The Enemy of my Enemy is….
People gathered on the Canterlot streets. The sky, once sunny, was now grey and cloudy. Rain poured down on the city streets as civilians stood on the sidewalk wearing black and white. Today was a different day than before. What was once a day of celebration had turned into a day of sorrows.
The Royal guards, including the city police marched down the empty streets as they were leading the coffins of the fallen heroes to the cemetery outside the city. All of them had emotionless faces as they marched with the cold rain falling on their uniforms. A flag from their homeworld draped over the coffins. Team Avatar, now dressed in black and white, marched beside them as Mako, Bolin, Flash, Rainbow and Sunburst helped carry the wooden coffins. The other ponies, friends and families, all held umbrellas to keep themselves from getting wet. The guards and police wore capes over their heads.
Out of all the heartbroken faces present, Korra took the prize. Her heart was in splinters. A day ago, everyone was celebrating, dancing and laughing. Now, it was as if the entire day had been flipped upside down. In a matter of seconds, their happiness was taken away. This funeral was only a cruel reminder to Korra that, even in his low state, Ronin still posed a threat to everyone. Her friends insisted she wasn't obligated to come, but Korra refused even consider it. She wanted to respect these fallen heroes, and be there for their families. Fillies and foals cried their little eyes out, mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, grandmothers and grandfathers. It pained her to see them like this. She knew there was nothing she could have said that would fix their broken hearts. She just hoped they could get through this.
More ponies awaited at the cemetery and the guards gently lowered the coffins down in their respected graves, removing the flags. Two pony guards played a sad song on their trumpets, while others saluted in respect. Korra could see the red in their eyes from the tears that they shed. She could almost feel some coming from her own eyes, but she stayed strong and quickly wiped off before anyone noticed. A hand touched her shoulder as she turned around to see Mako comforting her. After a few words from the princesses, Korra was asked to say a few herself. She got up to the podium and began to speak.
"Today, we have lost some of the bravest soldiers in Canterlot. Ponies who were willing to give up their lives to protect those they loved." a look of pure determination edged on her face, "These criminals think that they have broken us. That they have destroyed our hope, or strength…but they're wrong. They have only made us stronger, and we shall not allow the sacrifices of these heroes go in vain. These monsters will pay for what they've done. My friends and I will make sure of that. For they think they can break our buildings, torment our friends and families, and kill innocents. But there's one thing that they will never destroy….our Light." Korra walked off the podium as the firing squad got into position.
"Ready!" Shouted Rainbow. The guards stood straight.
"AIM!" The squad got into their stances as the unicorns charged up their horns.
"FIRE!" A streak of fire and magic blasted into the sky. It could be seen from miles away. All lowering their heads in respect. After the event, the crowd began to dissipate and one by one returned to their homes. The families stayed behind to place flowers of other treasures items beside the tombstones. Before long, only Team Avatar remained before leaving. Twilight flew up, placing a hoof on Korra's shoulder.
"You coming?" She asked. Korra was silent before answering.
"I'll be there."
Twilight was a bit hesitant but nodded and flew back with the rest of the group. Korra didn't move from her spot for what felt like hours. She just stared at the graves deep in thought. Even after so many years of peace and prosperity, the sting of loss and guilt was no longer new to her. It felt like welcoming an old comrade, one of which she knew she could never be rid of, but had hoped she would not get to see for a long time. She traces her fingers over the curve of the tomb, crying silently. She got down on her knees and cried. The rain drops strolling down her cloak and the hood over her head.
Tears of pain
Tears of joy
One thing nothing can destroy
Is our bond, deep inside…
We are one
Korra sobbed, singing softly to the deceased ponies, hoping they had heard her. "I'm so sorry." she sobbed, "I will avenge you. I promise." she slowly stood up, her hand on top of the tomb, which fell to her side once she walked away.
From behind a nearby tree, Nova watched. He had watched the entire event and seeing Korra in such a broken state…he couldn't help but sympathize. Once she was done, Nova walked out of his hiding place towards the tombstones. From his cloak, he pulled out a single red rose and placed it near one of the tombs. He didn't say a word. He simply bowed his head in respect and galloped away.
Sunset Shimmer ran towards the building, bypassing various Air Acolytes and bursted into the door. She tossed her backpack onto floor. "Did you find anything?" Twilight asked, closing a book of her own.
Team Avatar had gathered in the dinning room, trying to think of a plan on how to find the sword before Ronin did. Sunset Shimmer panted in exhaustion, tracing her fingers through her red/golden hair. "No. I've looked up every book on magical locations and pocket dimensions, and they all say the exact same thing. None of them can be found unless by an enchanted map." she turned to look at Starlight Glimmer and her husband Sunburst. "What about you two."
"I called my dad to see if he knew anything." said Sunburst, "But we've had the same luck as you have."
Bolin turned to Mako, Flash and Rainbow Dash. "What about you guys? Any leads?"
Mako sadly shook his head. "No. For a guy who went on an all out killing spree last night he sure got out squeaky clean. The samples of ashes didn't do much."
"What about what Cross Guard said?" Asami asked, "He said the attack was a red colored unicorn."
"When we asked him again what he remembered, he said that the attack's horn was slightly curved, and had hair growing from his ankles. She also managed to get a glimpse of his cutie mark. A quill with a flame behind it."
"We've crosschecked every pony with that potential cutie mark, but we've turned out empty." Flash said.
"So what do we now?" Fluttershy asked.
"We stop Ronin." Korra said in a cold voice, "That's what."
"How?" Sunset asked. "We have no way of finding him or the sword, and he could be anywhere."
"With or without the sword, he's the one we have to look for. If we stop him first, there won't be any need to find the sword."
"You have a point, but like Sunset said, we have no idea where to start." Twilight said, "Unless you do."
