"You say you need the Master Sword. What for?" The girl's voice echoes through the temple.
"We need it because of him." Maltzar points to me.
"Who are you?"
"My name is Zelda Faron, and I have come here for my friend, Link. He is sick."
"Who do you serve?"
"Hylia. I am Hylia." Zelda says though I see with difficulty.
"That's blasphemy." The voice says calmly.
"Then fight me and let me prove it!" Zelda yells.
"Agreed!" In a splash of gems the girl reappears at the pedestal. Zelda steps forward.
"Wait!" Maltzar snatches at her but is blocked by a transparent wall of teal and purple gems. I bark snapping at it, but it won't break.
The two women charge. They block and dodge as if in a dance. Zelda uses her stave with grace while the girl kicks. She's a contortionist! She slips out of any lock and uses only her legs. She is a mesmerizing graceful acrobatic, using her scarves to distract and deflect.
"Hey, I never got your name!" Maltzar prowls around the enclosure, his green eyes on the girl.
"And why would you need it?" she asks a little annoyed.
"Because you're cute." He purrs. She gives him an irksome glance before ducking Zelda's stave. "Oh and did I mention you have a great body, you're curves are just-" He trails off, his hands tracing the air hungrily.
"Stop it!" Both She and Zelda snap. Maltzar laughs fiendishly.
"What it's the truth." He lounges against the wall, peering in. "I like girls with a good kick."
"You're next." She says sharply.
"Oh goodie!" Maltzar squirms sensually with delight. I want to smack him. Here I am racing around, trying to find a way in to save my Zelda and he's just sitting back and enjoying the show- enjoying the enemy. Which side is this guy on?
Finally the women break apart. Glowering, the nameless one steps back onto the pedestal.
"You're fight is worth my time." She bows her head, though not at all pleased. Zelda stands ready and panting. "Accept my final test." She opens her arms, the blue and purple draperies hanging down. A beam of intense light shoots out of the crystal on her chest. I leap against the wall trying to get to Zelda. She jumps out of the way and the beam hits me.
The ground strikes suddenly and the sky slips beneath me. I feel warmth melt all my muscles. Like silk it wraps around my heart and squeezes tightly until I feel an icicle worm its way out and through my ribs. It hits the floor and I breathe.
"LINK!" Zelda throws herself on me.
"Ow, ow easy." I wince. I blink. I am human?
"Whoa...do that again!" Maltzar laughs. The girl is still standing on the pedestal, staring at me. I don't understand her expression, it is one of shock and worship. I noticed my clothes have changed: I am wearing a green tunic with chainmail and a pointed, long cap. Buckles and strapping's I didn't know existed, adorn me! I am wearing the ancient garb the knights wore in the glory days.
The girl falls to her knees and bows.
"Master." she says.
"Wait what?" Maltzar looks between us. I get to my feet.
"Who are you?" I ask.
"I am Fi, the Master Sword. Forgive me! I did not recognize you." A tear falls from her eye.
"Fi..." I breathe as I come toward her. She is so familiar. I lift her chin. "Of course I forgive you. You saved my life...many times."
She smiles. I remember following that smile, through a city in the sky, following her through the night as she lead me to a secret temple where her blade lay. We were so different then.
"Fi." I hug her. "How did you-? Why are you-?" I look her up and down.
"I know I said I would be in an eternal sleep when we last talked. But times have changed. Both Ghirahim and I have heard our masters' call. I've been guarding this forest from his minions. He has sent so many. Forgive me Hylia."
"Please, call me Zelda." she insists awkwardly.
"There have been so many imposters, I couldn't trust anyone." Fi turns to me and smiles. "But it's really you." She kisses my cheek. "Come, let's make ribbons of our enemies!" she smiles wickedly, stepping back on the pedestal. "Raise your hand, Master. Command me to your service."
"You're a sword. You're a sword?" Maltzar finally speaks up, totally at a loss. She cocks her eyebrow at him again.
