Everafter Chapter 2

By Falco22

Again Link dreamed..
"Greetings boy," Sunlight pored onto him, made his eyes burn. "We have no time to waste, stand or I shall be forced to carry you."

Blinking wearily Link managed to pull himself to his feet. He lay on a bed of hot sand, sand that was the color of gold. With a groan he turned around a full circle, pointedly ignoring the dark figure at his side. The sand around him was gold, rocks the color of deep brown and red poked out at random intervals. He stood on a hill of that sand, something the ancient texts called a dune. The sky was a deep green, the color of ocean water, and for a moment he was confused. Then he understood, and his blood went cold, the sand seemed less warm.
Hyrule, he stood in a Hyrule that was not Hyrule...

"My homeland, a land of death, of fire from the sky, and winter on the winds breath. With the barest sense of the word we stand in a desert, a desert one could sail across in a months time if the wind is right. It, like the rest of the golden land, is submerged. When the King of Red Lions drowns Hyrule so shall this land be cast low."

Instinct made him reach for his sword, his hand grasped nothing more then air. The dark figure chuckled, it was amazing what little warmth could come from a man sired in this oven like land. Ganon gestured with on of his wing like sleeves, and Link saw his sword imbedded in the ground by Ganon's feet. Take it if you dare, the man's eyes challenged. For a moment Link almost did so.. With a deep breath Link shoved his clenched fists into his pant pocket. Rage churned in his heart, but their was nothing else he could do, nothing more then turn away from the sword and hope Ganon wouldn't gut him then and there.

They walked a long while side by side, opposite in manner and appearance. Link felt as if he was going to drown in the sands, that the sudden gusts of wind would leave him blind. He squinted at the bright light of the sun reflected off the dessert ground, finally he had to throw his sleeved hands over his eyes and lean on the dark lord. If Ganon cared or noticed he made no comment. Ganon walked through the sands with an easy grace, shading his eyes time to time when the filtered sunlight would glint off the dunes directly ahead. Somehow, perhaps with sorcery, the dark lord knew exactly when the flares were going to happen. Past that the man had no difficulty seeing, he took the winds in stride, took the heat without complaint, managed to navigate the rooks with no trips and few stumbles. More then once Ganon would have to bend down and yank Link to his feet, and always the man would nudge the weary boy forward. Never did Ganon let Link rest, always that insistent nudge. It didn't take long for Link to resent the older mans ease. Bloody kneed, battered, and more often then not with a mouthful of sand to cough up Link was could not suffer mutely. Maybe the other hero's could have, maybe the other wielders of the Master Sword could have taken it all, but not Link. He spat out the newest mouthful of sand, picked himself up, then tensed against Ganon's nudge. The man froze, perhaps a bit startled by the docile boy's sudden resistance.

"Where are we going, or are you just making me suffer for kicks?"
Those orange eyes narrowed dangerously, a scowl touched his normally expressionless face. Suddenly Link was reminded of Tetra, of her silent glares that cowed in her crew. Ganon's face held a measure of that silent reprimand, but unlike Tetra's their were hints of barely contained violence. The ever so slight twitch of the maned cheek, the flicker of red in those eyes, and perhaps most alarming of all the clenching of those dark skinned fists... Somehow Link had stepped over all of Ganon's patience and nearly triggered an the obsessive man's rage.

"I assure you boy, you do not know what it means to suffer at my hands. We have a destination, and even if I bothered to name it you would not know where it was, so why should I bother?"

"How about being civil, being considerate, giving me a reason to trudge through this dusty hell quietly?"

Ganon seemed to smile ever so slightly. Not the crazed grin of bloodlust but a gesture of genuine amusement.

"Never, in all my years, have one of the Chosen of the Triforce so much as cursed in my presence."

"Well, as you can guess I'm not like the rest of them. No holy auras here, no saintly demeanor."
"Tetra was much like that, different, from the last chosen."

Link made a rude noise, then sat himself down on the nearest rock. He had grown quite a bit sense his fight with Ganon, nearly two feet, yet for some reason he looked like the little boy who had battled the dark lord. Because of his shortened height Link had to clamor up the rock, and when he sat his legs dangled over a good few inches off the ground. Absently he plucked the green hat off his head and scratched at the mess which was his blonde hair.

"What do you mean, different? The Wisdom Triforce put its essence in her, she was Zelda when you kidnapped her. I mean isn't that how it works? Some little girl is infused with the Triforce of Wisdom and become Zelda. Some little boy gets infused with the Triforce of Courage and becomes Link. Then the psychopath who's got the Triforce of Power steals the girl. Link comes gets the Master Sword, then goes in and kicks the psycho's butt. Of course I'm excluding all the stuff in between.. Like powering up the Sword, the dangers in moving through the land -thanks to the evil jerks monsters-, and getting through the tower." Ganon merle stared for a moment, the ever present wind tugged at his robes. Link suddenly remembered the tower, the near death silent moment right before their fight. The one moment when Ganon had hesitated before their fight. The one moment when the dark lord had seemed human. Slowly, with blind eyes, Ganon sat down on the nearest rock.

"You don't know anything," The dark lord whispered in shock, a touch of fear in his voice. "How can you not know?"

For a long moment Link just stared at Ganon. The older man had baried his head in his hands, dropping all of his regal demeanor to look human. Before sympathy could find its way into Link's heart he reminded himself that he was facing a madman. A man, who had through deceit, hate, and lust for power, brought down a whole world. The same man whose hunger and ambition had nearly destroyed the world Link loved. Certainly Ganon had broken any hope Link had to go home, for the boy had found himself estranged from those of Outset Island. He now unnerved those who had once called him friend, even his little sister seemed scared of him.

