Disclaimer: I don’t want to get in whatever trouble people can get into when using other people’s characters so - .The Legend of Zelda, Link, Zelda, Ganon, Hyrule and other related characters and settings belong to to that wonderous console company, Nintendo. No infringement intended.

The Fall Of Evil

Juliet A. Singleton (Scullys@bigfoot.com) & Kirsty Singleton (Indigo_Spacen@mail.com)

Chapter 12

   "Alright, I say we get going today," Drake said, looking out of the window. Zelda nodded. "Okay, well why are we wasting our time sitting around?" she said, looking at everyone.

   "I still think it's going to be too wet," Link said uncertainly.

   "Wet or not wet, you have a job to do! Now come on, get moving," Zelda ordered.

   "Alright, fine," Link replied, heading off in the direction of the armoury. Drake and Aaron followed.

   "Who else is going?" Zelda questioned.

   "I'd be more than willing to offer my services, Princess," Charles said graciously. Nick stood up too.

   "And I too," he said. Zelda smiled.

   "Thank you. We may need all the help we can get," she said.

   "Are you going, Zelda?" Selina asked. The princess nodded.

   "Of course," she said shortly.

   "I'll help too," Leigh offered.

   "Alright," Zelda replied, her tone neutral.

   "What about you, Selina?" she questioned her friend. Selina looked away, upset.

   "Zelda, if you don't mind, I'd... well, I'd rather just stay here," she admitted. Zelda's expression turned to one of concern.

   "Selina, are you okay?" she asked.

   "I'm... fine. I just have a few things on my mind, I'm not sure if I'd be much help," Selina replied, looking away again. Zelda frowned to herself.

   "Well, okay. We'll be fine without you. It's just... well, are you sure you'll be okay?" she asked. Selina nodded.

   "I'm sure. I just need to clear my head, that's all," she replied softly.

   "If you're sure," Zelda answered. She headed towards the door. "We'll talk when I get back. Goodbye."

   "Bye, Zel. And, good luck," Selina replied, waving. Zelda smiled at her friend, then headed out towards the stables to tack up her horse. There was no way any of them were going to attempt the journey on foot.

   Fifteen minutes later, everyone was reading, and riding their horses across what had once been the grassy northern plains. However, now it was more like a quagmire than anything else. The horses were knee deep in mud, and not very happy at all. "If I'd have known it was going to be like this..." Zelda began

   "For Hyrule's sake Zel, it's been raining non-stop for almost a week! How did you expect it to be?" Link said, rather sarcastically. He wasn't happy himself about having to travel over to the tower in these conditions. Who knew what it would be like trying to get up the mountains, after all. And those entities... well, they didn't really know what they were dealing with.

   "Well!" Zelda said, sounding annoyed.

   "Shut up you two," Drake growled.

   "I was only..." Zelda began.

   "Hey, why didn't Selina come with us?" Nick suddenly asked.

   "Oh... because she... ummm... she had some things to sort out," Zelda answered.

   "Like what?" Drake pressed.

   "None of your business! Ladies problems," Zelda replied sharply.

   "I never did understand all that girls stuff," Link said.

   "You aren't meant to," Zelda said, urging her mount to go a little faster. The sky was looking pretty black again. The princess hoped that it wouldn't rain again.

   "You know, that's why I never did get married," Drake remarked.

   "Excuse me?" Zelda said, sounding offended.

   "You women. So difficult to please," the knight remarked.

   "Men can be just as bad," Leigh interrupted. The knight laughed.

   "Yeah, right!"

   "Selina's okay, isn't she?" Nick asked again, his voice of concern.

   "She's fine," Zelda said shortly, trying to concentrate on riding.

   "She looked a little upset when I saw her, come to think of it," Charles spoke up.

   "It's okay, it's nothing to worry about. Anyway, we have more important things to worry about right now," Zelda said in a firm tone.

   "Don't keep reminding us," Aaron said, as his horse stumbled in the mud.

   "Careful," Link warned.

   "Yeah, let's try and avoid those deep patches," Nick said, steering his own mount towards some less waterlogged grass.

   "Maybe this is a bad idea," Zelda worried.

   "It's too late to turn back now," Drake said firmly.

   "Yes, but it can't be doing the horses any good," Zelda argued.

   "Well, if you're so worried about your precious mare, why don't you get off and walk?" the knight asked. Zelda scowled.

