L
literature

LOZ:Twilight Princess:Ch.35 Rev

20 Favourites
14 Comments
1K Views
----Chapter 35: Celestia


As Ilia's hold on Link tightened, he could no longer hold the ruse that he had not been wounded.  His breath caught when she touched his backside, and she immediately stepped away, looking at him as a glint of concern filled her eyes.  "You're hurt," she said, grasping the fold of his cloak.

"It's not that bad," tried Link, as she peeked under his cloak.

Immediately, Ilia saw his hand covered in blood and she gasped.  When she looked back up at him, he saw it in her eyes.  Fear, confusion, uncertainty, sadness.  They had all been stirred together within Ilia, for it was the first time that she could relate his old life with his new one, a life that came as a slap to her cheek from not having realized who he was all this time.  The boy she had grown up with was suddenly like a knight of Hyrule, taking lives and coming close to surrendering his own.

To her … it was as if he had become a man within an eye blink.  But none of it mattered.  She could remember him now, and that very same friend she had known all her life still looked back at her within those eyes as blue as oceans.  In that, she found a reason to smile.

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

Ilia walked with Link back to Renado's house where she hailed the shaman.  He guided them up to the guestroom where Prince Ralis had once been.  Luda was straightening the now empty bed, and Link cast a questioning glance toward Renado.

"He is fully recovered, and he left to return to his people not long ago," he offered, and he pulled the stool next to the bed out and motioned for Link to sit down.

As Ilia helped Link remove his cloak, she saw the true extent of his wounds.  She tried not to acknowledge her worry, but seeing him like this--blood covering his hand, trickling down his throat, radiating from his shoulder wound--it brought the worst feeling of sick onto her that she had ever experienced.

Link held his arm as he lowered himself onto the stool, for the wound in his back was more than a day old.  Already its soreness had crept throughout his entire arm, making it hard to move without an ache sprinting through the web of his nerves.  He could only thank that his sword arm had not been affected by the brutality of the bulblins.

Renado and Ilia then helped Link in removing his shirts and weapons, and the shaman handed them to his daughter to clean.  Treating Link's wounds was a rather long process, but luckily, none of his injuries had been further afflicted with infection.  It was during this procedure that a familiar, red-haired face peeked into the room.

"I thought that was your horse outside," greeted Shad, but at the sight of his injured body, he stammered.  "Oh, well … oh my.  Are you all right?"

Link reassured the bespectacled young man, and Shad immediately began rambling once Link asked him of his presence in Kakariko.  "Oh, I've been investigating the Hyrulean legend of the sky beings, the Oocca.  There is actually a very interesting statue in the cellar of the sanctuary here, and it perfectly matches the drawings in my father's manuscripts.  It has an engraving, but I haven't been able to translate it thoroughly.  You see, I don't have enough background in Sky Writing to be able to manage a translation, but I'm sure that this statue holds great secrets as to the Oocca race."

As Shad continued with his explanations, the mention of the Sky Writing reminded Link of the second reason he had ignored his injuries for so long.  He turned to Ilia and asked her to fetch a book from the bundles that Epona carried.  As she left Link returned his attention to Shad.  He supposed that the son of a scholar was tired of constantly being interrupted by the others of the Group; therefore, he allowed Shad to lecture him on the topic for as long as it would take Ilia to return … because then the young researcher would have something else to pour over.

"My father's journals carry extensive texts on their language, but there are few places where he relates back to their writings.  I think he could read their language so expertly that he thought direct translations would be a waste of time better spent studying their culture."  Shad stood in silence for a moment, as if he was looking back through the years, returning to a time wherein he had listened to his father as he muttered words in the Sky language.

He broke free of his reverie when Link asked, "Who are the Oocca exactly?"

"Ah," a twinkle of excitement washed through his eyes, obviously thrilled that someone was indeed interested in the ancient legends.  "According to the ancient legends, Hyrule was made by the Hylians, who, as we all know, are the closest race to the gods."

Link nodded along as Shad spoke.  He could remember a time when the Ordonians were all he knew, and he recalled with the hint of a grin the first time Rusl had told him he was instead a Hylian and that the shape of his ears were supposed to give him and all others like him the heightened ability to hear the gods.  He had sat outside that same night trying in vain to hear their whispers.

"But also according to legend," continued Shad, "long ago there was a race even closer to the gods, and some say these creatures made the Hylians."

