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The Demon War refers to the war between Hylia's Army of Light and Demise's Demon Army of Ma. The conflict lasted ten years, ending in BH-0000 with Demise being sealed in the Sealing Spike. What follows is excerpts of events during the Demon War, telling the tale of Malauth, one of the War's main players, from flashbacks of the Ma's recovering memory during Epoch of Disharmony.

Malauth's Treachery Edit

Malauth walked among the rabble of Hylians as one of them. They were all that remained from the destruction of Kakir Village the night before. All around, the refugees had looks of stunned disbelief. Some cried, unable to be consoled by their stouter-hearted companions. Oft repeated were questions varying the theme of ‘How could this have happened?’.

Malauth’s construct, an older woman, shared the slack-jawed gaze of incredulity. No one gave a second glance to yet another dirty face stumbling through the muddy field. Demise was winning, they couldn’t ignore that any longer. But some, still, held hope. The Living Goddess Hylia was among them, after all, was she not? Even in the face of the terrible onslaught they had witnessed last night, how could they lose faith in Her?

Well, it was Malauth’s job to ensure they did, wasn’t it? That’s why Demise had sent his best spy to infiltrate the survivors. That was, in fact, why there were any survivors at all. If he had had his way, not a single Hylian would have lived. But instead he had listened to Malauth’s plan, begrudgingly. Now it was Malauth’s turn to take center stage in this bid for freedom against the tyranny of those Three Bitches.

Polaris' Eyes Edit

“I know what you are, Demon.”

Malauth stopped. This thing talking to it, what was it? Tall, with fins and flippers, yet also hands and feet, covered in red scales and black tattoos. There was no other creature in all of Hyrule to mimic its shape.

Ah. I see. Hylia’s new-found General, then? There had been rumors that Hylia had recently been joined by someone called The Crimson General, and that he was some creature otherwise unknown among the races and species of Hyrule.

“I-I’m sorry? I’m no Demon, Mister Big-Red-Fish-Looking-Guy. I’m Goroco, the Brave Goron, fighting for Hylia!”

The Crimson General snorted a derisive laugh. “Spare me your trickery, Ma. I see through.”

He touched his cheek, and the tattoos there shifted to reveal a symbol from the Ma language. Truth.

Malauth hissed at him. “Cursed thing! What are you, that you know the Demon Script!”

He smirked, confident and bold. “I am Polaris Eridanus, and how I got this tattoo is none of your business. What matters is this: You have very few options right now. You can attempt to fight me, and I will kill you. You can flee back to the Demon Army, and Demise will, I’m assuming, kill you. Or you can choose the third option: I am a practical man, I do not turn down a potential advantage, especially a source of intelligence such as yourself.

“The Ma are not known for their mercy; you’ll find that to be an attribute coming more from the Golden Goddesses. And, seeing as we here are their progeny, it is something strong among us. And, call me crazy, but I feel like you could use it right about now. Come with me, to meet with Hylia, and join the fight against your siblings.

“I give my word, on my honor and my soul, I will do everything in my power to see you are given clemency for aiding us. Hell, I’ll pull my damnedest to get you [i]rewarded[/i] for switching sides! I doubt you’ll have anywhere near as generous an offer from Demise.”

Malauth considered this Eridanus for a while, matching the cold Zoran stare with its own. Nothing could be read behind Polaris’ gaze, his mind was as blank to Malauth’s form of telepathy as his face was blank to any mundane perception. In light of such an imposing facade, and seeing no other options, Malauth responded.

"Take me to Hylia.

The Eye of Truth Edit

"She is already one of my greatest assets, alongside The Second Scion and the General. But unlike Us, she is mundane, mortal. After what I have done to empower Chamdar, I dare not reach further for her sake. You, however... I can ask you. Consider it a way to prove your sincerity."

'"And what would you have me do? I am no font of endless power. I am not a deity, like you Three."'

"Our Three," countered Hylia.

'"The Three,"' Malauth countered back, affecting a frown on the face it presented to the Goddess. '"My point stands: I cannot simply 'grant' power, as They have to you and the other. If you wish a boon for this Impa of yours, then it must be named, and it must take a shape and form."'

Hylian pursed her lips, and the dimples of the expression accentuated her unnatural beauty. "Form and shape... What a choice of words, to come from something like you. Very well.

