Behold, the curse of a true mage!






Link stirred quietly as he slowly registered that his name was being called, letting out a small, pained yelp as the gentle shaking aggravated one of the gashes the Deity had given him. He opened his eyes and looked around, the events of the battle gradually coming back to him.

After a moment he tried to sit up, struggling for a few moments before the severe pain in his head, coupled with his exhaustion and the wounds he’d received, forced him to give up and fall back to the ground. He closed his eyes, placing a hand on his head. ‘It’s over, isn’t it? For the love of Nayru, tell me we won.’

After a moment he let his hand fall back to the ground, looking around once more are trying to make sense of what little he could see from his position. There was concern in his eyes by the time they settled on Midna. ‘You’re alright, right? Is everyone okay?’

Din stood patiently, waiting for Ruto to catch up with her. “If you don’t know the significance of our role, and why we did not fight on the front lines after this, then I don’t know what would convince you.” She said, sounding considerably serious. “And in the future..I don’t care if the Hero has an axe through his skull and is whistling showtunes, you don’t state for a second he’s going to die, or get himself killed. You certainly don’t yell it at a tense time where we have to put all of our trust in the Hero. The next time we gather, you need to remember to have a bit more tact than today. Do you understand?” She continued sternly, arms folded across her chest.

“I understand this is new for you, and I can’t recall if you remembered the Majora war or not so..I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt. But if you ever pull what you did today, I am going to give you a Salesman hello.” She warned, scowling more than a little.

Waving a hand dismissively with his head still bowed, trying to gain control of his body, the Salesman shook his head as if to say “no thanks are necessary”. After a couple more minutes of taking slow, deep breaths, he looked up and saw the look of relief on Midna’s face as Link opened his eyes.

“Woah, woah, woah,” the Salesman chided as the Hero attempted to sit up. “Easy does it… You’re in no condition to move around yet.”

After Link had settled back into the sand, the Salesman grinned a bit at his determination. When he asked if it was all over, the man’s expression dimmed a bit.

“Yes,” he said simply. “It’s over. You did very well, Link.”

Adjusting himself so he was sitting with his legs crossed in the sand, the Salesman looked around for everyone. Din and Ruto had moved away from the Sages and Vaati, who all looked to be doing alright. He looked back to Midna, who also appeared to be fine, but he figured he should let her speak for herself.

“Din, Ruto, Vaati and the Sages are all fine,” he said, smiling tiredly.

Midna stopped shaking him when he cried out. She held up her hands.

“Sorry, sorry!” she said quickly, and brushed them off on her sides.

Link settled back down, and at his question she gave him a wry smile.

“Of course we did,” she replied easily. “You—…We won.”

She looked up at the Salesman’s status report, and gazed around for herself. Aack, she should have paid more attention to the fact that Din and Ruto wandered off alone. Midna hoped they would be fine, in any case. But, yes. True to the Salesman’s words, everyone else looked okay.

I’m fine. All I did was stand behind my barrier.”
 Midna stood and turned to survey the desert. The rain was a welcome change from the glaring noonday sun, and she hadn’t gotten a proper look at the terrain yet.

“The question is are you alright to tr—”

She stopped midsentence and mid-sweep of the horizon. Shielding her eyes from the soft rain drops, she leaned forward with her other hand on her hip. At first she thought it was the wind kicking up dust, or an illusion, but…the threat was unmistakable. Something large…something dark…and something fast was definitely heading in their direction.

Midna inhaled sharply.

“And what,” she called out loud enough for their trio to hear, “is that?!” For some reason, the thought popped into her head that she was glad she was standing where she was. If another shield was necessary, she would be ready.

Ruto listened patiently as Din drilled her about her shortcomings today.  Multiple times Ruto had to use all her power to keep her mouth closed and not snap in a rude manner at Din.  Closing her eyes, Ruto held her breath as Din finally finished.  She sighed and opened her eyes, thinking of where to start first.

“For one, I wasn’t the only one saying Link was going to get himself killed, so why in all the Sacred Realm is she drilling me?  Secondly I’m not a child, I’m a princess and a leader of my race for Goddesses sakes.”  But Ruto swallowed these angry thoughts and decided to let herself be truly heard for once.