Link's eyes sparked with interest at this.  To encounter such a being….

"When they created the people of Hylia, they simultaneously created a new capital, a city that floated in the heavens.  They dwelt there … and some scholars--like my father and myself--believe that the Oocca live there still … somewhere in the great sky.  Beings of the sky….  Isn't it simply marvelous?"

Indeed, Link did have to agree.  At the mention of a being greater than Hylians--the race that most of their time had believed to be the closest descendants of the gods--Link had attuned his pointed ears even closer to Shad's words.  Link knew that a great many in Hyrule, the Hylians especially, would consider such stories as blasphemy.  Although, Link had to admit, that if a vast majority of people truly did accept such legends to be true, there would sure to be other legends and knowledge soon brought into doubt.

It was certain by Shad's tone that not many had heard of his family's research.  Link could not be sure how such a state for Hyrule would be resolved, but he knew certain groups would be outraged at the ideas Shad presented.  There would be those that would discredit any of his findings; however, if they were to have evidence….

The sky city….  The thought was a fascinating one.  To meet an ancient race, the makers, creators of the Hylian continent.

"Can you imagine it, old boy?" breathed Shad, leaning comfortably against the wall.

That was when Ilia stepped back into the room, and Link motioned for her to give the book within her hands to Shad.  The red-haired youth perked up as soon as he noticed it in her grip.  As Link explained where it came from, Shad opened the book and bounced through its pages, his eyes widening at the wealth of knowledge contained within it.  "Yes, yes!  This is wonderful.  With this and my father's journals I may be able to translate the text here and the engraving, but it will take some time."

Before Link could reply, Renado interjected, "Time is something he will have plenty of."  When Link turned toward the shaman, he continued.  "These wounds need time to mend."

Though, Link had already guessed that his current state would require a longer period of time to heal than he had ever previously allowed himself.  He looked toward Ilia and found her smiling.  He grinned, too, for no matter how many times he had proven himself to Renado, the shaman was still quite capable of gently scolding the restless youth that still lingered within him.

"I'll get to it then," said Shad.  He waved in farewell as he pushed his glasses up, exiting the room once more, nose deep within his new book.

When Renado had at last finished applying his medicines and bandages, Link stretched his arm.  Though it still ached tremendously, the initial tenderness had faded.  Link thanked Renado and the shaman bowed politely and excused himself from the room.

Link and Ilia's eyes met again in that moment, and the smile on her face dwindled to a small, caring grin.  She approached him then and laid a hand on his bare shoulder.  "Feeling better?"

"A little," he teased, but in all respects it was true.  "How about you?"

Her grin widened again, and she hummed a short laugh, but there was a sign of a few tears in her eyes.  Joyful tears.  "I'm glad I can finally remember that smile," she replied.  "So, I don't want you to worry about me any longer.  Whenever your journey is at an end, I'll be waiting for you, Link.  We all will be."

She gave him another hug, gently this time, and then left the room.

Link stared after her for a moment, a thousand thoughts seeming to attack his mind at the same time, but only one overwhelmed them all.  He smiled, bowing his head, finally having found some measure of peace.  He had saved Ilia.  She was all right.

A familiar voice then echoed through his mind and shattered his tranquility.  "Well, all of this sounds very promising."

Link looked up at Midna, who hovered thoughtful in a corner of the room.  As he looked to her, she broke away from her inward wonderings and floated over to him.  "You should see if Shad needs help."

This was the side of Midna that he had come to disregard at times, the part of her that still thought selfishly.  Though, he knew that there was kindness and a noble nature within her, and that was why he supposed he had remained with her for so long.  He did not know a lot about her, but he knew that she had been through much in her lifetime, that she had experienced things beyond his imagining.

And it was times like these that he felt she needed to be reminded that there were others in this fight as well.  "I'm sure Shad can handle it, but if you insist … be my guest."

Link stood and stepped away from her, descending gratefully into the bed near to the stool.  As he pulled the covers over himself, he realized just how tired he had become.  Through all his physical trials of claiming the Fused Shadows and rediscovering mirror shards, he could not remember feeling so exhausted.  Perhaps all those tasks were truly nothing as great as the emotional challenges he had faced throughout his journey.  He could remember every time he had ever cried as he had struggled forward far easier than he could recall the times that he had sustained an injury.

With a wearied sigh, he relaxed and fell into dreams almost instantly.

