· So they decided to call thee Arrow.
· That’s right. I actually gave that name to myself. Our meeting involved me shooting an arrow at a nasty guy who wanted to kill Albi, so I thought it would be easy to remember.
· Oh, poor little Albi sure made his way into a tough spot.
· He really did.
· Anyhow, I am glad to have thee here. Once Twi, Time, and I arrived, we walked straight. The forest must be a barrier between us and the kniL’s home.
· Who are they?
· They are, in essence, our dark sides. We look the same, but they are shadows. Be wary of them.
· Understood—said Arrow. He pulled out the Sheikah Slate. Then, a sword, shield, and a bow appeared on him. He tried to equip a special kind of arrow, an Ancient one, but it appeared blocked. He kept pushing the selection, but nothing worked. A text box appeared on the screen, “Hey, Ravio here. Don’t use these against the Dark Link. You really don’t want to disappear a part of the Link forever, trust me”. He quipped Shock Arrows instead—I’m ready—he informed.
· Let us part.
· Wait—he pulled the slate again and selected something new.
An artifact unknown to Sky was rendered before them. It was bright and had a light in front of it.
· What is it?
· It’s called the Master Cycle Zero. It’s a means of transportation. Ravio said you needed to be fast. Plus, its light should keep any creepers away.
Arrow sat at the bikes front, and Sky did so behind. The engine accelerated and they made their way swiftly. As thought, no creatures made it near the young men. Sky looked around for a dark bubble as the one he was kept inside during his delusion.
· Arrow, stopeth!
Arrow hit the break suddenly. Sky got off.
· So this is what we were looking for—said Arrow looking up the black goopy blob—one of them is inside?
· I am fairly sure about it.
· Give me a moment—said Arrow as he exchanged his sword for a spear.
He pocked the bubble, and as it did for Sky, the bottom tore open revealing the world inside. Sky made his way in it. He took a quick look and recognized the land. It was Twi’s Hyrule.
· Arrow, we are heading in.
· Got it—Arrow jumped and climbed inside.
· We are going south from here. I recall Twi’s hometown being there.
Once again, the motorbike was casted into scene. They headed all the way south from Hyrule Castle, across Hyrule field. However, midway there, they were surprised by the appearance of monsters when Arrow ran over one of them. A stream of the same dark creatures appeared to be following someone at the distance. Arrow stepped on the gas and drove in such direction. There, Sky could get a glimpse of the person being followed.
· Arrow, keepeth driving—he instructed.
Sky stood up slightly on the back of the bike, snatched the spear off Arrow’s back and threw at the person running. The spear stuck onto the ground beside the man, he picked it up, and obliterated the dark creatures one by one with the strength of ten men. He sighed and dropped the spear on the ground. It broke and banished. Arrow and Sky finally made it near him. Sky joined him.
· Twi, thou art well!—he hugged the man dropping onto the ground.
· Sky, is it really you?
· Of course it is! Why else would I have helped thee!?—he almost burst into tears—I was so worried about thee!
· I can see that. Thank you, sky boy. I owe you one.
They both stood up.
· Why were they following thee?
· I tried to get out of here. As soon as I approached the edge of this world, all the people turned into what they actually were, monsters. They wanted to make sure I stayed here to die.
· I see.
· I’m so glad you made it here when you did. They were clever enough to keep any sort of weapon away from me.
· I understand. They kept any loftwing from me where I was.
After the commotion, Twi noticed the kid on the motorcycle and got close to him.
· Whoever you are, thank you.
· Don’t worry about it.
· And sorry about the spear. I have never had a weapon break on me before.
· Oh, it happens. It’s perfectly normal.
Twi nodded, but was saddened as he stared at Arrow’s long hair.
· Sky, where’s Time?
· Oh, Twi. I am sorry. We are yet to find him.
· Well, let’s get goin’ then. I need to know he’s fine.
Arrow could notice the hurt tone on Twi’s voice.
The three mounted the Master Cycle and headed out of Twi’s imaginary world. As soon as the bike set wheel outside, the bubble disappeared. Twi’s clothes were then turned back into the Hero’s Tunic. They continued to forward for a short period, until Sky instructed Arrow to stop. He recognized the wall where he had hidden from Eclipse and Murk. He had left a small piece of fur from his feather in it, and although shyly, it glowed clearly. They headed back. Arrow drove back and forth, and with every turn, Twi’s hopes dwindled. Sky comforted him at every moment by reaching back and rubbing his friends head. Unfortunately, they had to make a forced stop.
· We’re out of gas—said Arrow—we need to get off.
· It won’t take long—he explained.
