The throne room was very dim from the few torches in the room, but the light from my flames changed that, if not for a moment. The knife in my left hand dropped, hitting the floor and causing a ringing to echo throughout the room. Celestia hadn’t noticed us until the sound disturbing her train of thought, and she turned her head towards me.
Silver took a step towards her, “It’s been a while, Tia. Still remember me?” Celestia gave a nod, and she continued, “Then you must remember that night.” Celestia nodded once more, but Silver didn’t continue. She just stood there and stared at Celestia.
Celestia let her head drop a little, “I am so-”
Silver cut her off, “Save it. That’s not why we’re here.”
I just stared at her. She just cut off Celestia, of all ponies. Silver took notice of my reaction, and motioned her head towards me. I stepped beside her, “We just lost our entire clan. Those dogs invaded us, and even with full preparation, we still lost them...” I could feel my anger intensify and brighten my markings, shining brightly across the floor and walls. “I will discuss the details of the frontal assault at a later time, when two survivors of the attack get here. In the mean time, there is still one major issue.” I took a moment to catch my breath, “The main assault next month. We both know your alicorn army won’t be enough, and don’t you even think about denying anything. I know more than your archives would allow, but I digress. As much as you or I hate to admit it, we need to help each other.” I stopped, giving her some time to contemplate on the words I just spoke. If I turn into a politician once this is all over, I swear I will murder her...
We stood there in the silence for a few more minutes, and I remembered the knife I dropped. I moved to pick it up and put it in the holster, and on my way back to my spot, the very two I spoke of arrived.
“Ah Spade, what a pleasant surprise. I also see that you have brought along Rainbow Dash. May I ask why?" the princess said from behind.
"Princess, Rainbow Dash helped me in the defense of SilverClaw's clan in a cave to the east of Canterlot. They were utterly wiped out and we barely escaped with our lives. She has proved a useful ally and steadfast when the need arises." His next words were the ones I wasn’t prepared for, “On another note, due to her capabilities, which I have seen first hand, I would like to take her on as my apprentice for as long until she is ready."
I had to get control of my entire being to keep my jaw from hitting the ground, which was likely possible in this world lacking logic.
"Do you think that is a good choice of action Spade? Considering what we will be facing soon. I trust you on this, but you have to be sure of your decision before I can accept or decline it."
With a quick nod, "Yes my Princess, I am sure of it. I believe Rainbow Dash has what it takes to survive the training and come out on top."
"It seems as if your story checks out SilverClaw. It seems as if we can come to a mutual agreement that will benefit both of us." She said, before speaking towards me. "As for you, you are no longer wanted as a fugitive in this land, for a time. Although I realize what you had done may have been necessary, don't think I have forgot what you had done to achieve it. You injured many a Guardsman that day."
I let my sadness show more than I wanted, "I did what I had to to get away. You left me no choice." There is always a choice, I just chose wrong.
"Yes, of course. Although that doesn't leave an excuse. I expect you to repay the debt you owe to the Guards of this castle that you had injured. In some form or another, this will be repaid. Am I understood?"
I let out a small chuckle, “Si, senorita.” I tried moving my left arm, to no avail but forcing a bit of grimace to show. I turned my heard towards Celestia, “I think there is something you would like to see. Something a certain pony named Lyra came to you about.”
Celestia showed a flicker of interest and gave me a nod a moment later. I closed my eyes and focused the heat like before, letting it consume my entire body. I quickly shot my thoughts towards my human form, and cut the flames off. Looking down at myself, I achieved my goal.
Celestia looked taken aback, but only slightly. “I knew you were different when we first met.”
Another chuckle from me, “Eeyup. There’s something that’s eating at me though.” I left a pause to make sure she was listening, which she was, “I have a theory on how Discord managed to get to my realm. The Elements of Harmony merely froze him in stone, but what if it was only his physical attributes that were frozen? His mind could have roamed free and used its manipulative magic to create a second body in my dimension.” I shot a glance back to Spade, “I read too many Harry Potter books.”
Silver connected to me in her mind, “Zin, I am going out into the garden to clear my head. If you need me, just hone in on my necklace’s essence.”
I gave her a nod as she started walking outside. Cracking my neck, “Those guards wouldn’t happen to want a little payback would they?”
Celestia came down from her throne and stopped midway, placing herself between myself, Spade, and Dash. “Yes, I’m sure they would like the chance to show you what they are made of, without the aid of magic.”
I brought my hand to the center of my forehead, “This keeps getting better and better.” I smirked, “” I scanned over the three, who at this point were all staring towards me. “Imagine being able to see moments in time unwillingly. You see the past, the events of the present, and sometimes the future. For me, I see too much of the past, and none of it too happy.”
“Kid, get over here! They’re approaching, and the major told us to get you out safely!”
“They’re here, sergeant! They’re-!” His screams were cut off by the sound of bullets flying through the air.
I took a deep breath through my nose and felt the long suppressed anger rise, forcing my marks to shine brighter. They were all still staring at me, and if I could have, I would have growled at them. “Spade, I would like a word with you once you’re done with Celestia... It seems we have a lot in common after all.” After I said that, I didn’t wait for a response. I took my leave in the opposite direction of Silver, heading towards the second garden.
