• Published 3rd Dec 2017
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Time in the Night - The Real Darkness



All since that day I got it, Chronoblade, my life got difficult. But here, at the end of my journey, I couldn't be anymore happier.

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Chapter 4: Shattered Earth

"Daniel!" I heard Luna call behind me, but I kept running out of the castle to the front gates.

They're rulers here, but they don't seem to care as much as their people as I do. They should be caring more about them than I do. Equestria might be more similar to Earth than I thought.

I reached the front gates and bashed them open, running down to a cafe nearby the castle and climbing the stone architecture to the roofs, taking off to the small town known as Ponyville first. It was quiet except for the gasps and aweing of the ponies at my fast traveling.

"Daniel!" I heard Luna's voice behind me and I barely moved my head to peek at her through the corner of my eye.

I looked forward again and zipped around a chimney before jumping to a giant roof that had a globe-like window on it. I glanced inside to find a giant library. I continued going and I heard Luna flap her wings behind me.

"You're very good at this, Daniel. But you need to rest or at least eat something," she argued again.

"I'll rest when," I jumped to a set of smaller buildings again, "these demons are gone. I don't let the people down," I continued.

"You can't help them when you aren't at your full potential!" Luna argued with me again.

"Just let me do this, don't you want to see this Elden?" I asked, trying to sting her.

She went silent and I heard her wings get further and further away. I felt a little guilty, but that was washed away when I saw a blue light flash in front of me and she stood their with a scowl. I gripped her head and jumped over her to the street, running out and jumping down the cliffs of the carriage road. I heard wings above me while I made progress. I was breathing hard from my constant run and my legs were somewhat sore, but I wouldn't stop now. It felt like they were stabbed with each fall I took until I reached the bottom.

I pounded my foot to sprint and faltered with my right leg, going onto my left knee. I was gasping for air.

"See, Daniel. Let's go back to the castle," Luna tried to sway me.

"No, I just-," I heard a loud roar and saw trees breaking in the small woods ahead that separated Ponyville from Canterlot along with the plains.

"Daniel, we need to go now," she said and landed next to me, brushing me with her head.

"I said no," I answered again. I drew Chronoblade and stood to my feet.

It's big

I was informed of my enemy before it arrived. I saw a giant orange-red snake head blast out of the trees, seeing two more follow. It was the same snake demon I chased away in Appleloosa.

Will me to my powers and I will do so, you need no longer to focus so intently

That's a help. Equestria has changed Chronoblade just by being here. Maybe it's changed me a little, maybe I've become harsher.

I saw the snake lunge at us, specifically Luna. I figure it has a vendetta against me. I pushed Luna out of the way roughly, causing her to stumble enough out of the way while I was sent onto my back.

"Fuck!"

I stood again, swinging Chronoblade slowly a few times before I charged at the thing.

"That's it," I whispered when it reared to strike at me with an open mouth, "come get some," it zipped at me and I sent a thought to control Chronoblade like it was a muscle.

And without prompt, it slowed time down by about three-fourths. I chuckled a bit and jumped onto its bottom lip. I stabbed Chronoblade down into the bottom of its jaw. I felt it give once and then twice to my blade, signaling it went all the way through. I pulled my katana up and cut both its fangs off with a twirl. I sliced the tongue that withdrew somewhat, splicing it further in two pieces. I cut up its mouth a little more before I fell backwards and landed on my feet, feeling them sting again.

I let time return to normal and felt somewhat light-headed but not that bad. The snake roared in agony, rearing back before it looked at me again, blood pouring from its mouth.

"That's what I thought!" It slithered off in silence back towards the woods. Back towards...

Towards...

Ponyville.

"Will you lis-," I cut off Luna when she approached me.

"Now is definitely not the time!" I yelled and willed Chronoblade to slow time slightly, "Ponyville needs me! Ponyville needs Lauden too!"

