The Far Sea: Chapter 63

THEY stood, grim and ready, facing each other on the hard dirt road. Link's fingers clenched around the hilt of the serpentine dagger. He had not drawn sword since coming to Koholint; now, slowly and reluctantly, he withdrew his blade and weighed it in his hand. Marin's husband shifted his weight and smiled confidently.

"There are two of us," Dark said coolly, drawing his own plain sword. "Perhaps you should rethink this."

The blond man raised his eyebrows. "You know? I don't think so. This is my home ground, and anyway the island's on my side."

"We know who you are," Link said.

"And I know who you are." Marin's husband laughed, his sea-green eyes sparkling with genuine amusement. "Quite a family reunion! First, Third and Fifth, all together in one place... That'd give old pig-face a real fright, don't you think? Frankly I'm surprised nothing's exploded yet."

Link looked hard at him, trying to evaluate him as an opponent. He looked good: lithe and strong, and holding onto the slender sword in a way that suggested he knew well how to use it. But then, that was to be expected if he was a Hero... He tried to remember the things Link Third had accomplished in his time... was it the Thunder Bird? No, that must have been Link Second, because of the Imprisoning War... If only he had paid more attention to his grandfather when the old man spoke of history! "Are you going to fight us?" he asked softly.

"I'd rather not. But if I have to, I will."

"We have to leave the island," Dark said.

Link Third sighed. "Then, I'm afraid, I'll have to fight you." And he raised the slender sword a little. It was a gorgeous piece of work: delicate and leaf-shaped, deceptively fragile, with a blade inlaid with gold.

"No," Link said, suddenly angry. "No. This is not the way. This isn't how Heroes behave!" He looked down at the serpentine dagger in his own hand, and threw it to the ground.

"What are you doing?" Dark hissed.

"Put down your sword, Dark."


"Put it down."

Dark's eyes glowed fiercely, furious at the order; Link looked steadily at him, staring him down until finally he sighed angrily and opened his fingers. The plain sword clattered in the dirt. Link Third watched all this with a faint smile, half amused, half sad.

"Now you," Link said, turning to him.

There were a few seconds that seemed immeasurably long. Then Link Third shrugged, laughed, and tossed his sword down beside the other two. He stood back and rested his fists on his hips. "There. Now what?"

"I don't understand," Link said quietly. "Tell me why."


"Why is it that you're doing this? You're a Hero!"

"I was a Hero," Link Third said. "That time is long gone now. Hyrule has had all it could get from me."

Link stared at him. "You make it sound like a curse to be a Hero."

"Isn't it?" He gestured toward Dark. "Ask him!"

"I am no Hero," Dark muttered.

"Oh yes. You are." Link Third folded his arms and leaned against the marker-stone. "I'll grant you that you've done better than anyone else in suppressing it, but you're still a Hero deep down, where it counts. It's something in the soul. Makes us all so valiant. Haven't you ever thought about it, Link Fifth? I suppose you haven't at that. We're born into slavery. What's a link? Part of a chain, that's all."

"That's not true," Link shouted; his blood was hot at the insult. "It's an honor!"

"No," Dark said, unexpectedly. "It is not an honor. It is a duty. A Hero is one who does a thing nobody else will do."

Link Third shook his head wryly. "Listen to you two. You're fooling yourselves."

"We are still going to the mountain," Dark said. "Through you, if we have to." He moved; and Link grabbed his arm and held him back.

"Nobody touches their sword," he said quietly. "Not until we've talked about this."

"What more is there to talk about?" Link Third asked lightly. "You say you're going to Tamaranch. I say you're not."

Link looked at him, feeling pity more than anything else. "You say you were a Hero," he said. "I think you still are. You've done what we all have done--you shed your own blood to defend Hyrule. You faced Ganon in single combat, and you won."


"So you know why it's important. Dark is right. A Hero does what he does because nobody else will. We choose to be Heroes. We aren't forced into anything. You can't force someone to be a Hero--that's the whole point." Link moved his hand and touched the Amulet for a moment, reassuring himself. "I always wondered why you left Hyrule--why you didn't come back. It was because you found this place. This island: a dream come true. You can have whatever you want here, even if it should be impossible. How old are the twins? Eight years old? How long have they been eight years old?" He saw the first flash of doubt in the sea-green eyes, and held the man's gaze. "It isn't real," he said softly. "Your children, your wife, your village. None of it is real. You know that."

