• Published 4th Jul 2018
  • 23,120 Views, 3,920 Comments

The Power of Freedom - Greatazuredragon

Having long grown utterly bored with the destiny the gods had decreed for him, Ganondorf decided to take matters into his own hands and escape to a new dimension where he could be free. Even if that would mean turning into a pastel colored pony.

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VI - Culture Clash

Culture Clash

He took in the sight of three, clearly unnerved, earth ponies as they uneasily stared at the green pegasus who was calmly praising the mare’s craftsmanship in regards to her hunting tools. Despite the fact said tools were being used at the moment to point a sharp steel tipped arrow right between his eyes in what most would consider quite a threatening manner, Ganondorf had to do his level best to not make his mirth known. He really didn’t want to ruin the setting, after all.

“I said to not move!” the mare once again shouted, as she noticed Link had taken a step closer. The way he looked at her bow with interest as he did so clearly showed what was going on in that one track mind of his.

Meanwhile he inwardly agreed that the fact that both the arrow that had been shot and the bow used to do so seemed to be of some quality was a heartening sight and worth some interest. The mongrels’ weapons from earlier had really made him dread the mere possibility that just maybe that was what passed for quality work in this realm. Though he had to admit that, to someone who didn’t know the Kid, his actions had to look mighty strange.

But then again, the green wonder always had had a pretty unique way of dealing with anything that happened to threaten him… which could be very accurately be summarized as, he simply refused to feel threatened in the first place.

Truth be told, he really wanted to know how Link managed to do that, because he personally simply couldn’t ever completely ignore someone openly threatening him like that, as if they were a complete non issue. No matter how utterly ineffectual said threat really was, or the knowledge of how very little real danger the action really presented, his instincts simply wouldn’t allow him to do that. Then again, when the fact that his first instinct to any kind of threat was to usually destroy it with overwhelming force, the fact he couldn’t really embrace the Kid’s zen-like stance to threats became more understandable. A real pity really, for to completely ignore ones opponent’s attacks as inconsequential and not worthy of notice had to really irk them something fierce.

This was something he now got to appreciate from a front row seat, as the mare apparently debated what to do with a hint of panic, as Link showed no sign of having even heard her order as he took another step closer.

He knew that quite a few people tended to get more than a little unnerved by Link’s utterly unruffled attitude to, well, basically anything that could possibly bother him really. He even understood a little where they were coming from too. After all, most sane beings would consider fighting off a horde of bloodthirsty monsters as they attempted to kill you and dine on your innards to be a slightly harrowing situation, and as such worthy of a certain level of seriousness, not something to be disregarded as completely ordinary and unworthy of worry. But not the Kid, for him that was basically an everyday occurrence, and that was if you ignored the extraordinarily deadly gigantic beasts he dealt with from time to time, so Ganondorf guessed that Link had eventually grown a little bit jaded in regards to what really constituted a threat.

Part of him briefly wondered if constantly sending all those extremely dangerous monsters and abominations against the green Hero maybe had something to do with his skewed views about what could be called a threat, before the thought was dismissed as inconsequential. It really wasn’t his problem what quirks the Hero had or not.

Regardless, the fact was that Link simply didn’t let anything really ruffle him, which, alongside his very stubborn one-track mind when he saw something that was of interest to him, tended to kind of unnerve most that did not know him well.

Oh, sure, in the end the green wonder tended to somehow bullrush straight through that initial uneasiness and apprehension with such speed and ease that most actually even forgot it had even been there in the first place, turning it all in a non issue in the end. It was kinda weird really. But that didn’t mean it didn’t happen in the first place.

Nonetheless, for a guy of such few words the Kid was somehow seriously charismatic.

“Sure Shot, wait!” Forest Blossom suddenly shouted, the moment being unintentionally ruined by her loud voice. “They are not enemies!”

A small sigh escaped his lips as Forest sprang forward to disarm the growing tension. And things had just started to get interesting too, a pity really. He had been slightly interested in seeing how far the Kid would’ve been able to push them before someone snapped. He had been inwardly betting on either the grey coated mare carrying a blacksmith hammer or the lilac colored stallion with the woodcutter axe doing something foolish first, the archer seemed to be made of slightly sterner stuff.

