Chaotic Harmony: Do Over

by shirotora

Chapter 11: Monster

“Oh, yeah~,” I cooed as I sank into the mud bath. “This is heaven.”

“Mmm, yes, it is,” Rarity agreed.

For the past three days a pack of timberwolves was harassing the town. What was strange, though, was that they would always run as soon as I arrived, as if they were testing me. It was very disconcerting, but eventually I trapped them and took them out.

To be honest, it really wasn't an interesting story, but it was a stressful one. Rarity noticed how tense I was and offered to treat me to a visit to the spa.

I had never been to one before, but man was it great. I can't for the life of me figure out why so many guys back on Earth see it as sissy. I guess they think 'real men' are supposed to have high blood pressure and stress. Well, they can keep that. I'll just be a sissy. They can have fun with their coronary.

“As I was saying,” Rarity said, picking up our conversation from the sauna, “I have some simple designs for something more formal that I think you'll find quite fetching. If you would like, I can show you after we're done here.”

“No need,” I said. “Ah trust your fashion sense. Ah'll get you the money and you can surprise me.”

Rarity giggled. “Thank you for your confidence.”

We both let out content sighs as we relaxed, sinking deeper into the mud.

“So, Ah've been meanin’ to ask you,” I started, my nerves rising. “Is... there anything Ah should know ‘bout... you know... courtin’...”

I practically felt the cucumber raise off Rarity's eye and the grin on her face. “Oh? Have your eye on a pony already, do you?”

“Ah don’t know... maybe,” I said.

“Who do you have in mind?” Rarity asked.

“Uh... Ah'd... rather not say just yet,” I said.

“Would it be Fluttershy?” Rarity asked. “You two do seem to have gotten rather close.”

I chuckled. “Nah, she's just a friend. Ah... doubt she’d be interested.”

“Hmm,” Rarity hummed, skeptically. “I don't know. I could see you two together. Whoever it is, there isn't really much different from how you would court a human. The only difference is in giving flowers. Some flowers have different meanings than on Earth. For example, roses are best given after you've been dating for some time, as it shows you're willing to start taking things seriously.”

“Okay, so what kinda flowers would be good?”

“Daisies are a safe choice, just make sure they match her coat, not her eyes,” Rarity instructed. “The Flower sisters always have a fine selection. Personally, though, I like lilies.”

I laughed. “Sorry, but as wonderful as you are, it ain't you, either.”

We relaxed for the last few minutes in the mud before getting out, rinsing off and getting in the mineral bath.

Rarity stepped right in. I, however, hesitated.

“What's wrong?” Rarity asked before her face fell a little. “Oh, of course. I'm sure there is a spare bath for those who are shy.”

“No, no,” I said as I forced myself to get in. “It's still just a little strange, is all. Ah just have to get used to the lack of gender separation... Are you okay?”

Rarity sighed, dejectedly. “Yes, merely a bit of an existential crisis.”

“Because of a bath?”

“Every Terran I help always goes through moments like this, yet I never did.” Rarity gave me a somber smile. “To be honest, it makes me feel that I don't really know how to be human. I was only seven when my family and I were brought here, and as such the only human sensibilities I know are those known by a seven year old.

“I try to be a bridge between Terrans and natives, but the truth is, sometimes I forget I ever was human. It only seems to be when I'm with other Terrans that I even think of myself as one.”

“But that's what makes you such a good bridge,” I assured. “You're a Terran that grew up here, so you know how to be native better than any Terran could, but you're still Terran, so you understand us better than any native.”

Rarity giggled. “Thank you. That does make me feel at least a little better.”

“Ah'm glad Ah could help,” I said with a smile. “It’s the least Ah could do, after all you’ve done for me.”

Rarity and I parted ways after we finished at the spa. She went to fill a couple orders, and I went to further treat myself at Sugarcube Corner.

I was enjoying a nice sundae when a familiar voice piped up.

“Are you actually petting yourself?” Rainbow said, holding back a snicker.

I couldn't help it. For the last half hour, I've been stroking my own fur, marveling at how incredibly soft I was.

“Ah just finished at the spa, and Ah'm lovin' myself. Feel.”

Rainbow raised an eyebrow but sat on the seat beside me and brushed a hoof along my shoulder. “Wow, dude, you really are soft. You totally need to do that before we bang again.”

I rolled my eyes. “Of course, your mind goes straight to the gutter.”

Rainbow snickered. “Well, maybe you should do something about it.”

I gave her a lecherous grin, “How about tonight?”

