~Just Beyond the Battle, The Fourth Day~
????? & Ithan Chiaria
“Ithan, I want to thank you and Lia for helping protect everyone while I’m gone.” A cloaked individual shook hands with Ithan Chiaria, the two standing just beyond the chaos amidst Hyrule Field and Lon Lon Ranch. “I understand that your past with Sirius is complex, but it eases the burden to know that you understand why he cannot continue to carry out these experiments.”
Both heroes looked on to the battle. Great flashes of light of all colors and intensities sparked, as soldiers died to some of the earliest unknown legends of Hyrule. Ithan had attempted to scan the battlefield, but could pick up only fragments of names, a powerful telepathic force that seemed somewhat off-putting, and the continuous roar of bloodrage in the minds of several of the most powerful.
“This isn’t right.” Lamented the cloaked one. “I have friends in there, and now they have a sort of blood on their hands that is not so easily justified.” He looked up above the battlefield. Filled with false moonlight and raining blood, it was a pitiable place to be. “I have to take care of Sirius now. Will you be returning to Labrynna?”
“Yeah, though I was thinking stopping at snowpeak briefly. I have some business to attend to.” Ithan yawned, an almost hilarious sight given the nearby carnage. “Goodbye friend.” He smiled and vanished, his trademark teleportation giving no warning. The cloaked figure was left alone, and his attention turned to Sirius Fulmaren, who he could see slinking away from the fight, the effects of the bloodrage having totally worn off.
“Let’s finish our business.”
~The Library of Lunar Solace~
Bernard found himself sulking around the library, grabbing the occasional book that seemed interesting, only to find it was yet another journal entry by Sirius describing some mundane event in elaborate detail.
“Oh today I mixed lunar element particle A with lunar element particle B and then I danced around in glee and killed one of the scientists!” “This is absurd!” Bernard shouted, but Sirius had somehow shut him out. His voice simply echoed back. Alone. Empty. The attack on his character was still mostly satisfying despite the momentary total despair.
He grabbed another book. But this one didn’t come off all the way. It stopped and clicked, giving rather immediately that was nothing more than a lever disguised as a book. He immediately observed the event out loud.
“That doesn’t make any sense, this place isn’t real, why would a book be a secret lever in an imaginary library? Do you hear me?”
WARNING! WARNING WARNING!
Bernard tried to cover his mouth. The warning signal was his own voice. Somehow the book had activated a warning system, but it appeared Bernard was its megaphone, now that his soul was one with the notebook.
KOTARO PRESENCE DETECTED.
“Kotaro? Who? What other Kotaro would be in Hyrule? It must just be the dragon mask” It was jarring enough to be screaming, but Bernard found it even more alarming as his voice rapidly switched pitch when he began to question his own warning shouts. His inability to control himself was terrifying, but strangely cathartic.
PRESENCE OF KOTARO IS THREE
“That doesn’t mean anything...what am i shouting about?” Bernard asked. At last Sirius’ voice came rattling back into the library.
“Bernard, you are the second Kotaro presence. The dragon mask is the first.” He said the words calmly, but there was an eerie hint of apprehensiveness and fear.
“Sirius, who is the third Kotaro presence?” Bernard’s body went rigid again after he asked the question, and his shouting continued.
ORIGINAL KAIMU APPROACHES
Sirius Fulmaren Sirius used what little strength he had left to not freeze in fear when Bernard’s final warning came out. After the last shout about the original Kaimu approaching, he had slammed the notebook shut as hard as he could, giving himself a headache, and most certainly putting Bernard to sleep for some time.
Sirius slunk away as the cannibal woman and Polaris unleashed chaos onto the battlefield. But for Sirius, with the bloodrage dwindling to nothing thanks to the moonlight, his desire to escape and live another day was overwhelming. He blindly hoped that Bernard’s warning was inaccurate, or falsely triggered by the Dragon Mask on Majin’s person.
But he was not so lucky.
“Hello, Sirius.” A cloaked figure stood before Sirius, though a single tear in the cloak revealed blue scales, solidifying what he already knew.
“Kaimu, I didn’t expect you here so soon. I thought I had at least another few...months really. I’d have thought you’d be busy with your new tribe. Oh and I’m guessing chasing down those whales isn’t so easy anymore.” Sirius regretted the sarcasm instantly. Kaimu tossed off the cloak, revealing that unlike his deceased clone counterpart, this Kaimu had no demonic appearance, but bore the same intense purple tattoos. He rushed in on Sirius, grabbing the man by the neck and throwing him to the ground.
“I am not going to kill you.” Kaimu began dragging him away from the field, letting the occasional small electric current jolt down into Sirius. It was Sirius’ second time that day getting dragged away by someone he’d wronged, though in all fairness to himself the first person to do it that day was in fact his own future self.
“You will someday.” Sirius muttered.
Kaimu moved remarkably quickly and before long the two were very well south of the battle, heading towards Faron Woods. Kaimu stopped when the battle became a distant sight, and Sirius coughed up a mixture of blood and a viscous silvery substance, pushing himself off the ground as he did.
“Kaimu.” He put an arm in front of his mouth, hacking and coughing. “I have not harmed you directly in any way. What Davus did to your village is not on my hands, he is a thief who stole from my laboratory. What I did to that whale was for the good of scientific advancement. And what I did to you should be seen as a tribute, not a monster.”
“And how did you know that I found out?” Kaimu nearly screamed at Sirius, though his composure stayed strong. Kaimu had not been in Hyrule for the past few days, the entire time in which his clone, AvaKai, had run around thinking he was the real Kaimu.
“Ithan told you. I saw his purple lightning. I felt his mind touch mine briefly at one point, he scanned me. I’ve never been able to stop him.” Sirius was not smiling. “Your clone is dead and in that mask. I believe your friend Majin has been wearing your face.” Kaimu had no words. Ithan had told him about his own clone, but he had not mentioned the mask. Perhaps he didn’t know, or perhaps he didn’t dare.
The two stood in silence, and for a moment, it felt as if a fight would break out. And yet, Sirius had barely the strength to stand and speak, while Kaimu’s personal vows prevented him from taking this man’s life. So they continued to stand, until at last Kaimu spoke.
