Story: The Lost Years (chapter 9)
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Title: Year 2: Roc's Feather
[Author's notes: God, I really want to get back to Hyrule (so many ideas now)- but, I've got to finish this story arc.]
Day 1, 8:30 AM, 69 hours left until impact.
Link had wasted no daylight in trying to gain access to the final shrine. However, the ‘shrine’ this time was a large stone tower (aptly named the ‘Stone Tower Temple... lazy developers). On top of that, the entire valley east of Clock Town was infested with Redead, Wallmasters, and large walking mummies, dubbed by Terminans as ‘Gibdo’.
Some things were still the same, though. Tatl and Rauru found themselves waiting for Link to emerge from a nearby cabin once again. And once again, Link emerged from the humble shack with a mask in her hand.
The purple pixie quickly rose, examining the specimen that Link held. It appeared to be a head of one of the monsters that they had been warned about, only imposed on the surface of a mask. “So what does this one turn you into?”
Link laughed bitterly. “Actually, this mask doesn’t do any of that stuff this time. This thing just prevents me from being attacked by the undead. Makes the walking dead think that I’m one of them.”
“Clever stratagem, Hero. But we still have to climb those rocks, and I’m fairly sure that you won’t make it past them with enough time left.”
Tatl concurred with his assessment, adding, “The mask cursed the rocks. They try to smash anyone who tries to cross.”
Link might have been courageous, but she wasn’t stupid. Getting crushed by a rock was NOT how she wanted to die. She observed the pass, noting that the wall of damned earth was at least a mile and a half wide. Trying to cross it by foot would make a Hylian pancake. There was no path big enough for a horse to cross, so trying to avoid the rocky boulders by using Epona was a no-go. If she could only fly-
A light bulb went off in Lina’s skull. But since she didn’t know what a light bulb was, it was a bright candlelight instead. She approached the giant owl that had helped her in this adventure. “Rauru-“
“Link, I am not carrying you to the top of a tower. I only offered to take you places, not onto the top of the sky! Name one time where an owl had ever carried a human being to the top of anything really, really tall.”
Link didn’t even stop to think. “Super Mario 64.”
The silence was deafening- it was as if someone had broken the fourth wall, the space-time continuum, and all of the stained-glass windows at Notre Dame, all at once. “Okay, you win that round.”
The Kaepora Gaebora flew directly above the Hero/ine, dug his talons into parts of her tunic that weren’t inhabited by flesh, and took off, Tatl following after.
Day 1, 10:00 AM, 67 hours left until impact.
His wings exhausted from carrying the girl, Rauru finally took a break. “Be happy,” he complained, “that we made it as far as we did.”
Link couldn’t complain. They had made it fairly far, nearly reaching the top of the tower. Tatl lied on the ground, exhausted from trying to keep up with the legendary avian. The owl’s breaths were haggard, trying to regain his strength. Link was not tired at all, however, and proceeded to climb the very long stairway to- um... the top of the tower (Note to self: NO STAIRWAY!!!).
As she rose to the level before the zenith, she came across a swarm of Redead and Gibdo. She raised her hands in front of her face, preparing for the heart-piercing scream that was surely imminent-
But it never came. The closest Redead looked at the stairs before stumbling toward her, commenting- “You finally made it! We were about to start!”
Lina stood dumbfounded, amazed that the mask actually worked. “Start what?”
“Trying to awaken the Guardian, of course!”
Assuming that the... man... was referring to the fourth and final giant, she paid attention. “Go on...”
“The Stone Tower Guardian,” he pointed at a large statue near the bottom of the structure, “keeps our spirits at peace. But someone silenced our keeper, so now we’re doomed to walk the earth like this!” He now pointed to himself disgustedly.
Deciding that the being that he had described was not the fourth guardian, Link waded her way through the crowd. These Redead were surprisingly calm, sentient, and could talk to each other. ‘Good things the ones back home weren’t this smart.’
Every so often, she came across a staggering, three meter tall walking mummy. This must have been the type of monster that Lina had been warned about in town, a Gibdo. However, could she really call it a monster when it was just another person, doomed to a cursed existence? ‘Just like me...’