“I’m really beginning to see that this isn’t my place to be anymore,” Ruto said firmly.  ”I understand why we have to be on the sidelines, but it’s just difficult to do so, being a Zora.  It’s true, Zoras are very headstrong and like to take care of things our way, but we’re not stupid either.  I feel like I was meant for something more than just the sidelines, something has been telling me that someday, I’ll be needed at the frontlines.  And I feel like that time will be coming soon.  But apparently that place is not here, so I wish to return home, once everything here has been completely settled.  Oh and before you call a Zora out on her fears, how about you take a dip in some ‘deep water.’ if you know what I mean.”

Without another word, Ruto turned away from Din and decided to join the others from a distance.  “It’s better to not get attached before leaving,” Ruto sighed sadly.  Watching the group with Link made her feel lonelier than she ever had, as her thoughts trailed to the horse ride through the desert and the talks she had with Link.  No one had ever talked to her before with such kindness and interest.  Truly this was not meant to be.

Quietly she trudged to the edge of the grounds and made herself comfortable as she watched the ever shifting desert sands before her.  Ruto squinted her eyes as she noticed a large amount of sand getting kicked up in the distance, like something was charging here at a very fast pace.

“What is that?” Ruto gasped.

Vaati brushed himself off and caught his breath. That was quite a strain on him. He needed to stop wasting time and get the cap back. He saw Din and the fish yelling about something, the interesting imp and the boy, and then the salesman caught his eye. Little did he know but the mage had known the salesman from before and perhaps, he would be in Vaati’s future. And then he felt it. “The wind,” he said to himself. “Something’s wrong with the wind.” He raced to the oracle. The imp saw it and the fish saw it. “Prepare yourselves!” he shouted to all concerned.


((I’m going to die. I’ll see you later.))

*looks carefully* 

*looks carefully* 






His sullen eyes were wide upon hearing Link’s challenge. The boy’s voice denied all others and thus the Deity was only focused upon the words and the blade that stood in the way of him and his victory. He was vaguely aware of the others’ rapid actions, but not as conscious as he was of the intensity within that boy’s harsh blue eyes. Those eyes threatened to rip him apart perhaps more than the steel of his blade. Forget the Oracle, this was far more interesting.

The Deity grinned maliciously at Link’s threat. The boy certainly had courage, but there was something different about him. His entire aura seemed altered…

I see your deal has taken its toll on your demeanor...but I wonder if it has effected your fighting skills. So tell me, should I kill your friends first and leave you and I to do battle…or shall we go some place private to fight? Your call.”

Dins’ rage rose a bit, and she shot a rather stern glare at the Zora Princess before continuing her concentration. She’d talk to her afterward. Have a few words. Debating how successful the battle was, maybe something more than words. She shook those thoughts out of her mind for the time being, the power being channeled into the Rod of Seasons reminding her all to well of what would happen if she lost control. It was..less lenient than the Medallion about what it was being forced to do. This was not it’s duty, and it was being more than a little temperamental over it.

So the Oracles’ hands went from freezing cold to blistering heat where she held the Rod of Seasons, which begrudgingly took the energy channeled into it. She took several deep breaths, watching the Deity through the barrier. She would have shouted words of encouragement to Vaati, but there was too much of a risk. She closed her eyes for a moment, praying to the Goddesses to protect her and her friends.

Link had his eyes locked on the Deity, ignoring everything else happening on the battlefield. He grinned as the Deity accepted his challenge, but the grin vanished when he announced the terms.

Link only faltered for a moment, regaining his wits so quickly it was practically imperceptible. Of course he couldn’t separate himself from the others, which meant to couldn’t choose either of the paths the Deity had proposed. But there was a third option that might satisfy them both.

‘Why bother?’ the Hero that was no longer quite the Hero smirked, raising his hand and calling forth a towering wall of golden forcefields to surround himself and the Deity. All of the others on the battlefield, the mask salesman included, were closed out. Just before the barrier sealed, he looked to Din and said simply, ‘Gaž arp sae,’ before turning back to the Deity.

‘Is this suitable?’ he asked nonchalantly, gesturing broadly at the improved arena.

Midna ducked her head against Ruto’s shrill cry. Ugh. This was going to be beautiful, she thought, briefly looking between Din and the Sage. But then, who ever said fire and water got along?
Not like Midna could talk about the Zora’s method. She’d called Link an idiot many times before, though not in that way.

