• Published 31st Aug 2014
  • 3,410 Views, 176 Comments

Ponyblade Chronicles - ZeroChill

Twilight Sparkle equips a mysterious ring, unknowingly destroying the laws of reality that Equestria was built upon. Now, in a foreign world, Twilight Sparkle must team up with Shulk to find her friends and get back home

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The Battle and Tephra Cave

Twilight Sparkle readied her horn blade and Applejack moved her war hammer into position in the face of the horde of the Beach Krabbles.

Applejack ran towards the closest Krabble with the hammer in hoof. With a mighty swing, she smashed the blunt part of the hammer against the Krabble’s shell. Dunban ran after three Krabbles, and Twilight Sparkle faced off against a group of five Krabbles.

“Hyah!” Applejack cried out, swinging her hammer against the Krabble in her path. She leaped into the air, flipped and aimed the hammer down towards her unsuspecting victim. “Hammer Burst!” She shouted, the hammer striking the ground and producing a sizeable shockwave with an orange color. The Krabble directly hit by it took massive damage while the other Krabble were knocked off-balance.

“Good, Applejack! Keep it up!” Dunban stated, slashing away some of the Krabble in his path.

Twilight Sparkle charged towards the horde, swinging her head diagonally, vertically and horizontally. Several Krabble were hit, but they still continued towards her. She backed up slightly in the face of the swarm, but her eyes flashed with brilliance.

“Wait, I have arts!” Her horn flashed with a lavender color, and it was aimed towards a single Krabble. “Magic Spark!” She shouted, a burst of energy shooting out of her horn and striking the Krabble back. “Yes! Now let’s see if I can do that again.” She said, charging her horn once more. All what she was given was a disappointing flicker of energy.

Dunban, whose blade was clashing against the Krabble, looked towards Twilight Sparkle.

“I might need to remind you that all arts have a bit of a cooldown time to them, Twilight.” Dunban stated, a Krabble throwing its right claw towards him, which he narrowly dodged.

“Yeehaw!” Applejack shouted, pulling a rope out of nowhere and hitching it onto a Krabble. “Gotcha, pardner.” She smiled, reeling in the Krabble and whacking it back with her hammer. “Don’t think I’m done with you yet!” She stated, pulling back the Krabble and hitting it once more. That Krabble let out its death cry.

Twilight Sparkle, who watched the Lasso-Rasso Hoedown, felt a burst of confidence within her. She grinned widely.

“Nice one, Applejack! Keep up the pressure!” She called out, feeling the rhythm of battle get to her. “Now, how about you Krabble take this on for size?!” Her horn sparked with life once more, charging up with radiant energy. “Light shot!”

Suddenly, a ball of white light emerged from the tip of Twilight Sparkle’s horn, firing directly towards a Krabble. The Krabble struck by it got knocked far back.

“Good, Twilight! That was a nice shot!” Dunban called out, a host of Krabbles bleeding out behind him.

“I’ll go after that Krabble. Cover my flank, Dunban and Applejack!” Twilight Sparkle commanded, dashing after the Krabble towards the edge.

“You heard your friend, Applejack. Let’s be good companions and aid her in her assault!” Dunban announced.

Applejack, meanwhile, smacked away the last of the Krabble she was dealing with.

“Way ahead of you, Dunban!” She announced, both Dunban and herself running towards Twilight Sparkle.

Twilight Sparkle ran towards the sandy shore, next to the still water where the Krabble was. The Krabble, gradually being able to move, felt a sharp blade go through its body.

“Gotcha!” She shouted, pulling back her blade.

Dunban and Applejack ran towards her, smiles on their faces.

“So, it seems as if my assumptions were correct, Twilight. You do, in fact, possess the Warrior’s Spirit.” He commented.

“I thought that this would have been mindlessly slaughtering innocent creatures. It turns out that it’s all about position and strategy along with some heated action. Fighting these battles out is just as interesting as reading through the Theory of Magic by Starswirl the Bearded!” Twilight Sparkle called out.

“You know, I didn’t really think much of it before, but this pest control is a lot more fun than I thought!” Applejack compliantly stated.

Before the three, the corpse of the Krabble transformed into a wooden treasure chest within a pillar of golden light, prompting a curious observation by Twilight Sparkle.

