Fan Fiction


By afterlyfe
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Chapter 1: opacity

A/N: If you have any questions or comments, e-mail me at: ashtonysanders (at)

~ Lethe ~

Open the gates of hell,
let forth the river...
Let they who weep
forget their sadness,
let they who cheer
forget their joy,
let he who drinks have unquenched lips,
let he who eats bear a starving body...

Let forth the river flowing,
let this world forget,
for time itself will pass,
and knowledge will be dead,
for only darkness knows
of the brightest past...
Open the gates of hell,
let the river flow....
Let water consume them
until they know
not anything else.
Let the flow carry them away,
until memory itself is gone.

The curses were again left unheard in the darkness. No matter how many times Ganondorf cursed, the darkness would not reply to him. They offered no comfort or chastisements for his actions. It was only there, accepting every word he reserved for it, but unable to return with output. Once the words and curses were directed to it, there was no way to direct anything back. And, in that way, Ganondorf was more alone than usual.

Ganondorf didn't feel alone at the time, and even if he had, he probably wouldn't have cared. The only companion he had here was his solitude and his isolation. It was just he and the darkness, and he had continually showed that he conquered the darkness with his curses. It was he and his own world-- This brainchild that lay before him was dark and cold to the touch, just as he preferred. He had somehow learned to fear the light and warmth of the world he was driven from, and now could only embrace this cold and black place to keep his sanity.

Although, he had to admit, his sanity wasn't really there anymore.

He drifted in this cold, named the Evil Realm since he had stripped it of its beauty. It had once been a land of gold, the rolling and massive hills holding their own secrets of divinity. The gods had designed the world he had destroyed and named after himself. There were no hills anymore-- It was only a barren wasteland of discarded memories and traces of nostalgia. The scent of cold water and blood drenched the air until it was thick and hard to breathe. Ganondorf's lungs were laboring constantly to find oxygen in this air. He didn't have to breathe, and he knew this, but it felt natural to do so. His body was useless in this barren darkness, but he tried to pretend as though it was worth something. He was continually deceiving himself into believing that his body needed oxygen, food and rest.

Traveling through this darkness was effortless and ultimately useless. There was nothing to see here. All Ganondorf could do was drift, his mind clicking slowly on, his lips murmuring curses. The years he had spent here finally left him with little soundness of mind left. He had nothing to speak to except the darkness, which had nothing to say. The color of his face and eyes was slowly draining, and his hatred of the outside world was worn.

Although he hated the world of light--although he hated the Sages, Link, and Zelda--the bitterness was too tiring to keep up with. When he first was banished here, he would remind himself that the moment he escaped, he'd kill Link. He repeated this over and over until he became obsessed with this goal, his anticipation for escape becoming stronger each day. But now, these empty promises and threats were meaningless. They had been repeated in vain so many times, that he bitterly accepted that he would never escape, and that swearing to kill Link was not making the circumstances any better. He was tired of making these promises.

He was tired of this darkness, and the threats he made, and the evils he had before embraced. The more he looked at the things he had followed, the more bored he became of them. A complete and ultimate power stopped interesting him. Ganondorf strained to think of something interesting and broad, but could find nothing. He was always a part of the darkness and had no way to escape it.

Evil was boring now, but he didn't know what else to do. And so he drifted, the hopelessness gaining strength as he thought. He tried to remember the light, and the thin air that he once breathed, but the memories were so vague by now, that they became unreal. They were but dreams now. The more he tried to reach for them, the more they distanced themselves. This was his constant frustration and struggle of his memory: His past hated him. It did not wish to be part of him anymore. It had discarded its own name in search of the abyss, leaving him alone with his desperate present situation.

Ganondorf looked up, the darkness swallowing him, and he hissed through his teeth at it. After staring at it harder, he realized something was wrong. The dark was dimming. Light was coming through.

He didn't understand, but he felt warmth glowing in front of him. He blinked casually, finding it interesting but not exciting enough to lift his dreary state of mind. The light was in front of him, but could not be named. As far as he could see, it was an anonymous light that had no purpose here except to exist.

But this light... It had form. It had life beneath it. There was something moving and living in front of him, flashes of red slowly taking form. Soon Ganondorf realized there was a woman standing in front of him. All he could distinct was the outline of her body and her bright, fiery eyes. He blinked several times, but soon recognized the woman and cursed.

