The Little Pony Legend: Shadow of Ronin

by MyEcho4


Restoring the Darkness Within

Restoring the Darkness Within

Korra sat silence in the large library of Twilight's castle, staring at her reflection on the surface of the Twilight Blade. The sword gave off an eerie glow in the moonlight, everything that has happened went by so fast. Now her daughter and niece were captured, along with Nova and Chi.

The Avatar had not spoken a word since her daughter was captured. Naturally, she would be the first to react and think of a way to bring her one and only child back. But there was one thing standing in their way.

Nyx.

She was Korra's shadow, which meant if she knew of Korra's plan to trick Ronin, then so will Nyx. Ronin will know ahead of time, and will most likely end the children right then and there. If he hadn't already.

No, she couldn't think like that. She knew in her heart her child would be alright. She had to believe. Having hope was all she had left now.

And then, there was Nova.

Despite the reality of who Nova was, Korra held no hatred towards him. In fact, she felt more compassion for him now than she did when they first met. The poor pony had lost so much and blamed himself for Ronin's existence. A look of determination edged on her face as she gripped the sword and left the library.

(~)

In the throne room, the rest of the team gathered around the Cutie Map, which was currently inactive and was just a rounded crystal table. The Mane Six sat in their respected thrones, while Leilani stood beside Mako and a now pony Flash Sentry. Being in Equestria reverted the ponies back to their natural pony form. While the ponies were trying to discuss a way to save the children and see to it Ronin did not get the sword, Sunset Shimmer had a hard time keeping her head straight.

The image of Nova's distressed look stabbed her heart in the chest. He had struggled so much, and now he was in the hands of his shadow. There was no denying the guilt that filled her heart. The unicorn jumped a bit when Mako pounded his fist onto the surface of the table.

"Think people! We've got twenty four hours to come up with a plan!"

"We'll think of one." Bolin said, trying to ease his anxious brother, who looked like he was just about ready to strangle somebody. It was the reason so many kept a fair amount of distance between them and the princes. "But you need to calm down."

"How can I calm down?!" Mako yelled, blowing up at his brother, "My daughter is in the hands of a monster, who could be torturing her right now and you want me to calm down?!"

"Well you're not going to be able to think straight this way!" Bolin pointed out, keeping his cool while also being firm to his older brother.

Mako hung his head, pressing his hand over his forehead. Fluttershy flew up from her throne, along Mako to sit on it instead. The firebender looked as if he were on the verge of tears. "I'm sorry."

"It's okay." Fluttershy patted him on the back with her hoof, "We're all scared too. Nobody blames you for being on edge."

"I just don't know what to do." he said, lowering his hand as a few tears fell down his face. "If we give Ronin the sword, we'll all lose either way. And who's to say he won't just hurt the kids either way?"

"He won't." Leilani said, "Ronin is many things, but he is not that foolish. He won't hurt the children if it means getting his sword back. Even if Korra couldn't break the sword, her had effected it greatly. Ronin won't be able to reach it on his own anymore."

"So, we're now his only ticket to getting it back." Twilight said, her voice dried of emotion. Her eyes stern and focused. "He won't hurt Akari and Iris so long as it will get him the sword."

"No wonder he had his lap dogs leave." Rainbow said, angrily stomping her hoof onto the table. "He turned the tables on us again!"

"No matter what we do, he seems to be one step ahead." Rarity said.

"Amon's got nothing on this guy." Pinkie Pie said.

"All the more reason why we should come up with a plan he won't see coming." Flash said.

“And you guys are going to have to do iy without me.” The team turned to see Korra walking back inside the sword in her hand.

“Korra, what are you saying?” Fluttershy asked the alicorn.

“If Nyx finds out about your plan from me, it's all over. You guys are going to have to think of something, but you can't tell me what it is. I can't know a thing about what you have planned."

"But, what if Nyx senses from you that we do have a plan?" Sunset asked.

"She won't." Korra replied. "So long as she understands I have no idea how to outsmart Ronin she won't see me as a threat. She can read my emotions, but not my thoughts. Plus, the strongest emotion she can feel are negative ones, such as grief and sadness. Even if she can feel my happiness, it won't be as strong as the negative ones."

"How did you figure all that out?" Asami asked.

