Several Hours Earlier: Great Hyrule Bay
“I’m genuinely at a loss for words, to think you’re that swords-for-brain’s little sister!”. It had been less than an hour since the unofficial resistance against Empress Ria had split off into groups to retrieve their respectively allocated Champion warriors. Zelda headed to the Arbiter’s Grounds in the formerly-known Gerudo Desert, along with the light mage Sara and her child compatriot Agitha, to save Gerudo Chieftan Nabosa. Link and Keaton, the mysterious masked leader of the resistance, voyaged to the Goron Caverns to rescue Goron Chief Darbus from the Argoroks. Here, Holu and Link’s younger sister Aryll were tasked with attempting to save Prince Sidon and the Zora from an electrically-cordoned off Zora’s Domain. Given Holu’s flight, he was able to make the journey relatively quickly. With this, he was also able to carry Aryll with his talons. Once they had arrived at Hyrule Bay, Aryll acrobatically jumped down before the Rito warrior could land. She began to giggle. “What makes you come to that conclusion?”. “Well, unlike you’re dear big brother, you actually talk sense”, replied Holu. Aryll laughed in response. “I’ve been away from big brother Link for quite some time, I still missed him, regardless of whether he talks sense or not, he he”. A few moments later, both Holu and Aryll looked ahead towards the sea. Where once the gleaming and pristine Zora’s Domain stood, there were instead four gigantic pillars. They all were combining to produce an impenetrable barrier of electricity. Holu stared at the pillars for a few seconds. He looked at Aryll and stated: “It seems we will need to lay siege on these electrical pillars with a barrage of bomb arrows. I seems we are in luck that you can attack from the ground and I from the air”. Aryll smiled back and confidently stated: “Well, let’s get to it!”. Holu immediately made for the skies and flew towards the pillars. He circled around them for a few moments. After signalling a thumbs up to Aryll, he began firing several bomb arrows at one of the pillars. He was aiming his shots at the top half of the pillar. Subsequently, Aryll started firing at the bottom half of the same pillar. After several rounds of arrows, the pillar began swaying left and right. The electricity emanating from it was noticeably beginning to dwindle. “Aryll, keep firing! The strategy is working!”, exclaimed Holu. The pillar was now shaking to the extent that it seemed a few more arrows would cause it to collapse. Holu smiled and fired what he thought would be one of the last shots. However, another arrow came from behind him to divert the trajectory of his own arrow. “Who goes there!”, shouted Holu. “Well well well… looks like you finally made your way here, my trigger-happy Rito citizen”. The voice was very familiar to Holu. He turned around to see someone standing atop of another pillar. He became disoriented at the sight of this intruder. It was the Rito minion of Empress Ria they encountered when trying to escape her base in Rito Village, Medli.
“And what is it that you want… little girl?”, replied Holu. Giggling slightly, Medli responded: “Trying to ruin Her Excellency’s plans? You naughty boy!”. Wagging her finger, she continued: “Na ah ah, can’t have you doing that now, can we?”. Medli quickly put away her bow and brought out her harp. She started to play a tune. With that, Holu felt like his ears were on fire. “He he he, try and break these pillars down now!”. Holu was struggling to stay in the air. Attempting to shoot the pillars with bomb arrows was out of the question. Medli started moving closer towards Holu. “You know, if we weren’t on opposite sides… I would have no hesitation trying to make you mine. But be as that may, I’m just going to have to eliminate you”. Holu looked at Medli and gritted his teeth. Medli had gotten out her bow, when suddenly, she felt an arrow hit her right wing. “Ouch! Who would have the audacity to do that?!”. Holu looked over to his left. Near the shore stood Aryll with one of her crossbows. “Did you forget that I was here, lackey of the witch!”. With a fit of rage, Medli shouted back: “Now that was plain rude! You’re obviously the weaker of the two, so let me deal with you first”. Medli began flying towards Aryll. Regaining his bearings, Holu started flying after his Rito compatriot. He caught up to her relatively quickly and grabbed her right talon. She kicked Holu in the face with her left talon and descended even faster towards Aryll. At this, Aryll began shooting a barrage of arrows with both crossbows. However, Medli was dodging them with ease. “Holu, don’t worry about me, concentrate on destroying the pillars. I’ll take care of her”, clamoured Aryll. Holu was in a dilemma. There was no way he could singlehandedly destroy all four pillars before Medli reached Aryll. But then, an idea came to his mind. He flew towards the foot of one of the pillars. “I’ve never tried this in the water. In fact, I’ve not even perfected this on land. But… I have no choice. It’s do or die”. Holu started flapping both wings. With extreme velocity, he started flying around the area the four pillars stood.
