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“Hey! Watch it!” shouted a stallion as I shoved him aside along with 12 other ponies as I made my way lightning quick through a crowd.
I ignored their shouts of annoyance as I am focused more on my fleeting target.
The “Imposter” as I later figured out to be Dave jumped on a cart of boxes and used it to leap over a small group of ponies. I followed that path and made my jump ending with a small roll amung the scattered equines to maintain my momentum.
As much as I chased him this night, it seemed he would always maintain the same distance between us, no matter how sharp my turns are better than his he would make an attempt to gain as much distance ahead to make it harder for me to catch and finally kill him.
He turned a corner and immediately I did the same but saw as I made my way around that the bulk of the ponies that came for the festival arrived in the town square.
I quickly darted my eyes back and forth as I gently pushed some of the festival-goers aside looking for the same outfit I was wearing.
This crowd is too big, had it been the other way around I would be about half way through them by now.
I made my way towards the fountain at the centre thinking I can use it’s elevation to get me a better view in time before Dave escapes once more.
I cannot allow him to do so.
Sitting on the fountain itself was the bard who I smashed his lute onto his hoof (now in a brace), he noticed me and gave me an angry scowl.
“Oh, well look who it is! What? Did you come here to break my other hoof-,” he spat at me until I grabbed his bard uniform and gave him a death stare.
Quickly I said, “Did you see where I ran just now? Which way did I go?”
“Hang on, what do you mean? You’re right here!” he said with confusion.
“I don’t care. Did you or did you not see where the hell I went!?” I raised my voice to him while drawing my hidden blade to his face to get him to speak quicker.
“HolycrapholycrapholycrapholycrapholycrapholycrapholycrapholyCRAP!!” the bard shouted at the sight of my weapon before fainting in my grip.
Merde, I knew that he wouldn’t be reliable.
I let go of his fainted body into the fountain’s water as I scaled my way up it. I peered my eyes before glancing at a slow white clothed body moving well through the crowd.
“Are you sure he went this way? I can’t see anything through the amount of ponies going around here,” Rarity commented.
“Means it would be a good hiding place for him,” Fluttershy quietly said.
“SHADOW WE’RE LOOKING FOR YOU!” Pinkie shouted among the crowd receiving a few stares in return.
“Rainbow think you can fly up and see where he is?” Twilight asked her.
“No sweat!” she said before flying herself straight up above the crowds of ponies below.
She looked over the area before seeing something at the fountain in the centre.
She flew down back to her friends and said, “I saw something at the fountain in the center. Not sure what it is though.”
Everyone nods and they make their way towards the center.
As they made their way they can clearly hear the large amounts of conversation happening, though the most prominent one was a straight line of ponies complaining about somepony shoving into and past them.
They all gasped once they seen the bard, now soaking wet, who appeared to be knocked out in the fountain. Twilight quickly levitates him up and shakes him a bit with her magic to wake him up.
“Hey are you alright?” Applejack asked him.
“SAVAGES! ALL OF YOU ARE SAVAGES! HE SAID WHERE DID I GO BUT I DON’T KNOW WHERE HE WENT I SWEAR! THEN THE KNIFE! THE UNHOLY DEMON KNIFE! NOTHING MAKES SENSE! I’M GETTING OUT OF THIS CRAZY TOWN!” he started to shake in a fit of fear before running into the crowd and likely as far away from Ponyville as possible.
“Shadow?” Twilight asked the group.
After shoving and pushing a good number of ponies away through that mass, I caught back up to the imposter who looked over his shoulder and noticed me coming back for him before running into a full sprint.
I’ll end up doing this all night! My crossbolt isn’t in range and I need an edge that Dave doesn’t have. That leaves out my skills.
I let out a strong high-pitched whistle as we both ran into the market district.
I just hope he heard it and gets here soon.
He knocked down boxes and decorations in order to slow me down, but I easily vaulted over them. It was when the imposter ripped out a chunk of wood from a gift shop that I started to worry.
Giving a strong power slide on the ground with my boots and my head closer to the ground the gift shop fell just as I finished sliding right from under it. My hoof thrust itself towards the ground giving me the push to right myself back up again.
As we run through the market a familiar mushroom kart was parked next to the road with an all-too familiar doctor.
The Shadow imposter first passed him.
“Hi Shadow!” Dr. Mareio waved to him.
I passed with without giving a second glance.
“Hi again Shadow!” Dr. Mareio waved at me, completely oblivious to the fact there was two of me running around.
Come on buddy I need you!
No sooner then I whistled from before Ace flew in and flapped his wings next to me as I gave him the instruction.
“Ace I want you to follow that imposter. It’s Dave!”
He flew overhead of us and positioned his flight path overtop the imposter so now at least I will know where to find him should he elude my grasp.
Knowing Ace would track him to the ends of Equestria I climbed up a gift store (receiving a few complaints from the pony running it) and used it to jump to a rooftop ledge where I gripped the side and hauled myself up above Ponyville.