"It didn't take long for me to realize it while we were fighting. So long as I don't know about the plan, and still have that feeling of fear for Iris and Akari I'll have a better chance earning her belief. I know it sounds harsh, but it's our best bet right now."

The others did not protest. The alicorn made a very valid point. Still, it would be hard for them to come up with this plan without her. Twilight flew up to Korra, nuzzling her cheek with hers and the Avatar wrapped her arms around the alicorn.

"We'll get them back. I promise." Twilight said, tears rolling down from her eyes.

"I know you will." Korra replied, her voice cracking.

Mako and Flash walked up to their respective wives, holding them close. Mako wiped away Korra's tears and placed a loving kiss on her forehead. It was enough to make Korra give a small smile. The rest of the group circled around Korra in a group hug. Her spirits had managed to lift, even just for a moment.

After the embrace, Korra left the throne room and out into the castle balcony. She had to make sure she didn't hear even a single peep from them. She gazed up at the moon, which seemed to shine brighter than ever on this night. If only her daughter could see it.

Poor Iris, just thinking about her made Korra's heart break. Which, as agonizing as it was, was needed if they were going to trick Nyx. Still, she could spare to have some trace of hope, even if it was just by star gazing. She knew she had to do this, her daughter's life depended on it. Despite the situation, she had faith and hope in her family that they would find a way to save them all. That was a promise they would keep. All these and more swirled through her head as she gazed into the sky and sung a little prayer.

Korra:

I pray You'll be my eyes

And watch her where she goes

And help her to be wise

Please, don't let her go...

Every mother's prayer

Every child knows...

Lead her to a place

Guide her with Your grace

To a place where she'll be safe…

Even while everyone was thinking of a plan, Twilight's mind drifted to her daughter. Her precious little shinning light and she too prayed in her mind.

Twilight:

I pray she finds Your light

And holds it in her heart

As darkness falls each night

Remind her where You are

Every mother's prayer

Every child knows

But, it wasn't just the mothers who were praying. Their fathers as well. Mako and Flash tried to keep their calm, but the thought of anything happening to their daughters kept bringing the two to tears. They had to remain strong, and praying for the girls' safety gave them a sense of hope.

Mako;

Take her to a place

Guide her with Your grace

Flash:

Give her strength so she'll be safe

Korra and Twilight:

Lead her to a place

Mako and Flash:

Guide her with Your grace

Together:

To a place where she'll be...

Safe.

(~)

Ronin sat on his chair, sipping on his glass of wine, deep in thought. After all these years, he was finally going to get back what belonged to him all those years ago. Granted, there was a small bump in the road, no thanks to that bratty Avatar, but as always, Ronin was able to turn one mistake into an opportunity. Best of all, he could kill two birds with one stone this way.

But he wasn't happy…

He’s getting the Twilight Blade back, he should be celebrating! But deep down, something was bothering him. Like a faint voice of some sort. It was probably just the wind but at the same time, it sounded so...real.

He turned his attention to the doorway when Nyx entered. "Err! What was the point of having these air conditioners turned on? I hate the cold!"

Ronin chuckled, "How ironic. Then again, you are Korra's shadow. What was that song she sang? The cold never bothered me anyway?"

Nyx growled in anger, "Don't even! That was a stupid song."

“How are our guests doing?” Ronin asked, continuing to look out into the night.

“Whining. Again. I swear, I just want to throw that little pink alicorn into a wood chipper! She's got a mouth as big as Kage's ego!"

"Patience, Nyx. Patience." Ronin said as he placed his now empty glass on the table. "We'll be free of those little brats soon enough."

"I think you and I have some very different definitions on "soon", big guy." Nyx said using air quotes on the word "soon".

Ronin gave a light chuckle, "Relax, we have the bait, all we need is for Team Avatar to hand us the sword. Even if we do give them their children, it won't matter in the long run. I'll have what I have always wanted."

"It better be worth it, or else somebody's going to be cleaning blood off of the walls. I took it easy on those losers at the arena. Not again."

Ronin smiled wickedly. "That's my girl. Where is Kage?"

"Said something about, 'catching up'."

"Good."

(~)

Akari grunted as she tried to use a hair pin to try an unlock their cage. Sadly, nothing they did seemed to work, and the collars around their necks prevented them from using their magic. The anthro sighed in defeat and sat beside her best friend. Iris held her close for comfort. Nova had his back pressed against the wall, while Chi continuously tried to break the bars herself, to no avail.

