A Shadow of Hope Chapter 5
By Bane Nathos
The green fields of Hyrule seemed fly out underneath them as the group rode down the vast green expanse. The sky was perfect for the trip, as blue as it had ever been, with not one cloud in the sky. Through all this a bit of motion could be seen. Down on the fields, three figures could be seen, riding out towards the ridges around the fields.
With the sun high above them the small group was making good time over the fields of Hyrule. Link in his green tunic, riding Epona, Akon in a red tunic riding a great white horse, and Feroc, cloaked riding a large black horse. The group left vast expanses behind them.
Link rode in the back of the group, feeling like an outsider, he tried to keep away from Feroc and Akon, especially their gazes. It seemed to him like they were looking into his mind or something. Link didnt really know what they were doing but whatever it was it was unnerving. Link at times would look back across the vast expanse of the fields towards Hyrule and sometimes would give a sigh of regret for leaving like that, leaving his family, and his stewardship.
Link tried to force those thoughts out of him mind. I cant be weak now, I already said Id do this and do this I shall Bane in an attempt to get his mind focused on other things, spurred his horse forward, catching up to Akon.
Akon was fiddling with a crystal he was wearing and seemed already occupied. Link then looked at Feroc, he was cloaked as usual but he kept on pulling it up closer, over his face, as if he hated the light or was trying to hide. Why, would he be doing that? Link thought a rode up closer to him. Link tried to get his attention. But the man seemed not to notice him or was just ignoring him.
Finally Link was too, curios to keep it in and asked Feroc why are you always cloaked when you are out in the daylight,
Feroc just turned in Links direction, and then looked back ahead and continued riding forward.
My master has been in the dark places too long. For two years he has been living in a cave near the mountain. There it does not get very light so his eyes are very sensitive to how bright your Hyruleon days are. Akon stepped in a said to Link bringing his horse in closer to Links.
But I thought he said he was in the desert waiting? Link asked.
He was, but the desert is a large place you know. The mountain is in a desert valley that was reached through a narrow canyon. It was in a cave in the canyon that my master waited.
How did he eat and drink? Link asked.
Im not sure, there could have been a stream or maybe he just used magic to feed himself. All I know is that somehow he did manage to keep himself healthy and strong out there for many months and came back to me. After Akon said this he looked back forward and him and Link spurred their horses on.
So that is why Link thought and tried to continue conversation with Akon.
So, what did you do when you werent off with Feroc? Link asked him.
Akon turned to Link sighed then answered, When I was staying in Hyrule, I worked in the market, I had a shop of potions. Id get them from an old lady who would make them then shed give them to me to sell. She said she was too old and worn out now to sell them, so she hired me too, it was quite prosperous and a great many people came into the shop and I got a lot of information
Hmmm, interesting Link said and turned ahead again. So thats what he did, I havent been in that shop for years, no wonder I never noticed him their, when I get back I should get out more and get to know more people and with that Link remained silent and concentrated on the task at hand. Which was to follow Feroc where ever he lead and help him in the task that had been ordained and set aside by Feroc for Link to assist with.
The group continued all day, and before they stopped they had crossed the vast Hyruleon fields and camped on the borders of the fields near to the Kokari Forest. With Link and Akon tending the horses Feroc went off into the forest. Akon and Link tended and unpacked the horses. With sometime still before they expected Feroc to return, Akon made a quick dinner of beef and potatoes.
Why do we need to be in such a hurry with everything, Link asked as Akon finished cooking their dinner on a small fire. Link could see and smell the food, and couldnt wait to fill his starving body. Riding pretty much all day had exhausted him and had made him very sore.
We will be leaving tonight, through the Lost Woods, and beyond, Akon replied and took the food off the fire dividing it onto two plates and handing one to Link.
But the Lost Woods only leads to the Goron City and back to the Kokari forest where we are now, Link said and sat down to eat.
That is what everyone thought till we found another path through it, Akon said and sat down also to eat.
Before long Feroc returned, he seamed to have just appeared out of nowhere. When had appeared right in front on them.
We go now! Feroc stated as he rushed to pack up everything.
What? Akon said a little confused, I thought we were going to go only at night through there,
That was the plan, but it has changed now, were going now, Feroc said and stuffed what he could into his saddlebags. Stuffing what they could into their mouths Link and Akon did the same and after they had packed what they could they mounted their horses and soon they went galloping into the woods.
The trees were green and dense and covered with fungi. With such a dense forest not much light came through as the group galloped through. Link had been here before but this time it gave him an eerie feeling. He hadnt used to such haste and urgency when he had gone through here the other times. The trees seemed to be much closer and alive than before. Link just tried not to pay attention to them and just concentrated on riding and tricky path that Feroc was galloping as fast as he could down.
They galloped for what seemed like hours, not resting for anything, till they reached a little rock cleft. Here Feroc dismounted and pushed the rock. The rock moved and uncovered a cave that before Link had never even noticed any evidence of.
The cave was dark, and with the trees casting shadows on it the way they were, Link it amazing that anyone had been able to find it. If he hadnt known better he would have that it was just a shadow from one of the nearby trees.
