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12w, 3dBirthday Highlights 1 comments · 34 views
Before I was skeptical about Doctor Mareio`s plumbing skills. After all he is a Doctor what would he know about getting a washroom in a broken down clock tower?
I barely even noticed we had a washroom here, Rarity had told me they installed it when they did the renovations.
Since that day I had turned the shower knob expecting a nice shower, but instead I got the greatest showering experience ever, it felt like a waterfall was gently drenching my body.
(And my robes, as they too were covered in jam.)
I stepped out from the shower and dried myself off with the towel; my outfit’s material absorbs liquids like a sponge and auto dries itself.
I still don’t know how it does it, never question Assassin technology.
Opening the door to the main part of the hideout I eradiated a wonderful glow from my cleaning prowess. My outfit was fluffed and everything felt comfortable, no signs of jelly everywhere.
“Mareio!” I shouted over the room to get his attention, “Why are you a doctor when you should be a plumber! You’re a master of the pipes and water-heating systems!”
“Why can’t I be both hmmm? I have plenty of hobbies and skills that I like to do. Mushrooms are my favourite, don’t question that!” he chuckled.
“Ever…” he said with a straight face.
Applejack walked over to me, seeing that I’m done cleaning and asks, “Wow Shadow, you know how long you took in there? It’s almost nighttime and we’re all packed and waiting for you.”
“I see, well let’s not keep everyone waiting.”
We walked to the exit of the hideout (bottom of the clock tower) and I saw everyone else ready to go. Twilight was reading a book on how to camp, Pinkie was trying out her ghost stories on Fluttershy, Rainbow was flying alongside Ace as they talked in conversation.
As much as a pony and an eagle can communicate I guess.
And Rarity she had……. about 4 suitcases, a monster folding tent and her backpack.
“Rarity, what is all of this?” I asked her.
“Oh darling it’s just the essentials that I most absolutely need for this trip!”
“Rarity? Really? All you need is this,” Applejack said pointing to Rarity’s backpack.
Before Rarity can argue I quickly said, “This exercise is about survival under stressful conditions. So therefore only what you are able to carry by yourself.”
“Fine Shadow, maybe I will actually learn something useful today!” Rarity gave a huff.
Mareio came down the stairs with Spike who both had their knapsacks ready to go.
“Is everyone here? Are we ready to go?” Twilight asked counting all the ponies.
“Well…. not just yet,” I went over to a crate and pulled out a hidden blade gauntlet for each pony as well as Fluttershy’s bow, and some of Pinkie’s pyro equipment.
“Why do we need all of this? We’re just camping, no biggie,” Rainbow Dash asked after receiving her gauntlet.
“Because we aren’t just camping anywhere…” I replied to her.
Applejack’s pupil’s dilated, “You don’t mean we’re going to that forest, are you?”
I nodded my head and said excitingly, “We are going to spend a night in the Everfree!”
We made our way to the forest clearing, the scenery looked just as gloomy as the time I went with Twilight for that seal. The forest looked even more ominous in the setting sun.
Now we just need to go in and find a suitable camping spot without getting attacked by anything along the way.
Before we headed in I raised my hoof to get everyone’s attention, when they all quieted down I spoke the plan for the night.
“So this is the Everfree, the most hazardous and mysterious forest in all of Equestria. I don’t know what we’ll find in there, but that’s the whole point of this exercise.”
“Expect the unexpected, and keep on your hooves. An assassin’s greatest asset is their ability to adapt in these kinds of situations. Whatever we encounter we have to deal with it so improvisation is key.”
“Also who knows? It might be fun,” I give a slight chuckle. “Alright, any questions? ….no? ONWARDS THEN!”
The group behind me stayed silent as I took the first couple of steps into the lush jungle of the Everfree forest. After a while of walking the group loosened up and began to talk quietly amongst themselves, I didn’t eavesdrop on their conversations as I wasn’t a part, though I felt a bit left out.