"Forget it, Chi. It's no use." he said, the tone in his voice indicated he had already given up.

"We can't quit now! Ronin can't get the sword. If he does it'll be all over!"

"Chi's right!" Iris said, "Please don't give up, Nova."

The unicorn turned away, unable to even look at the child. "I'm sorry, Iris. You're both in this mess because of me."

"That's not true."

"Ronin is alive because I tried to separate myself from my pain. I tried to fix everything and now everyone I care about is in danger! Nothing has changed!"

"You care about us?" Akari asked, her innocent blue eyes sparkling.

Nova bit his bottom lip. "I tried not to. I told myself not to get attached to any of you….but like an idiot, I did."

"You don't want to care about us?" Iris asked sadly.

"It's not that easy, kid."

"Yes it is. You care about Chi, and you care about Sunset Shimmer. You cared enough to save everyone from the airship before it crashed."

"That was just a show by Ronin to make me the hero I'm not." Nova replied bitterly, clenching his fists.

"Even if it wasn't Ronin's doing, you still would have saved us." Iris said, giving him a warm smile. "I know you would have."

Nova's pony ears lowered down as he looked up at the child. “Why do you consider me a friend? I nearly got you killed. I nearly killed your dad. How can you trust some monster like me?”

Iris couldn't help but giggle, leaving the anthro confused. "I have the Lord of Chaos for an uncle who betrayed my mom and aunts, and three flying spirit lizards as my brother and sisters. My parents taught me anyone can be family, if you offer them friendship. You're my friend, so you're family.”She and Akari smiled and walked over to him. The human alicorn gave him a tight hug as did Akari. Chi too joined in the embrace. Once again, despite how hopeless the situation was, Nova felt he wasn't alone. His lonely heart felt the familiar warmth he had been afraid to feel again.

"How touching."

Everyone gasped when the cloaked figure appeared before them. The black male wisp floated beside him, hands behind his back. Chi looked at him with sadness and regret. "Hey, Shade."

"Hello, Chi. Enjoying your new home?"

The blue skinned girl gripped the bars, gritting her teeth at the red colored unicorn. "Kage, I swear, you will pay for what you did to my brother!"

"I didn't do anything." Kage replied, with one hand on Shade's shoulder. "Shade here made the choice himself."

"Shade, you don't have to do this!" Chi pleaded, "Nothing good will come from it!"

"That's where you're wrong, Chi." Shade replied, his red eyes glowing in anger. "We have a chance to restore the world. To see to it that nobody will ever have to experience the loss we had to live through."

"By destroying everything the Elements of Harmony have worked to accomplish? By hurting innocent lives?!"

"Our people were innocent, but nobody cared once they were gone!" Shade yelled, causing Chi to back away from the bars, trembling. "Nobody even remembers what a wisp is. Nobody remembers our legacy. But soon, they all will."

"Even if you do manage to restore our family's name in the history books, you'll still be alone. You will still be the last of our kind."

"Not if you join me."

Chi gasped. "What?"

"I'm offering you a second choice, Chi. Join us, and we can become the true dominant race alongside the shadows. The world will be our paradise."

Chi didn't even have to think about it. She already had her answer. "You asked me the same question years ago, and my answer remains unchanged. Never!"

Shade growled in anger. "I thought by breaking your sol you'd become stronger. But you're as pathetic as you ever were, little sister. Look at you. You wander around with this nobody and always act immature. You don't even have proper clothing on!" he pointed to her dirty white dress then to her feet. "You walk around barefoot. like an animal.”

“ We are animals.”

Stop correcting me!” Shade shouted, but she still kept her ground. “Humph. Very well, so be it. Just know, without me, you will never have your sol the way it was before. A slow and painful death shall be your fate. Just know, it was the fate you chose."

Nova stood upwards, shielding the wisp from her deranged brother. He did not say a word, but stared daggers at the dark wisp. Kage ordered him to step back. The red unicorn and the blue one now eye to eye.

"Why do you even bother, Nova?" Kage asked, "It's over. You don't have to keep pretending to be a hero."