“Beating the monsters of your world rewards us with treasure chests?” She asked.

“Ah yes, I almost forgot that information. It’s a peculiar feature, but you will never know what you will get until you open a chest. We also have more chests back there.” Dunban replied, pointing back at the chests back towards the shoreline. Applejack whistled with an impressed note.

“Color me surprised! If those chests have valuable stuff in them, it’d be able to support my family for at least a year!” She stated, suddenly frowning at her words. “I just hope they are okay.”

Twilight Sparkle walked over towards Applejack and put her right front hoof on her right shoulder.

“I know that they are okay, Applejack. If we ended up in this world around civilization, then they should have done so as well.” She comforted.

“Thanks, Twi. That really means a lot to me.” Applejack responded with a growing smile.

Within a nearby grassy patch, a caterpillar the size of a carriage with foliage and brown flesh popped out of the ground. Bronze spikes covered the top of its body and it has fourteen white legs and a misshapen tail. Dunban quickly hardened the grip on his sword, staring at the caterpillar fiercely.

“That… doesn’t look like any caterpillar I’ve seen.” Twilight Sparkle commented, her face staring at the caterpillar in confusion.

“First of all, Twilight, that’s not a caterpillar; it’s a caterpile. Second of all, this is not some ordinary caterpile; it’s a unique monster known as a Verdant Bluchal. If you wish to engage it in battle, then you have to take some precautionary measures. Even if unique monsters are in the same class as other monsters, those unique monsters will always be more powerful than others around their level.” Dunban warned.

“Should we fight it, Twilight? That thing does look somewhat menacing.” Applejack asked, her right front leg twitching slightly.

“I say we go for it. If we are together, then we cannot lose!” Twilight Sparkle called out with a confident smile. She ran towards the creature and shot a Magic Spark towards its direction. The blast struck it, catching its attention. The creature quickly slithered towards Twilight Sparkle, Applejack and Dunban.

“Get ready, it’s about to attack!” Dunban called out.

The Verdant Bluchal rolled up into a ball and dashed towards Twilight Sparkle with unreal speed.

“Gah!” She shouted, knocked back by the surprisingly strong blow. The Verdant Bluchal then engaged back into its straight form and charged after Applejack.

“Wait, what?” She stated before she felt the force of a full-blown tackle knock into her.

Applejack was pushed into the ground alongside Twilight Sparkle. Their eyes and teeth were clenched, the two ponies staving off the pain in their system. Dunban looked at the Verdant Bluchal with a fiery stare in his eyes.

“You hurt my friends! I’ll be sure to do more than hurt you!” He shouted, running up towards the Caterpile. Suddenly, a storm of blossoms surrounded him. “Born in a world of strife!” He shouted, slashing the Caterpile diagonally. “Against the odds!” He shouted, performing a horizontal slash. “We will fight! Blossom Dance!” He finished, slashing the Caterpile down the center with two strikes.

“That move looks a bit different than your other arts, Dunban.” Twilight Sparkle stated, slowly standing up with Applejack.

“That’s my Talent art. It’s different from other arts in the sense that it is your own personal skill, and thus has its own conditions. Normally, it’s just striking the other monster to fill it.” Dunban stated, the Caterpile shaking off the blows as if they were nothing.

“Understood. Looks like I understood what that art is for.” Twilight Sparkle stated in epiphany. She turned towards Applejack with a smile on her face. “Ready to show this worm why you are the strongest mare in Ponyville?”

“No, but I am ready to show why I am the strongest mare in all of Equestria.” Applejack snidely remarked, smiling deviously.

The two ponies ran towards Dunban, who was barely dodging and blocking the wrath of the Verdant Bluchal.

“Let’s see if this works.” Twilight Sparkle stated, closing her eyes and letting the magic flow through her horn. Her teeth were clenched as pure magic pulsed through her entire horn and body. “Can’t… control it!”

With a mighty alicorn’s roar, Twilight Sparkle was surrounded in a field of pure magic that expanded outwards. Dunban’s eyes widened, the grip on his blade loosening up.

The Verdant Bluchal got caught in the expanding blast radius, its body disintegrating into pieces. Dunban and Applejack quickly rushed in towards the field. The field dissipated and Twilight Sparkle fell into Dunban's left arm, overlooked by Applejack.

