The Ronin Samurai

by ElementBrigade


Chapter 1: Sword of a Stranger

Chapter 1:

Sword of a Stranger


        The streets of the Crystal Empire were crawling with guards, enforcing the evening curfew that was strictly emplaced on the city. “Anypony who is out during the curfew will be placed under arrest, and be taken to the dungeon for questioning!” It put fear into the hearts of Mares, Stallions, and children alike. Nothing was ever the same ever since the current ruler, King Sombra, took total control over the Crystal Empire. His greed and thirst for power lead to the corrupt king taking over total control of the once peaceful kingdom. Many times before, he had said that this was in order to protect the people.

        But there was nothing to protect the people from. He has said many times before about a rebellion against the empire and that the curfew was to catch any rebels. But over time, it soon became apparent that these, like everything else the king had said before, was nothing but lies. But, no matter what was said, Sombra still accused numerous ponies as traitors. All for just speaking against the king. The tyrant reign needed to end, but the people were missing one thing. Somepony to lead them. Somepony to guide them.

        Somepony to save them.


        “Freaking good for nothing kid!” yelled Hanako as she made her way to a tree at the edge of town. “That’s the last time I listen to his rumors about there being treasure in the swamps. Not to mention he wrote the direction on a piece of torn paper, which was very hard to read or decipher in the first place!!” The young woman herself was headstrong, cocky, and with those things, came a temper. However, she knew that some things were more important than others, despite what she was in the eyes of the people.

        “Then again I was able to find the stupid treasure by accident, though I wish it had something good then a rusty old staff and a broken katana sword.” Hanako said as she looked over her loot. “*Sigh* Maybe I can get someone to repair it or forge it to make something new out of it.” That was when she looked around and began to tell herself mentally “If I were a treasure chest, where would I be?” as she looked around. It was only a few minutes later that when she found it, she saw a sign above it in her head, saying “Right here, dumbass”.

        “Right… I really need to pay more attention to my surroundings more often.” She groaned, having her hands trace around the edges for a second. Once she heard a Click!, hope began to grow a little. She was really hoping for something good from this chest. But once she opening it, what she found blew her mind. “No...fucking….way! I-It can be what I think it is, can it?!” Oh it was exactly what she hoped for. What she uncovered was the legendary Katana named Chirijiradan. The blade that was said to eat away all flames and swipe away all evils the wielder would come across. A legend of a treasure… that was finally hers.

        “After all these years, I finally found you my sweet legendary sword.” Hanako said as she placed the sword in the empty sheath on her right side of her waist. “Guess that kid really wasn’t lying when he said he knows where the sword was. Now then…..what the hell do I do now?” She looked around her as the sounds of the surrounding sounded getting… creepier in her opinion. There was no point in staying here now that she had what she was looking for. “I better head back to the nearest town. Lord knows I don’t want to be out here at night with all the weird monsters coming out.”

        It took her ten minutes of running to be able to get back. Thankfully, she was lucky to not have any surprise attacks from the local monster population occur while on the run. When she returned back to town though, it was quiet and barely anyone paid attention to her. For different reasons, but in her head, Hanako knew the main reason why. “Figures as much. They still see me as a foreigner even after saving their town for free. Ungrateful bastards. I should’ve let those bandits attack this town.”

        Hanako was a Ronin. A samurai without a lord or master. To be a Ronin was to turn your back on everything you previously upheld. In Hanako’s case though, she never asked for it to be this way. “Whatever, I got what I needed from this place. So the sooner I find that kid for my last job, the sooner I can move someplace else.”

        She turned around another corner and something familiar finally came in her peripheral vision. It was the child from before that told her of the location of the chest that she had opened. Rushing over, she noticed that the child closed a book she was reading. One that had a crystal like heart on the cover.

        “Hey, your back!” The youngling greeted. “Did you find what you were looking for?”

        “Surprisingly yes, but next time try giving me the direction on a piece of paper. Not on a torn up one.”

