A.N.: The following chapter doesn't have too much humor, so let me make it up by telling you why I'm posting this early. I was in the bathroom trying to fix the septic tank all by my klutzy self (I dunno why...now that I think about it) and succeeded in dropping the entire lid into the septic tank. The lid hit a little hose that started spouting water everywhere.
I'm drenched. And mom's more than a tad upset that I created indoor rain. Apparently, she didn't find it funny like I did, so I had to run away to my room.
That's why this chapter is ready for ya's. I'm holed up in my room until mom's not so angry about the wet bathroom.

Chapter 28: The Ocean Breeze

"You two were causing quite a disturbance up on the rooftops. I take it you wanted to see me?" Ganondorf rose from the throne, the corners of his mouth curling into a sneer. He seemed relaxed and commanding. "So, you've discovered quite a change in Hyrule, yes? Do you want to know why I've kept it this way?"

Vaati looked around the room and finally saw what was making Link so angry. Princess Zelda was trapped in a prism next to the throne, above where Opal stood.

"You see, I was also surprised my pet had completely converted the Hyrule we knew to the Hyrule in the future. I was not very pleased," he grinned with malice, "until I learned something about you, Link."

"What?" Link fumed. He was glaring at Ganondorf, but his eyes continued to wander over to Princess Zelda.

"The girl has assured me that if I get rid of you in this era, then I would be able to put a stop to the reincarnation cycle. In effect, I would be getting rid of both your future and your past, leaving you with nothing left." The Gerudo laughed, "The little mage would be pleased to learn that if I kill you now, boy, he will never have to face another reincarnation of you. Vaati, I expect you to repay my services of destroying both the Four Sword and Link for you someday"

Vaati was too busy trying to see what Opal was doing in the corner to respond. Something was wrong with the possessed girl, and he was afraid to find out what.

Link was at the end of his patience, and he was about to make a running stab towards the evil King when a fish flopped onto the floor in front of him. He skewered it with his sword and snarled at Ganondorf, who seemed surprised at the sudden appearance of a fish. "A fish? Is this a game to you? I'm going to make you pay for everything you've done to Hyrule…and Princess Zelda."

A sharp voice broke through the tension, and it rose higher in pitch as panic increased. "Lord Ganon! I can't control it, I'm losing…I'm losing control!" Opal's hands were trembling and beads of sweat rolled off of her forehead, her yellow possessed eyes widening in shock. Vaati became nervous as a purple shark blipped into existence next to him and began to flail about.

"Link…something tells me we might want to come back another time…" the mage was staring at the possessed girl who was frantically trying to close a growing portal. The portal that had warped them was now threatening to swallow everything up.

Ganondorf recovered from surprise and commenced yelling angrily at Opal. "Fool, what are you doing? I order you to stop this, NOW!"

The girl whimpered, "I can't…I can't…Lord Ganon, I can't."

Vaati grabbed Link's arm and pulled him towards the gates leading outside the throne room. "We're leaving, Link."

Link growled and forced the mage to let him go. "I'm not leaving without Zelda, and I'm not leaving until I finish what I came here to do."

"Stupid boy, you don't know what's going to happen with her around!" Vaati pulled Link again, and this time, Link dropped his angry tone as he saw water begin to swirl around his boots.

"What?" Link asked bewildered by the water that was steadily rising.

"Come on." Vaati gave another tug, and this time, Link followed.

They heard a scream of rage before water came roaring into Hyrule, flooding the entire region. Link and Vaati blacked out as they were swamped by hundreds of tons of water.

XXXXXXXX

A jet of blue flame escaped her jaws as she bared her teeth in a snarl. Opal shook her head to get rid of whatever water was left on her face, the chains around her neck rattling. Lord Ganon had not been too pleased she had let Link and Vaati escape, and he had been absolutely furious when he found out she had also flooded Hyrule. He also raged about a splitting headache that had occurred during the appearance switch. Lord Ganon claimed it was what being pierced by the Master Sword would feel like.

The only thing he was remotely pleased about was that she had been able to remove the water around Hyrule castle…remotely pleased, because they were still miles underwater in a small air bubble that kept them from drowning.

The beast hissed as another slash hit across its claws. Claws. Oh no.

