Categories > Games > Zelda > The Legend of Zelda: The Veil of Darkness

Chapter Two

by ganon45 0 reviews

Link goes to the Sacred Forest with Chudley in search of the Master Sword. What they find in the Temple of Time is a cursed blade and Ganondorf who reveals that seven arch-demons are about to ravag...

Category: Zelda - Rating: PG - Genres: Horror - Characters: Ganondorf,Link,Zelda - Warnings: [V] - Published: 2010-01-11 - Updated: 2010-01-11 - 2677 words

Nauseated by the stench of decay, Zelda explored the forlorn corridors of Hyrule Castle, skirting the bodies of her former guards. Splotches of congealed blood marred the walls. Quickening her pace, she blindly rounded a corner-and came upon a scene that churned her already-sensitive stomach. Dangling from spears thrust through their sternums were three soldiers. Crude lines of crimson framed them to form four triangles, depicting Hyrule's most sacred relic, the Triforce. Swallowing the bile in her throat, the princess retreated into a suit of armor, toppling it to clatter on the floor. Languidly, her mind registered the fact that the blood was still wet, which meant....

"Your Majesty, snap out of it! I've been calling you for five minutes!"

Amazed to hear another human voice, Zelda spun to spy a short man motioning vehemently in a doorway. Plagued by the gruesome image, she joined him inside, gliding the door's bolt into its socket, then studied their surroundings. Despite the poor lighting, she discerned that they were in a spare bedroom. Brushing her braids behind her shoulders, the princess looked sternly at her companion, hands on her hips. "Hyvar, you better have a good excuse as to why you didn't evacuate with the others."

"Forgive my bluntness, Princess, but I'm not a deserter like them!" the servant said boldly, squarely meeting Zelda's reproachful glare. Outside, a zigzag of lightning darted past the sixth-story window. "My parents drilled the lesson of devotion into my skull when I was only ten. The oath I took swearing to keep you safe, no matter the cost, is more important to me than my own life." Hyvar touched his tattered clothes. "It's disgraceful that a Gerudo of Ganondorf's stature would--"

Gesturing sharply, Zelda silenced him, certain she had heard the tread of heavy boots in the passage. "Refrain from making any unnecessary movements!" Utter quiet cloaked the room, broken by a soft chime that grew louder each second. Two pairs of wide eyes went to the throbbing golden emblem on the princess's hand. Without protest, Hyvar hastily piled into the closet, carefully shutting the door. Suddenly, the iron rod securing the room's door scraped backward on its own and Ganondorf strode in, though he appeared different, more bestial than Zelda could recall. Comprehension dawned as the sorcerer brusquely dumped Mirath on the bed. "You're him, aren't you? Mahliel, the Demon Lord the goddesses dispatched to the Sacred realm four millennia ago." Damn, where is the wisdom my Triforce normally bestows upon me in circumstances such as this? Has Mahliel's presence overwhelmed its power?

"I'm flattered you know who I am, Princess," the Demon Lord said in Ganondorf's voice, smoldering gaze flitting around the room. "According to my army's generals, not all the members of your faithful staff were inclined to leave the castle. Nearly two dozen servants have been found, somehow managing to evade even the Dynalfos." He ignored Zelda's sprint toward her stirring son and prowled the room, halting before the closet, clawed hands caressing the brass knob. Scarcely exerting himself, Mahliel tore the door off its frame, exposing Hyvar, face chalk-white, grovelling in the corner. "Get out of there, pathetic mortal. Count your blessings that I'm letting you live. Move!"

"Yes, sir!" the servant squeaked instinctively, darting from the closet, grabbing onto Zelda with a death grip. Defensively, she placed an arm around his frail shoulders, using her free hand to stroke Mirath's clammy brow, emotions surging through her. Hyvar, his trembling under control, noted that the princess's Triforce symbol was still glowing-but only the bottom right triangle. "Princess, your hand! The Triforce of Wisdom flows through you again!"

"Mother?" Mirath muttered, his eye fluttering open, adjusting sluggishly to the poor lighting. Relief relaxing his features, he sat up, the caked blood on his arm cracking. "You're okay!" Upon making eye contact with Mahliel, the boy deflated visibly. "We're trapped, aren't we?" His mother nodded, brow furrowed as she contemplated their situation. Scratching his wound, Mirath squinted against a burst of lightning that illuminated the room. "Don't worry, Link's on his way to rescue us."

"Oh, yes! The Hero of time can breach the energy barrier I erected!" Ganondorf spat, once more the master of his own body. Mahliel had receded to replenish his strength via the pain and terror generated by his minions. Folding his arms, the sorcerer stared at the three of them, lips curled in a silent snarl. "It's extremely doubtful Link's alive this very moment, courtesy of the arch-demons roaming Hyrule. When I obtain the Master Sword, that pest won't stand a chance!" Ganondorf turned into vapor and floated to the ceiling, soon becoming lost in the shadows.

