Author's Note: I wrote this up as a sort of unique take on a character we all know. I tried to keep it as logical as possible, and also tried not to stray too far from canon. Remember that this is fan fiction, not speculation. I don't actually believe that this is the truth behind the story, but still, it was something I wanted to write.
Yes, it's kind of long, which is why I've included page breaks. Each section isn't that long though. It's a short story too, which is unusual for me as someone who typically writes novel-length stories.
So, without further ado, here's the story. I hope you enjoy it. Please comment too.
A Light in the Dark
A Zelda Fanfiction
by David Shank
He had met him before. Rather, he had seen him. It had been on that fateful day that would change Hyrule forever. The day he left and never came back, and Ganondorf, the Gerudo King, was given access to the power of the gods.
They called him a hero, having saved a Zora princess from the bowels of Jabu-Jabu and returned the Gorons' main source of food by defeating King Dodongo. Still, to some simpler folk, he was called “Fairy Boy,” a name given to him for the blue fairy that follows him around.
It had been three years since Teryn had seen the young boy. Teryn had been thirteen at the time; young, yet still older than the hero, who had bumped into Teryn as he ran off to the Temple of Time. He had turned back as if to apologize, but he said nothing. From opinions he had heard from others, the hero seemed to like to keep to himself.
Three years. Teryn looked up at the great stone door ahead of him. It had remained closed for three years, since the last day anyone had seen the hero. Teryn's mother had been a Sheikah, his father a simple soldier. His mother had told him that the Door of Time would open only for the Hero of Time, who would come when Hyrule was threatened. Could that boy have been the Hero of Time? No. It wasn't possible. He couldn't have been more than ten!
Teryn slammed his fist down as though to hit something, but his fist found only air. He tackled the door. A sharp pain shot down his arm as his shoulder felt the solid force of the door. He rubbed his shoulder and narrowed his eyes. He let out a great heave and put his hands up against the door, pushing to the side, trying to slide it away. His face turned red with the effort, and he grunted as he pushed away from the door.
“It's not going to open like that, Teryn,” a voice said from behind.
The boy turned around abruptly. He'd never seen this person before, but he knew the outfit he wore: this was a member of the Sheikah. His face was obscured by the dressings he wore over his head. Teryn said nothing, but his eyes bore the question.
“You needn't worry who I am. I knew your mother; I know what you are. You feel like you could have been the Hero of Time. With both your inherent and learned abilities, you feel you should be able to dispel evil such as Ganondorf and his minions. Is that correct?”
A surprised look passed over Teryn's face for a moment, but then it returned to a colder expression. “Hyrule is changing. Redeads roam the streets of the town where I grew up, the castle is gone, curses and evil creatures are everywhere. And it's because of this 'hero' that evil was able to attain such power. It's been three years, and yet he has not emerged from beyond the Door of Time. Have you any idea how many have died since he's been gone?”
The Sheikah shook his head in understanding. “Too many, Teryn.” He looked up and took a step forward. “But be assured, the hero will return to us one day, when it is time.”
“And in that time, how many more will have died?”
Though Teryn was unable to see most of the man's face, he could see the hurt in his eyes. “It pains my heart to know the price we pay for salvation. But he will come! Don't lose yourself to your anger. Be safe.” The Sheikah's expression softened. “You have a little sister, no? You must take care of her. Be her hero, not Hyrule's.”
Teryn winced. His thoughts went to Miria, his sister. She had been so much younger than he when Ganondorf set fire to Castle Town and destroyed the very foundation of the castle. Teryn's father had gone to fight, and left a spare sword behind. “Protect Miria. Go far, far away from here, and keep your sister safe.” Those were the last words Teryn ever heard from his father. He heard them every morning when he woke up to find his sister safe and sound.
Teryn squinted at the painful memory. “You're right. I will do just that.” When he opened his eyes, the man was gone. Teryn sighed and headed out through the tall doors of the Temple of Time, out into the open market of Castle Town, where his only chance of survival was to use stealth techniques he had acquired from his mother. The Redeads paid him no mind. And how would they? He was a shadow.
* * *
Miria was bundled up in a blanket next to a fire when Teryn returned. He could see her through the barrier he had put up, but felt assured no one but a Sheikah could see through it. Inside the barrier, they were safe. It was another trick learned from his mother. When he was younger, she would sometimes punish him by putting him in a room and creating the illusion that the room was infinite. The landscape was completely barren, except for a single tree standing in the middle. A sad, dead tree.
He shook the thought away and brought a smile back to his face. The little girl next to the fire looked up to Teryn and smiled back. She bore just as much resemblance to her father, with her round cheeks and button nose, as Teryn bore to his mother, with his angular jawline and pointed chin. The only common similarity between the two was their dark brown hair.
“Can you pack your things up, Miria? We're going to go somewhere safer.”
Her little eyes opened wide. They had been camped out in this forest so long that it felt like a home to her. Every time Teryn went to check up on Castle Town, he had managed to sneak something out. A book or a discarded toy. Sometimes he would apologize for the burns and soot on the items, but Miria didn't care. She appreciated all the presents her big brother brought her. “Why are we leaving, Teryn?”