“Forest, where the buck have you and your sister been! Do you have any idea how worried everypony was?” Sure Shot demanded, arrow still ready to fly at the slightest provocation. “When Old Oak expressed his worry due to how long it was taking for you and Singing to come back and we found out your mother had no idea where you were and we decided to go search for you two the last thing I would expect was to find you gallivanting through the woods with a bunch of strangers!

“And with a unicorn and a pegasus no less!” the archer belligerently added, as if that was by far the greater fault on the whole situation. The way the other two ponies silently nodded their agreement while holding their improvised weapons pointed towards both Link and Zelda, while somehow ignoring him of all beings, only reinforced that image. “You better have a very good explanation for this!”

Ganondorf had noticed the fact that Forest had a deep distrust of both Link and Zelda due to their new species, something so deeply ingrained that had to be cultural. And now, as he watched the exact same reaction from three new earth ponies, he had his earlier suspicions confirmed.

Racism, pure and simple, how bothersome. Or would it be specism on this case? Where all the three types of ponies considered one species or not, for that matter? And would it change anything if they were or not in regards to how to call this kind of action? Something to bother the Princess about later.

But the fact remained the same regardless of the name, to persecute and deride someone because of the way they were born, what a useless waste of time and energy.

He never really understood why anyone would loathe and hate someone based on something as idiotic as how they were born. Especially considering there were so many more far saner and logical reasons for either hating or loathing them in the first place! It made absolutely no sense and that really annoyed him!

Thankfully for everyone involved the growing tension was shortly brought to a halt. For, before anything could be said or done, Singing Blossom had apparently taken Sure Shot’s question as her cue to insert herself into the conversation with all the enthusiasm the filly seemed to do everything she did.

“We were collecting berries for Old Oak, but then a bunch of meany gryphons came and attacked us! They were all like, roar, fear us! And they threw us in a cage and Forest was really hurt and everything and it was really scary!” the tiny filly excitedly answered the sea green mare’s question in such a rapid fire way that the wielder of Power had to wonder if she had even stopped to breath at all during it. “But then mister Ganondorf came and he was all like, stop you evil meanies! And he took them down just like that! And freed us from the cage and it was awesome!

And then mister Ganondorf’s friends came and it was really weird!” Din’s might, did the little one have a good set of lungs on her, for he was now sure she hadn’t drawn breath since she had started to speak! The fact that she was also bouncing around and wildly gesturing as she told the newcomers what had happened only added to how impressive that was. “Because they weren’t earth ponies like him but they weren’t mean! Like, not at all! Which was really, really weird! And I didn’t even know you could have non earth pony friends in the first place!

“And then the pretty unicorn lady went and healed all of big sister’s wounds! And they disappeared just like that! Which was almost as awesome as mister Ganondorf saving us! And then big sister got kinda weird for some reason!” The way the newcomers simply stood there and looked at the little ball of hyperness as they tried to understand her tale was also amusing. Especially the way the one carrying the hammer had tilted her head sideways in silent question. “And then Link went and taught me how to pack! Which was really, really cool! Even if big sister got weird again after seeing it! But not as cool as how he caught the arrow while it was flying! That was awesome too!”

Singing finally stopped and took a deep breath, before simply giving the mare a huge beaming smile. “And that’s what happened!”

“What?” the sea green mare asked, now clearly even more confused than before, something that really wasn’t helped by what happened next.

“Rosewood, a good choice for a hunting bow really.” Link calmly spoke with a small smile of approval. From right next to Sure Shot’s already confused form. The presence of the pegasus less than five inches away from her bow more than enough to startle the mare into giving a small shout of surprise as she jumped backwards. The action also had the effect of causing her to release the drawn string of her hunting tool.

Thankfully Link’s reaction time was as infuriatingly efficient as ever, as he plucked the arrow just as it left the bowstring behind and before it could truly harm anyone.

