Posted on November 06 2020 by David Nystrom
|| Part Twenty-Nine || Part Thirty-One ||
“You’re up, Liam,” Impa said.
“Gladly,” Liam kicked his spurs into his horse, and galloped down the bank toward the battle and monster.
He drew his sword and held it low. One or two Zora took a swing at him, but Liam didn’t engage and instead rode past. He turned and rode along the shore, waiting to predict where the next blow from the monster would come. When it finally seemed to have decided on a spot and lifted the tree high, Liam stood on the back of his horse and propelled himself upward into the air.
In a moment that slowed down for him, Liam soared into the air a few dozen lengths above the chaos. He swung his sword upward and then disengaged the rod that held it in one solid piece. The blade broke into the whip form and cut through the air like a swarm of wasps before sinking into the fatty flesh of the Giant Octorok’s tentacle. His blade whip tore through the appendage like a knife in butter and the beast recoiled with a splash.
Liam landed on the beach with style, and relinquished his blade to his hip. The battle around him paused to observe the monster’s foil for a moment, but soon enough a Zora spear came towards him and he was drawn into the melee.
As he defended from the attacks, Liam kept a careful eye out for when the next attack would arrive from the aquatic monster.
The battle was going according to plan when a fowl and unfamiliar horn blew suddenly from a ridgeline along the western cliffs.
Impa, Laruto, and the cluster of Knights around them, turned their horses to see the source of this mysterious group to enter the fray.
Waving high in the growing winds, a black flag bearing red claws flapped. An army of monsters began to pour into the valley that led back towards the Hyrulean camp. The swarm of Bokoblins and Moblins cut off the route in and out of Lake Hylia.
Impa frantically called out an order for support, rallying as many soldiers from the front lines to her. She took aim with her bow and fired an arrow towards the monster horn blower, only to watch it be caught by a particularly mangled Moblin. The leader, as she presumed, took the captured arrow and bit it in half, chewing on the shaft and discarding the rest.
With a quick motion, Impa returned the bow to its place on her horse, and drew a long, curved, and slender blade from her back. It had a small hooked portion near the hilt with a rounded cross-guard. The blade was nearly as long as her horse, and as she charged forward, Impa held the weapon out to her side, supporting it with her forearm.
Laruto followed closely behind Impa. She meditated, allowing her horse to guide her into the battle. When she opened her eyes, she sent forth a blast of magic that forced juts of rock to suddenly raise up from the ground. The blast sent a cluster of Bokoblins into the air and a barrage of Hyrulean arrows, fired from behind, impaled them. She repeated this method of attack until she drew closer to the monsters.
When the two forces clashed, Impa veered her horse suddenly in another direction and propelled herself deep into the monster ranks. She brought her Eightfold Longblade down in a sweeping motion that divided each of the monsters it struck cleanly in two. When she landed, she swung the blade around her, clutching the handle with both hands. A circular area around her cleared out almost instantly and several of the monsters hesitated to attack her. She then leapt up and brought the sword down vertically, breaking through the armor of a charging Moblin with ease. However, a second assailant then charged her from the side, and she lost her grip on her mighty Longblade.
It had been the mangled looking Moblin she had seen from afar. Impa drew a shorter but equally sharp version of her blade, and began to duel the monster.
On the beach, Liam had been distracted by the new enemies for a moment too long, and was now deep into the battle. His focus on the Big Octorok had been taken away by one of the Zora generals that had engaged in the battle only after Liam had.
The Zora swung his elegantly crafted sword with tremendous speed, and Liam felt as if he was being pushed to his limit. He defended blow after blow, while deflecting stray spears that were seeking to give advantage to his enemy. When another tentacle slammed down, Liam stumbled and fell to the ground from the force of its impact.
Liam rolled away as the Zora’s blade swung down towards him. As it struck the sand, he rolled back and hooked his arm with the Zora’s and threw him to the ground. Liam brought his foot back and kicked the general in the side just as another tentacle slammed down nearby.
Seizing the opportunity, Liam drove a small dagger into the Octorok’s limb and rode it into the air, out over the water. Just when he was directly above the monster and it was preparing to slam him into the earth, Liam let go and drove his blade downward into the fleshy membrane on top of the monster.
A torrent of water splashed in every direction as the creature flailed and slapped its tentacles around in the water. Liam withdrew his blade and proceeded to thrust it back in over, and over again. Each stab caused the giant beast to cry out and wither more and more. Finally, the monster’s convulsions were powerful enough to launch Liam into the water.
He slammed into the dark waters and sunk below them.
Sparks flew as Impa desperately swung at the deformed monster and it dodged or defended. The weapon and armor it bore were unlike that of a typical Moblin. This had been hardened and reinforced, as if to specifically defend against Sheikah weaponry.
Impa dodged as it swung a fist towards her. She responded by quickly pulling a knife from her back and driving it into the monster’s underarm.
It growled in pain and attempted to remove the blade as Impa rolled under its legs and brought her sword across the backs of his legs. This attack staggered the Moblin, but it swung around desperately and caught Impa in the head with the end of its sword hilt.
Impa’s helmet rolled away and a river of red began to flow down the side of her head. She scrambled back to her feet and stabbed at the Moblin. It dodged and slammed its forearm into hers.
