Spike soared through the air, his head racing with crazy ideas and thoughts. The one that kept coming up was how he was going to convince the entire dragon population to go to war with the ponies. Dragons and ponies didn’t have the best history, what with the thousand years of pony oppression, and then the dragon’s loss in the wars that followed. It was going to be interesting at the very least. But he had to try. The fate of Equestria rested with him. He needed to at least convince some dragons.
He approached the Sea of Ponies, the great watery basin that separated Equestria from The Badlands. This trip would take him almost a week by boat, but by air it would only take a day if he hurried. He searched the air for a wind current to ride on. Spike soared through the sky, going as fast as he possibly could. Over the still blue sea, he flew. Below him, dolphins leapt in the air and played, weaving through the water with grace. He flew down a bit, skimming his claws on the surface of the water, playing a bit with the dolphins, which quickly fled from the descending dragon.
“What are you doing, dragon?” a voice asked beside Spike.
He almost flew into the water when he saw Dark Conquest, relaxing in an inner tube, wearing sunglasses and holding a tanning mirror.
“What the hell?!” snarled Spike. “I thought you could only annoy me when I’m asleep!”
“Oh contraire, me scaly green friend,” he snickered. “I used to only be able to do that, but every day I grow stronger. In a few days, I shall be able to pierce through the shadows and be free once again.”
“So you’re going to annoy me twenty-four seven?” the dragon mumbled. “Great.”
Conquest slid deeper into his inner tube, readjusting the tanning mirror. “As fun as that sounds dragon, I fear that I have other matters to intend to. Like my performance!”
“Tell you about it later dragon,” the dark alicorn smiled. “Now, back to my former question. What are you doing Spike? I highly doubt this is a vacation.”
“It’s none of your business,” the drake grumbled, taking off.
“Hey!” yelled Conquest, grabbing the tail of the fleeing dragon. “I’m not done talking yet. Take a seat if you will.” He clapped his hooves and a red and white inner tube emerged from the water. “Go ahead, it won’t bite.”
Spike looked at the tube. It looked safe enough. He slid his tail in the hole of the tube and took a seat. “OWWW!!” cringed the dragon as he felt teeth dig into his tail, holding him to the tube.
“Oops,” giggled Conquest. “I guess it does! Oh well, happy accident. Now tell me what you’re doing.”
Spike let out a deep sigh. “If you really must know, I’m heading to the Badlands.”
Conquest’s smile grew at the mention of the country. “You mean the Badlands? Land of the dragons?” he asked. Spike nodded as Conquest splashed happily in the water. “That’s wonderful! I’ve been there before you know! I can show you all the great sights, like the Salt Flats, Needle Neck Woods, and you have to see Volcanna!”
Conquest looked at Spike. Something was up with him, and he could smell it. “Hey,” he said, pointing to a nearby island, “we should check that out.”
“I’d rather not,” Spike mumbled.
“Nonsense!” the alicorn said. “It’ll be like a little adventure!”
He put a hoof on the inner tube that Spike was sitting on and they both went up in a puff of smoke. They reformed on the edges of the island. Conquest immediately got up and looked around. The golden sands of the beach quickly turned into a thick green jungle of vines and trees.
“Just as I thought,” he said to himself, looking behind himself to the dragon. “C’mon Spike, I want to show you something!” he told him, jumping into the dense forest.
Spike rolled his eyes as he followed Conquest into the woods, pushing through the branches and the leaves. “So, is there is a reason we’re here?” he asked.
“Really Spike?” wondered Conquest. “Well…when a mommy dragon and a daddy dragon love each other very much-“
“I meant, what are we doing here on this island?” the dragon quickly spurted out.
“Oh, is that what you meant? Next time be more clear,” giggled the dark alicorn. “No, we are here because I need to say hello to a very old friend.”
Spike frowned. “You have friends?”
“Everypony has friends,” Conquest smiled, “mine are just all dead.”
