"You do not take from this universe. It grants you what it will."
- The Elder Hunter
She was so cold.
She lay in a smattering of blood and broken ice as the demonic winds gnawed at her bones. It was a cold so fierce it sapped her soul while choking the very life from her. She couldn't see at first, her brain still in shock over what had occurred. She had to take very slow and careful movements to avoid loss of conciousness. Pulling her head up she finally managed to open her eyes.
Pictured before here was a land that howled and screamed as great winds ripped along it's surface. It was a place that seemed to go on forever with lakes of white powder stretching to the edges of the world. The sky was full, darkened by the passage of many clouds that saw to shower the whole place in light fluffy snowflakes. It was dark, the little light that did remain reflected off the white canvas, illuminating the horizon.
Letting out a snort she looked down to find herself sprawled on her back, wings pinned painfully underneath. Her landing had been rough, leaving her achingly aware of a few broken bones. A few prods to her ribs and back confirmed this as she groaned in pain.
She lay still for a few more moments taking deep breaths to try and regain some of her strength. As she lay blinking the snowflakes from her eyes, the sky parted to reveal a wondrous vision. The sight of the lunar Watchtower and it's numberless fireflies filled the inky dark. The beauty of the moon and the stars nearly lulled her into a sleep as waves of exhuastion crashed into her.
"Ugh, I need to get up." Her mind rattled, emotion lost to the pain and cold. The young alicorn named Twilight Sparkle stirred again, rose and slumped forward. "Need heat."
Acting on an instinct ingrained with over twenty years of practice the mare drew her power forth and pushed it toward her forehead. Twilight begun the simple calculations for the heating spell. As she started to push the energy out, a large burst of fresh agony smacked her fragile skull.
"UWAH!!" Twilight slumped over again the spell sputtering out painfully. "Wha?"
Something warm began to seep down her face and along the snout. It ran into her eyes tainting her vision a dark crimson. The mare placed a hoof to the area of pain. Horror flooded her as Twilight found that her horn, her beautiful horn, the object of her magical prowess was broken. It had been cracked all the way down with blood dripping out in large droplets. Shaking she gently touched up her horn finding the top had been snapped off.
"Ah!" Twilight cried again. "Oh nononono!"
Panic laced her shivering form as the whole situation sunk in. Under a more normal situation a doctor would have cast a long term healing spell upon her horn. It was a painful process which left unicorns magicless until it had been completed. While under the spell a unicorn's horn would regrow over a period of six months, give or take. It was akin to the spell that fixed broken bones, only that spell was much faster. If a unicorn did not get the spell to fix their horn then something much worse could happen. The magic in their body would slowly erode and without the focusing effect the appendage provided their body would eventually stop producing magic at all. Not all magic of course, even earth ponies have some magic, but it was enough that no spell could ever reverse.
"Oh what I am going to do!" Her mind raced as she tried to sit up. Placing her hooves behind her the alicorn shakily pushed off the ground.
"AHH!" Another pained screech was loosed into the howling air. A another burst of pain originated from her back. Feeling even more confused Twilight glimpsed behind her to find the source.
"Oh no..." Twilight said horsely.
Her wings had been twisted beyond recognition. The left was stripped of feathers leaving a bloody mess of bone and sinew, a common effect of teleportation gone wrong. The other was crumpled, probably from impact damage. Large fragments of bone poked from underneath the skin. They hung limply at her sides sagging with the weight of snow, ice and frozen blood.
"Great." Twilight whimpered. The cold wind picked up again, its horrible breath searing her sides. "M-Mhm, O-Ok."
An idea had formed, one that Twilight was loath to do. The mare could still use magic with a broken horn, it just was painful and very dangerous. It was the reason unicorns got somepony else to cast the spell. The pressure on the body became so intense it would often stop the heart.
The other problem was that if a pony ignored it and managed to cast multiple spells they run the risk of blowing their head off. The horn acted as a focus for all the energy, if it was damaged then the focus was lost and only the most powerful of mages could guide the magic to the correct place in the spell.
"N-no ch-choice." Twilight gasped between sobs.
