Chapter 13- Better Answers
Phoenix felt a burning sensation in his arms. The former laywer had both arms held out for what seemed like forever. The tension in the library felt so thick, and any given moment it could break into tiny little pieces and into a bloodbath. Had he not been used to this kind of environment in a courtroom, he could swear that he would have suffocated. So far, things fell into a deep silence. Even Dan's breathing was shallow.
No one dared to make the first move.
Dovahkiin kept the sword at Princess Celestia's neck. While this pinned down the princess, it also kept the dragon born locked down in place. He could not move without provoking some kind of retaliation. Dan had moved his head to peek out, looking from behind Soma to get a better look at things. The teen in the meantime, kept his eyes moving left to right to inspect the library. So far, none of the guards had bolted through the door. Neither Luna or the other princess said anything.
Applejack was feeling almost as torn as Rainbow Dash was. One part of her knew what the Dovahkiin was doing was wrong, but another part made her want to take his side. Its not like he was in the wrong. Was this all really Twilight's fault? The orange mare turned to look at her unicorn friend. You would think that the life of Princess Celetia being threatened would have had Twilight furious and ready to lash out with some kind of magic blasts. Instead Twilight had collapsed and lay on the ground.
Fluttershy blinked once, turning to look at Twilight. Was she alright? The side of the purple unicorn was moving up and down, so she guessed that she was breathing. But both of her eyes were shut, and the rest of her body did not move. Had she fainted?
"I'm sorry," Princess Celestia said. Her voice was low, and an audible throat sound was heard as she swallowed. Hard. Rainbow Dash picked up her head, hearing something.
"Say again," Dovahkiin said. He leaned closer, making his sword move a bit. The light from a candle made part of the the metal of the Nightingale Blade shine more menacing than before.
"Forgive me, Jokull Freysson. My actions were rash and thoughtless. I merely wanted to spare Twilight Sparkle. The fault lies not with her, but with myself," Princess Celestia said, her voice a little bit louder. The Dovahkiin relaxed, hearing his birth name spoken. Clever girl... He took a step back, moving to sheathe his sword.
"Explain. Now. No more questions," the Nord said. To add emphasis, he moved both of his hands up to remove the his headpeice. He felt better, his face exposed. Any more breathing though the silver mask and he would have felt like drowning.
A loud audible sigh was heard, the group instantly feeling relief. Nate fell to his knees, lowering his weapon between his thighs. He felt like he had just ran another marathon from a falling rock bridge. Rarity turned to look at him and smiled, also feeling a great burden lifted from her shoulders.
"Finally, some real answers," Dan said. Glad that he would have to spare Pinkie Pie's feelings, the small human slipped his axe back into his belt. Pinkie immediately moved to his side, hugging him around his neck. The pink one's eyes were closed as she sobbed a bit. At a loss as to what to do, Dan raised his own arms to hug her back. But his gaze was on Celestia. She was already on his list, and she made Pinkie cry. Oh, she was so getting bumped to the top of the list.
Fluttershy immediately moved to Twilight's side, looking over her friend's condition. Soma lowered both of his arms and followed after her. "How is she?" The teen asked, getting down to his left knee.
"I do not know. Last time she went like this, it wasn't this bad. She has been known to go into shock at times," Fluttershy said. The yellow unicorn moved her nuzzle to nudge Twilight's face. The purple unicorn reacted at least, giving a small moan and lifting her head. Soma reached into his duster jacket and looked through his inventory. He produced a potion and handed it to Fluttershy.
"What's this?" Fluttershy asked, looking at the strange blue mixture inside the bottle.
"Just have her drink the tonic, it should help her," Soma said. He turned to look away from the two and back at the others. Phoenix moved to walk over to a wall and slump down against it, sliding slowly to sit. Rainbow Dash had made her way to Princess Luna. Luna had wanted to step in and say something, but the cyan pegasus held her back as she shook her head.
"What is that stuff?" Twilight asked. The question made Soma turn to look back at Twilight. The potion seemed to have done the trick. Luckily, he didn't need potions. They didn't even make a dent in his hp recovery when he drank one.
"Oh Twilight! You're alright, Soma gave you a tonic he had," Fluttershy said, helping Twilight to stand. Soma smiled and brought himself to stand. By this point, Nate moved to stand as well and holstered his side arm.
