Fan Fiction Friday: The Era Without A Hero – Part 69
Posted on February 03 2023 by David Nystrom
“What are you?” Osmond asked.
The glowing eyes narrowed as he raised his hand over his head. He snapped his fingers and a massive broadsword that Osmond would have needed two hands to wield, appeared in his hand. He swung it around over his head and pointed its flat head down at Osmond. In the blink of an eye, he was charging downward at Osmond.
Osmond, reacting just in time, raised his shield to absorb the blow. He braced his defense with his other arm, then heaved against it and pushed the transformed Knight and slipped to one side. Osmond swung around and slashed at his foe but missed.
The knight was turning around and readied a strike again, this time bringing the sword around parallel to the ground and slamming into Osmond’s shield that was raised just level with his shoulder.
Osmond ducked under the blade and thrusted his sword forward. This attack managed to catch the Knight’s knee, drawing a pained grunt.
The Knight retaliated by charging his shoulder down and into Osmond’s chest.
Osmond fell onto his back. He rolled away just in time to get away from another attack that was coming just down on him.
The nnight’s blade got stuck in the ground. As he tried to pull it back out, Osmond scrambled to his feet and attacked.
His sword slashed through the knight, cutting him apart in half at his torso. Instead of blood and guts, as Osmond would have thought, it was like a cloud reforming.
The reformed knight arranged himself so that his body was facing Osmond. He drove his hand outward and grabbed Osmond by the throat and began to lift him upward. Osmond reacted quickly though and slashed his sword through the knight’s arm.
When he hit the ground, Osmond lunged toward the doorway but was shoved backward when the Knight appeared with a puff of smoke before him. The knight snapped his fingers and his previously stuck blade vanished from the ground then reappeared in his hand. With a heave, he swung it around and it collided with Osmond’s shield.
Leaving his feet was not in Osmond’s plan of attack, however as the knight’s weapon slammed into his shield, Osmond felt the ground vanish beneath him. As he soared up level with the second floor, the knight blinked up above him and slammed his weapon into Osmond’s back.
Osmond returned to the ground floor at twice the speed he’d been lifted off of it with, and twice the pain. He rolled onto his back and watched as the knight dove downward. Osmond’s hope sank when he reached his blade up and the knight backhanded it away. He slammed his eyes shut as braced for impact from the knight.
But nothing came.
When he dared to peek upward, he noticed the knight was stuck in place. The bits of purple and black smoke that were encircling him still floated off, and the knight’s eyes still shook with whatever possessed him, but his body and blade were in stasis.
“… Quickly now, young Sir Osmond…”
Osmond glanced around for the source of the voice.
“I cannot hold him forever…”
There was nobody around save for the knight.
“Who are you?”
“… That is not the question you seek the answer to…”
“Why are you helping me?”
“… Now is not your time…”
Osmond recognized the voice now. He had heard those exact same words when Rutela attacked the Queen. When he’d intervened, when he’d put himself in jeopardy. It was the same voice.
The transformed knight twitched.
Osmond realized he needed to move.
He rolled away and scrambled toward the doorway. A moment later and the knight drove directly into the floor with a sickening snap and crunch. He reverted to his normal human self, twisted and mangled with blood beginning to trickle out of his ears and nose.
Osmond paused to catch his breath.
However, it was only a second later when another sickening crack jarred his eyes back to the clump of knight in front of him.
The knight’s head snapped and cracked back into place. His back, readjusted itself to some form of straight, and his shoulders and arms unwound themselves with little twitches. As he brought himself to stand, his legs unfolded with appalling movements that were unnatural for any creature.
Osmond began to move back faster and faster, trying to get to his feet.
“Run,” the mysterious voice echoed in Osmond’s head.
The knight began to levitate again, swelling and transforming as he had before. He raised his hands up above his head and a great ball of magic began to gather.
Osmond was already on his feet and rushing out the doorway when the blast came for him. He pushed through the wooden door and slammed it shut. As he continued out onto the bridge, the door behind him exploded in a flash of light.
The knight flew out of the castle and over the bridge. As he came to a stop, he floated down to the bridge and snapped his fingers, making his sword reappear.
Osmond’s way was cut off.
In the distance, on the slopes of one of the surrounding mountains, a tree was uprooted and tossed down into the valley. Huron’s booming voice could be heard as he shouted out in some sort of celebration.
Osmond’s focus was only shifted away for a moment. He was standing on one side of the bridge looking at the knight. The knight lifted his massive blade and pointed it at Osmond.
“Okay,” Osmond readied himself, hoisting his shield onto his back and gripping his weapon with two hands.
The knight began charging forward, keeping the point of his blade fixed on its target. Osmond pushed off and began racing to meet the blade.
Flashes of his life raced through his mind.
The young child, barely able to lift the sword, fighting off wolfos.
Moving in with his Uncle Henry and beginning to learn carpentry.
Meeting Aldwin and taking up the sword as his student.
Saving Zelda at the Swordsman Festival.
Being given his Knight’s Crest by the King.
Confronting Rutela and then Adok.
Every thought suddenly focused in on her.
Inches away from the blade, he felt a soft wind blow across his cheek, and suddenly he wasn’t on the bridge.
Still in his fighting stance, he looked around at the bright and vibrant green field that surrounded him. In the distance, a lone tree sat atop a hill and provided a ring of shade beneath it. A soft breeze blew waves into the tall grass all around. At the base of the tree, laying against its trunk, a young man in bronze armor was resting. His round shield and a blade were next to him against the tree, and a helmet sat just to his other side.
Osmond lowered his blade and stood upright.
“Where… am I?”
Without raising his head, the young knight in the bronze spoke. His voice was soft and kind, but not altogether without a sense of his imposing appearance.
“You’re not dead, if that’s what you’re thinking.”
Osmond felt a touch of relief.
“However, you’re not in the world of the living either,” he continued, standing and beginning to pick his gear up. “You’re on a plane of spirits somewhere outside of time.”
“Who are you?”
“I’m the Spirit of the Hero. I’ve taken on several different forms going all the way back to the dawn of your lands. I appear in the times when the Goddess Hylia, be it in her mortal or spiritual form is in peril. You’ve read stories of this prophecy.”
Osmond tried to see the Spirit’s face, but he kept it turned away as he spoke.
“You have been brought here because you are in a position to inherit my strength and abilities. If you choose to accept them, you will share a burden only a select few in your history have carried. If you choose not to, then you will return to where you last were and continue on as if nothing ever happened.”
“I accept!” Osmond blurted out.
The Spirit stiffened and glanced over his shoulder, “Stay your tongue and heed my words before you speak again. This is not a blessing. This is not some divine intervention on your behalf. It is a burden. It is a responsibility that you will be bound to for all eternity. You will have to answer to its call. Your life will no longer be your own.”
Osmond hesitated a moment on the words.
“If you are certain… take up your sword and cut me down. Release me.”
Osmond felt the sudden weight of his black blade resting in his hands. The Spirit, now wearing his helmet and still having his back turned to Osmond, extended his arms out at his sides.
Osmond gripped the handle on his sword. He glanced back and forth from the blade to the Spirit.
“The choice is yours.”
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 story is getting an audio version in podcast form set to begin releasing sometime in 2023 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! Every Era Has Heroes…
David is an editor at Zelda Dungeon. He’s the author of the ongoing series, The Era Without A Hero, and his favorite Zelda games are Ocarina of Time, The Wind Waker, and Skyward Sword. He’s also generally a fan of JRPGs and other major Nintendo titles, such as Smash Bros. and Mario.