I had chosen to walk the entire way there, that was a big mistake and I found myself walking along a train track head towards a town called Baltimare. Idiot. I had been walking for quite a while and just made it to the splitting in the railroad that lead two different ways. A train began to come up behind me and I moved off the track, expecting it to zoom past. It instead slowed to a stop and a brown coat pony with a white man and combed mustache hopped off and put his hoof out at me. I drew my face mask up over my nose again.
"Silent Time, I presume?" He asked. I took his hoof and shook it.
"You are correct," he shook my hand in return.
"I am Steam Wheels, come aboard, we are headed for Baltimare and we'll arrive in thirty minutes," he said and went back onto the train. I followed, I was not going to walk the rest of the way if I knew I didn't have to. He pointed out to the seats and I took one in the middle. The seats were some sort of open couch with windows separating booths.
"Silent Time, thank you for doing what you did in Appleloosa, that was my home town and though my brothers and sisters aren't with us anymore, I thank you for what you did in their name," he nodded and headed further up the train.
I would never get used to how grateful these ponies could be, humans back on Earth could be thankful, but a lot of them just ran from me in fear of their own lives. Even when my name grew and I was the talk of the city, they still ran. It was nice getting thanked, but it was slightly overbearing.
I looked around and saw the many ponies on board the train, all of them smiled and nodded or waved to me. It seemed news traveled fast here and they already accepted me.
I stayed silent as my new name implies until the train stopped at Baltimare and the conductor, Steam Wheels, approached me as I was about to exit.
"Silent Time, I wish you luck in your quest. Please rid us of all these demons," he took his hat off and nodded at me.
"Do you know where this small volcanic island is?" I asked.
"You mean the Rock of Calm Ire? That's along the south beaches of Baltimare," he informed me.
"Thanks," I rushed off the train and began a sprint past the city, reaching the beaches in what seemed to be a few minutes. Ponies quickly cleared the way for me as I went. I sprint right, making a fast dash past all the beach goers and jumping over smaller obstacles in the way.
These demons couldn't stay here long, they needed to be evicted. After a while, I slowed, breathing a bit heavy.
My head was light again and I looked to my left on impulse and saw a huge beacon of flame in the ocean, many ponies were gathered on the beach, staring at it. I walked over.
"Is that the Rock of Calm Ire?" I asked aloud and all of them stared up at my tall form.
"Yes, sir, it is. It's never been on fire like this before," an older fisherman came up to me and informed.
"May I borrow your boat?" I questioned.
"I was just about to head of there myself, you're welcome to come with," I nodded to his suggestion and within moments, we were rowing out to the island that was less than a mile away.
"Thank you, you need not stay if it's too dangerous for you," I said.
"I've never seen something quite like you, mister, but pony or not I won't abandon a thinking creature on that rock," he said.
"Really, I've probably seen worse. You can leave when you drop me off," I insisted on his safety.
"You're insane, you know that. Just what are you?" He asked.
"I'm surprised you haven't heard of me. I am a human, my name is Silent Time," I answered, trying to be a bit friendly.
"Oh, so you're the guy that told the demons in Appleloosa to bugger off. You did good, my boy," he said and stopped the boat on the sandy shore of the burnt island. I quickly stood up, seeing the entire rock aflame everywhere.
Walk and you will be safe
I noted Chronoblade shined when I heard the voice in my head again. I thought Luna might be talking to me. I marched forward into the fire.
"Hey! You'll get burnt! Get back here!" The fisher shouted.
I kept moving without a word and the flames yielded, dying out in all over the island. That's where I saw a human, a human statue. I peered up at the statue of a cyclops goat staring up at the human while he held its leg. He was above him and it looked like a scene from a play, he was just about to make contact with its skull. Fire burnt nearby, never going out despite having no fuel. The rock statue of the human had its hands open.
Touch me to him
Now I caught on, Chronoblade was talking to me. I obeyed the advice of my closest friend and unsheathed him, I placed the tip of Chronoblade and I felt myself whisked somewhere else.
