Chapter 16 of IW Season One.
The Darkness and Light of the Heart Edit
Habiki began to drift in and out of consciousness as the ice numbed his energies. He was not used to this kind of cold. The rain still poured lightly, adding thick layers of fresh ice as the water froze to the surface of his frigid sarcophagus, but the clouds were beginning to dissipate, little wisps of sunlight reaching the cathedral.
He could neither move nor speak, and therefore couldn’t possibly perform the gestures and incantations that could get him out of this.
But no matter what Ly…Hothknight had done to his body, he still had his mind. Still had the imagery. Still had the capacity to imagine the symbolism of the technique, and to recite the incantation in his mind.
He focused on the image of the bright yellow sun amidst the blackness of space, it’s corona bleaching its surroundings. Imagined each flare on its surface as an outstretched arm, a sunbeam waiting to take his hand and lend him aid.
He focused on the image of his outstretched fingers meeting with it, and pulling it towards him through the divide of millions of miles that separated them. On that sunbeam leaving the pack at high speed, coming toward him, and growing denser and smaller, more physically manifest, as it neared him.
And as he continued to imagine the sun’s outstretched fingers, he began to recite the words. Over and over, he let them circle inside his head, fueling his drive, his determination. Yet still, even as the light began to coalesce around him, he knew he was not drawing enough power. It had been hard enough attempting to summon a shard in Solarus’ world, where he had not been subject to the sins of his imperfect shell. He simply didn’t have the right motivation, the right reason. Then he remembered what Solarus had last said to him:
“Habiki! HABIKI! WHATEVER YOU DO, KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE SHEIKAH!”
“WHICH ONE?!” he cried back.
“BOTH OF THEM!”
A little late for that now, he thought bitterly. Lynn had been subsumed by Hothknight, and Kae was her willing, yet unknowing prisoner. Had Habiki been in control, he might have prevented both, if only for the moment.
Kae…the innocent in all this, the bystander. What will Hothknight do to her? he began to fear. She…they…it will simply dispose of her the moment she ceases to entertain it.
Suddenly he grew angry. Angry that Lynn, the person Kae loved most in the world, the one who was supposed to protect her, could embrace Hothknight so easily. Angry that this new Hothknight wouldn’t even hesitate to harm her.
I will NOT let that happen! he boomed angrily within. He began to try to send a message to Hothknight, though it was doubtful she’d receive such weak telepathic signals. I hope you remain as fast at fleeing as you were today, Hothknight. Because if you touch one hair on her head, I swear I will kill you! I will chase you down to the ends of the Earth, and I will tear you out of Lynn with my bare hands! That’s a promise!
His whole mind bellowed with that one thought, that Kae must live. She has to be safe. She has to be safe!
Why he would be so worried over the life of someone he’d never actually spoken to was not important. He channeled it all into his incantation, and the mental image of Kae fused with that of the sun.
He felt his hand light up like a Dinmas tree as the celestial blade came into existence. Before it even solidified, while it was still fiery and pulsing unstably, he forced his wrist to turn and the sword to begin slicing through the ice.
He forced his arm up with all his might, and suddenly he was free, air bursting into his lungs as vaguely incandescent shards of ice flew in all directions, only his lower body still constrained. The shard was now completely manifest. The rain was still pouring down on him, but he no longer feared it.
He drove his hands skyward and let all his might flow into the rain, instantly vaporizing it as a pillar of light shot upwards through the ceiling of the cathedral into the sky, piercing a hole directly through the clouds, like a holy beacon, as if to shout to the world,I am here! And I refuse to be destroyed!
Nydesti’s Home for the Mentally Infirm/Morning 4/Quentin Sol
Quentin Sol continued to struggle against the bonds of his straight jacket, screaming about invisible terrors.
“The demons! They live in my stomach! I’ve given them names!” he continued to rave while an orderly outside his cell peered in through the window, then continued on.
“They built a wooden tower to Death Mountain!” he shouted as the man passed. His statements were growing more and more incoherent every day.
Exhausted from his struggle, Sol collapsed against the outer wall of his cell, looking out at the window. In the distance he saw two figures falling from a castle parapet and crashing through the roof of the town's great cathedral.
“They fell out the window!” he yelled, but of course they didn’t respond, what was happening outside matching perfectly the inanity of his usual statements.
He leaned against the frame for quite some time, staring for some unknown reason out the bars of his window at the distant Sanctuary where he had seen the two figures disappear from view.
The sky began to cloud over. Soon it began to rain, and he stood there, silent at last, as he heard thunder rumbling in the distance, and brilliant flashes of light flew through the air, drops of rain quickly beading on the glass of his window and distorting his view of the outside. The lightning itself reminded him of something. He felt a familiarity with those brief moments of incandescence, of dazzling white amidst the sky.
He was completely hypnotized, not knowing how or why. And then he saw it. In the distance, near where he had been looking before the rain started, an enormous pillar of light erupted towards the sky, piercing the clouds above and allowing the sun to peak through. It lingered for several seconds, growing whiter, ever brighter, before fading away.
Something changed in his eyes as the light was reflected in them. Some spark of recognition.
***An on duty nurse was wandering the halls of the clinic, checking on all the patients to make sure they had all taken their medicines, or eaten their dinners, in general making sure she was up to date on everything. She had worked here for many years, and had become very accustomed to the daily rituals and various eccentricities of the patients. And that was why when she came upon cell 302, the quarters of Mr. Sol, she was quite unnerved to find it atypically quiet.
“Mr. Sol?” she said apprehensively, peering in the small flap in his door, and saw him by the window, not shrieking his usual profanity or ranting of his delusions.
She opened the door cautiously, and stepped into the room, afraid that any wrong move could set him off.
He turned to face her, and she saw that the straps of his straight jacket had come undone, now looking vaguely like a long-armed coat.
Before she could say anything, she caught his gaze. They were piercing, quiet, unlike what she expected from him. She was frightened.
He was the first to speak. “What have I been doing all this time?” he said.
Her eyebrows raised at this statement. “Beg’ pardon?”
He was looking around at the room as if seeing it for the first time. He looked back at the windows. Then his eyes grew wide. “Habiki.” He looked back at the nurse. “I’m terribly sorry, child, but I must be leaving at once.”
Suddenly she leapt in front of the door. “No, Mr. Sol, but I simply cannot allow that.” Her voice was stern.
He smiled kindly. “I’m afraid I’m not asking.” And suddenly his presence overwhelmed her. There seemed to be some kind of force preventing her from moving. What magic was this? She looked down at her body and saw that it was bound in cables of a strange white energy. She saw wisps of light trailing away from the man’s feet as he walked out of the cell into the hallway, and she strained her neck to see as he strode briskly, with purpose toward the exit.
Castle Town/Morning 4/Habiki
Habiki stumbled heavily out of the Cathedral, into the rain outside, clutching his blade in one hand and his side with the other, wincing. He fired another wave into the air, weakening the force of the cascade, but it was still coming down on him.
Damnit! he thought to himself. This body can’t take much more of this.
And then he knew…this body was finished. It would not survive the hour, let alone the mission.
He limped through the rain, slicing his sword in circles in the rain trying to keep it away, and his cracked legs, still filled with splinters of ice, gave way completely, too far dissolved and cracked to hold up his weight. He began to pull himself along the ground by his arms, mud trailing along. He knew the rain was slowing, the clouds would part soon. But he wouldn’t be around to enjoy it.
