In Manehattan, Khaoios meditated patiently, and picked up his head.
“They finally made it to the Temple. It appears I have clearly underestimated their chances,” Khaoios said.
Across the river, General StoneColt also sensed the Princesss' arrival at the Temple. Immediately, he called in some of the royal guards, as well as Captain Spitfire.
“Captain. Change in plans. We are going to keep him occupied for the time being. I need you to lure him out of the city, which is where you guards will come in. While she leads her teams as a distraction, you will move in and slowly evacuate the ponies out. Do you understand me?” he ordered.
One guard stepped forward.
“But sir? We were told he is very intelligent and that he is very strategic!” he said.
“Which is why we are going to confuse him. He cannot be at both places at once so were are going to outsmart him in a way. Now let’s get started until the Princesses arrive,” General StoneColt replied.
“Yes sir!” they all responded and quickly gathered up their equipment.
Within minutes, Princess Celestia, Princess Luna, and Princess Cadance walked into the tent and confronted the General.
“I see you are feeling much better, my Princesses?” he said.
Celestia and Luna stared.
“We have very little information about you and thus we demand answers. What is your purpose here?” Celestia asked.
"Yes. In addition, what is your connection with the one called, The Archivist?" Luna demanded.
The General knew what they were talking about and lifted his head.
“Well, first of all, it is your own fault for throwing The Archivist into the dungeon without having her explain to you the issue. So I might as well tell you. We are hidden from public because of our duties. In this type of situation, like it or not, we are dealing with a Bronco Titan. You may not know it because of the destruction of historical records, so I hope you learn something from this,” he said harshly.
Annoyed, Luna tried to get back at him using her magic, but Celestia put her leg out.
“No Luna,” she said, and then turned her attention on the General. “Why would you keep this concealed from us?"
“Princess. We are not at liberty to speak such info, however, we can only give you the minor parts. That’s because, what you see out there... He’s not the only one who roamed this planet. Many others had far worse than the enemies you have seen,” the General said.
Princess Celestia and Luna couldn’t answer, for they understood he nor the Archivist weren’t the enemy, however, they continued to be suspicious of him. Having no other choice, but to trust him, they remained in the tent, alongside him. Cadance stood by them silently as they discussed the plan on outsmarting Khaoios.
Proceeding with the plan, it commenced, and Khaoios, roaring, watched as the Wonderbolts flew towards him. Dodging them, he took flight, evading them through every tight space there was to lose them. However, one thing he left behind, that Spike noticed, was the Artifact, sealed inside a powerful barrier. Down below, the royal guards, slowly gathering ponies out of the city, raced across the bridge to safety.
As the plan continued in Manehattan, Twilight and the rest walked through the dark and misty cave, only to have bats fly out. At that moment, Twilight felt an unusual disturbance within the cave. Once they reached the end of the cave, they came face to face with an enormous opening. It was like they were in another world. In awe, they witnessed the largest castle they have ever seen. Possibly three times the size of Canterlot, and four towers as large as the skyscrapers in Manehattan. The Archivist walked forward and overlooked the area.
“What is this place?” Rarity asked.
“The Temple of Inception. The oldest ruins on Equestria. Hidden from the surface to remain protected and sealed from ancient enemies,” The Archivist replied.
“This is incredible. As an adventurer, I've never seen a place as ancient as this,” Daring Do commented.
“That’s because the secrets here are hidden and must not leave the Temple.” Cabaleron replied.
“If it does, the wrath of the ancients would lay waste to Equestria,” Doctor Hooves commented.
Twilight remained stunned for a moment, which caught the Archivist's attention. For what she told the Doctor back in Ponyville is true, and thus she stood by her.
“This is... incredible. But, I thought Equestria was a peaceful land. Other than the three tribes... How bad could it have gotten? From what I read, Equestria was light and friendly. How could I have not known this?” Twilight asked.
