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Me and My Shadow

Chapter Text

 Ghirahim’s eyes fluttered open.

He stared up at the blue sky. In the distance was a large, white cloud drifting slowly along with the warm breeze. A flock of chittering birds soared across the heavens, singing their enthusiasm towards the beautiful day. There were many of them - twenty-eight, Ghirahim quickly computed. It seemed, then, that his mental functions were in full working order.

The sword spirit slowly sat up and looked down at himself. The illusion of a mostly Hylian appearance had seemingly returned, so his magic, too, was functioning acceptably, at least to the point of creating a warm and fleshy body about himself. He had apparently forgotten clothes during his slumber - or whatever it was that he had just woken up from. With a small hum of approval as he took himself in, he then finally turned his gaze to his surroundings.

How interesting. Odd, but interesting.

He was sat in grass beside a rocky road. The luscious field stretched far and wide, rolling into gentle hills that were crowned with forests. There were mountains in the distance. It somehow all seemed very familiar, but all rather … different, too, and if he had been there before but also had not. Looking over his shoulder, he could see a small array of buildings a half-mile or so away, smoke unfurling from thatched roofs and carts ambling noisily about the road. He looked back at the road upon hearing a small sound.

A horse and cart sat there, apparently having stopped before Ghirahim had awoken. A surprised Hylian held the reins tightly, his mouth dumbly hanging open as if he had just witnessed something dumbfounding. Given the slightly scorched grass around the spirit’s body, something interesting had occurred, though Ghirahim was still in the middle of trying to process a rather sudden turn of events.

“Well?” He questioned the Hylian, gracefully rising to his feet and flicking his long fringe out of his eye. Unashamed of his nakedness, he regarded the other man, hand on his hip. “Are you going to sit there gawking at me all day, or are you doing to tell me where - and when I am?”

The Hylian’s eyes widened slightly. With something of a stammer, he nodded.

“Uh … y-you just appeared there! In a flash! How did you do that?!”

Ghirahim merely rolled his eyes in response. Waving his hand down over his body, glittering diamonds, the image of his magic, flocked to his form, covering him in a particular arrangement until he was satisfied. The magic left a skin-tight and revealing white bodysuit in its wake, along with diamond earrings and the spirit’s preferred colourful make-up.

“As easily as that. Now, if you don’t answer my questions, I swear to you that I will leave you bleeding in a nearby ditch being pecked at by crows.” With another wave of his hand, Ghirahim summoned a rapier from thin air and twirled it expertly - and threateningly - before sheathing it at his belt. The Hylian audibly gulped.

“O-oh. Uh - it’s been a long time since a sorcerer has come by here. You’re near Milon Ranch, in Hyrule. What kinda business has someone like you got with people like us?”

Ghirahim sighed. “Hyrule, hm? I thought that your ilk might infest the Surface again eventually. How long has it been since your descent from the heavens?”

Feeling a pang of frustration at the look of complete idiocy following his question, the spirit folded his arms and impatiently tapped his foot, awaiting at least some semblance of an answer that might better inform him of just how long he had been … dead? Sleeping? Perhaps the more pertinent question was just how he had found himself back together all in one piece in the middle of nowhere, but he doubted a mindless human would be able to offer up any feasible answer.

“I think you’re the one with your head in the heavens, man. You think I ain’t seen drunks at the side of the road before?” The Hylian responded, fuelling Ghirahim’s ire yet further. “Look, I can give ya a lift to the ranch if you need it, but you, uh … well, ya look like you belong more in Castle Town. Is that the fashion over there these days?”

“I belong with the demons,” Ghirahim huffed in response, though he moved forwards and climbed onto the cart anyway, lounging back with his arms behind his head. “Fine. I need to rest following my grand entrance back into existence. It was grand, wasn’t it? And you can address me as Lord, Hylian; I daresay your status as a meagre farmer or merchant or whatever you are pales in comparison to my prestigious position, though it seems enough time has passed that perhaps your garb could be that of a noble and I would be none-the-wiser.”

