. Whee! Man, this is the most fun I've had since... hmmm, the bathtub with Nab this morning. Speaking of her…

"Hey!" she laughs, pulling her feet up onto the crate and away from my rolling form.

"You have to come down sooner my pretty!" Maybe the Koume laugh is a bit much? Well, Nabooru's laughing, so that's all that matters. Time to call it a day in this bad boy, I can walk through lava but a little direct sunlight and things get super hot. "That, ladies, and even more ladies, is a wrap." I pop the mask off and my body returns to normal.

"Link, where'd you get these from?" Sepaaru asks. Hmmm, why did she have to ask that? Guess I'll have to drown the happy mood in more depressing antics.

"The little wooden one, my dear friend Skull Kid trapped me in," I laugh, recalling how much that pissed me off. "The Zora Mask I got when I tried to save this Zora named Mikau. Unfortunately, he died on me. The mask with his spirit was left with me, though, which helped greatly in my quests. Now, the Goron Mask I got from this dead Goron warrior named Darmini…"

"All but two of these are from dead people?" Nab asks in a disgusted sort of way, looking at the Fierce Deity Mask in particularly hard.

"Well, the Deku Mask was actually the dead son of a royal Deku Shrub Advisor," I add with as many casualties allowed. Those three helped me tremendously, even though they were dead.

"Who gave you that one?" Varia, of all people, asks, ending my observational staring at Nabooru.

I extend my hand to Nab, who gives me the Fierce Deity Mask.

"This one was given to me by a mask itself," I tell them. "I was sent to stop an evil in a land called Termina. And, to my shock, the mask Skull Kid had on was the new evil. Anyway, it sucks me up inside of the moon, and proceeds to tell me this story. Unfortunately, I didn't pay attention. Anyway, when the story was done it threw this mask at me." I stare into the solid black eyes of the… what? "What the hell?" It isn't supposed to have eyes!

"What, what's wrong?" Nabooru asks jumping to attention beside me.

"Eyes-it isn't supposed to have eyes!" I shout. "And why the hell is it doing that?"

First eyes, and now a smile-what in the hell is going on here? It doesn't even feel like wood. This thing is alive!

"Ah!" I drop the mask to the ground, shaking my hands. It just burned me! My face curls up in confusion, noticing the mask still smiles up at us with sinister intent.


With that, it bolts into the sky.

"Link, tell me that's one of your jokes." Nabooru holds my singed fingertips in her hands, but the look on my face indicates this isn't my doing. I wish I had an answer for her, but I don't.

"I wish I could, but I'm innocent." I keep scanning the clouds for a possible attack, but all I find is a bird.

"Squawk," I hear from the far end of the track, where the guay lands atop the target.

"What is it Link?" Nabooru asks cautiously, but still unwavering for the most part.

"Something's not right," I almost whisper while picking my shield up.

I hear the others walking in step behind us, in absolute quiet, minus their footsteps of course.

"It's just a guay," I hear someone mutter, but it isn't that simple.

It's too coincidental that a bird that large would just happen to show up when the Fierce Deity Mask comes to life. There is something off about that bird, I can feel it. It could be the fact that it's a lot larger than usual, or it could be that the thing's eyes are glowing red!

"Stay back!" I shout suddenly, which sounds so cheesy and storybook hero until I almost want to gag.

Every Gerudo freezes cold except one.

"I don't think so," Nabooru replies in typical defy-Link tone.

"Look I don't have time…"


Our argument is cut way short by a flash of black lightning. Nothing is left of the target or the bird except a thick black cloud of smoke and feathers.

"Whoa," the group says in unison. We all exchange looks and shrug, but I still feel like there's something more. Wait a second. Do you hear that?

*Clink* *Clank* *Clink*

Okay, why does it sound like metal clanking together?

"Do you hear that?" I ask Nabooru who appears to be staring at something. "Sounds familiar…"

"No, but I do see it." Her voice is barely audible, making me instinctively cautious. Bracing for the worst, I turn on my heel slowly and find a… cloud of dust? The noise is still ringing clear, but there isn't an image. That's right-the Gerudo have superior vision to normal Hylians. I wonder why I didn't land under the domain of the Sand Goddess-it would've helped a lot. The cloud slowly dissipates, revealing… that isn't even possible. It isn't the cloud that's the problem; it's the silhouette that keeps fading in and out of it. Ten feet and the silhouette, with its odd noise, and glowing red eyes continues to move toward us. "Get back." This isn't open for discussion now, and her reluctant back pedaling shows she knows it too.

