The Legend of Zelda: Return to Darkness
Written by killerninja258
Disclaimer: I own my original characters, but I do not own anything related towards the Zelda franchise.
A/N: I'm back, and decided to write this story all over again. The last version had more holes in it than swiss cheese blown apart by C4. I got 50 reviews with it, but this is going to be a brand new start, so we'll see how this works.
-I've been gone for nearly three years now... and I haven't found what I've been looking for. As I grow older, the less motivated I am. All I want to do now is go home, but how far away am I?-
Chapter 1: The Prisoner
It was late afternoon, and a young boy, around thirteen, made his way through the snow covered paths of an open field. He and his horse, named Epona, had seen many things over their journeys together, but they both shared the same thing. Homesickness; it had gotten the most of them, and their last journey, the journey home had begun. The boy didn't know where to start, and no one would help him find his way when he asked them.
"Look there, Epona," he said as he pointed, "you see that city? Maybe someone could help us there." He patted his horse, and steered her towards the city, but Epona stopped.
"What's wrong, Epona? We're less than a mile away!" He said. Epona grunted, and stayed put.
"Oh come on, I'm not that heavy." Epona grunted again, and kicked some snow over to eat some grass. The boy, named Link, really wasn't big at all. He stood at a mere 4'10'' and weighed 85 pounds.
"Fine," Link sighed, "I'll walk." He got off his horse and led her towards the city. There was about six inches of snow on the ground, and the temperature was falling quickly as the sun was setting. Link shivered and looked towards the sky and frowned. It was starting to snow again, and the temperature was dropping at an alarming rate. As much as he hated seeking shelter right outside of the city, he felt like he had to. The cold weather was too much for him to bare walking any further and then look for an inn. Link scanned the open area around him and found an abandoned looking house to his right.
"That should be a good place to get warm, right Epona?" Link said, grabbing the reins and walking toward the house. Link tied Epona up to a small tree, and reached into his bag. He pulled a horse blanket out and placed it over his horse to keep her warm.
"Okay, you should be fine now. Time for me to get warm," Link said as he opened the door and walked in.
Once he closed the door, he walked forward into the living room and immediately regretted setting foot anywhere near the house. There were about ten men sitting in the middle of that room, sharpening their swords. They looked like highwaymen, and being stuck in the middle of a room with ten of them is not a good thing. Link tried to stay as quiet as he could, but when he stepped back toward the door, a piece of wood paneling on the floor creaked loudly, and got their attention. All the sudden, all the bandits got up and armed themselves and advanced on Link. Link put his hands up, seeing that he was basically surrounded.
"Who the hell are you, kid?" One of the larger bandits boomed.
"Who the hell cares, he's seen us already, just kill him!"
"Why don't we ask the boss?"
All of the bandits got into a racket about what they should do with Link, and then all the sudden they went quiet. Link saw a man with platinum blonde hair walk out one of the rooms, holding a rapier. He was quite tall, standing at 6'3'', but was also quite slender. He was wearing white and blue armor, and had a white scarf wrapped around his neck loosely.
"Have I... missed anything?" the man said in a smooth, deep voice.
"What do you want us to do with this shrimp?" The large bandit asked, "He saw everything, sir."
"Did he now?" the boss said, "hmmmmm..."
There was an awkward silence as the boss started to ponder his decision. Link gulped loudly as he was trying to loosen the latch on the door without anyone noticing.
Right when the bandits charged, Link loosened the latch and fell right through the door. He tumbled back right before the bandits stabbed at him, and pulled out his gilded sword. Sensing unavoidable conflict, Link cut the reins to his horse.
"Epona, run!" Link yelled. His horse took off, and Link got himself ready for a fight. Two bandits armed with swords charged out of the house. Link parried one out of the way, and managed to hit another one right in the solar plexus with the hilt of his sword, knocking him out. The other bandit recovered and lunged at Link, but tripped in the thick snow. Link promptly kicked him in the face and incapacitated him as well. Then another bandit charged him and got ready to slice downward, but Link slid under him and kneed him right in the groin. This caused the man to shriek in pain and double over. Link hit him over he head with his hilt, rendering him unconscious as well. Then, two more bandits charged him from both his right and his left side. Right when they reached full speed, Link stepped back out of their path. They tried to correct their paths, but couldn't due to the thick snow, and ended up tripping and colliding their heads with each other, knocking them out. Link readied himself again, and noticed four of the bandits cowering away, leaving the largest bandit, who happened to be armed with a claymore that was about the same size as Link was.
