My body began to stitch slightly as the residual effects of Twilights spell starts to wear off giving me a feeling of relief that soon I would be able to fight once again. The other ponies journeyed on through the church leaving Fluttershy and pinkie pie to guard my motionless body until I was fully able to move. It didn’t take long to regain more and more movement, every couple of minutes or so I was able to move my hoof and inch or flick my ears.
“He’s almost ready.” Fluttershy stated to pinkie.
“Oh! Can I do it now!?” Pinkie shouted reaching for her bow.
“Yes, go ahead.” Replied the yellow mare.
Thinking to myself I was confused on what was going on.
“What’s the bow for?” “What am I ready for?”
My thoughts where cut short from the sight of the bright pink earth pony holding her bow above her head with both hoofs ready to crush something with Pebbles. I tried my best to move out of the way, my brain said move but my body couldn’t respond. Pinkie pie jumped about ten feet into the air building momentum for a more devastating attack. Time itself felt like it slowed watching pinkie’s bow slowly getting closer to my face, fear was filling my chest when Apple Jacks voice was heard deep within my head.
“Ya’ll just gunna lay there and get crushed!? Move!”
The words weren’t that motivating but they were enough for me to use what little control of my body I had to slightly roll away from the path of Pebbles mighty destructive path. The impact of the Giant bow launched me through the air, causing my body to hit a pillar sending a jolt down my spine recovering all my movement.
“How does that even work?” I said confused from the random action that cured my paralysis.
“Are you okay Rocky?” Fluttershy asked as she made her way to my side.
“I’m fine.” I said pausing in the middle of my sentence before continuing. “Where are the others?”
“They went on to scout this level of the church…they aren’t too far ahead.” Fluttershy answered softly.
“Let’s go!” Pinkie shouted as she hopped to the direction that the others went.
The churches hallways where dim and dusty the smell of blood filled our noses as we pass hallowed bodies, cut in half and battered left to bleed out if still alive. Giant statues of priests guide us down the halls of the church giving a more gothic look to the hallowed building. Sounds of fighting could be heard from the corridor ahead, readying my sword I began to trot hastily toward the noises readying myself for anything.
Making my way further down the hall I gave a command to Pinkie to ready her weapon. “Pinkie… ready Pebbles.”
The pink mare said nothing but I heard the stone of her bow buckle and crack from the force of her drawing the string. The songs of war where loud as we approach the room where the skirmish had taken place, looking at my surroundings before completely entering combat I began to scan the fight. Apple jack had three hallows to take care of, fortunately they were unarmed but even the mightiest of warriors can be overpowered. Twilight was holding her own just fine blasting whatever hallow that comes near her into pieces with a powerful beam of magic. The sight and sound of flesh being torn by magic is indescribable and unnatural… a force to be feared. Rarity and Rainbow Dash stood rump to rump watching each other’s backs showing a perfect example of unbreakable trust and defense.
A hallow caught my eye as he made his way toward me charging as fearlessly as he could. Once close enough I quickly turned around showing him my back before brandishing the bottom of my hoofs as I bucked towards his face, the sound of his skull cracking was music to my ears filling my head with its brutal song. As the hallow dropped to his knees I quickly swung my body around lobbing off his head with my sword causing thick black blood squirt out of its neck as it begins to flail on the floor.
The loud grunts and shouts of war filled the hallways of the church as this battle continued. Fluttershy began to chant softly as a hallow began to charge in her direction, her talisman glowed brightly releasing a blast of air as the Hallow jumped launching it far on the other side of the hall. Estus dripped from our mouths as we drank the healing essence whenever we have a chance replenishing our strength with each gulp, strengthening our spirits as we fought on. This fight seemed endless, our will to fight began grew little as we became more and more exhausted from the fight.
“Where are they coming from!” I shouted as I sliced a Hallows arm clean off.
“There an undead priest reviving them.” Twilight shouted back as she released another beam of magic from her horn.
Twilight paused for a moment as she took a breath before continuing.
“If we kill him the others won’t come back after being killed.”
“Rocky.” Fluttershy spoke loudly trying to make her voice heard over the noise of battle. “I can feel his aura nearby. I will lead you to him.”
Fluttershy and I ran farther away from the battle as she began to fallow the aura of the priest.
“He’s close.” Shy said softly parking her ears upward.
A deep chant could be heard through a door, peeking through a crack in the wood I saw five hallows circled around the chanting Priest as he held his arms up high praying to whatever god hallows pray to.