Three feet and he stops. How do I know it's a he? Look for yourself…

"Hello boy," Ganondorf muses as his dust cloud fades. He stands before me in perfect health, to my chagrin, which perturbs me.

"Die!" To hell with him! This ends… now? My sword moves through his torso as if he isn't even there! "Why won't you just stay dead?" I growl, swinging for nothing short of his lungs. Still, the sword does no damage. What kind of magic is this? I'm not even happy for a whole week, and the goddesses are out to fuck me out of it! As I continue to slash, Ganondorf stands there unfazed, looking straight ahead like I'm not even hurting him. What do you mean that's exactly the point? I… damn it! You're right. Well, if I can't hit him that means he can't… "Damn."

He lifts me by my throat with an aggravating ease, but I notice there is no warmth in his touch. Nonetheless, the scale never tips in my favor.

"This is great," I mutter, dangling at his mercy. "Not only can't I kill you, now I can't even touch you!"

The playful smile on his face makes me want to vomit, especially this close to him.

His demeanor suddenly shifts causing him to drop me. "Don't worry, boy. I'm still very much dead," he sees fit to assure me. "I've just been sent to tell you something."

Like I give a rat's ass what he has to say.

"If you came to tell me you're dead, great. Message received," I reply, hopping to my feet and taking up my sword again. "Now, leave me the hell alone." I'm sure I look five shades of murderous, but Gannon just laughs.

"Funny, but that wasn't the message."

Why am I not surprised?

"If I listen to your stupid little message, will you go away?"

"If," he repeats, laughing as though he's sincerely amused. "One, you don't have a choice in the matter. Second, I can't leave until I tell you. So the sooner I talk, the sooner I can go." He stays surprisingly calm, which only partially sates my appetite to wipe him off the map.

"Talk fast." I refuse to waste more words than necessary on this bastard, but I do open my ears.

"Very well," Ganondorf begins, which puts me in a sour mood. Sour due to the fact he's holding my left hand and I can't make him let go! "Someone is out to destroy Hyrule, and it's up to you to save it."

You have got to be kidding me. My entire body jolts, and then tightens into one big knot. Not this shit again… no, not again…

"If you're still dead, who the hell is it this time?"

Ganondorf laughs, laughs long and hard before he replies. "This is where it gets interesting," he says, cracking up once again. "That someone is... Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha! That someone is you!" He laughs maniacally, while finally getting my gauntlet off.

"What the fuck do you mean it's me? Ow!" This is vastly humiliating. Ganondorf is back from the grave, I can't hit him, but he can slap me with my own gauntlet, and he tells me I'm going to destroy Hyrule. Yep, life stinks-stinks like hot donkey ass.

"I want you to think back, Link," he chuckles with a dark and foreboding monotone. "You remember the day I told you that I wouldn't die alone?" He curbs his laughter into a small smile, which mirrors my own.

"I think it was the same day I popped your heart like a bloated balloon and your body burned into vapor." It's my turn to laugh now, and I take full advantage as he frowns. "As I recall, that happened about 10 years ago, which means you did die alone."

"Heh, not quite," he snaps. "That last energy burst I hit you with, I left you a little present inside." He holds my hand up to my face, an act I fail to see the importance in. Ganondorf points at my Triforce mark and his smile returns.

"Triforce insignia, what's your point?" Even while saying that, I can tell something's not right.

"Only this," he holds his hand up, it's his usual Triforce-marked hand, except it's bare.

"And?" He's too calm about this, and that's not a good thing in my eyes.

"And now you understand why I went mad… or you will." His cryptic answer stirs a feeling of dread deep inside of me, but it could just be the proximity. "I only wanted to attain the Triforce to rule Hyrule. However, once it broke apart, let's just say things went from bad to worse. It turns out the Triforce of Power actually feeds off your life."

Don't let him say what I think he's going to say…

"Guess who has my piece?"

Fuck! Wait a minute. "You almost had me fooled. You can't give away Triforce pieces." To think, I almost bought into that crap.