I found that the entire area was pretty much grass, on which I laid myself back against. The stars in the sky were a magical sight to behold, and it made me feel as if I was back home on that rooftop of the library. I let my eyes droop at the calming essences around me, hearing nothing but the gentle breeze and smelling nothing but the flowers placed around. Soon after, I was asleep.
- - - - - - -
I opened my eyes to the view of a destroyed Ponyville. Dogs were laying all around me. Some had sword slices in them, others had bullet holes, and a few had been completely sliced in half. After walking around for a few moments, I rubbed my eyes, making sure what I was seeing was correct. A large white wolf standing on two legs with the same markings of mine, but black.
“Third, tell me what you see.”
I looked around, noticing only destruction, death, and the worst the world could bring. “Reminds me too much of my own world. All that BS about who’s stronger or who should rule.”
She nodded, “This is what the small town will look like in three weeks, if not prepared.”
“Three weeks? How many will there be?”
She put her paws behind her and paced, “Too many for a stage three to fight, even with the combined powers of Celestia’s army.”
“So it’s a losing battle?”
Another nod, “Yes.”
I smiled, “To most, hearing that question answered in that way would break them. Yet to me, it pushes me to become better.”
She walked over to me and put a paw on my shoulder, “This is how both Grim and Silver feel, which means the rune,” she pointed a claw to it, “chose right.”
I looked her in the eyes, “What is stage four? How do we achieve it?”
She stepped back and turned around, arms behind her back and pacing. “It is hard to explain. Stage four is the final phase, and it is what I am. You become your own version of me, but there is one problem.” I looked at her confused. “Each must find their own way. You three have always relied on each other, and that was how to advance to this point. I’m afraid there is nothing I can do for you.”
I gave her a nod. “Now wake, he is watching you.”
- - - - - -
My eyes opened once more, but to the calming scene of the garden, and Spade eyeballing me. I propped myself up, head resting on my arms, which were on my knees. “Three weeks. That’s all we have.” I let out a grim chuckle, “I spoke with the... Hell, I don’t know what to call her. She told me that even with our combined efforts, it won’t do much.” I paused and looked Spade in the eyes, still unable to read his current emotions, “That won’t stop me though....”
I fell backwards, arms spread out. “I’m too stubborn for my own good.”
He let out a chuckle, "Yeah kid, you are. But that's what makes you... Well you I suppose." Afterwards, he came next me and sat down, configuring his body into a comfortable position.
I turned my head to him. “Sound’s like something my friend would say. As for what I said in the throne room... I know, Spade.”
He turned to me with a confused look, "Y'all know what, kid? I'm not sure I'm following you."
I looked back into the night sky, gaining a sorrowful expression, “When I first met you, and asked you what your problem with Diamond Dogs was... I know why now.”
I didn’t even turn to him as he spoke, "Really... Well that sure is something. I'm curious, how did you come to this knowledge?"
I tapped the rune-bearing necklace, “This little rock from hell. I can see the past of myself, as well as other ponies. Some of the things I see, even I can’t believe. Got a tale about Celestia you should hear sometime.”
"So what did you mean kid when you said you and I had a lot in common? Frankly I just can't see it."
I shifted my head to where I could look him in the eyes, “How often did those other colts gang up on you? How long did you live without any real parents? Adoption can only do so much, as there is nothing like a true parents love, or is this just my imagination?”
He smiled and let out a sigh, "Kid, I can see how you're trying to relate to me, but there is a crucial difference between the two of us. I never knew my parents and I lived on the streets for a portion of my life. On top of that, for a good portion of my colthood, I didn't have any friends." I kept staring at him as he continued, "All of this I was fine with. Sure, now, I wouldn't go back, but at the time I wasn't bothered by it."
I just smirked, “One friend, out of all the years. Was only around her for two years before I got taken by another family, then another, then another. Life’s a bitch.” I rolled over, facing the stars once more, “I just see some similarities.”
"Well kid, is there any other particular reason you had called me out here? If not, I have to head into Canterlot to get something."
I got up and stretched what limbs I could, seeing how my left arm just dangled at my side. He got up from where he was sitting and moved closer to me, inspecting the wound, "Do you want me to get that out for you? The bleeding has stopped but it must have severed several tendons. I can repair all of the damaged area if you'd like."
I nodded, “Go ahead.”
He led me over to a patch of grass and laid me down, stomach to the ground. "Now kid, this is going to hurt. A lot. I'm going to hold you down but do your best not to scream." I buried my face in the ground, knowing that this would hurt more than words could describe.
I could sense his magic as he began his work. After a few seconds, I could feel pain rising in the area I had been stabbed. A muffled groan emitted from my mouth, as the pain was steady and refused to leave. He kept at his work, causing more grunts and groans to escape my self-control.
"Alright kid, one last tug. Just stay with me." I tried to say something, but the ground made it come as a moan. A second later, searing pain filled my entire being. My body broke free of my control and start thrashing violently, screams half-muffled by the ground. "Hold still!" he yelled at me, which somehow made my body comply. After a few minutes, the pain subsided and I just laid there.
