• Published 15th Aug 2013
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The Ranger's Journey - Silentpegasus

Due to the recent animal activity from the Everfree Forest, Princess Celestia has sent an agent from The Academy. What will happen when a certain librarian starts to fall for the crimson haired warrior?

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Chapter I: Departure

Chapter I


Fifteen years later

A tall twenty-three year old man donning a black cloak with red trim around the cuffs of his sleeves, the rim of the head opening and the coat tail. Crimson sat in front of a white tombstone in the shape of a large hammer with a rose ensnaring the handle. The man got to his feet, which were covered by a pair of black leather boots that looked worn and well traveled.

Around his left arm was a silver gauntlet with an engraving of a rose was etched into the shiny metal. The man looked around to see a silver haired man with piercing green eyes behind a pair of rectangular wire rim glasses, donning a black suit with a bright green tie. Crimson made his way up to the man with a smile on his face.

“I knew I’d find you here.” Crow said with a grin.

“What is it Headmaster?” He asked as he ran his hand through his messy dark red hair.

“A new mission is ready if you’re interested.” He said with a smile.

“It better not be something stupid like last time.” He said with a groan.

“No Crimson, this one is coming straight from Celestia herself.” He said as he held up the scroll. Crimson cocked an eyebrow and looked at the man in confusion. “I was thinking of sending Ivy with you but-” Crimson quickly snatched the parchment from his hand.

“I’ll take it.” Crimson said in a flat tone.

“I still don’t see why you don’t like her.” Crow said with a shrug. “She’s smart, strong not to mention cute.” He said with a smirk.

“She’s a good friend. Nothing more.” He said with a sigh. “Not to mention she’s too.....perky for my liking.”

“Ha! You sound like your mother.” The man said with a smile.

“How much is the pay?”

“One hundred fifty per day.”

“Per day? How long is this mission?”

“It’s a long term one. You’ll be gone at least three months.” Crimson thought for a moment. Sure he’d gone out on missions before. Longest he’d spent away from the Academy was ten days. “You’ll still be getting missions that are stationed around the area.” Crow said with a sigh. “Usually these missions are reserved for Zealot class, but I think you can handle it.” He said with a smile.

“Zealot class? I’m still a Ranger for Celestia’s sake!” He said in shock. “Are you trying to get me expelled. I know you’re the Headmaster now, but rules-”

“Since when has that stopped you before?” He said with a smug grin. Crimson tried to find an argument, but found none.

“So where is this place?” He asked as he started walking with the man.

“It’s a town not far away from Canterlot. Ponyville as I remember it correctly.” He said with a shrug. Crimson’s eyes shrank at the Equestrian Capital. “It’s outside the capital.”

“I know.” He said with a sigh. “How do I get there? I doubt riding in on Cliff would be a good idea.”

“Right. It’s by train.” The red hair’d man’s eyes shrank at the mention of the mode of transportation. “They don’t have a transport hub set up yet.” He said with a sigh.

“I hate trains.” He said in a low grumble.

“I know, but it’s the only way to get there.” He said with a sigh. “If you don’t want the mission then-”

“I just said it would be a pain. That doesn’t mean I won’t do it.” He said in a flat tone. “I just want to get some stuff before I leave.” He said with a nod.

“Very well. The train leaves in an hour.” Crow said before vanishing in a flash of green light. Crimson let out a sigh and made his way out of the garden. He looked ahead to see a shining silver castle with a large tower in the far right corner. The red clothed man entered the grand hall. The hallway was bustling with other people. Some of them were normal while others had wings.

Crimson made his way down the hallway, keeping to himself. He pulled his red hood over his head and kept his red eyes staring straight ahead. Several other people would glance at the man and whisper to one another out of respect or fear.

“Hey Red Riding hood, kill anyone with your forbidden magic yet?” A man with tan colored wings sprouting from his back yelled down the hallway.

