After that, there was only one other thing to do before the trio walked forward towards their target. Rarity grabbed three of the gemstones which were the focus of the magic and shaped a bit of earth to create a holding place for them which she could easily carry on her back. One was red, one was green and one was purple. As she was doing this, Rarity also talked a bit about what she had understood of the magic used:
"This is a really functional sort of magic. You put energy inside those gems, which also contain all the formulas for the varied spells they can use. Like this, you can essentially use powerful magic from a distance and with a much lesser cost for the users." She stopped for a moment "But the best part is that each of those gems can draw energy from the environment, and they are able to easily share energy with each other, so if you have enough of those gems together in a system, it is functionally the same as having unlimited power, because you can draw in enough energy to recover whatever you are spending."
Ein nodded "Knight is smart. All those are right."
"The most impressive part is the delicate craftwork necessary to engrave the multipurpose magic formulas in the gems." Rarity said, then they started to walk towards the next room "But dear, is there anything else we should know before we go towards the end?" She asked.
"There is one. Gin is Boss of the Group. Gin is Strong, he fought with Ursa Major and tied." Ein answered "And that without gem help."
"So, a truly strong opponent, isn't it?" Rarity raised an eyebrow "I suppose I shall have to focus my efforts on dealing with him, then."
After that, they left the first room where they had been fighting, going through a short corridor before coming out inside of another room with more of those towers. Except this time there were a few differences from before. Most notably was the fact that some towers were joined together, with their gems also connected by threads of magic, while other towers had gems with more than one color.
As expected, the magic attacks were even fiercer in this room, partially because it was closer to the "command central", making it easier for the dogs to control, but mostly it was because of the new gems. Some of them targeted other towers and strengthened them with spells, others had multiple effects at once due to the mixing of more than one gem type in a single tower, fast spells that were also piercing, area of effect spells that also slowed down the opponents...
And this time, there were two diamond dogs who came to attack. They were just as skilled in hit and run tactics as Ein, but they were also really good at supporting one another, and the spells cast by the towers to buff them were also stronger, including even a special shield spell that had an acid property, trying to melt anything that came in contact with it.
However, none of that mattered. The gem magic used by the dogs was really good, but Rarity was now carrying the gems of her own to use, and while she wasn't an expert in them, her magical skill and ability in controlling artifacts made it so the Knight could display the strong points of that particular magical method with great might.
Rarity faced the overwhelming attacks of the towers by being even more overwhelming than them. She used the gems in her possession to shoot spells at a much higher rate than they could do before, and combined those spells with her normal attacks using the Ruler Swords of Wind and Earth. Not having to fuel most of the magic she was using, Rarity showed at the same time power and control, using an onslaught of attacks intelligently in order to open up a path to reach the towers.
Doing that, she could disable the towers one by one, also draining the magic of their jewels in order to restore the power she was spending at an incredible rate. As for the enemy dogs, knowing the nature of the spells they were utilizing, and having the gems as a focus, it was easy to disable their buffing spells, and then Rarity just restrained their arms and buried them in earth up to their necks, reasoning that it would be easier to simply deal with the shard of chaos itself more quickly instead of trying to cure every single diamond dog individually.
As for Silver Soul and Ein, they pretty much just acted as supports, Ein was pretty good at Earth Magic, and together with his normal physical abilities, he had both short and long range covered in a similar way as Silver Soul's silver manipulation. The two of them found a good rhythm, first hindering the enemy dogs while Rarity was busy, and later by intercepting some of the spells of the towers.
After all the towers in the room were disabled, Rarity recharged the magic in her gems and the three proceeded forward again. The next tower room ended up in the same way, despite the fact that now there were some tower combinations completely dedicated to powering up other towers, as well as fusions of three gems, and even towers that shot spells that created traps on the ground, as well as three diamond dogs attacking at once. Rarity had a bit of trouble adapting to the changes at first, but soon that room was also completely conquered.
Of course, that was when Ein said that the "big gem" was in the next room, which should be the last line of defence.
The three stopped for a moment in order to readjust themselves to the best possible states, and then walked the rest of the way towards their final challenge.
It was immediately clear that this would be different from any of the previous fights. Instead of dozens of towers, there were actually only ten towers, formed into a diamond formation. The walls to the sides of the towers were angled, in a way that made it impossible to go around them in order to get to the prize behind the towers, which was their target.
It could only barely be seen from the position the three attackers were in. The gem was shaped like a diamond and had the size of a wall. It's color was a kaleidoscopic combination of nearly every color one could think off, and which seemed to change depending on the angle it was watched from. Besides the towers, there was something else protecting the gem, it was a multicolored and multilayered shield spell, which seemed to be getting power from the cave itself.
And despite being in a smaller number than in the previous rooms, the towers in that room gave a bigger sense of intimidation. First, because the diamond formation was truly a Formation, with lines of magic connecting the towers, and more lines connecting their gems. The gems themselves also seemed brighter and more real than any others, despite being only single colors gems, having furious auras of energy. But most importantly, the power of the Formation was being directed slightly above the towers, into a vortex of magic that the trio could feel in their very souls.
And then there were the diamond dogs. Ten of them, all silent and with sharp eyes, their postures ready to pounce. Their leader, Gin, was easy to see. He was twice as big as an ordinary diamond dog and had a silver fur and bright green eyes.
Both sides saw each other at the same time, but the first to make a move was Rarity. She activated all three of the gems she was carrying and shot two blasts of magic, straight at her partners.
Those were her own special versions of the gemstone magic buffing spells the diamond dogs used. Both Ein and Silver Soul started shining with a golden glow, and Rarity yelled "Attack the towers!" at the same time as Gin began to move.
With a step that sounded like an explosion, Gin launched himself right at Rarity at insane speeds. The Knight brought her Earth Ruler Sword to bear and it clashed with the fist of the opponent.
Rarity didn't budge, and Gin also wasn't forced back, but their collision released a tremendous shockwave that made both of Rarity's partners fly a few meters to the sides. Their buffs protected the two, and they landed standing and immediately rushed towards the towers, while the other diamond dogs moved to try and intercept them.
And the vortex of magic above the towers also started bombarding all three intruders with continuous spells. That was how the final battle started.
Rarity shouted "Wind Slash!" and brought her Wind Ruler Sword in an attack on the legs of her opponent that was too low for Gin to block with his hands. He dealt with that by crouching and protecting his head and chest with his left arm, before clawing forward at his opponent.