"Chamdar is the sword. Eridanus is the shield. Impa is my armor. While they actively fight for me, she protects me without interference. If this gift is to prove your sincerity, then I think it would be to protect from you. Impa guards from the shadows, where you thrive. She seeks the truth in all actions, where you deceive all around you. Though you may deceive even me, her eyes should pierce the darkness and lies. The boon I ask of you, to empower her, is this: That my sheikah might have an eye to see the truth of things, and know your real form in all ways."

Malauth's construct flared in brilliant anger. '"You ask that I give her the eyes of a Ma! You impetuous woman!"'

"I do not ask that you give her the eyes of a demon, only the sight to know one when seen! Prove your trustworthiness, or begone! My charge is too great to leave it in the hands of one of my enemy's blood without confidence!"

'"Fine! Bring her forward, and I will give her the Sight you desire. But do not blame me if her mind cannot handle that which it perceives."'

Hylia nodded to the woman kneeling at her side, and Impa stood, approaching Malauth. The construct began to grow appendages, which left wispy trails of light as they waved through the air. '"I can design the Lens, but she will need to provide the Vision, and the Eye."'

The wisps of light coagulated in front of the construct, dimly at first, then brighter. A stylized eye, with a drop of blood or a tear, began to form in the air. '"This will show Truth, but it cannot see. Such power must be provided by the one who bears it."'

The Eye shrunk, and in a jerking motion slammed itself, with physical force, into Impa's face. She choked back a cry of pain, not wanting to show any weakness, and merely grunted while clasping her palms to her face. When her hands moved, the mark had appeared around her left eye. '"Your own magic, the strength of the Goddesses, will be consumed to use this Sight. There is nothing that can change that; it is still foreign to you. But I warn you: Do not, in turn, let this gift consume you. It is tempting to know the true form of things, but they are not meant to be seen, not by mortals. Even the Goddesses have secrets."'

Impa touched the teardrop now permanently hanging from her eye, and she looked upon Malauth in shock and dismay.

Seeds of Hatred Edit

"I do not trust you! You are a trickster by nature. I only suffer you still live because she wills me to suffer." Chamdar Taliesin glared at the current form of Malauth. It had elected, much to Chamdar's chagrin, to take on a Hylian form which mimicked his own.

"Oh, I know. And she does so make you suffer, doesn't she?" Chamdar's hand fell to his sword. "The Living Goddess Hylia. Such a beautiful woman. Pristine in nature and deed. I understand, you know? I see how you can love her so devotedly. Why you would want to suffer for her."

"Then you understand, demon, why I would kill you in an instant were harm to befall her?"

Malauth smirked at Chamdar, and the construct it held morphed into an exact mirror of Chamdar. "Do you think, perhaps, if I came to her like this... would she be so pristine and pure the following morning?"

Chamdar's face twisted into a snarl of rage and hate. His voice broke out in a growling yell and he charged Malauth, sword swinging to lay waste to the shape-shifter. This blow was blocked by an identical sword.

"Come now, Taliesin. If it takes such idle threats to throw you off your balance, how ever will you face Demise? His words, I guarantee, cut deeper than my own. He would do more and worse than despoil your love. Neither of us wish to see this. I am bound to her fate as much as you, now. My hopes ride on her shoulders as well. Demise will show less mercy to me than he will to you, and you already know you will see no mercy from him."

Chamdar spat in his own face; a glob of spittle slid down Malauth's cheek. "I suffer you here, but I do not like it. We are allies, but not friends. Never speak ill of the Goddess again." He turned and began to walk away from the Ma.

Malauth wiped away the saliva and called after Chamdar. "I do so only to warn you: Your feelings are not the wellspring of strength you believe them to be. They open you to rage and mistakes, to weakness. Tell me, Chamdar Taliesin, Scion of Hylia: What are you without her? Where is your strength without Celeste?"

Chamdar glanced once over his shoulder at Malauth, and for a moment his mask of anger cracked. Malauth knew the words had reached him. There was sadness in those eyes. A contemplative sadness as he thought about the future.

The Death of General Polaris Eridanus Edit

“This is it! After this, nothing will be the same. My entire existence leads to this moment, Chamdar. And I am proud to have it beside you.” Polaris Eridanus, the Red Ice General, slapped Chamdar Taliesin on the back. The younger man stumbled briefly forward, taken by surprise at the General’s rowdiness.

“No, General Eridanus, it is my pleasure to fight beside you.”

