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HYRULE CASTLE

The chamber that Ganondorf had prepared was not a concoction of lies, nor an exaggeration of truth. It exists truly, laying deep within the bowels of Hyrule Castle. Perhaps it had been long sealed off, centuries ago? Or perhaps the King of Evil had constructed it himself? Or it was just always there. Whatever the case, it is there; exactly as described.

The walk down to this room had been long and quiet. Dragmire had not uttered a single word or phrase. If she decided to say anything, it was met with silence as cold as the tiled floors that Ganondorf stepped upon.

The halls which they journeyed into became darker and darker, the lit torches hanging on the side of the heavy stone walls becoming more sparse as they descended. And then, finally... it all opened up.

Rimmed and sealed with bricks of black stone, the chamber forms a strict octagon shape. From one point to the opposite is about ten meters or so, meaning it's small-ish, but with still plenty of room. The ceiling is quite high - a strange feature given how deep this dungeon must be.

"Long has it been foretold that in order for the Triforce to re-unite, that its Champions must also." Ganondorf drawls, a satisfied looking smile forming across his face. A flurry of his hand will send her crystallised prison into the centre of the room. "...but I have discovered that this is _not_ the case."

Zelda may just notice an old looking tome that is also present in the room. It glowers on its own accord, hovering in the air much like she. It is also placed directly in the centre point of the chamber - not far below from where Zelda's prison floats.

"Indulge me, Princess. Ask me how. Heh. Heh."

Zelda admits she hasn't traversed all of the castle, but she has been through every secret passage, both created and unintended for years. Outside of her favorite garden, there's no place she didn't know of the castle until now.

This area was entirely unfamiliar and strange. If this place was secured so deeply, there must have been reason for doing so. The sheer nature of the place brings about a dark past that has been echoed in the Shadow Temple for ages.

Now hovering in the center of the room, she looks down at the tome and winces in an attempt to get a better view. It felt familiar, that book...

"We were united once before. All Champions, as you have called us. It was then our pieces of the Triforce resonated strongly among one another. How is it that this is not the case?" Zelda asked, much as she didn't want to, but there had to be reason that lore was being challenged at the moment.

"Your dear friend Link is too far away for these pieces to resonate." Ganondorf replies, turning his beady stare to the book that floats in its own magical veil beneath the Princess.

"In Termina, my influence grew far and wide. Eventually, after years of digging, I learned of two valuable assets which you see before you." The King of Evil holds up an index finger. "Malice. Organic corruption." Daray's initial discovery of this had really come to bear fruit. "I'm sure you've seen it all over the castle. My lovely decorations ink every wall and vein of this structure. It feeds off of anything organic to build itself up. I quite like it." His toothy smile remains, even as he lifts up a second finger.

"Naryu's book is what lays beneath you. Written amid the trees of her place of departure, it contains her remnants as well as the knowledge of her greatest spells." Again, he had Daray to thank in retrieving this. Hopefully he was on the beach somewhere enjoying a nice vacation.

"With both of these assets I am going to transfer your piece of the Triforce to me. Don't worry. While I believe it will be excruciatingly painful, you should survive." His smile widens, eyes widening with glee. "I hope!" Throwing his head back to laugh manically, he throws both of his hands forward amid a flourish of his cloak.

"Let us begin!"

The tome flings itself open - pages rapidly turning to reach a certain point. "This malice, this living corruption, it is going to seep into your spirit. In doing so, you will begin to absorb its corruption characteristics." This process has already started. With his skill to control the malice at a whim, the organic corruption starts to writhe and stretch for the prison that the Princess floats in. It covers the floating jewell completely, before seemingly phasing through it and onto the flesh of the Hylian. Unlike most her feel it upon their skin, Zelda will only feel a light burn. But unlike most, it seems to absorb into her very being.

"Now... to cast a spell not seen for thousands of years. I will bring forth Nayru's wisdom and purge her presence and gifts in that which is corrupted. YOU!"

The room fills with a blinding white light as Dragmire brings forth the spell. The titanic level of magic involved causes the room and foundations of the Castle to rattle and tremble. As this happens, the structure itself glows. Every brick, every stone - it takes on a golden hue. So much is this glow that it radiates from the castle up and into the sky. A cylindrical column of magical light, seen by everyone who can spare a glance.

Ganondorf had prepared long and hard for this moment. Deep studies, countless hours spent checking, double checking and triple checking his work. The might of what he's dealing with is such that he can barely hang on. That smile has turned to a snarl, his own piece of the Triforce glowing brightly as he digs deep into his reserves to keep control. "...hurrghhh!"

But poor Zelda. At the centre of the storm, and presuming she has no defences against this attack, would experience a pain unlike any have felt.

Zelda's attention briefly rests on the book once more, divided between it and Ganondorf himself. Whatever this book is, it must be important. "Malice? That's what you've covered the castle with?" She could feel the evil that resonated from it. A wicked substance the likes of which she hadn't witnessed. It felt living and she was well aware of what it could do when it overtook Castle Town. She narrowly escaped herself, after all.

"You what!?" She pressed against the encasing jewel. "How can that be possible!?" Even with that book? Could it truly be done? She hadn't considered that a magic of that kind was conceivable. Something that could rip the very Triforce from her. "You will not succeed in your endeavor!"

The malice that wraps around her containment soon makes its way through to her and visions of darkness begin to cloud her mind. The very essence of evil pierces her to her core and she struggles against it with all the might that she can muster. It's a losing battle she's having, it feels suffocating in more than just the physical sense. Her very spirit was endangered and the light that was once hers was now attempting to purge her. She feels as if she's being burned alive and perhaps in some real sense, she is.

And yet, as the light leaves  her, she feels some other essence resonating within her. She isn't certain of what it is, but it feels familiar. Certainly not the Triforce, but something else. Whatever it is, it offers her protection in this time, albeit little, but it's enough to stave off the indescribable pain that she's undergoing.

Her skin pales and the natural flush of her skin fades while the corruption takes hold and the piece she had departs from her and the chamber. Where it goes, she doesn't know, but she hopes it goes to someplace or someone safe while she is left to crumple, alive, but unconscious, too weak for her mind to hold out against what she had undergone.

The King of Evil watches with wide yellow eyes as his spell rips into Zelda with unbridled force, systematically purging her body of that which he craves. Yes... It is almost done! But then...?

It escapes!

Unable to do anything but watch as Zelda's chunk of the Triforce emanates from the Princess and then vanishes from the chamber, Ganondorf's eye twitches. After it's all done and the spell comes to its end, the tome which was used to cast this magic vibrates softly. The hue which it glowed with fades, and it falls to the ground in a heap of dust. The malice that had gathered in the chamber was now gone, though some stubborn pieces of it remain in the castle. Certainly any of that which was in Zelda is long-gone.

While this was an outcome that Ganondorf had anticipated occurring, the King of Evil had taken every available precaution to avoid it. Was this an outlier? A simple result of getting bad dice? Or was there some factor he had not considered at play?

"RARRRGGGGHHH!"

Dragmire howls in rage at his failure, a swipe of his hand above him ripping apart the chamber ceiling with a BOOM as the King vents frustration. As sunlight shines in, he glares back to the weakened Zelda in her battered and beaten form. Had SHE somehow down this? No... that was impossible. Surely?!

"Curse... you... ZELDA!"

Throwing his hand at her, Ganondorf erupts Zelda's body into a wreathe of black blames. As they envelop her, the fire soon disappears, Princess with it. He had to get her out quickly, before he would do anything regretful.

"Now..." He mutters, turning about dramatically to march back to the throne room. "...to find this missing piece."