Sin of Sheikari: Chapter 3

Ganondorf peered down at Zelda, his menacing golden eyes filling her with dread. He sat atop his black destrier, the imposing form of his fearsome steed dwarfing her completely. Here he was, the King of Evil, the very person she’d come to confront.

And defeat.

Ganondorf’s eyes trailed behind Zelda, noting the unconscious Gerudo warriors and the blazing inferno. Then he looked back at the princess, a malicious grin beginning to form on his face.

“You are too kind, Your Grace,” he said, his deep voice like a wave of hatred crashing down on her. “To spare my warriors’ lives, it is truly honorable. You even allowed the remaining sentry atop the tower to live so that I’d have a proper beacon to find you. I’d expect nothing less. Now then…”

He held out his hand, and a sphere of transparent, yellow light materialized in his palm, hovering steadily. Zelda stared at it, feeling her heart jump.

“Our reunion is long overdue,” he said, the sphere slowly growing in size. “Tell me. Do you truly think you stand a chance against my power?”

Zelda straightened herself up to her full height. She wouldn’t be intimidated, not by him. Not by a madman.

“Your reign is over, Ganondorf,” Zelda grasped her kodachi. “It ends today.”

Ganondorf flung the spell at Zelda, who knocked it away with ease. It dissipated before it reached the ground.

“Good,” Ganondorf sneered. “You can at least do that. I was afraid you wouldn’t present a challenge at all.”

Zelda didn’t wait for him to charge another spell, flinging another fireball in his direction. The spell connected, and both Ganondorf and his steed were engulfed in flames. Zelda gasped at the sight, wondering why he hadn’t tried to dodge it.

Her body grew rigid as she watched the inferno. She knew it couldn’t have been that easy. Ganondorf was an immensely talented magician. That spell wouldn’t have killed him.

She could still make out their outlines in the flames, him sitting atop his destrier unmoving. A chill ran down her spine. Neither of them seemed to be reacting to being on fire, instead continuing to stand still as if patiently waiting for Zelda’s next move.

Zelda readied another spell when the inferno roared upward, and she couldn’t see either of them anymore. Just as quickly as it picked up, the flames completely evaporated. Ganondorf floated before her, his black destrier no longer anywhere to be seen. He now held a long trident, its design sinister, with a sharp blade on each of its three prongs. His left hand was still engulfed in flames, his fingers tapping impatiently.

Zelda glowered. He was just toying with her.

“You sent a phantom of yourself here!” she snarled. “I won’t be distracted by your tricks!”

“Of course,” he raised an eyebrow, chuckling darkly. “I won’t waste my time with someone as weak and pathetic as you.” 

Zelda seethed. How could he come here and belittle her attempt to defend her kingdom?

“You mock me!” she shouted. “I won’t allow you to lead this kingdom into further ruin! I’ll destroy your puppet here. Then, I’ll reclaim Hyrule!”

Ganondorf smirked before bringing his hand up to his face. When he removed it, a white skull mask with long horns that curved upwards materialized, hiding his features.

“You no longer have any claim to this kingdom,” Phantom Ganon’s voice boomed as if being sounded from several planes of existence at once. “And you will do nothing but fail.”

Zelda held out her hand, a ball of light forming in front of her. She threw it at Phantom Ganon, but he simply deflected it with his trident.

“You believe the Goddesses favor you,” He lifted his free hand towards the sky. “But you are nothing but a foolish child.”

He snapped his hand forward, and a powerful jolt of energy flew towards Zelda. She tried to deflect it again, but the magic latched onto her blade. She cried out as the spell sent a shockwave of searing pain through her body.

“Evil…can never lay claim to Hyrule!” Zelda let out a pained grunt. “I won’t allow it!”

“Evil has always laid claim to Hyrule,” Phantom Ganon sneered. “Since the beginning of time!”

“Lies!”  Zelda shouted. “The Goddesses have always protected us! The Hero of Time stopped your evil desire!”

She flung another fireball at the phantom. In response, he raised his hand and let it dissipate in front of him. Startled, Zelda gasped for breath, clutching her chest. She felt as if she was going to collapse at any moment. Phantom Ganon continued to hover before her, seeming to consider her words.

“I see,” he said. “That’s why you’re here, because of that lie your ‘hero’ told you.”

“I came to stop you!” Zelda countered. “You betrayed the royal family! You turned your back on Hyrule!”

