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Link wasn't sure how he felt about this whole idea. For one, the idea of Kilton giving anything away for free was a warning sign on its own; the odd man practically salivated over the monster bones and horns and intestines Link brought back to his shop. With how much he'd spent on the first version of this particular mask, Link would've expected the new-and-improved build to cost him more than a handful of bokoblin fangs and a promise to try it out as soon as he got the chance.

At the same time, though, Kilton's arguments had been convincing; people died to Lynels, without any hope of escape or fighting back. The beasts were closer in nature to the calamity than anything Link had faced, save the broken blighted creatures that possessed the Divine Beasts, and their power and intelligence reflected that. The current version of the mask kept them docile only if he had a horse handy, and even then just long enough for Link to teleport away or flee on a gale wind. Most people in Hyrule didn't have those options.

Even he couldn't fight the Lynels off very well—not yet, he reminded himself firmly, he had to keep growing stronger—but he was still the only one who could reliably escape such a creature and therefore the only one Kilton could turn to for testing. He doubted Kilton's attempts to improve the Fang and Bone's image would be particularly successful (opening only at night was a bit of a turn-off, as was the maniacal laughter Kilton couldn't seem to hold back whenever he made a particularly large sale), but if it helped keep Hyrule safe then Link would give it a shot.

Still. Still. He didn't exactly love following Lynel tracks across the vast Gerudo Desert. Link couldn't shake the feeling he was walking to his own doom with every fresh print he found.

It wasn't a difficult task, at least; the Lynel's hooves sunk deep into the sand here, heavy enough that even the desert's winds couldn't cover them immediately. He'd packed elixirs enough to keep him cool during the day and warm at night, and a dozen healing dishes besides. No sense taking chances here.

The hoofprints had been growing deeper lately. Fresher. He was getting close.

Link slipped the new Lynel mask on as he rounded the top of a dune, his heart beating a frantic rhythm against his ribcage. It wasn't any particular sound that had put him on edge; if anything, it was the lack of noise. There were no desert hawks crying out overhead, no darners flitting around the scrub brush, no treasure octoroks swimming through the sands. It was as if even the wind itself had fled in fear.

Below him, eyes closed and its hooves tucked neatly underneath its body, sat a silver-furred Lynel.

Link took a steadying breath. He'd expected a blue Lynel, or a white-maned at worst. This… he'd only ever seen one of these from a distance before. A massive, cruel sword and an equally-enormous shield sat sunken into the sand beside it, and a sleek bow was strung over its back. The creature seemed somehow more massive here, with no cliff faces or crumbling ruins to look down on it from—its striped fur was the only landmark against a background of endless brown.

Link twitched, half-wanting to back away, and the Lynel jerked awake at the sudden sound of shifting sand. For a moment it only blinked sleepily at the desert around it—then its eyes sharpened, filling with that cruel, alien intelligence as it glared up towards Link.

The two of them stared at each other. Link hardly dared to move; he kept wanting to reach up and adjust some part of the Lynel mask. It was of a different make to the other he owned—the mismatched button eyes had been replaced with black spheres made of luminous stone, and the 'fur' no longer looked so much like cheap felt—and the design had been altered too. This one had a longer, silkier mane that fell across Link's eyes and down his back, and the ears were angled and prominent. It smelled of a strange spice Link couldn't place. He didn't know how Kilton meant for the alterations to help, and he could only hope the alchemist knew what he was doing.

One of the Lynel's massive hands tensed as it reached down for its sword. Then it inhaled, taking in Link's scent from across the sand, and its whole body relaxed. Instead of rearing up to attack, it gestured to him calmly.

Come here, it was saying.

There was very little Link wanted less than to get closer, but—this was good, right? It had to be a sign that the mask was working.

Unless it wants to lure me into a trap, Link thought, and shivered. He kept one hand near the Shiekah slate as he crept closer. A gust of wind whipped the sand into a flurry around him, leaving his eyes stinging and his cheeks red. He wanted to rub the grit away, but he didn't dare. The motion might not look Lynel-like enough.

