The Outrealms – Chapter One – Those Who Don’t Belong (Part Four)

This is a fanfiction. The characters and world of the games involved in this story are the intellectual property of Nintendo. I am simply writing an original story in their world.

The Outrealms is designed for an appropriate audience based on the rating of the games that inspired the story. Expect content equivalent to that of a T-rated game. Mild language, frightening elements, mild suggestive themes, thematic elements, and fantasy violence may appear.

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The battle for Castle Town took days, but with determination and resilience the Hylian rebels were able to clear the city of monsters and cross the hilly expanse leading up to Hyrule Castle. With the sun setting behind the castle, a long shadow was cast over the rebels. They were currently encamped in the field in front of the castle’s drawbridge. Zora’s River flowed beside them, the swift waters providing a natural barrier to prevent entry into the castle. There were only two ways in – a drawbridge and a small crawlspace on the side wall. With the drawbridge closed, someone would have to infiltrate the castle from the side and lower the bridge for the rest of the soldiers.

Lucina, Link, Zelda, and Impa were debating the subject. All of them looked haggard and worn from days of battle. Link’s blue scarf was tattered at the edges, and his tunic ripped in a few places. However, he still kept his enthusiastic smile. Impa had taken some blows and was bandaged around her stomach and left shoulder. Her hard expression had never changed. Zelda looked the most different, dressed in a form-fitting outfit of wrappings and blue cloth that made her look like a completely different person. With her blond hair tied up in a ponytail and only her red eyes visible (had she always had red eyes?), Zelda was unrecognizable on the battlefield. Quite important, considering that her death could bring the kingdom to ruin.

“I’ll go!” Link volunteered. “I’ve gotten into the castle that way before.”

Navi the fairy emerged from Link’s tunic and crossed her little arms. “You’re too big now, Link. You’d never fit through there anymore.”

Zelda nodded. “It’s true, Link. You’ve grown these seven years and now you won’t be able to squeeze through. I should still be able to fit, though.”

“Princess, I cannot allow that,” Impa said. “This will be a dangerous stealth mission. You should stay with the troops. If something were to happen to you before you could lower the bridge, they would be demoralized beyond recovery. The kingdom cannot lose its princess.”

“I’ll go,” Lucina volunteered. “I don’t have much experience in subterfuge but I should be able to fit anywhere that Zelda could go.”

“You don’t know the layout of the castle,” Zelda countered.

“Then I’ll go with her,” Impa said. “Lucina and I can lower the bridge while you and Link prepare our troops for the final battle.”

Zelda let out a sigh. “I suppose that’s agreeable. I simply hate to ask Lucina to risk her life yet again. She’s fought so hard for us already.”

“It’s alright, Zelda,” Lucina said. “Walhart came from my world. Defeating him and saving your kingdom is my responsibility just as much as it is yours.”

Getting to the crawlspace took some effort. Lucina and Impa had to dive into the river and swim against the current, taxing their muscles as the beautiful crystalline water fought to push them away. Once they hit land, they took a few minutes to rest before leaping to the side wall and sliding through the crawlspace. Impa slid in first, her tall sinuous form easily fitting through the gap. Afterwards, Lucina pushed through the Falchion and Impa’s massive sword before crawling through herself. The space was tight, but she managed to squeeze through with only a bit of struggle.

The passage placed them in what used to be the castle garden. By the look of things, no one had cared for the garden since Walhart’s reign began. Choking vines and ugly weeds were the only things growing, large patches of bare soil comprising most of the garden. A few pig-men (creatures Lucina now knew were called moblins) were standing guard.

Impa held a single finger to her lips. Lucina nodded her understanding. The tattooed warrior then began to make her way towards the nearest guard, her feet moving silently through the grass. Suddenly, the moblin took a whiff of the air with its snout. Impa stopped and held her body perfectly still. Her hand slowly drifted down to her side towards the dagger she wore on her hip.

The moblin continued to sniff for a moment, then turned its attention back to staring in the opposite direction. Impa cleared the distance between them in an instant, drawing her dagger across the creature’s throat and laying it low. She darted ahead while Lucina kept creeping carefully, unsure of her footsteps and how loud they might be.

One more guard waited in this area, this one behaving as if she were on patrol. The mobliness kept a steady pace, her march leading her away from the two intruders. Lucina pressed tightly against a nearby wall while Impa seemed to glide towards the guard. Just before she was able to strike the killing blow, the guard suddenly pivoted to face her.