        “Sorry, it was all I had and I didn’t want to tear into this.” He told her, pointing at the book. “My parents gave it to me before they died.”

        “I guess I’ll let it slide seeing how you been nice to me ever since I came to your town. So what are you reading?”

        “It’s a story my parents use to tell me called “The Crystal Heart”. It’s a fantasy book that talks about the fall of a kingdom because of the greed and corruption of an evil king… Maybe you would be better off having it than me. It’s an old children’s tale anyways and I’m too old for it.” The child replied, handing it to Hanako.

        “You sure about that kid? I don’t want to take something that belong to your dead parents.”

        “Well, I think it’s best for me to try and move on. Remember that they’re here in spirit instead of thinking that they’re in a possession they handed down to you.” He said. Looking about, he then looked back at Hanako and smiled. “Thank you for the help. The people may not say it, but you’re a hero if you ask me. Keep on traveling, Hanako!” And with that, the boy zipped down the street, too fast for even Hanako to stop.

        “Guess teaching him some Time Magic was a good thing.” Hanako said as she opened the book to see what’s inside. “That kid’s gonna go far if he keeps training himself. Now let’s see what this book is all about then shall we?” Turning to the front page, the first thing she could see was a series of mountain peaks and what appeared to be a silhouette of two quadruped beings. The child did say it was fantasy based, so anything was fair game here as she began to read.

        Long ago, in the land of Equestria, there was a kingdom to the north that was made entirely of crystals. As in it’s appearance, the Crystal Empire was a kingdom that was made entirely of frozen crystal of all types. Lead by their leader, Princess Amore, the kingdom was on the fast track to peace and prosperity.

        One turn of the page and some images coincided with it. Images of what appeared to be Equine creatures. Some that looked normal while others made of crystal. Some had horns. Some had wings. Some had both. Most had neither. However, things took a dark turn real quickly as Hanako turned the page again.

        However, this peace was short lived. One of the delegates in Amore’s court, Sombra, attacked the princess in a coup to seize the power of the throne. However, as Amore was beginning to fade away, she casted a spell on Sombra, turning his heart into crystal. Along with that, came her final words to the Mad King.

        You will live as long as the heart is in your possession and your magic will forever be bound by it. When someone other than you claims the heart, your reign will fall and you will fall with it.

        Horrified by the prophecy, Sombra acted swiftly, hiding the empire with his magic. Now, the empire has said to have been all but lost…

        Hanako was puzzled. She honestly thought that the story ended, realizing though that there was still one more page. Turning though, what she found stunned her as the ink itself was bleeding onto the page.

        But the story is not over… One hero. One that has been shunned by the likes of her kind will be chosen… and bring the end to Sombra’s tyranny. Who is that hero you ask?

        Well… That is you… Hanako.

        “Wait what-.” In a split second, a flash of light burst out of the book as it engulfed her in a veil of light. Her vision was blinded and she was unable to see the environment around her change. Now, the area was becoming… colder as snow began to fall on her face. The book that she had had now changed. No longer did it contain just a heart. In fact, it was a heart and two swords.

        Opening it, she found that the original story that was in there was no longer there. The only words being the following… “Where one story ends, another begins.”

        “W-What the hell is going on?”

        A new set of words began to bleed in, these ones being the final words she would ever see. “All will be explained in time, yet my time has ended. Now… Look up.

        As she did, now she saw the exact same image she saw before. Only real. It was the Crystal Empire. For real this time as it glowed with the moonlight.

        “Okay book, start explaining yourself. Why the hell am I in the Crystal Empire that I read about in the book?”

        Nothing appeared. No matter how many times she tried, it was impossible for Hanako to be able to contact whatever magical being was once in the book. “Son of a bitch! Don’t think this is over whoever you are that brought me here.”

        “HEY!! WHO’S OUT THERE?!!!” A couple of gruff voices yelled as the gate began to open and several guardsman in sinister looking armor surrounded her. The tallest one of the group, which appeared to be a captain, noticed her blade and gritted it’s teeth. “Drop your weapon and identify yourself!!”

