• Published 17th Jan 2021
  • 8,483 Views, 695 Comments

Golden Crusaders - Greatazuredragon

After the end of their first life as ponies, Ganondorf, Link, and Zelda are reborn as the Cutie Mark Crusaders shortly before the return of Nightmare Moon. May the Golden Goddesses have mercy upon Equestria.

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II - A Peaceful Reunion

A Peaceful Reunion

As they managed to break free of the raucous crowd thanks to the brave efforts of their teacher, Ganondorf couldn’t really say he was exactly surprised by the fact he was once again drawing breath after dying of old age in what was, from his point of view, mere moments ago. This wasn’t the first time he had been reincarnated, after all. By Din’s crimson flame, it wasn’t even the hundredth!

Though, he had to admit, the fact that he was now apparently female was new. Or would that be, she had to admit? Was he supposed to change what pronouns he used to refer to his person due to his change in gender? It would probably help avoid some complications when talking to others without having to explain the whole bloody situation, something that he really couldn’t be bothered to do most of the time.

Eh, why not. It would cost nothing, and one less hassle was always good.

Mind made, she followed Link and Zelda’s new forms into a small side room where Miss Cherilee asked them to wait for a moment as she calmed down the crowd and sent for their families. Apparently getting their cutie marks at the same time in such a dramatic fashion was enough that the teacher felt that calling their families was warranted.

Feeling a small shiver run down her spine at the mere thought of the accursed name those marks carried, she once again bemoaned that all her efforts during her previous life to get the things’ name changed to the far more dignified title of ‘emblems’ never panned out. Real pity, that.

“Okay, Ganondorf, what did you do this time?” Zelda rounded up on her the moment the door was closed and they were left alone, a warning tone clear in her words. Not even slightly fazed by the princess’ admonishing look, the Wielder of Power instead took a moment to fully absorb their new appearances.

The little princess remained a white-coated unicorn, though the light-violet mane would take some getting used to since Ganondorf really couldn’t remember an incarnation in which Zelda wasn’t some kind of blonde. Though seeing Link without a hint of green upon his person- or rather, her person- was what took the cake. Her being an orange-coated pegasus with a purple mane this time, neither being a color the Wielder of Power was used with associating to the Wielder of Courage. And she herself was a yellow-coated earth pony with a red mane. So at least that last one remained consistent. Thankfully, since she did enjoy the color.

Oh, and all three of them were downright tiny. Couldn’t forget to mention that. She missed her old size already.

“Ganondorf!” Zelda complained with an angry stomp of her hoof, cutting the Wielder of Power’s musings short.

“What?” she questioned without a hint of shame as she realized that apparently Zelda had been talking this whole time and she hadn’t paid attention to a lick of it. The fact that the angry ‘shout’ had sounded more like a squeak also really undermined the princess’ efforts to sound stern in Ganondorf’s personal opinion.

“Zelda would like to know if you are somehow responsible for our current situation,” Link helpfully said with a small smile while the tiny unicorn fumed next to her. “Also, my current self’s name is Scootaloo, if any of you are wondering. It’s a pleasure to meet you both once again.”

Rolling her eyes at her friend/rival/nemesis being her usual unflappable self, Ganondorf decided that there was no harm in actually answering Zelda’s question. “No, I didn’t do anything that could’ve caused this. I didn’t add anything in regards to this particular situation when I made the original ritual back on Hyrule, and I think that’s the problem. And the name is Apple Bloom this time around, if you must know.”

“The cycle of reincarnation, while you broke the chains that bound us to Hyrule, the ritual did nothing towards our bounds to the Triforce and the cycle of reincarnation it sustained,” Zelda said as she rested her muzzle upon a hoof, swiftly understanding what was happening from Ganondorf’s brief explanation and thinking about its possible implications. “And my new name is Sweetie Belle, at your services.”

“So we are still getting reincarnated then, good to know,” Link, Scootaloo? Eh whatever, either was fine. The no longer green wonder calmly continued. “Now the question is, were we reborn by chance, or for a purpose?”

