Sin of Sheikari: Chapter 5

The Hyrulean Civil War concluded long before Zelda was born. The people of Hyrule learned of the mystical Triforce, hidden deep within the Sacred Realm. Some also called it the Golden Land.

Five temples rested in various parts of Hyrule, the last being the Temple of Light, which was nestled at the center of the Sacred Realm. Unless one was a Sage, the only entrance to the Sacred Realm was through the Door of Time in the Temple of Time. To open that door, all three of the Spiritual Stones plus the Ocarina of Time had to have been collected. It ensured only someone with pure intentions and the blessing of the other races could ever seek out the Golden Land.

Zelda etched these facts into her mind as she slipped into her tights. She carefully wrapped her chest and torso, binding them so that she could move more freely in combat. She looked down at her hands, noticing that less than half of her fingers needed to be wrapped in bandages now. They served as a constant reminder of her training with Impa, who had done her best to train Zelda to fight without the use of her magic.

She sighed, allowing the breeze to sweep her hair across her face. It still smelled faintly of wood and fire, a keepsake from her battle with Phantom Ganon. To defeat him, she’d have to be resourceful, using every single skill at her disposal.

It would all have to be enough.

She plaited her hair into a tight braid, tucking it into her hood before wrapping her head in cloth she enchanted to hide her face. To everyone else, she’d have red eyes and a masculine appearance, resembling a trained Sheikah warrior. This time, they’d hardly suspect she was anything close to royalty, and she needed that advantage. Yes, the people of Hyrule would need to know she was still alive, but not yet. She couldn’t be recognized until the time was right. 

Ganondorf would be the first to see her face again before she destroyed him forever.

Zelda loosened the grip on her kodachi, sighing in frustration. She’d always suspected the sorcerer to be up to something even as a child, but it wasn’t until Link had warned her that she built up the courage to notify her father. Courage. Was that what she was missing now?

“Seems like you’re well-rested after all.”

Zelda didn’t turn to face Impa, knowing she’d been watching for quite some time. Instead, she continued to equip herself with everything she needed as her guardian observed. “Hyrule can still be saved.”

She heard Impa sigh and knew she was shaking her head. She’d done it so many times since Zelda mentioned her plan to defeat Ganondorf alone, without the Hero of Time. Impa called the idea foolish and dangerous, begging Zelda to wait for the hero. Up until then, Zelda had always taken her word for it. She’d never considered leaving the abandoned village until one day she recalled a memory she’d long tried to bury.

It was the day her father told her the truth about her mother’s passing. It had already been two years since Zelda had learned the queen had set off for the Gerudo Desert late at night. She’d never been told why her mother left so abruptly, only that once she arrived she’d been attacked.

“There is a place deep in the Haunted Wasteland, farther than even the Gerudo dare to go,” her father said as he crouched down to face her. “Your mother would have awful visions of this place, saying there was something there which should never be found. Something that should be destroyed.”

Zelda peered up at her father, blue eyes filled with confusion. The king sighed, gesturing to a mirror hanging up on a nearby wall. Next to it was the queen’s favorite instrument, the mystical Goddess Harp. “I’d catch her staring at her reflection at times. Your mother was never vain, though she was strikingly beautiful. No, it was as if she saw something that no one else could.”

Zelda nodded. “Like my visions.”

The king grunted. “I believe so. So, she set off, trying to find that place hidden deep within the Haunted Wasteland. And that was where she died.”

Zelda wanted to ask more, but her vision blurred as her father rose from his position, now standing tall as he told her the rest.

“Your mother was a strong woman,” he reached for the Goddess Harp, staring at the instrument as if it possessed some sort of answer. “But she chose to go alone, to face the dangers by herself. I couldn’t protect her.”

“You can’t go alone again.”

Zelda blinked rapidly, seemingly snapping out of a daze as Impa looked on, concern and irritation sketched across her face. She chose not to heed Impa’s warning, instead continuing to ready herself.

“I won’t be alone when I face him again,” Zelda stated. “The Ancient Sages will fight at my side.”

Impa sighed. “That was your favorite history lesson, and you know as well as I that those Sages entered an eternal slumber. Some day the Sacred Realm will awaken new Sages if Hyrule is on the brink of destruction.”

“Not if there’s no hero.”

Impa paused, folding her arms. “You don’t know for sure if he’s not coming.”

Zelda paused, clenching her fists again. How long did Impa intend for them to wait? Seven more years? A hundred? No. She had to set off now. She could no longer delay.

“Hyrule has been a realm of darkness for seven long years, and Link never returned,” she said. “The land becomes darker still with each passing day. I must find the Ancient Sages and awaken them now.”

“Think about what you’re doing,” said Impa. “There’s a reason they chose eternal slumber.”

“They were privileged enough to have a choice at all. I am not.”

If Impa wanted to say more, she didn’t. So, Zelda reached deep within herself, calling upon her own power for guidance. She held out her hands, and within seconds her mother’s Goddess Harp materialized in them.

As if she’d been practicing for years, she began strumming it. Each note echoed as if being stretched across unfathomable distances. As beautiful, haunting notes filled the air around them, tendrils of green light erupted from the ground, swirling around her like leaves caught in a shifting autumn breeze.

“I will find the Ancient Sages,” Zelda’s voice echoed as the green light tendrils circled her, obscuring her from view. “One in a deep forest. One on a high mountain. One under a vast lake. One within the house of the dead. One inside a goddess of sand.”

“Fine,” Impa’s voice stayed calm and patient, even in the face of Zelda’s defiance. “I won’t convince you, but I have warned you, Zelda.”

“From this moment on, I am Sheik,” Zelda corrected as her feet left the ground. “I will not reveal my identity until I confront Ganondorf.

“Sheik,” Impa repeated the name as she watched Zelda rise higher and higher. “A member of the Sheikah clan awakening the Ancient Sages. You’re certainly going to catch Ganondorf’s attention again.”

Zelda turned to face Impa as she began to finally vanish.

“And when he falls to his knees before me, I will have caught so much more.”