After their victory over the Dark Matters, and the ceremony where the queen of the fairies has rewarded them, Sweetie Belle, Kirby, Dedede, Waddle Dee, and Adeleine have decided to remain on Ripple Star a day or two to rest. Kirby does what he does best : eating, napping, and walking around, exploring the world and being friendly to the locals. Dedede is not doing much, lazing around and eating the local food, seeing if there is not some recipes that he could give to the cooks. Waddle Dee, surprisingly, has already started training to better use his new weapon, wanting to become an elite soldier for his king as quickly as possible. Adeleine takes the occasion to paint the uniques and beautiful environments of Ripple Star, thinking of bringing the paintings back to Popstar to keep them as memories, and give some of them to her friends. She seems to have gotten really close with Ribbon, because they pass a great amount of time together.
Sweetie Belle, her, has done some exploring alongside Kirby, making friends with the fairies, playing with them, and pretty much putting the fight with Zero Two behind her. While she has accepted it, killing someone, even as horrible as Zero Two, is still hard. And she can't help but be sad for him. Being forced to live like that because of his nature, when he actually wanted the opposite, is probably the most tragic thing she has ever heard. A part of her has really wanted to help him. But it was just too late, far too late. He was too deep in his pain, in his hate. In the end, the best way she could help him has been to kill him, to stop everything.
Right now, she is with the queen of the fairies, named Ripple, after her own planet. For a queen, Ripple is really approachable, and really don't act like a queen. She is clumsy, and tends to lose focus. Sweetie has already stopped counting the number of times she has caused her glasses to fall. But she takes all that with good humor, and now that her world and her subjects aren't in danger, she is always smiling. She is also really curious, because as soon as she has learned that Sweetie comes from another dimension, she has asked her to tell her more, remembering her of Twilight.
Gosh, if those two were to meet, they could talk for days.
And so, Sweetie Belle is telling her about Equestria, about the ponies, the magic, the princesses moving the sun and the moon, the Cutie Marks, the pegasi managing the weather, and many other things that are so different from this dimension. She also tells about her crusadings with her friends, and some of the events that have happened in Ponyville, like the parasprites, or the invasion of the Pinkie clones, many of them making the queen laugh, and others making her shake in fear or in suspense.
If that wasn't for her crown, it would be really hard to believe she is a queen.
After some time, however, she remembers something she has talked with Ribbon in Popstar, and after finishing another tale, she decides to talk to Ripple about it.
"Back in Popstar, Ribbon told me how Zero was created. Something about a Dark God. She told me to ask you for more details. So, can you tell me more about this Dark God? Because he has created Zero, it may be useful to know more about him."
Ripple looks at Sweetie Belle for a time, and nods. "Follow me."
She then leads Sweetie to a library, where she takes a rather small blue book with a pink heart drawn on its cover, titled The Ancients.
Ripple then talks. "I must warn you, many things have been lost. This book is only a compilation of everything that we could find, about this God, and the civilization that was venerating him. A good example is their names. We never found how they were named. So we simply name the civilization the Ancients, and this god by various simple names like The God, the Dark God, the Dark Lord, or the Destructor. Their stories are linked, so to speak to you about the Dark God, I must tell you about the Ancients, and again, their history is full of holes. But at least, the big lines are here."
Sweetie Belle nods. "Whatever you have gathered in that book will be better than nothing."
Ripple nods, and open the book. "We know that this God comes from the start of time, maybe even before that, and is responsible for the creation of the three Great Forces of the universe : the Heart, the Soul, and the Dream. Thanks to this, the main symbol of the God is a heart, but stars are also used sometimes to represent him."
"Right. Stars symbolise dreams."
"Exactly. We sadly don't know what is his appearance, but apparently, it changes with time. We only know that his creations may give an idea of some of his main features."
Sweetie Belle frowns. "So, Zero being one of his creations, does that mean that there are some parts of him that may actually come from this God?"
"Probably. But I can't tell which. Now, eventually, the civilization of the Ancients appeared. Venerating this God, they took his symbols, and using his powers, they created some powerful artefacts, both magical..." At this, she shows a crown with spikes extending from the base, and turning a few pages, she also shows the Star Rod and the Fountain of Dreams, to Sweetie's surprise. "and technological." She then shows a blue and white ship that looks like a normal one, with oars and a mast, but there is too two wings beside engines at the back, and there are stars at the front and at the base of the wings. Turning a few pages, she also shows a mechanical thing shaped like a white cylinder with a black head that looks like a screw and a yellow glass just below it. There are pink lights coursing its cylinder body, with some of them forming a big heart at the front, under the yellow glass, some jagged in the middle making look like it's breaking. It also possesses white wings-like things shaped in an arc at its sides, black at the outer edges, with blue feather-like part protruding from them, making Sweetie think of the red 'feathers' of Zero Two.
Sweetie is awed at all those artefacts, especially at seeing that those Ancients created the Fountain of Dreams, but then, she thinks of something. "Did they create Nova too?"
"Nova?" asks Ripple.