“I am taking you back to Labrynna.”
“Kaimu, it’s a trap, it’s a trap! It’s a TRAP!” Bernard’s voice, re-awoken from within the notebook, began to shout in fitz. Kaimu had broken eye contact briefly with Sirius at the shouts, as his shock at hearing a book shout to him, in the voice of his own nephew, was much to bear. He looked back up and the madman was suddenly standing in front of him.
“Gotcha.” Sirius slammed a palm against Kaimu’s chest. The Zora looked down, and saw that some kind of tiny badge had been fused to his chest. It had barely any coloration, and was difficult to look at directly, as it seemed to misdirect the eyes away immediately.
“What is-?” The world exploded around them both, time and space violently twisting until nothing remained but them. An unseen force began to drive them apart, to opposite ends of the void, and as the universe reformed, it became clear to any that might have been watching, that both had been teleported elsewhere in the universe.
My Season 1 Finale Part 2
The Hall of Elemental Memories
Sirius laughed and laughed and laughed. His sides were near bursting, blood running from his numerous and highly painful wounds, though thankfully they were all relatively superficial and not worth panicking over.
The imagery of Kaimu was nothing but a distant blur now, along with the rest of the universe. Sirius looked down at his own chest, where he had attached a similar looking device. It was square, and not much larger than the size of one’s palm. He had forged it using the tiny remaining fragments of AvaKai’s soul gem.
It was a security policy, in case Kaimu ever came after him. The device was made at the time of AvaKai’s creation and the two pieces of it, one of which Sirius had, and now Kaimu the other, acted like magnets on polar opposites. It likely wouldn’t last long, not more than thirty-six hours. Until then it would be next to impossible for Kaimu and Sirius to physically by in the same location.
The world sharpened, and Sirius realized that he was once again standing in the ancient cavern with the mural.
“It all comes back to this.” He gazed upon its walls. They seemed to stretch hundreds of feet. The numerous skeletons at his base told him that the monks who painted it seemed to never stop, living and dying in its grandeur. He had been here before, but the cavern itself seemed to have the ability to choose what you saw, for each return visit showed him parts of the mural he had never seen before. Bernard was silent.
From left to right Sirius looked down, and began walking along with the painting. He saw himself, working with the dark mages in his lab to create AvaKai, followed by Taden at snowpeak, decapitating AvaKai, only for his soul to become trapped in a mask.
Elsewhere he saw the great depiction of Polaris, Majin, Taden, and himself battling against MegaDodongo, and peculiarly, he even saw hints of the alternate realities he had briefly slipped into, as the shadow of those universes seemed splashed behind it all.
He came next to the Battle of Disharmony, the very one he had managed to escape from minutes earlier. He smiled at the thought of all the legends he had recorded, all the legends he might recreate and set loose upon the world. Telaris would have been proud.
And then he jogged ahead a little, into the point of the mural that seemed to line up with his own past, which was the future in relation to the recent events at Lon Lon. He saw a painting of his wife Vera and himself. They laid at the edge of a great desert wasteland, seemingly about to be destroyed at the hands of Davus Fulmen. And yet in the next section, they were rescued by Telaris, who was able to rouse the power that had been sleeping in each of them for several years.
She had saved their lives, and as such indebted them to her. Immortality in exchange for the eternal hunt for heroes, villains, and all the legends in-between. For many years they had served her, until the fateful day they wandered into this very cavern, and fell back in time to the year AD-850, long before the events surrounding the Trusts took place.
Sirius knew the mural contained imagery of those events as well, but did not need to see them again. He hoped for a moment to see another physical presence, perhaps another twist appearance by Vera, or even Bernard. But nothing, he was alone with his history.
He had been walking into the cavern for several minutes, with relative calm. But things quickly became very weird.
“That...can’t be right.” He was at a ledge. The mural seemed to keep going, but the ground did not. There was no way to see, as there was no light beyond where he stood, only darkness and the chasm beneath it. What little bit left of the mural he could see was absolutely baffling. It seemed to literally be cycling through different images, so quickly that Sirius could not identify what they were.
He focused his sight as hard as he could, and began to see flashes of realities, none of them certain, all of them possible. He first saw outcomes of the Battle, prisoners, but he could not see who, only that there were some. Then he saw repeats of the carnage of Polaris and the cannibal woman, Beth. He saw flashes of his encounter with Kaimu, several variants.
And then he saw the briefest, most curious image. It was the Yeti Village that sat only a mountainside away from his hidden laboratory. Of all the pictures that flashed on the wall, it seemed the least frequent, and the most difficult to maintain eye contact with. Sirius was certain it was because he was looking at an event, that to him, had not necessarily happened yet, only potentially happened. He scrunched his eyes in confusion at his own thoughts, and reached out a hand to touch the wall.
His fingers dipped into it as if it were water, and when he pulled them it out the image rippled much like water as well. They felt significantly hotter than the rest of his body, and he surmised that he was experiencing the combination of elements on whatever side he’d just stuck his hand into. Survival wouldn’t necessarily be guaranteed trying to go through one of these.
As Bernard was still unresponsive, he took out his notebook and began writing in a more traditional manner, though he continued to use his magic lunar pen.
I have returned to the hall of elemental memories, which I am now certain was first founded when a group of monks encountered Polaris and AvaKai. They broke away from the original order of monks they belonged to, and recruited new members, all in the name of painting the great mural.
Where they gained their insight and inspiration is a mystery to me. I can only surmise that either myself or someone with my level of time travel experience ended up in the distant future, and later the distant past, only to write down everything they saw.
Whoever it was, they didn’t finish, at least not in this timeline...
He trailed off, staring at the wall again. The image seemed to be slowing down, getting more clear, showing less of his past and giving him fractions of a second more on the Yeti Village portion, as the wall continued to cycle through all the locations and events. But then he saw another new image on the opposite wall. It was himself with Polaris, Vera, and Telaris. None of them looked happy. Alarmingly, this image was not difficult to see at all, it seemed quite clear and absolute.