Meanwhile, Medli landed on the shore and stood before Aryll. “Now then, Hylian. It would be my pleasure to take you down here and now, but Empress Ria wouldn’t like that, given you’re the sister of a special someone”. Again, she brought out her harp. “I’m just going to make sure you won’t be a nuisance. Now, sleep!”. She started playing another tune with the harp. However, the tune seemed to have no effect on Aryl, who stood there smiling. “What’s this? Why aren’t you asleep yet?”. Instead, Aryll used her two crossbows and began shooting multiple arrows at the Rito. Medli had to abruptly stop her tune to dodge the projectiles. Smiling, Aryll pointed to her ears. “While you were busy trying to disrupt Holu, I used a precious few seconds to grab some small pebbles to block out my ears. I’m sure you have some melodious tunes to share, but it’s going to have to wait, he he”. Clearly vexed, Medli flew towards Aryll and aimed several kicks. However, Aryll was dodging the blows through fancy acrobatics. She performed a backflip, and while in mid-air, shot two arrows at Medli, both hitting her wings. “OUCH!! I’VE HAD JUST ABOUT ENOUGH OF YOU!!”. Medli then flew a few metres into the air and began intensely flapping her wings. The sand on the shore was going into Aryll’s eyes, temporarily blinding her. She felt herself being tripped to the ground. Her eyes barely opened when she felt two arrows hit both her hands. Along with the pain, she could no longer move, given both hands were pinned to the ground by the arrows. When the sand subsided, she saw Medli walk over to her. She kneeled over and plucked out the pebbles from her ears. “You were irritating for a while, but the will of the Empress shall always win. Now, sleep tight”. Medli brought out her harp. She was on the verge of playing a tune, when suddenly, she felt a strong breeze behind her. Both Medli and Aryll looked towards the pillars. The pillars were completely engulfed by what appeared to be a powerful waterspout. Medli set her eyes to the top of the waterspout, and to her astonishment, she saw Holu flying in a circular motion. For a few moments, her eyes portrayed a sense of mesmerisation and awe. But then it quickly dawned upon her. “NO WAY! HE’S GOING TO DESTROY THOSE PILLARS IN ONE GO! I’VE GOT TO STOP HIM”. Medli leaped up and began flying towards the waterspout. Aryll looked towards her right hand. “I’ve… I’ve got to break free from these arrows somehow and stop Medli. I can’t let Holu’s hard work go to waste”. Aryll raised both her legs and with all her stamina, flexed her torso so that her feet reached towards her right hand. For the acrobat Aryll had trained herself to be, even this manoeuvre was taking all her strength. But then, she remembered the face of her older brother, the sacrifices and endeavour he’d gone through to achieve all that he had become. It was those thoughts that enabled her to bring out the strength to use both her feet to grip the arrow, and in one move, pull out the arrow from her right hand. Aryll gave a mild shriek, but knew she couldn’t wail too hard, lest she’d catch Medli’s attention. With her right hand, she pulled out the arrow from her left hand. She then jumped to her feet. Both her hands were gushing with blood and the pain was immense. However, she had to block out the pain if she were to stop Medli’s advance towards Holu.
Aryll got out one of her crossbows. She readied a bomb arrow and began to aim at the flying Medli. “I have to make this the most precise shot I possibly can. The fate of the Zora rest on this one shot”. She brought the crossbow near to her eye level. Then in one moment, she made the shot. The bomb arrow flew straight at Medli’s right wing, exploding on impact. From the smoke, Aryll saw the Rito minion of Empress Ria falling towards the ground. Within a few seconds, Medli landed on the shore. Her right wing was moderately burnt. However, the pain was immense. “Darn… darn Hylian brat… she burnt my right wing… I won’t be able to play my harp for a while. Sorry my Empress… but I’m just going to kill this stupid little…”, however, before Medli could finish muttering to herself, she felt something smash straight into her head. She had barely gotten up from the floor, but now, she felt herself falling back to the ground and then completely black out. Standing over Medli was Aryll, with her body balancing leftwards and her right leg extended in front. “Eat my roundhouse kick! Now, you can sleep!”, declared Aryll. Medli was down and completely knocked out. Aryll then turned towards the waterspout. “Hey Holu!! I’ve taken care of your fellow compatriot!”. Holu was still circling around the pillars to maintain the waterspout. He suddenly stopped. Looking over towards Aryll, he exclaimed: “Not bad!! Maybe you should take that slacker’s place as the Champion. Brains as well as brawn, you’d certainly be an upgrade!”. Holu looked downwards into the waterspout. He could see all four pillars were swaying back and forth. “Right, this waterspout I’ve just produced won’t last for long. Gotta get down to business!”. He got out his bow and started shooting bomb arrow after bomb arrow. The waterspout was being bombarded with continuous explosions. Eventually, it began resembling less a waterspout and more a tornado of fire and smoke. Suddenly, there was a massive explosion. The force of the explosion pushed Holu several meters back and made Aryll fall to the ground. Both gathered themselves and looked in astonishment as all four pillars were swirling in the waterspout. One after the other, the pillars came flying out of the waterspout into different directions. A few moments after this, the waterspout disappeared. The pillars were well and truly uprooted.
