Chapter II : Bitter Truth

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Link awoke in a sudden, violent fit, grasping his tunic in unfeigned dread. Her haunting yet melancholic voice still lingered in his mind... continuously moaning for help that would never arrive, gradually bleeding to death in a dark, forgotten corner. The aloof sentiments felt so agonizingly genuine, Link disputed for a moment whether or not he was in fact alive; it was almost as if he were tortured in an incessant dream. However, upon a prompt analysis of his surroundings, everything appeared unchanged from last night's scene - at least he hoped it was so. As presumed, the elephant-like Divine Beast was nonexistent; only the East Reservoir Lake stretched forth before his eyes, still as day. Well, now that he thought about it, everything remained exactly how he remembered, except the fact he was now neatly tucked in bed instead of laying sprawled across it. How comforting.

Sidon must've tucked him in after presumingly passing out last night, which frankly was rather sweet of the prince, though not surprising in the least. The Zora never failed to express his good nature through small, furtive actions, though in all fairness, it was expected of his political position back at the Domain. Speaking of Sidon, where did he head off to anyway? Surely he stuck around for company's sake.

Casting a hazy glance over the bed's side, Link spotted Sidon dozing off on the marble floor as if nothing happened; a small strand of spit could be seen dribbling down his defined jawline. Admittedly, the sight was quite adorable to behold. It was as if yesterday the Zora prince was no taller than a toddler, barely capable of speaking. Link genuinely appreciated that Sidon was kind enough to put up with an emotional wreck like him. Not everyone would bother to exert the level of care and compassion his friend here did... surely not to the extent of tucking him in bed, that was for sure.

"Where would I be without you...." He mumbled wearily.

Link couldn't help but let out a heavy sigh escape as he sat upright in the bed, gazing longingly at the outstretched lake before him. No better scenery could be asked for the occasion as the feverish nightmare from yesterday finally made a comeback, his entire frame quaking at the sudden rejuvenation.

* * *

A vast empty space of infinite darkness loomed in all directions, darker than the night sky. Nothingness filled everything, just as the open grasp of death itself.

Without warning, this continuous void immediately dissipated as Link awoke to find himself standing idly on the East Reservoir Lake pier, gazing without any sense of recollection at Vah Ruta as the colossal beast lay dormant in the calm waters. As far as the naked eye could perceive, nothing stood out of the ordinary. The pier was spick and clean, the waters swayed about without interruption; it was just as he would imagine a normal visit at the Zora Domain. Yet... the uncanniness of the scenery made it out to appear all natural, as if history had retraced a step back, and at the same time, it felt synthetic and fake.

Before another moment could pass, the area began to tremor in a violent fit, seemingly originating from Hyrule Castle; it was far too sudden to be accounted for as an unexpected earthquake, much less anything else. Once, twice, the Hylian Knight stumbled over the rocking platform as waves quickly accumulated from the alarming stress. His mind and body went completely numb, nerves unresponsive. All he could do was helplessly gawk in horror while the expanse of the sky progressively bled into a haze of black and purple fumes, plummeting Hyrule into a dark, hellish state.

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