The claw was so strong that the air itself screamed at its passage, and the cutting edge of the attack actually extended two centimeters past the actual claw. Rarity used a forceful application of wind magic to throw herself backwards. She took a moment to send another layer of buffing spells at her partners before Gin did another forceful step forward trying to run her through, forcing Rarity to do a sideways flash step to evade. Her previous position exploded into shards from the attack, and then the Knight had to deal with an encirclement of spells from the towers. She ripped a heavy ring of earth from around herself to use as a makeshift shield, and used the resulting smoke cloud to conceal her next move, a flash step directly at Gin, using her Earth Ruler Sword like a jousting lance.
The diamond dog managed to forcefully grab onto the sword with both hands to stop it, and then he stomped the ground, using his earth magic to send a wave of earth at Rarity, who responded by breaking it with a burst of earth magic, but that had only been a distraction, and he suddenly released the sword and did a powerful overhead strike with both claws, forcing Rarity to flash step to dodge again as the missed attack created a veritable line of destruction on the ground.
Having gained a few moments to breathe, Rarity sent yet another layer of buffing spells to her partners, who had almost reached the towers as well as shooting a multitude of earth spheres at the other diamond dogs to keep them from attacking her partners from the back.
Then she had to deal with the fact that the controllers of the towers (which were probably hiding somewhere nearby) decided that trying to get through the buffs of Silver Soul and Ein would be useless, and instead decided to focus their efforts on the Knight. An onslaught of spells was shot not only at her, but around her as well, creating barriers to the sides in order to prevent any easy ways to dodge.
"Wind and Earth Style: Tornado Stones!"
So she countered instead, sweeping both swords and creating her magic, an indoors tornado that was loaded with stones, and using it to trigger the spells of the enemy early. But then Gin appeared behind her, already slashing with such power that the shockwaves were digging a deep trench on the ground, having aimed at the exact space of time in which Rarity couldn't use a spell again.
The unicorn responded to that by jumping at her tornado, deliberately getting caught in the winds to dodge Gin, then she stood on one of the stones and jumped out, managing to land a few meters behind the diamond dog.
And then she smiled, as she saw the maelstrom of energy distort and finally dissipate. Her buffing spells were pretty good at protecting their targets, but they had another effect which was their true aim, they created interference on the channels of magic used by the towers.
And then Rarity brandished her Wind Ruler Sword and charged it with as much magic as she could get on short notice (quite a bit, she wasn’t top tier in magic capacity among the Knights, but the Knights were truly above the norm, in comparison with normal ponies she was ridiculous) showing a fierce grin on her face as she created a blade of wind that was twice as big as her own (already huge) sword.
“Wind Sword Style: Great Maelstrom Slash!” She shouted, and launched her attack… which the enemy dodged in an explosive movement.
“Support Version.” She added, in a mischievous voice “Now!” She shouted.
Then, three things happened in close succession. First, the attack compressed itself to the size of a pony and slowed down as it moved in the direction of the towers. Second…
“Silver Armor Activate!” Silver Soul shouted, channeling magic through her artifact necklace.
There was a wave of silver as most of what she had flowed towards Ein. The silver engulfed him and shaped itself around his form, turning into a Knight-style armor with runes that hummed with power. That was the special mechanism Rarity had added to the necklace. And then the wind shot that Rarity had created merged with the armor to become an extra barrier.
And the third thing was that the newly barbed diamond dog ran through the towers at amazing speeds, before jumping towards the literal final barrier.
The shard of chaos understood what was happening, and every bit of magic it could draw from the environment was forcefully turned into attacks that mirrored the spells used by the gem magic of the diamond dogs, bombarding Ein with a variety of magic.
But even if it was only temporary, Ein was still using an armor created by an artifact altered by a Knight and powered by an avatar, and had an extra defense spell made by that same Knight, not to mention that the diamond dog himself was very strong and very determined. He weathered all the force and pulled back a fist, commanding the silver to gather in it, making a house sized mass of silver shaped like a pile bunker.
And he struck.
The noise was indescribable, as Ein’s attack smashed through the barrier and, a moment later, crushed the gem and the shard of chaos inside it. There was an explosion of light…
And every single diamond dog present collapsed.
Moving like the wind, Ein managed to reach the side of his boss Gin in seconds.
“Gin. Gin, you okay?” He asked.
There was no response for a moment, and then a big hand touched Ein’s shoulder.
“Good dog. Best friend.” Gin said.
Soon, all the other dogs were also up, and it didn’t take long for the situation to be explained to every member of the group (Gin sent dogs to free those that Rarity had buried) and the Knight was listening with interest to one of the dogs talk about the processes used to craft their magical gems.
“It is a pity that the jewel ended up destroyed, though.” Silver Soul commented in the Knight’s earshot.
“Ah.” Rarity said “I knew I was forgetting something.”
Then, she walked up to the fragments of the jewel. Everyone else watched with interest as the Knight pulled out her Earth Ruler Sword and concentrated for a few seconds, charging magic. And then she shouted:
And in a scene that could only be called beautiful, the fragments of the destroyed jewel floated into the air, from the biggest shards to the smallest pieces, which danced around each other, spinning in the air to reach their proper positions, before joining little by little with soft movements, creating a melody of the sounds of their touches.
And then it ended, the jewel almost completely free of any traces of having broken previously. It was still multi-colored and still beautiful, though the lack of the shard of chaos made it lose the previous color shifting effect.
The cheers that resounded through the cave were deafening.
The first priority of the duo of Knights was finding a way to avoid the attacks of the submarine chaotic creature. Twilight simply started warping from place to place to dodge all the varied attacks that were thrown in her direction. While Fluttershy, on the other hand, simply waved a hoof and created an extremely resilient defensive sphere around herself that managed to tank everything. She had simply used her Grand Search to make a “suggestion” to the chaos magic itself. (Both her teacher and fellow disciple were users of chaos magic, so she had experience enough to be able to do something like that.)
During the first round of attacks, Twilight and Fluttershy discussed the situation. As before, the biggest problem the two of them faced was the fact that their opponent was a chaos monster created around innocent ponies, and as such they needed to be careful in their attacks in order to avoid harming them.
‘I think I can keep it busy to give you time to set up.’ Were Fluttershy’s thoughts.
‘Really?’ Twilight asked.
‘Yeah. It’s time to show the surprise.’
And the pegasus focused inwards. Similar to when she used the manticore spirit, Fluttershy had to focus on more than a single trait to be able to reach a state where she could unleash the power of this spirit. And the traits she focused on were power, solitude and multiplicity.
“Empathy Drive: Animal Spirit.” She announced “Hydra Edition!”
