Hero Souls: Awakening

by SvenFoxx

28. Meanwhile...

Within the basement of a home that had recently been purchased, a green coated Unicorn sat hunched over a table against a wall. Within his magic he manipulated a variety of tools, each and every one being used upon the two devices sitting on the table.

River Run physically reached a hoof into the opening he had made and pulled out a clear crystal. He examined the crystal critically, using a magnifying lens at one point.

There was nothing wrong with it.

He sighed and let his tools and the crystal fall to the table. He rubbed his forehead with a hoof. Glancing up at the wall the table sat against, he stared at the only thing he had hanging there. It was a crystal that was the same shape as the one he had pulled from the device on the table, but badly burnt and cracked in a lot of places.

When he, while in his role as Shifter the Thief, had punched the mystery mare back in Canterlot, the Manipulator Gauntlet he had hit her with had instantly suffered a catastrophic failure. Every readout he got from it points to the arm hitting something immovable. He had since been trying to recreate whatever it was that had done so, with no luck.

“I don’t get it,” he said. “I hit her, and she went down, but everything in the gauntlet acts like I had tried and failed to knock down a metal wall.” He picked up said gauntlet, looking at the fingers and servos that were the knuckles. “The kinetic amplifiers are stressed to the point of overheating and being slagged, the servos were completely overwhelmed, and the outer plating is dented inward in such a way that it would be easier to just replace it. But the carbuncle lines are completely intact.” He looked at the crystal on the wall again. “Not only that, but I burnt out the central processing crystal just from punching her.”

He leaned back and stared at the ceiling. “Who are you, miss mystery pony?” he asked himself. “Obviously my first impression of you was wrong if I couldn’t physically hurt you. The only conclusion I can draw is that you are, for some reason, abnormally affected by magic, and the magic running through my Manipulator Gauntlets knocked you out when I blew out the crystal trying to punch you. The burst of unrestrained magic that caused would have been a headache at worst for anyone hit by it, but it’s the only thing I can think of that could have been in a position to do anything to you.”

Absently, he started to twirl a screwdriver in his magic. “You can fly like a Pegasus, you have the physical endurance of an Earth-Pony, if amplified to ridiculous levels, and if the glamour was yours, the ability to use magic like a Unicorn.” He frowned in thought. “An Alicorn?” He shook his head. “No, the Princesses are the only known Alicorns, and they would have no reason to hide themselves like that.”

Unbidden, his mind cast back to when he ran into Twilight Sparkle in the Town Hall. He hummed in thought. She was a powerful Unicorn in her own right, certainly powerful enough to levitate herself with a degree of skill. But what about the super endurance? A spell maybe?

Possibly. He himself was a master of self-reinforcement spells. Of course, even a master could only reinforce themselves so far. There was, after all, a limit to just how much magic the body can have running through it. While it’s possible that’s what the unknown pony was doing, he doubted even Twilight Sparkle could reinforce herself to the point where the Manipulator Gauntlets did nothing physically. Even Earth-Ponies wouldn’t walk away from ten pounds of steel to the face unscathed.

Besides, self-reinforcement also granted a degree of magical resistance as a side-effect, meaning the magic burst from his CPC breaking shouldn’t have done anything.

He groaned. “I need to take a break. I’m thinking in circles.” He grabbed the still functioning gauntlet and moved to a closet. Within was a blue body-suit. He grinned, grabbing it with his magic. “I know just how to relax.”

Time for Shifter the Thief to make himself known to Ponyville.


Trixie sighed as she dropped the reins of the cart she was pulling. She looked back at what she was hauling and, not for the first time, wondered to herself what’s so important about rocks of all things that they would need to be farmed.

After making sure the cart was secured and would not move easily, she left the barn she had dropped the cart off in and made her way towards the nearby house. Looking around the farm as she walked, Trixie felt her mood darken slightly at the almost dreary landscape. There wasn’t a speck of flora to be seen for miles.

Again, Trixie wondered what the point of farming rocks was, especially if the process required this kind of barren landscape. It was the opposite of what you’d expect to see at a normal farm.

“It’s… depressing,” she murmured to herself.

Upon reaching the house’s front door, she instinctively used her magic to grasp the door handle. She hissed in pain, her horn sparking erratically, and lowered her head. ‘Of course, the landscape wouldn’t be a problem if it was safe for Trixie to leave in the first place,’ she thought harshly, riding out her sudden splitting headache as best she could.

Overdriving as she had to escape the Ursa Major, especially as stressed as her body had already been from magic use that day, had very nearly flash-fried her body’s ability to channel magic completely. As it stood, she couldn’t even manage a simple tactile manipulation spell without her horn protesting violently. Hence why she was physically pulling the cart full of rocks, rather than gathering them with her magic, as she had in the magic duel with…

Her expression darkened.

‘The friend of Twilight Sparkle,’ she thought with no small amount of anger.

Twilight Sparkle. Just the thought of that mare sent Trixie’s mind into a fit of rage. She had heard of Twilight before going to Ponyville. Who hadn’t? Princess Celestia’s prized student. Debatably the most powerful Unicorn in Equestria.

Wielder of the Element of Magic.

Trixie scoffed. Twilight Sparkle was picked as the bearer of the Element of Magic because of her position, not any magical talent. Trixie was certain of that. Princess Celestia had played favorites, and then foisted the rest of the Elements on a bunch of no-names from a backwater village.

‘I will return, Twilight Sparkle,’ she thought darkly. ‘And when I do, I’ll show everyone who is the most magical Unicorn in Equestria.’