The two continued two walk through the thicket of the forest, scaring off stray birds as they approached a small cave that was dug in the side of a small mountain. Dark Conquest happily hopped over to the cave, taking a quick peek inside. “This is the cave!” he said, disappearing inside.
The dragon followed the energetic pony into the cave. The cave was dark and dank, and it was covered with strange markings, as if a creature had dragged its claws into the walls. They were probably marking their territory.
“Come in deeper!” Conquest called from within the shadows, his voice bouncing off the wall in a disturbing echo.
The purple drake continued his descent, the sun from the entrance getting dimmer with each step, until he was in complete darkness. He felt around with his feet, finding a large stick on the ground. He picked it up and spat on it with his dragon spit, igniting it with the slimy green fire. The cave glowed with the light of his jade coloured fire, as the dragon continued deep into the cave.
“Spike, I’d be careful if I were you…” the dark pony joked from the shadows. “I think something might still live here...”
A splash echoed through the cave. Spike flinched, turning into the direction of the sound, but it was too dark to see. He heard hoof steps behind him, so he spun around, gripping the makeshift torch like a club. Rattling of bones, again behind him, the dragon’s heart was beating furiously as he was unable to see the approaching sounds.
“BOO!” screamed a giant cow skull, appearing from the shadows. Spike instinctively smashed his flaming stick into the base of the bone, shattering it into two, revealing a smiling black pony.
“You know, if I was capable of feeling pain that would almost tickle.”
“Don’t do that,” the dragon grumbled.
The dark stallion snickered. “Enough fun, we’re here anyways!” he said, looking off into the dark cave. His long dark horn began to glow that hellish red of his, and several bright orbs started to fly around the room and floated next to the walls of the cave. “This is what I wanted to show you.”
In the crimson light of the magic lied a large bone white skeleton. From the tip of its nose to the end of its tail, it had to be a little over a two hundred feet long. The tail area was covered in spiky bones, and the thing’s ribcage could was a large as a carriage and attached to the spine were two skeletal looking wings. The creature’s neck was long and covered with dangerous looking spines, and the head of the beast was massive, its thick skull resting in the dirt, cracked with massive teeth.
“This is a dragon,” Spike whispered.
“Was a dragon,” Conquest corrected, looking at the dead dragon. “That was until she made the fatal mistake of trying to stand up to me.” He sighed, walking up to the dragon’s skull. “The things we do, for the ones we love…”
“What do you mean?” the purple dragon asked.
“This dragon, she was protecting her eggs,” he said levitating up one of her bony claws, revealing a little small burrow with hundreds of dried up eggshell shards.
Spike walked up to the little nest, picking up a piece of one of the eggs. The eggshell was cold, with a greenish slime dried into it. “Did they hatch?”
“Nah,” Conquest smiled, levitating the head of the dragon’s skeleton, snapping it off from the neck and placing it over his head. “I decided to smash them!”
Spike barely groaned. “Somehow that doesn’t surprise me,” he said monotonously.
“Yes…it has seems that I have finally whittled away at your soul,” the alicorn smiled. “It is so amazing how very little you care about your mother’s death.”
His heart stopped. “…M-m-mother?”
Conquest groaned playfully, “What? You don’t recognize your own mommy?” he asked, holding the giant skull in his hooves.
The dragon fell to his knees, staring at the body of the dead dragoness. The way that she huddled around the nest, using her own body to protect them at any cost. It had all the signs of a loving mother, a mother who would give her own life to protect her babies.
“No…” moaned Spike, falling down to his hands, panting heavily to try to keep calm. “You’re lying, this is just a dead dragon you found and you’re trying to get in my head!”
“I’m already in your head, dragon,” the alicorn mused, “And when have I ever lied to you? It is seriously the only thing I’ve done right with you.”
“You’re far from perfect,” Spike snarled, digging his claws into the dirt. “And this is just a lie, a lie to get me angry!”
“Stubborn little dragon, is stubborn,” the dark pony commented, walking up to Spike and placing a hoof on his head. “If it will make you feel better, I’ll show you!” he said as his horn started to glow. Streams of magical energy began to engulf the two, and soon the world around them began to change. Slowly at first, then speeding up, until the world was a blur around them.
