“Are thou sure that Twilight Sparkle hath requested our presence immediately?” Luna asked again.
“Yes, Luna. I’ve read the letter multiple times. This is an emergency. We can’t even take the Royal Guards with us because it will take too long for them to mobilize.” Celestia explained.
“Hm..would you allow Us to see the letter?" Luna asked.
Princess Celestia magically hoofed her sister of the night the erratic scroll that had arrived not moments ago. Whilst they were contemplating inside of Princess Celestia’s room, the scroll had arrived hastily tucked. After scanning, reading, and then scouring the letter, Princess Celestia took on an even greater state of woe. They knew that Discord was on the loose, but they didn’t know he would act this soon.
“So this is it?” Luna inquired.
“Yes, that’s all of it.”
Princess Luna began to read the letter.
“Dear Princess Celestia and Luna,
This is of grave of importance. All of Ponyville is in danger, in fact, all of Equestria is. Something evil is arriving and he is planning on taking over all of ponykind. It..he.. I’m not sure what the thing is but Discord isn’t exactly friends with it. I thought it was one of Discord’s tricks again, but after the thing almost strangled Rainbow Dash and…snapped off my horn, I doubt it has anything to do with the god of Chaos. For one, Discord saved us from it. Anyway, please come immediately. He’s probably heading this way. Hurry Princesses!”
The letter was scribbled at the end, probably the rushed signature of Twilight Sparkle.
“She did not even bother to sign her name. How quaint.” Luna was aware of the danger approaching, but wasn’t exactly keen on the idea of Equestria being dominated by some otherworldly thing.
“Sister, prepare for arrival.” Princess Celestia’s horn began to glow as a bright white light consumed Celestia’s private study.
“Yes, yes! This is coming along rather nicely.” Gnarl commented.
The imps had been busy building the foundations of the Overlord’s new domain while the Dark One went with a few others to rule over the neighboring village. So far, everything was going according to plan. Nearby, the imps found an abundant rock quarry that they used as building blocks of the foundation. There was also a good amount of mud nearby which would serve as the sticking compound. There were only a few matters that villages would be needed for. The act of furnishing would be impossible without any linen in store.
Tapestries and décor would have to wait for later. For now, the beginnings of a new home were being stretched out before Gnarl’s aged eyes. He cackled to himself as he imagined the Overlord sitting upon a large throne, not different from his previous seat, and enslaving the inhabitants of this world. It was glorious to say the least.
The sounds of the Minions working filled the air as Evil had taken root. Equestria would be changed after this, after the Overlord’s rule. No longer would the name of Equestria be associated with the images of fun, love, and ponies but a dark steel ruler with a ravenous horde, ready to destroy those that oppose them.
“Evil always finds a way.”
“So where are we going?” Nine asked again.
“Are you stupid or something? Master wants us to start the fun!” Ten reminded.
“Oh yeah..for the Master!” Nine snapped back into a zealous nature.
The group of Minions had been running for minutes now as the home of the ponies neared. They could hear the small chatter from where they were. They could smell fresh food, fire, and drinks ripe for the taking. They did not even bother to stop for their Master as they charged the rustic village. Evil was on their side and they weren’t going to fail today.
Their armor covered their bodies from being exposed to the warm rays of the sun as they charged in the open field. Houses were starting to get within sight as the Minions quickened their pace. The Blues slacked in the back, the Reds stayed in the middle and sides, and the Browns formed the front guard, Ten and Nine leading them first and foremost.
Ten knew exactly how to make first impressions within a new village. The ponies that were near stood still, slack jawed at the imps’ appearance, and curious about how they moved about on two legs. Ten took notice how every single house was made the same way, out of flammable material. He laughed and Nine followed suit when he observed this as well.
“Reds, open fire.” Ten ordered.
“Yes!” A Red exclaimed.
“Finally!” Another Red said.
“Yeah..” A third agreed.
All five of the Reds began to lob fireballs at the nearby thatch-roofed buildings. Within seconds, the once peaceful town thrived with panic as multiple ponies’ homes were set ablaze. Unfortunately, the ones that were being torched were vacant of their tenants and none were harmed. Some ponies tried to defend their homes but a couple of glares from the mad Minions sent them scurrying away.
“This is too easy, Ten. It’s like taking a soul from a sheep.” Nine added.
“No, sheep are fun to mess with. These things are boring! None of them figh-” Ten stopped as he felt the air leave his lungs.
“That’s what you get for burning my house down. Come on, guys! Let’s get them!” A brown coated stallion withdrew himself after bucking Ten a few feet away. On his flanks, laid an hourglass Cutie Mark.
“You got it, Doc!” A stallion from behind said.