Polaris shook his head. “Afraid not, man. You need to survive this war. You stay out of this fight. I’ve got nothing left to worry about if this fight goes my way, and all my life ahead of me even if it doesn’t.” Polaris cracked a wry grin at Chamdar’s look of momentary confusion.

“I respect you too much to allow you to stand alone.” “That’s too damn bad, then. This is my fight!”

Malauth finally interrupted the two’s banter. “Enough! I’ve done as you wish, General, and Demise is on his way. Do you want him to walk in on you two having a moment, or would you rather be prepared to face him?”

Polaris nodded to Malauth. “Right. Priorities.” Chamdar, for his turn, merely glared at the Ma.

Polaris closed his eyes, perhaps saying a brief prayer, and clapped his palms together. When he drew them apart, a majestic red ice sword formed between them. “Winter’s Tide shall clash with the tide of demon-flesh crossing Hyrule. Let us see which has more resolve.”

The sound of laughter rose over the crest of a nearby hill. “Resolve? None can stand against the might of Demise!”

The Demon King followed the sound of his voice, rising over the hill and dragging his wicked blade behind him.

“The Red Ice General desires death at my hands? And here I thought it was the little boy who played at being Hylia’s champion. I don’t know what you are, exactly, fish-man, but I respect the species more than Hylians; unlike them, running and hiding like mewling simpering cowards, you have the courage to face me. It pleases me greatly to see such misplaced valor.”

“Enough words,” Polaris said, sliding Winter’s Tide into a martial stance. “We are men of action. Let’s act!” He charged at Demise, bellowing a war cry. Demise stood his ground, condescending sneer ever present as his expression. At the last moment, the King of the Ma brought his sword up to block Polaris’ fatal strike. An blast of cold air rushed down the hillside from the clash, flash-freezing the grass and raising goosebumps over Chamdar’s and Malauth’s construct’s skin.

The two titans of war traded blow for blow, neither attaining an upper-hand against the other. It seemed, for once, that Demise had met his match. Thrust, jab, parry. Parry, thrust, thrust. Their mesmerizing dance of death was like a well-choreographed display of martial ability. Some movements were faster than the eye could follow. Demise’s powerhouse approach was matched by the trained perfection of Polaris’ mastery.

The sneer on Demise’s face began to falter. Malauth could almost read worry in that expression. Then, in an instant, it was over. Winter’s Tide found its target, and tore a gash through Demise’s torso. At the same time, Polaris’ head hit the frozen grass. There was no blood.

“NO!”

Chamdar burst from the bushes, murderous rage forcing him into action.

“Ah, there is the so-called Scion of the Goddess. Come, throw yourself, upon my blade as well!”

Even as Demise spoke, he was forced to parry Chamdar's violent blows. Their swords met with tremendous force, sparks flashed as metal broke against metal. If the fight with Polaris was awe-inspiring, then this was beyond description. As they dueled, Malauth sent a tendril out from its construct, pulling Eridanus' remains back into the bushes. It knew that Chamdar's rage was no match for Demise's malevolence. Adrenaline would gave way, and the Hylian Army would lose two great leaders that day, if something was not done.

Hylia's voice shouted to Chamdar from Malauth's hiding spot. "Chamdar! Run!"

Taliesin broke focus for a brief moment, glancing to see from where the Goddess called to him. He still parried Demise's strike. He turned his eyes to see that Polaris' corpse was gone. He still dodged Demise's blow. He turned and sprinted for the bushes. Demise held the wound in his torso and did not give chase. Malauth and Chamdar fled with Polaris' remains.

As they made their escape, Chamdar growled warning to the Ma through clenched teeth. "Never. Mimic. Her. Again."

Behind them, Demise let loose a condescending ripple of demonic laugh which boomed out across the field.

A History Lesson Edit

Hyrule Field

Henrietta squeezed her eyes shut against the glow that seemed to be coming from her eyes themselves. Of course, this did nothing to block the light, until it ended of its own accord. When her eyes opened again, the only familiar sight was Ella's face, twisted in confusion and fear. Hyrule Field looked entirely different, and there was no sign of Hyrule Castle, or Castle Town, in the distance.

"What... just happened? Where are we?" Ella wondered, stunned.

Arand frowned. Not where, when. There was no way she'd reveal the truth about the timeshift stone to the girl. So, instead, she simply said what would have been expected in such a situation. "I... have no idea..."

