Kisuke: Another update! :D This file was half-finished, so it was just a snap to fill everything in. Hopefully this'll set me up for the future.

So, to all of my reviewers:

CuddlyPsyche: I love your ideas, and I may use them since they're just that great. :P Love Wolf Link too, he's fun in the game. And I think I have one of those in my brain too, too many to count actually. ;-_-

SamuelWeston: Glad that you like my story! :D And sorry for the scare, I've been getting less and less time a day to write these days. My updates became slower and soon stopped because of how I got caught up with other things. Like my other two stories that I mentioned.

WolfenAmphithere: Glad you like it! :D Yes, I'm trying hard to keep it original, but with bases and inspiration from the other LoZ games. I did a lot of research on the games and discovered some things I didn't know before, like in the Majora's Mask game that I couldn't play without a walkthrough to save my life. ;-_- Relatively, this adventure occurs some time after Ocarina of Time and before the catastrophic events prior to Wind Waker.

MasterMind 16X: Sorry that I disappeared for quite some time, I very well may have died XP But I'm back from the dead! Maybe! :D Hehe, I'll try not to have my next update next year~ ;=^-^=

Hope you guys enjoy this next update, even if it feels short compared to my other chapters!


Chapter 7

Link stretched his arms and back. He felt much better today. He had slept like a log and now his condition was reduced to a cough now and then. But he was still being watched closely. Link was starting to hate the feeling.

He and Selma were now heading out of Kakariko. They were heading toward Lon Lon Ranch to get some horses for the road. Or at least to borrow them.

Selma pumped out her fist. "All right! I'm gonna get the most beautiful horse ever!"

He smiled at her antics as he walked beside her.

They approached a short bridge and were about to cross it. The water looked only to be a stream right now.

Something moved from under the bridge and three figures came up. They sprung out at the two travelers. Link jumped, startled, and Selma hid behind him.

"Give us all you've got," ordered one of them. He was a rugged bandit like the other two of his group. He had a knife in hand.

Link drew his sword at this and eyed the blade warily. At times like this he wished he had a shield to raise.

"We're not afraid of you," Selma declared. She stepped out from behind Link.

"What is this, a costume festival?" commented the second man on the right. He held a short sword. They laughed amongst themselves at this.

Link wildly shook his head at her. She still looked confident with her hands on her hips. She even saw his silent message, but this is Selma we're talking about. "Link's the best swordsman around. You can't beat him with toys like that."

He sighed before focusing and observed his situation. The last man had a knife as well. Each of them looked strong and were a lot older than him. They were probably more experienced in combat than he was. The bandits could easily overpower him and he could get injured if it comes down to it. He couldn't let that happen. Selma didn't deserve this.

Something zoomed by, too fast for them to see it happen properly. Whatever it was hit one of the thieves in the neck and he toppled over. The remaining two looked around in bewilderment.

A figure hopped down seemingly from thin air and landed on one of them. He was crumpled to the ground. The remaining was struck in the back of his neck. He fainted from the blow.

Link was surprised as he looked at their savior.

It was Sheik. He stood up and brushed himself off. His hair wasn't visible from the last time he'd seen him, however. It must have either been cut off or merely hidden in his cowl. He also noticed that he had a short sword sheathed behind him now. His lyre was on his back.

Link looked around to see a tree nearby. But it was nearly ten feet away. How could Sheik have possibly jumped from all the way over there?

"Who are you?" Selma asked.

Link turned his attention back to them.

The man had a mischievous glint to his visible eye as he looked at her. His arms were crossed. "I am Sheik, a lone descendent of the Sheikah tribe." He took a second to look at Link. "So, Link. You've collected the Biggoron Sword. It must not have been a small task."

"You know him?" Selma asked Link.

He nodded.

The Sheikah turned his attention to the girl. "And you must be the new ghost hunter, Selma Trinity."

She clapped her hands together. Her wary mood must have changed since she figured he was a friend of Link's. "Yeah! How'd you know my name, Sheik?"

The mischievous glint in his eye returned again. "I have my sources." He pulled out his lyre from his back and started to play a tune. It was a calming melody. "I have a tale to tell you, Link, one that few have heard."

Selma walked over to the nearby tree and sat under it. Link shrugged and followed her to sit as well. Sheik amusedly smiled under his mask. However, he remained standing. "Fate is a cruel thing, sometimes crueler to some than others. Spite takes hold and swallows them in darkness. And this darkness is hidden within the depths of time." He paused for a moment. "A family of four sisters lived in a mansion deep within what is now called the Lost Woods.