The group of stallions that Time Turner, or Doctor Whooves, was leading charged at the imps. If they knew that the imps had the intent of killing them, they might not have attacked so rashly.
Nine turned his neck to see the downed Ten. “Do you want the first one?”
Ten got to his feet as he wiped some blood from his mouth, and bared his sharp teeth in anticipation. “The brown one is all mine.” He took his sword in hand as he leapt forward, riding Doctor Whooves on his back. “You shouldn’t have hit me so hard. I might have killed you easier.” Ten stabbed the stallion in the side as he collapsed to the ground. Spurts of blood splattered across the floor when he fell.
Ten dismounted the knocked down leader and examined him. “Almost seems like you have family waiting for you. I’ll be sure to leave them your bones.” Ten impaled the brown colt multiple times, sending more streams of blood running down the previously brown coat and onto the ground. After he finished, the lifeless body was surrounded by a canvas of red that looked like a painting.
Ten turned to see his other imps. All around them were the dead bodies of the defense group minus one. There was still one more colt trying to drag himself away as he left a large trail of red in his wake. He whimpered like a child as the air seemed to get colder for him. “Someone kill the bugger already.” And with Ten’s command, all of the Reds threw flames at the attempted escapee as he burned to a crisp.
His burnt fur smelt like a badly cooked chicken. “Ew, that smells.” Nine taunted.
The other bodies looked no different. Some were burned, some were cut and stabbed. Also, a considerable two of them were clubbed to death, multiple bones were sticking out irregularly. “Okay boys; let’s go get us some drinks!” Ten commanded as he led them to a large ornate building in the middle of town. Too bad Ponyville had decided to take down the Ponyville Town Hall sign for renovations.
“Did y’all hear that? It sounded like screamin’.” Applejack mentioned.
“Y-yeah, it does. Do you think they already got here?” Rainbow Dash gulped.
“I think that’s them..where’s Princess Celestia?!” Twilight was beginning to panic even more.
“Oh my…calm down Twilight, I’m sure they’re coming right now….How about I go and meet them myself? Maybe they just need a gentle talking to..”
“NO!” Everypony there shouted in unison.
“Ya can’t, ya just can’t, Fluttershy. That big mister is bad an’ scary. Please stay.” Applebloom warned.
“Oh alright…but I still want to see them…”
A flash of light blinded everypony in the room for a few seconds. After rubbing their eyes, they saw who had arrived and immediately bowed their heads in respect.
“Twilight Sparkle, what’s going on here?” Princess Celestia asked.
“Princess…I think we’re under attack.” Twilight hesitated, thinking on the best choice of words.
“Attack? Who doth dare to attack my fare citizens?! They shall meet my wrath!” Princess Luna’s eyes began to become a pure white as she rose in the air.
“Lulu, we aren’t sure of this yet. Now let’s let them explain this entire situation.” Princess Celestia began. She turned her attention back to her little ponies. “Now what exactly happened?”
And so, Twilight Sparkle recounted the entire events of the day. From the Pinkie Sense doozy, to the missing Cutie Mark Crusaders, to Zecora warning them, to the encounter with the expeditionary force, and then the help Discord gave them.
Princess Celestia was contemplating all the while, not displaying any visual emotions or reactions. Princess Luna on the other hand was stampeding like a mad bull and fuming at the thought of her friends being hurt. The Princess of the Night was about to speak when her older sister interrupted her. The regal white Alicorn took a deep breath before addressing them.
“So not only is there a new being with an army planning on taking over Equestria, but Discord is helping us? This is truly confusing..did he mention anything else in that letter?” Princess Celestia examined the girls’ faces.
They all looked away, afraid to speak up on Discord’s words. They nervously moved their hooves back and forth, clearing their throats and coughing.
“Well?” Princess Luna was not amused.
“Well....” Pinkie Pie started. “He did kinda say that Equestria was doomed..but I think he was just playing a joke on us, am I right?” The pink earth pony looked around for some confirmation, receiving all nods from her friends.
“This is most dire, indeed. We must go and stop this monster. Elements, start to evacuate Ponyville. I don’t want anyone to get hurt from this.” Celestia ordered.
They all nodded and galloped out of the door. The two Alicorns looked at each other, scared of the words Discord had used. He was not one for helping them, especially in a game. But if was truly on their side, then the new being must be all powerful. With some deep breaths, they followed the others outside and prepared to fight whatever was before them. But they were not ready for the sight that they were beholding.
Flames encompassed a good amount of buildings that were on the edges and center of Ponyville. Dozens of citizens were fleeing for their lives, screaming in terror. Off in the distance, the sisters saw lifeless forms on the ground. When worse came to worst, ponies would be harmed from other creatures, but rarely were they killed. And there some distance away were over six bodies. They hoped that this bloodshed would cease. A loud and frantic shriek broke their train of thought as they flew towards the source.
