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Soul of a Smasher Vol. I: Minuet of Link
#1
Since meda got wiped again, that means all my old writings did too. Since I'm still actively writing this, it's time to get it back on track! NOTE: For those that already read it while I was posting it before the wipe, the first new chapter posted is Chapter 13.


Soul of a Smasher: Minuet of Link
By ClaudeLv250


Introduction: I’ve been mulling over this story for a while before fleshing it out. I always wanted to try writing a SSB story from a different angle and continuity than my main SSB series, Kirby’s Insane Journey. From the corners of my imagination came Soul of a Smasher, a slightly darker, more serious story.

Summary: This is the first story of the series. This one in particular will focus on Link. After a particular tragedy, Link learns firsthand that the body can be harmed but the soul can never be destroyed. Living a new life, Link has mystifying visions of his past in Hyrule and the ones he left behind. With the help of Lucario and a scant few Smash Brothers, he will awaken to the hero he once was and ascend beyond that for the ensuing war. (I have a better summary in my profile, but it’s spoilery.)

Disclaimer: Link, Super Smash Bros. and all related characters and properties belong to Nintendo and are used without permission. Don’t sue me, I just like to write! All original characters and material are my creations. If I borrow something from other authors, I’ll note it in the chapter.


Prologue - Dark Tides

It struck without warning, and soon the town was engulfed in flames. A wispy creature of darkness cut down guards in swaths, only turning on the fleeing populace at random. In one of its pale, bony hands was a ragged blade; its jovial wrath was indiscriminate as it hacked away at everything. Bodies littered the streets. Blood enveloped the cobblestones.

A single arrow passed through the floating figure, leaving no damage but incurring the demon’s interest. It was the first attack ‘landed’ on it, and it wanted to congratulate the aggressor with its undivided attention.

Link strapped the bow onto the back of his green tunic and beneath his shield. He tightened his grip on Epona’s saddle as his steed turned in the opposite direction. The wraith-like demon floated higher above the embers with a newfound enthusiasm; the sight of him excited it. Link could only furrow his brows at this behavior.

...Did it recognize him?

Epona shot through the gates and out of the Castle Town towards the Eldin province. The demon gave chase without hesitation, its movement accompanied by the constant, agonized scream of a dying older man. Link shuddered as the wraith’s scream drew closer.

The field opened up, giving Link leverage – or that was his intention. The demon caught up before he could take advantage of the situation, and he raised his shield a second before a stained blade burrowed into it. He could see every jagged tooth of the dirtied sword, the unnaturally long fingers tightening around its grip, the translucent, tattered cloak-like body it extended from, and a white, vein-laden face with empty eye sockets bearing a grin filled to the brim with razor teeth, two and three inches long each. And the smell...it could only be described as rancid.

“Will you die today, Link?” it hissed, its mouth unmoving.

Link responded with a swipe of the Master Sword. The demon receded only to return with another attack, which was once again deflected by the hero. This time he made a quick jab with the mythical blade. Though it passed through the wraith’s body, the sword gleamed with searing light for a fraction of a second.

With a surprised wail, the demon was repelled, and Link’s heart pumped with newborn courage knowing that the monster was indeed susceptible to attacks. But this revelation only served to infuriate the demon, and it was upon him with a flurry of strikes. As Link stopped the sword with his shield once again, his eyes widened in surprise as black fog materialized a second sword in the demon’s other hand. It swiped at an upward arc and blood spewed into the air.

Epona collapsed into the mud, her fur and white mane stained in red and brown. Link rolled into a kneeling position and examined her from there. The wound was serious, but not fatal. Regardless, it was enough to put him over the edge.

Link growled and went on the offensive, unleashing a series of slashes and jabs. The demon deflected the attacks with both swords, though a few precise strikes connected. It learned to live with the pain from the Master Sword, but each strike that landed was taking its toll.

The wraith swooped into the air and pointed at Link. From the tip of its bony finger erupted a black bolt of lightning that ensnared the Hylian Shield. The electrical current passed to Link, and he tossed the shield away in desperation. It still coursed with lightning from the demon’s spell. A second bolt was launched at the Master Sword but was cancelled out by the blade’s own latent powers.