Midna stared angrily toward him for a moment before she relented.  She hated realizing how cold she could be sometimes, for she truly had grown to care about this world.  They were all at Ganondorf and Zant's mercy.  Yet … she also hated it, hated that she cared.  It made her feel weak and helpless and seeing Link acting so selflessly all the time made her feel empty.  She had severed herself from caring about others for so long and seeing Link tire over helping them, helping every single person, made her jealous.

All she had ever cared about was helping her own people, and she had only ever known hatred for the people of the light world, those who mocked the twilight, ran from it.  But coming here … traveling with Link … she had come to realize how wrong she had been.  Link was someone who fought for what he believed in.  He had fought for Hyrule long before he knew his true role in the battles to come.  She, however, had always fought for what she wanted and what she felt obligated to do.

There had been a selfish end to her desires in the beginning, but now … after having made that connection to the light world, after getting to know the courage that was within Link…. She realized how truly alike they were, and how very similar the people of the light and the shadows were.

It was something that should have brought a smile to her face. She looked at Link as her eye softened from its rage. Would there ever be a time when Link would understand why she did and said the things that she had? Would there ever truly be a moment when he really acknowledged what had made her who she was? Would he ever honestly and deeply care about her the way he cared about Hyrule, the Ordonians, Ilia…?

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

Link spent a few days resting in Kakariko Village.  He took advantage of the time he had been awarded to rest and relax while Shad worked.  Each morning he bathed in the hot springs to help nurse his wounds.  In the hours of the day he would take Epona out on rides and train with his blade in order to keep both their senses sharp; in the evenings he spent much of his time with the children, listening more to their stories than he did tell his own.  He even helped cook the meals while he stayed in Kakariko, but he did not always eat the food he prepared; having been on the road for very near a month now, his stomach was used to eating very little quantities.  He was lucky if he had the appetite for two meals a day.  Renado and Ilia grew aware of and reluctantly accepted this circumstance, but to soothe the children when they noticed he did not eat morning and evening meals with them, he replied with, "I ate earlier," and that was the end of their concern.

When he was not with the children, he spent time with Ilia, catching up for lost time and telling her all about the places he had visited.  He left out the finer details of the battles he had waged.  She knew enough now from him, the children, and Renado that Link had been destined to battle the evils which now plagued their land, and coming to terms with the true reality of the terrors stretching across Hyrule was difficult for her to process.  However, when Link's solitude with Ilia grew uncomfortable, sometimes from all the questions she asked about his journey which were the details he had purposefully left out of his tales.

Other times, however, Link's discomfort blossomed from an entirely different feeling.  Sometimes, during the course of their conversations, Ilia and he grew closer together; he could not remember how or when they had scooted closer, and every time he felt her so near to him he could not help questioning why it felt so … different … wrong … unsettling.  A month ago he would have welcomed the comfort, welcomed the closeness, but he had to admit … something in him had indeed shifted.  Each time this happened, Link found a polite way of excusing himself from her, and each time he retreated to the same place.

Link sat there now--at the highest point in Kakariko where he had seen Barnes take watch once upon a time.  Here, he was alone to think.  In his mind he was always planning, always preparing.  His thoughts for Ilia confused and troubled him, and here he could escape those feelings as he looked out over the mountains of the gorge to stare at the black and yellow barrier that obstructed Hyrule Castle.

His constant reminder.  A reminder that Princess Zelda needed him.  A reminder that any day could be his last.  

One day … very soon … he would break that barrier and purge the castle of any evil remnants.

After he dealt with Zant, and after he had put an end to Ganondorf's scheme….

After he reassembled the Mirror of Twilight….

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

Each day Link had spent in the village he had looked in on Shad, and each time the scholar was deep in his musings as he read, made notes, and paced in thought.  For once, it had been difficult to retrieve any kind of reply from him, but Link had understood that to be a sign that Shad would soon find the answers he so desperately needed to advance his journey.

It was the morning of the fifth day of his time in the village that Link awoke to hear jubilant ramblings from the downstairs.  Midna prodded Link out of bed, telling him that she had been watching over Shad and that he had successfully come to a translation of a great part of the ancient Sky Book and the engraving on the owl statue in the sanctuary's cellar.

Link rose from the bed and--after checking the fresh bandages around his shoulder--dressed himself in his full armor and weapons, and he had pulled his cloak over his shoulders just as Shad had entered the room to recount his accomplishments himself.  Link allowed him to relate his findings as if Midna had never informed him, and together he and Shad headed over to the sanctuary.

