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Familiar

Chapter Text

The bright blue glow of the Sheikah slate illuminated Link’s face, showing a picture of one of Traysi’s latest journal entries:

“Who loves treasure hunts? Why me, Traysi of course! Recently I’ve caught word of a mysterious sword located deep within the Faron Woods, one from centuries ago. According to the legend, this sword was used to seal away a great evil and contains a spirit who was once their servant! The sword holds an immense amount of strength and is certainly not for those who are weak. However, as tempting as it may sound to track it down, be wary, as the evil spirit sealed within could be restless…

Traysi’s Recommendation: ★★★★”

His eyes moved from the screen to a black sword in front of him stuck in a stone similar to the master sword’s. Yet, unlike the master sword, the two were unkempt, leaving vines and moss to grow on and around the stone pedestal and hilt. He moved closer, but as he did, a feeling of dread came over him. He could feel the master sword’s white light burn him through its sheath. He winced at the pain, however, tried to pay no mind.

His curiosity had gotten the best of him.

Upon further inspection, Link could make out the sword’s elaborate markings: messages written in a language he did not understand, black flames, and an upside down triforce; something that often depicted disrespect to the Goddess Hylia; all were inscribed on various parts. From these he could tell it truly had been wielded by a demon.

He reached out a hesitant hand, ready to grab the sword by its handle and tug it out of the stone, however, second thoughts began to swirl about in his mind. What if the evil was still alive? What if he released it, only to make Ganon far more powerful? What if he was killed in the process?

These thoughts caused him to withdraw his hand and step back. He couldn’t risk it, if Traysi’s rumor was yet again true how would he explain this to the people of Hyrule who were counting on him?

He pulled out his Sheikah slate once more, ready to take a picture, just to have proof he had found it. This was the closest thing to taking it with him after all. Yet, as he lifted the tablet, he noticed the red stone setting on the hilt begin to glow from behind the dirt that encased it. He blinked his eyes to make sure that what he was seeing was not an illusion. As he did the glow grew brighter.

Without thinking, he found himself drop the Sheikah slate to the ground and walk up to the sword once more. He knew that he shouldn’t touch it, but something or someone was telling him to.

He proceeded to step behind the sword, gripped his hands around the handle, and slowly began to pull. He expected it to put up more of a fight, but to his surprise it took little effort to release the sword from its pedestal, as the rock must have eroded away over time.

He fell backwards due to the sword’s weight catching him off guard, but stood back up using it as a crutch. The longer he touched the handle, he could feel his hands start to burn, warning him that this was something he should not be touching. The master sword too was having the same effect, but once more Link ignored the pain.

He turned the sword around in his hands, observing the details more closely. Among the foreign lettering, there appeared to be some Hylian that had must have been added later on, as the words weren’t nearly as faded as the rest. Link squinted his eyes in hopes of making out the words:

“He who removes this sword... Shall release the spirit within...”

As he finished speaking what he could make out aloud, the red stone on the hilt began to glow again, soon enveloping the entire sword in a bloody-red light. The burning sensation grew stronger and far too much for Link to bear. Instinctively, he dropped the sword to the ground, and watched as it burned away a patch of grass, causing an unusual amount of thick, black smoke to appear. Link stepped back, ready to run had the fire spread to the nearby trees.

The smoke began to fade, and a figure could be seen appearing out from the cloud. His eyes widened, and when the smoke had fully dissipated a black, un-human looking figure kneeled before him. He took a step backwards once more, ready to grab the sword from his back. Yet, the figure soon spoke, stopping him, “I am finally freed from that accursed prison. I must thank you, my new master. I am forever at your service...”

The figure proceeded to lift its head, looking Link up and down, taking in his details. Their eyes seemed to gleam with malice and excitement, “My my... It certainly has been some time Sky Child. Who would have thought you’d be the one to need my aid and free me after all of these years?”

Link furrowed his brow in confusion. Sky Child? Some time?

The figure let out a laugh, “I see, you simply do not remember me, do you? Well... Perhaps that is for the best.” A loud “snap” resonated through the forest, and in a flurry of diamonds the figure changed, this time taking on a more human-like appearance. “There. That’s much better...”

They stood up, and now dawned a bright red cape with diamond detailing lining the inside. Their once black body was now pale, and covered up by an odd-looking white bodysuit, once again mimicking the diamond motif as cutouts around various parts of the body. His silver hair, once slicked up, was now parted to one side revealing a bright blue earring hanging from his left ear.

