The sound of the pipe organ filled the castle.
Fed up with so many incompetents or mindless creatures filling the ranks of his army, Ganondorf went to one of his solace, occupying his hands at one of the activities that did not destroy or twist around those around him in the slightest manner : music. His fingers dabbling at the numerous keys, his own spirit was lost amidst this simple symphony of his as he felt that he was at one with the instrument that held his interest. Its sounds could reach far, through powerful notes and a frame that could not be denied in its width and its size. Atop the tower of the castle he had gained by rightful conquest, he played as he allowed his sour attitude to pass through a melody that he was quite aware none around him could ever truly savor. In this, yet again, he was alone.
As he went on, he stopped playing, an annoyed smirk on his face as he turned around, looking at those who had the audacity to invade him as such a dire time: when he was enjoying himself. ''Either you are an ignorant fool, or a particularly brave one if you think you can intrude upon me without being harmed or killed on the spot...'' he declared, irritated as he rose from his chair to face down the presence preying upon him.
''We are neither, my lord...'' a crackly voice began to utter, one familiar to Ganondorf, as another continued with the same crinkled tone. ''We are merely here to serve as best we can and have upon us the boldness to bring you news as quick as possible,'' the other voice added, as the definitely feminine, yet old intruders made themselves known as they hovered far above the ground, looking down with smirks on their face.
''Koume, Kotake,'' Ganondorf said, stating his salutations through the single utterance of their name. ''I find it suspicious that you both are here, especially since I specifically asked that you keep watch on my people for me,'' the powerful lord proclaimed, his tone inquisitive, unimpressed by the sudden apparition of those two witches.
''We could not simply relay the facts of the fortress of your people through a simple message, my lord,'' began to utter Kotake, landing her broomstick as she dusted off her clothes to make herself presentable.
''Important events took place lately and we believed that you had to be informed in person,'' added Koume, who tried to upstage her sister as she landed in a much more grandiloquent fashion, sending dust toward her sister in the process.
''Watch what you're doing, Koume! You're sending dirt all over the place. You wouldn't want to soil the great Ganondorf with your impertinence, would you?'' Kotake complained, dusting herself off again as she looked at the dark lord himself, already aware of his ire.
''Stop this routine at once, both of you! I have no patience for games and presentations and other such trivialities. I have been informed of an attack on some of my forces near Lon Lon Ranch, as well as within the ranch itself and I would vanquish this minor threat as soon as possible,'' Ganondorf explained, already sitting down to play again, if only to show that he was not interested in their little schemes.
''Yes, yes, the facts! The thing, my lord, is that the Gerudos moved away in masses and are on their way . However, they left a good chunk of their numbers back in the fortress. Those too young and those with child,'' Kotake went on to explain, taking her time with things as she looked at Ganondorf calmly.
''You left out the fact that there was a blonde swordsman wielding the Master Sword in their rank, sister! That's the most important part!'' Koume began to shout impetuously, not minding decorum for one bit.
''I was getting to that. You know, there's a lot more going on than just that pesky swordsman and all that he entails-'' began to retort Kotake, until she was interrupted by an aura of frightening and powerful energy flowing through the room.
''The Master Sword?'' he asked, his tone deep and meaningful as anger rode in his voice like a roar, as if he was on the verge of unleashing the fury and rage that made him so fearsome in battle. ''Then this means that the man they went on to gain as a mate wasn't killed, but that he was also the missing Hero of Time. Only he could wield that blade...'' he continued, rising up as his eyes radiated with the blackness of his soul and the unwieldy power that flowed through his veins.
''It could be, my lord, that they are on the verge of rebellion and that they mean to fight against you, their rightful king,'' Kotake suggested, trying to keep herself in check as the possessor of the Triforce of Power made his will manifest through this outburst.
''Then this means that they would need to be punished, whether or not they meant to do this. One cannot disobey the king knowingly and live!'' Koume explained, her fiery side a pale flicker next to her lord as she cackled madly at the prospect of doing Ganondorf's deed.
