Then again, she hasn't gotten fat on sweet cakes and tea, and if anyone could get away with eating you, it'd be Daelfi. You've never heard of anyone getting eaten in the Lost Woods. That is, not in a really long time.
Deciding the woods are the safer bet, you politely decline Daelfi's offer, who seems slightly disappointed, but unsurprised. You nod goodbye, and head to the entrance of the Lost Woods, a disgruntled Navi in tow. As you near the hollow log that leads into the labrynth, you feel an eerie wind wafting out, accompanied by a spooky, faint howling noise. Saria has led you through the maze many times before, but you've never gone alone. You balk for a brief moment, swallowing nervously. Cautiously, you slowly enter the wooded maze.
It is unnervingly silent inside, and there seems to be a strange darkness hanging over the place. The wind is slight and chilly, and dark clouds cover what little sky is visible overhead. You shiver, and press onward, not wanting to stay here a moment longer than you must. Even Navi is uncharacteristically quiet.
Many ages ago, before the Deku Tree, this had been a place of magic and darkness, populated by strange creatures.... Hungry creatures. They stalked these woods, protecting the ancient temple from outsiders, devouring all who entered.
Those times are eons past, and the fell predators have long since been banished by the Deku Tree's power, but the bones of their digested victims can still be found... Along with much of their equipment. That is what brings you here. Luckily, the only things that inhabit these woods now are small animals and birds.
And Skull Kid.
You shudder and put her from your mind. She probably isn't real, you tell yourself. Just a fairy tale, a story the girls made up to tease and torment their boys. Still, you can't help but glance over your shoulder to ensure that Navi is still with you.
Instead of the familiarity of Navi's sprightly, winged glow, you see blackness rushing toward you, a solid wall of darkness enveloping the woods behind you. A roaring, windy sound rises as the murk grows nearer, faint at first, but growing louder and louder until it deafens you. Your head spins, your eyes widen, and your breath freezes as you stare trembling into the black rushing towards you. You shriek as it hits you like a front of strong winds, submerging you in in darkness. You raise your arms to shield your face from the blast of dark air, and you feel your hat fly off your head. You cry for help, but the only reply is the rush of air around you and a crescendo of eerie whispers that linger at the edge of your hearing. It seems to go on forever, and your ears feel like they may burst from all the noise. Your thundering heartbeats and screaming voice are utterly drowned out as you squeeze your eyes shut and clamp your hands over your ears.
And then it stops. You stop screaming, heaving and shuddering with fear. Slowly, you drop your hands and raise your head, opening your eyes warily.
The eyes staring back at you are like none you've ever witnessed, wide and yellow and round, set in a strangely shaped face, painted with blue and red patterns. Spikes jut off from the face, and a ragged, almost silly hat crowns its head, with greenish yellow hair sticking from under it. You stare back with a sense of doom creeping over you, as the stories come rushing back, tales of a twisted, demented creature, consumed by hunger and hatred for all mankind.
"Hello, Hero... Long time no see," says Skull Kid, her voice raspy and high pitched. You only stare, terrified and confused. If there's one thing you know, it's that you have never met Skull Kid. If there's another, it's that you are no hero. You manage to shake your head, indicating that she's got the wrong guy. She giggles. "Aw, don't remember me? Too bad." She leans in, and you hear her sniff. "Mm, you got a nice new body, don't ya? " You whimper, just knowing you're about to be eaten. Where could Navi have gone? Skull kid eyes you for a moment longer, sniffing you. Her head cocks to the side suddenly. "Wait... I know this smell... This is your old body, isn't it?" She says, excitedly. "This is the one you had when we first met!" She cackles manaically, and you shudder at the sound. "Oh, time is a funny thing. But don't worry, Hero. I'm not gonna eatcha. Not today," she says, then leans in so close that you fall over backwards. She hovers over you, staring down with those evil, unblinking eyes. "Just remember... When your journey is finished... Just when you think you've succeeded...at the moment you least expect it... It's me that eats you. You die inside me, and know why? Cause you're mine. You're my Link, and you always have been. Don't forget that.... Don't ever forget that..." With those words ringing in your ears, she reaches up... And takes her face off. Behind it is only blackness and a pair of blazing, orange eyes, flickering slightly. A hole opens up in that darkness, and when her tongue drops out you realize it's her mouth. Hot saliva drips onto your cheek, and her breath wafts softly over your face. You squeeze your eyes shut and scream as you feel that tongue slide against your chin and her lips glide over your head....
