Broken Silence

by Shadow Horizons

Mist Weaver

I have returned! After almost two months of writers block with this story and the two others I've been working on, I was finally able to finish this chapter and make it presentable. So without further ado, I present the next chapter!

Disclaimer: Shadow Requiem does not own My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. But you already knew that.

Chapter Three: Mist Weaver

“Tell me, Twilight Sparkle, do you fear death?”

Twilight’s blood ran cold as the stallion whispered the question in her ear. A small part of her mind immediately wanted to scream at him for the unwanted violation of her personal space, but the fear that was keeping her from reacting was also binding her mouth shut. She could feel the cold metal of the blade through her coat and the knowledge that she was literally a hairsbreadth away from joining her ancestors in the void was beginning to make her knees shake.

The stallion remained silent for a few moments, waiting to see if Twilight would respond before letting out what sounded to Twilight like a disappointed sigh. “I’ll take that as a yes,” he said. “I have to admit, I’m disappointed. I never expected Princess Celestia’s prize student, the mare who opposed Nightmare Moon without hesitation, who led the small group of ponies in opposition of Discord and who is the living embodiment of the Element of Magic to freeze up when a blade as pressed to her throat.” Twilight’s eyes shot open in mixture of surprise and irritation. Was this stallion actually insulting her before he planned to kill her?

“Why wouldn’t you just use a teleportation spell to put yourself behind me, where you can land a blow across the back of my head, rendering me unconscious?” The stallion asked. Twilight mentally kicked herself, one, because that course of action should have been her first reaction to the situation, and two, because it was the stallion (a pony that had come here with the intention to kill her) who suggested it.

“I bet you’ve got all sorts of spells that you could have used to overpower me and make a break for it. I’ll be completely honest; I’m not the most talented unicorn around. I’ve only got basic telekinetic ability and of course my special talent,” the stallion continued.  Twilight’s cheeks flushed crimson from a mixture of embarrassment and irritation. “So tell me, why didn’t you try to escape?”

“I- I don’t know,” Twilight admitted, finally finding her voice.

“I do,” the stallion said. “Whether you were aware of it or not, you couldn’t do a thing to me.” To Twilight’s surprise, he removed the blade from her neck and strode directly into her field of vision as he sheathed it beneath his black cloak. With a flick of his neck, the stallion threw off his hood and revealed himself to Twilight.

The unicorn stallion seemed vaguely familiar to Twilight. He had a sapphire-blue coat that had a slight sheen to it in the mid-afternoon sunlight. His silver-white mane was cut relatively short and styled so that it was spiked forward but not in a way that it hid his amethyst-colored eyes. The black cloak he wore concealed the majority of his body, so Twilight wasn’t able to see what his cutie mark was or if he was hiding any other weapons underneath it.

Twilight locked eyes with the stallion after giving his appearance a quick glance over and shot the fiercest glare she could muster at him, but all she accomplished was earning a small chuckle from him. “Please, Miss Twilight, anger doesn’t become you.”

“Then maybe you shouldn’t be threatening to kill me,” Twilight retorted. “What do you want exactly?”

“To introduce myself,” the stallion replied as though it should have been obvious. He surprised her by giving her a bow. “The name’s Mist Weaver. Princess Celestia has assigned me to be your personal guard until the situation with the Black Hoof is resolved.”

Twilight’s eyes went wide and her mouth dropped open. “Huh?”

Mist Weaver sighed. “I said ‘Princess Celestia has assigned’-”

“No, I heard you the first time,” Twilight said, quickly cutting him off. “What I meant to say was what are you doing putting a knife to my throat if you’re supposed to be my guard? And why didn’t the Princess mention you when I spoke with her? How do I know you’re not lying to me? You did kill the guards you know.” The lavender unicorn pointed her hoof at the bloodstained bodies of the pegasi guards that were supposed to take her back to Ponyville while glaring accusingly at Mist Weaver, assuming that was his real name.

The stallion in question let out another chuckle, the kind somepony would when they were privy to knowledge that others weren’t. “Why in Equestria would I attack the Royal Guard?” He asked as his horn lit up with a faint blue light. “That would be incredibly stupid and is a pretty showy way to get one noticed, wouldn’t you agree. Allow me to shed some light on this little scene.” The air around the two of them began to shimmer, vaguely reminding Twilight of the streets in Canterlot on a hot summer day when waves of heat rising off of the stone streets would become visible and distort the scenery slightly.
The shimmering of the air around them intensified until it distorted everything around the two unicorns. Colors blended together, rapidly becoming a swirl of prismatic chaos until it suddenly came to an end, and the world seemed to return to normal. Once again, Twilight felt her jaw drop open in surprise, much to Mist Weaver’s amusement. Instead of standing in the Canterlot Castle courtyard like she had thought, Twilight found herself standing in the heart of the bustling Canterlot Central Station as countless other ponies rushed around to reach their trains before they could depart.