He gleefully watched as the three strangers reacted with various amounts of panic to the fact that the green pegasus had gotten right next to them without their notice, being completely overlooked until he finally spoke. The fact he had nonchalantly grabbed a second flying arrow was also apparently not helping matters.

Now truly amused, he watched as both Forest and Singing rushed towards the now panicked group, the first awkwardly attempting to simultaneously explain what had happened in regards to their abduction and apologize for the Kid’s usual behavior, and the latter’s hyper excitedly babbling about everything and anything as she jumped up and down and skipped around all the shouting ponies legs, both of them only adding to the general chaos.

All the while Link simply stood amidst it all, his expression calm and unruffled, as if nothing could possibly be wrong in the world. An immovable boulder calmly set in the middle of a raging sea, unperturbed by the roar of the waves.

When it all was added to the sight of Zelda face-hoofing by his side while she let out a tired sigh, it finally became too much and managed to overcome his restraint. And so he let out a loud echoing laugh that proudly proclaimed his mirth.

Sure Shot had dealt with many odd things ever since her special talent had appeared. After all, there was always work for a good tracker or woodsmare, especially when your home village was surrounded by woods, her abilities with a bow and arrow certainly didn’t hurt either. Being tasked with finding ponies that lost their way in the woods or to deal with one dangerous beast or another that strayed far too close to the settlement for comfort. It was part and parcel of being the only ranger of the community really, especially when the only other two ponies with any skill in woodcraft were the old village elder and a far too sure of her own strength young mare.

So when the village elder Old Oak had asked her to see what had happened to said mare and her sister to delay them so much she hadn’t really expected for it to be anything but the usual. She supposed that Forest had probably gotten too cocky with something and had sprained a leg or incurred another injury that was preventing her from returning, and her little sister probably didn’t want to brave the woods alone. Nothing but a routine job, really.

That didn’t mean she wasn’t going to do the smart thing and go prepared of course, especially considering the ever growing tension between the Three Tribes and the whispers about the possibility of open war. So not only had she made sure to carry her trusted bow and quite a few arrows with her, she had also procured a few healing poultices from Old Oak and conscripted the help of Forge Fire and Woodcutter since she knew that both the blacksmith and the lumberjack could keep their own in a brawl. And if it was just the usual and nothing happened, they could still help her carry Forest back home if she was too injured to move. It was better to be safe than sorry after all.

She really hadn’t expected things to get this pear shaped though.

“So let me see if I got things right,” she asked with a tired tone of voice while trying to stave off the headache she could feel coming. “You were attacked by a gryphon war band, got injured and held captive, but these three dealt with them and saved you, not to mention magically healing your injuries?”

“Yes…” Forest replied with a hint of embarrassment, clearly the mare knew how unbelievable her tale sounded.

A unicorn or a pegasus working alongside an earth pony was already pushing it to the limits of believability. But a unicorn and a pegasus working together alongside an earth pony? Without everything coming to blows soon after?

“Horseapples,” Woodcutter nicely summed it all up, if in a far more crass manner than she would have personally liked.

“Look, I know it sounds crazy! But that’s what happened!” Forest angrily retorted, not liking to see her word being doubted.

“You want us to believe that this stranger, with the help of those two no less, took down a whole bucking gryphon war band?” Forge Fire asked, incredulity clear on her tone of voice.

She had to admit that part of her agreed with Forge Fire’s words. But no matter how farfetched it all sounded, and how much she wanted to agree with the blacksmith, the fact remained that that the presence of said ponies right in front of her continued to exist. And along with the fact that she knew that for all her bragging and boasting, Forest was a mare of her word and that she simply loathed liars, the possibility of the absurd tale being true kept nagging at her.

“Glad to hear you volunteering yourself to go see the remains of the camp in order to validate the truthfulness of her story, Forge Fire,” she firmly stated before things could grow out of hoof. “By the sounds of it the camp can’t be much farther than an hour’s gallop. Go there and see what is there to be seen.”

The mare attempted to protest, but one hard look from the ranger and said protest immediately turned into a begrudging nod. One way or another they had to get to the bottom of this mess, and confirming that the camp existed would go a long way on doing that.