Zelda seized Mirath's wrist, inspecting the raw gash. Finished, she went over to the window, speaking in such a flat, cold voice that Hyvar shivered. "Arch-demons or not, I'm going to help Link defeat that monster. No one touches my son and gets away with it." She faced the others, eyes hard like flint. "Come, we need to reach the weapons cache if we plan to free the rest of the servants. Mirath, stay near me and tell me what happened. Let's go, quietly."

The trio slunk into the corridor, Zelda in the lead with Hyvar bringing up the rear, Mirath between them, recounting his journey. Raiding the armory ten minuted later, swords and daggers in hand, they began combing the castle for those held prisoner.


Vexed by Trill's endless chattering, Link grabbed the blue bird roughly, dragging him close. "Listen, you bickering sack of feathers, because I'm only saying this once. When things are back to normal, I'll pay you for what I've taken, plus interest. Is that a reasonable compromise? Of course, should you not find this to your liking, you'll be responsible for the downfall of Hyrule as we know it." Bobbing his crested head, Trill escaped the young man's hold and flapped to his perch, beady black eyes tracking Link as he corked bottles of potion. Turning to Epona, the Hero of Time was positive the bird had uttered a blasphemy under his breath. Stowing the containers in his horse's saddlebags, he snatched the Hero's Bow, notched an arrow, and, whirling swiftly, let the shaft fly. With a vibrating twang!, it embedded itself in the wood beneath Trill's claws, quivering. "All right, Trill, I'll make you a deal. You go tell the mayor that the Spirit Springs haven't been contaminated and I won't trim your wings."

"We could use you on the castle's council, Link," said a voice, whipping the young man around to see Chudley astride one of Talo's spare horses, watching Trill dodge into the forest. Taking in Link's confused expression, he dismounted, armor clinking together. "Do you really think I'd let you have all the fun? I'm already packed, so the least I can do is serve as backup should you become injured. For your sake, I hope you know where the Master Sword is." Link's sly grin disconcerting him, the general followed the Hero of Time to the left of the Forest Temple's bridge, gulping at the dizzying height. "Our destination is...where, exactly."

"The Sacred Grove, beyond that hallowed stump," the young man answered, enjoying the way Chudley blanched. Putting two fingers to his lips, he whistled, educing a sound like that of a chicken. Suddenly, a shape smashed through the trees overhead, landing on Link's outstretched arm. "Meet Clucky, my Golden Cuckoo. Bird's strong enough to carry a horse. Just follow me-and do not look down." Grasping Clucky's legs, the Hero of Time stepped off the ledge and glided to the stump, corrected his direction, then disappeared from view. In no time, the Cuckoo returned, settling in front of Chudley, golden head tilted.

"Oh, what the hell.'' Kneeling, he picked up the bird, steeled himself, and jumped, eyes squeezed shut. His feet had barely touched solid ground before Clucky beat his wings, launching them into oblivion again. Assured by Link's bemused voice that he was safe, the general studied the location. Vine-wrapped logs oscillated in the distance between gaps in the earth. Moistening his dry throat, Chudley forced his vocal cords to work. "Let me guess. This Sacred Grove is on the other side of that?"

"Relax, General," Link said amiably. "I've been doing this for years and I'm still here, aren't I?'' Clucky hopped into his hands and they easily traversed the obstacle. "Be sure to go fast lest he changes his mind." Half a minute later, the Golden Cuckoo place the armored man, who was slightly green, on the ground. Struggling to contain his laughter, the young man conveyed his backup "sidekick" into the mysterious Sacred Grove, relying on his memory to deliver them to the Master Sword's pedestal, only to discover it empty. For a fleeting moment, Link was convinced Ganondorf had gotten to the Sword first, then remembered where it was. "Ever heard of the Temple of Time, Chudley? Well, that's where we're going."

"Nonsense, we're alredy there!" the general exclaimed, indicating the overgrown ruins ringing them. Yet when the Hero of Time retraced their steps, he trailed him, understanding the person he was addressing. They climbed large granite blocks until they came to a peculiar object amid the rubble: a pair of ornately carved doors. Shaking the sweat of his brow, Chudley watched Link tap the structure, which opened soundlessly to disclose a rippling portal. " It's impossible!" Awe-struck, he felt himself pulled forward into the light, blinking to compensate for the brighter radiance. Rooted to the spot, he could simply stare in fascination.

Columns of flecked marble soared upward to cradle the ribbed roof. Panes of intricate stained-glass windows let streams of sunlight into the chamber. Hieroglyphs were chiseled on the stones in a language older than Hyrule itself. Mind unable to process what he was seeing, Chudley staggered down the stairs, nearly falling flat on his face. Amazing, simply amazing! To think such a place exists during this time of uncertainty! What other legends, I wonder, are true?

"Do you plan on moving anytime soon or are you too stricken to function? The hourglass of destiny isn't going to wait while you stand there and gawk."