        “Great, guess that book brought me here with some kind of time magic ability.” Hanako thought as she smiled at the guard. “Greatings! I am Hanako, and I have come from a distant world to...extend the hand of friendship!

        “Oh sure. If that didn’t work for those bandits a few years ago, what makes you think it would work here?”

        The crystal guardians looked at each other, before looking back at the captain. “Take her in for interrogation. King Sombra would want to meet this… Ape.”

        “...I’m sorry but what did you just call me?”

        “An ape. Monkey. Primate. It’s what you resemble the most… unless of course you have something for you to be preferred to be called… Do you?” The Captain sneered. As Hanako was going to speak, the crystal pony interjected again. “You don’t have any say in the matter after all. We found you trespassing on Empire grounds, so you’re in no position to be pulling off anything… Take her to the king… NOW!!”

        “Well there goes being diplomatic about it.” Hanako said as she unsheath her katana. “Guess I have to go through you idiots then huh?”

        The captain growled. “You dare attack us? KILL HER!!!” The other guards roared, trying to strike her with their spears as the pointed heads just barely missed her head as the captain disappeared to warn the rest of the guard as well as the king.

        “Better go and hide before he get’s more reinforcements here.”  Hanako thought as she turned her attention back at the guards that were attacking her. “But first I better take care of these idiots first.”  Hanako parried away one of the guard’s spears as she quick slashed the guard’s neck that attacked her. Another one tried to attack, but the Ronin simply moved out of the way and cut off the hoof that was hold the spear.

        “Bastard! You’ll pay for doing that to Ironhide and Cold Stone!”

        “For a bunch of dragoons you all pretty much do a crappy job at it.” Hanako said sticking her tongue out at the three remaining guards. This caused the remaining guards to charge at her all at once, hoping to catch her off guard and kill her. Hanako sheathed her sword as she placed her hand on the sheath as she took a counter stance.

        “Last chance to drop your weapons and leave. I won’t kill you or hunt you all down if you do.” Hanako said as her hand drew closer to her katana. The guards simply ignored her as they drew closer and closer to her. The Ronin just rolled her eyes as her sword started to glow a warm violet color. In a split second she rushed past her attackers and appeared behind them. “Should’ve taken my offer when you had the chance.” She said as she sheathed her sword slowly. Once it was completely sheath, the guards behind her fell to the ground.

        “Well that takes care of them, now I need to figure out where to go now.” As she said that, she noticed more of the guards rushing out of the castle in the back along with briefly seeing the guard that had retreated before. Now, with the goal in mind, Hanako sprinted forward, one hand on the grip of her blade with the other holding the blades scabbard as she prepared to fight through the massive wave of soldiers that were out to kill her or take her to this… King they kept mentioning.

        “How about I make you all a deal. If you take me to your King, then I won’t have to kill more of you poor mindless idiots. And judging by the way those guys I killed fight. I’m pretty sure you don’t want your King to get pissed off and blame you for losing to me.” Most of them did not listen, but in a brief twist of fate, somepony that resembled a guard stepped in between them.

        “Stop it. All of you!! Didn’t you hear a damn thing she said!?”

        “What the buck are you talking about, Amber Blaze!?” One of them shouted as they closed in on them.

        “This one want’s to challenge Sombra to a duel!” Now that caused all of them to stop in their tracks and look at one another. “Now what are you idiots waiting for. Get out of the way and show this one some respect!!” With that, all the guards just scrambled back to their posts as two of them stood by the door.

        Hanako sheathed her katana as she simply walked over to the pony called Amber Blaze. “Care to explain why you lied to your friends to save their asses? Not that I’m complaining or anything, but I’m just wondering.”