Things had gone from bad to worse in Canterlot since Spike had left only a few short hours ago. Celestia had stormed off into her private quarters while Luna laid in a puddle of her own tears, sniffling and muttering apologies. Meanwhile, Rarity was standing by the window sill, looking off in the direction that Spike had flown.
“It’s just not fair!” the white mare cried, shutting the window and turning to her friends, who were trying to comfort Luna. “I waited years to finally admit my feelings for him, only to have my love whisked away for almost a month. Then, we finally get some alone time, he takes off again!”
“You know he didn’t mean to Rarity” said Twilight, looking up from Luna. “He just has a lot of pressure on him right now, and it doesn’t help that this Conquest guy seems to be indestructible.”
Rarity took a deep breath, letting the sigh drag out as she let the anger leave her body. “I suppose you are right darling,” she said, walking towards her friends and the distressed princess. “Though what are we going to do about this unpleasant situation?” she asked.
“Please ponies,” whimpered the night mare. “I deserve everything that had happened to me and more. What I have done to my sister, to all of Equestria, it is unforgivable.”
“It’s still kind of weird that you were in love with your brother,” Rainbow said, receiving a scowl from Applejack.
“Rainbow, keep a lid on it,” the cow pony groaned.
“No,” sniffed Luna, wiping away one of her many tears. “She is right in a sense, but Curator is not my brother.”
“Say what?” said a surprised Rainbow.
“We were all born from different parents,” the princess said. “We are brother and sisters as alicorns, but not genetically,” she explained, turning to Twilight. “It is like how you and Spike are like brother and sister, in an emotional sense, not by blood.”
“Well that’s…” thought Rainbow aloud, “Not so bad…but still…”
“RD, drop it,” Applejack said sternly.
“It’s okay Applejack,” mumbled Luna as she picked herself up from the ground, standing or her shaky legs. “What’s done is done, and I am to blame.”
The ponies sat in the silence, unsure of what to say. The way that Luna had acted was indeed foolish, and in a sense they wanted to be mad at her. Yet at the same time, they all felt bad for her. She was just another victim of love, and who hasn’t done something crazy for someone they loved?
“I forgive you,” Rarity whispered.
Luna raised her head in confusion. “Of all the ponies I have wronged, I would not expect you to forgive me, fair Rarity.”
The fashionista smiled. “And maybe I shouldn’t, but I know how it feels to be denied love. It’s terrible knowing that your special somebody is with another, and that you are powerless to do anything about it.”
“And how do you know of this?” Luna asked.
“Spike and I have been dancing around this subject for years!” she said. “We were both afraid to tell the other one how we felt. I thought he was just being gentledrake, and he thought I was just being good friend. Anyway, we ended up holding in our feelings for far too long, and when Spike almost died from those Diamond Dogs, I feared that he would die without knowing how I felt.”
The dark princess scrunched her brow, tilting her head slightly. “So you’re saying that what I did was normal?”
“No,” said the white mare, shaking her head. “What I’m trying to say is that you should have told him how you felt long ago, otherwise the fear builds up inside of you and in fearing you might lose him,” she said, placing a hoof on the princesses blue chest, “you lose yourself.”
The night princess looked to the kind mare in front of her. She started to tear up again. “Spike is lucky to have you,” she cried, wrapping her hooves around the pony. “I would take back everything if I could and I will do anything to make it up to you.”
“Anything?” wondered the fashion pony.
“Anything,” repeated the princess.
“Well...” the white unicorn smiled, looking at Luna. “I actually think there is something you can do for me, or rather, something you can do for us…”
When the spinning stopped, Conquest and Spike were outside again, sitting on the beach. Spike’s head was spinning as he struggled to get up from the ground. Conquest sat on the edge of the beach, looking out into the distance.
“What did you do?” the groggy dragon asked.