I ran after the snake, following the cleared path of its slithering. This was very bad, if it got to Ponyville, the town could become like Appleloosa. It didn't even have natural defenses other than the Everfree Forest being so thickly portrayed on the map with warning signs.

I had to get there. I willed time slower, shaving the world around me to four-fifths of its normal speed.

"Daniel! Daniel!" I heard Luna yell slowly behind me. I was losing her quickly and I started to see the tip of this snake. I sprinted to try and reach it, ignoring the pain in my legs.

I never failed the people when I was there and I wouldn't now. We made it out of the woods and into the plains. It was a straight walk to Ponyville now, I could see it in the distance.

I caught up after a few moments and I sliced the tip off, the scales weaker there than on the rest of its body. I heard it roar and it began to coil. around to face me. I seized my chance and slash as fast as I could at its body before it moved out of my reach when I returned time to normal, flesh spilled out from the multiple cuts I laid on the inside of it. I heard it hissing loudly.

"You're not taking that town, too!" I shouted and stared right up at it. I saw the head with the eye that was obviously infected now. It was swollen, bright yellow centered and red around, and it ached to be treated.

I heard footsteps behind me, "Daniel, I'm here."

I peeked and saw Lauden who already had fire swirling around his limbs.

"Good, your punches and kicks could do some damage to those scales."

Trust him to keep it busy, you can't defeat it like that

Chronoblade spoke to me. I ignored it, I could kill this thing. It would be hard, but very worth it.

"On me!" I yelled and ran forward to its coils. Lauden was quick to be behind me.

The snake demon charged with all three of its heads at me. I grabbed Lauden and slowed time just enough so he could get some punches in to the coils before I attempted to slash at the now bruised skin of the snake, no results. I only scratched the surface of them. I whipped my head behind me when I heard Lauden.

"HaaaaaAAHHH!" He crescendo-ed his yell and slammed his heel into the left head's nose. I reverted time to normal and the snake roared in pain as it thrashed into some of the trees and the ground.

"Lauden, you got this?" I asked.

"Yea! Reinforcements should help us subdue the beast somewhat," he yelled over the roaring. The snake refocused on him.

"I'll be back with Elden, Chronoblade knows something," I took off, running and I heard Luna flapping her wings above me again.

"Firesting does as well, be fast!" He called and I heard a smashing sound behind me.

"Daniel, grab my hooves," Luna said after I sheathed Chronoblade.

"Why? I'm not just gonna let you take me back to Canterlot," I continued running and felt the stinging pain return to my legs after the adrenaline wore off from the snake. I peeked back and saw Luna flying above and a little behind me. Lauden was somehow able to jump higher than I could, smacking the snake about, but not putting effort in to really harm it.

"Because I'm going to help you. I see you only listen to your only morals first," Luna said.

"Because protecting others, living up to your reputation, and upholding justice are most important in the world. Don't try to trick me, Luna," I held up my hands to trust her after I put Chronoblade into my belt and I felt her furry hooves hit my hands. I gripped them and felt myself being lifted off the ground.

I eventually stopped the running motions in my legs and I hung while she picked up speed. We were approaching Ponyville quickly. I began to climb up on of her hooves.

"Daniel?"

"I'm just securing myself, keep going," I said and threw my front over her back and heaved myself up to sit on her properly.

I felt Luna really begin to fly fast and we entered Ponyville, buildings flying by. The ponies were all staring at us, the blue and black blur we probably looked like. I didn't think a princess would be so adept at physical activities, but this world was very different from my own. I don't think assumptions worked here half the time. It wasn't long before we hit the Forest and Luna flew upwards and we glided over the forest.

I stared down and even in the mid-morning sun, the forest was very dark, I couldn't see the grass most of the times from the thick canopy. When I could, it was just blackness from the lack of light. I looked around, the forest was large, very large. I saw the crumbling castle ahead and my eyes followed the path and I saw the huge gorge that looked almost endless if not for the torches that lit stairs down it. It looked like it surrounded the castle.

"Daniel, do you want to know what happened here?" Luna offered to tell me the tale.

