I wake sharply. My arms are chained behind my back and my ankles are shackled. My blurry vision clears and I see I'm in a courtyard, surrounded by stone walls. The earth sways under me and I vomit explosively. My head hurts so much.
"Jade, did you have to?" Groans a voice next to me. It's Garnet and I see some of my sick got on his boot. Blood is running down his forehead. For once the fiery warrior looks drained of hope. I find Zuli and Char are with us too and we are all tethered to a tall slab of stone that is driven into the ground. How the Draghans got it there I will probably never know. I can see the man with the soot covered skin approaching, Ghirahim at his side, smiling.
I am leaning on my elbow, unable to sit up. The man stands over me and my puddle of sick. I swallow saliva trying to hide my fear in the tension of my jaw. Though my eyes don't falter from his.
"Kiss Lord Dragmire's foot!" Ghirahim hisses with glee.
"Changing names are you?" Zuli gasps, wincing. He has a black eye. "Last I knew you were Demise."
"Silence, worm!" Ghirahim kicks him hard making him yelp.
"Leave him!" I snap, turning. I yell in pain as Demise lifts me by the hair. He holds my streaming eyes level with his. My scalp is screaming.
"My birth name was Dragmire." he says to me calmly almost soothingly as I choke on my voice. "And in other lives I was known as Ganondorf. But yes, your little friend is right, I am Demise." His eyes flare dangerously. I kick him with both my shackled feet. He drops me and I land on my tail bone. I roll over stunned with agony.
"The reason you are alive, Link, is because I have something special to show you. Something I always wanted you to see."
He steps back to show a pyre on the dais before the stone fortress. My Zelda is strapped to it. She is impassive as stone, blood streaming down her face. She looks so much like the day she did when I saw her returning from the outer islands, victorious, with the blood of her first kill on her face.
"ZELDA!" I strain against my bonds. She doesn't look at me. Her expression is dead. She has accepted her fate. "COME ON ZELDA! LOOK AT ME! YOU CAN FIGHT THIS!"
"Look at him squirm! Oh this is just so delicious I could melt with happiness!" His purple tongue runs up by neck and I cringe away from him.
Demise draws out the great, curved Ether Blade.
"NO!" The four of us yell at once. He approaches Zelda, no mercy in his eyes.
"Maltzar!" calls a musical voice. Fi flips out of the pile of confiscated weapons and flits toward them. She blocks Demise's path.
"I cannot let you do this!"
Demise pauses and eyes her.
"So you are the spirit of the Legendary Master Sword. Intriguing...Malrego." he calls.
Maltzar appears in spirit form.
"Master." he sneers with a mocking bow.
"Mal!" Fi gasps. He looks at her, but his expression is hard. "You don't know what you are doing. Demise is lying! If you kill Zelda- Hylia, the world will end- and there will be no reason to be human."
"What, so you want to sleep forever- trapped in a metal coffin?" Maltzar snarls. "I don't care what happens to this world- so long as your soul is immortal."
Fi's expression is one of disgust.
"Then I will never forgive you for all eternity. This world is my home. I would rather die with it than live to see it parish."
"Why are you so loyal to such a cruel queen?"
"Why are you so loyal to such a harsh tyrant?" Fi shoots back.
"GET OUT OF THE WAY!" Maltzar stands toe to toe with her, towering over her, yet she doesn't flinch.
"If you want her, you have to kill me, Mal," she states.
"No! Fi!" I yell. Maltzar raises his bladed arms, the dagger fingers spreading.
"Don't you dare!" he breathes, a tremor running through him. "I can't lose you!"
"You do this..." Fi leans in, "and you will."
"Malrego." Demise says. "Move her aside."
He doesn't move.
"Mal." he snaps. "Get her out of the way."
Maltzar runs a blade along Fi's jaw, bringing the point under her chin.
"Damn you!" he growls. With that he shoves her roughly aside and charges in at Zelda.
"NO!" The sound strains out of me as my throat collapses with grief.
I hear the whistle of his blades and the tear of it making contact. My Zelda!
She falls, blood rushing from her arm. She looks up at Maltzar as he towers over her.
"That's for condemning us." He hisses. He turns to Demise. "And this is for Fi." he raises his arms aggressively. Zelda leaps to her feet clutching her wound, protected by Maltzar.