Still threatened by the figure’s presence, Link pulled the master sword from its sheath, “Who are you?” He spoke, his voice shaky.

The figure closed their eyes and let out a soft chuckle. Opening them, he looked into Link’s with a smirk, “You may call me Ghirahim... However, I prefer to be indulged with my full title: Lord Ghirahim... But I’m not fussy.” His tone was nonchalant and had a hint of sarcasm. It was almost as if he’d said this line sometime before, like it should be an inside joke between the two. Noticing the sword directly pointed at him, Ghirahim motioned to Link, “Put that away, there’s no need for fighting. I promise not to harm you.”

Link was hesitant but found at least some form of sincerity in Ghirahim’s words. He slowly sheathed the sword, watching the male before him, making sure he didn’t make any sudden movements in an attempt to attack.

He let out a sigh of relief when Ghirahim stayed in place, staring at him in an odd manner. Link tilted his head in confusion, “Why are you staring at me like that?”

He received no answer, and could only hear Ghirahim mumbling to himself, saying various nature related terms followed by the word “child.”

Before Link could speak up again, Ghirahim beat him to it, “Ah! Earth Child! That is what I’ll call you.”

“Earth... Child?” Link repeated, “Why that name?”

Ghirahim scoffed, “Why must you ask so many questions? I’m calling you this because you hail from Earth. It’s as simple as that.” He let out a sigh, “The reason I need a pet name for you is because, despite you being my master, I can’t go around addressing you as such. I’d rather not end up sounding like that pest, Fi, who followed you around all of the time.” Ghirahim’s eyes scanned Link once more, “Oh? I see that she is no longer with you. Well then, that proves my theory true: You are in fact a different Sky Child, Earth Child.”

Link’s expression changed to one of disgust as he heard the term pet name. He replied meekly, “I don’t need a pet name, just call me Link...”

Ghirahim raised an eyebrow, “What? No snarky rebuttal? The Sky Child almost always had some bite to his words.” Ghirahim crossed his arms, “Seeing as you can only talk in single sentences, I guess you lack the capability.”

“What do you want with me?” Link asked bluntly.

Ghirahim smirked and let out another laugh, “What do I want with you? Earth Child, the real question is ‘what do you want with me?’ There’s a reason you released me, which means you need my assistance, hadn’t I already explained that?”

Another loud “snap” resounded, causing Ghirahim to disappear into another flurry of diamonds. Startled, Link proceeded to grab his weapon, but stopped when he felt a hand grab his wrist. “Haven’t I told you? I mean no harm...” Ghirahim let go, and Link dropped his hand back to his side. Ghirahim moved so that he could speak directly into Link’s ear, his voice a soft, menacing whisper, “So, what will I be assisting you with? Wreaking havoc upon the land? Helping that abomination around the castle gain more power?”

Link shivered as he felt Ghirahim’s hot breath on his neck. For some reason, this situation felt far too familiar. He spoke softly, “None of that...”

Ghirahim’s eyes lit up with intrigue, “Oh? What then?”

Link hesitated, thinking for a second that perhaps he could use Ghirahim’s assistance. However, he swore he could hear a voice telling him that this was a bad idea, “Nothing.”

“Nothing?” Ghirahim blinked in confusion, “Earth Child, there has to be some reason you freed me.”

“It was an accident…” Link replied abruptly.

“An... Accident? Earth Child, pulling a sacred sword out of the ground is not something someone can accidentally do. There’s a reason you need me.”

“I really don’t... I released you out of curiosity.”

Ghirahim scoffed, “Curiosity you say? Only a dimwit would commit such an act.”

“Consider me one then...” Link replied, breaking away from Ghirahim, spinning around to face him. Staring into his eyes, a wave of nostalgia washed over him. Something about this... It really was all too familiar.

Ghirahim moved closer to Link, standing so close that he was now towering over him. Link’s heart began to beat wildly, and his vision began to blur. Ghirahim bent down, grabbing Link’s chin so that he wouldn’t look away, “I don’t believe you truly are as dumb as you let on, Earth Child, and I do believe that there was a specific reason that you came looking for me. However, to you it is unknown.” Ghirahim pulled away, and a chilling smile appeared upon his face, “You see... We are bound by a thread of fate; a red thread if you will. The Sky Child and I, we shared this same bond. This exact thread made our meeting here again in this timeline inevitable; slowly, secretly, pulling us closer during your journey.”