I could hear him let a sigh out, "All done kid."
I rolled to my back, using both arms, and got into a sitting position. I stretched my left arm out, “Good thing I am right handed, or that could have been a problem. Thanks.”
"Y'all don't have to worry about it. Would have been a shame if that caused you any further problems." he said as he shifted back into a comfortable position.
I folded my arms on my knees and rested my head on them, “Got any idea on what those guards have planned for me? Because I wouldn’t be a very happy dog if they take it too far.”
He let out a short laugh, "Ah kid, you don't have much too worry about. I have thought of something, that could save you from nearing death at the hoofs of the guards."
I gave him a confused look, “And that would be?”
He gave me a devilish grin, "Why you would fight me of course. The guards would get to watch."
I returned the grin, “You’re on. Just don’t hold back, wouldn’t like it if you went easy on me.”
He let out a hearty laugh, "Oh kid. You're going to regret saying that." He got up, stretched, and said, "Tomorrow, meet me back here. I need to inform the Guards of our little engagement, then I, as I said before, need to head into Canterlot for something."
I gave a nod, “I think I’ll just sleep out here tonight, seeing how my last home was obliterated.” He returned the nod and trotted off, leaving me to my thoughts.
‘So I have a fight with a pony who will likely dominate me, a upcoming war, and trying to figure out how to reach stage four...’
“Come now, Third. You should be more optimistic.” I jolted upright, looking around for the voice. A few moments later, a white light appeared in front of me. As it dulled, the voice spoke again, “There is something I forgot to give you.”
The white she-wolf walked over to me, leaving me awestruck. She put a paw against my forehead and closed her eyes, me doing the same. After a few seconds, she retracted her paw and started walking away. I just sat there, having my head feeling like I drank two tons of alcohol (don’t ask).
As the light started to overcome her once again, “My time is limited, so use what I gave you carefully. It will reveal itself shortly.”
My head finally gave away and forced me backwards, drifting into a deep sleep. Before I completely blacked out, I thought I heard fire, but seeing how I was in my current state, what could I do?
I felt a kick on my side and opened my eyes, already knowing who woke me. Spade was standing to my right, with Silver right behind him.
I got up, noticing how I was in my dog form. In the distance was the sound of marching hooves, indicating the guards were forming where we would fight. While I was stretching, I said, “Ready?”
“I am, but are you?” I turned to face him as he spoke. With a smile I nodded my head
“I can handle myself. Only time I am not ready is when I have to fight Grim.”
Silver let out a light chuckle, “It’s quite a sight to see them fight. Of course, the cave suffered damages...”
I shook the tiredness out of myself, “Let’s get this started. I still have to talk to Celestia about what she wants me to do.”
"Sure thing kid." he said while grinning. He rolled his shoulders and bucked his back hooves out, getting the morning grogginess out of him. "If you two will follow me, I will take you to where we shall be engaging on this fine morning."
I gave him a nod and he turned, making his way down the hill with us hot on his hooves. I turned my head towards Silver, “She spoke to me last night.”
She gave me a confused look, “You saw her?”
I nodded, “Three weeks, and she did something to me... She told me that the power she bestowed upon me would reveal itself soon.”
Silver just looked at me, deep in thought. I turned my head forward to find that we were here, and I got plenty glares from the guards. ‘I am sooo dead...’
The guards had made a large circle, to which Spade was in the center. As I walked past two guards. The one to my left was the one who I had given a face-full of door, and the other having extreme burn marks running down his neck. The one who had the burns gave me a rude shove and whispered to me, “Enjoy the beating, mutt. (Feel free to edit, as I couldn’t think of anything.)”
I let my head hang low, remembering him being on the first row, directly in front of the explosion. I pushed that thought aside and placed myself in front of Spade, while he sat on the ground focusing. He pulled the cloth around his neck to his back, and secured his wings with it.
"No wings?" I tilted my head in confusion.
He shook his head, "No, no aid from either my wings or magic. If I do this I do this with my bare hooves." He proceeded to take off his sword, gun, and every other piece of equipment attached to his body. "I don't expect you to fight without your weapons, as you are certainly welcome to them."
I took my sword and its sheath from my belt and cast it aside, as well as the knife he had given me. After I cracked my neck, “There’s no honor in an unfair fight.” I readied myself in a form that I learned from my three years of tae-kwon-do. I closed my eyes and drew a heavy breath. After I exhaled and shot my eyes open, “I have no doubt in my mind that I will lose this, but I won’t go down without a fight.”
A voice played in the back of my head, distracting me. “Show that fleabag no mercy...” It came from the direction of the guard who I hit with the cell door.
I shifted my eyes to him and shook my head. Remembering the alicorn across from me, I quickly brought them back to Spade, finding he hadn’t moved an inch. Smirking, I taunted him with my hand, motioning ‘come at me, bro’.
