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LOZ:Twilight Princess:Ch.2 FINAL

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----Chapter 2: The Howl of Twilight


By the time Link and Talo emerged from the dark cave evening had set into the skies, the violet shadows contrasting mightily with the streaks of orange and red. A painting in the heavens.

Link choked the flame of his lantern once more, suspended it amongst his sashes, and stepped up to Epona. Though she now sat calmly, he could still feel an edge of apprehension in her muscles. He called her up and helped the young Talo onto her saddle.  Taking hold of her reins, Link guided them along the path back to Ordon.

===============

When they were in sight of the outskirts of the village, a voice called out to them.  "Link!" Coming up a trail of the woods, Rusl approached them. "My son told me that you had disappeared into the wood some time ago and not returned," he said.  He looked up to Jaggle's eldest.  Talo did not meet his gaze, and so Rusl turned back to the boy's rescuer.  "But it appears you were successful in bringing young Talo back safely."

Link replied only with a nod.

"Come, Talo.  Your parents are waiting for news of you.  Your brother has already returned home," said Rusl.  An angry pout lit the boy's lips as Link helped him down.  Talo looked to Link with gloomy thanks before running off.  Link merely shook his head.  He'll never learn.

He turned to Rusl, who watched the child retreat to the village.  A grim expression had stolen his visage as he fingered his beard. "Really, such a task should not have fallen to you."

"I could not have just done nothing…." protested Link. "The woods are--"

"Ah, so you have noticed how strange the wood is lately.  I, too, have felt it," said Rusl in a strange octave. "I feel uneasy about what may lie in wait." The blacksmith fell into a blank gaze and stiff pose then, thinking quietly.  When Link felt impelled to say something, however, the eerie moment had already passed, and Rusl again looked at him, forcing a bright stare to light his eyes. "Come then.  Tomorrow you embark on your journey toward Hyrule!"

Link forced a smile to smudge his countenance, yet inwardly, he doted on the thoughts Rusl had spoken aloud about the forest. What did lie in wait ... lurking?

===============

Rusl had forced Link to take rest even against his protests; he had, after all, promised Fado he would return that evening.  You need rest, Link, Rusl had said.  I will explain to Fado.  But sleep did not easily find Link that night, even after he had spent a few hours straightening his house and packing for the journey.  He had been forced to toss out the greengills he had caught earlier that afternoon, which made him realize he had not eaten the entire day.

The moon had risen by the time he took to fashioning himself a light meal, and he sat at his table in silence.  He grabbed up some of the vegetables he had prepared, even though he could not find his appetite, and forced them down his throat.

After he finished his late meal, he washed his dishes from the water in his pale and then climbed up the ladders to reach his bed.  As he undressed and kicked away his sandals, he looked out the window, wondering what the day ahead would bring.

He sat on his bed, the straw shifting under his sheets, and his eyes remained glued to the night sky outside.  A burning sensation ran through the back of his left hand again, and he tried to rub the sliver of pain away.  But it was not pain he felt; instead it was almost a numb tinge, as if his nerves had fallen asleep and were once again awakening.

Link shook his hand and flexed his fingers.  In an attempt to combat his restlessness, he turned from the window and dove into his bed, his body sprawled amongst the covers.

His left arm dangled over the edge … so he never noticed when a faint glimmer arose from the symbol on his hand … and then faded just as quickly into the dark of night.

===============

The next morning Link woke early to ready his horse for the journey into Hyrule.  He tightened her saddle and strapped a rolled up blanket and a few bundles to it.  Among the items he had were pouches of dry food and his sheathed blade.  He had chosen not to wear the weapon across his back because, though the woods were dangerous of late, he did not foresee the need of it in peaceful Hyrule.

Astride his crimson partner, Link made his way into the village.  It surprised him that so many of his neighbors were awake so early, but as each villager waved in turn at him he realized they had woken to see off Ordon's messenger.  Link waved thanks to each of them as he made his way to the mayor's house; he thought it best he see the village's leader before setting out on official business.

As he made his way across the bridge, it was the smiling Ilia who met him in the road.  "Father!" she called toward her house, and she walked alongside Link and Epona as they made their way to the front of her house.

Link dismounted and Mayor Bo exited his house.  A broad, proud smile covered the man's lips.  "Link!  I see you have prepared for your journey."