“Hyrule is a land caught in a perpetual cycle of light and darkness, of those who are righteous and wicked,” Phantom Ganon responded, disregarding Zelda’s words. “Would you challenge that cycle? Can you?” 

Zelda clenched her fists. “I can stop you as long as I have the power of the Golden Goddesses.”

She narrowly dodged Phantom Ganon’s trident as he swiped at her, seemingly teleporting from his location to right in front of her.

“The Triforce will be mine!” Phantom Ganon continued the battle, slashing his trident at Zelda. She was able to deflect it with her kodachi, but she collapsed onto her knees afterward.

“No!” Zelda shouted, trying desperately to stand. Phantom Ganon now stood before her, his blade inches from her face. “It can never be used for evil!”

“Oh, it can,” Phantom Ganon chuckled darkly. “As long as the hearts of men long for it.”

The sky darkened as a sickly green aura surrounded Phantom Ganon. He raised his trident towards the sky, and a vast network of lightning bolts struck all around him. Zelda gasped, sensing the incredible magical power behind the growing spell. She once again raised her translucent shield, unsure if it would be enough to hold him at bay.

“The Triforce is the power to rule the world!” He shouted, his voice still seemingly coming from every direction at once.

“No!” Zelda shouted, “The Triforce-“

She was cut off as a massive bolt of lightning struck her shield, knocking her back several feet. She cried out in pain as she landed hard on the ground, her shield blinking in and out of sight. She could hear Phantom Ganon’s voice getting closer and desperately tried to strengthen her magic.

“Enough,” he said, eerily calm.

Zelda tried to stand but collapsed to one knee, and she weakly gazed up at the sky. Phantom Ganon raised his trident once more, and another bolt of lightning struck Zelda’s shield. She coughed, her body wracked with pain. The lightning felt like it had burned her skin, though she knew it was only the effect of the magic.

“He’s not coming,” Phantom Ganon’s trident began to glow as he absorbed energy from the sky. He then began striking Zelda’s shield over and over again. She cried out in pain as each blow sent shockwaves through her body, and the shield finally shattered before vanishing completely under his relentless assault.

“You will pay for your stubbornness,” Phantom Ganon’s voice echoed through the air. A fresh wave of energy coursed through Zelda’s body with every word he spoke, and she desperately tried to renew the shield. His voice seemed to echo through her very being. “Your hero has abandoned you.”

Zelda closed her eyes, knowing that she was losing consciousness. She’d lost. He had beaten her. She had come this far, and it had all been for nothing. She reached out with her spirit, willing for Link to appear, the one who was fated to save Hyrule. The hero. If ever there was a moment for him to show up, it was now.

The last thing she saw as she finally lost consciousness was Phantom Ganon raising his trident one final time. She braced herself, waiting for everything to fade to black when she heard the trident meet someone else’s blade.

She gasped. It couldn’t be. Had he finally arrived? She heard Phantom Ganon’s voice once again.

“Stand aside, Sheikah.”

“I will do no such thing, Ganondorf.”

Zelda’s eyes snapped open, and she saw Impa facing Phantom Ganon. Her back was to Zelda, while the sorcerer’s puppet hovered a few feet away from them. It seemed as though she’d driven him back.

“Zelda, you need to leave here.”

Impa’s voice snapped Zelda back into reality. She rolled onto her stomach, clawing the earth as she tried to reach her guardian. “Impa, you can’t take him on alone! Let me help you! I can still fight!”

“Zelda, you’re injured. You’ll only get in the way.”

“You’ll die!” Zelda tried to stand, but her head began swimming as she collapsed onto her knees.

“I am here to protect you,” Impa said as she slipped into her battle stance, her long silver hair billowing out in the wind. “If that is all I can do, then so be it. Now leave.”

Zelda finally managed to stagger to her feet, struggling against the ground as she tried to keep herself upright. “I call upon Farore, great Goddess of Courage, please…”

Phantom Ganon flew at Impa, and Zelda watched as the Sheikah warrior braced herself. Zelda wanted to cry out, to say anything that would convince Impa to run away.

“Take us from this place. Please.”

She opened her eyes, gasping in surprise. She hadn’t realized she was holding onto Impa’s arm, that she’d somehow managed to close the distance between them so quickly. The tip of Phantom Ganon’s trident was mere inches from Impa’s face when she and Zelda found themselves engulfed in a dazzling green light. Zelda felt her hand slipping as the light grew so intense it was all she could see. Then, all at once, there was nothing but darkness. And she fell, plunging into the abyss.