Holu quickly flew towards the shore where Aryll stood. “Wow Holu, that was absolutely masterful! Amazing!”, clamoured Aryll. Seemingly ignoring the complement, he made his way towards Medli. He kneeled down towards her and with his right wing, felt for a pulse. “Don’t worry Holu, I made sure not to hit your girlfriend-to-be too hard”, laughed Aryll. At this comment, Holu’s eyes opened up wide. He turned his head towards Aryll. Giggling, she gave Holu a little wink. With his cheeks slightly red, Holu angrily replied: “So, you’re just as cheeky as your brother. I have no idea where you… came to that conclusion”. However, before the awkward little moment could be prolonged, something caught Holu’s eyes. He looked behind Aryll and saw a swarm of Ritos flying towards them. “Great! More Ritos under control of that witch”. With that, Holu stumbled towards the ground. “I’m afraid… that whole shenanigans of removing the pillars took it out of me… I can hardly even stand”. Aryll got out her crossbows, however, she could barely grip them, given the wounds she had on her hands. “I… I’ve got to keep fighting. Big brother Link… he’d never give up…”. Moments later, a band of 10 Ritos stood before them. They had spears and bows pointing towards the two Resistance members. “Give up you two. You are completely outnumbered. Empress Ria will decide your fate back at the base”. Holu looked at them with teeth gritted. Aryll kept as much a hold of her crossbows as she could, although deep down, she knew it would be in vain. The band of Rito were about to march towards Holu and Aryll when suddenly, they felt the earth beneath them violently quake. The quaking became more and more intense as the seconds went by. They could hardly stay on their feet as a result. Everyone, including Holu and Aryll, looked towards the sea. What they saw before them was an astounding sight. It was a massive tidal wave. With every passing second, it got bigger and bigger, until eventually, it became a full blown tsunami. The Rito looked on in horror as this tsunami got closer and closer. Holu looked towards the top of the tsunami and saw a figure standing atop of the wave. Clearly a Zora, it then came to Holu’s mind that only one person could muster such absolute strength. “Well well well, took you long enough, Prince Sidon!”, howled Holu. The Ritos were all frozen in fear. “Rito brethren! I know that your minds have been warped by this Empress of yours. We had a sworn pact, however, your allegiance to that Empress has put this on temporary hold. This makes us enemies for the time being. Enemies at war with one another. All is fair in love and war. So, should you not refrain from changing course, then prepare to be sunk by my great tsunami!”. The Rito looked at one another. Pretty much all of them began to fly away. One of them flew up to Medli, picked her up and followed his fellow Rito in a total retreat. Once the band of Rito had completely made their way out of the vicinity, the tsunami dematerialised. However, the quaking did not. Slowly but surely, Zora’s Domain began appearing out of the sea where the pillars once stood. Once the tsunami had completely disappeared, Sidon quickly swam towards where Holu and Aryll were stood. Aryll gave a super excited look. Smiling ear-to-ear, she screamed: “Wow, that was so unbelievably incredible!!! You’re a prince in more ways than one!”. Sidon smiled and replied: “Hmm, green clothes, blonde hair… and ten winters have indeed passed… THAT’S RIGHT! You must be Link’s baby sister! You and him look so alike! And… you helped rescue me and my people. You certainly have his heroic spirit too!”. With a stern look, Holu cut in: “Ahem! We would have been just fine without your annoying water show!”. Sidon gave a more awkward smile and started rubbing his head with his right hand: “Ha ha… yeah, that tsunami worked a charm didn’t it? Been a while since I’ve had a chance to show it off. I really missed showing it off, and the reaction people have to it? Priceless!”. Striking a slightly serious tone, Sidon added: “But I must commend and thank the both of you for rescuing me and my people. Clearly, I still have one or two issues with electricity. However, my fellow Zora filled me in on all the details. I deduced that we seemed to have been sent to a dystopian future of sorts. So tell me, where are Link and the Princess?”. Holu replied: “Well, except for me, Link and the Princess, all the others seem to be trapped in their places of origin. The Princess took some of our new allies to the desert to free Nabosa. I’m sure she will be OK there, but Link has gone to save Darbus, where there’s a ton of those Argorok, not to mention their King. So I suspect he may need your help. Can… can you make your way to the Goron Caverns?”. Without a moment’s hesitation, Sidon flexed his bicep, smiled and replied: “That’s indeed a go!”.