"So, you truly are the traitor of swords," Demise growls.
"Feh, you made me like this." Maltzar sneers. Fi quickly slips by Demise heading for our weapons only to be blocked by Ghirahim.
"Naughty girl." he purrs licking his lips. She readies herself defiantly. And the melee clashes. Fi kicks and twirls blocking his punches. Maltzar and Demise go at it, Maltzar's arms splaying out into deadly wings of destruction. They whistle through the air, cutting and biting the wind. All the while Demise keeps trying to swipe at Zelda. All she can do is dodge and use Maltzar as a shield.
Fi delivers a round house kick knocking Ghirahim to the floor. She leaps at the weapons only to be grabbed by the ankle. Ghirahim throws her full force at the stone slab we are chained to. A shockwave sweeps out as her feet land, dancer-like, against the side. She crouches for a moment, her scarves suspended like wings. Her blue eyes glare, igniting to a fiery blaze. She pushes off and tackles Ghirahim.
Maltzar winces as he blocks and deflects his own blade. Demise swings down on him and presses hard.
fly between the blades' edges. He bares down on Maltzar, forcing him to kneel. Sparks
"You will never win against your master," Demise sooths. "You belong to me, Malrego." Their eyes draw close. Maltzar is panting hard, a shred of fear lighting his glare.
"I belong to no one," He spits. Demise chuckles.
"Malrego," he purrs the name. "I designed you. I own every piece of you. Even your flaring personality is mine and mine alone." He kicks Maltzar in the chest. Maltzar rolls gracefully over the shoulder and onto his feet.
"You'll have to tame me first." He juts his chin boldly. Demise smirks.
"You will be begging me to by the time I'm done with you."
By this time, Fi had somehow jumped onto Ghirahim's shoulders. Using her legs, she flips, throwing him head over heels into the wall. Finally, she reaches the weapons. The four Master Swords glide into the crystal on her chest, transforming her into her human form. She grabs the Four Swords and brings them to me. With the blade of one, she shatters the chains around my hands. Ghirahim grabs her by the hair. She yells as he wrenches her back and knees her in the stomach. He throws her down as she chokes.
"You dare to think you can get the better of me?" he growls.
"I already have, if you'll remember." Fi hisses back despite her pain. Ghirahim charges his hands with dark energy.
"And you will pay dearly for it!" he snarls. I free myself and I leap at him. He turns just in time to catch my blade. We glare at each other with deep loathing. "As will you." he leans in threateningly.
"What about me?" Zuli flies in out of nowhere. I had freed Garnet's hands and he in turn freed the others. The four of us hack at Ghirahim's metal skin, making him wince and shutter. Char turns and runs back to the weapons. He's better with the bow and arrow.
Suddenly a massive creature lands behind us. I turn to find it is Vaati, his many wings spayed out, his long tongue licking his teeth as the eye on this chest devours us with a hungry gaze. We arrange ourselves back to back, facing both him and Ghirahim.
"Where's Char when you need him?" Garnet snaps. Vaati lunges. The three of us strike. We tumble and dodge teeth and fists. Garnet flies into the wall, thrown by Vaati's wing. I stab his eye blinding the creature. He wails flailing hard. I fall to the ground and cover my head to keep from being hit. But Ghirahim pounces on me.
"Aw, is someone scared?" He whispers.
"You wish!" I struggle. He lifts me by the hair, pinning my arm behind my back. Vaati stops his howling suddenly and sniffs. The eyeless wolf head slowly snakes down toward me. The lips pull back in a snarl as he catches my scent. I kick Ghirahim wildly. He's having trouble holding me.
"Feast!" Ghirahim laughs. Vaati opens his mouth and lunges for my face. Zuli clobbers his head. Vaati rears trying to shake him off.
"You won't get away with killing a quarter of me!" He yells, straining to hold on. Garnet goes for the bloody eye socket and stabs it hilt deep. Vaati melts into the shadows, dropping Zuli painfully to the floor.
"Bravo." Comes Vaati's voice from every angle, the sound of his clapping hands echoing. "Who knew you would improve. No matter. So have I."