I looked at the unicorn in front of me, it had a white coat, but it was in a cloak so no other features were visible. I had my sight set on it while my legs were bent and my front was placed forward, ready to counter any attack. I haven't trusted anyone except the girl I lived with here. These unicorns, same as the pegasi, seemed to be competent. I twirled my small sword that I took from an overrun camp just a few weeks ago.
"Just take it and go," it spoke up and a pair of metal gloves with studs and small needles on them was tossed between us from his saddlebag. A pair of iron boots followed, a spike on the heel of them and studs all over it except for where a foot would be. The back of it had a large bump right above the heel, at the achilles.
"How can I trust you?" I asked aloud and twirled my sword again, gripping it tight. This wasn't Chronoblade, and I didn't sound like me.
"You can't, but these were made for you. Go fulfill your destiny," it finished and set the gloves on the ground softly. It then turned around and ran out of the woods and away.
I strapped my sword back to my side and walked to the gloves. I picked them up and found they were warm. I soon put them on, abandoning my caution. Fire danced between my fingers and around my hands, but it felt right. It felt good, soothing. It didn't hurt me. I did the same with the boots and flames then danced around my body in the air, it never hurt. I think I was seeing through this human's eyes.
It lies over the sea on a close island, go
I didn't question the voice in my head, I could feel the winds of change coming. I began a jog out of the woods and to the beach, taking on a few minutes to reach it. I quickly spotted the island in the distance and an abandoned boat on the shore of the beach. I would definitely take this simple boat with its two oars to reach that place. I shoved it off into the ocean and hopped in, I was very eager to reach that island now, something worth my time had to be there. Arnah could wait a little longer for me to return.
The row there was peaceful, like a calm before a storm and as I approached the island, I heard the cries of many goats. I reached shore and pulled the boat on to the sand some before I walked into the mainland of the island, palm trees scattered about and grasses high, but thin.
I saw some kind of humanoid goat thing in front of me when it walked out from behind a huge shrub. It was taller than me, lanky, had goat horn and hooves but human hands. It wore a loincloth and some gold jewelry. It had a single large eye.
"Hey, guys! We got another vis-," I cut him off when he turned back to yell further into the island. I sent my right hand with the gauntlet over it into his face and his fur singed and blood dripped from his nose. I was probably going to have incoming.
"You little shit!" He yelled and went to punch. I had practiced hand to hand combat with Arnah for exercise and fun, also to survive better out here.
I ducked and came around in a circle, jabbing him hard in his stomach. I knocked the breath out of him and kept my fist at his stomach, watching the fire spread to his fur.
Take them all down
I heard the voice in my head again and saw more in the distance. They were sprinting here. I spun my body around and flipped, grabbing his leg to support myself in the beginning of my motion. I kicked the back of his head with the lower part of my shin. I continued through the flip and landed safely on my feet while he was sent to the ground, most likely dead and unmoving.
"Sorry, Arnah," I whispered and clenched my fists, "but now I know what to do!" I cried out and began to run a the large number of them. I felt a thought enter my own head about making a vow to rid the world of these creatures.
I regained my own vision and looked at him again.
I reached up and put Chronoblade's tip to his side again. I felt a strong connection and his the exact boots and gauntlets I saw from the vision formed on his hands and feet in fire, the rock crumbled away and I saw this man. He fell from the air and started to cough before taking in a deep breath and standing. He immediately took a defensive stance against me, throwing his fists up. His shaggy brown hair waved in this motion.
You can trust him, he is no foe
I sheathed Chronoblade in a show of good will.
"Who are you?" He asked coldly.
"I go by Silent Time, but you may call me Daniel. I was sent to come get you," I said.
"I thank you from saving me from my statue form and though I owe you, I must get back to my friend," he said and let down his fists.
"I'm sorry, but that woman is most likely dead."
"What?!" He enraged before calming back down slowly, "tell me, what happened."
"We humans, I saw that we used to live here before, but that was a very long time ago. I was the first to appear from a different world. What is your name?" I asked.
"Lauden, I am Lauden. I thank you for informing me. Why were you sent here?" He nodded.
"Come, I will explain on the way," I started back towards the fisher.
"Very well," he followed.
