I jumped from my desk after hearing the remnants of a scream and I glanced out my balcony, hearing another. Two ponies, one full grown and a foal, just got attacked by fire. The orange blaze was a dead give away. I peered closer and saw the culprits. Two gigantic forms, larger than a human.
I ran, hurrying down the castle staircases and making it out in a large pant and I identified what I expected to be there, dragons. The two dragons, a red and a blue, both large, but not massive, were terrorizing the town, breathing fireballs and throwing property about. They weren't far, they were causing chaos in the noble business area.
I ran down the steps and across the bridge once more, drawing out my longsword.
"Hey, bastards!" I shouted, the guards began to clear the way, letting me to them and exiting the fight. Ponies hiding inside businesses were staring at me from windows or behind patio furniture.
"Who is he...why is he here?" Questions, I would answer them with these dragons shortly.
"Hey, look at the monkey! These ponies can train monkeys!" The red laughed.
"Hey, spicy pepper! How about you come over here and try saying that to my face, shit stain!" I was under them now.
The blue dragon slammed down in front of me, cracking some of the stones in the pathway, "what did you say to him pipsqueak? Nobody talks to garble like that."
Giant claws, horrible breath, overblown ego and pride. Dragons. Definitely dragons.
"I told him he looks like food up there, like a deformed banana. Soft, fragile, vulnerable," I was building the tension in the air, anger could make these dragons attack foolishly like I wanted.
"I said!" The dragon I was staring up at lifted his giant blue arm to attempt to crush and claw me.
I shoved my blade into his gut and drew my gladius, burying it into his thick scales at his neck. My hand began pushing and twisting violently, digging its way into him more, "no...nobody speaks...speaks to," thud.
He collapsed on his side and his fall removed my longsword and gladius. I sheathed my gladius after wiping the blood off on his dying carcass.
"Garble, is it? Too scared to talk big? Too afraid of a fucking monkey now?!" I chuckled walking to him. The red dragon had landed a few yards away.
I held my longsword in my right hand.
Booming, he made his way to me, "shut up!" His slammed his left claw to me and I blocked with my longsword, letting him slightly cut himself on the insanely sharp blade.
I reared back my gauntleted left hand and connected it with his jaw, making it swing violently to the side. He came back to face me with a smile and a powerful kick in my chest.
I flew and slammed against a nearby stone bench, my breath caught in pain before I began to breathe normally.
"Ha...haha! That's it! Give me all you got! Let the Knight of Equestria slay you!" I stood firmly and began a charge to him, watching him do the same. I slid under another claw with my buckler above my head. My longsword laid a deep cut across his back horizontally before I began to slice apart his shoulder and more of his back in another swipe.
He turned around with a roar and I side-stepped his slamming fists. I sunk my handguard into his eye. Fingers wrapped around my blade and a torso twisted, letting metal swing out of his eyes socket and connect with his opposite temple. He was knocked to the ground hard.
"How was I beaten by a..."
"Human, Garble. Human. Let this be a lesson to your fellow dragons, I await their heads here if they come," I sliced across his throat and watched blood pour out. My eyes locked onto the dying expression in his eyes before I cleaned my longsword off on him and began walking away.
Silent was the air before it was filled with cheering. Ponies began to rush up to me while the guards tended to the corpses.
"Who are you?"
"Are you the new Knight of Equestria?!"
"My little ponies," Celestia flew down from the castle, "his name is Sif. He is a human. He is the new Knight of Equestria. He is here to serve us in ways we can not do ourselves. Do not fear him," she landed in front of me and laid her head on my shoulder brushing her cheek against my face.
"You did good, Sif. Thank you for defending my subjects," she whispered in my ear, "I heard what you said, you were wise to provoke them, it's the easiest way to down a dragon from what the ancient history books said."
"It is my proud duty," I whispered back and patted her neck before my feet fell backwards and I faced the ponies behind me, "and I would gladly lay my life down in service," my voice louder.