   "You've got to be joking," she said in a cold tone.

   "Well let's keep going then, we haven't got any time to waste," Link said quickly, before an argument began.

   Perhaps about an hour later, the group had reached the foot of the Midoro Mountain range. The tall brown coloured peaks dominated the already dark-looking skyline.

   "So where is this tower, anyway?" Aaron asked, searching for the structure.

   "You can only see it at certain points. We're too low down here," Link replied.

   "But you know roughly whereabouts it is, right?" Drake said. Zelda nodded.

   "Yes, it's about a mile due east, I think, on the Midoro Swamp side," she said.

   "That means we'll have to take the pass, right?" Aaron said.

   "I should think we could do that, and walk along the edge of the swamp, then climb up to where it is," Link said.

   "But there's a good chance that the swamp could have flooded, with all this rain," Charles said sensibly.

   "Well, we'll just have to risk it," Link replied, dismounting. Everyone else followed suit, landing in the mud on the ground.

   "Ugh, this is awful," Zelda moaned.

   "Get used to it, because I have a feeling it's going to be like this everywhere," Drake replied. They tied up their horses to a nearby tree, and then set off towards the pass. There was a sudden crack of thunder.

   "Oh no," Leigh groaned, looking upwards. The heavens looked heavy.

   "I knew it was too good to last," Link said.

   "Look, the pass is fairly enclosed. We'll have a little protection there," Zelda said.

   "Well, let's run, because I don't know about you guys, but I hate getting wet," Charles said, running towards the gap in the mountains. Big droplets of rain began to fall, as they approached the Midoro pass.

   "Keep to the sides," Zelda said. There was a flash of lightning, and they all sheltered under a rocky overhang for a moment.

   "How much further?" Nick questioned. Zelda shrugged.

   "I don't know. The pass is about a mile long," she said. All they could see before them was rock. There were large, deep puddles in places, and water ran down the sides of the canyon like mini waterfalls.

   "Why am I starting to get a bad feeling about this?" the Princess stated.

   "Enough of your feelings, Princess. We gotta keep moving," Drake said in a determined tone. Reluctantly, they all emerged from the overhang, and back out into the downpour. Twenty minutes later, they all saw a tall structure, rising up from the rocks.

   "There's the tower!" Link exclaimed.

   "Can we reach it from here?" Charles asked, searching around.

   "We'd have to climb, but it might cut our journey short," Link replied.

   "If you think I'm climbing up there, you've got another thing coming..." Zelda began.

   "Anything to make it quicker," Nick said.

   "It's not that much of a climb," Link said, as he examined the rocky sides of the pass. It would be easy, he thought. A bolt of lighting illuminated the forbidding tower, and Zelda shivered, just looking at it. She was getting a very bad feeling about the whole matter, but no-one else seemed as afraid as she was. Glancing around, she noticed Leigh had lost her usual confident swagger. Perhaps she wasn't the only one afraid after all.

   "Come on, Zel," Link said, taking her by the hand, and leading her to a section of the cliff they could climb.

   "I think I'll... can I wait here?" Zelda suddenly said.

   "No, it's no safe!" Link replied, looking surprised at her request.

   "I feel... a little faint," she lied.

   "You shouldn't have come... perhaps... perhaps Aaron could take you back," Link said, suddenly looking worried by her words.

   "What's taking you two so long?" Drake shouted down. He'd already climbed up the first section of the mountain.

   "Nothing..." Zelda said. She turned back to Link. "It's okay, I'll come," she said in a decisive tone.

   "Only if you're sure," Link said.

   "I'm sure," Zelda replied. Link leaned forward to give her a small kiss, then they started the long climb upwards.

   "I'm beginning to think this was a bad idea," moaned Leigh unhappily.

   "What? You only JUST thought that?" asked Drake as he clutched onto another outcrop of rock. He slipped, cutting his hand. He cursed aloud as blood began to seep from the wound, but continued the climb.

   "Wasn't it your idea anyway?" asked Leigh moodily. She was soaked to the skin, and her arms were beginning to ache from the climb.

   "No! It was Link's!" said Drake. Link growled.

   "I hardly think so. It was his!" said the hero pointing at Charles. The young king let out a groan.

   "I knew this was going to come back to me," he said.

   "Let's just stop arguing, we are almost there," pointed out Nick. Leigh looked up at the cliff top and nodded.