The imposter (Dave) looked behind him to see that I was gone. He stopped and turned his head to the rooftops behind and could see me trying to stalk him from the rooftops. I try an air assassination from my hiding place but I was too far from him and missed as he ran towards a merchant rope.
As I got to it he had already climbed it to the rooftops. I brought out my hidden blade and cut the rope as the momentum of the weight carried me much quicker to the roof than he did.
“Well that sure didn’t help; he could be anywhere right now!” Rainbow said with frustration.
“Oh hey! Look over there! On that roof!” Pinkie shouted as she pointed to a distant rooftop where a white robed pony was running along the edge then leaped to another roof.
“Come on! After him!” Applejack said as they all raced towards the hooded figure that they just saw, avoiding seeing another white-robed pony chase after the first one.
Come on Dave! When will you just quit!
We were running what felt like hours across the rooftops of Ponyville, I tried to get closer towards him but his speed and placements were just too well to compare to my chase methods.
I made a hoof signal in the air that Ace caught sight of and started to peck and claw his way onto Dave. He slapped Ace out of the way who regained his flight and flew back up to where he was following him before but as for the imposter that small distraction made him end up at a roof’s edge with nowhere left to run.
He turns around just as I tackle his body from the roof. We plunge to the ground as I bring out my hidden blade and stab it into his chest midflight.
We landed on the ground and my blade puncture through him even more, staining both our white robes with his blood.
Still kneeling overtop his body I look towards the sky to see Ace circling above us. I look back at the body and give a long and exhausted sigh from the day’s events.
Finally… it’s over….it’s all over…
I reach for his hood as I say my last words to the Templar Accountant masquerading as me and who has been giving me problems ever since Ponitlay so long ago.
“Requiestcat in pace, Da-.”
I slammed a hoof into the ground in anger as I gave a quiet whisper.
I slammed my hoof back into the ground again making an imprint within the dirt and gravel.
The hood fell to the ground revealing the face of the imposter, the one who I believed was Dave.
It was the Royal Guard Captain..... Captain Thunderhoof………
I clutched the ground tightly with my hoof, completely surprised and how fooled I was into hunting down who I believed to be Dave, but instead it was the same pony I’ve told I would protect the innocent. He lies here dead, his blood fully soaked into my white robe staining that area permanently with the crimson blood. A pure white unicorn, wearing a one of a kind robe likely made by Dave.
How could I’ve been so blind…….
“Well tonight was certainly a most interesting day wouldn’t you agree Shadow?” Dave’s voice said to me as I see him appear over the body of the dead captain.
“…………how…… how Dave?” I said to him under my breath, as I turned my head slightly to face him but not look directly at him which I could tell bore a smug face.
“It was quite easy Shadow,” Dave snapped his hoof and the white robes clothed on the captain vanished instantly, only leaving him and a pool of blood that came from the stab wound.
“A simple trick that I’ve learned from a changeling…. right before I killed it,” he said with a grin.
I get up slowly and turn to him, my eyes dazed but behind them lurked rage.
Dave was about to smile until a slightly shocked look went on his face as he looked over a the the clock tower's time, “Sorry Shadow, but I need to go for now as this wouldn’t work if I stay here. Don't worry, it's all according to plan. See you in a little bit.”
I lunged for him with my blade drawn only for him to give a small chuckle as he instantly disappeared into a small dark vortex.
What did he mean by seeing me again, ARE WE NOT DONE THIS!?
Shortly after he left a guard patrol escorting Princess Luna arrived where I stood.
Luna gasps as she sees Captain Thunderhoof stabbed and dead with his blood obviously soaked into my robes.
“Why would thoust do this!? Guards! Seize the murderer!” she commanded with a raised hoof.
“Thunderhoof didn't mean to die! You don’t understand!” I protested but quickly went silent as my words were meaningless.
Five guards, two with spears, circled around me and trapped me in the centre as the spear holders pointed their weapons towards me.
I stand there motionless, still fazed on how wrong everything quickly came.
The guards see me raise my hoof towards my face and are momentarily surprised to see a blade shoot out from the vambrace I was wearing. I gaze upon it for a while, the blood of Captain Thunderhoof still bright red on it.
I bring my hoof down and retract my blade.
No one else will die tonight.
I try to walk past the guards but one carrying a spear grips it firmly and shoves it in front of my face. I grabbed the spear with both of my hoofs catching the guard off-balance as I followed up around with a quick whack to the head with the other end before sweeping it under him making him fall to the ground and snapping the spear in half by smashing it against his torso. He was the first to fall unconscious.
The other four react quickly with anger in their eyes as one flies towards me which I quickly side stepped and countered with a kick making him slide against the ground. Two grab my arms trying to restrain me as the one with the spear starts to charge me shouting, “MURDERER!”
It was Dave! IT'S MY FAULT! I FELL FOR IT AND THUNDERHOOF DIED!