The smile on Ghirahim’s face gave Link a sinking feeling that something was amiss. He backed away, stumbling on the dreaded sword that had caused all of this. A thread of fate? He never felt any pull in the direction of Faron Woods before. All of his days travelling he always somehow managed to dismiss the area’s existence, ignoring it each time he passed through. How many times was that exactly?

“Why are you so afraid, Earth Child? I’ve said time and time again that I mean no harm.” Ghirahim’s eyes traveled to Link’s hands, where he was now holding the sword that had once imprisoned him. He appeared to be ready to plunge it back in the ground, however, with another snap of his fingers, Ghirahim disappeared, only to appear behind Link again; this time with his own blade drawn across Link’s neck, “Put that sword down.”

His tone was threatening, causing Link to flinch and obey his words. The cold, metal blade sat inches away from his neck. One false move and he was done for. His mind was racing. He had to find a way out of the situation, partially unscathed.

“Now tell me, Earth Child, what can I do to help you? Answer me honestly this time and I promise again, you won’t get hurt...”

Link remained silent, his mind still trying to sort out any of the possible lies he could say. The longer he remained quiet, he could feel the blade grow closer. Without thinking, he blurted out the first thing that came to mind, “I... I need your help with an assassination.” He never had even used that word before, but he figured that it was a term the demon knew all too well.

He felt the blade pull away and could hear Ghirahim trying to hold back a fit of maniacal laughter. Link turned to face him again, pulling out the master sword, ready to strike. Yet, Ghirahim didn’t flinch this time to stop him, “An assassination? Earth Child, why would you even once think that I would believe those words? You hold no killing intent, I can tell.”

Without answering, Link lunged towards Ghirahim attempting to land a fatal blow on him. However, Ghirahim was quick to realize this, and held up his hand. His action stopping the sword and Link in his tracks. He let out a sigh, “I wasn’t looking to pick a fight with you Earth Child, but it appears you leave me no choice.” As he moved his palm, he threw Link’s sword off to the side, leaving him defenseless.

Ghirahim let out a hum that showed intrigue, “The same mistake the Sky Child made. Perhaps you two really aren’t so different after all...”

Link gritted his teeth and ran to retrieve a specific item: the Sheikah slate. It’d at least buy him some time.

Ghirahim watched, confused as to why Link had chosen to ignore his weapon and head for what appeared to be a useless piece of junk. He proceeded to throw out another line of daggers, “Opting for that thing over your weapon? Wrong move, Earth Child—”

Suddenly, he felt his body tense, almost as if time had stopped only for him, ‘How did he...’ Through the line of frozen daggers, he could see Link holding up a stone tablet, glaring at him. In an instant, Ghirahim had regained control of his body, once more sending the daggers flying. To his dismay, Link appeared to have dodged his attack. He was still holding out the device, this time using it to try and grab his sword. ‘So, that allows him to use magic?’

As the magnesis activated, Link began to pull the master sword towards him, but was stopped short when the Sheikah slate was shot out of his hands, watching as both the sword and slate fell simultaneously.

“Sorry Earth Child, but that little toy of yours wasn’t going to save you.”

Quickly, Link proceed to run and grab the master sword from its current position. However, as he ran, he was struck by a dagger sent out by Ghirahim, leaving a gash on the upper part of his arm. He let out a yelp but ignored the pain and retrieved his discarded weapon. As he turned to attack, he was met with another dagger, this time grazing the side of his face, leaving a small scratch under his left eye.

As he attempted to lunge towards Ghirahim again, his attack was blocked by the black sword that had once been at his throat. He was knocked back, almost falling backwards.

“A master and his servant, fighting? What an interesting turn of events.” Ghirahim said as he blocked yet another one of Link’s attacks.

As the two constantly clashed, the same wave of nostalgia washed over Link again, this time more severe. He could have sworn he saw the woods morph into the interior of an old temple at every hit of the sword, at every dagger thrown. Soon enough, the feeling of deja vu made Link stop mid-attack, allowing Ghirahim to land a hit. Link stood back, holding the bloody gash that had now formed on his side.

“Giving up already, Earth Child? What, have you lost your nerve?” Ghirahim taunted.