The ponies beamed with happiness and cheered more. I faced Celestia, "I'd like to get checked in the infirmary for fractures or broken bones. Or internal bleeding. Then I hope to spar against your better guards."
"Celestia chuckled and began to trot back to her giant home with me in tow, "I'll send for him immediately. But his wife might not let you spar him," she took on a more serious demeanor with a snap of her...feathers, "I did see you take that hit, it looked quite bad. I'm surprised you survived. I'll tell the smiths to speed up the armor making. They'll take an interest to your longsword, nothing cuts that well into dragon scales."
"It's one of the highest quality swords someone could get back home. It's the pride and joy of my weaponry."
"Come, follow me. We'll take you to the infirmary," Celestia ended our conversation as we got to the stairs of the castle.
Her horn lit up and some of the castle grass visibly transformed into a thick piece of paper, a pen, and an inkwell. She began to write quickly on it while our feet carried us inside and to the nearest staircase.
Celestia sent off the paper with her horn, teleporting it somewhere. Magic was odd, you could do almsot anything with it, but some things were also impossible. It broke so many laws of science.
We got off the large flight of stairs at the third floor and she began leading me down some halls. I was starting to feel really sore in my front and my back.
"Are you enjoying Equestria, Sif?" Celestia asked, "you should leave the castle at least once before we put you to work. I'll have some bits sent to your room so you can enjoy the city."
"Do you have any coffee shops?"
"Oh, we have plenty of them. The best in Canterlot is Moon's Crater, according to Luna. And she drinks quite a lot," Celestia smiled back to me.
"I'm more than just a warrior, I have many tastes. If I rig an outlet up, I could show you a lot more. Did anypony get hurt out there?"
"Only two, they're at the hospital in memorial to Doctor Blueline. One got burnt and the other sustained burns and lacerations," Celestia's voice was lower while we entered into the infirmary.
"Ah, Princess Celestia! What brings you and the new Knight of Equestria down here?" A unicorn in a labcoat trotted up to us both, looking at me peculiarly.
"Nice to see you as well, Doctor Jitter. I brought Sif here to see if you could find any kind of injury he sustained during his valiant effort today," the sun princess teasingly bumped my arm with her hoof.
"Ah, I haven't worked on a human before, we actually don't have any of your kind here. What kind of trauma are we looking at today? I don't see any bleeding cuts," she smiled brightly, trotting around me.
I unbuckled my belt and slid it out, my weapons clattered to the floor. My fingers lifted up my shit and pulled the clothing off my head to reveal a large black and blue spot growing on my chest and apparently on my back.
"Oh...oh, I...I haven't seen such a wound like this in ages. Don't worry, I'm an expert at any injury or trauma! And at least you look like you're a tip-top example of your species," her furry red hoof gently pressed on my lower back, leading me over to a different room, "Princess, you're always welcome to stay. We're gonna need to have some x-rays of Sif two rooms over."
"Sorry, I really have to get back to something."
"Princess, what are the names of the two who were injured?"
"Well, I do wish you were meeting on better terms. Rarity and Sweetie Belle. They're sisters, Rarity is a dear friend of Twilight, so you may meet her there."
Princess Celestia left to tend to her duties while Doctor Jitter lead me into the x-ray examination room.
From what Doctor Jitter said, I had no bad injury and could continue serving without break, but she gave me strong painkillers just in case I experienced soreness and instructed me to keep them on me at all times. I supposedly had some internal bleeding, but that was all patched up from my body, it was only minimal from her diagnosis, she kept complimenting me on my physique. The mares of this world seem to not even mind that I’m a completely different species and an off-worlder.
So there I was, looking over the street where I combated the dragons and looking at the blood stains that some stallions were trying to clean up, many of the ponies there gave me smiles and waves and thank you’s. I looked at the stone bench I impacted and crouched, peering at the cracks my back left in it.
