The guard, unfortunately, didn't have the full details on the "unknown general."
“I don’t know. He does seem to know a lot about Khaoios, as well. What would you have us do?” the guard asked.
The Princesses looked at one another, for they were puzzled. The Royal Sisters turned to Cadance. Understanding their facial expression, Cadance looked at the guard.
“Tell my husband to take whatever guards we have and surround the city. I do not know his motives, however, if we monitor him, it will give Twilight and her friends’ time to stop him. We will meet you there in 2 days,” she ordered.
The guard saluted them and left the room. Silence fell over the Alicorns.
“Once this problem is dealt with, I want these ponies brought to us. For it seems information has been kept from us and thus it must be revealed,” Celestia said.
“Indeed. These ponies have committed espionage and should be in prison for it!” she said.
“When that time comes, they will pay for their crimes. But, in the meantime, we must know Twilight’s location. I will send her a letter,” Celestia continued.
“I will go to the dungeon and speak with the guards who had held The Archivist and see what information we can get,” Luna said.
“Very well. I’ll inform Shining Armor of the issue,” Cadance said, leaving the room.
While Celestia began writing a letter, and Luna walking to the dungeon, Cadance heard a whisper.
“The Temple...” the voice echoed.
Cadance looked around.
“The Temple...” the voice echoed again. “Go to the Temple...”
“Who’s there?” Cadance yelled out, desperately looking around.
“The Temple of Inception...” the voice echoed.
Cadance, annoyed with the unknown sound, continued to look around, until the voice finally stopped.
Wondering what it was, she turned back to the Royal Sisters' room, where Celestia was writing the letter, then suddenly, the voice returned.
“No,” the voice echoed.
Cadance, felt extremely annoyed to a point, where her unihorn began to light up blue.
“Go to the Temple, Mi Amore Cadenza,” the voice said.
Cadance's annoyance dropped to shock. It was as if something knew her, and she paused and left her aunt's company.
Walking through the halls, she felt something was watching her.
“Who are you?” she said.
The voice ceased and Cadance did not hear it for the rest of the day. However, she accepted the voice in not telling the Princesses about the Temple, and continued with her personal task.
In Manehattan, Khaoios stood on top of the tallest tower in the city, holding his Golden Torch with his magic. Observing the city and its inhabitants, Spike yelling and screaming as he tried to break free from the chains imprisoning him. Khaoios, flew down.
“You are one stubborn dragon, aren’t you?” he snarled.
Spike tried to bite him, but turned.
“You're not gonna win, Khaoios. Twilight and everypony will stop you without a doubt,” he talked back.
“Indeed, together they are powerful, my little purple friend, but be warned, time is not on their side, and is running out... Just like yours,” Khaoios threatened.
Spike remained silent.
Khaoios looked across the river and saw the sun setting. Grinning, he looked into his torch.
“Reveal to me, the location of Twilight and her friends,” Khaoios said.
The torch fire grew, showing Twilight and her friends continuing their journey to Galloping Gorge. He smiled, while Spike slowly analyzed what Khaoios was doing.
“So. You are able to see and predict their moves, I’m guessing?” Spike asked.
Khaoios slowly turned his head.
“Yes. I did say I am the Master of Intelligence. Did I not?” he replied.
"If you're so smart, why do you need a stupid torch to make your predictions for you?" Spike asked.
"The Artifact is my weapon against my enemies. Magicians have their staffs, Knights have their swords and spears, and I...have my relic." Khaoios growled. “That goes to show you that I am known by many names; Khaoios the Brilliance, Khaoios the Strategist, Khaoios the Magnificence, and Khaoios... the Intelligence. I am one of the brightest creatures you and your friends will ever meet,”.
“Oh yeah. What’s gonna happen now?” Spike asked.
“I told your pony friends that in order to defeat me, they would need to dig deep to understand the “truth” and “past” of my existence. It’s like a chess game, my little dragon. I can predict every move they make, 5 pieces ahead from their current point. Which means, I plan 5 steps ahead, while you have to work step by step. That is how intelligent I am. And to answer your question... the Wonderbolts are coming straight to the city of Manehattan to “spy” and “report” to the Royal Captain. Tell me, was that what you were thinking of?” Khaoios said.
“No. I didn’t” Spike quickly replied.
“My predictions seem to have reacted to your sense of fear. Good. That is what I expect from a little dragon like you,” Khaoios replied, flying away and passing large skyscrapers.
“Please hurry, Twilight and be careful” Spike said to himself.
By Nightfall, Twilight and her friends eventually made it to the house of Daring Do. Inside, Daring do was just finishing her latest novel when she heard a knock on the door. Thinking it was a trap, Daring hid above the door, ready to jump any intruder. Once opened, Rainbow Dash walked in, and Daring jumped on her and they fell to the ground. Realizing who it was, Daring got off of Rainbow.
“Sorry about that, Rainbow Dash,” Daring Do said.
“Hey, no problem,” Rainbow Dash said with a smile.
Twilight and her friends walked in. Daring was puzzled.
“What are you all doing here, if I may ask?” she said.
Twilight explained the issue to Daring Do as briefly as she could, but Daring Do shook her head.
“I can’t. I know I’ve been through crazy adventures, but this one, it’s just... I don’t know,” Daring said sadly.
“But you gotta. Equestria needs to be saved and in order for us to save it, we need and adventurous pony like you to take us through some ancient fortress or something,” Rainbow Dash pleaded.
"I'm sorry. The answer is no."
Rainbow Dash frowned, frustrated, but then seemed to get an idea. She turned to Twilight and lowered her voice.
"Would you guys mind waiting outside for a minute?" she asked.
Knowing what she was going to do, Twilight nodded, turned and walked out, with the rest following. Rainbow walked to Daring Do, sitting on her chair.
“Daring Do. I know this is hard for me to explain, but we need your help... I need your help. There’s this Alicorn that threatened Equestria and even hurt my friends and I cannot allow that. He is not only threatening my friends, but our families, and if anything were to happen, I don’t know if I can live with myself. My loyalty towards them is strong and I want to keep it that way. I will never give in, but this time, I need you. I’m asking you, as a loyal fan, as a loyal friend, please help us stop this creature, before Equestria is destroyed,” Rainbow Dashed insisted.
Daring Do was silent for a few moments. Rainbow Dash, knowing her words weren’t helping, turned to the doorway.
“You know, I thought you were my hero, and instead you chicken out. I’ve been a fan and always loved your adventures, but now when I need you, you back away. Some adventurer you are,” Rainbow said, shedding a tear as she walked out.
As the door closed behind Rainbow Dash, Daring Do began to think. She never had such a loyal fan come up to her asking for her help and to deny it really upset her. Registering her words, she remained seated.
Outside Rainbow Dash walked slowly towards her friends. They knew something was wrong, but Rainbow shook her head. Saddened, they left Daring Do as they headed south.
By the time they reached Unicorn Range, they suddenly heard a voice echo. Twilight, Rainbow Dash, and the rest turned and saw Daring Do flying towards them. Breathing heavily, she landed.
“You know. I may be somewhat of a loner, but if you need me for something, I could use another adventure with my loyal fan,” Daring Do said with a smile.
Rainbow Dash tackled Daring Do in a giant hug.
“Thank you, Daring Do!” she cried.
Daring Do exhaled.
“No problem, Rainbow Dash,” she replied.