• Published 1st Dec 2015
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The Ronin Samurai - ElementBrigade



A samurai ends up in Equestria after being given a book by a mysterious child. Will she be able to survive in this world full of talking ponies?

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Chapter 15: Dealing with Insubordination

Chapter 15

Dealing with Insubordination

(Crystal Castle, Changeling Hive)

Full geared and prepared for the unexpected, the samurai and the holy knight made their way down to the new Changeling Hive that rested underneath the Crystal Castle of the Crystal Empire. Upon making their way down to the cave, they soon notice that everything was unusually quiet...well for a while before the sounds of dogs yelping echoed through the hive.

“Five bits says that Chrysalis and the others just met our nosey invaders right now.”

“What gave that away?” Amber asked sarcastically. “Was it the sounds of Diamond Dogs yelping in fear or pain?”

“Don’t be a smart ass Amber.”

“I learned it from watching you Mom.” The Holy Knight said with a smirk on her face.

“....It would seem that I’m rubbing off on you.” Hanako said as she pats the unicorn on her head. “I’m so proud of you my little pony~”

“Please don’t do that. Especially when we’re under attack.” Amber said as she rolled her eyes from being patted on the head. “Speaking of being under attack...have you notice that it’s awfully quiet down here?”

“Yeah...it is kinda quiet down here.” The Ronin said as she placed a hand on her katana and slowly makes her way through the changeling hive. “Stay alert. We don’t know if the changelings were attacked by them.” She said as Amber drew her sword while walking next to the human. As the unicorn looked around, she soon noticed the decor of the changeling hive.

“Wow, less than a day and the changeling got a lot done down here.”

“Well they are underneath the crystal heart, so it’s no surprise that they would be working this fast...that and Chrysalis knows what will happen if she even thinks of trying something stupid like the diamond dogs are doing.”

“So… you’re basically saying that the diamond dogs are brainless while the changelings don’t have a heart…… sounds like a ponytale in the making.” Amber grumbled. “What’s next? A manticore that doesn’t have courage?”

“To be fair, the changeling do have hearts...they just need to be a little bit open with some of the folks in town….okay a lot more. But I’m sure with time they’ll break out of their shell of isolation in no time.”

“If you think so… Though, for the record, if that day comes, I’ll be the one to say I told you so.”

“Oh sure, that’ll happen.” Hanako said in a sarcastic tone. “Better yet if that does happen, which I’m sure it won’t, I’ll even wear a fancy royal looking dress for the next two months.”

“You want to make that bet?” Amber asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Think you’re going to lose that bet?” The human asked as she extends a hand towards Amber for her to shake.

“I think you will be the one that ends up losing.” Amber confidently told her as she shook Hanako’s hand with an outstretched hoof.

“We’ll just see about that-.” Before Hanako could finish her sentence, she soon tripped over something hard as she stumbles forwards onto the ground.

“... Just to be clear, when I meant losing, I didn’t mean losing your footing.”

“Shut it smart ass.” Hanako replied as she groans while pulling herself up. Looking over to see what she tripped over, she blinks to see a dead body of a young diamond dog on the ground covered in what appears to be a mix of claws, bite marks, and sword wounds. “I don’t think we have to worry so much about the diamond dogs hurting the changelings.”

“Geez… Talk about going overboard… on a young one no less.”

“The price one pays for invading a kingdom. Whether by force, they came by themselves, or something else.” Hanako grimace at the sight of the young dog as she reaches into her bag. “Can’t believe I’m doing this.”

“Doing what?” Amber asked, raising an eyebrow. “Are you… going to try and help him?”

“Yes, yes I am.” She said as she pulls out a colorful orange-red feather with red sparkles coming off of it. Something that Amber had not seen before. Hanako walked over to the young dog as she kneels down and place the feather onto its body. Once it touched its body, the dog was soon engulfed in a mix of fire and feather for a moment before revealing the dog to be breathing and having less wounds on its body.

“W-what in-?” Amber blinked for a moment, staring at Hanako. “What was that?!”

“Phoenix Feather. Quite useful when bringing someone back from the dead within a twenty-four hour period. They’re pretty rare to find out in the wild, and they cost a lot if you buy them from a local store.” Hanako said before pulling out a Hi-Potion and pouring it onto the pup. “This should keep it alive until we’re done here. We’ll come back to pick it up later and question the pup later.”

“Um… questioning it may seem harsh. A pup is like a newborn until it reaches a certain age… we don’t even know how old it is.” Amber reminded her.

“We’re not going to use brute force on the pup. I’m not that much of a hard ass towards...certain ponies or beings. I’m just going to ask questions that relates to the invasion going on. That and if the pup knows if there are any other diamond dogs having a small hideout near the kingdom.”

Around the time that she said that though was when something happened that neither of them expected. The pup… was slowly waking up. “U-ugh… w-wha-?”

“...... I think this might mess with the ‘pick it up’ plan you originally thought of.”

“....Shit. Forgot to factor in the age difference between an adult and child.” Hanako cursed… shortly before looking at the diamond dog and realizing that it was trying to say something.

“Y-you… saved Rufus?”

“Um… who’s Rufus?” Amber asked, looking to Hanako for a moment before they heard the Diamond Dog speak again as he pointed directly at himself.

“Rufus is Rufus…… a-are b-bug ponies gone?”

“Not really. They’re still here, but given how the kingdom is being invaded by diamond dogs I guess they must have mistaken you as the invaders.” Hanako answered as she felt a hoof smack her upside her head. “Ow! What the hell!?”