"As I was saying, it is not Twilight's fault. I was the one that had to cast the spell. I was unable to, as my kingdom is in high alert. Tasked with other duties, I trusted in Twilight to cast the spell. For that, I am responsible. Forgive me Twilight Sparkle." Princess Celestia turned to smile at her student, glad she was alright.
"But I am the one that botched the spell! You don't have to shoulder all this yourself.." Twilight spoke, having to lean against Fluttershy a bit. Pinkie Pie finally released Dan, having calmed down to look at the others.
"Do not interrupt," Dovahkiin said. It looks like he was in control of this situation now. He crossed both arms on his chest. "Go on, there is more to this..."
"Yes, there is. This is the location where the spell was cast," Princess Celestia said, looking around the room. "While the feast was going on, I came here to investigate the spell and try to understand what transpired. You see, the spell was to summmon my own champion, a Time Lord."
"You mean that there Doctor fella? What's-" Applejack started to talk, only finding herself getting a glare from the Dovahkiin. While not as intense as Fluttershy's, she got the hint. Dovahkiin was clearly upset, she had threaten to fight him. Applejack shut both of her eyes, looking away. She could only imagine how betrayed the warrior felt.
"But there was interferance. The spell had two parts- and the spell's intent also was changed. My champion was unable to come. This in turn, left a hole in the spell. Somehow," she stopped and turned to look at the face of each human. "Your exploits knocked on heaven's door. Your actions deemed you more than worthy to be selected into the void left behind."
"Are you saying, we were choosen at random?" Soma asked, moving to stand next to the Dovakiin.
"Well, I was getting to that. Not, not entirely at random. Each of you posses an Element," Princess Celestia said. She finally felt like she could relax. She walked over to one of the shelves and pulled out a book using her levitation. She flipped through a few pages and then walked over to set the book down on a table.
"But... But there are only six Elements of Harmony!" Twilight said, recognizing the book selected.
"Um, Twilight, I think she is getting to that," Fluttershy said. Nate moved over to join the sun princess to spot the picture of the jewels that represented the elements. He was quickly joined by the others. Princess moved to stand beside her sister, looking her over to make sure she was alright.
"Yes, only six Elements- But of Harmony. The humans are the Elements of Change," Princess Celestia explained.
"Change? What does that mean?" Dan asked, not liking the sound of that. The solar princess sighed, wishing that there had been a better word for it. She waited for the others to look at the book before continuing.
"The Elements of Harmony, are also known as the essentials of friendship. Twilight represents the spark of Magic. Fluttershy represents Kindness. Rainbow Dash is Loyalty. Applejack is associated with Honesty, Rarity with Generosity. Finally, Pinkie Pie is Laughter, or humor." As the Princess spoke, the mares picked up their heads and nodded when their respective name was given.
"So.. What is Change?" Twilight asked, confused.
"Harmony is friendship. But change is life, its moving forward. But it can mean strife and hardship as well. Friendship without change though, will become stale, lifeless, boring...Unable to evolve." Princess Celestia walked away from the table. "Tell me, Elements of Harmony- Why are you so drawn to these humans? And don't deny it- The moment you saw these humans something inside you sparked," she said with a smile.
"Uh.. er.." Applejack opened her eyes wide again, finding herself suddenly on the spot as the Dovahkiin stared at her. It appeared her friends were in the same situation.
"It's because you yourselves are not whole. Even as an Element, you all still need to be together to do anything. But surely, you think there is more to friendship than just the things I mentioned. Some people value friendship's ideals in different ways..." She turned to motion at Phoenix.
"Do you know why Luna said for Rainbow Dash to stay by your side?" The sun princess asked.
"No? I am a little confused by it really. If I were to say I was anyone's champion, it would have to be Twilight. No offense Rainbow Dash, but I worked with her longer and planned things thanks to her..." Phoenix added, a bit defensively. Rainbow Dash shook her head to the sides.
"I am still wondering that myself," Rainbow said, looking at Luna.
"Tell me Phoenix- in your darkest hours, when all seemed lost- What kept you going? What kept you from falling? What drove you on, to keep from quiting?" Luna asked, stepping forward herself.