That little curveball of a question made the earth pony filly blink in surprise, not having really considered that possibility yet. Now that would be really annoying if it held true. She had more than enough with being Fate’s chew toy to last several lifetimes already, and she knew the other two felt the same.

“Hard to say, but considering how we only got our memories back when we actually got together for the first time, I’m inclined to say it was chance. That never happened before, after all,” Zelda reasonably pointed out. And the former Dark Lord had to give her that.

In all their previous reincarnations, it had never been necessary for the three of them to get so close to each other before the process took place. Din’s fury! Most of the time it happened when they were literally countries apart! Not to mention the light show that had been involved, that had been new too. Point in fact; in neither this nor her last life’s memories did she ever remember such a showy light show accompanying a pony getting their ‘emblems’. Odd that.

Huh, guess there actually was a valid reason for Cheerilee wanting to contact their families, how about that? But before she could keep thinking about it, and how it basically happening right in front of the whole school would affect things, Zelda continued to talk, bringing the yellow-coated filly’s attention back to the present.

“Not to mention that, unless the calendar has been changed since our last life, it has been almost eleven hundred years since our passing,” she judiciously pointed out, right hoof still gently cradling her chin. “Those two facts, alongside how this realm has a lack of gods to meddle with things, makes me think it was merely chance that allowed the reincarnation cycle to stumble upon an appropriate situation to allow us to be reincarnated into suitable beings.”

Ganondorf could see it happening, the logic was solid. But sadly they didn’t really have much besides pure conjecture to draw hypotheses from right now. And the Three Goddesses as her witness, everybody knew that making conjectures based upon conjectures was never a good idea. It was just like inbreeding. You may even manage to pull it off successfully once or twice if you were lucky, but keep going long enough and you will inevitably end up hitting crazy.

But before they could discuss things further, all their ears swilled towards the door as they heard the swiftly approaching sound of quite a few hoof-steeps. The next moment, the door was barreled open in order to allow their teacher back, accompanied by several other ponies, including her new older sister, who was looking a little on the harried side.

“Apple Bloom!” Applejack shouted at the top of her lungs even as she rushed towards the filly and promptly proceeded to hug her in a quite considerable show of strength.

As she stoically endured being hugged by the orange-coated mare, who promptly started assuring her that everything was fine and praising her for getting her own ‘emblem’, Ganondorf mused that this was something else that would take some getting used to. She never had had a sibling before, after all, much less an older one. And now she had two of them. But as the mare she had nothing but good and fond memories of in this life released her from the embrace and started to ask questions about what had happened, she mused that maybe it wouldn’t be that much of a hassle in the end. Family was important, after all. And at the very least her new siblings weren’t weaklings. So she could cope.

And no, the fact that the hug had felt warm and comforting had nothing to do with it.

“Well, Ah knew that filly would end up causin’ some kinda trouble if left by herself, but when Ah thought that, this hadn’t been in the list!” Applejack half-heartedly joked in an attempt to break the ice, not really knowing how to interact with the white-coated unicorn she was sharing a table with.

“Quite,” Rarity primly said as she gracefully served some far too sweet smelling tea into two cups that looked far too fragile for Applejack’s peace of mind. “I must admit that I shared similar thoughts, after all Sweetie Belle is around that age where mischief seems to follow a young pony as if it’s their own shadow. But this was an unexpected development.”

Very carefully accepting the teacup with a hoof, the orange-coated mare did her best to politely sip some of the beverage without accidentally shattering the very decorated and fragile piece of porcelain. Some kind of jasmine, not bad, but also not really to her tastes.

A moment of slightly uncomfortable silence followed as both mares sipped from their cups, both of them not really knowing how to really get things going. Letting her eyes roam around Rarity’s boutique, where they had relocated after Cherilee had explained the situation and given the three fillies the rest of the day free due to it being the closest of their homes to the school, Applejack wracked her brain for how to start a conversation with this virtual stranger who had invited her into her home.