"You won't away with this!" Akari exclaimed bravely, standing up to the red unicorn in the hood. "Our parents will defeat you, because they have something you don't!"

"Let me guess…friendship?" Kage taunted while making jazz hands, using a high pitched voice when he said the word "friendship".  Kage scoffed in disgust. “I wouldn't expect a naive child to comprehend. Once Ronin has his sword, your precious magical paradise is about to be nothing more than a distant memory." Kage's horn glowed brightly as he smiled maliciously at the two princesses. "If it were up to me, I'd eliminate you both right then and there!"

Akari shielded Iris, her ears lowering back in anger. "Leave them alone, Cosmo!" Nova exclaimed, stepping in front of the girl. Kage reeled back by that name and Shade growled at him.

"Don't call me that." Kage demanded.

"You don't have to keep up this disguise anymore." Nova said.

"It's not a disguise! This is who I am now!"

"Come on, Cosmo. If this really is going to be the end…at least let me see my friend one last time."

Iris’s eyes widened in shock and looked at Nova. After a few seconds, Kage slowly but surely, began to take off his black hood. The tip of his horn glowed brightly and the red of his skin started to change into a Lapis blue color. His eyes, once red, were now green though his mane remained black. Purple smoke emitted from his green eyes, and a large scar ran across the right side of his face, which had been completely covered by the red dye job. He glared down at the group. Iris was the first to speak up.

“Who are you?”

"This is Cosmo Blitz." Nova said, introducing the now changed unicorn. "He's…was, my best friend before the war."

"I didn't think you still considered us friends." Cosmo said. His voice no longer sounded dark and mysterious but more...raspy- like.

"I did. I just didn't want to admit it."

Cosmo scoffed. "Figures. You keep pushing folks away but deep down you're still a weakling. A coward!"

"Nova is not a coward!" Iris exclaimed defensively.

"Naive, child." Cosmo muttered before addressing his attention back at his old friend. "You had a chance to change everything, to help our people and you turned your back on us!"

"What is he talking about?" Akari asked.

"Cosmo was a member of the Knights of Hans." Nova explained, " One of the founding members, actually. The ones who waged war on Equestria. He tried to get me to join their cause but I refused."

"And look where that's gotten you!" Cosmo yelled, his voice growing stronger with anger. "Our people didn't deserve what happened to them. Our kind didn't deserve to play goody-goody with those pathetic excuse for unicorns! We were the most powerful beings in Equestria, yet they treated us like we were monsters! Abominations! We deserved better than that. I knew that we needed to be on top of everyone!”

“You knew well that's not what Elder Yen Sid wanted!” Nova shouted.

“That old crook was a fool!” Cosmo bellowed. “He knew well of what we were capable of and he should've taken advantage of the opportunity to prove it. But he was so blinded by trying to make us fit in with the other ponies he couldn't see what we were capable of. We knew what had to be done.”

"So that's your own fault!" Akari concluded, "If you guys hadn't gotten such big heads there would never have been a war in the first place and ponies wouldn't have been so scared and attacked back!"

"She's right." Iris said, "Your people were destroyed because of your own arrogance. It was never Nova's fault, it was yours!"

"QUIET!!!" Cosmo yelled at the top of his lungs, and as if on instinct, his entire body became red once more. Shade changed into wolf and growled at the princess. Without thinking, Iris touched the tip of Shade’s nose. He began to calm down as the two stared into each other's eyes. Little sparkles of magic fell from Iris’s fingers as she looked into his mind. She could feel his feelings. From that terrible day all the way up to this very moment. It was unlike she ever felt before. She began to feel something else. Something beneath all that darkness. She felt….good in him still. He still cared for his sister, he just couldn't see it properly. If only there was a way to show him…..

“Get...out of….my head!” He shouted as he tried to claw at the princess. But Akari got in the way, a claw mark going down her arm.

“Akari!” Iris  exclaimed as she grabbed her friend who winced at the pain. Nova kept his guard, making sure he wouldn't do anything else to try and harm the girls.

“Maybe next time you should keep your filthy hands to yourself.” said Cosmo as he placed his hood back on "You still have a chance to fix things, Nova. You and Chi can have a better future. You don't have to live in hiding anymore. You can finally be free."