After only a few seconds Feroc dismounted and led his horse into the dark expanse of the cave. Inside Link found it impossible to see anything, and after noticing that Akon and Feroc werent going to light any torches, he whispered, Why arent we going to use any light? his voice echoed off the walls of the cave bouncing around.
It would attract the attention of anyone who might be in here. Dont worry Feroc knows the way and if you just keep tight with me youll make it through alright, Akon answered and with that, Link pressed as close to Akon as he could in the utter blackness of the cave, trying to stay calm and silent so to not attract the attention of anyone or anything that might be in here.
The trip seemed to take hours but as it turned out it was only about forty minutes. As the group emerged from the cave, Link immediately started blinking and squinting at the now very bright light. After Links eyes had adjusted he looked around. He was on a mountainside. Below him was the vast expanse of the Gerudo Valley and the wastelands.
Feroc signaled them and Akon followed him and Link followed suit as Feroc led them along the mountainside ridge they were on. They stopped once for a quick drink or two then Feroc got back on his horse and spurred it on. Link and Akon followed suit and by the late afternoon, the three dusty rugged riders overlooked the Gerudo Fortress.
The land looked differently than it had when Link had been here before. Instead of a fortress with guards everywhere, there was not a soul insight, and from the fortress thin wisps of smoke emerged as they flew up into the endless expanse of the afternoon sky.
Link noticed Feroc looking at the same thing and noticed his fist clenching and unclenching as he looked at the now desolate fortress. He seemed to be holding in a great amount of anger. Link was astonished that all the anger he seemed to be holding in could be controlled. Then Feroc turned towards them at got along side his horse.
We go now! Feroc yelled as he leapt onto his horses back, down into the fortress, were too late!
Link and Akon fumbled with their mounts and Feroc was a good ways ahead of them before they mounted and headed off. Spurring their horses to go as fast as they could Link and Akon sped down the mountain. They seemed to be flying through the air as beams of light that nothing could stop.
The ride down was a lot farther than Link had guessed from the top of the ridge. He didnt even seem to be moving much at all. Him and Akon seemed just to be riding in place, but upon looking back, Link could see the place where they were just back getting farther and farther away.
How high up were we? Link asked Akon as they raced down, trying to catch up to Feroc who now was far ahead of them.
About 9,000 feet up, and the gradual slope down, is about 10 miles.
Link looked up again and then looked down. This was going to take a while.
Upon reaching the bottom they rode across the valley to the fortress. They crossed the expanse quickly and reached the fortress. As they entered they looked for Feroc, he was nowhere in sight. But near one of the buildings, Ferocs horse could be seen. Link and Akon rode up to it and dismounted.
Then they heard the cry from within the building, Ferocs cry. Akon and Link rushed into the building and saw Feroc kneeling by one of the Gerudo thieves. The female was dead and a pool of blood had formed beside her. Upon a quick look around Link noticed and was shocked to see many thieves lying in their own blood in the room and some could be seen dead in other rooms.
Who did this? Link asked in shock.
Him was all that Feroc said as he got up and entered one of the other rooms in the large mud brick building.
Link and Akon followed and they entered another room very nearly like the first with bodies of Gerudo thieves lying about. In this room though, one thing was different. On the far wall a message was written, in red. Link staggered back as he realized what it was written in. The message was written in blood.
Feroc, Akon, and Link walked up and read the message. It read:
Yes, I knew that was you back in the forest today. You must have been shocked to find me so soon though. No doubt you would have thought that my trip here to retrieve my stone would have taken longer. It didnt in fact I had help from a boy. He killed the monster and returned it to me. These Hyruleon warriors are so gullible, all you have to do is act all helpless and innocent and theyll help you with anything.
Well, after you found me, Im quite sure you didnt think I saw you. But I did, in fact I watched you the whole time. I know youre after me again. I dont mind, I have my stone back and its power, as you can no doubt tell by the gift I left for you here. Well if you would like to continue chasing me, do it. Ill relish the chance to see you again. So if you still would like to go after me youll find me in the wastelands near the Temple of the Spirit. Ill wait for you there for two days. Come if you dare.
I really want to meet you again and your pathetic excuse for an apprentice, if you can get up the nerve to come when you arrive at the Spirit Temple do the chant, you should remember what Im talking about. Once you do that, Ill be there. Now remember your courtesy now, I wouldnt want to do anything, forceful
P.S. I hope you like you gift, it was the best I could do with such short notice.
Link heard Feroc swear as they finished reading the message then he turned to look at Link, a look of hatred in his eyes. THIS IS YOUR FAULT! WHY DID YOU GIVE HIM THAT STONE BACK? WHY!!! and with that Feroc stormed out of the room.
To Link this message proved that he had done the right decision to help them. If Dajak had done this, and as only a cruel gift, no guessing what he might try in the future.
So what will we do now? Link asked Akon.
We wait, Akon replied as Feroc stormed into a rage outside of the room and out of the building in the darkening desert evening
Legend of Zelda Fanfic