"You think you can defeat the Messengers of Hatred?"
Link looked up at his new opponent and laughed a little. Partially out of amusement, and partially out of fear.
"Messengers of Hatred? That's the worst gang name I've ever heard!" Link answered as he readied his sword for an attack.
"Now you die!" the bandit roared. Link got ready for the heavyset man to charge at him like a bull, but he was surprised at how fast that large man was, and had barely any time to block the downward slash of the man's child sized claymore. Link's trusty gilded sword was shattered on contact, but Link was just able to get out of the way of the claymore making its way through his sword. Link flipped away, and threw the remnants of his sword at the bandit, hoping it hit him. The man slapped the hilt away, and threw his claymore at Link. Link ducked, and felt the claymore glide right over his back, cutting his through his coat and shirt, but luckily not through the skin. Before he could recover, Link felt himself being lifted off the ground and hitting a wall very hard. The bandit apparently took advantage of Link's distraction and grabbed Link by the neck and pinned him against the wall. Link struggled for air as the man's gigantic hand constricted around his neck.
"I'll choke the life out of you!" the bandit yelled as Link grabbed the man's hand in an effort to pull it away. Realizing that effort was futile, Link did the only thing he could think of. He spread his index and middle fingers and poked his potential strangler in the eyes. The man yelped in pain as he let go of Link in order to attend to his eyes. Link took advantage and then kicked his attacker straight in the groin, causing the bandit to scream in pain and double over. Link fell back through the door, into the house, and started gasping for air as he was finally free of the stranglehold. Once he recovered, he noticed the large man standing at the doorway, with something large held over his head, and what looked like a spark emanating out of a string sticking out of it. Link knew exactly what it was, and he scrambled to his feet, and stepped back until he realized he was cornered against a wall.
"Now you die!" the man said as he threw it at Link. The powder keg rolled on the ground towards Link, who reacted by running straight at a window. Link jumped through it right when the keg exploded, and the whole entire house erupted into a huge explosion, with shards of wood and glass flying everywhere. Link landed in the snow outside and took cover under a piece of what used to be the front porch. Once the explosion settled, Link got out from his cover and saw all the wreckage. Link collapsed to a sitting position as he felt the heat of the wood burning from the house bring him some relief from the cold. Then, Link felt a blade press up against his neck. Link looked up and saw the boss right over him, with several guards behind him.
"Justiciar Essen! Are you all right sir?" One of the guards asked.
"About damn time you showed up! Do you realize what I've had to do to fight off these bandits?" The Justiciar said. Link looked at him in shock, and then he realized what was going on. He was going to be framed by the man who was leading the bandits, and apparently the police as well.
"You..." Link said, in a low voice, knowing this man's devious nature.
"Arrest him, he was one of them," Essen said. He motioned for his guards to come get Link; Link felt both his arms being grabbed and then he was forced to his feet. Link glared at the Justiciar, but didn't say anything. The Justiciar looked back town at Link, and then pulled something off his belt. Suddenly, Link felt an almost unbearable searing pain in his shoulder, so much so that it made Link delirious, and start to lose consciousness.
"I'd hate to be you when you wake up," the Justicar said, and then turned turned to one of the guards, "now take him away!"
A young man was sitting in a small jail cell, just staring at the ground. He had less than an hour until his execution in front of the whole city. He was not the tallest person, but not the shortest, standing at 5'10''. He had long jet black hair that was becoming increasingly more disheveled, and was now growing a thin beard. His musing was interrupted when he saw the cell door fly open in front of him. A guard came in holding a young boy.
"Hey, Phane! You got someone to talk to for the last few minutes of your miserable life!" the guard said as he threw the unconscious Link into the cell. Before he hit the ground, Phane caught him and lowered him to the ground. He looked back at the guard and glowered. The guard just chuckled a bit, and then shut the cell door and locked it and walked off. Phane waited a minute until it was quiet again and then concentrated on welcoming his new cellmate.