"You can, actually," Ganondorf sees fit to correct me. "After you'd stabbed me for the umpteenth time, I remembered everything again-a reaction to the Master Sword's goodness, I suppose. I always had this feeling of déjà vu, as though I'd done it all before, and your blade only proved me correct. Heh, it appeared as if it was designed so I could never beat you, but I could only survive the Triforce of Power if I did. Without you and the girl's pieces of the Triforce, my piece would continue to eat me alive."

Do I look like I care? Yeah, yeah-pay attention.

"If you remembered all the stuff from the past, why did you keep touching the damn Triforce?" I'm really starting to loathe his smile… again.

He sighs, asking, "Are you even paying attention?"

"Here and there," I reply.

"Anyway, the Triforce pieces stayed in each of us from the very beginning," he informs me, though, losing the smile along the way. "That pain you're thinking about was your piece telling you it was there, I'll assume. Imagine living with that pain each time you went back, regardless of situation, and you see why I had to get rid of the bloody thing! And who better to give such a gift to than my dear, deserving friend Link?"

"You could've just stayed out here, but oh, no-you had to go mess with that stupid Triforce!" The cords in my neck strain as he laughs again. "And, if what you say is true, you really did pass your life-draining piece on to me."

"It was either kill you and Zelda for your pieces to end my pain-something I could never do-or elect to give up my torturous piece for the serenity of death. It was an easy choice, really."

"Go to hell, you sick fuck…"

"Been there, enduring that," Ganondorf replies in a wishy-washy manner, waving his hand dismissively at my tirade.

He gets death, I get Nabooru, and I eventually get death, too. This Hero of Time title gets more and more depressing as my life progresses. Shit, I guess that's digresses now. "Hmm," I hum suddenly, becoming aware of a slight loophole. "I'm not in any sort of pain at all, minus the usual aches. Guess that moots your bullshit, huh?"

"The only reason you aren't in pain is because of the Triforce of Courage," Ganondorf responds subtly. "According to the texts I found, the Triforce of Power is built on courage and wisdom. It needs them for balance. Without those two counterweights, the Triforce of Power manifests its bearer's worst attributes and amplifies them."

I knew there had to be upside in this somewhere…

Nabooru steps forward, adding, "Then, since he has the Triforce of Courage, he should be immune." Should have known she wasn't going to stay back.

"Nabooru, glad to see you're doing so well." He gives a mocking half bow to her with an equally false smirk.

"Ganondorf, glad to see you're still dead," she says with enough venom to make me wince for the beast… almost.

"Immune, his piece doesn't make him immune." He then adds, "You idiot, it takes both the Triforce of Courage and Wisdom to make him immune. He only has the courage part of the equation, and that only slows the process down. The bottom line is this: You, fair hero, are going to become the new evil in Hyrule. And with the Hero of Time becoming the new embodiment of evil, there won't be another strong enough to overthrow you. Kind of ironic, wouldn't you say?"

Gritting my teeth at this fatalistic outcome, I attempt to snatch my hand from his grasp. I can't lose, but I can't win. And why is his grip so strong? Goddamn it!

"Even in death you manage to sprout up like a weed to interfere in my life! I…" From my left palm fires a crimson burst of energy. I saw it, but I don't believe it. Did I just… Did that come from me? I mean, it went right through his face, and I heard it explode against the canyon wall, but that didn't really happen. It couldn't have happened.

""Do you see?" Ganondorf adds, a sound of remembrance marring his words. "Look at your hand."

I'm too blown over not to. My Triforce piece…pieces…are glowing. The top triangulate pulsates an eerie red, as its brethren to the lower right begins to turn an illuminate green. Slowly, the red oozes down into the green, and vice versa, creating a swirling color that bleeds into the blank third triangulate. The Triforce of Wisdom, I imagine, should fill that section. But now, only the corrupted runoff of the others fills that slot. To say I'm in awe is an understatement.

"I wouldn't become too attached," he warns me. "While the power that thing grants is immeasurable, you'll find it requires a certain fuel to sustain itself-fuel it will take whether you want it to or not."

I look up, surprised that Ganondorf's voice has become so serious.

"Of course, with the Triforce of Courage partially fueling it now, Hyrule will break under your hand. And it'll make my reign look infantile in comparison."

I don't respond to his words, which causes him to strike me across the mouth with my gauntlet. That breaks my concentration, causing my hatred to soar.

