“I’m still your Zelda,” I say, trying my best to appear serene while My Hero—my Link—bangs in the amber separating us with both fists clenched. He looks so scared, so heartbroken, that I can hardly keep speaking. But I force myself to continue.
“When Demise is finally gone, there will be no more need for the seal that binds him, and I will be able to wake up.” That’s the plan. That was what Hylia wants me to say. But I am still Zelda. And Zelda has a request.
“So I’m going to ask you a favor, sleepyhead,” I continue, feeling my throat close in and my muscles tense. “Ever since we were kids I’ve always been the one to wake you up when you slept in. But this time, when all of this is over, will you be the one to wake me up?”
As the magic begins to envelope me and I feel my consciousness slipping away, I keep my eyes open to watch Link stop fighting the amber and rest his palms upon it. “I… I promise,” he says, the words catching in his throat. I smile. And I fall asleep.
And I wake up. I am standing in another realm. The sky is an expanse of blue with fluffy white clouds for as far the eye can see. The ground is smooth and covered in a shallow covering of water. It ripples as I walk. The sky perfectly reflects on the ground, causing me to be completely surrounded by blue.
I am not alone. In front of me is Demise, in his abomination form that I encased him in eons ago, though I suppose for him is has only been a few days. Huge and covered in dark purple scales. He has legs, and, I soon realize, great magical ability. He roars, and the sound is deafening.
When I told Link that I would fend off Demise for as long as I am able, I meant it quite literally. This is a spirit realm, and I must fight him until such a time as my hero destroys his body, forever this time.
Knowing that to fight one such as he is impossible, even for a goddess, I position my fingers for my first spell. One that will alter his form. I cannot destroy the magic that gives him his power, but I can separate it from him. And then I can hide it as far away as this realm will permit.
“Farore, Din, and Nayru, my sisters, aid me now,” I say in a deep vice that penetrates the realm. At the names of my sisters, Demise cowers for a moment. That is all the opportunity I need to unleash the magic.
His magic is torn from his chest and floats above me as a great ball of black light. I divide the ball and I cast the pieces far away, to the opposite edges of this realm. Now this monster, I can battle.
Demise roars in anger, but I do not flinch. “You may have come close to defeating me once before, but I promise you, your chance will never come again.” Wielding the strength of my sister Din, I unleash a stream of fire from my arms. It shoots across the empty space that separates me from the abomination and it scorches his scales.
The advantage of my preemptive strike does not last long. The abomination steps forth and closes the distance between us in only a few steps. However, I still have an advantage. His objective is to recover what I have taken from him. Mine is to buy my hero time.
An electric wave begins at his feet, and I gather my skirts and run from it. I am able to outrun the majority of the blast, but I do not clear the edge of the field in time. My ankles experience a strong tingling sensation and I am suddenly unable to run any longer. Seeing me down, the abomination does not press his attack. He has immobilized me, giving him a chance to find the powers I have hidden. He storms away from me and to the first chest.
I force myself up. I must fend him off for a thousand years; I cannot afford an injury yet. If I fail, the world will end. And my hero’s—Link’s—sacrifice would be in vain. That thought is enough to lift me back to my feet. I follow after my enemy, and keep in my mind the memory of Link. My Hero. And my friend.
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