Nova turned to look at the princesses and his adopted sister before looking back at his old friend. Rather than say anything, Nova stepped back, placing a protective hand on Akari's shoulder, while gripping his jacket. Chi stood proudly beside them. That was the answer Cosmo received.

"Fine! If this is the fate you desire, then so be it!" Cosmo whipped around, his cape billowing as he left the scene with Shade staring down at Chi, following his companion.

"Thank you, Nova." Iris said.

"Don't thank me just yet, kid." he replied before looking down at Akari’s arm. “Are you okay?”

“Its nothing.” She said, trying to act like she felt fine. “Really. It's just a scratch.” She winced at the sudden shot of pain.

“You may be a ‘super-awesome-warrior-princess’ but you're not invincible.” said Nova. He wasted no time looking down at his coat and ripping off a piece large enough to wrap around her arm. After wrapping around it several times, he tied a double knot and evened it out.

“Thanks.”

Nova nodded his head “That should hold until you see your parents again. Just, promise me one thing."

"Anything."

"When your parents come back to get you both…please, take Chi with you."

The wisp stepped back in shock. "W-what?"

"Nova, what are you saying?" Iris asked worriedly. "They're going to save you too."

"It's too late for me now. My entire life has been to find the sword and make up for my past mistakes, while also trying to keep the darkness inside of me locked away." he smiled warmly at the children. "I had come to believe Chi was the only friend I could ever have. But…you girls gave me what I had wished for all along." he squatted down, ruffling Iris's hair. "You guys made me feel like I belonged somewhere again. Even if your parents might not like me all that much, you never stopped being my friends. It's been so long since I've felt part of a group. Thank you for that."

"What about Sunset Shimmer?" Iris asked, "She stood up for you when they all found out the truth. Don't you like her?"

Nova didn't even get embarrassed this time when he felt his cheeks turn red. "Yeah. I do. She's…one incredible pony. I never imagined I would meet someone who was so much like me." his smile melted into a frown. "It was nice while it lasted. No doubt Ronin won't let me get away this time. He's still got a bone to pick with me, but you girls I'll see to it he lets the three of you go."

The three then noticed that Chi’s blue glow was beginning to fade away and was replaced by a dull gray. She shook her head, tears rolling down from her eyes.

“Chi…”

"Nova….no. No! You can't leave me!" she sobbed, wrapping her arms around his neck and he hugged her back. "You said we'd always have each other's backs!"

"I know. That's what I'm doing now. I've been selfish for so many years. Trying to solve everything my way. That's what brought Ronin into existence in the first place. I can't change my past, but your future's still bright." he wiped away her tears with his thumb.

“You big dummy..” she stuttered, still crying. “You're not selfish. You are one of the most caring, generous and kindest ponies I’ve ever met. You don’t have to do this...I can't lose you too.”

“Chi…”

“I can't lose my family again. I just can't!

Nova frowned. Of all the things he hated in the world, seeing her cry was number one on the list. She was so strong, brave, and spunky. But seeing her cry was something he rarely saw her unless she got hurt or facing her brother when she was younger. Nova then glanced down and noticed the small shimmer of light of the moon dancing off her necklace. He  then remembered something.

“Do you remember when I gave you that necklace? It was gift for your first birthday with me. And do you know what I said? I said no matter where you are and whatever happens, I’ll always have your back. Even if we were far apart. You never took it off since that day. Ever since Ronin was imprisoned, I felt alone. That there was no one who could keep me up and moving forward. I wanted to give up on everything. Then I met you. There was still something to live. You are everything to me. Your cute little eyes, cute little nose. Heh, your cute little feet.” He said as he tickled her feet which caused her to giggle a little. “Every single day we've been together, you always managed, in any way possible, to make me smile and I treasure every moment of our friendship since that day. I will always love you till the day I take my last breath. You’ll always have a family. and their standing right behind you.”

Chi looked up at him and turned to look at the girls, her eyes red and puffy from crying but it still kept its sparkle. She knew from that spot that those words didn't come from his mouth. It came from the heart. Even after everything that has happened, he still loved and cared for her. She went in and gave him a hug.

“How did I ever end up with a pony like you?”

“I dunno. I keep asking myself that same question.” Nova replied before ending the hug. “I'm sorry I couldn't fix your sol. Maybe, maybe Korra and Twilight can find something I never could. I may be skilled in magic, but…they know a lot more than I could ever hope. I know they'll look out for you the same way I always have."