"Din," he spat unrepentantly. The woman smiled icily, her image clearing until he could see the details. Her face was pale, and her hair a brilliant red, gold shining across her robes. "Why do you come here?"

"...I was hoping to negotiate," Din slowly crooned. Ganondorf became confused.


"Perhaps you should stay out of the details, and concentrate on how it shall be done."

"I have no interest," Ganondorf quickly replied, the darkness pushing him away into the abyss, even though Din was still there. Din continued to stand in the darkness, ignoring his comment.

"You have been here a long time for a mortal mind," she droned, at first falling to deaf ears. Ganondorf stubbornly refused to reply to this observation, and drifted for several minutes before he finally gave up and added onto the conversation.

"How long has it been?" he drearily asked, having lost all sense of time the moment he came here.

"Ten years now."

"...It's felt like ten decades," Ganondorf mumbled, surprised that it had only been ten years, but soon realized that ten years was a long time all the same.

"That is to be expected," Din replied calmly. "Drifters like you feel time much more harshly than most."

The flaming image in front of Ganondorf began to fade, but the presence did not. Ganondorf was not eager to continue this seemingly pointless conversation, so he bitterly silenced himself.

"I can release you, Ganondorf."

Surprised, Ganondorf turned to listen. Why would she release him? He cautiously approached with this question. "Have... I done something to deserve this?"

There was a highly amused laugh that echoed throughout the abyss, and Din again spoke, "It isn't a reward, Ganondorf. It is merely an extension of your punishment."

"Oh," Ganondorf replied deftly, not understanding the logic thus far. It was obvious there was more to it, so Ganondorf waited for her to continue.

"I was recently thinking," Din cocked her head, "What is the best way to punish someone such as you? I'm unsure if a mind like yours needs to rot away like this..."

Ganondorf continued to not pay much attention.

"You thrive by your own pride and self-worth. You're too miserable to even kill yourself. So of course, humility would be the most fitting of punishments."

"So... You're going to release me to humiliate me?" Ganondorf raised an eyebrow, not liking this conversation so far.

"...That's the theory," Din replied. "The problem then was... How to humiliate you. I, of course, first thought of what you hate, which is painfully obvious. The very minute you set foot in this world, you swore to kill Link and Zelda, along with many others. So who do you hate the most? The conclusion was particularly quick, Ganondorf."

"I'm sure you think you have a point in saying I hate Link," Ganondorf sputtered impatiently, "but you don't, so you better get to the real purpose you have."

Din callously gazed at him, not making a sound until his breath broke into gasps. She breathed in, ignoring his comment, and continued. "This will have a little bit of creative touch, and you may at first see it as foolishness, but there will be no way out of it. You will, ultimately, have your own free will, but will protect Link from harm." Din smiled icily, leaving Ganondorf to his own reaction.

Ganondorf, at first, really had none. He pondered on this idea a while, staring out into space, silence droning in his ear, until he finally let out a weak chuckle. Din kept silent, so the quiet laugh carried across the darkness easily. His laughing became less and less confident, slowly beginning to think of the logic necessary, and scoffing at it. "And how is that to be accomplished?"

To his surprise, he received no response. Din stared back at him only for a moment and then vanished into the abyss. Ganondorf became puzzled, and tentatively tried speaking her name, but no voice came from his throat. He reached out for his own throat, trying to see what was wrong. He felt an icy stump of flesh instead, and alarmingly tried to warm it with his hands. This was to no avail, and he felt a dull panic growing in his heart. The darkness suddenly became much more threatening, and he could feel a crushing pressure against his body. A face began to evolve of the darkness, and the darkness only grew darker while his mind began to tear.

Am I dying? It was all he could think of at first, as the darkness began to dizzily roll around his darting eyes. His mind continued to slip out of grasp, a soft light erupting beneath him before fading again. His lungs were no longer able to take the pressure, and he let in a sharp breath, but was unable to let the breath out again. His chest began to burn with an incredible pain, and slowly he managed to let out a gasp, but as the air left his lungs, the darkness grew deeper, and it the darkness struck him bluntly.

Through bleary eyes, he watched as Din walked into an open gap of white, and at last he felt his mind carry away into nothing.

He awoke. Or at least, he thought he did. In fact, he really wasn't sure what had happened. He never felt as though he was asleep... He saw only darkness, but felt light fall over him. The warmth was at first unwelcome, and he struggled through the blind existence to escape from it, but it proved useless.

