New Coat, Old Acquaintances
Trotting through the gap between a few trees, Ganondorf soon found himself in a small clearing. From within which came the voices of his two old acquaintances, now unwilling impromptu dimensional traveling companions.
The moment he laid eyes upon them however he found himself stopping and blinking in surprise at the sight before his eyes, a sense of bemusement filling him as he observed his fellow Wielders of the Triforce.
They both had clearly also been affected by the dimensional travel, having been transformed into equally furry quadrupeds. Though clearly smaller than his own form by nearly a head, they still possessed two small furry ears atop their heads, small muzzles on their faces and sported manes and tails just like him. Not to mention they too now had the three golden triangles that made up the mark of the Triforce emblazoned upon their flanks.
However, that was where the similarities between them were cut short.
For while his body was that of a very thickly proportioned and slightly alien looking normal pony, both Zelda and Link had different extra appendages upon their bodies that made him ponder if they were perhaps different branches of the same species.
Zelda had been turned into a pristine white pony, her coat shining as though it were freshly fallen snow, and her mane and tail sporting a golden blond color. But what truly differentiated her from both males was the small, fluted spiral horn resting atop her forehead, giving her the appearance of a miniature unicorn.
Link instead had a forest green coat of fur covering his body, which made Ganondorf chuckle at the fact the green obsessed hero was now actually green himself, and an equally golden blonde mane and tail. And while his forehead had no new protrusions sprouting from it, extending from his sides were a pair of feathery green wings, making him look like a miniature pegasus.
“How curious,” he commented while walking into the clearing, immediately gaining the attention of the irate looking wielder of Wisdom and the placidly waiting wielder of Courage.
“Ganondorf! You sand brained Neanderthal! What did you do?!” Zelda all but snarled, attempting to charge straight towards him only to stumble with her new unfamiliar appendages and nearly fall face first on the ground. Link saved her from the fall at the last moment by grabbing her with one of his fore-hooves, a slightly perplexed and surprised look appearing on his features for a moment as he did the action.
Nodding her head in thanks towards the now distracted looking Hero, Zelda once again turned towards the still smiling King of Thieves, her anger reaching new heights.
“I know this is your fault! So explain to me why, by the love of the Three Goddesses, are we miniature, pastel colored horses!?” she shouted towards him, large eyes narrowed at him and her barrel heaving in and out as she breathed deeply in anger.
“Ponies, actually, not miniature horses,” he calmly explained, noting that curiously enough both their eyes, and probably his as well for that matter, now seemed to occupy the majority of their faces.
“What?” she asked in confusion, not really understanding exactly what he was talking about.
“Our muzzles and hooves are too short, and our bodies and limbs too thick for us to be horses. Not to mention our size is far too small for an adult horse, while the proportions of our limbs are not right for us to be foals,” the Lord of Darkness calmly replied, explaining the differences between their bodies and those of a horse. “Therefore we can only be ponies, not miniature horses.”
“And you know the difference between a horse and a pony why exactly?” Zelda asked in a sickeningly sweet tone of voice, taking in deep breaths in an attempt to rein in her anger.
“Please don’t insult me, Princess,” Ganondorf huffed in slight annoyance before proudly placing one of his fore-hooves against his chest. “In eight out of ten lives I end up being a Gerudo, and proud of it! And if there is one thing we Gerudo pride ourselves in, it is our horsemanship and ability to raise quality horses! Having raised my fair share of equines of various breeds throughout the ages I can securely say that we are ponies, and not horses.”
“Very well, allow me to rephrase my question,” she replied with fake calm while giving him a smile that showed far too many teeth. “Explain to me exactly, why are we miniature pastel colored ponies?”
Moving his hoof from his chest towards his chin while giving the question the necessary weight it deserved, while idly noting that Link was distractedly examining something on the ground, he thought about how to best answer her. After another moment and having selected an answer, he turned towards Zelda’s silently fuming form before cheerfully replying.
