Intrigued by what Impa said about finding something of great importance at the Temple of Time after they collect a scale from all three dragons, Link and Zelda head far north from Mt. Lanaryu to Death Mountain, a very active volcano, in search of the last scale. They prepare by stocking up on several fireproof potions at the last horse stable on the way there before the unbearable heat begins to press down on them. The potions keep the intense heat at bay and allow them to maintain a comfortable body temperature...for a time, at least.

As they proceed along the rocky and mostly barren path, they're alarmed to hear screams and cries for help in the distance ahead. They rush toward the sound and see a young Goron in a small clearing being cornered by a massive Talus monster.

In their dormant state, Talus creatures appear to be nothing more than ordinary rocks. Thus, Link and Zelda had (quite literally) stumbled upon a few of them during their travels...yet this is the first one they've ever seen with a "body" so overheated that it's literally molten.

Link knows they can't possibly attack it using any conventional means so he frantically brainstorms ideas for ways they can take it on. However, when the Talus lifts a "fist" with the clear intent to attack the defenseless and terrified young Goron, Link realizes he can't afford to delay any longer. He yells and throws rocks at the Talus to gain its attention and provoke it. The abomination then turns toward Link and starts barreling at him, surprisingly fast for something so enormous. It starts pulling back its fist for another punch, when suddenly, the previously red-hot Talus turns to solid ice! Link looks to his side to find the explanation—Zelda hit it with an ice arrow!

"Good thinking!" Link remarks.

However, just a few seconds later, the Talus breaks free from the ice and finishes throwing its punch. Link can barely react in time to dodge it, having not expected the creature to escape the ice so quickly. No doubt the heat from the volcano caused it to melt so fast.

After unloading a few more ice arrows on the Talus which seem to accomplish very little, Zelda shouts a suggestion to Link. "We may have to do more than just attack it with ice to destroy it!"

Thus, immediately after freezing it with an ice arrow, they ready a few normal arrows into their bows which immediately ignite upon being exposed to the oppressive heat. Each arrow causes pieces of the Talus to fall off until nothing remains of it but insignificant pebbles. Finally, it ceases movement altogether.

The Goron boy who had run away and hid during the fight runs back over to them, jumping up in joy. "Thank you so much, goro! You guys were great, goro!" Only a moment later, though, the Goron suddenly clams up, looking off to the side pensively.

"What's wrong?" Zelda asks.

"Oh...it's just...my dad's gonna kill me if he finds out I went this far from town without an adult, goro!" After mulling over something for several moments, he finally says, "Hey, I've got an idea! If I give you this pretty red scale I found, would you promise not to tell anyone about this little...uh...incident, goro?"

Zelda arcs a brow and crosses her arms in consternation. "You really shouldn't keep secrets from your parents like that, you know..."

"Yes, yes, I know, but...here, just take it, goro!" He shoves the scale at them before tearing off in the direction of Goron City to the north.

The duo sighs heavily, too tired from the battle to follow the kid and reprimand him.

Well...at least we have the last scale now, Zelda muses.

O.O.O.O.O.O

On their way to the Temple of Time, they make a detour to check on the progress of Castle Town's reconstruction and to drop off the supplies they collected in their travels. There are now a respectable number of workers pitching in to put the kingdom's center of commerce back in order. At least a few members of all the kingdom's races are doing whatever they can to assist: the Zora and Rito bring in supplies along the river and through the air, respectively, the Goron and Gerudo do most of the physical labor, and the Hylians use their nimble fingers to complete miscellaneous tasks such as cooking for the workers, painting, building furniture and the like.

For Link, it feels like ages have past since he first laid eyes upon the Temple, the first major landmark he saw after awakening from his hundred year slumber. Fallen pillars are strewn everywhere, vines grow unfettered along the walls, the floor has been almost completely reclaimed by nature and it seems like only a miracle has kept the roof of such an ancient structure from collapsing entirely throughout so many eons.

Although she can't be certain of when the Temple was constructed, seeing the hallowed place reminds Zelda of stories her mother had frequently told her as a child, tales that had been passed down throughout the countless generations of the Hyrulean royal family. These stories claim that the structure has been in existence since as far back as the era of the Hero of Time. It's estimated, then, that the shrine is over ten thousand years old, an unfathomable stretch of time by any reckoning.

The two approach the enormous goddess statue sitting on a raised platform at the back of the Temple and place all three scales in front of it in offering. Three ethereal rays of light then shine down upon the scales, each corresponding to the colors of the scales.

