SoT AU: "Shadow of Courage" Ch. 15

SoT AU: "Shadow of Courage" Ch. 15

Aug 31, 2021

Laughter echoed through the chamber.

It boomed like thunder, Link’s glowing white sword splashing its light onto the walls like lightning.

It echoed through the chamber and through Ganondorf’s skull, and as it slowly quieted until only the echoes remained, Ganondorf realized the sound was coming from him.

His sword burned in his hands, the steel radiating heat from the fire he summoned. His sword and Link’s sword burned together, the only light in the otherwise dark chamber. Just Ganondorf and the swords now.

Ganondorf and the power burning through his veins.

“This is it,” he breathed, staring at his hands. “This is what I’ve been seeking.”

It was like every missing piece had come together into a beautiful picture, a puzzle no longer. Every question answered, everything slotting neatly into place inside him, stabilizing the power flowing through him. This was the power his mothers had promised him, this was what he hoped to find when the Goddesses gifted him Link, this was what he fought for during his isolation with Link.

He defeated the strange shadow, and this was his prize.

Ganondorf raised his hand and with barely a thought, summoned fire. It came to life easily and danced in his palm, shifting to form strange shapes and monsters before settling into Link’s familiar form. Ganondorf exhaled, tasting smoke, staring at the lean silhouette. “Mine,” he whispered. Once Link saw that he was in control, that the power was fully his to command, Link would at last yield. Hyrule would kneel at their feet.

There was only one more task to accomplish. Ganondorf clenched his fist, and the fire went out.


White light -- holy light -- shone from the sands. Din’s power blazed in the eyes of the Goddess statue. For the first time in Nabooru’s life, everything clicked together. Everything made sense. The pieces slotted into place.

“Nabooru,” Kali breathed, and the awe in her lover’s voice washed over her like the finest of wines.

Yes. Everything finally made sense.

“I am the Sage of Spirit,” Nabooru declared, watching the monsters on the other side of the shield crumble to ash on her sands. “I am the Sage of this Temple, and you do not belong.”

So lost in her new rush of power, Nabooru never noticed the familiar being walk over the sands, away from the shield and away from them.


Ganondorf stood before that damned door again, He breathed slowly, tasting the electricity in the air. For once, the voices were silent, the spirits which haunted his mothers’ old home still. Silent and waiting.

He stopped only twice on his way to his destination, and each stop only increased his sweet certainty. The monster his uncontrollable magic had first created was now tamed. He grew an apple tree, the apples ripe and pure. 

This was no longer his mothers’ domain. He was the master now.

Smiling, smug and serene and certain, Ganondorf rested his hand on the doorknob and opened the door.

As expected, the thick fog greeted him. It blanketed the room in a thick, chill grey, sorcery thick in the air. There were no walls. Nothing but endless mist. Ganondorf stepped into the room, eyes burning red.

Behind him, the door closed with a soft click and vanished.


Nabooru had awakened as a Sage.

Link smiled, exhausted but relieved. Years too early but another light shining against the dark. He had no idea what that meant for the other Sages, but he would worry about that later.

They were going to make it. They were going to win this fight.

If the creatures had been at full strength, they might have been able to fight against a newly awakened Sage, but as decrepit as they were, they fell apart under the strength of a Nabooru’s fury. The strange, undead army’s ashes disappeared into the sands.

Something was watching him.

Link jerked away from the window and looked around. The spirit was gone. At first glance, the room looked empty, but then he saw the shadows grow, reaching from the far wall toward him, careless of the white light shining from the window. Link instinctively reached for his sword and hissed when his hand touched nothing but empty air.

“Shit,” Link said, eyes wide as the shadows raced toward him.


Nothing. Nothing but the endless grey. Ganondorf scoffed and looked around. Endless and cold and damp against his skin. There was a strange, acidic scent to the air, with the subtle, familiar note of something long-dead rotting.

“Where are you, shade?” Ganondorf called, voice mocking. “I believe you are the last barrier between me and my prize.”

Nothing. Ganondorf swore the silence mocked him.

“I will burn this fog from the air, shade,” he called, walking deeper into the fog. It swirled around him. “Whatever magic you possess, I know mine is stronger.”

No response, somehow even quieter than Link at his most silent. Ganondorf strained his senses as he continued walking forward. It was possibly a trap, but Ganondorf was not afraid: there was no longer a force in this world which could harm him. “Come forward, spirit,” he crooned. The room was still there, even though he felt he should have reached the end of it already. A strange magic filled the room, unfamiliar and mocking. “Come forth… before I force you.”

There, at last. Footsteps behind him. Ganondorf smirked and turned around.

Still as death, a shadow against the mist, the spirit stared at him, its pale face a mockery of Link’s golden beauty. It held a sword in its slender hands, a replica of Link’s damned sword. It felt like he could never escape it.

No. Ganondorf would show this shade its place, and then he would handle the sword.

And Link. It was time to finish all affairs.

Ganondorf held out his own sword, let flame shimmer along its edges. To his amusement, the cold fog refused to yield around it, its magic stubborn even now. No matter. He would show it who was Master.

Silent as the grave, the spirit moved forward. It was quick and agile, everything in its swift movements reminding Ganondorf of Link. As Ganondorf fought, relying on brute strength and the power flowing through him, it infuriated him how all of these monsters taunted him with Link. Thoughts of Link, tempting in Gerudo red but out of his reach, the memory of Link’s mouth, the corpse who looked so much like Link and who dared to wield Link’s blade. Now this creature, with Link’s face but without his light, striking at Ganondorf with attacks Ganondorf recognized from previous battles.

How dare they. How dare they. How dare they.

Ganondorf roared and his next strike sent the spirit flying back into the grey. It vanished, mist into mist, and Ganondorf growled as he looked around. Nothing but that damned endless grey again. He didn’t even notice when his sword flickered angrily in his hand. “Enough games, spirits. You and I both know your true fate.”

The mist swirled around him, soft and cold. He felt something watch him from the shadows but no matter how Ganondorf turned, he saw nothing.

“I grow weary of this nonsense,” Ganondorf snarled, just as the mist moved, coalescing into a dark figure. He barely managed to raise his sword in time to avoid the strike. 

The strangest, more terrible thing about the spirit was even as it held its blade against Ganondorf’s, pushing toward his throat, was that its expression never changed. Link’s face turned fierce in battle, brilliant blue eyes sharp, his quiet intelligence and determination blazing there for those who knew how to look. This creature showed none of that. No passion, no life. Nothing but shadows, mocking Ganondorf.

Ganondorf bared his teeth in a fierce grin at the creature, and he swore he saw the reflection of flames in its blank eyes. Then, like with the monster before, he summoned his great power and lit the world ablaze.


“By the Goddesses, Nabooru,” Kali breathed, and Nabooru preened, turning away from the empty sand beyond the dome to grin at her. 

She wasn’t insane. She had never been insane. It had been the Temple, calling to her Sage all this time. Even now, she could hear it singing.

Kali wasn’t grinning back. Instead, she frowned beyond Nabooru. “Keep doing what you’re doing. The dome is almost down.”

Wait, what? Nabooru whipped around and Kali was right. The dome was flickering, soft and dim, almost gone. Their way to the Temple was almost clear.

Except she wasn’t doing it… was she?


The mist faded. The room transformed into nothing more than four grey walls.

Without a sound, the door swung open again.

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