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Chapter Sixteen

Jenoa watched, helpless for several minutes as her new companions writhed in silent pain. Her mind began to race as a tumult of fear, anxiety, and desperation began to take hold within her. She glanced back up at the specter that had her pinned. Though she appeared non-corporeal at different angles she very much had a physicality and strength that seemed to rival her own. This otherworldly being began to cackle quietly at Jenoa, drawing nearer. Jenoa began to have sudden flashes of the vision that she had suffered at the hands of this…thing. Her sister, ever the paragon of Gerudo might in her eyes reduced to a shambling, rotted corpse. She could almost smell the decay; see the flesh dangling from her bones as though she were right in front of her. She had let them all down. Her own selfish desire for freedom had brought ruin to those around her. How could she have not seen beyond her own whims? To see the consequences of her aloof nature. She was a Gerudo, and she had a responsibility. Perhaps she deserved this fate…

As the woman edged closer, Jenoa snapped back to reality. The Gerudo had stifled her since childhood. They had trained her against her will to be something she had no inclination to be. Training for survival was one thing. Training for conquest and domination was another. She realized that her momentary lapse of self-pity must have been another attempt from this aberration before her. An effort to lull her into such a state of depression that she might cede her life all too easily. She would not have it. She had endured far too much in life to give herself over to doubt now. This creature would not best her.

Gritting her teeth and mustering her strength, Jenoa screamed in the woman’s face hard enough to taste faint traces of blood from her throat. The being was taken aback giving Jenoa the opening she needed. She lunged forward, headbutting her and shoved with everything she had to free herself. A bit dazed from the impact, she did everything in her power to focus long enough to find her scimitars and brought them before her. She noticed faint flickers around the mystical orbs containing her companions. She realized that it was no doubt a spell of concentration, and what she must do to break it. She tightened her grip on the hilts of her weapons and tensed her body, bringing her into a position in which she would be poised to strike. Taking one last look to Link and Rukio, she broke into a sprint.

Having finished reeling from the blow she had been dealt, the creature, full of malicious intent screamed in Jenoa’s direction and flew forward to meet her. Her eyes, now a blinding white did little to shake Jenoa’s resolve, and the two began to flit about each other. Jenoa made several stabbing thrusts in the direction of the creature, missing her mark by varying degrees. The woman launched what seemed to be blasts of white and black flame as a retort, missing Jenoa as she rolled, leapt, and batted them away with the flat of her scimitars. This dance continued on, neither of which having much luck in their endeavors, but Jenoa knew that ultimately her goal was to secure the safety of her friends. She needed to keep this up. There were no tell-tale signs of exhaustion she could observe from her opponent, but it was no matter. She would give this battle everything she had and if she was destined to perish here, so be it.

The creature paused in front of her, a solemn look appearing on her face. Jenoa leapt forward with the points of both scimitars in front of her, but the creature vanished before she could make contact. She looked about frantically, unsure of where she may have gone when a sudden burst of blinding pain erupted from her back and she went flying forward. She cried out, maintaining her hold on her scimitars, and quickly got back to her feet. She scoured the room once more, doing what she could to ignore the burning sensation on her back that continued to ebb.

“Of course you can teleport,” she muttered to herself, doing her best to open both eyes fully, the pain causing her face to contort as a means of coping. She was assailed again from the side, her left arm now feeling the effects as well. She remained on her feet though it took a Herculean effort to do so. The blasts began to come faster now, her efforts to avoid them proving futile. She had never felt such pain in her life. It was now becoming unbearable. Her legs began to feel unsteady and she collapsed downward, catching herself before making full contact with the cold floor beneath her. Now on all fours, she was drawing terse breaths, hot tears falling from her face. This was surely the end she thought to herself. All of her bravado was for naught; her pompousness and exaggerated assessment of her own abilities had been her undoing. She couldn’t bring herself to lift her head up to give one final look to her comrades. She steeled herself instead, preparing to exhibit one final display of dignity before her fall.

“Get up,” she heard in front of her. The voice, quite familiar to her rang clear as day. She struggled, lifting her head to meet its source and saw Zayeeri standing before her. This was her sister as she knew her: the proud and able pillar that she leaned on during times of duress. While recent times had robbed them of the relationship they had as children, this was how she knew her in her heart. “You are better than this Jenoa. Get up!”

Was this another deception brought about by the monster? A trap to lower her defenses entirely for an easy kill?

“Zayeeri…I–” Jenoa began before this vision interrupted her.

“I do not want excuses Jenoa. I didn’t train you to accept defeat. I want you to get up, and finish this.”

Her words struck a chord within the very fibers of her being. She began to rise, shakily at first, but soon stood proud as she ever had, perhaps more so.

“Much better. Now, behind you.”

Jenoa spun on her heels, putting the remaining force her body would allow into a final thrust with both scimitars. They found their mark, and the creature, who had rushed forward to enact a killing blow, was impaled. A bloodcurdling wail filled the room, and Jenoa was knocked backward. She looked to her side, and saw both Link and Rukio tumble to the ground. All three of them held their ears in an effort to deafen the otherworldly scream that had now reached an ear-shattering pitch. When at last it had crescendoed, the woman burst, releasing a shockwave that sent her further backward, slamming into a wall, and losing consciousness.

Bryan King is an editor for Zelda Dungeon. He loves writing about everyone’s favorite green-clad elfin boy, and thinks Zelda II doesn’t get the love it so rightly deserves. 

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