Opal's Hylian identity became horrified at the sight of claws, and nearly became hysterical when she realized her Hylian identity was slowly disappearing. No, no, no. She'd never lost this much control before; it was probably because she was possessed. One body can't have three minds in it at once before losing it.

Another slash, this time across the neck. Opal roared in retaliation only to receive another lash across the eyes.

Three minds. One, the Hylian. Two, Ganondorf's possessed pet. Three, the one she'd left behind all these years. The Hylian had thought she had conquered the third one, but now she realized it had only been waiting to resurface. The arrival of the second personality had made it incredibly easy for the third to come back.

The Hylian thought of Vaati and Link. She had sent them far above the water, hoping that they wouldn't attempt to find Hyrule again. I don't want to have to kill you, she thought as the other two darker personalities pushed her to the further recesses of her mind, please…be safe.

She could hear another monstrous roar that she knew too well was her own.

XXXXXXXXX

Ganondorf took a walk around Hyrule castle after he had given the girl a good lashing. Well, 'girl' might be the wrong word now. More like beast. He reached out and touched the wall of water that outlined the perimeters of the castle grounds and some portions of Hyrule field. His fists came together in frustration, and then kneaded his head where it still felt like something had stabbed him. He punched the wall of water.

He couldn't kill the beast without jeopardizing his ability to go back to his era where Hyrule existed as Hyrule. He also didn't want to order the beast to take them back in time without risking another mistake like the one they now found themselves in.

Ganondorf looked up to see the water bending the light above them. He'll wait for Link and Vaati to come; they were sure to come looking for him. After they were destroyed, he would make Opal take him back to a Link-less past, and then kill her as well to punish her for all the trouble she had caused him.

He grinned. At least he still had Zelda. He was so close, so close to ending everything and finally obtaining all three pieces of the Triforce he couldn't let the opportunity slip through his fingers. Ganondorf leaned against a marble pillar.

He could be patient if he wanted to.

XXXXXXXXXXX

Link and Vaati sat next to each other, watching the waves roll over their feet dismally. They had been like this for the past hour, sitting in silence, counting each wave as it lapped against the stone walkway they had woken up on.

Finally, Vaati smiled weakly. "What a future, huh?"

"Hm?" Link continued to stare blankly at the endless blue. He thought about Hyrule; the market place where he would buy apples with his allowance, the maids at the castle who would occasionally give him an early lunch, working with his grandpa to complete a new sword, playing with Zelda. Hyrule had gone below the watery depths, and he wasn't sure if he'll ever see it again.

Vaati uncharacteristically attempted to cheer them up, "At least we're back to normal. See, we look exactly like how we had been back in the past. Not that I particularly minded being tall for once."

Link just sat in misery. If Vaati was trying to be cheery, it could only mean that the situation was so bleak even the mage had to find ways to make it seem bearable.

Vaati became thoughtful as he looked towards the horizon. "I've always wanted to see the ocean. I never imagined it to be so vast…." His voice contained awe, but it cracked in some parts as though he were forcing himself to keep talking. "I wonder if anything's out there."

Link sighed and stood up, walked around the edge of an impressive stone tower they were currently on, came back to where he had been sitting, and flopped morosely back down next to the mage. "What's the point?" He asked, as he put his head between his knees. "Everything's gone, Opal may have died, and we may never get back. What's the point?" Link looked up. "And if Zelda died, then she'll never come back in any incarnation. I'll never see her again."

Vaati splashed some water with his feet. "It's not over yet, boy. Hyrule still exists, I'm sure of it," he said quietly, "and we just have to go find it."

OXXXXXXXXXO

IMPORTANT: Ok, firstly, I'm sorry the epic fight didn't occur in this chapter. This story is far from over. That said, I'm going to move the Wind Waker portion to a different story. Otherwise, we'll end up with an intimidating number of chapters that could scare people away.

Keep your eyes open for a new story. I think it's going to be called Beyond Centuries: Hero of Time, Hero of Wind. I'll pick up where we left off :).

H-bomber: Thanks for being a regular here! And I'm sorry the epic battle had to wait...I'm planning on moving to WW :)

Reily96: Yay! I hope the WW half will be even better.

Peka the Corsair: Kinda. It's specifically targeted towards shorter people, who are, according to the complex, more temperamental. Nods Yup, poor Vaati's one of the few villains in the Zeldaverse that's as short or shorter than Link. :3