Korra sighed in exasperation, her fists clenching in anger. It was moments like these she needed to blow off some steam. Mako grabbed one of the pillows the guests used to sit on, and handed it to Korra, who not only tore it in two, but also burned it into ashes that sprinkled onto the floor. Mako watched, unfazed, at his wife's outburst. Tenzin had his jaw dropped and narrowed his eyes at the firebending prince.
"I'll get you a new one." Mako said to the airbender.
Korra breathed in deeply, finally at ease. "I'm sorry, Tenzin. I'm just so frustrated! I can't stand not knowing what to do!"
While the adults discussed, the children were, once again, listening in on the conversation by pressing their ears against the door. Mai leaned over and whispered to Iris. "Dang, Aunt Korra's in one of her moods again."
"I don't blame her." said Iris, "I don't know what she's going to do."
Hiro only scoffed smugly, "Come on, she's the Princess of Friendship, she can do anything. She'll just go all-BOOM! POW! HIYAH! And send that Ronin guy to Tartarus."
"What was that noise?" Gallant asked, placing a hand on his hip while giving Hiro a deadpan stare.
"Avatar magical rainbow blast, duh!"
Iris rolled her eyes and continued listening in on the conversation. She knew it was wrong to eavesdrop, but every bone in her body was itching her to know more about Ronin.
"So, any bright ideas?" Rainbow Dash asked, turning towards the alicorns. "Leilani, you sure there isn't some tiny, itty, biddy, detail that might help us?"
The queen softly shook her head, "I'm sorry, but Nova was our last hope. I'm afraid...there is nothing else we can do."
"That can't be true, mother!" Celestia protested, "We can't just wander the earth aimlessly searching for Ronin, who knows how long that will take."
"And if we waste any more time, surely his power will increase in time." Luna said.
Korra sighed sadly, "We need a miracle."
"Well, it's not like a miracle is going to knock on that door." Bolin said pointing to the front door.
The group turned around and looked at the door. Again, it knocked a second time, now a bit louder. Mako walked over, since he was the closest and opened the door, surprised to see just who it was. There, standing in front of him was none other than the blue-silvery streak haired unicorn himself, Nova Nightshade now anthro and standing beside him was Chi. The both of them had some sort of shield covering them from the pouring rain.
"Nova?" Mako asked in astonishment, while Bolin's mouth hung open in astonishment.
"Nova?!" everyone else exclaimed in shock.
"Who's Nova?" Tenzin asked.
"May we come in?" Nova asked, his voice calm and gentle.
Still rather surprised, Mako opened the door all the way to reveal the visitor. From the other door, Iris gasped as well. The blue anthro unicorn and girl walked into the house and looked at the group with calm expressions. Leilani was quite confused at this sudden heel turn.
"Nova?" Leilani asked suspiciously. "Wh-What are you doing here?"
Nova looked down at Chi with a 'Do I have to do this' look. Chi just tilted her head to the group, telling him to go on. Nova took in a deep breath.
"First of all, I'm not here to apologize for what I said."
"Why am I not surprised?" Twilight muttered sarcastically.
"But, after some deep thinking, I've decided to…offer my services."
"How can you when you don't even know where the sword is?" Rainbow Dash said, surprising Nova.
"How did you-?"
"Korra told us all about your little meet and greet last night."
Nova narrowed his eyes at the Avatar, who only returned the same exact glare, prompting Nova to sigh in defeat. He really, really, really didn't want to do this. But, there was no turning back now. If he left in a huff, even though they were on the same mission, they would never trust him. And, at this point, Chi was right...he was going to need all the help he could get.
"Okay, I do have the map that will lead us to Madam Alpha. But, it's missing a piece."
"Well, this day just keeps getting better!" Applejack exclaimed in frustration, waving her arms up.
"I'm not finished!" Nova stated, "Anyway, my friend Chi here--"
"Hi!" the human formed wisp waved to the others.
"--has been doing some research behind my back." Nova darted a disapproving eye at Chi, who only shrugged sheepishly. "If I'm correct, Princess Twilight is in possession of a magical map, right?"
Twilight nodded, "Right."
"Your map is connected to all three worlds. I'm thinking, if I use my map on yours it might shows us the location to where Madam Alpha will appear next."
"And you didn't bother with telling us this, because….?"
"He's stubborn as a mule." Chi stated, crossing her arms and making Nova stick his tongue at her.
"Now, this is only a theory." Nova explained. "The magic of my map is from long before the Tree of Harmony ever grew in Equestria, which your map is connected to. There's about a 50% chance it might work, 70% chance it might not."
"I'd say about 60%." Sunset Shimmer said. "I've read all about pre-Equestrian magical artifacts, and they will work with other magical items, no matter how ancient. Both the Tree and this map are of Equestrian magic, and the Tree is linked to all forms of magic, old and new from all three worlds. So, we have a pretty good chance."
"I'm sorry, who are you?" Nova asked, insulted that this girl would just barge into a conversation as important as this.
"I'm Sunset Shimmer." she said, offering her hand for him to shake. Nova only blinked, looking at her hand. Why did so many people want to shake his hand all of a sudden?
"Yeah, sure." Nova shook her hand briefly and turned back to the others, leaving Sunset in surprise, looking down at her hand. She continuously blinked, almost as if she had something in her eye.
"Nova," Leilani spoke, "I...I can't thank you enough for-"
"Don't thank me, your majesty." Nova responded, addressing to her in disgust, "Now, yes, I will assist you, but let me make one thing perfectly clear. I am not your friend. To any of you. The only thing we have in common is we need to get the sword before Ronin, and once we find the location of this place, you will do as we say." Nova said, gesturing to himself and Chi. "Not Leilani, not Twilight, or Korra. Our way. If you so happen to disobey I'll send you all back to this very room and make sure you remember nothing of this. It'll be like this conversation never happened. If you don't like it, you can always say no. I have no problem." He said as he held out his hand to the Avatar. "Deal?"