The only response Link could give were pained gasps. The demon’s blade had cut deep, far deeper than any other weapon he’d been hit with before. He clutched his side, and looked up at him, “H-hardly...”

He removed his hands from his wound, picking his sword up once more. He tried to run towards Ghirahim, however, just as he grew close his motion turned into a stagger. His vision blurred again, and he became dizzy; the world faded to black. Dropping his weapon, he fell into Ghirahim who followed suit with discarding his rapier.

Ghirahim caught Link in his arms, and his eyes widened in confusion, questioning the Earth Child’s actions... Yet, he too felt a sense of familiarity. While he never openly had held or helped the Sky Child when injured, he’d often feel a sense of remorse when spying on him, watching him tend to the wounds either he or another enemy had inflicted.

However, this was a different timeline, meaning the two were no longer adversaries. Perhaps he should have a change of heart. After all, the red thread of fate had brought the two together again, somehow giving Ghirahim the role of the Earth Child’s servant and guide.

Gingerly, he picked Link up, sitting him under a nearby tree. While not familiar with treating human wounds, Ghirahim took off his cape, carefully wrapping it around Link’s torso in hopes of stopping the bleeding. He grimaced at the thought of his cape being bloodied, but he dismissed the thought as it was the only thing he had.

He now finally had the chance to observe Link closer. His face was adorned with several other scars aside from the one he had inflicted, making him wonder how many were caused by enemies, and how many by the child’s recklessness. He brushed his hand across the wound under Link’s left eye, removing some of the blood that was still fresh, ‘It's such a shame I had to ruin such a beautiful face...’

Yet, the closer he inspected Link, the more he began to see the Sky Child. He stepped away, clutching at his chest as something had snapped inside of him. Remembering the awful squall the two had been in long ago, it began to fuel the grudge he still held inside. The pain... The pain of having a sword cut deep into his core. He couldn't just sit by and let this new iteration of the Sky Child go unscathed, he simply couldn't forgive him.

‘I’ll kill him...’

With a snap of his fingers, several daggers appeared, each aimed at Link.

A quick and painless death. At least I'm being courteous this time around.’

Just as he was about to send the daggers flying, he sensed another presence in the area. Reluctantly dispersing them, he spoke up, “Whoever you are, I’m afraid you’re going to have to leave. I’m busy at the moment.”

Laughter echoed lightly through the woods, and the familiar smell of smoke wafted through the air, “I’ve never seen anyone pick up on our presence so quickly. You’re quite the oddly dressed individual, another clan against Hyrule I presume—”

Ghirahim cut the stranger off, turning around to face him; he could see them tense. “Who are you, and what business do you have here. As I said, I’m quite busy.”

Trying to regain their composure, the stranger looked to Link, “Him. I’m here to deal with him. He has plans to kill the leader of my clan, the Yiga.”

“Him, plan to kill your leader?” Ghirahim sneered, “Don’t make me laugh.”

“Oh, but he is. I heard him. He made a deal with the chief of the Gerudo. I heard them plotting. Yes, I did...” Suddenly, the Yiga Clan member bolted towards Link, “And I’m going to kill him right here and right now before he can do anything about it!”

As the Yiga Clan member was about to knock him out of the way to get to their target, Ghirahim held out his hand and blocked their weapon, “Don’t you dare lay a hand on him. He’s my problem to deal with, and he will die by my hands only...”

The Yiga Clan member stared in shock at Ghirahim’s actions. Gritting their teeth, they gave in.

Ghirahim put down his hand, giving the Yiga Clan member full control of their weapon again, “Good.” He turned his attention back to Link, who was still asleep despite the noise. With a dismissive wave of his hand, Ghirahim spoke, “Now run along you deranged brat. I have no time for you—”

Suddenly, a voice rang out from above, “Looks like I’ll just have to get rid of you first!”

Instinctively, Ghirahim teleported out of the way before he took a blow to the head. “Two fights in one day, certainly not what I had been expecting...” he muttered.

Ghirahim summoned his rapier once more, staring down at the Yiga Clan member who was struggling to remove their weapon from the ground. “I normally like to avoid battles with weaklings, but since you’re clearly looking to pick a fight, I guess I can oblige... This time at least.” He pointed towards Link, “But, if we are going to fight, I suggest we keep it simple. No teleporting, and no projectiles. We don’t need him getting any more damaged. Let’s just say he’s our prize. If you win, you kill him. If I win, I kill him, and you leave. Do we have a deal?”