   "I guess you're right," conceded Leigh.

   "Exactly, so let's all stop arguing," sighed Zelda. The rest of the group just grunted in agreement, continuing with the strenuous climb.

   The tower itself was built into a crater in the mountain, and the group soon found themselves looking down the steep, if not sheer drop down to the base of the crater. Leigh looked down then turned to the rest of them.

   "Okay. Whoever had the bright idea of climbing up here can be the first to jump down there!" she said agitatedly. Zelda looked across to Leigh, feeling a little uneasy. Leigh was usually so cool and collected, but at the moment she seemed anything but. She wasn't the only one to notice.

   "Hey, Leigh, are you okay?" asked Link, concerned. He placed a hand on her arm. Zelda watched the two, feeling a little annoyed. Link hadn't asked her if she'd been okay, even though she had complained of feeling a little faint before climbing the mountain. Perhaps it hadn't all been her imagination when she had thought something was going on between the two.

   "I'm fine, okay?" snapped Leigh, still regarding the steep drop.

   "I'm sure we could scramble down," pointed out Nick.

   "So try it," said Leigh, a little rudely. Nick shrugged and began to descend.

   "Come on, let's go," said Link. Zelda followed, but Drake caught Leigh's arm, holding her back.

   "What?" she hissed. When she saw the hurt expression on Drake's face, her features softened.

   "Um, I'm sorry, I don't know what it is. I'm not normally so, well, like this," apologised Leigh. Drake shook his head.

   "No it's okay. I just want to know if you're feeling okay," explained the knight. Leigh smiled sheepishly and looked back down the slope.

   "It's just...no, it's nothing," said Leigh, looking up to the skies. Drake followed her gaze, a fork of lightening tearing through the grey.

   "Are you sure?" asked Drake. Leigh shrugged and smiled at Drake.

   "Sure," she repeated, pulling her hair from her eyes and beginning to descend down the slope.

   "Leigh, wait," called Drake softly. Leigh turned to look at Drake, a rain of stones slipping from under her feet. The knight looked at her for a moment then waved his hand. "Nah, it can wait," he finally said. Leigh frowned for a moment, then shrugged.

   "Sure, whatever," she said, and continued down the slope. Drake watched for a moment, gazing at the sky, then descended the slope.

   "This is it," said Link, looking in awe at the tower. A strange blue mist surrounded the tower, and a low hissing filled the air.

   "What's that noise?" asked Zelda. Link shrugged.

   "Beats me," he said. Nick cautiously approached the tower, then stepped back.

   "Ouch," he exclaimed.

   "What?" asked Drake, jogging over.

   "I-I don't know," said Nick, gazing down at his hands. A black mass formed in front of them all, everyone drew their weapons. Link stepped forward, sword in hand.

   "Your mere mortal weapons cannot harm us whilst in the form of the spirit, and nor can we harm you. This mist you see around the tower is a force which will only allow selected beings through. Hero of Courage, I shall enjoy our next meeting, as it can only end in your demise." Then the mass faded away. Link looked around at the others. It was strange. He'd heard a voice, yet only inside his head.

   "Did you hear that?" Drake asked finally. Everyone in the group nodded.

   "I wonder who can pass through," said Nick, looking up at the tower. Another flash of lightening savagely tore through the sky. Link turned to Zelda. He took hold of her chin, tilting her face upwards and kissed her. No one said a thing. Then Link stepped through the mist. Zelda tried to follow, but stepped back in shock as a burning sensation ravaged across her skin.

   "Are you okay?" asked Nick. Zelda nodded.

   "They won't let me in?" asked Zelda, confused. She was as valuable as Link, surely?

   "It could've been a trap, Link may go in alone!" exclaimed Drake suddenly. He stepped forward, but was also repelled by the mist.

   "He's not going in there alone, not if I can help it!" declared Charles bravely, striding forward. He was also surprised by the sting of the mist and stepped back, subdued. Aaron was next, he stepped forward, plunging into the mist. For a moment, it looked as though he had gone across to the other side, but he came stumbling out backward, his whole body burning. He shook his head.

   "Nope, not letting me in," he said, a little shaken. Everyone turned to look at Leigh.

   "Well?" asked Zelda.