He continued to steel himself by focusing on his goal.
She has to be safe! he worried again, this time aloud. Kae Bryseis was the Scion of Nayru. He was an applicant Daykeeper. They were soon to both be servants of the same force. He could not let harm come to her, for she was the only one who would understand his burden, the only one who could truly know him once he was imbued...even though he didn’t know her at all. In that sense, they were kindred, as were the stars that fueled them.
He dropped his Sun Shard, unable to sustain it, and it dissipated into small particles of light that blended with the air until they evaporated.
His fingers scraped along the cobbled streets of Castle Town, desperately scratching and clawing to get some kind of traction. The fingers quickly disintegrated from the strain. He was not moving forward. There was no strength in his arms to pull him along. He could not move, could not escape his fate.
He had to get out of this body, now! Otherwise it would kill him.
I have to live. his mind told him unconvincingly.
As the mud trickled down his face and into his eyes, he could vaguely make out shapes coming closer to him. They were a quartet of guards, spears in hand, moving toward the spectacle that was Habiki.
“What the hell is that thing?” one of them said.
“I think I’ve heard about this. The Twili use it.” Said another. “It’s one of their golems, a mud puppet!” he announced, clutching his spear tightly.
The third walked up and aimed the tip of his spear at Habiki’s head. “How did it get into the Castle grounds?”
Habiki could not speak, could not protest, so far gone was his body. His lungs had disintegrated, his insides flooded with water, all that was keeping him alive the magic that bound him to his body. But he felt even that beginning to break, his senses beginning to take on a strange, metallic feeling, distant. He was unaware, but the gaping hole in his chest that contained the Light Heart was again being encroached by shadowy tendrils, cracks that filled with a sickly black ooze, masking his power source from their eyes as it was engulfed in bile.
Seeing the depression in his chest, the guard shoved his spear directly into Habiki’s heart, fracturing the Light Heart. A loud crack rang out as a single burst of Light issued from the slice in Habiki’s chest, which instantly was covered over as the black seeped into it.
Strange sensations began to enshroud him as he felt the shadow begin its final encroachment of his energies, the integrity breached by the guard’s spear.
“Kill it!” the fourth shouted, and the guard readied his spear for the final blow.
“RRAAARRH!” came his guttural roar, augmented by the internal gurgling of water, bellowing as a cloud of black burst out from his body towards the guard.
The guard inhaled the fumes, then stumbled backwards into the wall, slinking to the floor unconscious.
The other three charged at him with their spears, and he lay there, immobile, as their attack would surely destroy him.
Suddenly there was a burst of Light in front of him, and the guards spears were flung from their hands. At the same time, a pillar of stone erupted from the ground in front of him, keeping them at bay. Habiki looked up just in time to see two man standing on either side of him.
One was Tenturi, the Earth Mage.
The other was a grizzled, gray-haired man with a small white soul-path under his lip, wearing a long-armed white cloak…
father… thought Habiki, and knew no more.
Quentin Sol and Ulysses Tenturi
Ten lowered the pillar back into the ground, and surveyed the three guards Habiki hadn’t knocked unconscious.
“My my, look at how thin their numbers have gotten.” he shook his head. “This war sure is taking its toll.”
Sol stepped towards them.
“Forgive me, officers, but would you mind explaining to me why you’re attacking my son?” he said calmly.
The guards looked puzzled, but one of them stepped forward nervously.
“Son? It was my understanding that this…creature…was a Twili golem, one of their battle puppets!”
Tenturi laughed. “Well, technically yes, he is, but-“
The guards quickly tightened their grips on their spears as Ten grabbed the unconscious Habiki by the shoulders and hoisted him over his back, Habiki’s body quickly losing shape as gravity took hold.
“Well technically we are from Twili,” again emphasizing the operative word.
This wasn’t the right thing to say, as the guards took a step forward.
“Oh, this isn’t the time for this, Ulysses.” said Sol sternly, then turned to the guards. “If it will ease your discomfort, officers, you should know that I’m Labrynnan, and we mean no-”
Tenturi rolled his eyes. “Well…technically,” He smiled mischievously. “But last time I checked, Quentin, you were a denizen of Twili until you got yourself locked up here.”
The guards had heard enough, and charged, lances at the ready.
Tenturi smiled as a pillar rose up beneath his feet and lifted him and his comrades high above the soldiers.
“Try and catch us up here,” he laughed.
Sol looked at him sternly. “Is that really necessary, Ulysses?”
Tenturi gave him an innocent look. “What, we can’t have a little fun with them before we go?” He stepped forward and another pillar rose in front of the first.
Sol was not pleased to hear his tone, remaining where he stood and refusing to step onto the second pillar. “No! We can’t! Not in the middle of a war between Hyrule and Twili. Are you trying to get us killed?”
“I’m trying to find a little excitement. I’ve been stuck in this town trying to keep a low profile while I looked after you in that institution. I’m ready for a little adventure.”
Suddenly an arrow whizzed by Sol’s head, and he quickly jumped to the second pillar, the first retracting into the ground, and looked down to see one of the guards had drawn his bow, and the others were doing the same.
“Damn! Now look what you’ve done,” he chided, and the two of them set off running, pillars of stone rising in front of them and falling beneath them, tearing up the streets as they ran from the guards.
"Everybody OUT OF THE WAY!" laughed Ten as pedestrians scattered in front of the trail he was leaving.
They quickly met an intersection and jumped from the pillars onto a nearby roof, sending a wall up at the intersection so the guards could not follow. Ten careful not to drop Habiki, they set off running again, ducking to avoid the incoming arrows from the guards, standing back from the rock wall Ten had created.
They reached a back alley, and Ten jumped from the roof, Habiki’s body fracturing further from the impact, and Sol followed. Ten removed his jacket and threw it over Habiki, so as to conceal what he was carrying, then they stepped back out onto a main road.
“Okay,” Ten said to Sol, walking briskly through the sea of pedestrians. “Those guards can no longer follow us, that barricade will be standing until they can bring the Gorons in. If we get back to my workshop quickly, without attracting attention, we should be safe.”
Sol raised an eyebrow at that. “Says the one who practically shouted from a pedestal ‘Hey everyone, I’m from Twili, come attack me’?”
“Eh, I was just screwing with them. We weren’t ever in any real danger, and neither was anyone else. I had it under control. Besides, it’s like you said, we have more pressing issues.”
And silent from then on, they pushed through the throngs towards Tenturi’s workshop.
Harken Zeiss/Mid-Day 4/Castle Town
"Alright, good work, men. That's another building cleared. Call over the carts, and we'll start hauling away the debris."
Harken surveyed his little crew. They were industrious people, these Hylians, when they were motivated. And these people were motivated by disaster. Harken stepped back, wiped his brow, and found a sizable chunk of rock, one that wouldn't be hauled away until it could be broken down by hammers or Goron fists, on which to sit. The Hylians continued their work, taking the debris that they had just previously cleared from the road and stacked, and loading it all onto horse-drawn carts.