Link stepped away from Ilia to speak to her father, his stomach churning like the wild currents of a river.  Ilia remained at Epona's side, brushing her fingers through her mane as the two men spoke.

"The royal family requested these gifts specifically.  They believe us to have the most talented blacksmith and woodcarver in the land, so we mustn't disappoint them.  Understand, lad?" asked the mayor.  The question was not a threatening one, even though Bo's voice naturally carried a deep and hard tune.

Link nodded, and Bo crossed his arms, pleased.  "Rusl is waiting for you at his house.  It'd be ... bad if Ordon's representative were late for the occasion, so don't waste time."

Again, Link nodded, and as he turned about to mount Epona, he stopped short. Ilia patted her mane as she spoke to her, "The path before you is a long one; please, bear Link safely." Just as she was about to say her farewells to Link, she noticed a spot on Epona's red coat brighter than her natural color. "Oh, what...?  Oh, Link!  She's injured!"  Her emerald eyes turned fierce when she looked at him then, and Link involuntarily grimaced.  He had never seen her eyes so livid.  She rounded on Link, "You were pushing her too hard again, I bet!" She stepped closer and closer with every word until he had to arch away to escape her fury.

"Now, Ilia," tried the mayor.

"Father!  Don't be so easy on him!" spat Ilia, and she shook her head and returned to Epona.  "You poor thing…."

Link and the mayor took the moment to sneak a look at one another then, each questioning the other of her behavior.  But the instant soon turned to disaster for the mayor when they heard Ilia say, "Don't you worry.  I'll take you to the spirit spring and you'll feel better in no time."

Ilia took hold of Epona's reins and guided her past the two men staring dumbfounded after her.  She was halfway across the village when her father finally called out to her, "Wait! Ilia!  Without Epona the gift won't be delivered in time!"  But Ilia continued on her way.

"Oh, this won't do at all…." The mayor's moustache furrowed.

Link watched after Ilia's receding figure.  "Tell Rusl I'll be along in a moment."  He sounded confident, but on the inside, he questioned Ilia, questioned why she would become so irate over something so small.  His thoughts and feelings about Ilia had always confused him.  He could not understand what it was he felt whenever he thought of her or what it was that boiled in him whenever she was around.

Whatever it was, though, it would have to wait.  He had a gift to deliver--a duty to his village--and he wasted no time in pursuing Ilia. The morning was wearing on and he needed to be on his way to Hyrule within the hour.

As he approached his house on the fringes of Ordon village, he saw Colin curled up in what looked to be a rather unpleasant state of mind.  His back leaning against the ladder that rose up to Link's tree hovel, a grim line creased his mouth.  He looked up as he heard Link approach, but he still seemed dejected.

"Link, are you … going to see Ilia?" the boy asked.  "I saw her walk past with Epona."

A movement caught Link's attention, and he turned partway to see Malo and Talo blocking the path that led into the woods.  Their skin taut about their lips, they were obviously displeased about something.  "Oh, I see," was Link's only comment.  He just can't be grateful that he's alive? he finished in the secrecy of his thoughts.  What's going on now?

"Yes," he then affirmed. "I'm going to see Ilia."

"Oh," Colin's face brightened a shade. "D'you think I could come with you?"

Link could not help a smile. "Come on."

They headed toward Talo and Malo and were immediately stopped as Talo shot at Colin, "Way to spoil everything yesterday by telling your dad!"

"Yeah, we got scolded by our dad, and I thought it would never end," added Malo furiously.

"You want to see Ilia, don't you?" questioned Talo. "Well, no way I'll let you by!"

Link realized that they had either figured out or been told that it was Colin who had sought help when Talo had gone into the woods.

"Talo," cautioned Link, brow raised as he crossed his arms.

"I know, let me borrow your sword. I could've handled myself better had I had it yesterday. Then I'll let you guys through," negotiated Talo.

"And had you done as your parents asked and stayed out of the woods, you wouldn't have needed it at all," returned Link.  He would not reward Talo for his reckless and now cruel behavior toward Colin.  Besides, he could not exactly give that which was not currently in his possession, for his sword was among his things on Epona's back.

"Well, you promised to show us how to use it today.  Remember?" tried the boy.

Link nodded.  That much was true.  "I know, and I apologize, but I must see to my task.  I ride for Hyrule this morn."