It took her a few moments for the shock of the sudden change in scenery to wear off, but when it did, she immediately rounded on Mist Weaver, preparing to demand the answers to the hundreds of questions she had forming in her mind. However, her voice refused to cooperate with the rapid turning of the wheels in her head and all that came out was “What did-? How’d you-? When-? Huh?”

Mist let out a chuckle and motioned with his head for Twilight to follow him. “I’ll tell you everything you’ll want to know on the ride to Ponyville, fair enough?” He began to turn away from her to head towards the platform where the train to Ponyville was now boarding. But before he could take even one step towards his destination, Twilight grabbed hold of him with her front hooves and spun him to face her.

“No,” the lavender unicorn said forcibly. The irritation burning inside her at this confusing situation must’ve shown on her face because she saw Mist visibly flinch as she spoke. “I am not going anywhere with you until you explain what you did back there. Less than five minutes ago, you were holding a knife to my throat and asking me if I was afraid to die!” The volume of her voice was rising rapidly and it was drawing several curious looks from nearby ponies in the crowd.

“We’re just rehearsing a play, everypony. No need to worry,” Mist called out. He waited until the others in the crowd returned to minding their own business before focusing on Twilight again. “Would you keep your voice down? Do you want everypony to hear y-”

“You were threatening to kill me!” Twilight shouted. The confusion and stress that had been rapidly building up ever since the Princess had revealed the intentions of the Black Hoof to her finally manifested as an uncharacteristic flood of anger directed on the stallion. More ponies nearby were stopping to stare at the pair of unicorns.

“Still just rehearsing, folks! Don’t pay us any mind,” Mist called out reassuringly to them, his voice containing a barely audible quiver as he looked into Twilight’s furious gaze. “For the love of Celestia, Twilight, drop the decibels so I can explain myself.”

Twilight’s lip curled back in a low, feral growl. “Then explain yourself,” she demanded. “You claim that the Princess assigned you to be my personal guard, but I had a meeting with her not even twenty minutes ago. Assuming you are telling the truth, tell me why she didn’t tell me about you.”

“Put yourself in the Princess’ position for a moment,” Mist said, still in his hushed tone as his eyes bored directly into Twilight’s. “You found out that your prized pupil and her friends, who also happen to be Equestria’s greatest heroes in over three hundred years, are being targeted by a recently resurfaced group of assassins that haven’t been around for almost a thousand years.

“You don’t know who these assassins might be. You don’t know what talents they possess. You don’t even know if they might be members of your castle staff, always within earshot, and always underhoof. So, you gather a group of talented ponies that you know you can trust because of their history and you secretly assign them to protect your student and her friends at all costs, as well as apprehend the assassins if the opportunity arises.

“But that’s still not enough. You’re still extremely worried. So, you invite your most faithful student to meet with you to explain the situation to her. That small action then makes it harder for the Black Hoof to carry out their goal, because now, one of their targets knows about them and can be on the lookout. But, you can’t tell your student that because of how important she is to you, you’ve assigned your student a personal bodyguard. And that bodyguard then becomes an ace in the hole, a factor the Black Hoof won’t be aware of until it’s too late. And that ace-in-the-hole bodyguard is me.”

Twilight stared silently at Mist for several seconds. A small part of her mind kept wondering why he looked so familiar and she had to keep reminding herself to remain focused as the stallion explained himself and offered up a possible reasoning for the Princess’ lack of mentioning that she would have a personal bodyguard. Assuming Mist was being truthful, of course.

Mist stared back patiently. His eyes never left Twilight’s, as though he were challenging her. Twilight let out a slightly irritated groan. Mist Weaver was right. If she was in the Princess’ place, she would probably act exactly how Mist had just explained the situation. But that didn’t mean it was true. She knew for a fact that she had been in the courtyard of Canterlot Castle moments before, watching two royal guards bleed to death from wounds swiftly dealt to them by the stallion in front of her. With his familiar amethyst colored eyes staring back at her…

Twilight shook her head back and forth to refocus herself. That was the issue. Mist wouldn’t have an explanation for that.

Smirking, and confident she had found the hole in Mist’s reasoning, Twilight posed her next inquiry. “Okay then. Even if your explanation makes sense, that doesn’t explain why you killed those guards or why you put a blade to my throat and threatened to kill me. And it definitely doesn’t explain how we got from the castle to Central Station in the blink of an eye without teleporting.” Mist opened his mouth to respond, but Twilight immediately cut him off before he could so much as exhale. “Don’t try to tell me that it was a different type of teleportation. I’ve studied up on all kinds and that definitely wasn’t teleporting.”

“It wasn’t teleporting,” Mist said simply. “And I didn’t kill those guards."

“Yes you did,” Twilight said. “I saw you do it.”