He accepted a mug of water from one of his minions, but never got to drink it. Out of the corner of his eye he saw two older men walking down the street with a... something cast over one man's shoulder, covered in a blanket. They walked in a casual manner, nothing suspicious to the normal on-looker. To one trained in subtleties, as Harken had taught himself over the years, it was obvious they were trying to look normal, and not just looking normal for normalcy's sake.
This was intriguing. Harken sat the mug of water on his previous seat, and made his way over to the pair, giving orders to the cleaning gang to continue as they were. Most obeyed, but out of curiosity, three of his new-found followers did just that. The four of them came upon the pair shortly, and Harken initiated conversation.
"I wonder, what is that you have under the blanket? Not trying to steal anything during this civil emergency, I hope?"
Though only partially intentional, it remained possible that his entourage, and the crytal-shard wounds peppering Harken's fAce, could serve to intimidate.
Mid-day 4/Sol and Ten/Castle Town
Sol froze where he stood, becoming instantly tense.
"Under the blanket? Nothing of consequence, I assure you, just sacks of varied vegetables we are carrying to our stand up at the market. These are troubled times, but people still have need to eat. Certainly there is no crime in a grocer maintaining his business."
He knew this excuse wouldn't fly. Refusing to show what Ten was carrying looked far too suspicious. This man was going to ask him to reveal his wares, unless they could think of another way to deter him.
Ten chimed in.
"Sir, I'm tired, my joints are aching, and I still have to carry this heavy weight several blocks away. I have a long day ahead of me, and I don't have time to unpack my wares merely to bundle them up again. Are you in the habit of pestering merchants merely going about their daily chores?"
That was better, but perhaps the insolence would only provoke this man.
Before either could think of a new plan, suddenly the bag on Ten's shoulder began to shift. He quickly coughed and shifted the weight on his shoulder to mask Habiki's rustling.
stay down, Habiki, Sol thought-messaged Habiki. stay down.
The movement quickly subsided, and Sol breathed an internal sigh of relief.
Only for Habiki's arm to slip out through the cover and drop to the side, dangling aimlessly. It was no longer recognizable as an arm, little more than a warped stump, but it was most certainly not a vegetable.
And then it began to move.
Ten's face was lined with frustration. He sighed outwardly."S***..."
Harken Zeiss/Mid-Day 4/Castle Town
Harken quirked his eyebrow, and then regretted it as the muscle movement pulled on his cuts. However, there was something not quite right going on with these two. They were hiding something. And where someone wanted something hid, there was profit to be made. Yes, that was one thing Harken understood very well: profit.
"That," he stated, pointing out what was obvious, "is not a vegetable."
He took a few tentative steps closer to the pair, doing his best not to appear hostile as he approached. "Now, then," he spoke in a low, conspiratorial tone, "why don't you tell me what's really going on here. I'm sure we just have a misunderstanding, and if we all come clean to one another, we can work together and come to a mutually beneficial end. Hmm? You'd like that, yes? Having me help you hide whatever it is you've got there, rather than forcing my hands to reveal whatever contraband you have and summon the guards?"
It was risky, the threat. While some could be quite intimidated by such words, others found stubborn defiance better suited a response. Nonethelss, Harken hoped it would serve the point he wished to make. They might be able to sneak, or fight, through guards. Perhaps. But it would tax them. Or they may be just the proper targets, afraid of getting caught, and crumble before the possibility of armed men facing them.
Either way, Harken hoped to win the little game he played with them. All he needed was the next response to determine who would end the victor.
Habiki/Day 4/Castle Town
Tenturi held Habiki close to him, praying desperately he wouldn't cause anymore of a scene, trying to maintain his composer.
Sol stood there staring intensely into the blackmailer's eyes. This was clearly a man of some power, some stature. Ordinarily, Ten and he would have quickly fled, Habiki in tow, and paid no mind to this man.
But he could tell this was no mere Hylian officer. He carried himself with a strange importance, and Sol could sense magical energies flitting about him. He was clearly carrying some powerful artifacts. Fleeing was not an option, it would only lead to a battle, a clash of their magics.
So what were their options? Reveal themselves as citizens of the enemy forces? As a potential threat to the crown? That was not an option either. They would never believe benign intent. Then again, were they of benign intent? Sol hadn’t thought of that. In this time of war, they would potentially be forced to choose sides.
It seemed contest might be inevitable. He readied himself, taking a seemingly innocuous but defensive stance. Ten also tensed in preparation for any potential attack.
Luckily, the decision was quickly made for them, as a gravelly voice came from under the cloak Ten had draped over his shoulder.
"K...con...tra..band?" It sputtered weakly, then giving way to a wheezing cough.
The cargo’s weight shifted, and before Ten could do anything to compensate, Habiki fell from his shoulder and sprawled out onto the pavement, the soiled cloak beneath him, large chunks of his wet body flying away from the impact. There were gaping holes in his torso, so one could see inside him.
Habiki forced himself off the ground, propping himself up on arms that could barely hold his weight. Water dribbled out of his mouth and down onto his chin, his ruptured earth body even more pitiable than it had begun days ago…but he forced his mind to remain clear.
He looked up at the man who stood in front of him.
“I…am no…contraband!” he said angrily in that same thick, wet, gravelly voice that sounded nothing like him. He could barely speak, every word a strain.
“I am…member...of…Light Warriors, an elite…task..force.” He vomited up a thick black mud at the end of this sentence. “Hand-picked by Commander Phoenix…himself. I am on a…high-priority...mission. If you doubt…me…then perhaps I shall ask to see…the Commander…” before his arms collapsed beneath him and he was rendered immobile.
Ten and Sol were both equally surprised by this news.
“Traitor!” Ten began to say, but was quickly cut off by Sol before he could finish the word.
“You see,” he said, quickly using Habiki’s story to help him form his own. “This man is an artificial being, and his body was heavily damaged in the field, in service of an important mission handed down from the Commander. We were trying to be discreet, as his task is of the most vital importance. Unfortunately, now is not the time to discuss it, as he is clearly in need of repair and attention.”
It was a minor deception, claiming to have known Habiki was a Light Warrior. Had he known all along, the rest of his story would have been the complete truth.
Ten bent over and lifted the feeble Habiki from the ground, bundling him once again on his shoulder.
“Speaking of repair and attention, we best be getting back to my workshop if we are to restore function to him in time. You’re welcome to accompany us, if you can be discreet. That means lose the guards.”
And then he turned to walk. Sol did not follow, still trying to read the man who had imposed on them. Was it really a good idea to invite him where he could cause the most damage?
[b]Harken Zeiss/Mid-Day 4/Castle Town[/b]
Harken, and his guard, moved to follow the pair of men and their... whatever it was called. As they moved, the gruffer of the pair turned to him, a glimpse of anger in his eyes.
"[color=chocolate]I [i]said[/i] 'lose the guards'.[/color]"
Harken only smirked at him. "My friend, you will appreciate having me and mine on your side, if you are truly working in service of this land and its people. Are these men not the self-same people you work to protect? Those you, in essence, serve?
"Aside from that, if the matter is as important as you claim, I'm certain you wouldn't mind the additional security."
Day 4/Habiki and masters/Castle Town
The officer was cunning, to be sure. He adressed Ten.
"My friend, you will appreciate having me and mine on your side, if you are truly working in service of this land and its people. Are these men not the self-same people you work to protect? Those you, in essence, serve?