The Hylian confusedly glanced down at his dirtied tunic and frowned before gently whipping the reins, urging his two horses into movement.

“There ain’t been no demons around here for a very long time, mi’lord. Not for the time I’ve been alive, anyways - and my father, too. And his father before him and his father before him, maybe even his father before him. What ya wanna do with a buncha dead demons and monsters, huh? This realm hasn’t seen an invasion from nothin’ for centuries.”

The news was troubling, not only for the indication that the demons were still yet unsuccessful in their pursuit of the Triforce, but for the sheer and unclear amount of time that Ghirahim had found himself dead to the world. The spirit ignored the human and contemplated it all, instead, rubbing at his smooth jaw as he gazed out across the boundless realm as it slowly passed. So Hylia and that miserable man-servant of hers had won, then, and defeated Demise. That was all Ghirahim could remember. There was a painless descent into darkness … death, he had presumed, as his body disintegrated into nothingness. How was it that the Demon Blade, the hand of the Demon King, had been put back together and revived?

And could it mean that Demise’s curse had come to fruition and that his master was somewhere out there, awaiting Ghirahim’s return?

“Actually …” the Hylian continued, breaking the brief silence. He scratched at his stubbly chin, dark eyes glancing at Ghirahim before quickly turning back to the road. “There was somethin’ a couple of nights ago. I guess you’ve seen a lot of weird stuff in your time, right? Being a sorcerer and all.”

“Unless you can reunite me with my master, Demise, I have no interest in what you are going to tell me,” the spirit answered at once, a dramatic and woeful tone to his voice.

“Well, I don’t know nothin’ about that, mi’lord - not unless the thing I’ve got hiding at my ranch is your master …”

My master would not be found hiding at a ranch.” Despite his words, Ghirahim sat up a bit and glared at the scruffy Hylian, an expression of complete disdain on his handsome features as he looked the other up and down. “Certainly not among the likes of you.”

He was surprised to be met with a soft laugh. It irritated him that the man seemed so completely unintimidated. Just how long had Hyrule been at peace, then, if the humans were barely wary of the strange and dangerous? Or was it just this idiot in particular? Eyes narrowing, he crossed his legs and faced his body away from the man, huffing. He thought it would be unwise to cause trouble before he truly had a lay of the land and its people; the last thing he needed in the midst of such confusion was a mob on his back.

“The likes of me is called Milon. That’s my ranch there.”

“Yes, I gathered as much. You know, from the name.”

“Yeah, okay,” Milon laughed again. “Well, you’re welcome to stay there a while if you need to rest on up after your grand entrance. Maybe you can meet this fellow and see if it’s someone ya know, at least. And I’ve got horses if you’ve got the rupees.”

Ghirahim just scoffed. He certainly did not have rupees, though was more than capable of acquiring them through various means. Annoyingly, a horse would likely prove useful in an area as new as this one, as trying to teleport without knowledge of where he was going would be impossible. Though he had traversed the Surface before, things had changed to the point he did not recognise this landscape at all, despite the fact something about it felt minutely familiar. Perhaps the lack of demonic strongholds and tyranny had something to do with it.

He endured the inane nattering of Milon for a short while longer as they travelled into the rustic and busy ranch. The Hylian’s knowledge proved relatively useful, especially when they were faced with travellers who looked so strange that they could not possibly be human, and certainly were not demons. The different species mingled together easily, laughing as they went about their day, giving each other directions or information about the area. There were people who looked horribly like sharks, much to Ghirahim’s dismay. What had the Goddesses been thinking?! Were they supposed to be Zora?

“What are they?” He asked aloud, pointing brazenly to a group of the creatures sat around a table. The group of them looked up at him in affront as the cart passed.

“They’re Zora, of course! I don’t mean to be rude, but ask quietly, you know? These travellers pass through this ranch on the way to Castle Town. Their rupees keep us going. I won’t have ‘em scared off.” Milon’s brow furrowed slightly. “How is it you don’t know who the Zora are, eh?”