“That… wasn’t supposed to happen. I was supposed to trap the Caterpile within a cube that would slowly damage it over time and cut its speed.” She stated.

“I don’t know if you know, but when that surge of ether passed through your horn, I saw the ring around it flash.” Dunban stated.

“My ring?” Twilight Sparkle asked, looking up towards the ring on the base of her horn.

“Dunban!!!” A scream shouted from above a cliff, prompting Twilight Sparkle, Applejack and Dunban to look towards the cliff. From it, Shulk, Reyn, and a very mad Fiora stood at the edge. The trio of Homs jumped down onto the ground.

“Fiora! What a very inconvenient time for your arrival!” Dunban stated, visibly shaken by his sister’s sudden appearance.

“I was actually going to join up with Shulk and Reyn on their excursion into Tephra Cave to locate ether cylinders, but then the three of us saw an explosion of ether in this area. Now, what are you doing out of bed, and why do you have a sword in your left hand?” Fiora asked with ferocity.

“Ummm, well, I wanted to show Twilight and Applejack here the way of the warrior.” Dunban responded nervously. Fiora looked towards the two ponies next to him, and her angry expression became pacified into a cheerful smile by their sight.

“Aren’t you two just adorable? Shulk and Reyn told me all about you two ponies. Did my brother drag you into battle, by any chance?” She asked.

“Yes, he did. At first, we were against it because we are normally pacifists. Then, when we got into the flow of battle, we were surprised with the feelings that overcame us. I found a unique monster over there and, well, I kind of grew a bit prideful and took it on. It was a mistake on my part.” Twilight Sparkle explained, hopping out of Dunban’s left arm.

Fiora looked towards Dunban, her smile disappearing and her teeth viciously born towards him.

“I want you back in our home, Dunban. When I get back from Tephra Cave, you and I are going to have a serious talk about bringing those that do not wish to initially fight into a fight.”

“Y-yes, Fiora. I’ll go back home this very instant.” Dunban stuttered out, intimidated by his sister.

“I don’t want to say anything, Dunban, but your sister is some kinds of frightening when she’s mad.” Applejack commented, unnerved.

Fiora smiled once more, kneeling down towards Twilight Sparkle and Applejack’s levels.

“So my brother taught you girls how to fight then? I can see the weapons on you.” She asked.

“Erm, yes. That does appear to be the case.” Twilight Sparkle sheepishly responded.

“Well, would you like to accompany Shulk, Reyn and I to Tephra cave, then? We can really use all the help we can get.” Fiora requested.

“Yeah! That was a big explosion you did there, Twilight. You would be an awesome in battle.” Reyn responded, pounding his fist into the palm of his hand.

“I won’t force you if you two do not wish to come with us. After all, Tephra Cave is filled with many monsters and-“

“I’ll accompany you!” Twilight Sparkle hastily stated, interrupting Shulk. “I mean, Applejack and I would wish to join you three. I want to see how you three work as a team and explore more of this world.”

“Well, if it will help bring me closer to getting my family together, then I agree with Twilight.” Applejack stated.

“That’s wonderful news. Maybe I get to learn more about you two.” Fiora happily responded. “Dunban, I want you back home immediately. Please don’t give me needless worry by wandering out here in your condition.”

“I’ll… try, Fiora.” Dunban obediently said.

Shulk, Reyn, Fiora, Twilight Sparkle and Applejack walked up a cragged path filled with trees and other scenery. Twilight Sparkle was reading through a manual, skimming over its content. Shulk looked back towards her with a curious expression on his face.

“Are you reading up on combat arts, Twilight?” He asked.

“Yes, I am. According to this, your arts have position-based bonus effects, which make you stealth-based, Reyn’s arts draw all the attention of the enemy to him in addition to having arts that would allow him to tank the enemy, Fiora’s arts are quick and deadly, Applejack’s arts specialize more in Area of Effect damage and my arts are a combination of offensive and defensive-based ether arts.” Twilight Sparkle replied.

“It seems as if you figured that all by just the few arts we can use.” Shulk happily stated.

“That’s Twi’ for you, Shulk. She’s very studious.” Applejack commented.

“You know, Twilight, maybe you and I could do some research after this. You definitely show the dedication for the task.”

