Posted on November 20 2020 by David Nystrom
|| Part Thirty-One || Part Thirty-Three ||
“Adok, I’m going to stop you from destroying Hyrule. You won’t live to see a day she’s ruled by you or your kin!” Osmond barked.
“Who said I wanted to rule it? I am single-minded in my purpose and will stop at nothing until I get it, but ruling a wasteland has no shine to me. What I seek is far more personal and valuable.”
“What is it you want then?” Fado asked.
Adok glanced down at the sage, “Power, to begin with.”
He raised his hand up and a ball of black and purple magic formed and erupted at them. Fado leapt out of the way, and Osmond swung his sword to try and repel the blast. He succeeded in returning the attack, but it struck the walls of the hall instead.
The walls shook and small fragments of the ceiling cracked and began to fall, but Osmond dove toward Adok. In a flash of metals, Adok drew his blade and stopped Osmond’s attack. Without waiting, Osmond pulled back and swung again. The rain of sparks continued as the Osmond attacked and Adok effortlessly defended, holding his sword with one hand.
Fado leapt back into the fray, hurling blasts of magic toward Adok. However, with his free hand, Adok deflected the blasts away and into the walls. Each blast broke away part of the room and weakened its integrity.
Finally, Osmond landed a blow, catching Adok’s shoulder just enough to break the flesh. It made the sorcerer flinch and retaliate with an attack of his own. Osmond lunged back to avoid the straight edge of Adok’s blade, then dove back in to attack.
Adok sidestepped the attack and slammed his palm up and into Osmond’s chest. Osmond stumbled backward, then raised his sword to deflect an incoming attack. He countered by spinning away from Adok’s attack and toward him. Osmond wrapped his arm around Adok’s and twisted it sharply. Adok though, leapt into the air over Osmond and reversed the arm lock, followed by a firm kick into Osmond’s back.
Fado used a blast of wind to keep Osmond from falling into the spikes around the edge of the room. In doing so though, he left himself vulnerable and paid the price for it. Adok let another ball of magic hurl at the Sage of Wind. It hit and sent Fado flying into the wall.
Osmond turned and charged at Adok with his shoulder, but Adok sidestepped and brought an elbow into his back. Osmond hit the ground and slid close to the edge of the pool.
“You’ll figure it out one day,” Adok said, stepping close to Osmond.
Osmond swung his sword toward Adok’s legs. Adok defended the attack, then whirled around with a follow-up attack that sent Osmond’s sword flying from his hand.
Adok pressed the edge of his sword to Osmond’s neck.
“Ah, and there we have it.”
The tip of Adok’s blade moved down to the chain around Osmond’s neck. One that had been there since they left the Kokiri Forest. One that had its contents so closely examined by the other Sages. One that held the Forest Key.
“’Tis a shame you only brought me one. I will have to procure the Fire Key through other methods.”
“You’ll never release him,” Fado said, straining to project his voice.
Adok smiled, “I will. And Hyrule’s cycle will, at last, be at its end when I do.”
Osmond shouted as he pushed Adok’s blade away and he dove at him. Adok simply raised his foot to Osmond, kicked to the ground, and pinned him there with some unseen magic. Adok methodically swung his sword across Osmond’s neck, leaving barely a scratch as he cut the chain away. He slowly bent down and picked up the key, then sheathed his sword.
Fado rushed toward Adok, but the magician simply waved his hand over his shoulder, and Fado was thrown to the wall above the door into the chamber, a plume of that evil colored magic floating off him.
As Adok opened a portal to leave, Osmond crawled toward it.
“I will stop you!” Osmond shouted.
“I look forward to it,” Adok sent one last orb of magic into the chamber, then stepped through the portal and vanished.
The magic floated into the center of the chamber and began to spark and fragment. It grew in size rapidly, and a swirling force of energy began to rip away at the walls. Osmond stumbled against the force of the attack and made it to Fado.
Fado, clinging to Osmond to keep from being pulled into the mass of dark energy in the middle of the room, spent the last bit of his magic to teleport the duo out of the chamber. Back near the entrance, they rallied the Knights that had accompanied them below, and together all escaped to the island surface.
They were sprinting across the bridge when the island was engulfed in a pillar of black and purple light. Rain poured from above and thunder rolled heavily as the explosion of magic vanished in one last burst.
Osmond lay on the smaller island and stared up at the dark sky. The rain cooled the wounds sustained from his battles below and brought him some peace. As he closed his eyes, he let out a long breath.
* * * * *
The course of the next few days following the battle seemed a blur from his hospital bed back in Castletown. Osmond watched nurses rush in and out. Several times, Osmond tried to ask what was going on or when he could leave. Instead of a useful answer, he was simply hushed or told to wait. So, he just waited and watched his allies and countrymen pass through.
Impa had been treated for a couple of hours but had been asking the whereabouts of Sir Liam. The responses she had received, which Osmond had not heard, prompted a rage from her like nothing Osmond could have imagined. She stormed out, ripping some bandages off and shoving aside a duo of nervous-looking knights.
Fado had sustained some fairly critical damage. The last blast of magic that Adok had used, drained part of Fado’s life and magic. A special healer had to be called in to help restore him, but even she struggled to lift the ailment. Laruto though, the newly recognized Queen of the Zora, did find a way to heal him through some ancient magic she had been heir to.