It was a monumental magic. Even Fluttershy’s great magical capacity was hard pressed to be able to activate and keep it going. And the most obvious reason for it was the size. The hydra shaped energy construct that Fluttershy manifested around herself was even a little bigger than the immense chaotic monster, and it was just as ferocious and majestic as a real hydra.
With a roar, Fluttershy-Hydra attacked, crossing the chaotic space in between herself and her opponent in a movement that would probably disorient her thanks to the almost constant changes in direction and perspective, except that the Knight was still with her eyes closed and orienting herself via empathy.
The hydra bit down on all three separate parts of the monster, a rain of attacks washed against her skin, but she refused to let go, enduring everything without even reacting.
Twilight had to take a moment to look at her student’s achievements, and then she herself got to work. Thinking back to her fight against Discord together with her other apprentice, Twilight used the slipstream method, and spread her magic around all of the chaotic space.
The Fluttershy hydra was taking most of the attention from the chaotic monster with her huge size and refusal to let go, so Twilight only had to warp to dodge a few stray threats while she concentrated on her magic. Fluttershy was still running her Grand Search, which meant that Twilight had complete knowledge of the positions of the three innocent ponies inside the chaos monster, and that was what she used for her working.
Manipulation of space was one of the cornerstones of chaotic magic. There was a reason why “warping” was the most common indication that a particular pony had that ability. Twilight, as a masterfully trained mage who had explored her chaotic magic for years, was particularly good at it.
And to activate her magic, she did a small song.
"There are some here who should not be part.
There are some here who don't belong.
Could you free the things apart from here...
By the time I finish this song?"
And then three ponies were suddenly floating right next to her, enveloped in protective space magic.
"You did it!" She cheered, quickly charging magic and teleporting the three innocents to the outside of the lake.
The reaction from the chaotic creature was immediate. With a screech that could be clearly heard even outside the lake, all three parts of the monster ripped themselves away from the fangs of the Fluttershy hydra in a movement that warped their proportions to a ridiculous level. And it didn't stop in just escaping, the body of the creature warped itself even more after that, all three parts fusing together nauseatingly and combining into a single mass of disparate parts and materials crudely forced together, a true being of chaos.
This being of chaos then roared in a multitude of voices, releasing a wave of magic that caused the chaotic space they were in to start to collapse, intending to bury both Knights in the "Space between spaces" of the breach caused by its actions. Fluttershy acted quickly to avoid it, using the hydra heads to bite down on the edges of the space and forcefully keep it open.
But then the creature pounced upon Fluttershy hydra... only to warp at the last moment and attack Twilight instead.
On the face of it, this was a smart move, considering that the hydra spirit made Fluttershy very resilient, and there was no way to tell if even a full power attack would be enough to dislodge her from her task, while the unicorn seemed to be a much weaker target. However, that particular unicorn was Twilight Sparkle, one of the three original Knights of the Realm of the generation, direct apprentice of Princess Celestia and veteran of dangerous missions.
She was a pony that would not be easy to take down at all.
“Chaos Magic: Space Link!” She shouted, and created a portal in front of herself as a shield.
The attacking tendrils of the monster which were aimed directly at her ended up going into the portal. A moment later, two tendrils managed to sneak around the portal, but that moment was all Twilight needed to warp away again (She canceled her portal, cutting away the tendrils which had gone inside).
“Merged Spell!” She used her trump card, seeing that Fluttershy would not be able to resist forever and needing something with enough punch to deal with such a powerful foe.
“Water Sign: Subsume the World!” She cast.
The spell was truly worthy of its name. All the water in the cave seemed to come to life all at once, turning from just a passive medium for the battle into an active participant, and its presence in the battlefield overshadowed Fluttershy hydra and the chaotic monster combined. And not only that, but it also overshadowed the chaotic world itself, breaking down the barriers between the many interconnected spaces and turning them all into a single underground lake.
And even that wasn’t all. The water expanded and devoured the very magic that had been sustaining that chaotic space, taking its place. The world of chaos was now a world of water, and Fluttershy did not have to keep holding it open on her own. But while Fluttershy was relieved by the appearance of the water, the chaotic monster very definitely was not.
It screamed, but the scream was completely smothered by the water, the same water that was subsuming everything in range, every bit of matter and every bit of magic, with the exception of Twilight and Fluttershy. And that meant that the chaotic creature itself was swallowed up and consumed by the living water, the Shard of Chaos releasing great amounts of magic to create varied effects in the hopes of escaping, but without any success. The multitude of colors and sounds were veritably kaleidoscopic as the shard of chaos was finally destroyed.
After a few moments where the water tried to find more things to devour within the specifications of the spell (Twilight was very careful not to let things go out of control) it finally calmed down and Twilight and Fluttershy canceled their respective spells. The lack of the chaos magic and the results of the battle had ended up with the two Knights standing at the bottom of the lake, only it was much deeper now.
The two allowed themselves to mostly relax and then slowly swam out of the lake, only to be greeted with a crowd of ponies, headed by the five they had saved from within the chaotic space.
"Hurray for the Knights!" One of them called " Hip hip hurray!"
"Hip hip hurray!" It was echoed by everypony else there.
This was just another chapter for the Knights of the generation.
The power of the warlock was increasing more and more. Before Applejack could put her idea into practice, he had used another spell to create another ice minotaur, only this one was obviously a lot more powerful, made of much thicker ice and animated by a lot more magic.
This wasn't just an impression, Applejack in her earth griffin form raised up into the air and dived down at immense speed at this opponent, to the point where the simple weight of her "armor" was enough to turn it into the kind of projectile that could bust down magically reinforced fortress walls, just because of the speed.
And yet, when they clashed, despite the terrifying sound and shockwaves of the collision, the ice minotaur only had a few scratches, which were quickly mended by the magic. And then Applejack had to channel a burst of magic through her earth griffin in order to deal with the cold spirits that were trying to get inside and affect her. Dark Moon was having to keep moving incessantly in order to deal with them and with the ice birds, not to mention that the two were slowly being worn down by the constant need to use magic to deal with the cold and the hail.
But still, things hadn't gone out of control, and Applejack wouldn't be forced into using an Overdrive to deal with the situation. She put her plan into action by first shouting:
Dark Moon took a moment to be able to turn and look at her, and Applejack looked through the "eyes" of the earth griffin construct directly into the avatar's eyes.
Message sent, Applejack pulled away from the ice minotaur towards Dark Moon. And the unicorn flew to take her place in fighting the construct. She proceeded to unleash the full power of her darkness into the construct, taking advantage of her smaller size to fly all around it and avoid its attacks, all the while giving a speech about the powers of darkness (the exact same speech she gave Applejack, even. Down to the cadence and tone, clearly she had practiced). The warlock directed a greater number of ice spirits to attack her, trying to finish things quickly, but that was exactly what the Knight had hoped he'd do.