Present Moment: Goron Caverns
“Tell me, man of the sea. This territory is full of my minions. And I am under no illusion that you have some sort of magic power to evade their eyes. So, how did you make your way here?”, sniggered Volga. Sidon smiled. “For the warrior that I am, I would love to provide you with a comprehensive explanation. However, I think it best if you were to use your wings and fly around your so-called territory”. Perplexed, Volga sprouted out his wings and flew straight up. He looked around for several seconds. Everywhere his eyes landed, all he saw were the dead bodies of Argoroks. Some were impaled, some decapitated, some were even dismembered beyond recognition. Volga was suspended still in the air in silence. After around a minute, he descended back down to the ground. “So… you annihilated my subordinates”. With a nod, Sidon replied: “Every last one of them I’m afraid. And the truth may hurt you, but each battle was a major disappointment”. Link was absolutely flabbergasted. Sure, he himself had witnessed Sidon kill an Argorok effortlessly, but Goron Caverns must have had almost 100 resident Argoroks. And he killed each and every one of them without breaking a sweat. Sidon was indeed a force of nature, but even this feat was beyond comprehension. However, Volga hardly reacted. “I must say… I am impressed. Those pathetic scum were nothing but fodder in my eyes. I would have killed them myself one day, so I should be thanking you for making my life easier”. Link was shocked by this statement. Volga was the King of the Argoroks, but he cared not one iota for his subjects, instead, taking pleasure in their annihilation. Sidon was unmoved. “So… you’re one of those types of rulers I see. In my experience, these are the types who must be done away with”. “Done away with? Fine. I look forward to seeing your attempt to do so, man of the sea”. With that, Volga got out his staff and in one movement, aimed a slash at Sidon. At exactly the same moment, Sidon brought out one of his tridents and aimed a counter slash at Volga. Both Volga’s staff and Sidon’s trident clashed against one another. The force was tremendous. So tremendous, that a strong breeze emanated from the two weapons. A breeze which even blew Link a few meters backwards. Looking on, one thing was apparent to the Champion. This would be a fearsome clash between two fearsome warriors.
After the clash of their respective weapons, both Sidon and Volga jumped several metres backwards. Following a few seconds of exchanging stares, both leaped towards one another and began a relentless barrage of slashes. Volga with his staff. Sidon with both his tridents. Link stood still in complete silence. He was almost in awe. Neither Sidon nor Volga could land a strike on the other’s body. Constantly, all that either fighter’s weapon could hit was the opponents weapon. Sidon’s tridents could only strike Volga’s staff. Jumping backwards, Sidon gave a smile. “Well, as the King of Argoroks, I hoped for a true battle. And I’m pleased to say, that a battle you are indeed providing me”. With a stoic expression, Volga responded: “Out of all the gnats I have faced and put down, you are by far putting up the most resistance. However, your resistance will ultimately prove futile, man of the sea”. Volga then opened up his mouth and spat out a fireball, which speedily headed towards Sidon. At this, Sidon retracted his right trident. With that, he materialised a ball of water, which he shot straight at the fireball, completely melting it. Seeing this, Link gave a slight, but tentative smile. With the fire vs water dynamic, surely he thought, Sidon would have the advantage in this battle?
Volga made a giant leap towards the Zora Prince. He then commenced a barrage of ferocious attacks with his spear. The attacks were of an identical pattern to the ones which had virtually crippled Link: rapid slashes with his staff mixed with mid-air staff spins. But in stark contrast to Link, Sidon stood resolute with an iron defence, consisting of his two tridents blocking access to his head and body. Suddenly, Sidon clasped Volga’s staff between his tridents in a scissor-like manoeuvre. This ceased Volga’s attacks right in its tracks. With a smile, Sidon muttered: “You took the bait, Dragon King. Now I have you where I want you”. A barrier of water suddenly materialised around the two combatants. Link looked on as the water barrier consumed Sidon and Volga. For several moments, the water barrier vibrated violently. After a while, Sidon jumped out of the water barrier, which disintegrated as soon as Sidon had left it. However, it was the sight of Volga which had Link staggered. He was down on one knee and visibly breathing heavily.
Sidon stood boisterously. “Dragon King, don’t tell me this is all you have? Now, stand and fight me!”. Link was at a loss for words. This was probably the strongest warrior he’d ever faced, yet Sidon was borderline taunting him. Was Sidon that imperious, or just supremely confident beyond imagination? Meanwhile, Volga slightly raised his head. For the first time, the leader of the Argorok portrayed a smile. In less than an instant, Volga’s right hand transformed into a large dragon arm and claw. With it, he reached for the Zora Prince and grabbed him. Sidon was visibly taken aback. Volga then pulled Sidon towards him, stood up and began a flurry of strikes on the heir to the Zora throne. Being in the grip of the Dragon King, Sidon could neither move nor defend himself. Volga followed this by emitting a vicious flamethrower from his mouth. “SIDON, NOOOO!”, clamoured Link. Spotting his Master Sword nearby, he made a dive for it. However, his body was still debilitated from his battle with Volga, so couldn’t move in to attempt to free his Champion Warrior. Volga then dealt a hefty blow with a powerful swing of his staff. This sent the flamed-engulfed Sidon flying several yards backwards, almost towards the edge of the platform. Link looked on in horror. Suddenly, the flames dissipated, revealing Sidon still intact, a thin barrier of water protecting him. However, there were a few cuts and bruises visible on him. “Sidon! Are you okay?!” enquired an agitated Link. To this, Sidon looked towards Link. Albeit a little more subdued, Sidon smiled, replying: “I will say, that was an impressive move. He doesn’t hold the title of Argorok King for nothing. One thing is for sure, a battle for the ages is about to ensue”. Looking towards Volga, Sidon continued: “You capitalised on a moment of neglect from me, I commend you. However, that is all you will get. Now, shall we commence?”. “You merely received a taste of the brutality I will deal on you, lowly sea creature. It’s time I hastened your demise!”, replied Volga. Both combatants charged towards one another and once again, clashed their respective weapons against the other.