Rage building up inside me I let out a small shout and move my hoof together as the two guards holding me in place end up hitting each other in the head. They fall to the ground groaning in pain as I tilt my body and grab the spear the one charging me was carrying and used his speed to flip him vertically up and send him flying onto his back.
I slam the sharp end of the spear into the dirt and picked the guard rising on my left. Grabbing his shoulders with my hoofs I drive his head into the blunt end of the spear.
The guard recoiled in such immense pain that he continued shouting as he fell back to the ground clutching his head with a large red mark and not likely to get up anytime soon.
The one I didn’t target managed to get up and wrap his hoofs around me and give me a few punches. My elbow slams down against his abdomen to get him to loosen up his grip as I grab onto a hoof and flip him over me as he landed on his stomach.
I still clutch his hoof in my grasp and give a sharp twist in the other direction, receiving a shriek from the guard as his bone breaks.
My attention now rests on the last guard who was injured when I took his spear away from him, his teeth gritting against each other. Mine did the same.
After a day of all this crap I went through, Dave tricking me, Dave making me murder the Captain on accident, me having to fight Luna’s guards, and after I wouldn’t know what to expect. My rage is built up and I clench my hoofs in the ground in anger. A slight dark black-red aura overtakes my body, enough to emit the negative emotions of anger and frustration that I was feeling.
He guard gulped from my sight but still held his hoofs up, ready to take the blow should I attack.
I rush towards him as I give a loud roar and body check him with my side. His defense broke for the short time as he tried to counter but I quickly begin a barrage of hoof strikes against him.
I slam his chest.
Punch his head.
Kick his hind leg.
Knee him in the gut.
I bucked him square in the jaw as his battered body fell to the ground and along with the rest fell unconscious.
I give a loud sigh and quickly go back to the dead body of Captain Thunderhoof. My grey hoof goes overtop his eyes as I bring them down closed.
“Requiestcat in pace, Captain Thunderhoof. I am sorry.”
Before I could even stand up and escape from this nightmare, a large dark-blue bubble enveloped me.
Through the film I saw that it was Princess Luna who constructed it but what I saw next to her shocked me. It was the rest of my friends, their faces were in shock, Commander Beard and Garrus had their guns drawn, Mareio dropped his mushroom, Applejack was shaking her head in bewilderment as something that she couldn’t believe.
“It was Dave! He set me up! He played all of us!” I shouted through the barrier.
“I don’t know who thou is referring too, but YOU have the blood of the captain on your robes and blade, YOU have resisted to be arrested. Who do you think you are, killing Captain Thunderhoof in cold blood!? You will rot in the Canterlot dungeons, for eons to come! THAT I WILL ASSURE YOU,” Luna said slamming her hoof down and emitting her royal canterlot voice for all to hear.
I can’t believe it. She doesn’t know who I am, Celestia's sister of all ponies.!This just makes it more worse.
DAVE YOU BASTARD! ARGH! YOU FREAKING TEMPLAR!
“I’m sorry Princess, but as much as I would like to I need to hunt the bastardo that made me kill an innocent. And if none of you will believe me, then I WILL DO IT MYSELF!”
I shout and vent all my anger as I smash my hoofs against the barrier. Luna’s horn glowed and the barrier emitted dark-blue electrical shocks from within. I fell to my knees from the intensity of the pain.
A rising feeling of anger and frustration overcame through my body as I slowly fought back the waves of electricity and stepped inch by inch back to the barrier’s wall, willing myself against the intenstiy fo the pain surging through me.
“How is he doing this? He’s withstanding my magic!” Luna shocked in amazement and fear.
I bring my hidden blade out and with a long arc of a swing I bring it to the side of the wall making the shield dissipate around me with the electric sparks discharging into the ground.
Even though I'm gasping for breath I stamp my hoofs on the ground bringing both of my hidden blades out expecting that the Princess wouldn’t simply just let me go.
My assassin friends begin surrounding me, trying to protect Luna as Garrus and Beard aimed their sights down at me from next to her. I could see their pained expressions; tears were forming in their eyes as they came closer and closer. Not wanting to but ready to stop me should I attack.
Twilight, Pinkie, Rarity, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, Applejack…..
I sheath my blades back into my slots.
“I can’t do this; I will not fight my friends."
"I give up.”
I bring my head slowly down, a tear makes its way visible past the dark shadow of my hood.
A second bubble encloses around me and a few seconds later a violent surge of energy went through my body and I collapsed.
Through my hazy vision I could still make out their faces. I could still feel the guilt inside me from that which made them suffer. I try to give a reassuring smile back to them, to let them know that things will be fine soon. Not one from an assassin acquaintance but one from a friend.
The pain grew even more intense before ending as the sparks aorund me vanished, my anger completely gone, now replaced with exhaustion and a still lingering hate for the one who caused this night.
My eyes close for a bit and I feel myself being teleported.
Far, far away from Ponyville.