Evidently some of these events are more strongly rooted in time than others. It still does not make sense to me that I can be in here, and see it to be empty, and yet it appears there is more work to do. My understanding of the timestream is still not effectively developed, it may not be linear like I had hoped.
He felt the notebook shudder as he dotted the last word, recognizing the signs of Bernard’s awakening.
“Kaimu will bring you to justice.”
“Is that a warning, Bernard?”
“I read it in a book, stupid.”
“Gah!” Sirius slammed the notebook, silencing Bernard again. He reached out a hand to touch the painting of Polaris, Vera, and himself, but felt more and more resistance, to the point that he could not get the last few inches towards it, as if there were an invisible wall. “Well then...”
Sirius kicked some pebbles over the edge, and turned around, ready to head back to the cave’s entrance.
“Ah...crap.” He realized that there had not been an entrance when he was dumped into the place. Whatever year it was, the long hall was caved in on one side, and had an impassable ledge on the other. His only choice would be to try and see if putting his whole body into one of the cycling mural images would function as a teleport. It would either do that, or evaporate him into a billion pieces. He decided to record it, on the off chance he survived and needed to prove it happened later.
I have the weirdest feeling that this mural, the part that is cycling through images, is actually a doorway in time. Whoever is behind this, I do not yet know, but it seems they have a hand in fate, and fate has whittled my choices down to this.
I am going through that door, and we will find out just exactly what the deal is with that Yeti Village.
Unstuck in Time/Fulmaren Laboratory
Sirius had suddenly hesitated before jumping through the mural portal. Or rather, he would have hesitated, but when he tried to stop himself from falling forward, he slipped and fell forward even faster, tumbling into and straight through the painted cavern wall.
It was an experience he was well accustomed to, passing between the folds of the universes around him, using the mysterious and little understood tunnels that connected realities and time. They seemed to serve as the transport between them, the glue that held them together, and the force that drove them apart, all at once.
As he moved through the tunnels of subreality, he ruminated on just why he had hesitated. It was grating at him, tugging at his core. It felt dangerously like guilt.
Guilt for so cheerily crafting an abomination that believed itself born of natural acts, instead of the horrific unemotional and calculating scientific breeding ground it had truly come of.
Guilt for telling someone like Polaris he was fated to meet him, with ulterior motives such that he had, despite his affinity for the red Zora.
Guilt for knowing his own fate, knowing that he would become the risen death that was Morton, for all those he had wronged.
And guilt for all the innocents who had died by his hand, whether it be through murderous justification of aggression though science, deliberate denial and neglect, or even carelessness with where he left things.
There was nothing to throw, no one to hit, no one to scream at. Except one.
“And I thought you were just some monster.” Bernard was deeply linked to Sirius now. What Sirius felt, Bernard felt. His feelings of guilt were so strong, that within the metaphysical library, Bernard began to see the incredible. Bookshelves rearranged themselves, and never before seen volumes popped up. For Sirius, it was like a stage act within his head, his inner mind’s eye watching it like some omniscient god.
“I am not in the business of discussing personal matters with the dead.” Sirius tried to shut Bernard down, but his efforts were weak.
“From my point of view it seems to be your primary outlet.”
“You never used to talk this way.” Sirius muttered.
“This place influenced and completed my fragmented soul. I know I can never leave now. Your offer to free me from here was false sympathy, it came from hating your own guilt, not truly regretting what you’d done. You don’t associate with it, you don’t believe it rightfully belongs to you. But what other person do you see who can claim responsibility for these acts? What person?!”
“I do not have to answer to anyone! I serve Telaris, and our quest is the ultimate fate of this world! We will bring the legends of history upon the planet, and with it, our collective destiny will be fulfilled!” Sirius had regained his confidence in absolute disregard for outside accusations. Bernard’s words had shaken him momentarily, but just as he spoke up to defend his employer, so too in that instant did he discover a way around his own guilt.
Rather than voice it out loud, he just smiled as he had thought, and heard the inward groan of Bernard, who had most definitely felt and experienced it alongside Sirius, second hand of course.
“You cannot shift the blame onto your employer, she showed you the path, but you were the one that chose to walk down it.”
“I was indebted to her, I had no choice but to become who I am.” Sirius replied. Bernard didn’t seem inclined to respond directly, instead continuing on the attack.
“You hate even yourself, in the future you are reborn from the grave with a self loathing that takes you into your own past. You have manipulated nearly all you’ve met, and your only stated goal is to protect the timeline, oh besides serving your precious boss Telaris. You’ve also divorced the only woman to ever love you - ah, no I’m sorry, she divorced you for becoming too much like yourself.” Bernard had begun to emotionally dig into Sirius a little. In some ways he was just channeling his old angry teenager self, but it was very evident to both he and Sirius that much of his intensity was thanks to Sirius own emotions feeding back into him, and had little to do with Bernard directly.
“I’m done reading about your life for now. I think I get the point. You were abused, and you chose to repay the world with death, suffering, and horrifying experimentation. You don’t think this is odd? You don’t think it’s worth noting that as a child you were experimented on, and now here you are, holding the entire world hostage for it.”
“I’m done listening to your lectures. You are a Zora that died in a foolish way, in a foolish place, on a foolish day, and I certainly haven’t got the time for a whiny, pathetic, pointless being such as yourself.”
“Cry all you want moon man, I’m still just a reflection of your own voice. And I’m sorry but it looks like this conversation is over.” There was a loud shriek, and suddenly Bernard’s voice lost its cold edge, meekly said goodbye, and became silent. He was asleep now, it likely took a heavy toll for his spirit to continuously function as the bridge between Sirius and his own inner voice.
It had been an unusually long time that he hung in the void. Speculation seemed to now be the driving force in his life, and he applied it as he always did. His future self, his past self, murals, destined allies, time travel. Every time he tried to put his finger on who or what was sending him on this journey, the pieces on the board seemed to all move, forcing him to again reevaluate what was happening.
His speculation was met with the grinding of the universe dumping him back into space and time properly, and the familiar sight of his old laboratory came sharply into view.