Shad led Link down into the tunnel below the central statue, and Link followed suit, pretending that he had never delved this deep into the building.  He could still remember the itch of his fur when he and Midna had been hunting for the dark insects to free the Eldin spirit.  Yet, he pushed the thought from his mind as Shad brought him into the outlet where there was a small table set up.  A small lantern--which, as Link inspected closer, looked much like the one he had left here before heading to the lakebed--sat upon the tabletop, lighting the room dimly.  Link supposed that the stool sitting near it had occupied Shad for countless hours in the past days.

Shad indicated the statue; it rested within the wall as if it were just another piece of rock.  This artifact that had taken up so much of the young man's attention was in the shape of an owl, which grew smaller in size near the bottom.

"Look, here, at the belly," indicated Shad.  "There's something written here, you see?"  Link stepped closer to the statue, running a hand over the inscription.  " 'Awaken us.'  A simple instruction, to say the least, but I found a part of the text in the Sky Book that speaks of the owl statue, and I believe that I've finally found what we need."

Link stepped back as Shad opened the book to a page marked by his dagger.  "Ah, yes, here."  Shad cleared his throat and, in a deeper octave, he recited a phrase in a chanting voice.  As his voice died away, his anticipation was clear, yet there was no indication that the chant had produced any effect on the ancient sculpture.

Link could already feel Midna's frustration at Shad's apparent incompetence.  She, certainly, would not be happy if she discovered she had been waiting four days for nothing.

"Blast!  How confounding," said Shad, closing the book on his finger.  "What can this mean?  I thought this would solve the riddle."

Just as Shad lifted an agonized hand to his forehead, he and Link heard a low, rumbling hum.  At once, Link felt the vibration within him, and he lifted his cloak.  The staff that he had found within the Temple of Time again brimmed with energy.  Shad looked to the device, and his eyes nearly grew as wide as his spectacles.  "Where did you find that?  Oh!"  Shad reopened the old book and flipped back a few pages, as his words slurred together in a whirl of excitement.  "That artifact!  I've seen it in this book!  Oh, this is a find!  A find!"  He showed a page to Link, where there was a diagram of the staff, text littering the page and margins around it.  "The Dominion Rod!  Yes!  That phrase was only one key to unlocking the mystery here, and it was only an incantation to return the energy to the rod…."  His voice trailed away momentarily as he read through a portion of the text.  "And, yes!" he shouted.  "The Dominion Rod is what will guide our way, I know it!"

Link felt a prickle radiate from his shadow, and, with Midna's impatience reminding him of the device's ability, he yanked the rod from his belt.  Shad stared toward him expectantly, his zeal as clearly defined as if he were a young child.

Link concentrated for a moment, and a yellowish green glow soon sparked at the end of the rod.  He gave the staff a quick jerk in the direction of the statue, and the orb of energy consumed it and filled it with life almost instantly. Its etchings gleamed with green, defining its features, outlining the face of an owl and its folded wings.

"Amazing!  Spectacular!"  Shad's voice reverberated with an enthusiastic squeal, as Link then guided the statue away from its niche in the wall to reveal a hidden tunnel.  Shad's eagerness throughout the course of the last few days was dwarfed in that moment.  The thrill that ran through his bones shook his very core of existence.  "I knew this was something important, some key to the secrets of the Oocca!  But this--this is incredible!  Stunning….  I feel almost nervous…."

Shad approached the entrance to the tunnel in that moment and peered down its length, eager and tentative to rush inside all in the same moment.  Darkness shrouded its walls, and he reached over for the lantern to cast back the veil.  The passage tunneled deeper, a stairway leading down slowly into some place they could not see from this distance.  Just as Shad was taking his first step, Link threw out a hand, and Shad tossed his gaze back toward him.

With a single look, Shad understood that Link wished to enter first in case there were … problems to deal with.  "Oh, yes, yes.  Go ahead," said Shad, offering the lantern out to Link.  He took it and led the way down the tunnel.  The fingers of his other hand flexed outward, prepared to dive for dagger or sword if necessary.