"And when you come back?" continued Talo.  The bridge of his nose crinkled, trying anything to persuade Link.

"When I return from Hyrule, I will show you," conceded Link.

"All right!"  Talo's glee was immeasurable, as if he had just bested Link in a game of wits.  He and his brother took off, swinging their toy swords again.  Link watched them from the road for a few minutes until Colin looked up at him with admiring eyes.

"Thanks," he said in a small voice.  "Those guys, they're always teasing me…. What's so fun about swinging a sword around?  It's scary.  But," continued Colin in a more confident voice, "when I grow up, I do want to be just like you!  I mean … I don't want to learn about swords, but … could you teach me how to ride a horse sometime?"

Link admired his warm attitude and inclined his head.  He liked seeing the younger kids happy, and in that moment he felt a certain pride in knowing that Colin was his brother, not of blood, but perhaps of something just as strong.  

The boy raced off, fueled by Link's promise, and the young wrangler watched his receding figure.  His bond with the boy--and the other children's admiration of him--also forced him to be wary before he took action.  The last thing he wanted was to act selfishly in front of them, influence them negatively.

Putting his thoughts aside, he started toward the spirit spring.

===============

When he came to the entrance he was startled to a sudden halt.  The heavy wood fence had been locked, barricading Link from entering.  What?  On the opposite side of the division, he could clearly see two figures, Ilia and Epona.  He could not understand why a small scratch on Epona's leg had prompted such fury to spill from his lifelong friend.  

Something shifted then and he spotted a third figure standing by Ilia.  Wait…. How did Colin get in there?

Stumbling over a way to circumvent the barrier, Ilia spotted him, and gruffly called out, "If you've come for Epona, you can forget it!  Think about what you've done.  I won't open the gate!"

Link held fast to one of the bars that separated him from his horse and hung his head.  How would he convince her that her judgment was misplaced?  He knew the injury must have taken place in Faron the other day, for the shrubbery had hugged them closely through the paths. He scolded himself for not checking her over before he had settled into bed last night.

"Link, don't worry," he heard.  Link peered through the vertical slats to find Colin standing directly opposite him. "I'll explain what you did for Talo and about the monkey. I don't know if she'll listen, but ... see that tunnel in the hillside over there?  Talo and Malo made it last year.  It leads in here."

Link looked to the small opening near the ground, and before departing he nodded his thanks.

He knelt down in the dirt and examined the threshold.  It was stable, obviously hollowed by the children with the passage so small. Yet, it provided him with the only possibility of entering the spring while Ilia guarded it.  Inhaling a bit of fresh air, he plunged into its narrow depths on all fours … not an entirely comfortable feeling.

Once he emerged on the other side of the tunnel, he dusted his clothes as he overheard the end of Colin and Ilia's conversation.  "I hadn't heard the details of Talo's peril or Epona's part in it," Ilia was saying in a shocked voice.  "But--"  She then noticed Link's presence, and turned toward Epona, who tossed her mane merrily at the sight of him. "You still prefer your master over me?" she asked kindly.  She turned a gentle smile toward Link.  "Don't worry. Fortunately, the injury wasn't serious. You two will be able to go on together."  It was obvious that Colin's explanation had calmed her, offered Link back into her graces.

Link started to approach.

"But, Link," added Ilia; he stopped before her.  "Can you at least promise me this?  No matter what happens on your journey, don't try to do anything … out of your league.  Please."  Her verdant eyes sparkled with the utmost care, and Link could see within her the fear that she carried for his wellbeing.  Perhaps her anger had been born of her concern, concern and worry that he was leaving Ordon.  It was heartwarming to know that someone felt so much compassion for him.  The words voiced by her made it all the more pleasant.  

He felt his stomach lurch again when she leapt out and embraced him. "Just come home safely, all right?"

Still surprised at her sudden embrace, he smiled and his voice streamed in but a whisper, "I promise."  

Her grip on him tightened, compelling him to hold her so he could reassure her of this promise.  Holding her felt so right, and the sinking feeling in his stomach had at last subsided….

The sweet moment, however, suddenly ended.  The ground quaked and the water splashed violently around their legs.  The vibrations were met with the shattering rupture of the fence, and bulblin creatures astride mighty boar-like monsters crashed into the spring.  Bulblins were a brutish, nomadic people of green skin and fat faces.  Only their glaring red eyes could be seen, the rest of their faces covered in brown veils.

