Steve walked out of the cave. He had the gold needed for the golden carrots. Next was the mushrooms. That would be pretty easy considering he was in a forest, and they were literally everywhere. He took a step forwards and immediately found a small patch. Before he picked it up he thought for a second. I don’t know if these are normal mushrooms like back in Minecraftia. They could be poisonous. Maybe if I find a book about biology or botany I’d be able to find out. He decided to leave the mushrooms there until he had more information. I’ll probably look for a book when I go to get some carrots. He turned to head back to his house. Right then, he heard a noise. Someone or something was in the bushes around him. He pulled out his sword and kept his ears perked. Dead silence. Steve began to slowly back out. Then, he sprinted back to his home. “I do not wanna have to deal with this bullshit if I don’t have to.”
He looked back to see if anything was chasing, and he was relieved to see nothing there. However, he wasn’t looking forwards, and he felt something heavy and hard hit him right in the chest. Steve stumbled a little before falling onto his back. In front of him stood what looked like a black pony, but its appearance was more bug-like. He recognized those things from the book he had read. They were called Changelings and were basically shapeshifters. “Who the fuck are you?” Steve asked not really caring.
“My name is Scorch, and I am the leader of a platoon of changelings.” She said.
“Scorch? Doesn’t that sound more like a dragon’s name?” Steve asked.
“If you want, I can show you why they call me that.” She said, her horn lighting up.
“Sure.” Steve said. “However, I don’t think your mission was to kill me because if it was you would have by now.”
Scorch glared at him, trying to come up with a response. She sighed. “You’re right. Our mission was not to kill you, but to ask you to join us.” She said.
“To join you?” Steve asked for confirmation.
“Yes. We’ve seen that you haven’t had the best of relations with the ponies, and neither have we. So we wanted to see if you would join us.”
“And what is it that you changelings want to do?”
“Take over Equestria, of course. Equestria under the rule of the ponies is weak. We are going to-.”
“If it’s so weak, then why haven’t you overthrown it by now?”
“Well, you see, uh.” She said trying to come up with a response.
“Exactly. That doesn’t matter because I wouldn’t have joined you anyways. You see, the bad relations thing was kind of, sort of my fault. So I don’t have any intentions of doing more harm to them than I need to.” Steve explained. “That being said, I won’t let you harm them. At the same time, I don’t want to fight you. So you can simply turn around and we can both call it a day. However, I’m warning you, I can fight pretty damn well. That’s my only warning.”
“Maybe you need a little bit more convincing.” She said. Suddenly, ten other changelings appeared from the bushes. “This limits your options to just two, come with us or be destroyed.”
“I make my own options.” Steve said. He held his defensive position, quickly pulling out his shield and holding it in his left hand. Before he could equip his armor, one changeling made a move. Steve pivoted left to block it. Another used the window to attack from his right, he stopped it with a roundhouse kick to the face. As Steve was regaining his balance, he got hit from behind, knocking him off his feet. He landed on his stomach, but quickly rolled over and prepared for the attack. Just as he expected a changeling jumped at him, but he repelled the attack with his sword.
A small window opened up for him to get back up. Now back on his feet, he repelled two more attacks and punched another one across the face, eliciting a cry of pain. Then, Scorch made her move, attacking using her magic. Steve deflected the attack with his shield, then, blocked her using his sword as she leaped at him. Steve blocked a magic attack from the left with his shield. However, a changeling jumped at him from his right. He brought his sword down to block it, but he was a half second to slow. The sword sliced right through the changelings abdomen, and its body went limp.
Steve shook his sword, trying to get the body off. Once he did he looked back at the others. “I-,” he started taking a heavy breath, “I didn’t want to fight you.” He paused taking another breath. “And I most certainly didn’t want to kill any of you. But you left me with no choice. Now the only question is do you want to continue?”
The response he got was Scorch growling at him. “You will pay for his death.” Steve saw where this was going and just accepted the fact that he had to fight. He looked at her in the eyes.