Still Twilgiht Sparkle was not the sun's favoured foal for nothing. If the heating spell was not cast she would die of hypothermia, if the mending spell was not cast soon then the wings would be deformed for the rest of her life. It was unfortunate but the only way, Twilight had to cast the bone healing spell first followed by the heating spell and hopefully the horn healing spell last.
Taking another deep breath the mare braced herself, if she didn't focus the mind it was likely to channel the magic wrong and explode. Letting out a shuddering breath Twilight began to channel the magic.
"Oou, this is gonna hurt." Twilight uttered while biting her bottom lip. A cascade of violet energy washed over her back, crawling its way up her tattered wings. Once the spell was in place it began the mending process.
The crumpled wing was straightened. Bone fragments drew back under the skin with sickening squelches.
The skinless wing was lathered in fresh blood as new tissue started to form and weave its way back into place. Tiny feathers sprouted from the bloody appendage.
With a final blast the spell completed. Shaking, sobbing and hurting she collapsed onto her belly in the soft white powder. Red had mixed with white leaving a pool of gore, feathers and discarded bone. Despite the pain that coursed through her as she lay, her face let out a weak smile. The wings were still damaged but not so they would never heal. Given a few months they would be back to full strength.
"Well at least its over quickly." Twilight muttered fluttering her wings a little. A stinging sensation arose, showing the nerves were reconnecting properly. Reaching a shaking hoof up to her horn Twilight sighed. "That will take a lot longer."
The cold made it's point again as another blast of frigid air slammed at her sides. "Uh, heat."
Twilight's horn ached as she noticed fresh blood pool in the snow beneath her muzzle. Little rivulets of crimson ran down her forelegs as she prodded her horn again. Letting out a groan Twilight began to gather energy again. The spell this time was small only required a little energy that was used quickly. With only a few scattered whimpers the mare cast a spell normally used to heat food. An orange bubble appeared around her, the ice and snow immediately starting to melt. Adjusting the spell so as not to cook herself alive Twilight stood up and shook herself off. Water, blood and bone fell out onto the ice.
"Ugh." Twilight heaved. "Disgusting."
With a few heavy plods she shifted away from the mess to settle down a some hoofsteps away. The warmth of the bubble was already seeping into her being. The effects of the horrible chill Twilight had suffered under were now leaving her in great wafts of steam.
"Whew. Much better." The mare sighed dreamily.
She felt utterly spent, the accident had drained her of most of her power. Another great blast had been used for the healing spell. Now using every ounce of will Twilight poured the last vestiges of power into a spell she had always dreaded to use.
Once as a filly, Celestia ruler of Equestria had taken her magic away from her. The act was not malicious, in fact the Princess did it because she loved Twilight dearly. The young girl had suffered a bout of horn rot, an illness with a much more dangerous name than it really deserved. Horn rot was named such because it made a unicorns horn turn black. It's akin to a cold for magic users, leaving the horn unstable and unfocused. Most ponies just ride it out, utilising as little of their magic as possible.
The sun's favoured foal however had no such luck. Due to Twilights immense power at such a young age the magic had to be sealed away until she recovered. If not her magic would of caused mayhem while Twilight was ill. The young girl had cried her eyes out after the spell was cast, not out of any physical pain, but having your magic removed is quite traumatic.
"O-Ok!" Twilight breathed wiping moisture from her eyes. "You can do this! You're a big mare now, just let it go."
With another painful surge Twilight closed her eyes. The violet power moved forth, wrapping gently around her horn. White lines of magic blossomed from the ground around her, forming ghastly ethereal chains. They hovered around her head for a few moments before settling firmly around her horn. In a flash the power disappeared, replacing the usual heat of magic with a dull emptiness.
"Ugh." Twilight retched as her power fell away. Prodding the sore attachment again Twilight muttered. "Well that's done. The heating spell will last a few days at least. They should find me by then."
A sudden wave of tiredness washed over her. Wriggling in the warmth Twilight placed her head down onto the fast melting ice, her mind no longer able to keep awake, she drifted off into a fitful sleep.
Twilight had been walking for what seemed like an eternity. It was hard to tell the passage of time in this place. The whole plain just looked to go on forever. Only occasionally did the landscape change, peaks of icy rock jutted from the ground with small cracks in the floor. A single misstep and she would be falling a long way.