He just sat there and closed his eyes, breathing in and out slowly, collecting himself. I decided to go on the offensive and rushed towards him, making sure I kept form to make as little sound as possible. I brought my right paw high into the air, claws extended, and went in to strike his chest. As I struck, he wrapped a forehoof around my wrist and twisted it, sending me spinning into the air. I quickly landed on all fours, snarling at my opponent. Running with my claws extended once more, I aimed to hit him in his flank. He blocked my move and I tried to sweep kick him off of his hooves. He jumped before I could connect and landed behind me. I turned to find him bucking at my chest. I flew back, losing all balance and skidding along the ground.
I got up and wiped some blood from my mouth. I grinned and began a taunt, “Good kick. Although I'm sure Applebloom could kick better."
"I'm sure she could. That little filly is tough. She could probably lay a hoof on me before you did." he retaliated.
Give in to your rage...
I laughed, “That is likely. Let’s see if I fair any better now...” As I finished the sentence, I returned to my human form. Smaller means more agile.
I did a swift backflip to test myself, finding it far easier than before. I decided to shoot another taunt, “Do you think you will accomplish something by beating me? You couldn’t even beat any of your team, let alone Shadow.” I thought of only one thing to make him truly give me his all, “It’s no wonder you let him die.”
"Kid... You're going to regret that." His voice sounded as if the devil himself possessed him.
Around him grew a black aura, and I could feel his strength rise through my magic. He wasn’t even close to his peak, yet the way that his rage manifested itself around him... I have a bad feeling about- He shot forward. To others, it seemed as if he was there and gone within a matter of teleportation. For me, I saw him moving as if it were slow motion.
His aura followed behind him, leaving a black puff of smoke where he was once standing. He grabbed my arm and tossed me in the air like I was a child’s toy. As quickly as I was in the air, he was above me, smirking. The voice played through my head again.
He is strong... You are stronger... Give in...
He brought his hoof down onto my gut, sending us both down at increasing speeds. As we slammed into the ground, blood shoot out from my mouth leaving nothing but its awful taste. He grabbed me by my arm and dragged me out of the crater from our impact. He threw me again, and this time I bounced along the ground as if I were as skipping stone on water. After I stopped skidding, I propped myself up, but fell from the pain. I tried again, and managed to get to my knees.
"Not... Bad..." I called while attempting to regain my breath.
He gave me a small smile, "Kid, you've got a lot of talent. But don't talk about that which you don't know again." He paused for a moment, "The next time I will kill you. Whether SilverClaw is watching or not."
I laughed, spitting out more blood. “You... Failed...”
He gave me a confused look, “What are you talking about?”
I smirked, feeling stronger all of a sudden. I got to my feet, everypony there eying me with fearful glances.
Yes... Have my power... Use it!
I looked at myself, finding my marks glowing red, with a red flaming aura around me. “You let your emotions get the better of you, foal.” My voice sounding much like his had. I took a few steps closer to him, chuckling the entire time. I stopped a few feet from him and called out to him, “Feel the true power of rage.”
I connected a direct hit in his jaw, sending him flying much like I had been. I looked towards Silver, who had a shared expression with the guards. Fear.
This is not how I want to be seen. To be known as...
Embrace it, Third.
My body, my mind, my way, demon.
After the internal conflict, I returned to normal, regaining my weak composure. I fell to my knees, hacking out more blood. I looked up after the blood decided to stop trying to leave my body to find Spade. I shook my head, “Well... That was... Odd...”
He laughed, "Just a little." He started messing with his jaw, obviously in a little bit of discomfort. "That was a nice hit. Hurt a little. I still think Applebloom would hit harder."
After another gag of blood, I chuckled at his half-joke. “You are soooo fighting Grim...” I felt a new amount of energy in the crowd of guards, similar to that of Spade. After slowly getting to my feet, I spoke with a grunt, “Your... Team was watching...”
He smiled and nodded, "I know that kid. They got here as I hit you into the ground earlier." he let out a laugh, "I was too focused on our fight to do more than register their presence." Suddenly, eight other alicorns appeared. I was taken aback by meeting them in person, not by the fact they were here, but the fact that they looked exactly how they had in my vision. One appeared behind me as I fell backwards, due to shock. When he touched me, my body decided to straighten itself.
"Calm down dog, we're not going to hurt you. Well... Not too badly.” Afterwards, Spade started cracking up, followed by all of his team.
"It has been too long since we've all seen each other, I only wish it could be under better circumstances." After he finished, h e gained some heavy expressions from his team.
"Aye, that it has been." one started, "So this is the dog that I've been hearing about. He sure gave you a good one Spade.”
"He did. Although he had better not let that get to his head. I'm not the one coughing up blood."
I gave him a grin through the blood on my face, “Funny, you speak as if I care.” I took a look around at the alicorns, re-visiting the scene of me standing over the body of a dead Celestia. ‘All of my dreams proved to be visions of the future... Does this mean I...” I took a seat on the ground, deep in thought. The others just looked at me with confused expressions. Silver padded next to me and put a paw on my shoulder, giving me a nod of understanding.
I got rid of the horrid feelings clouding my mind and focused on the upcoming invasion. “How do we get an entire town evacuated without causing mass panic?”
Give them reason to flee...