Korra was a bit hesitant at first but quickly remembered that this was their only chance of defeating Ronin. Even if it meant following orders from this guy and stubborn, whoever she was to him. With a face of determination she held out her own hand and shook Nova's.
Nova smiled in satisfaction, that is until he realized that her grip was pretty strong and was beginning to hurt. Before he could pull away, Korra pulled him towards her, now face to face, startling him a bit.
"But if you ever to put my friends and family in harm's way, you'll be spending the rest of your life as a toad before you even mouth one sizable. Am I clear?" She said as her voice became cold, Nova just stood there without a hint of fear in him.
"Crystal." He said simply. She let go of him and Nova grabbed his hand in pain. He heard the faint sound of giggling and turned around to see Chi trying to hold back the laughter. She looked up and saw Nova giving her an angry glare, which she instantly stopped and cleared her throat.
"Right," he said. He reached into his back pocket and opened up a piece of paper. Once fully opened, a hologram of Equestria/Earth appeared, amazing everyone except for Korra and Iris.
"What are these red dots all over the map?" Fluttershy asked.
"Those are all the locations I went to in the last ten years." Nova replied. "Trying to find the missing piece so I could reach Madam Alpha."
Rarity rose her hand, "Excuse, to recap, this Madam Alpha is the one who made the sword, right?"
"Right." Nova replied. "She was a good friend of mine. We lost touch after she got her sword back."
"It'll be great to see her again!" Chi said, and floated to the others, "Oh, I'm sorry I don't think I properly introduced myself. My name is Chi, I'm a wisp. Again, that Wisp. W.I.S.P. Don't get it wrong."
Celestia's eyes blinked in surprise, "A wisp? I thought Tirek had destroyed them all when he first attacked Equestria."
"Well, he did. Except for me!" Chi said happily, pointing her fingers to herself. "I know, it's a sad story, but I'm not one who likes to dwell in the past." she zoomed over to Asami, then Applejack, then Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, basically everyone in the room, shaking their hands. "It's very nice to meet you guys. I've heard so many things about you. Good stuff, I promise. Really good stuff."
Jinora smiled, "Awww, she's so cute!"
Chi's entire body suddenly froze. Her left eye started to twitch and the single strand of loose hair stood on end. She zoomed right towards Jinora, narrowing her eyes at her, clenching her jaw. Her entire body started glowing red like a tomato. "Don't. Ever. Call. me. Cute."
Jinora blinked. "Um…sorry?"
Chi remained red for a few more moments and eventually reverted back to normal, smiling happily once more. "Great, glad we got that out of the way. Jinora, right? Avatar Aang's granddaughter?" Chi offered her hand and the young female airbender hesitantly shook it.
"Yes, that's me."
"Ooooh. Chi floated over to Kai, resting her elbow on his shoulder, "And this tall drink of water must be your boyfriend. You sly fox!"
Kai blushed while Jinora giggled.
Nova rolled his eyes and tucked the map back into his jacket. "Alright, now that we're all acquainted, let's get to Twilight's castle."
In Twilight's castle, Nova levitated the map and gently placed it on top of the cutie map. In a matter of seconds, the paper map outstretched all across the surface, revealing Korra's world. A single area glowed brightly with the initials M.A floated above it. Korra automatically recognized the area.
"The Foggy Swamp." she said. "That's where Madam Alpha will appear next.
Nova examined the area, "According to the map, it's been there for three days. It takes seven days before it moves again."
"That only gives us four days to get there!" Fluttershy said.
"We have to hurry!" said Mako, "With the sword, we'll have an advantage against Ronin."
"How about we just teleport there. Saves less time." Bolin suggested. "Plus, we already know where it is."
"I don't think we can." Twilight said, tapping the area of the swamp, and the place suddenly turned red. "There's some kind of magical block. I keeps any potential magic from getting in."
"Probably a protection mechanism from when Kuvira cut off the roots from the last time." Korra said.
"Don't you guys. We don't need teleportation when we've got our new top of the line airships!" Bolin said, "During my time working for Kuvira, I discovered a route we can take that'll get us there by tomorrow night if we leave in the morning."
"That's...actually a good idea." Nova said agreeing with his idea before muttering something under his breath. "Maybe you're not as dumb as they say you are."
"Then what are we waiting for?" Rainbow Dash said. "We got a world to save!" She was about to fly out the door, but a violet aura surrounded her and was frozen in her tracks, thanks to Nova.
"Now hang on!" He said. "I didn't say anything about leaving this second. We leave tomorrow. First light."
"Tomorrow?!" Rainbow Dash exclaimed. "But we're running out of time!"
"I know. But you won't be any good exhausted and tired. Besides, you've got your kids to take care of, and the Sato's need to ready this airship thingy."
Rainbow Dash and the others silently agreed. Tomorrow would be best.
"Tomorrow it is." Twilight said.
The group looked at each other before nodding. "Good." Nova said as he turned towards the door. "Rest. All of you. I'll see you at daybreak." he said as he and Chi went out the door and headed back to his hideout. As they walked down the foyer, they were stopped by a voice.
Nova kept walking and didn't even bother to look back, for he knew who that voice belonged to.
"What do you want, Leilani?" He said, his voice sounding a bit darker.
Leilani became a bit hesitant before speaking. "I don't know what convinced you to change your mind, but I just wanted to thank you."
"Humph. Don't thank me. Remember, I'm only doing this for the greater good. We may have been friends once, but not anymore." Leilani opened her mouth to speak again, but was silenced when Nova rose his hand. "Nothing you say is going to make me forgive you. So let it go." he looked behind her to his wisp friend, "Come on, Chi."
Chi looked at Nova, and then back at Leilani. The alicorn gave her a saddened expression and Chi could only shrug in uncertainty. She mouthed the words 'sorry' before flying off behind Nova. Leilani hung her head, standing alone in the foyer.
