Weeks went by with no new occurrences. The four of us, Fierce, Termina, Oslac, and myself were taking turns watching the mask while we tried to decide what to do. Fierce, Termina, and I were at the Milk Bar speaking in whispers at the table in the corner.
“Even if we lock Majora away, he’ll come back,” Fierce said, “Someone will eventually wander into the prison we make for him even after we’re gone.”
“You’re right, we won’t be here forever, and you,” Termina looked at me, “can’t watch over two destructive gods at the same time. It’s too much.”
I had my chin resting in my hands, “I’ve been thinking. Thinking about the fact that this god’s soul is in the mask. I’ve been talking to Igos about his Elegy of Emptiness. You know how his people can make themselves into lifeless statues? I’ve spoken to him about putting souls inside of the empty object. Such as a mask. I figure if Majora can do it, we can too. If we put strong souls into masks, connect them to Majora’s life energy, they’ll activate if Majora comes back and will protect the people until I can help if I ever get separated from this place.”
Termina smiled, “That’s what you’ve been working on? I though you were helping Igos with the war he’s gotten himself into.”
“I am helping them. I’m also trying to help our situation as well. I think I should mention, Igos is working on my idea already. He’s calling it, the Song of Healing.”
“He makes everything into a song,” Fierce said drinking from his mug. Realizing it was empty, he walked to the front to refill it.
“I like that Igos does that,” Termina said, “Turns his spells into music. It makes it possible for less powerful people to utilize them in the future.”
I nodded, “Oh, I also wanted to mention. Odalwa said he would be willing to be turned into a mask. I mean, he is here to protect the Deku. Why not protect them later if Majora ever comes into play here?”
“If he’s willing that’s fine… Odalwa is a wild card, though. You never know what he’s going to do next.”
“I trust him. He can help me in the future as well, if needed. We work well together.”
“We can tell the five area leaders to decide what they want to use to protect the regions if Majora is released. We’ll turn their choice of protection into masks and go from there. It doesn’t have to be a person either. It could be a creation of their choice,” Termina suggested.
Fierce joined us again. Termina and I caught him up on our discussion, “I like it,” Fierce said, chugging his drink. He put it on the table, already empty, “Let’s go back to Oslac, I think it’s your turn to watch Majora, Loel- Aveleen. Sorry…”
“Something’s wrong,” Termina said with panic as we approached the doors. You could feel something in the air. There was no mistaking something was not right.
We burst through the door to find Oslac huddled in the corner clutching the back of his head. The mask was missing off the table. Termina ran to her husband’s side, frantically clutching his shoulders. Fierce and I exchanged looks as we realized what was happening, “Termina, get away from him!” Fierce cried.
“What? He’s hurt! Why would I—”
A chuckled from Oslac began deep in his throat becoming louder as he lifted his head to look at us. The mask attached to his face, “It’s interesting,” Oslac spoke, his voice intertwined with Majora’s “Of all the people, I wouldn’t expect him to fall for my trickery. It’s always exciting to see which ones fall prey to their desires.”
Termina’s hand grasped her mouth as she shuffled backwards away from him, “You know,” Majora looked at Termina, “he really loves you, Termina? Is it? And he loathes the both of you.”
Gesturing to us he laughed again, “Which I am not surprised. All he really wants is for the gods intervention to be over. Give the people a chance to take care of themselves. I can give him that. So, we have made a deal.”
“If someone puts the mask on. You can’t take it off unless the wearer dies.”
I remember the conversation with Fierce so clearly as I stare at the mask sitting on the face of a friend. We can’t possibly kill him. He’s like family to us. Oslac has been there since the beginning. The brown eyes that shimmered with kindness were now covered by a monster who could destroy us all.
Fierce placed his hand forward creating a barrier around Oslac. It shimmered with Shiekah symbols before disappearing in the darkness, “We’ll keep you here for now. Oslac, I know you’re in there. You have to get out. You know Majora will only cause destruction. We’ll try to figure out how to help you.”
Oslac laughed again before retreating into stillness.
I feel my hands shaking. Majora promised to destroy everyone I loved. This was the beginning.