Each plod on the ice felt heavy, crushing, as if her hooves were slowly being filled with iron. Twilight knew the cause of course, exhaustion and blood loss were hard to miss. If she had been a normal pony Twilight was certain she would have died back there. The only relief was her body, now in the shape of an alicorn, was tougher significantly. Not so much that she had no need to fear, but enough Twilight had hope.
Her mind cast itself back to how she had started. Twilight had awoken in a puddle of surprising warm but hideously filthy water.
Sitting up, padding herself down in the process, the mare took a quick glance around. The world around her was tainted in a sickly orange glow. "Well the heating spell is still active."
Standing up on all fours Twilight took another look at her coat. Where she had lain had painted her in a reddish colour. Her whole lower body was covered in soggy blood stained water.
"Oh Celestia, this is awful." Twilight stammered.
Trotting out of the shallow grove worn into the ice Twilight took a few deep breaths and shook herself like a dog would. Red splatters showered the whole area around her. Grimacing at the horrid sight Twilight moved as far away from this whole scene as she could. Pulling herself forward toward a small jut in the snow the mare sought a vantage point. The winds had died a quiet death, only now gently brushing her mane and ears. Settling a top the mount Twilight glanced around again looking for any sign of a land mark or civilisation.
"Whew, nothing." Twilight stated. Sighing a little she took stock of her condition. "Well at least I've got enough strength to walk."
"Now, wings?" Twilight had fluttered the damaged limbs a little. "Ugh, painful but healing at least."
"My horn isn't bleeding either! Oh good." Twilight let out a great sigh of relief. "Wings I could live without, horn not so much."
"Mhm, the sky is clear." It was early morning, the sun was no more than an hour away from rising. The moon was just about to lower beyond the gaze of the world, the stars following close by. Twilight took a moment and cast her sight around the shimmered lights. "Ah! Taris the seeker!"
Taris the seeker was a star that Luna had placed in the sky to commemorate the famed explorer of the same name. Taris had captured the night Princesses heart and soul. Always out adventuring he went to many famous places and saw many wondrous sights. He would always relay the stories to Luna who had been no more than a filly at the time. Of course with adventuring came great danger and one day he set forth for a land of magical wealth in the east, never to return.
Luna had been heartbroken, her grieving caused the sky to darken with no light shining on the day when she had finally given up hope of his return. The next day as a memorial Luna placed a star in the sky, in honour of a conversation she had partaken with the explorer.
The rambunctious stallion had often stated that without a compass he could never find his way. That was the doom of many young adventurer, he had told her. So to prevent any other brave pony wandering aimless in a forgotten wilderness Luna had placed a great light in the night sky that always shone north. It was the least she could do.
Twilight Sparkle was certainly giving praise.
"Ah ha! So if Taris is there and that low...that means I'm north of Equestria!" Twilight gleefully clopped her hooves together. "Quite a ways north, but if I just head south I'll be walking straight home!"
Feeling the airy touch of hope, the mare rose and pointed south. "Ok! Lets do this! Even if I have to walk for a few days it'll be Ok."
Bringing a hoof to her chest. "No doubt the others are looking for me so I should be fine. Sometime soon they will pop over the horizon and presto! I'll be home before I know it!"
That was how she got here, in a cycle of endless plodding forward. The march had lasted all day with darkness only now starting to creep into the sky.
"Ugh." Twilight moaned.
The endless walking had made her incredibly hungry. The last meal she had eaten was the morning of the accident, a long time ago in retrospect. Twilight again remained thankful for the new alicorn flesh she possessed. Along with hardiness and long life, it was capable of going a long time without food.
"Shut up..." Twilight grumbled stopping for a moment to poke the offending organ. "Look I know I conditioned you to get hungry at the right time but this is silly!"
"I know, I'm hungry too." Twilight sighed wistfully, starting the process of placing one heavy hoof in front of the other. "Won't be long now. ...I hope."
The hope Twilight had possessed at the beginning of the day was rapidly diminishing as it was becoming clear she would have to spend another night here. The heating spell was holding for now but it could only last so long. The weather appeared to be taking a turn for the worse to.
Twilight watched fearfully as dark storm clouds now rose to rest on the horizon as huge omens of fierce winds and ice. "I think I need some shelter."