The light was there, but he couldn't see it. His eyes were blinded and hurt from the sharp brightness of the sun. He could hear birds calling in the distance. Ganondorf kept low... Wherever he was. He couldn't tell where he stood, but he felt gravity pulling at him heavily. Gravity was extremely strong to him, as he had not felt the force for ten years. The sunlight burnt him at first, and he continually struggled to avoid it, but after a few minutes, the pain eased. Ganondorf began to sweat heavily under the sunlight, gasping and becoming thirsty very quickly. He also felt a heavy, hollow hunger that gnawed at his stomach.

The pains gathered themselves, and a flaming headache started up, but he had to face them. The sunlight was so drastically different from the dark and cold that he had lived in, that he was not mentally prepared to face it. The heat was excruciating, and his pale skin couldn't stay in direct contact with it very long. The gravity confused him, because he had forgotten what it felt like, and couldn't tell if he was lying on the ground or was upside-down. After a moment of extreme dizziness, he finally figured out that his body was on the ground, and that his face was in the dirt.

His eyes opened cautiously, and he barely had the strength to wedge his arms underneath his chest in order to lift his face from the ground. Dirt covered his face, but the light blurred into his vision. He blinked several times, the dizzy images clearing, and feeling very scattered. His lungs steadily began to breathe, and he could see something in front of him. He saw the ground... Littered with leaves. There were trees surrounding him, but he could only see the trunks and roots from where he looked.

Din sharply and clearly spoke. "Well? Are you going to take all day?"

Ganondorf only grunted and collapsed again, impatiently mumbling. "It's not as easy as it looks." Ganondorf momentarily wheezed, and Din grew impatient with him.

"You're a powerful wizard, aren't you?"

Well... He was, admittedly. Ganondorf suddenly felt a little foolish at not realizing this before, and began to try to strengthen himself. The Triforce began to wash over him, his heart pulsing hard from his chest, and his muscles gained the strength in order to push himself from the ground. Slowly but surely, he lifted himself in order to see the lush woods that surrounded him. He wasn't particularly romantic about nature, but he had to admit that the feeling of seeing trees again was strangely relieving.

Din was standing grimly in front of him, and he was surprised by her appearance. She was rather short, and barely reached his waist even as she stood tall. This caused him to step back in order to see her better. She was slim and darkly tanned with a red tint to her skin, probably reflecting from her light red garb, lined with purple and pink cloth. She wore golden sandals with leather leggings going up to her knees. The garment was circus-like and almost looked comical, but was strangely fitting with her springy, bright red hair.

Din didn't appear joyful at the moment, but Ganondorf doubted that any such sentiments would occur with him nearby. Her face was grave and silent, and she crossed her arms stiffly. "Well, that took long enough. Should I give you the grand tour?"

Ganondorf chose to disregard the sarcasm. "I suppose this is as good a time as any."

Din grunted and turned to face the endless mess of trees. They stood in a area that must've been cleared of trees a long time ago, because the trees were only sprouts, and most of the ground was covered with moss-covered logs. Ganondorf could hear water running in the distance and concluded that there must be a creek nearby as well. "I am not stupid enough, Ganondorf," Din began, awakening him from a daze, "to let you free with all of your powers to simply roam and kill."

Humored, Ganondorf mumbled in response. "Now, let's be fair, who said I would do that?"

There was no response, and Din only offered a cold glance before she continued. "I will let you have all of your powers. However, your powers will probably not matter much after you learn of the other strings that are attached. You see, if you hurt another, you will feel the pain they receive from that infliction. If you kill someone, you will die with them. Whatever pain or death you inflict you will receive. I think you get the picture."

"I thought this had to do with Link," Ganondorf cut in.

"That's the important part," Din smugly answered. "You will have a similar connection with Link. Except... It won't just be the pain you inflict upon him."

"...What?" Ganondorf stared at her dizzily, unable to understand.

"...If Link feels pain--and I mean from anything--you will feel it."

Dumbfounded, Ganondorf could only repeat himself. "...What?"

Din cracked a smile, entertained by Ganondorf's baffled response. "If someone stabs his arm, you'll feel that pain. If a rock hits his head, you'll feel that pain. And if his neck snaps and he dies, so do you."

Ganondorf slowly began to take in these words, and felt color draining from his face. He suddenly appeared very vulnerable and defeated. Din couldn't help but continue smiling as she watched him deteriorate. For a moment, he appeared to only be able to stutter incomprehensively. "That's... Th-that's..."