“You saw what I wanted you to see,” Mist explained. “I had casted a perception manipulation filter over your mind the second you stepped outside of the castle.”

Twilight felt her jaw drop open. He had used a perception manipulation spell on her and she hadn’t even realized it? It had all been an illusion? She couldn’t believe it. Illusion magic was rare and typically used to add a little extra ‘oomph’ to a performance or a celebration. But perception manipulation? That was advanced magic. Extremely advanced magic. It required deceiving a pony’s brain into believing the illusion was reality. In a sense, the caster of the spell could have complete and total control of another and the pony on the receiving end of the spell would be none the wiser.

Mist had a rather cocky smirk on his face as he stared back at Twilight. “Does it make sense now?” He asked. “Remember what I said to you in that illusion? I told you I wasn’t the most talented unicorn out there. I have a basic grasp of telekinetic magic and my special talent.” He reached around to his flank with one of his hooves and pulled back his cloak to show off his cutie mark, a pale blue crescent moon with a star in the middle of the empty space, both partially concealed behind a silver cloud. “My special talent is that I have complete mastery over the school of illusion.”

Twilight felt her mouth drop open yet again. Why did she keep doing that today? It didn’t matter. She simply couldn’t believe that the stallion in front of her had mastered the illusion school of magic. Only seven other ponies across all of recorded history had ever claimed to do so, including Starswirl the Bearded, who had mastered nearly every school of magic during his time, and the equally powerful, though slightly less well known, Marelin.

“You can’t be serious,” the purple-coated mare said in disbelief. “You have to be lying.” Mist Weaver raised his brow at her.
“Challenge accepted,” he said. He tilted his head upwards towards the large, stained glass dome sporting the image of a phoenix in flight that Central Station was best known for. “Take a look up there.” Twilight’s eyes followed his gaze. She stared at the phoenix image for a moment and nearly cried out in shock as the phoenix winked back at her. She watched, transfixed as the phoenix came to life and literally leapt off of the glass and began flying around the station, occasionally letting out a loud screech.

The other ponies in the station, however, seemed completely oblivious to the living work of art soaring and screeching above their heads. Twilight could only stare, absolutely fascinated, as the phoenix caught fire and picked up its speed. It twisted and turned in the air, leaving a lasting trail of flame behind it that formed the words ‘Do you still think I’m lying?’
Mist Weaver grinned smugly at Twilight as she gave him a dumbfounded look. “How come none of the other ponies can see this?” She asked.

“And send the entire station into a panic?” Mist asked. “No thanks. Only you and I can see this little spectacle I’ve created. Not that it really matters, I suppose. We haven’t been in the station for at least twenty minutes.” Twilight’s head whipped around faster than what should’ve been possible.

“What do you mean, ‘we haven’t been in the station for at least twenty minutes’?” She asked, already dreading the stallion’s answer. Mist Weaver simply smiled innocently back at her. “You didn’t.”

High above them, the phoenix turned sharply in the air and dived towards the two unicorns. “I did,” Mist replied in the sweetest tone he could manage. The phoenix impacted around them in an explosion of flame. Twilight cried out in shock and fear, but quickly fell silent as she realized that the flames burning around them had no heat to them. The flames burned themselves out rather quickly, allowing Twilight to take in her new surroundings.

As she had suspected, she was standing in a train car as it made its way towards Ponyville. Mist Weaver was sitting comfortably on one of the nearby bench seats, grinning innocently at her. Twilight sighed in defeat and shot Mist an irritated glare as she went to sit down on the seat opposite of him.

“Is it too much to ask for you to stop doing that?” The young mare asked. “It really messes with my sense of time.”

“Sorry,” Mist said, though he clearly didn’t mean it. “So, do you believe me now?”

“I suppose,” Twilight said. “It’s not like I can really do anything about it now since we’re already on the way back to Ponyville.”

“Exactly,” Mist said still grinning.

Twilight rolled her eyes and turned her attention to the scenery flashing by outside. The two of them sat in silence for several long minutes. Occasionally, she would steal a glance at her companion. She found it very hard to shake the feeling that she had met him before. He looked so familiar…

She nearly leapt out of her skin as Mist levitated a scroll in front of her face without any verbal warning whatsoever. Twilight gave him a confused look and he simply tilted his head in the direction of the scroll in response to her unspoken question. Twilight’s horn lit up with a faint, purple-red light as she took the scroll from Mist’s telekinetic grasp and opened it.

To my faithful student Twilight Sparkle,

If you are reading this, then I am assuming you have met Mist Weaver. As I’m sure he has explained by now, I have assigned him to be your personal bodyguard until this matter with the Black Hoof is resolved. I do hope you’ll forgive me for not telling you about him when we meet later today, but I don’t want the Black Hoof finding out that you have a personal guard.