Link stood and watched on as the titanic clash unfolded before him. In fact, both the combatants were moving so fast, his eyes could barely keep up. Their battle spanned all across of the platform, and attacks were being dealt on the ground as well as in mid-air, particularly with Volga’s wings and Sidon’s incredible leap. Each clashing of the weapons emanated strong breezes. The battle was proving to be fairly even. Sidon would deal Volga a heavy blow, and the Dragon King would return the favour. Moments went by, when suddenly, Volga landed a horizontal hit onto Sidon’s stomach, sending him tumbling backwards. However, what Link noticed next stimulated a feeling of dread. Sidon was slightly slower in regaining his bearings. This feeling was well-founded, as Volga made the most of this opening to leap forward and deal a second consecutive blow, this time at the Zora Prince’s face. This brought him to the ground. Although Sidon almost immediately got up, Link took a closer look, and noticed Sidon breathing heavier. Unfortunately, this was also picked up by Volga. “This… this is the first time… a warrior has pushed me this far in battle. A testament to your skill and tenacity, man of the sea. However, it is clear you are reaching your limit. Your inevitable fall is upon you. Do you still choose to continue pursuing a lost cause?”. With his characteristic smile, Sidon replied: “Well, continue the fight, and you shall find out whether it’s truly a lost cause”. Volga charged forward and continued his assault. However, Sidon was on the defence, merely blocking the attacks. As a warrior and the Champion of Hyrule, Link knew this was turning into a dire situation. Sidon, whom until now seemed invincible as a warrior, was showing ominous signs of struggling in battle. And why wouldn’t he? Sure he was a warrior who’d trained for over a century, but Volga was in a different league. The Argorok were an ancient race, and who knows how long their King had been alive for. They didn’t even know where he’d been all this time. Anyhow, surely there was something he could do to help turn the tide? His body, albeit still recovering, could at least now move enough for him to walk a little. And the current state of play in the battle may have just opened up a small opportunity.
Volga was on a relentless attack, whilst Sidon was on a continuous defence. Slowly but surely, Sidon was being pushed back. The once robust defence was looking fragile. Link realised the time was now. He gripped the Master Sword and the Triforce of Courage once again resurfaced on his fist. “I have just about enough energy for this one attack. Volga’s guard is down as he tries to break through Sidon’s defences for a critical blow”. With every ounce of energy he had, Link began to run towards the combatants. “If I can just land a precise hit to his neck with all of my remaining strength, I might give Sidon a chance to fight back”. Link leaped forward and raised the sword, aiming his attack on the Dragon King. However, as the blade got within a few centimetres of Volga’s neck, he aimed a powerful backward kick at the Hylian Champion, sending him flying into the air. After a hard landing to the ground, Link looked on, aghast that his attack, an attack in which he’d just given everything, wasn’t enough to even meaningfully distract Volga from his assault on Sidon. In fact, his attacks became even stronger. So much so, that his next hit knocked one of Sidon’s tridents from his hand. Volga followed this up with an almighty blow to Sidon’s left arm, sending him tumbling sidewards and subsequently, a few yards to the ground. Both Link and Sidon were grounded whilst Volga stood as imposingly as before. “Pathetic human! You really believed such a feeble attack would produce even a scratch upon me?”. To Link’s astonishment, Sidon still stood up, although he was holding his left arm, which now displayed a gaping wound with blood seeping out. “And you, filthy sea creature. You’ve entertained me for a while, but now, I have no more use for you. It’s time to die!”.