"Yes," Link Third said. "I know that. It doesn't make any difference."

"Yes," Link Fifth said. "It does."

A lark began to sing in the meadow beyond the bank. The eastern sky was streaked with pink and lilac.

"Let me tell you what is real," Link said quietly. "Out there, in the real world, there is a little kingdom called Hyrule. Right now it is without a Hero. If I stay here, on Koholint, the line of the Hero of Time dies with me, and in three hundred years' time Ganon will win. That is real. That means what you did, what I have done, what the Hero of Time did back in the Age of Legends, will all become meaningless."

Link Third looked at him for a long time. "You can't wake the Wind Fish," he said. "You don't know how."

"And you do."

He nodded slowly, then reached into his tunic, and drew out the ocarina. "You'll need this," Link Third said softly. He tossed it to Dark, who caught it in surprise.



The road to Tamaranch was narrow and winding, running around the base of hills and over rickety little bridges. Link Third led them on for a few miles, then climbed up the high bank on hands and knees and stood up at the top, brushing mud off his light pants. "It's quicker if we cut across country," he said, looking down at them. "You can cut off a big loop of the road that way."

"Do you mean by going through Goponga?" Dark asked.

Link Third shook his head. "The path I've got in mind skirts Goponga by about half a mile. If we go up past the old cemetery, we come out by Crazy Tracy's, and it's not far from there." He turned away and vanished rustling into the long grass. Link shouldered the water bottle and scrambled up the bank himself; at the top he turned and looked down at Dark, standing alone in the middle of the road. He held out his hand.

"Are you coming?"

"Why is he helping us?" the shadow asked coldly. "He stands to lose everything by this. He will lead us astray."

"No, he won't," Link said. "He's a Hero." He crouched down, extending his arm as far as he could. "Come on, take my hand."

Dark glared at him for a moment, then slowly reached out his own hand. Their fingers slid together and locked. Link helped him up; the bank was slippery with mud now, for both he and Link Third had torn up some of the soft grass when they climbed.

"You're heavy," Link said thoughtfully as he stood. "You never used to be."

"Are you coming?" Link Third called. They were in a field now, a meadow of long grass and wildflowers; at the other end there was a thick hedge of thorn. A slender path wound through the grass to a stile cut into the hedge; here he waited for them, sitting on the old weathered wood with his arms folded and one foot tapping lightly. Behind him Tamaranch rose huge and dark and misty, shrouded in the remnants of night. Link grinned and set off along the path; Dark followed reluctantly, with many a suspicious look directed towards the former Hero.

But even he had to admit that Link Third led them straight. They walked on as morning grew around them, and little by little the great mountain grew blacker and more solid. The clouds about the peak seethed and churned, seeming to become thicker the closer they came. Link frowned sometimes as he looked at the mountain, wondering...

They stopped for breakfast at around eight in the morning, when the sky was already the intense jewelled blue of the Koholint day. Link Third led them to a sheltered spot beneath a stand of willow trees, where a crystalline stream ran softly over gleaming stones, and they sat and broke some of Marin's hard rolls. The only clouds in the whole of the sky were those around Tamaranch, and Link watched them now with deep concern. He had seen the fluffy white build to gray, and then darker; they spun slowly about the peak, forming rings and billows. Now, not even Death Mountain sported such an ominous crown.

Link Third followed his gaze and nodded. "I was afraid of that," he said quietly.

"It's the island, isn't it?" Link asked. "It knows what we're doing, and it wants to stop us."

"How good a fighter are you?" Link Third fingered the hilt of his gorgeous sword for a moment, then looked up with a weak smile. "No... I shouldn't even have to ask. You're Heroes. You're just as good as me." He laughed then, and it was sad and a little bitter. "If I'd had the Hero of Time with me that first time, maybe things would have been different."

"So you have been up the mountain before," Dark said quietly. "What is there?"

"Aside from the Wind Fish?" Link Third shrugged. "I can't tell you. Whatever the island chooses. When I was there it sent shadows against me--living, breathing shadows. One of them was the shadow of Ganon."

"Well," Link said, laughing, "we know all about shadows, don't we, Dark?" He nudged him.

"I should not like to fight even Ganon's shadow," Dark muttered.