“I’m not really sure, but if I had to guess I would say that our bodies, while still remaining in slight flux due to the rough dimensional travel, had their biological patterns overwritten by this reality’s natural laws,” he explained, knowing that the wielder of the Triforce of Wisdom, being a more than accomplished mage herself, would easily understand the concept. “Not really surprising, since our bodies being adapted to their new reality was a definite possibility of interacting with a whole new set of natural laws, well either that or being utterly destroyed in a cataclysmic implosion caused by completely incompatible types or energy interacting with each other. But then again one can only do such much in regards to safeguards and fail-safes when dealing with dimensional travel of this scale.”
“So, what you are saying is that you flung us into a new dimension on purpose, despite all the risks inherent with such an action, knowing perfectly well this could happen,” she questioned him, her voice as cold as an arctic wind and a faint twitch developing in her left eye. “And that this was actually one of the more fortunate possibilities you envisioned happening amidst several that could have befallen us, since there was a very distinct chance of us simply imploding or worse due to your harebrained scheme. Is that about right?”
“Well… that’s a gross oversimplification of a carefully and well thought pla…” he started to say, only to be cut short as, with a bellow of rage, a blue glow materialized around Zelda’s horn before being swiftly thrown towards him with both the speed and strength of a Goron rolling out at top speed.
Feeling like a large boulder had just been thrown against his chest Ganondorf was thrown backwards through the air, before impacting one of the large trees around the clearing with an explosive cracking noise and loudly falling towards the ground.
“Din’s fury, that’s what I call a hit! As far as I can remember it used to take you far longer than that to gather so much magical energy!” he grumbled in a slightly flattering tone of voice, shaking off the pain and rising back to his hooves with a roguish grin. “I see you have been training, well done!”
“That… was actually far easier than I expected it to be, actually,” was Zelda’s hesitant reply as she stared cross eyed at the tip of her horn, her anger temporarily pushed aside in favor of curiosity regarding how she had managed to gather so much magic so quickly without any type of chant or spell. “It was almost as if the magic was rushing forth to respond to my intentions. Quite unlike how magic naturally behaves back in Hyrule.”
“Hmm, well that’s interesting, wonder what it could mean?” He pondered it thoughtfully, brushing off what little dust had gathered upon his coat only to notice he didn’t have even a single bruise to show that he had just been hurled against a large oak tree by the equivalent of a magical sucker punch, not to mention that he was no longer feeling any pain due to the high speed impact. “And speaking of interesting, I seem to be completely fine despite my impromptu flight and its rather abrupt stop.”
“But that’s impossible,” Zelda commented in slight disbelief, anger now well and truly set aside in favor of curiosity as she slowly approached Ganondorf with uncertain steps in order to better study his apparent lack of wounds. “Even back in your old body such a high speed impact would leave at least some visible signs of bruising, and that’s if you were lucky!”
“Guess this body is just that tough!” he boisterously proclaimed, the idea that his new, far smaller, body could actually be physically stronger than his old one deeply pleasing him.
“You two want to talk about impossibilities?” Link calmly interjected, reminding the other two that he was still in the clearing with them and making them both turn towards him.
“Then how about this for an impossibility?” he calmly spoke, a tinge of bemusement clear in his tone of voice, while gesturing with his left forehoof back and forth, drawing the attention of them both towards said appendage. Immediately both of them widened their eyes in surprise at what they were seeing.
“How does that even work?” Ganondorf curiously inquired while Zelda at his side simply opened and closed her mouth without making a sound.
“I have no idea,” the green coated pony simply replied while shrugging with his wings, before turning his gaze back towards the small stone that he was somehow grasping with his left hoof, his completely flat, fingerless, left hoof which had nothing to grasp things with. “I simply noticed that I somehow grabbed Zelda while she was falling despite not having anything to grab her with, and here we are.”
“Curiouser and curiouser,” Ganondorf stated with a bemused smile, before looking towards the ground in search of a rock so that he could try the trick himself.
Meanwhile Zelda had finally managed to shake off her surprised stupor, only to see both of her companions, the mighty Lord of Darkness and the stalwart Chosen Hero, staring intently at a pair of rocks they were now somehow grasping with their flat hooves while sporting looks of intense focus, and promptly proceeded to face-hoof.
After a few more minutes exploring their newfound, and apparently unexplainable, ability to grasp things without appropriate grasping appendages, Link finally decided that it was time to move on to more pertinent matters.