She could feel the shift in the air, like a convulsing spiral, of the Sages’ power feeding the Rod of Seasons. Then there was a shuffle. Midna replaced her hands to steady the shield against the battering wind and peered over her shoulder. Ah, good. Din had the Rod. Now maybe she could dash in and—

“So tell me, should I kill your friends first and leave you and I to do battle…or shall we go some place private to fight? Your call.”

Her eyes widened further. She opened her mouth to shout something, but a particularly harsh band of wind rocked the shield and she had to steel herself. First, the Deity’s request was probably a trap, and second, if Link’s remaining faculties even thought about leaving them right now, she was going to wail on him when he got back!
 If he got back…

“Why bother?”

Midna let out a heavy sigh—good, good good—but the relief was a small respite. In the second it took her to look down, she saw a flash of gold, and snapped her head up again. Oh…oh no. No. Midna knew these shields, and what was worse…they were impenetrable by physical or immaterial forms alike.

“Link don’t!” she shouted.

“Is this suitable?” 

Midna’s true hands sustained her shield’s energy, but she lost herself enough that her plait balled itself up into a fist and pounded the sand behind her. The shadow flickered.

She barely registered the Gerudo-speak, though by now—even with all she had said before, at the Oasis—she wasn’t surprised. Midna gritted her teeth and then yelled again.

Enpeh ahwohn sisahduner, twilah! Toid!

Ruto was lost in concentration when the Deity’s words cut through the spiraling energy. Her eyes grew wide in horror as she saw Link bring up a golden barrier around him and the Deity alone. Judging by Midna’s reaction, there was no way anything was getting through that barrier. Link was on his own.

“I hope you all know what you’re doing,” Ruto said in despair. She felt useless just sitting here, hiding behind a barrier while others were outside in the fray.

“I guess I am like my mother,” Ruto chuckled to herself, “trying to be a warrior. I’d much rather die a warrior’s death than cowering behind a shield.”

But Ruto dared not move, for fear of messing up Din’s plans as well as getting chewed out again. “There must be more that we can do, cause honestly this isn’t looking so good,” Ruto said to the group, biting her lip.

Vaat saw the golden barrier rise. Where did he learn to do that?! Vaati thought but quickly dismissed the thought when he realized what this meant. He lifted his head and let out a hysterical bout of laughter. “Perhaps,” the mage said. “I won’t be the one to kill this hero. Perhaps he’ll just kill himself!”


((And half asleep…))






You know…I was going to save my trump card for last, but you guys just have your heads in the game. I’ll give you the pleasure of seeing it now.”

It looked as though the Deity was about to regurgitate. It was strewn over in midair, trembling furiously. A grotesque metamorphosis began to take place as the mask seemingly disappeared from the body’s center and the once androgynous face began to develop the features of the mask. Its pale body began to bulk up, becoming lean and muscular. By the time it was over, the Deity did not look to be a mask at all…it was finally released from its prison. It became he.

His first act was to raise his fair hands to the skies, as though in some sort of prayer. The helix blade materialized into his outstretched hands, much larger than it had ever previously been. The Deity grinned as he began strategically thrusting blades of wind upon the group. He would need to get rid of the Oracle first in order to get the weather back to his favor. She would have to die first.

Din was gather the Sages into a circle, hissing out orders as to keep the intentions a secret. Seeing Ruto turn and go the opposite direction surprised her, and rage slowly followed after.
“Ruto, you fool!” She bellowed, leaping forward in order to grab the Zora and drag her back. “With the Sages! Stand with me, not them!” She commanded, her voice filled with anger. She grabbed the Zora Princess by the shoulder harshly and roughly yanked her backwards. “You are to listen to my orders, unless you truly wish to die.” She said with cold anger. She would have continued on, but the Fierce Deity had finally decided to act, changing it’s shape to something else.

“Kuff.” She hissed, turning to Vaati and Midna. “Do your best to keep the barrier up! Good luck Link.” She spoke, turning to head back to the Sages. She withdrew the Rod of Seasons again, knowing the Medallion would not be able to be used this time around. Using the Rod of Seasons was risky, but what else could they do?

