Link grew tired. Despite his former resistance to doing so, he now wished madly to pull over at a shrine or stable — or even beneath a tree — to find slumber. However, the will of Ganon’s phantom would not let him. Through some strange power, he was kept awake. But for how long this would last, he did not know. But what little he did know was that he needed to rest.
“I know not the extent of your power that keeps me awake,” Link began, “but I can’t keep this up. I’ll lose my sanity if I stay up another ten minutes. Please… I need to rest. To recover my strength… mental and physical.”
“Do you speak to me?” asked Phantom, knowing well the answer to his question.
“You know I do,” resounded Link, a tinge of annoyance in his tone.
“Aren’t you snappy. Very well, head for the nearest stable.”
“I wasn’t asking permission.”
Gilgamesh snorted out a neigh that sounded something akin to a chuckle. Link couldn’t help but smirk at this. Phantom, on the other hand, was now the one to give off an aura of annoyance.
“We’ll stop at the next stable,” Link affirmed. “It’s right around on the other side of the Coliseum up ahead. We’ll sleep for as long as I need — Gilgamesh, too — and then depart after a nourishing meal. From there, we’ll go until I again grow tired. I cannot rely on my stubbornness or your power, Phantom, to go on. Harming myself as I have been is to insult and disappoint Storm.
When Link next awoke, nearly two days had passed. Walking out into the sunshine, Link squinted and rubbed his eyes as he adjustment to the harsh light that he had been deprived of for nearly 48 hours. It was late afternoon, not quite evening, but the sun had noticeably begun to set.
“How long have I been asleep?” thought Link, out loud.
“Oh, about two days,” a semi-familiar voice answered. Link’s memory of it was admittedly clouded by this second long slumber. “You came here and nearly crashed. I was beginning to worry that you weren’t going to wake up.”
Link turned around to meet the eyes of the stable owner. “I… I’ve been out that long? Man… Dabi? No… Embry? Yeah… Yeah! Embry, thanks for taking care of me. How are you?”
“Quite well, Mr. Link. Quite well — and glad you’re up and better than ever.”
“Well, I don’t know if I’d go that far, but thanks. And I told you not to call me ‘Mr’.”
“Heh! Old habit. Anyway, what can I do for ya?”
“I need some nourishment. Some food… Yes. Goddess, I’m starving. What is there to eat around here?”
“Well, I can fix you a good ol’ Mushroom Skewer to get your stamina back up?”
“Oh, you know how I can’t stand mushrooms.”
“Yes, but you need the strength if you’re to continue on as you were.”
Link fell silent for a moment before speaking, reluctantly. “Fine.”
“That’s what I thought.”
As Embry prepared the meal, Link prepared to continue on his journey. He may have just woken up from a two day slumber, and night may have been drawing near, but he could not permit himself to rest for much longer. Link thought it wise not to dawn Phantom’s armor until after he left the stable, as the reactions he’d received upon his arrival while wearing it were far south of pleasant.
Once he had stomached down the mushroom skewer — and very nearly died in the process, it seemed — he said his farewells and set off on Gilgamesh. When he made it out of sight, Link changed into Phantom’s armor, letting the spirit of old retake his place at his side.
“Ahh… It has been some time, my friend. I was beginning to wonder if you would ever awaken from your nap and summon me to continue our adventure.”
“Well, you tend to sleep for a while when you are deprived of rest. Now, where are we to go?”
“My senses tell me… To Jeddo Bridge. From there, you will find the ruins of an old settlement. Therein, hidden in the water, lies our goal.”
“Very well. Let’s get going, shall we?”
“Aye, off we go,” affirmed Gilgamesh.
And off they went.
Not long had passed, though the sunset had become much more noticeable. After laying waste to some pesky Lizalfos, Link used his Magnesis rune to locate the chest that would inevitably hold both his and Phantom’s prize. After a few minutes of searching, he finally found it. He opened the chest to reveal the prize inside: a grey, stone helmet with half of the mask missing, and orange hair that faded into yellow draping from the back. Link sensed a spike in Phantom’s “heartbeat”. Whatever this was, it was significant to the ancient Gerudo phantom.
“I know not why, but I am drawn to you, Mask. And I feel a great sense of guilt,” Phantom said abruptly, and Link was taken aback.
