~Raze's Journey Chapter 16~
Shining galloped towards the cave that he had saw through the mind of the Gryphon, 'This is it! The answers to our problems and theirs!'
Close behind Shining were Mace and Greato who charged forward despite any warnings they had not received.
“We need to turn off the path from here! The main opening is not directly at the top from what I've seen in my mind! The temple is located inside the mountain, but the opening is so far from where I thought it would be! The Dragon Ball signal came from the center, but I have no idea how far up or the place is! So let's hurry! Double Time!” Shining exclaimed as he continued to pick up speed.
Mace looked ahead, “You mean that we would have been stuck looking on this mountain forever?! Whoever made this place really knew how to hide stuff!” he asked while they charged off the main path of the mountain.
Greato followed from the rear of the group, “We're finally going to do something exciting! How far do we have till we get that temple!?”
Shining looked back with a smile, “Not far! I'm actually surprised that the Gryphons found it at all!”
The group kept going until they made it to a small open area. They looked around and saw that the woods above them were so heavily bound together that it covered anything that could be seen from the sky.
“Wow! Is this the area, Shining?” Mace asked him to which he nodded.
“Yes, this is the area that I saw in the leader's eyes.” Shining stated as they all looked upon a door.
Mace walked up to the door and examined it. He saw strange markings and knew them well, 'Ancient Equis? Who would have made a temple and used this dead language? A better way to phrase that would be... Who would know that language so well? Only a few of the worlds greatest scholars know it including myself... I must know what it says!'
Mace activated his horn and a glow found it's way over the bag that Shining had been carrying with them. He took the bag and placed it before himself.
Shining looked confused, “What do you need that for?”
Mace didn't look up from the bag, “I need a book that I took along for some light reading from the Royal Library.”
Greato shook his head, “You and light reading? I'd like to see what you consider to be that!”
Mace smiled, “I found it!” He dug both of his hooves into the bag's innards and began to pull with all his might.
'Just gotta get it out of there!' Mace thought as he saw the top of the book poke out of the top of the bag.
'Just a bit more!' He drew more of the book out of the bag until it finally popped free. It the ground with a resounding slam and made an indent in the earth.
“That's light reading!? It looks ten inches thick!” Greato yelled in shock.
Indeed, this book was large even by normal standards and reading it looked like it would take over ten years of an average life away.
Mace smiled once again, “I read books like this in a weekend. I always love to cover topics multiple times! I've read this one fifteen times in my life!”
Shining shook his head, “You're just like Twily! Brains and all!”
Mace didn't answer to that as he opened the book before himself, 'Ancient languages... Search, Ancient Equis...' Mace flipped through the pages fast with his magic helping.
“Ah-ha! Found it!” Mace exclaimed in joy as he picked up the entire book in his magic and sat in front of the door.
“Found what?” Greato asked Mace.
“Shoosh! I'm hunting ancient languages...” Mace trailed off as he went to his happy place.
Greato blew steam through his ears, “Don't you dare tell me to shut it!” He pulled out his axe and proceeded to attack Mace only to be stopped by Shining.
“Leave him to his work, we'll be doing something interesting soon! I promise, now put away the axe, Greato.” Shining finished sternly.
Greato begrudgingly put away his weapon with a bit muttering, “I'll get you for that one, Mace... A drinking contest soon...”
Mace looked over the ancient book and back at the door for a few minutes while Greato and Shining entertained themselves by playing Blackjack.
“Alright, Greato! That last card has to be an ace! Flip it!” The first round ended with Greato getting eighteen and Shining had two fives at the moment.
Greato smiled, “We'll see about that!” He flipped the card over and indeed it was a two.
“WHAT?! There's no way that I just lost in Blackjack! You cheater!” Shining yelled in confusion.
“Cheater?! There's no way that I would cheat!” Greato said as he stood up and revealed that he was sitting on all the aces from within the deck.
“You did cheat!” Shining roared as Greato started to sweat.
“I have no idea how those got there! I swear!” Greato exclaimed as Shining snorted in anger.
“I'll destroy you!” Shining yelled as Mace jumped between them.
“I've decoded the message on the door if you're curious to know it.” Mace said as Shining shook his head.