Fittingly, the room that was appearing around him, was the same room he had created AvaKai in. The picked over corpses of his murdered staff lay about the floor, most in half-eaten states thanks to local animals breaking in. He looked towards the far end of the room. It was adorned with incomplete runes, strange metallic pillars and constructions jutted from the floor, and the air itself was hazy with leftover elemental residues.
It was a mess.
Sirius picked up a damaged piece of metal chain off the floor, ripped apart from when AvaKai had briefly gone into dragon form. On the wall behind the ritual rune was a set of paintings, one portrait for each individual whose soul had contributed to the creation of the fake Kaimu. Ithan, Davus, Kaimu, Kaimu’s friend Faralin, and a dragon named Nahls. All five had been tricked or cornered into offering fragments of their soul, with the sole exception of Ithan.
Now AvaKai was gone, and Kaimu Kotaro had returned, clearly with help from Ithan, somehow. It seemed likely that both Davus, and possibly the dragon itself might soon come after, if the universe were to follow through on its sick game of inevitability.
He dropped the metal chain to the ground and took out his whip-rod, placing it on a large workbench near the eastern edge of the room. Three days had seen more events in his life than he thought possible in such a brief window. He contemplated them once more, but was forced to stop when the wailing began. He saw a small medallion on the same workstation, and grabbed it, slipping it into his pocket.
“What?” He looked around, seeing nothing, but hearing the screaming louder and louder. It wasn’t coming from anywhere he could see, but it was everywhere he went. He began to dash into rooms, peer out the windows, running down the hallways. Nothing. Just screaming without a place or a face.
“Who is screaming? Who is here?!” He shouted, throwing doors open left and right, running into some of the rooms, and stamping his feet, demanding the culprit forward or violence would befall them.
“You will be the next to stand where that beastly dragon stood if you do not reveal yourself to me!” His yelling grew hoarse, and then it became drowned out as the eerie scream turned to laughter, and all of the mystical and mechanical devices of the lab sprung to life. Sirius, on instinct, pulled out his notebook, hitting it against the wall.
“Bernard, what does the lab instruction manual say about this?” He spoke frantically, as the laughs around him felt alive, the lab felt alive.
“”It just says ‘I’ll remember how it works’. That’s all. Do you remember how it works? It’s not written in here!”
“Ah...well I...just shut up Bernard!” Sirius slammed the notebook again, and ran down the nearest hallway, pushing open the double doors at the end, leading out onto a balcony. Then he saw it. A violent, swirling mess of sand and bloody rain. “It can’t be!” Sirius shouted. The sand he knew to be of his old employer Telaris, a witch he was feeling less and less attached to by the second. The blood was darky similar to that which had been raining down upon Hyrule Field. Swirling sand clouds of teleportation, and raining blood could only mean one thing.
Sirius rushed in and thrust his hands into the sand. They burned and bellowed, the sand slicing into them, and his own blood, thick with lunar viscosity, mixed with the blood. The face of the Gerudo witch became clearer and clearer. He painfully opened his notebook, which now felt immeasurably heavy, heavier than ever before.
Gerudo Witch identified. Positive match to Telaris.
“Bernard!” Sirius yelled as he dragged the witch from the cloud, who was now chanting incoherently, a look of befuddled shock on her face, though it danced amidst her otherwise steady and creepily upbeat stare. “Bernard pull her file now! We need to find out what era she’s from. She looks too young to be the right one!”
File matches. This is a young version of Rhunerys Telaris, the Gerudo witch famed for employing you, and for the nvolvement with skp der j im fn pl raj r!!!!
“Whoa...” The words had scrambled. Whatever Bernard was trying to tell Sirius was not yet concrete in history, and the universe seemed intent on keeping it that way.
“You, I have had enough of your meddling in my life. My wife Vera and I never asked to be your minions like this.”
“I’m afraid you have me confused with another!” The Gerudo shouted.
“No, Rhunerys. I don’t.” Sirius took out another medallion looking device, the one he had picked up from AvaKai’s room. He grabbed her right wrist, and forced the medallion as hard as he could onto it, eliciting a gasp and a scream. She said no other words, simply frowning at him as the whirlwind of sand picked up again.
“Oh yes, you can leave.” Sirius muttered. “By the time you get where you’re going, you’ll find yourself weaker. I’d say you have at least 24 hours before your power is strong again. Consider it my parting gift and the end of my employment to you.” Sirius knew that Rhunerys had no idea what he was talking about. She was too young, this version of Rhunerys Telaris had never met him, but she would in due time.
With a whipping wind, the teleportation sandstorm vanished - taking Rhunerys Telaris with it, and Sirius was once again left alone in the chaos of his lab. He rolled up his sleeves, cracked his knuckles, and smirked and spoke aloud to no one in particular.
“Let’s fix this disaster.”
C: Taden Horwendil / Hyrule Field, en route to Castle Town / Twilight 4
"You lot, in here. Now."
Taden, Kourtz, and Tarah were led to an iron wagon drawn by six black steeds standing tall in the crimson rain. The stallions stamped their hooves nervously on the blood-soaked grass, the smell of death on the wind making them all a little skittish. As the soldiers flanked the prisoners to either side, they seemed on the edge of panic, their memories of the day's horrors looming large in the dusk. The thieves were hurried into the wagon at the points of visibly trembling spears.
When they were all inside, Taden leaned back against the wagon's greasy walls and folded his manacled hands in his lap. He closed his eyes and sighed deeply, finally taking the weight off the leg that Mako had gored with his damned pike. Tarah and Kourtz sat across from him, side by side on the other bench. They found Leif seated in the far corner next to Taden, knocked unconscious with bruises on his face and neck. A steel muzzle was locked over his fangs. One eye was swollen shut.
The King's Thieves had been roundly defeated and captured by the very army they had surreptitiously served. A bleak shadow brooded over the four as the wagon lurched forward. The sound of heavy rain beating on the wagon roof filled the palpable silence of their tiny cell. After riding in silence for a while, it was Kourtz who spoke first.
