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Chapter 30: The Triforce of Unity
Chapter 30: The Triforce of Unity
Link suddenly had a sinking feeling in his gut as the voice droned on about prophecies, legends, and such. The feeling that that he was as small as an ant. The feeling that he was trapped in something much bigger than he was. They had moved onto the next picture, which showed Link pulling out a sword from a pedestal in a temple. Mega Man had perused the first few pages of the books on the pedestals - "The Hero of Winds", "The Hero of Masks", and so on.
"Ganondorf was from a race of thieves who lived far away in the desert, known as the Gerudo. Only one male is born to them every hundred years, who then becomes the Gerudo king. This king turned out to have the blackest heart of all. He manipulated the king of Hyrule and stole the three spiritual stones from their keepers, the allies of Hyrule's kingdom, the leaders of the Kokiri, the Zora, and the Gorons."
"No," Link responded. "The Zora were never peaceful, and I've never heard of the Kokiri or Gorons."
"The three stones opened the Temple of Time, where the Hero of Time withdrew the Master Sword to fight the evil of Ganondorf. In doing so, he unwittingly opened the door to the Sacred Realm, where Ganondorf used his sorcerer powers to obtain the Triforce. However, the dark man could not hold onto the Triforce, for the balance in his heart shifted to the side of power. This was the piece he kept and used to enslave Hyrule. The other two pieces were bestowed on those chosen by fate to defeat Ganondorf, not existing physically, but in their hearts."
"This is ridiculous," Link interrupted as the voice continued unabated in the background, "Ganondorf was leader of a gang of thieves that accidentally opened a portal to the GOLDEN LAND where the Triforce was. He killed his members and used the Triforce to take over the land. And the master sword was forged during that time, not before it."
"Some legends get distorted over time," Mega Man said.
The voice continued, "The Hero of Time was yet too young to defeat Ganondorf in his powerful form, so the sage of light forced him to sleep for seven years. During that time, Hyrule became a dark place."
"What? What kind of plan is that? How could they do that? Just let Hyrule go to waste?" Link exclaimed, suddenly trying to figure out who 'they' were. The current torch extinguished, and the next one lit, leading them around the corner to a tapestry of seven diverse characters casting beams of light around a fallen monster, with the green-clad hero standing next to him.
"Once Link came of age, he sought the power of the seven sages and used them to seal Ganondorf into the Sacred Realm. Hyrule returned to peace once again. However, in order to gain the power of the seven sages, he was required to travel back and forth through time, creating rifts in the tapestry of fate. When Ganon was defeated, Zelda sent Link back to his own time, seven years before the battle. No one can explain exactly how, but this enabled the trapped keeper of the Triforce of Power to survive unbound by natural laws of death. There was little we could do about it, except this: whenever the evil rose, the two chosen by fate would appear. And so this would continue. This is the legacy."
Link reasoned, "No, Ganon tried to attack the Hyrule Castle with his army and the seven knights of Hyrule and the seven wise men fought The Imprisoning War. And there was a seal. The seal has always been intact. Hasn't it?"
Mega Man shrugged.
The next picture lit up. The voice said, "The hero went onto other adventures and met many others. His tale became a legend. Then the evil came back again, and again, and again. Each time, the land of Hyrule fell into dark times, and each time, a hero has emerged to defeat the evil and send Hyrule back to a time of prosperity."
"It is true," Mega Man said as he pointed. The picture showed a great sea dotted with tiny islands - the land of Hyrule covered by water. "What Captain Horatio said."
"No, it... it can't be," Link said. "This is not the way that it happened."
The voice continued unabated. "These pictures and their correlating volumes depict the extent of your legacy in detail. This is the last bit of knowledge I can impart unto you, the knowledge of your legend. There is no knowledge that is not power, so I can only hope that you use it to your advantage. I know not of the infinitesimal possibilities of the future since my time here. I can only hope that good shall reign and prosperity flourish. Live well, Link. May the way of the hero lead to the Triforce."
The voice became silent. Link and Mega Man kept their ears perked up, waiting for more, but none came.