“Dinky, run now!”
“I can’t leave you here, mom!” Dinky Doo replied.
“Just run!” Ditzy Doo tossed her daughter over the crowd of creatures that surrounded them in an alley.
Dinky Doo tumbled for a good while, but eventually came to a stop as she looked at her mother one last time. She started to cry as her mother followed suit. Ditzy Doo shouted to gain her filly’s attention.
“I love you, muffin!”
“I love you too!” Dinky replied as she hastily ran away seeking help.
“Aww isn’t that sweet? Coochie-coochie, haha, just kidding.” Nine laughed at his own joke, getting hit on the head in the process.
“That was horrible. Anyway, you’re lucky I don’t feed you to a unicorn. You drank the only brew they had in that forsaken place. I’m surprised their ‘mayor’ gave up so easily. She’ll be an excellent workhorse.” Ten said.
Ditzy Doo was trying her hardest to put on a tough face. It was to no avail as the sharp and crude weapons of the Minions began to get closer, frightening her of what was to come.
“She looks like a good slave, right?” Ten asked.
“Uhuh!” A Red agreed.
“Right, let’s chain her up like the others.” Ten pointed to two Browns in the back who began to skulk forward with a large set of steel bonds. “Chain her up.”
“STOP!” A loud voice forced them to the ground.
After rubbing their heads, they looked up at their attacker. Two large ponies with a horn and wings flew in the air gracefully.
“Ooh, shiny!” A Blue commented.
“FRET NOT CITIZEN! FOR WE HATH COME TO SAVE THEE!” Princess Luna shouted in her Royal Canterlot Voice.
Although Ditzy was a little scared of Princess Luna, she knew that if both of the Princesses were there, then she would be safe. She hastily flew towards them as the imps were sprawled against the floor from Princess Luna’s sheer force.
“Thank you.” Ditzy praised.
“It’s okay now. Go and find somewhere safe. Leave as soon as you can.” Princess Celestia smiled warmly at the frightened mailmare before her. Ditzy nodded in response and began to leave. As soon as she did, Celestia’s expression changed from one of calm to one of anger and disgust. “How dare you attack Equestria?!”
“Attack who’s-a-whatsa?” Nine asked dumbly.
“Forget these stupid ponies. Reds, fire!” Ten commanded.
The Reds began to throw fireballs while the other watched. Since the Reds were the only ranged attackers, the Browns and Blues were less than useless.
The two Alicorns weaved in and out of the flame arches being thrown at them. With some struggle, they managed to fight back as well. Using minor magical blasts, they knocked the Reds back and unconscious. Once they were free of any further attack, they began to question the by standing leader.
“Why are you doing this?” Princess Celestia inquired with a hint of abhorrence.
“The Master gets what the Master wants. It’s simple really.”
The two Princesses were baffled by what Ten had said.
“Who is thy Master?”
“Why, the Overlord. And you are going to be sorry that you ever messed with him.” Ten warned.
“Sorry? Thou art going to be sorry for attacki-” Luna was stopped by her sister.
“Can I speak with him?” She asked rather calmly.
“He’s not one for talking. How about this, surrender now and everyone will be spared. Then the Master can rule over you all.” He bargained.
“Rule over us? I do not think so. Luna, let’s push these monsters back to the place from which they came!” Celestia suggested with some suppressed anger.
Ten, Nine, and the others took notice of this. The two Alicorns’ horns began to glow as they pointed them at the Minions. Knowing what would probably happen, they picked up their losses, which were the knocked out Reds, and ran for the hills. Hopefully, their Master would be somewhere in between.
The two sisters did not relent. They fired magic after magic, trying to banish or defeat the evil that was retreating. It was exhausting, for flying and using magic was a bit of an exertion. So they both landed on the ground with a thump. The Minions had turned the corner around the building and disappeared. Not wanting to lose their targets, Princess Celestia and Luna gave chase.
“STOP MONS-ter…..” Luna’s Royal Canterlot Voice was quelled as she and her older sister saw the Minions looking at them with cocky grins. Accompanying the looks, was their leader. He was a large dark being with piercing red eyes, a flowing cape to follow, and two weapons made for killing. Luna gulped after she analyzed all aspects of the Overlord.
“So you are these creatures’ leader?” Princess Celestia asked.
The Overlord raised his arm in the air as the hum followed. The imps began to smile even more madly as they answered for him. “Yes!”
“Do you intend on taking over this land?” Celestia stammered.
The Overlord looked into her eyes. The look that he was giving her would be forever burned within the outreach of her subconscious. Slowly, he nodded to her second question.
“Then..I..declare you an enemy of ponykind..” She and her younger sister both looked at each other, nervous about their next course of action.
