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Link opened his eyes and found himself staring at the wall. Everything came rushing through his mind as if it still was happening. Eznik vanishing and Autum; fighting one of the elites. As for himself, he was throwing down with Celtic; Autum’s husband.

Link unhurriedly pulled himself up to a sitting position as he rubbed the back of his head as it was pounding; realizing at that moment he apparently had been knocked out. “Link!” a small voice cried out. It was Navi; she was sitting on his back. She had been busy trying to come up with a rough plan of some sort to rescue Eznik and Autum as she waited for Link to come to. She flew out in front of him and smiled brightly. “Thank the goddesses you’re awake!”

Link looked at her feeling quite puzzled. “What happened?” he asked as he heaved in a considerable breath. He was more worried about how long he was out and what all happened while he was unconscious. What he could tell from looking around was that it was only he and Navi; which was not a good thing. What had happened to Autum…and Celtic? This did not look promising at all for it meant there was no way to help Autum and Eznik as he and Navi knew nothing about this elite group and didn’t know their way around this dimension; let alone anything about a flying ship.

Navi looked away. “They got Autum and Eznik and we are left with the idiot, Celtic; leaving us with a very slim chance that we can even help Autum and Eznik!” she complained. Link looked over where he last remembered where Autum was as he listened to Navi. He was relieved to hear Celtic was about.

“Where is Celtic?” Link asked clearly ignoring her complaint as he steadily got to his feet. “Don’t know, wandered off no doubt, or probably got lost in a closet or something.” Navi replied exasperated with their situation as she watched Link head out of the room. She held her head as she flew after him.

Link walked up to the door of the guestroom. He opened it and looked into the room. There was no sign of the devil. Link then strode off towards the bridge. He glanced over at Navi who just then was situating herself on his shoulder. He looked around the small bridge as they walked onto it.

Celtic was sitting in the pilot’s chair smoking a cigarette. He peered over at the blonde and his annoying little faerie friend. He exhaled a small sigh as he took his cigarette out of his mouth. But then he realized he wasn’t sure what to say to the two.

“Are you going to help us rescue Autum and Eznik?” Link spoke up as he needed to know where this devil stood. He studied Celtic as he waited for his answer. He realized now that he had let down his guard in their brawl and that had caused him to lose to the devil. Link anyway knew now that Celtic was at least a competent fighter.

Celtic closed his eyes and sunk back into his chair. He had to make a choice; Autum and Eznik or Rhea? Was he willing to make the choice? He took a long relaxing draw off of his cig as he decided. “Yeah, I’m going to help. But don’t expect me to be a heap of help. I can take the little girl, but you’re the one that’s going to have to face Yoko and I can promise you that ain’t no spacewalk.”

Link nodded as a small smile appeared on his face. It was good that they had Celtic as an ally in the upcoming fight. He knew he had to be a good guy if Autum liked him. He also heeded his advice about this Yoko. He no doubt needed to be on his best game to fight him. He kept an eye on the devil as the devil went to his feet.

Celtic tossed his cigarette butt to the ground as he stood up. He focused on Link. He knew that the kid didn’t stand a chance against Yoko. This teen cared too much about the people around him, which burdened his fighting. “I want you to punch me as hard as you can.” Celtic spoke as he thumped his chest with the fingers of his right hand.

Link looked at Celtic totally miffed. “You want me to punch you?” Link spouted questioning Celtic’s train of thought. It didn’t make much sense to him. He scratched the back of his head not sure what this guy was thinking. He glanced over at Navi not sure what he should do.

Navi looked unfavorable upon Celtic. He was an idiot; that she knew for sure. So who knows what in this idiot’s mind would make him want Link to punch him. Still she thought maybe it would knock some sense into him. “Go ahead do it! Punch him Link. He asked you to, so do it.” she persuaded Link who still didn’t like the idea of it.

Link walked up and punched Celtic’s chest though he didn’t put his full-force into it, because he didn’t want to hurt him. He was just playing to his request to try to understand just what he was truly wanting. Link winced as Celtic grabbed his fist, crushing his hand with his strength. Celtic waited for the teen to cry in pain. Once the teen cried out the devil let go of his hand.

