• Published 30th Jul 2013
  • 708 Views, 31 Comments

Progress - suijin



A tale of some not-really friends trying to work together to save the world. They're not even acquaintences, really. WARNING: Sequel.

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The Caves of Ancalos

Vanilla and Trixie looked down into the massive chasm, trying to judge just how far down it went. Trixie had decided to toss a stone into it, to see if they could hear the sound of it striking the bottom.

There had been nothing but silence for over a minute.

"Well, that is... unsettling." Vanilla turned her attention to her left and right, once again searching the chasm walls for some way to get down. Her search was unsuccessful, and she started to think that they were in the wrong place.

Trixie wasn't willing to give up so easily. Or, rather, she didn't want to admit that she might have been wrong in leading them to their current location. "The Great and Powerful Trixie knows a few spells that may prove of use."

Her horn began to glow as she magically scanned the cliff-faces, searching back-and-forth, up-and-down, until she found what she was looking for. Focusing on the vaguely magic-charged rock that was just sticking out, she was able to activate the enchantment bestowed upon it, over one thousand years ago.

But she had acted too hastily, and activated a second enchantment, placed by Sombra himself to protect the treasures that lay beneath. Her smug smile was wiped off her face as a dark crystal nearly impaled her from beneath. Only Vanilla's quick reactions managed to save her from certain death.

Using her wings to keep the two well above the expanding field of sharp crystals, Vanilla couldn't help but roll her eyes at her companion's accident. If Trixie hadn't managed to also summon a staircase running down the side of the chasm, she might have subjected the unicorn to some verbal abuse, as well.

Gently placing the unicorn on the top steps, the two mares began the long walk down. And long it was; Trixie began to grow bored after only a few minutes of walking.

"So... the Great And Powerful Trixie was just wondering: what exactly do you do?"

Vanilla was caught off guard by the question, having once again been looking down into the depths of the chasm. "Uhhh... security, I guess. I've pretty much just been on vacation for a while, though, so I'm keeping busy training right now." I already know what she does, so I should probably ask something else, instead. "Where are you from?"

Trixie pondered the question for several seconds, before deciding to dispense with her usual theatrics. "Trixie doesn't know, really. She was an orphan, and raised by a travelling circus group. They taught her magic, and she left to go out on her own, when she was old enough. You?"

"Oh, um... I'm from somewhere... south of here. Very far south. You've probably never even heard of it."

Hmmm... Trixie will ignore all of that question dodging, for right now. "Well, we seem to be getting near the bottom. Trixie figured that it would take longer." Glancing up, Trixie noted that she could still see the top of the gorge.

Vanilla, who had flown ahead to check it out, as well as making sure that there weren't any traps, had the unfortunate job of letting her down. "I wouldn't speak so soon. It looks like it still keeps going, but in the other direction, now."

"What?!" Trixie ran to her and looked over the end of the last step, confirming Vanilla's report; there was a second set of stairs several feet below the one she was on, and running in the opposite direction. "Why the hay did Sombra have to have so many STAIRS?"

"Because it's a deep chasm?"

"Silence while the Great and Powerful Trixie is complaining!"

Thus their epic quest continued for another hour, and several more flights of stairs, before finally reaching the caves that lay below.

The tunnels were ancient, and worn smooth by some unknown force. A faint glowing could be seen from deeper inside, and there was a feeling of intense heat. After several minutes of walking through the dark, they came to the source of the light and heat: a river of magma, filling up the rest of the passage.

Vanilla could tell from the low ceiling that attempting to fly over the river would be a near-death experience at best, and didn't figure that Trixie was going to fare any better.

However, her companion was practically ecstatic, now that she had a chance to show off her magic skills without the possibility of more of Sombra's traps kicking in. Well, it wasn't likely, anyway. This IS Sombra we're talking about, after all.

"Step back and be amazed, as the Great and Powerful Trixie performs her spell!"

"What kind of spell?"

"Wha-? Do you have to question everything that Trixie does?"

"Sorry. I was just wondering what you could use to get over lava..." Vanilla did as she was told, watching the unicorn curiously.

"We unicorns possess the ability to learn quite a few elemental spells. One such spell should render us safe from the magma."

Vanilla was somewhat skeptical. "... should?"

"WILL! I meant will!" Trixie's face changed from blue to red as she turned away, and began casting her spell. After several seconds, a blue light engulfed herself and Vanilla, and she let out a small, "Aha!"

Cautiously, she began to near the molten rock, and gingerly started to reach her hoof towards its edge. "You know what, Trixie thinks that you should go first. I mean, fillies first, right?" She grinned sheepishly as she spoke.

"Aren't you a filly, too? Wait... are you implying that I'm a foal?" Sticking her tongue out in a very foal-like manner, Vanilla flew through the narrow space above the magma, still careful to keep from touching it.

... well, that completely defeated the purpose of making her go first, didn't it? Once again beginning to reach for the river's edge, she was keenly aware that she didn't have any more excuses, and had to take the risk herself. She was quite pleased when her hoof wasn't burned by the roiling magma, and instead only experienced a faint warmth moving up her leg.

After swimming throught the river for a few minutes, she was once again able to pull herself onto solid ground. Looking around, she was left speechless at what she saw.

The chamber that she and Vanilla had entered was massive, large enought to fit Canterlot Castle, and ringed by the molten river. On the far side was the entrance to a smaller chamber, with vast piles of gold and gems visible inside.

"... wow," they both said simultaneously.

"Well, Trixie thinks that it would be a good idea to investigate that other cave over there. Sombra might have hidden the Elements inside, after all."

"You just want to take some of the gold, don't you?" It was more of a statement than a question.

"Well, Trixie would look good in some new jewelry." As she spoke, Trixie began to make her way forward, noting that the spell she had cast to get them through the magma had faded, and preparing to cast it again.

Before she got far, the magmic river exploded in front of the treasure chamber's entrance, sending the molten fluid high into the air. A massive figure emerged from the depths; its scales were a fiery red, it claws made massive gouges in the walls, and its hands crushed the platform that the mares were standing on.

Looking up, they looked at the face of the oldest and greatest dragon in existence.

...

"Trixie told you so!"

"Just shut up and dodge the lava!"

Author's Note:

New chapter, finally! Comment and Review!

Be sure to tell me if I make any mistakes, I've been looking back at my old stories, and noticing a LOT of them.