“That cheater behind you has earned his horseshoe! Right in his as-”
“Really? Over a game of blackjack? Shining, don't sink so low. I'm sure you'll beat him next time, but we need to focus on the mission first.” Mace said as they both nodded.
“Sorry about that, Shining.” Greato said as he put out his hoof.
“No problem, Greato.” Shining said as he put his hoof to Greato's own hoof.
“Now, come over here and bear with me while I explain what this place is.” Mace said as he was followed over to the door by Shining and Greato.
Shining and Greato sat down behind Mace, eagerly awaiting what he was going to say. Mace looked at them to make sure they were listening.
“This door leads into a temple that you already know of, Shining. I have found that this temple was named, “The House of the Lost Soul”. This place is supposed to carry something dark and powerful inside it's fortified mountain walls. Though I'm not sure what is inside, I'm sure it must be very important.” Mace said to his audience.
“Okay then... Does it say anything else?” Shining asked Mace.
“Yes, the inscription on the first door to the left says the name of the place. The second however is a message that appears to have been written by a distressed individual. It says, “I'm so sorry that this happened, Mythic. I want you to know that as your parent, I will always love you, even if I never remember you in this lifetime. With love....” The name was so faded that I couldn't identify it, it looked as if the name had been purposely scratched out.” Mace said to the group.
Shining thought it over for a moment, 'Who could have wrote the message on the second door? I can't find out right now, but maybe we can open the doors ourselves.'
Mace turned back to the doors, “We should open the doors now.”
Shining nodded, “Greato and Mace, Let's do this!” Shining powered up his horn as his comrades did the same thing.
Their magics combined and slowly, they began to pry the doors apart. Inch by inch they crawled outward toward the outside of the walls they defended. Shining, Greato, and Mace gritted their teeth.
'This door must have been enchanted somehow, but by who?' Shining thought as he felt the enchantments start to break under the force of three different magics.
Mace pulled as hard as he could muster, 'The enchantments on the doors have been weakened by time.' Mace's eyes opened widely in realization.
'Three hundred years ago was when these enchantments were placed! Who could have placed such powerful enchantments so long ago and how did a measly group of Gryphons get in to such a well-guarded place?!' Mace questioned as the doors began to give up more ground.
Greato looked in anger as he strained to pull the door apart, 'I won't be beaten by a door!'
And then the door opened!
~Within the Temple~
'So they have arrived...' A being thought to itself as it meditated.
'It has been so long since a pony has been to my burial ground, I will commend them once I am released from my prison....' The being spread his ancient power around the temple.
'With this, I can watch them from any point rather than just the front of my temple. Once they make it to the top where I am, I'll be able to use them to my hearts content...' It got up from it's meditation and stood tall.
'I can finally show them my pain. It's all because of her, my mother... I will get the revenge that I deserve soon enough...'
The being looked at the ponies who had opened the door to his sanctum.
'Now, come forth and free me.'
On a balcony on the side of Canterlot Castle sat two ponies that talked of small things and big changes in their lives. They knew each other very well and liked to catch up over tea in the afternoon. One of these ponies was our agent, Octavia.
She was feeling alright until a cold wind blew onto her fur. She felt herself ruffle up and knew that something was wrong.
Octavia looked up to the sky and shivered, 'It's cold all of a sudden... What is this feeling that I'm getting?'
“Is there something wrong Agent Octavia?” Asked another familiar voice.
“Commander Celestia, there is nothing wrong that I know of.” Octavia said as Celestia shook her head.
“Don't play dumb, I know that you felt it too. It was the winds of a country far to our north that seem to have shown themselves in Canterlot. But that would be impossible considering the fact that it came from the east would prove my point...” Celestia trailed off as she took a sip of tea.
“What is so cold that comes from the east?” Octavia asked as she picked up her tea and sipped on it.
“I'm not sure.” Celestia finished with another sip of tea.
“Then we cannot dwell on it.” Octavia dismissed the conversation and Celestia agreed with her.
“Yes, it's probably not as important as what's going on at the training field right now.” Celestia said as she looked in that direction.
“What is going on over there?” Octavia asked her Commander.