“What the hell are you doing!?” Navi snapped as she flew up in Celtic’s face. “You hurt Link! He’s on our side. Are you stupid or what?! Oh wait… you are stupid! Why don’t you go get lost in another hole somewhere?” she spat. Navi really didn’t like this devil and he hurting Link for no reason made her dislike him even more; setting Link up like he did. She looked back sympathetically at Link who was holding his hurt hand.

Celtic peered at Navi, who came off rather pissed about the whole ordeal. He sneered at her as he turned his attention back to Link, ignoring the offensive faerie. “I said hit me as hard as you can. If you can’t put your feelings behind you, you will get killed by Yoko. You have to be heartless in this fight; a killer who has no concerns, no feelings and no friends. If you want to show mercy, do it when your opponent is laying in his own blood and you know he won’t be getting back up. Do you understand?” he questioned.

Link listened uneasily to Celtic’s reasoning as he rubbed his hand trying to relieve the pain. He turned his head away, letting everything sink in. He had to be a heartless killer? Could he really do that? He looked back at Celtic peering at him through his deep blue eyes. He couldn’t do it. “I can’t be a heartless killer; actually I refuse to. I fight with my heart and my courage.” he stated adamantly.

Celtic brushed back his bangs as he took note of Link’s reply. Just as he had thought this kid was far too naive and honorable for this fight ahead. He released a frustrated groan. He then did the only thing that came to his mind to help him with his objective. He sucker punched Link right in the face though he held back a good deal of his strength so he wouldn’t kill the teen.

Link let out a holler as he reached up and held his face as he stumbled backwards. That was the last thing he expected Celtic would do. He rubbed his cheek whilst he cautiously scrutinized Celtic. “What are you doing?” Link interrogated with a small crack in his voice. He had a bad feeling as to where this might be going. Was Celtic really on their side? Just what was he up to? What was he truly trying to do?

“Simple; either you learn to fight someone without thinking there is good in them or I kill you.” Celtic decreed in a staid intonation. Just then Celtic let out yelp as Navi bit down on his ear. He quickly reached up, pulled her off and tossed her into the wall; all in one consecutive move; knocking Navi out cold. He watched her fall and hit the ground as his lips turned up. It was best she was out of the way. He knew he’d get nowhere with this teen if she kept effacing his efforts.

“Navi!” Link cried out witnessing her tragedy. He backed up a little, looking Celtic over in disgust. Didn’t he say he wanted to help Autum and Eznik? What is he thinking? This is no way to treat his allies. Link didn’t want to fight Autum’s husband but he was finding himself rather ticked off with him. There was no need for him to be so violent to Navi. She couldn’t truly hurt him.

Link staggered towards Navi as his mind was busy trying to think this incident through. Celtic charged at him swinging his fist full force. It quickly jerked Link out of his thoughts as he avoided the strike by swiftly dodging it. “Fight me damn it!” Celtic demanded in a gruff tone. “Use your sword if you must!” He then quickly lunged forward at Link. He needed this teen to be able to fight. He didn’t want to watch him go in blindly against Yoko to end up slaughtered. He needed him to understand the whole of the situation they would soon be facing.

Link’s eyes widened as he observed Celtic darting straight at him. He backed up and felt himself pinned against the wall. “KEI!” he shouted in defense of his trapped situation. His blade appeared in his hand and he swiftly swung the blade at Celtic. He closed his eyes not wanting to see if he connected or not.

Celtic blocked the blade with his forearm that already had a large gash in it from their earlier encounter. He groaned from the pain until he noticed the teen had his eyes shut. He gawked at the kid; his attacker with closed eyes. He scowled; being hit by a boy with his eyes closed was even a low blow for him. What an insult. Celtic’s wound wept red as he moved in closer so his face was right in Link’s. “Either you open your eyes and fight like a warrior or be a trembling coward and be killed.” Celtic coldly vocalized to the teen. “Don’t be afraid of hurting or killing me… got it? I’m really not all that easy to kill. I’m a devil, after all.”

