Erik ran down the secret passageway behind one of his large mirrors, leaving the angry mob far behind him. He didn't think that they would be able to find this passageway, but he figured that he should make haste just in case they did. He wasn't in the mood to deal with them. In fact, he knew that if he had stayed, he would already be dead. They would have shot him as soon as they saw him.
He continued along the passageway until he reached a ladder that led to the Parisian streets above. He climbed up it quickly and found himself in a dark alleyway. Even though his eyes were well adjusted to darkness—like a cat's—he could barely make out the details of the alley. He paused for a moment to look around, frustrated by his inability to see. Finally, he managed to make out a figure in front of him.
The figure was oddly shaped, to say the least. Its arms and legs were no more than twigs, its head the shape of a heart with ten spikes sticking out of it—two on the top, four on each of it's sides. Erik was startled by this. This person must have been wearing a mask. Like me, Erik reflected. The figure stopped what it was doing when it saw Erik standing there. It surveyed him for a second before shaking its head rapidly, an odd rattling noise coming from the mask.
Erik stared at it, unsure of what it was doing. Suddenly, Erik gasped as an intense pain shot through his entire body. He collapsed onto the ground, writhing silently. The figure watched him writhe for a moment with mild interest. The twin orange eyes of the mask glowed for a moment, forcing Erik to lose consciousness. Then, rattling its head again, it caused the area around it to turn even blacker—as if it were possible—and it vanished, taking the unconscious Erik with it.
Erik awoke hours later. He sat up, only to stop halfway when his head throbbed with pain. He layed back down and stared up at the sky, which was light. I must have been out all night, he thought. He continued to stare at the sky for a few moments before he noticed something that was very odd. Is that the moon? he asked himself. Why is it so large and…it has a face! Ignoring the pain in his head, he pulled himself up to his feet. The moon was very large in the sky, and it did appear to have a face: two large orange and yellow eyes, a nose, and a large, grinning mouth. What the hell?
He looked around him and gasped. He wasn't in that alleyway anymore. Instead, he was in a large grassy field. You'd think he would have noticed the fact that he was laying in an open field of grass immediately…
He looked around, slightly relieved when he saw a town a short distance away. He hated people as a rule, but he figured that he would endure them just long enough to find out where he was. Then he would leave. He started walking toward the town, taking no notice of the strange birds that were flying overhead. They, however, took notice of him and tried to dive-bomb him as they flew by. Luckily, he was able to get out of their way before they flew into him.
"Crazy birds," he muttered under his breath, and continued walking. He was almost to the town when the grass gave way to dirt, and he stopped when he saw the oddest creatures that he had ever seen. They looked like rats, but they were far too large to be rats. They were roughly the size of a greyhound, and they had bombs on the end of their tails, which they held off the ground.
Cautiously, Erik made his way around the rats, but one of them spotted him. It gave a loud squeak and rushed at him, the bomb on its tail flashing ominously. Erik considered running, but the rat was fast enough to catch up to him even if he did. Instead, he pulled out his Punjab lasso and waited until the rat was in range of the deadly catgut cord. It was almost there when a small boy jumped between Erik and the rat. He had a shield raised, and the rat ran into it, bounced off, and landed twenty feet away, exploding as it hit the ground.
"You need to be more careful, sir," the boy said, turning to look at Erik. "Those Bombchus are dangerous." The boy was wearing a green tunic, brown boots, and a green cap that hung down his back. He had feathery blonde hair and bright blue eyes. He was still holding onto his shield, which was covered in strange markings which included a red bird and a triangle-like symbol. On his back, a sword rested in its sheath.
"Thank you," Erik said, eyeing the boy cautiously. The boy was eyeing his mask curiously, making Erik very uncomfortable. "May I ask who you are?"
"I'm Link," the boy responded without a moment's hesitation. "What's your name?" Erik hesitated before answering.
"My name is Erik," he said. "What exactly was that rat-like creature?"
"They're called Bombchus," Link responded with a small laugh. "I thought everyone around here knew about them. Everyone in the town does, at any rate." He thought for a moment. "You aren't from around here, are you?" Erik shook his head. "I'm not from around here, either. Hey! We should stick together!" Erik didn't think that was such a good idea. The boy looked like he was only eleven, and children his age were bound to be very curious, and he didn't want Link's curiosity to be focused upon his mask any time soon.
"I don't know about that," Erik responded, "but-" He was interrupted when a small winged creature flew out of the boy's cap.
"Come on!" it said. Its voice sounded feminine. "He's not that bad. Really." Erik stared at it. "It's rude to stare, you know," it said, disgruntled. Erik came to his senses…sort of.
"What the hell are you?" he asked. Link laughed.
"Don't tell me you haven't seen a fairy before!" he said, the laughter still evident in his voice.
"Fairy?" Erik repeated.
"Yup!" the fairy replied. "My name's Tatl. Nice to meetcha!" She looked up at the sun for a moment. "Link, we really need to get moving. It's nearly two." Link nodded.
"Late for something?" Erik asked. Link shook his head.