"Hopefully we won't have to," Link Third said. "But I don't know." He sighed. "I'll be honest with you... I really don't know what we're going to find up there. I beat the shadows before--it wasn't easy but I managed it, and if I could do it on my own, the three of us wouldn't have any trouble. The island knows that. I don't think it'll try the same thing again."

Link rolled a piece of bread between his fingers. A trio of seagulls had gathered nearby and were greedily eyeing the crumbs; he tossed the bread to them and they squawked and fought over it, flapping on the bank of the stream. "You went to the top of Tamaranch," he said, glancing towards Link Third. "You were going to wake the Wind Fish yourself. So why didn't you? What changed your mind?"

"Don't you know?" He looked at him gravely. "Haven't you considered it yourself?"

"I'd never choose a dream over the real world," Link said.

"We'll see. When you get to the top of Tamaranch, we'll see."

They went on; and the sky darkened until they were walking through what felt like an early dusk. Thick clouds gathered, spread out from the mountain and masked the sun until the entire expanse of the heavens, east to west, lay buried beneath a thick blanket of gray. Link Third did not pause or falter; he led them on over a thin little track, through fields and across streams. They walked up past an ancient old graveyard where the stones were mossed over and cracked by the years. And always Tamaranch lay ahead like a promise, like a curse, growing ever larger. Now it was fully black and visible, wreathed in smoke and outlined in a faint cold fire. That reddish light illuminated the land around it better than did the sun, now that it was so smothered by the clouds.

"Koholint shows its true colours," Link muttered, glancing up at the sky. Dark looked at him in surprise, and he went on: "It was happy enough when we were stuck in Mabe. Doesn't it feel as if it is trying to scare us? To make us turn back?"

"It can do more than this," Link Third said quietly. "I'm afraid we're going to have to fight our way up. But I don't know what we're going to face."

"I suppose we shall find out," Dark said.

They reached the foot of the mountain in the mid afternoon, although by the faded quality of the light they might have guessed it to be evening. It was cold now, bitterly cold, and the black clouds churned and boiled in the livid sky; there could not have been a greater contrast to the beautiful summer's dawn they had woken to in Mabe. Link Third led them around to a series of ledges and short rocky slopes and they began to climb. Everything was harder than it should be; nothing went right. Stones slid away beneath their feet, handholds crumbled at a touch, and a pale mist began to gather around them, obscuring vision and filling their mouths with a thick cotton taste.

It started to snow.



They halted beneath a rocky overhang, no longer sure of how far they had to go or even how far up they had come; they were shivering and blue with cold. The snow fell ceaselessly, reducing visibility to a few feet; and what the snow did not block out, the mist did. Ground was no longer sure underfoot--the snow hid countless pits and clefts, and every step had to be checked laboriously. Snow clung to their legs, to their clothes, to their hair; frost rimed their lips and lashes.

"This was a mistake," Link said through chattering teeth. "We should have come prepared... We haven't got any rope or anything. We haven't even got gloves or proper boots! We'll have to turn back..."

"Doubtless it will hit us with blazing sunshine and drought, if we come back warmly dressed," Dark said. "And you know it as well as I--if we go back, we will not return to the mountain. It has to be now."

"I know." He rubbed his hands together, trying to chafe some sensation back into his fingers. The thin summer tunic provided no sort of warmth; the fabric was crusted with clinging ice, and beneath it his skin was wet and white, stinging with cold. "I'm just so cold..."

Link Third got to his feet. "If we stay here much longer," he said, "we won't be able to get up the mountain at all--we'll be frozen solid. Come on. One more try!"

They went on; they trudged through snow, tore their hands on jagged ice as they hauled themselves upwards. Link, coming last, saw bloody handprints where the others had been, but they did not complain, and he did not comment. His own hands were cut and bleeding but he could not feel any pain; he was too cold. A fierce wind began to blow, and in it were shards of ice that cut their faces and any skin that might for a moment or two be exposed. He lost all sensation in his ears. They clung all three to the mountain's sheer faces, gasping, freezing, dragging themselves onto ledge after snowy ledge; their thin clothes flapped ragged, their hair grew thick with ice, their lips were blue and bleeding. Link was not sure when it was that he first realised he would not reach the top of Tamaranch; he went on grimly nonetheless, following the trail of stained snow, determined to go on as long as there was breath in his body.