"This is a first, a dead man gloating…" he smacks me again. "If you hit me with that one more t…" I watch another sphere of energy cascade through his head, leaving it untouched once more.

Apparently, the more upset I get, the more these things fly off at random. Too bad none of this random fire hurts the dead man. Right, right-look at the bigger picture.

"Look, you have four choices: One, give up the Triforce of Courage. But know this: whomever you give it to will become the new Hero of Time. That person will then be destined to chase you through time, killing you over and over again. Your second option is to give up the Triforce of Power. Doing that means you'll still be the Hero of Time, which means only you can kill the person who possesses the Triforce of Power. Moving on, your third choice is to have your little girlfriend give you her piece, but remember what the sages said: 'Only one with a pure heart may possess the Triforce.' And with all the blood on your hands, can you say with certainty it's all guilty? Lastly, you can give up both pieces to two other morons and let them spend eternity chasing each other through time. And I needn't really give you the bonus option, do I? After all, something tells me that you know what that is already." Another arrogant little smirk crosses his face, but my temper still flares up.

"Gee, let me guess, could it be death? You know there's a reason the Triforce was sealed off, you jackass," I shout not in anger at him, but of this situation. "No one can touch it! Rauru, Mr. Super Sage himself, can't even touch it! Hearts don't come much purer than that, and with all the things I've killed and my luck, I'd be blown up for even considering it! Like you said, though, I could just give up both pieces and curse someone else to this fate. Unfortunately, there's no one I hate enough to do that to. So, this is how it finally ends? Completely surrounded by death-no potions, no fairies, just a choice of how fast I want to die. Excellent…"

I finish my tirade with an expressionless Ganondorf staring at me. While Nabooru gently rubs my shoulder trying to keep me calm, he releases my hand for the first time in a long time. Neither action has much of a placating affect.

"Better not touch him, Nabooru!" he chides in mock terror. "His little girlfriend might show up and get jealous."

To his chagrin, Nabooru and I exchange a smile for a moment.

"His little girlfriend has been listening to your ranting for a while now." She drapes her arms around my neck, which in spite of it all makes me feel better.

"That figures," Ganondorf sucks his teeth, but doesn't harp on the subject. "Link, before I go, there's something I need to ask you." There's a switch for your ass.

He's lucky I can't cut him now. If I could, I'd run him through fast enough to make his head spin. I stand silent, which finally registers as the only answer he'll be receiving. I know he didn't expect an answer, that'd be stupid even for him.

"When you do go crazy, try not to kill my little girl."

"What?" I shout, disbelieving that a woman would let him…put his…in her…eeew! Who would be screwed up enough to bear the child of Ganondorf?

"Well, I've got time to serve and torture to endure," he replies off topic, turning and walking back toward the splintered archery target. "This little gig actually cut my original 8-millennia stint in the underworld in half." Bitterly, Ganondorf chuckles as a large portal the color of coal opens in the sky, and he begins to ascend into it. "Not like it has any rewards or merits anymore, but since you killed me in one-on-one combat that makes you the new King of the Gerudo. Don't let anyone steal all that precious sand now! Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha!"

This is like a twisted dream that just keeps twisting.

"And another thing, you have 48 hours to make your choice about the Triforce." I watch him continue to float upwards, and I can feel the power surge to my finger tips… almost as if the power inside of me is akin to that of the portal.

"What the hell do you mean I'm king?" I call out to him. "And who is…your…daughter?"

My question drifts as he disappears inside of the vortex, and it closes with a clap of thunder. I stoop down and retrieve my riding gauntlet, suddenly absorbed in a feeling I can't quite describe. It's now nightfall, and I find myself unbuckling my sheath from around my chest amidst a group of confused women that don't know how to adjust to the news. Sheathed sword in hand, I walk through the group towards the far part of the track where the moonlight casts a dark shadow. This is where I'll bunker down for the night-sword in my left hand, back against the wall, and eyes focused straight ahead. A pulsing light to my left draws my eyes, making me aware of the glow in the veins of my left wrist. They lead, naturally, from the Triforce, a.k.a. the Mark of the Beast.

"Figures," I mutter, but return my eyes to the center of the track to find Nabooru approaching my position. I have to think about some things, so I'll talk to you later… if there is one.