He steps out from behind the stone slab, smirking. Lightening shoots from his fingers and wrap around my body. I fall limp. Pain shakes and spasms my body, but I cannot scream.
"I've always hated you most, Jade." Vaati cackles. "So like your whole form... Link."
"Stop it!" Zuli charges. The lightening throws him down as well. Ghirahim is laughing, delighted by the show. Garnet swings his Four Sword only to be lifted off the ground from an invisible force.
"And you, the hot head." Vaati chuckles. "Always running in without a plan. You'll be fun to break. After all you are even more useless than Charoitte-"
Vaati cuts short as a blade rips through his chest from behind.
"Wanna say that again?" Char hisses. Garnet lands on his feet. Vaati chokes and blood runs out of his mouth. Zuli starts laughing from the floor.
"Pathetic!" Garnet snarls at Vaati. "You're nothing but a little Picori masquerading as a wizard. A little speck and nothing more!"
Vaati's eyes flare. His form blackens and he transforms into a much larger, much darker and much more dangerous beast form. The Four sword is still in his back, but it's like a toothpick now. He swipes us all away with his many wings and lunges for me. I dodge. Something is digging in the ground around me. A black arm made of shadow rises up and grabs me. I struggle, hacking at it with my sword.
"Your time is near, Chosen one!" Ghirahim taunts before Fi clobbers him angrily. The arm lifts me high. Vaati turns to me, his snout grinning malevolently. His mouth opens wide and the arm throws me. I yell as I land on his slippery tongue which forces me down his throat. After a tight squeeze I land in a small cavern. A small stinking cavern. I cover my mouth as the fumes make me dizzy. I'm careful not to go in the water, which hisses with green acids. Thinking fast, knowing my time is limited I keep to the walls climbing along, listening. I'm going to blackout. I hold my breath. I can hear thumping. I inch toward it. It gets louder. I take a little sip of air and immediately feel faint. Almost there. The thumping begins to pulse in the stomach wall. I climb higher. I'm getting close. I'm shaking. Another sip of air. My head is pounding. The wall is now throbbing beneath my fingers. Found it.
I stab hard into the flesh. I hear a roar howl above me shaking the whole chamber. I hack and cut desperately. Blood sprays all over me. This is gory work, I feel like puking. My vision begins to go black. I have to get out! I dive head first into the slippery wound. I squirm in the hot and wet tissue, working my way past bone and organs until- I spill out with a river of blood, bursting his eyeball as I did so. Vaati crashes to the ground, heaving painful breaths.
"Jade!" Zuli and Char run to me. I cough and gasp, so relieved to breathe real air.
"I'm fine!" I choke.
"I thought we lost you!" Zuli hugs me getting gore all over him.
"Come on." I pat his back. "He's not dead yet." The four of us approach his head. He chokes and whines unable to move. I almost feel sorry for him. On my signal we plunge our blades into his head. And his body dissolves into ash.
No sooner had he did so when something came bounding out of the depths of the fortress: Malladus. My brothers charge fearlessly and begin wildly hacking away at the beast.
I go to help when I hear Maltzar yell in pain. I turn to see him pinned to a wall the Ether Blade under his eye, Demise's forearm choking him. His feet don't touch the floor.
"I could have freed you, Malrego." Demise growls. "but it seems I'll have to blind you instead." I charge but I know I am too late.
Zelda yells, swinging a log of wood from the pyre at his head. Demise catches it without looking.
"Poor choice." He says turning to her. I jump in front just as he stabs. My blade deflects it but- the breath presses out of me as the burning sword slips through my kidney and out the back. I'm skewered on the sword, in shock. Zelda doesn't make a sound. The three of us stare. I don't feel anything at first, just that it's harder to breathe. Demise takes me by the back of the neck, almost gently, and guides me further onto the sword. I howl in pain crumbling over but he forces me to stand. "Game over, little one." he says calmly, as my wide eyes stream with tears. Zelda suddenly punches Demise in the face. He falls back as she goes ballistic on him, her eyes cold and dangerous. I crumple the sword still in me. I curl around it forcing myself to breathe.
Demise back hands Zelda to the ground. He laughs, truly amused by her efforts.