Link, slowly getting up to a sitting position, was immensely troubled. Sidon was Hyrule’s one and only hope against this malevolent force of nature. And he was on the verge of being defeated. Link himself could not hold a candle to the Zora prince, so what hope would he in this battered state have? Was this the end? Would he forever be remembered as a failed Champion? He looked towards the Master Sword, thinking that he’d disgraced the sword, and subsequently his ancestor, Farore. However, something came flooding back into his mind. It was something the mysterious mage Keaton said to him while they ventured to the Goron Caverns. The sword may belong to him, but it could be wielded by anyone it deemed to have the true spirit of a hero. Those words made him feel insecure at the time, but now, a thought was provoked. Sidon had proven himself over decades to have the spirit of a true hero. If it could truly be wielded by anyone with the spirit of a hero, could it be wielded by Sidon? Also, the sword immediately amplified Link’s strength, enough for him to defeat Ganondorf, so if he were get the sword to Sidon, the sword may enhance his strength, and bring him back into the battle with a chance of defeating Volga. “Here goes”, he muttered to himself. “Hey, Sidon! This maybe a crazy idea, but catch!”. With all that he had left, Link threw the Master Sword at the Zora Prince. He reacted by letting go of his left arm to seamlessly catch the blade. Sidon then paused for a moment. He had his eyes closed for several seconds. Perplexed, Link looked on. Did the Master Sword accept Sidon as a wielder? Suddenly, Sidon gripped the handle and raised the sword into the sky. He was immediately surrounded by a light green aura. Sniggering, Volga taunted: “Ha! You really think that mediocre blade can save you, man of the sea?”. Sidon then opened his eyes. “Link… I am ever grateful to you, and I shall accept the assistance of this sacred blade.”. He then turned to Volga. “Dragon King, this is where you fall!”.
Volga once again charged at the Zora prince. This time however, Sidon made no attempt to prepare a block. He patiently stood still. When he got close enough, Volga unleashed an attack with his staff. At the same time, Sidon aimed a vertical counter slash. But what happened next left Link speechless. The counter strike from the Master Sword sliced Volga’s staff in half. His attack had been decimated by the strike. Sidon took full advantage of this moment to launch a backhand vertical hit onto Volga’s abdomen. Volga gave off a screech whilst stumbling backwards. Link couldn’t believe what was transpiring before him. Sidon, who looked all but defeated mere moments ago, had not only landed a meaningful blow on the Dragon King, but destroyed his combat weapon. All since the moment he’d gotten his hands on the Master Sword. For the first time, Volga displayed a hint of frustration. “There maybe more to this blade than I’d initially thought. However, don’t think the tide is about to turn, filthy sea creature. YOU’RE STILL A DEAD MAN!!”. With that, he again charged at Sidon. Smiling, Sidon replied: “This sacred blade has sealed your fate. Don’t believe me? Let me prove it to you!”. Volga, now with two halves of his staff in both hands, began another assault, using his severed staff like two swords. Sidon was dodging each blow with relative ease. As in Link’s case, the Master Sword had amplified the Zora prince’s energy and stamina. Once an opening presented itself, Sidon dealt another powerful slash, this time on the Dragon King’s abdomen. This shattered part of his armour, spilling blood. For the first time, Volga was now exuding agitation and early hints of desperation. He let out a gigantic roar and sprouted his wings. A violent breeze was being emitted from him. But Sidon waited with a strong sense of stoic calmness. It was as if he sensed victory was on the horizon. Volga jumped into the air and at an astonishing speed, zoomed towards the Zora prince. A large portion of his upper body, including his arms were engulfed in flames. He began a ferocious attack, a combination of slashes and spitting of fireballs. “FILTHY SEA CRETIN!!!! YOU DARE…DARE CHALLENGE MY POWER!!! I AM VOLGA, KING OF DRAGONS. YOU SHALL BURN BEFORE ME… LIKE THE VERMIN YOU ARE!!!”. Still on the ground, Link looked on. This time however, he didn’t feel concerned. It was as if his bond with the Master Sword made him feel that it would protect Sidon. And right he was. Sidon held a barrier of water around himself whilst blocking with the trident still in his right hand. It was clear Volga was putting everything into his attacks. And it was apparent, given his flames were dwindling and his attacks slowing as the seconds went by. The slowing attacks were providing more openings. This stimulated Sidon to transition between offense and defence. He was being able to deal more and more blows on his opponent, each time breaking more of his armour and inducing more wounds. Giving out another scream, Volga once again charged in. In the process, Sidon again turned his head to Link. Smiling, he exclaimed “Dear friend! In gratitude for lending me this blade, I shall teach you a sword technique which will be a true asset to you as both a knight and the Champion of our Land. Now, lo and behold!”. When Volga was about to unleash his attack, Sidon performed a vertical thrust with the trident in his left hand. The thrust staggered both Volga’s broken weapon and Volga himself. In that moment, Sidon leaped into the air. In the process of a front flip over Volga, he struck him powerfully on the right shoulder. He then landed behind Volga. In what seemed like the next millisecond, Sidon, without looking behind, dealt a stabbing blow, impaling the Dragon King in the stomach. He quickly pulled the Master Sword out. Volga, with blood coming out of both his stomach wound and mouth, collapsed, face down into the ground. Calmly, Sidon looked at the fallen Dragon King for a few moments. He then turned to Link. “That is a move called the Helm Splitter. Learn it well!”.
