Chapter Nineteen: Ability Does not Equal Knowhow

The Legend of Zelda: Real Courage

Every time Zale made himself useful, it took Lila by surprise. His crossbow was especially handy. Lila made a point to use her new boomerang whenever possible, but sometimes she charged in without paying attention. That's when Zale showed her up with his patience by staying back to snipe from behind. They ran into many more ReDeads and demonic miniblins

After a particularly foul-mouthed encounter with a hoard of miniblins, Zale asked, "Why do they get you so worked up?"

Mori answered, "Because they're more afraid of me than her." He and Zale laughed at Lila's furious expression.

"No! Just look at them! They viciously mock you as they run away with your money! Stop laughing!"

Zale wheezed, "I'm sorry, Lila. You're just so funny when you're angry."

"I'm not sorry," Mori chuckled.

Lila stormed off to fight the next monster.

Once the four keys were assembled, the trio entered the boss room. As usual, the circular room appeared empty. The ground was the same dirt and rocks as the rest of the dungeon, complete with remains of archaic structures. These structures, however, looked a lot more downtrodden than any of the others they had seen. Along part of the curved wall, the ornate design of a giant archway was etched nearly to the ceiling.

"Do either of you know what's in here," Lila asked.

"Nope," said Zale.

"Boots," Mori replied.

"Well that's just so helpful," Lila remarked, stepping further into the room. As she did, the entire place started to rumble. Bits of rock fell from the ceiling, and an opening slid out from the arch. The rumbling was so violent, no one could take a step until it was done. From the shadow of the arch, an enormous skeletal creature came forward.

Lila heard a sharp intake of breath. "That thing exists?" Zale wondered.

She pulled her sword from its sheath. Without looking back at him, she asked, "What is it?"

The skeleton had five segments, each of which looked quite menacing. The bottom seemed fine, except it was a boulder probably ten feet tall. Three black sections of the same size were stacked on top of the block. Claw-like bone stuck out at the corners, and in the center were red, button-like gems. Last was the head, appearing as tall as Lila and Zale combined. It was a helmeted skull with the same gems for eyes and more bony spikes.


Staring at the grinning head, Lila ran ahead, ready for action.

Zale shouted, "Wait!"

She rolled her eyes and turned around. "What is it this—"

For the umpteenth time, she felt her muscles snap to rigidity. She could see some amusement on Zale's face as he readied his bow. It seemed like he was being deliberately slow, but maybe that was because she couldn't see her assailant. Even so, his arrow hit the mark long before she was freed.

Another smaller rumbling was heard. With worry clear on his face, Zale rushed to Lila. She wondered what could possibly be happening, but she could only just barely start to feel the numbness wearing off.

The boulder hit before Zale got to her. Lila lost her breath as she was trampled under the fast-rolling rock. She lay dazed, not breathing.


After several seconds she finally took a breath. Zale slid to a stop next to her. She clutched at her head where the boulder hit, her vision sparkling.

"What... was that?"

She struggled to get up. In doing so, she saw another rock blast out from Skeldritch's base.


Lila rolled out of the way. At the same time, Zale looked back and then stumbled in the other direction. The rock missed them by inches.

Breathing slowly, Lila's aching body finally supported her weight. She had to keep her hands on her knees because her back was too sore to stand up right away. She glanced over to Zale to make sure he was okay. He was already running to her.

Lila hissed, "Don't worry about me. Figure out how we kill this thing."

"You can't fight in your condition," Zale insisted. "Let's get out of here and come back—"

"No!" She hid her pain by straightening her back, even though it hurt more. "We're doing this now."

The two saw another boulder just in time to step out of its way. Zale caught Lila when she swayed, but she pushed him off of her.

"I can handle this," she told him with a glare. "If you can't, leave me alone."

He studied her. "Fine. I have a theory."


"There are bomb flowers all around the edge of the room. Maybe that means you need to throw one into the hole that's shooting these rocks."

As he finished, they had to move out of the way of one.

"Okay," Lila said, "I'll try that. You... shoot at its eyes or something."

"I don't—"

"Just do it!" She hurried to the nearest bomb, hoping he wouldn't follow. It was bad enough having him save her life over and over again. She hated him coddling her now and that she practically needed him. She wasn't used to relying on others, and it was degrading.

At a row of three bomb flowers, Lila turned back to see Zale had at least done as she asked. Skeldritch wasn't paying any attention to her. Zale's arrow hit the monster in the eye, and it became enraged. Bright red beams shot out from its gems, converging right in front of Zale. He didn't have time to get out of its way.

"No!" Lila's heart jumped to as he screamed and fell back. She knew the only way to save him was to follow their plan. She grabbed each of the bombs, stuffing two in her bag. The third she held as she charged at her enemy.