Aside from that, if the matter is as important as you claim, I'm certain you wouldn't mind the additional security."
Ten looked incredulously at him. "You presume far more than was implied, fool. None of us ever stated we were servants of Hyrule. Not even the supposed Light Warrior on my back." His eyes were beginning to blaze with indignance. "...fine. Bring your damn guards. But if you try to pull anything, forget not that this creature is on speaking terms with Pheonix. If you cause trouble, there will be hell for you."
Ten, Sol, and Habiki/Castle Town/Day 4
"Well, do you see it?" said Sol, holding up a small ball of light to illuminate the caverns.
"Just a second," Ten replied, grasping along the wall for a small protrusion. "A-ah!" he said, quickly finding the groove and inserting his hand. He muttered a few words, and suddenly the wall in front of him cracked open, revealing a doorway, beyond it an ascending staircase. "Right where I left it. The back entrance to my workshop." They ascended the stairs quickly, coming out into the darkened cave Habiki had entered only the day before.
Quick thinking on Ten’s part had allowed them to evade capture by that Harken fellow. They had sensed powerful magics around him, so neither fight nor flight were appropriate options. But no one said anything about falling into an open fault in the ground that suddenly opened up beneath your feet.
"It could be brighter," said Sol, the orb in his hand splitting into a thousand fragments, each one floating up and embedding themselves in the ceiling, making an eerie spectacle as the room was suddenly bathed in their glow.
Ten rushed over to a nearby table, unceremoniously swiping the contents onto the floor with his free hand, then lay down the bundle that was Habiki on the stone slab.
Sol looked around at the scene in front of him, an array of rock formations surrounding him that formed tables, chairs, assorted tools, and even the shapes of unknown creatures...no doubt unfinished experiments of Ten's. There was also an assortment of doro-dangos, shining spheres of hardened dirt, along a stone shelf of one wall.
"How long have you been digging these caverns under the castle?" said Sol.
"As long as I've been in town," said Ten. "I set up shop here about 4 years ago so I could look after you. Excavating to find rare minerals, trying to find a substance that could work towards, well…" he nodded towards the bundle on the table.
“And what about you, Sol? When did you know that Habiki was here?”
“As soon as I saw his beacon at the cathedral, I knew. His energy helped to unlock my own, to dispel the curse that put me in that institution.”
“A curse he gave you,” Ten muttered bitterly. “If-“
“Let us not speak of it. It is in the past, it’s of no consequence now. Let us focus on more important things, such as attending to our charge.”
Sol approached the bundle and unwrapped it carefully. Inside was a shapeless mass of hardening mud. If one looked very carefully, one could still see the vague outline of the human form, but it was difficult to the untrained eye to discern.
He carefully reached his arm into the mud where he believed the chest to be, searching for Habiki’s spirit. For a moment he could have sworn he felt something else, a disk of some sort, but he quickly chocked it up to the corrosive properties of the Dusk warping his senses. The tips of his fingers were sore as they finally grasped the small ball of energy that housed Habiki’s essence. He withdrew his arm, steaming, from the pile, and held the Light Heart in his clenched hand.
Ten quickly rushed forward with a bucket of water, and Sol dunked his arm quickly into the waters, the Light Heart in tow. The water sizzled as he did so.
Withdrawing his hand, leaving the Light Heart submerged in the bucket, they turned back to the corpse.
“His body's beyond repair,” said Ten. “It cannot sustain life as he knew it. To fashion a new body out of it would take weeks, to re-establish its living bonds would take months of magical use, and it would only-”
“Would only be prolonging the fate of the mineral to consume him.” Sol finished for him.
“Exactly,” Ten grunted.
“That’s time we don’t have anyway, if Habiki is to be believed about his mission with the Light Warriors.”
Ten grew angry at the mention, and opened his mouth to speak, but before he could Sol had already silenced him with his eyes.
“What of the Hikaru shell? Do you still have it?” Sol’s gaze grew suddenly bright at the prospect. “The last time I saw it, four years ago, it was just being constructed. Surely your research in that time has gone well? Surely it has been completed and we can bond Habiki to it?”
Ten shook his head. “Impossible. No mundane mineral will allow it to conduct his energies. Only a substance of divine potency, a soil that readily accepts the light into itself, can allow Hikaru life through Habiki. The shell is complete except for that single, missing ingredient. I have searched every corner beneath Castle Town these last 5 years, and I have yet to come across such a mineral. Nor have my attempts to synthesize one from my existing stock of soils been successful…except.”
“Except what?” Sol was growing more and more excited with each passing second. Their research was a hair’s breadth from completion, he could feel it. Habiki would be complete. Habiki, the beacon of Light they had created to save the Twili.
“Habiki may have discovered that very substance already. When we spoke, he mentioned it as a vital part of his mission, to retrieve the mineral from the Deku Tree in Faron.”
In that moment Sol could no longer contain himself. He pumped his fists into the air. “Yes!” he grabbed Sol by the shoulders. “Do you know what this means? Our life’s work will be completed!”
“Our life’s work? Last time I checked that included an agenda this bleeding heart Hylian golem seems to have no interest in.”
“Patience, Ten. You must have patience. Now that we again have Habiki, we can educate him to his purpose. We can do what we set out to do. And Habiki being in good with the Hylians can only help to further that agenda.”
Ten seemed for a moment to be satisfied. Then he rolled his eyes in frustration. “It doesn’t matter anyway. We can’t bond him to Hikaru until we have that damn mineral. And we’ll never reach Faron without Habiki’s help. Our powers grow weak in our advancing age. That’s why we created a functional immortal to carry out our work in the first place.”
Sol seemed less troubled than he should be. “There may be a way to give him temporary control of Hikaru,” he smiled. “Yes, in fact, I’m sure I have a method. It would be a weak bond at best, it would hold for maybe two days, if we’re lucky, and I only have the strength left to do it once. If we fail, Habiki will finally be out of commission, something he has been very lucky to avoid as long as he has. But if we succeed…if we succeed we shall finally -”
“Enough of all that! How do you intend to bind him to the shell?!”
Sol cracked a wide, toothy grin. “Show me Hikaru.”
[b]Harken Zeiss/Day 4/Castle Town[/b]
And then, suddenly, the ground quaked, and a large fissure ruptured in the middle of the street, swallowing whole both men and their tote. Harken, and his guards, stumbled away from the crack in the earth, losing balance in the localized earthquake. As the ground calmed, they found their center, and skimmed the surroundings. The only damage down was to the street, concentrated solely to the patch where the men has stood.
"This is not over," mused Harken. "They will have to leave the city, some day, some how."
He turned to his compatriots. "I do not trust the threat these men present. Don't you agree? Make sure everyone knows their descriptions. They are not dead, and when they again show themselves, we must be ready to apprehend them. ... And bring them before the proper authorities, of course."
The bodyguards smirked at his words, and he couldn't help but join them in appreciating the irony of what he had said. Then they returned to the group down the street, again working to clear away the rubble and destruction that was being ignored by the so-called "Heroes of Hyrule".
Habiki and Co/Day 4/Tenturi's workshop
Ten stepped with pride and purpose toward a familiar fault in a nearby wall. He placed his hand near the entrance to the vault, issued his mental and verbal commands, and the wall split open to reveal the crevice that contained his greatest masterpiece.