"No, if Elden is anything like Lauden, then I'll see it first hand through his eyes," I felt Luna shudder at her words.

"Well, good luck. From what the generals back then told us, he sacrificed himself for us and the soldiers."

"I think I like him already," I smiled.

Heroes. IS that what we really are? What is a hero? Do they save the entire world? A group of people? I suppose if they protect something then they are a hero. Then we are heroes, but I don;t like having that name. It carries too much weight.

Luna flew down into the gorge and landed right under the bridge. I hopped off, my legs no longer in pain from the flight here.

That way

Chronoblade pulsed on my side in white light. I withdrew it fro my belt, holding the sheath loosely while I walked down the chasm. It was dark away from the torches, but I kept walking with Luna behind me. I peeked back at her when a blue light lit up our surroundings, a glowing ball sat on top of her horn.

"Thanks."

"Of course, Daniel."

I stopped when I saw a rock hand poking out of the rock wall of the gorge. I assumed this had to be Elden. I touched his hand with my right index finger, feeling something stir in him. He was alive.

Touch me to him again

I obeyed Chronoblade's words and unsheathed him, tapping the tip to him.

My vision went white for a bit and I froze, I couldn't move my body. When the blinding white cleared, I knew I wasn't in the gorge anymore.

-------------------------------------------------

I was one of the last humans. We were a dying race. Even if we've prevailed for millennia according to our tomes, it didn't matter. Few of us lived and there was little or no chance of meeting others. There would be no more propagating the species, we were too spread apart to do that, and we didn't know where each other were.

Those thoughts filled my mind, and I knew they weren't mine. They had to be Elden's.

Not like that mattered to me. All that mattered was that I served these two adolescent princesses in front of me. I watched them play in the field in front of me, cute and happy. They were very kind for taking me in. That's what the world had become. Cute and happy ever since the past of my species had fought to rid Equestria of evils. But I'd never share that with the ones named Celestia and Luna. It would probably make them cry for me and maybe even let me free of their service so I could do what my species nobly did.

Celestia, a pink and green maned alabaster alicorn. Luna, a midnight blue-coated, sea-maned alicorn. My place was by them, vigilant.

"Whoa! Look at that!" I heard Luna yell aloud and pointed her hoof at the sky.

Some metal object was flying over in an arc, headed right for me. I casually stepped out of the way and watched as it hit the stone I was at a few seconds ago.

It was a sword, a simple straight sword with a brown leather wrapped handle and a pommel of metal that looked like a dog had chewed on wood. I reached my hand out to it and grabbed the handle. It was very rough despite its smooth appearance. I pulled the blade free, noting that it turned to a bronze color at the tip, gradually shading to a more and more brown-like color.

This must have been the weapon Elden used like Lauden did.

That way, they're coming

My head felt like I had just been thrown around and disoriented. I inspected my armor and saw all the metal plates to be right where they should be. I looked down to my left and saw my own sword still there.

That way

I looked to my right and past the woods, seeing an army approach. The minotaur army, and they were coming right through the forest quickly. It wouldn't be long before they started their battle cries and sprinting. That would catch us off guard. The sounds of hooves were very loud.

"Elden!" I heard Celestia scream and both of them ran to me, hugging my legs tight with their hooves.

"I think I understand, you want me to do my job now more than ever," I whispered and looked down to the sword before I looked to the two lights of my life.

They will be safe, they'll carry Equestria into an age of more peace. That's a noble cause to risk life and limb for.

"Girls, go get the guards and the general. Tell them the minotaurs are here," I gripped the new sword tighter.

"B-b-but," Luna began to argue with tears in her eyes.

"Go!" I yelled and both of them ran through the front doors of the castle.

I ran right to the minotaurs and it was only about a minute before I heard them yell and start to charge at me. I could see their horns and their muscles now, big, intimidating. I swore and oath and no amount of fear in my body would match the power that promise put in my legs. They had to be scattered in the forest, we couldn't fight them there.