The Lynel didn't attack. If anything, it seemed to relax more and more as Link approached: its eyes had gone half-lidded, its legs were splayed out leisurely, and its tail thumped occasionally against the ground as if it were a dog. Even its face seemed a little bit less frozen in a snarl of rage.

Link couldn't help but wonder what was going through its head right now. He was getting nearer to it, slow step by painfully slow step; soon he'd be close enough to touch the Lynel's striped fur. The wind was even stronger here than it had been on top of the dune—if it were anything but a Lynel in front of him, he would've just been grateful to have something to block the merciless sand.

That gratitude lasted just long enough for Link to reach the monster's side. He reached one hand out, knowing how badly he was pushing his luck, getting ready to flee even as his fingers brushed silky fur—

The Lynel grabbed his arm with one massive hand. Its fingers wrapped all the way around Link's forearm with room to spare as it began to drag him in.

It was all he could do not to scream. He mentally cursed his own stupidity as he frantically jabbed at the Sheikah slate's screen with his free hand. He couldn't get a good angle to see where he might be pressing, but it didn't really matter. He just needed to go somewhere.

The Shiekah slate wasn't activating. It wasn't activating and the Lynel was slowly reeling him closer as Link struggled to keep his footing on the shifting sand.

He risked a glance down at the slate's screen from under the fringe of the faux-mane.

No. His heart stopped and his breath caught. No, no, no.

The screen was sputtering with static. No shrines onscreen, no towers to teleport to. Just endless brown, exactly like…

Like the sand whipping around him now.

How could he have been so stupid? He'd wandered right into the edge of a sandstorm without so much as noticing. Even the fiercest of Ganon's monsters didn't hold a candle to nature's sheer uncaring power. Link closed his eyes tight and offered a silent apology to Zelda as the Lynel pulled him in and lifted him up to its eerie glowing eyes and massive fangs.

He didn't die. Not as the monster's warm breath washed over his face, not as the other clawed hand wrapped around Link's torso and pulled him in closer, not as he found himself forcibly pressed up against the wall of fur and muscle that made up the Lynel's humanoid half. No sword through his ribcage. No jaws wrapping around his throat. Link cautiously opened one eye to glance up at his captor.

The monster looked—entranced. Captivated. Its fierce gaze followed each twitch of his muscle, and it was holding him less like a piece of prey and more like…

Something to be protected. Something it wanted. Link froze, struck by the horror of a sudden realization.

It can't be, he thought, Kilton wouldn't.

The Lynel leaned in and licked him, nuzzling its feline nose against the juncture of Link's collar and t>hroat, and the mingled horror and disbelief slowly turned to just plain horror.

Apparently Kilton would.

If he struck at the monster now, he would die in a heartbeat. It didn't even need a weapon—it would just have to squeeze a little harder and crush every bone in his body. It might do that anyway, though, with what it was planning. Link couldn't imagine Lynels were gentle during…

He couldn't finish the thought. His mind shied away from it. A fighting death seemed like a wonderful choice right about now. At least that would be less painful. (Would leave him with more dignity, too.)

So that was what it came down to, then: a certain death, and end to it all, or a terror he couldn't even imagine with the possibility—slimmer than the edge of the Lynel's blade—of survival on the other side.

The choice didn't even need thinking about. The Champions were counting on him. Zelda was waiting for him. It was his duty not to die here, no matter what it took.

Link took a soft, shuddering breath, then tilted his head back to give the Lynel better access to his throat.

The beast made what he hoped was an approving noise at the change—one rumbling growl tended to sound much like the next—and pressed its muzzle closer against the hollow of Link's throat. The rasping tongue felt like sandpaper and left a strange warmth under Link's skin wherever it touched.

It seemed to like the scent of the mask. Link hoped it wouldn't tug too roughly at the mane. If it came off now, he was dead for sure.

After a few moments, the Lynel pulled back. It rumbled out a question in a monstrous language Link couldn't even hope to understand, then paused with its head cocked as if waiting for an answer.