   Leigh looked up at the tower. She shivered. Then she stepped forward, the mist swarming around her. She was in! She turned around, trying to turn back, but a burning sensation covered her skin as she tried. She turned back to look at the tower. Link was standing at the entrance. "Are you the only one?" he asked. Leigh nodded.

   "We can't get out either," she added.

   "I know," replied Link.

   "Are you ready?" asked Leigh. The hero nodded. Leigh walked over to him. "Link, in case I don't make it through this, I want to tell you how sorry I am for all the trouble I caused between you and Zelda. But I also need to tell you this," started Leigh. She stepped forward and kissed him. It lasted for a moment, longer even, but eventually Link pushed her away.

   "Leigh don't," he began.

   "I know I shouldn't, but well, it doesn't matter," said Leigh, looking back to the towering building before them.

   "What are you talking about anyway? We are definately both going to make it through this, I'd put my life on it," said Link flashing Leigh a confident grin, although inside, he was feeling anything but. Leigh shook her head, her eyes cast towards the ground. Then she looked up at Link, her eyes full of fear and sadness.

   "What? What is it?" asked Link.

   "I know. This is where it ends for me, I've known since I set eyes on this tower," admitted Leigh.

   "What!? Are you talking about a hunch, or a premonition? Or what? Things don't have to be how you think they might be Leigh," said Link seriously, placing one hand on her shoulder. Leigh brushed his hand off.

   "It doesn't matter now anyway. Come on let's get this over with," said Leigh, walking to the tower doors. They creaked open, revealing a dim, fire-lit interior. Link caught up with Leigh, following her inside.

   "Leigh, wait, we should sort this out!" protested Link, but as the doors slammed shut behind him, he was momentarily distracted as he turned in surprise, and then...darkness. He turned around again. "Leigh!" he called out. There was no reply. He re-adjusted his grip on his sword. At that moment, the room was filled with a bright shining light. He was momentarily blinded, squeezing his eyes shut to shield them from the harsh light.

   When Link opened his eyes, he was no longer surrounded by four walls. He looked down at his feet, grass lay beneath them. He looked at his hands, realising they were the hands of a small boy, rather than a 27 year old adult. He recognised the village in which he stood. It was the village of the Kokiri his child hood home. People were running everywhere, something was going on. Link tried to move, talk, blink, but he was motionless. Suddenly, he felt a hot blast of heat at his side. He was able to turn his head. Fire was licking at a nearby building, he still couldn't move his legs. Screams of torture filled his ears, screams of horror, pain, misery all filled his head. Then he saw a Tanolian savage appear, sticking a spear into the frail body of an old women. But he didn't stop there, he continued to plunge and tear her body with the spear until it was no more than a bloody heap. He tried to move, tried to stop him, but he couldn't. He was useless, helpless. Then he saw his sister Haylee. He hadn't seen her for ten years or more, he forgot the brutal savagery he had just seen, and tried to rush over, to give his sister a hug. He found he could. He hugged her, then felt a sharp pain in his side. He looked to see a spear poked into him. He saw the face of one of those savages. They began to bond his hands, sniggering.

   "We'll show you how to fight like a real man," one of them sneered. They forced a spear into his hands, and pushed him towards his terrified sister.

   "Go on, kill her, kill her!" he heard voices jeering. He dropped the spear, squeezing his eyes shut, despite the screams and calls that surrounded him.

   "Link, help me!" called the thin voice of his sister. He opened his eyes, and saw his sister, standing opposite him her arms outstretched. Then his eyes moved downwards, saw the tip of a spearhead protruding through her stomach, a dark stain down her dress, a stain of blood. She fell forwards towards him, he began to scream.

   "Nooooo!" he wailed as he stumbled backwards, hugging his sister. Blood flowed everywhere, it was horrible. He screamed as the blood fell onto his hands, smeared across his face. He screamed again, then fell to the ground, squeezing his eyes shut.

   Leigh looked around her surrounding dubiously. She appeared to be in some kind of fighting arena, armed with her sword. She didn't recognise it. It was true, she had witnessed her own death. That very day as they had spotted the tower. It had flashed across her eyes, briefly. She wasn't going to die here. A large, booming laugh filled the arena. She knew that laugh anywhere. Batlin. Batlin was a sage, a greedy and evil one at that. Leigh considered him to be her worst enemy, aside from the Guardian, even though the two were practically as one. The sage appeared, armed with a thin bladed sword.