“Hasn’t anypony ever told you? Most origins have dark beginnings,” The Archivist said.
Twilight shook her head. Rainbow Dash, Daring Do, and Applejack, ready to go down to the Temple, turned and hurried down the stairs. Rarity followed behind them, followed by Pinkie Pie hopping her way down the stairs. Fluttershy, shaking in fear, remained at the top. Twilight walking beside her, stopped, and picked her up.
“Don’t worry, Fluttershy. We’re all in this together and we’ll all get out together,” she assured her with a smile.
“Oh... I don’t know, Twilight. But, if you say so, then okay,” Fluttershy whispered.
Soon everypony went down the stairs and eventually came at the large doorway to the Temple. Stopping, they noticed the writings on the doors were of an unknown language. Twilight and Daring Do flew up to read it, but shook their heads, for they could not translate it.
“If I may comment on something, the language you are reading there is extinct. Nopony speaks it,” Cabaleron commented.
The Archivist then walked to the door and noticed one particular image.
"Princess Twilight, look at this," she said.
She pointed out a circle on the ground. For a few moments, Twilight read the image and noticed the six circles on the floor as well. Standing on each one, Twilight and her five friends glowed as a beam shot out at the door. Suddenly, a loud clank sound was heard, and the doors slowly opened.
Inside, the halls were massive with statues, stained-glass windows, and wall carvings that were strange to them. Daring Do observed the wall carvings closely.
“This seems to be a carving of our ancestors. Look at the bulbous head and beady eyes! You’ll also notice the carving seems to show them having a tea party while the adjacent image has demons hiding nearby. Really shows you where their priorities were, don’t it?” she said.
“Yeah, yet they go by events from the earliest times,” Rainbow Dash said, walking beside her.
Twilight then looked around and noticed something strange. They were definitely going by events. Even recent ones. From behind, The Archivist, Doctor Hooves, and Doctor Cabaleron stood silently, and watched the ponies like children playing. Twilight turned.
“Why doesn’t Equestria know about this?” she asked them.
They turned to the wall carvings and stained-glass windows, and noticed four Alicorns. Immediately, Twilight realized there were four towers. Gathering her thoughts together, she identified a clue.
“So, there are four towers. The largest is the Creator and the other three are the formulas of creations, but what are they...” she said.
“Space,” Doctor Hooves replied.
“Time,” Doctor Cabaleron said
“And Distortion,” The Archivist finished.
Immediately, the group continued to follow the events and heard a clicking sound. Twilight turned and looked down the hall to their left leading to the Tower of Time. And surprisingly, they saw a statue of an Alicorn, wearing a armor plate with the image of a Time Capsule.
Pinkie Pie looked down the hall.
“Ooooo! Who is that?” she asked.
“That is the statue of the Master of Time. Timaeus, the spirit of Judgment,” Doctor Hooves replied.
The six mares absorbed the info and continued reading the events, and came across one that had them wondering.
“Um... there are four Alicorns, right? Why are there an additional four?” Applejack asked.
“Yeah. It seems they're fighting each other or something,” Rainbow Dash continued.
Daring Do became curious as well, for she had not seeing anything as interesting as that. The Archivist tried to limit the info, but stepped forward.
“To make a long story short--” the Archivist was interrupted.
“No, Archivist. We mustn’t,” Doctor Cabaleron whispered.
“Don’t worry” the Archivist replied, and then gestured to the images. “The four alicorns on the left are the Alicorns of Creation. The other four are the Bronco Titans. They are the oldest and most ruthless ones. Centuries ago, there was a war between the Alicorns and was considered to be one of the most chaotic wars this world has ever seen. Though the Bronco Titans lost with the death of the eldest, the Alicorns of Creation sentenced the remaining three to Tartarus for life. However, Khaoios was released because he was more of an intellectual type, and the Creator felt he could be useful. When he eventually went against her, she ordered him to be imprisoned out in the Astronomical Prison. Now with his return, he has come back to get back at the Creator for imprisoning him."