"How much did you hear?" Leilani asked, not turning her head.
"Enough." Korra replied, her hands behind her back. "What happened between you two? Does have anything to do with what happened to his people?"
Leilani sighed and fully turned around to face Korra. "So you know."
"Chi told me."
"How much did she tell you?"
"That the Sorcerers were a special breed of unicorns, feared by most, but I guess she didn't want to reveal too much. No doubt trying to spare Nova more pain. But, she said Nova blames you for it."
Leilani took in a deep breath before explaining. "Nova and his kind were not ordinary ponies." she passed briefly, "After Harmonic Convergence, a race of shapeshifting spirits had chosen to crossover into Equestria rather than live in the spirit world. They took on the forms of unicorns, because they were so fascinated by their powers. But once the gateways closed, they were stuck in pony form forever. In time, they formed their own civilization, known as the Sorcerers."
Korra gasped, her eyes widened in shock. "They were...really spirits? From...from my world?"
"Half pony, half spirit." Leilani explained, "Which, made them very, very powerful. Unfortunately, many of my subjects fears their power, to the point they wished for me and White to….eliminate them."
Korra slowly shook her head. "You...you didn't-"
"No! Never! I was born in your world, and raised by spirits. Their leader asked for peace between our kind, and we offered it. But a group of Sorcerers rebelled against their leader, forming the-"
"The Knights of Han." Korra completed. "Chi mentioned them. They were the ones who believed they deserved to be the superior race."
"They attacked Equestria, creating an even larger rift between our two people. The leader came to me and White one day to find a reasonable way to end this. We wanted everyone to be friends. I didn't want what happened to humans and spirits to happen again. But, my guards took matters into their own hooves." the queen's voice cracked as she explained, "They...they invaded the village. Killing, so many innocents. And I could have done something….but I didn't."
"You didn't know." Korra said, "They went behind your back. You were only trying to prevent a bigger war."
"The war had already grown, and it ended just as quickly as it started. I banished those guards for their treachery, and the Sorcerers...my friends….they were gone."
Korra hugged the alicorn's neck, allowing her to cry on her shoulder. The Avatar rubbed her mane to sooth her friend. "I'm so sorry." Korra wiped away the queen's tears with her thumb.
"But, whatever happened to the Knights of Han?"
"I don't know. They just disappeared and were never heard from again. Nova, was Sorcerer to survive. The Elder, his teacher, disappeared. He roamed the land on his own for decades. I tried searching for him, but all I found...was his cloak by a waterfall. I assumed...he took his own life."
Korra felt her heart shatter. Speaking from experience, she knew how tempting the idea of suicide could be. The poor elder didn't trust anyone else enough to prevent such a horrible act. One from which no one can ever return from.
"So that's why Nova's so angry."
Leilani nodded sadly. "I tried to explain to him, but he blames me and my husband for not having prevented this. Afterwards, I eliminated any recorded document regarding the Sorcerers, and the war. I fabricated history, making it seem they were innocent creatures who has lost their lives during a monstrous earthquake. I wasn't proud of it, and I'm not proud of it now...but I would rather my people forget them different, then remember them as monsters. "
"Is, that also why you were gone for so long?"
"I had...a lot of baggage, at that time. It grew heavier when White died. I'm not proud for leaving my daughters like that, and I swore I would never abandon anyone ever again. That's why I need to come with you. Once this is all over, Nova will go back to being alone and resenting anyone who tries to be his friend. I want to help him realize that there is more for him out there. His people deserve to be remembered fondly. Including him."
Korra nodded her head in understanding, and traced her fingers over the surface of her blue heart-shaped gem around her neck. "Do you remember when I was still recuperating from my poisoning? And you showed me all of those shackles? The ones you learned to let go over the years?"
"You taught me, to learn to accept the past, even if it's painful. Because, if you don't, you won't be able to move on. And if you don't move on...you won't be able to help someone else with their chains. I think it's time Nova learned to break free of his." The two then began to walk back inside the throne room, unbeknownst to them that a certain someone was eavesdropping on the conversation.
"But I wanna come too!" said Hiro as he and his sister were watching their dad get ready for the trip. There were still in their pajamas and a bit sleepy, but not quite. "Why do we have to stay here?"
"Hiro, I know you want to help save the world like your old man, but it's just too dangerous out there and we can't risk you and your sister getting hurt." Bolin said as he was finishing fixing his clothes. "Besides, you'll have a great time with Sunburst and Starlight." Bolin finished combing his hair and looked at his watch. "I wonder what's taking your mom so long?" He said as he walked to her office.
"Look, all I need you to do is watch the office and the kids for a couple days alright?" Asami said as she was talking on the phone. "Me, Bolin and Sunset are going to be outta town and you're the only person I trust that can watch over this company in my absence…..Thank you very much! I owe you one….oh, and tell your husband not to think of any crazy ideas while I'm gone! Ok, I'll see you later!"
She hung up the phone and let out a sigh of relief. Now that has been taken care of, she can continue getting ready. But she would probably only need one thing on this trip. She pushed a button on the side of her desk and a small door popped open on the side to reveal a wooden box. She picked it up and opened it to reveal one of her most prized possessions. Her electric glove. Just looking at it brought back so many memories of her adventures when she was a kid. And some sad ones at well, one of them being her father. She missed him so much, but she knew that he would tell her to be strong and live her life to the fullest. She did forgive him for what he did to her all those years ago, so that was a plus. She picked it up and slipped it into her hand.
Over the last several years during her free time, besides spending time with the kids, Asami would always try to work on her glove, she even gave it a few upgrades since the Siren battle. Like now it could charge up the energy and shoot it out like a beam of light or as a sphere. Memories came flooding back as she remembered the crazy adventures she and her friends went on. She even pretended that she was in battle, throwing imaginary attacks at her enemies. She was in the moment too much that she didn't even notice Bolin and the Kids walking into her office. The three tried to hold back their laughter as Bolin spoke up.