Link opened his eyes and looked directly into Celtic’s gold eyes. He watched as Celtic backed up. He took a tight grip of the hilt of his sword. He didn’t really like the idea of fighting Celtic; especially since he was unarmed. At least with Autum and their spar; she was armed and it was clear she knew how to fight.

Celtic looked the teen up and down as he grinded his teeth. He was going to teach him how to be a heartless fighter whether he liked it or not. And he was going to teach him just exactly how Autum had taught him. Her regimen was by attacking and showing that any and all mistakes will lead to real pain. It was also equally to show that you had to fight anyone no matter what, even if you think them trustworthy; even if you believe them to be friend-worthy. He remembered how it felt to be in the teen’s position, how confusing and unjust it all seemed. Still he couldn’t let himself feel bad for the teen or he would go easy on him and that would just get the boy killed.

Celtic scrambled at Link swinging his fist at Link’s face. Link dodged out of the way; stumbling. He looked back at the devil that seemed intent on continuing the fight. “I said fight! Not run away!” Celtic bitched. “You think running will help Autum and Eznik?”

Link listened offended by the insult as he turned and heaved his blade at Celtic. His eyes shot wide open as he watched his blade sink into Celtic’s shoulder. Link stalled in shock of wounding Celtic as he once more closed his eyes. Celtic veered and struck the unaware blonde straight on in the face. “Don’t ever let your guard down!” he huffed angrily. “Do not feel for your opponent or it will get you killed.”

Link shook off the punch as he stepped back examining the blood on his blade and then glimpsing the blood streaming down Celtic’s arm. Despite his injuries it was clear Celtic wanted to continue this fight and yet he was not up for it. The blonde rubbed his sore face with his free hand. He looked back at Celtic; his eyes boring through him as his ears drooped. He didn’t like this style of training; he didn’t want to become a heartless fighter. He didn’t enjoy hurting this devil no matter how pissed he was at him for hurting Navi.

Celtic looked at Link; his gaze assessing the boy. He let out a harsh low snarl and then charged at him once more; even with the wounds he had he could still keep going. Celtic moved much faster than he had before. He fiercely punched the unsuspecting Link in the gut; knocking the breath out of him.

Link dropped his sword as he fell to his knees. His heart just wasn’t in this fight. The teen closed his eyes from the pain as he gasped for air. He wouldn’t fight anymore, not like this. He wouldn’t lose himself in this type of fighting. He would fight his own way or not at all. Despite Celtic’s doubts…he believed he could win fighting honorably.

Celtic looked down at Link. He once again studied the inflexible blonde. This stubborn streak of his reminded him of Autum. He expelled yet another frustrated sigh. He sat back on his haunches looking the teen over. He was finding it hard keeping up this cold facade the way Autum could. It sure wasn’t how the devil he was. He tried his best but he just couldn’t push this teen against his will any longer although he knew he really wasn’t doing the teen any favors.

Link glanced at Celtic noticing that he was busy studying him. He wasn’t sure what the devil was going to do next. Still he would take whatever it was. He knew what his heart wouldn’t let him do; he was going to hold to it even if it meant he was going to get killed.

Celtic reached over and pulled Link’s hat over his face. “By the fates we’re going to get killed.” he scoffed while he let out a small chuckle at the same time. Celtic stood up pulling out a cigarette. As he was lighting his cigarette he evaluated the teen once more. He knew that someone was going to end up getting killed in this upcoming fight and he feared it would be this boy.

Link grabbed his hat off his face. He sighed and sat back on the ground relieved that this devil had decided to end the fight. He looked up at Celtic trying to figure him out. Just what was going on in that head of his? He then gently rubbed his cheek that was tender and bruised as he thought about this devil. Navi said he was an idiot and in some ways it seemed like he was, he thought. He then glanced over at Navi. His gaze then returned to Celtic as he got to his feet. Link gave him a brazen look as he walked over and picked up Navi.

Link’s eyebrows rose seeing that she was unconscious. He couldn’t tell if she had any broken bones or not or whether she had any internal injuries. With a pained expression he looked over at Celtic. “What were you trying to prove?” he questioned the devil. As he listened for a reply he carefully laid Navi’s limp body in his hat and held it gently in his hands.