   "So we meet again Avatar!" he exclaimed. Leigh readied herself for the oncoming battle. She charged towards him, cutting him in the gut. But she didn't, the sword passed through him. Caught off-guard, shocked, she paused. Batlin struck her in the stomach, ripping through her. She let out a pained gasp, dropping her sword. "How I shall enjoy this Avatar, twisting this fine blade slowly through your entrails. Hearing your screams of pitiful agony, you had best pray for a quick death Avatar, though they shall not be answered. This is going to be painfully slow". Leigh looked down at the blood which poured from the wound, feeling weak. Batlin slowly twisted the sword around, slashing through her insides. She fell to her knees, the sword cutting upwards to her chest

   "Please, no more," she begged, but the voice that emerged from her lips was not one she knew. It was a thin, strangled, gasping tone. "No," she cried again, tears of pain springing to her eyes. Batlin laughed as he caught sight of her expression, as he heard her weak voice. Leigh winced, mentally cursing herself. She would never have begged for mercy, never, especially not from Batlin. Her body screamed in agony, in pain. She felt blood gushing from every organ, spilling out onto the ground that held her. Her face screwed up in agony, blood and bile creeping up her throat. Batlin plunged the sword further into her body. She opened her mouth, gasping as pain took over her, flooded, crashed atop her, pain she had never thought imaginable. Batlin began to laugh at her, twisting the sword slowly around inside her, taking in her pain.

   "Poor Avatar, poor, poor avatar!" he mocked. Leigh gulped.

   "Not here," she whispered, as another wave of pain tore through her.

   Link opened his eyes, he was breathing fast, short shallow breaths. He immediately looked at his hands. They were clean, other than the mud that had already been there, there was no blood, none of his own, his sister's, no-one elses. He glanced around. He was alone, in a well-lit room. It had been...a dream? "No my friend, your worst nightmare!" announced a voice. Link jumped in shock, he rose from his knees, tearing his sword from its hilt, a sharp shrieking sound filling the air. A rippling, black mass mounded in front of him. Link gripped his sword tightly, glad it was still in his possession. There was a sharp hissing noise, of escaping air, then a ray of pure black light shot from the mounds single eye, slamming into Link. He cried out and fell to the ground, his stomach wrenched in pain. He dragged himself up and used his sword to deflect the ray back at the mound. It screeched in pain as the ray ate through it's flesh like acid. Link was glad he had the Master Sword, symbol for all things good and light. He just hoped that Leigh wouldn't be in need of a similar artefact.

   "What do we do? Just wait?" asked Charles impatiently as he hopped from one foot to the other. Drake nodded.

   "It's the only thing we can do. Come on, let's go and take shelter in the cave entrance," said the knight.

   "Yeah, come on," said Nick, running over to shelter from the rain. The rest obligingly followed.

   Leigh sat up, shaking. She looked down at herself, trembling beyond control. There was no blood, no ugly wounds. It had been all a nightmare. She pulled herself up, feeling severely shaken. It wasn't just a nightmare, it was HER worst nightmare. Her sword lay on the ground, a few yards away from her. She stooped to pick it up, but could barely grasp it, she was shaking so much. Something smashed off the back of her skull. She fell over, blood clouding her vision for a moment. She felt for her sword, and as her fingers closed around the hilt, she heaved it up into the air, rolling over to face her silent attacker. She looked up, and saw her. It was her, just not. She jumped up and slammed the sword into the ribs of her own replica, making her crash to her knees. She slammed the edge of the blade across her replica's face, taking a chunk from her face. Her replica collapsed flat to the ground, and Leigh plunged the sword squarely into the chest of her attacker. She wiped her brow with content, then looked around the room. A wooden door lay at the end of it. She began to walk over to it, when a hand lay on her shoulder. She whirled around, only to be met with a slash across the face. She stumbled backwards, blood trickling down her cheek. She wiped at it, reguarding her replica carefully. It spoke.

   "Lucky thing we share the same traits, or I might've given up there." Leigh sniffed a little.

   "But unlike me, you waste time talking, instead of getting it over with," reminded Leigh, charging forward and bringing her sword down across her replica's shoulder. Her replica stumbled backwards, but then stood up, a slight frown.