“What is that?” Ghirahim asked again, louder this time as he pointed to what appeared to be some kind of walking tree carrying a basket of apples. The strange thing hooted obnoxiously at him through the snout on its wooden face.

“A Deku! They’re proud people, mi’lord. Are you trying to be funny?”

The spirit racked through his databases. Every creature was recorded as something recognisable, but evolved in many regards, save for the humans. That they had had the space to change so perhaps meant that it had been even longer than he thought since Demise’s fall, and the fact the races mingled without qualm meant there had indeed been a long era of peace. Had Demise’s curse even come to fruition at all?

When the cart came to a halt outside of an old, brick house, Ghirahim descended from the cart without so much as a thanks. The house was located at the very crown of the collection of buildings, on a small hill that sat beneath the afternoon sun. Nearby, there was an inn and a few small shops. Nothing interesting, certainly nothing useful. With a sigh, Ghirahim placed his fists on his hips and beheld the pathetic display from the rise of the hill as the rancher set about loosing the horses from the cart.

“I need a room,” Ghirahim demanded, taking a few steps back to regard Milon intensely. “And see to it that a map of Hyrule is sent to me at once.”

“You can see Hilda in the inn about a room,” Milon answered wearily, though not unkindly. “And Mila has maps in her shop just there across the road. I think she has everything in there, actually -“

“Daddy!”

Ghirahim spun around at the abrupt yell, hand flying for the hilt of his rapier, until he saw that the unnatural sound had come from a small Hylian child stood at the door of the house on the hill. Slowly narrowing his eyes, he turned his nose up at the scene that ensued: Milon and the child ran to each other to embrace, and he picked the girl up to spin her around as they laughed in excitement. When he put her down, the child gazed happily up at her father with big, brown eyes, clinging a stuffed toy horse to her chest.

“Oh, Belon, it’s so good to see you. How is Epona, hm?” Milon poked the stuffed toy. “Looks like she’s got a hole again. How do you manage that?”

Ghirahim rolled his eyes and turned his attention away from the sickeningly sweet reunion. Turning back to the small settlement, he was quick to take in just what was where and how much of a threat any of the denizens or travellers posed. Very little, it seemed. There were no warriors or armed guards in sight, even as afternoon fell into early evening. Wasn’t night the most dangerous time upon the Surface? Especially for a poor, unguarded place right in the middle of open land.

He looked idly towards the large barn by the house upon seeing movement in his peripheral vision, and then had to look again. What he had thought had been a mere shadow was actually a figure, stood within the shade of the barn. What caught his attention was that it seemed to be looking at him, too, whereas the others had been surprisingly quick to dismiss him and his colourful appearance, as if they had seen strangely clad folk like him often. The figure was, upon closer inspection, well over seven feet tall - was it wearing stilts, or was it a member of some freakishly tall race he had yet to look upon? It was cloaked in several layers of black cloth, its entire body hidden, and what seemed to be an expressionless silver mask concealed its face. The thing was perfectly still, and something about its long and slender, dark presence  unnerved even Ghirahim somewhat. The eyes of the mask were sealed over and stared blankly back at him in turn, inviting his curiosity for a moment.

“Mi’lord?”

The sword spirit was brought back into focus. After glancing irritatedly at Milon, he looked back towards the barn and saw that the figure had mysteriously vanished into nothingness, as if it had not truly existed in the first place.

“This is my daughter, Belon,” Milon continued, gesturing down towards the brown-haired girl with a loving smile. “If you ever need a hand pickin a good horse, she’s the best there is at match-making, so to speak. She knows every last thing about ‘em.”

“I truly could not care less,” Ghirahim responded with a dismissive wave of his hand, already beginning to walk away, bored with the interaction. He only had one goal in mind, and it did not involve getting in cahoots with Hylians, of all things. If he had things his way, none of them would even exist. To achieve such a thing, however, meant to ruin the era of peace that seemed to be tarnishing a once demonic land like a plague of good, and that meant to find Demise.