"So? Am I any less cute?" She asks teasingly. Maltzar laughs, amused and intrigued.
"You've become more...human." I say. "You didn't understand emotion." I can remember the perfect way she spoke with clipped tones and straight face. Totally natural to everything.
"Well of course, Master. Every sword with a spirit has a human form. I used mine to protect myself and I learned a lot about feelings." Her eyes flit to Maltzar. A crooked grin lights his face. She turns to me fervently.
"Master, take me."
"Oh I'll take you." Maltzar murmurs. All eyes turn on him. "I mean," he coughs, "Go right ahead, Link."
I raise my hand. I remember watching someone do this once, some one big and dark. Fi is lifted off her feet with angelic light. She opens her arms and closes her eyes. A blue mist, bright as dawn, condenses around the crystal on her chest. The gem opens up and a purple hilt emerges. I watch in awe as an entire blade slides out of her rib cage and glides into my outstretched hand. Fi dissolves into sparkles and they rush into the sword adding to its glow. Maltzar peers over my shoulder at it.
"Does she ever...come out again?" He sounds a little sad.
"Of course I do." Fi laughs, flipping out of the sword with a flash. She hovers in her spirit form. Her arms are gone, replaced by the purple and blue drapes and her skin has gone a shiny blue like her hair. Is it just me or is Maltzar blushing?
"You look weird." He scoffs defensively.
"Well so would you if you were a sword spirit." She says simply.
"...what's it like in there?" He asks after a pause, eyeing her intensely. Fi glides toward him.
"Like a dream. You are aware of everything, yet you see nothing. You feel the warmth of the sheath and you can feel your master's hand grip you hard. You breathe the wind with every swing and you taste the blood of every foe. They come in different flavours." She is leaning toward Maltzar now. He is stationary and stunned, his lips slightly parted. Are they going to kiss? I clear my throat. Fi flips back into the sword and I sheath her protectively.
"Well, Link. You certainly attract some fine ladies." Maltzar smoothes back his red hair.
"Enough of this." Zelda steps in. "We must hurry to the desert and defeat Zant. The Stone of Elray is waiting for us. Our journey is almost done."
Fi hovers next to me. We have fallen behind on our way to the desert.
"So..." I say. "I heard you talking about an eternal sleep...what's up with that?"
"When my mission here is finished I will be returned to the pedestal and I will sleep."
"Forever?" I ask.
"You mean you die?"
"No. That would be to say that my soul moves on to the afterlife. It doesn't. I will become one with the sword." Fi says.
"That's not fair. You deserve better than that." I scoff, angered at the idea.
"I am a weapon, Maltzar." Fi says. "It's perfectly fair. In fact it's merciful. I'm a tool killing. Nothing more."
"You're being used." I snap.
"For good." Fi finishes. "That is all I can wish for." Her smile is wistful.
"Maltzar, will you keep up?" Link calls back.
"It's not like I'm the only one." I yell back pointing at my companion.
"Technically you are." He points to the Master Sword on his back. Fi smiles at me.
"But you're here." I shove her. She glides gracefully back and kicks me in the arm.
"Yes, I am here. But my source is up ahead." She goes to catch up but I grab her arm...fabric thing.
"I'm not done with you." I pull her back. "So what are your hobbies?"
She gives me an odd look.
"My life is my mission."
"Well there's gotta be something you like to do." I say, irritated. Fi looks at me with big window-like eyes, entirely blue with now pupil or iris. They are kind of creepy, I like her human form better.
"I like to dance." She says.
"What kind?" I smile.
"The graceful sort."
"So I guess tribal cerebral palsy is out of the question?" I ask. She laughs. Her voice falls like gems through wind chimes.
"I wouldn't mind trying it."
"Well then, that settles it. Before you go and do your R.I.P I'm taking you on a N.T.D- Night of Tribal Dancing."
She smiles, ducking her head, almost bashfully like a swan tucking its head. I glow inside.