The hallowed priest spoke aloud in an unknown language as the other repeated his words. “Tor ani… kelso tahk... dirmy no shyl”
I gave Fluttershy a look signaling her that I was going in. With a mighty kick I shattered the door into several pieces launching them through the air as they pierce two of the hallows. Moving as quickly as possible I hacked and chopped the lesser hallows leaving the priest to fight me one on one. The hallow let out a low chuckle as he held his right hoof in front of him. A bright light was visible for a moment before it turned into a large trident with several rings hanging from each prong. Not intimidated by the weapon I began to circle around him looking for an opening so I may strike. The priest twirled his trident before lunging toward me trying to impale my body with its prongs. Veering to my right, I stepped to his side slashing his left leg forcing him to jump back while he was in the air, I began to run his direction cutting him again as he landed. Pulling my sword out his body blood shot out his wound hitting my eye making me cringe, taking his chances he thrust his weapon once more only to miss my body slightly. Looking at the handle I noticed Fluttershy pushing against the handle with a dagger tightly held within her mouth. She pushed away the trident knocking it from his hands, both the hallow and I were shocked from the action of the pale yellow mare. taking this as a golden opportunity Fluttershy pumped into the air stabbing the dagger into the face of the priest causing the golden rings from his chained cloak to fly though the air killing him instantly.
I sat the in amazement I just witnessed, the shy little mare just finished off the undead Priest with a single blow.
“Thank you, but I was doing fine by myself.” I told the yellow mare with a disappointed tone.
“You were about to die.” She replied back pointing at a mass of bloody remains.
I looked deep into the mass of flesh before realizing that a creature was being formed from the pieces of the chanting hallows I have slaughtered.
“B-but how?” I shuddered.
“He wasn’t attacking you Rocky. He was doing a ritual summoning dance.” Her voice took a stricter vibe as she continued. “I thought you have already noticed the monster as it began to form so I didn’t do anything earlier. If I hadn’t interrupted his dance, you would have D-died not knowing what hit you.”
Her serious tone made me feel week, o bowed my head and thanked her aloud.
“Thank you Fluttershy, for saving my life.”
Fluttershy’s face took a light tint of red before responding. “Oh, it’s fine. Just please pay more attention when you’re dealing with undead priests.”
“Let’s head back to the others.” I suggested to Fluttershy paying little attention to her request.
We made it back to the other as Apple jack finishes the final hallow, cutting it across its chest showering herself with its blood. Her ferocity was enchanting in a dark medieval way. I approached her cautiously as she whipped the blood off of her muzzle. When she finished cleaning her face she gave me an empty look before speaking.
“Havel...” She said pausing after my name. “Havel I just wanna tell ya…”
She hesitant mare moved closer to me trying to comfort herself with my presents as she attempted to talk.
“I’m sorry Apple Jack.” I told her quietly wrapping my arm around her neck giving her a gentle hug.
“I promise you, I will never be consumed my hate again.”
Not one word left the Mare’s mouth as she nuzzled her head against mine before breaking the embrace. Walking back into the group Twilight began to speak.
“We’ve cleared the bottom of the church. I’ve taken the liberty to scout ahead, the entrance to the bell tower is on the other side of this church. We will make our way onto the roof and walk across it. Dash I need you to sit this fight out.”
“What! Why!?” Dash shouted at Twilight.
“I need you to be ready to catch anyone who falls off the roof. I doubt the hallows left the bell tower unguarded, and you’re the only one that’s strong enough to fly with an armored pony in tow.” Twilight said making a good point.
Rainbow Dash didn’t argue with Twilight’s logic the blue mare turned her head and let out a puff pushing a piece of hare that was covering her eye off to the side of her head. The purple mare continued with her plan pulling out a piece of parchment with her magic.
“Apple Jack, Rocky, and Rarity will take the front lines.” She spoke aloud while drawing a basic sketch of her plan. “Fluttershy Pinkie and I will stay by the main entryway to the roof giving support and healing spells if needed.”
Her plan seemed well thought out and organized taking the characteristics of the magical mare.
“Fluttershy.” Twilight said gathering not just Fluttershy’s attention but everypony’s attention.
“Yes Twilight.” She responded softly
“Can you cast a Restoration miracle on us before we continue to the roof?” asked Twilight giving off a friendly smile.
“Sure, Everypony gather around please.” The pale yellow mare spoke gently.
Everypony gathered around Fluttershy bowing their heads as she began to recite the words to the miracle.
“Born from the womb of our mother all life is given a chance to see the spenders of her sun. Warming our souls with its love so that we may live a life of piece and vanquish the creatures that dwell in the blackness of sin. Oh dear mother give our bodies the blood of your sun so we may gain its divine strength.”
Her words sent a chill down my spine as light aura was expelled from her talisman and engulfed our bodies with light. To see if the spell worked I pricked my wrist with my blade cutting myself lightly, watching the wound heal slowly before my eyes.
“Wow.” I whispered to myself struck by aw.
The path to the top of the church was barley guarded only a few hallows blocked our way. Apple jack easily took care of the hallows, barley breaking a sweat she slayed the enemies effortlessly. The group halted in their tracks stopping immediately as the gazed at the misty body of a Fog Gate.
“Ooo… Spooooky!” Pinkie moaned trying to imitate a ghost.
“What is it?” Rarity asked looking at twilight for an answer.
“I-I don’t know.” Twilight answered with a mixed look on her face.
“It’s a Fog Gate.” I told the group as I swished my hoof on the mist.