At every splatter of a shadow created by the lantern's light, Link could smell the fear that Shad tried to mask. It was odd, for though Link had gained heightened senses due to his transformations into the divine beast, this was the first time that he could distinctly sniff the fright in someone.  Link's only explanation was that perhaps Shad was much less capable of containing such emotions.  After all, had he not divulged that his skills did not exactly include combat?   Yet, he could also sense the incredible thrill within Shad.  Such a mix could be expected of any individual investigating secrets of the past.  The delight of finding the unknown, Link supposed, which--in some cases--the unknown was something not wanting to be found.

The stairway soon leveled out and guided them upward again, and Link wondered just where they would end up.  Yet, he supposed if he were some sky being, the depths of an earthbound mountain would serve as the perfect hiding place for any kind of treasure.

They passed through the passage without incident, Link coming to a halt at the mouth of a cavern.  Shad stepped up alongside him, pushing up his glasses as his jaw fell agape.  "This … this is absolutely…."  The wonder thickened his voice into speechlessness, as he stepped into the hollowed area.

Light speckled the room from cracks that dotted the ceiling, which was held up by several surrounding posts.  The design of the columns was simplistic in comparison to that of the other cultures Link had encountered.  Trees had sprouted at the few spots that obtained sunlight, and though they were the frailest plants that Link had ever seen, they were still very much alive.

Link was not sure what Shad had been expecting, but an empty dead end underneath a mountain was definitely something that Link had not been imagined when Shad had told him of the race that had supposedly created the Hylians.  However, something seemed to have attracted the young man's attention, for he called Link over to a wall moments later.

"Look at this!  Bring the lantern!" he exclaimed, as Link stepped up alongside him.  Squinting at the wall that had absorbed Shad's attention, Link handed the lantern to him.  When Shad lifted the light to the wall, Link saw what he had been so excited about.  There were extensive markings littering the walls, which likely covered the entire cavern with the way they seemed to progress from one to the next.

Link looked closer at one image.  It looked rather like a chicken, but its head was egg-shaped.  Shrugging at the strange marking, he turned to the area Shad inspected.  His nose was nearly skimming the wall he was looking so closely at a group of engravings, an area that looked like the text inside the Sky Book.

"This--this is brilliant!" he exclaimed.

"What?  Can you read what it says?" asked Link.

"Mm, yes," nodded Shad.  "It speaks of the Oocca sky city.  The city of the heavens.  Celestia, they call it.  Oh, how wonderful!"  He turned back to the tunnel and ran toward it, calling back to Link, "I must get my other books!"

Link shook his head in amusement, for it seemed that finding this trove had erased all of Shad's previous fears.  The amount of knowledge that these walls likely contained impressed and amazed Link; though, just as he was imagining Midna's disappointed reaction, he heard her voice beside him.  "Hmm, this seems a dead end, doesn't it?" she said, and there was an uncommon tone within her that Link had not expected.  Instead of ushering him out to look for other clues, she seemed to be looking at her surroundings, trying to make sense of it all.  The hasty imp that he had met so long ago would have turned back at the sight.  Of course, the Midna he had first met would not have wanted to help Shad at all; she would have insisted it a waste of precious time.

He moved about the cave and the light from above rained upon him intermittently as he stepped in and out of the shadows.  There seemed to be nothing else of value within the chamber.  Link tripped over a raised spot in the ground and only casually gazed back at the area as he continued on, but something about the shape of the rock made him cast a second glance.  He looked to it again, and it seemed that its design had not naturally been made.  It was hard to tell in the dimness what exactly the carvings were, but their vague outline reminded him of the Temple of Time.  He pulled the Dominion Rod loose and crouched down.

By this time Midna had come to his side, looking over the spot as Link traced the rim with a hand.  It was circular in shape, and as he passed his fingers over the center of the platform, he felt a small niche.  His expression drew into puzzlement for a moment, but he then looked to the staff in his opposite hand.  He shifted the rod in his grip to look closer at the end of it, and after running a hand over the tip, he concluded the matter.

Link leaned forward again, finding the niche with one hand and easing the Dominion Rod down into it with the other.  As soon as it clicked into place, a ball of energy grew at its top, the lines running down its length lighting up as well.  As the energy traveled down the rod and reached the end, the light also spread across the platform.  Link rose and took a step back as he watched, but then it seemed the entire cavern hummed to life.  A pounding vibration caught inside Link and Midna, thudding against their heartbeats.  The raw power Link felt enveloping the chamber made him dizzy, almost to the point of vomiting, but as he took a few breaths, he was able to attune his body to the unnatural tremors.