“I took us into my memory,” the alicorn said quickly. “Magic is great, isn’t it? Especially when you have as much as I do.” He looked out into the distance, “There we are, right on schedule!”
“What?” Spike wondered, looking to were Conquest was pointing.
Far off, over the seas and heading towards them, were two figures, one a shadowy black, and the other a blinding white. “You’ve gotten slow sister!” the shadowy one called out, following with a little laugh, “Have you put on weight?”
“Get back here, Conquest!” the princess yelled, trying to pick up the pace as the dark alicorn flew over to the island where Spike and Conquest sat.
“I’m sorry, what was that?” asked Conquest. “I couldn’t understand you with all that cake in your mouth, fatty!” he cackled, flying over Spike and the present day Conquest before diving into the forest, Celestia hot in pursuit.
The alicorn beside Spike got up. “Shall we continue?” he asked rhetorically, heading into the forest.
They followed the Sun Princess into the forest, the mare seemed completely unaware of their presence. “Where are you brother?!” she called out angrily, looking through the dense green jungle, searching for the insane alicorn.
“I AM EVERYWHERE,” a satanic voice echoed, followed by more laughter, “and yet I am nowhere. Perhaps I’m hiding in a tree…or under a rock…or maybe…” he let his voice drag as Celestia felt a twitch in her ear. “…I’m right behind you.”
Celestia’s horn glowed with golden energy. She swung around and blasted the area behind her, turning a small portion of the forest into ash. Her brother was not there.
“I was actually under the rock, dear sister,” laughed Conquest, this head popping out of the ground, the rock resting on his head.
Celestia screamed with rage, blasting at him with another bolt of magic. The rock melted on top of Conquest’s head and he disappeared in a pile of ash.
“Will you stop blasting me for two seconds?”
Celestia looked above her to see Conquest sitting on a low hanging tree branch. “You’re going back in the box, Conquest!” she shouted at him.
“I don’t think so,” mumbled the dark alicorn. “I hate that box. It’s so boring and I have nothing and nopony to play with!” He rolled around on the tree branch. “You should have imprisoned Luna with me. I’d at least have some company.”
“I would never sentence a pony to such a fate!”
“Right…” Conquest dragged on. “Because putting her on the moon was sooooo much better,” he said. “Anyways, this is all hypothetical, assuming you can actually catch me and put me back.”
“I will put you back,” the white mare snarled. “I swear on my name that you will not hurt anything ever again!”
“You know I’ve just noticed deliciously juicy your plot has gotten,” he smiled, licking his lips. “I normally like my flanks well-toned, but there has to be something said about cushion for the pushin.”
The princess cringed at the comment. “You’re sick Curator,” she groaned.
“Are you just figuring this out now?” he joked, “And I told you, it’s Conquest, Dark Conquest.”
“Whatever you are, you are not going to st-“
“DISTRACTION!” Conquest yelled, spitting a glob of black saliva into the white mare’s face. “Catch me if you can!” he called, jumping from the tree and taking off over the sea.
Celestia wiped the black goop off her face, revealing a gritted snarl and an irritated complexion. She took off into the air, disappearing in the clouds as she chased her brother. Spike looked towards the Conquest next to him. The alicorn was smiling profusely, as they watched a tree spilt into two, revealing none other than Conquest himself.
“Was that mean?” he asked himself. “To trick my sister like that?” He looked around, seeing no one to confide with. “I need a second opinion,” Conquest said, opening up his mouth and jamming his hoof in. He searched around in his gullet and finally pulled out two slimly squirrel skeletons. “Leslie, Antonio, what do think?”
“Well senor,” the male skeleton said, although it was actually Conquest speaking through his teeth with an accent. “I say you were right to ditch her, that chica be loco, homes.”
“I suppose you’re right Antonio,” sighed the dark pony, turning to the other skeleton. “What about you Leslie?”
“OOOOOOOO,” Conquest squealed in a high pitch tone, shaking the dead squirrel to make it look like it was talking. “I’m a lady! I have reproduction organs and I like glitter!”