        “They aren’t my friends. More likely a bunch of Assholes. But the thing is, we’ve had nopony like you or any other pony reach through the castle walls in over 1500 years.” She said to Hanako in a low pitched tone, being cautious for if anypony else was to hear them. “The ponies of the empire have been abused and tortured by the Tyrant that is known as King Sombra for centuries… And I think you might be the only hope these ponies have of breaking free of his tyranny.”

        “Seriously, for 1500 years? How come you guys still look so… young. Unless you’re using Time Magic to slow the aging process?”

        “No. Many families and ponies have been executed because of accusations of treason. The only ones you see here are of the ponies and families that submit to Sombra’s rule. Anyone who tried to rebel was immediately put to death and the executions were made public to spread fear into the minds of all ponies. Besides… If I’m correct… You landed in the graveyard when you first came here.”

        “Yeah, I did.” She sighed, before realizing the full extent of what Amber said. “Wait, what?”

        “No time for that…” Amber hissed, watching the two guards open the doors that let them inside. “I hope your ready…” Soon, Hanako could see the one that was called King Sombra. She briefly remembered the description of the lord by the pictures she had seen briefly. And from the looks of it, he was really angry.

        “Man I hate to be the one that pissed him off.... oh wait that would be me...crap.”

        “So… You’re the menace that has caused so much trouble for my guards and cut down a few of my men?” he growled. “That is indeed foolish of you…”

        “King Sombra,” Amber spoke. “This is Hanako. She has requested to challenge you to a duel for the fate of the empire.”

        “Well now… All the other times a duel has occured, many have tried and failed,” The dark king growled, showing his curved pointy teeth as he narrowed his glance at Hanako. “Let’s hope the Ape here isn’t as disappointing as the others.”

        “Say, you would be really intimidating...you know… if you were actually intimidating.”

        The King growled, narrowing his eyes at Hanako. “Grr… Are you mocking me!?!”

        “Oh no no no no no no no……… Pfft, yeah.” With that, Sombra’s anger took forth as he charged at Hanako. “That got his attention. Now to take care of him quickly.” Hanako unsheathed her katana and simply moved out of the way of the charging unicorn. Sombra though, was quick to turn around as the ends of his dark mane became spikes that lunged for her. Causing Hanako to dodge left and right before she could cleanly attack her opponent.

        “Fast for a pony with a ego complex.” The Ronin said as her sword start to glow. “But I can move faster. Sword of fury, inject power! Masamune!" She yelled as violet red aura surrounded herself, and quickly vanished from King Sombra’s sight. The king himself struggled to see where his opponent was… Until he felt a gash of pain across his chest.

        “AGH!! You… WILL PAY FOR THAT!!!”

        “You know you’re not the only one that said that to me before. They ended up dead before they could even try.” All that did was just make the king howl in anger, swarming at her with razor sharp teeth. However, Hanako was prepared. With the new sword came a new technique. One that she wanted to try for some time now.

        "Flame-eating sword, swipe away the evils! Chirijiraden!"

        At that moment, Sombra felt that this girl was bluffing. Until though, he felt the highest concentration of power he ever had felt before close on in before exploding outward in a powerful eruption. Now, he was barely standing… drained of a lot of his magic and his entire body was broken. He was only able to look up briefly before the blade of the Ronin came down on him and ended his misery.

        “When you see Lord Yama, tell him that Hanako sent you to rot in hell for all eternity.” When she turned around though, Amber Blaze, along with all the other guards in the room, were shocked. Then, almost all of them in the room began to bow before her while Amber trotted to her side. “Um...am I missing something? Because whenever I kill someone’s evil king, I’m usually get chased off or something.”

        “No, that’s not it.” Amber spoke. “What is your name… Kingslayer?”

        “Hanako. Don’t really have a last name though.”

        “That doesn’t matter… Hanako, it has been said that whoever was able to free the Crystal Empire from the tyranny of King Sombra is the one to guide the Crystal Empire. You are now at your service. And you… are our ruler.” Amber’s words shocked Hanako. She honestly didn’t think that this was that big of a deal. Until she remembered something. “What do you want us to do?”