“Goddamn, I survived that by a miracle,” I ran my fingers over the hairline cracks. The journal I kept would be full of glorious battles just like these and that kept my spirit high.
“Ah, Sir Sif! I didn’t believe it myself, but what you had done here seemed like a miracle,” somepony agreed with me. I turned around to see a stallion in a labcoat with a few vials on him and some equipment, “your sword did indeed cut dragon scales, the blood proved that and there was even some shredded scales that need to be carefully dissolved and cleaned up.”
I stood and looked down at him,” to be honest, it had to be a miracle. You wouldn’t...happen to be a chemist, would you?”
“That I am! Got my degree at Crystal University! Why do you ask?” He was beyond excited.
“That’s what I studied at college in my own world, almost got my degree, too.”
“Wonderful! Would you come back with me to the lab and help explain what it is that compromises your sword and makes it hold its edge so well? We would greatly appreciate the knowledge and could pass it off to Equestria’s blacksmiths so they knew how to make even better tools and more for our use,” his eyes were beaming and practically begged me to say yes.
“Of fucking course! Lead the way, fellow scientist!” I smiled big and kept close on his hooves while he cantered down the streets in excitement.
He lead me quietly down the main streets before trailing off toward the castle garden below the walls, buildings vanishing and more greenery taking over my vision, an open garden courtyard to a giant building in the distance, “it’s not too far from the castle, so you’re welcome down anytime. I’ll not ask questions until we get back to the group so you don’t have to repeat yourself.”
“Well, this Canterlot Institute of Science definitely looks promising. I kind of feel like I’m headed to a lecture now,” I chuckled a little while he opened the door to the giant building, leading me through. Ponies, instructors and students alike, stopped and stared at me, bowing sometimes, but almost always with curious gazes.
“Ah, you’ll love it here, my coworkers are some of the best in their field.”
“Ah, where have you been, Sif?” Celestia asked me with a smile while I marched away from the training yard in a sweat.
“I was training for most of the day and before that I was discussing some chemical properties of my sword down at the Canterlot Institute of Science,” I bowed slightly while she began to trot with me in the setting sun toward the castle.
“I hope the Institute impressed you, it took them quite a while to grow from a laboratory to a University. Did you enjoy your training?” Celestia was still cheery.
“Princess Celestia, with respect, I wish I could enjoy my training more, but your soldiers, guards, they aren’t good enough to even come close to matching me. I fought Gilded Banner today and he couldn’t even block my strikes fast enough. Marching Blade left with a nosebleed in the first twenty seconds of sparring. You need to be harder on them or at least let me take the helm and start training them. They need harsh treatment-,” she interrupted.
“Sif, I can’t, I don’t like to see them hurting. I-.”
“They’re guards, dammit, they signed up for this and none of them are taking their jobs as serious as they should be. They can be so much better if you give them a push and maybe a shove. Your own personal detachment couldn’t land a single blow on me, nor come close. Princess Luna has told me her Nightwings are tried every night at their training sessions, which is why I’ll be waking up after a short sleep to spar with them.”
“You know what I say is true, if you can’t push them, let me start with your own personal regime.”
She was quiet while we entered the dining hall.
“You’re in charge of their training then, I’ll have a writ sent with you the next time you meet them. They’ll be training again the day after tomorrow,” Celestia hung her head and took her seat while I took mine.
“Sif! We’re ready to give you your first assignment as we’ve located the general area of the hydra that’s been wandering closer and closer to Ponyville. It will be your duty to go to Froggy Bottom Bog and down it,” Luna spoke with a happiness.
“Allll-fucking-right!” I was excited, my first real duty and they sent me out to kill a hydra like I was Hercules.
“I didn’t think he’d be so excited to challenge a hydra,” Luna laughed.
“Sif, you know what a hydra is, right?” Celestia started to sound concerned.