“Channel your power to the Rod of Seasons. I will act as the—” She stopped herself, smirking at her use of words. Using a rod as a ‘lightning rod’ for the power, irony. “Center. I will direct the combined energy…like last time. For those of you who remember that, know this will be the same. We are without the Great Sea Sages, but this is within our power. Do not break ranks for any reason. Vaati and Midna will do their best to protect us. I trust them.” She said, exhaling and holding the Rod of Seasons up for the Sages to aim their power at.

She had to clear her mind. This was not then. It would not require the Triforce. It wouldn’t require anyone to die. Not the Garo, not the Sages, not any of her friends. “Begin when you are ready.”

Link took his eyes from the Deity for just a moment as he saw a figure running towards him, finding with dismay the the Zoran Princess had broken ranks with the sages and had come to stand at his side. What a magnificent idiot.

When she reached him, he turned to keep a watchful eye on the Deity and taking up a protective stance in front of the sage, otherwise paying her only enough mind to growl, ‘I knew you’d be a liability. Go back.’

When she didn’t move, he turned to repeat the command, only to be cut of as the mask salesman showed up and unceremoniously put a rabbit-like hood on his head. He didn’t protest, not that he had time to. The advantage the salesman described was most welcome; he didn’t care about appearances right now.

By the time he looked back to the Deity, the former mask had assumed his new form. Link was only able to raise his hand and form a barrier in front of himself and Ruto just fast enough to keep the wind blades the Deity was sending from slicing them to pieces. He winced visibly as the attacks hit the forcefield, feeling the immediate drain on his energy as the wind blades smashed against the barrier. He clenched his teeth, turning to see if Ruto was still behind him, to find that Din was dragging the Zora away. Good. If the Princess had any sense, she’d listen this time, rather than put the success of the entire party in jeopardy.

Once the attacks ceased, Link let the barrier fall, flipping the Master Sword around in his hand and trying to ignore the fact that the very touch of its hilt still stung. Din and the Sages should be implementing a plan to bring the Deity down. Until then, he had to keep him occupied with something else.

From where he was standing, Link could have easily blasted the Deity with a fire attack or the like, but that would hardly be as thrilling as engaging it in head-on battle.

‘An impressive-looking blade,’ the Hero sneered up at the Deity. His voice seemed to have an almost mocking coolness to it. ‘But nothing more.’

‘Would you hear my desire?’ he continued, taking a step forward and assuming a battle stance, a clear challenge in his eyes. ‘To have you come and face me, rather than striking at mere distractions.’

“Ruto!” Midna yelled, but the Sage had already scampered over to Link. Midna grimaced, and focused on flexing her fingers (all fifteen of them) to make the shield any stronger. If only—
And then Vaati waltzed to her side and put up his own brand of shield. The wind and shadow combo-play worked nicely with her energy, and they completed the dome. The gale tousled Midna’s hair, blowing strands out of the clasp. At least Din reacted quickly when it came to the Zoran Princess. All Midna wanted was the Sages together.
Until she heard Vaati’s comment.

“You know, you could leave and get yourself killed!” she grunted. “The Deity wouldn’t bat an eyelash! You’re just like the rest of us down here, oh Great Mage.”

A crick was building in her neck. She started to roll her shoulders—and felt a hard piece of metal jammed over her ears in response. It was so sudden she didn’t even register the soreness in her temples. She blinked.

“These will amplify your magic by a decent bit,” the stranger, the Salesman, whispered above her head. “Use them to help keep this barrier going.”

“…Oh,” she remarked, too stunned to say much more. The Salesman had already poofed anyway. How many more people could teleport? Intriguing.
To experiment, she beckoned with both arms straight into the air. The shield maintained shape with only the help of her twili-pontyail; she could then rest her actual digits and put them to better use.

There was another shift. In one moment, she felt a cackle set in her mouth at the sight of Link’s new headgear. In another, her stomach dropped to her ankles, and her gut turned cold. The Deity revealed the last of its transformations, and now wielded the largest sword she’d ever encountered—with Link directly in its path.
She tensed, about to spring forward, but remembered at the last moment she was half the defense for their plan. Midna could do little more than stand there behind the barrier.

“Okay, the shield is secure!” she decided to announce in her panic, though that much was obvious. “Let’s hurry up!”

 Midna looked back to check on Link-…Link? She listened carefully while he goaded the Deity. When he finished speaking, she fell silent.