Slowly getting onto one knee, Link returned his gaze towards the Zora prince. “Looks… looks like my crazy idea actually paid off, eh Sidon?”. With a loud laugh, Sidon replied: “Well, what more can you expect from the Champion!”. Sidon then leaped towards Link. He grabbed both of Link’s shoulder and pulled him up from the ground, making him stand on his feet. “Again, you never cease to amaze me Link! The Dragon King was by far the most formidable opponent I’d ever faced. In fact, had you not lended me this amazing Sword and the power it infused within me, I must admit, defeat was staring me in the face for the first time in decades. The mere fact you faced up to him before I turned up inspires me even more!”. With a hint of sorrow, Link replied: “I’m afraid, this pathetic performance of mine merely demonstrated how far off I truly am from being the Champion Hyrule needs”. Before Link could finish, Sidon stated: “Link, is there really such a thing as a perfect warrior? Before this battle, even Volga must have believed he was unbeatable. However, with this defeat, he…”, Sidon’s words were abruptly interrupted by a violent quaking of the ground. Both him and Link began to look around. Suddenly, Volga’s body was surrounded by a fireball. The fireball rapidly rose into the air. Once at a high altitude, the fireball expanded and began to take shape. It took the shape of an enormous dragon, completely made of flames. The flame dragon looked towards Link and Sidon. “Vermin… you… you really succeeded in defeating me. In fact… my end is nigh. However… if you believe it to be your chance to celebrate victory… then you are sadly mistaken. My flame may be about to extinguish forever… but… with it, I shall turn this wretched land into an abode of fire. I shall use the dying embers of my power… AND PLUMMET INTO THIS MISERABLE PLANE TO SCORCH IT INTO OBLIVION!! NEITHER YOU, NOR THAT CURSED BLADE WILL SAVE YOU!!!”. With that, Volga began a head-first descent towards the surface. Link fell to the ground. “No… no way… there’s no way we can stop him. Sidon… are we truly doomed now?!”. However, to Link’s astonishment, Sidon stood smiling and unmoved. He turned his head towards a different direction of the sky. “Link, it seems fate still favours us”. Link followed Sidon’s gaze to see where he was looking. Slightly perplexed, he realised Sidon was looking towards the moon. It was a glistening and radiant full moon. Suddenly, Sidon was being engulfed by a body of sparkling water. “Perhaps you know little of this, but on the night of a full moon, the sea is made heavier and stronger due to the pull of this full moon. And being creatures of the sea, the full moon further amplifies the power of us Zora. On this night, we Zora are at the peak of our strength”. The body of sparkling water began to expand upwards. With a louder tone, Sidon exclaimed: “My dear friend Link. With the power of the full moon, coupled with the power given to me by your blade, I shall manifest my most powerful technique, and save Hyrule from the flaming cataclysm this dragon intends to wrought upon us with his dying attack. However, it will take everything I have… and… there is a chance I may not make it through this”. With his eyes wide open and panic setting in, Link replied: “Sidon… you can’t… surely there’s some other way… let me join in your…”, but Sidon, with a smile and his trademark clenching of the fist, interrupted: “Link, should this be my final act… know that I believe in you, and I always will!”.
The sparkling body of water engulfing Sidon continued to elongate. It was taking the shape of a serpent-like dragon. Moments later, Link was confronted with the sight of a giant sea dragon, made purely of water. A spectacular sight indeed. And inside the head of this dragon was Sidon. He then pointed the Master Sword towards the descending fire dragon and began his own ascent. The scene was as dramatic as it was sensational. A dragon made purely of furious flames on a head-on collision course with a dragon made of pure water. After what seemed like hours, the two dragons finally collided. The sheer force of the collision created a fiery cyclone. “SIDOOOOON!!NOOOOOO!!”, screamed Link. However, the cyclone emanated a mighty gust. This blew Link off of the platform. Before he could fall into the lava below, he quickly got out his Hookshot and shot himself onto the edge of the platform. In a way, this worked in his favour as the edge was protecting him from the powerful gale force winds blowing from the cyclone. Suddenly, he heard a powerful explosion, and with it, a rainstorm ensued. For an initial few seconds, the rain lashed down hard. However, it quickly slowed down, almost to a complete cessation. Link took the opportunity to jump up back onto the platform. “SIDON, SIDON!! PLEASE, TELL ME YOU’RE STILL OK!! SIDOOOON!!”, he shouted. Ahead of him was a haze of thick smoke. Agitated, Link ran through the haze. His body was still in severe pain as he ran. Upon his advance, a silhouette was appearing before him. Getting closer, he saw another silhouette on the ground. Suddenly, he heard a voice. “King… king of the Argorok… Lord of the Dragons… well… how… how does it feel… being bested… by a vermin of the sea”. As the haze cleared, Link was injected with relief as he saw the figure of Sidon standing over Volga. Volga, with the Master Sword pierced into his chest, laying lifeless on the ground. “Sidon, you… you did it. YOU DID IT!!”, exclaimed Link. He was about to run towards the Zora Prince, until, he took a closer look. Sidon’s left arm was missing. Blood was spewing out of his open shoulder. Sidon began to stumble. In the next moment, he fell face down onto the ground. Horrified, Link began running towards Sidon. “NO, SIDON, DON’T… DON’T GO OUT LIKE THIS, PLEASE!!”, he shouted. Suddenly, another figure appeared next to Sidon. It was Keaton. He knelt down towards the Zora Prince and put his right hand on his back. Before Link could kneel down beside him, Keaton put out his left hand to stop the Hylian Champion. “Sidon’s wound is severe, and his life force is rapidly fading. However, if I use my recovery spell, I may just about be able to save him”. Link then pulled the Master Sword out of the deceased Volga’s chest. “Thank goodness! I will stay guard and protect the both of you”, replied Link. However, Keaton continued: “The spell will take time, I know not exactly how long I’ll need to cast it. This is time you can ill afford to waste. Which is why I will warp you back to the Resistance Hideout”. Link protested: “But I can’t just leave him here…”, before Link could finish, Keaton shot a beam at him, and instantly, Link found himself back at the Resistance Hideout.