She decided to stop being philosophical for now. After all, she wasn’t shoveling cow excrement at the moment. She finally found the final staircase, only to find one of the Gibdo blocking her access. “White... gives me white...”
‘He wants white?’ Link looked through her inventory. The only thing that even looked white was the contents of one of her bottles, filled to the brim with Chateau Romani.
The being before her, perhaps seeing this, took the bottle from her, and drank the milk. “Good...” He stepped away from the stairs, which Link quickly ran up, finally reaching the final floor. She looked around as she finally took her mask off.
The floor was as bare as she had imagined, marked only by scarred battlements, but she saw a surprise as she looked up.
It had appeared that the battle had begun without her. An airborne man, lifted up by several balloons, was throwing bombs at two giant flying centipedes. The bombs apparently worked, because one of the two fell suddenly from the sky, accompanied by a series of explosions along its length.
The remaining insect turned its attention to the newcomer, divebombing the Heroine. It head butted Lina, the force of the impact throwing her off of the tower. She searched her inventory, frantically trying to find the Hookshot, only to remember that she hadn’t brought it with her on this adventure.
Piece of useless rope... Bow... Bombchus... Wait...
Quickly, she tied the piece of rope to an arrow, which she shot at one of the battlements. The arrow met its mark, and Lina began trying to climb back up.
The centipede had apparently followed her down, because it flew dangerously close to the arrowtip, resting inches away.
“No, don’t you dare!”
Twinmold seemed to smile as of its claws hovered toward the one object keeping Lina from falling to her death.
Twinmold eagerly nodded, its claws pulling out the tip like a bad tooth. It threw the object away, and Link could see her life flashing before her eyes.
Her screams echoed throughout the canyon. She tried to repeat her previous plan, but she had no more rope. Without a Hookshot, there was nothing she could do to stop the fall.
She was falling so fast now, that it didn’t even feel like she was falling anymore. In fact, the ground felt like balloons.
She looked down. Link was floating up, back to the top of the tower, courtesy of a large bunch of gas-filled objects. She looked through the balloons, only to find-
“WAHOO! I SAVED A FAIRY!!!”
Yes, it was Tingle. Lina half-wished she were dead instead.
Nonetheless, the green-clothed man-child rose to the top of the tower in mere seconds, yelling at the monster. “So you’re not just happy to take all my Rupees, you must kill fairies as well? FOR SHAME!”
Taking a cue from Tingle, she jumped off the balloons running, landing on the boss’s face. She unsheathed her weapon (sounds dirty, don’t it?), the golden blade shining in the sun.
She took the Gilded Sword and plunged it into the beast’s left eye. A howl of pain erupted from it, Link barely holding on to a deep crevasse in its skin. Twinmold’s mouth opened to scream once more, only to have it filled by a bunch of lit bombs.
“Take that, you eee-vil money muncher!!"
A great light shone from the beast’s mouth as the bombs exploded. Lina jumped off, landing on the tower twelve feet below.
The boss quickly shrank to the usual mask, and disappeared into its confines. As Lina grabbed it, the final giant appeared to congratulate her with their usual head nod.
As reality (or whatever Termina could be described as) began to surround her once more, she could see Tingle dancing his strange dance in the midst of a big, no, obscenely large pile of Rupees. “WHOOPEE! I’M RICH AGAIN! HAPPY DAY!!”
Beneath the tower, she could see a large statue, inscribed with large, glowing symbols, striding like a colossus across the valley.
And she could see the fourth and final giant giving her the thumbs up.
Journey Back to Day 1, No Time
All four giants. She had rescued all four giants. And now, she was going to do it again, all in the span of three days.
As the motley threesome went back, they discussed their game plan.
Tatl suggested using Rauru to fly everywhere again. “No. I can’t do that much wingwork in one time span. I nearly killed myself carrying her during that last one. I can do the trip to Woodfall and back, then I can’t do anymore.”