The demon descended upon Link again, and with only a sword for defense, wounds began to gather, as he was unable to parry every attack. The demon crossed its swords and locked them into an X shape around the guard of the Master Sword, lifting it out of Link’s grip and tossing it behind him. Another lightning bolt was launched, this time at point blank range.

The currents racked Link’s body with pain, then he began to feel numbness creep over him; his limbs refused to do as told, and it was a few seconds before it registered that the demon’s blade was embedded in his stomach. The demon closed in, its horrific face inches away from Link’s. At last, its mouth opened wide for a deep, triumphant chortle.

Link mustered enough control to shove a bomb into the demon’s mouth. It backed off just as its head exploded, the force of the blast knocking Link off of his feet. He did not wait for the smoke to clear, and popped the cork from a glass bottle. The released fairy immediately came to his aid, sprinkling a healing dust onto his wounds, but a shrill cry signaled her demise. A black bolt disintegrated the fairy as the wraith proudly emerged from the cloud.

“Why harbor such anguish?” the demon inquired, studying Link’s reaction. “She is neither first nor last to feel death’s inviting embrace from Kneph!”

Kneph, the demon, lunged forward and buried his sword into Link once again. It brought its face to Link’s, gleefully watching the life seep out of him.

“What a fruitless effort, boy,” the wraith hissed, cupping Link’s face with one pungent hand. “What could you possibly hope to accomplish with that bomb, hm?”

Link reached into the grass behind him, gripping the Master Sword. He responded to the taunt by shoving the blade into Kneph’s face. An ear-splitting screech ripped though the Eldin province. The sickening screams continued as Kneph rose into the air in retreat. The Master Sword fell back to the earth as the wraith disappeared into the clouds above.

“It wasn’t fruitless after all,” Link whispered. The demon’s sword had disappeared when it fled, but the damage had already been done. He could feel his life slowly slipping away, and curiously enough, his senses became more acute of the nature that surrounded him. The sky was more vibrant than ever, the trees rustling in the wind calmed him, and the scent of the grass made him nostalgic. For that moment, he felt that death was not the punishment for failure in life, but a well-deserved rest for the weary.

“I’m sorry it ended like this...Epona...”

Epona released a sorrowful whinny in reply.

With the cool breeze and the blue sky as his guide, Link, hero of Hyrule, passed away.
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#2
[align=center][B][SIZE=4]Chapter 1
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#3
[align=center][B][FONT=Pegasus][SIZE=4]Chapter 2
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#4
[align=center][B][FONT=Pegasus][SIZE=4]Chapter 3
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#5
[B][SIZE=2]Warning! This chapter has a lot of exhibition. I don't find that too fun to write which is why it took me awhile to get through it. But it has to be done for the sake of the story.[/SIZE][/B]

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[/SIZE]
Chapter 4 – Beyond the Veil


Link and his friends sat under one of the stone arches as he recalled moments from his old life. He knew it would be a hard tale to sell, but his exploits within Hyrule entranced Freddy and Derwin. Lucario continued to stand rigid at the fountain, easily mistakable for a statue if not for the occasional sway of his blue tail.

Laying his back against the arch, Link felt exposed. Something was missing.

“So this world has no technology?” Freddy asked, a little skeptical. It wasn’t the first time he touched the subject. “And you didn’t pull your hair out?”

“There’s some technology, but it’s nothing like Centropolis. I think Hyrule more than makes up for it with its beauty and lore.”
“So you cut down this Twilight stuff and the monsters in it,” Derwin began excitedly, “you must have like, special abilities...right?”

Freddy raised his brows at the thought. “You mean magic and superpowers and stuff like that? How much of that really exists? I mean, besides him over there.”

“Well, there’s that Sonic guy and-”

“Puh-lease! Where’s the proof behind him?”

“I don’t know about him,” Link interjected back into his own conversation, “but things like magic are quite common in Hyrule. I wasn’t a mage or anything like that, but I had...” He inadvertently solved the mystery. Now he understood what was missing: his personal arsenal. Not a single tool remained on him, all likely still in Hyrule.

“Well I had special equipment, some of it enchanted. For example, there was the Gale Boomerang, which could create whirlwinds with a single revolution.”

“See!” Derwin gloated to Freddy. “Magic is real! I bet you can give that pokemon a run for his money.”

Link was puzzled. “Why? I don’t want to fight him. He’s not my enemy.”