   "That hurt. But no, I will show you how much!" said the replica, charging forward at a shocked Leigh. It caught her in the stomach, causing her to drop her side, and double over in pain. She fell to the floor, clutching her stomach, wheezing, blood pouring down her throat. "Really, I did expect a little more challenge," commented the replica. Leigh squeezed her eyes shut, trying to regain her composure, but it was hard when she was losing so much blood. She secretly slid her dagger from her belt, then thrust upwards, catching her replica across the knees, causing them to fall backwards. Leigh took a deep sigh and stood, although she almost fell in the process. She quickly murmured a small mantra, and ran her hand across her stomach, healing the wound. She wiped her bloodied hand on her tunic, and ran her hand through her tangled hair, walking to the replica. She grabbed her replica's sword, which her replica had carelessly left lying around, and took it, plunging it through her replica's head, pinning it to the ground.

   "Stay," she commanded, before turning, retrieving her own sword and proceeding to the end of the room. She yanked open the door, stepping over the threshold and to whatever lay beyond.

   Link stepped over to the next room, wiping his blood smeared brow. After dealing with the gelatinous mass of ooze he had gone into another room, only to deal with a vanishing octorock type creature. He hoped Leigh was okay. After a long flight of stairs, he had come to another room. He looked around, spotted a lonely figure in the corner. He watched it carefully. Light filled the room, and the figure turned. It was Zelda. "Zel?" asked Link, confused. Zelda smiled, then drew back her lips, revealing a pair of fangs. She hissed and withdrew a war hammer from her belt and approached Link menacingly. Link gulped and stepped backwards. It was an illusion, it wasn't really her. He readied himself for the first attack, easily deflecting it. He returned with his own attack, grazing the Zelda-clone's arm. She shrieked loudly and slammed the war hammer into his chest. Hard. He wheezed out a breath, struggling to stay upright. Before she could try again, he swung his sword at her stomach, but she nimbly jumped away. "Too good a fighter to be Zelda, too ugly too," muttered Link under his breath, this time dodging the blow of the Psycho Zelda. "But if this is what she gets like when she's in a really bad mood, then there's no way I'm going to irritate her," he added, this time getting a decent strike. Zelda shrieked and tried to hit him again, but she was not as focused as she had been. Link got in another blow. But in his cockiness, he failed to deflect the evil-Zelda's next attack. She smashed the hammer into his chest again, sending him crashing to the ground, landing on his behind. The Zelda-clone looked at Link, her expression turning sincere.

   "Oh sorry dear, did I hurt you?" she asked, her voice sounding exactly like Zelda's. Before Link could reply, she smacked him across the head, and kicked him in the stomach, sending him flat on his back. She advanced over him, his breath taken out of him. "For a man, you're pretty pathetic," she commented, preparing to bring the hammer down on Link's skull. His eyes widened, and he rolled out of the way, landing flat on his face, his eyes turned to where he had been, seeing the hammer embedded in the floor of stone. He forgot all of his aches and pains and used his arms to spring up, and slice the Physcho-Zelda across the back as she struggled to pull her hammer from the ground. She wailed in pain, then span around, hitting Link in the face. He stumbled backwards, smashing into the wall. "Jeez, what got you in such a grotty mood," he asked, wiping away a little blood that poured from his noise. Zelda didn't bother to answer, and let out a cry, preparing to smash his ribs. Link quickly ducked down, and thrust out his sword, hacking at Evil-Zelda's legs. She fell to the ground, dropping the hammer. Link grinned down at her.

   "Hey, this isn't bad marital counselling," he commented jokingly, before ramming his sword into her ribs. She let out another shriek, thinner this time, and turned to dust around the blade. Link let out a relieved sigh, rubbed his chin, and looked up at a set of grand doors in front of him. He wiped each hand on his tunic, then approached them. Perhaps this was going to be it.