He gazed about the chamber as the twinkle of light caught his eye, and he found that all the carvings along the walls were coming to life with yellow-green energy.  Their combined radiance made the lantern Shad had stolen away with obsolete.  It was an impressive display, and both Link and Midna found themselves staring about in awe.

"So, you are the one," a voice then spoke.

The companions jumped at the sound and turned in all directions in search of the source.

"You have come at last," it spoke again.

Link finally found the identity of the voice when he looked along the ground.  Standing in front of Midna and him was the spitting image of the chicken-like figure he had seen on the wall.  Now being able to see the actual creature, he could distinguish its features more easily.  Its two-foot-tall body was covered in layers of yellow feathers, its short wings folded against its sides.  A long neck--which accounted for half its height--held its egg-shaped head, its facial features small and close together.  Its round, red eyes gazed up at Link.

"Welcome, brave adventurer," it said.  "I have been expecting you."

"Expecting me?  Who--  What are you?" asked Link.

"I am one of the Oocca," it said in its voice that sounded both masculine and feminine, but somehow Link understood it to be female.

Link took a step back.  A sky being….  Though its presence still astonished him, the tiny bird-like creature was a bit … smaller … than he had been expecting.  Perhaps it was Shad's fervor in trying to open the way to this chamber that made his imagination run wild with thoughts pertaining to how these Oocca looked, how they spoke, how they acted….  Numerous details had been worked out inside his imagination even against his knowledge, for this small creature was nothing like the one he now realized he had been waiting to meet.  Although, it was clear by its voice that it was a being of great divinity.

"I am Ooccoo.  I come from the City in the Sky.  Celestia," it offered, and Link offered his own name and home village in return.  "I wish my waiting here were under far more honorable matters, but our city has been overtaken by a monster.  I was called forth to seek the aid of the Messenger.  You carry the Dominion Rod, technology of the Oocca, and a communion between our two worlds.  You are the one."

Midna then rained down on the sky being.  "So, wait a second," she interrupted.  "Why didn't you guys defeat this beast for yourselves?  Unless…."  She turned to her Hylian companion.  "Link!  This beast!  It must be the power of the Mirror Shard!"

Link nodded and knelt down to Ooccoo.  "What is this beast exactly?"

"So, you will come, yes?" asked Ooccoo excitedly with a small, feminine squeak.

"To your sky city?" asked Link, but it was more directed toward himself than either of the other two.  The thought of actually visiting the city of the heavens was more than he could digest in a matter of moments.  If Shad had been with them then, he supposed that the young scholar would have fainted at such an offer, much less meeting one of the Oocca in person.  He knew Shad would have been jealous, perhaps outraged if he had overheard that Link was needed … that he was to be left behind while someone else explored the city and culture of his--and his father's--dreams.

Yet, his moment of awestruck contemplation soon passed and he looked to Ooccoo, nodding his affirmation.  He was then instructed to stand upon the platform where he had placed the Dominion Rod.  Midna and Ooccoo joined him on the dais an instant later, the former descending once more into Link's shadow.  When Link gripped the staff, the symbols below his feet glowed, and in the next instant it felt as though his body were being ripped apart from the inside.  The stranger part of this, however, was the fact that there was not even the dullest of pains.  After the tearing and then a fiery sensation, the room before him disappeared into a blur of white and grey and blue.

Link and Ooccoo disappeared, along with the Dominion Rod and all the light that had once energized the cavern.

When Shad stumbled excitedly back into the chamber moments later, he was at once chattering away to a Link that he realized minutes later was no longer present.  He stopped midsentence and mid step, holding the lantern up in one hand, as his other bore the weight of five books and other journals.

"Hello?" he called.

There was no reply, and Shad thought Link's absence a little strange.  Seeing as though he was used to exploring such places on his own, however, he thought little of it moments later as he propped his books on the ground.  "Impatient fellow.  Well, I suppose he'll just miss out then."

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

When Link rematerialized once more, the first thing he noticed were colors of white and blue and pale green.  Squinting against the brightness that bounced off what looked like fog, he breathed deep, reactively trying to catch his breath.  However, the air was different.  Even though there was a deep haze about him, the air was thinner here, and he found breathing difficult.  He heard the familiar tone of Ooccoo as wind suddenly pounded against his ears.  He could not make out any of the words, as he held onto the Dominion Rod tightly to combat the gust that nearly forced him over.