Applejack didn't really listen to Dark Moon's speech, she had heard it all before, not to mention the fact that she currently had better things to do. So she looked all around the area, using her eyes of truth to pierce the memory magic and see the true and real state of the fortress and surroundings, she took in every detail and established them all as Truth within herself.
This had taken a bit of time, but the distraction provided by Dark Moon was enough for Applejack to do all that she needed. And now that everything was done, the Knight decided to do things a little theatrically, as a sort of tribute to her teacher, since it had been her lessons that allowed Applejack to reach such a level.
So, the Knight manipulated her earth magic to bring herself to the top of the head of her griffin construct. Then she pointed directly at the Warlock.
"Warlock Black Hooves!" She shouted "Ya are a being that should not still exist in this world! Yer time has passed and ya have already been defeated, and the only reason ya still stand is due ta the chaotic magic bringing this memory to life! Ya are just a memory of the past, an illusion! And Ah... Will destroy this illusion!"
At this point a few ice birds were almost touching her, but Applejack had already said everything she needed to say, so she simply took a Space Step, directly arriving right in front of the Warlock.
She pulled a hoof back for a punch and called:
"Truth Seeking Blow: Imagine Breaker!" And punched him in the face.
She charged the punch with the Truth of the area that she had confirmed earlier. But she wasn't trying to destroy the illusion directly, in fact, her target was not even the illusion at all.
She was actually targeting reality itself.
Applejack's ability was based upon reminding the world of its true form and convincing it to reject the illusions itself.
The results of the punch were tremendous. A powerful light shone from every inch of the fortress and the area around it. Everypony who was at least decent at magic sensing would be able to tell that a ridiculous amount of power was being used all at once, and the resulting effect wasn't really a spell, because even the most complex and advanced spell formulas would be hard-pressed to contain so much magic.
After a moment it was over, and all the traps and magic protections of the fortress disappeared, the fortress took on the damaged and weathered look it should have had, and the hail, the minotaur and the other creatures, and finally the Warlock itself also disappeared. Leaving behind the Shard of Chaos.
Applejack punched it.
Afterwards, the Knight started to fall towards the ground, there was no way she could fly with earth magic without the support of the memory magic. But she wasn't worried, this kind of height wasn't nearly enough to leave her seriously hurt, and even if it was, Dark Moon was already diving to catch her.
"Wow!" The avatar said after having caught Applejack "That was awesome! Ahem... I mean... So, the memory returns to the darkness, just as it should be..."
Applejack only smiled.
When Rainbow Dash got into the path and entered the river, she decided that she didn't really want to get soaked, so the Knight used her wind manipulation to create a cloak of air around herself to block the water. It was a somewhat precise feat of magic, but nothing draining for a Knight. And of course, she did not include Trixie in her protection, because turnabout was fair play.
Of course, Trixie simply used a spell to do something similar and avoid the water as well, because of course she did.
Rainbow Dash, as she was going through the underground river, thought about how weird it was to be flying underwater. It was a different experience than flying through the air, instead of pushing the air around through her wings to propel herself forward, Rainbow Dash was using the air to push the water around backwards, making the whole air cloak move forward. This meant that she did not have any feeling of rushing air at all, which was weird.
Still, she just kept moving forward, taking care not to expend too much energy and focus on accelerating, since she needed to be prepared for any kind of sudden change to the situation. But the first unexpected thing that happened was instead due to her passenger, Trixie, who cast a spell.
It did not seem to do anything, but Rainbow Dash soon got an explanation for what had been the deal when Trixie used another spell to whisper a few words into her ears.
"It was trying to use an illusion to make us go the wrong way. Tch, trying something like that in front of Trixie is like asking for a humilliation."
Rainbow Dash nodded inwardly and kept going for a little bit more, then she felt a magical emanation coming from forward, probably from the Shard of Chaos, but again nothing seemed to happen. Trixie sent words to her again.
"The Shard is rearranging the path forward, to keep us from finding it. But Trixie can use her magic to find the right path, just follow the arrow."
Then, Trixie cast a powerful spell that swept through the entire area, and almost as an afterthought, it also put the image of an arrow on Rainbow Dash's mind.
The pegasus followed the directions of the arrow when the tunnel started to split between multiple parts, the path was weird, and frequently she had to squeeze through small gaps or do repeated sharp turns to be able to follow the indications of the arrow. At one point, the path was truly too small, and she had to use a punch to widen the gap enough to be able to pass.
"We're almost there." Came another message "Things should get a little more intense now."
Her words proved to be absolutely correct. Since trying to mislay the Knights was not working, the Shard of Chaos resorted to flat out attacking them. Roots, rocks, leaves and all sorts of other materials from the area were turned into weapons that tried to skewer, crush, pierce and cut the Knights.
But the two would not be defeated so easily. Trixie used spells to create illusionary copies of herself and Rainbow, to force the enemy to split apart its attacks. While Rainbow Dash used her weather magic go manipulate the water around herself into the form of weapons and shields to deal with the attacks.
And things kept getting harder and harder, as the Shard of Chaos was spending more and more energy to try and fend the Knights away, to the point where it was beginning to warp the materials into weird shapes and behaviors. But then they burst into view of the Shard, which was floating in the water and connected to everything around it by red lines, and it did a final struggle by collapsing the tunnel, trying to bury both Knights alive.
"Rainboom Punch!" Rainbow Dash accelerated and delivered a hit straight at the Shard, destroying it.
And then, Trixie teleported both of them out of the tunnel, without the Shard of Chaos to mess up the space, there was no reason she couldn't do it.
Of course, the reason why she did as such wasn't just for them to escape from the collapsing tunnel. She also knew that with the Shard of Chaos gone, there would be nothing sustaining the tendrils of earth, which meant the entire thing would fall to the ground.
Rainbow Dash understood that perfectly once the teleport finished and she saw herself right underneath the small landmass. And it was reinforced when it began to fall. Trixie got down from her back, and Rainbow understood what she should do.
"EX-Mode!" She shouted, activating her ability, thus increasing her strength.
The Knight quickly flew up to the falling landmass and started pushing against it, making it slow down. Yet, it wasn't enough, and she started using her wind manipulation to create currents to help reduce the speed of her target.
She did manage to make the landmass fall slower, but it still wasn't enough to prevent it being a catastrophe, but thankfully, Rainbow Dash wasn't the only Knight present.
"Perfect Illusion: Element Ruler!" Trixie shouted, and cast her magic.