“The other Elements are awakening their hidden powers. Applejack is the one releasing her hidden power today. I've seen her control roots and use them as powerful weapons, but she can barely control the strength she has gained, I worry for her safety.” Celestia said with another sip of tea.
“I'm sure that she will learn to control her power soon enough, you should give her some time and then they'll be on to the next Element soon enough.” Octavia said with a smile.
“I hope do hope that you're right. Luna is with them right now as a small precaution. She seems to be getting a bit more serious than usual, I hope she goes easy on those six.” Celestia said with a small smile.
“With any luck, she's not.” Octavia finished with a giggle.
~The Training Field~
“NO FAIR APPLEJACK! DON'T TURN THAT WAY WHILE RIDING THOUS ROOT!” Luna roared as a crashing sound was heard and ponies were sent flying everywhere.
Applejack couldn't hear anypony beyond her aura and it's strength was truly incredible. It blasted around her body and even though she was far above the earth, it followed her around.
Rainbow Dash went into her Super Form and tried to catch Applejack, but was thrown away by the root every time she got close enough to get her.
“Applejack! Control yourself!” Rainbow Dash yelled as she was thrown off by yet another random attack.
Applejack actually heard Rainbow. She turned to her and then opened her mouth. It began to glow and a ball of energy appeared inside of her mouth. She then let it loose onto Rainbow Dash.
The attack spiraled downward onto her only to be blocked by Luna and her shield of impenetrable moon magic.
Super Applejack's strength showed she stamped her hoof on the roots and the shock waves traveled down and into the training area where cracks began to form in the high grounds of the mountain.
Luna gaped at the strength of the Element of Honesty, “Thou truly has been given quite the gift!”
Rainbow Dash smirked, “Yes! She's really strong, but we need to stop her now! She might take out the whole city!”
“Where is Twilight Sparkle?! She could help us!” Luna said as Rainbow shook her head.
“I haven't been able to find her at all! She only returns at night and says something about studying!” Rainbow yelled as she kicked off the ground once more and prepared to attack Applejack from the sky.
Luna followed her into the sky and Applejack saw them coming her way. Applejack's aura burst outward and roots crawled out the side of the mountain. Luna almost got caught, but managed to get out with a burst of power from her horn.
Rainbow used a burst of her own rainbow energy to cut through the offending roots using the air around her self as blades. They fell to the grown with heavy thuds while Rainbow burst out without a scratch on her body.
“Time for the Sonic Rainbash! This going to hurt you Applejack, but I've got no choice!” Rainbow pulled her wings up and began to climb in altitude.
Luna attempted to attack at a closer range with magical beams of powerful moonlight, “Mighty Applejack! Cease thy attacks or suffer the full strength of the moon!” Luna yelled as Applejack attacked her back with full force.
She fired several mouth beams in rapid succession at Luna and though she dodged most of them, one managed to hit it's mark. The explosion was large and a smoke cloud burst out from it in midair. Luna hit the ground at top speed and the impact sent dust flying into the air.
Applejack prepared to fire a bigger attack, but then she was interrupted by a large gust of wind. She looked up and saw a large rainbow colored cone coming from Rainbow Dash.
“This is the Sonic Rainbash!” Rainbow yelled as her energy flowed around her body like a cone. She then made impact on Applejack in seconds.
Rainbow took Applejack with her into the ground which created an explosion larger than any other previously seen by the ponies around. The large roots that had been summoned by Applejack earlier were completely destroyed in the impact.
Minutes passed after the explosion, smoke cleared up and reveal a large hole that went all the way into the forest below Canterlot. More dust and smoke spread from the bottom where trees used to be standing. The only thing left was a dusty crater.
Several soldiers moved in after the powerful shock waves were done and they made to get Luna up and then sent several pegasus guards to get Rainbow Dash and Applejack.
The pegasi guards flew towards the crash scene and touched the earth. They nodded to each other and began to walk towards the middle while looking for both of the ponies that crashed.
They neared the middle soon enough and then they felt the earth around themselves move a bit. They looked down and tested the ground with their hooves.
Then the earth moved again and began to start shaking violently. Rocks began to break the surface as a loud yell was heard.
The guards opened their wings and took to the sky once they heard the bone chilling yell. Smoke blasted away from the middle of the clearing as the middle became completely visible.