"Hey, you're not done yet! You've got more explaining to do. Hey!" Link shouted angrily at the darkness. He looked at Mega Man for some sort of guidance, some way to bring the voice back, but he could say nothing.
"This..." Link paced a circle around the room, holding his arm out to the legend in pictures. "This can't be. My life isn't a mistake," he laughed. "It's impossible, I can't... I can't keep coming back for generation after generation and not even know about it. That's impossible. I'm supposed to be part of the Knights of Hyrule bloodline, not the knights!"
"Nothing's impossible, not from what I've seen," Mega Man said.
"There's no... there's no..." Link stared at the back of his hand where the Triforce was, remembering the glow that had faded. "He even knew what my name would be. How many of me could there have been? How many times has this happened?" Link reached up and touched the tapestry showing his cartoonish etching, holding up his sword. "I'm... going to be doing this forever? Forever? Even after I die? I'll still be suffering, constantly having to fight, constantly having to destroy monsters and battling through temples and dungeons and wandering all over Hyrule and never getting to rest. Even after I die, I'll still be doing this. I'll never be able to stop!"
He wound up and hit the picture in the face hard. Breathing heavily, he gasped, "Why? Why me? What did I do? And Zelda!" Link returned to the center of the room, staring up at the ceiling to the invisible form responsible for all this. "Why do we have to pay for your mistake?" he screamed to no one. He received no answer for his pain.
Link thought of how much he just wanted to quit. He was doing this all to achieve a goal that he believed could be accomplished. Now that he found out it could never be, he felt all hope draining away from him. He thought about just putting up his sword and letting evil take over the world, because maybe that's what was meant to happen. If it could survive beyond death it was clearly too powerful for a little guy like him to overcome.
Mega Man came over to Link and put a hand on his shoulder. "As strange as this sounds, I understand."
"No you don't. I'm going to be defeating Ganon over and over and over for all of time. I'll never be able to just take a rest and be able to look to the future and know that it's secured."
"Actually, I do know. Back in my world, there is a great robot scientist named Dr. Wily who uses robots to take over factories, science centers, power plants, important structures. He always engineers eight. I always have to defeat them before I can take care of Wily. And he is always able to come back. Again and again. He's done it six times, and he's always used the same method every time. If I were a human, I would think it would be very frustrating, and after a while I would wonder if there was even a point, since I would never be able to defeat him for one final time." Mega Man stepped away and stared at the poster of a dragon ship on the sea. "The work is never done, it's just a constant cycle that keeps going and going. But trying to figure out why will just make you go insane."
Mega Man saw the waning hope in his eyes and turned back to Link, opening up his hands, trying to appeal to him.
"You just have to keep pushing against the pushers, or the wall between is going to fall and crush you. The cost of peace is eternal vigilance, you always have to be ready and watching for when the next malevolent is going to rear its ugly head. It's the reason why I do the things I do."
Link looked at the first picture of Hyrule castle, bathed in bright light, looking noble and virtuous. "Did you ever find peace?" Link asked.
"I don't know. Every time I think I do, it falls apart and he comes back. It's a cycle. Evil will always exist, but so will good. If I have to be the one to ensure that justice exists, to make that sacrifice, then so be it. It's not fair, but then, neither am I."
Link looked strangely at Mega Man, not understanding what he meant.
"I mean," he continued, "I was created with abilities beyond others around me, even in terms of other robots. They may make them bigger and better, with different abilities, but I still have that special something that keeps me on top even after all these years. I don't know what it is, even my creator doesn't know. If I didn't use those abilities to help others, I wouldn't deserve them. I wouldn't have the right to keep them."
Link looked at the empty back of his hand, almost seeing the effervescent glow of the Triforce, the mark of the hero. "Almost like you were chosen..." Link thought back to all the events over the course of his life, remembering all the good times and bad times, when he was happy, when he was sad, angry, surprised, disgusted, afraid. It was more than most people ever experienced in their entire lives. All of it may have been engineered, but it was engineered for a good reason, and he was the one that could do it.