Chi cried harder, “I love you, Nova.”

“I love you too, Chi.” Nova said as he gave her a kiss on the head and hugged her tightly. Iris and Akari could only smile at this sibling moment but both became equally shocked as the wisp wrapped her arms around them.

"I love you, Guys."

"Chi.." Akari started.

"No." Ever since we first met, you guys were the most awesome, smartest, stubborn but bravest girls I've met. You two were like the little sisters I've never had. And I love you guys. So, So much. With all my sol.."

"Chi...We were going to say we love you too."

The three embraced each other in one big hug unaware that the once grey wisp turned into a heavenly white. It illuminated the cell and the entire room. Nova looked on with a small smile. He knew those three are gonna get along perfectly. Sadly, their moment was cut short when heard the cell door opening.

"Gah! Turn off your lights, stupid wisp!"

They turned and glared as they saw Nyx at the door. The glow slowly dimmed as she returned to her original sky blue color.

“The big guy wants to see you.” she said, still smoking, literally, from the light.

Nova looked at the girls who looked at him with concern. “Don't worry. Everything's going to be okay.” He said. “Chi. Take care of them. Be strong.” He got up and walked towards Nyx who shoved him forward. She closed the door and the force field reactivated.

"Keep moving, buddy." Nyx ordered, smiling wickedly. She led him down the metal stairs towards the door of an office. Opening it, Nova was shoved inside and Nyx closed the door behind her. The unicorn stood unmoving at the figure before him. He wore a long dark cloak with matching black boots. Once he turned around, it was hard to tell where any line of his cloths ended and where they began due to how pitch black they were. The only form of coloring he had was his midnight blue skin, horn and snow white hair. His eyes were bloody red.

Nova gasped. It was like staring at an evil mirror. "Nova Nightshade. I'd say it's been a while, but we already had our little reunion at Ma's old place. What have you been up to since then?" he asked. Nova remained silent, his eyes narrowed. "Not talking, I should have expected."

"What do you want with me?" Nova asked demandingly.

"Come now, don't be like that." Ronin pulled up a chair, "Sit down, relax. Let's talk, catch up, you know, without all that pesky fighting."

"I prefer to stand." Nova said, "And will you quit it with the so called charms already? You know I see right through you."

"Oh, really? Because, you didn't know that Avon was me." Ronin pointed out, causing Nova to startle. "I mean, seriously. Avon: Nova. I'm seriously surprised you didn't connect the dots. You're supposed to be so smart, then again nobody in your new entourage suspected anything either. Well, maybe except for that rainbow brat."

"You have what you want. The sword is well on its way and you already got everybody on the team to hate me."

"Now, see that's where you're wrong. Nobody on that team hates you."

"That's not true. Once you spilled the beans they resented me on the spot!"

"Oh, did they? Because, from what Nyx told me, you were helping them find my precious blade in that pro-bending arena." Ronin said as he closed in on his unicorn look-alike. "And Kage recently informed me just how protective you were of those little princesses back there. Ah, let's not forget that pretty unicorn. What was her name again? Sunny? Shine? Shimmer? Oh, right. Sunset Shimmer."

Nova's eyes partly widened. He tried so hard to keep himself composed, but with every word Ronin was tearing him down.

"Tisk, tisk, tisk. I'm ashamed of you, Nova." Ronin walked towards the wall, where an old map of the Avatar world hung, all old, wrinkled and stained. Ronin traced his finger onto a location in the earth kingdom. " You promised Midnight you would always be loyal to her. She was the first, and only, unicorn you ever truly loved." he said as he sunk his fingernails into the picture. "You said you'd always be loyal to your people. To Cosmo, to everybody. You even promised to always watch over Chi. And what did you do?"

Nova gulped, his eyes shimmering in fear as Ronin's void boomed within the confined walls and he tore the map in two.

"YOU TURNED YOUR BACK ON THEM!!!"

"You know darn well I would have given anything to have prevented their demise!" Nova spatted, no longer terrified of his shadow. "I've carried the memory of them my entire life!!"