Rauru suggested that Epona be used. The matter seemed to be settled until the subject of Ikana Valley popped up. No one had an answer for that- Epona wouldn’t be able to survive the rocks.
Day 1, 6:00 AM, 72 hours until... hell, you get the idea.
Lina quickly tried to figure out an alternative plan of travel for the Stone Tower as Kafei checked his mail for the umpteenth time. She stared at the Ocarina when she finally figured it out.
As she began to play again, Tatl screamed at her. “WE ALREADY WENT BACK! WHAT’S THE Point- wha?”
The song Link was playing was not the Song of Time, but something else. Rauru could have sworn that she was playing the Song of Time backwards.
Suddenly, everything surrounding them slowed down. It was as if someone was playing a movie at half speed. Kafei slowly moved away from the mailbox, even it looked like he was hurrying back to his home. The construction workers were hammering even slower than before.
“I got the idea during the wedding. During my break, I talked to the regular about the ‘power’ of music, and how it gets played.”
Link then ran north to find Tingle, floating slower than usual. “Guys, I think I have another idea.”
Tatl stared at Tingle, then Lina. “Is that safe?”
“Relax. After I buy another piece of rope, I’ll explain how everything’ll happen.”
Day 1, 6:59 AM, 71 hours until impact.
When Rauru let her go, Lina fell onto the back of the large swordsman, plunging her sword into his back. The large sword was dropped, as Odolwa tried to get the wretch off his back. Link responded by twisting the sword, cutting his spine.
He then glowed white, and disappeared, leaving behind no mask this time.
The first giant appeared, nodded, and left just as quickly, knowing that it would happen this time.
As Lina prepared to lift off, she saw a Deku shaking in a corner of the room. She put on the Deku Mask one more time, shrinking at least a foot.
She approached the shivering plant-woman, to find an ornately (with flowers in her hair, and colorful plant parts for clothes) dressed Deku lady.
As Deku Lina ran over to her side, she mentally smacked herself. ‘I can’t believe I forgot to rescue the princess last time!’
The Princess rose to see the face of her rescuer. “Dina?”
The similarity to her own “name” was so similar that she nodded without understanding.
“I knew you’d come back to rescue me!” She hugged her knight in leafy armor, using her snout to give what Lina could only assume kisses.
‘OH, FOR THE LOVE OF FARORE! NOT THIS %#&* AGAIN!!!’
Day 1, 7:25 AM, 70 hours until impact.
The trip back to the Deku Palace was educational in many, many ways. For instance, Lina learned that the spell that she had cast to slow down the passage of time did not apply to those who traveled with her, as well as those who she spoke or fought with.
She also found out that the form she had been cursed into at the very beginning had been a real person- Dina, the butler’s missing daughter. And that Dina and the princess not only been childhood friends, but had also fallen in love. Convenient, eh?
There was a great deal of discussion and hubbub when Link returned with the princess.
“Hubub, hubbub, hubBub, hubbub-“
The King was just as loud and boisterous as he had been the first time. “My little angel, is that you? I am so-“
His relief was cut short by a sharp blow to the head. “DAD! You were going to execute one of my best friends!” She pointed at the monkey in the cage. Apparently, she had inherited her father’s ability to shout.
“LET MY FRIEND GO!” The butler quickly flipped key after key, trying to find the right one. After a repeated shouting session by both father and daughter, the monkey was set free.
The butler turned his attention to his ‘daughter’, sniffed his snout, apologized for “treating her like dirt”, and returned to the King’s side.
The Princess stared longingly at her, just as Lulu had. She was going to have to nip this one in the bud. “Uh... me and a couple of friends were gonna go visit Clock Town for a day or two. Just to look around.”
She stuttered like crazy, she couldn’t meet the Princess’s eyes, but she believed her. “You’re cute when you’re nervous.” But she nodded, and Link dashed out the door, leaving the Palace in its now-slowed state.
As Link returned to the edge of the marsh, her mind turned to the massive amounts of sexual deviancy that she had seen (and experienced, to an extent) in Termina might actually be normal in this crazy version of Hyrule.