A searing pain exploded from her right arm and Impa lost handle of her weapon. She let out a guttural cry of pain but summoned what strength she had to bring her fist up to the monster’s chest. With the little bit of magic that she knew, her fist erupted on the breastplate with enough power to blow open the protective metal. The blow was powerful enough to knock the monster back and free its grip from its weapon.
As her right arm dangled uselessly, Impa stood positioned with her left hand up in front of her face. The Moblin grunted and grinned. It gritted its teeth and ripped off the broken armor from its torso and roared, puffing up its chest.
Impa charged forward and ducked under the first punch thrown by the Moblin, then brought her fist up into the chin of the monster. In fluid motion, she then used the slightly stumbled Moblin as a springboard, and backflipped, kicking it in the face. She landed and charged in again. This time though, the Moblin drove its knee into her chest and knocked Impa backward.
The Moblin stomped forward and pulled back a fist. Impa rolled to the side and felt the impact of the punch bounce her from the ground.
Still recovering from having the wind knocked out of her, Impa regained her footing. She charged at the monster’s side, and peppered it with as many punches as she could muster. With one last blow, she spun around and brought her heel into the monster’s arm, just above the elbow.
Following the deafening snap, the Moblin recoiled with his disfigured arm.
Impa wasted no time and grabbed hold of a rusted blade that had been dropped by a nameless enemy. She leapt into the air and swung the sword across the exposed neck of her powerful foe and landed safely. The Moblin, stumbled back and grasped at its throat, helplessly. Impa hacked the dull blade into it three more times before the Moblin’s head fell away in a spray of red and rolled into away.
Impa dropped to her knees in exhaustion, but only for a moment. A heavy blade swung toward her, and she deftly evaded it. She responded with a sweeping swing of her leg and hard slam of her elbow to the unlucky monster’s head.
Laruto appeared amid the chaos and helped Impa to her feet.
“We must get you out of here,” Impa said.
“Well we aren’t going to do that without some help,” Laruto blasted an incoming Moblin back with a burst of magic.
Impa pulled a Deku Nut from her hip pouch and hurled it to the ground. Several nearby foes were staggered by the flash and gave the two a chance to move. Laruto used another burst of magic to push back a couple more villains. However, within seconds any route of escape they opened up was blocked by the next wave of monsters.
“Hold on! Here I come!” a booming voice shouted.
Dozens of bodies suddenly were sent hurling into the air by some unseen power. A moment later, Huron emerged, his hammer on his shoulder and a smile painted on his face.
“Sorry, got held up,” he chuckled.
A spear thrust toward him and shattered on his stony back. With an eyebrow raised, he turned and swung his hammer upward, cracking the Bokoblin in the face. As it took flight, Huron brought his weapon down on the earth with a blow that created a small split in the ground. The narrow crevasse was just wide enough to cause the cluster of enemies ahead of him to trip and fall.
“Come on!” he commanded, charging ahead and keeping the lane open.
Impa and Laruto hurried behind him and soon found their way to the edge of the fray. They reached a nearby hill and Laruto helped Impa to the ground as Huron stood watch.
Laruto began to pray, then placed her hands on Impa’s broken arm. Almost at once, the bruise faded, and its odd shape returned to normal. Impa flexed the mended arm and looked up in amazement.
“That’s a handy trick.”
“It’s an ability I learned a long time ago,” Laruto smiled. “But one I’ve rarely had to use.”
Impa nodded, then turned to Huron as she got back to her feet. “What’s it looking like on the beach?”
“Could be better, but we still have the advantage on both sides somehow.”
“That’s a relief. Where’s Liam, I-“
Impa’s words were cut short when the ground quaked unexpectedly. Their attention, as well as the eyes of every combatant on the battlefield, was suddenly drawn to the island entrance on the water.
A pillar of black and purple light erupted from it, destroying the stonework and tree on the surface. The column shot up into the clouds that had formed and created a funnel of darkness. The beam grew in size until it encompassed the entire island. As quickly as it had appeared, it suddenly shrunk and vanished with a quick flash.
Thunder rolled heavily overhead and suddenly the skies opened. As rain began to pour on the battleground the monsters began to dissolve and or retreat. The Zora warriors who had been so fiercely standing against the Hylian forces, laid their weapons down slowly and bowed their heads toward the place their home had been.
On the smaller island, Impa caught sight of Osmond, Fado, and a cluster of knights languishing on the ground. They had emerged and survived.
The Battle of Lake Hylia was finished.
David Wayne Nystrom is a Staff Writer for Zelda Dungeon. This story is an imagining of the final days in Hyrule prior to the Great Flood talked about in the opening cinematic of The Wind Waker. The first seven chapters are available in audio podcast form and there’s a complete soundtrack for the first volume here. Head over to erawithoutahero.wordpress.com or follow the story account on Twitter @ZeldaTEWAH where you can keep up on information regarding the future of the podcast, soundtrack, and other TEWAH news that will be coming soon! David’s top three Zelda games are Ocarina of Time, The Wind Waker, and Skyward Sword. He’s also an avid Smash Bros. fan. Every Era Has Heroes…