“It would be my honor to do research with you, Shulk. Right now, though, I’m still finding out the best combination of partners to go with each other. According to this manual, a maximum of three combat-capable members of the group can be in battle at a time.” Twilight Sparkle stated.

The group of five made it towards a gaping cave at the end of the path, along a cliff that overlooked the lake.

“So, Fiora, why is it that you are with Shulk and Reyn on something for the duty of the fortress? You seem like you have other things to do.” Applejack asked.

“I forced them to have me join them. They already forgot the transport cases that I have on my back, after all. I’d feel much better if I knew where they were at every single given moment.” Fiora answered with an innocent smile, holding out several steel cylinders from her hand.

“I knew she couldn’t trust us.” Reyn said to himself in annoyance.

“Don’t be like that, Reyn. After all, you still get to go into Tephra Cave to do your duty and you still can give those monsters your Reyn Time.” Fiora reasoned.

“Reyn Time?” Twilight Sparkle asked out of curiosity.

“It’s something he made up when encountering monsters. I find it to be funny.” Fiora responded.

“Ohhh.” Twilight Sparkle stated while the group entered the cave’s mouth.

The inside of the cave was damp and dark. Drips of water can be heard from stalactites down the tunnel.

“Well, it’s nice to see that the caves are just as creepy over here as they are at home.” Applejack commented, her teeth clenched and her body moving slowly. A loud screech echoed throughout the entire cave. “What was that?!” Her courage at their edge, she shouted.

“Calm down, Applejack. It’s just a Vang.” Reyn answered. “You’re jumpier than a Bunnit hopped up on some Black Kiwis. Don’t tell me you are afraid of caves.”

“Heck no! I’m an earth pony, and an Apple at that! We aren’t afraid of anything!” Applejack announced with much bravado in her voice, ignorant of the fact that a bat-like creature with a lilac face and a purple body roosted on her Stetson.

“Ummm, Applejack; you got something on your hat.” Slowly pointing to her hat, Shulk said.

Applejack’s eyes slowly widened. She lifted the Stetson off of her head and saw a giant bat that was sleeping inside of it. She screamed, tossing her hat towards Twilight Sparkle. Twilight Sparkle, holding the Stetson with the bat in it in her hooves, shrieked and tossed it immediately to Reyn.

“Don’t go throwing it at me!” Reyn shouted, passing the Stetson over towards Fiora.

“Don’t toss that hat with that Vang on there at me!” Fiora retorted, smacking the Vang off of Applejack’s hat. “Here, Applejack.”

“T-that was a Vang?! I thought that was just a monstrous bat. I didn’t think that was a Vang!” Applejack stated.

“It seems like the tough cowpony is afraid of a little Vang!” Reyn teased.

“Shut it, Reyn! You shouted like a sissy as well. At least I was caught by surprise by that thing.” Applejack sharply responded, putting the Stetson back on her hat.

In that moment, the Vang came back with five other Vangs. They all bore their fangs in harmful intent. Reyn smiled, extending his shield lance out.

“Yeah, it’s Reyn Time now!” Dashing towards the Vangs, he shouted. Fiora pulled out two butterfly knives and Applejack pulled out her hammer from her back.

“These no-good varmints startled me! I’ll teach them a lesson they won’t forget!” She stated.

Twilight Sparkle glanced over to Shulk, who was watching Reyn, Fiora and Applejack fight against the group of Vangs.

“I question whether Applejack is good against fighting flying enemies right now. Her best art, Hammer Burst, only affects enemies on the ground. She has her Lasso-Rasso Hoedown art, though, which should deal quite a large number of damage to a Vang and all other Vangs in their direction.”

“I wouldn’t worry too much about it, Twilight.” Shulk stated, Reyn punching a Vang with his fist, Fiora striking a Vang from its back and Applejack bucking a Vang against a wall. “See? The three of them are cleaning up nicely.”

“Well, I suppose so.”

Reyn smashed his shield lance into the last Vang, ending its life. He wiped the sweat off of his brow.

“Man, whatta bunch of jokers!” He sounded out.

“You tell ‘em, Reyn!” Applejack stated, hoisting the hammer back onto her back.

“The two of you are really quite smashing with those weapons.” Fiora commented.

As they traveled down the cave, they came upon a fork in a road; the straight path led into a very open room while the path on the left continued past the area.