Personally she would have preferred to go herself, but she didn’t dare leave her fellow villagers alone with these strangers. The fact that the brown coated stallion was a mountain of muscle unlike anypony she had ever seen was already bad news should the group decide to turn aggressive, but when added to the fact that, if Forest’s story could be trusted, the unicorn mare was apparently a talented spell caster, then things became even worse. And that was not even mentioning the pegasus.

She could recognize a warrior when she saw one, and the green stallion was definitely that and more. When added to the fact that he seemed able to walk without apparently making a single sound and how he had managed to grab an arrow midflight, twice for that matter, there was only one possible conclusion to be reached.

That pegasus was dangerous, she was sure of it.

“Would this perhaps help?” said green stallion calmly spoke as he reached into his saddlebags. Apparently he had been perfectly able to hear their conversation despite the fact he was standing with the other two strangers over thirty feet away from them as they discussed what to do.

Sure Shot opened her mouth to rebuke the need for whatever aid the winged pony was trying to offer, only to stop short upon seeing exactly what it was he was getting from his saddlebags.

“What the buck?” Woodcutter once again nicely summed it all up. But this time the ranger didn’t feel any need to berate the stallion’s crass words, for she could understand the sentiment behind them perfectly.

“Why did you pack one of those things? They are rubbish!” the large earth pony berated the green pegasus, the deep feeling of familiarity the action carried, as if they had done this song and dance dozens of times before, only added to the surrealism of it all.

“Agreed, but the metal can probably be salvaged with the aid of a proper forge,” he calmly stated while brandishing the long sword he had somehow taken out of a far too small saddlebag with the experience and ease of a sword master. “I packed quite a few of them actually. Worst comes to worst they can be used to forge some farming equipment or other useful tools.”

The pegasus apparently decided to demonstrate the validity of his words, because after offering the sword hilt first to a very confused looking Forge Fire he proceeded to retrieve another sword from his tiny saddlebags that shouldn’t have been capable of holding even one of the blades.

“Okay, you may have a point, but still that’s no reason to…” the earth pony started to rant, the unicorn mare joining him soon after. Nonetheless the trio’s oddly good natured bickering was swept to the background of her hearing range as she noticed that Forge was attempting to grab her attention and show her something on the sword she was now holding.

Moving closer to the mare she immediately saw what had got her attention, for the sword had a simplistic but very clear crest near its hilt, the image of a roaring gryphon. The symbol of the Gryphon Kingdoms.

“Seriously?” she heard Woodcutter interject after seeing the crest himself, his words now held far less hostility than earlier, the feeling being apparently traded with confusion.

She had to agree with the sentiment, for as she looked from the blade to the oddly friendly looking mixed group of ponies, she could feel her confusion about this whole mess growing. In an attempt to get at least some sort clarification to it all she gave Forest a questioning look, hoping that just perhaps the other mare could provide some sort of explanation for what was happening with the weird trio.

Unfortunately, the equally lost look that was her answer wasn’t particularly helpful.

The sun had started to set on the western horizon. But thankfully the small fire-lit lanterns that glowed right past the tree line showed how close they were to Forest’s home village. And, far more importantly as far as Ganondorf was concerned, a good meal and some kind of bed. Regrettably, such comforts apparently had to wait a little longer before they could be enjoyed.

They had been politely asked to wait here as the group entered the village proper in order to call the village elder to decide what to do or something. And considering that regrettably, according to Zelda, they couldn’t simply barge into the tiny village until they were invited and had instead to wait until the ponies decided what they would do in regards to the trio’s presence, they now had to wait.

Apparently it was rude to simply enter someplace uninvited or some such nonsense. And not even pointing out that Link did it all the time and no one seemed to really mind managed to convince her otherwise, point in fact it had made her rant even worse somehow.

Thankfully the rant had been directed mostly the green pegasus’ way, the Kid weathering it all with a very practiced calm smile that made Ganondorf wonder if he was hearing even a word of it. But nonetheless, the King of Thieves decided that in the end waiting a few minutes was far preferable to dealing with Zelda in a mood.