Freddy leaned forward and said in a hushed voice, “Since we’re on the subject, how much do you really know about this Lucario guy? Don’t you find it weird that he knows so much about you and your past life but all you know about him is his name?”

“Freddy’s right,” Derwin added. “He helped you solve the mystery of your dreams but why did he go through all the trouble of hunting you down? I still don’t trust this guy.”

Link suddenly stood from his seat on the ground. “Then it’s time to find out. No more lounging around; I know who I am now and everything I lived through in the past. It’s time for him to tell me the rest of his story.”

He led the way back to the fountain where Lucario had planted himself for the hour that it took him to recollect and tell moments of his past life to his friends.

“Alright Lucario, it’s time for you to tell me everything. Where did that demon come from and what did it want? And why did you come looking for me?”

The pokemon turned slowly to face Link, but then his eyes darted to Freddy and Derwin. He was hesitating.

“Whatever you tell me, I’m going to tell them anyway,” Link admitted. A sigh escaped Lucario’s lips in contrast to his telepathy.

“Fine. As I said before, you can pretend that what I am going to tell you is not true and return to your meager lives, but your perspective on the universe will change.” His words were harsh, but the lack of a response persuaded him to continue. “I explained to you earlier that this world is but one of several. The seven worlds are connected to this world, the central world. They rotate and revolve around it in many ways. These enclosed spheres that maintain life exist in a cold vacuum known as The Void.”

“And Hyrule is one of these worlds orbiting Centropolis...” Link reconfirmed, trying to picture the scenario in his head.

“Why is this a secret?” Derwin wondered aloud. “They don’t even talk about the possibility of other worlds outside of Centropolis in school. Why didn’t anyone figure this out?”

“There are people in the city well aware of the nature of this universe. They have no reason to spread this information.”

Lucario’s tone made Derwin curious about what would happen if someone did go around speaking of other worlds. The theory existed, but no one with political power truly entertained it.

“A normal being with the knowledge of the worlds would have little means to do anything with it,” Lucario said, as if reading Derwin’s mind. “It takes incredible power or special technology to pierce the shell protecting the world. These are not readily available in the city.”

“Oh...it still seems suspicious the way it’s never brought up.”

The mood changed. Link felt a sudden importance exuding from Lucario. “Link, these next two points I am going to make should highly interest you.”

“Go on.”

“The first is that Kneph is still alive and in Hyrule.”

Link felt sick to his stomach. He had been so consumed with his past that it never occurred to him that the demon was still around.

“You severely wounded him in your previous fight...but a year after you died, he returned and continued to attack Hyrule. His actions puzzled me at one point, as you were his target.”

Infuriated, Link replayed the last moments of his life in his head. Innocent people were slaughtered just to get to him, and now that scene had most likely repeated itself countless times, except there was no hero to stop Kneph. The bloodshed was pointless and mindless.

“Why would he come after me?”

“Deep within The Void is a being known as Azazel. He believes himself to be god,” a hint of distaste lingered on Lucario’s words. “He spawns demons from his own body. Kneph is his pawn, sent to the worlds with the goal of eliminating any hero with the power to challenge Azazel. You were a target because he wanted to get rid of you before you could cause him any problems.”

“That’s some pretty big stuff,” Freddy said, airing his skepticism. “And the only one that knew all of this before was you?”

Lucario gazed down upon Freddy with indignation, but kept his composure. “Myself and the Brotherhood. Which brings me to my second point. It is within your nature to protect the innocent, Link. I know that at this very moment, you wish to return to Hyrule to defeat Kneph once and for all.”

“Of course!” Link shouted. “That is why you recovered my memories, right? So I could finish what I started.”

“I do not want to see a repeat of your last battle...there is a secret technique known as Ascension that will give you more power, power that could even rival my own. I can help you realize this power...”

Link narrowed his eyes. For such a hard and mysterious individual, Lucario was divulging a lot of information, and on top of that, offering power beyond his imagination. It set off his alarms.

“What’s the catch?”

“Dedicate yourself to the cause and join the Brotherhood. We simply want to protect the universe from Azazel and his offspring.”

“That’s not a subtle request at all.”

Lucario folded his arms under the spike in his chest. “I will not enable such power to those I don’t feel I can trust.”