“Well how do we get rid of it?” Apple Jack asked scratching her head.
“You just walk through it.” I replied happy to know I was able to share some knowledge to the group.
“Does it hurt?” Fluttershy whimpered hiding behind Rainbow’s back.
“Not at all.” I said comforting the yellow mare.
“Well what are we waiten fer. Let’s hop to it.” Said the orange mare with confidence.
I pushed my body into the Fog Gate walking through it completely before looking back at it watching the others as the hesitantly pass through it on their own. Taking a moment I looked around the rooftop enjoying the view of the undead land from a new perspective. The mares began to get into their positions, heavy hitters in front and range in back. I waited until I saw Rainbow dash fly off to the side of the church before I commanded the front line to move across the roof. Our destination was the bell tower. The rooftop was quits nothing inside besides statues of gargoyles huddling the walls of the tower. Our advance was stopped by a loud crumbling noise, and the sight of stone falling from the tower.
I looked at the gargoyles staring at them intently preparing for the worst. The arm of a gargoyle quickly broke away from the tower gripping a halberd with its stone finger. Jumping high into the sky the gargoyle twisted its body knocking all of the loose stone from its body before landing to the rooftops, crushing a large amount of the rust colored tiles. Everypony ready there weapon, holding our ground we didn’t charge the demon statue but we waited for it to come to us. The was a low growl coming from the maw of the enemy, as an act of war he swung his halberd side to side demonstrating its lethal reach. No one moved from their position not even the demon, Twilight looked at Pinkie giving her a nod. Pinkie answered to the nod by pointing her bow at the gargoyle pulling on the string as hard as she can causing the stone bow to crack and bend, Pinkie’s muscles began to show definition as she pulled the string further back. Sticking out her tongue she took aim before releasing the arrow sending it true. The arrow whistled through the air cutting its path as it made its way to the demon. Everyone sat in suspense watching the arrow fly in what seemed to be in slow motion, but in reality it hit the gargoyle before you could even blink. Enraged the gargoyle began to charge running like an ape he chose his target…Rarity. The pale mare lifted her spear with magic ready to evade the attack and counter with her own. Leaping upward the gargoyle flipped backward surprising rarity as he swung its tail towards her catching the surprised mare off guard. She did what most of us would do and jump out of the way, when in a safe position Apple Jack and I charged to her aid flustering the demon with a furry of attacks. The stone monster took little to no damage as we slashed at its legs, Pinkie and Twilight began to charge their own attacks happy to support the front line. With flames bursting on stone, magic breaking rock, and swords crushing the brittle plaster the gargoyle was almost defeated. Letting out a piercing cry the demon jumped into the air flying back to the bell tower where it was accompanied with another gargoyle. This other demon was scared from past battles, its tail was cut off and its halberd was no more than a handle. The second demon puffed its stone chest out before breathing a blazing ball of fire. Jumping away from the flames I made my way to the new enemy letting Apple Jack and rarity finish their fight with the first. Arrows and magic filled the air as the battle continued, draining the energy from the ponies. Panting heavily a ducked under another one of the demons attacks rolling underneath it as I cut its brittle leg completely off, causing it to topple over and slide on the loose tiles making its way to the edge of the roof. With a burst of strength I bolted towards the legless demon hurling myself into its chest knocking both of us off of the roof. Falling quickly I yelled for Dash’s help!
It wasn’t too long before the blue Pegasus grabbed ahold of my tunic with her teeth giving my little time to grab ahold of her body before she loses her grip.
“Don’t worry I got you.” She said with slight comfort.
As we flew over the church we watch the other finish off the last demon with a large fireball, blasting it into pieces. As we landed on the roof we quickly ran to the other to regroup.
“Thank Celestia!” I shouted aloud wasting my breath.
“Yaaaaaaaaaay!!!” Pinkie shouted with excitement jumping up high into the air.
“Fluttershy, I need a little healen.” Apple Jack called holding her hoof towards Fluttershy.
As Fluttershy healed Apple Jack I trotted to her and started to rub my cheek against her as I embraced her body with a hug.
“You alright?” I asked the orange mare.
“Yeah… I uh, just got a little scratch.” She replied cringing as Shy touched her hoof.
Our reunion was short when Twilight walked to the bell tower calling us to fallow.
“Almost there, let’s celebrate with the song of the bell.” She said proudly.
The climb to the bell wasn’t long, but we took our time as we looked out the window that overlooked the land. The bell was beautiful, well-polished and cleaned. The bell had an engraving of a warrior ringing the bell as the sun began to rise. Looking at the sun I felt a warm feeling serge through my body as it began to set.
“Rocky.” Twilight said interrupting my embrace with the sun. “You should have the honor of ringing the bell.”
I looked at Apple jack for a moment; she looked back and nodded towards the bell encouraging me to ring it. Pulling a lever next to the bell there where several loud clanks before the mechanism connected to the bell started to move, swinging the bell side to side filling the air with a graceful sound sending a brilliant echo through this undead land signaling the Awakening of pony kind.