But where to start? Teleporting to him was impossible, he knew that already, for to do such a thing meant to latch on to the Demon King’s very spirit and essence, which was mysteriously … lacking, just like before when his master had been sealed away. Perhaps when Demise reincarnated, it meant that his energy signature had changed, too. Whatever the case, there was no chance of venturing to him directly. Not now, at least.

Stalking off down the hill, Ghirahim headed for the small shop that Milon had directed him to, stopping to stare at its ragged and filthy outward appearance a moment before kicking the door open to venture into the pathetic little hovel. As expected, the place was just as much a mess on the inside, too, cluttered with all kinds of decidedly useless items. Mouldy, uneven carpets lined the stone floor, kicking up a cloud of dust whenever Ghirahim stepped foot on one, and the outside world was concealed by translucent red curtains across the window. Behind the counter stood a wizened older lady with greenish skin and a purple scarf tied around her head. Her wrinkled frown turned upwards when she spotted Ghirahim, and she immediately stood up to greet him, apparently shorter standing up from her stool than she was sitting down. Her yellow eyeballs barely breached the edge of the counter.

“Oh my,” Mila croaked, apparently thrilled. “Oh my. Look at you! So fashionable! Did you buy those clothes from my sister’s shop in Castle Town? Oh! Look here!” Seizing a bejewelled necklace that had previously just been sat pride of place on a velvet cushion, the elder rushed around the side of the counter to hold it upwards, stroking the jewels invitingly. It was indeed an impressive piece, enough to momentarily distract Ghirahim. “Crafted by the Gerudo themselves with rubies mined by the Gorons. It would look so beautiful on you, dear boy. Come, come, try it on!”

“I find myself in need of a map, actually,” Ghirahim said dryly, though his gaze remained on the pretty necklace. “A map of … Hyrule, or whatever this infernal place is called. Like, now. And I would truly advise against calling somebody like me a mere boy if you would like to wake up with your eyeballs intact in the morning. So, let’s bear that in mind going forward, shall we?”

“Of course!” Mila agreed with unnerving enthusiasm, about as contemplative regarding threats as Milon had been. That was to say, not at all. She bustled back behind the counter, knocking various wares over as she went, and produced a large square of parchment that she hastily unfolded and splayed open for her guest to look upon. “Only the finest for you! I bought these maps from a supposedly renowned explorer. Strange man - but that’s beside the point. You’ll find all settlements and roads in Hyrule here. Are we going travelling, hm?” The lady cocked her head slightly, peering at him from the side of the map as she held it up. “You speak very good Hylian for somebody not from around here, you know.”

“Thank you,” Ghirahim replied with condescending mock gratitude, and then he snatched the map straight from Mila’s hands, clicking his fingers and causing it to vanish with a flourish of diamonds. The woman gaped at him in alarm.

“Hey! That’s ten rupees! You pay for things where you’re from, right?!”

“Well … hm, no, actually. But I don’t see a map here to pay for, do you?” The spirit asked sweetly, and then he laughed, much to the old woman’s evident frustration. “But, listen … if you tell me where I might find a gathering place for the wicked and wretched, you can name your price.”

That silenced Mila, who had rolled up another map in preparation to swat her guest with it. It immediately fell from her hands and she stared suspiciously up at the man, stroking her pointed little chin.

“Wicked and wretched, you say? You would be more likely to find more of your ilk in Castle Town. I have heard they prefer to gather right under the noses of the Royal Family and their guard. They might be mere bandits but they have more links to the kind of world you’re after than I do. Apparently, they meet in the labyrinth of sewers every night.” The woman cleared her throat suggestively, then, and held out her hand. “That kind of information is double what the map’s worth!”

Ghirahim extended a hand as if to toss some rupees Mila’s way - but he snapped his fingers again, and a giant bird cage that had formerly been balanced precariously atop a pile of bric-a-brac nearby was magicked to instead ensnare the old woman. With a yelp of surprise, she grabbed the bars and shook them, only to end up toppling the entire cage over and rolling off underneath a cluttered table.