“A typical female response” muttered Conquest in his normal voice.
Spike rolled his eyes as he watched the fully grown stallion play with the dead animals as if they were dolls. “Does this have a point?” he mumbled.
“Of course not!” the black stallion said beside him. “We had a talk about this, did we not?
“I mean how long is this going to be?”
“Well…” thought Conquest scratching his chin. “If I remember correctly, I talked with those guys for about three hours…four tops.”
Spike face palmed. “Is there any way to speed things up? I’m not sitting here for three hours listening to you play make believe with squirrel skeletons.”
The pony gave a little sigh. “Very well dragon,” he said, his horn glowing bright red as the world around them seemed to cloud up, like a water painting. There was a flash of light and they were at the entrance of the cave they had explored not too long ago. They could hear a quiet humming coming from inside the cave. “Want to say hi to your mother?” grinned Conquest.
Spike entered the cave. It was a lot brighter inside than when he went in the first time, so he was able to see all the way to the back of the cave. At the back was a large dragon, similar to Spike’s hue, but a shade or two darker. She had lime green horns sticking out of her elbows, back, and along her tail. Her eyes were an emerald green and were lazily drifting to sleep. She was curled up around a small nest that held six large dragon eggs.
There was a knocking at the entrance of the cave and Spike’s mother’s eyes shot open. She grumbled a little as a dark alicorn walked in. “If you value your life pony, you will leave” she said, her voice was stern and motherly, just like Spike had always imagined.
“Hello dragoness,” the alicorn said. “How are we this evening?”
“Are you daft in the head, pony?” she growled. “I told you to leave.”
“Wouldn’t be the first time,” the alicorn snickered. “But don’t you want to know why I’m here?”
“No. Leave,” she muttered.
“It’s because I need a place to hang low for while,” The alicorn said, looking around the cave. “And I like this place. It’s warm, cozy and you even have some eggs for me to snack on!” He stared at the nest of eggs and eyed them with evil intention.
The mother dragon wrapped her tail around her eggs. “Touch my babies, and I will eat you, regurgitate you when my eggs hatch, and laugh as I feed you to my newborns!”
“And ponies say I’m dark,” he mumbled to himself before resuming his conversation with the dragon. “Well, that’s all fine and dandy, but I think you’ll want to vacate the premise immediately.”
Steam was being emitted from the dragon’s mouth. “I will tell you one more time pony!” the dragoness roared. “Leave my cave or die!”
Conquest took a few moments to weigh his options, thinking of any sort of consequence that could befall his actions. “No,” he said smugly.
The cave was engulfed in a dark violet flame as the large purple dragon unleashed her fiery inferno upon the alicorn. Conquest was blasted through out of the cave, breaking through several trees before smashing into a large rock.
“Good riddance, pony,” she mumbled, sticking her head out of the cave.
Far away, Conquest had his head stuck in a rock. The rock began to shake as it melted around him like ice. A few shakes and all the dust and molten rock was off of him and he took to the air, charging at the dragon.
“You still live?!” said the astonished dragon.
She took deep breath and spewed more purple flames at the approaching pony. Conquest was ready this time, simply weaving through the fire balls as he neared his target. The dark pony smashed the dragon’s jaw with an uppercut, causing the gigantic beast to go flying to the air. He followed up his attack with by grabbing her with his magical grip, and slamming her into the ground with a thunderous shock that shook the earth. She fell on her back, leaving her soft underbelly exposed as Conquest dived down towards her.
“NOOOO!!” screamed Spike, taking flight in an attempt to stop the alicorn from killing his mother, but passed through him. It was a memory after all, and everything that had happens had already done so.
The dark pony was mere feet from the dragoness’s stomach, when she rolled over and smashed Conquest with her long, spiky tail, where he collided into the stony wall above her cave. She got up and grabbed his stiff body in her massive claws, slamming him against the mountain and dragging his head on the hard surface. She took a look at the pony. He barely had a scratch on him! The dragoness threw him at the ground, and stomped her giant foot on top of him. She met a fair bit of resistance from the surprisingly strong alicorn, but eventually felt the satisfying squish underneath her. Lifting up her foot, she expected to see a bloody mess and a broken body, but instead the ground was clean of all blood and Conquest had vanished.