Twilight was amazed.
“Wow. That is really something. However, who are these Bronco Titans?” she asked.
“From oldest to youngest, you have Tyrannus, who was considered to be the most powerful and evil alicorn that ever walked Equestria. In addition, his threat against the Creator was taken so seriously that it lead to his defeat and death. Yet, I cannot go into that,” Doctor Hooves stated.
“The rest are Titannus, Khaoios, of course, and lastly, Xenxus. Both Princess Celestia and Luna do not know of this, and we even ordered Cerberus to keep them at the deepest part of Tartarus,” Doctor Cabaleron concluded.
"The Bronco-Titans are also known by another name." Doctor Hooves commented.
"What?" The seven young ponies asked.
"The Masters of Conquer, Pestilence, War, and Death." The Archivist concluded.
Twilight and her friends gasped for those names sounded extreme to them. In all of their travels, they have never heard such enemies representing an apocalyptic name. As they continued observing the other carvings, they noticed the two other halls. One had a Solar System-Like appearance, showing planets, moons, asteroids, and comets all levitating in the room. Something like a planetarium. The other had distorted orbs floating around the room.
“Who are those other two alicorns?” Rarity asked, looking at both Alicorn Statues.
“The one with the planets is the Master of Space. Ironwing Interstellar Paguseus, the spirit of Wonder. The middle aged one. The other is the Master of Distortion. Alteros, the spirit of Alteration. You could say he’s like your friend, Discord, however he’s much more powerful,” Doctor Cabaleron replied to Rarity.
“Discord? Then he should know this right?” Fluttershy asked.
“No. Discord does not know of Alteros, and he will not,” The Archivist said.
Twilight then looked at the Archivist.
“I understand that this is quite interesting, however, I need to know about Khaoios and if there is a way to beat him?” she asked.
The Archivist nodded and turned to lead the way.
“Come. Perhaps this room will provide you with the knowledge, however, you cannot take any of them out. They are kept here for a reason.” The Archivist said.
They walked in the middle of the hall, and noticed, something below their hooves. When they backed off, they noticed an invisible statue, until it was de-spelled revealing a statue of the Creator herself. Twilight observed it in amazement.
“So this is the Architect? The Queen of Equestria?” she asked.
“Yes,” The Archivist and both Doctors replied.
Behind the statue had a stairway leading into the lower part of the Temple, only to realize it was a colossal Library. However, The Archivist noticed that about three quarters of the documents were missing. She did not worry about that at the moment and instead focused on what was needed. Assisting everypony, The Archivist looked for the manuscripts of Khaoios. Very delicate, Twilight found the book lying in the back corner of the shelf. Gently levitating the book, she placed it on a table and began reading it. Unfortunately, it was written in an old language which slowed her progress.
“There has to be something in this book that we could use against Khaoios! I... just can’t seem to understand the writing.” Twilight said.
Suddenly, Twilight’s eyes glowed and she was able to translate the language, for a few moments, until the book levitated itself and put itself back on the shelf. For a few minutes, everypony found it to be quite spooky, however they turned to Twilight.
“What happened, Twilight?” Rainbow Dash asked.
Breathing heavily, she turned and looked at the ponies.
“I know how to beat Khaoios. But we need to hurry now,” she replied.
“What?” her friends asked.
Twilight turned to The Archivist.
“We’ve got what we came for and now I know what we can do,” she said, hurrying out of the room.
Her friends quickly ran after her. Daring Do, Cabaleron, and Doctor Hooves followed, yet The Archivist remained behind for a few moments.
“Please forgive me, my masters,” she whispered, running out of the room.
As the group hurried out of the Temple a mysterious portal opened. Twilight heard a very calm and gentle voice.
“Go through the portal,” the voice told her.
Taking a few seconds, thinking, she felt it was safe and ran through it. Her friends, not worrying where the portal came from ran right through it.