Your eyes open and jerk upright with a gasp. Skull Kid is gone, as is the blackness that had surrounded you. Navi is fluttering overhead. "What in Gana's flame is wrong? What happened? You've been screaming and shaking and crying forever!"
Breathing heavily, you look around frantically, looking for any sign of those big yellow eyes. You cover your face and try to calm down, then frown as you feel something on your cheek. You wipe it away with your hand and stare at the little smear of spittle on your palm.
"Well??" Navi urges, and you begin telling her what happened, still trembling. You don't get very far before the fairy interrupts you. "Ugh, hallucination, I should have guessed. Get up already, Deku Tree is still waiting you know."
You sigh, and try to put the episode from your mind, but her strange words keep coming back. New body? Hero? Journey? You're just a simple Kokiri boy, and the only journey you're ever likely to take is the journey through Saria's belly when she finally decides you'd make a better snack than a friend.
You stand up, eager to get out of these woods once and for all. First, you must find your hat, which is still missing. You survey the trees around you, and immediately spy the green cap, caught on something just beyond the trees. You edge nearer, keeping an eye out for any glowing orange eyes. You reach into the trees and grab the hat, then yelp in surprise and leap back as you see what it was a hooked on.
It's a sword, stabbed into the ground next to a pile of dirty, broken bones. The empty eye sockets of its skull peer up at you, and you warily place your hat on your head. Navi again comes floating over to you from where she was looking. "What is it now??" She demands, before looking down and spying the pile of bones. "Oh, him," she giggles. "You are such a baby. Grab the sword, already, and... Oh look, a shield too!"
She's right, there is a worn, cracked wooden shield behind the bones, with a faded red swirl in the middle. You take both the sword and shield in your hands, feeling them out and testing their weight. They seem tailor-made for a person your size, and after a second glance, you realize the bones are that of a child... Or a very small person. Curious, to be sure, but you're more interested in leaving these woods and never returning. Saria's bowels would be paradise compared to the horrors you are now certain live here. As you and Navi reach the exit, you take one last look behind you, and shiver as you feel an eerie chill come over you. You hastily follow your fairy out of the woods.
Upon Navi's urging,you hurry through the village to your summit with a tree. You glance over at Saria's house as you pass and spot her squatting in her flowerbed, grunting as bits of brown and bone slide out of her butt. You blush and turn away, hurrying past. Mido has been transferred from guard duty to garden doodie, so nothing stops you from heading into the trees on your way to meet the Deku Tree at last.
Only now are you really offered a chance to wonder what he wants to see you for, as you make your way cautiously towards the clearing. You're nobody special, and you've never actually spoken to the tree yourself, so what could he-
Your thoughts are cut off by a set of sharp fangs clashing together, inches from your face. You scream and stumble backwards, as the Deku Baba in front of you licks its chops and growls at you. It's huge, much bigger than you imagined them being, almost twice your height with jaws easily big enough to scarf you down. A pile of small, shattered bones lay near its stalk, and you gulp nervously.
"Woah, that was close," Navi quips. "You'll have to kill it to get past, so hurry it up." You look at her incredulously. You? Kill this monster of a plant? "Ugh, you have a sword, use it!" You pull the sword from its sheath on your back, staring down at it as if unsure of what it is. You've never fought anything before. You've never even held a sword, and she wants you to fight? No way, that evil looking plant would be stripping your bones within seconds!
You are just about to turn heel and run, and forget the Deku Tree and his stupid message... But something stops you, something inside you. You tighten your grip on the short blade, getting the feel of it. It's weight is natural, somehow familiar in a strange way. The shield on your right arm also gives you a sense of deja vu. You look back at the Deku Baba. It snaps at you, licking its jaws. It wants you... It wants to chew your young body and swallow you down... It wants to eat you. That terrifies you, but... It's okay. You feel a certain strength in your fear, and a will to overcome it. A certain sort of.... courage.
You find yourself advancing towards the carnivorous plant, before you even really know what you are doing. It eagerly awaits your approach, anticipating a tasty treat. It lashes out, it's teeth arcing toward your soft skin. Without a thought to your actions, you duck and swing the shield up, deflected the plant's head and exposing its stalk, which you easily slice through with a single slash of the sword. You hear it roar in pain behind you as it falls lifeless lay to the ground. You blink, and sheath the sword before turning to look at your fallen foe, wiping a bit of Baba juice from your cheek as you do so.