I’m even writing this letter in my private bath chambers, far from the prying eyes of the castle staff.

I’m sure you might be a bit mistrusting of Mist Weaver at first, especially if he actually does show off his talent for illusions on you like he suggested he might. But I assure you, he is a trustworthy pony who has proven himself on more than one occasion. As such, I am also leaving him in charge of the other ponies I have sent to Ponyville to help protect you and your friends from the Black Hoof.

I trust in his judgment. I hope you can do the same. It would break my heart if anything happened to you or your friends, Twilight. So please remain safe and ever vigilant.

And remember, the sun will never set on the quest for knowledge, so long as somepony still pursues all there is to find.


Princess Celestia

Twilight stared at the last line the Princess had written. ‘The sun will never set on the quest for knowledge, so long as somepony still pursues all there is to find.’ That line was the secret code Twilight had come up with as a joke several years ago when she was still a little filly just beginning her life as Celestia’s personal student. And it meant that it really was the Princess who had written this letter. She had never shared that secret code with anypony else, not even Spike.

She rolled the letter back into a scroll and sealed it with a quick spell before looking up at Mist. The blue-coated unicorn was staring out of the window, his expression seemingly distant as though his mind was elsewhere. Twilight watched him for a moment, and let out a soft gasp as Mist turned his head slightly, revealing a bright red scar that ran from the underside of his left ear down to the base of his jaw.

Mist turned as he heard Twilight gasp. “What?”

“Your scar,” Twilight said, pointing at the side of Mist’s head with her hoof. “What happened to you?”

“Asking for my back-story, huh?” the stallion asked with a chuckle. “I thought you didn’t trust me.”

“The Princess seems to trust you,” Twilight said with a small shrug, sparing the letter Mist had given her a quick glance. “That’s enough for me to at least give you a chance. But don’t get me wrong. I’m still not happy that you used your illusions on me twice already.”

“It won’t happen again,” Mist promised. “So, you want to know how I got my scar?” Twilight nodded. “Alright then. Well… where should I start? I was born in Marekarth and grew up there until one of the silver mines collapsed. My father was buried under the rubble and my mother had been seriously ill for almost a year. When his body was finally found… she didn’t have the will to keep fighting the sickness anymore. That was almost three years ago.” The stallion hung his head slightly, his brow furrowed as he recalled the loss of his parents.

“I’m sorry to hear that,” Twilight said. She couldn’t imagine what it must be like to lose ones parents at such a young age. Mist gave her a half smile.

“Thanks,” he said. His horn lit up and he levitated a small photograph out from underneath his cloak and floated it over to Twilight. “This is them. It was taken the year before the mine collapse.” The image showed a small family of four ponies standing in front the gates of Canterlot, clearly on vacation. Mist was standing in the forefront of the picture, looking slightly bored. His mother, a beautiful pegasus mare with a cream colored coat and a flowing red mane, was laughing and leaning against Mist’s father, a powerfully built earth stallion with an emerald green coat. Standing to Mist Weaver’s left in the photo, was a unicorn mare that looked to be nearly identical to Mist, only her coat was a lighter shade of blue and her silver-white mane was longer, with a slight flip at the end of the bangs that hung slightly over one eye. She had an expression on her face that clearly showed she didn’t want to be in the photograph, possibly even with her family at the moment.

Twilight’s eyes nearly bugged out of her head as she immediately realized why she had been thinking that Mist looked familiar. It was because she had met the light blue mare in the picture before under less than pleasant circumstances. She looked up from the picture to stare in shock at Mist. He couldn’t be related to her… could he?

The stallion had a confused look on his face as he watched Twilight’s facial expressions change rapidly from confused, to slightly irritated, and finally to shock as she looked away from the photo to stare back at him.

“Is something wrong?” Mist asked. Twilight took a moment to respond, and only shook her head when she did. Mist raised his brow at her, still confused.

“If you don’t mind me asking,” Twilight said, feeling very nervous about what Mist’s answer would be, “who is the other unicorn?” Please don’t let it be who I think it is. Please don’t let it be who I think it is…

“Oh, that’s my twin sister,” Mist said, releasing his pent up breath. For some reason, he was worried Twilight was going to ask something worse. Possibly something along the lines of ‘Have you ever killed anypony?’ That was a discussion he wasn’t ready to have with her, especially since he had the impression she only trusted him because the Princess did. The last thing he wanted to do was scare off his ward and lose his job because of his past.

“I see,” Twilight said, seemingly deep in thought. “What’s her name?”

Mist smirked as he stared at the picture. “Trixie.”

-Broken Silence-

And... cliffhanger! My specialty!

Yes, Marekarth is a play on Markarth from Skyrim, and yes, I will be elaborating on it in future. But for now...

I'm off! With luck, chapter four will be out in a week or two at most. At least my writer's block has died and all it depends on now is how much downtime I can find to write.