The two of them gazed around them, trying to take stock of the situation. Ella's eyes seemed to have caught on something first, however. She pointed behind Arand. "Then... do you know... what the hell that is?"

Arand slowly turned, made cautious by the awestruck fear in Ella's voice. A figure strode menacingly toward them. His skin was black, more scales than flesh, accented with ripples of red. His head was crowned with a mane of fire. Not red hair, but literal flames that danced in the wind. A scowl seemed permanently twisted across his lips. Ella shook with terror. Arand merely stood there, confused. There was a sense of... recognition. As though Alauth should know this demonic being, but couldn't remember.

It stopped towering over the pair, and spoke with a voice like death itself.

"You think I would not recognize you in this form, sibling mine? Your tricks are useless against these eyes, as you well know. But what is this pitiful thing with you? Why do I find one of my own... consorting with a mere Hylian?"

At the sound of that voice, a single word was dredged up from a part of Alauth's being that it did not even remember had ever existed. Arand spoke this word, naming this nightmare she saw.

"Demise."

Ella's eyelids fluttered, and she collapsed into Arand's arms.

"I thought you had left the lot of them back at that last camp. They are such cowards, mewling to their Goddess. There are none worthy among them, yet you save this human? Why, I wonder?"

I don't... remember. How do I know this Demon King? More to the point, how does he know me? How can he see this construct so easily? Thoughts frantically ran through Alauth's mind, and Arand failed to respond in time.

"It won't matter soon, anyway. Perhaps there may be even one interesting challenge at their final bastion, as I kill their Goddess and claim the Triforce. Tomorrow will be a glorious day of slaughter! I see you've changed your mind, though. That's good. I've never liked your methods of sneaking around, I'm glad you'll stand openly with me as this world falls."

Arand merely nodded as Demise walked ahead of her. He turned to look back at her, and if possible, the sneer on his face grew.

"No need to keep that form! It's almost insulting."

"If it's all the same to you, I'll use this form to transport the girl here." Alauth had no idea what form it was expected to assume, and the excuse of carrying Ella was all too convenient to pass.

The imposing beast merely snorted at Arand. "And you cannot drag the thing in some less offensive form?"

Arand shook her head. "I could, but it's easier on me to maintain this form, rather than change. I am... drained after all that's been done today, and would prefer a bit of rest. Not all can have your physique, Brother."

Again, miraculously, the sneer grew. "Well, you are correct. Very well. But be sure to get this thing out of my sight if you don't want me to kill it. The though of those cowards running and hiding as they have done fills me with nothing but contempt."

Later That Night/The Demon Camps

Ella had woken shortly after, but wisely remained silent, feigning a continuation of the sleep. Arand's fearful shushing had done wonders to help convince her, though she had many questions. The rest of the walk had gone by with great fear and suspense, that was ultimately disappointed by a lack of activity. The camp was impressive, to say the least. Where Arand had expected tents, or other hastily erected structures, there was instead what appeared to be a full-fledged town. The inhabitants were myriad in their appearances and forms. Some were humanoid, and others were so inhuman that it made Ella's head hurt just to glance at them.

Still, the pair of Hylian women had been left to their own devices in a simple shack. Demise had left them telling Arand to be ready to move out at dawn's first light, after she had some time to recover expended energies. The human girl was Arand's to do with as she pleased; Demise had no time for such lesser beings.

After sundown, the shack had become pitch black. Arand slowly crawled to where Ella lay against one of the walls.

"Ella." she whispered.

A whisper was returned. "Arand. What the hell is going on here? Demise? How do you know? How did he know you?"

"Quiet!" Arand hushed the girl in her own hushed voice. "I don't know. Honestly, I don't. It... must have something to do... with what... you know... earlier today..." Her voiced trailed off, unwilling to directly talk about the supposed tortures Black Betty had supposedly subjected her to what was only hours ago, hundreds of years in the future.

Ella's voice softened. "Oh... that... makes sense. I'm sorry, Arand."

Arand shook her head. "It doesn't matter... We both have to push down... all that, if we're going to live. Whatever she did to me... either it's allowing us to survive in this... wherever-the-hell we are, or it's sent us to some sort of fake world. Either way... it was obviously meant for me, not you. I think... Ella, do you trust me?"