And so he turned towards his regular nemesis and old time foe, a serious look on his face, as he asked the King of Thieves a question regarding their newfound situation.
“So Ganondorf, do you have any idea what happened to my sword?” he calmly inquired, gaining a thoughtful look from the wielder of Power and an incredulous one from the wielder of Wisdom.
“We have just been transformed into another species, after being unwillingly dragged out of our world, and you are asking him about your sword?” Zelda asked in disbelief, staring at the green pony with questioning eyes.
“Not my first time being transformed into another creature against my will Zelda, or being suddenly transported to another realm/plane/world/whatever without prior warning,” the wielder of the Triforce of Courage nonchalantly replied with a shrug of his wings. “Trust me, you get used to it. Not to mention it kind of loses most of its shock value after the first half a dozen times.
“Sure, I have never been a pastel colored winged pony before, but it was probably bound to happen one of these days anyway. Compared to that, I’m far more worried about where the Master Sword ended up, or even where the rest of my stuff disappeared to. Especially since some of the things I was carrying around really shouldn’t be left unsupervised.”
“So it wasn’t only me, huh? My sword, armor and everything else is also kind of gone.” Ganondorf grumbled thoughtfully in reply, one hoof massaging his chin.
“I’m sad to say that I’ve no idea really. They could either have been left behind on Hyrule when the spell took effect, have been scattered throughout the void between dimensions during our travel, or even been dumped somewhere else on this realm,” he replied while deep in thought, pondering about it for a moment before simply shaking his head. “So in this case your guess is as good as mine.”
“Figures, of course it couldn’t be that easy.” Link replied with a resigned sigh. “All that time wasted gathering my equipment, now for nothing. Things can never be nice and easy after all.”
“Yeah, I know how you feel. I’m going to miss that sword myself,” the Lord of Darkness said in a sympathetic tone of voice, moving towards the green coated pegasus and gently patting him on the back. “Real pity too. I was quite certain that my Night Bringer would be able to give your Master Sword a run for its money!”
“I can’t believe you two! Here we are, in alien bodies in a completely unknown new dimension! And you are mourning about lost swords!” Zelda exclaimed incredulously upon seeing both males commiserating about their lost blades for a few moments longer.
“Do you have any idea how hard it is to forge a Void Steel blade properly? It’s a delicate and precise process, demanding dozens of extremely rare ingredients and dozens more extremely intricate spells cast at very precise moments of the forging process! It took me months to make that sword!” Ganondorf grumbled in annoyance, giving the Princess a disbelieving stare, as if saying she should know this already.
“As for the Kid’s sword, sure he didn’t forge it himself. But if what normally happens held true, he probably had to undergo half a dozen extremely long and ridiculously complex quests to ‘earn the right’ to wield that thing!” He continued to rant, Link at his side nodding his head in agreement with his words.
Looking at the identical expressions both the green coated pegasus and the dark brown pony were sporting Zelda couldn’t help but huff in annoyance as she rolled her eyes and simply mumbled. “Boys…”
Ganondorf and Link traded a bemused look at that, before with an inquiring tilt of the head of the first and an acquiescing shrug of his wings from the latter, Ganondorf decided to move on.
“So now, first things first,” Ganondorf cheerfully proclaimed as he clapped his fore hooves. “Did any of you see a river, lake or any other kind of body of water before we landed?”
Trotting between the trees of the forest, easily finding the easiest path forward, Ganondorf kept his head pointing resolutely ahead, doing his very best to ignore the hole in the back of his head the white coated unicorn following him with unsure steps was trying to carve out with sheer willpower.
“I can’t believe we are doing this!” Zelda angrily muttered as she carefully trotted through the forest alongside Ganondorf, her muzzle scrunched up in annoyance as she followed the larger brown pony while trying not to trip.
“It’s the very basics of survival, Princess. We have to find water before anything else, everybody knows that,” Ganondorf simply replied while purposely missing the point. “Considering how many times you had to go into hiding or run away in one manner or another in our past lives, I would think you would know about that by now.”