“Hold up, everybody. I think we should take a left here.” Reyn announced. “Many soldiers have taken the straight path and ended up being mauled by the monsters there. At the very least, taking this path would guarantee that we don’t have to face that monster.”

“Wow, Reyn! That was the smartest thing I have heard come out of your mouth.” Twilight Sparkle positively commented.

“You make it sound like I never have anything intelligent to say, Twi’.” Reyn chided with a tongue click.

“That comment about the names of my guards didn’t exactly do you any favors, you know.”

“I know, I know. But, that’s all water under the bridge now.”

The group took the left path, walking across it. With a cheerful smile on his face, Reyn looked towards Twilight Sparkle.

“You know, Twilight; Plain Donut, Ice Cream and Sprinkles all got accepted into the Colony 9 Defence Force. They were born naturals.”

“Well, that’s good to know. I hope that they don’t treat my guards like common animals, though. I appreciate all the work they do.” Twilight Sparkle happily responded.

Bearing a frown with her teeth clenched, Applejack shied her head away from Fiora’s face. Fiora looked towards Applejack with a smile.

“So Applejack, where did you used to live before you ended up here? You sound like someone that was born and raised on a farm.”

“Actually, I was. My family and I continued a lineage of apple farming for Ponyville. I’m a 4th Generation Ponyville applebucker.” Applejack replied. “I live with my older brother, Big Macintosh, my younger sister, Applebloom, and my grandma, Granny Smith.”

“Where are your parents?” Fiora asked with a wide-eyed expression. Applejack let out a sad sigh.

“They’re not with us no more. My mom died from birth complications with Applebloom, and my dad died the day after, too distraught to defend himself against Timberwolves.” Hearing these words, Fiora tilted her head away, frowning. “You know, Fiora; Dunban told me about how your folks are dead as well.”

“Yes, that’s true. My mother died in a similar way your mother died, giving birth to me. My father served in the Defence Force when the Mechon attacked. He… didn’t make it out alive. From that day on, I was raised by my older brother. When I saw his body mauled the way it was last year, I wanted to cry. I didn’t want to lose my older brother and father figure. I know I was a bit tough on him today, but I just can’t stand the thought of being alone.” She stated, almost on the verge of tears.

“Well, that ain’t all true. You still have Shulk and Reyn. By the way, how did you all get to know each other?” Applejack asked.

“We were friends since our childhood.” Smiling once more, Fiora answered. “Reyn’s the fun guy and Shulk’s just a dork. We formed a trio that can never be broken up, always getting into various misadventures.”

“Gosh, you almost sound like Applebloom and her friends. They go on many adventures, hoping to earn their cutie marks one day.” Chuckling, Applejack stated.

“You mean those marks on Twilight and yours’ flanks? I was meaning to ask why those marks were there.”

“Yep, cutie marks. When a pony becomes of age and realizes their destiny, they get one of these marks on their flanks.” She said, pointing to her cutie mark. “My sis and her friends are trying everything in the book to get one. The funny thing is that they have their talents, but haven’t realized them yet. Everypony can see it, but it’s better if they found out for themselves.”

While Fiora and Applejack talked, Shulk, Reyn and Twilight Sparkle walked together, glancing towards each other occasionally.

“Twilight, I think Fiora might be mad at me.” With a shaken voice, Shulk uttered out.

“Why would that be the case?” Twilight Sparkle asked, looking up towards him.

“It’s because I wanted to hold the Monado just to see how it was like. I lost control of it and cut through some of Shulk’s machinery and Fiora. Thankfully, the Monado can’t cut through Homs and Nopon, so she wasn’t hurt.” Reyn explained.

“That’s an interesting feature on the Monado, but this still doesn’t explain to me how Fiora would be mad at Shulk.” Hearing Twilight Sparkle’s words, Shulk’s head slumped below his shoulders.

“I went straight for the broken machinery rather than Fiora. It’s something small, but I think I gave some bad messages there.” He regretfully stated. Twilight Sparkle put her left front hoof on Shulk’s shoulder, causing his head to jet out of his shoulders.

“Listen, Shulk. It isn’t your fault that you reacted the way you did. I haven’t seen the Monado in action yet, but the power it has must be destructive if it can cut a swathe through mechanical beings. Even if what you did was somewhat jerk-like, you did what you did because you knew she was fine. Don’t beat yourself up over it.” She stated.