"Wow, not bad, Link! I didn't know you could use a sword," Navi says, impressed. Neither did you. You're still struggling with what you just did, but it's time press on. You continue your trek down the path, Navi in tow, who only stops to examine the bones a moment. "So that's what happened to Indis." She muses, before fluttering onward.
There are no more monsters hungry for a bite of little boy, and you reach the clearing without any trouble. As you come out of the trees, you marvel at the sight before you, the towering, sprawling Deku Tree. It's majestic face peers out from the massive trunk.
"Link," he says in his low, rumbling voice when he sees you. "Come closer, my boy..." You obey, approaching the massive guardian of the forest. "Listen well, for I have much to say and little time to say it," he begins. You nod dutifully, preparing yourself for his words.
"You have explored the Lost Woods, no?" He asks, and you nod. "And you have encountered the remains of those who lost their lives to the hunger of the beasts that dwelt there?" You nod again, swallowing uneasily. "The malevolence of those creatures was unparalleled in that time, thousands of years ago, matched only by the great darkness itself. Their sole desire and greatest pleasure was the suffering of men, and they took great delight in consuming them and subjecting them to torture and humiliation, before ending their lives in a brutal, repulsive manner. Since I took root here and drove that evil away, lighter things inhabit these trees, but that evil, that... Hunger....still lurks in the world. Alas, it has only grown since that time, and threatens to consume Hyrule once and for all."
You have no idea what he's talking about, what it has to do with you, or why he's telling fairy tales, but you listen on.
"There is great goodness in this land, and it is mirrored by a great darkness. A demon queen that is reborn again and again to plague the people of Hyrule. Throughout this cycle, two souls have battled this evil since the dawn of this land, rising and falling over and over to beat back the wiles of the demon queen. They are the Hero and the Goddess, a courageous youth and a wise princess, and for eons, they successfully protected this land from their eternal foe. But the demon queen grew weary of losing her struggle for dominance, and began to look elsewhere for a means of defeating the Hero and the Goddess. When she learned of these beasts in the forest, these hungry killers, she thought she found her answer." The ancient tree pauses here, as if in thought.
"I tell you this, lad, because I know something of you that you yourself do not. The spirit of the Hero, that brave soul that has battled Gana since time immemorial... Rests within you. You, Link, are the hero reborn."
You blink, and your moth drops slightly open. You frown and cock your head, wondering if you heard correctly. You hear Navi gasp beside you.
"It is so. I would not have told you so soon, but circumstance demands it. Gana once again curls her fingers around the land of Hyrule, and my time here is waning. Furthermore, the lass Saria harbors an insatiable lust to devour you, a lust she manages to stave off only by the grace of her love for you. I fear that her hunger may trump her love before long. Listen, and trust me, Link. Remember what I tell you today. The Triforce has been and remains Gana's true goal. It is a physical manifestation of the three goddesses themselves, and harbors the power to grant the wish of its bearer. Thousands of years ago, you and the Goddess battled Gana, each weilding a fragment of the Triforce. Gana followed the example of the harpies here in the trees on that day. You suffered your first defeat when she devoured you whole, and when you perished in her belly, she stole the Triforce you wielded. With that power, she easily overcame and devoured the Goddess as well, but her evil was not done. With the Triforce whole, she cast an evil wish on the world, an unspeakable curse. Knowing that the Hero would always be born as a man, she cursed every woman with a savage hunger for man flesh, and the ability to fulfill that lust. Since that day, every woman ever born has feasted on men. Sisters devour their brothers, daughters devour their fathers, mothers devour their sons, wives devour their husbands, if they even bother to marry. You have been reborn since then seven times, and seven times, you have become nourishment for a woman. Twice by strangers that knew you not, once by your very mother, twice by she you held most dear, once by a strange imp in the forest, and once.... By the Spirit of the Goddess herself. Gana's power has waxed mightier and mightier in this time, unhindered by the Hero she battled for so long, and now her schemes are coming to fruition. Society is fragmented between women and the men they hardly deem people. A race of women in the desert have gone so far as to treat all men like animals, hunting and harvesting them like cattle. It is no surprise, therefore, that this very clan is the one from which Gana has risen once more, and this time I fear she has the means to claim Hyrule forever. You must stop her, Link. It is your destined duty, and you must not fail this time. Hyrule may not get another chance if you do."