"Agh!" She screamed as she pointed her glove at three, causing the glove to activate accidentally setting it off, firing a beam straight at them. Bolin screamed and ducked as it zipped right past his head and hit a window in the hallway. The family looked at the damage that was caused from the beam. Bolin and the kids turned around and looked at Asami who was blushing with embarrassment from what happened. The glove sparked and flickered from the attack.
"Heh heh. Sorry."
"Little deep in the moment there, huh?" Bolin said as he felt his head for any bald spots. Hiro and Mae still stared at their mother with their jaws dropped.
"That...was...AWESOME!" Hiro shouted. "Do it again!"
"Maybe next time, sweetie." Asami said as she took off the glove. "Besides, still some bugs to workout. The beams are not supposed to be that powerful."
"Can I see?" Mae asked.
"Um, sure." Asami said. "Just don't put it on." She handed the glove to Mai. She quickly took a look at it before snapping her fingers.
"Aha!" She said. "The wires here. You put them in the wrong sockets, that's why it was so powerful, and the glove flickered. Imagine what would happen if you fight like that, it would probably overheat. And probably blow you up." Mai muttered and she switched the wires around and gave it back to Asami, who was quite surprised at her daughter's intellect.
"Uhh. Thanks." Asami said as she put the glove back into the box. "How did you know that?"
"Alotta free time I guess." Mai said. Bolin looked at clock before gasping.
"Oh, we better meet up with the others soon. It's almost time!" He said as he a thumbs up to his wife. Asami nodded and grabbed her glove and the family headed over to the island to meet up the others but not before making a quick stop.
"It's not fair, Mom!" Iris whined as she saw Korra and Mako getting ready to head out. "Why can't I come too? I can help!"
"And I know you can." Korra said. "But this is something that us grownups have to take care of."
"And you're still too young." Mako added. "We can't risk you getting hurt. We just want to protect you."
"But it's still not fair. I can show this Ronin guy who's boss and not to mess with my family!"
Korra couldn't help but smile at her daughter's motivation, but she quickly frowned as she remembered what happened. She couldn't risk putting Iris in harm's way. If anything happened to her daughter, she could never forgive herself. Ever. She had to end this before something like that happened.
"Did you get everything taken care of at the station?" Korra asked her husband.
"Yep. Lin said that she would come out of retirement to hold the fort while we're gone. Sunburst also volunteered to take Flash and Dash's position for the time being, so we're in the clear there. As for Future Industries, Asami got in contact with Varrick and Zhu Li to take care of her company since he's the only one she trusts outside the family."
"Starlight and Sunburst said that they'll watch Iris, Akari and the sibs while we're away." She said as she began to put on her shirt. Korra looked into the mirror and sighed. "Thought I'd never go on another adventure like this again."
"You said it." Mako said, wrapping his arm around her waist.
Korra took in a deep breath and exhaled. "You ready?"
"Ready as I'll ever be." Mako answered as the family walked out of the castle to meet up with the others.
Nova and the rest of the group waited outside the house on air temple island for The two families to show up. Nova was tapping his foot, growing impatient by the minute. The rest of the Mane Six, save for Twilight, were already present, and were standing there awkwardly, trying to think of ways to start a conversation with the male unicorn.
Pinkie Pie was the first one to speak. "So, um, where did you get your cutie mark?" she asked, "Interesting place to have it. Normally stallions have their cutie marks on their arms while in anthro form."
"It's because I'm not all pony." Nova replied. "I'm half spirit."
Pinkie blinked, "Oh. Right, Korra mentioned that. Right."
"Word travels fast for you guys, doesn't it?"
"Well, if we're going to be working together we should at least know a bit about each other. For example, I was born on a Tuesday--" Pinkie was immediately silenced when Nova covered her mouth.
"Wow, that is very fascinating, not really, I don't care. Can we just wait here in silence? I like the silence, thank you."
Pinkie Pie's mouth opened in agape. She was only trying to be nice. She closed her mouth, rubbing her chin in thought. "Oh, I see. You're one of those tall, dark and broody types. Oh, you really showed up late to the party, buddy. You and teenage Mako would have gotten along like two peas in a pod."
"And I have no idea what that means." Nova replied dryly.
Rarity whispered to Applejack, "The resemblance is almost uncanny."
"Where's an earth disk when ya need one." Applejack whispered back.
Meanwhile, Chi was with Akari, Flurry Heart, Rohan and Gallant, asking some questions of their own while waiting for the Sato siblings and Iris.
"So, what exactly are you?" Akari asked, "A spirit? Or, some kind of magical animal?"
"Well, not exactly." Chi explained, "You've heard of changelings, right?"
"My mom once fought the queen of the changelings." Gallant said, raising his hand up as if asking the teacher a question.
"Well, like changelings, I can change into any form I want. But, I mostly prefer a fox or human. Unlike changelings, though, I much rather prefer a fox or human."
“So you're a shapeshifter?”
“Yep! One minute I can be good ol’ Chi and then the next…” she closed her eyes and was engulfed in a blue light. The kids stared in awe a she was an exact copy of Akari. “I’m the daughter of the element of magic.”
The alicorn walked a bit closer to her, examining all the details. She was and exact copy, All the way down to straight , but slightly unkempt, mane.”
“I take it you're surprised?” she said, her voice mimicking the alicorn’s.”
“That is so cool!” she exclaimed.
"So you're a lisp?" Gallant questioned as he inspected her as well.
Chi rolled her eyes. She was REALLY getting tired of people mispronouncing the name of her species. "It's Wisp. with a "W"
"Ah, it's cool.” she said as she turned back to her normal self. “You're not the only one who gets it wrong."