"Hey, kid, wake up!" Phane said he shook Link. Link's eyes cracked open as Phane laid him to the ground. Link started to sit up and gather his surroundings while trying to fight off a sudden wave of nausea. He felt horrible.
"Good, you're awake," Phane said as he saw Link sitting up. Phane crouched down to eye level with Link, "how're you feeling?" Link crawled over, and got on his hands and knees, and looked at the ground to try and fight his dizziness.
"I feel like I'm gonna..." Link said before he stopped himself to try and restrain himself from throwing up. Phane noticed Link attempt to fight a wave of nausea and handed Link a bucket. Link snatched it just before he lost it, and was able to throw up in the bucket. After an almost endless amount of heaving, Link felt the nausea pass, and put the bucket on the other side of the cell.
"Where am I?" Link asked, as he wiped his face off. Phane snickered a little to himself, which caught Link's attention.
"What?" Link said in a harsher tone.
"You're in jail," Phane said, blankly. He wasn't someone to sugar-coat things. It took a second for it to register with Link, who was still slightly delirious from whatever happened to him. The memories of his arrest were coming back to him.
"That Justiciar guy..." Link said, scanning his memory.
"Essen, he was the man who got me arrested," Phane chimed in while sitting back down. Link said nothing and sat down on the other side of the cell.
"What are you in for?" Link asked, trying to start a conversation with this man. He didn't know why, but this man didn't seem like one of the ruthless criminals he would've thought would be in jail.
"Kind of a long story, kid," Phane said while looking down at his tattered clothes.
"It's not like I'm going anywhere," Link answered, tearing off a piece of cloth from his shirt to make a bandage from where he was stuck in the shoulder by Justiciar Essen.
"I guess you're right," answered Phane, "Now, where should I begin? Well, you see, this town is in a great geological position for the High King back in Toryn City. Obviously, he wanted to put most of his time into developing this city more and more because of its proximity to the coast. It's good for trade, and so far his plan had worked. I moved to Taea back when I was about your age from a country to the east because my father was a fisherman and this city might be one of the best ones for that. Anyways, I eventually got tired of working under my father, and when he died, I joined the army and was made an officer a few years back. I worked my way up and got to the point where King Toryn wanted to make me Justiciar of this city. Essen, who was working with me at the time, apparently wasn't too happy with that and wanted the title for himself, so he had several of my commanding officers murdered and framed me for it. Now he has the title and I'll be meeting the headsman soon."
Link was surprised on how blunt Phane told him about his impending doom. Obviously the anger and fear that Phane was harboring had regressed into cynicism.
"So you're going to die because you were framed so Essen can pursue his ambitions," Link said, "if I were you, I'd be pretty angry."
"It's not like I can do anything to fix it, and as much as I want to see Essen get what he deserves, not many people will be willing to listen to me, " Phane said, "So you never told me how you ended up here."
Link shrugged, "Well, I fought off a bunch of bandits who were working for Essen, and he ended up being able to frame me into being one of the bandits that he 'supposedly' took care of."
Phane smiled weakly, "Framed too, eh? It sucks being in the wrong place at the wrong time."
"That seems to happen to me more than I'd like," Link admitted. Phane snickered a little; he was beginning to like this kid, shame he wouldn't know him for too much longer.
"I never got your name," Link said, breaking the short silence. Phane straightened out his beard with his hands, and then answered.
"Phane," he said, holding out his hand to Link. Link shook his hand, and then responded,
"I'm Link, nice to meet you."
"Yeah, nice to know you too," Phane said, and then sat back in the corner and looked at the ceiling.
"You said you were from a country to the east," Link stated, "Which one?"
"Hyrule," Phane answered. A huge rush of hope went right through Link when he realized that this man is potentially the person who could get him back home, but then the door to the cell block flew open, and a guard came in to grab Phane. Phane got to his feet, and was led through the door. On his way out, Phane nodded to Link, and Link did the same to Phane. Link knew he had to save this person somehow. He knew that if he wanted to get home, he would have to escape, and he had to do it now...
A/N: Well, how was it? This is a rewrite again, not major from the previous version, but the story makes a lot more sense now that I plotted a whole scheme for the devious Justiciar Essen. I'm hoping to get more chapters out faster now that I actually have some time to write and the creative juices are flowing.