   Leigh jogged up a flight of steps and pushed her way through a set of doors at the top. She had just had to tackle a huge swirling column of flesh, which had blasted out rays of flame and ice from every orifice. It had not been pretty. Her left arm was badly burnt, the other suffering from what felt like severe frostbite. She paused to cast a quick heal over herself, using the necessary reagents, then looked around the room, noticing it was relatively dark. Then, she saw something. The room was covered in cobwebs. She shivered. She really didn't like spiders, and she had a feeling that was what this was all about, well, unless the cleaners hadn't been up for a while. She looked around, then she saw her reflection in sixteen beady little eyes. She gulped, as eight hairy legs appeared, the outline of a huge shelob-like spider in front of her. She backed away slightly, and the spider let out a roar, emitting a huge mass of sticky web from it's mouth, aiming directly for Leigh. Leigh dived out of the way, diving across the floor, finding herself looking at four greedy mandibles. She tried to strike at the spider with her sword but missed. It pounced on top of her, wrapping it's hairy legs around her. She fought to stop herself from screaming, a stream of colourful language filling her head. She thrust her sword up, sticking it into the belly of the hideous creature and it screamed, leaping off her. She got up, and backed away, skidding on the web, backing into the wall. She looked behind her, spotting a torch on the wall. She smiled and ran over to it, trying to pull it from its setting. It was practically welded in. Leigh looked behind her, saw the spider approaching, mandibles clicking. It was huge. She turned to look at the torch, wrenched at the torch again, but it still wouldn't budge. "Come on, come on," she pleaded. She yanked again, and it came away, making her fall to the ground. The torch fell near her, and suddenly, it caught alight to the web covered floor, catching Leigh's cloak. She leapt up, wrenching the cloak off and hurling it into the mass of flames. Leigh pressed herself up against the wall, feeling the searing heat on her body. Then, out of the flames, she saw a burning mass coming flying towards her. That damn spider, it was set alight, but still intent on giving Leigh a hiding. It leapt atop her, but Leigh was ready, and it leapt onto the blade. She swung the blade around, every muscle in her body straining under its wait and dumped it. She pulled the blade from it's burning body, murmured the mantra to the douse spell and let out a deep sigh as the room slowly was reduced to a mass of smoking black goo. "That was NOT a good idea," Leigh reprimanded herself. She shook her head and looked around, spotting a large set of double doors. "Subtle," she commented. Perhaps they signified that this little trip up the tower was coming to an end. She paused as she began to open the door. She realised it really could be coming to the end, for her. Indefinitely.

   Link looked around the room. There was a large pool in the middle of the room, and it went right up to the wall almost. Thin edges surrounded it, as well as many more of thin ledges crossing the pool. Link didn't like it at all. Suddenly, he heard someone entering the room. He turned, to see a rather weary Leigh.

   "Leigh! You're okay!" exclaimed Link. Leigh nodded.

   "But for how long?" she asked.

   "Long enough my dear," answered a silky voice, which dripped with evil. Both Link and Leigh stared around the room wildly.

   "Why just us? Why not everyone else?" asked Link.

   "Because I wished for a challenge. You may have found the first few tasks easy, but not this one. Everyone had their own individual monster created from their own essence, but a little of everyone's essence was added to my monster, as well as my own. Prepare to die!" said the voice, beginning to laugh. The water in the pool began to swirl and turned blood red. A tentacle shot from the pool, spitting a black liquid at Leigh, covering her face. Leigh stepped back in shock, trying to wipe the stuff from her eyes.

   "You okay?" asked Link concerned, even though he kept his eyes on the pool.

   "Okay," replied Leigh, rubbing the stuff from her eyes. She felt a tingling sensation in her skin. Another tentacle shot from the water, this time for Link, but the hero was ready. He swept his sword through the air, cutting through the tentacle. There was a shriek of anger from below the water. Fire began to spring from the water, a flame catching Link's boot alight. He quickly stamped it out and sliced the next tentacle that came at him. Leigh meanwhile was casting her eyes across the water, watching eagle-eyes for the next tentacle that might spring out at her.

   "Hey, Leigh, I think I've got an idea!" called Link from across the room.

   "Go ahead!" called Leigh, still not taking her eyes from the water.

   "I'll be right with you!" called Link. Leigh turned to see Link diving into the water.

   "Link! What the hell are you doing!?" she yelled, but he had already gone under. She suddenly felt something slimy slam into her, and she lost her balance, dropped her sword, and fell into the pool below.

   Link opened his eyes and looked around himself. Suddenly a thick tentacle wrapped itself around him. He waited for it to drag him towards its body then sliced at it, cutting himself free. He sunk his blade into the body of the squid-like creature then swam up again, pulling himself onto the ledge.