Link stayed silent. The Lynels were smart, gifted by Ganon with an intelligence that was completely unlike anything else in Hylia. He'd already known that—the legends were more than clear enough on the subject of their cleverness, and the way they planned their attacks and used complex weapons was a sign all its own. He didn't know what strange magic it was that must be keeping the Lynel from seeing through his disguise, but attempting to growl back would be worse than doing nothing. Better to be thought mute than seen for a fake.

Silence and the soft hiss of shifting sands filled the air as the Lynel waited for him to speak. Finally it seemed to realize he wasn't going to; it made a softer little noise and tugged at his pants.

It wanted him to take them off, he realized. He couldn't understand why it was able to recognize he was wearing clothes and yet not realize he was Hylian. Maybe it thought his gear was just a strange version of the armor the Lynels often wore, or perhaps it was too addled by pheromones to care. Either way, Link was grateful for the brief reprieve. He pulled them off in hurried motions, too quickly to give himself time to think about what he was doing. His shirt followed a few moments later; he slipped the sleeves off and pulled the fabric down and away before stepping out of it. Better to have a few ripped seams than risk bumping the mask off his head.

Link sat there, naked but for the beast-like mask, caught between stinging sands and a vicious monster. He tucked his knees together and bowed his head. Already he was flushed and hot under the weight of merciless sun.

For a moment, things almost felt—well, not normal, but no stranger than his things tended to get these days. He could have just as easily been stripping naked to appease a weird scientist or complete a bizarre Blood Moon ritual.

Then he felt massive hands encircle his torso, so huge the fingers could interlock over his back, and Link remembered quickly.

He didn't dare plead. Not now. But he sucked in a shallow breath and hoped the scent of his fear might inspire the beast to be gentle.

The beast grumbled gently, then pulled Link into the air with an inexorable force before rearranging his limbs so that he was pressed against the point where torso turned to flank and easily caged in by the monster's massive bulk.

At least there's no more sand, he thought, half-hysterically. The Lynel's fur was luxurious compared to the burning-hot desert. Already a few spots on his legs were sporting aching burns.

The Lynel had starting licking Link again, this time in long broad strokes that started at his navel and worked up to his collarbone and across his face.

It was—well. It didn't feel bad. The raw, raspy feeling its tongue left behind seemed to fade further away the longer it kept at it, leaving only the heat and the strangeness of its body. That edge of pain was still there, but now it felt soothing more than anything—like working the ache out of a strained muscle. The simple, rhythmic motions were easy to relax into. Link found suddenly that it was the simplest thing in the world to let the tension slowly easy from his body, to press into the Lynel's touch, to let his legs fall apart and his head tip back and just stop worrying for a moment.

It's doing something to me, he realized. Some distant part of his brain panicked at the thought, urged his hands to reach for a weapon, but… it was nicer not to have to worry about dying. The Lynel could have swung its blade right this moment and he wouldn't have even noticed.

It was all going to happen one way or another, right? Better he not spend this whole time stressed out of his mind.

The Lynel seemed to realize what was happening, because it made an approving little noise and loosely wrapped one massive hand around his—already painfully aroused—cock. Link hissed out a gasp at the sensation, straining forward to try and get just a little more friction.

It was hard not to stare. The Lynel's hand swallowed him up entirely; not even the tip poked out from beyond the beast's grasp. All he could feel was warmth and fur, dragging across his over-sensitized skin with every breath or twitch of its muscles. It didn't even have to move. Flexing its fingers just the slightest bit was enough to leave Link gasping and whining at the feeling.

His reactions seemed to fascinate the Lynel. It teased him again and again, licking his collar or touching his nipples or sliding its hand down his body before returning to Link's cock once again. The sensation was just this side of too little to get off on; before long he was slick with pre-cum and breathing so hard he might have toppled over if not for the one hand still holding him up.

This was beyond anything he'd ever felt before: the humiliation, the fear, the mindless overwhelming desire. It should have been more than he could take.