In other words, Link was like an American in England- it felt familiar, but some customs were mind-blowing.
Day 1, 9:48 AM, 68 hours left until impact.
The plan to reach the Snowhead Mountains was probably the only freebie that Lina would get this cycle. She took off the Deku Mask, called Epona, and made all due haste to the north.
As she came across the shack where her sword had been upgraded, she leapt off the horse, and Epona ran off back to warmer weather. She turned around to find the next part of her plan waiting for her in front of the humble home.
“Well, Madam Fairy, I hope you’re ready to help me get my Rupees back!”
Link nodded, but stopped short of telling him to start the trip.
“Could you take me up for a moment?”
He looked confused, but agreed, if only because she was a fairy. As they began to lift off, Tingle being tethered by the balloon and Link lying on top, Link could see the ice block with Goht inside.
Link drew a fire arrow just like before, shot it, and jumped off the balloon.
“AIYAH!!! MADAM FAIRY!!!”
But Lina could barely hear him- she had put on the Goron Mask already, her body beginning the transformation. By the time the ice had completely melted, Goron Link was in freefall, on course to land directly at the junction between the bull’s head and neck. She raised her first in preparation.
As the bull began to scream its name for the “first” time, Goron Link brought down her fist into the creature’s spine once more, the punch aided by the speed she had gained during the fall. The combined force shattered the section, permanently handicapping the machine.
Link took off the mask, and walked over to the shiny gem on its head. She took out the Gilded Sword, and stabbed the jewel. The stone lost its luster almost immediately, and the sky cleared.
The second giant appeared, nodded, and went on his way.
Day 1, 10:30 AM, 67 hours left until impact.
The trip to the top of the tower was much smoother and faster with Tingle at the helm. The fact that he wore tights that were too tight, that he was at least thirty, and that his belly was protruding from his tighty-tight tights was enough to cause Link to question the “fairy” and his sanity.
They came across an oddity- the two insects were asleep. ‘But they were awake when-‘
And that was when she saw Tingle lighting up a bomb, preparing to do battle. Quickly, she took the explosive and plucked out the fuse. “Madam Fairy!”
“I’ve got a better idea, if you’ll just let us land on the tower.”
Against his protests, he agreed, and the two landed.
Day 1, 10:32 AM, 67 hours left until impact.
“I have to admit, Madam Fairy, Plan B definitely worked out a lot better than Plan A.”
Stuffing the two bosses’ mouths with bombs instead of setting them off randomly had, indeed, worked much better. Both heads exploded in an blast that would’ve made an action director proud.
The third giant showed up, smiled, and left.
‘Three down, one left.’
They had waited a few minutes for the dust to settle before retrieving the massive amounts of money that Twinmold had stolen. Under normal circumstances, it would have taken Tingle two days to retrieve the cash. However, with the aid of a person wielding the Golden Gauntlets and the addition of a greatly slowed time flow, it took him three hours tops.
Thankfully, the flyer had stuffed all the money into one extremely small bag- how he did it was unknown.
“Plot device, Madam Fairy, plot device.”
As the balloon lifted off of solid earth once more, Link found herself in amazement that it was almost all over. One more boss, two more days, and one mask- that’s all that stood between her and Hyrule. And she could finally talk to Navi about- why was she going to see Navi again?
Lina looked through the balloons, Rauru now perched on her shoulder, trying to understand what her pilot had just yelled. She could see Tingle panicking, and she could also see that the ground below was no longer ground, but water.
“Behind us, Madam Fairy!”
She did so, Rauru in tow, finding a large bird that had just begun to follow them. It initally looked like a eagle, but no, it was far too big to be such a thing. As the bird of prey got closer, she could see that the bird was white and blue, and had many of the markings and features of a falcon.
Tatl peered into the winds before finally figuring out what was stalking them. “A Roc.”
The Kaepora Gaebora gasped before coming to terms with the name that had just been mentioned. “Goddesses help us... but that explains a few things.”
Link looked at the owl, finally understanding something. “That’s not the first time you’ve said that.”