Ella shook her head. Despite the darkness, despite Arand's inability to see anything, Alauth could. It could see in this pitch black as well as the noon-day sun. "I don't know," Ella said. "We only just met. But, I don't really have a choice, do I? And... well, youare a Castle Guard. And you haven't led us wrong yet, despite anything that bitch may have done to you." She pursed her lips into a pensive smile. "Alright. I trust you, Arand."

Arand couldn't help but smile at the strong young woman in front of her. She was turning out to be an interesting ally. Despite the complications, it seemed worthwhile to have saved her. "Okay. I'm going to play along with this illusion, until we can find a way to defeat it, or escape it. I promise you, I won't be tricked by it. I won't let Black Betty win. But I don't want us to die, either."

"I don't know." Ella replied with a nervous waver in her voice. "Doing anything she wants doesn't seem like a good idea. Or a safe idea."

"But she obviously wants this to happen. She wants something to from me. If I pretend to give it to her, then we should be safe up until we find a way to beat her."

Ella sounded a bit more confident. "Yeah... well, if it means beating her, I'm all for it. Just don't lose yourself, Arand. Remember Hyrule, and your oath to the King."

It was Arand's turn to pensively purse her lips. I wish I could remember.

The Scions Edit

The demon hoard, a muster of primordial filth, spread out across the plain before him. Mortal kind, in its infancy, faced already its end of days. They could not hope to stand against the full might of the legions of the Ma; they would be ground into dust beneath a charge of horned, clawed, cloven-footed fiends. All that the Goddesses had poured their powers into creating, all that his mistress the mighty Hylia had been tasked with protecting would be overturned in utter darkness as the Ma’s earthly prison was rent apart by their avarice.

Even from afar, the young warrior could see the lights of their fires, could hear the sounds of their otherworldly howls and cries echoing on the winds, and knew that there was little hope for survival. At his back were all those who’d remained on the surface world, they who had remained after Hylia had commanded the exodus of humankind into the safety of the heavens above. Rock-hard Goron berserks and meticulously trained Zora spear-men were their only defense, and their numbers were a pittance when measured against the innumerable ranks of demonkind.

“They stalk the earth like waking nightmares.”

That voice, he let its melodious quality sing in his ears. He didn’t have to look back to know that it was She. Hylia, the living Goddess. No mere mortal could sing every syllable as she could; no man or beast could lift the spirit as she could merely by drawing near to him. She was the guardian of all that the Triune had given them; he was but her right hand, a pale reflection of her radiance.

“They do at that.” He replied softly, cringing at the way his own words sounded like grinding stones by comparison. But that was not the worst of it. “Not for much longer, though.”

He was surprised by how bitter he sounded, but as he turned to look upon her he felt his breath catch in his chest. She stood before him as a woman, but where a human woman might be beautiful, she was perfection personified. Her golden hair spilled like rays of sunlight down her back, her flawless skin glowed with divine light and the elegant, snowy white dress hugging the contours of her figure seemed to come alight with it as well.

Even the sword at her hip did nothing to mar the perfection that Hylia embodied.

“I am glad of you,” said she as her wistful eyes gazed out over the horrors arrayed against them. “I may be the Triune’s chosen, but you have always been mine.”

“You honor me,” he said with downcast eyes, feeling his cheeks grow hot at the affectionate caress of her words. “I am but a servant who has sought what enlightenment may exist in this bleak world. You have uplifted me from the mire of humanity; you are our guiding light.”

She smiled, and he felt his spirits soar that he could have made it so. She glanced to the forces amassed at their backs and his gaze followed. “Do not disparage yourself so, love. These gathered here with us look to me to guide them, but they look to you to lead. I am the light that shelters them, but you are the flame that gives them courage. On the morrow, as my light wanes, your own must burn all the brighter for my absence.”

“Must it be so?” he asked, feeling his stomach turn to a pit of ice as he contemplated their course. Not for the first time he felt a powerful hatred for the counselor who’d proposed their plan. “Must you be the one to do this?”

“Who else is there?” And for the first time he heard a hint of sadness like a discordant note in her voice. Suddenly impassioned at her vulnerability, he leaned in and pressed his lips against her cheek and felt the softness and the warmth of her. For a moment there was silence between them and then he drew back, suddenly embarrassed. But she only smiled and trailed her hand affectionately down his cheek.

“I remember when you were Celeste, and you were not weighed down by such burdens,” he muttered, his voice thick with emotion. “Now you are Hylia, and I understand what you must do. I will help you carry your burden if I can.”