"Yo, Taden," he whispered, an idea alight his eyes. "That thing you did at the Ranch, when you took out all those Moblins?" He looked left to right and leaned in closer. "You know, the Mask? Couldn't you use that now?"
He felt Master Jotun's Mask hanging heavy under his cuirass, tempting him to use it. It seemed to be calling him back to Snowpeak even now--the warcry of the Yeti's ramhorns filled his mind, and he saw the villagers' faces mixed with terror and despair at some new evil in the frozen waste. The Curse of the White Moon haunted him still. The Yeti's lumbering limbs would shatter the shackles on his wrists in short order, his sheer girth ripping the roof off the wagon like tin. He saw himself hoisting guards over his head and ripping them limb from limb, then loaming away into the impenetrable night under cover of rain and darkness, to return to his homeland alone. He felt his heart beat faster under the Mask's pulsing weight.
"Perhaps," he replied, eyes still shut, his cut lip curling into a satisfied smirk. "Though they'd slit your throats before I had a chance to free you all."
"As if that mattered to you," Tarah put in, speaking freely now that they were alone in the cabin.
Taden opened one eye and looked at her askance from across the narrow confines. "Do you find me so heartless, Vass?" She answered him not. Tarah only reclined against the other wall and closed her eyes as well, clinking their connected chains as she crossed her arms at her chest. Kourtz took another stab at livening the mood.
"I suppose this means we'll be going underground again, eh?" he said, lifting up two muddy claws and laughing at his joke. Tarah opened her eyes for a moment only to roll them at him, her face stonelike.
"In the realms of Hylia and Zora we may be fugitives," Taden said, wheezing through his cracked ribs quietly, "but I can broker you both safe passage in Goron and Yeti lands." He was watching Tarah closely now, his eyes alert.
"We've had more than enough help from you of late," she said at last, not meeting his gaze. "The only place I'm going is the Siege Tower where we spoke with the King, before you and that halfling got us thrown in the dungeons in the first place." Tarah spoke with a cold finality Taden was not used to hearing in anyone's voice but his own, much less turned on him. "Move over, Kourtz," she added, "I haven't slept in days." She nudged the Mogma to the corner of the bench and lay down along its length, cupping her hands behind her head and resting against his furry thigh.
He sensed further entreaties would be futile for now. "Very well," Horwendil hissed. "We shall hear what His Highness has to say."
The rains drummed a staccato rhythm over the roof of their cage, and dusk's red light bled through a slit in the rear door. As the setting sun and crimson moon lowered over the battlefield's carnage, it were as though two great red eyes peered into their small cabin, raising a crimson shade from the chains at their boots, to their hands, and finally to their faces, each more bloodied and bruised than the next.
And so they rode in silence, even Kourtz too tired to speak, until a bump in the road roused Leif from his untimely slumber. "Who's there?" he griped, blinking once in the red dim, but his feline eye soon adjusted to the gloom. "Oh, whew, it's you guys," he said, looking around through his good eye. "Couldn't stand to be away from me, huh?" He reached up to stretch in the tiny cell and let loose a leonine yawn that was muffled by his muzzle.
"Eesh, that doesn't look too good," he said, pointing to a wound on Taden's arm. He reached out to pull his hand toward the light, and showed it to be turning a sickly red, black and green at his thumb and first two fingers. It was his right hand, the one the Deku girl had bitten when she mauled him in the ranch. "Compared to you I got off easy," Leif said, lifting up his own scarred hand. Taden pulled his hand back and folded it into his cloak without answer, then looked away and closed his eyes to attempt sleep as well. Leif shrugged and turned to Kourtz, sitting across from him in the wagon. It was just the two of them now.
"So what'd I miss?"
Kourtz / Hyrule Field, en route to Castle Town / Twilight 4
"Well to shorten the story Impa now has two of the Trust Keys back thanks to us. Before she turned to leave she specifically told me our service to the King was over and that all our crimes were forgiven." Kourtz turned to look downward at the tight fitting shackles that bound his hands together. "Some help she turned out to be eh? My only hope is that this is some sort of mixup. Hopefully we can convince the king to let us go. If not..." Kourtz said turning once more to Leif, "well then we better think of something fast".
"How about things on your end Leif? What happened to Shinsou? Is she..." The Mogma bit his tongue, anticipating bad news from the white haired hybrid. "Nah, she's fine. I dropped her off in Castle Town before I came back after you guys." "Ah, well at least that's one of us who got off free. I'd hate to see her suffer because of the stuff we did".
Kourtz gazed out the bared window, as the last of the light disappeared below the horizon. "Even if its for a good cause I hate what they've forced us to go through. The war, the running, the fighting. If the people of this land want to spend the next few years killing each other then good riddance. Now that the timeshift stones are safe I want nothing more to do with this kingdom of assholes. I'm bailing out of this place at the first given chance".
Kourtz stopped himself, realizing he was telling this more to his guilty conscious than to Leif. "Meh, sorry to go on a rant with ya. Back to the subject on hand I suppose we can get Shinsou to speak on our behalf if it comes to that. I also have a nice friend in town that knows about the whole timeshift stone thing. Perhaps I can get her to speak up for us."
Sitting there pondering his fate in the darkness Kourtz thought about how alien his life now seemed compared to just 3 days ago. Back then he was a simple treasure hunter, with few cares or needs. Yet in a single moment his destiny as Hyrule's greatest criminal had been sealed. "That timeshift stone. All of this because of that stupid rock. If I didn't find it none of this would have ever happened to me. Of all the crummy luck..."
Tarah Vass / Castle Dungeon / Late Night 4
Once the wagon arrived as the Castle, the guards ignored Kourtz’ pleas for an audience with the King and the group, joined by a boy Tarah had never seen before, were thrown into a cell in the dungeons and the chains removed from everyone but Kourtz, as the guards wouldn’t risk a repeat of the tunnelling escape.
“Just relax Kourtz, i’m sure they’ll let us speak to someone in the morning.” Tarah said calmly, doubting her own words as pessimism had taken her over.
Soon, fatigue hit the group and they all drifted into slumber on the floor of the cell.