"Eldest of the sisters is Meg, described to be the fairest of her sisters. She held an important role in society and was to be married off to a noble. She is also protective of her sisters, guarding them from their bouts.

"Joelle is the second oldest of the four sisters. Tomboyish and hot-tempered she was, often wishing that she could go to war with her father, a knight of the Hyrulean army. She had many dreams, until the very end…

"Beth was close to her sister Joelle. Her condition was sickly and all she wanted to do was stay at their house in the forest. She wanted best for her siblings, and always convinced them that they mustn't stop their dreams and activities to care for her. Beth continued living until an early death.

"Amy is the youngest of the sisters. She is seen to love art, is often spoiled, and acts like a proper young lady. However, she enjoys playing pranks on others and often gets in trouble for it. An accident in the cold winter months ended her life…

"Beth was the first to pass on. Her condition weakened considerably and so she was bedridden. She had many regrets that she could not continue to live on with her sisters. Even before, she often wondered what would become of her if her sisters left. Her suspicions were justified; Meg would marry and soon leave on business. Joelle had dreams to fulfill and may have even become one of the only women within Hyrule's army. And Amy would feel left behind and try to make something better of herself. But Joelle stayed by her side until the end of her life claimed her."

Selma was near tears at the thought of this tragic story. Link was calm and collected, though he had a solemn expression on his face.

"Joelle and Amy had a fight soon after and so Amy went to join Meg outside. However, she was lost in an accident. Joelle was consumed by grief, losing two of her sisters. She ended up losing her dreams, and was soon conquered by fatigue…

"Meg, now, was all alone. She cried in the middle of the lounge and was trapped by despair. She took her own life, and soon joined her sisters in the afterlife…"

Link and Selma shivered. Sheik stopped playing and lowered his lyre, placing a hand on his hip. He turned to look at them. "Their spirits still dwell within their home, what is now called the Forest Temple. The Hero of Time defeated them once, but they have not yet passed on. Their regrets are strong and pull them to this world. And that is where Ms. Trinity comes in."

Selma pointed to herself. "Me? How?"

He crossed his arms while he looked down at her. "Why, you will be escorting them to the next world, of course. It is your duty as a ghost hunter."

She considered this for a moment. "Hmmm. I guess that makes sense…"

He switched his attention to Link. "And you, Link. One of the Great Fairies is trapped there. You must set her free and gain her blessing. But first you must set the sisters free to get to her. And you may even find the one item that anchors them to this world once again…"

The swordsman tensed at the mention of this. Could this "anchor"… be the piece of the Shadow Scythe? He nodded gravely when Sheik was still observing him for response.

"Just one thing, I almost forgot." Selma pointed at the fallen bandits just a few feet away. "Are they…"

Sheik smiled under his mask. "They're merely asleep. The first got hit by one of my darts. The second is knocked out and the third I hit a pressure point."

Selma held a hand to her chest and let out a deep breath. "Few! Okay, I just had to ask."

The man looked between the both of them. "You now know your tasks. Follow the song of the forest and it shall lead you to the Sacred Meadow. There are guardians of the forest that may try to impede you, but do not lose heart. This journey shall be a rewarding one."

Sheik stepped back and he held something in his hand. Link squinted to see what it was. He realized too late as he hopped up, but something flashed on the soft ground and blinded them. He rubbed his eyes and looked around. Sheik was gone.

"He sure is a mysterious guy, ain't he?" Selma said. She had gotten up and was now standing next to Link.

He nodded.

"Well, let's go get our horses!" She started skipping toward their destination.

Link smiled and ran to catch up to her.

The tree that they had sat under shook slightly. Sheik was crouched down on one of the branches. He observed them quietly for a few minutes until they faded from sight.

"So he is the descendent of the Hero of Time," he commented to himself. "And Selma Trinity has promise." He mused over some thoughts in his head. "And that lantern…"

He left that sentence unfinished and hopped down from the branch. He landed on the ground, adjusted his gloves, and left for the entrance of Kakariko.

Lon Lon Ranch, eh, he mused to himself. An event that I wish I could observe myself.