At least it gave him some time to ponder their more recent meeting with this world’s inhabitants.

“So, do you think they are just extremely racist towards your new species or that they have an actual reason for their dislike and wariness to fuel their preconceptions?” he asked conversationally, immediately drawing the attention of his companions.

“Probably a mix of both really,” Zelda spoke with a tired tone of voice as she massaged her brow with one hoof. “Such remote villages do tend to be stuck in their ways and naturally wary of outsiders, but the tension and fear all four adult ponies displayed the moment they saw either my horn or Link’s wings was far too clear to not be at least partially based on facts.”

“Bad blood, huh? Now that’s always annoying,” he replied with a thoughtful air. He remembered far too well the headaches he had to deal as king of the Gerudos that had been caused by generations long grudges that simply refused to die out, sometimes for decades after anyone could even remember why the grudge had started in the first place.

“Indeed. Regrettably this will be an obstacle while dealing with the ponies that we will simply have to deal with,” the Princess grumbled in slight annoyance, clearly she remembered more than a few cases of such stupidity from her own times as a ruler.

“Well, either that or simply sleep in the woods,” Link helpfully added, gesturing with his head to the pair of saddlebags he was carrying with him as a silent reminder that they now had provisions of their own.

“I doubt it will come to that,” Zelda replied with a now impish smile on her face as she gave the King of Thieves a half lidded look. “Forest wouldn’t allow her savior to spend the night in the woods after all, no matter what the other ponies had to say about it.”

“Heh, she did seem to have spirit, I’ll give you that!” Ganondorf readily agreed to the unicorn’s words, even as he gave Zelda an odd look for the way she had said it. “Not to mention that the little one seems to have taken a liking to the Kid, too.”

As he ignored the small smile still on the Princess’ muzzle, the Lord of Darkness instead started to ponder about the ponies’ odd names, for apparently his earlier thoughts about the ponies naming conventions proved itself to be spot on, as the two new earth ponies’ names, Forge Fire and Woodcutter, proved, which In turn meant that both Zelda’s and his own name did sound kind of weird to the colorful little quadrupeds. All the while, and quite unfairly in his modest opinion, Link’s name fit right in without a problem.

He then remembered that he did possess a piece of useful information his two companions did not have, as the fact that Zelda kept referring to them as simply ponies attested. And so he cheerfully contributed with a new topic for the talk in order to stave off boredom as they waited.

“Oh! By the way, I thought you may want to know, my species is called an Earth Pony!” he cheerfully proclaimed as both Link and Zelda digested that little fact.

“Earth pony? Perhaps suggesting a magical inclination for the element? Or is it perhaps something more abstract?” Zelda happily spoke, her mind already busy as it analyzed and dissected the little ponies’ species name and what it could possibly mean. “Pegasi, unicorns and earth ponies. I wonder if that means there are other pony species in this realm? How interesting…”

He watched as the Princess inner scholar surfaced once again with a hint of amusement. But while amusing, he was soon distracted by Link’s response to that little bit of information.

“Huh, how fitting,” Link interjected with a hint of amusement on his voice. His answer and tone of voice naturally caught both other Triforce wielders’ attention.

“Why do you say that?” Ganondorf asked with slight confusion as he wondered exactly why the green coated pegasus thought his new species name was somehow fitting for him. The fact that Zelda was looking at Link with curiosity clear in her eyes showed that the wielder of Wisdom was equally puzzled by the wielder of Courage’s remark.

Link, for his part, gave his fellow Triforce Wielders a long look, as if silently questioning how they weren’t getting it already, before he calmly explained the reasoning for his thoughts.

“Din, with her crimson flames created the red earth.” He dutifully quoted the relevant part of the ancient tale of how the three sister goddesses Din, Nayru and Farore had created Hyrule in the distant past. “Does that ring any bells?”

“Oh, right…” Ganondorf replied with a hint of sheepishness, as he remembered how Din had supposedly used the power of her mighty flames to bring forth the very earth into existence. “I see your point.”

And as he digested that little revelation, the fact that his new species’ very name was linked to the goddess of Power even if indirectly, Ganondorf found that he was sporting a small smile.