"How do you live with that Nova guy anyway?" Rohan asked. "He seems to be a big-"
"Pain in the butt?" finished Chi. "Trust me, he is. But, he's really sweet once you get to know him. Really." the wisp looked at the sorcerer and smiled.
"So besides turning into a fox, what other stuff can you do?" Gallant asked.
"Well, I can fly." she said as she lifted herself off the ground a little. "Teleport, shape shift. Oh! and I can do this…." Chi outstretched her arm like a rubber band, wowing the children. She recoiled her arm and bowed.
"Wow! You're awesome!" Akari said.
"Awww, stop, you're embarrassing me!" Chi said, her whole body turning a lime green.
"Wow! You can change colors too?" Akair asked in awe.
Noticing her color change, Chi shifted back to normal. "Oh, yeah. My colors reflect my moods. It's not much of a power, so much as just a quirk." Chi said with a laugh, encouraging the others to laugh as well, until something caught Gallant's eye. Something on Chi's chest was giving off a faint glow and by the looks of it, it looked a bit cracked in some places.
"Hey Chi….what's that on your chest?" Gallant asked, with subtly shyness. He feared he wasn't being too bold with his question. To his surprise, Chi didn't seem offended by the question at all.
"Oh, that? It's my Sol."
"Your soul?" Flurry Heart asked.
"Well, not like my "soul" soul, I mean, not like what you humans have. I do have one, but this is a different kind. S-O-L. It's the main source from which wisps get their powers. In short, our life force."
"So, it's your heart?"
"Well, yeah, I guess you could call it that. Yeah. It beats like a heart, and so long as it's healthy I'll live a long, healthy life."
"Is something wrong with it?"
A look of hesitation flashed before Chi's eyes, but it came and went so quickly the children didn't even notice. "Well, I did get hurt once by another wisp. Fun fact, my kind can't get injured by any other species, aside from each other. So, in comparison to other species we're almost indestructible." Chi then lowered her shoulder in sadness, "Except from when Tirek stole our magic and we were literally sitting ducks."
"I'm sorry." Akari said, placing her hand on her heart, and gripping Chi's hand. "But, you have us now. We're your friends."
Chi smiled, her entire body turning pink. "Thank princess. Up top!" Chi rose her hand, and Akari gave her a high five. "Down low!" the two gave a low five, and just when Akari was about to give her another, Chi hid her hand behind her back, "Too slow!"
"I like her!" said Flurry Heart, while Rohan rolled his eyes.
"Just what we needed. Another crazy. As if Meelo wasn't enough."
"I heard that, little bro!" the older airbender called out, from somewhere else on the island. It always amazed Rohan how he was able to hear so well from afar.
"Oh it's nothing.." she said."So Furry Heart, I heard stories on how you nearly buried your home in snow, is that true?"
But, while Akari did enjoy Chi's spunky personality, she couldn't help but feel a bit concerned looking at the crack on her Sol. Not to mention, while it was brief, she did manage to catch a small glimpse of that hesitation in Chi's eyes. Even at her age, she inherited a lot of things from her mom, dad and even her Aunt Korra. One of those things were, no matter how hard you try, you can't hide your emotions. There was something Chi wasn't telling them, but she didn't want to push it out of her. She was already making friends, Akari couldn't make matters awkward by asking more questions. Perhaps, when she feels she can trust them more, she will.
Nova sighed in exasperation once he saw Korra and her family approach the group. "Finally! About time you got here."
"Nice to see you too." Mako said sarcastically with a deadpan stare.
"So, where's this top of the line airship?" his question was answered when a large airship loomed overhead, casting a shadow over the island. The airship appeared so much like the ones Asami often used, but this one had such intricate-magic-like designs across its silver outlines. Instead of propellers, the airship instead had long gem-like pillars, which emitted a sparkling gust as it hovered, the sparkles fading into the wind as they fell, and on opposite sides of the machine, appeared the image of pegasus ponies with majestic wings.
The hatchet opened up, revealing Sunset Shimmer, leaning on the entrance, looking as confident as ever. "All aboard!"
"What's she doing here?" Nova asked, pointing rudely at the unicorn, who walked down the extended platform and approached the group.
"I'm going too." she said.
"What?!" Nova exclaimed in shock, rapidly shaking his head, "No, no, no, no, no! No tagalongs. Only Team Avatar. Besides, shouldn't she be taking care of your company or whatever?"
"Zhu Li can take care of Future Industries while I'm away. And Sunset is a part of Team Avatar." Asami stated, placing a hand on her friend's shoulder. "Besides, she's one of the unicorns who helped design this baby." the industrialist said proudly at her large masterpiece.
"Why would you need unicorn magic to steer an airship?"
"Ever since Kuvira attacked the city with her Siren Mecha, as evil as it was, it redefined the possibilities of merging magic with technology. This airship is the first of the finished product of our hybrid prototype. Faster, eco-friendly, and can withstand any kind of dangerous weather. Lightning, hail, monsoon, you name it."
Twilight opened her mouth to ask a question, only to be interrupted by Sunset, "Yes, we've tested it. This beauty is as good as gold."
"But, since this is the first one of our new line, and given our current situation, I'd rather we have both the technical, and magical genius at the helm." Asami said.
"You guys are looking at the future of the long awaited relationship between magic and technology."
"Yeah, we're awesome." Asami and Sunset high fived, while flipping their hair, smiling with great confidence.
Nova rolled his eyes, "Fine. But she's the only one."
Sunset crossed her arms, "You don't socialize much, do you?"
"Was I being too subtle?" Nova said sarcastically.
"No, that would indicate you were actually trying to hide it. Epic fail."
Bolin laughed, "Oh, oh, you just got sunburned by the Shimmer!"
Nova narrowed his eyes at the unicorn, "Just say your goodbyes and let's go."
Sunset rolled her eyes. "Well, he's gonna be the life of the party." she said sarcastically under her breath as she went back on board. Mako and Korra looked on as the two unicorns went their separate ways.