"You know why I do the things I do?" He looked back up at Mega Man and smiled. "Because of people like you."
Mega Man smiled.
"Let's go. We've got a Triforce to find."
Mega Man and Link exited the historical archive. Link briefly wondered whether he should let others know that this place exists or whether to let Zelda and the others live without the burden of such knowledge. This was not the time for that decision though, more pressing matters were at hand.
Mega Man reaccessed his map and led them to the path not taken. Soon they found themselves outside the maze and ready to head into the next level. Link withdrew his sword, ready for anything. He kicked the door open and rushed in.
Gleaming metal spikes lined the walls of this L-shaped room. Three Armos Knights were standing on the blue tiled floor. The big ones. They stood solid like statues, holding a thick harpoon in one hand and a thatched shield in the other, completely encased in metal armor. "Don't touch them," Link said, "They might-"
The statues rumbled and shook like a tremor, springing to life.
They had to have been sight activated, Link thought as he grabbed Mega Man and pulled him to the side. The knights began bouncing toward the two in perfect unison. They lowered their spears, as if ready to joust, with a metallic shink.
"Split up," Link said. Mega Man went left, Link went right. The knights began pursuing Mega Man exclusively.
"What do I do?" Mega Man yelped. "Are there any vulnerabilities?"
"They're made of metal. Try reasoning with them," Link shouted acerbically, as he backed away, getting his bow ready to help out.
Suddenly, he heard a magical shimmer in his ear and a presence behind him. He turned around and found a man cloaked in lime green with a cone-shaped hat shading his face, except for his glowing yellow eyes. Its hands were raised in the air, sparkling with electricity.
"Wizzrobes!" Link shouted as he dived out of the way.
The wizzrobe thrust its hands forward and a wave of blue energy shot out. Link spun around and fired his readied bow, but the wizard had already disappeared. They didn't call them masters of movement for nothing.
"Mega Man, keep on your toes, there's wizzrobes here!"
"What's a wizzrobe?" Mega Man asked as he fired his plasma cannon at the knights. The plasma was shooting cleanly through their metal armor, but their hollow shells kept coming, regardless of looking like Swiss cheese.
"They're black wizards that shoot magic beams. They disappear and reappear randomly, so watch your..."
Two wizzrobes faded into the area, surrounding Link, building up power in their arms.
Mega Man fired rapidly at the knights, cutting them apart. But nothing was working. Mega Man looked behind him just before he realized the spikes were about to turn him into robot-kabob. The knights leveled their spears at him.
"You like pointy things. Meet some!" Mega Man dived through a hole he had created in the center of the middle knight, and rolled to a stop. He quickly stood up and shoved him into the spikes. The impaled knight disappeared in a puff of smoke. Without hesitation, Mega Man grabbed the other two before they could turn around and shoved them into the spears with the horrendous screeching of metal. They vanished into oblivion.
Link rolled away towards the wall as the wizzrobes fired their shots. He stopped just short of running into the spines jutting out from the walls. Link scrambled to his feet and turned around, but the wizzrobes were already fading away.
"Dammit," Link exclaimed.
Mega Man switched visual acuities at a rapid pace, figuring the wizzrobes were simply cloaked, none of his sensors were registering anything, meaning it was purely magic. He switched back to normal vision.
"Behind you!" Link shouted.
Mega Man spun around and saw a shadowed face staring into him with his glowing eyes. It immediately vanished as an arrow hit it.
"That was close," Mega Man said.
"There's still one more-"
"Behind you," Mega Man shouted. He leveled his arm cannon and fired a gleaming yellow blob behind Link's head. Link ducked as the plasma shot hit the wizzrobe square in the face. He stumbled back from surprise and fell into the spikes, disappearing.
"Thanks," Link said.
The exit door opened, sensing no more evil magic in the room. Link gestured to him to follow. Mega Man ran after him, thinking it odd that despite his firing at Link's head, there were no sorts of warnings that activated that he was about to harm a human. Granted, he had never done anything to warrant such an alert, so he wouldn't know what it would look like when it happened. But if Link hadn't ducked, he would have harmed him, and his system couldn't have known what he would do. Maybe it predicted actions based on previous experience. This wasn't the time to figure it out though.