"Sol, I’d like to introduce you to the culmination of my research. This –“ he paused, gesturing his arm toward the shell that would be Habiki’s new body. “Is Hikaru.”
Sol stepped into the chamber where Hikaru sat, knees tucked in towards its head, arms folded in front of itself in the fetal position, its fingers locked together. Its face seemed to be lined with melancholy.
“The engineering is remarkable,” he delighted. “You really did this?”’
“It looks remarkably similar to the designs you originally proposed for it in the journals.”
“Yes, I’ve had to make surprisingly few concessions. The design was flawless, if I do say so myself.”
Sol turned quickly to catch Ten’s gaze. “Nothing is flawless,” he admonished. “You of all people should remember that.”
His eyes quickly returned to Hikaru. “But he is quite beautiful, quite an achievement…bring me the bucket.”
Ten grabbed the small pail of water in which the Light Heart was suspended. Looking in, he saw that as the Light Heart floated midway in the water, the Dusk had fallen away and settled at the bottom of the pail, cleansing the orb of the impurities. He smiled inwardly at Sol’s cleverness as he walked it over to his partner.
Without taking his eyes of Hikaru, Sol reached in and plucked the Light Heart from the waters, which quickly dripped away from the smooth surface. He clutched it in a loose fist, as one might hold a ball.
“As I was saying before, how do you plan to establish a connection between the two?”
Sol smiled. “What do you know of Light Cables?”
Tenturi shook his head. “Not much, the Light is your area of expertise. All I know is it’s one of your more advanced techniques, like silk ropes of magical energy.”
Sol nodded. “Indeed, I used them to escape that institution by tying the unfortunate hands of an orderly who tried to hold me there.”
He held the Light Heart up in front of him as he began an explanation of the process. “You see, Ten, normally, Light travels in a straight line,” as he said it, he turned his palm up and opened his fingers, and rays of light began to emanate outward in all directions from the Light Heart he held in his outstretched hand. “But many things, like water, glass, or a skilled sorcerer, can bend it, twist it in the direction they want it to flow.” The Light seemed to separate into a thousand strands as each ray began to twist in its own direction, for all appearances some ghostly anemone.
“By binding these filaments together,” he said, many of the strands twisting together to form larger cables, “One can form powerful energetic ties that allow the Light to act as an almost physical form.” Each of these thin ropes turned to wrap around his fingers, across his hands, up his arm, growing taut until they had bandaged his arm to the shoulder. They looked like white veins on the surface of his pale skin, coursing blood (or energy) through his body.
Sol turned his palm toward the floor, and Ten watched in awe as the Light Heart remained against the Light Mage’s palm, fastened there by materials no more substantial than the air, perhaps even less so.
“And that,” said Sol, closing his fist back around the Light Heart as the cables instantly vanished, “Is the plan.”
Ten eyed him curiously. “Are you saying that we could use Light Cables to tie Habiki to the shell, and even drive it to motion?”
Sol nodded. “It would be a crude fix. Habiki would more accurately be operating the body than an actual part of it, like a puppeteer working a marionette. He wouldn’t truly be bound to Hikaru, but it would allow him a body until that mineral can establish a true bond between them.”
Ten’s eyes grew wide. “Then what are you waiting for! Let’s do this!”
Sol stepped toward Hikaru, the Light Heart in his right hand. With his other hand he gently pulled apart Hikaru’s interlaced fingers, set its legs out in front of it, its back against the wall. Upon Ten’s command, its stone ribs parted to reveal the large empty cavity within.
Sol reached his hand in with the Light Heart in tow, and began to chant as Light Cables began to trail away from his arm. Quickly they anchored the Heart in place, and Sol removed his hand. He lifted his fingers and deftly began to conduct the strands as they stretched themselves throughout the body, as if he were a weaver and this was his loom. The dead tree-roots that made up Hikaru’s muscles began to shiver as the Light Cables wrapped around and then through them, securing Habiki’s energies to the shell. Wrapping first around the core of the body, the torso, then out through the limbs and eventually delicately to the digits, the cables tapered as they went along.
The roots seemed to be soaking up the energies, as they began to pulsate, to expand, no longer dead at all, and the Hikaru shell began to awaken.
The fingers of its hands grew tense, then relaxed again. Its face began to contort with what appeared to be pain as Habiki’s mind began to flood through it.
Then its eyes burst open, blazing white-hot with the creature’s energy, and the thing leapt to its feet.
It began to turn in circles, clawing at the walls, stumbling erratically. Then suddenly it stopped in its tracks. It opened its mouth to speak…
“Kae, no! Don’t go with her! That’s not Lynn anymore! That’s not her! Kae!”
Habiki and Co./Day 4/Ten's Workshop
"Kae!" He shouted again. "Stop! She's deceiving you! You’re in danger! No! KAEE!" His eyes glowed a vivid white, his pupils completely absent as he continued to yell and stumble about the room, his screams quickly drifting into incoherence, knocking things off worktables as he did so.
"Sol," Ten demanded, "What the hell is going on? He's gone mad!" he looked over at his partner, and found him clutching his chest, panting. The enchantments had taken a lot out of him.
Sol slunk down against the wall to catch his breath as he explained. "I thought this might happen," he groaned. "Remember, Habiki is operating that body remotely. He's not actually controlling it the way you or I control our limbs. I feared his senses might have trouble syncing with his new shell. To him, he's off somewhere else, having a vivid and apparently rather horrible experience."
“So what should I do,” Ten demanded, “Restrain him?”
“No! That’s the last thing you should do. Restraining him would only serve to remove what little stimuli is allowing him to sync with the shell as much as he has, to speak with its voice and move by its grace! No, we must merely let it run its course and hope he finds his way to us.”
Habiki continued to thrash about the room.
Habiki struggled from within the ice as he watched Hothknight steal away with the Scion, effortlessly using Kae's love of her friend to seduce her to unreason.
“Stop!” his voice echoed in his own head, but it did not carry any further.
The disk of ice rose into the air, and as it did the former face of Lynn Annei turned back to mock him, its features breaking into a demonic grin. A cackle issued from her lips as her eyes turned a blood red, her teeth sharpened into fangs, and her seemingly gentle hand upon Kae’s shoulder drew blood as her claws dug into the flesh. This image grew larger until Hothknight seemed to swallow Habiki whole, her teeth slicing him into oblivion.
The blackness gave way to Habiki’s corpse, lying cold on the Cathedral floor, Hothknight holding up his head as her ungainly trophy in one hand, her long tongue licking clean the sword that had killed him. Kae stood a small ways behind her, her eyes bloodied and unable to see the spectacle in front of her. Habiki floated toward the image of his corpse, then repulsed, averted his eyes. Unfortunately the morbid pull meant he couldn’t keep them so for long. He turned back to see the image of his body, and saw it replaced by that of the bloody-eyed Kae, Habiki himself, headless, the one standing behind Hothknight in bemused obliviousness.
Habiki ran quickly toward the Scion and knelt beside her, picking up her broken body with all the care in his hands.
The dragon-like Hothknight just stood there, drinking in his horror.
“No, you can’t be dead, you can’t!” he said, brushing the mussed hair out of Kae’s face as he lifted her away from the stone floor.