Arrow filled the motorcycle with material. As he did, he noticed the light coming from the front. There was a point where it appeared to be cut as opposed to naturally faded. He stuck his hand into the same spot, and it experienced the same fate. It appeared to be devoured by the darkness. He quickly took it out; it was well. Arrow looked back at Sky and Twi who kept talking about Time. He called them and pointed at the strange phenomenon with a tilt of his head. They, too, placed their hands in the dark and saw what Arrow had seen. They understood then that they had found what they were looking for.
· Time’s in there.
· How will we make it in? It would diminish any light we carry with us.
· I believe I am thinking the same, Twi.
Arrow looked at them, unsure.
· We need help from one of them. Only dark can be inside the dark.
· Certainly, Twi. I know their whereabouts. However, looking for one of them would put them in danger. We could also endanger the relationship we have built with Dim, Dusk, and Gloom.
· You’re smart, aren’t you?—said another voice—you’re lucky Gloom told me about this and brought me here—said Dim.
He approached them from behind.
· Thank goodness! I never thought I would be relieved to see one of thee.
· I’m still not very happy to see any of you—expressed Dim.
· At least you’re understandin’ the mechanics of the Dark World rather well—added Gloom—Dim, get Time before it’s too late.
· I’m on it.
Dim walked into the darkness, becoming one with it.
· Hi Gloom.
· Hello, Link. Oh, excuse me. Twi.
· Um, what’s happenin’ with Time?
· He was probably caught by somethin’ as he tried to make it outside the illusion. When it did, the giant glob released and it became a Dark Cloud. Unlike the globs, the cloud has no beginning nor end. In other words, Time became stuck there.
Twi sighed in deep angst.
· He’s not dead, though. Had he died, the cloud would have lifted—said Gloom and touched it—it’s also dense. It released recently. I won’t lie to you. He’s probably sufferin’.
· You know what? I’m good. Thank you for the information. I’ll just wait and see him myself.
Twi sat by Arrow’s bike. Sky joined him. While distracted, Arrow took the moment to engage with Gloom.
· What’s happening?—he whispered.
· Aren’t you scared, kid?
· I’ve seen things. I’m okay.
· You’ve experienced the death of a loved one and grieved, haven’t you?
· That’s good. Your experience will do these pussy willows well—he talked without making eye contact—Time is Twi’s man. They’re in an interesin’ relationship. That’s why he’s so worried.
· I see now.
· Twi had a rough life. Time helped him heal.
· Hm—he expressed his listening.
· But Time has issues of his own. Maybe that played against him. Whatever’s happenin’ there, it can’t be pleasin’. Out of all of them, I would’ve guessed Time to be free the soonest. He’s far more experienced, and smarter than those two combined. It’s an oddity. I think one of our kin disrupted his illusion to take him down. That would explain his failure.
· What are they trying to obtain from it?
· Glow. The energy within your heart, that’s what we call it. I’ve been stealin’ Glow from the glass container for some time now.
Sky became interested as he overheard the conversation.
· That’s why I’m nicer—he said and finally looked at Arrow with his red filled eyes—It’s not that I want it, it’s that I need to keep that container depleted for as long as possible.
· The heart was stolen from Shadow. It’s his container. The Master Sword from this world wants the Glow inside that container. Once it’s full, they’ll use it to resurrect the wielder. If that happens, you’ll all have a slowin’ pendulum hanging above you, counting every last second of your lives.
· Is he that strong?
· Every kniL is stronger that its Link, and every Aurora is stronger than both. The question is, would an Aurora even care? They only care about the jewels. Profit is their “Glow”.
Arrow then understood that Ravio was what they called an Aurora.
· Well, then. You keep that Glow away from the container. If it ever fills up, I’ll be ready—he pressed his hand against his chest.
· Boy, no matter how many Master Swords you get embroidered into that tunic of yours, you wouldn’t be a match for Apocalypse.
Inside the Dark Cloud, almost all of Time’s illusion had been consumed. Dim forged on, slithering on the ground like a liquid, then onto the walls and ceilings, clinging onto everything like goo. He finally made it into a green patch of grass. There, he took back on his Link-like shape. He followed the trial inside a fragmented piece of Hyrule Castle. There, he noticed a bunch a little dark critters piled up on something. He walked towards them. They realized the presence of a higher being, leaving him alone. As they scurried off, they revealed beneath them Time’s body. It was half-naked and pale, facing down with dark patches all over. From his mouth, nose, and empty eye socket, a dark liquid kept rushing out. Dim kneeled to flip him over. He became shocked as he noticed Time was still conscious.
· How are you doing this?—he asked—How can you handle this pain?
· Hm—he uttered unable to speak words.
