Knights of the Realm

by Kinni


There was silence for a few moments as Trixie and Sunset struggled to process what had happened.

"I'm going to send a message to Celestia." Sunset said, breathing heavily to try and calm down.

"Okay...." Trixie said, doing the same thing "Trixie will make sure Radiant Hope can't interfere with anything here. It seems the connection was broken, but..." She didn't finish her statement.

Sunset did what she said, while Trixie ran a few diagnostic spells. Fluttershy appeared soon after, and she instantly realized that something was wrong.

"What happened?" She asked carefully.

"I don't..." Sunset started speaking, before stopping and taking another deep breath "I don't want to have to repeat myself, so it's better to wait until the others get here."

Fluttershy could feel that the emotions of the two were in extreme turmoil, to the point where she was surprised that they were still in control of themselves, even if it was obvious that they were not okay.

Over the next minute, the rest of the apprentices arrived. Rainbow Dash got there first, and feeling that things were tense, simply waited by the side of her teacher. Pinkie Pie came later, and was about to try and cheer the two up when Fluttershy looked at her and shook her head. Then Rarity got there, and saw that something was very wrong just from the faces the two were doing, so she also waited. Finally, Applejack got there, and her eyes widened as she looked at a seemingly empty part of the room.

And then Princess Celestia teleported in. By her side was the dragon Spike, and held in her magic was the unicorn Peppermint, who was still in a 2D state.

All the Knights straightened themselves up when the princess arrived, and Sunset and Trixie even managed to relax a fraction.

"Hello, my Knights." Celestia said with a serious expression "I have already received Sunset's report about what happened here, and so I will have to extend this mission of yours to include a rescue of Twilight."

"What happened with her?" Fluttershy asked "Sunset said she would explain when we were all here." She looked at the unicorn.

Celestia looked at Sunset and Trixie with kind eyes "I think it would be better for me to explain." She cleared her throat "Perhaps the biggest magical lesson that can be learned is that the most powerful magics have the biggest consequences, and in order to save Sunset and Trixie, Twilight completely ignored this lesson and used a particularly powerful time magic." She realized that Applejack wanted to speak "What is it, my little Applejack?"

"Ah can see it." She said, pointing to the same empty space as before "It's like a subword, a place only barely connected to reality."

"Indeed." Celestia agreed "Twilight has been caught in the gears of time, and it's hard to say what are her chances of coming out, or even what her current situation is, but there is still a connection that can be exploited to reach her, and so you have a chance to help."

"What do we need to do?" Sunset asked "Neither me nor Trixie understand enough about time and space magic to be able to open this path."

"That means we need to bring a pony who does know enough." Celestia said simply, and cast a small spell to send a message.

It did not take long for another pony to teleport in, and it was a pony who was familiar to everypony there (except Peppermint, who was currently too unconscious to count), it was Moondancer, chief of Celestia's Special Division of Extreme Magical Research.

"Of course," Trixie realized "it was her research on space magic that allowed Twilight to do that."

"What's the situation?" Moondancer asked "The Princess simply gave me an emergency summons, so I came here as fast as possible."

She had clearly been in the middle of working on something, since there was some kind of slime on her hooves and parts of her coat were burning with some kind of magical fire that did not cause harm to her. The situation was explained quickly, and the researcher went up to the "connection place" and started doing a few diagnostic spells.

"Hey, Applejack." She called "Could you help me here?"

The Knight went over to her "What do I do?"

"Just tell me what you are seeing, since the Eyes of Truth will be able to understand the nuances better." Moondancer said.

And so it was done. The other Knights simply tried to relax and recover from their exertions while Moondancer and Applejack worked out a way in. Celestia had teleported away, saying she needed to help Peppermint, but Spike was still there, and commiserating together with Sunset and Trixie, who had recovered to the point where they were almost normal, but a tension could be seen in their bodies if one looked closely.

It took an entire hour of work, as Moondancer kept creating more and more runes on the ground, the walls and even the air, and connecting them in fairly complex formations that looked like spiderwebs of light and energy. Applejack was focusing as much as she could to see any small changes on the connection, and providing the researcher with every bit of information she could gather about the way the space was folding and the flow of energy.