“No, but I’m giving it serious consideration if you don’t shut that big trap of yours.” Crimson said as he continued walking down the hall, not even bothering to look back. Crimson made his way down the corridor paying no mind to the watchful eyes that filled the hallway.

The man got to a set of spiral stone steps and started to climb them. He made his way past the floors and into a room at the top of the tower.He opened the door to reveal a forty by fifty room with two beds each at the far sides of the room, neatly tucked. Two desks were also in attendance next to a window.

As he stepped inside he was suddenly tackled to the ground by a light green object. He opened his eyes and groaned as he heard a familiar laugh. The object was a woman with lime green wings that matched her long hair that went down to the middle of her back.

“Got you again Crimy.” The woman teased. Crimson groaned as she got off him and helped him up. The woman was donning a dark brown vest that matched her fingerless gloves and brown boots. The vest also did a good job of covering her dark green T-shirt. Her short shorts were of the same sage like color. Her eyes were a deep sapphire. A pair of light green batons were secured around her belt loop with their dark brown handles sticking out.

“Honestly Ivy, do you have to do that every time I walk in?” He asked as he got to his feet.

“Let me think.” She said as she put on an innocent face and tapped her lip with her index finger. “Yup.” She said with a smile.

“Well, if you don’t mind I need to get packing.”

“Ooh, where are we going this time?” She asked in excitement.

We are not going anywhere. I am going to some small town for three months.” He said as he pulled out a duffle bag. Ivy’s face turned from happy to sad.

“Three months?” She said in a shocked tone.

“Yes, apparently a small town has been having some monster trouble as of late. So they’re stationing me there in case things turn nasty.” He said with a shrug.

“UGH! Why do you get all the good missions?” She said as she laid down on her bed. “I have to go clear out a cave of Hobbes.” She said as she stuck her tongue out.

“That is a good mission. You get combat experience and a good amount of cash.” He said as he started packing. “Not to mention that you’ll be helping the towns folk. While I’m stuck in some back water town twiddling my thumbs until I go mad from boredom.” He said in a less than enthusiastic tone.

“Ugh, you just need to find the charm to small towns.” She said as she raised her hands. “Wait, did you say three months?”

“Yup.” He said as he levitated a few books into the bag.

“Ugh! Who am I gonna hang out with?” She said in frustration.

“Weren’t you seeing that Backlash guy?” Crimson asked in confusion.

“Yeah, but things fell through.” She said with a shrug.

“What was it this time?” Crimson asked as he cocked an eyebrow.

“He didn’t like dating a girl that could kick his ass.” She said with a yawn.

“How many bones did you break?”

“None.” She said as she adverted her gaze and whistled to herself.

“Ivy.” He said as he narrowed his gaze.

“Fine.” She said as she rolled her eyes. “Four ribs, two fingers and he has a hair line fracture in his right tibia.”

“So it was mutual then?”

“You know me so well.” She said with a smile. “Wait, what about the trials?”

“I’m sure I’ll be back before then.” He said with a shrug. Crimson finished packing and walked over to his desk and pulled out an old photo of a tall man with black hair and a young woman with dark red hair holding a baby boy with similar hair on his head. He folded up the photo and slipped it into his pocket.

“You still carry that around with you?” Ivy asked as she saw the photo.

“Why wouldn’t I?”

“All I’m saying is to take a chill pill. You know what happens when you get angry.” She said with a sigh.

“This coming from the girl that snapped her ex in half after they both agreed to end it.” He said as he cocked an eyebrow. The green haired girl was about to say something, but found no argument.

“Touche.” She said with a sigh. “Will you at least send me a post card?” She asked in a hope filled tone.

“I promise I’ll write to you. I’ll probably have a whole lot of time on my hands.” He said as he put a hand on her shoulder. The girl then wrapped him in a bone crushing hug.

“I’m gonna miss you so much!” She said as a few tears started to well in her eyes.

“Ivy...spine...crushing.” He said as he heard a series of cracks.

“Sorry!” She said as she let him go.