“You sure?” He asked, breathing normally, again.
“Absolutely.” She snarled.
“Well then do it. You’ve already bugged me enough.” He laughed.
“Wait. Was that a joke?”
“What? Did it not sink in?” He asked pointing his sword at the dead changeling. He crossed the line, but at this point he didn’t care.
“You insolent, little ape!” She yelled at him.
“I mean, you’re not wrong, you oversized fly.” Steve said, further angering an already angry changeling. Steve knew that rage can bring about someone’s downfall, so he tried to piss her off as much as possible. If looks could kill Steve would have been killed instantly by the look she gave him. He just laughed as he got back in his fighting stance. “Now come on you pests! Show me what you got!”
“We have a lot more than you think.” Scorch said in response.
“Okay.” Steve said shrugging his shoulders. “I hope so because I was expecting better.”
One changeling launched it self at Steve, but the Crafter easily deflected its body. Another changeling launched at him from the right. Fuck it, he thought to himself. He sliced right across it, opening up a wound that had green blood flowing out of it. Another attacked from his left, but he blocked it to the ground with his shield before stabbing him in the chest. Steve regained his balance, but this time he charged at them. He stabbed one in the abdomen and sliced another across the neck, both fatal injuries. He was knocked back from behind by Scorch. Her face was full of rage.
“I told you I’d make you pay!” She yelled as he horn lit up. She aimed it right at his face.
“No you won’t.” Steve said pointing at the sky. What appeared to be a dragon came flying at them. It was small, about his height, much smaller than any he had seen, but still significant. Steve wasn’t paying attention to it because he saw Scorch distracted, so he delivered a punch across the back of her head. Before he could get back up, however, he felt something grab him. It was that dragon. It pulled him up and out of the forest.
He looked at it. It was almost all black, with the exception of a few gray spikes on its back, and it had purple eyes. The beast looked back down towards him. It smiled at him, so Steve assumed it was friendly. He looked back down at the changelings and flipped them off, causing the dragon, who Steve could now identify as female, to laugh. They flew away from the battle scene.
“This is where we suspect the creature went.” Sargent Stone said to Princess Luna. He was in charge of the intel because he had been with the creature the most. However, they didn’t have a great lead on its home. “Based on locations of previous skirmishes, we suspect he commonly goes-.” He was cutoff in the middle of his explanation by one of his comrades.
“Changelings!” He shouted. “About six of them!” Stone and Luna both got eye of the fight and got into fighting stances. The changelings looked worn out, like they had just been fighting right before. Stone pulled out his sword and sliced at the nearest changeling, swiftly ending its life. He ducked under the attack of one, then, quickly jumped over another, before bringing his sword down on the first. He pulled it out and jabbed it right through the other. Luna fired several shots at them, but they used the forest as cover to hide from the blasts. However, one of the shots hit a changeling in the back of the head, going right through it.
“Scorch,” one of the changelings started, “what do we do?”
“Retreat! There’s too many of them.” The three remaining changelings turned and ran through the thick brush. Stone let out a sigh of relief before turning to the carnage. He turned to one of his men.
“Any casualties?” He asked.
“No, sir. They seemed to be tired out, so they didn’t fight as good as they usually do.”
“Then what tires them out?”
“I don’t know, but it appears something was here before us.” He said as he pointed at five dead bodies. “I don’t think any of our men killed them.”
“Yeah.” Stone agreed. “But it appears it used a sword to do so.” He said examining the cut marks.
“Sargent,” Luna started, “what’s going on?”
“I’m not sure, ma’am, but I think we might have a lead on the creature.”
“Good. Let’s move out.” Luna ordered.
“Yes, ma’am.” Stone looked at the cut marks. This further proved that this creature was capable. He just didn’t know why he spared the guards, but not the changelings. “I swear I will get to the bottom of this.” He said under his breath as he watched Celestia’s sun set.