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Shadows of Oblivion/Chapter 7

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Deep within the earth, located far beneath the forest, their existed a realm of perpetual darkness in which the only light came from holes leading to the surface and the variety of luminescent animals and fungi. These tunnels, formed over thousands of years by an underground river that once existed, were dank and shrouded in mystery. Few knew of them, and even fewer would even dare to attempt to enter and explore them. However, one adventurer has now landed within this natural labyrinth, and has encountered one of its most deadly inhabitants.

Link slowly took a step back as Gohma raised one of its modified legs, which ended in a small pincher-like claw, in a threatening manner. Raising his shield, Link stood his ground for a moment before being sent flying back by a single whack of its claw. As he skidded across the floor, Link quickly held his shield beneath him in order to avoid harming himself. Coming to a complete stop, he quickly pulled out his bow and prepared an arrow. As he took aim, the massive arachnid charged him. Releasing the arrow, he saw it sail forward before piercing itself into deep into the creature’s eye.

In an instant Gohma let loose a squeal of pain as it rapidly clawed at the arrow with its foremost legs. After several seconds of this frantic movement, the arrow came out in a spurt of yellow blood, and with an angered screech Gohma stared at Link before charging at him once again. Realizing he didn’t have enough time to prepare another arrow, Link quickly got himself off the ground and began to run in the direction opposite of Gohma.

Moving as fast as his legs could take him, Link could still hear the clicking of massive spider behind him, and a glance over his shoulder revealed that it was steadily catching up. It was then that he saw up ahead a hole in the side of the wall, one that appeared to be, by its appearance, too small for his pursuer to follow him through. With a last burst of speed, he narrowly dodged a downward thrust of Gohma’s claw before vanishing into the hole with a leap.

As he hit the ground, he quickly spun about and pushed himself away from the entrance, just as Gohma repeatedly attempted to stab through the hole with its claws, but to no avail. With one final glance, its eye filling up the entire crack before it then moved on, all awhile its screeches continuing to echo throughout the system of tunnels. Catching his breath, Link then noticed that he was now in a relatively large cavern filled with numerous strange looking rocky outcroppings.

As he continued to look about, hoping to see some form of exit, he noticed large amounts of fungi growing within the chamber, all of which were producing a faint light. When one of the luminescent fungi began to move, Link pulled out his blade before realizing that it was only because something was feeding on it. It appeared to be a very large insect, with a segmented shell and a single eye. These Rollobites appeared to be blind, even with their single large eye, and their shells were a dark black, allowing them to blend in with the darkness as they continued to feed.

As Link began to let down his guard, he then noticed a strange white orb pulsate by one of the Rollobites, and when it ventured closer to it, the orb rose from the ground on a thin stalk and opened wide, revealing a jaw full of teeth-like needles. The Rollobite, sensing it, began to scurry in the opposite direction, but it was too late as the albino Deku Baba snapped forward, its jaws closing down on the insect with a sickening crunch.

It was at this moment Link sensed movement coming from behind him, and as he turned, his sword redrawn, he saw two more of the plants rising behind him, apparently viewing him as food. The one on the right snapped first, narrowly clamping down on Link’s shoulder had he not rolled to the side. Its stem fully outstretched, it easily fell victim to Link’s blade. Green liquid squirted out of the severed head as its stem slowly collapsed onto the ground. The other Deku Baba, meanwhile, reared back as it prepared to strike forward, but even it could not have predicted Link spinning about with his blade, decapitating it like its companion. Both heads then snapped at thin air for several moments before finally going still.

Sheathing his blade, Link then rested against one of the stony columns before realizing something didn’t feel right. As he examined the rock, he saw that is had a grooved surface, and after a moment he realized that it was actually a pillar, a rather ancient one at that. Looking around, he saw that what he had first mistaken for rocky outcroppings were actually ancient ruins. Before he could figure out the significance of this, a cracking sound caught his attention.

As he looked on, part of the wall began to crumble, revealing an all too familiar pincher. Within minutes Gohma’s eye could be seen, reddened by the arrow it had received earlier. With a final push, it pulled its way out of the tunnel it had dug, and as it did, nearly instantaneously the Rollobits curled into small balls as the Deku Babas retracted themselves back into the ground, all knowing that they were in the presence of a super predator.

With a loud screech, Gohma descended down from the wall, all awhile keeping its gaze on Link. As it then slowly approached him, Link readied his sword and shield for the encounter, knowing at this time he would need to fight it head on as the distance between them was too small for a bow to be of any use. Instead of charging him right away, Gohma waited, circling Link as it clicked its pinchers and mandibles, perhaps not knowing if Link would fire another arrow at its sensitive eye. After several minutes, realizing that the attack would not occur, Gohma screeched once before charging.

Prepared for this, Link ran towards his foe. At the last moment, he ducked into a roll, causing him to safely avoid Gohma as she, surprised that her prey had vanished, paid little attention to the pillar just before her. Slamming full force into it, Gohma collapsed in a daze as the pillar crumbled on top of her. Using this to his advantage, Link brandished his blade and swiped several times at her large glowing eye. The pain causing it to quickly regain its senses, Gohma swiped with one of her legs, causing Link to be sent flying back into another column. Sliding to the ground, he looked up to see Gohma charge at him.

Rolling aside, he narrowly avoided Gohma as she shattered the column. Stunned once more, Gohma groggily swayed side to side before Link once again unleashed a flurry of swings at her eye. Infuriated by the pain, Gohma opened her jaws and snapped at Link, her fangs wrapping around his leg. Realizing her newly gained advantage, she swung Link back and forth before releasing him, causing him to skid across the floor and smash into the cave wall. As Link lay slumped against the wall, holding his blade in his hands as Gohma slowly approached him so that she could finish the job, a bright light suddenly struck her in the eye.

Screeching, Gohma attempted to cover her eye, but to no avail. Looking up, Link saw Toruda on a small cliff ledge, holding his partially covered lantern in his hands so that he could focus it into a single beam of light. Still in agony due to never being exposed to sunlight, Gohma let out a cry of pain before scurrying towards the hole she had used to originally enter the chamber, vanishing within it in seconds. Realizing it was over, Link called out to Toruda, saying “About time you got here… mind helping me out of here?”

“Hey, I told you to wait… don’t move, I got a rope here somewhere.” Toruda said, before pulling the rope out of a sack and tossing part of it down. “Climb up and I’ll get us out… oh and I found the path.”

Link and Toruda stood at the cave entrance, and before them stood the edge of the forest. Beyond it lay the vast fields of Hyrule. Finally, after their journey through the forest and tunnels, they were finally in site of Hyrule Castle. As they began to walk onto the open plains, both were unaware they were being watched.

From the shadows of one of the trees hanged a pair of rat-like humanoids, Goriyas, who were watching the pair intently. Both wore hooded cloaks and had boomerangs at their belts. One of them reached for a dagger in his leather suit, but was stopped by his companion, who said, "No, we watch for now." before he pulled out a telescope.

For now, both would watch, and soon they would report back to their master.

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