They traveled through twists and turns in the temple, winding up on a bridge over an endless chasm. Two rows of several large blocks were barricading their way. They could look over the tops of them and saw they were placed in a vague herringbone formation. Moblins were scrambling around the bridge, panicking once the heroes had entered. This told them that they were on the right track. Link fired his bow at some of the ones lagging behind, eliminating them from harm's way. The others skipped into the door on the other side of the blocks.
"We have to push these just right," Link said. "You can only push them once before they lock. I've seen this before."
Mega Man ran a quick program, analyzing the best way to push the blocks to give them an open path without blocking anything. "Here, push that one," he pointed to the upper left block. Mega Man helped him pushing the heavy tile forward. They felt it lock into place, immovable again. "Now this one." They continued pushing blocks until an open path appeared before them. Running to the end of the bridge they entered a dimly lit room with two torches on either side. Link took out his lantern and flared it up to the light the torches.
"Wow, you've got something for everything," Mega Man commented.
"It pays to be prepared."
Suddenly, a laser beam penetrated between them, leaving a scorch mark. The two fell back apart from each other and dove for cover. Two barricades were set up a little ways away, Mega Man took cover under one, while Link scrambled for the other. "Beamos!" the hero shouted. "They fire lasers at you when they see you." Mega Man peeked out from the barricade and saw three emerald green sculptures that looked like an octopus on a pedestal in a row at the other end of the room. Their tops had a small cannon that was rotating at the same rate in the same alignment. The rightmost cannon lined up with Mega Man and fired a red beam. The robot ducked just in time as the ray passed over his head.
"We'll never get through three of them unharmed." Link shouted.
"It's a line-to-sight security laser," Mega Man said. "We have to curve around them. Once we pass over the sight, we'll be fine."
"Cause a distraction?"
Mega Man jumped out from the barricade and jumped around. "Hey, look at me! Look at me! Over here! Can't get me!" he jumped around while Link diagonally crossed over to the next barricade.
"Hmm," Mega Man thought. He charged up a Mega Buster shot to its highest level, popped out from the barricade and quickly shot the middle statue. The rotating cannon exploded clean off. Link smiled as the smoking statue laid at rest, satisfying his urge to defeat those cursed things. Mega Man charged his blaster two more times and defeated the other two beamos when their cannons were turned away. "Piece of cake," he said.
"Brute force and brains - the lethal combination."
They meandered around the defunct security guards and approached the next door. Link noticed the adjacent floor tiles were discolored, painted with the image of a horned skull, like an evil doormat.
"I know I've said this before," Link uttered, still looking down at the design, "But keep on your toes. I have a feeling something bad's about to happen."
Mega Man nodded and opened the door. They found themselves in an empty circular room with no discernable exit. They walked in, looking up and down for something that would solve the puzzle of this room. The door shut behind them, locking in place. They turned around startled. Mega Man was worried, but Link knew what was going on.
"Something's gonna happen," he said. "There wouldn't be an automatic lock without some way to get out." And Link knew from experience that some way didn't come without trouble.
They continued further into the room. The eerie silence felt like a heavy blanket about to smother them.
"It's quiet. Too quiet," Mega Man said. He looked up to the dark ceiling above, hiding the unknown.
"Above!" Link shouted as he headed into the center of the room. Mega Man followed him as he saw two shapes coming down at them.
Two giant piles of bones collected at opposite ends of the room, along with a sword and a shield for each of them. Mega Man's eyebrows furrowed in curiosity, as it seemed their enemies had already been defeated for them. Link, though, pulled out his sword and shield. "Stalfos, great."
Mega Man was amazed as the pile of bones in front of him spontaneously connected its ends together. The skeletal hand grabbed onto the blood red sword sitting in the pile. Its shoulder pads and helmet floated to their places as the formed body of an giant undead warrior with glowing red eyes rose from its mismatched parts. It stood nearly twice the size of either of them.