“That’s not what I’m talking about and you know it!” she shot back with an angry huff. “I can’t believe how after everything you did, not to mention dragging both Link and myself into this whole mess and nearly killing us in the process in the first place, you are now acting like nothing ever happened!”
“What do you want me to do? Pull out my mane in distress; perhaps have a little mental breakdown?” he sarcastically asked while rolling his eyes. “We both know that any show of remorse along those lines from me would be nothing but cheap theatrics. So why should I insult both my dignity and your intelligence with it?
“And stop pretending you are not happy I managed to get us away from that whole damned mess that used to constitute our destinies!” he firmly stated, stopping in his tracks and wheeling around to stare Zelda straight in the eyes. “How many times did you helplessly watch as everything collapsed all around you, knowing something like that was coming but unable to do anything about it? How many times did you watch your parents die before your eyes? Point in fact, was there even a life upon which your parents survived long enough to see you reach adulthood?”
“And who was responsible for doing those things more often than not?!” she angrily retorted, walking straight towards him until their muzzles were nearly touching. “Who was it that destroyed everything in his path in his mad quest for power?!”
“You know far too well that just like you I had little choice in the matter, Princess!” he snorted angrily, piercing golden eyes staring straight into defiant azure orbs. “Not to mention that even if I had never done any of that, something else would inevitably occur in order to force the story to unfold along the lines the gods desired! Or have you forgotten about Demise’s fucking curse?! Or how your, oh so precious, gods did nothing to try and prevent it or even minimize it’s effects?!
“Just look at Link! Almost always he is a freaking orphan! And on the rare few times he actually has a relative still alive, they always die while he is still young in an appropriately dramatic manner!” he firmly stated in an irritated tone. “And that’s despite the fact I normally only meet him far later after that ever happens!
“So stop trying to throw everything that ever went wrong in that accursed realm down at my hooves!” he loudly proclaimed, causing Zelda to release an angry huff.
“He does have a point Zelda,” a conciliatory voice came from above them, breaking their staring contest. “But you also should really try and be a little more tactful Ganondorf, after all, Zelda also does have a point regarding the fact you are guilty regarding quite a few things.”
Looking upwards they watched as the green colored pegasus gently drifted with the breeze towards them, gracefully landing right alongside both ponies as if he had been born with wings.
“Now stop antagonizing each other, for better or for worse we are in this together, so deal with it,” he sternly stated, staring both of them down until they turned their faces away with angry snorts. “Good, now, I can confirm that there is a large river a couple of miles north of here, so that solves our need for water. Afterwards we can follow it and see where it leads.”
“I still can’t believe how fast you managed to figure out how to use your wings to fly,” Zelda said in a slightly miffed manner while trying to change the subject, knowing that Link was right but not wanting to say it out loud. Although, truth be told, the fact she was still stumbling around occasionally due to being unused to walking on four legs while Link was acting as if he had been born with his new body was not helping her mood in the slightest.
“I have to agree with her on this one, Kid. While I know that you tend to have your body transformed into other forms more often than not, and that that could explain why you are so at ease being a quadruped. I don’t think I remember you ever being anything that could truly fly. Or well, at least fly with wings, that is,” Ganondorf said in a wondering tone of voice, his anger shoved aside for the moment. “I remember you being wolves, bunnies, Zoras, Gorons and Deku Scrubs, just to name a few, but never any kind of bird.”
“I must admit that I’m curious too. For while we both learned how to navigate wind currents and other useful information regarding how to travel the skies back on Skyloft with our Loftwings, that wouldn’t really translate well to how to use actual wings,” Zelda agreed, her own curiosity also shoving her anger aside as she stared at the green coated pegasus wonderingly. “It’s almost as if you had had wings already at some point. So how did you learn how to fly, Link?”
Giving the two ponies who had been quarreling with each other mere moments ago but now were serenely standing side by side eagerly waiting for his answer a look, with a small eye roll, he simply answered two words before turning around and starting to walk towards the river.
“Hyoi Pears,” he simply stated, much to the confusion of both the white unicorn and the brown pony that were now following him.
“Hyoi Pears? Wait, weren’t they those really wonky looking fruits that were a thing back when Hyrule was almost completely flooded over?” Ganondorf asked in confusion, wondering how they could give anyone experience with flying with actual wings.