His reverie shattered, the general crossed to where Link leaned beside two statues that mirrored those in the Sacred grove. "'Extraordinary' hardly begins to describe this, Link! I mean, the odds that Ganondorf has bypassed the Temple of Time are astronomical!" Chudley's next words died in his throat, eyes riveted on the stock of a sword sticking from a narrow chunk of rock. Abruptly, he shivered, sensing an ominous atmosphere in the air that prickled the hairs on the back of his neck. "Stop, Link, don't take the Sword! There's...something's not right. Can't you feel it?"

"You're imagining things, Chudley,'' the young man scoffed, walking to the Master Sword. Dislodging it, he sheathed it in the scabbard on his waist. "What'd I tell you? Nothing to worry--Oh, wonderful!" As though a cloth had been thrown over the windows, the amount of filtered light was quelled drastically. Glimpsing the general's pale face and trembling finger pointing at the doorway, Link peered behind him, barking nervous laugh. Five robed, translucent figures crowded the opening, visages hidden by masks. "Breath, General, before you faint. Don't castle archives mention the six-five, sorry-Ancient Sages?"

"Removing the Master Sword from the Temple of Time shall have dire consequences upon Hyrule," one of the Sages announced, the medallion of Light on his robes. "It, along with the Light Spirits, protects the land against evil. Taking it beyond this sanctuary will allow the Netherworld's full power to surface. Already seven vortexes have formed, but the demons they disgorge are eradicated without trouble. However, that will change when the Sword is move outside these walls."

"So you're saying that if I waltz out of here carrying the Master Sword, I'll do more harm than good to the kingdom?" Link demanded, infuriated. Nodding, the Ancient Sages fanned throughout the room. "What in the goddesses' names am I supposed to do? Use a stick to attack Ganondorf?" Incensed, the Hero of Time paced until he formulated a plan. "Let me guess as to the results of me leaving the Temple with the Sword. More Demon Lords will pop up and ransack Hyrule because there's nothing to stop them. Okay, I'll get rid of them before I defeat Mahliel. Piece if cake." Chudley suddenly groped for his own sword, croaking hoarsely. The Sages clumped together in a corner, their moans resounding pitifully. Darkness snuffed the remaining radiance, enveloping the whole chamber. Freeing the Master Sword, the young man started as its light-imbued blade revealed a hulking shape bearing down on the Ancient Sages. "Hey, I've no clue how you got in here, but get away from them!"

"Boy, you must have a death wish," Ganondorf growled, pinning Link with his blazing eyes. He was even more transformed than on their last encounter. One-and-a-half inch talons capped his fingers while his hair flowed to his shoulders. Carefully scrutinizing him, the Hero of Time concluded that the sorcerer had grown five inches. Straightening, Ganondorf left the terrified Sages, looking between link and Chudley in amusement. "The saviors of Hyrule are a lowly castle general and a Shadow Beast in the guise of a man?" Alarmed, Chudley snapped his head toward his companion. "Why, Link, you didn't mention to him the 'gift' Zant imparted upon you?"

"A Shadow Beast!" Link roared, visibly curbing his rage. "Zant turned me into a wolf because you coerced him into believing he would be glorified after you used him to conquer the kingdom! It was a ploy to prevent me from spoiling your plans. Didn't work too well, did it? You almost killed Zelda, just so you could rule!" Emotions a whirlpool within him, the young man ran forward, the Sword hacking at nothing whatsoever. Before he could recover, a jarring blow struck his neck, spilling him to his knees. Through the tolling in his ears, Link heard Chudlry yelp and the skitter of a tossed sword. "My sole vow is to send both of you deep in the Sacred Realm for good, even if I have to give up my life!"

"Heroic words, but can you uphold them?" Ganondorf strode to the doorway, his shadow writhing on the wall. "Should the Master Sword be taken from here, seven of my master's chief commanders will ascend, one for each province, including the City in the Sky. Rest assured, Link, that if they fail to destroy you, we surely will!" Cape swirling, the sorcerer dissolved into a pattern of flecks which shot in all directions, lifting the oppressive blackness. Intimidated, the five Sages had long since departed, not wishing to repeat having one of their own murdered.

"Well!" Chudley huffed, sheathing his fallen sword. "That was an eye-opener, to say the least! You were the wolf pestering Castle Town and the guards! Gosh, this is going to be an interesting adventure! Between the two of us, we should be able to wipe the land of these monsters. Heck, kid, you're the Hero of Time, this'll be a breeze for you." Elated by his own speech, the general charged up the stairs, flinging wide the doors to step through the wavering portal. Narrowing his brown eyes, he listened closely, half-expecting to hear inhuman screeches. Behind him was a hollow clink to signify that Link had joined him. "Okay, either Mahliel's commanders can't mimic his age-old entry or they simply don't care." Suddenly, almost in response to Chudley's comment, a huge blast shattered the frosty air, spooking birds in the trees. "Idling's over, I guess. Does Gerudo Desert sound like a good place to start?"

Five short minutes later, the two men were riding hard across Hyrule Field toward Lake Hylia and Fyer's Cannon Shop, where they would get shot to Gerudo Desert. Meanwhile, giant vortices had split the ground to permit demons of great power to surface, keen on shedding blood.
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