"Hey. Does that remind you of something?" asked Mako, leaning in towards his wife.
"Come to think of it, it kinda does." Replied Korra. "You don't think….."
The couple looked at each other for a quick second.
Asami and Bolin took this time to bid farewell to their children. "Be good while we're gone, okay?" Asami said as she hugged her son and daughter.
"We promise." said Mai. "Just promise that you'll be safe."
"I promise, sweetie." Asami said as she kissed her on the forehead.
"Hiro, take care of your sister, ok?" Bolin said to his son.
"Only if you promise me to get a souvenir for my collection." Hiro said.
"Deal" said Bolin as he ruffled his son's hair.
"Thank you again for watching them." Asami said to Starlight Glimmer as she shook her hand.
"Don't worry about it. They're in good hands."
Ali, Mika and San each hugged their parents farewell. "I'm trusting you three to keep a close eye on your sister." Mako said to the three lizard spirits.
"We will, dad." Ali replied, nodding her head. "Promise.
Twilight and Flash hugged Akari farewell. "You be good with Aunt Starlight and Uncle Sunburst, okay?"
"I will, mom and dad. I love you."
"We love you too." Flash kissed his daughter's forehead before turning to Sunburst. "Just remember Akari's bedtime is 7:00. And she like to be sung to sleep. And she dislikes brussel sprouts…"
"And Iris prefers to have her milk on the side instead in her cereal." Mako said. "And bedtime for her is 6:30 sharp. Not one minute late. Oh! And she likes her pillow-"
"DAD!" The girls shouted at their father's, glaring angrily at them. The two looked at their wives who simply rolled their eyes at them.
"What?" They both said.
"I think you guys should go before you embarrass them any further." Sunburst suggested. The parents knelled down to their daughter's height.
"We'll miss you, sweetie." Twilight said, kissing her daughter's cheek.
"I'll miss you too." Akari said as she hugged her mom and dad.
Korra and Mako looked down to see Iris looking a bit uneasy. "Iris?"
Iris looked up into her parents. "What If you get hurt or worse, what If you don't come back? Why can't I help?"
Korra squatted down and caressed her daughter's face. "Iris. We know you want to help but trust me, we can't risk your life as well. You'll be able to help us soon enough." Korra said. Iris came in and hugged them both.
"Just promise me you'll come back."
"We promise, sweetheart." they both said. But unbeknownst to her, the two parents gave each other concerned looks. Their moment was cut short when they heard a whistle. They turned to see Nova waving to the group.
"Sorry to ruin the moment, but time's a wastin!"
The heroes said their final goodbyes and made their way to the ship. Chi looked back at the kids, and smiled at Iris and Akari. "I'll see you guys soon, I promise."
"We'll miss you, Chi." Akari said.
"Chi! Let's go!" Nova called out.
"I'm coming!" the wisp bid them farewell and followed Nova inside. Once they were all on the airship, they waved to everyone back on the island. The children waved farewell to their parents, while Akari could only see Iris's saddened look in her eyes. She really, really wanted to help her parents, and maybe discover a little bit more about her dreams, and why her powers have been so out of recently.
A smile formed on Akari's face and she addressed to her caretakers. "Hey, Aunt Starlight, is it okay if we go play in the gardens?"
"Of course. Just be back inside by lunchtime."
"We will. Come on, guys!" Akari encouraged her friends to follow her to the gardens. Iris was a bit hesitant at first, so instead she had to literally drag her with them. Once there, Akari pulled them into a bush, away from the sight of the parents.
"Akari, what is it?" Mai asked.
"We're sneaking onto the ship."
"Woah, What?!" Hiro exclaimed. "Since when did the daughter of the Princess of Friendship have such a crazy idea?"
"This is coming from the crazy idea meister himself." Gallant added. "Just how are you going to get in there anyway?"
Akari turned to her right and looked at the young princess. "What? What are you-" she then put two and two together. "Oh No! Oh Nonononono!"
"Come on, Iris! I know you want to be on this adventure as much as I do, this could be our only chance!"
"Akari. I can't even levitate!" Iris protested. "What makes you think I can cast a spell?"
"It's not too hard. It's just a simple disguise spell, that's all. You know, the one I was working on."
"The Puppet/Illusion spell?" Mai said. "I thought you gave up on that?"
"You know I never give up on anything." She said. "Whadda you say, Iris?"
Iris bit her bottom lip. "I dunno…"
"Come on! You can do this! This may be your only chance to figure out what's going on with you dreams. This could be where you finally figure out your destiny! You can't waste this opportunity! Please, Sis?"
Iris tugged on a few strands of her hair. As much as she didn't want to do this, well, she did want to but not like this, Akari did make some valid points. This may be her only chance at finally figuring things out. She can't back down now. With her mind made up, Iris looked towards the others and nodded.
"Let's do this."
"Yes!" Akari whispered, pumping her fist in the air.
"But If we get into trouble...I'm never talking to you again."
"Figures. You guys might wanna stand back."
The kids complied and took several feet away. Gallant summoned three football helmets for the him and the siblings, just in case if things backfire.
"Here's goes nothing." Iris whispered. A purple spark began to emit from the star on her forehead as the spell took effect. A beam shot from her hands and surrounded her and Akari . The kids shielded their eyes from the light as the spell took effect. Once the light dissipated, the kids opened their eyes and gasped at what they saw. There standing in front of them was Iris and Akari...AND Iris and Akari. An exact duplicate of themselves. The real and fake ones shook their heads from the dizziness. Once their vision cleared, they found themselves staring at their copies.
"I….I did it…." Iris muttered. "I actually did it!"
"Way to go, Iris! It worked!" Akari exclaimed. "It actually worked!"
"What just happened?" Hiro asked the excited unicorn.