Her magic did similar to what Rainbow was doing and manipulated wind currents in order to made the air act as a brake on the landmass. Except that he efforts were far more large scale. A true whirlwind, just as big as the landmass itself, was formed by her spell, and it was that effect that managed to finally slow the area to a relatively safe level. Trixie's spell had actually worked by convincing the winds that the conditions to create that kind of phenomenon were present, via illusions.
And so, both Knights kept going until the thing had almost landed, and then Rainbow Dash flew and grabbed Trixie to bring them both away from the landing zone.
The two looked at the results.
"Well. This place will need some reconstruction efforts, but Trixie believes this counts as a success." Trixie said.
"Was it just me, or was this really easy?" Rainbow Dash asked "I mean, the whole 'colony drop' thing was a little tiring, but apart from that..."
"Trixie thinks we just had a rather good matchup for this mission. Trixie's illusions could contain it easily, and your harmony powers restrained what it could do." Trixie answered.
"I guess sometimes we just get lucky." Rainbow decided.
The pegasus stallion who was pointed out by Pinkie Pie was completely surprised by the situation.
He stopped in the air, startled, upon seeing both an Earth Pony with an aura of power and a strong-looking pegasus moving towards him. But before any answer to his question could be given, if indeed somepony was willing to give an answer, something else happened.
Above the wings of that pegasus, two new wings sprouted, only they were made of some kind of dark red energy and were five times the size of his normal wings. With a pulse of magic the winds around the pegasus went wild, and both Pinkie and Lightning had to stop their advance.
"What?! What's going on?!" The pegasus shouted, panicked, his wings and legs flailed about, but he was unable to affect his situation in any way, as the red wings flapped once, in a jerky, unnatural way, and he began to fly upwards quickly, with the winds becoming even more furious and clouds filled with lightning appearing around him.
"Ah, it seems like the Shard of Chaos tied itself to his subconscious." Pinkie Pie nodded knowingly "This really is something uncommon."
After that there was no time to keep talking, as the clouds shifted, turning into the consistency of jelly, and they started spewing globs of themselves over the city.
Realizing that she definitely did not want those things to be hitting the city, Pinkie shouted "Clone Technique!", creating dozens of clones of herself, which started warping repeatedly and destroying the globs with punches.
It was not as easy as that made it sound. Those globs were charged with not only a whole bunch of undirected chaotic energy, but also lightning, which served as a direct medium for the chaos magic to channel itself into whatever it hit. Several of the clones were destroyed when the channeled chaos magic turned them into balloons, or made them melt (like chocolate) or warped the air around them into fire. However, a lot of the clones managed to resist the changes, and absorb the chaos magic, showing how skilled Pinkie Pie had become in creating clones, and how much power she had to provide them. She also kept replacing the lost clones, so she was not losing ground, but the energy costs were not low.
Meanwhile, Lightning Chaser kept trying to approach the pegasus or attack the chaotic wings with lightning, but both ideas were foiled by the wind manipulation of the chaos shard. It had already created an incredibly confusing zone of contradictory wind currents, that appeared to contain something like half a dozen whirlwinds spinning in different directions and angles. And those winds were actually also capable of redirecting her lightning from the distance she could reach.
Pinkie Pie quickly realized that this was going nowhere.
"This is going nowhere." Pinkie said. She had seen that even with her preventing the chaotic attacks from striking the city, the battle that they were fighting was disrupting the routine of the city enough that the Shard of Chaos was managing to get back whatever power it spent, and even a little bit more, and was constantly replenishing her chaotic clouds. So she sent a clone to talk with Lightning Chaser.
"Do you have any strong attacks that can break through those defenses and destroy the chaos shard?" The Pinkie clone asked.
"I do. But it takes a bit of time to set up, and it doesn't discriminate targets." Meaning that pegasus would be hit as well, were the unspoken words.
"I (Pinkie) have (has) a way to deal with that." The Pinkie clone assured her, before going back to the original.
And just after that, the original Pinkie Pie clapped her forehooves together and charged some magic, before shouting.
"Chaotic Arts:" At that point, every single clone was sucked back into Pinkie's body "Chaotic Aura!"
And then her aura exploded. That was the only way to describe what had happened. The pink aura of power from Pinkie's emotion charge expanded to the size of a house, and it acquired an appearance of solidity and strength.
The globs of chaotic cloud were still falling, but Pinkie already had a counter for that. She shaped her solid aura into a huge mouth, that extended in a tendril to devour every single one of the clouds.
Seeing that, Lightning Chaser flew up to do as planned, reaching a much higher point than the pegasus had (the poor pegasus had pretty much given up and was only holding still and hoping the two would be able to help him) and started to charge magic at a rate that very few ponies were capable of.
Obviously, the Shard of Chaos didn't like where this was going, so it turned to go after the avatar, but...
"I want a hug!" Pinkie shouted, and somehow jumped towards the pegasus, shaping her aura into two legs.
She hugged the area of extreme wind phenomena, bringing the whole thing with the pegasus in the middle towards her "chest" (really just the front part of the aura).
Lightning Chaser didn't even hesitate. After having charged her power, she started spreading her magic into the nearby clouds via strands of colored lightning, except those strands were a lot denser and longer than normal lightning. First she created a line of red lightning, then black lightning, then blue, purple, yellow, green and orange. It was a true rainbow of lightning. And it created colored clouds charged with the lightning.
Meanwhile, Pinkie was keeping the Shard of Chaos busy by messing with its weather magic via a gigantic fan made out of the energy aura.
Lightning Chaser then fused the various clouds together and forced the resulting mass to shoot lightning of its own. The result was a sphere of multicolored lightning that started descending towards the pegasus. While it was in the air, the sphere shifted to become a powerful looking hand, which seemed to contain enough power to break through anything.
At the last moment before impact, Pinkie forced a thread of aura inside the chaotic wind world of the shard and coated the pegasus with her aura via it.
The attack was devastating. It hit the wind like the collapse of a mountain and the energy contained inside the attack unleashed itself like the wrath of a thousand storms. It annihilated every single fragment of chaotic energy that the Shard of Chaos could output, and even snaked right into the pegasus' body and overwhelmed every possible defense the Shard could use, destroying it directly with complete momentum.
But Pinkie's aura prevented the pegasus from being hurt at all in the process.
The stallion fell unconscious when it was over, but he was completely unharmed. And while both she and the avatar were descending, Pinkie asked Lightning Chaser:
"So... Does that little number have a name?"
"Yes." Was the answer "It is called Seven Colored Sky: Lightning Retribution." She shook her head "I don't usually put names on my attacks, but since I am fighting beside a Knight, it is traditional."