"The rulers of this land, peaceful land, have sent me to find you and other heroes from when the land wasn't this pacified to stand up against demons. I need-," I was cut off.
"Say no more, I will assist. I promised myself I would make this world a world free from terrors like that and you have awoken me. Might I ask what that weapon is you're carrying around. I have never seen such an elegant blade," I saw the fisher in the boat look at me with shocked eyes.
"This is my katana, Chronoblade. Gifted to me by one of the rulers here, Luna. I saw that your gauntlets and boots give you the power to manipulate fire. I can bend time to my will with this," I said and hopped in the boat, Lauden sitting next to me.
Without a word, the fisher pushed us off shore with the oars and started to row back.
"That is quite powerful, significantly more than my Firesting. What are these other heroes you talked about?"
"I do not know, the princesses said they would have more places for me to go by the time I returned," I looked around the sky, finding the sun slowly drooping behind the horizon.
"Whatever they are, I can help you find them. It'd be nice to see humans after I spent so long without them, even if I preferred staying away in the days of old," he stated.
"It's nice that you trust me, it is heartening to see another here. I hope the other heroes are just like you. You seem to be just like me," I noted and I felt the boat being shored on the beach, ponies staring at us. Little light was left in the day.
"That would explain why you were able to sway me to come so easily, I must say Silent Time, you're quite an interesting man," I hopped out of the boat with him and gave a nod to the still silent fisher.
"Follow me, Lauden. We'll be headed back to the princesses now," I said, ready to sprint.
"Silent Time!" I heard a pony shout and stayed for just a little longer, "there have been multiple sightings of demons in the surrounding areas of towns, the trains aren't running," I sighed at the news. That meant the potential of combat on the way back.
"We can't waste time then. This world is having an epidemic," Lauden spoke my own thoughts.
I started to jog and heard Lauden keeping up behind me, I sprinted back into the town and used the path I took to get to the train station to lead me back. There wasn't time to stop and chat as we weaved through the diminishing crowds of ponies. I noticed there were a lot more guards in the town when there were virtually none. We reached the station and started to walk, taking a break. A guard stopped me, wearing golden armor instead of the iron that the guards around here were wearing.
"Silent Time, I have been sent by the princesses to warn you that demons have been seen roaming around in the wilds and to recommend traveling during the day," he nodded.
"We don't have time for that, do we, Daniel?" Lauden asked behind me.
"Of course not. I thank you for your warning," I walked past, steeping don onto the railroad tracks and moving to walk beside it on the concrete that dropped off to silent grass. I kept walking silently, Lauden using the same method of travel behind me.
We crept as quiet as we could, moving even slower to silence our noise further whenever the we heard sounds from the woods to the left and right of us.
I put my arm up as a bar and stopped moving, causing Lauden to also stop. I noted a demon in front of us, watching four flame eyes waft towards us. This one seemed to have less eyesight than me, but I did have good vision in darkness.
"I'll handle him," I focused on Chronoblade and drew it, slowing time down to a third of normal time. I didn't have to put in as much effort just like before. I zoomed close to him and sent my blade across his neck, cutting it in two.
I sheathed Chronoblade and the now dead demon slumped to the ground. I slowly carried it down to avoid any more noise. My blade produced some when it cut into the reptilian-like horse bodied creature. I laid the corpse down and wave Lauden on to catch back up with me as we continued. I began to hear hissing all around us and saw more fire eyes of the demons coming out of the woods. It seemed they heard me regardless.
"Lauden! Run!" I shouted and began a sprint in hopes of escaping them. I heard Lauden's iron boots pounding behind me.
I lost some of my excellent night vision, unable to see things in the distance in the almost pitch black night. An orange light lit up behind me. I peeked back and saw fire in surrounding both of Lauden's hands to create a good enough light we could see where we were going. It was now a run all the way back to Canterlot.
I saw a huge horde of growing demons behind us and I knew we would die if we tried to slay all of them, only more would show up from the noises created. Perhaps we should have waited for the night to pass. We reached the bend after a while of running, it seemed the demons weren't giving up and some flying ones even joined, soaring over head of us.
"Lauden, can you do anything about them?" I asked.