As Gloom did with Twi before, Dim drained the poison away from Time’s body. With the venom out, Time’s body regained some color. However, his wounded eye continued to bleed.
· Leave me here—he spoke softly and weakly—I’m dying.
· I was asked to get you out; that’s what I’m doing—he said and got Time on his back.
· I don’t.
· You don’t what?
Time grunted in pain.
· It’s better if you keep those pretty lips of yours sealed.
Dim then noticed Time’s body quivering behind him.
· You really need help—said Dim and began to make his way back beyond rapidly.
Time tried to talk, but most of what he said made poor to no sense.
· I’m sorry.
· About what?
· I’m very sorry.
· Hey, Link, calm down—said Dim—we’re almost out.
· Have you seen her?
· She’s gone, Link.
· Oh. Where to?
· I don’t know.
· Of course.
· Are you?
· Am I what?
· Taking me.
· Taking you where?
· To my mother.
· What? Why would you think that?
· She’s waiting for me.
· Maybe, but not today. Not today, Link. It’s not your time yet.
· Link?—he asked—Link?—he repeated—Hey.
Nothing more was said.
Dim finally became visible on the other side of the cloud, where Gloom ant the Link expected him. With his outing, the cloud lifted and banished. Rapidly, Twi got up and helped Time off him. Although shorter, Twi was strong enough to hold and carry Time. He laid him on the ground, and Sky offered his legs as a pillow. They both looked at their friend, heart-broken.
· Time—Twi whispered—we’ll get you out of this.
· Thankfully, he’s alive—said Dim—the critters were already trying to feast on him—he looked at Gloom—what’s next?
· Kid—said Gloom looking at Arrow—your wheeled machine won’t even fit Time alone. What’s your plan?
· Well, I can call Ravio.
· You can call an Aurora!?—asked Dim—Well, we better get out of here. Gloom.
· I agree. We cannot be near him. Make sure to take care of Time, and be back soon—he pleaded—We cannot keep feedin’ on Glow forever. It corrupts the evil in us, and so, it makes us weaker. Hurry.
Both Gloom and Dim faded away. Arrow pulled the slate and called Ravio, who helped them warp back all the way into Lin’s house. There, Green divided into his four parts to arrange the largest sofas in shape of a bed. Peap ran to them, and being as tall as Time, offered assistance to carry him. Time was rested on the couches. Lieb recalled the crystal bottle that the Auroras had given them. He took it and placed it near Time’s care space. Then, he sat by his side and asked the others to pin him down. Lieb positioned his hand on top of Time’s bleeding eye socket. He used the power within his hand to offer ease to his pain. As too, the bleeding ceased. A piece of medicated cotton was collocated on it to aid further. After it, Sky and Twi helped Lieb by holding Time’s body in place, as it was asked by him, in order to be examined. He revised his skin, muscles, and bones. Then, he continued to observe his lungs, throat, and furthermore. Once done, they covered Time in a soft white blanket, and he was left to rest.
· Oh, poor sweet little Time. Vhat vas of him?
· He was caught by darkness and almost devoured.
· Ja. Zere are small nibbles on his skin. How voul.
· Foul indeed—added Sky—Twi?
· Art thou well?
· No—he replied, getting everyone’s attention—I’m not well—he said amongst deep breathing.
· Twi, let us go outside to get some air. We must talk. Then, thou can come back to his side. He is fine now.
Twi did not respond, but nodded in teary eyes. He followed Sky outside. Arrow sat next to Time, and stared at his face. In turn Ravio stared back at him. The rest also decided to walk away for a brief moment. They did not comprehend how it all had come down to such moment.
· He’s beautiful, huh?—said Ravio.
· Oh, um—Arrow doubted—I mean… He’s handsome. It’s like his face was handcrafted or something.
· Don’t worry. Everyone here feels the same, even if Time’s not their type of guy.
· Oh, yeah.
· He’s very important to everyone here, too. Right?
· In a way, Time was the leader of the bunch. He’s older, wiser, more experienced, and with the patience of Hylia herself.
· Twi looks devastated—added Arrow as he looked at Sky and him through the glass door to the backyard.
He observed Sky talking as he dried Twi’s tears. He held his hands, his face, hugged him and comforted him in every way possible.
· Sky’s a good friend.
· He’s been very supportive of Twi since they met. Twi’s mind is fragile. He puts great effort into keeping it calm.
· It seems he does a good job. The man with the big hair’s arm and eye?
· Lieb. Lost it in combat.
· The kid who’s four.
· Magic from a sword. The color is their name.
· The one with the missing tooth.
· Engi. He conducts a train, another wheeled machine, but bigger than yours. Way bigger.
· Engi is an engineer. Time traveled across time. Twi fought Twilight. Sky comes from Skyloft.
