Zelda rolled off Link and bade him to stand. His breathing was laboured and face screwed up with pain. His ribs were broken; possibly several organs were punctured. His mind was on the brink of unconsciousness. He opened an eye and saw the dishevelled princess. He attempted to sit up but a terrible stabbing pain seared though him. Link grunted and indicated to his belt pouch. Understanding, Zelda reached in and groped blindly for the small glass bottle. Briefly, Link saw her eyes light up then immediately that light dissipated with despair. She revealed broken shards of glass and a fairy whose light was dimming by the second. Without thinking, she shoved the fairy down Link’s throat and covered his mouth. His eyes widened and body tensed as the fairy made the ultimate sacrifice. Link groaned as all over his skin itched and his internal organs felt aflame as the fairy’s magic healed him. Once the deed was done he rolled onto his side and shakily stood, grasping his side and would have collapsed had Zelda not been there to support him.
Slowly, they made their way through the ruins of Hyrule Castle, avoiding the undead running rampant after their master’s demise. Nearing the moat, Link gained more coherent thought and noticed an undead coming their way. Quickly he shoved Zelda and landed in a narrow, dark, alleyway. His adrenaline dulling the pain, he rolled into a crouch and drew sword and shield. Putting himself between the princess and the enemy he slowly began backing into the shadows, soon bumping into a frozen Zelda who was looking in the opposite direction. He turned and followed her gaze to a figure in the shadows coming towards them. Link let out a growl of frustration.
The figure paused just before a break in the shadows, as if hesitating before the light and Link realised with cold horror who the figure was. His evil doppelganger; Dark Link, crossed the insignificant ray of light and stopped a few paces before the Hero of Time. Zelda grasped his shield arm. Dark Link’s glowing crimson eyes were watching his every movement. Cold and calculating. Link realised this was a fight he wouldn’t be able to win. Zelda released her grip and steps between the two, her eyes pleading and whispered to the shadow. Dark Link glared for a second then sheathed his weapons. Hesitant, Link looked to Zelda then reluctantly sheathed his as well.
Dark Link walked up to Link and unceremoniously slung him over his shoulder. Protesting, Link struggled to break his grip which only resulted in more pressure around his broken ribs. He soon realised the futility in his efforts and stopped before succumbing to the pain.
With Zelda leading the way the three bolted across the drawbridge and onto the open plain. As they made their hastened escape, arrows were let fly. Link cried out as an arrow struck his left shoulder. Dark Link staggered from the force but maintained his footing and drove himself faster than before, outpacing Zelda. Link bit his lip hard, fighting unconsciousness as each movement sent waves of pain.
By the time they had settled down to a fire deep within the wood, the moon had already risen. Dark Link stood guard some distance away from the flames. Watching him with wary eyes, Link sat on a rock, his upper body bare as Zelda tended to him. Link’s Hylian Shield, tunic and cap and the Master Sword were set aside on a tree stump. Zelda attempted to remove the arrow stuck in Link’s shoulder but only resulted in Link crying out in pain. Dark Link turned and approached them. Link and Zelda froze. Dark Link indicated to Zelda for rope. Zelda looked warily at Link. His shadow may have helped them out but he was still unpredictable. As if reading their thoughts the shadow removed his weapons and placed them beside Link’s. He looked expectantly at Link who nodded to Zelda. She untied the rope belt of her robe and handed it over. Dark Link knelt and bound Link’s hands behind his back and gagged him with a rag. He then grasped he shaft of the arrow with one hand and placed the other on Link’s back and pulled. Link bit down the gag, fighting the pain and looked at Dark Link with pained eyes. Dark Link rose and went to the fire. Zelda rushed to Link’s side. The doppelganger, rose once more and stalked toward Link wielding a dagger whose blade was heated from the flames. Link tensed. Zelda gasped. Dark Link shoved Zelda aside, thrust Link to the ground chest first and drove the dagger into Link’s injured shoulder. Link struggled and screamed through the gag, fighting against his bonds. Dark Link’s form darkened and lost some solidity. Link’s left hand began to glow. The Triforce of Courage.
There is darkness in your heart, Dark Link spoke. Link stopped struggling and looked Dark Link in the eye.
The will always be shadows in the light but never light in the shadows… Darkness cannot exist without Light. The Triforce…
They held for a moment, some unfathomable understanding passing between them. Then Dark Link stood, put the blade away, retrieved his gear and melted into the darkness. Zelda bolted to Link’s side and freed him. With a gasp she indicated to his shoulder. Link looked and saw. His shoulder remained stiff but in place of a ghastly wound was bare skin. Puzzled, they spent the rest of the night camped at that fire. Come morning, Link clad himself and saw his shadow; a part of him and yet unfathomably different.