"I... Well in trials- A lot of times, my friends like Maya and even Miles kept me from giving up. They believed in me, they didn't let me give up. They would even put themselves in danger so I could step up and save the day," Phoenix said. He brought his left hand to rub his chin. "So are you saing... That their loyalty gave me power?"
"Well, more like the element you posses gave them loyalty. You Phoenix, are Hope. In darkest hours when no one else could- You performed the impossible. People that never met you, instantly placed their fate in your hands. At first yes, you appear clumsy and a bit of a ditz-" Phoenix frowned a bit, slumping both shoulders forward to sweat a little. Story of his life. "But then you always manage to turn it around and prove all wrong. The Hope you give people make them loyal to you." Luna said, smiling to look at Phoenix's eyes.
"So... Because I am loyalty, Phoenix's hope is my perfect compliment?" Rainbow Dash asked. She looked at Phoenix a bit confused, though after a second she smiled. That did make sense to her.
"Can you think of anyone better to place you hope on, than a champion of defense? And what is the greatest champion of change, if not hope?" Princess Luna asked. Phoenix took a moment to think about it. It was true. Even his own enemies like Gadot and Franziska had placed their hope in him.
"Me next!" Dan said, getting eager. He felt he was going to get nominated for something great, like "Justice."
"Of course Dan. You are the Element of Anger," Princess Celestia closed her eyes to smile.
"What?! Are you insane?" Dan asked, forming a frown that showed off his pointy teeth.
"Dan, anger is not a bad thing. Anger is problably the second strongest champion for change. Righteous anger has been the spark that caused wars, riots, and people to seek out justice. Anger at a common foe has brought unlikely allies together, in the name of peace. While Anger can be self destructive, you bear it responsibly. You never bring your anger out on the innocent without provocation. And thanks to your actions, you have brought smiles to those that thought they were the only ones suffering. Your anger has given the a way forward for others," Princess Celestia explained.
Dan said nothing, as so far what the white almighty princess made some sense. "So how exactly does that make me Pinkie's champion?"
"Dan, what disables anger faster than laughter?" Pinkie Pie said, giggling. Caught off guard once more, Dan took a moment to think about. "Maybe a damn cupcake to choke on" he thought to himself. Still, Dan had to think back. While Chris had tried many ways to pacify the anger Dan could conjure up through other means, laughter was the one thing that Dan geniuely enjoyed. Well, other than seeing the misery in the eyes of others, but still.
"Also, anger can control laughter. Nothing can stop a laughter faster than righteous anger. Laughing at someone's follies is never good, and a good angry face can make that laughter stop and make ponies feel regret for doing so," Princess Celestia said to step over to Dan. Pinkie Pie shook her head up and down. That was true. She noticed that she was around Dan, she didn't laugh as much. True, she felt good, but not laugh out loud good.
Nate turned to look down at Rarity. So the white unicorn was generosity. Did that make him, Greedy? He turned to look at the solar princess. "Then I am-"
"Equality," Princess Celetia said, cutting off the treasure seeker. Nate did a double take, taking a step back and having his right eyebrow raised.
"Come again?" Nate asked. Rarity was also confused by this, though not sure why Nate wouldn't have a positive Element in him.
"Oh Nathan. Sure you seek adventure, treasure, and excitement. But, do those make you evil? No Nathan. In all your adventures, you always given people their fair share. You always split down the middle. And whenever you find something dangerous, you make sure no one gets it, even if that means you do not. No- The opposite of Generosity is not greed, its Equality." The Princess said to walk over to Nate.
"So, are you calling me a communist?" Nate said, still not understanding. She was telling the truth though, he always shared things to those that worked with him.
"Dear, even a greedy person- If they donated a single coin- Can still be generous. But a pony that makes sure every pony gets the same, is not generous at all. Don't you see? A generous pony gives things to others freely. But someone that only shares because they earned it or worked for it, are not. They are just getting paid equally," Rarity said.
"And let me guess. There is such a thing as being too generous. So the only way to make things fair, is to make things equal. And those that sought that things like equality, like civil right leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King- Can bring about great change as well." Nate said. So that's why he was brought to Rarity.
"Amazing dear. You do have a brain inside that handsome body of yours," Rarity said with a smile. Nate quickly changed his reaction from confusion to annoyance. Clearly, she was getting back at him for the comment made at dinner.