As the group of prisoners slept in their dank cell, a twisted corpse like figure emerged from the darkness. “Oh hohoho,” the hag’s laugh boomed through the cell somehow waking Tarah, and Tarah alone, “This is quite a predicament you've found yourself in child. Locked away in such a dismal place by the very people you were trying to serve. Such a cruel fate for a child; so much manipulation, so much betrayal.”
“Wha... who are you? And what do you want with me?” Tarah replied, still tired from her short sleep.
The hag was merely amused by the girl apprehension “Don’t worry yourself child, I’m merely someone who knows a thing about how cruel fate can be. Take this one for instance.” The hag held out her palm revealing a strange purple stone. On command an impossible circle of shadow appeared on the floor of the already lightless room. The shadow began to ooze upward from circle as a petite figure emerged from it.
“Shinsou?” Tarah called out as she reached for the girl, realising that she was unconscious. “What have you done to her? You had better not have hurt her” Tarah threatened, while grasping the Zora tooth deep within her pocket with her free hand. As she shouted, Leif seemed to stir in his sleep, yet nobody was awoken. Tarah assumed that this was the result of the hags magic.
“I simply picked the child off the cold street where she was sleeping. It seems that pup of a paladin entrusted her safety to wrong one of you,” the hag pointed over towards the slumbering Leif. “It’s unfortunate that over sized sword could not grant him perspective. You see this child fate wouldn't let her return to where she'd be safe. So without you, she'd have nowhere to go but the streets. You on the other hand you’re not as blind as the others. You see how twisted and manipulative people can be, you see how cruel the world and fate could be. You can actually keep this poor child safe.”
Tarah laid the sleeping child on the cold ground using her own lap as a pillow to give her some measure of comfort.
A twisted smile grew on the hags face, “Now my young Tarah Vass, what if I told you I can grant you power protect that child, to save yourself, and to take vengeance against fate itself?” Tarah said nothing but the look in her eyes told the hag all she needed to know, “Oh hohoho, I’ll take that as a yes. Well then, allow me to grant you proper tools.
Tarah noticed a large scythe had appeared in her hand as if it had always been there. The woman’s thoughts were not of how the item appeared though, instead the first though to come to her mind was whether this was a joke or not. After all what use could she have for an over sized farm tool. Before she could question her eyes slow began to be able to see the shadows swirling around the scythe blade that should otherwise be invisible with in the darkness that surrounded them. The hag seemed to be able to respond to Tarah’s very thoughts, “You’re already beginning to see the kind of power that weapon will grant you. That’s good; I suppose I've chosen well after all. Though I'm sure it seems a bit unwieldy for as a melee weapon I'm sure that will be fixed in time. You can see that’s not the point of it though. No the Scythe of Shadow possesses a level of power second only to my own, and the soul within it will grant you ever last bit of it so long as you’re willing to protect his daughter at any cost.”
The hag’s words caught Tarah off guard, “Wait, what? You mean this thing is, it has her fathers…”
The hag was simply amused, “Oh hohoho, now there’s really no point in worrying about that. What you should be worrying about is your coming battle against fate. You see if you really want to save that child…” The hag leaned forward and whispered something in Tarah ears. A look of terror fell over her face and she was at a complete loss of words. The hag just laughed, “Oh hohoho, there’s no need to fret. That man would slay gods and burn the earth before he let a single hair on that child’s head be harmed. If there is anyone you should worry about it’s yourself, for when you save that girl, you’ll come face to face with that which curses her. I hope you're mind is a strong as I suspected. Oh hohoho.” The hag’s laugh slowly faded as she disappeared into the darkness.
Tarah now picked up Shinsou and carried her into the corner of the cell, she then sat in the dark corner and sheltered the girls sleeping body as she pushed all of her will into the scythe and used it to cast a layer of shadow which covered them both. She then waited, hoping that this would keep them hidden from the eyes of the Hylian guardsmen when the others were taken to see the king, or worse, in the morning.
Domain of Rest
Elizabeth/Day 4/Zora's Domain
Season 1 Finale - Part 1 of 2
They weren't retreating. They were advancing in a different direction so as to gain a tactical advantage. Heroes got people killed. Good ones didn't get their allies killed as often. But Beth never thought of herself as a hero. This conflicted her mind with as much time as she had to think with the heir to the Zora throne slumped over as fine a charger as the one she was riding.
And it was smart to get rid of the banner because Apocrypha could cause a lot more damage than a blasted banner. Yet somehow the banner bearer was able to take a life with it. A shame, because he would have made a fine member of her Order. It was also smart to get the banner in the right hands because she didn't quite know how the Zora people would feel about her rushing into their kingdom with both their heir and and their colors. She was a murderer, a religious zealot, and one who often found the most ironic ways to mock others in defeat. And she retorted to Polaris, as she had an image to uphold.
"Demons, after all, are fallen angels. I am blatantly, flagrantly, and most importantly, firmly among the fallen. My Light is twisted for my Lord's glory. And by His will we will survive this day!"
There was a lot more on the line if she made it back with Mako safely. She needed another place of refuge in the time of war, and even though her previous agreement with the Zora was good enough, it also made her unwelcome to recruit, raid, or venture too far into their lands before. She had taken jobs from their agents before the war, and it was live and let live while publicly upholding her bounty.
She trampled some and cut down others while on the run. Her hand on the rein was low enough to put pressure on her passenger's back in just the right spot. Temptation to kill him had crossed her mind, but bringing him back alive quickly cancelled that thought out. He had shamed her to an extent. She would counter that shame because he was foolish enough to need bailing out by the Red Ice General and the Scourge of Hyrule both. One legendary hero, and one incredibly controversial and disliked witch.
Her whole body ached with burning, dullness, and stinging in nearly every one of her muscles. The fallen angel powers always stressed her to the limit and were either a final desperation move to live another day or a closing crescendo to a wonderfully fought battle. But her body wasn't fully angelic. And the powers of Good never smile upon those who bend their powers for sinister purposes. She was worse than the Sheikah mystics who bent the rules for the greater good. Elizabeth did it because she was simply born better than everyone else.