"'That's' what?" Din demanded, leaving him silent. He stared blankly at her, and finally realized he had nothing to say.
Din grimly turned around, staring out into the woods, momentarily ignoring him.

Ganondorf was still letting this idea sink in, but suddenly asked, "Where am I?"

"You're standing in the territory where Link is at this moment," Din answered indifferently. "He's been wandering and looking for fights with the creatures of these woods."

Ganondorf knew this was not beneficial on his part--it was risk, and Ganondorf hadn't felt pain in years, so he feared it. He had been free of it long enough to gain a severe paranoia, and would seek to save himself from this reality of life. He looked to the woods, heart pounding. "Do I get a bigger hint than that?"

There was no reply. Ganondorf turned around, and found only empty forest.

Ganondorf was not hurt by the goddesses' ill manners. Din had vanished but he dismissed this abrupt act with a snort. "I guess I'll have to find him myself."

This was no problem.

The summer air was heavy on his shoulders, and in a vexed attempt to cool his profusely sweating body, he tossed his body into a spiraling dance, and with a burst of energy he flew into the air. The wind toyed with him but he soon grabbed command of it, freely soaring above the shimmering green of the trees.

As he met the cooler air above the dense forest, he entertained a sigh of relief. Though his body still trembled in weakness from years of neglect, every passing minute allowed his strength to steadily return. No longer tormented by humidity, he took in the clearer air and glanced about the horizon. He studied the distant outlines of mountains, calculating where he must be. Ganondorf could tell he was deep in the forest, for there was nothing but miles of trees in every direction.

Soon it did not matter to him that Link was nearly impossible to find. Nothing worried him in the following minutes. He could feel the breeze and the wisps of cloud flow through the ebony and leather that decorated his frame. Grinning and relieved of the oppressive air of the world beneath him, he flew above the smoke of green.

Everything seemed askew, crooked in his sight. Ganondorf's pondered why the world seemed so gnarled as he gazed down upon it, but did not blame his own view. His dizziness and wobbly flight was the fault of the blistering wind, and the obscured images of trees were the fault of the trees' obscurity. Ganondorf continued to barrel ahead, ignoring a distinct sinking feeling and weakness chilling his muscles. Nothing could convince him that he was falling until his path was grazing the tops of the trees. As his limbs unearthed branches and leaves, tearing them into the fresh sky, he wondered how the trees had so suddenly met him. Had they grown taller?

The minutes waned, and to his surprise, his body crashed through the branches like a boulder, and through his confusion he tore around a few impending trunk of trees. He was toppling downwards, spiraling without control, and in the last few moments he fought to slow down. Every grope for a branch led to a sharp slash, a burn of friction, and a grunt of frustration. His failing flight baffled him, but he had to gain control before he met the rocky earth.

The trees roared, snapped, beat him while he ripped through their limbs, and all the while he frantically tried to think of what to do. He struggled to keep his energy up, but exhaustion had licked him.

All he could consider was, this is anti-climatic.

Before he at last collided into the crust, there was a spray of rock flowering into his face. Ganondorf plowed through the soil, but before the earth could succumb him and crush him, a dormant spurt of energy survived. With no hope of living without its use, Ganondorf poured all of his concentration into this one pulse. The energy roared, erupted, and before he hit the ground, the magic led to a bounce. Like a pebble across water, he slammed into a burst of energy and skipped weakly into the air.

Skid. Crack. The impact was not as hard as it could have been, but it sent him into an undignified stumble, ripping across the rough terrain until gravity finally slowed him to a stop.

Confounded and dizzy, Ganondorf could not bring himself to move. That had never happened before. His magic had drained almost immediately after careening into the air. All he could speculate was he was out of practice. He uneasily stood up, groaning at his battered frame, but decided nothing was broken after examining himself. Lucky break. If the bounce hadn't absorbed most of the impact, he would likely have not survived.

It's been 15 minutes and I've already had my near-death experience, he thought grimly. Vocally, he sputtered, "What was that?"

To his surprise, he received an answer in the dead of the woods.

Though some would argue a stunted growl is not a true reply.


Ganondorf stared dumbly into the Wolfos' face, feeling a curious burning ripple up his side.