It was Dark who failed first. Crawling up onto a thin little shelf that was nothing more than an ice slab clinging to the stone, he found the shadow on hands and knees, head down, his black hair barely visible beneath the clinging white of snow; Link Third knelt by him, trying to get him up. Dark shook his head weakly. "I cannot," was all he said, and it was enough.

"It's beaten us," Link said, sitting down hard in the powdery snow. He wrapped his arms around himself and suddenly started to shiver so hard that he could barely keep upright. "We can't go on. We... we must turn back."

"Maybe we should," Link Third said quietly, looking at him, and he saw the sudden flash of hope in the other man's sea-green eyes.

We have failed, he thought, and in a strange way it comforted him. They could hardly be blamed if it was not in their power to leave the island. Was it so bad to stay on Koholint? Link Third was happy here; had been for a very long time, before he and Dark turned up to spoil things. What was in it for them if they did wake the Wind Fish? They would be murderers; they would have destroyed the island and everything upon it. Marin, Popa, Ella... all would be dead--no, worse--it would be as if they had never been.

But Hyrule would be gone, thought the part of him that was the Hero still. And then, but Koholint would remain!

He understood then: understood everything. That was the decision that Hyrule's third Hero had been unable to make. That was the decision he had been speaking of in the conversation overheard by chance. To choose: to choose not between reality and a dream, but between two duties, two lives. For Koholint to survive, Hyrule must die; to save Hyrule, Koholint must be destroyed. How could any Hero ever make such a choice? Easier by far to put it off and put it off, until it no longer mattered. That was what Link Third had done. But that escape was no escape; that life was no life; and he knew it as well as any of them.

Everything hurt and he was more tired than should have been possible, but from somewhere within, that place perhaps that belonged to the Heroes, he found the strength to stand. His hand found the hilt of the serpentine dagger, and his icy fingers closed about the chilled leather binding. "We go on," he said. "It can't be far now. Come on!"

"I must rest," Dark whispered, closing his eyes. "Leave me. I will follow."

"No," Link said grimly, "you won't." He went to him and put his arm about the other's shoulders, shocked at once at how cold he felt beneath the thin material of his summer tunic. "Get up," he said. Dark shook his head again; Link hauled him up bodily and set him on his feet. He stumbled once and leaned against the rock wall, and then found his balance. "We're going on," Link said, his eyes calm. "All of us." He tilted his head and looked up into the mists and swirling snow.

Link Third began to smile. "Nice try," he said, directing the words out towards the stormy sky. And then he too got to his feet, and patted the hilt of his slim golden sword; he looked towards them.

"How much further is it?" Link asked.

He shrugged. "I'm not sure. I've only climbed once before, and it wasn't snowing then. But sooner or later we should find steps, and once we get to them it's a straight walk to the summit." His eyes narrowed as he turned to face the mountain. "As long as Tamaranch's face hasn't changed since I was here last."

"Can it change?"

"I don't know. I wouldn't put it past it."

"Let's find out," Link said. And he walked past the other man and began, once again, to climb. The wind drove down on him and froze the blood on his face, but he forced his way through it. And they came behind him, following now where he had followed. Again they slipped and slid and clutched at daggers of ice and stone for holds; and looking down Link saw that his own hands were leaving bloody marks. They hurt abominably. It's a dream, he thought determinedly, and I intend to wake up. He ignored the pain.

There was a sheer rock face, nearly impossible to scale; they had encountered dozens like it during the ascent, and he clung and dug his lacerated fingers into the tiniest niches in a search for something to hold on to. Reaching up blindly into the white storm of snow, his fingers encountered something strange; something oddly smooth. He gripped and hauled automatically, and in a moment more came face to face with something--a carved stone step, smooth and nearly free of snow. Scrambling, aching, he pulled himself up onto it, crawled up a few more steps and then stood, leaning into the wind as he stared up. Between high walls of stone a long tapering stretch of steps faded away into cloudy height and snow; at the top, a tiny-huge speck glowed with a blue and violet flame.

Something clattered behind him; he turned and saw Dark struggling laboriously over the edge; his sword scraped along the steps, making the sound he had heard. He grasped the other's arm and helped him stand, and Dark leaned against him, shivering and struggling for breath. Link Third's fingers groped above the step a few seconds later, and he too pulled himself up and stood, pale and bleeding, his copper hair frosted with ice, his green tunic spotted with red dots of frozen blood.

"The steps," Link said.