“How about right now? Pinkie’ll let us borrow her bed, if we ask,” she said.

I laughed. “Ah’m not going to have sex on someone else’s bed unless it was with them.”

As soon as I said that, Rainbow got that look people get when they think they have a genius idea, and as soon as I saw it, I knew what was going through her mind.

Before she could ask what I already knew she was going to ask, my bracelet buzzed. I answered my crystal to hear Fluttershy’s panicked voice on the other end utter two words.

“Shiro! Dragon!”

I rushed as fast as I could to where Fluttershy was waiting, just on the edge of the Everfree Forest, only stopping to grab my 'utility belt', as I like to call it. This was a belt and shoulder strap that held various packets full of evocation pods; reagents wrapped in paper with arcane runes and sigils inscribed on them.

“Where is it?!” I asked, urgently.

“It's s-still stalking outside town,” she replied, her voice quavering.

“Are you sure it's going to attack?” Rainbow asked, having followed me.

“Yes, and it's feral. It’s mind is gone. You won't be able to talk it down,” Fluttershy said, her face full of worry. “Shiro, what are we going to do?”

I was already drawing the summoning circle.

In a flash of fire, Bakura was before us. “Yes?”

“Got anything that can kill a dragon?”

“Shiro, no!” Fluttershy cried. “You can't fight that thing, it'll kill you! We need to lead it away long enough for ponies to get to their shelters.”

“Not a full grown true dragon... at least, not yet,” Bakura answered, ignoring Fluttershy. “The weapon is finished, but the enchantments are not. If you can give me time, I might be able to finish something passable.”

I nodded. “Alright. Ah'll need a spear.”

“Shiro, please don't,” Fluttershy pleaded.

“Ah gotta, Shy. A dragon can dig ponies out of their shelters. They’ll be like canned sardines,” I said, trying to hide my fear from her. “Go back to town and get everyone inside. Ah’ll try to keep it out of town, but Ah’ll feel better if Ah know Ah can fight with everything Ah have.”

“Get me a spear, too,” Rainbow demanded.

I raised an eyebrow at that. “Do you even know how to use one?”

“No, do you?” she asked severely, as if she knew the answer.

I gave her a flat stare. “Ah've been a student of martial arts for fifteen years. Ah can use most weapons, both Asian and European, to some extent.”

“Oh...” She said, sheepishly. “Well, I can distract it until that weapon's ready.”

I sighed. “Fine, but only distract it. Don’t try to take it down, no matter what. Keep out of danger as much as possible.”

“Got'cha,” she said with a salute.

Bakura held out his hands, forming a pair of circles in the air. “Here, my two best spears. Use them well.”

Rainbow and I pulled our weapons from the circles. They were incredibly simple in design, a basic shaft and diamond shaped head, made of the same blood-red metal as his other goods. I gave the weapon a few thrusts and swings, getting a feel for it.

“So, what's the game plan?” Rainbow asked.

I thought about it for a moment. I would somehow have to overcome its incredible size and power, but how?

I looked around for anything that could help. All the trees were small, vine and moss covered things. They would do little to slow it down considering it's after the town. It could just fly over them without trouble.

How would a man fight Godzilla?

My gaze swept back over the trees, and an idea started to form.

I grinned as I said, “Nerdom saves the day.”

“Huh?” Rainbow said, quirking an eyebrow.

“Help me out,” I ordered.

“Uh... okay,” Rainbow replied, moving to help. “With what?”

“You're gonna to be mah Dak.”

I stalked through the brush, creeping up on my quarry. It either didn't notice me or didn't care. Either was understandable, really, as I was unnaturally quiet, but even if he noticed me, I'm tiny by comparison and didn’t seem to be a threat.

That was about to change, though, as I picked up a sizable rock with one paw and pulled out one of my pouches with the other. I channeled magic into the packet. It burst into blue flames that I pressed into the rock.

The rock absorbed the crafted spell and it began pulsing with a red-orange glow, vibrating slightly with stored energy.

I took a deep breath and lined up my shot, cocked my arm back, and launched the rock with all my might. It struck the dragon on its left thigh, exploding with a mild concussive force.

The dragon roared in pain. The damage wasn't great, only a scratch, but it was enough to get its attention.

It's head, twice as big as my entire body, swung around to level a death glare at me before roaring and lunging, jaws wide open.

Outrunning something that size is practically impossible, so instead of running the opposite way, I dove under its head, swung around it’s foreleg, jumped on his back and clung to its neck.