After she was able to clear the river, everything went dark, but her passenger and her were safe. They had a massive scare by a Gerudo sorceress with an earth-based paradigm. She wasn't sure if it was forest magic or one she'd never seen before, but it made her most uneasy. And she warned Polaris of it after he had attempted to bend the water to his will. She was impressed by his attempt amidst the flood of emotion trying to wipe her mind out in its surge.
The problem was that her loaned steed got the worst business end of a flaming arrow that also grazed her leg. She didn't show evidence of the pain as she had all but steeled her will against it at this point. Nausea and bile were starting to rise up in her throat. And when the Zora soldier motioned them all in, he gave Elizabeth the most unusual look. She shot back a gaze of utmost intimidation and said to him,
"I hold the life of your heir in my hands. Get out of our way or I will trample a mudhole in your skull!"
She could hear something trickling down the soldier's leg as the door was closing behind everyone, and she was fighting everything within her not to spray a stream of vomit along the corridor because of the pain she was experiencing.
Elizabeth/Zora's Domain Border/Day 4
Season Finale Part 2 of 2
She was able to hold onto the contents of her stomach for a bit longer. Rising bile made it most uncomfortable still, but moving at a grueling pace was starting to take its toll. She needed medical attention or another vessel to drink dry. If the one on her mount didn't have the value he carried, he would have been breakfast. Her body was in conflict with itself.
The tunnel before her was drafty, chilled, damp, and had a rather dank, algae-riddled stench to it. Water easily seeped through these rocks, and with as much as it had been raining, earthiness was added to the mix. Polaris and the Tokay were keeping pace with little difficulty considering how much fighting had been done. It was by far the most grueling battle Beth had ever experienced, and though the toll was high, she had enjoyed it.
When the tunnel had just left them, conch horns were blown and Zora border sentries began to sound high alerts. They had seen Bloody Beth emerge from that secret tunnel on their heir's mount and with their heir slumped across it. And there was no indication as to if Mako the Magnificent was slain or incapacitated. Elizabeth Bryce often would find ways to grandstand her battle prowess. Many of the patrol were beginning to form ranks. Archers along the high ground had arrows at the ready.
This all changed when Polaris and Majin also emerged from the tunnel moments later. Confusion then swept over, but many were tempted by the sizable bounty Elizabeth carried. But news had not yet reached the masses of what massacres had unfolded this day. A sanguinary red ice storm, blood falling from the sky, a shadow dragon, moonlight at dawn, and a fallen angel. Much explaining would need to be done. But too many Zora saw rupees and their prince at risk instead of what truly lie before them. It was disharmony.
Formation had been taken, and many angles had been cut off. The all too familiar lawman's cadence shouted her name once more.
"Elizabeth Bryce, you are bound by law to stand down. You carry our Prince into our lands to shame us!"
She rolled her eyes in disgust, and in a rare gesture of subordination, Apocrypha found its scabbard. However, she stayed on the Blue Roan with her hands defiantly on her hips, silently boring her gaze into the eyes of the guards. This bought Polaris enough time to catch up to the madness.
A slight chill crept into the air as Polaris' eyes flared crimson. Stepping between Beth and the Zora sentries, Polaris addressed his countrymen.
"Her fate is to be decided by King Tiburon and he alone. Until then, she's with me."
Murmurs of discussion eventually led to ending the stand off. While they were all deciding how to move forward, Elizabeth's body couldn't handle the stress anymore. She doubled over on horseback and leaned to her left, releasing a stream that once contained the contents of her stomach. After a few more moments, she retched again, grasping her thigh that had been grazed as well as a wound under her armor courtesy of Soldat's holy magic.
Breathlessly, the Scourge of Hyrule wiped her mouth and retorted.
"General Polaris, our Tokay friend here, and myself saved your Prince...if you think I am truly your enemy, swallow your fucking pride. We have mutual hatred for Dromond...war is here...and you need allies. My friends...who can be yours. That Nayru-nookie-licking bastard's men wiped out Mako's entire unit! We are among the few survivors!"
Even at her most graceless, Elizabeth could still send a persuasive message. She silently prayed that Polaris' vote of confidence and her full disclosure was enough to get them to safety. And that she'd stop vomiting.
Gli Lambe/ Stewart's Residence/ Evening 4
Gli struggled against her bonds restlessly within the small cage that Stewart had shoved her inside, showing almost undying vigor as the the feral Deku Girl snarled, writhed and snapped at the air with murderous intent. Her glare met his as the cage wasraised up to Stewart's level, whom had arrived at their basement door with his hand upon the knob. She growled furiously like a wild animal, refusing to break her unblinking stare; However, Stewart promptly responded by releasing the small kennel from his grip. Gli's small prison smacked the edge of the first stair, tumbling painfully and ungracefully down to the cold brick ground below in the darkness of the basement. She indignantly scowled up at her master, whom was scowling right back; However, his face was wrapped in the darkness due to the light behind him, so she did not know his expression. The elderly man raised a hand from behind him, mockingly waving the Libram in the air before examining its features.
"I highly doubt flora even has the capacity to read...I find it quite amusing that you deemed this worth your time.' he sighed, 'I'll be taking this off your hands, Gli. It's obvious that tiny mind of yours couldn't take the idea of learning that your own are cut down and made into books. I wouldn't be happy either with such a realization. However, that's where my sympathy ends; You will be spending your time where you are until you prove capable of human behavior. I can imagine that being difficult though,considering you've only been able to manage it for ten years...You can do it, though."
He smiled sarcastically as a hand grabbed the door.
"If not, I'll gladly see to you joining this book in the fireplace. I've no use for a daught-...Ugh, slave that isn't worth the money."
The door slammed shut, plunging Gli into blackness. The Deku Girl's breathing was ragged and painful, restricted by her bonds within the tiny cage. She tried to rise to her knees, but her prison was too small for her to do much else beyond rising to acrawling position. Her back pushed against the roof of the kennel as she continued to struggle against her chains, her efforts seemingly in vain. Eventually, her everlasting stamina faltered, and she finally collapsed face first in the undignified position that her cage allowed. Her mind and body screamed for sustenance, but there was none to be found. In silence, Gli's rage eventually faded, soon turned to shame and pain.