"Okay then." Moondancer said loudly enough to attract attention "Almost done. This ritual will use the power of the dragon lines around this fortress, together with the bonds you have with Twilight in order to open a path to her." Everypony else walked towards the center circle she was indicating, while Moondancer was still doing calculations and redefining variables on the magical formation.

Sunset then looked at the dragon "Spike. You will have to stay here."

"What? Why?!" He asked forcefully "I also want to help save Twilight!"

"Moondancer will have to stay here to keep the path open for us to come back, so she will need to be protected, which is a job for a Knight. The mission still isn't over yet, but you pretty much qualify. Besides that, your bond with Twilight will also help us to come back once we get her." Sunset explained patiently "And we will come back, make no mistake about that. We will tell Twilight exactly how dumb she was to go that far, you will greet her once we are back here, and she will be there to watch your Knight proclamation." Her voice had taken on a tone of determination.

Spike looked like he still wanted to argue but could not find any way to refute those arguments. He took a moment to look at Moondancer, who was doing the final checks on the formation, before nodding "Okay. I'll trust you girls, and complete my own mission."

Sunset smiled at him, and the Knights moved to the points in the formation that Moondancer indicated.

"Okay everypony..." Moondancer started "It's time to start this ritual!"

She made her horn glow and then the web of magical formations started to shine little by little, spreading outward and getting stronger and stronger, until every one of the Knights could feel the enormous amounts of energy that it was pulling from the dragon lines.

"It's time! Charge the formation with your magic!" She shouted to them.

Sunset, Trixie, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie unleashed their powers to the maximum they could, creating actual rivers of energy that flowed into their parts of the formation. Sunset started her Trance Mode, and Pinkie Pie did an Emotion Charge, both of them far surpassing the amount of power any of the others were providing (though Fluttershy made a good showing).

The point in the center of the formation started to darken and waver as space bent around itself. The distortion grew... but then it stopped growing.

"Not enough power..." Moondancer said "Well, this is going to mess things up for later, but I'll have to overdraw from the dragon pulse!" She cast another spell, and then the air became electric with energy while the ground started to shake wildly on the outside of the formation.

The point in the center grew into a sphere, dark as the limits of space, the existence twisted itself, breaking apart and creating a hole in the world that seemed to lead everywhere. The shaking grew worse, and the roof of the underground palace started collapsing, opening the place to the light of day, the roof over the formation fell but was devoured by the spatial distortion before it could hit the Knights.

And then the distortion, that was now a hole in space shaped like an infinity symbol, again stopped growing.

"Still not enough power..." Moondancer muttered, then she looked at Sunset and Trixie and got an expression like she was about to do something extremely distasteful.

"Sunset, Trixie!" She called "There's not enough power to open the path!" And then she closed her eyes and focused.

The faces of the two Knights lost all sense of the calm they had before, and their eyes acquired a disturbing glow.

"Not enough..." Trixie said, in a voice that was like a volcano right before eruption.

"Power...?" Sunset finished, in a voice that combined outrage with a touch of insanity.

The two looked at each other, as if trying to confirm that the other had heard the same thing, and for a moment, both of them gave off an impression of a shared sense of will.

Then, as one, they roared:


And like a dam had been broken, the two unleashed such a level of extra power that even an alicorn would consider dangerous.

They were no longer like a river, but instead a geyser of power that threatened to slip control and scour the very earth with destruction. This was such a pure power that it seemed like the world itself was in harmony with it. Moondancer struggled to channel all of that power into the formation, even if she had previously prepared herself.

While that was happening, Pinkie looked at the two of them with surprise 'They're emotion boosting... I didn't think it was possible to get so much power from your emotions without an emotion charge...' She thought.

Fluttershy was also surprised 'Their love and concern for Twilight is overflowing... Those emotions are so powerful...'

The distortion in space grew even more. The infinity symbol split into thousands of identical symbols overlapping each other, the color managed to become even darker and it hummed in a way that all who were nearby could feel it in their very souls. Finally, the distortion became an actual hole leading into light.

"Go!" Moondancer shouted, and the seven Knights jumped into the opening, going to rescue the last of their number.