Valentina regarded her former master's turned back with withering impatience, occasionally glancing at the familiar surroundings of the Sealed Grounds in the slim hope that Majora would randomly appear at any moment. After all, he did it constantly.
The only problem is that before, his appearances were always either unexpected or unwanted.
"This is where the insipid creature seems to have taken up residence," Ghirahim finally spoke, turning to face Val, "No doubt in mockery of my Lord Demise."
"Enough of your master," Valentina snapped, "At least you remember him."
Ghirahim immediately bristled, "How dare you!"
Val pursed her lips.
Did he expect me to be gracious? Perhaps he forgot that we're standing in the very spot where he beat me senseless. Of course...Ghirahim the demon LORD is only capable of remembering what grievances were committed against HIM.
"Enough," Val hissed, cutting off the lengthy speech that Ghirahim was trying and failing to communicate to her, "You say Majora is here, but I don't see him. Clearly this alliance is no longer beneficial for me so...what are you staring at?"
The wide-eyed Ghirahim merely pointed silently at something behind her. Val turned to see just the entity she'd been searching for.
"Valentina," Majora greeted, "Persistent as ever."
Valentina regarded the creature through narrowed eyes, summoning a blade in one fluid motion of her hand.
"What happened to your hosting skills, demon?" Ghirahim demanded, finding his voice again.
Majora ignored the spirit, his attention fixed on Val.
"I was hoping you would take the time to cool off from your rather unreasonable outburst but you always did enjoy acting in the heat of the moment. Unfortunately, my dear, I have much more pressing things to attend to."
"Oh, I assure you," Val threatened, advancing, "This is quite pressing."
"It seems your plans will have to wait, fiend," Ghirahim hissed, pressing closer to Val.
Val just wished he would shut up.
Springing forward, she slashed at Majora. He vanished, reappearing nearby. The eyes in his mask studied her silently for a moment. Valentina wondered what sort of expression Majora was hiding behind that mask, or if he even had a face at all.
Well, she thought, gripping her sword with both hands, I'm about to find out.
She took a step forward.
"You're not going anywhere," she glowered, "You're going to answer my questions, even if I have to beat the answers out of you."
Majora laughed. The sound caught Val off guard.
"Valentina, precious, it seems all my praise has gone straight to your head. While it cannot be denied you were truly magnificent in your original state, you are nowhere near achieving that state at this time. Your memories, your true destructive capacity is still beyond your reach. You're getting ahead of yourself, my dear. Did you truly believe you could beat me?"
Rage surged through Val, driving her forward. She cut through the air, missing her target again as he relocated.
"Shut up!" she screamed, "Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!"
"Oh dear," Majora said, sounding entirely unconcerned as he dodged her subsequent blows, "The Val I knew was much more composed during battle. The only emotion she ever showed was ecstasy."
"I said SHUT UP!"
Val put all her power into a downward swing, her blade burning with a silver light. Her blade hit the ground and she jerked it back up, searching wildly for her enemy.
"Right here, my dear."
Val felt a tap on the shoulder, prompting her to spin around and raise her weapon for another strike. Instead, she felt a blinding stab of pain in her abdomen as Majora landed a quick, precise jab to her stomach. She went flying backward, her sword flying from her grip and dissipating. She tumbled to a painful standstill, feeling bruises over every inch of her body.
"Ari, stop fooling around and finish him!" Ghirahim shouted at the moaning heap in the dirt.
Val turned wild eyes on him.
"Shut up or you're next!" she hissed.
The threat worked exactly as she had intended. Slowly, she managed to get her feet under her again.
"I told you, my dear. Now there's no shame in yielding—"
Val took off like a shot, ignoring the agonizing protest of her muscles as she summoned her weapon and swung hard. Once again, she was disappointed.
"Valentina, I fear you're going to injure yourself like this—"
A quick slash forced Majora to relocate again.
He's toying with me, Val realized as her eyes tracked him down once more, He's right. I can't beat him like this...
She stared at the gangly creature across from her, a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach.
If he were to hit me one more time, I'd be out of the fight for good. I need to remember. It's the only way.
She charged, but this time Majora didn't vanish. He caught her blade in one hand, causing an eerie blackness to spill onto it and spread up to the hilt. Val stumbled back with a cry of alarm, her mismatched eyes stretched wide in fear.
Remember! her mind screamed at her, Your name is Valentina. Valentina means powerful. You are powerful!
Val turned toward the sound of Ghirahim's voice, throwing up her hand to catch the ebony blade he tossed her. Materializing her own weapon in her free hand, she swung both swords in unison, channelling all her power into them.
The swords shattered in her hands like glass and Val fell back, crashing to her knees. The dark abyss in her mind remained, jealously holding onto the memories of her past life while leaving her helpless and defeated.
I should've known...
She would never remember. That was the truth. Her memories would always be just beyond her reach.
"As I was saying," Majora said, "I have some pressing matters to—"
He stopped dead, a long silence following his dangling sentence. Val lifted her head, searching out his mask. His focus seemed to be elsewhere. Val turned her head, looking for the thing that had claimed his attention.
Standing next to the sealing stone in the center of the grounds was an odd group of people. Val recognized the skyling Link and his silver-haired companion instantly. Beside them stood a curious blue-haired girl, and next to her a breath-taking figure wreathed in golden light.
The name popped into Val's head at first glance, followed by a feeling of anger and betrayal. But those feelings quickly vanished as her eyes fell on the figure standing just left of the aureate goddess.
His clothes and armor radiated a silver light, his white eyes contrasting sharply with the deep red and blue of the tattoos adorning his face. The hands which held a paramount strength were tightly clenched.
Val remembered those hands, how they'd only ever been gentle with her.
The word tumbled out of her mouth.
It was the best feeling Val had experienced in a long time.
"My dear Hylia," Majora said, "What an unpleasant surprise. I didn't expect you, well, ever. Though I must admit I am terribly sorry I couldn't greet you properly. I sensed your arrival but got a bit held up here. Though it seems things have worked out just fine and you've found your way to me...with...company."
"Your reign is over, Majora," Hylia answered sharply.
"I hardly see the need to be so hostile, my dear," Majora chided, "After all, how long has it been since we've seen each other? It's so hard to keep track since you let time fall out of whack, dear Hylia."
Valentina ignored the senseless back and forth, her attention fixed solely on her master, their eyes locked and unwavering.
And just like that, without so much as a word passing between them, she knew what she had to do, but more than that, she knew she had the power to do it.
A smile touched her lips, spreading across her face till it lit her features. Then she turned toward her adversary, watching as his focus slowly shifted in her direction, those eerie eyes regarding her blankly.
"Valentina," he said.
"The one and only."
And her smile stretched wider.