He wanted more.

Link whined, thrusting into the heat of the Lynel's massive palm as best he could without any leverage to speak of.

Ah,” he hissed out, trying and failing to bite down on the sloppy noises he was making. Even just controlling his body was beyond him right now—he jerked and thrust and begged without words until finally the beast seemed to understand. It held Link higher, sniffing between his legs and over his groin and finally it licked a rough wet stripe from the root of him to the head.

That was all Link needed. He shuddered as he came, clamping down so hard on his lip that he could taste the blood. The pleasure of it rode on and on, shaking through him as he dangled completely at the Lynel's mercy.

He was in complete disbelief. He was warm and naked and sticky. He was—

He was still aroused.

Link sucked in a breath as the feeling hit him again, this time harder than before. The desire had sunk into his whole body. It left him breathless and panicked and desperate for anything.

Now he understood what the Lynel must have felt when it smelled the pheromones on his mask. Every nerve was electrified, every inch of his skin was aching for touch.

He strained against the Lynel's hold, this time desperate to get closer instead of further away from the monster. The stinging air was torture, the empty ache inside him even worse. This wasn't enough. Light touches, brief contact—none of it was what he needed. Link begged wordlessly for something he couldn't even name (couldn't even bear to admit he wanted).

The Lynel held off for a long moment, looking him over head to toe with its bright gleaming eyes. For a moment, Link thought this must be it; he really was about to be eaten. Then it laughed, a sound like a rockslide echoing through a mountain pass, and finally pulled him closer.

Link very nearly sobbed in relief as his body pressed up against the Lynel's massive torso. He could wrap his arms and legs around as much of the monster as he could manage, press his body against the monster's skin and fur until the heat and the raw presence chased away that awful feeling. It was easy to get a rhythm going, now that he wasn't at the Lynel's mercy for his pleasure: he pulled himself upward and then slid back down, letting the delicious feeling of friction grow.

He couldn't believe he was already hard again. Nothing was normal about was happening to his body, and yet—there wasn't room in his head to care about that right now. Worrying meant stopping and stopping meant losing out on this feeling.

As he grew close to the edge again, Link's breathing grew quicker and his face flushed. This felt filthier than even the first desperate climax, somehow—before it had been the Lynel in control, doing whatever it wanted without concern for Link's desires. Now it was just him, rubbing himself off against the Lynel's chest, all but begging for the creature's touch. The Hero of Hyrule, reduced to a desperate mindless animal at the hands of a corrupted monster.

(Suddenly he was glad he'd gone to the desert. At least there was no risk of someone stumbling across him out here.)

Please, he thought, please, please… It was all he could do to keep from crying out.

The Lynel tolerated his desperation for a few more moments, supporting his weight as it watched him rut against its fur and the muscles of its abdomen. Then—just as he was finally, achingly close—it pulled him away to let him dangle in the air again.

Link actually did shout, then, a high wordless snarl of anger. How dare it take him and tease him and do this to him without so much as even letting him finish.

It seemed to understand the meaning behind the tension radiating from his body, but the only response he got was a clumsy pat on the head. (Not enough, thankfully, to upset the mask.) The Lynel held him there for a few long moments, one-handed, as it adjusted its position in the sand; it rolled half onto its side, so that it lay partially on its flank instead of having its legs tucked underneath it.

Ah, Link thought. That made sense, at least. It couldn't be comfortable having the barrel of its stomach pressed right against the burning sands—

That idle thought fled his mind as the Lynel patted him once more, rather soothingly this time. It looked almost—nervous, Link thought, or perhaps apologetic. Like it was trying to be reassuring.

Then it began to lower him down, guiding him to slide between its enormous legs and tucking him against the curve of its equine half, and suddenly Link understood why.

No, he thought, no way.

The Lynel's cock was the most massive he'd ever seen, thick and flushed and already glistening with a slick clear fluid. There was no way he would be able to take something like that. He'd break if it so much as touched him. And yet the Lynel wasn't giving him a choice—it had wrapped one hand around the root of its cock, helping to guide it, and the other was still unrelentingly forcing Link closer and closer.