Old Oak felt as if his very bones ached with every step he took as he kept pace with Sure Shot and the rest of the group as they trotted towards the village’s border where the three strangers who had saved Forest and Singing were waiting.

He was a light brown colored pony with a mane turned silver by the passing of many seasons. His body showed signs of once having been well muscled and athletic, but sadly that was now nothing but a memory as it simply wasn’t what it had once been after so many moons already behind him. His mind was still as keen as ever, which alongside his many years of experience was one of the reasons why he was his home village’s elder. There was a reason why his cutie mark was an oak tree, after all.

And he would need every bit of his wisdom and experience if he was to deal with this strange situation their home was now faced with, of finding out the truth behind the Blossom sibling’s fantastic tale.

The simple fact that a gryphon war band had lurked in ambush so near to their homes was already hard to believe. The fact that a trio of unarmed ponies had dealt with them all was even harder to accept. The fact that said trio consisted of an earth pony, a unicorn and a pegasus working together and apparently willingly traveling as a group? Now that pushed it all to the very limits of believability!

And yet the fact remained that it had happened. Both Forest’s words and the remains of the beast’s camp proved that beyond a shadow of a doubt. His very home, nearly destroyed if not for the aid of three very unlikely travelers.

The moment he laid eyes upon the trio one fact immediately jumped to his eyes. The sudden realization was almost enough to make him stop in his tracks in shock before he remembered his place and schooled his surprise beneath the mask of firm and just leadership his fellow villagers needed.

Both Sure Shot and Forest had talked about it, but merely hearing was completely different from seeing it with his own two eyes.

“Greetings travelers, I am Old Oak, the elder of this humble village. I have been told that we have much to thank you for this day,” he clearly spoke while giving the trio a small bow, all the while ignoring the whispered angry bristling coming from Sure Shot about him bowing to a unicorn and a pegasus. “You have our most sincere thanks.”

Inwardly he understood the mare’s reaction. He himself was extremely uneasy about the mere idea of allowing them into the village. But the fact remained that they had directly saved both the Blossom sibling’s lives and quite likely the lives of several more of the villagers by taking down the gryphons, and so honor demanded that they be greeted with all the hospitality they could grant them.

“It wasn’t a problem,” the large stallion, Ganondorf, replied with a hint of annoyance. The way he was acting clearly showed he wasn’t used to being the spokespony for their group. And yet he couldn’t see any hint of anger or disgruntlement on the other two faces at allowing an earth pony to take the lead and speak for them. How curious. “But we accept your thanks.”

“I’m afraid we do not have much to offer for your help, but nonetheless please come and accept at least a warm meal and a comfortable bed for the night for now,” it was a very surreal feeling offering guest rights to members of the two other pony tribes, something he could truthfully say was a first despite how long he had lived. “Come, Beautiful Blossom, Forest and Singing’s mother, has insisted that you should dine and spend the night with them.”

But even as he spoke, and despite his uneasiness, his eyes couldn’t help but dart towards the three ponies’ near identical cutie marks of three interlocked golden triangles. Only the fact that in each of them a different triangle had a slightly stronger coloration than the others showed they weren’t exactly the same. And yet, the fact that the marks were clearly linked could not be denied. Something he had once thought nothing but an old myth, a silly flight of fancy of bards now long since dead.

Entwined marks.

To see the clear sign of two or more destinies joined together by fate itself. It was the kind of thing one expected to hear about around a campfire in one of the ancient tales spoken about the long lost Dream Valley and the reign of the mythical Queen Majesty, something belonging to the forgotten age of legends. It was most definitely not something he ever expected to hear about in these modern times, much less actually see it with his own two eyes.

And for a moment, regardless of his apprehension and misgivings for this whole situation, as he took in the sight of an earth pony, a pegasus and a unicorn calmly conversing with each other as they trotted after him, the clear sign of their bonded fates proudly displayed on their cutie marks, Old Oak wondered if he himself wasn’t maybe bearing witness of the beginning of a new tale himself.