The Yiga Clan member readied their weapon.

“So, you’re not some spineless human being...” Ghirahim held out his hand, and a second sword materialized, “Well, since it appears that you’re up for the challenge, I won’t go easy. Oh, and I hate to inform you, but there’s no guarantee that I’ll spare your life.”

Quickly, Ghirahim ran at his opponent, ready to strike. However, with the swing of both swords he found himself only cutting into air.

From behind him, he heard another fit of laughter, followed by a shout, “Us Yiga Clan members never follow the rules. Now it’s time for him to—”

In an instant, Ghirahim stood between the Yiga Clan member and Link once more. His blades digging deep into the Yiga Clan members skin, suspending him in the air. “I told you to keep your distance. What did you not understand?” He withdrew his swords, leaving the Yiga Clan member to fall to the ground in front of him.

The Yiga Clan member watched in horror from behind his mask as Ghirahim brought one of the swords up to his mouth, licking the blood, “Just what are you? Who are you?”

Before answering, Ghirahim gagged at the taste that had hit his tongue, “I didn’t think such disgusting blood could exist. It tastes rancid; a Bokoblin’s blood tastes better than this.” He then proceeded to let out another chilling laugh, the swords dematerializing from his hands. “As for who I am... Well, I’ve already explained this to our little friend over here, so I’ll keep this brief. I am Lord Ghirahim, the demon who once dwelled this surface. It’s quite the displeasure to meet you.”

“D-demon?” The Yiga Clan member choked out.

“Yes. What, have you never seen one before?” Ghirahim taunted.

Suddenly, the Yiga Clan member scrambled to his feet, clutching his wounds. Horrified by the information, he readied himself to teleport out of the area. “This isn’t the end you know. I’ll be back. If you happen to kill him by the time I find you again, you’ll be my new target.”

The smell of smoke filled the area again, only to dissipate in a matter of seconds, leaving the scene to be only Ghirahim and Link once more. “Imbecile.” Ghirahim scoffed. He turned around and faced Link, “Now... Where were we?”

He summoned more daggers in front of him. A malicious expression appeared on his face at the sight. With a soft chuckle, he proceeded to send them flying. “Farewell, Earth Child...”

However, just as they were about to hit their target, they fell to the ground.

Before Ghirahim could question what happened, a sharp pain shot through his chest again. As he clutched at it, a voice rang throughout his head:

“You are forbidden to kill him...”

“Forbidden to kill him? Ridiculous! I can do as I please.” He hissed, his pain growing far more severe.

“If you kill him, you die. You are to be his servant, his ally. You two are now forever bound. Those are the rules that were set centuries ago...”

Ghirahim gritted his teeth, turning around and shouting to the sky, “Who are you? How do you know this!”

There was no reply.

“Show yourself or I'll force you! You can't hide forever!” Once again receiving no response, he laughed softly, mumbling to himself, “I must be going mad. There’s nobody here; nobody in my head. Those years spent sealed away, they must have done something to me, surely that’s it.”

However, he was brought back to the situation at hand when he heard Link cry out in pain. Reluctantly, he turned his attention back over to him, observing his condition. Ghirahim’s eyes moved to Link’s torso, where there appeared to be fresh blood staining the cape. A brief sense of worry had come over him, but he quickly brushed it off.

He resummoned his rapier, ‘Since daggers won’t do, I suppose I have to settle for a messier and more painful method...’

Frowning, he looked down at Link. “It breaks my heart to see you still in pain Earth Child. I truly wish that I could have put you out of your misery humanely, but I’m afraid that fate has led me to kill you the exact same way you killed me centuries ago.”

He moved his rapier to point straight at Link’s heart, but as he was about to stab straight through, a force stopped his movement. His eyes widened, and he pulled away. Annoyed at the occurrence, he tried once more. Yet, like the last time his attack was stopped.

“What’s going on here?!” He shouted, “I should be able to kill him! Let me kill him!”

Angered, he tried time and time again to stab the sword through Link’s heart. Time and time again to send daggers flying. But to no avail, nothing he did worked.

Breathing heavily, tired from his countless attempts at murder, he dropped his rapier to the ground. “I should have let that Yiga Clan member kill you. What in Demise’s name stopped me? You could have been dead by now had I not stepped in!”