Pinkie grinned at her.
Spike was flying pretty fast, so it did not take long for him to find the target. Thanks to his enhanced senses, he saw the target before she saw him. She was a unicorn mare with a lilac coat and mane, and the cutie mark of a wheel. She was standing in a green field to the east of the city.
She was releasing bursts of chaos magic from her chest to try and remove the sign that was pointing her out, but as previously stated, this had been created by a particularly powerful spell, and it would take much more effort than that to get rid of it.
Due to his speed, he was almost upon her by the time the unicorn finally saw him. She snarled and waved her right foreleg violently, shaping the earth in front into an egg like golem that had dozens of legs around its body and jumped straight at the dragon.
Spike turned and slashed with his wing, borrowing the speed from his flight. Upon being hit, the golem was rendered into thousands of pieces, completely destroyed.
"What are you doing?!" He shouted at the unicorn "Do you realize the consequences of wielding a Shard of Chaos?!"
"Shut up!" The unicorn shouted back at him "I will not give up on this power, no matter what anypony says!"
She then released a huge burst of power that made the earth underneath her rise up in the form of a tree golem that had a trunk-like body and four arms.
"I am Peppermint, and I will take control of my own destiny!" She shouted, as the golem grew, and it grew to the point where it was easily a match for Spike's promised "adult form".
The golem threw one of its arms at Spike, making it extend like a whip. The Dragon Squire knew it would be hard to dodge with his big wings, so he canceled that spell and let himself fall, his smaller profile being a much harder target. The attack missed him, and before he could fall all the way to the ground, Spike had already prepared his next move.
"Draconic Aura: Arms of the Dragon!" He shouted, and the aura of arms of his adult version appeared, looking even more solid and real than the last time he had used them.
He stopped his fall with th left arm, and punched at the golem with his right arm, but that golem was obviously leagues above the egg golem he had easily destroyed. Using three of his arms, the golem managed to stop Spike's punch, and it attacked with the last arm.
Spike pushed off the ground with his other arm, throwing himself to the air before coming down above Peppermint with a double claw slash.
That was when the chaotic nature of the magic the unicorn was using began to really show itself. With another burst of power, the earth golem remolded itself backwards, in a truly bizarre fleshlike fashion. Spike's attack hit the ground, carving deep furrows into it, and then the golem flowed forward like a wave, trying to engulf Spike. He pushed off the ground with both arms to jump away and decided that it was time to change strategy.
Cancelling his draconic aura again, Spike charged magic as he started to fall towards the ground.
As he finished his next spell, Spike remembered the words of his teacher. She had said that his tendencies, likes, desires and all that was close to his heart was the best source of power and what he should focus on. And it had not taken long for Spike to sum up all of that with a single word: Dragons.
His draconic aura and magic charge were based upon his potential power as a dragon, but this newest ability was different, and focused upon his identity as a dragon. To be precise, it asked the question of: What if he had been born a different kind of dragon?
"Draconic Self: Earth Wyrm!" He shouted, and changed.
His body lenghtened itself a little, but his limbs grew twice as much, resulting in a strange lanky appearance, the tail also disappeared. The claws of hands and feet grew larger and sharper, and his eyes also changed, getting some kind of transparent protection pellicle. Finally, his scales shifted around, changing from a streamlined appearance into a configuration that seemed to favor protecting the back and arms.
All this takes some time to describe, but the change was nearly instant, and was finished before Spike could hit the ground. And he did not actually "hit" the ground, but dived into it as easily as if it was water, and then moved through the underground with the speed of flight.
He was far too fast for Peppermint to react. In instants, he had traveled the whole path up to right below the golem, and then moved upwards, digging into the golem. The digging abilities of this form were magic assisted and incredibly strong. As he dug upwards through the golem, he shaped his magic to make the nearby parts of it crumble as well, instead of simply making a tunnel, he was trying to destroy the golem from the inside.
He was fast, but when the unicorn realized what was happening, she acted decisively. Detaching the head of the golem and making it jump off, just in time to avoid an invasion by Spike. And then she retaliated, releasing another burst of magic that transformed the earth of the golem into wood, not just the head, but the body as well, and she controlled the wood to fuse the head back into the body, manipulating the branches of both parts into crushing Spike.
But the Dragon Squire still had not shown the full might of his ability.
"Salamander!" He shouted, and changed again.
His appearance was now more similar to his original form than to the wyrm figure. He now had two additional crests to the sides of the first one, and they were somewhat pointier. His tail had become longer and larger, and the color of his scales had changed to a deep red.
With a shout he released a powerful fire from his body, burning the wood golem that had been trying to strangle him.
Peppermint screamed, but then she released another burst of magic and took control of the fire itself, and made the golem explode.
"Gaargh!" Spike screamed, as he was thrown through the air due to the sheer force of the explosion. Cracks appeared in his scales, due to the power of the attack, and the unicorn simply made the parts of the fire that had been scattered come back together into a cohesive golem form.
'Why is she getting stronger?' Spike thought, and then realized that there was something else he needed to worry about.
He hadn't noticed it during the fight, but there was a line of weak chaotic energy going all the way to the city.
'What is she doing with that?' He asked himself, but stopped, deciding that defeating her was the most pressing matter.
And when he looked, Spike saw that Peppermint was partially merged with the golem.
"Stop! You're losing yourself!" He shouted at her.
"Hahaha! This power is amazing!" Was her only response, and her golem threw a bunch of fireballs towards Spike.
They weren't really dangerous, and that really convinced the dragon that Peppermint was losing control, she seemed to have lost sight of what was happening in the battle.
Spike knew that, as a Knight, he would have to kill in order to defend Equestria, but this wasn't that kind of situation. He did not think that unicorn was the kind of threat to Equestria that needed to be destroyed. And in that case, he would have to do his best to save her.
"Diamond Scale!" He shouted, and changed one more time.
This new appearance had the same long tail of a salamander, but his crest was back to normal. His legs became thicker and he got a little shorter, but the biggest change was that his scales turned into a diamond hard material, and his color turned to silver.
He had an idea, but for that he would need to be tough.
Peppermint threw more fireballs at him, but she was clearly more interested in general mayhem, since she kept setting all the nearby grass on fire. Spike ran in her direction, ignoring the fireballs that kept splashing onto his body. And once he got close enough, the dragon used a spell to throw himself right at the unicorn.
While previously, Peppermint had managed to defend herself incredibly well, this time she was too addled due to the chaos magic to react when Spike approached and held onto her.