"Yea, I don't know if it'll work," he said and I saw large fireballs go over us from him, burning the wings of the demons with bird and bat wings. They are still all just random combinations in odd chimeras and despite the suggestion of their firey eyes, they still burn from flame.
"Good, that'll solve that problem at least," I charged Chronoblade up as fast as I could and I gripped Lauden's arm, "I've never done this, so brace yourself and prepare to sprint again," I warned and flipped Chronoblade up into the air, drawing it and sliding the sheath into my belt loop once time completely halted.
"What in the..."
"Good, it does work while I hold to you, come let us run as quick as we can," I took off sprinting, the demons behind us staying perfectly still.
We made progress very quickly, coming to the bend of the railroads and far enough to where I could see the mountain trail to Canterlot. I had sheathed Chronoblade here and time returned to normal, Lauden looked around while I crouched to one knee, trying to cope uselessly with the pounding in my skull.
"Daniel, that was truly impressive," he commented first, "are you okay?"
"Just a side effect from using it like that, though I am getting better."
"Where do we go from here?"
I stood up and stumbled forward, trying to ignore the hammers in my head. I went right through the woods where the railroad would have lead to the cave. I knew fighting in there would be problematic for both of us, especially given my current state. I continued going through the woods, seeing no demons at all during our short trek through. I arrived at the carriage carved path and began to walk up it.
"We are close, try not to appear too intimidating," my head pains had dimmed, but they were still there. I would definitely need to use my katana like this more often.
It was sunrise when the guards opened the gates for Lauden and me.
I opened the front doors of the castle after the guards let us in and one of them escorted us to the throne room, where there were a line of ponies waiting to see the princesses. They likely had news of demons. The guard skipped us past the line and we caught the ire of the ponies in the frowns and grimaces we saw. Celestia and Luna were both there, seeing ponies before they excused themselves. Celestia and Luna both approached, though Luna galloped and hugged me tight, seeing me sway a little from my hardening head. I pulled my face mask off.
"Daniel! It's so good to see you safe and sound!" She squeezed me tighter and I lightly patted her back.
"Could I be let go of now?"
"Of course, of course. Sorry, it had just been so long since I've seen you," she smiled big.
"Who is this?" Celestia asked while the guards began to clear the throne room.
"I am Lauden, a pleasure to meet you both," he answered.
"Is he?" Celestia began.
"I believe so. His gauntlets and boots possess an amazing power," the moment I finished my sentence, Lauden lit his gloves and boots with flame.
"I was told I am one of the heroes from the past. This place is very peaceful and developed except for the demons," he said, I'm glad that my efforts against those goat cyclops weren't futile."
"Wait, you slayed the entirety of the cyclops save for one?" Luna questioned.
"That, that is a very incredible feat, Lauden."
"Thank you, might I know your names?"
"It seems we forgot our manners. I am Celestia and this is my sister,"
"Have you two found where the other heroes are?" I asked.
"We know of four more now, we're hoping they are the last," Celestia announced and I pulled the map of Equestria out of my hoodie.
"One is at the base of the west Smokey Mountain," Luna teleported a quill with an ink well and circled the mountain on the map, "another is past the San Palamino Desert on the penisula," she circled the small land that jutted out into the South Luna Ocean.
"That sounds like it'll be difficult to reach," Lauden commented.
"It's something we must do," I answered back.
"The third is in a cave somewhere in the Badlands," Celestia took over and circled the entire Badlands, "neither of us could pinpoint where, so just check the large rock structures for caves. And we hope you'll go for the fourth, we remembered something from our fillyhood and in the gorge just before our old castle is where he is. Please go get Elden," Celestia requested.
"We will," I said and rolled the map up, walking back out of the throne room."
"Lauden, I request you stay here and help with managing the demon attacks. We need someone ready to respond to large groups of them," Celestia said and he stopped in his tracks.
"You have a point. I'll help defend this land the best I can," I looked back and saw him nod.
"Daniel, you should rest before you leave," Luna trotted forward to me some.
"I'll rest when the demons are all gone," I opened the doors and took off down the halls, putting my face mask back on.