"Come on guys." Link says.
"Yeah, yeah I'm coming!" I snap, picking up my pace with great reluctance. I feel something soft brush my cheek. I look to see Fi is beaming at me.
We come to the gates of Zant's Palace. The carcasses of Twili beasts lie rotting in the desert sun. We break through and storm the castle. The place is a ghost town. Not an enemy in sight. Only when we come to the throne room are we faced with a challenge. Zant is lounging in his thrown which has been unmistakably etched into the stone of Elray. I advance furiously, but Zelda holds me back.
"I knew it was only a matter of time before you came to me." He says, playing with his sceptre. "You brandish that silly toy like you know how to use it." He rises. "You may be the chosen, but you are nothing but an insect to me one that will squish nicely under my heel." He charges. A barrier forms around him and I, leaving Maltzar and Zelda out. It's just me and Fi now; just me and the Master Sword. His sceptre breaks into two blades which he wields with all the grace of a samurai. I am cut and beaten and thrown down. But no matter how much it hurts, no matter how many ribs break, I get up.
"Come on, Fi! KICK HIM!" Maltzar hollers. She appears, her eyes alight with inspiration. With the grace of a pirouette, she performs a roundhouse kick to his head. Zant stumbles.
"You shouldn't show yourself, sword. I can break you just easily as your master." Zant hisses coming after her. I slice open his arm. Snarling like the wolf I am, I leap bringing the blade down upon him. He falls.
I am standing over him. The purple blood seeps up to my boots. Choking Zant glares at me.
"Don't think this ends here." he splutters. "My darkness will reign supreme when Dragmire is on the thrown. The future of Hyrule will be written in your blood as the history is stained with mine." He points at Zelda and me. "You will not escape Demise's curse. You will fall." And with that he dies.
"For a dying dude, he certainly had a lot of wind in him." Maltzar says. I collapse, hurting everywhere. Zelda heals me and bandages me as best she can. I ache but at least I can breathe again. We approach Elray.
"This is it." Maltzar says. "Finally we can get that sword!"
Zelda plays the harp. It is a warm tune, mysterious and lilting. It sounds like the sand dunes outside. The stone joins the song with its ethereal sound. Green light spreads from it until it is as bright as an emerald sun. The light condenses creating vines all through the chamber. Leaves fountain out of them gushing all over the walls.
Zelda finishes the song but the stone continues to sing.
Through the music an ethereal voice speaks, neither male nor female:
"You have a question to ask of me,
Ask it now and I will set you free.
Dally not for my time is short
For my place is in Hylia's court"
"My name is Zelda Faron." She pauses. "I am Hylia and I've come to ask you where I can find The Ether Sword of Good and Evil."
There is a pause where I take Zelda's hand and squeeze. She grips back firmly. Then Elray speaks.
"The sword of evil and good,
Is not greatly understood.
It changes its mind,
On the turn of a dime.
Befriend it first,
And quench its thirst.
For only will blood suffice.
Be ready to pay a great price.
But where it can be found,
I cannot tell.
For the answer does lie
With the stone of Martelle"
Suddenly a beam of light shoots out and constructs a three dimensional map of Hyrule. It is blue but for one golden star gleaming in the north, the opposite side of the map from home.
"Wait you mean we went all through that only to be relocated?" Maltzar fumes. "This is bullshit!!!" He kicks over a stand. Zelda takes a deep breath. I can tell she is trying to hide her deep disappointment. She pulls out the map and marks it down.
"Thank you, Elray." She bows. The map disappears as does the music and light. She looks at us.
"I know this hard, but we must keep going. Martelle must know."
"And if it doesn't," Maltzar snaps.
"Then we keep on the trail! We have an advantage over Ghirahim. He can't awaken the Stones. We need to keep our heads down and move quickly."
"And so we go." I say. "Though thick and thin, we go." Zelda smiles. "To Zora's Domain."
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