“Intruder!” the guard roared. She hefted her spear and lunged for Impa, who sidestepped the blow and drew her heavy naginata from its sheath. Easily dwarfing its wielder, the heavy blade looked much too large for Impa to carry, yet she wielded it with speed and precision. A few quick parries and she had the mobliness stumbling backward. The tattooed warrior pressed her advantage and threw something onto the ground. With a loud crack, a burst of bright light suddenly overwhelmed the guard and caused her to drop her weapon completely. Impa took advantage of the opening and delivered a fatal blow with her mighty blade.

“Through that door there,” she gestured. Lucina turned and realized she was actually leaning on the door in question. She drew her blade and then opened the door, ready to block a blow if necessary. There were no guards in the hallway – simply a long stretch of bare stonework. Lucina motioned for Impa to take the lead.

Interestingly, there was no monster presence anywhere that they could see. The path from the garden to the main entrance led down multiple hallways, none of which were occupied.

“Is it possible,” Impa whispered to Lucina, “that Walhart has abandoned the castle? Could he fear us?”

The princess shook her head. “Walhart does not abandon anything he has set his mind to. Stay on guard. Enemies could be anywhere.”

When they rounded the next corner, they found exactly where the enemies were.

Walhart was waiting for them in the grand hall. Mounted upon his armored steed, he looked much as he did the last time Lucina saw him seven years previous. A solid sheet of red steel protected him from head to toe. In his right hand was the mighty Wolf Berg, his axe of incredible power and reach. As long as a spear and the same crimson red as Walhart’s armor, this weapon could level three fully-armored men in one swipe. On his left hand was a glowing symbol – the symbol of the Triforce of Power.

Behind the Conqueror stood an army of monsters, all growling and eager to charge forward. Standing beside Impa in front of this massive force, Lucina felt fear creep into her heart. She fought it away. Fighting Walhart with confidence in her ideals and in her inevitable victory was the only way to win.

“Please,” Walhart said, his voice booming across the room so every creature could hear. “Lower the bridge.” The Conqueror would face the rebels head-on, leading their charge into battle.

Impa moved carefully towards the drawbridge lever, keeping her eyes on the enemy at all times. Lucina held her sword up and took in a calming breath. In a moment, the real battle would begin. She heard the thunk of the lever being pulled and then the moan of the old mechanism as it slowly let the drawbridge down. Impa darted to Lucina’s side and held her own sword at the ready.

“When the charge begins, you help Link hold Walhart at bay. Zelda and I will lead the soldiers,” Impa said. The princess nodded, tightening her grip upon the Falchion.

Behind her, the drawbridge lowered into place, and all Hell broke loose. Zelda formed a bow of golden light in her hands, unleashing a single arrow that streaked into the enemy front line and exploded on impact. Monsters scattered all about while Walhart stood unfazed. Link charged forward and the Hylian rebels followed after him, Lucina and Impa nearly being overrun as the soldiers tore past them and smashed into the monster army. Link stopped when he reached the girls and Impa rushed forward, joining the soldiers in their battle and leaving the Hero to his great enemy. Walhart cleared out the soldiers who dared to charge him with a single sweep of his mighty axe. His horse trotted forward slowly.

“Spare me the peons,” he said, his mouth curling into an ugly sneer. “I wish to have a real challenge, though I doubt any of you can challenge me as I am now.”

Link gave a test swipe of his sword, a beam of energy flying forth and breaking upon Walhart’s armor. The Conqueror laughed and kept moving closer at a deliberate pace. An arrow of light streaked towards him from behind the heroes. He lifted his hand and caught the arrow, snuffing it out with a small orb of darkness. The Triforce upon his hand glowed brightly, and Lucina noticed that Link’s Triforce was glowing as well. Zelda rushed forward to join them, and the three Triforce pieces resonated. Tension filled the air – the Triforce desired to be made whole. This battle would decide who succeeded.

Walhart reared back and threw his axe towards the heroes, the three of them all leaping out of the heavy blade’s way. With a motion of his left hand, the Conqueror called the Wolf Berg back to him, Lucina just barely ducking beneath the whirling axe as it returned to its master. She rushed forward to strike but Walhart’s horse rose up onto its hind legs, kicking wildly at Lucina and stopping her approach. Zelda fired another arrow but the Conqueror easily snuffed the light.

Navi tried to fly close, but a gesture of Walhart’s hand blew her backward. She retreated into Link’s tunic, the hero leaping through the air and bringing the Master Sword to bear against the Wolf Berg. Walhart flung Link aside like an unwanted doll, grinning as he charged towards Lucina on his mighty horse. The princess barely managed to throw herself aside.