“Thanks, Twilight. I needed that.” Shulk responded.

Eventually, the damp cave became brighter and more technologically advanced as the group continued along the path. The group walked into a room cemented with metal. Storage Boxes were neatly organized around the place and a metallic ramp that led to the next level caught their eyes.

“Are these the Mag Mell ruins?” Fiora asked.

“Haven’t you been here before?” Reyn responded, scratching his head.


“The Defence Force often uses this for training. But I come here to do research.” Shulk explained. “It’s not really a place that people go.”

“Not surprising. There are monsters around here that use Mechon parts as armour.” Reyn stated.

“Wait, what are Mechon parts doing over here? Does that mean that this place was built by the Mechon?” Twilight Sparkle asked.

“I don’t think so. There’s a path for people to get in. It might have been a vehicle of some kind.” Shulk replied.

“Vehicles like those floating bins I saw back at the fortress?” Applejack questioned.

“A vehicle? But it’s so big…” In awe, Fiora stated.

“It’s amazing technology. I wonder what kind of people made it.” Shulk pondered.

“I ain’t got a clue.” Reyn replied with a head shake.

“Maybe it might be other people with more advanced control over ether? It could be possible.” Twilight Sparkle hypothesized.

“Possibly. Regardless, we have to continue on forward if we want to get those ether cylinders.” Shulk stated.

Within the corridors of the higher level, various soldiers and even some ponies were seen maintaining the halls and keeping order in the place. The soldiers and ponies within chatted amiably with each other.

“This is incredible! Earlier today, Applejack was met with a spear to her throat. Now, I see ponies among the guards, acting as if they are best friends.” Shulk commented.

“I think they may have come at an understanding, Shulk. Now that I think about it, your people share similar behavior with my kind. With a strange, new encounter, we tend to be nervous. But, the more we get used to the stranger; we open up and just have a pleasant time.” Twilight Sparkle stated.

“Yep.” A deep voice called down from the hall. Applejack’s eyes widened and a large smile appeared on her face.

“Is that you, Big Mac?!” She called out. At the end of the hallway, a red-coated earth pony stallion with a blond-green mane appeared.

“Applejack!” His mouth curling into a grin, Big Macintosh shouted.

The two siblings dashed towards each other and embraced each other by their front legs. The sight brought heartfelt smiles onto the faces of Shulk, Reyn, Fiora and Twilight Sparkle.

“I thought I wouldn’t see you again! This is where you’ve been all this time?” Emotion and relief dripping from her tone, she questioned.

“Yep!” Big Macintosh responded, his eyes beginning to water up.

The two ponies let go and stepped back from each other. Lifting her right front hoof towards Big Macintosh’s face, Applejack smiled.

“You must have been so scared when you ended up in this world, Big Mac. I can see that in your tears.” She said, wiping away the stray tears.

Big Macintosh looked on Applejack’s back and saw a fierce-looking hammer on her back.

“Is that a weapon, Applejack?” In a mix of a curious and disappointed voice, he asked.

“Ummm, yeah. Sorry that I broke taboo, but this world’s pretty dangerous! It ain’t as peaceful as back home. These monsters will savagely attack others.” Applejack explained.

“Hey, Big Mac, is that you?” The voice of a small male adult called out. A fair-skinned man with brown hair adorned in the Defence Force Soldier uniform walked into the hallway. “I don’t think I have seen these ponies before.” He said.

“Let me introduce you then, Randall. This here is my sister, Applejack. Over there is her friend, Twilight Sparkle.” Big Macintosh stated, causing Twilight Sparkle and Applejack to wave their hooves.

“Howdy, Randall! My older brother didn’t attempt to buck you yet, did he?” Applejack asked.

“Nah. In fact, he’s been a very good companion. He doesn’t talk much, but we both just get along in our work. So, what are you five doing here today?” Randall replied, then questioned.

“We need ether cylinders from the Cylinder Hangar since we don’t have any at the fortress. You think we can get some?” Reyn asked.

“Of course you can. Here, let me lead the way.” Randall stated, waving his hand forward. The group walked down the hall, ready for the challenges ahead.

Author's Note:

Well, I go back to college. However, this won't slow me down. After all, I have to resolve this arc!