The fire golem wasn't an active defense, but just remaining in contact with it was already forcing Spike to spend a lot of energy to keep himself unharmed by the heat. If it were an adult Diamond Scale, they would be able to resist even diving in lava, but Spike was still a child, so his version was a child as well, and didn't have the same amount of natural resilience.
Still, he was more than strong enough for what he was trying to do.
Using a series of pulses of magic, he managed to find the exact location of the Shard of Chaos within Peppermint's body (a little below the heart), and then he charged magic to his index finger and promptly pierced the chest of the unicorn and the shard of chaos at the same time.
"Gah!" Peppermint coughed, and the golem started to crumble due to the destruction of the shard.
Spike held onto the unicorn and jumped off, charging magic again for a final spell.
"Heal!" He shouted, and used all the power he could muster.
There were many kinds of healing spells, and the only one Spike had learned was the kind that helped the patient's body restore itself. But it would have to be enough.
The two landed, and the next few seconds were a blur for Spike as he kept pouring power into his working. And at the end, Peppermint had changed.
"Ahh... What's going on...?" She asked.
She had become flat like a pancake. Like a two dimensional version of a pony. Spike was guessing that this was a reaction of the chaotic magic in her body to the healing spell he had used. But she was alive, so everything else could be dealt with. He had seen the three suffer worse accidents due to Twilight's own chaos magic, so it wasn't like this was unrecoverable.
"Guess I'll just wait here, then." He muttered, before starting to talk with the unicorn.
Seeing that direct attacks were not working well, Claw Marked changed his tactics. He closed the portal he was attacking from, disappearing at the same time, and reappeared diagonally down and right from the duo, and also several meters upwards. From there, he created two dozen stone sized portals and started to shoot lasers from them.
"Grand Sound Shield, Block Everything in Existence!" Aura Music shouted, casting a spell.
With the melody of her zither, an invisible barrier blocked the lasers that Claw Marked was shooting, and even continued blocking from every direction when the minotaur sent the portals to attack from multiple angles. Sunset took advantage of this time to plant a rune on the ground.
Claw Marked then combined the lasers of several portals into one big laser, that managed to pierce through the barrier of sound, forcing Sunset to teleport herself and her partner upwards to avoid the attack. Then she told Aura Music "Cover Me!" reactivated Trance Mode and teleported right next to the minotaur magical construct.
"Double Magic Enhance: Great Seeking Spheres!" She cast, creating half a dozen spheres of power that Claw Marked barely managed to evade by jumping into his portal again.
But of course, they were seeking spheres, and when the minotaur reappeared at the other side of the field, they simply turned back and flew at him again. Sunset used that distraction to form three more runes, while Aura Music charged her magic for a new attack.
"Grand Sound Wave, Smash Through All!" She shouted, and released her magic.
It was an indiscriminate attack, and Sunset was forced to teleport outside of the radius of it, but Claw Marked had even more trouble, he had used close range space manipulation to make the seeking spheres blow up, but that left him open to be hit by the sound wave, and it actually visibly harmed him, breaking his aura defense and making him spit out blood, but he was clearly not out of the fight yet.
Opening another portal, he dropped through it straight over Aura Music, and channeled space magic into his fist in order to try and punch a hole through her. The avatar quickly sent a magically charged bolt of sound to try and deal with the punch, and was halfway successful, the space magic was broken but Claw Marked still managed to punch her right in the face.
She was stunned by the attack, but before Claw Marked could follow up on it, Sunset teleported into the scene and hit him with a punch of her own, making him fly away. Instead of following up, she planted another rune on the ground, and the minotaur took advantage of the distraction, throwing a portal like a disc to try and decapitate her.
But by that point, Aura Music had recovered from being stunned, and she took over the defense with another bolt of magic music to deflect the portal. Then, she counter attacked by creating several blades of wind and throwing them at the minotaur construct, just to get a bit of time.
"Any plans?" She asked the Knight.
"Just need to make a few more preparations, and then he will be finished." Sunset answered confidently.
"Then this mage shall do her best to make sure your preparations aren't interrupted! This I swear with the heavens and earth as my witness!" Aura Music got fired up again.
She decided to go on the offensive, and played a small melody to make her wind current stronger and faster.
She reached up close to the minotaur construct and actually decided to use her magical zither as a melee weapon, batting at her opponent, who blocked with a fist filled with magic. But blocking was the wrong way to deal with that weapon, because Aura made another note sound out, channeling the vibrations right into his body.
He forcefully separated himself from her, trying to resist the vibrations that were trying to tear him apart from the inside. She kept on the offensive, even jumping fearlessly through a portal that he had just used to try and escape. Still, he managed to recover enough to actually try and deal with her, even if he had to avoid directly blocking the zither that she was still using as a weapon.
The close combat lasted only a few seconds before Claw Marked managed to use a portal to send Aura Music away, but that was enough for Sunset to finish setting the runes she needed. And she had also charged enough magic to do something that would have been completely impossible were it not for the fact that she was currently in Trance Mode.
"Attack after me!" She shouted to her current partner in combat, and then she started her plan.
"Triple Magic Enhance: Great Spatial Scramble!" She cast, releasing a pulse of magic that spread through a wide area, and while it did not leave any visible changes in the world, all who were nearby could feel that things had become different.
Aura Music felt like there was some kind of static in the air, something invisible and intangible that could still somehow be felt, like the buzzing of a fly that you could not see nor hit. Claw Marked, on the other hand, was much more connected to space, so his reaction was to hold his head in pain, as if he had the worst headache in the world.
And that was only half of Sunset's move.
"Double Magic Enhance: Restraining Chains!" And she cast another powerful spell just after finishing the previous one.
To do that, she had needed to hold a second magical formula on her mind at the same time as she was doing another spell. Trixie was better at that kind of thing, but as long as the formulas weren't too complex, Sunset could also do it if she tried. Golden Chains materialized around Sunset and threw themselves at the minotaur, who was too stunned to react and was caught by them.
The first spell had scrambled space on a magical level, preventing the use of teleportation or portals. Of course, the real Claw Marked would not have been sealed so easily, but that copy was far weaker as simply could not deal with such a quick change in the situation. The second spell had restrained the minoutaur construct, but two big spells in quick succession had completely wiped Sunset out, and it would take a few seconds for enough magic to recover for her to fight.
But thankfully, Aura Music had followed Sunset's instructions. Barely a second after the chains had done their job, her wind current had brought the unicorn right next to the minotaur construct. She charged more magic than she had ever done in that fight, and played a note in her zither that seemed to carry the feeling of approaching death.
"Reaper's Whisper..." She whispered, and unleashed a sound that only Claw Marked could hear.