"It much more different then that boy, a great deal more complex." Now Ganon looked up from his hands, turned to see Link's expression. A smile showed, a small one, then Ganon nodded to Link as if agreeing to what was in those ocean blue eyes. "Perhaps not so different, certainly you have the same hate, the same frustration as all the others." The darklord pulled aside his robe, and despite himself Link tensed. But all Ganon did was to pull out an animal skin of some type and help himself to a drink. "Know that I am not aware to all that happens to the wielder of Farore's Triangle, I can only explain to what happens to the wielder of Din's Triangle. There is a feeling of strength, a banishing of the trait that is weakest in the wielder. The strength given to the wielder is intoxicating, no wine, no love making, can equal the feeling of that power which runs thorough your veins." Ganon took another sip from the skin then capped it, with no fumbling. A feat that amazed Link, Ganon was able to hook the skin to his pouch, guild it through the mass of robes without difficulty..

"You see boy the ancient relics which you mistakenly call the lesser Triforce, the Triforce of courage, power, wisdom, they are not merle keys to the ancient goddess' power they are the goddess themselves. When you held the Farore's Triangle in your hands you held the goddess Herself in your hands."

For a long moment Link stared at the desert, watched the flashes of light, the shimmering dunes. The wind blew, and this time he didn't notice how it stung his eyes. At last he hopped down from the rock. Ganon was a mass of dark movement besides him.

"I am walking in a dessert, I am scratched and battered, hot and sweaty.. And I travel with a madman for company. A dead man who's mind I am trapped in? If this is your mind then why can't we just move to place to place at your whim. Why are we here and what do you want?"

"Why don't you ask me that and not the wind?"

Link turned to Ganon, looked up at the towering man. It amazed him that the dark lord could appear so calm, so steady when his mind was obviously not.

"I don't trust you." Link ignored the dangerous flicker in Ganon's eyes. "I can't and I wont ever trust you."

For a long moment Ganon stared at him, a long moment in which the rage that flashed in those orange eyes seemed ready to explode.

"Then why the dreams boy? Why the nightmares? Why do we stand here face to face when it is obvious that I should burn for eternity for my sins?"

"You broke out, you escaped, you're trying to get back at me.."

"Bah! I am eternal, I could wait a few centuries and time would deal with you. Farther more my monsters were all destroyed by you. I don't wave my hand and make them appear, it takes time to create them, even more for them to start reproducing themselves.."

At this Link felt his face redden.

"You do know how that works don't you?" It was obvious that Ganon was getting a few kicks at making the Hero Of The Winds cringe. "The breeding process, the phases of heat that they go into. The Moblins aren't creatures that crawled of rocks you know, there are females.. If it is of interest to you I could give you very detailed accounts on their reproductive.."

"Shut up!" Link screamed, covering his ears. "Not listening, not listening!"

Ganon smiled his shark smile. His delight in finding a chink in his advisories armor evident. When Ganon's humor waned a bit he nudged Link, self proclaimed Hero Of The Winds, off the small rock the boy had rested on. As the boy tumbled off the rock and down the sandy bank Ganon's smile grew wider, petty as it was the dark lord was having fun with his vengeance of sorts.. After being killed so often by this one it was easy to rationalize a little physical abuse.

"We have to get moving." Ganon barked, the boy shot him a hate filled glare. "Stop your play, unless you wish to be late." The silent hate increased. Ganon allowed the smile on his face to disappear. "Your little friend, Nieko. You wouldn't want to be late to his funeral would you?"

Link picked himself from the sand, all his grumbles gone now. His mouth felt dry, his stomach clenched in worry. It took a time or two for Link to find his voice, he licked his lips to make sure they'd work.

"What do you mean Nieko's funeral?"

"Your little friend, pimple faced, sickly child, Nieko."

Link scrambled up the small dune, clambered up the rock, then secure he was facing the dark lord eye to eye, grabbed the front of Ganon's tunic, and drew the imposing man closer.

"What in the name of the forgotten Gods do you mean!" He tried to shake the dark lord, all he succeeded in doing was rustle the front of the man's robes. "Funeral, what are you talking about!"

"This Hyrule is part of my punishment if you will. Now consider all that the King said, consider my obsessions, what would be fit punishment for a man obsessed with this land." For a long moment Link just stood their, his mind futile trying to put bits of Ganon's words together with the concept that was taking shape in his mind. "I killed my mother to get into Hyrule, for the safety of Hyrule I killed my sister and her brood. My people suffered under my sword so I could quench my hate of them." The tone of Ganon's voice made Link shiver, made Link realize just how the dark lord got his status. "Living in Hyrule wasn't enough for me, for a long time I served Hyrule, but that wasn't enough. I wanted her more then anything else, watching her decline over the old kings rule was too much. If being forced to lay idle while my love, your ancestor's land, decayed all around me was painful what would be the ultimate punishment for me?"

The blood drained from Links face as he put two and two together.

"I'll live, the curse of stone and my own powers will preserve me against the waters, the King of Hyrule's wish will save you, but what of the child?

"Where do we go? How long do we have to save him?"

"Not as long as I'd like." Ganon's mouth curled a grimace. "We will have to go to my desert fortress, your friend should be at the top of the main tower. Everyday my true love dies, and ever night in my stone prison I watch the whole world die." The dark lord seemed to shake himself, then began to walk down the slope, this time Link kept pace with no complaint.

Chapter 3

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