"You see the moon?" he asked. Erik nodded, giving the ominous moon a short glance. "It's going to fall in three days." Not what Erik expected to hear. He looked down at Link in shock.
"How is that possible? I understand that the planet's gravitation pull could cause that to happen, but the gravitational pull of the sun should balance that out. Besides, I can't imagine that the moon would even be close enough for that to be a possibility."
"Come again?" Tatl asked, confused.
"Never mind. It's too complicated to explain simply."
"We need to go," Link said. "You can come with us. More help would be welcome."
"Help with what, exactly?"
"We're going to stop the moon from falling." It was Erik's turn to be confused.
"There are four temples here: one in the north, one in the south, one in the east, and one in the west. There is a guardian spirit that is trapped in each of those temples. If we set them free, they can stop the moon."
"You seem to have this all planned out," Erik commented. "Sorry, but I need to get back to Paris."
"I need to get back to my home, too," Link said. "I can't just leave these people to their doom. I have to help them."
"You and I are different in that respect," Erik said simply. "If people had the choice to help me, they wouldn't either." He turned to leave Link, but his next words stopped him in his tracts.
"I helped you." Erik turned back to the boy.
"You are unique in that manner, but I still can do nothing. You and your fairy are on your own." He started to walk away, and again Link's words stopped him.
"You can't leave. This place is not normal. It's impossible to leave in normal ways. You'd have to leave the same way you got in."
"You're saying that I'm stuck here and the moon will fall in three days?" Link nodded.
"I may not be able to pull this off in just three days. I may need to resort to…alternative means. If I used those means, it would mean that I never met you. I can try to explain this better if you would come with me, but we're wasting time just standing here. Please…" Erik nodded.
"I'll assume that you know where we're going. Lead the way." Link smiled and began walking toward a wooden archway on the other side of the field. When they got closer to it, Erik realized that they weren't heading to the archway, but towards a tree-lined path that was beside it.
"Be careful," Link warned as they reached a patch of tall grass.
"Of what?" he asked. He didn't have to wait long for the answer. It seemed that as soon as he had asked that something hit Erik hard in the side, causing him to stumble. His attacker—a venus fly trap-like plant with a long, thin stem—prepared to strike again, but Link cut its stem with his sword, killing it.
"Those," he replied. "You alright?" Erik nodded.
"What was that?" he asked.
"A Deku Baba," Link explained. "They have the element of surprise in places like this. Just keep yours ears open. They made clicking sounds before they attack." Erik nodded, reaching into his cloak for the Punjab Lasso. If another one of those things attacked him, he's pop its head off like a dandelion.
"You mentioned 'alternative means' before," Erik said. "Care to explain what you meant?"
"Well, not really 'alternative,'" Link explained. "They're the same thing, but with an extra step. See this?" Link pulled a blue object out of his pocket and handed it to Erik.
"It's an ocarina," he said. Link nodded and took it back from him.
"It's called the Ocarina of Time. It's magic. By playing a certain song on it, I can go back in time three days. By doing that, I can restart these three days if it seems that I will fail. But, when I do this, almost everything that I did during the previous three days is undone. All the people I met will no longer recognize me. It's a fair tradeoff, I think."
"That's why you wanted me to come with you, too," Erik said. "You didn't want us to never have met. Flattering, but unnecessary."
"It's a bit more than that," Link said. "You see, if I hadn't been there, that Bombchu would have killed you. I was trying to save your life."
"I'm not entirely defenseless, you know," Erik muttered. Link looked up at him.
"What weapons do you have?" he asked, curious.
"I have the Punjab Lasso," Erik explained. "I have a rapier, and I have a few good knives. And you?"
"A sword and shield, obviously. I also have some Deku Nuts, too." Erik looked at him quizzically. "They make a bright flash when I throw them. They're useful for distracting enemies." Link looked up at Erik. "I'd like to see you use the Punjab Lasso. I've never seen one used before."
"You'll see it, I'm sure." Link nodded. They walked out of the tall grass and onto the tree-lined path.
"This is the path leading to the Southern Swamp," Tatl explained. "We're heading for Woodfall, which is further into the swamp."
"Where exactly is it?" Link asked.
"By the Deku Palace," Tatl answered. They reached the edge of the swamp, and Erik spotted a boat sitting on the shore of the water.
"I'd assume that we're taking the boat," Erik said. Link looked over at the boat and nodded. They walked over to it and climbing in. As soon as they were inside it, it began to move through the water. Erik looked around, startled. "How?"
"We'll just have to trust it," Link said. "I doubt that it'll lead us wrong." Uncomfortable by the mysterious actions of the boat, Erik tried to distract himself by looking at the scenery, but it didn't help much.
"Nice place, huh?" Link asked, also looking around. Erik shrugged. "I was a bit surprised by the boat moving like that, too. Don't worry."
A few minutes later, Tatl noticed that something was wrong. "Uh, Link," she said, motioning toward the water. Link and Erik looked down at it, and Link gasped.