He turned around again, eyes ever watching the dark clouds. Not that any storm here would really bother him but a keen hunter would not use that as an excuse to be lazy. He would not be ambushed in a weak storm such as this. Though in comparison to the monsters that roamed the sea of flowers, his home much further north, this was no more than a gale.
It had been many cycles since he had come here. A favoured spot of his for hunting, a pleasure he did not often partake in these days. The sea of flowers was his duty but it offered so little sport.
Well that was what he was originally doing, until he felt something nearby. A massive signal, a beacon of magical energy had blossomed a few days walk from his camp site. A clear indication of a mage using spells and out here that meant only one thing. Another Volken was hunting in his territory. The code dictated, this area was his hunting ground and no young upstart was taking it from him.
He was eager, hoping for an honourable challenge. It was a shame really it had been so long since the last time he had spoken to another living being. Still the code dictates, he had left clear signs and notes to any travellers that a warrior was here and actively hunting. Only a desperate fool or bandit would dare to try and take another warriors hunting ground.
"Or maybe another true warrior looking for a good death." He smirked. "So little of them around in this age."
"Close." He muttered, eyes narrowing. "Smells weak...bloody..."
Hope faded quickly, if his target was injured then there would be no sport. His ears flattened as he let out a despairing sigh. "Figures, another bandit cast out and left for dead. Bah."
Turning around he felt the storm's pace quicken, the rolling heads of dark mist shifting to blacken the sky. "Well I have no time for this."
He went to leave, an injured outcast was not his concern. If it was a bandit then he probably deserved to be taken by the storm anyway. If it was a warrior then he would not appreciate the help either, and if the injured being was a coward then he didn't want to aid it anyway. As he began the trot back to his hovel a strange thought cropped up.
"What if it isn't a Volken?"
He slowed to a halt as the errant thought sank in. He became conflicted as the code of the hunter dictated that he should abandon the being, but that only really applied to Volken. Taking another breath of air he searched again for the source of the scent. Finding the trail again he focused on the direction.
"Remember son, all life should have a chance to grow. No matter how small and tiny." An old voice whispered in his ear, causing it to flicker.
Memory overrode his mouth as he uttered the next sentence ingrained in his mind. "Even prey?"
"Prey is subjective son, you could be prey to somecub. In the end you are a Warden, you will have honour and a code to uphold." He smiled at the elder voice's passion. "You are a пророк! You will be a great hunter and protector of the land! I know this because you are my son."
"Yes father." He intoned wistfully. With a huff and a scowl he marched forward toward the scent. "The code of the warden dictates. Better be worth my time."
The wind was smashing into the little alcove Twilight had dug in a snow bank. Flutters of drift occasionally blasting her in the face. The wind's chill while tempered by the heating spell was still seeping into her being.
"Brr." Twilight shuddered.
After seeing the storm she immediately began construction of a shelter, which if given the time would of been a great place to stave off the storm. However the winds picked up there pace and Twilight had scrambled for this meagre offering of cover.
"Ugh, damn snow." Twilight grumbled spitting another blast of ice from her muzzle. "Hmm, I'm soaked."
Unknown to her a hunter had caught her scent and was now approaching her location. Each step was stealthily hidden by the oncoming snow. The hunter knew his targets location and was eager to find her. A shift in the snow caused her to perk her ears.
"...h-hello?" Twilight called out weakly. "Is somepony there?"
Only the howling wind responded. "Ugh, going crazy..."
"Uh oh." The mare looked up, the snow bank she had carved her hovel out of suddenly crumbled under the weight of fresh snow. "Whah!"
Screaming as the tumble of snow nearly collapsed on top of her, the mare ran out into the open field. Twilight watched with half-lidded eyes as the whole of her shelter was buried.
"Great." Twilight roared her anger rising. "Just. Bucking. PERFECT!"
Twilight stomped the floor in fury causing the snow to crunch and crackle underneath. Jumping up and down little puffs of powder blossomed at her hooves. Swirling around Twilight was greeted with a strange sight. A shadow was sat just outside of her vision, snow drifts were clouding the air between her and it.
"Wha?" Twilight mumbled confusion replacing anger.