“Hey! HEY! Let me out, you little …! GAH! Son of a moblin! Give me that map back right now!”

The sword spirit, however, was already halfway to the door. With a cruel laugh did he open it and turn back to the poor shopkeeper, tossing his hair over his shoulder and winking charmingly.

“Let’s not tell Lord Ghirahim what to do, now, shall we? I take what I want, when I want, and I will raze this pathetic ranch if I get so much as a peep from you again. Oh - and thank you for that valuable information, good lady. Fear not - I will be out of your hair soon enough.”

“Oh, curse you! You and that masked monster! Where is it you’re all coming from, huh?!”

Pausing, Ghirahim tapped impatiently on the side of the door. “Who is the masked one?”

“Like I’d tell you if I knew! It ruined my whole shop when it realised I didn’t have the silly sword shard it was after!”

Surprise alighted in his chest. Sword shard? He felt certain that he was complete; he could not detect any defects with his physical form, so what about him had caught the masked creature’s attention? It was hardly possible that anybody other than a high-ranking demon even knew what he was, and yet he had sensed nothing demonic about that mysterious figure. Still … perhaps demons had changed since he had last been in contact with them.

Turning the sign on the door so that ‘closed’ was presented to the outside, Ghirahim stepped neatly outdoors and magically locked the door behind him, ignoring the woman’s shrieks of betrayal.

Now, it was not that he could not find simpler means by which to acquire what he needed, for he was definitely not lacking in an ability to charm and persuade, but he did also possess an innate desire to cause as much trouble as he could get away with. He had no care for this land nor the Hylians - in fact, any race aside from demons tended only to infuriate him, so as far as he was concerned, the land was in dire need of his help until its rightful ruler was back in place. And once again, it was the demonic blade’s task to locate and defend his master irregardless of what happened to anything else. That was the very purpose for which he was built.

He glanced towards the shade of the barn again. The robed creature was not there.

 


 

Some time later, Ghirahim was alone in a small but cosy room on the upper floor of the inn after having tricked Hilda into believing he was an envoy of the Royal Family. There had been no real reason to lie and trick other than the fact he could, and supposedly he was carrying an important message westwards but had lost his horse after being attacked by bandits. No doubt she would find out the truth sooner or later from Milon, but he cared not, for one he had established a route, there was no reason for him to stay much longer.

Outside, the world was quiet and peaceful. Most of the ranch’s visitors had head indoors as evening settled in. Ghirahim’s room had a particularly spectacular view of the house on the hill and the expansive world that waited beyond, and the sky was streaked with beautiful reds and oranges as serene twilight descended to cast Hyrule in its haunting glow. The room was turned golden with the sunset, and the spirit took a moment to gaze out of the window towards the black clouds on the horizon. With a small sound of discontent, he moved to the vanity on the other side of the room, instead, and seated himself down, admiring his own reflection as his skin became bathed in gold. He smiled at himself, though it was a vaguely uncertain kind of smile, not quite meeting his eyes.

He blinked, and then the masked creature was there behind him, beside the window.

Ghirahim did not turn, though was ready to react quickly. He watched the figure in the reflection of the mirror. It was too tall for the room, so was somewhat stooped, not quite as imposing as before in such a stance. It moved slightly towards the window and slowly reached out an arm towards the soft, golden light that shone in through the glass, a large and oddly shaped hand emerging from the long material of its cloaks to test the air like one might test the temperature of water. Its arm was oddly elongated, though there was little chance to observe the strange markings on its mottled grey skin before the limb quickly vanished back into the depths of its attire.

“Well, well,” Ghirahim purred in greeting, despite the prickles that raced down his spine. “Who might you be?”