Huron came by several times. He had barely a scratch on him from the fight, however, his belief was that laughter would serve as the best medicine. He would come and draw laughs from the wounded soldiers and Knights, but Osmond could see a deep worry in his eyes. His jovial nature was a shield for the worry he felt for his dear friend, Fado.
Henry and Zelda were among the visitors that came to see Osmond specifically. His uncle had insisted that Osmond take some leave once he was healed.
“Per’aps you could stay ‘ome a while?” he smiled.
“I’ll consider it, Uncle,” Osmond lied.
Henry wasn’t a fool and saw through the lie though. He knew his nephew, and even though it filled him with a bit of pain, he was also proud. He was proud that his nephew, whom he had raised, was off making a difference in the world. Proud that he had made a name for himself, following his dream.
Zelda’s visit had been much different though. For her visit, Osmond was led to a private chamber, away from any other visitors. Four guards stood posted outside, and two more stationed inside.
The moonlight shone down through the beams in the window. Stars danced in the night sky as the soft footsteps of the princess filled the chamber. Osmond turned and saw her standing in an elegant white dress that flowed down like water from her chest. A golden circle bearing the Triforce sat in the center of the chest where a narrow bit of fabric traced up around her neck.
They stood apart for a moment, taking in the sight of one another before Zelda raced across the room and threw her arms around him. He wrapped his arms tightly around her waist and lifted her off the ground, pressing his forehead against hers.
“I told you that I would come back.”
Zelda ordered the knights in the room to leave, and despite some hesitation to the command, they obliged.
Gone were their facades of strength and formality. Stripped of their personality armor and symbols of rank. It was just them. Alone. As they embraced in the night’s ambiance, they shared their most intimate selves with each other.
When the first rays of dawn breached the room, Zelda stirred from her sleep and lifted her head from Osmond’s bare chest. He was already awake, running his fingers through her smooth blonde hair.
“I’m to go to the North Castle with father once he has addressed the people,” Zelda said.
“Good. I imagine you will be safer there.”
“I’ll try to arrange it so that you’ll accompany us there. I can’t see them keeping you on the front lines.”
“As much as I’d want that,” Osmond bit his lip, “I have to find Rutela. She got away. Between her and Adok, there’s too big of a risk. We need to stop them.”
Zelda pressed into him harder, having already known this would be his response. She savored every moment she could.
The two remained embraced in the tangled sheets until a nurse came with breakfast and a very stern order from Impa that the princess was to return to the castle immediately.
They bid each other farewell with one last tender embrace.
When Osmond was discharged from the hospital later that day, he went to the castle to see her and was told they had already set out.
With his own agenda clear, Osmond made one final stop in the graveyard. He stood with a pack on his shoulders and drew his sword. He knelt down at Aldwin’s resting place and quietly prayed.
“If you’re out there and can hear me, then please do something for me. Watch over her and guide my blade so that it defends me until the day she is in my care again. I’m on the adventure you dreamed of writing about, so I know the ending will be spectacular. Thank you for all the wisdom you taught me, the power you showed me, and the courage you’ve inspired in me. I will not fail, my teacher.”
The bells tolled out as twilight fell. A lone horse, burdened by its rider and his gear, rode out into the wilds of Hyrule just before the gates rose. As the last bell rang out, all that remained of Osmond in Castletown was a plume of dust and his name.
* * * * *
Adok slid the door to his chamber closed and crossed to his bed. As he sat down and folded his legs beneath him, he became aware of the hooded figure seated in a chair in the corner of the room.
“The knight had only the Forest Key on him.”
“Yes, I figured as much,” the figure replied.
“If the princess had been there, I could have claimed the Fire Key as well.”
“True, but then they would have felt as if they had completely lost. As it stands, they think they still have an upper hand. They still have hope.”
“Do you have a plan to claim the Fire Key?”
“Of course. As it so stands, I have already set about capturing it and two others at once. Before winter sets in, we shall have all but one.”
“What of the Triforce of Wisdom?”
The figure grinned under the shadow of his cloak, “That has also been taken care of. I will be keeping my eye on it with extreme interest.”
Adok nodded and closed his eyes, “Then I shall remain here now. Until the time is right.”
“This would indeed be wise. Our shining moment will be upon us before long.”
“Then leave me. We should limit our meetings.”
“I agree. Look for me again when great storms brew in the north and the Black Cliffs burn,” the cloaked figure said.
A moment later, Adok was alone as the figure vanished in a cloud of black smoke. He closed his eyes and visualized the Mirror Chamber as it had been described. His mind recreated the circular chamber in the Spirit Temple.
Six statues stood around the room with two doors on either side. In the center, was a pedestal holding a vase filled with a thick red liquid. Etched on the pedestal’s surface around the vessel were the words:
From the Royal’s flesh shall be formed the final key. Combined with the blood sealed here, revived he shall be.
Adok, the Wanderer, as he had been called then, rose from his seat. In his mind palace where he rebuilt this room, he traced his fingers over the seals in the door and pushed it open.
The Great Mirror of the Royal Family stood before him shining brightly. He stepped up to the reflective surface with an outstretched hand. It passed through to the other side and when it returned, bore a shining golden sigil on its back.
“I will have this power.”
He returned to his room, his hand holding nothing before him. He turned and crossed to the window and watched as the sun fell over Castletown.
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…