No. I refuse to give in to your temptations.
"What will be done about Ponyville is this: In an orderly fashion, the Guards stationed here will move down into the town and inform the citizens of Ponyville of what they need to know regarding the upcoming invasion. I will brief them on their mission once we are somewhere more private." I nearly jumped out of my skin at the sound of Celestia’s voice. I looked at her as she turned to face the alicorns. "As for all of you, you will begin to make your own preparations in order to stem the up and coming tide of Diamond Dogs." They all nodded at her and rose from a bowing position. With that, Celestia turned around and spoke before trotting off with her two guards, "You are all dismissed."
The guards dispersed and the alicorns started flapping their wings, taking off to make their preparations. After a few more moments, all that was left was Silver, Spade, and I.
Silver helped me up, “I’m going to return to my exercises. Try not to kill each other.”
Spade and I both spoke in unison, “No promises.”
After Silver was out of earshot, Spade spoke up, "Would you like to continue our fight?"
I turned back to him, “I don’t think so. I’ve lost enough blood for one day.”
I can show you the way to control it...
“Would it be strange to hear a voice in your head?” I asked him, feeling he could provide some insight.
He looked deep in thought for a few moments before speaking, "Well that would depend entirely on what you were hearing. What is this 'voice' telling you?"
I tried to think of a way to put it. “To get angry. To go beserk. To... Kill anything that gets in my way. Including you.”
He let out a short laugh, "Oh that's good kid. This voice... Does it have a physical manifestation? Does it have a form that only you can see maybe?"
“If it does, I have yet to see it.” I turned my head towards the castle, “I don’t think they’ll ever warm up to me. Not after what I put them through.”
"Kid, nothing you could ever do would make them see you differently. That's just something you'll have to life with." He trotted next to me, both of us staring at the little piece of the castle we could see. "It's not all bad though. At least a few ponies like you."
I chuckled, “Yeah, but why did I have to be close to the bookworm? Would have prefered Dash. She knows how to have fun.” I thought back to some of the practical jokes she pulled on the many inhabitants of Ponyville.
"Twilight is a great mare, you're lucky to be friends with her. As for Dash, you should have tried more with the others, gotten to know them better rather than just Twilight. Although, a bookworm isn't as bad as you say."
I shrugged, “I guess. As for trying more with others, I tried a lot with Lisp. He at least stopped calling me ‘Fleabag’ or ‘Fuzzball’. Don’t you love it when a mare changes a pony’s mind?” I smirked at the end of the sentence.
"How are you and Lisp getting along? Last time I caught you two he was close to killing you."
“We aren’t fighting anymore, and he ‘offered’ to teach me to play guitar. Turns out I knew more than him.”
He laughed once more, "Well at least you aren't trying to kill each other anymore. Did you give him that sword/guitar item back by the way?"
“Yeah, I gave it back. Octavia happened to get him to make me a guitar. I left it with him, knowing the cave would be destroyed. I plan on picking it up within the next day.”
"Well that's good. Not much of an instrumentalist myself. I can sing a bit, although nothing like how Shadow can." I smiled after he finished.
“Singer, huh? I used to teach myself lyrics to songs, as well as the notes, and play them for my friends... Well, Sofia and a few of her friends.”
"I'll take your word for it that you're good." He spoke in a calm tone, "Do you think of them much, your friends?"
I thought back to them, all the fun times we had. They usually involved me playing my old guitar for them while they did random things. “Yeah. I try not to, though. Getting caught in the past can hinder the sight on the future. Not saying it’s bad to look at the good times, but the bad ones are still there.”
"Of course. Our memories are what make us who we are, and no one can take that away, truly. Even with magic."
I laughed, “God, you sound just like Sofia. Always optimistic, and seem to know just what to say.”
"Sometimes being a bit optimistic is all we have. Hope. That's the most powerful thing in the world. With a small bit of hope, even the darkest of nights can become the brightest of days."
I smiled brighter, “Again, you sound just like her. But yeah, it seems hope is all we can really have right now.”
"Right.” He paused, "It's almost noon, and I've got to stop by a few places in a hurry. So I'll see y'all later kid."
I turned my head to him, “Think I’ll go pick up that guitar. Got time to practice, since I am likely going to be limited to the castle after today. And the ‘few places’, I think I already know what you mean. I’m sure you haven’t missed it, but you might want to hurry. Catch you later.” I started walking off towards the castle, but soon disappeared in a burst of fire.
I sat at the top of the tower, guitar in paws and staring into the day’s sky. It was a beautiful day, but something inside me said something was missing. When I was back on Earth, I always had Sofia or a few of her friends close to me. We were the outcasts. The misfits. The freaks. All of those, but worst of all, we didn’t care. We had nothing to lose, which made us cocky. It also made it hard to find friends outside of the circus act of a life we had made for ourselves, not that it mattered. If people shared our views, they were already with us. Looking back on it, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Sitting alone on this tower didn’t help with my mood, and I knew what was missing. A friend. Dash is busy, I am restricted to the castle, and Spade is likely making his own preparations for the invasion in two weeks. Not that he counts me as a friend, nor do I him, but I think we’re getting on the borderline of acquaintances.