"Ahhhh!" I yelled and raised my blade high, ready to clash with them. Lives would be lost in this fight. I would be among them most likely.

I hope those two survive.

I soon found it only to be a small group of five of them. We had time to ready our defenses if we could survive this and I could do these in alone, I had the physiology to match them unlike the ponies, I wouldn't be towered over.

They soon clustered up once they reached the field and I felt my head lifting off my shoulders again.

Smash my tip into the ground

I quickly obeyed. I was coming to trust this blade. The ground in front of me gave way from where the tip connected and a huge sinkhole formed in the earth as it violently shook. The minotaurs were swallowed by it when the ground gave way under their hooves.

"W-what?" I stared at my feat and heard the minotaurs scream as they fell down the huge hole.

I didn't have time to ask questions when I heard a war horn behind me and saw the whole army of Luna and Celestia in front of the castle, charging to meet the main minotaur force. A deceptive manuever using the trees to make them seem a lot larger and take my attention. They did their research and knew I was their ace.

I ran over, taking the front of the line. I was farther out than the soldiers behind me, who knew my rank was equal t that of the generals and trusted my orders just as much. I was just about to lead the clash.

Elden's war experience should be helpful in our fights.

The fight will be over, hilt me into the ground

I obeyed this new friend of mine and plunged my new sword into the ground, sinking it past rock and dirt until the hilt touched the grass.

The entire ground rumbled and the guards behind me lost their footing, as did the minotaurs before me. I saw a huge crack form in the ground and split open, swallowing the entire minotaur force and me. I heard a loud rumble again and the slamming of rocks, watching the crag below me close up before I fell deeper into it along with the minotaurs.

I felt tired, sleepy even. The rocks and dirt falling on me didn't hurt while I was forced to close my eyes. I reached my hand out futilely for help, towards the light.

----------------------------------------

I looked up back at the hand sticking out from the rock wall, Chronoblade was no longer pressed to him.

"Daniel? Are you okay? You went quiet and wouldn't respond to me," Luna spoke up.

"I saw Elden's final moments before he was sealed up here," I smiled, "he cares a lot about you and Celestia."

To give your life for a greater cause, I could only hope I die like that. A hero, that's what I still wanted to be even after my childhood days. I didn't shoot laser beams from my eyes and I couldn't fly, but I could still be a hero.

I shook the childish memory from my head.

"It'll be nice to see him again," Luna smiled, her eyes a little watery.

I pressed Chronoblade to the palm of the hand, the tip touching it lightly. The rocks fell off his skin, a deep tan color, and he began to move again. The sword I saw in the vision formed from nothing in his hand. The cliff wall gave way and he pulled himself out. His blonde hair was filled with rocks and his iron plate armor wasn't rusty at all. His armor covered his arms, elbows, legs, knees, chest, back, and everywhere that wasn't his neck, hands, or feet. His hands were gloved with leather and boots covered his feet. He began gasping.

"W-what happened?" he asked, coughing after while he leaned over his knees. He didn't open his eyes yet.

"Who are you two?" he questioned, his grip tightened around his sword when he saw my blade unsheathed. I sheathed it in show of good faith. His head was moving between us.

"I am Daniel, but I am known as Silent Time here," I introduced myself, pulling my cloth face mask back up over my mouth and nose.

"Elden, do you remember who I am?" Luna asked and Elden peered very closely at her, looking her up and down.

He set his sword blade in his other hand near the hilt. He leaned forward and hugged Luna tightly. I soon saw both of them leaking tears quietly.

"I'm so glad you survived!" Elden declared.

"After the guards told us you sacrificed yourself to stop the battle before it started, we were torn apart."

"Little one, you have grown so much, you're definitely not the filly I remember. Where is your sister?" He asked.

I stretched, preparing for more battle.

"Elden, we must go to help a friend of ours. Equestria is facing dark days and that's why you were dragged up from your slumber, same as him. Afterwards, we can see Celestia in Canterlot," I informed.