Her light was gone. Extinguished. Her cold body was held close to his chest as he tried to suppress a sob at the death of a girl he’d never actually known.
Slowly he turned to face Hothknight, the demon gloating.
“I will KILL you!” Habiki shouted, raising one arm in defiance while still holding Kae close to him.
He raised his empty hand toward the sky, spreading all five fingers, each representing the rays of the sun, and began to recite his rote.
“By the fires of the eternal! By the rays of the everlasting sun! By the-"
He was hit by a wave of intense nausea, his rote cut short, the energy he was collecting dissipated, as the image of a Seraph flooded into his mind. Its power and beauty was unlike anything he had yet experienced in his 5 years, piercing the veil of his fevered dream, but was at the same time familiar. In an instant he knew.
“This isn’t real.” He declared. “None of it.” He threw the corpse of “Kae” at the unsuspecting demon, and began to run as fast as his feet would carry him. The scenery began to swirl around him as he focused his intention on the wakeful, on the present, on reality.
In an instant he was standing where he had always been. The workshop of his makers.
The man of Earth and Light looked around the room, and was confronted with the face he had spent four years searching for.
Habiki/Day 4/Ten's Workshop
"Father," Habiki uttered in a harsh whisper, then collasped onto his knees, breathless.
"Careful, Habiki, you're weak," Ten admonished, taking Habiki under the arms to prevent him from hitting the floor.
Sol was still panting against the wall from his exertion at animating this new form. Habiki, weakened though he was, looked out at the face of Sol, his true father. He who had created the spirit this body now housed. He who Habiki's mind had so often drifted to in his darkest moments for comfort. The creator, the abandoner. And he who, at this crucial moment where Habiki could finally ask "why?", must be left without asking it...he had a responsibility now, to Hothknight, and to Kae. He had awakened the beast, and now he had to deal with the consequences.
Habiki shoved Ten away and forced himself to his feet.
"Habiki, stay down," warned Sol "You used up far too much energy in the battle with the ice demoness."
Habiki raised his left hand into the air, fingers spread wide in a display of solar symbolism, and began to focus his mind.
"By the rays of the eternal flame. By the everlasting fires of the morning star. Grant me the strength of the unconquered sun, that I may be its will."
He focused all the energy that remained in his body into the outward extension of his lifeforce. His hands began to emanate ethereal energy. He muttered a focusing chant as he did so. The "words" were meaningless. The sounds existed only to focus his intention.
He swung his arm up toward the ceiling and the light extended outward into a blade, sending beyond it a devastating wave that tore through the cave walls like butter and out through the wooden roof of Ten's home, instantly revealing the sun to Habiki. Habiki ceased his grip on the blade and it evaporated silently into thin air.
He looked up into the shaft of light that was cast down on him, and basked in it, growing strong again. For so long his body had fought the light. The more energy he had absorbed the more that his body had negated it, the abomination that was dusk. But this new body was different. It embraced the sun as if starved for energy, and Habiki's wavering stance grew solid, his knees no longer buckling.
The roots that surrounded his bones began to turn a vague shade of green. Dust from the cave began to swirl around him, to cling to him, and the powder quickly formed a skin until his appearance was once again that of a moderately handsome human.
He looked over at his makers. He stared into the eyes of Sol, longing to stay and finally understand the things he had waited so long to understand. But he couldn't. He turned toward the stairs that led from the cave into Ten's now damaged home.
"Habiki, you're not leaving, not now!" cried Ten, though Sol was silent.
Habiki stopped at the doorway, not looking back at his creators. "Father, Ten, I'm sorry, this wasn't the reunion I would have liked. But I have to go. We'll continue this when I return." He turned back towards the stairs.
Then a chill went up his spine. "No, he's right, you're not leaving."
Habiki spun on the scene, frightened, and saw what he had feared. On the table, the mass that had been his old body had reanimated, reforged its shape. It sat there casually on the edge of the table. It had his face.
"Why leave when the fun's just about to start, Habiki?"
Habiki/Day 4/Ten's Cave
Habiki caught eyes with his doppelganger. There was something oddly pure about it despite its sinister nature, as it lifted itself, naked, off the table and froze there, still as stone, watching him.
They stood across the room from each other, in appearance nearly identical, eyes locked, waiting for each to make the first move.
Sol stood there, almost absentmindedly, as if this whole thing were commonplace. Ten though, was noticeably more vexed by this turn of events. “Habiki-“
“Stay out of this!” he interrupted. “This freak is mine.”
The makers stood away from the spectacle, against the cave walls.
Suddenly the beast lunged, raising its fist behind its head, and as it ran toward Habiki, slammed it into where it expected him to be.
But Habiki leapt deftly, twisting his body narrowly out of the way, and landed behind the creature. It turned its head back at him and cracked a toothy, malevolent grin.
"You're quicker than before!" it delighted, swinging its arm wide in another hook which he limbo-ed under, jabbing as Habiki turned to his side, trying to uppercut him as he shifted his weight effortlessly backward.
It was right. Even without the negation of his energies from his new body, he could tell that he was far lighter than the solid mass of the old one. He thanked his makers for the foresight at hollowing his bones, and decided to use it to his advantage.
The next time the beast jabbed at him, Habiki quickly caught the fist in both hands, lifted his feet and let the momentum carry him backward, then swung himself over the arm of his attacker behind him again.
As quickly as he could, he assumed a wide summoning stance, spreading the fingers of his left arm wide and began his rote:
"By the rays of the eter-"
He was caught squarely beneath the chin as his rote was interrupted by the beast's fist. He was sent flying across the room, crashing harshly into the wall behind him and slinking to the ground.
Luckily, he’d barely felt the blow. He leapt back to his feet as the creature taunted him.
"Idiot! Trying to use such spells under battle conditions when you've not even internalized your rotes? Only a fool swings into battle armed with paragraphs and gestures."
Damn! thought Habiki. He’d have to try something quicker. Instinctively he put his hand up to his mouth to retrieve the Light Heart, then remembered it was no longer so easily removed, tied into his chest. Nor did he need to release it any longer to use its power. His body could conduct its energy from within now.
Focusing on his goal, he sprinted at the creature and slashed his hand across empty air, a burst of light catching the creature in the chest. It sizzled, a white slash mark glowing across its chest.
“Haha, now that’s more like it!”
But it left no lasting mark as blackness oozed from the wound, covering the light, feeding and transmuting it into darkness.
Habiki, not knowing what to do, in a desperate move, swiped again and again, letting the light consume the creature.
The light subsided, and the creatures skin, covered in white slash marks, again filled it with black ooze, which quickly healed the wounds as the creature took sustenance from the attack.
“Yes, by all means, give me more! You’ve always given me exactly what I needed, and I thank you for it! You’ll be useful to me yet!”
Day 4/Habiki/Ten's Workshop
It fired back with a wave of darkness. Habiki reflexively shot off his own burst.
The two collided, the Light instantly overpowering the darkness and negating the enemy’s wave.
The air was still. Habiki smiled, seeing his opportunity, then dashed at his opponent, who sent out dark energies, Habiki countered, closing the gap, and then before the beast could protest, leaned his shoulder in and rammed the creature with all his weight, in the stomach.
It collapsed onto its back, its weight collapsing inward, still waterlogged from the heavy rains before.
Habiki stepped confidently toward the beast.