“Giant dragonic beast with many heads and full of badass? I can’t wait to down it,” Hot Coil galloped out of the kitchen, sliding plates of food in front of Celestia and Luna.
“Sir Sif, would you like the same meal as yesterday?” He was still figuring out my food likes and dislikes.
“Yes, please,” I shot him a beaming smile and he nodded, taking back to the kitchen.
Celestia’s horn lit and the candles were set ablaze on the table while the sun began to hide behind the horizon.
A glass of wine was set before me along with water, the bottle of alcohol remaining.
“Sif, I didn’t know you drink wine,” Celestia smirked at our commonality.
“Only before bed really, but I’ll be rising back up for a wonderful challenge tonight.”
“I instructed a group of my Nightwings to begin practicing right when the sun is down. You’ll be able to see them by the time you are done eating,” Luna sipped at her water before digging back into her giant stir fry.
Hot Coil zoomed to me and placed my meal from last night before me. Celestia blankly stared at my plate, somewhat astonished I would begin eating meat now, “wonderful again, thanks, Hot Coil.”
“My pleasure, Sir Sif,” he left cloths at my side like before and I immediately charged for the meat, picking it with my fingers and ripping it into my mouth. Another orgasmic sensation overcame my tongue.
“I-I didn’t know you started eating meat here,” Celestia let out her thoughts.
“Last night, he dined with me and had some. He stays up rather late compared to ponykind,” Luna sipped at her wine between sentences, almost done with her stir fry.
I was eating faster tonight, those Nightwings awaited me and my soul yearned for a proper fight. And I finished first, wiping my face clean and downing the one glass of wine before standing, “thanks for the meal, Hot Coil!”
“It was a pleasure to cook for you, Sir Sif,” he bowed to me while I headed toward the exit.
“Do you have no end to your energy, Sif?” Celestia questioned with a giggle.
“As Romans said, glory awaits!” I smiled to both of the princesses and hurried through the castle down to the training yard.
The yard was lit up with torches, giving a good enough light source to make out the shapes of weapons. Their practice weapons were plastered with studs to shine in the darkness and give better perception of the weapons.
“Sir Sif, what a lovely night to meet you!” These guards were black as night, the polar opposite of Celestias. Yellow slit eyes like a cat, their wings weren’t feathery, they were bat-leather. These ones already looked like fighters, “I’m Captain Black Skirmish,” and this one was a female.
“Nice to make your acquaintance. I guess you already know I’m here to spar against one of you,” I headed to the shed and grabbed a wooden longsword with metal studs on it.
“Dark Stampede, get over here!” Her voice was loud, somewhat harsh. I belonged in this kind of training, “form the pit, it’s time we see what our Knight of Equestria is made of!” Black Skirmish was serious about training, very much so.
The Nightwings gathered about in a large circle, one waiting in the center for me with a large claymore.
I entered, “never gone up against a claymore, hope you’re fast,” I smirked and took my common italian stance. Dark Stampede instead chose a Germanic style of holding it vertical and closer to his body.
“Don’t worry about me, I can hold my own. You just make sure you don’t leave too bruised, Sir Sif,” he smirked and revealed fangs.
“Begin!” Black Skirmish announced.
I immediately charged and a fast horizontal swipe was let out at me. I blocked it and dug my heels in to keep myself standing, “holy shit.”
“If that was steel, your sword would have shattered,” Stampede was wrong about that.
“My blade is technology you ponies have yet to see,” I stood back and brought my body into him just to see him move away.
“I heard you were more full contact, seems you are,” he countered with her own vertical strike that I sidestepped.
I went for a thrust and he backed away, twisting about for a hard horizontal slam with his greatsword again.
I went risky, very risky for a blade that fast. I ducked, feeling the wind pass over me while I advanced. With a weight like that, he couldn’t get back on her feet fast enough. My right hand gripped the training weapons blade while I went for an upward half sword thrust. I connected with his stomach and even lifted him up a bit while he gasped out his breath and coughed, still on his feet.