“Looking for someone?” a devilish hiss asked behind her.
Conquest appeared in a flash of shadowy smoke, summoning a shadowy hammer as he smashed it on top the dragon’s skull. The mother dragon fell to the ground, dizzy and disoriented. Conquest’s hammer disappeared and he landed on the purple dragon’s thick gullet. His face was deranged and smiling, with blood dripping down from his eyes like tears.
“You should have listened to my warning, dragon,” he chuckled. “Now you’ll watch me as I eat up your precious little eggs.”
“I’ll die before you hurt my children!” roared the dragon.
Conquest smiled, his bloody eyes staring into the dragon’s. “That can be arranged.”
“CONQUEST, ENOUGH!!” cried a voice from the heavens. The dark pony glanced up to see Celestia descending from the sky. “Your reign of terror ends here!”
Conquest groaned. “Not now Celestia, I’m sort of in the middle of something,” he said, looking up from the dragon to his sister.
The dragon took this opportunity to grab Conquest, squeezing him in her claw. “You should have listened to my warning, pony!” she snarled, right before shoving the shadow alicorn into her mouth and swallowing him whole with a loud chomp.
The princess was stunned, her face struck with terror. “You…What is your name?” she asked the dragon.
“Nightfire,” she mumbled. “Now, less you want to meet a similar fate, leave me and my eggs alone.”
“Nightfire, I am Princess Celestia from Equestria,” she said, “and I would personally like to thank you for stopping my brother, Conquest. If there is anything you desire, do not hesitate to ask.”
“You can leave,” she said bluntly. “I’m tired and I want to get back to my nest.”
Celestia nodded her head. “Then it shall be done, but before I leave, I must request that you spit out my brother, so I may see he is returned to his prison.”
Nightfire shook her. “That pony threatened my nest. He will burn in my stomach for the next decade, and then when my eggs hatch, they will feast on his flesh for what he tried to do. You may have what’s left of him then.”
“You don’t understand,” the princess said. “He doesn’t die, he’s incapable of being killed. Believe me, I’ve tried.”
“Do you think I ca-HNGH!!” the dragoness grabbed her stomach, felling a sharp pain from within. “No…that’s impossible!”
There was a muffled laughing coming from her belly. “You should have spat me out, Nightfire. I don’t digest well.”
She felt more pain being emitted from within, her stomach becoming tight as if something was pushing against it.
“Some would say that I cause…stomach trauma.”
He burst through her stomach in a bloody explosion of blood and gore. The dragoness roared in pain as she fell backwards to the ground, blood still gushing out of the massive hole in her abdomen. Conquest stepped out of the dragon. He was covered from horn to hoof in the dragon’s blood, the only distinguishable feature being the fangs of his brilliant white smile.
Spike fell to his knees as he watched his mother bleed out. He watched her die and there wasn’t a damn thing he could do about it. He couldn’t even scream.
“Now, dear sister,” Conquest said, shaking the blood off his coat. “I’d love to stay and chat, but I have an omelet to cook up.”
“No more!” Celestia yelled, jumping down from the sky and blocking the entrance to the cave. “This ends today!”
The dark alicorn rolled his eyes. “I’m not in the mood to do this now sister,” he said, disappearing in a puff of smoke, reappearing behind her. “So let’s postpone the end.”
“Conquest!” she shouted, focusing her golden magic and blasting behind her. Conquest ducked out of the way, the magic bolt crashing into the wall.
“Please sister,” he said, his horn glowing again as a red barrier separated him from Celestia. “Let me have my fun.” He walked over to the nest and rolled one of the eggs under his hoof. “Now let’s see here…… how many eggs do you need to make a dragon omelet?” he asked himself. “Oh that’s right.”