“Oh, I see! That makes so much sense!” Zelda happily exclaimed as the pieces of the puzzle started to fit together. “They allowed people to mind control any seagull that ate them for short periods of time. And during that time you could actually experience how the birds used their wings to fly! That’s actually very clever!”
“Naturally occurring fruits that allowed people to mind control seagulls… I had nearly forgotten about that,” Ganondorf grumbled in an odd mix of irritation and befuddlement. “And some wonder why I decided to rebel against the gods. Not only were most of them completely useless, but also quite a few of them were utterly insane!”
“Not all of them were that bad,” Zelda tried to protest, but anyone who knew the Princess could tell that said protest was halfhearted at best.
“Setting aside Nayru, Farore and Din, tell me about one living god or goddess who is both helpful and sane,” he challenged her with a knowing smirk.
“The Goddess of Time.” Zelda triumphantly replied, giving Ganondorf a self satisfied smile.
“The one who once trapped the Kid for seven years in a magical coma after unilaterally deciding he was too small to wield the Master Sword? Despite the fact said action allowed me to breach into the Sacred Realm and lay havoc and destruction on the land practically unopposed for said seven years?” he shot back with a large grin, which grew only larger as a frown crossed the Princess features upon remembering that little fiasco.
“She may not be much of a deep thinker, but her heart is normally in the right place, and at least she tended to try to help,” Link piped in, turning his head backwards to look at them with a small smile. “If not for her aid, I would have never managed to save Termina after all.”
“Oh yeah, that time the Goddess of Time turned that little blue ocarina of yours into an even bigger macguffin than it originally was,” Ganondorf commented in a tone of realization, a small playful smile slowly blossoming on his features.
“And then you proceeded to try and test just how much strain the time stream could actually take before imploding due to the number of paradoxes you were causing! There had to be dozens of you running around that place simultaneously when you finally managed to fix that mess up!” he joked, earning an amused scoff from the green coated pony and actually managing to get a small snicker from the white coated unicorn at his side.
“But I asked for a god or goddess who was both helpful AND sane,” he continued in a playful tone of voice. “And while I’ll freely admit she was helpful, which is far more than what can be said about most of those oafs, she was most definitely not completely sane. So that doesn’t count.”
“Fair enough.” The wielder of the Triforce of Courage acquiesced easily enough, staring once again straight ahead as he guided them towards the river.
“You know, truth be told I never truly knew how to feel about that particular adventure of yours,” Ganondorf said conversationally, earning a few interested glances from his two companions.
“On one hand, for once I wasn’t the damned bad guy, which was awesome; but on the other, they replaced me with a freaking Skull Kid of all things!” he grumbled in playful annoyance, a smirk firm on his features “Oh, sure, in the end it turned out that the true mastermind was the really creepy mask all along, but even so, being replaced with a Skull Kid of all things even if just temporarily was just demeaning!”
“So you were replaced by a completely incompetent and nonthreatening looking villain for a while, that’s nothing,” Zelda answered with a small smirk of her own. “Do you have any idea how embarrassed I was the first time I was forced to pretend to be a man in order to remain hidden? Or when I realized that that particular stunt had somehow become a trend?”
“Oh, please, that was nothing,” Link joked right back. “You want to talk about demeaning? Try being turned into a tiny pink rabbit! Now that was demeaning!”
That particular example was more than enough to get both Zelda and Ganondorf to laugh out loud. And from there their conversation devolved into good natured ribbing and name calling, as they remembered particularly embarrassing moments of their many past lives while walking towards the river.
The wounds of the past were not healed, not by a long shot. The rift between the Hero, the Princess and the Dark Lord was still standing between them, just as deep and foreboding as ever.
But for the moment, they chose to set the past aside and simply enjoy the moment while it lasted. For to those who had lived as long as they had lived, and seen all that they had seen, that was sometimes the only way to keep walking forward.
And yet, as a lighthearted atmosphere fell upon the group as they passed between the trees, walking side by side for once without fear or apprehension, one could say that as far as first steps went, this was more than enough.