Ganon hadn't seen a Wolfos for quite some time, but despite his absence he could recognize a wild one when he saw it. This beast was much smaller in stature than the beasts he was familiar with. The animal bristled when it saw him, but though its movements betrayed its dumbness, the eyes gave away another surprising trait. Though this Wolfos was not as aware and intelligent as the ones Ganondorf had once commanded, this beast looked somehow far more soulful in its stupidity. The eyes glimmered with a sharp resonation, the sleek-boned body quivering from the eruption of snarls coming from its furry breast.

Although Ganondorf knew it couldn't understand him, he couldn't escape the habit of speaking to it. "Hello, there."

The silvery head made a tremor, the sound of his voice exciting its anger more. The wild Wolfos tried in vain to threaten him, but the creature was too small and weak to make any impressive poses. Ganondorf ignored its growling and stared at it, beginning a one-sided conversation.

"And who might you be?" Ganondorf inquired sorely, turning his attention to the growing pain in his side. He clawed at the burning flesh but could find nothing wrong with it.

The Wolfos fell quiet, baring its teeth and its ears falling flat against its head. The bronze eyes grew in size, the light falling through the trees giving them a distinct glisten.

Thinking aloud, Ganondorf suddenly wondered, "Is your pack nearby or are you a loner?"

As he spoke, a revelation struck him. As the pain racked him, he began to understand that the pain was not coming from his body. The Wolfos sniffed and spun on its paws, and with a winded grin of fangs, it dashed back into the woods. Shadows chased it and brush broke beneath its shattering pace. Almost immediately, the beast vanished in the green haze of forest.


Ganondorf couldn't let this feeling go--a collected noise was humming
about the trees, a significant motion in the isolated wilderness awakening his curiosity. Something was not right, and as Ganondorf dwelled on Din's words, he began to understand the ghastly pain and fleeing Wolfos.

"Link, you idiot," he swore beneath his breath. If his intuition proved correct, the Hylian was stupider than initially thought.

Ganondorf took pursuit, albeit uneasily; he had lost the Wolfos' track in his brief pause of thought and the pain yet inhibited his ability to chase after it. Still cursing and stumbling around the roots of trees, Ganondorf found himself maneuvering towering rocks and crevices, a scattered attempt to guess the Wolfos' path, but upon standing atop a teetering rock formation, he found what he needed. A thick molt of moss blanketed the world below, and as he peered down into the pit of earth and grass, he saw the pack stranded in the midst of a sparkling creek. Water stirred, grunts were exchanged, and the beasts all shuffled through the watery path, crossing it for another location.

There was a pounding noise off in the distance, and the untrained ear would have reported war drums. But this was no such thing: it was too guttural, too natural for the intense beat of palm against thin hide.

Ganondorf precariously watched his step, identifying the only possible way down. It didn't appear comfortable, but he had crossed rigid terrain before. He would just have to remember.

One step. Turf: this was easy. The grass melted under his feet, padding his pace.

The next step, this time at an angle downwards. He aimed for a slab of slate interrupted with a gnarled tree root, hoping it would support his weight if he were to lean into its cradle. He didn't trust it completely, and so as his foot slipped down the slick slate, his arm grabbed for another branch nearby. This step ended up becoming a clumsy, awkward swoop down the side of the rock, but as he had planned, his foot was snagged by the tree root and held still. His arm was yanked uncomfortably and dust spat into his face from the tree branch's bow. Both vines ached with his heftiness. Ganondorf, fortunately, was used to this and pondered his next move.

Now, the trouble was trying to free his foot from the vine and transfer his weight onto another safe spot. This was easier said than done. Not only was there no apparent safe place to go, but the moment he tried to step away from the root, his foot deepened into the root's tangle and snagged even harder. Without any other option, Ganondorf sputtered swear words and grabbed more fiercely for the branch above him. One foot flailing and scraping the slate wall, and the other twisting into a tree root without hope of freedom, Ganondorf tried to lift himself with both of his arms pulling on the branch overhead.

This was not dignified business. And just when he thought he had no audience, a familiar snout and pair of yellow eyes greeted him from above. More profanities were made, mostly directed in the Wolfos' direction. But the Wolfos wistfully shrugged these hateful words off and effortlessly leapt down the cliff with a bounce and glide of dust.

The few of the wild dogs turned their eyes in the direction of the bizarre disturbance, but they were uninterested in a uselessly wriggling man tangled in roots. They stared momentarily and moved on, and the only audience he gained was quickly lost.