There was tenderness in her eyes, but before a loving word could be spoken in return a terrible cry rose up over the field from the legions arrayed before them. Instead when she spoke, it was with the stony resolve of the First Scion. “Steel yourself, my love, for the moment is nigh.”

The Sealing Edit

Next Morning/The Demon Camps

As the first rays of sun lightened the cloud on the horizon, the camp was awash in activity. Every creature was preparing to leave, readying for the final assault. In their shack, Arand woke first.

"Ella?"

Ella groaned. She had, understandably, not slept well.

"Ella. Listen. I had a dream last night. I feel... something. I think it might be what Black Betty wanted me to learn here. Magic."

Ella's eyes shot open, focusing on Arand. "No! Remember! If she wants it, then it can't be good."

Arand shook her head. "No, not if I can control it. Then we can use it against her. We can use it to survive this hellhole she's made for us!"

"You can't!" Ella shook her head, too. "It's too dangerous. You know that. It'll only corrupt you."

Arand smiled at Ella. "Well, that's why I have you, huh? If you can't trust me, at least I can trust you. Stick by my side, and if I do turn all evil, you can stop me." She patted one of the blades strapped to Ella's hip.

"Well..." Ella considered the prospect. Then she sighed. "Yeah, I can. Dad taught me well enough for that. Just... don't make me have to, alright?"

Arand held out her hand. "It's a promise." Ella took her hand and they shook on it.

"So, this... magic?" Ella prompted.

Arand lifted her hand. "Here. Watch this." Suddenly, her hand disappeared in a twinkle of light. "I can do that to any part I concentrate on. I think I can even do it to you. You know... hide you from these demons until we find a way to escape?"

Ella watched, amazed. "Even to me? Really? Is it safe?"

Arand just shrugged. "Let's find out!" She touched her fingertip to Ella's forehead, and another shimmer of light crossed Ella's eyes. When she looked down at herself, she saw nothing. "Okay, admittedly, this is really damn cool. Do you have to be touching me the whole time?"

"Yeah," Arand said, pulling her finger away from Ella. In the same shimmer, Ella's body reappeared. "I could... uh... give you a piggyback ride?"

Ella gave Arand a dead-pan stare. Arand cracked a grin and the two broke into a nervous laugh.

The Crater (Pre-Sealed Grounds)

Demise stood at the forefront of his demon horde. The chittering mass surrounded the edge of the crater, with their leader dead center of the circular ramp leading into the depths. From below, a holy light shone up through the misty gloom. A line of armored Gorons faced the Demon King; Zora spears were readied to thrust past this living shield-wall into the attackers. Demise surveyed this defense, and laughed.

"This is what they have to stand against me? I have personally slain more, and this is all that Hylia can muster against my entire army. Pitiful. It is nearly a waste of my time to defeat you."

He began to stride forward, and the Zora's readied their spears while Gorons assumed martial stances. Demise let out an amused grunt. "Spare yourselves the embarrassment, and me the time, and just bring out your Goddess." Not one Hylian moved. "No?" Demise sighed. "Very well..."

He drew his wicked black sword and swung the jagged edge, releasing a wave of evil that sent the Gorons sprawling into their Zora compatriots. The demons rushed forward as the tide broke. Hell was unleashed on Hyrule. The Hylians countered when a wave of goldenrod light washed across their ranks. With a zealous fervor, the Gorons reformed their lines and met the charging demons. Battle was met in earnest. Arand did her best to avoid the carnage and keep Ella safe; for the moment she was forgotten in the slaughter.

Demise cut a swathe into the Hylian forces. His sneer still twisted his lips. "Still far too easy."

Still, where Demise was not present, the lines held. The demons were stalled at the lip of the crater, and Demise slaughtered his way deeper and deeper. He reached halfway down the ramp, his eyes set on the light shining deep in the mist. Arand's eyes were likewise focused on the light. It was familiar. It brushed against Alauth's psyche, like a warm caress from a loved one. Alauth knew it had to reach the light before Demise. It was the only way to unlock the mystery of this past that Alauth felt it should know, but could not recall ever having had lived.

"Hold on." Arand warned Ella. The pair disappeared as Alauth released the form of Arand and brought its now shapeless construct to surround Ella's body, draping her with its cloaking light. It was an easy manipulation of light for Alauth, simply allowing the light emitted from one side to match the light absorbed by the opposite. Then, it constructed similarly cloaked wings sprouting from Ella's back. "Here we go!" Alauth launched Ella off the edge of the crater and the two soared down into the mists of the crater.