Moving forward and pushing through the snow Twilight burst through another drift to find a tall slender beast crouched low to the ground. A muzzle littered with sharp gleaming fangs, coat shaggy and wild with a smattering of rags and packs on its back that fluttered and rustled in the fierce wind. It had possessed one bright blue eye, like the deep waters of a summer lake while the other eye was a twisted sickly green, a colour that she was sure the changeling's would favour.
It was a Volken.
Twilight stopped dead, her heart nearly stopping as well. As ice cold fear laced her veins, her ears flattened and she shrunk down slightly. Twilight knew that Volken and ponies did not get along well, even worse than ponies and changlings. Twilight had heard the tales of Volken who had come and eaten villagers in out lying places north of Equestria. Now she was stood doe eyed in front of one, a beast that would eat her whole given the chance.
"...Пони?" He spoke in his native tongue. "Это далеко за пределами завесы?"
The beast didn't move for a moment, he merely stayed still. His twisted eyes searching and probing her being. With a flick of his ears he surged forward claws extended. Twilight reacted on instinct as fiery adrenaline flooded her system. Turning around she delivered a firm buck to the side of the creature. Twilight watched him tumble away in a flurry of movement, that he quickly recovered from. Surprise filled him as he had clearly not expected this action. His lips pulled back to reveal a horrific snarl.
"Вызов." He barked. He surged forth again, this time teeth bared. "Наконец-то!"
This time her body reacted on another instinct, flight. "AH!"
Twilight bolted faster than she had ever run before. Each step carried with it a sampling of snow slower her down. The earlier feeling of iron in her hooves had vanished to be replaced with a feeling of limitless energy. Crashing through the snow banks Twilight reached a section of clear flat ice. Breaking into a full gallop she chanced a glance behind her. The Volken was just breaching the ice plain lagging far behind her.
Twilight Sparkle was out running him.
"HA! I'm doing it!" Twilight felt a burst of prideful energy as she pushed herself even harder.
Unknown to her the real reason she was outrunning the hunter was because he wasn't stupid. The ice here was fragile and unstable. Even a cub could see that this was going to end badly. So he slowed and waited for the stupid prey to cause it's own demise.
"WHUA!" The pony screeched, hooves flailing as it tumbled out of view.
"Stupid creature." He scoffed.
In most cases he would of simply turned and left at that. But this was a hardy pony indeed if it had been trying to survive here. "Mhm, better check."
Padding forward gently so as not to test the wiles of fate, the hunter closed on the preys last location. He expected to see it speared on the ice below, or at least splattered from the immense drop. Instead he was greeted with a purple pony clinging desperately onto an outcropping.
She was scrambling to gain a pawhold with her hind legs while her forelegs struggled to maintain grip on the outcrop. Nickering the mare spotted him. "P-puh-please help-p."
"Help!" He raged internally. "You challenge me and then beg for help!"
"P-Please..." She called out shivering.
He merely sat still, shock evident on his face. Her legs made another meek attempt at grabbing a pawhold. Amused he watched as the little purple thing desperately held on for dear life.
"The code dictates."
Jumping a little, the wolf glanced around finding nothing but him and her. "Grr, don't insult me eldar."
Growling fiercely, he reached down and gripped the mare by the scruff of the neck. With an almighty toss the hunter dumped her onto the ice.
"Ompf!" She uttered in a pained squeak. In an instant she was up and limping away from him.
"You cannot run little pony." The hunter called out. She froze, turning around slowly her ears swivelling with her. "The storm is still young and she will not let you go."
Padding forward to bring his muzzle inches from her shrinking form. "Neither will I." He snarled snapping his jaw.
"Wait!" She yelled pushing her hooves out to fend him off.
He stopped snarl worsening. "Wait? For what little pony?"
She appeared to think for a moment before adopting a large smirk. Taking a deep breath she bellowed loudly into the sky. "I-I am Princess Twilight Sparkle of Equestria! If-if you attack me then there will be repercussions upon you and your people!"
He stood stunned, first over how loud that had been, second over the sheer audacity of this little creature. Frist it attacks him, then declares that if he stuck back he would suffer for it!
"Heh." He chuckled. "Hehe, AHHAHAHA!"
Her smirk fell away rapidly as he began to fall over in hysterics. "Wh-What's so funny!"