All the better for him, he supposed, feeling the roots at his foot at last give way and snap.

Oh, goddesses. He made another futile grab for the thin wisp of branch,
but the sticks and leaves slipped through his grip and he slid sharply down the hill of stone. The crash was immediate and obscured by the turrent of dust clouding his fall, but fortunately for his sake, his slip-up cost him little. The fall was abrupt and relatively painless, except for a the continuing tear threading up his side, and in the sudden flare of pain, he emitted a dry gasp.

His side--his ribs cried out in the shock of being torn open, though they stood unharmed and in peace. He made his way back onto his feet, brushing the dust and rubble from his clothing, cursing the chunkiness of his mode of dress. Though the pain enraged him, he set his eyes upon the emerging pack, now certain of the source of his agony.

Ganondorf walked carefully, somehow disquieted by the migration of these animals. He knew he had to be careful not to offend them--they were easily offended and punished transgressions fiercely. It was as he followed the creatures' paths, however, that he identified what he was searching for.

The circle.

Someone was fighting a Wolfos.

All he could see at first was a surrounding fog and haze of silver fur, all standing stalkish and still, attentive yellow eyes distracted into the sacred ground where blood was being shed. This circle of Wolfos was utterly quiet, nothing but a few unsettled notes coming from excited youths, and all held their snouts closed. The Wolfos made no breaths or coughs in the face of their ancient lore--they watched, and nothing more, while this tradition held on. Ganondorf made steps among the Wolfos, expecting to be greeted by the animals with snarls and warnings, but none moved as he approached. He moved onward, at first believing they did not notice him, for they were so immersed in the battle he was straining to see. But soon his feet met the same ground as their gnarled paws, his legs and arms brushing against their tattered manes, and he could feel the breaths of enormous, deadly animals pressing against every side of him. A few looked at him emptily, their marble eyes examining him and questioning him with no more than a faint curiosity. They were confused but not threatened by the new observer who had come to join them in watching the slaughter. Ganondof read their expressions as almost being flattered that an outsider had taken interest. It was, after all, the only relic of their ancestors they had to observe. This tradition, this circle they created to surround a duel between man and beast, was a part of their very being. Humans had history and stories to pass down their humanity, but the Wolfos kept this practice close to heart. They could not write or speak, and so they passed down their nature through bloodlines and instinct.

This dueling was not exclusive to their kind--it surpassed their kind, for it was a hunger that lay dormant in life for many millennia, a tradition shared by man and beast's common ancestors, and even before them.

This desperate and celebrated fight was going on just beyond their grizzly shoulders, but Ganondorf decided to be patient. If he hoped to interrupt this situation without being killed he would have to try and follow the rules.

Ganondorf could see it from where he stood, being of a tall stature, and in his impatience watched and considered what was before him. The center ground was alit with life, a stark contrast with the stony stillness of the surrounding Wolfos. Two warriors, a young man and an impenetrable animal, were furiously tearing at each other. The Wolfos was massive and glorious, a clear leader of the pack, its body covered in a mossy coat of gray fur, its eyes burning a christened gold, and its teeth glistening with splashes of man-blood. It hulked over the man who battled it, roaring in the sport of destroying its prey, its lunges becoming a furious ritual and dance.

Link was in retreat, to Ganondorf's disappointment, suffering from an open wound at his side. But despite his pain and continuing slide into loss, Link gripped an unfamiliar broadsword and was swinging it madly--without reason at all. He didn't even seem to be aiming. Ganondorf could only make a brief observation before deciding something was definitely wrong, and that it was beyond the blood that was being spilled. Link's movements under the flow of a dark cloak were awkward, imprecise, and desperately wild. Despite the intent eyes around the two, neither appeared aware of the audience they had produced. They were immersed in their battle--to them, no one existed but this one enemy who they fought to kill. The other Wolfos did not exist; Ganondorf did not exist.

Ganondorf was not perturbed, but knew he had to stop this before his life-host was killed. He stood among these innocent yet bloodthirsty beasts, breathing with them, and calculated his options.

The Wolfos in the circle remained calm and at ease, their horrific folklore revealing the paradoxical spiritual inheritance in their blood. Even as the Wolfos moved in for its kill--even as it remained a dumb animal and ignorant of heaven--it was, yet, full of heaven. Just as a newborn babe, they were innocent of understanding of God, but still were filled with God in every bone of their body. Their beauty, their grace, their every step was brim with the holiness and sanctity of a temple. But their teeth rendered them as far more potent than a holy object--these relics filled with heaven in their design also had the power to devour and kill.