She knew Rarity in broad terms as the posh, prim and proper owner of the town’s fashion boutique. And that was it. Their only real interaction was when the white-coated mare bought a few apples during market day once in a while. The fact Applejack had never really needed any fancy frilly dress also meant she had never visited the boutique before, limiting their interactions even further. Horseapples, if they had ever said anything to each other beyond the vague pleasantries you said to everypony in passing everyday Applejack would eat her hat!

Holding back a sigh, she took another gulp of the tea. All the while wondering how her sister and her new… acquaintances, were fairing upstairs. This was awkward, that was the honest truth. Something that was not helped by the fact that Holiday, one of Scootaloo’s aunts who were taking care of the filly, had been forced to apologetically decline joining them due to work commitments. At least it was clear that the poor mare had wanted to stay to offer support to her niece, but Applejack understood that sometimes work really didn’t give a pony much of a choice.

Anyways, the fact was that she really hadn’t expected to end up sharing tea alone with the town’s fashion obsessed dressmaker when she had woken up today. But then again, she also hadn’t expected her little sister to get her cutie mark on her very first day of school in such a dramatic fashion that ponies would probably still be talking about it when she was Granny Smith’s age!

“So… entwined marks,” Rarity leadingly said while putting down her empty cup and looking Applejack straight in the eyes, apparently deciding to grab the bull by the horns and start the conversation already. “While I have always known that Sweetie Belle was special, I must say that this was most unexpected.

"It’s almost like, like-” the unicorn trailed off, dramatically waving a hoof aimlessly in the air as she searched for words. She knew that the mare had a reputation for being overdramatic, but this time Applejack felt that it was warranted. Entwined marks were something so rare to almost be folklore, after all. And yet, here they stood, with their little sisters sharing a linked mark with each other and a third filly.

“Like somethin’ straight out of a story book, yeah,” the apple farmer helpfully completed the broken sentence as she carefully put her own cup down as well, inwardly somewhat pleased that she hadn’t cracked the darned fragile thing.

“Yes, precisely,” Rarity said with a small nod, her eyes drifting towards the stairway to the upper floor, where said fillies currently were talking inside Sweetie Belle’s room. “I know it sounds silly, but it almost sounds like a dream!”

“It isn’t silly when it’s the truth. Ah’m not sure Ah believe this is not a dream myself!” Applejack replied as she removed her hat and distractedly passed a hoof over her mane. “Sweet Celestia, Entwined Marks! This kinda thing belongs to campfire stories, not bargin’ in the life of good honest hardworkin’ ponies!”

“Though you may have been born apart, henceforth you shall live as one; one heart, one purpose, one fate,” the unicorn said with a faraway look, clearly quoting something, probably a story, but for the life of her Applejack had no idea which one it was. “Yes, to consider this as a tale straight out of a storybook is indeed quite fitting.”

Giving the equally lost and unsure unicorn sitting across from her a long look, Applejack suddenly made up her mind. Sure, Rarity was a stranger to her in all but name and she really couldn’t understand what the mare saw with all those fancy schmancy clothes. But considering how Apple Bloom would undoubtedly end up spending a lot of time with the fashionista’s little sister, it was clearly time to at least try and change that,

“Ah feel that we should start this right, we never did introduce ourselves to each other, did we?” Applejack firmly said as she stuck her hoof forward over the table, after all, they would probably end up having to interact with each other quite a bit in the following months and years, what with their little sisters’ now being literally fate bound to each other. So better get used to the other pony. “Ah’m Applejack Apple, co-owner of Sweet Apple Acres, home of the best tasting apples of all of Equestria, and proud member of the Apple family, nice to meet you.”

Rarity on her part blinked in slight surprise for a moment, before a look of understanding dawned upon her features as she probably reached the same conclusion Applejack had achieved moments before. And so Rarity daintily pushed her own hoof forward and gently gripped AJ’s offered limb.

