The rain was falling.

It had been starting in small, short bursts at mid-morning. When Navi and Link had entered the forest temple. And now the sun had set and it had proceeded into a downpour in the time inside. The chances were that lake Hylia would be swelling with the excess water, if it carried on there would be a flood and getting to the Zora domain would be difficult if not impossible.

The small fairy was about to point this out to her friend, when she realised two things.

The first of which was that Link had been sitting there a very long time. Immediately after they had exited the temple, Link had staggered over to Saria's favourite tree stump and sat upon it. She had let him take a breather, after all. Phantom Gannon had nearly killed him several times in the fight. But he had caught his breath faster then this when he was just a kid.

The second thing was that Link had drawn the sword he had used as a child, now dwarfed in his hands and only just worthwhile as a knife. Furiously, Link was carving something into the top of the stump, eyes locked on his task and body starting to shake from the cold and the rain. Both of which were ignored as he worked.

Carefully, Navi flew to Links shoulder and looked down at what he was making. And at the same time wondering why he would deface something his friend had liked so much.

It was the Triforce, each of the three triangles carved with the symbols of the Goddesses that had given them to the land. And with a satisfied snort, Link stood up. The knife still clenched in his fist with enough force to make his knuckles turn white from the lack of circulation.

Links eyes were still locked on what he had created as he sneered, an expression Navi had never seen on his face before. "I know you're listening to me." Link spoke, his voice horse and low. Almost a whisper. "You're here. You're watching." He said, his voice raising in both volume and anger.

"Link?" Navi asked slowly, "What are you talking about?" The fairy asked gently, starting to feel real concern for the young hero.

If Link had listened to his companion, he gave no sign as he continued to talk to the markings:

"I know because I'm important. The Hero of Time. Your sword." Link said, each word dripping with sarcasm and bile. It occurred to Navi what was happening. Link was talking to the three Goddesses. She almost felt she should leave, prayer was usually something private after all. But something made her stay where she was.

"And I know I'm the chosen one. I know it's my destiny." Link breathed in and out with deep, calm breaths for a moment to steady himself. "I know I have no choice but to risk my life to fix what the three of you caused." Link growled the last four words as if a curse.

For a moment, the wind picked up. It wasn't really possible for it to be that sudden, from calm to a near hale in a heartbeat. Nor could it possibly be that focussed around a person naturally. It drove Link back a few steps as he raised his hands to shield his face. Meanwhile Navi had gasped in shock. What was Link saying? No one criticised the Goddesses! It just wasn't done. But Link wasn't stopped, even as the wind tore the hat from his head and carried it a good few feet before depositing it on the earth, Link continued to talk. Before yelling when the winds started to pick up even further.

"You knew!" Link cried out, pushing against the wind with all his might, the teen took several steps back to the stump and knelt in front of it. "You knew the mortal races from our start! You knew there would always be someone willing to do evil to get to use the Triforce for evil!" Link was shouting at the top of his lungs to battle the winds. And as if someone knew it would not deter him, they died down and ceased.

"You knew that some day, this would happen. And you've done nothing to stop it." Link muttered weakly, staring at the piece that represented courage, for some reason he could not explain, that was the part that drew him.

"No. no, no! Link you have it all wrong!" Navi insisted hurriedly, almost panicking now. "It's YOU! The Goddesses have given you the strength to fight it!"

Links head spun around and he glared at the fairy in furry. "SHUT UP!" Link screamed in anger. "Me? Me? I'm eleven! I don't care if they froze me, I have the mind of a child and I'm who they choose? Not a worrier? A Royal Knight? They choose me?" Link turned again and stared into the Triforce symbol as if he was expecting it to grow a mouth and talk back. "You chose me?" He whispered softly before he smiled.

With a loud battle cry, Link slammed the knife into the centre of the stump, directly in the centre of the carving. It was as if it were the exact same image as the Master Sword in the pedestal of time, but made from his childhood.

"I never wanted this! I never asked for this!" Link spoke, in almost a sad whimper. And Link was right, no matter his body. Navi could see the child that he was, clearly in his movements and speech. "You took seven years of my life." Link whispered softly. Turning he slumped, his back resting against the hilt of the blade. In a single movement, Link pulled his knees to his chest, rested his elbows on his knees and placed his head in his hands.