"This is exactly the moment I've been waiting for," he chuckles. "Go one Hylia, take the sword. Sacrifice your chosen hero with your own hands." The colour drains from my Zelda's face. "You take out that sword and he will bleed out, all over your hands!"
Zelda crawls to me.
"Do it!" I mouth over and over again. "Do it! He must die. I've served my purpose." Tears run out of her eyes and her chin tenses with grief. She shakes her head. Demise laughs- what an idiot.
"Just as I thought." he purrs.
"Will you marry me?" I ask Zelda suddenly. A laugh escapes her from the oddity of it. "I'm sorry I'm asking now." I wince.
"Yes. Stay with me! Yes! I will!" She holds me tight.
"See you on the other side." I say. I grab the hilt and wrench, a scream pressing through my teeth.
"No!" Zelda yells. I hand the Ether Blade to her with shaking hands.
"Make me proud." I mouth before the pain blinds me and I fall limp.
"You ruddy bastard!" I charge only to be caught by the throat.
"Now the way I see it, we can both co-exist. After all, you would make a lovely pet." Demise says to Zelda bringing me to his chest. "I wouldn't mind reincarnating for eternity," he says his hand wandering over the gem in my chest. "The Ether Blade's power is all that can destroy us...unless I destroy it first." he presses hard on my gem. I scream in agony trying to break free. Zelda charges, leaps off the pyre and comes down on Demise. He uses my own arm to block her. I kick him as he holds my elbows, using me as a shield and weapon.
Zelda circles us with dangerous grace, her eyes calculating his weak spots. She goes in again. I struggle and twist as Demise manipulates me into his service, laughing while he does it. I go limp, making it harder for him. He shakes me angrily trying to force me to stand.
"You know, father," I say snidely, "Who knew things would end so easily?" He kicks me hard in the tail bone. I laugh wincing, "Temper, temper!" I tease. He grabs my throat and holds me to his chest. He hammers his fist into my chest crystal paralysing me with agony. It's cracked. I can't move. Zelda drives her shoulder full force into us, making Demise stagger. She leaps high and brings the blade down into his collar bone. He falls to his knees dropping me. Zelda winds back. Demise reaches out and a black sword comes to his hand. Ghirahim. He blocks her.
"You will pay for that dearly, my princess." he growls as blood oozes out of the gash. "DRAGHANS!" He calls. An army of the fearsome tribe gushes out of the castle. "KILL THE OTHERS! LEAVE THIS ONE TO ME!" The screaming horde avalanches over me and into the courtyard. Talk about over kill- there is only three of the buggers!
Suddenly the great gates strain, beaten from something outside. The Draghans pause bumping into each other, curious at what might be knocking. The wooden doors burst apart and a Goron barges in. He is holding a flaming arrow. Char's flaming arrow.
"BROTHERS UNITE!" he pumps a fist. With deafening war cries the other tribes from all the regions of Hyrule come pouring into the courtyard. The Draghans scatter, sorely outnumbered.
With me forgotten on the steps, Demise and Hylia fight. Malladus rampages around the courtyard, paving the ground red from his blinded eyes. Fi has returned to her spirit form and given the three remaining Links the Master Swords. The beast is almost slain. The Draghans tussle with the other tribes: the Gorons, Sheikah, Hylians, the Rito even the Koroks have joined.
Demise bares down on Zelda with no mercy, rage burning in his eyes.
"You may have the blade but you haven't the heart to wield it." He says. Zelda goes into scorpion stance, the blade arched over her head.
" she threatens beckoning him with a finger. She twirls and bends, dodging his hacking blows like a dancer, picking him apart bit by bit. He forces her up onto the pyre. Fire ignites in his hand and he lights it. Zelda is forced up against the beam, as the blaze hungrily rises. me.
"I will see you in the next life," Demise bows. "May you be a more worthy opponent."
Zelda leaps through the flame, singeing her hair. She arches back raising the Ether Blade high. I taste his bitter blood as my sword runs him through. He stands there in shock, Zelda crouched fiercely on his chest.
"Enough." She hisses venomously. She drops down and rips out my blade, bringing him to his knees.
"Zelda!" The three Links yell as they run toward us away from the body of Malladus. In one fell swoop, Zelda cuts Demise's head from his shoulders.
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