· Albus. It means white. It’s his favorite color.
· And you?
· Everyone calls me Ravio because my hood looks like a Rabbit. Easier to remember.
· So it’s not your actual name.
· It’s not.
· Does anyone know your name?
· Only my brothers.
· Albi doesn’t know?
· Not at all.
· You’ve slept together, and he doesn’t know your real name?
· Hey, we were young.
· That’s horrible. You should tell him.
· I will, trust me. I will eventually.
· I hope so.
Arrow was sad about the situation, but also curious now that he had met the others like him.
· So, about Time.
· He’s Zelda’s appointed knight, like you. Amazing swordsman, great leader, kind soul. In his land, he’s currently developing some special sword techniques. Well, actually polishing. It’s kind of funny because Twi already knows them, because Time taught them to him, but Twi doesn’t even know yet—
· Wait! What?
· Time’s Twi’s ancestor.
· But aren’t they together?
· Sure. It really doesn’t matter. If they are both here, it’s because their relationship worked somehow sometime.
· And you and Albi?
· We’re kind of like the same person, but from alternate universes. We’re also opposites.
· How will you make that work?
· That’s on me. I’m pretty busy with it, actually.
· And about Albi. Did you leave him alone?
· Of course not! I left someone next to the restoration machine. He wasn’t happy, but he’s my companion and helps me with everything.
He had left Sheerrow.
· Oh, great! I was getting worried.
Arrow stood up and combed through Time’s hair.
· Just don’t let Twi see you do that, or he’ll probably kill you.
· I don’t like the big guy that way—he explained—he has sparked something special within me.
· He reminds you of the vision people have given you of your father, huh?
· Yeah—replied Arrow proud and nostalgic—I know I have to get back to Albi, but could I at least cook something for them before we leave, Ravio?
· Sure. Go ahead.
· What do they eat?
Ravio explained everything he knew about the Link to Arrow, who listened and learned quickly. With Peap’s help, he cooked a large meal worthy of the hard-working men. He prepared meat, vegetables, fish, soup, juice, and even made dessert.
Outside, Twi and Sky were soon to end their conversation.
· So, thou must stay strong. Time is alive, and truly that is what matters. He will recover, but he needs thy support.
· I understand, Sky. But I need your help, too. I am not as strong as he is. Whenever someone I care about is in danger, my emotions take over. Don’t let me be a burden to him, please.
· Worry not. I am here to aid thee.
· Ahem—Ravio interrupted—It’s been almost three hours. I thought Links didn’t talk!
· Three hours?!—said Twi—I didn’t even notice.
· I suppose we needed a moment to say all that was not said before-- reflected Sky.
· I’m glad you’re done. Arrow made dinner for everyone. You should come inside.
Inside, the table was set, covered in delightful scents and a beautiful sight. However, Time was not there anymore and the couches had been rearranged and cleaned.
· Hey, don’t worry—said Ravio—Time’s upstairs in bed. Peap took him there and Lieb made sure he was in a good sleeping position.
· Could I see him before we eat?
· Lieb said that’s possible. Just make it quick. He really needs tranquility.
· Will thou be fine alone?
· Sure, Sky. Thanks.
· Very well. I’ll expect thee at the table.
While everyone sat at the table, Twi walked upstairs. He opened the door to Lin’s room carefully, and closed it as quietly at his back. He approached Time and sat by him. The room was dark exept for a small lamp beside the bed, and the crystal bottle with the Aurora vital flow. It was not cold nor hot, and the sweet smell of a tree outside the window made its way in.
· They’ve really been takin’ good care of you, huh, big guy?—said Twi as he touched Time’s face—I hope I can do for you as much as you’ve done for me. I love you, Time.
Twi stood up, he turned around, but as he headed for the door, his hand was held still.
· I—he spoke—I… love you… too, sweetie.
· Time—he said and turned back around—please, don’t move so much. You need to rest.
· Yes, darling—he whispered almost unnoticeably—I won’t move. But, before you go…
· Tell me.
· Can I get a kiss?
Twi was slightly startled, but happy. He stretched his arm across Time’s body to balance himself on the bed without touching him. Then, Twi placed his lips against Time’s. Meekly, Time kissed him back. Their lips separated with a small smacking sound. Twi then pulled back his arm and left Time’s side. He finally met the door, opened it, looked back at Time, who had not lifted his sight off him, and said “Sleep well”. He then closed the door. Time sighed content, and was able to sleep soundly.
Twi headed downstairs, where he noticed everyone waiting for him. He took his seat next to Sky, who looked at him with a little smirk on his face.
Continues in part 8
Written by Kim-SukLey