   "I think I got it!" he exclaimed happily, dripping wet. He looked around, seeing Leigh wasn't there. He gulped a little and turned, looking into the water. "Leigh!" he called desperately. Suddenly, a huge, writhing mass rose from the water, towering high above him. "Oh my gods," murmured Link. At once there was a sickening squelching sound, and hundreds of black, swirling tentacles sprouted from the mound, all squirming and shrugging around. Leigh was caught up in one of those tentacles. "Leigh, no!" called out Link. Leigh was busy trying to shrug from the tentacles grasp.

   "Link, I need your help here!" she called. She had no weapon, just her bare hands. Link frowned a little, and looked at his own sword. He focused at the tip of the blade, a ball of power beginning to form.

   "Hold on!" he warned, sending the energy ball flying towards Leigh. It struck the tentacles that surrounded her, causing them to disintegrate, releasing Leigh. She fell, plunging back into the water. The mass let out a shriek as Link sent out another ball of energy. His eyes were meanwhile searching for water, when he spotted Leigh surfacing nearby. He knelt down and pulled her up. She held up her sword.

   "Thanks," she mouthed, her hair dripping.

   "How do we kill it?" asked Link. Leigh looked at it. "Link, I wish I knew," she murmured.

   At that moment, light particles began to collect above its head (if you could call it that). There was a deafening blast and a ray shot from the top of the mass, blasting into the roof. There was a shattering sound and Link looked at Leigh desperately. "What's it doing?!" asked Leigh.

   "I don't care, but whatever it is, I think we'd best get going!" shouted Link, over the top of the din. Leigh paused for a moment, then turned to Link.

   "You're right!" she agreed, her voice raised. They both turned, and saw the walls had vanished. Leigh frowned at Link, who grabbed her arm.

   "Don't ask!" he yelled, dragging her to the outside ledge of the now topless tower. As they began to descend a narrow ledge that twisted around the tower, there was another shriek, and an explosion, water raining down atop them. Link slipped, and almost fell, but Leigh grabbed his wrist and hauled him upright.

   "If we're going down! We're talking you with us!" boomed several voices.

   "Oh great!" moaned Leigh.

   "No matter, we need to go, NOW!" said Link, grasping Leigh's hand and beginning to run down the ledge which surrounded the tower. They ran, missing pieces of falling masonry and burning debris, and they neared the end, the base of the tower. The blue mist had disappeared. But the ledge was covered in water, and the two heroes themselves were soaked, and Leigh suddenly slipped and screamed. Link stopped and turned to grab her hand. "Leigh, are you okay?" asked Link over the roar. He was gripping onto her hand as she dangled over the edge. There was a 30 foot drop. "I can drag you back up!" said Link when Leigh didn't reply. Rain was pounding down upon them. Lightning streaked the sky. Link looked at Leigh hardly, then recognised the look in her eyes. She knew. This is what she had seen. He wouldn't let it happen. "No Leigh! You can change it, fate is never set!" yelled Link desperately. Leigh reached up with her other hand, grabbing onto Link's arm.

   "I know," she whispered. He began to drag her up when a hard chunk of stone fell on his hand, causing his grip to loosen. It was too loose. Leigh slipped from his grasp, but didn't scream. Link cried out as he watched her fall. She could survive the drop, she had to! Link could do nothing but watch. Suddenly, a bolt of lightening tore through the night, threateningly close to the tower, burning air filled the air. Then the bolt struck something else. Leigh.

   "No!" cried out Link. He watched in despair and amazement. Leigh was gone. He rubbed his eyes and began to run to the bottom of the tower.

   By the time he got there, everyone else was stood outside the ruins. Except Leigh. "What happened?" asked Drake, clearly distraught.

   "She slipped, I couldn't hold her, then...then the lightning," said Link.

   "But where did she go?" asked Charles. Link brushed a strand of wet hair from his face.

   "We have to look. We have to find her!" said Drake, beginning to move rubble aside.

   "Are you crazy, we need to get out of here quickly. If that collapses, so does half this mountain!" said Zelda. Nick looked at Drake sadly.

   "She's right, Leigh would have never survived that fall anyway, even if we did find her..." said the prince.

   "But we..." started Drake. He knew it was useless. They were right. If they stayed a moment longer, Leigh wouldn't be the only one to go to a better place. They all began to run for the steep incline they had come down as more and more of the tower crumbled to the ground. Drake turned to look at the tower wistfully for a last time. He hadn't felt like this since the death of his family. He now realised that what he had wanted to tell Leigh shouldn't of waited, because now it was going to be put on hold forever.

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