I put my fingers on the frets and started to strum the intro to a song that describes exactly how I feel.
Such a lonely day
And it's mine
The most loneliest day of my life
Such a lonely day
Should be banned
It's a day that I can't stand
The most loneliest day of my life
The most loneliest day of my life
Such a lonely day
It's a day that I'll never miss
Such a lonely day
And it's mine
The most loneliest day of my life
And if you go, I wanna go with you
And if you die, I wanna die with you
Take your hand and walk away
The most loneliest day of my life
The most loneliest day of my life
The most loneliest day of my life
Such a lonely day
And it's mine
It's a day that I'm glad I survived
I took off my guitar and placed it next to me, finding that playing it didn’t exactly help me. Closing my eyes, I aimed my head to the sky, feeling the sun’s warmth over my black and blue robes, hood over my head. “That sums up today so far...”
“That it does.” I turned my head to the left to find none other than Discord. I shrugged at him. “Mind if I join you?”
“Not really. You may be the god of chaos, but you always had my respect.” Discord nodded and popped a lawn chair out of the air and placed it next to me. After he got comfortable, I propped my arms behind my head. “What brings you here? Shouldn’t you be gathering your army?”
He looked at me with a mixed expression. “For once, that chaos is not mine. As for the reason I am here, I am just checking on my latest project.” He paused, grinning, “You.”
I just stared at him, letting his words sink in. “Well I figured as much. Why else would you bring a human to what used to be the most peaceful thing I knew?”
“To stop the dogs, of course.”
I just stared at him, utterly confused. He is the god of chaos, and wants me to stop it? This is the greatest brew of it since he ruled, and he is willing to just let a random mutt stop it? This guy really is the most unreadable person, or pony. Well, besides Pinkie Pie. She just makes no sense.
“Discord... You know I can’t do it, right? It’s a lost cause.”
“Yet you are still willing to fight, are you not?”
“Well, yeah. If anything, I want to buy my friends time to escape.”
Discord put a claw on his beard, stroking it in thought. “Hmm... You still haven’t reached the final stage, have you?”
“No. I don’t know how...”
“Are you going to keep trying to find it?”
I let out a heavy sigh, one that is only given in defeat. “I’ve seen myself try different ways and none worked. I guess what I am trying to say is... I...”
Discord put a lion paw on my shoulder, still bearing that grin of his. “You are learning. When failure is inevitable, any normal being would try to prevent it. Of course, you still plan to, but you have seen yourself failing. You understand that the attempts you were planning on doing will fail, and give up.” He shook my shoulder rather violently before continuing, “That is the first step. Who do you think made those things? That she-wolf?”
I scratched the back of my head with a paw, “You mean she didn’t?”
He laughed a wicked laugh, “Of course not. She is the one who put the evil half in your head. You will reach the final stage before the battle, I assure you that. I may have to... Point you in the direction.” He lifted his paw and pointed a digit at my head.
“In my mind?”
“Yes. Now, I have to leave before that alicorn gets here. He and I have a bad history....” And with that said, he dematerialized right before my eyes, taking the chair with him.
I just sat there for a moment in silence before breaking it with four simple words: “Well that just happened.”
I stared off into the horizon, deep in thought. ‘If Discord isn’t leading the army, and the ‘goddess’ put the evil side in me... Oh shit.’
"Howdy kid." I nearly fell off the tower at the sound of his voice, and glared at him in anger.
“Hey, what brings you way up here?”
"Oh no reason. I was on my way to discuss battle stratagems with Princess Celestia and Princess Luna when I saw y'all sitting up here all by your lonesome. Me talking to the Princess' wasn't all that important to the moment, so I decided to come up and give you some company."
I scanned him over for any signs that he was lying. He didn’t exactly like me, yet I found nothing leading to any plots to try to kill me or something. "So do y'all mind if I join you?"
"I guess, I don't really care."
I watched him as he settled himself next to me, putting his legs under him instead of having them dangle like mine.
"Now kid, I know I'm good looking, but is there any reason y'all are staring at me?" he said mockingly at me.
“...I get enough of those kind of jokes where I’m from...” I stared back out into the vastness that is Equestria, fixing my hood all the while. “Why are you really here? You wouldn’t just come to see me out of the blue.”
"Like I said, I was flying down to meet the princess' when I saw you up here and decided I'd come for a chat." He looked down at the streets, an endless stream of nobles and peasents all rushing to their set destination.
I picked up my guitar and laid it in my lap, just strumming a few strings. “The guards won’t go near me or talk to me. Serves me right, though. Seems like you and Luna are the only ponies near here that actually want to talk to me.” I let out a laugh, “Then again, in my world, I never gave two shits about what others thought of me. It’s how I met Sofia and her crew of outcasts. We got ourselves into some big trouble, too... Those were the times...”
"You did injure a great deal of them, so you must deal with the Guards hatred of you. As for Luna, she's very accepting of everyone else, probably due to what she went through. Myself," he shrugged a bit, trying to not cause discomfort, "I've been through a lot with you. If I didn't cast a glance every now and again in your direction, what kind of pony would I be?" He slugged me with a hoof in my shoulder.