“Well, I’ll see ya later Ivy.” He said as he slung his bag over his shoulder

“Good luck and don’t worry, I’ll feed Cliff for ya.” She said with a wave.

“Thanks, have fun with the Hobbes.” He said as he waved goodbye to his best friend. The hooded man walked down the spiral staircase and out the massive iron double doors. He walked down towards the edge of the school and towards the train station. As he walked forward he saw a familiar cane wielding man standing at the platform.

“Ah there you are.” Crow said with a smile. “I was wondering when you’d show up.”

“Sorry, you know how Ivy gets.”

“Yeah, I saw Backlash in the infirmary. I’m guessing it was mutual?”

“Bingo.” Crimson said with a shrug. The two heard the train whistle blow. “Well, I’d better get going then.” He said with a nod. The older man stuck out his hand for him to shake. Crimson shook the man’s hand only for him to be pulled into a hug.

“You’ve grown up ma boy.” He said with a grin. “It fills me with as much sadness as it does pride to see you leave.”

“Relax you old buzzard. I still gotta come back for the trials and I’ll keep in touch with letters.” He said with a smile. Crow patted him on the back and let him go. Crimson walked towards the train car and let out a sigh.

“Crimson, one last thing.” Crow said as the man turned around. The old man tossed him a bright green amulet on a silver chain. “Just in case you need help.”

“Thanks. Always good to have back up I guess.” He said as he slipped the amulet inside his pocket.

“Good luck.” Crow said with a wave. Crimson nodded and boarded the train. The red hair’d man took a seat near the caboose and close to a window. He watched as his home grew smaller and smaller until it was lost from his sight. He rested his head against the seat and wondered what awaited him in the small town.

Twilight Sparkle. Studious, knowledgeable and friendly, these words could easily describe the young woman from Canterlot. She had fair skin and stood at five foot eight and had indigo hair with pink stripe running down the right side of her hair. Her light purple blouse matched her eyes. She held a book in one hand against her chest as she made her way back to the library.

A teenage boy with spliced green eyes and dark green spikey hair was walking by her side. The child was also carrying a large stack of books that seemed a bit to heavy for his arms. He only looked a few years younger than the studious woman. “Jeez Twilight, how many books do you need?” He asked as he looked up at the girl.

“I need as many as I can read Spike. Since the creatures in the Everfree forest have been acting more aggressively, I need to be ready for anything.” She said in a proud tone. “I mean, you saw what that Manticore did to town hall.” The two shuddered at the memory.

“Yeah, good thing Fluttershy was around to calm it down.” Spike said with a shiver. “Have any idea why the animals are going nuts?”

“No, but I wrote to the Princess about it.” She said with a smile. Spike put the books down and let out a sigh. The young boy felt a knot formed in the pit of his stomach and belched a green flame. The flame turned into a small scroll and fell into his hands.

“Looks like it’s from Celestia.” Spike said as he handed her the letter. Twilight unrolled it and read the parchment.

“Spike get the girls and have them meet me at the library.”

“For what?”

“You’ll see.” She said as her hands glowed a light purple color, she moved one finger over the books and the large stack soon vanished in a purple flash.

“Why didn’t we just do that in the first place?” Spike asked as he looked at the woman. Twilight felt a blush of embarrassment creep across her face.

“I’m going to go and find Rainbow Dash.” She said as she vanished in a flash of purple light. Spike groaned and started making his way towards a nearby dress shop. Twilight walked through town at a fast rate with her eyes scanning the skies on hopes of finding her winged friend. Where could she be? She thought to herself as she continued to look for her.

As she neared the center of town the young scholar saw a familiar girl donning a brown Stetson hat with matching boots and brown vest that covered her orange plaid shirt that was tied off just above her belly button. The farmer was also donning a pair of blue jeans that cut off just above her ankles. She walked up to the farmer with a smile on her face.

“Howdy Twi.” The farmer said in a southern accent. “Need anything?”