“We meet again, child,” Walhart said. “Your father failed to kill me, even with all his grandstanding. Why should you be any different?”

The Conqueror charged forward yet again on his horse, the Wolf Berg swinging a wide arc through the air. Lucina ducked underneath the swing, but Walhart had a second strike ready in an instant, bringing the axe down onto Lucina’s position. She raised the Falchion to block. Axe met sword with a metallic clang, Lucina’s arms giving in immediately against the incredible power of Walhart’s blow. She managed to angle the blow away, but her weapon was now lowered and she was pinned to the ground. Walhart’s horse rose up and prepared to bring its mighty hooves down upon her.

“Link, shield!” Zelda cried. Link rushed forward with his shield at the ready, Zelda firing an arrow of light into the shield. Golden light exploded from the point of impact, directly in the horse’s line of sight. Stunned by the brilliant rays, the horse threw Walhart and then galloped away, charging mindlessly into the battle happening a few feet away.

Walhart never hit the ground. A pulse of energy emanated from his body, overtaking all four combatants. Suddenly Lucina felt her body floating upwards towards the ceiling. Link, Zelda, Walhart, all of them were turning in the air and being pulled away from the ground. The Conqueror swung his mighty axe, but Link was ready. The hero easily got his bearings and blocked the Wolf Berg with his shield, pushing against Walhart and sending him floating away. Lucina hit the roof first and used it as a springboard, launching herself towards the airborne Conqueror and striking a glancing blow against his sword-arm. Walhart whirled about and reset gravity to its proper direction, the warriors now all plunging back towards the ground from the air.

Zelda fired an arrow, the streak of light smashing into the emperor’s back and slamming him into the castle wall. Link landed onto the man’s back and struck repeatedly with his sword, trying to find an angle or a weak point to exploit. Walhart pushed away from the wall with incredible force, flying all the way across the room and crushing Link between the opposite wall and his heavily-armored body. Just before they all hit the ground, a glow issued from Zelda’s Triforce of Wisdom, sending down a bright light that cushioned their fall and allowed everyone to land on their feet.

Walhart whipped around to lash at the still-stunned Link, Navi crying “watch out” just in time for the hero to duck underneath the swing. Another arrow from Zelda pounded into the Conqueror’s back. He turned to face her and snarled.

“I tire of you, little fly,” he spat. One gesture of his hand sent Zelda towards the ceiling again, Walhart throwing his mighty axe after her.

Link cried out in rage and leapt up into the air, smashing the emperor over the head with his shield. Walhart staggered forward, Lucina rushing in to capitalize on the opening Link had created. She took a moment to reach inside of herself and call upon the power of Luna. This time, she felt the connection solidify and grow. A blue flame overtook the Falchion, and as Lucina slashed the sword tore a hole through Walhart’s chestplate. The Conqueror cried out in agony and unleashed a powerful pulse that flung Lucina and Link across the room, smashing them into the wall.

Above, Zelda had managed to avoid being struck by the Wolf Berg. She was positioning herself to fire another arrow, but Walhart was ready for her. With a firm gesture of his hand the ceiling she was standing on collapsed, heavy slabs of stone and rubble pulling Zelda towards the ground. Lucina rushed forward, her sword still blazing blue, but Walhart lifted her up with one mighty hand and threw her into the wall, her body smashing the stone before falling limp to the floor. Link lunged at the opening in Walhart’s chest plate, but a barrier of darkness bounced the Master Sword away.

“I’m too powerful for you, boy,” Walhart said. “The Triforce of Power gives me more strength than you can ever imagine.”

“I have a Triforce too,” Link replied. “And more than that, I have my friends beside me. You are alone, Walhart, and a man who leads like you do will always be alone. But as long as the rest of us stand together, we’ll be able to overcome you.”

Walhart roared at that, dark power rolling off of his body and sending tremors down the bodies of his enemies.

“You are a fool! Teamwork means nothing when you are all weak. Courage means nothing when it makes you foolhardy. All of you are worms to be conquered and I am the one who will conquer you!”

Suddenly, an arrow of light smashed into Walhart’s back. Lucina rushed forward and delivered a second slash along the back of the Conqueror’s armor, the power of Luna allowing her to create an opening in the back parallel to the one in front. Link let out a mighty cry and plunged the Master Sword through Walhart’s chest – and out the other side. For a moment, time stopped. The force of Link’s blow rippled through the whole room. Everyone stopped and turned their attention to Walhart.