The strange being did not answer. It did, however, raise its arms again, this time to produce something from its cloak: a necklace of rubies. It glittered brilliantly in the light, each end held in both hands. It was the same piece from the shop, most definitely, now being held up in some sort of … peace offering, perhaps? A gesture of goodwill? Or maybe the creature was attempting to lure him with it. Whatever the case was, it wasn’t doing a particularly good job of expressing its intentions.

“Oh, how romantic,” sighed Ghirahim, suggestively stroking his fingers about his neck and gazing longingly at the necklace in the mirror’s reflection. “Is that for me? How lovely it is, though there is something I’d like even more than that …” He slowly stood and turned to face his mysterious visitor, half expecting the creature to vanish, but there it remained. It did, however, take a panicked step back, the necklace disappearing back into its robes as it shrouded itself protectively. With a self-satisfied smile, Ghirahim continued, “I’d like it if you tell me what you know.”

The figure shifted slightly, that expressionless, silver mask betraying nothing of its emotions.

“Are you … the blade?”

There was an unearthly quality to the creature’s voice. Assumedly male with its low tone, it was soft, too, and there was an odd, bright resonance to it, as if he was speaking in a cathedral hall. The alien voice was tinged with an accent that could not be placed. It seemed thin, perhaps. Weakened.

“I am a blade, assuredly,” Ghirahim answered carefully. He ran a hand back through his hair, briefly exposing the dark diamond shape on his cheek. “Who’s asking?”

There was a moment of silence as the figure leaned forwards a little, its head tilting this way and that in a manner reminiscent of a reptile.

“You … smell like him.

Yes, finally they were getting somewhere! A sudden excitement pulsing through every inch of the sword spirit, he maintained his carefree, cool demeanour and simply raised an eyebrow in acknowledgement of the observation, moving his hands elegantly to his hips. If he frightened the creature off or gave it any reason to vanish, he would yet again be left alone and clueless, so it was imperative to keep the thing interested and calm lest it disappeared without a trace. With a smaller, more inviting smile, he sat back against the vanity, his poise entirely non-threatening.

“Demise, you mean?” Ghirahim enquired eagerly.

“Demise … I do not know. But Ganon …”

Ghirahim merely tilted his head despite the questions rampaging through his mind at that moment.

“Are you a servant of this Ganon, hm?”

Any further thoughts were interrupted when a sudden and shrill sound emerged from behind that damned silver mask. The ghastly noise finished with what sounded like a mixture of a hissing and rattling, like an oversized serpent was hiding beneath those robes. The creature slammed a fist back against the wall and made that horrific rattling sound again in a sudden display of fury, and Ghirahim was careful to maintain his position of non-violence. For the time being, at least.

“Fine, then, not a servant,” he surmised, fighting amusement. “Perhaps we could become more acquainted if you took off that mask of yours, as lovely as it is.” Truly, it was a morbid curiosity driving the request, for he wandered what kind of wretched creature would be forced to hide itself from the likes of the accepting Hylians below. Some kind of beast, assuredly, just as hideous as the demons that once roamed the very field the ranch occupied. Maybe it was a demon, that much was yet unclear.

It seemed to loosen up from its minor tantrum, tentatively straightening again as far as the ceiling would allow.

“How is the twilight?” It asked, a rasp to its voice, now. As if seeking to answer its own question, the creature reached up, lowered its hood, and then removed the mask that had been, by some atrocity, concealing its face.

Ghirahim’s jaw dropped. He had expected a gnarled, twisted face. What he was met with was quite the opposite. The creature, whatever it was, bore perfectly symmetrical features, angular with smooth, pale grey-blue skin. The nose was wide and strong - there was no indication where the forehead and nose separated, and a glowing turquoise tattoo or marking occupied them. The lips were soft, a darker grey in colour, and odd notches in the corners of the mouth made it unclear as to whether the man was smiling or frowning. Most beautiful of all, however, were his eyes, cat-like in shape, aglow with colours that matched the sunset outside the window, framed by darkness and markings that resembled black tear streaks. The pointed ears were similarly black, though adorned with those glowing blue shapes. At odds with the pale countenance was a headful of blood-red hair, short at the fringe but longer at the back, a silky smooth train of it ending at the base of a long neck.