Celtic walked over and sat in a chair as he wrinkled his nose. “See how well you kept to your morals.” he stated as closed his eyes to the pain of his wounds. “You questioned them but then stayed with them.” He opened his eyes just in time to see Link sit down in the chair across from him.

Link’s attention was on Navi. He brushed her hair lightly with his fingertips; sighing. “You didn’t have to do it that way, you know. And you sure didn’t have to hurt her. She was no true threat to you. Just what kind of a person are you and just what are your intentions?” Celtic closed his eyes as he listen to the boy question him.

Celtic opened one of his eyes and peered over at the teen once he finished. “What kind of person?” he quietly repeated the question to himself as he settled back into his chair. He let the question run though his mind. He turned the swivel chair away from the blonde-haired teen so he didn’t have to look at him anymore and feel his judgment upon him. Celtic looked out the viewing screen into the endless darkness of space.

“I’m just a pawn… used by everyone. So I don’t have any real intentions of my own.” Celtic uttered quietly in a subdued tone. Still he was certain the teen could hear him since the young lad possessed such lengthy ears. Celtic pulled out his pack of cigs; shaking the package to find nothing fell out. He crumbled it and then tossed it on the control panel; slightly agitated. He dug into his other pocket pulling out a crumpled up box. He pulled out a black cigarette. He played with it in his hands trying to pull his mind away from the feelings of his thoughts.

Just a pawn… Link thought it over as he scanned Celtic. Was that all he really was? “Why don’t you be something else then?” Link probed. He couldn’t understand why someone would just take being used over and over. He thought a person should stand up for what they believed in; not just sit on the sidelines watching their chances pass by as if they didn’t have any choice in the matter.

Celtic lit up his black cig. He took a small puff of it as he turned his chair back to face the boy. “Because there’s always someone else’s life on the line.” he declared closing his eyes as he exhaled the smoke. “So I either follow orders… or someone dies. That’s why I don’t change. I’m not heartless. I just don’t want to see people who I care for die.”

Link looked at Navi. If her life was on the line, he probably would do the same. Although he believed he would find a way to fight back without getting her killed. “Won’t you helping now, get someone killed?” Link questioned Celtic.

The devil stayed silent for indeed a life would be taken because of the choice he was making. He still was deeply questioning himself if he could live with that for all of eternity. Finally he spoke “If I do nothing Autum will be killed. But by acting I cause someone else’s death. I am left with no reasonable choice in the matter for truly either way someone loses. And in the end I lose for I find it hard choosing one life over another. Is one life more precious than another just because one has more feelings for one than the other? That’s what I believe is the true moral dilemma here. That’s what we should be more worried about.” he recited; not mentioning the one whose life was going to be lost. He’d rather not think that deeply.

The two stayed quiet as they both were lost in their own thoughts of the very sticky no-win situation. A sudden beeping from the computer broke the uncomfortable silence. Celtic sat up analyzing the signal from the computer. It seemed the ship they were chasing was docking at a space station. The devil realized that could only mean one thing; they were going to drop off their two prisoners rather than taking them to the police station themselves. Celtic leaned back; he didn’t like the feeling of it.

Looking over his chair at Link, Celtic studied the naive teen. He knew this blonde had probably never seen a gun in his life; let alone any of the many species of creatures that would be roaming about the station. “The ship we’re following has docked at a space station.” he informed the teen as he kept his eyes on the viewing screen. “We are going to have to go there. Basically, a space station… well… it’s…a…” he hesitated as he wasn’t really good at explaining things. “A town… in a building… is the best way to explain it, I… think. You need to stay close to me at all times once we get there; also it would be better; safer, if you leave her behind.” he alleged as he nodded at Navi. He then returned his focus on the screen.

The small fairie was still out cold in Link’s hands. Link nodded; a little nervous about agreeing to leave Navi behind. He was worried about her still being unconscious. Getting to his feet Link headed out of the room. He decided to leave her in Autumn’s bedroom. He prayed that she wouldn’t wake up and try to come after him. He’d rather not have her rush in later and get hurt. He hoped this time she’d use some sense and take care of herself.