Epona reared and tossed about the small spring; Colin and Ilia tried to escape in the same direction, and Link had already been separated from them, as two bulblins attacked the group simultaneously.  Desperately, he tried to circle around them but was cut off at every turn.  One steadied a bow and sent an arrow whirling toward Ilia.  She managed to leap out of its path, but in her haste, her toes caught on a stone in the water, and she collapsed with a splash.

Link had seen her tumble, and fear struck him when she did not move.  A trickle of red tainted the water near her head, and he realized she had struck her head on another rock.  He called out to her, raced toward her....

But the other raised a club above Link, and the brutish weapon struck him flatly on the back of the head.  Link tumbled into the water, motionless.

As Link lay dazed in the water, he watched helplessly as the bulblins jumped from their steed and grabbed up Ilia and Colin.  Link fought unconsciousness as a giant green beast atop a massive armored boar entered the spirit spring and looked about, but Link's mind quickly fell into nothingness.  Once sure that they had broken into the correct location, the ogre took a horn from his pack and blew an eerie tune through its wind tunnel.

In the sky above, a strange, dark portal materialized, and the bulblin leader grinned with sinister satisfaction.  He called to his comrades, yanked on the reins of his own steed, and departed from the scene as a dark haze drew up about the spring.

Minutes after their abrupt disappearance, Link stirred in the water.  He woke to a panging headache and a darkened sky.  He assumed--wrongly--that perhaps he had been unconscious for hours.  As he sat upright, he felt his forehead pulsed in rhythm with the beats of his heart.  For a moment he could not recall anything, but then the memory of the attack shot back to his thoughts.  Alarmed, Link stood quickly.  He nearly tumbled over from the immediate dizziness that washed over him and he struggled to ignore the sensation.  When he looked about for any sign of the others, he noticed that they had all vanished.  Only he remained.

For a moment he thought perhaps he had dreamt the abduction.  His life was simple and did not offer the fruit of chaos.  He could not shake his anxiety, though, and his head ached from some blow he had suffered.  The air seemed thinner as clouds festered and darkened the sky.  A line of red pooled around his ankle, and his eyes darted to the thinning patch of blood near a large rock as it filtered through the spring.  The only concrete evidence of his friends' abduction … and Ilia's ill condition.

He sprinted out of the spring and noticed deep marks in the unsettled soil along the trail.  Fresh tracks.  At least from this he could ascertain that he had not long been unconscious.  Hopefully, with enough speed, he would be able to overtake them.

That thought in mind, Link dashed across the bridge that towered above the large chasm in the wood.  Yet when he turned the next bend in the path….

With a grunt he dug his heels into the dirt, dust flying as he came to a sudden halt.  Directly before him stretched a colossal barrier that rose high into the heavens, and an eerie orange and lavender glow emanated from its form and into the clouds.  Its mass extended as far as he could see to both his right and left, barring any means of an alternate route.  Strange crimson markings speckled the blackness for miles.  Link stared at it in agonized wonder.  How would he ever save his friends now?  Was it safe to touch?

As Link vigilantly approached the obstruction with slow, even steps, he saw a waver in the field. Then, rapidly, an eccentric black appendage shot out from behind the opaque curtain, latching onto Link by the neck.  He struggled to gain his freedom then screamed as he was jerked into the darkness.
EDIT on December 13, 2012

Final revision. The usual extensive edit, but the biggest changes were the inclusion of Link actually promising Ilia that he'll be ok. Also, added a bit where Link thinks maybe he's dreamed the abduction, and so reworded the following line about Ilia's blood in the spring cluing him in so that it flowed better.

END OF EDIT

EDIT on September 10, 2012

I've been going back through the novel to fix up King Bulblin's appearances throughout the book and make it the same one all throughout. Here, I didn't change too much on him as I did Ilia's injury. Instead of the arrow to the back as I had before (like is implied in the game) I have her dodge the arrow and trip over a rock and hit her head on a rock, [SPOILER]thus the amnesia she'll suffer later.[END SPOILER]

The only section modified begins at Epona reared and tossed... and ends with The only evidence of their...