Rauru stared back at her, dumbstruck. “I don’t know-“
“Yes, you do. Back when we found out about the duplicate masks.” She pulled out all three transformation masks- the Deku, Goron, and Zora Masks- before putting them back and bringing out their Hyrulian counterparts. “You said that these,” the masks shaking in her left hand, “helped you understand something.”
Rauru looked disturbed, as if something happened that should never have occurred. Nonetheless, he looked back at the Roc, which had gotten even closer during the conversation. “Less talk, more fly!”
But Link was already getting an idea in her head. “What’s so special about these guys?”
“Besides the fact that one is about to eat us? Well... their feathers are said to be able to allow people to jump farther-“
That made Lina’s mind up for her. She tied up the piece of rope she had bought in town to an arrow, tying the spare end around her waist. There was every reason that this could go wrong-
No. Stop worrying about “maybe”. Start acting!”
“Tingle, this is where I get off!”
Tingle seemed relieved, because his response was, “Alright. Just make sure that thing doesn’t follow me home!”
Link was about to shoot the arrow before she asked another question.
“Can I borrow one of your bombs? The biggest one you got?”
He agreed, and told her to reach into the small bag that he had stuffed the Rupees into. After a small struggle, she pulled out a bomb that was easily the size of Darunia.
With that in mind, she fired off the shot, her Golden Gauntlets making the ammo move much quicker than an average man’s. The rope slack kept following, becoming straighter, more taunt, until the rope pulled her off the red balloon into a path following the arrow.
It felt like she was flying with Rauru again, but without any sense of control over where she could go. Flung through the air like a rock across the surface of a pond.
Finally, the arrow hit the giant in the chest, causing a noisy squawk. As Lina approached the pursuer, the rope became looser, she was now swinging from it. Using the inertia from the trip there, she let go at some point, landing on the back of the bird. The landing caused a couple of feathers to come loose- she took two of the blue ones, deciding to give one to Malon as a keepsake.
On the horizon, she could see the outline of the Great Bay Temple, so she was going to have to work fast on this one. She put on the Zora Mask, gaining several feet on her previous form. She allowed the edges of her arms to harden, and fired off two Zorarangs into the Roc’s right wing.
There was another quack of pain, followed by a loss of altitude. She followed up with another two shots, but to the other wing this time.
The ‘rangs had their desired effect- the Roc was losing air, and fast. As the bird (with Link, Tatl, and Rauru along for the ride) began to spiral into a nosedive, Link put away the mask. Using every bit of her magically-enhanced strength, she climbed ‘down’ the now vertical bird.
As she went past the bird’s nostrils, Link came across the bird’s beak. She took out the Big Bomb, lit it, and stuffed it into the Roc’s mouth.
About halfway through the fall, Link could plainly see that the point of impact would be the Temple, or more specifically, the room that Gyorg inhabited. She felt compelled to comment on killing two birds with one bomb, but she decided against it.
As the stone roof came closer, Link finally jumped off- but something was wrong. She was jumping further, much further and much higher, than she ever had before. Before she hit the water, she put on the Zora Mask again.
Gyorg was a happy little fishie at the moment. He had just stolen some delicious Zora eggs, and was about to have them for lunch. That is, he was- until he look up into the sky, only to find a large bird diving toward him. Now, it might have only been a few days old or so, but it already knew one of the universal rules of being a fish. Namely, Fish + Bird = Imminent Doomination.
What made matters worse was that it could see a large, black object attached to a flaming piece of rope. And the flame had gone inside the black thingie. And the beak containing the black thingie was in his mouth-
‘And that makes four.’
The fourth and final giant smiled, and walked off through the cove.
“It’s 12:25, Lina.”
Tatl was staying ever so closely to the water, watching Link resurface with all of Lulu’s eggs. Rauru kept flapping his wings, eventually finding a piece of driftwood to rest on.
“Just thought you’d like to know.”
That meant that Link had 54 hours to relax before going back to the top of the Clock Town Tower. First thing was first, though- she had some eggs to return.
[End notes: Almost there...]
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