Zant's angered cry drew Link's attention. The Usurper King was all but limp on his throne - no, Midna's throne - after the beating Link had administered him; his helmet was gone, leaving the pained, furious expression on his face clear for them to see.
Midna turned to him with more fury than he could ever express. "Traitors? Ha! You want to know why none would call you king? It was your eyes, Zant." The usurper shifted, just slightly, in response to her words. "All saw it, a lust for power burning in your pupils... Did you think we'd forget our ancestors lost their king to such greed?!"
The weakest of sinister smiles rose on Zant's face. "Midna... Foolish Twilight Princess..." His gaze rose to the impish figure at Link's side. "The curse on you cannot be broken." Midna started in response, her body tremoring with rage. "It was placed on you by the magic of my god...! The power you held as the leader of the Twili will never return!" In his weakened state, he failed to see her hair starting to rise, starting to shift. "Already he has descended and been reborn in this world...!"
Link took a ready stance, prepared to draw the Master Sword at a moment's notice; and Zant's gaze rose as though seeing a phantom before him.
"As long as Ganon survives, he will resurrect me without cease!"
Midna had other ideas.
The orange strands of her hair turned a pale, violent grey, dividing into thick, bladed tendrils, and Link pulled back as they surged forward, impaling Zant once, thrice, five times, skewering through his heart and eliciting a shriek of pain. His body contorted, moving in ways no body - not even his - should be able to move; he could only watch as his body bloated... and burst.
The Twilight Princess pulled back, and the tendrils retracted, her body writhing as her hair returned to normal.
Impish hands slammed to the sides of the Fused Shadow upon her head. "I... I just used a small portion of the power that's in me now..." Her eyes were wide in terror at the force she had just used. "I-I did that using only a fraction of my ancestors' magic!?"
The throne was empty - there was nothing left of the Usurper King that had sat upon it.
Slowly, Midna lowered her hands, turning to Link. "...Now's the time," she said firmly. "We have to save Zelda!"
Link turned to her. "Are you sure? If you-"
"The evil power Zant was wielding... I couldn't take it from him," Midna admitted. "But I still have the magic of my ancestors." She ran her hands over each other, and Link saw the spark of the heavenly power on her skin. "With that, I can return the cherished power Zelda bestowed upon me." She aimed a finger at the floor, and a portal of Twilight appeared on the floor. "Let's go! Princess Zelda is waiting."
Link nodded; and as Midna dove into his shadow, he stepped onto the portal, letting his body become particles of Twilight that departed the throne room of the Palace of Twilight.
When he opened his eyes, he was not in the Palace of Twilight.
Nor was he in any region of Hyrule that he recognized. This was a dark, clouded valley, with temples of some sort scattered about. Stone formations that looked like hands were reaching from the earth around him; trees without leaves, their branches glowing with an eerie light, dotted the area around him. Visible from here was a temple that loomed over the rest of the valley threateningly.
Midna emerged from his shadow, her body silhouetted and faded, as Link looked around, confused. "Where are we?"
"I don't know," Midna admitted. "I... I didn't bring us here. I couldn't. The only way in or out of the Twilight Realm is through the Mirror. I couldn't possibly bring us here. I don't- AH!"
Her cry caused Link to turn as she reached for her forehead. "Midna!"
"I-I... I... Ah!" She doubled over in midair, briefly; then her gaze rose to the temple. "What... What is this...?"
Link blinked. "What...?"
"I've been here," Midna murmured. "No... I will be here..."
"Will?" Link glanced around. "What do you mean, will?"
Midna shook her head. "I don't know." A flicker from her hair, and she turned round. "Link, behind you!"
The hero reached for his sword and shield, turning round, and he was shocked at what he saw.
Thirty paces away was a figure - a boy clothed in green.