END OF EDIT

Here is the updated version of the new chapter 2, which combined the old chapters 3 & 4. These revised versions of ch. 1 and 2 just plainly give a lot more background on Link and the village where he began and will do better in the long run of showing his character arc. In this I rearranged some dialogue, and added about a page worth near the beginning of Link returning home after saving Talo. Also, this time around Link does not give in and hand over his sword to Talo. Read to understand why. And as always, Enjoy. ^_^

Previous: (revised ch.1) [link]

(You can find the older versions of ch.3 & 4 which went in to making up this new ch.2 here: [link] )

Next: [link]

Thanks to my good friend :iconninja-jaiden: for the illustration! [link]
Published:
© 2012 - 2021 Stephonika-W-Kaye
Comments18
anonymous's avatar
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x-VivaerethAlonia-x's avatar
Beautiful imagery! And I love the way you're developing Link and Ilia's relationship. That's going to make later chapters... *cough* ...all the better.

Although I already knew the later portions, I couldn't help but notice the shortness of breath and irregular heartbeat that comes with suspense, anxiety and action. It's a feeling I have not felt in a long time, and a welcome friend. Thanks for the reunion!

Looking forward to the next chapter!
Stephonika-W-Kaye's avatar
Haha, thanks! Yeah, their relationship was ... interesting. Trying to develop it as I saw fit, as I thought appropriate given the information in the game, but maintaining a distance from crossing the line too far. I really appreciate the kind words to my writing, especially the action scenes. At this rate, I can't wait till you reach the final showdown. hahahaha. You'll have a heart attack.
x-VivaerethAlonia-x's avatar
^_^

I do recall having originally stumbled upon one of the later scenes (I think it was  *SPOILERS* when Midna transformed using the Fused Shadows *END SPOILERS* ). I recall only reading part of it, realizing that it was a book and not a scene, and then deciding to read the whole thing from the beginning. And though I did not read it in its entirety, it still brought me to tears.

I expect that in several places in this book. Tears. You better deliver. XD

Sigh... I can't imagine a better way to die. Having a heart attack from reading an emotional book. Ahhh... The only thing better would be having a heart attack while conducting (or playing) my own symphony. :D
Stephonika-W-Kaye's avatar
Haha, not to toot my own horn but.... yeah. Ima make you cry like a little bitch lol!!! In a nicer fashion (hahaha): Waterfalls will come. ^_^
Dreams2Reality92's avatar
Wow, I actually love the revisions better than the original chapters! These are amazing!! I can't wait to catch up the rest of the way
Stephonika-W-Kaye's avatar
Haha, good! Me too, lol. Those original chapters were kind of horrible compared to this. It was strange to go back and revise them and see even how much I'd grown as a writer since then. Thanks for taking a look. I'm glad you enjoyed the revisions! Can't wait to hear your thoughts on other chapters ^_^
Dreams2Reality92's avatar
Don't worry, you'll hear about it soon enough lol. I still like those original chapters. But when I see the revisions, they remind me of what an official author would write. I'm glad you're improving and if you ever keep writing more novels, I know I'll get every single one to read. It's hard not to read your stuff and its hard to put down lol
Stephonika-W-Kaye's avatar
Oh, why thanks! It's nice to know that some fans would read my original stuff. I have some up here, but I rarely get views/comments on them...
Dreams2Reality92's avatar
Really? I'll look at them sometime when I have the chance
Stephonika-W-Kaye's avatar
Thanks! The one I really hoped for some feedback on is Darkstareso, the featured lit on my profile page. If you get a chance, is all. I would love an opinion. I plan to write a 4-book series on it. ^_^
Dreams2Reality92's avatar
Oh wow really? One of my ideas, called 'The Tales of Shadia', would be written into a three book series. I will definitely look into that one
Stephonika-W-Kaye's avatar
A respectful undertaking. Good luck with it! I remember you mentioning that title from way back when. ^_^
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Ninja-Jaiden's avatar
I like the little scene you added in with Link in his house, and the little bits of foreshadowing is nice. I also like the added detail when he wakes up from being knocked out--it's a lot clearer now!

Good stuff! Just as a heads up, there is a triforce-hand-inconsistancy, when you mention his right arm dangling over the bed at night. I'm sure you're already planning on fixing it though.

I look forward to more, as usual!
Stephonika-W-Kaye's avatar
Bah! Thanks. I missed that one.

And thanks, glad you liked the new additions! ^_^
anonymous's avatar
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