He stood in the puddle of dragon yolk and slime, as he rolled the final egg under his hoof. “Now do I want an extra-large serving?” he wondered. The answer was obvious. “Of course I do!”
He reared up over the final egg, flashing his toothy smile. “Six.”
“DON’T BUCKING TOUCH MY CHILD!!!” Nightfire roared, charging towards the evil alicorn. The barrier was shattered as she charged at him, snatching Conquest in her teeth and scooping up the egg in her claws. Even the dark and insane couldn’t help but mutter a faint.
“Dragon!” Celestia called, her eyes were glowing white as six orbs of colourful energy surrounded her. The Elements of Harmony. With her magic, and the power from the elements, a large white portal was opened in front of her. “Throw him in the portal Nightfire. It’s the only way to contain him!”
The dragon didn’t argue. Glaring at the alicorn stuck in her teeth, she spat him out into the portal where he grabbed on to the edge, holding on desperately.
“You think you can stop me?!” he laughed. “I feel the pull of this spell getting weaker! And yet I always grow stronger! This prison will not hold me forever Celestia!” he cackled, as he purposely let go. “You can’t stop my conquest!” he bellowed, falling into the abyss of light and disappearing as the portal shut closed, trapping the alicorn in his prison once again.
Celestia fell to her knees. It was getting harder to contain him, even with the help of the elements. She had been lucky that this dragon was here for her assistance. “Thank you again dragon,” she panted, out of breath and dripping with sweat. “Dragon?”
Nightfire was lying on the ground, the wound in her abdomen was still trickling blood. She was crying, her tears hardening as they fell down her as crystals. “He killed them…” she sniffled, her face growing pale. “He smashed them all. My eggs, my babies…My little dragons.”
The princess sincerely bowed her head in respect. “I am truly sorry for your loss.”
“They’re all gone…but this one,” she croaked, coughing up some blood as she revealed the one egg that she had saved in her claws. “But without care, it will surely die.” She coughed again, she didn’t have much time.
The princess looked at the wound. It was beyond repair, and she had lost a lot of blood already. She sighed, “I wish there was something I could do for you.”
“There is something, actually,” Nightfire said weakly. The dragoness let her head rest against the ground as she stretched out her arms, presenting the egg in her claws.
“Wait, you want me to….”
“Please princess,” the purple dragoness asked, swallowing her humility, “I would normally never trust another creature, especially a pony of all things, to raise my eggs…” Her face started to sweat. “But this is what I ask of you…Raise him to be strong and noble, to have heart.”
“Him?” asked Celestia. “You know it’s a male?”
“Yes,” she said softly. “The spots on the egg, there are an odd number of them. It will be a male.”
The white mare looked into the dying dragon’s eye, they were almost of tears tears. She slowly nodded her head. “Very well, I shall take your egg back to Canterlot, but I fear I know very little about raising dragons.”
“Just keep the egg warm,” she slowly said, “If it goes cold then…then…” She didn’t want to think about it. “Keep it safe.”
“I promise on my life,” the princess said solemnly.
Nightfire smiled a strained but caring grin. “Thank you, pony,” she said, her consciousness slipping away. “Now, let me spend my last moments with my son,” she begged.
“Of course,” the princess said, turning around and exiting the cave, passing by Spike and Conquest, unaware of their presence.
Spike walked up to his mother, who was cradling his egg. She couldn’t see him sit down next to her as they both stared at the egg. He rested his head against her cheek. Her head was bigger than his whole body and she didn’t feel Spike cuddling up next to her. Then, she did the last thing he expected, something that he had secretly wanted his whole life and never thought he’d ever hear.
His mother sang him a lullaby.
“The fire is warmest, in the wintery cold…
The flame shines the brightest, in the shadowy hole…
You are my hatchling, a gift from above…
The things that we do, for the ones we love…”
She coughed a little as she continued to sing…
“I’d brave every danger, to spare you ill fate…
I’ll look straight at death, and I’ll spit in his face
Burn every forest, uproot every hill
Threaten my child, and I go for the kill
Cause we are dragons, powerful and strong
United forever, in the words of our songs.”