The Overlord kicked Ten in the side, prodding him to pay close attention. The Overlord pointed to a nearby piece of cover, presumably so that the Minions are well within a safe distance away from the chain of events about to follow. Almost instinctively, the imps scurried to the building as they watched.
The Overlord looked at the two rulers of Equestria one last time before tightening his grip around his two weapons. He took one loud step forward.
“Stay back, foul beast. Or We shall be forced to attack.” Luna warned.
The Overlord took another footstep, raising his steel sword up as he did.
“Stop, now!” Celestia commanded.
Princess Celestia and Luna charged their horns to fire. They knew no meager spell would stop something of his size. So they decided that a mixed attack of both the night and the day would quell the demon. Sparks and clicks filled the air, only to be muffled to a low churn from the Overlord’s footsteps.
“I’m trying!” Luna replied.
“Hurry!” Celestia was feeling something she had barely felt before. She felt fear.
One more step and he would be within arm length of the two rulers. He raised his club in order to club both of them in one fell swoop. He felt heat begin to build up from the two Alicorns. He felt some kind of reluctance of charging head on, but quickly swallowed that feeling and turned his focus on the two raging balls of fire. Wait a minute, that isn’t right..
No, indeed it was. The two sisters used one of the most powerful spells known to ponykind. Only few have mastered the spell itself and it took many years for the sisters to accomplish. But they had done it. They had never used the spell before but they had read of its effects on living beings. They sighed in relief as the flame fueled on. They had stopped the evil. But Celestia knew that this was too easy. There was no way that something that menacing could go down so easily. And her assumption was made correct when something swung out of the flame entity and knocked Luna to the other side of town. Out of the flames, the Overlord stepped out dramatically.
He laughed evilly as he cracked his neck, trying to relieve himself of the pains that had been dwelling in his bones for some time. The sounds of the bones moving gave him a sense of relaxation as he looked back at Princess Celestia. She stared at him, mouth agape, as he moved forward once more. Subconsciously, she used a powerful levitation spell as she knocked the Overlord’s weapons out of his hands and away from him. She heard some scolding in the background.
“You shouldn’t have done that! You’re gonna get it now!” Ten added.
And pause for dramatic music...
She tensed up from what the Minion said. Celestia looked back to the Overlord as he shook his head in disappointment. He took his hands into each other and began to fold them. Cracks and pops filled Celestia’s ears as he freed his packed joints. He brought his hands to his sides, and then began to slowly bring them up as if he were holding two heavy vases in each palm. His hands shook as he brought them closer to the sky.
The air seemed to get thinner as Celestia hesitantly backed away from the Overlord. The sky also seemed to be affected by the Dark Being as it began to turn a blood red. She could feel that something disastrous was about to happen. The air started to get hotter also. Small little embers began to surround the Conqueror as his hands almost reached its peak level. The air shifted with his force. And within moments, the entire area around the Overlord was set ablaze. Nearby buildings, stalls, and structures were almost instantly turned to ash or wreckage from his power.
Celestia did something she rarely had done. She cried. If he was truly planning on taking the world, then he might actually do it soon. She flew as fast as she possibly could, trying to recover her sister and leave with the remaining evacuees. She craned her head back one last time as she saw the Overlord surrounded by flame and ash. His red eyes met hers as she flew. Equestria was doomed.
Lyra ran outside to find any who could help her. After teleporting a very reluctant Bon-Bon out of Ponyville, she had very little power left in store. As she wandered the streets, she noticed that entire portions of the town were gone. She smelled burning wood all around her. From behind her, came some snickering.
Lyra was quickly unable to move as cold steel wrapped around her coat. She turned to see little unknown creatures surrounding her, smiling with sharp bared teeth. With some effort, she shot out two magical burst which knocked back a couple of the monsters. They took care of that quickly as they took a chain around her horn, rendering her magic useless. They pushed her to the ground, causing her to lose her sight for a split second.
Scrambling to her hooves, she looked up. All around the sea-green unicorn were flames and ash. She smelled the smoky fumes fill the air as the sounds of the once thriving town was nonexistent. It was as if any form of life had never existed in this place. To her side, she could spot the remnants of some of her friends’ homes. She could spot the door of Ditzy’s house, the bottom half of Berry Punch’s home, and a few others.
To her right, she saw others. Carrot Top, Berry Punch, Caramel, Diamond Tiara, and Cheerilee were all shackled up like prisoners. Lyra’ attention was quickly captured as two thumps were heard from her front. Hesitantly, she looked up and followed a path of cold and dark steel armor. Finally, she came to the occupier of the protection. Two red eyes were looking right down at her. The Princesses, the Elements, and Lyra herself was unable to stop the Overlord in any regard.
“Celestia help me.”