The dragon roared and took to the air, swinging its head in an attempt to dislodge me, and beating its massive leathery wings to take to the sky the way no creature that size should be able. That was expected.

As its massive wings flared in downbeat a couple hundred feet in the air, a blue blur streaked in like a dive bomber, launching its crimson payload. The spear tore through the thin, membranous skin of the dragon's right wing, trailing a length of vines tied to the center of the shaft.

The dragon let out another roar of pain. In an instant, he forgot about me completely. Rainbow threw the rolled up vine to me and flew in the dragon's face.

“Hey, ugly!” she taunted. “You're mother's a saddlebag!”

With him distracted, I wrapped the vine around my paw for a better grip and jumped off the dragon's left shoulder. The spear turned sideways and slammed against the wing as the vine went taught. Another roar and I was swinging under a suddenly destabilized dragon.

My momentum flung me around to land back on the dragon. With the vine still in one paw, I gripped the beast with the other as hard as I could and pulled on the peak of the next upbeat.

It didn't take long for the vine to snap under the strain of the powerful wing, but it did enough to the delicate appendage. The dragon was going down, and it was time for me to bailout.

I let go of the vine and jumped off again, this time into the waiting hooves of Rainbow Dash as the monstrous creature slammed into the ground hard, digging a rut in the countryside.

“That was so awesome!” she cheered.

“That it was,” I agreed. “Now let's get down there and finish this.”

The dragon was just struggling to its feet when we landed.

“Alright, let's do this. Keep it busy.”

“Rodger.” Rainbow gave a salute and rocketed to the dragon, kicking it in the face before darting away.

Whipping out my chalk powder, I drew a summoning circle as quick as I dared. It was big, but if Bakura was right, this would be the best weapon to take down such prey.

The circle lit up, the space inside shimmering as it bridged this world and the Void. A long, two foot handle emerged and rose to meet my paw. Then came the guard, a little broader than my shoulders and as thick as my fist. Then the blade came...

And came...

And came.

This thing was a behemoth. The blade was eight feet long, two feet at the base and tapering to one before it angled into a shallow point. It was the kind of thing you only see in video games and anime. It was an impractical and useless thing on its own.

However, as I lifted the thing and gave it a few swings, I could feel the weight, yet it wasn't pulling me off my feet despite the thing weighing easily three times what I do.

It still wouldn't be very useful against anything smaller than a house, being unwieldy as it was, but against a dragon, it was perfect.

After getting a little bit of a feel for it, I turned to face my foe. Rainbow was flying away, dodging a jet of dragonfire. Perfect, the dragon was facing away from me.

I closed the distance between us quickly with the sword held behind me to one side. With my padded hind paws, he never heard me coming. Everyone within a mile around us heard him, though, as the blade dug into the flesh and tendon of his hind leg.

The sheer mass of the weapon carried it through the armored scales, though not without a small amount of difficulty. Considering it was still a dragon, it made sense. I figured it was similar to fighting someone wearing leather armor with a knife. It could work, but not easily.

As it stumbled, it turned toward me, lashing out with a massive claw. Unable to dodge, I brought my blade in front of me in the hopes of deflecting at least some of the impact. It kept the claws from slicing me to ribbons but the impact wasn't lessened in the slightest.

I went tumbling at least a hundred, painful feet before coming to a sliding halt.

A roar brought my attention from the dirt back to the dragon limping toward me intent on melting my face off. Thankfully, my own personal guardian angel dove in, spear in hoof, and buried half the thing in the dragon's right eye.

I struggled to my paws, digging through my pockets as it reared back, roaring at Rainbow. I grabbed my sword from where I dropped it and pulled out a spell that was normally meant for a hasty retreat. Like the mitosis of some strange amoeba, an exact, illusory duplicate of myself melted out of me.

As it began its mindless charge, another spell packet dissolved into a bolt of lightning, streaking from my paw to the rampaging dragon, striking it in the back. Immediately, I dove into a bush to the right as my doppelganger went left.

The dragon turned and charged. I, in the meantime, waited until it was nearly upon me before I leaped out, taking advantage of its blind spot.

As I passed beneath its neck, I swung the massive blade with a powerful overhand chop. The sword dug into its throat and the arteries within.

The dragon twisted and fell to the ground, gurgling on its own blood and clutching its wound with its claws.

As its life faded, it looked at me with its one remaining eye, not in rage or blood lust, but fear.

It looked at me as if I were the monster.

I suppose, from his perspective, I was.