You can only stare blankly. That was a lot to take in. Too much. There's no way you're some hero of legend, and you don't know a thing about this Gana, or how to defeat her. This tree is clearly insane, and you take a step back...
And then you remember your nightmare, how real it had seemed, how terrifying, how the girl had seemed strangely familiar. Some part of you knows what the Deku Tree says is true. You just dont want to believe it.
"Go..." the tree continues. "Find... the princess. Only together.... can you defeat Gana..." His voice is strained and he struggles to force the words out. "Navi.... protect him... guide him... He must not be devoured..."
"Of course..." Navi says in a sad, quiet voice. "Are... are you really going?"
"I must... little one... Leave now... Saria will not spare him... much longer...Find... Zelda....Goddess... be with you both."
With that, the color of his bark seems to drain away, and his wooden face becomes as hard and still as stone. Silence fills the clearing, and you know he is dead. You lower your eyes sadly, and you hear Navi sniff. The two of you share a brief moment of reverence for the ancient spirit.
A loud, creaking noise draws your attention back to the tree. It's mouth is sliding slowly open. As it does so, an eerie black fog escapes from the cavernous mouth, a dark smoke billowing forth. With a thud, the Deku Tree's mouth hits the ground, yet more fog wafting silently out into the clearing. You and Navi stare in confusion and unease. You tense as you realize something is coming out, something bad. The sound of bare feet slapping against the wooden tree echo from the opening. Finally, a figure emerges, the strangest looking woman you have ever seen. She is tall, twice your height. Her hair is black and long, falling down her back in messy tangles. She's completely naked, her big round breasts and hairy snatch completely exposed. Her skin is dark and pallid, almost gray.
"Free... Free at last. I thought that old weed would never die..." She stretches with a groan, and takes a deep breath. "How I have missed these trees," she sighs. Her eyes are a fiery orange against an inky black background, and they seem to shimmer and glow as she fixes her gaze upon you.
"Who are you?" Navi calls out warily, but the lewd figure ignores her, keeping her attention on you.
"So you are the one he called Hero," she says, her thick black lips curling into a smile. "How nice of the old stump to deliver you to me... a very fine parting gift indeed. You're smaller than I might have expected... much smaller," she chuckles throatily. You gulp nervously and you feel heat rising in your cheeks as you struggle and fail to keep your eyes off of her naked form. Her erect nipples are black and round, and the hair between her thighs is as dark as the hair on her head. "But then again," she continues. "Looks can be deceiving, can't they?" She smiles, revealing her teeth... no, her fangs, sharp and glistening. Your heartbeat quickens and you feel the chill of fear washing over you as you behold the terrifying creature before you. She takes another step closer, her bare feet moving quietly across the grass, and you instinctively draw back.
"Back off, creep!" Navi warns. "Who are you, and what are you doing here? Answer me!"
The repulsive woman's smirk changes to a scowl, and she regards your fairy companion with distaste. "Have you really forgotten, fairy? Are you so completely blinded by the light that you've lost sight of what you are?"
"What I am? I'm a fairy, and proud of it!" Navi retorts hotly.
"Oh, trust me darling, any pride you may once have had has long since been abandoned, ever since you embraced the light. You betrayed me, and you betrayed your very nature. That was a mistake you will one day dearly regret. But no matter. You mean nothing. The Hero here, on the other hand...." a long, pointed tongue flicks out as she licks her lips. "He means a full belly for me, and a solved problem for my mistress."
She starts toward you again, and you grow more frightened with every step. Her sharp teeth glisten evilly and her eyes flash cruelly.
"Sorry for the interruption, dear boy. Let me introduce myself. My name is Gohma. You have lived and died dozens of times since I have dwelt in these woods. I am old enough to remember a time before this accursed Deku Tree took root here, usurped my home and perverted my sisters. I have seen Hyrule rise and fall to Gana's whims over and over, and it was from me that she drew the idea to turn your very race against itself. I am the one that killed this overgrown defiler, this foolish usurper that thought he could keep me contained, and I am the one that will serve Gana after she has claimed Hyrule once and forever... but more importantly, I am the one that is going to devour you today, Hero, and lay waste to your pathetic body once more. With you gone, the Goddess will be vulnerable, and she will fall prey to Gana's hunger once again."
Her pace quickens and she adances on you very quickly, her thick thighs jiggling with each step. You only have a few seconds to decide what to do. To stand and fight would mean almost certain death, but you don't think you could outrun her either. Whatever course of action you choose, you need to do it fast.