''Do not presume to speak or act in my place until I open my mouth, wench,'' Ganondorf threatened, regaining his calm stance, albeit his rage was left unfiltered in his words. '' The fact that you were both present to educate me as maternal figures during my youth does not make it so you can do whatever it is you want in my presence...'' he further added, letting them know that his patience was short right now, before getting back to a slightly calmer state of mind. ''While I most certainly suspected that some few minor token resistance would be seen during my first 30 years of ruling or so, never would I have believed that the largest one so far would be lead by my own people siding with the enemy. And here I thought that putting Nabooru under your care would have made this rising an impossibility...'' he explained, throwing a murderous glance at both witches before continuing. ''It seems to me that my hopes have been dashed and that I have, yet again, to set an example for the others to understand. I want you both to find where they are, then to lead an army to crush them entirely. Once that is done, I want Namira and the Hero of Time on their knees in front of my throne, so that I can savor their defeat and their demise for as long as I wish,'' he commanded, going out of his tower as he marched down the stairs, leaving both Koume and Kotake with their orders as he went on with anger and determination in his heart, furious yet renewed for whatever foes he'd face in the coming days.
''We have our orders, sister,'' Koume declared, getting on her broomstick again as she floated high above the ground, motioning for Kotake to join her.
''Wait, we ought to be at our most powerful for this venture. We'll be facing an army and the Hero of Time and it is better to be safe than sorry,'' Kotake cautioned, getting on her broomstick as well as she gave a knowing look at her sister.
''So True. Well then, we better go ahead and transform...''
Upon hearing Koume agreeing, Kotake went on to spin around, unleashing her ice magic through her air and her aura as Koume went on to do the same with her fire magic. Filling the room with a fiery blizzard, both witches went on to spin faster and faster, until their form merged to form a single entity, one that held each other's power and far more than that as the being then laughed. Her vigorous and suave voice, full of youth, filling the tower, she then flew from where her two parts had entered as she went on to gather forces for her plan. She had an idea on where the traitorous Namira could be and she had a hunch that she'd be able to unleash a surprise attack quite soon.
As for the Hero of Time, she had a particular strategy for him that she was sure would be quite delightful to experiment with...
* * *
Following the youth that had intercepted them, Shakti and Shehra found themselves at the foot of a common grave. Wondering what they were doing here, the two gasped in shock as the guard pushed away at the grave’s tombstone moving it.“What are you doing?!” Shehra gasped in shock. “Have you no respect for the dea-''. Her words, though, were suddenly cut off at the sight of a massive tunnel leading underground instead of the pit she had been preparing herself for.
“This is where we’ve been forced into ever since the monsters of the Shadow Temple were unleashed by Ganondorf,” he explained. “Follow me,”he said, crawling into the tunnel as the two followed him. Gasping in awe at what was on the other side, Sheha and Shakti looked to see a stone tunnel with various pillars and passageways. In them, young and old people huddled cold and hungry in fear, who were gaunt and looked like they didn’t eat much. “All we have to eat are roots underground,” the guard explained. “Thankfully, the potion shopkeeper's concoctions have enough in them to keep us from starving, but it isn’t very filling living on liquids and roots. Some of us have even been forced to eat worms and rats as well.”
“That’s terrible.” Shakti replied.
“Yes,” Shehra agreed. “But what was going on above ground? With those spiders, and monsters, and people?”
“Only one person here knows because she used to be there. She managed to escape and head here, but she’s the only one who managed that feat.” The guard sighed sadly. “She’ll tell you what she went through with every bite, but for now I need to take you to the elders to tell you about the man you call father.''
Nodding, the girls sat down as the guard went away for a minute. “Shehra, what is going on here?” Shakti asked. “First that farmer tells us that the great Ganondorf has enslaved his daughter, and now this guard tells us that he unleashed monsters and forced these people into hiding.''
“Yes,” Shehra nodded. “And I get a feeling they’re right, sister. When we passed by Castle Town on the way here, I could feel... a most ominous presence. It felt dark, cruel, and yet so powerful…”
“What is going on here?” Shakti asked. “Mother used to brag to me about Ganondorf, claiming that aside from out father he was the greatest man she’d ever known!”