Tears fell on my face at the thought. Although he didn’t show it, I knew Fierce was torn up about the situation as well. Termina was shaking on the ground, her face covered in tears. I lifted her up and led her to the door with Fierce in tow.
“Wait,” Termina let out a squeak, “Someone needs to stay here. To watch him. I’ll do it. Don’t try to stop me. You go discuss… What… What we do now.”
Fierce nodded and we left Termina in the clock tower with Oslac.
“This is bad,” Fierce said, running his hand through his white hair, “I can’t… I can’t kill him. Why would he put that stupid mask on!?”
The last part came out as a shout, “Fierce,” I whispered, “We need to find somewhere else to talk if you’re going to yell. No one can know what happened in there.”
We walked together in the mostly empty streets. We wandered out of town, all the way to the Great Bay to stare at the water. I pressed my palms to my eyes as I sat on the beach, “We have to get help. I’m going to go to Ikana to talk to Igos. It’s the only chance we have at this point to help Oslac without killing him. The longer he wears that mask, the more powerful Majora will become. I’ll leave right away.”
“Why would he put the mask on?” Fierce whispered mostly to himself.
“Why wouldn’t he?” I responded.
Fierce heaved a sigh, “You’re right. We need to figure out how to get the mask off of him and get rid of Majora. We should save him. Plus, if Oslac has the mask on, there’s no telling who will try to put it on next.”
“He feeds on peoples’ desires and fears right? The longer he wears the mask, the more of a threat he poses to us. You should stick around with Termina while I go to Ikana. By the time the sun rises, I’ll be in the valley.”
With a whistle, my horse, Adlez, came running to me. Her silver coat was a streak of lightning under the moon. We rode to Ikana valley with the sun chasing us. My thoughts were solely concentrated saving everyone in the land surrounding me. On saving my friend, Oslac. There was no time to think about the future. If Majora managed to come into power, there would be no future.
The valley was mostly empty. There was a war happening with the Ikanians and a foreign nation. Although I was helping with battles plans, Fierce and I decided it would be best if we stayed out of the battle field. Their war was not ours to fight.
Upon approaching the castle doors, I was greeted by Igos himself, “Aveleen, come in, please. I’m sensing you’re here because of an emergency. Quickly, we shall discuss.”
Igos had his hands clasped together once we were both seated in the library, “It’s Oslac,” I speak quickly, “He put the mask on. That Song of Healing we’ve worked on… Can you do something else to make Majora remove himself? Maybe the song itself will work?”
“Slow down my goddess friend,” Igos raised an eyebrow, “You’re telling me Oslac is now wearing the mask?”
I slowly nod my head, “He’s locked in the clock tower with Fierce and Termina.”
“Poor Termina… She must be going crazy with worry,” Igos placed his hand on his chin in thought, “I have finished the song. I’ll teach it to you, after that, I’ll speak with Oslac. I need to see exactly what it is we are dealing with. We can head back to Clock Town immediately.”
Igos taught me the song. A simple tune. One you could feel power flowing from. We walked to the owl statue in the castle courtyard afterwards. Igos placed his hand on my shoulder, “Your horse will be fine here. My people will take care of her.”
With that, he hummed a small tune and we were whisked away to Clock Town. Igos ran into the tower and disappeared inside with me following behind. Once we were inside the doors, I locked them in place.
“You’ve brought a friend,” Majora spoke immediately, “I remember you. You ignored me when we first met. I shall introduce myself again, my name is Majora.”
“Hello there. You must be the one causing all the fuss. Yes, I remember you tried to talk to me, but it was at a bad time. You see, I was in a meeting. We can speak now.”
For many moments the room was silent. Majora chuckled, “You should know what is coming. Your people are at war. You can’t afford another one. If you join forces with me, you can live. If you don’t, I will curse you. I think it’s simple, fair even.”
Igos had a smirk on his face, “I will have to decline such a great offer. I have enough on my plate to worry about. And what would you get out of cursing me? I’m not enough to worry about anyway.”