Suddenly, both Link and Zelda begin seeing visions of what appears to be the Temple's interior, albeit the way it must have looked a long time ago when the place was in top form. A red strip of carpet runs through the Temple's middle, ending at a wide altar. A young boy wearing a green tunic and floppy hat is seen approaching the altar with three sparkling jewels. After placing them on the altar, a door opens to another chamber in the back. The boy enters the chamber and pulls out what is unmistakably the Master Sword from an elevated pedestal, much like the one they're currently standing on.

For a few moments, everything goes black. Then the two see that same boy, but he's suddenly several years older and now practically an adult. A mysterious figure in skin-hugging blue garments appears from the shadows and begins speaking with the man clad in green using an antiquated form of Hylian. Link can't understand their speech at all. Zelda only understands bits and pieces of it thanks to having studied ancient Hylian just enough so she could read old documents regarding the ancient Sheikah technologies.

Next, they see the man in green enter the Temple where the mysterious figure in blue is already waiting. After some conversation, the one in blue abruptly transforms into, of all things, a lovely young woman. She wears a dress so heavily embellished that it couldn't possibly belong to anyone but a member of the royal family. Upon exchanging a few more words, the regal woman unexpectedly becomes trapped in a translucent, crystalline prism which begins hovering above the ground. Both try desperately to break her out of the impromptu prison but the efforts are entirely futile. A malevolent masculine voice echoes through the Temple even though no one else is there with them. Eventually, the woman disappears, leaving the man behind to look around him in shock and horror.

After another period of darkness, they see the young man return to the Temple whereupon he places the Master Sword back in its pedestal. Mysteriously, after being consumed by a flash of light, he is but a boy again, practically dwarfed by the size of the legendary sword in front of him.

One more scene plays before their eyes. A gray-haired woman with a wrinkled face wearing a fine dress is removing a brick from the wall near the Temple's altar. She looks around her as if checking to see if anyone is watching, then places a small box inside before replacing the brick.

After a long and pregnant pause, Link asks slowly, "What...the heck...did we just watch?"

Zelda is fairly confident she knows the meaning behind those scenes but refrains from commenting on it just yet. She casts her gaze around the Temple, trying to picture the last scene in her mind again. She walks toward the wall to her right and begins examining the bricks for any that seem like they could be a little loose. Eventually, she comes to one that juts out slightly more than the others.

"Could you help me pull this out?" she asks Link.

Working together, they manage to get a good enough grip on the bulky stone to heave it out. Just as Zelda had hoped, she finds a box matching the one they saw in the vision shoved into a small alcove behind the stone. She wastes no time in throwing the lid open. Inside, she finds...

Hmm... Zelda wonders. The first thing she sees is a strange, oval-shaped instrument of some kind made from a light purple, ivory-like material which is incredibly smooth to the touch. The green garment and cap the man had been wearing in their visions are also in here. Despite the fragility of most fabrics, it has somehow miraculously been preserved throughout the ages.

The last thing in the box is a letter written with practiced calligraphy on a thick sheet of archival paper. Links studies the letter but since it's written in ancient Hylian he can't make heads or tails out of it. However, when he notices Zelda staring at the paper intently from over his shoulder, he asks her incredulously, "Can you actually read this?"

"Portions of it, yes." He sees her smile at various moments as she reads along, making him especially curious about what's written here.

Finally, she explains. "This is a letter a Hyrulian princess from many ages ago wrote about a dear friend of hers. She apparently put together the contents of this box as a sort of time capsule to memorialize and preserve his legacy after his passing. According to the letter, this purple object is an ancient musical instrument that once held great magical powers and was an indispensable tool for both of them. The way she writes of him leaves no doubt that they were very close friends and allies. In fact, it says here that they were almost inseparable after they conquered Hyrule's greatest threat together."

"Hmm... I think I've heard that story somewhere before," Link comments, his expression reflecting deep contemplation. "...What were their names again?"

Zelda smirks before giving a coy response. "I believe you already know the answer to that..."

She pulls playfully on Link's sky blue champion's tunic, bringing him incredibly close. She then gathers up her courage before leaning in for a kiss, leaving him wide-eyed and thoroughly surprised, although not unpleasantly so...

"It's just like you said before, Link. You and me, we go way back...and I can tell you right now, we're going to be together for a long time to come."