“I don’t…understand,” Walhart said. “Zelda was falling. Lucina was broken on the floor. How…?”

Link pulled his blade free and sheathed it with a flourish. “It’s hard to see everything that’s happening when you stand alone.”

Lucina gave a grim smile. “While you were arguing philosophy with Link, I healed myself with the Falchion and Zelda used her magic to scatter the rubble and stop her fall. You’ve always had the same weakness, Walhart. You believed your way of leading was better than everyone else’s – and you LOVE to talk about it.”

Walhart chuckled at that. “Thwarted by my own arrogance. In the end…the Conqueror was conquered.” With that, Walhart breathed his last breath.

The soldiers cheered as the monster army fled in terror. The heroes all breathed sighs of relief – except of course for Link, who leapt into the air and gave a mighty cheer. As the Conqueror’s body crumpled to the floor, his hand pulsed once. The glowing image of the Triforce upon his hand detached and became three-dimensional, floating up into the air above him. At the same time, the Triforce pieces from Link and Zelda floated up as well, connecting at the corners to form a larger triangle with an empty space in the center. This was the Triforce, completed at last.

Lucina nodded at Zelda. “There you are. Wish for your kingdom to be whole again.”

Zelda smiled. “I think the Hero of Time should do the honors.”

She turned to face Link and Lucina followed suit. The hero nodded and stepped forward, extending his hand to touch the Triforce. As his fingers brushed the surface, a booming voice emanated from the holy relic.

“Link. You are our chosen hero, and you have done your duty proudly. However, now is not the time for you to wield the Triforce in its entirety. You are still worthy only of the Triforce of Courage, child. We made you a man in body to wield the Master Sword. Now you must go on a long journey, for only by becoming a man in mind will you be able to wield the Triforce.”

“The kingdom will rebuild itself by the strength of man, not the blessing of the goddesses. But you will need this power for something far greater. For now, we shall scatter the pieces once more. There are many worlds in the universe, Hero, and many things crossing between them. Powers from our world should not belong to another, and tyrants from distant worlds should never have the opportunity to cause chaos in another realm. Travel to these other worlds, remove those who don’t belong – in this way you will gain wisdom and power, and become whole.”

With that, the Triforce became bright – too bright to look at. Lucina closed her eyes against the powerful light, and when she opened them again, the Triforce was gone. Link stood looking at its afterimage in the air, his left hand once again glowing with the power of the Triforce of Courage. Zelda checked her right hand, but no magical light appeared there. This time, the goddesses had sent the other two pieces much further away.

“It seems you have a quest, Link,” Zelda said. “You are not just our Hero of Time. You’re meant to be the hero of all the worlds where things have crossed the borders. Walhart was only the beginning.”

Link seemed to have trouble taking all of this in. He was calm, unusually so. The hero turned to face Lucina.

“I have a lot of things to learn,” he finally said. “If the goddesses want me to save all of the worlds…then okay. But you’ve taught me that no one can ever stand alone. Not even the Hero of Time. So please, Lucina. Let me travel with you. Let’s visit the other worlds together, let me learn from you and from all the heroes like you out there in the universe.”

Lucina thought about it for a moment. She honestly had no idea what she intended to do after facing Walhart. Returning to her own world had been foremost on her mind. But Link needed a guide. He was courageous, yes, but also naive and young. He needed a companion who could keep his head level, who could channel his energy in a direction that was productive and could truly make a difference. Lucina wasn’t sure if she was meant to be that person. But after everything she had experienced in Hyrule, she was willing to try.

“Alright,” she said. “I’ll come with you, Link. Together, we’ll protect the Outrealms.” She extended her hand towards Link. His face lit up with a huge smile. He took her hand and clasped it.

“This is gonna be an awesome adventure!”

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First off, I’m sorry to anyone disappointed by today’s post being late. I wanted to give you guys a quality ending to Chapter One, so hopefully you felt that I accomplished that.

You may have felt that something was missing in today’s post. Namely, the battle for Castle Town and all the space between it and Hyrule Castle. That story will be covered in a chapter called Taking the Town, which will be posted exclusively on the Adventure Rules Tumblr page throughout this week. Be sure to follow or bookmark this page to see that part of the story.

I hope you all enjoyed Chapter One of The Outrealms. There’s a lot more adventure to come, so be sure to return next Friday for a whole new chapter and a whole new world!

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