He could see Ooccoo's figure walking away through his narrowed eyes, and after the wind died he followed behind the sky being as he lifted a hand against the brightness.  His feet fell hard with each step, as if gravity wanted to suck him down now more desperately than it ever had.

When the wind knocked into him once more, he was sent sideways across the wide path, and just as he realized there was nothing to hold on to this time, he prayed that something would break his movements instead.  In that moment he landed hard against the side of the path, buckling partly over its edge.  It was then he realized … if he fell from the path, he would fall onto nothing, for below him … there was only a bright white haze.

That was when the reality of his situation truly came to him.  He had been transported to the City in the Sky, and far below that white fog--the clouds--was Hyrule … somewhere.

He held onto the edge firmly, sucking in as much air as he could in his panicking gasps.  He resigned himself to sit with his back against the side of the path then, trying to bypass his new condition; the shock lasted only momentarily, the disorientation of coming to the city fading shortly after his initial anxiety attack.  He closed his eyes against the sky in an attempt to disassociate himself with the intensity of it all.  Perhaps living in the heavens was not as glorious as some thought … or it took a moment to become accustomed to its effects.

Link took another deep breath, controlling his lungs more now as he consumed the air through his nostrils and released it through a crack in his lips.  After a moment he had assimilated the dizzying effects of the air and the noise of the random winds as part of a lifestyle in which he now participated.  Then he opened his eyes to the skies, and again he was assailed by the intensity of the clouds' luminosity.  He blinked several times, and after a pause, his eyes adjusted to the light.

Exhaling a final, calming breath, Link waited for the next gust to die down before he lifted himself up to follow after the distant figure of Ooccoo.  It was then that he could distinguish outlines among the many clouds, the outlines of a floating city.  There was a central, massive building to which Ooccoo retreated, decorated in plain details but in an amazing array of shapes and colors--some of which Link was not sure had names according to Hylian education.  The other buildings hovered at varying distances, surrounding the central structure.  They were either connected by outside pathways, enclosed catwalks, or nothing at all.  Blue, white, and golden colors were painted most prominently across their outsides.

Celestia.  The heavenly city of the sky.  It was no wonder Shad had spent most of his life dedicated to learning as much as he could about this place and its inhabitants, for once one managed to mingle with the sky beings' atmosphere, the city was a spectacle.  A masterpiece.

The City in the Sky was an artwork of the Oocca, and Link smiled at the serenity that he was now able to find in the sight.

Yet, Ooccoo looked back toward him then and flapped her wings--a wingspan which was actually quite wide, disproving Link's earlier assumptions.  Understanding the gesture Link pressed forward, heading toward the central building of the great city in the clouds.
SECOND QUICK EDIT but an important one. It's minor in that it only concerns two sentences, but it has a lot of gravity behind it.

Formerly, Link pulled out the Dominion Rod and took it with him.

" He could see Ooccoo's figure walking away through his narrowed eyes, and he pulled the Dominion Rod from its place after the wind died. He followed behind the sky being as he lifted a hand against the brightness."

I never actually intended to do that. I guess Link did it without me realizing!! So, I took it out. (I always try to find ways of depleting his arsenal of key items used only in one dungeon, and the DR needed to go to realistically progress through this city and beyond.)

This has been corrected.

QUICK EDIT - Wasn't completely happy with the wording of the last section where Link is in the city, so I fixed it up.


Here it is!! The chapter that you've all been waiting for for quite a while. Luckily, I caught this chapter in time to revise it before my upload deadline for it came, so you even get to read the finished/revised version of it your first go-around! ^_^

The biggest changes I made to it from its original version was a big hunk that's about a page long that was totally newly written/added into the chapter, and that's the section that starts with "Link spent a few days resting in Kakariko Village" and ending with "After he reassembled the Mirror of Twilight."

Anyway, as you'll notice in reading the chapter and if you've ever read any of my journals, you'll know that Link goes to the City in the Sky in this chapter, and I named it "Celestia" AND he travels there by different means than a canon, which as we know was his mode of travel in the game, but due to the fact that it was not realistic--Link wouldn't survive the initial blast or the landing--I added something else in that, I think, is just as fitting, if not even more so. I also hope you enjoy the little sequence with Shad after Link leaves for the City.

Anyway, I really enjoyed writing and revising this chapter, and it's nice to see Link HAVE to take a breather as long as he does in this chapter. I hope you like what I've done with this!!