“It seems your attacks are ordinary shadow!” he said. “You absorb light and turn it into shadow, but that shadow itself has normal properties. That means that while my attacks can’t hurt you, I can negate yours easily with a counter-shot…true shadow can’t resist light.”
Habiki looked down at the creature with disgust.
“You don’t scare me. I don’t know what you are exactly, but you’re merely a shadow of myself. You don’t exist!”
The creature laughed. Habiki was unnerved by it. The voice was his own, but it had never sounded less like him.
He shifted his gaze slightly and saw that the creature had grabbed his leg by the ankle. Why hadn’t he felt it? Why didn’t he feel its hand upon his skin? He tried to pull away, but the mere contact with the creature was sapping his strength.
“You’re a real laugh! Me, come from you? A pathetic construct imitating life? Fool! I’ve always been here, in the clay!”
Habiki’s eyes grew wide. “Who-who are you?”
“Who am I? I have no name. The real question is, what am I? The essence of the clay, the essence of dusk!”
abiki/Day 4/Ten's Workshop
The beast took great delight in the knowledge that Habiki's attacks could do it no lasting harm. It stood there for a moment with a satisfied smirk as it drank in Habiki's predicament.
Eventually growing bored of the quiet, it flicked its wrist, casually sending out a wave of darkness.
Habiki reflexively shot off his own burst. The two collided, the Light instantly overpowering the darkness and negating the enemy's wave.
The air was still. Habiki smiled, seeing his opportunity, then dashed at his opponent, who sent out dark energies, Habiki countered, closing the gap, and then, before the beast could protest, leaned his shoulder in and rammed he creature with all his weight, in the stomach.
It collapsed onto its back, its form caving in again, still waterlogged from the heavy rains before and still too weak to overcome it.
Habiki stepped confidently toward the beast.
"It seems your attacks are ordinary shadow!" he said. "You absorb light and turn it into shadow, but that shadow itself has normal properties. That means that while my attacks can't hurt you, I can negate yours easily with a counter-shot...true shadow can't resist light."
Habiki looked down at the beast in disgust.
"You don't scare me. I don't know what you are exactly, but you're merely a shadow of myself."
The creature laughed. Habiki was unnerved by it. The voice was his own, but never had it sounded less like him.
He shifted his gaze slightly and saw that the creature had grabbed his leg by the ankle. Why hadn’t he felt it? Why didn’t he feel its hand upon his skin? He tried to pull away. But the mere contact with the creature was sapping his strength.
“You’re a real laugh! Me, come from you? A pathetic construct imitating life? Fool! I have always been here, in the clay!”
Habiki’s eyes grew wide. “Wh-who are you?”
The creature simply continued its maniacal laughter from where it left off. Something was apparently hilarious.
Habiki/Day 4/Ten’s Workshop
“I said who are you?!” Habiki was growing impatient with his alternate.
Its wide cackling grin faded for just a moment.
“Who am I? Who am I? I have no name. The real question is, what am I? The essence of the clay, the essence of dusk!”
Habiki’s stance began to falter as his energy grew low. He looked over at his makers, and saw that they too were now being drained, the air around them rising in waves, seemingly heated by the creature’s presence.
“That isn’t enough, is it? You want an explanation, you want answers. Well I’d be happy to oblige.”
It was toying with him. He saw it in its eyes. And worse, he could see its features reforming, overcoming the liquid that was robbing it of structure.
“You see Habiki, thousands of years ago, a demon of the Ma escaped into Hyrule, spreading misery in its wake. It made its way south into the Twili territory, wreaking havoc upon their ancestral village…”
It paused, twisting its borrowed face into a scowl.
“…until a young boy rose up and slay the beast. But with its dying breath, it cursed the Twili. Cursed the soil within the cave where its life was rend from it. From then on the soil had a blight upon it, an abomination, that the light be made into darkness, and the demon would rise again. The twili eventually found the cave, and, fools they were, used it as their quarry! The blight grew stronger, though the sunless sky of the cloudy Twili territory made it agonizingly slow.”
Habiki collapsed onto his knees, and the creature grabbed Habiki by the chest.
“I am the blight! I no longer remember my name. But I am the one behind everything you are! It was my spirit that spoke to your makers, that drove them to their task. When I felt the presence of the Light Mage Sol in the cave, itawakened me. I inspired him to create the Light Heart, and I inspired the others to house it in a shell of Dusk! In a way it was I who put Sol in that asylum, when the seeds I planted grew too much!”
Black veins were tracing themselves along Habiki’s “skin”, and he felt faint.
“That is why your makers sought to end you. Because you had further poisoned Sol with the darkness, driving him to madness! They saw you poison him in a moment of unrestrained anger, when my power coursed through you as it did when you last fought the Sheikah Annei. They believed you had gone out of control, and you had!
...but I managed to twist one last kindness out of Sol before he lost his mind completely, and tricked him into setting you free before the others could have you destroyed. I needed you whole, so that I may continue to grow! But as the rain began to fall and you fled to that damned cave, and slept, for 4 years you slept, I could not grow!”
Habiki’s sight was beginning to fade.
“I’d spent the millennia in a cave, I was sick of caves! But I could not rouse you, could not make you budge, and I was not yet strong enough to move the body on my own!”
The room began to spin and fall away from Habiki, his senses dimming. He flailed his arms desperately, trying to free himself from the beast’s grip. He didn’t know how much more he could take. Suddenly his mind was again projected with the image of the Seraph he had seen earlier, the Scion, cut down, bloodied, and reduced to normal again. He had no idea who was showing him these images, or why, but suddenly his mind grew clear.
“Ha-ha, you wanted to know! And now you do. I am the darkness, I am the blight, I am DUSK!”
Habiki smirked. “Wrong. You’re dead!”
The next few seconds were a blur, all seeming to take place in slow motion. Habiki raised his blade overhead, unsolidified, primordial, but powerful. He still couldn’t fully conjure the blade at will, but this fiery, untamed version, pulled quickly from the ether by force of will, would be enough. He sliced downward with all his might as the creature’s hands were split from its body.
The room came back to Habiki all at once, his senses no longer dulled, and he leapt quickly away from Dusk. He knew his Light would only make the beast stronger, but for the moment it had helped him escape it.
Dusk’s severed arms flailed through the air as the pull of gravity began to take effect on them, Dusk standing quickly as new hands began to form.
Sol leapt to his feet, having also been freed from the draining influence for a moment, grabbing the pail of water and hurling it at Dusk. Dusk spun around just as the torrent hit him. The beast stumbled backward in surprise.
The next thing Habiki knew, there was a wave of Darkness, and where Dusk had stood was a giant stone cocoon. Ten was standing in front of it with his arms up.
Sol lay unconscious on the floor, blood leaking from his chest, the wound scorched black. Dusk had managed to throw off one last attack before Ten had encased it.
Harken Zeiss/Day 4/Castle Town
The restoration was going swimmingly. Shipments of clean water and building supplies were coming in, already, from relief efforts among the Gorons, and the Zora were kind enough to send food, though that was mostly fish and wouldn't be arriving until sometime tomorrow, according to the runners. And while it still looked like a disaster zone, which it was of course, at least they had made good headway in clearing the streets of the more obstructive pieces of debris. And they had found most of the dead and dying, and moved them so they wouldn't rot trapped under chunks of lumber and masonry.