"Well, let's go!" He declared and let go of Luna.

"I suppose there will be time for catching up later, Lauden does need us," Luna noted and spread her wings.

"Elden, climb up," he followed Luna's words and sat upon him. I put Chronoblade back into my belt while Luna lifted off the ground with her wings. Her horn lit up brightly for one moment, "Daniel, my hooves."

I grabbed on to them and felt she also kept a really good grip on my hands.

She hovered out of the gorge and quickly began a fast flight back to Ponyville.

"So, what are we helping Lauden with?" Elden asked.

"A large three-headed snake demon. Demons have come out of Tartarus since someone broke it open. I hope this is the only one of its kind. Its scales are impenetrable," I informed.

"And I was hoping Equestria would be peaceful."

"It used to be, that's why I called Daniel here and then he set out to find you and others that could help. We ahven't seen real combat in a very long time," Luna said as we entered Ponyville, zooming through again.

Luna had to be a very strong alicorn to carry us both like this. I saw the demon in question thrashing about while it looked like Lauden was fighting it still. A good fighter.

"Luna, drop me on top of him," I said while we approached. Luna began to lift up and I let go of one of her hooves, unsheathing Chronoblade.

We were right above one of its heads and I slowed time here and dropped, lining m blade up with an eye. This was the head with the other infected eye that I left it. I sunk my blade deep into it and pulled out, sliding back down its neck like I did at Appleloosa. I resumed time at its normal speed when I landed and the snake thrashed in pain again, blood spewing from its eye. I saw one of the other heads still had blood dripping from its mouth. I ran back and grouped up with Lauden, who was breathing heavy.

"You're late," he heaved.

"I'm here, let's finish him," I swung the blood off Chronoblade and Elden jogged to us.

"Good, you found him," Lauden noted.

"Equestria is going to need a lot more than just us to win this," Elden commented, "Daniel, how were you that fast on your feet?"

"I saw your sword gives you power to control the earth. Lauden's allows him to manipulate fire. I can bend time," I said while the snake recoiled and towered over us, one of the heads looking a little off from our position. That was the one I had blinded.

"I have a plan," Elden said when one of the heads leaned to us.

I grabbed Lauden and slowed time, watching it come in at us slowly. I slashed it its lips and stopped when I saw Lauden hook the snake right in the side of its jaw. I resumed time and some blood spurted onto us while its head whipped from the punch.

"Let's do it," Lauden said, "we haven't been able to defeat this thing effectively."

"Keep it still!" He yelled when two of the head came in for an attack.

I swung Chronoblade's sheath out for Lauden to grab and I touched Elden, stopping time completely.

"You have all the time you need," I held my head from the headache I was slowly building.

"Impressive, Daniel," Elden said and slashed his blade at the ground.

The ground below the snake imploded and rumbled. Lauden and I had to stabilize ourselves against the movement. A giant hole was left there.

"Lauden, hit that snake in there," his words came off a bit blurred together in my ears. My head was ringing a little.

I watched Lauden run over and climb up the snake, going on top of its heads and punching, kicking down on them while he stood on the one with the bleeding mouth. He took his time getting down, being careful not to fall in the hole. He took longer than I had wanted.

"Fucking shit, hurry up!" I yelled in pain.

Chronoblade was a powerful weapon, but demanded a lot from its user.

"Daniel, set the time back to normal. Lauden, burn the snake in the pit when it lands there," he said and I quickly stopped using my katana's divine power.

The snake roared and was sent into the giant pit quickly. Lauden held out his hands and a large trail of fire burned from them and into the crater. Elden touched his sword to the ground and closed the pit. The snake would roast with the burning trees in the hole.

I fell onto my side, unable to hold myself up against my migraine.

"You okay, Daniel?" I heard Lauden fade out while he breathed heavy himself.

My vision slowly faded out after my hearing was filled with my ringing head. I saw Luna peer over me before I felt myself go unconscious.

Daniel, you have done well

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