LOZLOZLOZLOZLOZLOZLOZ

Link held out a map in his hands of the lands of Hyrule and looked it over with roaming eyes. Selma looked over his shoulder curiously next to him when they stopped to check their position at a crossroad.

"So we should be… here," Selma pointed, touching an intersection near the top right of the map.

When Link looked, Lon Lon Ranch was supposed to be right in the middle of Hyrule Fields, on top of a hill. He looked up from the sheet to observe each road when seeing that one slanted up a hill. Deciding on their path with sureness, he pointed to the correct one.

Selma held up her hand to look up at the hill's horizon, warding off the high sun's light. "So it should be past that hill then! I wonder what kind of place it is!"

He nodded, looking up curiously himself. He started picking up the bags that he had dropped momentarily and shouldered them back onto himself. The ghost hunter noticed this action and did the same, setting her crate back on her back.

They set off again down the road. For not the first time Link remarked how warm and bright it was today, it was almost hot enough that he was tempted to remove the armor from under his tunic. It was useless weight most of the time anyways, but it was best to keep ready on occasion. Who knew what else nature wanted to throw at him.

Selma hummed a little tune that was vaguely familiar beside him, seeming unbothered by the heat despite her heavy load and multiple layers of clothing. Sometimes he wondered whether everyone around him was odd or if it was just him.

They reached the top of the hill finally after a while and started to see a building within their sights.

"Oh, look, Link! I can see it, it's actually close by!" She started running in its direction.

He called out for her to slow down, getting into a run himself. The long grass still slicked with dew up here whipped at his boots when he passed, but he noticed the landscape had seldom trees. The growth up here must be limited, he concluded to himself.

The swordsman finally caught up to the girl, for she had stopped at the entrance to the ranch for some reason. Her back was to him and she was appearing to just stare at the wooden gates.

He was about to ask her what was wrong when she interrupted him.

"There's something wrong about this place."

Startled by her suddenly serious tone, he looked up to take another look at the entrance.

She was right, something was incredibly wrong. A shiver went down his spine when he realized that the temperature had just gone down ten degrees. The sun didn't shine as brightly up here despite the high position either, making the sky seem to dull in shade.

Shaedna's lantern started to twitch as well at his side. When he looked down it was still again, but he knew that it had occurred. So was it a message to turn back? To continue on? What if it was a new lead? If not, he couldn't simply leave this alone.

She tugged at his sleeve. He looked over at her to stare into her mismatched-colored grave eyes.

"I don't really want to go in there anymore," she finally started, "but I can't leave this alone. I feel obligated to see this through as a Trinity ghost hunter. You can head back to Kakariko if you don't want to go in."

He looked down at her with a stunned expression. He couldn't let Selma go in there alone, what kind of man would he be then? Sure, he wasn't used to all of this monster business even if he felt like he was. But it was much too late to back down now. He had forgotten all about that hunting gear project that he was to make for a customer back in Hyrule Town, and he was sure if he were to come back now the reputation of his business would go down. And he had no excuse right now except for running around Hyrule as a pretend knight.

He reached over and gripped both of her shoulders, shaking his head. Then he pointed over at the ranch while still looking into her eyes, nodding.

She stared at him with wide eyes as he got his communication came across. Once he finished, slowly she regained her cheerful manner. Her hands raised on their own to clap together before she grinned in excitement. "I'm glad you're going with me, Link! It makes me feel better knowing that I have a friend in a foreign place!"

He let his arms fall as he observed her reaction. A soft smile came over his face to see her all cheered up again before getting down to business again. They stood side by side, staring up at the gates once again when they finally found their resolve.

They marched on (Selma's in a wider and goofier gait) without looking back. Link kept looking from side to side without moving his head.

So he wasn't the only one to notice the dark atmosphere.


Kisuke: The story about the Poe Sisters is edited from the novel Little Women, where it's believed that their names are taken from. The original sisters' names are Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March. It's a novel series where the first novel was published in 1868 and the second in 1869. Pretty old, huh? Look it up on the Wikipedia page if you'd like to learn more.

Hehe, I like writing the parts where Sheik appears, mostly because he is the easiest person to write about besides Selma, even if the character is supposed to be mysterious. It's ironic how Link has to be the hardest one to write about. XP His actions have to speak for him, and his speech and thoughts aren't elaborated as much. So vague~ Shaedna isn't much better either, being mysteriously high and mighty herself.

Sheik: Nya~ *Sticks tongue out at the rest of the cast*