"I'm scared. I'm terrified. I thought all I had to do was get the sword and talk to the King before I could go home. But I blinked and the entire world had changed! Even I've changed to the point I can't recognise myself in the mirror anymore!" Link mumbled, his words hard to make out through his hands and the continuing rain. "I'd never fought a battle in my life. Not until Navi came and was ordered to bring me into the never ending nightmare that I can't wake up from."

Navi's light dimmed, did he mean that? Did he really blame her for making him go through this? No, she reminded herself, this weas the Goddesses will, and it had to be him. Link was wrong. It was bad for everyone, but it was him who got the honour of making things right again.


"I. I want to go back. Undo this. Choose someone else. Let me go home. Please?" Link said, there was a moment where he wiped the growing tears in his eyes before he climbed to his feet, an expression of pure grief on his face.

"Give me my life back! Give me my childhood!" Link screamed up at the sky, furious. In his anger, Link pulled a bomb from his bag and lit it.

"Give!" he raised his arm.

"It!" He hurled it towards some nearby bushes.

"Me!" the bomb flew and landed exactly where he had aimed it.

"BACK!" the explosion set fire to the vegetation that was not reduced to ash, Link just turned away and stared at the stump. His expression one of lifeless grief and sorrow.

"Give her back." Link whispered, heartbroken, he fell to his knees. No longer even reacting to the tears flowing down his face, he reached out and placed his trembling hand on the spot his best, and only, friend once sat and played music. Full of life and happiness in her woods.

And now she was gone. Taken from him, from them all. Everyone in the village loved Saria dearly. It would destroy them the same way it had destroyed Link to know that she was never going to see them again. That she was beyond reach. He'd lost her.

"Please? I'm. I'm the hero. You can do that for me." Link begged the thin air, because for the first time in her life, Navi wondered if the Godesses were listening. "I'll do anything. Remove my name from history. Make the world forget me! Anything! I…. I need her. I love her." Links voice broke into a croaked, hopeless tone.

"My whole life, she was my only friend. I can't do this without knowing Saria is safe, and alive." Link raised his head and waited. He ignored the rain that mixed with his tears and soaked his tunic.

And he waited for nothing. Because Saria did not appear. There was no action by Din. There was no message from Nayru. No gift from Farore.

"curse you." Link cursed, slamming his fist to the ground as the sky was filled with rumbling thunder.

"Link?" Navi begged of her friend. "Link stop. The will of the Goddesses is-"

"THEN DAMN THE GODDESSES!" Link swore, not even flinching when a bolt of lightning struck the ground mere inches from himself. Instead he threw back his head and laughed, a dark, humorless and emotionless bitter laugh. "You can do that all day! I will not fear you! What of meaning can you take from me that you haven't already? My belongings are all just tools of death. My mind is already slipping from the horrors you chose me to brave. My life apparently has no meaning beyond what the three of you want! Prove me wrong! Smite me down! Kill me before Gannons monsters get the fun!"

Again he waited in silence, and again the Gods held their hands in silence. Link laughed again and spat to the side. "Hear this. For it is the last time I shall have anything to do with you." Link vowed as he stood and faced the direction of the stairs down. "I am not your champion. I am not your hero. I am Link. That's all. I shall not fight for you."

Navi felt shivers of terror at that statement, "But Link! You can't just abandon Hyrule!"

"No. I can't." Link agreed, giving Navi a small smile. "I will fight for the people of Hyrule to undo the threat the Triforce of the Goddesses pose. But only because I care about them. You hear me Goddesses!? I CHOOSE! I choose to continue fighting. I choose to do it, no matter what your will is. And I shall never speak your names again. As soon as Gannon is dead, I shall leave Hyrule and travel until I find somewhere which does not worship you. This I vow. For Saria." Link closed his eyes for a moment and felt saddened by this, but he had no choice. He no longer wanted to be their puppet.

Link left the small sword where it was, and started back towards the exit. His hands in his pockets and a serious look on his face. As he walked he pulled out a small, grey fairy ocarina and brought it to his lips.

As he walked through the Lost Woods, he gave the ancient trees their last performance of the song that had swept through their branches for so many long years.

For their keeper was gone now. No longer a child, but a Sage in a realm that could never be reached.

She had not taught anyone else the song but him. And when she had, Saria had smiled and swore to him that if he played it, she would be there in voice to help him in any way that she could.

The notes echoed far and wide.

But nothing happened.