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Night of The Final Day

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Shiro had never been able to stand up for himself. He wasn’t a small person, nor was he weak. Quite the opposite, in fact. Shiro was always conscious of his size and strength, which is perhaps why he was always a little too conciliatory, perhaps a bit too indecisive. He preferred to remain silent. As a result, very few people noticed him at all.

He became a soldier so that he could wear a uniform and hide his face behind the visor of his helmet. There was a certain dignity in anonymity. He could almost be mistaken for just another part of the Clock Town wall, doing a duty that most people took for granted. He would never need to use his weapon; like him, it was simply there. It was useful sometimes, not to be noticed.

Except Shiro noticed things. He noticed the strange children running through the town, and he noticed that something about the moon was horribly amiss. When he tried to warn people, however, no one paid the slightest attention to him. He expected as much, so he set out on his own for Ikana Canyon. When the wind blew in from the east, he could smell the acrid dust on the air, and sometimes he could even catch strains of an awful wailing that sounded eerily like carnival music. If there was trouble in Termina, it was bound to have originated in that cursed place.

In the past, someone – perhaps someone as unremarked and unremarkable as him – had built fences at the mouth of the canyon to keep people away. The steps carved into the steep incline of the arroyo had been destroyed, but Shiro did his best to climb the wall as he batted away crows and keese and avoided the shadows. He followed the old sandy road that wound its way through the abandoned village in the foothills and ended at the front gate of Ikana Castle, but no one was there. It was clear that no one had been there for decades, if not centuries. Shiro called out, his voice echoing along the colorless stone walls, but nothing answered. He stood alone, surrounded by tall grass and the withered husks of long-dead trees as the moon grew ever closer.

Shiro had no desire to remain near the ruins of the castle after dark, so he waited until he was back in the canyon to rest. He sat on the ground with his back against the cliff and gazed up at the sky. As he watched the moon fall with his habitually impassive face, he allowed his mind to drift.

Shiro had never been able to stand up for himself. He wasn’t a small person, nor was he weak. Quite the opposite, in fact. Shiro was always conscious of his size and strength, which is perhaps why he was always a little too conciliatory, perhaps a bit too indecisive. He preferred to remain silent. As a result, very few people noticed him at all.

He became a soldier so that he could wear a uniform and hide his face behind the visor of his helmet. There was a certain dignity in anonymity. He could almost be mistaken for just another part of the Hyrule Castle wall, doing a duty that most people took for granted. He would never need to use his weapon; like him, it was simply there. It was useful sometimes, not to be noticed.

Except Shiro noticed things. He noticed how the smile of the man from the desert never reached his eyes, and he noticed how the princess watched him with eyes as cold as a winter wind. He noticed the fear she did her valiant best to hide. The emissary was a handsome and well-spoken man, and the princess wasn’t yet old enough to wear her hair down. There seemed to be no reason for her to be afraid of him, and yet she was, so Shiro kept watch, unremarked and unremarkable.

When the man made his move, as the princess had somehow known he would, Shiro did his duty. No one noticed as he ran through the Castle Town streets, hoping against hope that he would make it in time to position himself in the path of the man’s wild chase as he raced after the princess on his nightmare horse. As soon as the critical moment came, his spear was ready in his hand. This was the first time he had wielded it in his own defense, and he lasted for barely a minute, if even that. The foreign king barely spared him a glance before striking him down. Through the pain, Shiro assured himself that the man’s ghost of a glance may have been exactly what the princess needed, just a few precious seconds, a small moment of time that might have granted her the opportunity to beg assistance from someone who might be able to help her.

Shiro sat on the ground and leaned against the wall of a back alley and watched the life drain out of him, as red as the febrile sky above the canyon. His face was as blank as a stone as he watched the moon fall, as unremarked and unremarkable as a prop in the background of someone else’s story.