"Some planet sized mechanical comet with the mouth of a cat. He could grant wishes."
"Oh! The Clockwork Stars! You actually saw one?"
"There are more than one?"
"Yes." At this, Ripple turns a few pages and shows a mechanical being like Nova, but red colored, and with different objects around his body. "The Clockwork Stars are probably their greatest creations. For a civilization where dreams had an important place, there was nothing better than creating something that could make dreams come true. You said the one you saw was named Nova?"
"Yes. Sadly, me and Kirby had to destroy him."
Ripple gasps. "Why?!"
"The sun and the moon of Popstar were fighting each other, and someone named Marx told us about Nova, and that he could stop them. So me and Kirby explored a few worlds to use the power of their Fountains of Dreams to summon him. Now that I think of this, 'making dreams come true' explain the link between the Fountains and Nova. Anyway, so we summoned him, only for Marx to come and wish to conquer Popstar, so Nova was starting to help him. To stop him, we had to destroy him."
Ripple sighs. "What a waste... But yes, I suppose that in the wrong hands, some of those artefacts could be used to do bad things. And with the bad influence of the God later, some of them have become corrupted. Like this one..." She shows back the cylinder thing. "It is said that it was actually a prototype of Clockwork Stars, and it could also grant wishes, in a lesser extent. However, now, if someone was ever trying to use it, then it would corrupt them, twisting them. There are also some warnings about 'absolutely not using it without the control device', but we don't know what it would cause."
"Ugh. If I encounter it, I will make sure to destroy it. Something almost as powerful as Nova but corrupted AND corrupting the ones using it? Too dangerous."
Ripple nods. "It would be for the better, but I don't know where it is. Now, the Ancients were mainly divided into two clans: the ones that preferred to use magic, and the ones that preferred to use technology. And this is where it starts to go down. You see, the magic users were much closer to the Gods than the others, basing their magic on some of his powers. However, after some crisis about 'one of the God's children killing almost all the others and destroying many worlds', the technology users started to fear the God. You see, Sweetie, everything has a good, and a bad side. With the Soul, come the Good, and the Evil. With the Heart, come Love, and Hate. With the Dream, come the Nightmare. With Light, come Darkness. And the Ancients just discovered the bad side of the God's creations.
The magic users using The God's powers for their magic, they include those bad sides in their magic, and demonstrated it while fighting the being from the crisis, and so, they were starting to be feared too. It got worse, and worse, until eventually..." She turns the pages of the book, until showing a picture, where Sweetie can see beings with horn-like ears -their only clear feature- facing each other in the opposite sides of it. At the left, the beings are throwing spells toward the right side. At the right, the beings are using weapons and machines shooting lasers at the left side. "war broke out." She sighs. "The technology users won, and exiled the magic users that survived, and the God with them.
The thing is, that during the war, The God absorbed all the negativity resulting from it. So when the magic users, after their exile, so they prayed to the God to avenge them, he started to change. And so, the God attacked, spreading destruction, filling more and more with negativity, until by the end, he was only just that. The Creator... was now the Destructor, and the magic users, now blinded by hate and revenge, continued to follow him, giving him more strength, not caring if it destroyed the universe. It's in that period that the Dark God created Zero, and some other beings, to help him. The Ancients were almost all exterminated in that second act of the war, their civilization ruined. The only thing saving what remained, was a group of four heroes -sorry, we don't know who are those heroes- accomplishing the impossible. They fought the magic users, then the Dark God himself, and using his own powers against him..." She shows a picture with a big purple crystal heart pierced by four pink spears with heart-shaped tops. "They sealed him. And the few remaining magic users were scattered in the universe."
"But he is only sealed... He may come back."
"Yes." She looks at Sweetie Belle. "If this happens, then the only way to fight him, and stop his destruction, would be to use that same power that the heroes used : Heart, Soul, and Dream, and in enough quantity. You would have to assemble a team of friends, also warriors that you can trust, as many as possible, and together, use this power, to either seal him, or kill him. However, he is a God, so he can't really be killed. He would eventually come back, hopefully, losing at least a part of his negativity." She turns the page, showing a new picture. What looks like a heart-shaped white mask, with two small holes for eyes, and its bottom forming a long, sharp point. "Whatever the case, if you end up fighting him, then he will be, definitely, the most powerful and the most dangerous being that you will ever face. Zero, compared to him, would be nothing. So I hope for you, and for everyone, that he will remain sealed in that heart for the rest of time."
Sweetie Belle looks at the heart-shaped mask, sweating. She really hopes that Ripple is right, and that this God will remain trapped. Fighting an actual god, coming from the very origin of the universe, and that could destroy it? He would probably crush her. But again, she has ended up fighting something created, directly or indirectly, from the powers of this god four times now. Nova, the Dark Matters, and Zero. Maybe he even has something to do with Nightmare. And seeing all those artefacts, and knowing that there are more beings like Zero out there, she will probably be facing more of them. So what are the chances that she will have to confront that Dark God?
Maybe she should join Waddle Dee.