The sword spirit had momentarily forgotten himself, but it could not be helped. He had been met with an unearthly beauty and was not entirely sure how to process just what - or who he was looking at.

“The twilight is beautiful,” he heard himself murmur. “Just like you.”

The creature’s lips parted slightly in surprise, just barely revealing two rows of pointed, needle-like teeth. Indeed, every rose had its thorns, but to Ghirahim they made the rose no less appealing. Perhaps only more enticing. In a rare moment of weakness, he forgot about his own vanity, his own carefully maintained appearance, entirely entranced by what he saw until he finally could manage to pull himself out of his hungered reverie. Composing himself, he settled on inspecting his nails for a moment, instead.

“Who are you, then? It seems a tragedy that such a face is not shared with the world more than it is.”

The creature’s mouth closed, then, and something in his expression shifted, though barely. The mask had, at least, been an accurate representation of how well his emotions could be read.

“You dare mock me, blade?”

“Oh, no. Believe me, this is one of the very few times in my life I have been completely sincere.”

There was a pause, during which the cloaked man curled his upper lip threateningly and displayed those sharp teeth, though it seemed a more minor defensive reaction born from uncertainty. Though his glowing eyes were difficult to read, they narrowed slightly, and his poise was taut. It seemed as though he was restraining himself from reacting to an imagined slight, and Ghirahim was half-tempted to provoke him further, just for the fun of it. Not yet, not until he had learnt the truth in its entirety.

“My name … is Zant,” the man answered at last. “I have been piecing you together for … years . And now … here you are. The last piece, it took so long … but I found it, I found it.” Zant closed his eyes and ran his robed hands down his face, apparently out of sheer relief. He then snarled in a sudden turn of emotion, fingers digging into his pale cheeks. “And then I was attacked by bandits on the road. I thought that they would steal you away. They all paid the price … for daring hinder what must be done!”

“And what would that be?” Ghirahim asked calmly, though he was inwardly giddy with excitement. Who else other than his master could have motivated the resurrection of his trusted blade?! Watching the man intently, he moved forward slightly when he saw the other stumble out of an apparent weakness, though made no attempt to help.

“To find him …” Zant crowed miserably, dropping down onto one knee. With a short, whining sound, he pulled himself onto the bed and laid there, his legs hanging off the bottom end. “Before the light takes me.”

Finally inspired into action, the sword spirit moved forwards and closed the curtains, hiding the last of the sunset from view and casting the room into near darkness. Turning, he found a pair of orange eyes watching him from the bed, a pair of naked candle flames in the dim light. The creature seemed far larger up close, but despite his size, he was clearly vulnerable, too. A creature of darkness, weakened by the light, and the very idea left him shrouded in mystery. His goals were even more interesting, however, because the implications of Demise’s influence were strong, or at least, Zant was the strongest lead that he had at that moment.

“Who is he to you?” He asked, moving slowly to the side of the bed. He was met with a blank stare.

“Ganon,” was the blunt response.

“No, who is he to you? To me, Ghirahim, sword of the Demon King, he is my master. Who is he to you? Why did you spend all your valuable time piecing me back together, hm?”

Within the darkness, the tall form of Zant seemed to be slowly fading. It continued to fade until there was a ghostly, vague shape of him left in his place. When this shape spoke, his voice seemed all the more distant than usual as the shadowy spectre shifted like dark magic, aligning perfectly with Ghirahim’s shadow and then sinking slowly into it.

“... he is the beginning, he is the end.”

Ghirahim was left alone, or so it would seem to an outsider. It seemed his shadow was now something of a hiding place. Useful, indeed, though just how useful would the mysterious Zant be, in the end? The spirit took the map from the bedside table and unfolded it, spreading it across the bed. Questions lingered, though he was sure answers would come sooner rather than later.

Kneeling down and smirking, he walked a pair of fingers up the distance from Milon Ranch to Castle Town.