Blinking away the tears that had followed the out burst of laughter, he let out a another wicked smile. "Take a good look at where you are little pony." The hunter growled.
The prey looked left, then right clearly seeing nothing but endless fields of stormy white. Twilight frowned for a moment before the point sunk in. Her face contorted into a mask of dread as she now understood something she had missed earlier.
They were alone.
Twilight shrank back as he moved closer. "Here in this storm, here in this place, here beyond the edge of the map there is no law."
He moved over her shivering form and placed a paw to her chest as he moved to whisper in her ear. "Do you really think anycub will care if I eat your flesh and bury your bones in this ditch? Do you really think anycub will find you? Do you even know where you are? Does anycub else?"
She started to violently shudder at this revelation. "Puh-please..." Twilight choked quietly, great sobs racking her chest. "Please d-d-don't e-eat me-hee-heeeee!"
"Why not!" He growled, before taking her neck in his fangs and vicious shaking her. After a pained squeak he threw her to the floor. "After all the trouble you've caused me!"
"You come into My hunting ground! Scare away my prey! Challenge me! Then have the balls to beg for mercy!"
Anger boiling over the Volken turned to face up and loosed a loud howl unto the sky which shook the very snow and ice around them. "Give me a reason, Pony!"
His anger burned bright as he lowered his gaze at the offending creature. His fury was replaced quickly however at the scene unfurling before him. The little creature had slumped down, defeated. Her legs tucked under her being as she curled into shaking ball. The eyes became wide and watery as the mare quietly sobbed. Ears flattened against her head as the tattered remains of what used to be wings covered her tear filled eyes with . Little pools of blood coiled around her head as the crimson ran from the bite on her neck.
"M-Ma-Make it qu-quick." Twilight sobbed.
"Please make it quick." Another female voice echoed, stunning him still.
"Летние?" He whispered into the raging wind.
He glanced down at the blood that seeped into his coat. He had shamed himself. The code dictated and he had nearly broken it. Not just the code of the hunter but the code of the warden as well!
"How many oaths have I nearly broken today?"
The prey perked a little, eyes widening and searching. He glared firmly, her form shrinking away from the fiery gaze.
"Grr, get up prey!" He shouted finally.
"Wha?" Twilight said meekly.
"UP!" He barked, the pony jumping to her feet in an instant.
Pushing his muzzle to hers he spoke. "Why are you here?"
"I-I, uh..." Twilight stammered her words tumbling out in a rush.
"Quickly pony before I change my mind."
Squeaking she shuffled about before answering. "I'm l-lost."
"Oh for the love of the great hunter..." He placed a paw to his snout. "I can see that you fool!"
She slumped back down again in terror. "What I want to know is why you are lost here! This is months away from your puny empire."
"M-Months?" Twilight questioned.
"How. Did. You. Get. Here!" He roared.
"Eep! Iwascaughtinamagicalaccident!" The mare blubbered.
"Figures. You ponies and your weak prey magic." He said glowering down at her. Twilight said nothing as she lay in the bloody snow.
"Mhm, I am going back to my camp." He said after a moment. "You can stay here or you can come with me."
Her head shot up in shock as her mouth gaped open. "Wha?! You're letting me live?"
"Hmph. For now." He said, stalking away from the stunned pony. She watched him walk out of sight back into the drifts before jumping to her hooves and scrambling after him. Only to be felled by a sharp pain in her hoof.
"Ah! Owie..." Twilight crumpled back down onto the ground. He turned back to see her looking at her foreleg. The mare had clearly twisted it funny when he had thrown her.
Stalking back he stood over her again. "Be still."
Gathering himself he pulled his pack off, to reveal a pair of feathered wings. She again gaped at the hunter as he ignored her gaze and summoned his power. Blue and green lines of magical power surged forth bringing out a marking across his fur. The winds picked up only to be blasted away, leaving the pair in a clear bubble of air. He reached out with his ethereal touch and gathered her up.
"EEP!" Twilight cried in newly found terror at being lifted up so easily.
"BE STILL!" He roared again.