"My, or in this case, our illusion spell." Akari said, placing her elbow on her copy's shoulder. "Oh, I'm such a genius."
"Wait, can they talk?" Hiro asked.
"No. They're like puppets. And you guys are gonna be pulling the strings."
Both Sato children looked at one another in confusion. "What do u mean?" Mae asked.
"I designed our illusions to do and say what u tell them. Just whisper "puppet" into their ear and they'll repeat what u repeat."
"Oh let me try!" Hiro whispered the word into the duplicate Akari's pony ear and gave it a command. "Say, Hiro is the coolest!"
"Hiro is the coolest." the copy repeated.
"Awesome!" Hiro cheered.
"Don't get carried away, cousin." Iris said. "We're trusting you guys to cover for us." she said. As rambunctious as Hiro could be, Iris knew they were both wickedly smart so she trusted them to keep their secret safe. They had Bolin's loyalty, and Asami's smarts.
"Of course!" Gallant promised. "You can count on us." he said, giving a thumbs up to his friend. "But be careful though."
Iris and Akari nodded before Akari, teleported the two to a hiding spot in the airship, out of sight from the grown ups.
"See, sis? You got what it takes." Said Akari as she patted Iris on the shoulder.
"Yeah...maybe I do.." said Iris, feeling a bit more confident in herself.
Nova looked out the large crystal window of the airship, overlooking the city growing smaller and smaller as they parted. Chi floated beside him, smiling. "You have to admit, this is pretty awesome! To think, that Sunset Shimmer helped make this contraption."
"It's alright." Nova shrugged, uninterested.
Chi rolled her eyes. "Oy, you're impossible. Well, while you keep moping around, I'm gonna raid the mini fridge." the wisp gave a salute and flew away to grab a snack.
"Not too much sugar! You know it makes you jumpy!"
"Yeah, yeah, yeah!"
Nova gave a lopsided grin while rolling his eyes. No matter how bitter he was feeling, the wisp always managed to find a way to make him feel better.
"It's been a long time since I've seen you smile, Nova." a voice from behind said, starling the unicorn. He spun around rapidly, his ears lowering in anger.
"What are you doing here?!" he pointed an accusing finger at the alicorn queen, getting everyone else's attention. "Were you all in on this?!"
"Would you have still helped if we told you she was coming?" Twilight said, prompting Nova to silence himself. She did make a good point.
"Nova, I know you're still angry with me, and I don't blame you for not trusting me. I may not be as knowledgeable about Ronin as you are….but this is my fight just as much as it is yours."
"What about Equestria? You're just going to dump it on your daughters again?"
"My daughters understand how crucial this mission is, and I would rather something happen to me than to them."
Nova flared his nostrils like an angry horse and turned his back on Leilani. "Fine." he said through gritted teeth. "But this doesn't change anything between us. Understand?"
"Yes." Leilani said with a nod, leaving Nova to sulk in peace. She knew no words would make him believe her, so instead, she would hope to be of help in the search for the sword. She didn't want Nova to continue this journey of anger and loneliness. She hoped to finally help him out of this.
Rainbow Dash approached the blue unicorn, "Look, I get that you have history with the queen, but if we're going to work together, could you at least try to be polite? We're not your enemies here."
"Listen, Speedy. Just because we're teaming up, doesn't mean we're all goody goody. Remember what I said on the island? You may not be my enemies, but you're not my friends. So why don't you just zip it and leave me alone because when we're done here, I never want to see you or your friends faces again!" he scowled before walking back in the hallway, leaving a very confused Rainbow Dash.
"Man, what is with him?" Rainbow Dash asked herself.
"A Lot of things…" Rainbow looked down to see Chi leaning against the wall. "But don't be so hard on the guy. Let's just say finding Ronin took a big toll on him."
"What kind of toll?"
"It's personal." she said. "We've never introduced ourselves properly. I'm Chi! Nice to meet ya!"
The wisp offered the pegasus a handshake in which she shook. "Name's Rainbow Dash. But I guess you already know that."
"Who doesn't?" Said Chi. "You're one the most awesome pegasus ever!"
"Aww. Well, I'm not that awesome.." Rainbow said. "Just your average everyday-Oh, of course I'm that awesome!"
Back on land, two figures watched the airship fly away. The first was a tall male who had on a black cloak and a hood covered his face, only showing his horn and glowing green eyes. He had on a belt which had the image of some sort of spiral in the form of a galaxy.
The other was a bit shorter than the first and he had on a black robe which had the image of a wolf head on the left side of it. He had on a gray armband with red markings and red eyes and had on a black scarf with red markings on it. In the center of his chest was a red orb which gave off an eerie glow. The two looked one with anger.
"It seems that Nova is helping them finding the sword after all." Shade said.
"Gah! Perfect!" Kage said. "Now we have to deal with not only Nova but now those idiots!"
"Calm yourself, Kage." said Shade. "They won't be much of a threat."
Kage let out a frustrated sigh. "I'm sorry. It's just all our hard work would've been for nothing. Now with those brats helping those two, we probably don't stand a chance."
"Now that's not the Kage I know." The two turned around to see something walking out from the trees. Ronin. "The Kage I know would never give up anything."
"You seem awfully calm about this." said Shade. "Nova now has help."
"Oh I know…" he said before a wicked smile formed across his face. "Which is why we'll just sit back and let them do our work for us."
Kage and Shade both smiled at Ronin's idea. "We'll take care of that, won't we Shade?"
The human didn't say anything but morphed into his wolf form and growled.
"That's the Kage I know." Ronin said before turning around and heading back into the shadows. "As for me, I have my own activities to attend to. We shall see eachother soon." And with that, he disappeared. Kage then stretched out his hand and instantly a red portal appeared and the two walked towards it. Shade was the last to enter but not before looking back up into the sky, the airship far into the horizon.
"This time, it will be different…...sister."