Link looked to his friends. From their expressions, they had been pretty much lost in the conversation. The offer was sudden and he was unsure of his choice – he did not want to be hasty, but he also didn’t want potentially powerful allies to slip through his fingers and leave Hyrule at Azazel’s mercy.

“I’m not declining your offer, but there’s still too much ambiguity. Even if we ultimately have the same goals, I don’t know much about your Brotherhood. And I’ve never heard of this Ascension power, so you might want to elaborate.”

Lucario nodded; it was a reasonable request. “Every being born within our universe has one of the nine elements that compose life linked to their soul. Ascension is simply fostering the relationship between the person and their element, bringing forth that power and allowing them to use it adeptly. Your element is that of Nature.”

Link knew of the elements from both of his lives. Hyrule was filled with magic, while Centropolis ran on theories. But the news of nine specific elements and their tether to the soul was entirely new to him, as well as the news of his own element.

“Everyone’s got an element, huh?” Freddy sneered, “what’s mine, then?”

“Idiocy,” Lucario replied bluntly, never turning an eye to him.

“Ohoho! That’s almost as funny as the thought that a guy like you even knows what sarcasm is!”

“What makes you believe that I am being sarcastic?”

Derwin nudged his friend. “Looks like he got you there.”

“Whose side are you on?” Freddy asked irately.

“Alright guys, you’ve had your fun, but it’s time to go home,” Link said. He ignored his friends’ protests as he asked Lucario, “Will you take me to Hyrule?”

The pokemon nodded. “We can leave immediately.” Lucario moved away from the fountain and out into the field, motioning for Link to follow him.

A slight guilt hit Link as he held his friends’ shoulders. He had a request to make. “Guys, if I’m not back before nightfall, you have to tell my parents what happened to me.”

Derwin’s eyes widened. “What!?”

Freddy’s reaction wasn’t much different. “You want us to tell your parents that you aged up a few years and then went to another world with a pokemon? You really think they’re gonna believe that coming from a couple of teenagers?”

Link sighed. “It’s better to tell them the truth than leave them in the dark. They’re my parents.”

“All right, we’ll tell them,” Derwin decided in a sudden moment of confidence. “But we’re not responsible for their reactions!”

“Don’t worry. I will come back,” Link promised with a smile, “and I’ll tell them everything that’s happened myself. They’ll believe me if I look like this.”

Link backed away, fighting a heartrending chill that suggested that he wouldn’t see his friends or parents for a long time...or possibly ever again. He would see to it that his promise would never be broken. He was so sure of it that any notion otherwise felt silly to him.

Approaching Lucario, he thought of what it would be like to step foot in Hyrule again. He felt a pang of excitement that quickly subsided with a sad realization.

“It’s been so long since I died. No one can possibly be waiting for me.”

“Each world exists within its own time axis. You may have spent fourteen years in Centropolis, but only four have passed in Hyrule.”

“Seriously?”

Lucario nodded. “Are you ready?”

“Yeah, let’s go.”

----

And that concludes the first stretch of the story. Several SSB characters will make their debuts in the next few chapters as the story moves to Hyrule and picks up a bit. Kneph has some revenge coming his way.
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#6
Chapter took longer than it should. Got a new computer recently. I've been caught up with that and all the new things that have opened with having an up to date comp (like new games), so my free time went there. If it wasn't clear from the beginning, this story features Twilight Princess Hyrule.

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[B][FONT=Times New Roman][FONT=Verdana][SIZE=4]Chapter 5
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#7
As hinted by the title, this chapter is very Zelda & Link centric. How will the princess react to the rebirth of Link?

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[B][FONT=Times New Roman][FONT=Verdana][SIZE=4]Chapter 6
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#8
[B]I cut this chapter shorter than I originally intended because I didn't want the last two scenes to suffer due to length. So, those scenes have become part of chapter 8.

But in this chapter, Link draws ever closer to a new confrontation, and a meeting with the Brotherhood. But first, there is one other person from his old life he must see...

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[align=center][FONT=Times New Roman][FONT=Verdana][SIZE=4][B]Chapter 7
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#9
It took a while to get to this point, but we finally have a chapter with some action and a few new (but familiar) faces!

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[align=center][B][FONT=Times New Roman][FONT=Verdana][SIZE=4]Chapter 8
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#10
[FONT=Times New Roman][B][FONT=Verdana][SIZE=2]A slight bit of a change here
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