Her wound had stopped bleeding; she had nothing left to bleed…
“Though one day I’ll perish, one day I’ll die
But you must be strong, no tears in your eyes
My little dragon, my gift from above…”
She brought the egg to her lips, giving it a sweet and loving kiss, whispering:
“I’d do anything, for the
Love… I love you, my little dragon…”
“I love you too, mom…”
Nightfire smiled as she closed her eyes for the last time, her last breath leaving her body and her heart beating its final beats. And she was gone. Spike wrapped his arms around his mother’s head, his tears falling to the ground by the dozens. The mother he never knew was gone, gone because of this creature hell bent on killing everything that had a pulse. She was gone because of him.
And he was loving it. “Aww, Spike misses his mommy!” he teased, walking up to the young dragon.
“Leave me alone…”
“Spike misses his mommy! Spike misses his mommy!” the alicorn sang, dancing around the dragon. “Spike misses his mommy!”
“I said shut up!” shouted the dragon, still clutching his dead mother.
“How does it feel knowing there was nothing that you could do to stop me? That there’s nothing you can do now to stop me?”
“SHUT UP YOU CRAZY BUCKING PONY!!!”
Spike leapt at the alicorn, his eyes red with rage and tears, swiping madly at the shadowy pony, but his talons only passed through him harmlessly. He tried breathing fire, but he just didn’t burn. Punching, kicking, tail swipes, nothing could phase Conquest. Nothing could get that permanent smile off his face. He fell to all four in tears, his breath shaky and his body trembling and weak. It seemed the angrier he got, the weaker he felt.
“Pathetic,” grinned Conquest, looking down at the broken dragon. “You’re all pathetic little vermin, feeling too much, caring too much. It makes me sick to my stomach.”
“I’m going to kill you…”
Conquest bent down, getting to eye level. “You sure as hell can try,” he smiled, blowing a plume of smoke into Spike’s face. “Sleep dragon,” he said, as the drake in front of him started to become woozy and collapsing on the ground.
“Do you see anything useful?” a voice asked, it sounded male.
“Nah, this whole island was a bust,” said another voice. This one sounded female, and annoyed at that.
“Why did Dust Devil want to come here anyway? We never find any eggs or supplies on these islands anymore”
“Beats me, but what can you expect from a Sky Drake?” joked the female voice. “They all have their heads in the clouds.”
The other voice laughed. “Said the Cloudweaver to the Rockmouth.”
“You started it.” There was a pause, the sound of footprints getting closer. “Do you want to check out that cave?”
“Never know what we could find. Maybe there’s a gem deposit!” the male voice said excitedly.
“Can’t remember the last time I’ve had a gem,” the female voice said dreamily. “I guess we can check inside.”
“Great!” the male said, the sound of hoof prints getting closer. “By Gaia, it smells!” the voice gagged.
“Yeah, it’s like something died in here….”
“Hey Glimmer,” the male voice called to the female one. “Is that a dragon?”
“Yeah…” the voice called Glimmer said. “Do you think he lives here?”
“Doubt it, he looks way too young to be living on his own. He’s probably our age.”
“Mmmmmm,” Spike groaned.
“Whoa!” said Glimmer. “Bitterbite, did you here that?”
“He’s looks hurt! Grab him, we need to take him to the hatchery! Go get the others!”
The voice of Glimmer got quieter, calling for help, while the other pair got closer, and Spike felt himself get lifted up.
“Easy dragon, I got you…”
Spike slowly opened his eyes. He was in a well-lit cave, that was a comforting hot temperature. He looked around him and saw pools of lava everywhere, providing the light and warmth of the cave.
“Hey, he’s awake!” a voice said. Spike turned around. His vision was still blurry and he was only able to make out a brown blob, surrounded by other blobs. “You gave us quite a scare there for a second.”
“Where…where am I?”
“You’re in Volcanna,” he said, “city of dragons.”