I returned the gesture, “Like the others.” I sat there, contemplating on what to change the subject to. “In my recent dreams, I’ve been seeing the upcoming battle. I can see you and your team, as well as the guards, fending them off with tremendous force, but there’s something missing...” I looked to him, a grim expression on my face. “...Me.”
"Do you mean to say you aren't going to be participating in the upcoming battle?" He tilted his head sideways as he asked me this question. One that I already knew the answer to.
I tried to give him a false smile, but it broke. “...Not by choice...” I looked out towards the sun, inhaling deeply. “I won’t be making it, and you will see soon enough why...” I sounded more cryptic than anything else.
He stood up abruptly, startling me. He grabbed me by my robes and shoved me into the wall. "I don't want to wait and see. So you'll tell me now what the problem is, otherwise we will see how good you are at flying." He gave me that kind of smile which indicates he would take pleasure.
I looked into his eyes, same emotions as before. “I die, okay? I’m going to die and you are there to see it. It is inevitable, seeing how the one who kills me is the same one who gave me this damn power! Are you happy now?!” I shouted at him, stunning him. He let me pass and I rested my arms on the edge of the tower, overlooking the castle grounds. “She will stop at nothing to overthrow Celestia... I attempted to stop her and she stabbed me, leaving me to bleed out... When you see your own death, you can have the right to show me sympathy or intimidate me again.”
He looked me straight in the eyes, "Suffering the death of another is far worse than experiencing your own. When, you, have lived through that enough times, then you can lecture me about rights and wrongs." he spat at me, "I understand what you're going through, and if you want help, I might be willing to lend a hoof.”
I laughed grimly, “You’re the least of my worries. The top, knowing when I am going to die...” I paused for a moment, trying to find the will to go on.
“When?” He demanded from me.
“Tomorrow night.” I said it with haste, hoping I wouldn’t have to repeat myself.
He stared at me, scanning me, looking to see if I was playing some cruel joke on him. He eased up, finally seeing that I was serious. His voice was once more soft, "What, kid? What exactly will kill you? Is it the 'she-wolf' you speak of?"
“Yes. She was once a monarch who ruled alongside Celestia, but she got greedy. Celestia was too much for her to handle by herself, so she made the three amulets. She needed the third to be a human because of our natural hatred... She is taking life from all three of us in order to create the perfect warrior, bred for nothing but killing everything in its path... This is what kills me.” I slid down to a seated position, laughing to hide my dismay. “I know you didn’t ask for a history lesson, one which was forgotten, but you needed it to understand the foe.”
He moved back to his spot, sitting before speaking, "I know of her kid. No need to give me a history lesson. Although the news that she is back is most grave indeed..." He stared at my amulet for a few moments. "Kid, remember my offer to remove the amulet for you?" I gave him a nod, already knowing where this was going. "Well it still stands. If you want to be able to meet your fate at your own hands, I can help you. I could also do the same with SilverClaw and this Grim. Both you and them will keep your abilities however, as they are apart of you now. Without the added trouble of having your life force sucked out."
Don’t listen to him... Even without it, she has taken enough already...
I put a paw to my head, having pain follow each word it spoke.
You are going to d-
Shut the hell up and get out of my head.
I already am...
My eyes went wide. “Spade... Get them off as soon as you can. I have news that needs to be shared with all.”
I’m going to enjoy your death...
Three voices all sounded out at the same time in response to the latest response, mine aloud.
Shut up! (Shut up!) (Shut up!)
Suddenly, the world around me no longer existed. I found myself floating in the void, but there was something different. It was not all black, but both black and white. Inside the white, I could see my world, the original hell I escaped. In the black, I could see the masses of dogs gathering. In the middle, was me. I floated there and felt nothing.
With a flash of red, I was on a large circular platform, three pictures in three different colors inscribed on it. In blue, was me. In green, was Grim. In purple, was Silver. Yet in the middle, was red... Him.
“The hell do you want, devil dog.”
“You to understand something. You are going to die, and you cannot stop it.”
“You tell me of which I already know. Are you blind?”
“Are you afraid?”
He smiled evilly. “You can’t stop us... He will die, and you won’t be able to do a thing...”
I could see a magic barreling down towards us, only to be stopped by a red dome. I started to cast my own spells randomly to weaken it, but he started to push his own towards both me and the incoming magic. I knew it was Spade, trying his best to break me free from the hell that was here. His attacks grew more vigorous, as did my defenses. I encased him inside a sphere of blue energy, but he was slowly corrupting it... And me.
“Spade, I can’t keep his attacks suppressed for much longer. Put your all in it!”
Suddenly, all the magic in the area broke. The red barrier, my barrier, and the magic attempting to break in. A stray bolt struck and where there should have been scorch marks was now a very stunned looking Spade.
“Oh you piece of shit...”
“What? You thought I couldn’t bring him here?”
“Not exactly... Now, what was the purpose of bringing him here?”