Ruto stared in horror as she watched the transformation of the Deity take it’s full shape.  It was hard to tell which form was more frightening, it’s mask shape or this shape.  “At least this one doesn’t leave me frozen in my tracks,” she thought. 

She studied Link for a quick moment and noticed that something wasn’t quite right with him.  A sort of darkness seemed to emanate from him that seemed to match the way he was eyeing the Deity.  ”Link, are you-“

Suddenly Ruto was dragged away by Din and bombarded with a mouthful of complaints.  ”Din, let me go!” Ruto screeched angrily.  ”You can’t just leave him out there by himself, something is wrong with him!  He’s going to get himself killed!”  But Din wouldn’t have any of it, and continued to drag her back.

“You’re lucky it’s too hot for me to properly retaliate, or I’d claw your eyes out,” she thought venomously.  

She was forced into the barrier with the other sages and half listened to Din’s instructions, too preoccupied with the exchange going on between Link and the Deity.

“He wants to fight the Deity head on?!” “LINK YOU KUFFING IDIOT, YOU’RE GOING TO GET YOURSELF KILLED!” she screamed at him.  Ruto turned to face Din, fury in her eyes.  ”If this is what you wanted, fine.  Do whatever the kuff you want.”

Ruto stepped into the circle of sages, and took her energy focusing stance, her arms crossed out in front of her.  She closed her eyes and tried to calm the storm within her.  She would be useless if she couldn’t think good thoughts towards their success.  Rather than think about the angering turn of events here, Ruto’s mind went back to that of her home, of her Link, where she belonged.  If she failed here, then her home would certainly be lost.

“Forget these jerks, I’m not wanted here.  Just think of home,” she thought to herself as she formulated her prayer to the Goddesses to add her power to the Rod of Seasons. 

Vaati felt the wind hit the shield and an anger grew deep within. How dare that thing use my brand of magic?! he thought. The strain on the shield was unbelievable. He screamed, “If you’re going to do something, do it now! I’m not sure how much longer I can hold this!”













Where was she? Had she turned treacherous? Who am I kidding, she was never on my side to begin with. That’s alright…I’m going to destroy everyone anyways. It’s not as if I needed that wretch’s help.

The deity knew where they were, it could sense…

Midna gritted her teeth the whole rest of the way to the Grounds. It seemed they had all seen the flurry of activity in the same moment, and there was no time for extended conversation about Ruto’s dream. Midna only nodded at her request. Later she might ask why she brought a phobia to a mask fight, but for now…

They had just approached the columns when a blast of hot air hit Midna square in the chest. She groaned, covering her head with her arms, and looked up as Din replaced something in her bag. Din would. Midna was still shaking her head when Link approached the Oracle.

Din’s comment earned an eye-roll. “Ha-ha-ha-shouldn’t you be sitting somewhere?” Midna teased right back, a half-smirk splayed on her face. She didn’t stick around for the answer though. Gratefully she slid off Link’s back—sleeping in riding posture was not the most comfortable thing in the world—and looked around.

So that was the salesman Din kept referring to. He did look a little banged up for the battle ahead. Midna cast her eyes over the blue haired woman—Nayru, Din already explained—and then a pallid young man swathed in unnecessarily dark robes for this weather. She shook her head. Being in her imp form had one advantage, she guessed.

Well now the Twili was antsy. When Link transformed and walked off, she looked around at the remaining group and resumed her jerky pacing from the Oasis.

Ruto clutched onto Maja as the horse reared to a stop before the trio.  She turned back to see the others trying to catch up, sensing some air of annoyance about them.  She hoped they weren’t thinking that she was about to become a liability in this fight.  There’s no way in the Sacred Realm that Ruto would let that happen.

“I must be strong, no wait, I WILL-“

A hot burst of desert air seemed to steal the very words from her mouth as her body became dry.  She looked at Din to see she had used some mysterious rod to make it even hotter.

“Is she trying to cook me like a fish?” Ruto thought, annoyed, as she took a swig from one of her water sacks.

She leaped from Maja’s back and managed to land on her feet in the shifting sands.  Standing before her was Din, accompanied by two new travelers.  One was a young man with brown hair dressed in purple who looked like he belonged in an infirmary.  The other was a horribly pale looking man who was also dressed in purple robes with piercing red eyes, and an annoyed frown painted on his face.