Teryn only smiled. “I'm going to become a hero.” He walked over to his pack and picked up his father's sword and a Hylian shield he had taken from the bazaar on one of his trips. It had been the most intact one, but the fires had turned it black. He strapped the scabbard to his back and placed the sword, then the shield. “I need to go pick something up, and then I'll be back to take you. It might be nightfall by the time we leave, so make sure you're ready by sunset.”
Miria smiled and nodded. “Of course! My brother's gonna be a hero!” She went up to gather the things she thought she might be able to pack up, humming a song as she went.
* * *
Zora's Domain was always a hard place to get into. Teryn had learned long ago how to jump through the powerful waterfall that hid the entrance from prying eyes. As he entered the cave system the Zora's called their home, he was met by curious, suspicious looks. He was used to this; Zora's were uneasy around Hylians who went through the trouble of accessing their hidden domain, and rightfully so, he thought with displeasure.
Teryn walked into the little room where the Zora's purchased many of their goods. The Zora behind the counter gave him an equally curious look, until Teryn dropped a pouch full of rupees on the counter. “I hear you make excellent tunics,” Teryn said. “I would like to purchase one.”
“Why, y-yes, of course,” the Zora said. He went and found a tunic he was sure would fit the young man. As Teryn took the blue garment, the Zora unraveled the string around the singed and blackened pouch and began counting out his money.
Teryn put the brilliant azure tunic on over his simple brown and white clothing. The hat fit perfectly too. He walked over to the edge of the water and peered out to look at his reflection. It would do, for an imitation hero.
* * *
Back at Teryn's camp, Miria was reading an old book. It was one of Teryn's first presents to her. He smiled at the memory of how excited she had been when she first saw it, then picked up a pack with his belongings. He looked up to the setting sun, then back to his sister. “Ready, Miria?”
Miria closed the book and stood up to grab her own belongings. She answered with an excited nod of the head.
Teryn released the illusive barrier around the camp before they headed out. They stayed within the trees, hoping to avoid the monsters of the night. They kept Hyrule Field within view as they made their way to Kakariko. Once they had finally reached the town, the moon was in full view.
Miria's eyes scanned the little town. She could hear the little sleepy clucks from the couped up cuccos. “Are we staying here, Teryn?” she asked. Her eyes were full of thoughts of sleep.
“Sorry. Just a little further.” Teryn didn't feel secure in Kakariko. It was just as susceptible to the horrors unleashed on Castle Town as any other town would be. It wasn't safe.
The night guard at the gate to Death Mountain was easily swayed to opening the gate, even with such a young girl traveling with him. The sword and shield helped to bend him to Teryn's cause.
The path was quiet. No monsters stirred, not even a Tektite. It was odd to say the least, but Teryn took it to be a sign of good fortune. They could climb the slopes to Goron City without any risk of altercation. And that's exactly what happened.
But when Teryn entered Goron City, he knew he had been wrong. There was not a Goron in sight. The heavy stone doors all around the underground city remained shut tight. “Hello? Anyone here?” Teryn shouted.
Suddenly, an answer came. An abrupt eruption from outside filled the air with an explosive sound. The ground shook, and Teryn held Miria close to him.
Outside, Teryn could see the source of the blast. Death Mountain had erupted. But everyone said it had been inactive! Now, a ring of fire swirled around the conical top of the volcano. A thought filled Teryn's heart with ice: He was here!
The sky went dark with the flying chunks of fiery rock. In a wave of realization, Teryn brought forth the gift his mother had given him, raising an invisible shield between himself and the oncoming barrage. The rocks broke apart as they slammed against the barrier. Teryn strained himself with the effort of keeping the shield up.
Within moments, the rocky rain stopped, and smoke and dust hung in the air, casting a dark haze. Teryn dropped his bag and threw Miria's to the ground. He picked his sister up, who groped in vain at her discarded belongings, her presents!
Teryn bounded down the slope toward Kakariko. He slammed on the gate for the guard to open it up. The smoke and dust cloud was beginning to fall on the village at the bottom of the mountain, and people who had heard the blast were now crowding around looking up the mountain with the fear of the impending doom.
But Teryn ran past them, ignoring their looks. He made his way down the steps of Kakariko and found himself in much fresher air. He set his sister down and sat panting, taking in all the air he could.
Miria wiped the tears from her face. They had streamed down her face, making little trails through the soot on her cheeks. “What are we going to do now, Teryn?”
Teryn sat and stared out at the moon. He shook his head. “I don't know.”
Miria looked out idly to Hyrule Field. “What about that man at the fishing pond? You said he was a good man, right?”
Teryn looked up to his sister and nodded. “You're right.” He stood up. “If we leave now, we can make it there by noon. It's a long walk after all, and we're going to need to be stealthy. Remember that trick I taught you? You're going to need it now.”
* * *