Within one second, he had my by my neck. Lifting me in the air, he was laughing insanely. His eyes were no longer regular, but pure red energy. He was closer than me to the final stage, and because of that bitch of a she-wolf!
He pulled me in closer, whispering in my ear, “You will still die tomorrow night, child... Say your goodbyes while you can...”
He disappeared. I gasped for air, even though there was no need for it where we were. My eyes shifted back to Spade, who was just staring in awe.
I shook my head, “That was who I was telling you about. He is fully formed, and is close to the final stage...” I slammed a paw down in frustration, not even making a sound, beyond the fact that I hit it with all my might. After letting my anger out, I took a few deep breaths, calming myself. “So that’s it. I may be free from her grasp, but she took what she needed from me. Thanks for the effort, though.”
He closed his eyes and smiled, "No problem kid. Was the least I could do."
I shrugged and looked around, "So what now?"
"Well for starters, I can free both of them from here quite easily. Then," he shrugged, "I guess we take our leave."
“Free them. I am going to try something...” I stepped to the edge and turned to face him, smiling insanely. “Ta-ta.” I fell backwards, feeling weightlessness overtake my body. I closed my eyes, a sense of calmness taking me over as the sound of wind was soon replaced by nothing. Feeling nothing to feeling a cold stone floor.
I got up, finding Spade laying across from me, his black aura surrounding him. Shrugging, I walked back to the edge, taking in the breeze. “Seems like all hell is about to break loose, and I am going to miss it...” I brought a fire to my right paw and waved it around like a child with a candle, “Let tomorrow come. I will be ready to let go.”
I heard Spade’s voice ring out behind me, "So what are you going to do now kid?"
“The only thing I can do. Prepare to die.” I snuffed the flame and turned to face him, “I’ve had a good run. Might have been a bumpy start, but at least I will have a good finish.”
He sighed and shook his head at me, "You don't have to die, you know. Well, at least not without a little help from me that is."
“Spade, you can’t stop it from happening. You never liked me anyway, right? Just some kid who keeps getting into trouble that you have to clean up.”
He laughed, "Kid, Zin, I don't hate you, which is why I offer to help. Hay, I'd go as far to say that you're growing on me a bit. Enough so that seeing you die won't bring me pleasure." He gave a small wink, "As for stopping it... How's the human saying go? 'History is written by the victors?' Well do you want to write your own history or have some crazy dog do that for you?"
“It will all become clear after the event has taken place, Spade. You need rest, and I would suggest finding a place in the castle or finding a soft cloud. As for me, I am going to do the same. I think he did something to me before he left...”
I moved towards the nearest wall and sat myself down, dragging the hood to cover my entire face. I crossed my arms and got myself comfortable, sensing Spade’s eyes still on me.
“Trust me, my friend. The reason behind me being so welcoming will become clear. Feel free to tell the princess or whomever you feel of what I told you, or you could get some rest. Using that much magic must have left you at least a little tired.”
"As you say kid. You are free to meet your fate anyway you like and I won't stop you."
I could hear him shift his position around me and start flapping his wings, ready for flight. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
"From what you say kid, I don't think you will."
I smiled under my hood after he took off. Soon after, I found myself falling asleep.
I stood in the garden, robes still on and mind racing as I waited for the event to take place. The night was calm, give or take the rain that was pelting. It fit the mood, though.
I could sense a disturbance from behind me, already knowing who it was, even if it wasn’t based on the vision. “Come to die, have you?”
“Go ahead. You are already going to make sure I die slowly with your sword.”
“Then turn to face me. It will make it easier.”
I turned to face him, a smile on my face. His sword was an exact replica of mine, only with red lines crossing it. He twirled it around, showing to me that he was just as capable as me, or was trying to intimidate me. I just shook my head and smiled, spreading my arms wide.
“As humans say... Come at me, bro.” As soon as I finished my sentence, he lunged forward, sword pointed straight at me. Even if I wanted to dodge and fight him, it was already through me by the time the thought crossed my mind.
I let out a yelp of pain as the blade went straight through my gut and out my back, which he left in place.
“If only you picked the right side, Zin. You might have lived.”
I laughed, “At least... I fight for a... Just cause...”
He smiled evilly as he spoke, “Fought.”
He was gone with a burst of red flames. I fell backwards, facing the cloudy night sky, smile still on my face. The sound of paws on wet ground filled my ears, and soon after I found Silver at my side, tears in her eyes.
“I was too late...” Was all she could manage to say as she took one of my paws in her own.
I shook my head slowly, “Death... Is only my... G-Gateway...” Thunder rang in the distance as I felt myself slip away. My last thought before I fully passed... ‘So cliche...’
I found myself on the circular platform, but instead of the four colors, it was just black.
“‘Death is only my gateway.’... Should have just told her, Zin.” Discords voice rang through the void, with him slowly appearing in front of me.
“Let’s just get this over with. I don’t want to miss cracking some skulls.”
He shook his head with that crooked smile of his, “It will take up to the battle for this to work. It is not an easy procedure, and that she-wolf took the same amount of time to change. You’re no exception.”
I groaned, “Just get started...”
He stretched for a few moments before speaking again, “Let’s get to it.”