As they followed the Blossom siblings into a quaint wooden cottage, Ganondorf wondered exactly why Old Oak had been acting so skittish as he led them here before bidding them a good night. Truth be told, he had to give the old timer a nod of approval. He had hidden his unease and apprehension caused by Link and Zelda’s new species very well, willingly putting forth the need to repay what he clearly saw as a matter of honor to his village before the apparent blatant racism that seemed to permeate his very culture. That had to have been hard for the old stallion.

But the fact remained that there had been something else clearly on his mind, and the way he kept trying to discreetly look at their Triforce markings gave the Lord of Darkness at least an inkling to what it was likely related to.

“My dears, I can’t believe what almost happened! Come here the both of you!” a warm motherly voice loudly resounded through the building before a large plum colored mare with a blonde mane engulfed both Singing and Forest on a bone crushing hug. “But you are both safe, and that’s what matters!”

The sight of the obvious mother of the mares fussing over them, much to the siblings’ embarrassment and happiness, was enough to make him set that line of thought for later. Especially since he didn’t want to get caught unaware should the mare attempt to hug him too and risk his ability to dodge away in time.

“And you dears are the heroes who helped my precious blossoms, yes?” she asked in a warm tone of voice, actually not showing a single trace of derision or apprehension upon seeing Link’s wings or Zelda’s horn. Thankfully it also didn’t look like she would be trying to hug them as well, much to his silent relief. “Come in, come in! Dinner is almost ready! Come you have to tell all about what happened as we eat! The story I’ve been told, why it sounds like quite a tale!”

“If you would like we have some provisions of our own that we wouldn’t mind sharing for dinner, we wouldn’t want to impose,” Zelda politely said as they all entered the cottage. Inwardly he agreed with the Princess’ suggestion, he knew that feeding three more mouths could be a strain to a simple family depending on their resources.

“Nonsense!” the mare loudly proclaimed while giving them a beaming smile. “You have saved the lives of my children! You shall be treated as part of this family and I shall not hear anything more about it! Now come, eat and be merry!”

The Princess looked like she wanted to object, but another beaming smile from their host seemed to be enough to reassure her. And besides, even he knew that it would be extremely rude to refuse such an offer.

They followed the mare into a large open kitchen with a wood fueled stove already lit and heating a large pan of very tasty smelling soup, a large piece of cheese and what looked like a large loaf of newly baked bread by its side. Simple but hearty fare, Ganondorf most definitely approved.

As he walked into the kitchen he quickly took in his surroundings, from the simple but well made wooden table to the fluffy looking cushions that seemed to work as chairs, from the various pans and packages of food neatly arranged on various shelves to the large barrel of water next to the back door, all the way to the very nice looking collection of pottery to the side that had to hold pickled vegetables and other such things.

That last thing immediately made him stop and take a second look, in order to confirm that, yes, there were several large clay pots lying in one of the corners of the kitchen. The sight of which made both Ganondorf and Zelda trade a meaningful look before they immediately turned towards Link with serious expressions on their muzzles.

“What?” the wielder of Courage asked with a hint of confusion as he also stopped in his tracks to see what his companions wanted.

“You know what,” Ganondorf gruffly replied as Zelda seriously nodded by his side. He couldn’t care less about the foolish rules of good manners of the nobility, but the laws of hospitality were another matter altogether! And he had no intention of letting Link’s little problem with pottery be an issue to their hosts!

The slightly baffled look the Kid gave both of them before he trotted away begged to differ about his knowledge of the issue, and for a moment he wondered if Link was being serious or simply messing with them. With him both options were usually valid and there was basically no way to tell which it was until well after the fact. Nonetheless, Ganondorf nodded in approval as Zelda trotted after the green pegasus while making sure to take the smart precaution of placing herself between him and their hosts’ collection of pottery.

Crisis temporarily averted, he followed them to dinner.

Author's Note:

So our protagonists have finaly reached Forest's home village and met a few more of the locals. And as I told someone in a comment before, the fact that the trio has near identical cutie marks will be something of note for quite a few ponies. :raritywink:

Hope you all enjoyed the chapter.