"And once you made new friends you thought you could finally heal." Ronin said, not even bothering to turn around to face Nova. "You just don't see it, do you? You can't replace them. You can't replace any of them. Maybe you can replace Midnight because she is long gone. Heck, you can even replace Yen Sid. But the others…"

Nova looked at him in confusion. "What are you talking about?"

Ronin chuckled and finally turned around, fixing his white hair in the process. "You remember my Umbra army, don't you?"

"The army of shadows you created? Yeah, I remember them perfectly." Nova said with deep anger.

"See, that's one little detail you got mixed up, my friend. Did you really think I wandered around stealing shadows from ponies to create my army? Sure, I did do that a few times, but why create an entire army from scratch, when I already had one, willing to serve me….The Knights of Hans!"

Nova gasped. He felt he could barely stand. "No. No, that can't be!"

"The people of the village may be long gone. But the ones who were smart enough to survive have always been with me. Or, at least they were until you and that pesky alicorn stole my sword!"

Nova shook his head. His entire body trembled at the revelation. "You…you don't mean--"

"That little seed of darkness wasn't my only parting gift when you and Leilani imprisoned me. I made sure that my army would be at my beck and call once the sword was in my hands again. How ironic. You fought alongside Leilani to stop me and defeat the Umbra, never once realizing you were battling against your own kind. Imprisoned your own kind! It just seems you are doomed to failure."

Nova got down on his knees. The reality sinking into his mind. "The sorcerers…they're inside the sword? This whole time?"

"Don't go blaming Leilani again, she was clueless as you."

Nova couldn't even speak. The truth that his people, or at least what remained, had been alive and trapped inside the sword he swore to one day destroy. Even in his quest to do good, her was still making things worse. He knew Ronin wasn't lying. Standing close to him, he knew he wasn't.

Ronin squatted down, placing his hands on Nova's shoulder. He spoke in a calm, compassionate voice. "I'm sorry you had to find out this way. But don't you see, Nova? Those so called "heroes" can never fill what you have lost. You can't always fix the past with something new. Sometimes, the only thing that can fix the past…is the very same thing that was lost."

To Nova's surprised, Ronin wiped away his tears in a brotherly manner, the same way Nova once did for Chi. For once, he felt as if one of his own kind was right beside him. It felt like going back in time to when all was right and everything was as it should have been.

"Now, I can't get the sword now as just a shadow. Not after what Korra did with her magic. But, if I can get near it with your help, we can finally free our people and restore their legacy."

Nova shook his head and stood up, backing away as quickly as he could. "Wait. You may have the sorcerers in the sword, but they're still under your control. You turned them into what they are!"

"I didn't do it by myself. They willingly accepted it. In that form, they were stronger than they had ever dreamed. I gave them what they wanted. Don't you want that? To be with your people again? To turn back the clock and fix everything? Or, are you still hung up on those wannabe heroes to care about your kind anymore?"

Nova didn't know what to say or think. His logical thinking was saying that if Ronin won the world would be destroyed, and everyone he knew would be lost. But, if he did, then his people would return. Maybe in the form of shadows, and they may have been the ones who started the war to begin with but…more than anything, Nova wanted to return to his past. To feel he was home again. What if Ronin was right? What if he foolishly hoped these new friends would fill the hole in his heart, and maybe control that darkness inside of him. But, when they discovered the truth about him, they backed away. For all he knew, they probably only allowed him back out of pity. Did they even really care about him? And was he really so hung up on Midnight that he had tried to subconsciously replace her with Sunset Shimmer? Was he really looking for something to fill his heart? Something that could never, ever be replaced?

Ronin:

The good days of old are long behind us

Precious hopes and dreams that never came true

Dear old friend, please don't cry

I know we haven't seen eye to eye

But I'm offering you a chance to start anew

The door opened, allowing Shade and Kage to enter. The two stood beside Nyx, and all three stood beside Ronin.

Kage, Shade, Nyx:

Oh-oh, wuh-oh-wuh

Oh-oh, oh-oh, wuh-oh-wuh

Ronin:

Now I understand you have some apprehensions

Too good to be true, why yes it is

But if you don't take this chance

Well, I think I'll make it plain

What awaits you if you choose to dismiss

With a snap of his fingers, Ronin engulfed the room in darkness. Nova breathed rapidly when he saw visions of fire all around. He saw his people, alive and well, running for their lives on all fours. But, rather than it being the Canterlot guards who were chasing after them…

It was Team Avatar.