"It's…poisoned," Link said, noticing the purple tint to it. "That isn't good for any of the creatures here. They'll all die…" Erik nodded.
"It's regrettable, for sure," he said. Link glared at him.
"What do you mean, 'it's regrettable'?" he asked. "We have to get the poison out of this water!" Erik laughed.
"How do you suggest that we do that?"
"The water is probably because the guardian of the swamp is imprisoned," Tatl said. "If we free the guardian, like we came here to do, the water should be returned to normal." Link nodded.
"I see..." Erik said.
They didn't speak until the boat stopped outside of the Deku Palace. They got out of the boat, taking care not to step in the water, and walked up to the two guards in the entrance to the Palace.
"Halt!" the plant-like Deku on the right barked. "We don't allow outsiders in our Palace! Go away!" Erik glared at them.
"And what if we don't want to?" he asked, threateningly. The Dekus shuddered momentarily, but didn't change their minds.
"Don't try to threaten us!" the left one ordered. "We'll have you arrested!" Erik found this funny. He was about to respond sarcastically when Link stopped him.
"Alright. I understand that you don't want outsiders in your Palace, but can you tell us why?" he asked kindly.
"A monkey kidnapped our princess," the guards explained. "We don't trust outsiders anymore because of this."
"Why would a monkey want to kidnap your princess?" Tatl asked.
"We think that he wanted to eat her," they answered. "We don't know where she is now. She may even be dead...We know that she taught him the sacred song of the Deku Royal Family, the song that opens the temple in Woodfall, but we don't know why he wanted it."
"It's understandable that you wouldn't trust outsiders after that," Link said. "Thanks for your time." He walked out of sight of the guards, and Erik followed him.
"What was the point of that?" Erik asked. "I could have convinced them to let us in!"
"They would have arrested us," Link said. "Besides, we just learned some valuable information."
"The temple opens when one plays the song of the Deku Royal Family," Link elaborated. "Plus, the monkey knows the song. All we have to do is sneak inside, talk to the monkey, and learn the song. Then, we can get into the temple."
"You'd make a great detective," Erik complimented.
"Thank you. I've had a lot of practice."
"How will we sneak into the temple?" Erik asked. Link grinned and pulled out a mask that looked like the face of a Deku.
"With this." Erik stared at it.
"Though I don't think the guards are that intelligent," Erik said, "they won't be fooled by that."
"You think so?" Link asked with a sly grin. He put on the mask. A few moments later, he was a Deku. Erik was shocked.
"How did you do that?" he asked. "A mask doesn't do that! It doesn't change your entire body! That's impossible!"
"Possible," Link said. His voice had changed to the high-pitched voice of a Deku. "Find a way in. I'll go inside and talk to the monkey." Link walked back to the front of the Palace, and the guards let him pass without argument. Erik sighed and surveyed the outside of the Palace for a way in. Eventually, he found a hole in the wall on the East side of the Palace.
As quickly and carefully as he could, he scaled the wall and reached the hole. Inside, he found a dark passageway that led into the Palace. He followed it until he reached a large, dimly lit room. As he grew nearer to it, he realized that it was the throne room. The monkey that the guards had spoken about was right outside of the passageway Erik was in, tied to a post.
Erik crept to the edge of the passageway and looked around the room. He saw Link speaking with the Deku King, but he couldn't make out what they were saying. A few seconds later, Link walked over to the cage.
"The King thinks that I killed the Princess," the monkey said to him. "I did nothing of the sort! We were at the Woodfall Temple and she was kidnapped by a monster! I told this to the Deku King, but he won't believe me. He wants to punish me for it!"
"I won't let them punish you if you are innocent," Link said. The monkey looked at him strangely.
"You aren't a Deku, are you?" Link shook his head.
"No. I'm not." He looked around briefly before continuing. "I need you to teach me the song that opens the temple."
"You want to go in there?" he asked. Link nodded. "If I teach you the song, will you save the Princess and bring her back here?" Again, Link nodded. "Alright then. Listen closely." The monkey hummed a short tune. Link took out a set of Deku pipes and played the melody after him. "That's the Sonata of Awakening. It awakens those who have fallen into a deep sleep. Use it to open the temple and save the Princess."
"I will." Link looked around again, noticing that the King and his servants were all staring in their direction.
"You heard that, right?" the King exclaimed. "That was the song of the Deku Royal Family! That proves that the monkey kidnapped the Princess! His punishment will commence at once!" The King's servants rushed forward and seized the monkey.
"Hurry! Save the Princess!" the monkey called to Link as they dragged him away.
"Time for you to go now, too," one of the servants said to Link, leading him to the door. Link went without argument. Erik, too, knew that it was time to go. He went back along the passageway and dropped back down to the ground outside of the Palace. He met Link back at the front.
"You heard all of that, right?" Link asked him when they met up.
"Indeed," Erik responded. "Where is Woodfall Temple?" Tatl flew out from under Link's hat.
"In Woodfall, which is over there," she said, indicating the entrance to a cave in front of the Palace.
"Alright, then," Link said. "Let's go."