Hearing the teen walk away Celtic walked over and grabbed a first aid kit. He set it down on the control panel pulling out some bandages. He began wrapping the bandages around his forearms. He winced, biting his lip from the pain. He then took off his shirt and looked at the wound on his shoulder. The wound wasn’t too deep, though it did stain his shirt red. He tended to his shoulder and put his shirt back on.

“Remember you can’t give Yoko any mercy…Mercy will get us all killed.” Celtic spoke rigidly to the teen as he heard him enter back into the room. “You need to be ready for anything… as well; for he will not show you mercy.” he emphasized as he snatched his cigarette out of his mouth and used his finger to put it out. The devil then tossed it to the ground.

The small ship shook. Link looked around a bit confused at what was happening. His attention turned to Celtic as the devil walked past him and made his way off the ship. He followed after Celtic, staying quiet. He needed to keep his mind ready to fight.

All kinds of sounds echoed through the large docking bay as they walked into it. It was filled with all types of small ships. Link looked around surveying the surroundings. The ships looked like large stone-like lifeless creatures that were just waiting for something to get near so to pounce unexpectedly. The idea of it sent a chill up his spine.

Celtic glanced back at Link as he stalled studying the other ships. He grabbed Link’s arm pulling him along. The worse thing that could happen is for them to get separated in this station. They were on a timer and couldn’t risk wasting their precious time searching each other out.

Celtic dragged the teen down a long hallway. It was surrounded by a thick glass that revealed the endless space surrounding the space station. Ships could be seen flying away as others were flying in for docking. Other parts of the space station could also be seen as well. It was huge and beyond anything the teen had ever seen before.

Link could feel himself being dragged along but his gaze was caught out the window. He seemed to have loss his thoughts in the wondrous sights of this place. The teen stumbled as Celtic stopped. He looked at Celtic and then to the large glass doors that stood in front of them.

“You need to focus! Got it, kid. There’s going to be a lot more things that you’ve never seen before; things maybe your mind might not even be able to register. But you need to get your head together and keep it together, for every moment we drag out, the closer to Autum getting turned over to her death.” Celtic spoke callously trying to get Link to fully understand the dire circumstances.

Link gave Celtic a nod as he inhaled a deep breath. He then exhaled slowly trying to calm his mind. “Let’s hurry then.” he insisted letting Celtic know he was onboard. Still he didn’t know what to expect beyond the doors, but he was ready to face it.

Celtic nodded as he walked up to the doors and they slid open. It was earsplitting on the other side of the doors, the noises echoed loudly and continuously across the area. Celtic and Link walked onward. There was many a strange creature walking about. Some of the creatures the teen’s mind could barely imagine. He looked up warily as some extremely tall creatures walked over the top of them.

Celtic pulled Link through the crowd of creatures. The devil was shoving his way through the swarm. He knew exactly where they would turn over Autum and Eznik at. He was trying his best to make it there as quickly as possible. Celtic heard the teen let out a small cry. He looked back to see some creature had grabbed onto Link’s arm and was pulling him the other way.

Link stared waveringly in confusion at the blue creature with horns on its head that had grabbed onto him. Upon closer inspection he quickly determined that the creature was female and she wasn’t wearing any clothing. A blush went over his face. When she saw Celtic turn to her she smirked at him. She tugged on Link’s arm, spatting something in another language to Celtic.

Celtic jerked Link’s arm his direction as he snapped some alien words coldly at the creature. The creature looked shock at his response then quickly though reluctantly let go of Link. Link could see that whatever Celtic had said to her, she knew to keep her distance from him. Celtic yanked Link away and lugged him to an alleyway. He then dragged Link down the alleyway. Link was just along for the ride at this point. He let Celtic drag him alongside.

But Celtic knew it was a race against time. He could feel deep down inside this was all going to go bad, but for the first time in a long time he choose his own path. He felt good about that…so it made him determined to change the outcome for his friends. He was going to help Autum and Eznik; the only friends he had. He didn’t care if it got him killed or not. He only hoped his newly found courage didn’t get this young boy killed.


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-Fanfic by Bratchan

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