Twilight went limp in his magical grasp. He tried again, wrapping her broken form in his magic. The lines of green and blue glowed from his eyes and twisted around her like vines. The magic moved around her broken horn, wings and injured hoof. With some amount of effort the hunter repaired what damage he could. Her wings and horn had already been under a magical spell, likely her own. It had dulled her magic and made the horn useless, he reasoned that it was to protect it. With little to do there he moved to her neck and leg. That was much easier to fix, a few punctures with a twisted ligament.
A few moments later he lowered her to the ground. Grinning a little at her stunned expression he turned around and stalked off again. "If you're coming then hurry along little pony!" He called over his shoulder.
"He's a mage!" Twilight thought to herself. "A powerful one too!"
Her face blushed a little at the memory of his touch. It had been wild, untamed and yet firmly focused. Twilight had felt him probe her wings and horn, something that made her blush harder. Doing such a thing in pony society was an intimate act, to do so without permission, offensive. Yet his magic had been so strong, Twilight was sure she would not of been able to fight him off easily even in her normal state. He had plucked her up as if she was a doll.
Her eyes slid back to him, he was stalking a little ahead of her, sniffing the air. Twilight watched with interest as every movement was placed carefully, never too heavy to cause a print. His wings were still unfettered though they remained tucked at his sides. She had never guessed that Volken had wings or magic, Twilight had always thought that they were like earth ponies. The magic sealed inside allowed to slowly bleed out into their natural environment over the course of their lives. It was a surprise to say the least.
Her gaze followed along his slender back to the packs that he carried. They had been repositioned to his rump leaving them to dangle of his tail a little. The tail was a long bouncy thing that the winds caught and tussled a wild, ragged looking thing.
Everything about him was fascinating. The Volken never really bothered with Equestria too much, aside from the village raiding thing. Their culture was a bit of a mystery and if Twilight loved something it was a good mystery. She was gushing at the chance of talking to this beast and learning things about it. Until Twilight saw his teeth again.
"What are you doing?" Twilight asked after a moment, intrigued at his sniffing and desperate to get her mind onto something else.
"Mhm? Smelling the storm." He replied muzzle still in the air.
"To see when it will end."
Twilight looked around, the wind was more fierce than it had been since it started. Snow came down horizontal, lashing at her mane and tail. Ice in the ground pushed her hooves back with every step.
"A while I take it?" Twilight called out.
"Nope! Any second now!" He replied with a smirk.
With that the storm all but ceased, the snow falling down in flutters as the wind died around her. Twilight balked at the sudden change in climate.
"Huh?" Twilight stated looking around at the sky.
"It is the area. With nothing to hold them back these storm come quickly and pass just as quickly." He answered.
They plodded forward for a little while before she asked another question. "How far away is your camp?"
"Few days walk."
"D-Days?" Twilight said wilting.
"Days that you clearly don't have."
The Volken stopped and sighed. Pointing just past her, he indicated the orange glow that permeated her being. "The heating spell around you. It is about to fail."
Twilight glanced around to look at the bubble. She hadn't noticed before but orange glow that once burned a bright warmth was now almost gone, a shimmering haze left behind in its wake.
Without it Twilight would clearly die of the cold in a matter of hours, with no coat or cloth of any kind. "What do we do?"
A grumble was all he uttered before settling his packs down onto the ground. "Hold still I will teleport us to the camp."
"Teleport?!" Twilight said, confused. "You can teleport?"
"Hmph. A little trick I picked up off one of your pony mages. About the only useful spell you ponies seem to know." He grinned maliciously.
"Hay!" She shouted feeling indignant. "We know lots of powerful spells!"
"Yet none that could save your life." He finished. Twilight had no quip to that and fell silent, face flushed with anger and embarrassment. "Regardless, be still for this. I have not done this in a long while."
With a rush of power he unfurled his large wings again. Her face became paler as Twilight saw taunt muscles flex under the coat.
"Celestia! He could rip me in half if he wanted to." Twilight grimaced.
After the wings beat twice a rush of power was felt around her and then the world distorted. A normal ponies teleport is a blinding flash, leaving the user unaware of what occurs during transit. It was usually a quick blast of energy, any more and the user could end up over shooting the area required. This was something else entirely. Her body dissolved into tiny fragments of purple dust that glittered and sparkled. The world sank away beneath her gaze, the clouds becoming the new floor. Her mind was locked in a stunned state, the world whisked by below. The ground becoming a beautiful blur of white and blue. She felt ecstatic at the method of travel. All to soon the world rose before her sight, her body reforming into the correct shape.