"Leave him alone! It's me you want!"

Skeldritch turned to her. Its gems no longer glowed, but the hatch for its rock attack opened. Perfect. She ran around the oncoming boulder and aimed. The bomb flew in just before the hatch closed.


The monster rattled as puffs of smoke came out of its base. The hatch fell open, so Lila wasted no time launching another bomb. This one blew the base apart; Skeldritch's body dropped down a segment.

Lila ran forward and attacked the first gem on a hunch. After a few seconds, it began to glow. She jumped out of the way, hoping she had done some damage.

When the laser attack ended, Zale suggested, "Aim for the head with your boomerang!"

Lila looked up and backed away. She was glad he was okay. Once she had a better view, she threw her new toy. It successfully hit Skeldritch on the side of the head. Its eyes crossed as though she had knocked it senseless.

"Now attack again!" Mori chimed in from... somewhere. No need to tell her twice. She charged with her sword aimed at the gem. This time it shattered, leaving a hole in its place. Lila dropped a bomb in and hurried away. The section burst just like the previous one.

Zale distracted Skeldritch, allowing Lila to collect more bombs. Now that they knew its pattern, the last two black segments went down quickly. All that remained was the angriest-looking skull Lila had ever seen. Unsure of the next step, she met up with Zale. Both were huffing and puffing from the battle.

"What do we do now?" Lila asked. Her eyes never left the enemy for a second.

"I'm wondering if there's a weak spot under its helmet. Maybe you can remove the eyes like the other gems."

They paused to get out of a laser attack from the eyes.

"Do you think there are holes behind them?" Lila asked.

"I'm almost certain of it. You might have to destroy both eyes."

Lila smirked. "No problem."

She had to wait for it to stop trying to crush them. Skeldritch used its jaw to jump around the room, landing with a loud thud each time.

Finally, it seemed to have worn itself out. Lila charged and slashed at its right eye. It shattered in seconds. Skeldritch opened its jaw in a huge scream, knocking Lila back by the sound alone. She covered her ears, worried they might burst. Once it finished, it charged at her with unknown speed, gnashing its teeth. She barely managed to scramble out of its way.

She watched it zoom past her and then turn around in a wide curve. Dust and gravel spewed in its wake. Lila hurried to stand so she was ready when it reached her. She took a deep breath to steady herself. In the distance, she could hear both of her companions screaming her name.

Skeldritch's head charged right into Lila's level sword tip. Though she tried to hold her ground, it knocked her right over again. At least she was successful. Now the monster was left with two gaping holes instead of glowing red eyes. Ignoring the ever-rising pain, Lila forced a bomb down each hole. She somersaulted away from the writhing monster.


She turned around to see the helmet fly across the room, just as Zale had predicted. In its wake, a much larger red gem rested in place of a brain. This was it. Lila was almost done.

Running around the skull, Lila positioned herself in front of the gem and started slashing. Each hit rang hollowly in her ears and reverberated through her sword up her arms. This gem took a lot longer, but she could see chips of it jump away after her hits. At some point, Zale joined her with his own sword.

A hole formed until it was big enough to fit a bomb. Lila emptied the rest of her bag into the hole and then pulled Zale away. They ran without looking back. Just before the bombs blew, Zale grabbed Lila from behind. They fell to the ground, Zale shielding her from the impact.

Shards of bone, glass, and iron rained down on them. Lila rolled the two of them out of the way when a large piece came down. She kept herself on top until Zale had to do the same thing. Finally, all was quiet.

Their eyes locked. Every breath was ragged and dry, but their bodies were warm against each other. Lila lightly held Zale's tense arms and caressed them absently. She glanced at his lips. He her cheek. Then his nose touched hers…

"Are you okay?" Mori roared.

Zale shot right off of Lila. Startled, she hurried into a sitting position. Lila watched Mori; Mori glared at Zale; Zale eyed Lila carefully.

"I'm fine." As she said it, she felt her mind cloud over. With the action over, her body began shutting down.

For once, Zale got angry. "Lila, you are clearly not fine! You need to be more careful!"

As he spoke, she staggered to her feet. She didn't brush off his help this time.

"Where're the Boots?" she asked Mori.

"In the crater you left when you annihilated Skeldritch."

With blurred vision compounded by the dust hanging in the air, Lila cast her eyes about for the hole Mori mentioned. She was only able to find it because of something glittering at the bottom.

Despite his anger, Zale helped her over. She sighed when she saw a pair of boots made entirely of iron, along with a red heart that had been the source of the glittering. Her hands shook as she reached out to the heart. It vanished in a cloud of sparkles. A wave of exhaustion coursed through her.

"Okay," she said, "all done."

She collapsed in Zale's waiting embrace

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culoapaperella #1
oooh a loz work,, gonna be amazing to ti read !!