Maybe they just need to trust me on this, I’m sure after their training everything will seem like a cakewalk.
Mareio nudged me on my shoulders and said, “An Assassin’s life is a lonely one, that’s what Le Duck said.”
“Speaking of Le Duck, did you send the messages? I’m sure that with the small time gap you couldn’t have…”
Mareio patted me on my shoulder, “Cheques in the mail!”
“Thanks…. maybe we’ll get this whole mess with Dave sorted out. Are you going to tell me what you know about those lobster robots sometime?”
“Campfire story, it will be a wonderful time!” Mareio laughed, though I did see a bit of fear in his eyes.
To break the mood Mareio asked me, “Why didn’t you a bring anything? Nothing importento?”
“I only need my gear and my blade; after all there were many of times I had to survive in a forest or something else. That’s what I mostly did after Ponitlay, survive. Remind me to tell the timber-wolf story at the campfire.”
“Deal!” Mareio and I shook hooves.
After walking for about 30 minutes the forest was getting more and more dark, soon we would have to set up camp for the night.
I’d rather avoid walking in the blind darkness.
My ears picked up something and I raised my hoof signaling everyone to be quiet.
I quickly threw a throwing knife into the sound of the rustling bushes.
The bush moved once more and a brown long body came out no eyes and no mouth, just a knife stuck in its side.
“Is it a worm?” Pinkie asked.
“It’s a tail…” Fluttershy notified us.
Now we’re doomed…
The tail twisted around and a large foot crushed the bush in its place. A loud roar came from the foliage in front of us, and I opened my hidden blade to the creature standing before us. 4 gargantuan heads popped out from the tree covers and eyed us with rage.
I closed my blade and took this moment to shout at my team.
We ran as a group away from the beast it roared and gave chase, the earth quaked beneath our hooves for each step it took. We tried to slow it down by dashing through some trees but it just easily ripped the trucks off from the ground and pursued us.
“Applejack! I’ll try to give that hydra something to worry about, you just focus on gettting the rest of us to safety.”
“Shadow are you crazy!? That thing will crush you!”
“Not if it doesn’t catch me it won’t,” I gave her a reassuring smile then split from the group towards the left side of the monster.
I climbed a tree and waited for it to get near as it hasn’t noticed anything but the group. As soon as its leg was is reach I leaped from the tree and opened both my blades as I stabbed them into its knee.
I roared out in pain from the impact and went to see what had attacked it. It roared again as I started digging my blades upward towards its heads.
I climbed some weird stuff back then but this one puts all the others to shame.
I was about halfway up its chest when a head came down trying to bite me off. I side-climbed and avoided the attack, but it wasn’t done just yet. With its opposite head it reared it’s mouth towards me and this time I knew what to do.
Just before it impacted I leaped backwards from its chest and grabbed onto the long brown neck. I raised my blade and plunged it into the slippery flesh.
This hurt the Hydra more than the other times as I repeatedly stabbed my back into it's neck. Tt violently shook me off and I fell back into the forest’s interior. Once it was done shaking the hydra vented it’s rage and frustration on the clearing of trees in front of it. It wanted to find and devour the pony that ruined it’s 4th head.
Too bad for him, the moment I hit the ground I ran in the opposite direction he was facing and blended into the forest’s surroundings.
I waited in a tree and observed the hydra going on a rampage across the Everfree.
Well, I hope that was the worst thing to find in the forest. I can’t image anything more terrifying than that. Now I should get back to the rest of team before they worry.
Running might leave me exposed, there’s got to be an alternative.
I noticed the trees were very close together and that their branches seemed to be thick enough to support my weight. It reminded me about a book I read on the Northern Assassins. As there are little to no buildings they used trees to maneuver around quickly and quietly.
I saw a branch in front of my hoof and I shrugged.
Might as well learn something myself for a change.
I took a leap off the bark and began to run on the forest’s ceiling.
Why didn’t I try this before? It’s so convenient!