“My, everyone seems to be in a great mood,” Ruto growled.  Mustering the best smile that Ruto could give, she held out her hand to the mysterious men.  ”Hey there!  I’m Ruto!  It’s great to meet you!”

Vaati observed the new party: a blue haired one, a particularly interesting imp, a wolf that seemed unnervingly familiar, and a walking fish. We don’t stand a chance with these misfits he thought to himself but he supposed anything helped when fighting a maniacal mask.

But something was wrong; something was wrong with the wind. Vaati sensed a strange presence in the air that he couldn’t quite place. He was about to say something to Din when the fish broke his concentration and help out a hand to him. “It’s great to meet you!” she said. Vaati raised an eyebrow and ignored the outstretched hand. “What is this thing supposed to be?” he asked to no one in particular.

The Salesman sighed heavily as the weather changed from a tolerable humidness to a blaze of scorching heat. He was already starting to sweat. Frowning, he glanced to the Oracle as she stripped down to nearly nothing to cope with the new desert conditions.

“I swear if I get sun burn on top of these injuries, I’m never going to forgive you,” he said to her, a slight grin on his face. Though it was true, he was going to be highly irritated with her and…well, everyone else, if he got a sun burn.

His attention finally honed in on the approaching party members. Staggering to his feet, he followed Din down the steps to greet them. Still shirtless, it was plain to see that his wounds were still far from fully healed as blood had begun to seep through the bandages. Even though Vaati’s spell had dulled some of the pain, it wasn’t enough to do much else. The Salesman would have to change them before the fighting started, if he had the time. Smiling at everyone, he nodded in greeting.

He wasn’t much fazed by Link’s wolf appearance, nor by Midna. He was however, very curious about Ruto. When she held out her hand, he didn’t hesitate to shake it. Ignoring Vaati’s comment about her appearance, the Salesman tilted his head, eyeing the Zora.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you. I hope that you don’t find me rude for asking this but…” he began. “Why is the Zora Princess all the way out here in the desert, so far from water?”

The deity froze in place as it felt the sudden drastic rise in temperature.

Are you kuffing kidding me?!”

With a growl, the pale beast fled into the skies, its body casting a shadow on the sands below as it soared to the Arbiter’s Grounds. It could already spot the group in the distance. A twisted grin tore across its face, sharp fangs exposed from the demon’s humanoid face. Its smile was truly terrifying.

“Hey everyone!” the deity shouted from overhead, its tone rather nonchalant as it gazed down upon them, “so are you ready to die now?”

She smirked at Midna’s comment about sitting down and rolled her eyes as well. Grinning, she faced the Salesman. “Well, you do need a bit of color you know.” She said teasingly. She narrowed her eyes at Vaati and raised an eyebrow.

“This is Princess Ruto of the Zora. She is a powerful Sage. That is why she’s here. Even though it means her discomfort.” She said before turning to Ruto with an apologetic look on her face. “…Stay near Nayru, water is sort of her thing, and she might be able to make this more comfortable for you.” She suggested, gesturing to her sister.

“Now if you’ll excuse me..” She said, leading Wolfie away for a bit and handing over the book. “Ganondorf said for you to read this last page. We..spoke for awhile before he finally went to where he was going in the afterlife.” She said calmly, handing the book over. “Commit it to memory, as I’ve sort of claimed that book now.” She said with a wry smile.

That was of course, up until she heard the Fierce Deity announce his presence. She scowled up at the thing before making a move to unsheathe a sword, before stopping herself and taking out the Rod of Seasons. “I..have a sneaking suspicion you won’t be letting me fight this thing directly.” She said to Link, smirking again before turning to the group.

“Vaati! Midna! Protect the Sages!” She said to them, making her way back to the group, not taking her eyes off the Deity. She wished they had had more time to plan their attack, but it was obviously going to be something they were going to be playing by ear.

Link followed Din, looking curiously at the book she handed him. Something about it struck him as very familiar, and when he turned to the page she indicated, he knew why. It was a Gerudo spell book. No doubt one Ganondorf had already studied.

He even remembered the spell, in fact.

He didn’t have time to dwell on it, though, or even to reply to Din, before a voice overhead sent a chill up his spine. He looked up to see the Deity looming over them, grinning what was likely the sickest grin the Hero had ever seen.