With a gasp Twilight collapsed to the floor, her body still in shock. "Wh-What was that?!"
"A teleport?" The Volken wondered aloud. "You ponies invented that you know."
"That wasn't a normal teleport!" Twilight cried, stumbling back to her hooves.
"Hmph. I had to adjust it for my magic." He muttered.
"It was amazing!" She gushed racing forward and gripping his shoulders. "You have to show me what you did!"
"..." He fell silent as his gaze became rock solid. "Get. Off. Me."
"Oh!" Stumbling back Twilight shook her head fiercely. "Sorry." She added meekly.
He gathered his packs before moving over to a patch of snow. With a snort the hunter began to dig into the bank of snow, blots of it flying past her as Twilight ducked for cover. After a few moments he disappeared under the white powder. Twilight blinked placing her muzzle over the edge of the hole she saw a dark tunnel.
"Hurry up pony!" The hunter called up the tunnel.
Frowning she shrugged and let herself slide down the hole. The cramped tunnel was easier to navigate than Twilight had guessed. The walls were slick and slippery, allowing her to glide down. Picking up a bit of speed Twilight started to panic as she felt her body rush forth.
"Whah!" The mare cried as she exited the other way in a tumble. "Oof!"
"Are you ponies always this clumsy?"
"Sh-Shut up!" Her face flushed. Looking around Twilight gazed at the ice cave she found herself in. Despite being made of solid ice it was surprisingly warm in here. "Wow, pretty."
Her eyes followed the deep blue that was featured in the walls. The evening sun could still be seen shimmering through the icy dwelling. Looking back down she saw the Volken looking at her with a frown, his head tilted to one side.
"What?" Twilight asked sheepishly.
"...nothing." He muttered, turning around. Placing his back packs onto the icy floor he began to glow again. The magic shifting around him to create an ethereal fire in the centre of the room. Instantly true warmth fluttered into the cave.
"Ahh..." Twilight sighed dreamily, her hooves guiding her close to the purple blaze. Just in time too, the orange bubble had finally collapsed. "This feels great."
Her eye lids drooped, as the heat soaked into her coat. The Volken moved forward, lowering himself down on the other side of the fire. He began to groom himself, licking his chest to scour the dried blood from his coat. Twilight tried to avert her gaze out of embarrassment, as she looked away another thought came along. Twilight realized she did't know his name.
"Um..." Glancing back out of the corner of her eye.
"What?" He paused, glowering at her.
"Oh, well I just wanted to thank you..." Twilight uttered meekly bringing her gaze to point at the fire.
"You're welcome." He said returning to his ministrations. Only for him to grunt when he noticed she was still looking at him. "What!"
"Um! I just- uh...what's your name?" Twilight picked at the ground with her hooves while staring at the fire.
"P-Poprock?" Twilight tried.
If he had been giving her an angry glare before she was sure he was trying to kill her with his gaze now. "S-Sorry I didn't mean-"
"Пророк. It means Prophet." He stated.
"They call you Prophet?"
"Go to sleep pony. You need rest."
A little apprehensive at just falling asleep in the same room as a being that tried to kill her earlier. The mare fidgeted and shuffled trying to prolong the effects of wakefulness. Prophet merely rolled his eyes and finished his grooming. Letting out a snort he plopped his head down sealing his eyes shut. Another wave of sleepiness washed over her again. Deciding to let it go, Twilight slumped her own head down to rest on her forelegs. Within a few moments she was fast asleep.
Prophet opened his eyes to look at her intently. Once he was sure she was sleeping he rose to pad quietly over to her resting form. It was infuriating that this pony had her looks. Although more rounded of course, she was a prey creature. Still the thoughtful gaze, the kind mouth and nose, all the things he remembered from her now rested on this thing.
The sleeping pony shivered, even with the fire her coat was still to short, a being built for summer plains not the frigid north. That and the blood loss from earlier, it was a miracle she was even alive. He retrieved a pelt from his pack and lowered it over her. In seconds she let out a sniffle and snuggled into the warmth.
"Летние? Вы вернулись к мучить меня?" He whispered a tear streaming his muzzle.