Ganondorf fell ill suddenly as the Wolfos leader delivered another blow to Link's failing body. He swallowed, hesitated, and made a sharp move inward. But before his venture could succeed, the Wolfos felt his intentions.

A distant stir evolved around a female Wolfos. Why she became nervous and violent over Ganondorf's presence was unclear. He didn't know whether it was that she was threatened by his alien presence, was afraid of their ritual being interrupted, or was merely in an irritable mood. But his welcome had worn and the Wolfos who has previously eyed him calmly now became afraid. They panicked at the sudden change in atmosphere, sensing their leader's discontent and glared into the man who was daring to stop this sacred battle. Teeth bared and glittered under the summer sunlight. Manes bristled and ears perked upwards in attention. No Wolfos was ignorant of this emerged threat, and soon the entire crowd's attention had averted.

A goddess of fury and wind marched boldly, swiftly taking up her duty, determined to remove this interrupter and foreign body as though drawing poison from a wound. Growls and irregular singing echoed among the beasts, inquiring and challenging snarls rising from the pack. The mentality was clear: you do not belong here.

These forest gods circled him, the music of their yelps filling his ears, but he did not move or tremble. Ganondorf could still see the traces of terror in their eyes, for they recognized his scent and knew better than to believe they could easily intimidate him. Ganondorf frowned at the crowd of teeth swaying in front of him, watching in disapproval as the entire pack abandoned their ritual to scuffle over to his side and threaten him with their thick scowls.

They raged, but were frozen still. The she-wolf went still, a look of uncertainty wrinkling the curl of lips at her face. She looked to Ganon, snorted, and looked back to the duel the circle had abandoned. The she-wolf cautiously shot out her tongue and recoiled it again, lapping against her canines and considering her options. The other Wolfos grew discouraged with her immobility. Silent words and stunted growls were exchanged, but none were willing to challenge Ganondorf.

All blinked and recoiled, and Link made an agonized noise in the distance.

Ganondorf emitted a frenzied roar of pain as he felt the ghoulish nails open Link's side, and the Wolfos resounded in alarm at the noise, throwing their heads back in a chorus of synchronized howling. The cacophony of yelping and excited cries tossed the situation into a flurry of confusion. The Wolfos were baffled by their visitors' seemingly erratic scream, and none were able to decide if it was a threat to their business. They eyed the convulsing Gerudo man as though he had lost his mind, nervously lifting their heads and baring their teeth.

Ganondorf forced himself to ignore the fiery wound, and before the Wolfos could assault him, a violet fume splashed into their faces.

There was thunder, crash, a whip of energy birthing in his hand. The Wolfos were knocked back, their mouths closed, their vision obscured by this pulsing rush, and all at once the world went quiet.

The Wolfos could only stare in horror, ears and hair standing on end, and Ganondorf calmly took in his free breath. The growing, purple flame engulfing his hand mesmerized them, and none dared to move. Ganondorf turned his eyes, hearing the clatter of metal continue regardless of his capture. He held these beasts hostage and peered over his shoulder, only to find that Link had dealt the last blow. The leader of the pack moaned, but the sharp blade punished its jaw with a precise thrust and it collapsed on the forest floor. Once the beast's moaning ceased and Link wearily withdrew, Ganondorf watched the rest of the pack grow concerned.

Their leader had just been killed and they were thirsty for vengeance, yet this strange man was threatening them and keeping them still. No Wolfos opened its mouth, none closed their eyes--they saw his power and obeyed like whipped pups, all exchanging glances, wondering nervously what their fate was to be.

"He's mine," Ganondorf conversationally informed the she-wolf, gazing into her magnificent eyes as though looking upon royalty.

The she-wolf only grinned. She gave only one last glance back at the mangled corpse of its mate, as well as its killer, and grunted whimsically. The creature lowered her head and trotted away simply, her steps undaunted and freshly optimistic in the face of her new rule. One by one, her bewildered pack followed, and in a fog of fur and rustling, the Wolfos disappeared into the vast forests as silently as they had come.

Ganondorf's energy faded without incident and died with a sputter of electricity. Relieved that he didn't have to spend any of his waning power, the Gerudo sighed and twisted his head around.