“Rarity Belle, fashionista and owner of the Carrousel Boutique, where everything is chic, unique and magnifique, it is a pleasure,” Rarity declared as she gently started to shake the orange-coated mare’s hoof. A hoof-shake that immediately got stronger as Applejack took the lead and gave it a good proper shake. And despite a brief uncertain look, the fashionista actually answered properly to the action, briefly matching AJ’s movements before letting go.

“Well, Rarity, guess we will have to tackle this new crazy situation together,” Applejack said with a firm nod while inwardly wondering that perhaps miss prim and proper wasn’t that hopeless, after all. “Should you or Sweetie need anything, know that the doors of the Apple family will be always open to you!”

“Likewise, should the need arise, me and mine are at your family’s service,” Rarity replied with a small smile. “Should any help be needed, know you have but to ask.”

A tentative smile of her own surfacing on her muzzle, Applejack thought that perhaps this could actually work out alright in the end. After all, while entwined marks were indeed something straight out of a story, most of those stories did indeed have happy endings.

Though, now that she was once again thinking about her little sister’s new cutie mark, she couldn’t help but wonder what the golden triangles actually meant. It was a really odd choice for a cutie mark in her honest opinion. But then again, analyzing the things could get real complicated real fast, what with all that subtext and interpretation of symbolisms and other whatnots that got involved.

Eh, her little sister seemed happy enough with it, and with the two new friends that came along for the ride. That was more than enough for the apple farmer.

“No prophetic dreams, no foretellings of doom, no whispered tales of grim tidings on the horizon. Nothing,” Ganondorf mused out loud while pacing around Zelda’s room, which was placed atop a fashion boutique of all places. But then again, considering how she now lived on an apple farm she really couldn’t throw any stones in regards to unusual living arrangements. “There is actually not a single hint that anything even remotely wrong or foreboding is happening around the kingdom. At least as far as my memories go. What about you two?”

“The same,” Zelda promptly replied while Link simply nodded her head. “In fact, I’m quite sure there hasn’t been any major incident in living memory. Princess Celestia has actually managed to keep the kingdom peaceful and prosperous for centuries as far as I’m aware.”

To that, the yellow-coated filly could only firmly nod her head, her crimson bow flapping a little due to the motion. For all intents and purposes, it seemed that Equestria was actually experiencing a golden age, the kingdom actually experiencing a period of peace and prosperity that had lasted for millennia!

One thousand years of peace! The mere thought of it was enough to boggle the mind! Din’s fury, she sincerely couldn’t remember any moment in Hyrule’s history were peace had reigned for even one century! By the Three Golden Goddesses, even the times when ‘peace’ had lasted more than a decade or two were few and far between!

“Sweetie, would I be correct in assuming that even before reawakening your memories you were still a scholar at heart?” Link asked, cutting the Wielder of Power’s musings short as she took a moment to remember that Sweetie was Zelda’s new name.

“Well, yes, I did have very good studying habits and read quite a few books, so I guess that’s correct,” the unicorn filly promptly replied even as she gave the young pegasus a look, clearly wondering why Link wanted to know that.

On her part, the orange-coated pegasus simply nodded her head in apparent satisfaction, before calmly continuing. “Good, so do you perchance know what happened to Luna?”

That little question brought both Ganondorf and Zelda short for a moment as they realized a very obvious thing that had been slipping them by. Celestia was still alive and well as the ruler of Equestria after over a millennium, that was public knowledge, something everypony with half a brain cell knew about. But therein laid the problem, for she was the sole ruler of Equestria, which brought forth the question:

“What the heck happened to Moonbutt?” the Wielder of Power mused out loud, head tilted to the side in slight confusion even as the Wielder of Wisdom narrowed her eyes as she also pondered this unexpected development.

Author's Note:

And the plot thickens!

Applejack and Rarity meet far earlier than they should, and now have a reason to be at least polite acquaintances to each other due to the fact that their little sisters are Fate Bound through their cutie marks. All the while the Triforce Crusaders realize the lack of a certain night-themed alicorn.

In a side note, do not get used to this update speed. :derpytongue2:

Hope you all enjoyed the chapter.