Link glared up at it, fighting back a snarl, and went to retrieve the Master Sword, only to once again have pain lance up his arm the instant he touched its hilt. He blinked, clenching his teeth to keep from crying out, then growled defiantly and drew the sword anyways, ignoring its protests. He didn’t have the time or the tolerance to figure out why the ancient blade wouldn’t cooperate.

Not with a battle like this so close at hand. He was too eager to dive into the fight.

He could hear Din organizing the others. Good. Now it was his turn to face the Deity while they worked to bring it down.

Taking up his shield, he stepped towards the Deity, blade at the ready, and looked up at the monster with an uncharacteristically malicious glare, a slight smile tugging at his lips.

‘Why don’t you come down here and find out for yourself,’ he challenged cooly.

Midna rolled her eyes at Vaati’s comment, and crossed her arms. Oh, this one was a bucket of candy, wasn’t he? She opened her mouth to retort, (“Her name is Ruto, and she’s Zoran royalty, twerp,”) when a swoop overhead distracted her. She didn’t have to look up to know the Deity had arrived. His nails-on-stone voice said as much.

Suddenly, a bunch happened all at once. The Sages huddled where they stood under the overhang, near a pillar, and Midna heard Din’s hurried comment. But where did Link—ah, no time!
“On it!” she shouted, casting a glance at Vaati before forward-flipping over the Sage’s heads and landing at their feet.

She spread her hands wide and knit her brow, clenching her teeth so hard together her lips pulled apart. A spasm, then a burst of purple energy began racing between her outstretched palms, until they formed a crackling, translucent barrier. But…oh this was the trick. It was only so high, thanks to her imp deficiency—no way this was covering the Sages.

Good thing Midna was resourceful. At her internal command, her orange ponytail quivered in place, then slowly began to snake about her shoulders. It elongated, shook, and launched high in the air, forming a wide hand of it’s own. The energy substance Midna formed stretched to meet this third appendage and complete the shield.

The dome of shadow energy sizzled over a good number of the Sages…but just shy of all of them. Midna was starting to perspire under the effort.

A-Anytime Vaati!” she grunted. “Get the other side! And come over here, Ruto!”

Finally she saw familiar movement to her right toward the inside of the Grounds. When she was able, she jerked her eyes away from the Deity and glanced up…at an unfamiliar face. There wasn’t even anyone near Link to give him cover whatsoever. He was sitting duck!

“Excuse me!” she called out indignantly, “What do you think you’re doing?! I hope you have a plan!”

Ruto clenched her teeth tightly, ignoring Vaati’s rudeness and shook the salesman’s hand.  ”It’s nice to know we have such gentlemen in front of royalty,” she growled with a sarcastic smile.

Suddenly, she heard a chillingly familiar voice.  Ruto looked up to find herself staring at the Fierce Deity as her blood ran cold.  “Come on Ruto, move your feet before you get toasted!” she screamed to herself, but her body was frozen.

“And come over here, Ruto!” she heard Midna cry.  She snapped to and began to run towards the other sages when a statue caught her eye.  A large spear was in its hands that was just begging to be used.  Ruto raced to the statue and wrenched the spear from the statue’s stone grip.

“Let’s make this fight a little more even!” Ruto cried to the Fierce Deity.  There was no way she was going to run and hide this time.

Making her way towards Midna, Ruto noticed that she was having difficulty keeping a barrier over the sages.  Rather than having one more body to protect, Ruto decided to go join Link and give him whatever cover he could manage.

“Please don’t be upset,” she said as she joined his side, spear at the ready.  ”And I pray to the Goddesses that you indeed have a plan.”

The deity; of course. That was the presence that Vaati had felt on the wind. Sloppy; he could have acted sooner. No matter, Vaati thought. I should still be able to hit him with- Midna was yelling for him hurry and complete her shield. But why should he listen to that little imp? He didn’t need this team; he could take the mask on and posses it’s power…No, thought Vaati. Don’t forget what happened to the King of Thieves. If you’re ever going to get that cap back, you’ll have to play nice.Vaati quickly took the other side of the sages and his eyes shone with purple energy. A shield of energy and wind was formed around the rest of the sages, protecting them. “This is a waste of my talent,” grumbled Vaati.