"And seeking equality always is not always good either. Some ponies work harder than others- So generosity can change the way of thinking to make sure things are fair," Princess Celestia added.
By this point, Soma and Fluttershy looked at each other. She was kindness. Soma easily saw this in her. "What am I then?" he asked. Dovahkiin simply watched things. He could wait, not sure how to feel about being Applejack's so called champion.
"Soma, you are the Element of Acceptance. You posses a power that is evil. But did you runaway from it? Did you deny this power? No. You accepted it and made it your own. While young, you learned a valuable lesson about accepting one's own self. But at the same time," Princess Celestia stopped, looking over to Fluttershy. "Acceptance is not the same as kindness. It can mean tolerance at best. So long as you are left alone, you can leave others alone."
"And while one can be kind, I find it hard to accept things sometimes. I will not tolerate bullies or people being mean to my friends," Fluttershy said. She remembered that mean dragon. "So I am drawn to Soma, because he can see beyond good and evil, and accepts things as they are?" The question made Fluttershy wonder. Was she only drawn to the teen because of the Element pairing? She studied his face for a second. Nah.
Soma lowered his head in thought, never thinking about things in that light before. Certainly, he did use the power of souls. And he did not run away nor try to get rid of this power. Did that mean, he could accept things as they were inside himself? The idea did make his inner demons fade.
"And acceptance can change things. It can end disagreements. Conflicts ended in a truce cause people to tolerate each other. Even lingering feelings of war and hatred can fade away thanks to time, and acceptance," Soma said, lifting his head up.
"I am glad you understand. As for you Mr. Freyson-" Princess Celestia was cut off when the dragon born raised his left hand up.
"Just call me Dovahkiin," the Nord said. While the others were taken in by the news, he was not. Applejack looked up at him, wondering if things would ever be alright again. She knew she was stubborn at times, she just hoped he was not.
"Yes, Dovahkiin. You are Resolve, you are will. The drive that once something is decided to get done, it will be done. While faced with so many choices in your life- Once you decided to do it, it was so. On your own you carried the burden of the hope and dreams of your people in your shoulders. But you do not do it in the name of hope, you do it in the name of peace. Good or bad, the path you have taken to this point was because you decided to do so. And in doing so, your resolve inspired others to do the same," Princess Celestia said, lowering her head in respect to the Nord.
"How does honesty fit in?" He asked. While it was true, he was not a follower. People followed him. His resolve, was their resolve. How did that make Applejack his partner?
"How can the resolve of one champion influence others? Sure, hope, anger and loyalty can do it- But only an honest champion can gain others to thier cause. Noble or evil, good or bad- someone honest with thier intentions can bring change through thier resolve," Princess Celestia said.
Dovahkiin nodded. While he was archmage of the wizard's college and head of the thieves guild, they didn't care he was Dovahkiin. Only that he stayed honest to their cause. And they only made him leader, because he brought about change. He moved his left hand out to pet Applejack's muzzle. The lass was only being honest with herself.
"But.... Where is my Champion then?" Asked Twilight. She turned to look at the others. They all had their partner.
"I do not know yet, Twilight. But I will not give up hope. Just as the elements need to be together, I fear the humans must as well."
"This... These plans are amazing Dr. Otacon," King Aurelius said. Sitting by the fire, all the changelings gathered nodded in agreement. While a bit ugly, this "human" as they found out what his race was, had a brilliant mind.
"Well, the plans and ideas are not mine. But I feel we can use them anyway. Its more important to find more info than defeat the enemy now. At least this way, none of your Changelings must fight and put their lives on the line," Otacon said, smiling at everyone. He was eating a strange fruit the Changelings had brought him.
"I have decided. I now proclaim that Otacon shall be the new Champion for the Changelings, and will also be my new strategist!" King Aurelius said, sending his voice booming over his subjects. The Changelings like the idea, moving to stomp their apendages up and down.
"Thanks, but you don't need to do this. We should all get some sleep. Tommorow will be a big day for us all," Otacon said.
"Indeed Doctor. Indeed it will." King Aurelius said with a smile.
Author's note: Sorry guys, this story is rated for everyone for now. Can't exactly have people chopping off heads- Yet. Also, had a chance to fix the awful mistakes in the earlier draft.