Finishing his statement, an idea sparked in his mind. Perhaps that brat could be of some use. He glared at Link, ‘Yes, I know exactly what to do. Since I can’t kill you myself, I’ll just have that pesky Yiga member come back and do it for me.’ He thought.

He leaned into Link, whispering into his ear, “And maybe I’ll be doing you a favor in the process Earth Child. Because your little friend will be preoccupied in celebrating your death, I’ll have the chance to strike, killing them as well. This way, you won’t be alone in the afterlife.”

As he moved away from Link, he sensed another presence in the area. ‘What impeccable timing...’

“Back for more I presume? I thought for sure that injury would have bought me a little more time...” Ghirahim turned to face who he assumed to be the same Yiga Clan member. Yet, it appeared that he had been mistaken. Before him stood a different figure. They were taller, stronger, and wielded a strange looking katana. “So, they decided to send out someone more suited for the job? How interesting...” He spoke aloud.

Ghirahim moved forward, walking passed his new company, stopping as soon as he stood behind them, “Well, you’ll be elated to hear that I’ve had a change of heart. I do not wish to kill that child anymore; I have concluded that he is of no use to me. Do as you see fit.” In the usual flurry of diamonds, he disappeared from the area, preferring to watch the scene that was about to unfold from a distance.

He perched himself atop one of the hills surrounding the area, giving him a clear view, ‘Sorry to do this to you Earth Child, but it’s the only way for you to pay for your actions from the past...’

However, Ghirahim’s eyes widened at a peculiar sight. As the Yiga Clan member’s sword was about to strike, a force knocked them back. They appeared to be disoriented but attempted to strike again. It happened a second time.

‘That wretched Hylia, this must be her doing...’ Ghirahim thought, ‘No matter, I’m sure she’ll see that her attempts are futile in due time.’ He leaned forward, resting his chin atop his hands, ‘At least her interference has made things far more entertaining.’

Yet, another sight had occurred that left Ghirahim confused. In the blink of an eye, Link was up on his feet, seemingly unharmed.

‘Impossible...’

Despite Link appearing to be healed, his motions were still slow. He could defend himself and fight back, but there was no guarantee that he would win the battle. This situation had taken an unexpected turn, and it only peaked Ghirahim’s interest further.

From afar, it appeared that Link had managed to grab hold of the master sword again, but he was fumbling about. It was almost as if he wasn’t used to the weapon he was wielding. For a moment, the same pain from earlier shot through Ghirahim’s chest, but no voice followed it. He was quick to ignore the feeling, returning his attention to the battle.

Ghirahim let out another laugh, “Well well, it appears that the blood loss went to his head. The poor thing forgot how to use his own weapon.” He stood up, “Since he’s currently inept of fighting, it appears he’ll be dead in no time. Perhaps I should move closer for a better view.”

Just as he was about to teleport away, he heard a scream resound throughout the area. He turned his attention back to the battle, expecting to see Link lying on the ground; but what he saw was unfavorable. The Yiga Clan member was standing back holding their head, and Link holding his weapon. Before Ghirahim could react further, the other figure disappeared, and he watched as Link fell to his knees.

Fascinated, Ghirahim returned to the middle of the woods. “You’re lucky Hylia was on your side, Earth Child. Had she failed to protect you your fate would have been quite grim.” He let out a sigh, mumbling to himself quietly, “A shame really...”

He made his way over to Link, offering to help him up. “You’re quite strange Earth Child. First that odd device I destroyed earlier, and now this. You’ve intrigued me.”

“Stop comparing me to him.” Link said, swatting away Ghirahim’s hand. He stood up on his own, looking him in the eyes angrily.

Ghirahim raised an eyebrow, “And why should I, you’re the same person, aren’t you? You share the same name, the same mission, and you also wield the same weapon; that vile master sword...” Just as he was about to point to the weapon still in Link’s hands, he was shocked at the sight. ‘The demon blade... He actually used it?’

Link appeared to have ignored Ghirahim’s words, noticing where his gaze had fallen. He held out the weapon which was still dripping with fresh blood, “Because of this, I almost killed a man...”

“And how is that a problem, Earth Child? That pest was no different from the countless other enemies you’ve killed.”