“Oh, my friend,” the mask shook, “cursing you would only give me heaps of satisfaction. I sense in you the desire to live for eternity, like Aveleen. You want to be the greatest leader all of Ikana has ever known. Whether or not you join me now is irrelevant because all of your desires will come to reality through me.”
I felt like I had no power to join in this conversation. I could only listen as Majora and Igos spoke to one another, “I believe,” Igos said, “this conversation is merely coming to an end. I have learned all I can from you. I will excuse myself. I wish you the best of luck in your further ventures.”
Igos turned around, the metal on his clothing created a small jingle. The rest of us began to follow him when Majora spoke again, “Fair enough. Then, a curse as a parting gift. I insist! When you die, you will not die. You will be reborn as a monster. Doomed to dwell in your valley much longer than after your people fall. And your people will join you. They will be doomed to continue fighting wars that do not exist. Good-bye.”
The air around us grew cold. Igos’ shoulders tensed up as we exited the tower.
“There’s no way to get that mask off of Oslac. The song cannot heal what is not hurting,” Igos said, “Oslac isn’t hurt. He’s been trapped by his desires. What I can do will not help him.”
“What do we do then?” Termina murmured.
“I don’t know,” Igos replied with a grim expression, “Perhaps… Odolwa can help?”
“Odolwa?” Fierce spoke, “How could he help?”
“Well,” Igos seemed hesitant, “he studied possessing souls for a time. There is a chance he understands what Majora is doing and how to reverse it in a different way other than… Other than the host dying.”
I shrugged my shoulders, “It’s the only other thing we can do right now. We’ll go find him to see if he can help.”
“Be careful,” Igos said, “Odolwa has been acting a little strange lately. Maybe he was just having a bad day… Either way, I must return to the valley. I have an army coming back that I will need to tend to. I wish you all the best of luck. For all of our sakes.”
When Igos departed from us, Fierce and I prepared to head to Odolwa in the swamp. He seemed to be our last chance at recovering Oslac from Majora’s grasp.
Termina decided to stay behind. She seemed incredibly exhausted, mostly from worry, “You have to hurry,” she tells me, “I can feel him fading.”
Fierce and I headed to the Woodfall temple where Odolwa lived. He was a jungle warrior, protector of the lands of Woodfall. The Deku worshipped him like a god. His skin was a tapestry of color. He was extremely tall, strong and used a sword that was nearly the same height as him. Although he was a guardian, he did like to cause trouble every once in a while. I wondered what Igos meant when he said Odolwa was acting strange. It wasn’t unlike him to act odd, it was the way he was.
As we came up to the temple, you could see that something in the swamp had changed. There was a purple mist that cloaked everything. We were the only noise. Bugs were usually buzzing around. There were none to be found.
We were greeted by the green-eyed Odolwa, “Welcome, my friends!” he held his war mask in his hand, a sign of his role, as he gestured us deeper into the temple, “You don’t usually visit me. Does this have anything to do with Majora?”
I shook my head, “Igos told us you may be able to help. That you knew about possession. Can you help us?”
“I would love to, my friend. I’m afraid I’m a little preoccupied. You see, my swamp is dying. All the bugs have disappeared since…”
He trailed off into silence, “Since what?” Fierce prodded.
“At our meeting, the mask spoke to me. He said if I denied him that I’d be doomed to go mad. That I would eventually become the reason my people were tormented. I ignored him. But now, I feel more reckless than usual. I cannot control myself at times. Thus, I’ve been sitting on my chair, hoping that I don’t do anything… crazy.”
“We still need you to tell us anything you know about possession that you think could help us,” Fierce prodded on, “We’re running out of time and putting everyone at risk.”
“It may be different for a soul who is a god. Most likely more powerful than a regular possessor,” Odolwa spoke quickly, “No matter what, there are three options to take. You may already know them. The first is death of the host. The second one is if the possessor becomes powerful enough, he will release his host. Which I doubt you want to deal with either. Third, you could always try to get the host to reject the possessor, but if Majora is too powerful already, then you may not be able to get him to reject it.”