The other Nightwings were stomping their hooves in approval. I continued my advancement with a feinted strike from below and into a pommel strike.
His hoof connected with my face and I felt warm liquid pool in my mouth while I went back and he continued to get his breath. More stomping.
I spat blood from my mouth, wiping my lips with my arm, “that’s the first time anyone here has landed a hit, other than Princess Luna.”
“Hold. You sparred against our dearest princess?” Black Skirmish stepped between us.
“When I was first here, I fought her while I fled Ponyville, she prevented my re-entry back into to the Everfree Forest. She’s an insanely skilled swordswoman and I would have bested her if not for her magic,” they fell silent.
“I hope I didn’t offend.”
“No no, Sir Sif. It’s just that, nopony was able to best our dearest Princess Luna. Shining Armor matched her, but nopony could best her. Perhaps you should have a rematch,” Black skirmish suggested.
It sounded promising, now that I knew more about magic and what it could be used to do, “I think I’d like taking her up on that then, some day. Shall we continue, Stampede? I haven’t gotten you into a compromising position yet,” I took back to my Italian stance and he went for his Germanic.
“Of course, Sir Sif. I haven’t left you with a single bruise yet,” he advanced on me and brought his greatsword down vertically. I didn’t feel like being too defensive with a greatsword wielding stallion on me, it was best I kept him on defensive.
I rushed right to his blade and caught it with my own, placing my hand on my wood blade and catching near the tip of it, my elbows buckling.
“Ahhhhhh!” My yells tended to numb the pain of collision on the rare occassions I decided to headbutt as hard as I did. I crashed my head into his and laid my right hand on his wooden greatsword’s handle/ His left hoof dropped it while he remained dazed. My pommel was next to drive itself into his head and I pulled his greatsword from his hooves, holding the heavy slab of wood in my right hand alone, I didn’t dual-wield like this at all.
The circle of Nightwing guards slowly spread out more while I held the weapons out to my sides and pulled them up and ready to strike, “Dark Stampede, are you ready to surrender or should I continue?” I smirked while he regained his composure. My head pounded, but I was prepared for the pain.
“I’d...I’d like to see you use both of those together,” he was snide until the end of our match.
I felt a rush, more than just the adrenaline of taking a challenge. My limbs felt stronger and rejuvenated, the pain in my head subsided only to return as a slight stinging around my body. It was like a literal energy just entered my body in mere moments.
I let out a howl to the air and charged him down, letting him zip to the left just for my corresponding heel follow and my right hand to swing the greatsword around and make contact with his side. My vision was a blur while I danced around and slashed again and again, catching Dark Stampede many times and bruising him thoroughly.
“I yield! I yield!” I stopped mid-swing and let my arms fall, handing him his greatsword back.
“I see you guys have yet to work on attacks that aren’t first to mind. Try it, it’s one of the best way to gain an upper hand and out in the field, there is no virtue in battle. The honor you have is the duty to protect. Still, it was quite a challenge and I think my head will be ringing in the morning, I had such a workout,” my feet walked me to the shed and the Nightwings immediately started practicing again.
“Sir Sif,” the practice longsword found its way back to its original place. I came out to see Black Skirmish staring at me with an admiring look instead of the piercing one that those cat eyes had, “the next time you are out here, I’d like to spar with you.”
“I never refuse a challenge, but I’ll be practicing with Celestia’s personal detachment from now on. I’ve been given another duty. If you’d like to spar, meet me the day after tomorrow, around 1,” I patted her shoulder roughly, “but thanks for letting me spar down here, it’s nice to fight against someone who can call himself a veteran. I have an assignment tomorrow morning that I must be ready for.”
“What were you assigned?” She questioned and the training ceased to hear my answer.
Gasps and a little rowdy noises came from the guards while I took my leave to my bed.