I swung from a branch onto the trunk of a tree, I have made a lot of ground by doing this technique and the best thing is that most of the wildlife below me didn’t even notice me swinging above them.
Repositioning myself against the truck of the tree and a branch to help me balance I noticed how quiet the forest was, it felt surreal as if I was the only one here free to tree-run as I see fit.
I’m not I need to go find the group now, knowing them they must have set up camp nearby.
Using my long-range hearing I tracked some murmurs and the cracking of a fire being made a short distance away. I leaped from the tree and gripped a branch as I made my way towards the sounds. The clearing ahead had a faint orange glow colour that would have been made only from a fire. Sure enough as soon I was above the flames while hidden in the trees I saw the group starting to unpack.
Applejack had a worried look on her face as she was talking to Fluttershy, “I really hope that Shadow is okay, why go up against a monster that is a mountain bigger than you?”
“I think that Shadow was trying to protect us, I can’t even imagine myself facing against a Hydra. That would be so scary.” Fluttershy said.
I snuck my way from the branches and jumped right into the middle of the campsite.
Finishing a forward roll I shouted out loud, “I’M BACK!”
A hoof hit me at the back of my head and I fell to the ground in pain.
First rule of scary forests, don’t surprise your friends… it really hurts.
I clutched my head and squirmed on the ground as the pain started to recover. Once it felt like only a stinging sensation I got up to my hooves and looked behind me, Rainbow Dash was smiling sheepishly she was embarrassed for hitting me.
“It’s alright Rainbow *ow* my fault to begin with.” I rubbed the back of my head.
“Anyways that Hydra’s been dealed with, at least I hope it has…”
“Shadow what were you doing up in that tree?” Twilight asked me.
Everyone expect for Mareio looked confused, “Tree-running?”
I explained to them about how in the north there are only trees so the Assassins there had to adapt to their environment and they developed tree-running.
“If I get a response from Le Duck I’ll ask him to give you a book on the various cultures and lifestyles of Assassins.” I said to which pleased her and she gave a small giggle.
I looked around the campsite, “I guess you guys wouldn’t need help unpacking now. Lucky I didn’t bring any camping gear or that Hydra might have gotten me for sure.”
“Shadow what about a bed, or a sleeping bag? You couldn’t possibly be sleeping on the ground or a tree. I will never dare you to!” Rarity said.
“I’m not going to sleep on the ground; I’m going to be on night duty for most of the time. Somepony needs to make sure we aren’t eaten by a Cerberus before the morning.” I joked.
“What are we going to do now sleep? BO-RING! Let’s tell each other scary campfire stories!” Pinkie suggested and a nod of approval came from everyone.
We got a few logs around the campfire and we began to tell our tales from beyond the crypt.
I first told them about the Hydra battle that I had, I tried not to boast and maintain my character but in the end they were surprised I managed to take down a head.
Next was Twilight who told the story about the headless horse-mare. I’ve heard this story countless times before but it was even freakier when Twilight appeared as a ghost. Mareio fell out of his chair laughing as Twilight revealed she used a minor illusion spell.
Applejack and Rarity were fighting between each other with “The Unbelievably Uptight Unicorn” and the “Dreadfully Dirty Farmer”.
I sense some past conflicts emerging from those two…
“No its mah turn!”
Pinkie Pie shoved them apart and cheerfully said, “No sillies it’s my turn!”
“I call this story…. Pastries…”
Wow that story sounded almost exactly the same as that story I read on that train trip to Maris.
WHY PINKIE? WHY WOULD YOU TELL US SOMETHING LIKE THAT!?
Everyone was freaked out including me, Mareio and Ace. Twilight gripped Spike like a plushy and Rarity and Applejack were in a terrified hug. Strangely Fluttershy was only fidgeting in her seat like the rest of us. However for Rainbow Dash she was completely more than 20% terrified. She curled up in a tight ball and quietly murmured to herself to help calm her down.