“Hey Applejack.” She said with a smile. “The Princess just sent me a return letter about the little animal problem we’ve been having.” She said with a sigh. “I need you all to get to the library ASAP.”

“Can do. Let me just bring this cart back to the farm before I leave.” The farmer said with a smile.

“Thanks and if you see Dash or Fluttershy then tell them the same thing.” Applejack nodded and made her way back to her farm with her apple cart in tow. Twilight continued her search for her friends.

The red hair’d child sat across from the cane wielding man with a smile on his face. Crimson looked out the window and saw several trees and towns pass by. His red eyes focused on the coming storm that was brewing. The man’s eyes were focused on the book in his hand. Once in a while his eyes would glance up towards the boy for a few seconds returning to his literature.

“So what do you teach at the Academy again?” Crimson asked as he tried to make conversation.

“I mostly focus on offensive and defensive tactics.” He said as he looked up from his book. “Most of them are Ranger and Zealot class.”

“Ranger and Zealot?” The boy asked.

“Oh right, you don’t know.” He said as he put his book away. “In the Academy the students are broken up into different classes. Pending on their skill level.” He said with a sigh. “Ranger and Zealot are two higher classes of the four.”

“The four?”

“Yes, the classes go from Scavenger, Hunter, Ranger and finally Zealot.” He said in a flat tone. “To move up in the rankings you must not only complete all of your training in the Academy, but you must also complete a set of trials before advancing to the next rank.”

“Trials?” Crimson asked as he cocked an eyebrow.

“Yes, the trials test you in everything you’ve learned.”

“What happens in the trials?”

“I can’t really say.” He said as he adjusted his glasses. “They are different for each individual and-” He was cut off as he heard a series of magical blasts.

“What was that?” Crimson asked as Crow made a ‘shhh’ gesture with his hands. The two gulped as the lights in the entire car went out. Crow got to his feet and pulled the metal raven head of his cane to reveal a slim piece of metal protruding from the handle.

“Crimson, crawl under the seat and stay there until I get back.” He said in a serious tone.

“Why? What’s going on?”

“DON’T ARGUE WITH ME!” Crow yelled as he stared back at the boy. Crimson gulped and quickly scrambled under the seat. “Now stay there and wait until I return okay?”

“G-got it.” Crimson said with a gulp. The green eyed man hastily made his way out of the train carriage. Crimson kept still as he heard the sounds of magical discharges and steel clashing. The boy gulped and slowly got to his feet. He poked his head out the doorway and saw that the hall was deserted. Crimson heard a crash and spun around to see a tall man dressed in black. A mask was placed upon his face.

“There you are.” He said in a malice filled tone. Crimson’s neck hairs stood on end as he ran out of the carriage and down the hallway. Crimson ran through the hallway. The assassin waved his hand and a light blue bolt of magic came from his hand. The salvo hit the seat next to the child as he ran.

As Crimson exited the car the storm was in full swing. Rain beat down on his body like frozen knives. The wind was whipping as his exposed face. He quickly made his way into the next car and hid behind a seat. Crimson gulped as he heard the door open and footsteps echoing on the hard wood floor. He covered his mouth with his hands and tried to calm his fast beating heart.

“Come out kid.” The man said as he un sheathed a knife and scraped it against a metal seat. “This’ll only hurt for a second. I promise.” The man said with a wicked laugh. Crimson gulped and held his knees against his chest. “You’ve got something that is of great value to a lot of people. So just come out and make it easy for-” He was cut off as a blast of green magical energy struck the attacker’s back and sent him crashing to the ground.

“Crimson run!” The boy looked over to see Crow with his sword drawn. The child nodded and ran towards the caboose. The green eye’d man raised his hand and a flock of crows flew out from his sleeve. The black birds started pecking at the assassin. After his right eye, left ear and several patches of skin Crow called off the birds and lifted his blade to the dark man’s throat.