Link broke a little, then. For a second he scrabbled for purchase in the short soft fur, trying to scramble away as though this were a cliff he could climb; in the next moment, he went limp and unresisting. There was nothing he could do about this. His only hope was that the Lynel might realize this was a losing proposition. The hand on Link kept up a steady, soothing motion as it guided him incrementally closer. And then, far too soon for him to be ready, he could feel the slick head pressed up against him.

He took a deep breath. His body had clenched up at the thought of the invasion, and he tried to force himself to relax. It would be easier for them both if he didn't struggle.

(Link thought about begging the creature to try and prepare him first, thought about what exactly those claws would do to his insides, and went slack once more.)

The length pressed against him, stretching and stretching his body, mercilessly forcing him open—Link blinked back tears at the relentless feeling of invasion, wishing he could reach up and brush them away but afraid to let go of the Lynel's fur—leaving him breathless and gasping out wordless pleas.

And then, just as he thought this was the moment he'd surely split in half, the slick head slid into him with a soft noise.

“Nn,” Link hissed out, trembling with shock. That shouldn't have been possible. There was no way. And yet he could feel the Lynel slowly pressing deeper into him, impossibly huge and achingly painful and yet just this side of being outright impossible to take.

The pheromones had affected more than just his emotional state, then. He wondered what strange magic lurked in these monsters' bodies.

It was easy enough to stay lax, after that. The Lynel's cock left him no room to twist or squirm, the sensation—pleasure and pain, alike, each too much to bear—left him without words to speak, and in this position it was easier to simply let things happen. Tears sprang to his eyes with each new ache. Earlier he'd gone soft from the pain and the fear, but now he was feeling desire curl back in his gut.

It wasn't right. It was perfect. Better not to think about it.

Finally, after what felt like an eternity, the Lynel bottomed out. Link could tell he hadn't managed to take the full length of it, but thankfully the Lynel didn't try to force itself any further; it just slid half-out and then back in, again and again, in short sharp thrusts that hurt worse and felt better than anything that had happened before.

It took only a few moments after that: one thrust, then two, then three, and Link was gasping and shaking as his climax hit him with the force of an avalanche. He pressed his forehead against the beast's belly as he tried to hold back a desperate noise.

He could feel his body clenching around the Lynel's cock, and the Lynel could feel it too; it grunted, sank deep into him with one last thrust, and held Link tight as spilled deep into him.

For a moment Link thought there would be no end to it. His world was nothing but heat and pain and pleasure and the feeling of a monster's seed deep inside him. The Lynel slid out of him as its length softened, leaving only the ache and the warmth spilling out from him.

Finally sated, it pulled him up closer to its torso once more. This time Link wasn't as much a prisoner; he got to sit tucked into the crook of one arm instead of held tightly in an iron grip.

Probably he should try to escape now. Before he could get into more trouble, before it could realize he wasn't a Lynel at all. (If it ever thought you were, a voice in the back of his head said, if it didn't know you weren't one and decide it wanted you anyway. Pheromones or no pheromones, he couldn't imagine such an intelligent creature being fooled by such a mundane disguise.)

But.

He wouldn't be able to walk just yet. That much Link could tell. The thought of crawling over a dune on his hands and knees, blindly seeking out the edge of the sandstorm so he could travel to safety (civilization, where people might see him and know) hardly appealed now. It was safe enough here. If the Lynel had wanted to kill him, it could have done so already.

And anyway, he was very tired.

Link pressed himself up against the Lynel's bulk, protected from the heat and the sand and the winds by his own personal living tent. He could feel a pressure at the back of his mind—horror, disgust, self-hatred, all waiting to bear back down on him the moment he woke from this strange peace. That was later, though. Once he woke up.

For now, Link was content. It was easier not to think about it. Easier just to slip into sleep clutching handfuls of silver fur, and leave the worries for when he felt like himself once more.