Pinkie with a smile reached behind her and pulled out a tray of cupcakes, “Who wants cupcakes?”
She hoofed a rainbow coloured cupcake towards Rainbow Dash, her eyes rolled back and she fainted from fright.
We all passed on the cupcakes and Pinkie shoved them all into a tree as we helped Rainbow recover from the story’s aftereffects.
After we all experienced the mass effect of Pinkie’s story we were too nervous to speak another story, let alone get any sleep for this night. Instead I motioned to Dr. Mareio to explain the giant mechanical lobster dream I had.
Seriously no one would come up with a laser shooting gargantuan lobster killing machine.
Not even Dave could have come up with that from the top of his head.
Mareio went over to the centre of the fire and cleared his throat as approximately 90% of us weren`t ready to hear another scary story especially after the Pastries one.
“Everypony pay attention to a me! I will now tell the story of the Griefers!”
“Griefers? That doesn’t sound very pleasant,” Rarity commented.
“They are these most horrible beings that live in a mysterious place way up there,” he pointed to the night sky above. “In a realm called “Dark Space” ooooooooh!”
“Mareio that can’t be correct: there’s only Equestria, Luna’s Moon and Celestia’s Sun. How could there be life out in the far reaches of space? It’s not scientifically possible to live in space without a planet!” Twilight protested.
“There are plenty of places out there you just need to…. Well back to the story ignore what I said!” Mareio stuttered as he tried to hide something.
“These Griefers are ancient beings that want to do nothing more than cause misery and grief for anypony that lives. These giant mechanical space lobsters harvest the pony’s fear and immediately kill a civilization! MAMMA MIA!”
“Giant Space Lobsters?” Applejack looked in confusion not believing that.
“MECHANICAL! THEY ARE SYNTHETIC!”
“Anyways they come to a planet and blow it up killing everyone! Each Griefer can range from a skyscraper’s height to even larger masses!”
“Sorry Mareio but I just don’t believe that, everything you usually say I don’t believe it. Even Pinkie’s Pinkie sense makes more sense than these so called ‘Griefers’,” Twilight said.
“But it’s a true! If Equestria is under attack by them we will all die!” Mareio protested to Twilight.
Twilight pulled out a book and flipped to a page outlining the Griefer myth, “See Mareio they’re just a myth, they’re not real and they never will be! Equestria has dismissed your claim!” Twilight said rather too loudly as the ground beneath us shook with even more force than the Hydra did before.
“Um… what was that?” Rainbow asked not wanting to appear frightened.
“Quiet everyone!” I raised my hoof to them and carefully focused on the forest in front of me.
Alright, is it the Hydra? How could it have found us… wait what’s that noise?
It sounds like something is being charged…
A red blinding laser shot out from the trees and blew up the campfire, we all managed to jump away from it but what the other ponies didn’t know was that I knew exactly what it was.
An enormous metallic leg crashed down upon the trees we were looking at. It revealed a dark ominous gargantuan being. It was pitch-black all over with some lights sticking out from inside its frame which I assumed were its eyes. The front part of the being opened revealing a red core while radiating an extraordinary amount of power.
“IT’S A GRIEFER!” Mareio alerted us.
"THAT'S A GRIEFER!?" Everyone shouted in shock.
What is a Griefer doing here? It looks exactly like the one that Dave sent after me in my dream!
The sentient being indeed looked identical to the one I had in my dream. It's core had the same red glow, it pointed its body straight towards us as though it was aiming and it almost appears to be charged up.
“EVERYPONY RUN!” I shouted as we jumped away from its aim.
Everything around me turned red as it shot straight at us. The laser hit the ground behind us were the campsite was. I shoved Twilight in front of me forward as a large explosion from the blast erupted behind me and I was sent flying into the air.
My body was scorched from the blast, weakly I climbed back up in pain and seen the damage this Griefer had caused in a matter of seconds. I looked to my right and saw that Twilight and the others were okay and unharmed.
Hate you…. so much right now… Dave...