“Alright shit for brains, tell me what I want to know or I’ll tell my pet to to peel your dick like a banana. Got it?” He said as he knelt down and a black crow landed on his shoulder. The assassin couched up some blood and groaned. He felt the steel blade touching his neck. The assassin chuckled and burst out in laughter. “Something funny?” He asked as he bore holed through him with his emerald colored eyes.

“The fact that you think that you intimidate me.” He said with a laugh. “You know what he is and there will be others.” The assassin then grabbed the end of Crow’s cane sword and shoved it into his neck. Crow quickly pulled his blade out from the man’s neck. He let out a sigh and saw a large shadow racing towards the end of the train.

“Crimson!” He yelled as he ran after the shadow. Crimson ran into the caboose and took a moment to catch his breath. Crimson sat down in the corner of the car and tried to regulate his breathing.

“Need a glass of water?” Crimson gulped and felt his heart beat jump to new heights. He slowly raised his head to see a tall man with dirty blonde hair and bright blue eyes staring down at him. The man had a long scar reaching down from his scalp to his chin. He wore an outfit similar to the man that had attacked him earlier. Crimson tried to get up but was met with a swift kick to his stomach by the man.

The boy groaned in pain and coughed up a mouthful of blood. Crimson tried to stand but he felt a strong palm grab his throat. The man lifted him up with one hand and started to squeeze on Crimson’s small neck.

“Wh-Why?” The boy managed to call out.

“Simple, you’ve got something valuable and my employers want it.” He said as he slammed the boy against the wall causing the wood to crack and splinter.

“I-I don’t have anything!” Crimson said as tears started to form in his eyes. The assassin cocked an eyebrow and saw no deceit in his eyes.

“They didn’t tell you did they?” He said with a smirk. Crimson looked at him in confusion and fear. “Oh well.” He said as he tossed Crimson into the opposite wall. The boy’s body was crying out in pain as he coughed up more blood. The man snapped his fingers and a long dagger materialized in the palm of his hand. “End of the line freak.” He said as he twirled the weapon between his fingers.

The red hair’s man woke up in a cold sweat and felt sick. He looked out the window and saw that it was the late afternoon.

“Next stop; Trottingham.” The conductor said over the loud speaker. Crimson got to his feet and walked over to the restroom. He quickly closed the door and splashed water in his face. He looked in the reflection and started to pant. Crimson dried his face off on the towel that was hanging and scoffed at the reflection.

The dark hooded man sat back down in his seat and gazed out the window once more. A young woman pushing a concession cart. She was donning a light brown vest and matching skirt. The cart stopped next to the man as the woman smiled.

“Need anything sir?”

“Um yeah, just some tea if that’s possible.” He said with a smile.

“Sure, I’ll have that for you in a sec okay?” Crimson nodded and the woman walked back with the cart in tow. Crimson leaned back and closed his eyes.

Twilight walked into the library with a girl wearing a yellow sundress and flowing pink hair following close behind. The girl’s yellow sundress matched her yellow wings. As they entered the room the two saw Applejack. Along with an athletic girl, donning a cyan tank top with flowing rainbow hair and cyan wings sprouting from her back. Another had very fair skin and purple hair that matched her skirt. The woman was also wearing a sleeveless white blouse with frills on the edges.

Sitting next to the farmer was a girl with pink puffy hair that complemented her dark pink pants and light pink T shirt. The friends talked amongst them selves until Twilight cleared her throat and stopped in front of the group.

“So what did you want to tell us Twi?” The farmer asked.

“Okay, I’m sure you all know about the recent animal disturbances that have been occurring.” She said as she sat down.

“Yeah, that Manticore seemed pretty angry.” The sports girl said.

“Exactly, so I wrote to the Princess about it and she’s sending someone to help us out.”

“Who? A guards man?” The purple hair’d girl asked.

“No, someone from the Academy.”

“You’re joking!” Rarity said in shock.