They were the ones chasing away his kind, and the same would happen again. If he freed his people, the others would stop at nothing to defeat them once more. It will be just like the past, and Nova will be blamed for doing nothing. Again. The shadows disappeared, and Kage, Shade and Nyx appeared, harmonizing while circling around Nova, who was helpless to even fight back.

Kage, Shade, Nyx:

Oh-oh, wuh-oh-wuh

Oh-oh, oh-oh, wuh-oh-wuh

You can restore it

You can restore it

But if we lose then you're to blame

(Ah-ah-ah)

They've all have chased us

They've all abused us

Well now it's time for them to feel the same

Oh-oh, wuh-oh-wuh

Oh-oh, oh-oh, wuh-oh-wuh

Ronin:

You've been waiting for this moment

Don't deny it, or postpone it

More important is the freedom we'll have lost

(Ah-ah-ah-oh)

A chance like this won't come again

You'll regret not giving in

Isn't getting our legacy worth the cost?

Kage, Shade, Nyx:

Oh-oh, wuh-oh-wuh

Oh-oh, oh-oh, wuh-oh-wuh

You can restore it

You can restore it

They have never changed after all

They're only interest, in this business

Is seeing everything we've worked for fall

Oh-oh, wuh-oh-wuh

Oh-oh, oh-oh, wuh-oh-wuh

Nova felt as if he were suffocating. Their words, they were so tempting. To restore the long lost legacy of his people. To start new. But, to destroy everything else? Was it possible they were right and maybe the sorceress were in the right this entire time? Was Nova the fool for never taking Cosmo's offer long ago?

Ronin:

What I suggest is very simple

Just take my hand and I'll show you

A whole new world where everything you've ever wanted comes true

And as for me and all the others

We only want what we deserve

That our magic and power returns

And our legacy will endure!

Kage, Shade, Nyx:

You can restore it

You can restore it

If we lose then it's a crime

But we can win it

If you begin it

It's up to you to not fail this time!

Nova was on his knees, while Ronin towered over him, offering his hand to the unicorn. He flinched a bit but quickly relaxed.

Kage, Shade, Nyx:

You can restore it

Re-e-store it

You can restore it

Re-e-store it

Nova:

Is it possible I can finally be free?

Kage, Shade, Nyx:

You can restore it

Re-e-store it

Nova:

A brand new story awaits for me

Kage, Shade, Nyx:

You can restore it

Re-e-store it

Nova:

Bring back the honor and the pride of my lineage

Kage, Shade, Nyx:

You can restore it

Re-e-store it

Nyx, Kage and Shade smiled victoriously as Nova rose his hand, reaching out for Ronin's.

Nova:

But my family is what I really want to see

The evil smile grew large on Ronin's face. Nova's hand was only seconds away from his, but he allowed Nova to make the choice himself.

Kage, Shade, Nyx:

You can restore it

Re-e-store it

You can restore

Re-e-store it

Ronin:

Yes!

Nova felt the powerful grip once he gave Ronin his hand. Suddenly, he couldn't find himself letting go. He immediately panic and tried to pull away, but black ooze came spewing out of Ronin's body, sticking itself onto Nova, who struggled to break free.

"No! Let me go!" he demanded, but Ronin only laughed as he drew Nova in closer and closer. The poor unicorn tried desperately to escape, but he was slowly being sucked in, the black good sticking to his body and into his skin.

From their cell, Chi, Iris and Akari could hear Nova's screams of distress. After a while, the noise finally died down. The black goop had disappeared, and only a figure remained on the floor.

Kage boldly walked on over to the body, his hand hovering over its shoulder until the body moved. He stood on both legs, his clothing fully colored, save for the dark shirt under his jacket.

"N-Nova?" Kage asked in shock. Indeed, he was staring directly at his old friend, but Ronin was nowhere in sight. Nova smiled and opened his eyes, revealing them to be pools of black tar, with his pupils colored red as blood. He smiled, baring his sharp white teeth.

"Maybe in body, but from now on…I'm in charge."

Ronin laughed maniacally, relishing in his new body. Chi got down on her knees. A single tear falling from her eye. She heard his words. She couldn't believe it. Nova, her brother….was gone.

(~)