Both Sides of the Blade

by AverageMemory

Chapter 6 The Prince of Darkness

We ran side by side down the long dark cave, illuminated by Derek’s horn, the castle hallway getting further and further away. My mind was finally at ease about Celestia. Hopefully we are successful here tonight, so she may forgive me and possibly Derek. At the end of the cave we reached a large stone slab with ancient text inscribed on it.

“Alright, old man. We got this.” He said.

“Just know that this may be out of our league.” I told him.

“You say that every damn time...” He replied.

“I know, but this time I’m serious. He is the father of the magic you follow so religiously.” I said.

“Oh...” He gulped.

That obviously got to him. “We have a lot riding on this. More than the fate of Equestria this time, but our own fate is indeed tied to the outcome of this fight.”

“Obviously, if we die we’re dead.” He said sarcastically.

“More than that. We do this right, Celestia will stop hunting us, we won’t have to live in that forest, and maybe we can finally quit this silly profession.” I said.

The cave shook violently, knocking us both over.

“I was gonna say,” Derek said, “we need to get a move on.”

His horn glowed, and a large wave of red energy fired in all directions. The stone slab cracked and shattered, revealing a pitch black room.

We walked into a room so dark it was overwhelming Derek’s light. Fire then began to light itself around us, casting a dim glow on the dank room. The room was set up like a stage. The walls were lined with skulls, the ceiling was spiked, and there on the stage, he stood.

“Evening, gentlecolts.” He said in low raspy voice. He stood in front of the back wall, which had a paragraph written some red dripping liquid on it. There he stood, a scorched black skeleton of an alicorn , surrounded by his eternal burning flames that are said to reflect his mood, and those red glowing eyes of his. Orobas’s flame burned a somber orange, hopefully meaning he was calm. He began to read off the paragraph.

“‘Into Darkness I shall cast all’... sounds good.” He said.
“With a small show of strength, three will fall.” He chuckled. “Check.”
“And with my mighty scythe, I shall rend.’” He turned to us.
“The land you love into bitter end.”

“Orobas.” I regarded.

“You two have been following me for some time now. You’re the best she could send to face me? A shame, really. What does she take me for?” He spread out his bone wings and fire draped down. He jumped down in front of us.

“Back off, buddy.” Derek spat.

We backed away a bit as he approached. I drew my sword in my mouth and dropped it into my hoof. Derek just glared at him.

“I’ll offer you two a choice. Leave now, and be the last two I kill.” He said, his blaze starting to heat up.

“Or...?” I pressed him.

“Or I will kill you both as slow as possible.” He said.

Derek spat on the ground in front of Orobas, who took this as a challenge. His blaze flared an angry red.

“FINE! ENJOY YOUR FATE.” He yelled. He held out his bony hoof. Fire sprawled outward from it, swirling around into a rod. A large blade shot out and curled downward. His scythe had a skull impaled on the top, the blade serrated on both the top and bottom. It was easily the most intimidating weapon I have ever seen.

“Too bad,” He said. “I really wanted to slay Celestia first.”

“YOU WON’T HAVE THE PLEASURE!” Derek shouted. The pentagram already burned into the ground under him. His eyes glowing blood red. “TAKE THIS!”

A pentagram appeared now under Orobas. Chains shot out of the points of the star, constricting Orobas and forcing him to the ground. He dropped his scythe. An opening! I darted toward him, swinging back my sword.

Orobas laughed. “Ha ha ha. Do you really think this will stop me?”

His scythe rose from ground with an unholy glow and shredded through the air with a dark trail of fire behind it. I held up my sword to block, and the scythe slammed into it, launching me into the air with ease and trailing fast to Derek. The scythe seemed to have distorted time and I was helpless, only able to watch as it phased through Derek. Being crushed into the ground, I could only watch as Derek slumped over, spewing blood out of his mouth. My mind began to race, trying to comprehend what just happened. Time was starting to returned to normal. I sprang up to my hooves and ran over to Derek. He was still breathing, but barely.

“What the hell did you do?!” I yelled at Orobas.

“Oh you liked that? Ha ha ha, that was a simple little trick, a sort of time distorting spell.” He cackled.

“Dammit...” Derek gasped.

“Derek you need to let go of your spell! NOW!” I demanded.

The chains shattered. Orobas rose to his hind legs, taking his floating scythe in his hooves. “Don’t you see? It’s hopeless. Save yourself and run while you still can.” He insisted.

“Save myself?” I asked. “I can’t let you get away with this!”

Once again my rage flared. Time to think. Orobas’s weakness was... the single gem pressed into his skull. The legends say so. So, how to take him on. An idea hit me. I hoped he was stupid enough to fall for it.

I charged him, he simply knocked me back. I charged once more, this time he engaged me. Every swing I took, he met with equal force making no attempt to overwhelm me. No matter where I swung, he just twirled his scythe around his body and knocked my sword back. I flew back and threw my sword at him. He ducked, keeping eye contact with the sword. Bingo. I grabbed my crossbow, and fired it at the gem in his skull. He noticed the arrow, but too late. The arrow hit his gem at max velocity. The gem cracked and Orobas doubled back.

“What!?!” He yelled.

… Nothing happened.

Orobas began to laugh. “THAT was your genius plan? I am disappointed.”

I threw my crossbow down. “Make my death swift, if you must.”

Orobas laughed once more. “Oh, I’m gonna make you feel tru-”

He was cut off by another crack. His blaze flared red. “WHAT IS THIS?” He shrieked.

The gem shattered, releasing a black cloud. The cloud swirled in the air rushing into the ceiling. Orobas screamed something in ancient equestrian, the blaze around him swirling away slowly. When the fire was gone, the bones gave way into ash.

“Wha- What?” I thought out loud. Unable to comprehend what just happened.

“Fan *huff* tastic.” Derek struggled to say. “Get *puff* me outta here.”

I walked over to Derek, and hoisted him onto my back and walked back down the cavern. People crowded the entrance to the catacombs. They parted, trying to ask me questions. I didn’t listen to them. Frankly, I couldn’t care less right now. I walked myself all the way to the infirmary, where nurses immediately took us in. My mission finally was complete. Derek was in good hands, and I had defeated Orobas. Now that I had time to think about other things, searing pain began to set in. I glanced at myself. I was cut up and bleeding everywhere. I decided to give into the pain and slumped over.




Where am I?

The area around me was hazy. The ground I stood on was grassy. I looked around and noticed a lone tree not too far away from my current position. With no clear idea where I was, I trotted up to it. As I got closer a figure came into view, colored a familiar ash-grey. I began to run. Derek? I wanted to call out to him, but I couldn’t for some reason. I didn’t care where I was, all that mattered was that my best friend was alive.

His ears twitched as I got closer. He turned his head to me then frowned.

“Old man.” He said quietly.

He turned away.

“I’m... I’m sorry.” He said. My vision began to fade once more, he drifted further and further away. I tried to call out to him again, but my body still wouldn’t do what I wanted it to. I watched helplessly as he faded from my vision.