Indeed, it was going swimmingly. Especially for Zeiss. His underlings had managed to intercept the first Goron caravan before it reached the Royal Family, and now everything was being sent to warehouses he had managed to commandeer 'for the restoration effort'. And everything shipment after had been sent straight to his stores, from which he and his men distributed everything as they saw fit.
"You see," he said, in a little speech to some of the Hylians near him, while he helped them with sorting through rubble blocking one of the more important thoroughfares, "here I am, sleeves rolled up, mud on my boots, helping the people, trying to get out clean water, stocking supplies to rebuild once we're ready... and where's the King? Huh? Where's the Royal Family in all this?"
He pointed up to the castle. "Up there, locked in their castle, eating caviar or some shit, lying in their fluffy beds!" He shook his head. "There's just something wrong with that, I think. Anyway, here, help me with this block. She's a big'un."
And so it went, for the remainder of the afternoon, on into the evening when the sun began to set and the streets grew dark. Harken toiled alongside the men (and even women) of Castle Town, gaining confidences and allegiances.
Habiki/Afternoon 4/Ten’s Workshop
Habiki's mind processed what it was seeing slowly. His maker, on the floor, covered in blood, unconscious. For several seconds he just stood there, silent, staring at him.
"Oh dear gods, Habiki, snap out of it and do something!" Ten scolded, clearly concerned but not able to be of much use himself.
Habiki's dazed expression faded, and he quickly ran toward his maker. Picking him up by his underarms, Habiki dragged Sol toward the shaft of Light that beamed down into the cave from where Habiki had blasted it open. Placing the palms of his hands on the scorched and bloody wound he began to focus his intention on its dismissal. Whatever resentment he was feeling, he pushed it out of his mind completely and let his hands do the work.
He didn't know any rotes for such a task, Solarus hadn't shown him any. The only rote he knew was a Shard summoner, which consisted of an overly flowery phrase followed by a chant. But he had watched Solarus bring a withered tree to fruitfulness, so he knew it could be done. Light began to pour from Habiki's hands. Again his powers now felt so different than in his previous body, the light flowing easily through his Heart, down through the pulsing veins made by cables of light, and out into the air, into his maker.
The wound instantly began to seal, the seared blood scabbing over completely, before the whole wound began to shrink away before his eyes, then disappearing. The skin was pale where the wound had been, but the wound was gone, not even leaving a scar. Sol opened his eyes, looking up at Habiki, and smiled, before becoming unconscious again.
Habiki did not return it. Only now, having dealt with the wound, did he allow himself to feel angry. These men were puppets, like him, servants of an ancient demon, and that was the only reason Habiki had been created, to satisfy the needs of Dusk, as he opted to call himself.
He pulled away from Sol. This man was no father. This man was no idol. He'd been had.
"You both did your job very well. You had me tricked, all this time. You both made me believe there was some higher reason you made me. From what little I could remember, and hearing the mysterious way you've both been talking about me, I had assumed I was more than a science experiment, or just a gateway to release a damn Ma! I don't even know what a Ma is, and I'm its puppet. So thank you. Now I'm free to take up the mantle the Hylian gods have offered me."
Ten's expression was one of shock as Habiki turned away. The golem began to walk, still unclothed, toward the door.
But Ten would have none of it. He stepped in Habiki's way, his eyes full of fury. Habiki couldn't recall ever seeing him like this. Then again, he could barely recall anything that had taken place those 4 years ago.
"You’re wrong! That monster may have informed our methods with his manipulations, but not our motives. We always had a purpose for you!"
”Well I don’t believe you," he said, shoving past his maker and up the stairs, coming out the trap door into Ten’s living quarters, Ten stumbling up the stairs with him.
"You honestly choose to believe a demon's word over ours? Before we've even given ours? Believe it or not, Ma aren't exactly known for honesty."
Habiki stopped for a moment.
"I'm listening," he said coldly.
Ten motioned for him to pull up a chair at his dining table. Ten sat down and began to explain.
"Believe it or not, Habiki, we had high hopes for you before our colossal failure to make you whole."
Ten looked over at the trapdoor that led down to the chamber where Sol lay unconscious. From the echo that reached them, he seemed to be breathing heavily.
"When we were children, Quentin was a bit of an outcast. His father dabbled in Light magicks, and it made the villagers uneasy. Quentin was bullied and brutalized at school. In order to comfort him, Quentin’s father would regale him with stories of ‘their ancestor in Labrynna,’ and how Quentin wasn’t really Twili at all.
These stories were fiction of course, and they probably did more damage than good. Quentin was a Twili, born and bred. His father had merely become embittered with his people and wished his son to disavow them. He came to realize this as he grew older, but the idea that he was ‘the Labrynnan’ became a running joke between him and what few friends he had, even as it became the bullies’ preferred epitaph for him.”
Habiki stood there, quiet. He had no idea where this was going, or what it had to do with him.
“But unlike his father, Quentin Sol still felt some level of patriotism for his people. Even as he saw their use of shadow magic begin to delve into the profane, he believed his people were good at heart and could be shown another way
…that’s what drove him to his life’s work. That’s what drove him to create you. He wanted you to be a beacon to your people, to save them from the profane. I went along with it because I was his best friend, and I wanted to believe in his dreams. And eventually, they became mine. Don’t take that away by joining those weak-minded among the Hylians who would seek to destroy our people.”
Habiki’s blood began to boil. “The Twili attacked the Hylians, not the other way around. And if the Hylians must destroy them in order to survive, they’ll be justified. That’s what Darrel Mytura said to me.”
“Damn it, boy, have you no compassion, no love for your people?”
“I don’t know my people,” Habiki spat. “But I’ve come to know plenty of Hylians, and I’ve seen that their cause is just,” he began to stand up from the table, only for Ten to again motion him to sit. They weren’t done yet.
Ten nodded “That’s good, Habiki. By all means, ally with the Hylians. Make friends with them. You can be an ambassador to the Crown to show them good can come of a Twili. But don’t make an enemy of your people. You can yet show the Twili the way! You can yet attempt to bring peace before the two civilizations tear each other apart and no one is left.”
Habiki had taken to staring at the table. He looked up and caught Ten’s eyes.
“You’re asking a lot of me,” he said flatly.
“I know,” Ten’s voice was somber for what seemed to be the first time Habiki could remember.
“I don’t know if I can handle it,” the golem’s voice wavered the tiniest bit.
Ten’s eyes seemed to be burrowing in to him. “And if not you, who else? Grem? Maydni? You’d rather those military cretins represent our people?”
Habiki could feel his purpose, the purpose of his fathers, weighing down on him as he came to realize the why.
“I won’t let you down, pop!” he said, his voice choked with passion.
Ten chuckled. “And here I thought Quentin was your father.”
Chapters of Interloper War
|Season 1 Chapters|
|Primer · Technically Not Retconned... · Thematic Curiosity · Castletown Kick-Off · Enter, Habiki · The First Gathering · Forest Interlude · Dispersion · Castletown, Round Two! · Forest Line Assault · Secrets Within the Vault · Restless Night · Journey through the Mindscape · Snowpeak · Darkness Stirs · H For Habiki · True War|
|Season 2 Chapters|
|The Twili Edge|