“I don’t know Shakti….” Shehra admitted. “I honestly don’t know...”
* * *
At the camp where the Gerudo army was assembling, everyone were shifting for patrol and guard duties, with a firm schedule set in place to make sure they'd have eyes and ears all-around for protection. With Link being pensive, he went on to look at his Ocarina, a powerful tool that could channel mystical songs into strange effects. Remembering the vast number of songs he had been taught in his adventure, he began to wonder just how he could have been so caught in the Gerudos and their ways that he left his quest unattended for so long. Lost in thoughts, thoughts of family, of what he never truly had, of belonging, or shared hardship and so forth, concepts that never did delve too much into his mind popped up as guilt and a strong desire to protect what he had gained wandered off, leading him into stray territories within his mind and soul. However, as he went on to reminisce and go deeper into introspective thoughts, a flickering light of binary colors, red and blue, made itself known in the sky as it advanced toward their position. With senses as sharp as they ever were, Link could only sound the alarm, shouting as loud as he could to prepare the troops before the mysterious and invading entity arrived.
With everyone in the sky going on to look at the invading light whilst they prepared their weapon, a burst and a conflagration of cold and warm winds swallowed everyone in, tossing Gerudos aside easily as the invader made herself known. From the look of it, she was a tall, strangely alluring middle-aged woman, one with airs reminiscent of Gerudo women and possessing strange hair. As she made her entrance, she began to float in the air, winking at them and holding what looked like a red feather-duster in one hand, and a blue feather-duster in the other.
Looking curiously at her, Link suddenly let out a gasp as she held up the hand holding the red duster and from it a swarm of fire sprout from it, surprising even him as she took the clear advantage she had with an initiative of her own. “A fire sorceress!” Link gasped, pulling out his bow and charging it with an ice arrow. However, he felt that something was amiss as, in his experience, there was a dichotomy between the elements on display here, as the temperatures clashed near this powerful invader. He unleashed the arrow, sending the cold tip directly into her heart, but then let out another gasp as she help up her other duster and absorbed the magical ice arrow as if it was nothing but an amusing notion to her. ''It couldn't be that simple. She must possess both...'' he began to theorize in whispers, before she turned her eyes to him and flashed him an arrogant smile.
“Both power over ice and fire, cutie?” The witch chuckled with a wicked and seductive wink. “That’s exactly what I have! Now, I’ll deal with you while our loyal minion takes care of the other traitors in this sorry camp!'' Weaving her hand as she triumphantly declared her intentions, she was then attended by a gigantic figure clad in white armor, one holding a rather large axe in its hands.
Namira, trying to gather everyone for a quick counter-attack, gasped as she recognized it from what she knew about the legends she had heard. “An Iron Knuckle...'' she said, her voice dying down in her throat. “Quick! Gather all the bombchus we can find, and ready your heaviest swords! We’ll need them!” she then ordered, the reality of the impending battle snapping her out of it.
Link looked helplessly as the Iron Knuckle made its way to his wives and children, but knew he could do nothing to help them so long as this sorceress focused her attention on him. She would be trouble and it was better to make it so she'd concentrate on himself rather than risk the chance for her to burn or freeze anyone in the vicinity. “Who are you?” he demanded. “And what do you want?”
A feminine laughter escaped the witch’s lips as she answered, “I am Twinrova. Mother of the great Ganondorf! And you are the ultimate thorn in my son’s side, Hero of Time!”
Namira let out a gasp at this. The Hero of Time? The person she heard stories about whenever she ventured outside the desert? The one person who was truly destined to lead Hyrule to an age of prosperity? This was her lover and the father of her people’s children? Dozens of contradictory thoughts and notions went inside her head, shame, guilt, pride and many other emotions clashed, yet Namira was snapped back again to the harshness of battle, with her sisters calling out to her.
“We’ve only got eight bombchus, Mistress!” one the warriors called out. “We’re going to have to physically fight at some point!”
Nodding, Namira gave one last look to her loving husband, and went to join her sisters. Fighting both Twinrova and an Iron Knuckle was not going to be easy, but they had to do what they can. Or perish.