“Darn it! I should be there for him. But I have no other choice other than trusting Keaton to get the job done”. He was in one of the rooms of the hideout. Wondering if anyone else was present, he limped his way into the main chamber. The chamber was populated by mainly familiar faces, however, something immediately felt strange. He surveyed the room, and saw Holu standing with a young woman with white hair. Holu always looked rather grumpy, but he was particularly grumpy in this moment. The white-haired woman, whom he’d never seen but looked strangely familiar, also had anger on her face. “I told you, we couldn’t trust her!”, bellowed the young woman. “Link! You’re back!”. Link turned to his right to see Zelda. Aways a sight for his sore eyes, but this time, he noticed that she looked a little melancholic. She continued: “You look terrible! Did you save Darbus?”. “Darbus is safe. He’s catching up with his fellow Gorons and ensuring all of them are accounted for”, replied Link. Before he could say any more, Holu added: “Well slacker, I sent the giddy prince to be by your side, where is he?”. With a frustrated tone, Link replied: “Well… I managed to save Darbus and the Gorons, but unfortunately, the Argorok King, who’s true form was that of a human called Volga, took me on, and I was absolutely no match for him. He was so powerful, it even took Sidon everything to bring Volga down. He’s now battling between life and death, Keaton stayed behind and is hard at work in casting his recovery spells to save him”. This stimulated a collective gasp from all in the room. “NO WAY!”, shouted Holu. “Whenever I’ve seen Sidon in battle, he’s won almost effortlessly. To think, an enemy brought him to the brink of death and defeat is inconceivable”. Link replied: “Sidon’s will is powerful, and he has the spirit of a true hero. The Master Sword attested to that. Which is why I believe he will pull through”. Picking up on the strange vibes, Link continued: “I sense something is not right here. What’s going on? I don’t see Impa, Nabosa or my sister anywhere?”.
The white-haired woman interjected: “I may look younger due to a curse from the wicked Empress, but I am Impa. Nabosa’s time as a captive of that vile Yiga Clan took a heavy physical toll on her, but she’ll live. She’s asleep in the other chamber. As for your sister, Holu told us she stayed behind at Zora’s Domain to help the Zora’s get back in the swing of life on the surface”. This immediately allowed for Link to breathe a sigh of relief. It looked as if everyone was just about pulling through. But then, Impa gave an angry look to the other side of the chamber. Zelda sighed. Following their gaze, Link saw Sara, standing with her head hanging down and a sorrowful look. A few steps next to her stood Agitha, as calm as a child of her age would look. Impa stated: “So Sara, how many lies are you hiding from us?”. Zelda then interrupted “Impa, there’s no need to be so adversarial. Let Sara give a proper explanation for what we all saw”. After a few moments, Sara stated: “Look, all of you. I want to assure you, I have never lied. But… it’s true I haven’t revealed the entire picture. You will realise this as time goes on, that it was for good reason. But what you saw at the Arbiters Grounds makes it impossible for me to hide anymore. When I told you that Ria and I were from the same clan, it wasn’t entirely false”. Before she continued, Impa interrupted: “So the resemblance tells me one thing then. You and Ria are sisters?”. Zelda lifted her hand to signal Impa be quiet. Sara continued: “It was reasonable for you to conclude this. However, the truth is something else. Ria and I aren’t sisters. Ria and I… we are two sides of the same coin. We are two halves of the same person”. This brought out a collective gasp. “So… if you and the Empress were once one person, then who was this person”, replied Link. With tears coming out of her eyes, Sara continued. “Link… I can’t bring myself to tell you this directly, and please know… know that I never intended to hurt you… all I will tell you… fuse mine and the Empress’s name in a certain way… and the answer will reveal itself”. Startled, Link replied: “So… Sara… Ria… combine… in a certain way…”. A feeling of dread hit Link. His voice was stuttering, his body shivering. “Combine the names… Sara… Ria… no… no way… Saria… you’re both… Saria”.
To be Continued