Chapter Twenty Four

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The Triforce was a magical artifact left behind by the three Golden Goddesses in the care of Hylia, the white Goddess. And now, with the requirement of power, courage, and wisdom she, Zelda, the reincarnation of the white Goddess, was worthy to wield what she had protected in another life.

A screech so loud that it hurt rang, forth from the mass upon the ground that was once a triumphant demon. It screamed, and wailed, and cursed them all so loud the cave started to shake. The ground screeching beneath them.

The demon king didn't want to go out alone.

"Zelda!" Link yelled, but he couldn't even hear himself.

She turned to look at him and saw that his mouth was moving, but she heard nothing. Not even the creaking of the arch, or the crashing of crystals striking the ground. She grabbed Link's hand and pulled him after her. Her leg felt like it was on fire, and his arm was similarly hurt, but they had to get out.

They had to find Leena.

She limped as fast as she could past the demon throwing its last colossal tantrum before the power of the Triforce wiped away its filth forever.

"Leena!!!" she yelled, even though she could barely hear her own voice. "Leena!"

As Link helped her struggle along with his good arm they checked every opening they came across, their hearing slowly returning. As they could hear again, they recognized, faint from the distance, what the defeated demon was screeching.

"Leena!" she screamed again. Then she stopped moving and tears fell down her cheeks from the pain of her leg. "Leena..." she said quietly.

"Zelda look!" Link said as he pointed sharply to the girl huddled in a corner of the cave.

"Leena!" she yelled again and struggled over to her sister.

The small girl's hands were clamped over her ears, but as soon as Zelda grabbed her, she started to sob. "Zelda!!" she said in relief as she grabbed her sister tight. "What's going on??" she asked between hiccups.

She shook her head. "No time to explain now Leena. Can you walk? Did he hurt you?" 

"Who?" she started to ask but then shook her head. "I'm fine, I-" she said but then her eyes widened as she noticed her sister's leg. "What happened?"

"Later Leena, we have to get out of here!"

She nodded and then stood up and took her sister on one side, and Link helped with his good arm on the other. Together, they found their way out of the cave.

Zelda was barely conscious by the end of their journey, and they weren't even at the same place they had entered.

Link whistled loudly, and the wind carried his voice away, then he fell to his knees beside Zelda and instructed Leena to try and tear up her dress into strips.

"What??"

"For Zelda's leg," he said.

"I can tear up my clothes??... Okay!" she said enthusiastically as she sat down and started tugging at the bottom of her dress.

After what seemed like an hour, Epona appeared, and Zelda's white horse had followed her.

Link leaped up and rummaged quickly through Epona's saddlebags, grunting in pain every so often before he brought out a bottle of something clear-ish purple. He quickly returned to Zelda, who was now partially unconscious. He poured a small amount of the potion down her throat.

As it entered her mouth her eyes opened and she almost threw up.

"Don't, it'll heal you," he warned.

She swallowed with difficulty, the taste was... indescribably disgusting.

He took a swig himself and grimaced as he swallowed.

After a minute, Zelda was staring down at her not hurting leg. "... Wow, what is that stuff?" she asked as she untied the bandages and revealed a scar on her leg and nothing more from where the crystal had impaled her.

"Great Fairy's Tears," he said and then shrugged. "It's ....really rare, but it's lucky I had it, otherwise you might have bled out before we got home."

Zelda stared at his arm and then down at her hands. She might have cried from being overwhelmed, but she wasn't that much of a princess. "... What will we say when we get back?" 

"That we found what caused the war."

-_-_-

"No father, I'm not saying it was your fault," Link said quickly. "I'm saying that you were controlled by a demon king. Only slightly, so that you would insist the marriage between Zelda and I would happen. And that it would happen here, so that the demon could get us both into the Caverns," Link explained exasperatedly.

When they had returned to the castle it was in an uproar. Two Princess's of Hyrule and the Prince of Faron were missing... And it got even worse when they arrived and were spotted by the guards. All three were dirty, their clothing ripped, and in Zelda and Link's case, stained with blood from their healed injuries.

They had been rushed into the council room, where two sets of Kings and Queens were deciding what to do about their missing children.

That was where they had started to explain what had happened.

How they had met the Demon King, how it had tried to steal their Triforce... But that Link had stopped it with his sword, and that he had stolen the Triforce of Power from it and made the wish for no more demon kings.

That's right, Zelda had given Link all the credit. They had lied about most aspects of the story, making it a little less... Dark for their parents to hear. But when they had tried to explain how the demon king had influenced the war to start, Faron's king had caused a bit of a fuss. As though his son was insinuating it was all Faron's fault the war had started.

"But what influence did this demon king have on Hyrule? Hmm? You say only Faron was influenced!"

"Excuse me..." Zelda started softly. "That's not what he said actually. That's what you assumed, your majesty," she said bluntly. "My father was influenced as well. He never wanted me taken away from him. He wanted me to be Queen of Hyrule, and so he wouldn't have allowed us to be married here in Faron unless he was influenced against his will. And my sister was kidnapped by the influence... She left on her own. It led her to the caves... She doesn't even remember getting there. You cannot say your Kingdom was the only ones affected. Yet it is now in the past. The war is over. Now, let us keep it that way."

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