The guards saw Applejack in her ascended form pushing Rainbow Dash into the ground.
“She lost her ascended form!” One of the guards shouted.
“Applejack is still conscious after that?!” Another guard exclaimed.
“We need to go get backup! If we don't, Rainbow Dash is going to be killed!” The third guard yelled as he blasted towards Canterlot at top speed.
The third guard looked back down at the other two guards, “Stop Applejack in any way that you possibly can!”
The guards that were left behind looked up at the retreating guard, “How could you do this to us?! We can't handle them!”
“He's right! What chance do we have?!” The second guard yelled once again.
Applejack looked down at Rainbow Dash and prepared to finish her off once and for all. She charged up energy in her open maw and the light began to spread across the clearing.
Just as she was about to fire it, the guards smashed into her side and knocked her off balance. She stumbled while one of them picked up Rainbow. The other guard stayed and shivered in his horseshoes as Applejack gave him an angry glare.
“Oh to hay with this!” The guard yelled as he turned around and ran away.
But he was intercepted by a root and tripped, 'Owww...' He turned his head upwards to see Applejack charging up an attack.
He turned back and closed his eyes while awaiting his imminent death, 'This is it! So ends the life of, Rasturf Fetlock!'
Applejack fired the beam and another pony hit the ground in front of the downed guardspony. He smiled and deflected the beam with just the side of his hoof.
The beam flew towards another mountain not to far away and hit the side of it. An explosion tore the mountain apart on it's side. Rocks fell to the ground as smoke spread from the wounded area.
The pony who had blocked the beam in question looked at Applejack with untethered determination, “Looks like you've lost complete control of yourself... I'll fix that!”
Rasturf opened his eyes shakily and looked at the pony standing in front of his own body, “No way... It can't be... Vladimir?! The Second in Command?!”
Vladimir turned to the pony behind himself, “Well, yes I am. You have a problem with that?”
“No Sir!” Rasturf exclaimed as Vladimir nodded.
“Then get back up to Canterlot right away!” Vladimir stayed looking at the guard and then he moved slightly to the left.
A beam ripped past where his body had just been, “That was very rude of you, Applejack.” He turned to face Applejack, “I'll have to get you for that.”
Applejack was already charging more energy in her maw as she closed her mouth and trapped the energy inside it. She then began to chew the energy and Vladimir watched curiously.
'What does she plan to do with that?' He watched until she stopped.
She then puckered her lips up and began to rapid fire energy blasts. Vladimir moved slightly to the left and right as the beams sailed past his where his skull had been at different intervals of time. They all exploded in the background as he began to walk forward.
'This should be simple, she's lost her own grip on reality at this point, so all I need to do is get her to fight me. Shouldn't be too hard...' his thought trailed off as he began to gallop towards the raging mare.
Applejack noticed his movements and she too began her gallop, but she was far faster than she ever was in her normal form. Her movements couldn't be seen by Vladimir as he found her about to kick his side, he quickly moved his hoof to block her back leg kick.
Applejack's eyes widened as her kick was deflected by his front hoof. She was even more surprised when his wings spread out and began to glow.
Applejack was surrounded a by a glowing bubble of pegasi magic as she began to struggle against it's hold. She beat the bubble for all she was worth, but couldn't manage to get out.
Vladimir smiled, “If you had any control over that power, the you might have given me a run for my bits, too bad...” he trailed off as he began to get rid of the air in the bubble.
Applejack struggle as she tried to escape the now airless bubble, but try as she might, her power began to fade and then she was unconscious. Her orange aura dissipated from her body and her hair fell around her neck.
Vladimir opened the bubble and she fell to the ground, 'I'm sure that this won't be the last time that we meet.”
Vladimir then turned to find Luna touching down, “Thou hast stopped her rampage?” she asked Vladimir.
“Yes, now you should probably get to the hospital because she needs some treatment, I'm sure of that.” Vladimir said as he spread his wings and took off into the sky.
Luna activated her horn and picked up Applejack. She set her on her own back and then flew up to Canterlot.
'We sincerely hope that everyday won't be like this...'
Luna had no idea how that statement would affect the next few hours...