“He’s a human, I don’t kill humans.” Link gripped the handle of the sword tighter, “This weapon almost had me do it too; you almost directed me to kill him.”

Ghirahim laughed, “I directed you? Earth Child, I did nothing of the sort. I was simply watching from afar, waiting for you to—”

Link cut him off. “I heard your voice in my head. ‘Kill him to save yourself.’ That’s what you told me.”

Ghirahim stared baffled at the current accusation. When did he once give him such a message? Like he said, he was watching from afar. However, it dawned on him immediately. ‘That pain I felt... Was I...’ He brought his hand to his chest. Had his core transmitted that message? But, why? He wanted him dead, he wasn’t praying for his safety.

During the process of sorting out his thoughts, he noticed Link moving to the stone pedestal, attempting to seal him away much like earlier. Ghirahim moved quickly, this time stopping him with a red aura that wrapped around him. As he was momentarily stunned, Ghirahim sauntered over to Link staring him down and dispersing the thread-like magic. “You’re not going to try that again, are you? Because I’m afraid you haven’t realized something crucial Earth Child... You simply can’t seal me away now; it won’t work anymore.”

He saw Link’s face twist into a horrified expression. Just as he was about to speak, Ghirahim continued, “We’re bound, remember? And now that you’ve wielded the sword I inhabit, I’m forever your faithful servant. It’s quite unfortunate for both of us, but those are the rules.”

“And what if I leave you and your weapon behind?” Link asked.

“You would really think to do that of all things?” He moved behind Link, placing his hand on his shoulder. “If you leave me, I’ll simply track you down. Yet, with that will come a price. In order to find you, I’ll kill anyone in my path.”

Link tensed, and quickly broke away. “This is why I can’t have you with me, you’re nothing but a cold-blooded killer.”

“Ha, and you’re not. I'm aware of what you’ve been planning Earth Child. You can't play innocent with me any longer. That assassination you mentioned earlier. You’re going to kill the leader of that Yiga Clan, aren’t you?” Ghirahim taunted, hoping to strike a nerve.

Link flinched, “How did you learn about that?”

Ghirahim laughed, “While I didn’t believe you at first, I gained some valuable information while you were in your helpless state. I ran into one of those pests you’re dealing with; the weaker kind. They told me of the plan they overheard.” He let out a sigh, “Honestly, I didn’t think of you to be the type to be so incompetent when planning missions like that. They practically knew everything. As a result, they’re planning on killing you to stop you.” He let out a hum, coming up with a plan, “Seeing that you’re in such a predicament, how about we strike a bit of a deal? Let me come with you, and I’ll take care of their leader. You yourself said you didn’t kill humans, correct? With someone like me at your side, I’ll take care of your problem, and your hands won’t be tainted with blood. After all, those pests are such easy targets.”

Link remained silent.

Ghirahim rolled his eyes, “Is that not enough? Fine, I’ll add something more to make the deal sound favorable to you. Once this task is complete, I’ll aid you in finding a way to seal me away once more.”

Link shot Ghirahim a glare, “Why do you want to help me?”

Ghirahim smirked, “Why? Oh Earth Child, I’m simply offering to help you so that your innocent reputation remains intact. Think of it as me repaying you for releasing me.”

Link grew silent once more, thinking over Ghirahim’s offer for a final time; although the logical part of him knew not to trust Ghirahim, his heart was telling him to give him a chance. In the end, his naivety had won the battle. But he knew he couldn’t let his guard down, so he added his own rules to their deal.

“You’re not going to do anything but help from a distance, I’m taking care of the fighting.”

Ghirahim crossed his arms, “You’re quite stubborn Earth Child, and certainly no fun, but I’m happy to hear you’re willing to accept my offer.”

“One more thing: while we’re travelling, we’re nothing but equals...” Link added.

Ghirahim scoffed, “Equals? What do you mean by that?”

“It means that I’m not your master.”

Ghirahim sighed, “That’s not quite how this works, but, if that’s what you wish, I can’t deny you of your request. With this deal now in place, you can simply pretend I don’t exist until I’m needed for your little assassination attempt. I’ll just act like an accessory for now.”

Ghirahim held out his hand to seal the deal once and for all. Reluctantly, Link repeated the gesture. As their hands touched, a sense of dread filled Link’s senses once more; he felt as if he had sold his soul to the darkness, unable to regain it until the deal was complete.

Hylia, please forgive him...