Had the blackness of the basement not already blinded her, her bitter, uncontrollable tears would have. Her cheek, flattened against the ground, grew stained by the ground, which grew moist from her quiet sobs. Her lips were dry, her throat and eyes burned, her entire body ached, and her thirst was like a horrible itch. Eventually, as day became night, Gli ran out of tears. She only had the darkness and the itch to accompany her; Both taunted her with a everlasting grasp on her senses. Her mind began to wander, try its best to get a grip on something solid and intelligible to dwell. The Deku Girl began to see and hear things...and she realized that said things weren't exactly right, but they were solid and true in her mind. She began to lose herself to the dark imagery and sound within the silence of the basement, and closed her eyes...
Gli's eyes opened once more, welcomed by blackness. However, it was no ordinary blackness. Her eyes saw darkness and nothingness, but there was something there; She felt an odd sense of certainty in the fact that despite seeing nothing, she could still see. Further discovery found her able to move freely, as all of her belongings were not with her, for indeterminable reason. With startling suddeness, Gli's bare form was chilled by a gust, which seemed to come from both nowhere and everywhere. She hugged herself in the blackness as her dark, hairless, velvety skin grew goosebumps, whilst the leaves within her hair quivered. The experience was both alien and comforting, as if the cold gust had embraced her in an oddly motherly embrace. She slowly inhaled through her nose, and despite being in a plane of black and void, she could smell the fresh scent of water and moss, which seemed to cut through the barn-like scents of the basement of reality.
Eventually, she felt as though she could almost see past the nothing, her imagination painting a picture; its inspiration born from her other senses. However, before the painting could be formed, another sense within her head sprang to life. Noise filled the air, first born as a screech of white; Mercifully, it eventually found an intelligible form, choosing Hylian speech as substitute. Words echoed in her head, as though she evesdropped upon a small group. However, unlike natural evesdropping, she found herself unable to cease, as if it was necessary for her to hear. Her pointy ear perked itself towards the sounds, which were both nowhere and everywhere in origin...Just like the Gust...Just like the Void...Just like her Self...
"...Don’t worry yourself child, I’m merely someone who knows a thing about how cruel fate can be..."
"Now my young Tarah Vass, what if I told you I can grant you power protect that child, to save yourself, and to take vengeance against fate itself?”
“Oh hohoho, now there’s really no point in worrying about that. What you should be worrying about is your coming battle against fate. You see if you really want to save that child…”
Gli's brow furrowed as she massaged her temples. She pondered the reason of why she could hear these voices and how, vainly trying to piece together the puzzle...However in her current state of Self, she lacked the focus and wisdom to even recognize if there was puzzle to assemble; Perhaps she was just privy the words of a scenario, but she knew little of its relevance. Without sense of time, place or reason, it was just more noise in her mind. Hundreds of voices shouted, but this conversation she had specifically heard was but a whisper, somehow cutting through the mantras of madness. Before she could ponder a response, she had a flash of imagery before her eyes, all important in nature, but all far too fast to come and go in order to make sense.
As quickly as they came, the images ceased, and the void became blackness.
The blackness became darkness.
The darkness became the basement.
The basement was reality; warm, humid and horrible. Gli craved the void once more, but it did not answer. Her bonds were there once more, and so was the kennel, along with her pain. The Deku Girl looked on thoughtfully in the dark, silently asking questions that had no answer. For in the void, as far as she knew, there was only Gli. she and the voices; though the voices ignored Gli's pleas, and shouted on. Thus, the voices may as well not even be of the void.
Only Gli asked questions in a mental ocean of statements. Only Gli.
The Jaden Epoch
Ella Huntley/Lon Lon Ranch/Afternoon 3
By all assumptions, the fighting had been brutal. The smell of blood permeated the air. It surrounded her, nearly consumer her being. Ella had no doubt this was the work of Bloody Beth. She stumbled in her blindness through the emptiness of the ranch. Everyone, it seemed, had left. There was not a sound to be heard. The animals were all either dead or too terrified to make known their presence. Well, not everyone had left, at least not in the traditional sense. More frequently than she cared to acknowledge, Ella found herself tripping over corpses.
She almost broke down. She was on the verge of crying. Who knew what state her father was in? Who knew what had happened to him and her uncle? The only person she had had left was Ria, and even she was gone now. Going blind had not been the darkest part of her life; not the hardest thing she had had to endure. This was.
And, yes, Ella's vision remained darker than the deepest night she could ever remember surviving. Even the sun felt cold on her, despite the rain having stopped. But then, in a sudden moment, she felt warmth when she had nearly given up on ever feeling anything again. And despite the utter darkness gripping her eyes, she knew that very close nearby there was a presence of intense light. The stench of strong booze overcame the odor of blood; she was reminded of her father and tears nearly overpowered her once more. But it also made her think the duty she had sworn to fulfill in order to protect him. The clinking of armor resounded through the deathly quiet as this newcomer made its way toward her; the shuff of cloth against metal tickled her ears. Then, with a muffled voice, gruff and melancholy but with an inner strength, he spoke to her.
"What are you doing in such a desolate wasteland of blood and destruction, young lady? This is no place for someone like you."
"Mister," she responded with a despondent sigh, "if you knew the places I'd been, you wouldn't be surprised to find me here."
He snorted softly. "Well, to whom, may I ask, am I speaking, that has seen such hells as Hyrule has to offer."
"Well," she grumbled, "I've only seen some. The rest I've had to simply experience."
He paused for a moment. "Ah. I'm sorry. You are blind. I should have been more observant and chosen my words."
"Hell with it, I don't care!" She extended her hand toward the voice. "I'm Ella. Huntley."
He didn't respond right away and her hand hung in empty air. It seemed, perhaps, the words had become stuck in his throat.
"Well, so, what's your name, then? I've given mine!"
He cleared his throat, which seemed to dislodge the stuck words.
"I'm glad to have met you, Ella Huntley.
"I am Jaden Bryseis."