“I believe I have wronged you… Yet I have not. My sins against you are not of me, but of my creator, Ganondorf, after my time. And yet… I feel responsible, and as such, must repay you in some form. Please tell me what I can do to make up for our sins.”
The mask was silent. Then it spoke and a pretty, yet impish, and ominous feminine voice emanated from it. “Well, well, well! Aren’t you a suck up?”
“I–” Phantom started.
“I’m kidding. Tehehe! I don’t blame you. Please, you don’t need to apologize! What happened was not your fault! ”
“Yes, but… Still, I must repay you.”
“No, no! That will never do. But…”
“But Link here… there is something he can do, tehehe!”
“Wha–” Ganon started, bewildered, before being cut off again.
“Is that so?” asked Link. “I suppose I’m not surprised at this point. Still, before that I must ask you, who or what are you?”
“Tehehe,” teased the mask. “Don’t you know? I’m a mask, inhabited by an ancient spirit!”
There was a sour look on Link’s face, one the mask took quick notice of. “Ah, but in truth, you may call me ‘Midna’. It is not my name, but the name of she who formerly wore this mask. You see, in the heat of battle, the evil Ganondorf crushed this mask, thinking he had slain me. But he was wrong, and was defeated by the Link of that time.
Once he was defeated, the curse upon the true Midna was lifted, and she was returned to her true form. After she parted ways with Hyrule, her mask, a piece of the powerful Fused Shadow, was reconstructed into what you hold before you now. However, it would seem that some of Midna’s essence remained with the mask… and came to form me. Now, I carry all of her thoughts — all of her regrets. I have but one request for you. The wolf hero, are you familiar with him?”
“Do you mean the partner that I summon from time to time? That wolf?”
“Yes. You see, he is a traveler from out of time, giving himself to the whims of time to aid you. He is… or was, my former partner Link; a former incarnation of your very self. And I wish to spend one last moment with him… watching the twilight set on a beautiful, expansive Hyrule. Please, will you grant me that one wish? Do that, and as he went from helping me, to being helped by me, so too, shall you. Do we have a deal?”
“I believe we do. I would be glad to help you. Phantom, you good now?”
“Yes…” Phantom answered. “Thank you, Link. And you, Midna. For now… my journey may take a hold.”
“A hold?” Link inquired.
“My journey with you is not yet over,” Ganondorf clarified. “However, please grant Midna her wish. I can always wait.”
“I understand,” Link comforted him, before removing his armor and donning the azure Champion’s Tunic and tan Hylian Trousers. The he placed Midna upon his head.
“Thank you for being so humble, Phantom,” said Midna, as Link returned Phantom to his infinite pouch. “If you will, Link… please take me to a nearby peak. I wish to look upon Hyrule at sunset with my friend, your wolf companion, at my side.”
“I will do whatever pleases you.”
The sun was really setting now, casting a vibrant orange-yellow glow across the sprawling lands of Hyrule. It was beautiful. Link could feel the joy in Midna.
“I’ll now summon…er, Link,” said Link.
“Thank you,” Midna replied, the softness of her tone reflecting the warmth in her heart.
And so, with a magic whistle, Link summoned Wolf Link.
Wolf Link began to wag his tail and pant excitedly as he saw what was upon Link’s head. Link thought that Wolf Link understood that he was once again seeing his old friend. He wondered if Wolf would turn to his original form, but he did not. Link then assumed that he could only take his wolf form in this future world.
“My old friend, “ Midna started off, “it’s so great to see you.” A tear rolled down Link’s left cheek, partially from Midna’s feelings, and partially from his witnessing this reunion.
Wolf Link barked in excitement, then he approached link and put his left paw out. Taking the hint, Link cradled Wolf’s paw in his own right hand. Wolf then bowed his head, a sign of his great appreciation for reuniting him with his old friend.
“I am so glad to see you again,” Midna repeated. “I hope all is well in your world. Come, let us gaze upon the sunset together.”
Not another word was spoken. The three, with Link taking a conscious back seat to Midna, watched peacefully as the sun set on Hyrule. Once night had fallen, they rode back to the Outskirts Stable on Gilgamesh. Link soon found himself in another night’s slumber, dreaming of adventures between Midna and her old companion.
The dawn of the next day would truly be a day of fate.
John Piland is a guy just trying to make his way through life and not be consumed by his chronic addiction to memes. Feel free to talk with him about Zelda and Nintendo on Twitter.