And there Link was. The boy--or was it a man?--was panting in exhaustion from the fight, twirling his bloodied blade and wiping it against the shrouding cloak. His eyes, sharp and brilliantly blue from even a distance, seemed distant and distracted. Ganondorf frowned, looking over the Hylian critically and trying to make up his mind.

From the messy threads of hair on the boy's head to his worn and muddy boots, Link emanated a ghastly power and strength. This was no longer the innocent and befuddled hero who so happened to defeat Ganon--no, he was a warrior, the chill in his gaze and confidence in his stance giving away his spurt in maturity. This Link no longer wore the childish and nostalgic garment of green, but instead wore a more comfortable suit of loose brown cloth, swallowed in a black cloak.

So strong, so powerful...

Ganondorf's adoration was quickly overcome by his hatred.

Ganondorf swallowed hard, forcing the bitter bile in his throat down, and aversely approached. In his mind, he tried to consider how to start the conversation. Thinking of how to reintroduce oneself to one's enemy was hard enough, but Link would surely be flustered with his inexplicable reappearance. Ganondorf was not looking forward to this clash, but mulled happily over the possible facial expressions he would see.

Link was unmoved; Ganondorf walked closer.

Smirk. "Hello, Link."

Link leapt in the air, heart and nerves pulsing like a jackrabbit. Before Ganondorf could blink, Link wielded his silvery blade, weighing its arch in his hand. There was something not right about his expression, something queer and unexpected... "How do you know my name? Who are you?" the boy demanded, eyes narrowing, face becoming wild and terrible. His voice had changed immensely, no longer giving away his dormant fears or uncertainties. His voice had grown hard, stern, and without that expansive sense of mercy Ganon had heard before.

"Don't you recognize me?" Ganondorf balked, at first wondering if this were a joke.

There was a moment's hesitation. Link's eyes were not right--no, they whirled without pattern, not concentrated and meaningless. His confusion added up to his equally puzzled tone. "I... I'm not defenseless, I will protect myself--"

"What is wrong with you?" Ganon suddenly blurted in frustration, nearly breaking into a rage, just before he realized it.

Of course; it made sense.

Link's eyes.

Ganondorf couldn't restrain himself from mumbling the obvious.

"You're... Blind?"

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Comments on this chapter

Koroks Rock says:

what an awesome way to begin your story. Welcome to our gallery, I'm excited to have you here.

achitka says:

Auughhh!! Yes this is such a good story...had to read it again. Oh that community choice thing just got 10 times harder for me 0.o

Master Link says:

Nice fic! I agree Achitka, the community choice just got twenty times harder for me.

Kairi says:

This is a good stroy so far. I can't wait to see was happens. l;n_n.gif

star_breaker says:

This is a really good story. You make mine look stupid. Thanks a lot! Only joking, it's a really good fic, with excellent description and good feelings. Wow, Ganon is humane! lol, great start!

Anime James says:

I've always been a big fan of Ganondorf. This is a real treat so far.

What I like most is the way you didn't shamelessly turn Link into a dark warrior like most fanfic authors do, but you gave him a reason. Ganondorf's transformation is completely believable, the writing is fluent, exciting, and fresh.

My only gripe is that the narrative wanders a bit in the beginning. The continued references to curses echoing in the darkness gets repetitive, but it's easy to overlook. I'd go so far as to say that this tops Boggy's fic, which I'm a little fan of. Though, I could just be annoyed at the lack of his updates...tongue.gif

afterlyfe says:

Oh, yeah. That first paragraph was written ages ago, way before I actually had any idea where this story was going. I read the beginning of this chapter about a week ago and thought, "WHAT ON EARTH?"

Once I get a chance, I am going to have to re-do that first paragraph, at least.

It's funny--the beginning kind of sucks because I wrote it such a long time ago, and it just gets better and better as it goes into my more recent writing. One could probably identify right where I left it off for about a year happy.gif;;

Dins_Daughter says:

This is great! It's hard to get any better then this. You have a great plot, and you can put it into words, I have trouble with the second part.

Vaati_Lover says:

So... Much... Reading... l;dizzy.gif
I love this story so far!! I wonder what would happen next... l;suspicious.gif Hmmmm... Oh well, I'll just have to continue reading.

Ch!b!Z3ld@^^ says:

:'D The story is so amazing, I can't put it in words!! ^^'

Ch!b!Z3ld@^^ says:

Also, longest chapter I've read here. ^^
New record! biggrin.gif