The third Hero nodded. When he spoke his voice was weak and breathy with the effort of the climb. "Not far now. Just... walk."

"And at the top?"

"The Wind Fish." Link Third examined his hands, which were torn to ribbons; he watched a drop of blood swell slowly and creep towards his wrist, along the line of his thumb. He shook it off into the snow and formed loose fists, gritting his teeth at the pain. "It sleeps," he said, looking up, "in a great egg; or rather, the egg is the door that leads to the Wind Fish. Do you still have the Ocarina?"

Dark reached into his tunic and drew it out. It glowed blue in the strange stormy light, burning from within, looking at once more real and more mystical than anything around it. "What must I do?" he asked quietly.

"Do you know the song I played?" Link Third asked. "You have heard it once. Can you play it again?"

"I think so." He turned the Ocarina over once, then found the holes with his fingers and raised the gorgeous instrument to his lips. He moved his fingers, feeling out a few notes without sounding them, then nodded. "I can play it," he said.

"Good; because I don't think I can. My hands are a mess."

"Mine are little better," Dark answered with a weak smile. "But even so, I think I can play."

"Let's go, then!" Link said, grinning. "One last hard slog, and we'll be at the top!"

They walked up side by side. It seemed as if the island had given in, or as if its will had been broken in the face of their continued resistance. The intense cold seemed to lessen; the wind dropped, and the snow no longer threw itself viciously against them. They found new strength to walk, heads high and backs straight. Slowly the spark of azure fire grew larger and took on shape: it became rounded, an oval curve like the top of an egg--an egg that must have been unimaginably huge, for it grew, and grew, and still the steps stretched away before them.

At last they passed through the last band of pale cloud, and neared the top, and the Egg rose above them like a vast monument, a mountain in itself: a twilight pearl, aflame within with all the colours of the northern sky. Amethyst lightning danced in its misty depths. Craning his head to stare Link knew that what he was seeing was a dream, the dream--this was Koholint, seen from the outside. It was gorgeous and wonderful and utterly strange.

They came up together over the final step and stood on a bare plateau covered over with snow that gleamed like chill diamonds in the blue and violet light. More snow fell around the Egg, sparkling as it drifted through the infinitely cold air. The Egg was as tall as Hyrule Castle, as broad across at its thickest point as the Golden Queen had been wide. Its light lit their faces in a blaze of indigo.

"It's time," Link Third said softly. "To make the choice."

Link looked into his ocean-coloured eyes for a long moment, then turned and looked at Dark. The shadow gave a tiny, almost imperceptible nod, and Link turned back to his ancestor. "The choice has been made," he said.

"I always knew it would come to this," the other Hero said. "Eventually."

"I'm sorry," Link said.

"So am I." He turned away, staring at the Egg. "Play it. Play it now."

Dark raised the Ocarina.

Marin was there. She appeared without warning out of a billow of snow, brilliant in her summer-golden dress. Her feet were bare in the snow but she showed no sign of being cold. A lily glowed in her shimmering hair; around her neck and around her slim wrists were chains of threaded daisies, ivory and gold. Tears unfrozen glistened gemlike on her cheeks. They stood silent, frozen, as she came past them; she stood before Link Third and lifted one lovely hand to brush the icy hair from his forehead. "Love," she pleaded softly.

"Play it," Link Third said again, and his own voice grated out without light or music; his marvellous eyes were gray now, gray and dull as the sea on a winter's day.

"Love, please," Marin whispered. She put her arms around his neck and tilted her face up to kiss him on the lips. They saw his whole body tremble at that touch, and his own arms moved abortively as if he would have enfolded her; but then he turned his head away, and roughly he pulled back.

"Play it," he said a third time, his eyes now fixed upon her. Dark had lowered the Ocarina as he stared, his own eyes wide; now, he raised it once more and felt for the notes. The blue crystal was smeared and dulled with blood where he had touched it.

Marin was holding a sword. It was a thin, delicate thing, alive with colours: a rainbow blade. "You won't," she said. "I won't let you." She began to walk towards the shadow. Link Third came after her, drew his own sword and interposed himself between them. She drew in a breath and the hurt on her face was awful to be seen. "You'll kill us," she said. "You'll kill us all."

Link watched his ancestor strive. He saw the supreme, unbearable effort, the torment of mind; for full five seconds he fought himself to speak, and then, like a sun shining sudden through clouds, the Hero prevailed. "It's time," Link Third said. "I've made the choice."