“I knew this would happen. The options you know really are the same as the ones we know. There’s nothing we can do at this point. Why would Oslac do this?!” Fierce cried, his voice echoing off the walls of the temple.
“Majora probably gave everyone intriguing propositions. He fell for it. It’s as simple as that.”
“How would we ever get through to him? We have to go back and… and we have to kill Oslac.”
The room grew quiet. The three of us solemn, “If you would like,” Odolwa spoke, “I can come with you. I could do it for you if that would make it easier.”
I nodded my head, “That would probably be easier for all of us.”
“Fair enough, let’s go,” Odolwa put his war mask on and froze. There was a familiar sound that started vibrating in my ears. A sound of bugs?
Odolwa stood still for a moment, then unsheathed his sword, “Odolwa! What are you doing?” Fierce yelled.
I realized what was happening, “Fierce! The curse Majora put on him must be within the mask.”
I unsheathed my sword crouching low as Odolwa lashed out at Fierce. Bugs appeared and flew in front of my face, blocking my view. I heard clanking of swords. Odolwa was laughing as I slashed at the bugs to reach them. The bugs flew away from me when Odolwa jumped at me from above. Our swords clashed. He was much larger and stronger than I was. I swept to the side where Odolwa’s sword met with the back of my leg. The pain shot up into my shoulder.
Fierce jumped into the battle again. The two of us together could kill Odolwa.
He didn’t deserve that.
I decided to use my gift. Fierce disliked when I used my time powers to fight. He said it didn’t teach me true fighting skills, but we didn’t have time to fight Odolwa.
Reaching out my hand, I stopped Odolwa in his tracks lifting him in the air. Fierce stared at me, “What are you doing? I said—”
“We don’t have time for this!” I responded. I hummed the tune Igos had taught me, the Song of Healing, hoping it would work. If Odolwa was hurting, this would seal him away for the time being.
Light covered the room. Odolwa’s war mask lowered into my hands. Fierce joined my side to look at the mask, “His soul is in here,” I said with heavy breaths, “I’ll leave it here. He still has a purpose. He can’t die.”
I set Odolwa’s mask on his throne before we left. There were a couple of deep wounds on Fierce’s arm and side. He walked slowly behind me. I ignored the shooting pain in my leg. I wasn’t worried about our injuries. We healed quickly.
“Do you see that?” Fierce spoke once exiting the temple, “Is that smoke?”
In the distance, towards Clock Town, there was billowing of gray floating into the sky.
“We have to go now,” I ran to my horse. I heard Fierce shout out at me to wait, but had already left him behind. There wasn’t time to wait on his injuries. The worst could be happening. My throat tightened at the thought of my friends in trouble, at Termina being in trouble. I had to get there.
Arriving at ClockTown, the citizens were emptying out with cries of terror. Clock Town was shooting out flames. My heart was pounding in my ears. My sword readied, I ran inside to look for Termina.
In the middle of the central square Termina was fighting Oslac. She was already at a disadvantage. It was clear she was injured. Oslac was hovering in the air, tendrils floating off of the mask behind his head as they attacked Termina.
I ran towards them only to be thrust backwards from smacking into a barrier. My sword flew off in another direction.
“Do you like that trick?” Majora’s spoke into my head, “I learned it from Fierce himself. Would you like to see another trick? Watch this…”
Time seems to slow down when things fall apart. Those moments when the worst happens push forward slowly. It’s like the world wants you to memorize every detail of the horrid moment so you can play it over and over again later.
Without missing a beat, Majora picked up Termina with his tendrils. A sword appeared in Oslac’s hand as Termina screamed at Oslac, begging him to wake up. I pounded my fists against the barrier as I watched Oslac stab through his wife stopping her mid-scream.
Termina dropped to the ground in a clump. Majora flew upward to the top of the clock tower.
I screamed out stopping time immediately. This isn’t right. Termina cannot die. She is family to me. She’s is more important to me than anything. I need her here. With me. I need her help. She can’t die.
I tossed time backwards. I would save her. I would stop Majora and save my friend. I will save everyone. I can do it because I can control time.
I will do it.
(To be continued…)