"One for each of us," Mega Man said.
"I waste no time, only Stalfos!" Link leapt forward and attacked the skeleton warrior. He blocked each of Link's furious blows with his shield, the echoes of metal on metal sounded throughout the room.
They also came from Mega Man who attempted to blast the enemy with plasma shots. The warrior simply jumped from side to side, dodging the blasts.
"Nimble little thing, aren't you?"
The skeleton lunged forward with a vertical chop of his sword. Mega Man barely scampered out of the way in time. He kicked at the skeleton's leg. The femur shot out, toppling the skeleton over into a bag of bones. "That was pretty easy."
Mega Man turned back to Link, who was defending and parrying with his opponent. "Need some help?"
Link leaned back to Mega Man, seeing what he was talking about, while still keeping his Stalfos in the corner of his eye. "No... you need... bomb..." he managed between thrusts.
"What?" Mega Man said, unbeknownst to him, as the Stalfos reassembled himself and overshadowed Mega Man. The robot turned around as he saw the dark shape. He shouted in surprise as another sword came crashing down. He dodged just in time. Mega Man thrust out with rapid-fire fists, but the skeleton warrior blocked with his shield.
Link's sword clanged against the skeleton's shield with tremendous force. The red-eyed giant dodged and blocked the incoming attacks. Link realized the direct approach was having no effect for this skilled swordsman and put up his sword. The skeleton darted back and forth getting ready for another blow. Seeing there was none, he hopped in the air and lunged forward. Link cut away and slashed him in the side, making him utter a low groan. Link continued trying to bait him into attacking.
Mega Man continued pounding with his fists of fury, causing dents in the shield but no hits on his foe. "Screw this," Mega Man said, getting impatient. He clamped his hands on the sides of the circle shield and yanked, tearing it away, along with a hand that was still attached. He flung the shield at the Stalfos neck, decapitating him. His skull flopped to the floor, lifeless. Without his head, he fell apart into a pile of bones.
"Link, a bomb!"
Link, hearing the call, quickly dug into his bag, pulled the fuse to light it, and tossed it behind him, keeping his eyes on his enemy. Mega Man caught the explosive and set it in the pile of bones, that were beginning to shake to life. Mega Man jumped out of the way and the bomb exploded mightily, sending fragments and shards and dust flying every which way. Mega Man shielded his eyes from the blast.
Link was systematically cutting his opponent down to size. He cartwheeled to the side as the Stalfos thrust forward. With magic power gathered in his blade he performed a spin attack on the Stalfos' skull, the crushing blow. The monster fell apart and his bones vaporized into puffs of blue flame.
Suddenly, the floor below them opened up in an iris too quick to escape from. The jarring ground knocked both of them off their feet and they tumbled into the pit, screaming.
The fall was short though. They landed on a dirt floor, something that immediately reminded them of a basement. As Mega Man rubbed the back of his head, and Link pulled his crumpled hazy form up from the fall, they looked at their surroundings. They were in what looked like a room for a magician or alchemist. An exit door stood behind them. The stone walls had spare shelves of flasks and candles. A wooden table rested at a strange angle near the corner of the room. Several crates were stacked in another corner. It looked like someone intelligent had been using this room.
"Look," Mega Man pointed.
Link opened his eyes and saw a table in the middle of the room with a golden triangle on it. "It can't be..." Link mumbled. The triangle was not floating on the table, but resting face-up, a little over the edge. It was colored deeply gold, a little darker than the other pieces. Link stood up and approached it, wondering if he even should, whether he should contact the princess or other authorities. Cautiously, he picked it up, holding it in both hands. He stared deeply into his reflection in the metal, tilting it up and down.
"It's... something's wrong. I'm not getting anything from it." He looked up at Mega Man. "I think it's fake."
The image of a sinister man faded into the Triforce's surface, looking like a reflection in itself.
"Very astute, boy," he said.
Link was looking into the face of Ganondorf.
Next Chapter: Ganondorf