“Nope, Celestia sent me the letter this morning.” She said as she levitated the parchment over to the group. The five girls loomed over the parchment and read it to themselves.

Dear Twilight,

I’m terribly sorry to hear about your most recent encounter with the manticore. Unfortunately, my guards are stretched thin as it is. I will contact the Headmaster from the Academy and I will have him send one of his best to aid you and the town. Send me a reply when they arrive. I know not who or how many he will send.

Princess Celestia.

The group of friends all looked at one another in confusion.

“Oh I hear that the students at the Academy are some of the strongest warriors there are.” Rarity said with a giggle.

“Okay who and what is the Academy?” Dash said as she raised her hands.

“You don’t know what the Academy is?” Twilight said in shock.

“Ah don’t know who these people are either.” AJ said with a shrug.

“Me either.” Pinkie said as she looked at her friends.

“Um...I don’t know either.” Fluttershy said as she hid behind her long pink hair. Twilight and Rarity looked at one another in shock.

“Hey don’t blame us that we don’t know some fancy mage stuff. You two are the magic experts out of all of us.” Dash said in a defensive tone.

“It’s not just mages Dash, some of the best flyers have come out of the Academy as well.” Twilight said in a flat tone. “The first Captain of the Wonderbolts was a graduate from there.” Dash’s jaw dropped at the words.

“No way!”

“Yes way. My brother told me that to become an officer in the guard you have to go there for special training.”

“So these guys are some type of special guard?” Pinkie asked.

“No, they aren’t connected with the guard. From what I’ve read they act as an independent force and get jobs from all over Equestria.”

“Oh so it’s like a school and a guild combined?” Pinkie asked.

“Exactly.” Twilight said with a smile.

“Well, we’d better give them one hell of a welcome party then.” Applejack said. “When are they coming?”

“I’ll write to the Princess and see if she can tell me anything about them.”

“C’mon everybody! We’ve got a party to plan!” Pinkie said as she raced out the door. The other four girls. Twilight stayed behind and started scribbling words on a piece of paper.

The door to the caboose burst open revealing the green eyed man. He quickly scanned the room and his eyes shrank at the sight. The floor was covered in blood and the body of the blonde man was on the ground. There was a large slash mark across his chest. The wound seemed to reach all the way to the spinal column and the edges of the wound looked like they were burned.

Crow heard sobbing coming from the end of the car. He hurried over and saw Crimson sitting in the corner shaking in fear. Blood was splattered across his face, so much that the only part of his fair skin were the tear trails running from his eyes. Crow knelt down beside him and put his dark coat around him.

“Wh-what am I?” Crimson said through the tears.

“Your tea.”


“Your tea sir.” The dream collapsed and the red hair’d man woke up to see the woman from before holding a hot cup of tea. “Are you okay sir?” She asked as she tilted her head.

“I’m fine.” He said as he took the tea from her. “Thank you.” He said as he took a sip. “How long until we reach Ponyville?”

“Ponyville? That won’t be coming up for another two hours.” She said with a smile. Crimson groaned and sipped his tea.

“Well, what’s the next stop?”

“Trottingham. We’ll be there within five minutes.” She said as she cocked an eyebrow.

“How far away is that from Ponyville?”

“Ten miles.” She Said with a smile.

“Thank you.” He said with a smile. The woman walked back down the hall. Crimson groaned and weighed his options as the train pulled to a stop. Crimson quickly got to his feet and exited the train station. He cracked his neck and walked over to the information booth. A man wearing a similar uniform as the conductor and the Stewardess. “Um excuse me.”

“Yes, how can I help you?” He asked with a smile.

“What’s the fastest route to Ponyville?” He asked in a flat tone.

“That would be the-”

“Beside’s the train.”

“Oh, well you could take the main road, but that would take you about six hours.” Crimson groaned and thanked the man with a wave. He looked ahead to see the sun setting. He let out a breath and let the cold air bite at his neck.

“Better get started then.” He said as he started to make his way down the long winding road.