Marin struck without warning, bringing the rainbow sword up and around in a terrible swift slash; and the golden sword rose like a bird to meet it. The bright blades clashed--and suddenly they were fighting, back and forth in the drifting snow, kicking up gouts of it with their feet. Link followed it with his eyes, disbelieving her speed and strength, and then he realised that it was not Marin--it never had been. It was the dream that fought them now, in desperation. He drew his own sword and stepped forward, meaning to help, but Link Third glanced up and shook his head at him.

I must do this, said the third Hero's voice in his mind, bright and steely and strange.

The swords clashed and smashed together, showering sparks like golden snow. Neither Link Third nor Marin spoke or even seemed to breathe; they fought in utter silence, save for the ring of steel and the scuffing of their feet through the snow. Around that sound now came floating the milk-fire tones of the Ocarina. Dark's eyes were closed as he lost himself in the music that came now fast, now slow, but always beautiful. The Egg began to glow brighter, pulsing light to some immense heartbeat. Link felt the air grow thick.

He saw Link Third make the mistake--extend himself six inches too far, for half a second too long. Marin saw it too. She stabbed. The rainbow sword penetrated soundlessly and broke out again with a spatter of blood. She smiled in triumph and stepped back, letting go of the hilt in her confidence of victory. And Link Third smiled back, gently, sadly, and he saw her realise: it had not been a mistake, not in the slightest. The gilded sword came sweeping up and sliced in one smooth soundless motion through golden hair and daisy-chain and pale peach-perfect skin. There was no blood and no falling. In an explosion of azure and amethyst light, Marin was gone.

Link Third went slowly to his knees in the snow that was already turning red. He dropped his own sword and reached up his hand to touch lightly, almost curiously, the hilt of the other. It had been a perfect, textbook blow: smooth between two ribs on the left side, straight through the heart. Over a foot of the rainbow blade gleamed, bloodstained, at his back.

He gripped the hilt and, with a grimace of pain, drew it out. It slid out easily enough and fell smoking in the snow. Slowly he got once more to his feet and then bent, seeking his own sword; he found it, held it up for a moment, and then slipped it into the scabbard. Blood was running down freely from the double wound in his body, front and back, and staining his green tunic red. Hot drops pattered in the hissing snow.

"Why aren't you dead?" Link asked stupidly.

The other man looked at him, and the look in his sea-green eyes was terribly sad. "I am," he said softly. "It's been six hundred years. Did you think I had a body to go back to?"

"Then we've killed you as well." He remembered the pain in Marin's eyes, and the weight of guilt bowed his head.

"No," Link Third said. "I did that."

He became aware that the music of the Ocarina had stopped. Turning, he saw Dark standing with the instrument in his hands, staring at them both with eyes that glowed like rubies in the light of the Egg. "Go on," Link urged. "Finish it."

"I have," Dark said.

He turned back to Link Third who stood still, one hand over the oozing wound upon his breast, the other resting on the hilt of his sword. "What else do we have to do?" Link asked.

"Nothing," the other man answered, looking puzzled. "That's it."

"So why isn't anything--"

Something did. The Egg made a sound: a rumble, or rather a cry so low that it felt like a rumble. Its light became brilliant, too intense for eyes to endure, and they turned away all three and shielded their faces from it. Even through his closed eyelids, even through his hands he saw that light, blue-white like lightning, reaching out to them, then filling them and flowing past them as whatever it was that lived within the Egg began to break free. The Egg cracked, and the sound was the shattering of a world.



The Wind Fish rose.



All was dark; all was black; the island was falling away beneath his feet and he was falling, dissolving with it; he felt his legs go, his hands, then his pain, his love, his very memories, one by one falling away and rising towards the sunlight far above as he fell, deeper and deeper into the dark place. Things fluttered from him like bright butterflies; there went the Princess, brighter than the rest; there went his family and his treasured memories of his grandfather; there went the Amulet and all hope of the Quest; there went his skill with a sword. He clutched at them one by one as they went, but they slid from him like silver fish in midnight waters, twisting effortlessly out of his grasp and floating up, up, into the golden light receding.

One thing only he caught back: the very last one. It was his name, and he held onto it with the grim grasp of a drowning man, though it fought him to be free.

We have made a terrible mistake, Link thought as the black closed over his head, and then there was really nothing.


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