Alauth alighted in the deepest depths of the crater. What was there was indescribable by Ella, but to Alauth it felt almost like looking in a funhouse mirror. It was similar, but disproportionately large compared to any construct Alauth could create, and the sense of power radiating from it was impressive. It was the source of the glow they had seen from above. Arand took a stop forward, but they had only just beaten Demise. Her curiosity would have to wait as Demise charged forward into the crater. He stopped, glancing between the unknown entity and the supposedly invisible Arand.

"What is the meaning of this? Why are you here? I left you up there with the army."

A voice spoke from nowhere, though it was obviously the glowing entity that had been waiting here. "What? You forget so easily, Demise. Always the strongest Ma, never the smartest. I've been here the whole time, in order to carry out the plan."

Demise, as was his nature, sneered. "Is that so? Then where is Hylia?"

The disembodied voice laughed. "I think you misunderstand to what plan I am referring, dear brother."

The light shifted, and flowed a brilliant green. A warcry bellowed down from the land above; a massive army of Hylian creatures coalesced from the forests surrounding the area. Gorons, Zoras, strange mechanical creatures, even Kikwis joined the charge. And at the forefront was a single human in brilliant armor, young and virile. His gleaming silver sword cut down the demons left and right, driving them closer to the edge. The ground began to crack, and a swarm of Mogma claws broke through the crater's lip. The entire precipice collapsed under the demons, spilling the horde in an avalanche of dirt and rock.

Demise howled in anger at the green-glowing thing. "What have you done? Traitor! You turn your back on your own kind!"

The voice of the entity was not afraid. It sounded almost amused. '"You may may have been able to see through my constructs, but you could never see through me, Demise."'

Demise charged forward, yelling. "I will end you!"

'"And you've only ever been able to see through the constructs, never inside!"'

The shape of the thing wavered and split, revealing a woman of divine perfection. She deftly raised her sword and blocked Demise's strike with a confident little smirk on her beautiful lips. Conflicting sparks of holy and obscene energy skittered from their blades. "Hello, Demise."

The Demon King's eye twitched. "I'll deal with you once this bitch is dead, Malauth!"

Arand's eyes widened in recognition. Malauth! I remember now! This was a battle from antiquity far beyond the capabilities of either of the visitors from the future. Arand backed away from the bursts of diametrically opposed energies, shielding Ella from the worst of its effects, and watched.

Demise and Hylia were locked in mortal martial contest. Hylia was unleashing all her powers to end the threat to Hyrule, but it seemed there was no standing against the King of the Ma. With a powerful overhead strike he beat Hylia's sword aside and raised his massive foot to plant a potent kick in Hylia's solar plexus. The Goddess crumpled to the ground, gasping for breath that would not come. Demise lifted his weapon, gloating.

"And so not even a Goddess could withstand the might of Demise. Soon this world will fall."

As Demise swung low his blade, a shout tore down from the Hylian ranks. "No!" The young man that was their leader lept from where he had charged a third of the way through the demonic forces on the ramp and intercepted Demise's killing blow. He rolled past Hylia, coming up with a mystic looking spike in one hand and his sword in the other. "I." He spun to lash out at the Demon King. "Will not." He parried a blow meant to decapitate him. "Let." His sword bit out again, rebounding from Demise's own weapon and flying from his hands. "Celeste." A squeal of of static erupted into the crater as he blocked Demise's sword with the spike, sending the Demon King's own weapon rocketing into the distance. "Die!" He followed through with his parry and drove the spike into Demise's forehead.

All activity ceased, and the world became silence. Demise's eyes rolled back to look at the spike jutting from his head. The sneer finally disappeared from his face, replaced by the most terrifying of smirks. Then, the crater exploded.

The young man was blown backward by the blast as arcs of divine and profane essences intermingled in resonating waves of all-consuming power. He collided with Arand and Ella with the full force of a Din's wrath and the trio disappeared from that plane of existence.

In The Aftermath Edit

The world was a mess of dust and dirt and darkness. After the violent explosion, a stunned silence took hold of the crater. Fighting stopped while both sides recovered. Hylia lay bleeding, cradled into herself. The force of having her divinity torn from her had left her unconscious.