Also, good news. You may not have to wait two weeks for a new chapter. I may be able to post a new chapter EVERY Monday from now on. Also, from here on out, I will be writing new chapters, so they won't have gone through a good revision period before posting them. What will probably happen is that I will upload chapters up until about 5 left and then stop posting for a week or two to go back, revise older chapters (next one and on) while writing the last chapters, so that by the time the last chapter/epilogue is posted all of the final revisions will have been done and we can all just sit back and relax and enjoy. To meet my March deadline, I'll have to write about a chapter and three-quarters every week to make it, so wish me luck!!

Also note that this chapter still reads as no.38. That's because until the revisions of older chapters catches up with this one, I don't want there to be any confusion with the numbering. ^_^

Previous: [link]
Next: [link]
Published:
© 2012 - 2021 Stephonika-W-Kaye
Comments14
anonymous's avatar
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In
x-VivaerethAlonia-x's avatar
So... It's not just me that has no clue what Link is feeling towards Ilia; he doesn't know himself. That's incredibly unsettling.

I was kind of hoping Shad would make it to Celestia, even though I knew that would be impractical. Still, I'm hoping he's still there when Link is beamed down, so to speak. I want to see his reaction when he finds out that Link was in Celestia and met the Oocca.

Glad to see Link finally taking a well-deserved rest. Even before his recent injuries, going through a journey like this without adequate rest would be suicide or worse. And I love how that gave him some time to get caught up with his friends.

Oh, what a pretty view! The clouds below are so fetching... Wait.... If the clouds are below, I'm in the sky. Crap! That's a really long way down!

Never knew Link to be afraid of heights. But I've also never known anyone in his position who wasn't. Can't say I blame him. I'd be freaking out too.

Really looking forward to seeing the city through your eyes.
Eternal-Apprentice's avatar
I had to laugh when Shad said Link would be missing out. Interesting name for the City in the Sky. The name "Celestia" made me think of My Little Pony for a second (not that I watch it, my siblings do). 

I have a little theory of my own. I think the city in the sky is actually a future version of Skyloft. If you think about it, the people who lived up there could be considered the ancestors of the Hylians, and they had a major connection with birds. 
Stephonika-W-Kaye's avatar
Haha, yeah. Thank you! I LOVED writing for Shad. Getting into his character was fun and super easy.

Celestia is actually the name of the music theme that plays during the dungeon. I thought it appropriate to name the city, so it was a clear choice for me, and surprisingly garnered no controversy or uproar from the fan community who've read this.

It's a common theory, I think. I think a lot of people were hoping the Hyrule Historia would confirm the theory, but it did not. It's just a complicated timeline, since in TP myth, the Oocca came before and created the Hylians and so would exist before them and should have had a presence in SS, whereas, they are absent from SS and Skyloft.  BUT, SS did have a lack of islands to fly to in the game (one of many problems I have with SS), so who knows if their City in the Sky was just farther away.
WolfsRainRox's avatar
Can't wait to see what the fight with the Twili Dragon will be like!!! Epic story btw!!!:D
Stephonika-W-Kaye's avatar
Thanks! I think you'll enjoy the battle and aftermath.
of-the-skies's avatar
Where it says that the Dominion Rod was restored, I noticed that it didn't say in your story that when Link (and Rusl) came out of the Temple of Time that it became useless. Or maybe I just didn't see it.
Stephonika-W-Kaye's avatar
I took a look at the chapters, and I recall now deviating from the game in the regard that it isn't actually restored in the traditional sense, in that its power never really waned. In this version it still has whatever essence was within it. So when he's placing it in the pedestal here, it still had its power, and it was used here to power the dais and call the Oocca. I hope that makes sense. Thanks for pointing it out for me to give a second look! ^_^
Stephonika-W-Kaye's avatar
I am currently posting the revised versions of the ToT dungeon chapters, so I will take a look. Thank you.
silverheartlugia2000's avatar
awsome! after finishing skyward i can see some of the conections but im still confused about the oocca, kinda wish that historia book would come out in english
Stephonika-W-Kaye's avatar
Yeah, how the Oocca tie in to it all is still a hazy line for me. I, too, badly want Hyrule Historia to be translated into English.
Ninja-Jaiden's avatar
I love it. I can't wait to see what you have in store!
anonymous's avatar
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In