        “...... Amber… Take me to the artifact you call the Crystal Heart. There is one last thing I think I need to do.” Amber immediately nodded her head, guiding the Ronin to the chamber the heart was kept in. As Hanako came closer to it, the heart pulsed as it was warm to the touch. With it though, a wave of magic spilled forth, causing all the darkened walls to vanish and brightening the Empire to where it could be seen for miles. And given that this was at night, the kingdom glowing with the night sky was just… beautiful.

        “Wow! You don’t see stuff like this back home.” Hanako said as she turned her attention at Amber. “So what now?”

        “That depends… What should we call you, my lady?”

        “Gonna take some time for me to get used to that title. But as my first order of business, I want you to inform the ponies of the Crystal Empire that they no longer have to hide in fear anymore. Second, free anyone that are still in the dungeon. If they are injured have the doctors make a bunch of this.” She said, handing Amber an X-Potion. “Something from my homeland that can heal a person’s wounds up quickly. And lastly. Do you guess have any kind of scholars or teachers?”

        Amber nodded her head briefly, before looking back at the potion. “Our alchemists would need some kind of recipe in order to understand its contents. Wouldn’t want to make something that turns out to be poisonous.”

        “Fair point.” Hanako reached into her bag and pulled out a book of recipes for medical, poison, and healing. “This should help. Feel free to make copies of it. Now you said that you have scholars here right? Then I want you to have them teach anypony willing to help rebuild the Crystal Empire with these books.” The Ronin continued, handing Amber three books. They were based on the topics of job classes, machinery, and construction. “We need ponies that are good with machinery, magic, and remodeling.”

        “I think I know just the ponies to talk to. Brimstone is a Crystal Pony that runs the forge and keeps certain contraptions intact. Amethyst is one of the smartest Unicorns I know with a sense of magic and Emerald is a skilled carpenter. Given that it’s almost half past midnight, I’ll have somepony fetch them for you in the morning. Right now though, I think you need some sleep. Lady Hanako.”

        “What are you talking about? I don’t need to sleep at the moment. I’m perfectly fi-.” She said before her vision began to blur on her and her body was swaying left and right. “Aw, crap…Guess I used too much magic on him.” Amber sighed, trotting next to her before casting a spell. To Hanako’s surprise, the next place she landed was actually on a comfy bed. Queen size with warm sheets and everything. “This is my room?”

        “Indeed. These are your quarters. Formerly the quarters of Princess Amore herself before Sombra took over.” Amber replied. “Lady Hanako, should I set your sword by the door?”

        “Mind if you hold on to it?”

        “But it’s your sword. If I hold onto it, anypony would think that I’ve stolen it from you.”

        “Not unless I do this.” Hanako launched an orb of light at Amber as her outfit began to change from a sickly dark armor to light silver armor with royal blue color cloth. “You are no longer bound by whatever Sombra had you be. You are now a Holy Knight. A paladin of the light. Consider it as a gift for everything you have done for me.”

        “W-why thank you… But in all seriousness, your blade should stay with you. There’s a empty sword rack along the opposite end of the wall. I’ll set it over there.” She told her, leaning the blade on the rack and heading out the door. “Have a good rest, My lady.”


        In the skies above the Crystal Empire, the changes did not go unnoticed by the local population. Soaring through the clouds, a young pegasus with a determined heart was flying as fast as he could in order to reach Canterlot on time. When he arrived though, he slammed through the doors of the grand hall and made his way over to where he say Princess Luna.

        “Princess Luna… S-something’s happened… G-get your sister… Immediately.”

        “What’s wrong, Starry Skies? You look exhausted! And your wings are almost frozen in pla-.”

        “It’s the empire.” Those three words had Luna stop speaking immediately, looking back at the simple messenger. “The Crystal Empire has returned.”

        The Princess of the Night only had one response for something like this. And that response could be heard all the way to Ponyville. “SISTER!!!!!!!