Malauth recollected itself. It had not escaped unharmed either. The mere act of reforming a rudimentary construct took all the energy it could muster. This simple Hyilan construct limped over to Hylia and lifted her from the bloody ground.

The Spike was firmly stuck in the ground. Sigils of magic power had been burnt into the dirt around it. Demise was defeated, but he was not destroyed. Malauth could still feel his power, but it was trapped and contained in the Sealing Spike.

"Stay there and rot for all eternity, then, you bastard. I never did like you."

Above, the battle re-engaged. With their leader gone, the demonic horde lost cohesion. Under the brilliant leadership of General Eridanus, the Hylian forces found victory at last on that day. But it was at a great cost. Malauth retreated from the field of battle, protecting the broken woman in his arms.

Chamdar was never found.

Where is Chamdar? Edit

"Chamdar... where is my... Where is Chamdar?"

Hylia had recovered some from the ordeals in the crater of what was not being called The Sealed Grounds, but she was still very weak, and faded in and out of moments of delirium. Impa had never left her side, tending to the woman she was sworn to protect.

It had been over a month.

"You're upsetting her," Impa chastised Malauth. "Change out of that form."

"Of course." Malauth's features melted, changing from the Chamdar lookalike to an exact replica of the man. "Is this better?"

Impa's sword was drawn in an instant. "You know that it is not, demon."

"Calm, Protector." Malauth changed form once more, to something reminiscent of General Polaris. "Though I aid you as much as I am able, realize that it is in my nature to... antagonize. I fight it, for all our sakes, but you must forgive the moments that slip."

"When you are no longer necessary, I shall forgive you on the edge of my blade."

Malauth smirked at the zealous woman. "I shall always be necessary."

He strode closer to the recovering Hylia. After her brief outburst, she had fallen back into unconsciousness. The light which once shown deep in her soul was dimmed and gone. Her beauty, while still stunning, was no longer otherworldly, and had a drained look to it.

"Her divinity is gone from her. She is still a Living Scion of the Golden Three, but she is no longer the Living Goddess Hylia. Chamdar, it seems, got what he wanted, if only he were still here to have it.

"Celeste is back."

Impa settled a hard steely glare on Malauth. "We cannot tell the people. After this war, after losing so much, they need something on which to cling. They need hope."

"Oh, no, I completely agree. It's just... this complicates the plan."

"What plan?"

"The plan! Demise!"

"Demise is done and defeated. He is no more."

Malauth shook his head with a sigh.

"Oh, if only. Demise still iswas defeated, yes, but not destroyed. I felt his power still in the Spike. He is merely contained; sealed, but still very releasable. And one day... he will surely break free and his wage his terrible war on this world once more.

"Even now, as we speak, he is no doubt working to gather his power, that we scattered, and free himself. That alone is a threat; imagine if he were to be aided by some outside force loose in the world.

"You know that we never did find his sword. Ghirahim is out there somewhere."

Impa nearly growled at this declaration. "Then what are we to do?"

Malauth brushed the pristine golden locks from Hylia's face.

"I don't know. But I have a few ideas."


A Pair of Plans
Edit

"Please, my lady, do not do this thing!"

Hylia smiled with sad compassion at her loyal Sheikah.

"I must, Impa. It pains me, but it must be admitted: Despite its nature, this Trickster has never lied to us, not led us astray. Malauth is right. Demise will return one day unless we take measures to stop him."

"This plan is foolhardy, though! It relies too much on chance."

Malauth interrupted with a snort, "Hardly! I would not leave such an important matter to chance!"

Hylia silenced Malauth with a glare. "The plan as presented is imperfect. But that is why you and I will perfect it." It was Malauth's turn to cast a glare at Hylia. "And we will perfect it without demonic meddling."

Malauth's glare turned to a look of shocked surprise. "You can't just... kick me out! As you've said, I've never led you astray! You need me for this plan!"

Hylia's gaze hardened, enough so that even the Ma dared not speak further.

"It is because of your cooperation that I will grant you mercy and not destroy you for the Ma that you are. But it is for your hubris that I disinclude you. Begone, Malauth! You are not as essential as you believe yourself to be.

Malauth sneered at Hylia and Impa, but they met the demon's glare with stoic and stolid expressions. After a few tense moments, Malauth grunted and left. From outside the tent, it heard Impa's voice.

"After this, it cannot be trusted so easily."

"I have a plan for that, too," Hylia replied.

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