That was something that could be called a true Death Spell, a magic that attacked the connection between body and soul directly. It bypassed any physicality, and the only defense possible was the power of the soul itself. The minotaur used every single scrap of magic he had, and his limited will of a puppet, leading to a struggle of several seconds.
And perhaps Claw Marked could have survived had that spell been used in the beginning of the battle, but by that point he had used too much energy, and been injured twice, and without the powerful will of a true warrior, he simply couldn't hold out. His body turned into motes of light and started to disappear...
"Activate formation!" Sunset shouted, and activated the runic formation she had prepared during the battle.
The runes glowed with a brilliant light and shoot beams of power that connected with the motes of light from Claw Marked's body. The connection made, Sunset activated the last part of the circle.
That was a magic that did exactly what the name advertised. The Knights knew that the mastermind would certainly send more constructs after them, but they didn't plan on simply allowing such a one-sided situation. This spell was a way to go after the mastermind directly.
The spell tracked the origin of Claw Marked right to the point where he had been created, in an operation that took several seconds. She quickly realized that there were no anti-teleportation wards on the place (probably because it would be really suspicious) and so getting there would be a simple matter. Sunset had already recovered most of her magic, and so she teleported right there:
"See you later!" She shouted to Aura Music, right before disappearing and reappearing elsewhere.
Quickly she saw that she was inside some kind of old, underground palace, that seemed to have fallen into disrepair. Knowing she would probably need some help, Sunset used a special spell to summon her fellow Knights. It was quite a convenient spell, that allowed even those that couldn't teleport to come towards her, and the seven other Knights quickly accepted the summons, knowing that this was probably important.
Naturally, this was when things started going wrong.
Suddenly, just after Sunset got an answer to her summons, her magic was disrupted. The feeling she got was of mirrors, so whatever it was had to do with illusions.
'It still felt like the teleportations worked, so I guess they must be somewhere in this place.' Sunset thought.
Looking around, she saw the passages warping and reshaping themselves as illusionary magic was cast.
"Well, that's going to be a bother." She said out loud.
Sunset turned back and watched as Trixie walked into sight. The two ponies sent magical probes at each other, and went through a complex process to make sure that the other one was indeed real and not another illusion. Trixie was the one who designed this process, so the reliability was high.
"And you barely even notice the illusions." Sunset said, smirking.
"This mage is indeed good, and can even use the real to trick like an illusion, but they are not Trixie." The showmare responded, and started walking to a certain direction.
"How long do you think it will take for Twilight to find us?" Sunset asked, walking after Trixie.
"It will still take a little time. She always did have problems with the most complex illusions." Trixie answered "As for the others, Applejack can see through illusions, but this mage will definitely have ways to deal with that, so Trixie thinks Rainbow Dash is the most likely to find us first, because of her instincts."
"I think it will be Fluttershy, that empathy thing is very useful for those kinds of things." Sunset gave her opinion "Where are we going?" She asked.
Trixie smiled "As Trixie has said, this mage is good, but she is better. They did a good job hiding it, but Trixie still can tell from where the illusion magic is coming from."
After that, the two proceeded in silence, preparing themselves for any kind of possible ambush, but still, they managed to go in peace until their target, which was seriously strange.
"Ahhh... That is annoying." Trixie said.
This was because they had found the source of the magic. It was a big mirror, and Trixie could tell that it had been created specially for that kind of job, which meant their mastermind was completely out of reach by that point.
"Hehehe..." A female voice came from the mirror.
Suddenly the image of a pony appeared there. She was a unicorn mare with a heliotrope coat and a pale blue mane, and she had a cutie mark of mirrors.
"I admit you were clever to be able to find this base, but I, Radiant Hope, am not so stupid as to be caught that easily." She spoke in a smug voice.
"Why are you sending those constructs against us?" Sunset asked directly. It was worth a shot, since opponents that felt they had the upper hand had loose lips.
"Hehehe..." She laughed in an annoying manner "Why, it is simple. It was an order from my master Sombra, of course."
Sunset had an expression of bewilderment "You mean he prepared to the point where he had an apprentice who would avenge his death?"
"Hehehe... You know nothing. Master Sombra gave me this order personally. You think he is dead? Master Sombra is immortal!"
The shock of those words almost made Sunset miss the sudden pulse of magic coming from above, but she managed to send a powerful blast of pure magic in that direction with amazing speed.
But even with that, she couldn't change the outcome.
Twilight had to scramble a lot of the illusions with chaos magic to be able to find her way. Feeling remnants of Trixie's magic in the air (probably left on purpose) she followed them, since her partner was the best suited for dealing with illusions. Despite the work she had to do to keep following the path, there were no surprises until she found the two.
Twilight was still some distance away, so she couldn't hear what they were talking, but she saw the unicorn in the mirror, and she definitely saw when Sunset suddenly attacked upwards.
And she saw when the whole area in front of her, including her two partners simply... Disappeared.
The place had become an open area, and there was now an earth pony stallion with a white mane and grey coat in the middle of the emptiness. He was turned to the other side and did not appear to have noticed her.
'No...' A thought flashed through Twilight's mind 'No, I can't feel them anymore.'
Sending her magic in a powerful pulse, she realized that both Sunset and Trixie were just... gone.
'No... I won't... I won't let this happen!' She shouted within herself, and then she ignored all notions of carefulness.
"Overdrive!" She shouted, and her body exploded in more power than she had ever brought out with the technique "Merged Spell!" She shouted again, and fused the mix of energies from her body (she had used the spells on her armor before) into the rushing power she had already gathered.
'Still not enough.' She thought, as the earth pony turned to face her "Overdrive!"
And the power that already had reached a ridiculous level instantly grew by another order of magnitude. The power Twilight was holding was so great that the space around her started to warp, the ground changed to ice and small chaotic creatures were born from the air. The earth pony leapt at Twilight, using the same magic that he had used before to make everything around his path disappear.
"Time Stop." Twilight said.
The earth pony stopped in the air as the time in the entire area was stopped. Twilight looked up at him, tears in her eyes as she continued her magic.
"Time Reverse..." She seemed to struggle to say the words.
And like a tape being reversed, everything that had been turned to nothing was restored in reverse order. Twilight seemed to be under a great burden, but she didn't stop until everything was done. Sunset and Trixie were back, and there were no signs that anything had happened.
And both Twilight and the earth pony had become wispy and ethereal, as if they were no longer part of the world.
"We shall wander FOREVER!" She shouted, bringing the magic to a close.
And both she and the earth pony that had been responsible for all that... Disappeared completely.