“Look at him yourself…” Amber said, pointing out the fact that Hanako’s answer had him shivering in fear as he looked back at her. “Your answer is telling him that he’s not safe here. It’s a fight or flight response and given that he’s too young to fight… he wants to get out of here.” That was expressed more when the pup was trying to look all around him and find a place to hide, thinking that there were changelings that were watching them. With a sigh, the Ronin place a hand on the pup’s head as she looks down at him.

“Relax. If you’re with me, you’ll be fine. I’ll have to have a chat with Chrysalis about this later, but as long as you’re with me you’ll be safe so long as you don’t go wondering off.”

“O-okay…” He looked around for a moment, noticing something else as there were a few other fallen diamond dogs. Some that caused the youngster to have tears pour out from his eyes as he began to cry on Hanako’s clothing. Shortly looking back at her and saying something that Amber and Hanako did not expect to hear. “M-ma…”

“......This day is just getting weirder and weirder by the second.”

Amber could only chuckle for a moment as he looked back at her. “I think he’s getting attached to you.”

“Let’s… just get to where the other changelings are so we know what’s going on down here.” Hanako sighed.

“Alright… though, how do you think they’ll react to seeing him though?” Amber asked.

“Possibly something stupid. Though given how I’m seething with rage, I’m sure they won’t do that.”

“Fair point… Oh look, there’s a couple of them coming here now.” Amber told her, pointing out what looked like a small band of scouts that was not far from their current position.

“That’s good to see.” The Ronin said as she looks over at the scouts. “Alright, what’s the situation that’s going on down here?”

“L-lady Hanako! W-we did not expect to see you here…” One of the scouts replied back. “We are relieved to see you… What brings you down here?”

“Mostly here to see if the diamond dog leader is down here or went by here, and to ask something from you lot.”

“H-he was here… demanding for us to leave or be attacked. Chrysalis herself refused, so it lead to us fighting here. All the Diamond Dogs cared for was the gems and the crystals that grew down here… but he didn’t say a reason as to why.” The scout replied, noticing Rufus holding onto Hanako’s leg. “What the-? How!?”

“Calm down…” Amber urged the changeling. “The pup is under Lady Hanako’s protection. She wanted to know what happened down here-”

“That’s not why I was shocked… None of us knew that there were children involved in the battle that took place down here. We only saw the older ones.” That… surprised both of them. Especially Amber.

“So wait… You’re telling me that you did not see anypony like Rufus down here in the tunnels?”

“No. Chrysalis herself made one thing strictly clear. After Lady Hanako considered her an ally, none of us were allowed in anyway to harm children… Killing younglings like that would be seen by all species as a war crime,” The scout replied. “However…… I might possibly know who could be responsible. When the diamond dogs attacked, our forces were divided into two separate swarms. One focused on protecting the changelings that were down here… the other focused on attacking the enemy. And the one in charge of the second squad is known for defying Chrysalis, even if she gives a direct order.”

“... So, we have one of those….” Hanako squeezed the bridge of her nose before sighing in annoyance. “Son of a bitch, give me the name of this changeling and I’ll have a word with him after this.”

“Okay, but as a fair warning… he’s been against a lot of the things that have changed now that Chrysalis and you are allies. He thinks that working with other species… and love and compassion in general is a sign of weakness,” The changeling sighed as he looked back at Hanako. “He’s my brother… Pharynx.”

“And what’s your name exactly?” Amber asked.

“My name is Thorax… I was one of the changelings that supported the alliance between you and the queen and for us to change our ways. However, my brother’s being outspokenly defiant…” He sighed for a moment, before looking to Hanako… and more specifically Rufus. “If he see’s that pup alive, then he’ll try to find a way to correct his mistake. Be careful.” He said as he notice a grimdark expression on the ruler’s face that caused most of the changelings to flinch back a bit from it.

“...Where is Pharynx?”

“I believe he’s with the rest of his patrol…… Are you okay, my lady?” Thorax asked out of concern.

“And where is he and his patrol located?”

Before he could answer though, that was when they all heard someone else speak. “Okay, just what in the name of the hive is going on here?” They all turned to see what looked like a group of changelings in pure combat armor, some with bloodstained weapons as the one that looked like the leader noticed Thorax. “Brother… what is the meaning of this?”

“I did not call her… Lady Hanako came on her own accord,” Thorax corrected him, before glaring back at Pharynx. “Did you even know that there were children and pups among the invading force.”

“Yeah, we all noticed it. However, those damned dogs turned their own kids into freaking soldiers!! Some of them even killed my own comrades!” The changeling snapped, before looking towards Hanako and where Rufus was… Before they all heard the pup say something.

“Y-you…… Y-you… took Papa and Mama… away from R-rufus…”

Amber’s eyes widened… before she ended up glaring at the changeling. “You bastard! You killed this pup’s parents!!”

“So what!?! They were invading OUR HOME!!! My orders were to stop the invading masses anyway I could! If anything, how is that pup alive?!!” The changeling growled. “I swore that I killed him after he tried to attack me-!!”

“.....Pharynx was it?” Hanako asked as she hides her grimdark expression quickly and well. Though the others could see that she was pissed beyond imagination as some of Pharynx’s own squad members were beginning to back away from him. “Now I can understand killing the parents by accident because you didn’t see the child. I can understand if you have a moral where you killed the father and left the mother and son live. That I can understand.” Hanako said as she begins to walk up towards the changeling with a smile on her face. “But what you just did. Is something that I would never do. Nor would I even think of doing.”

“I gave up my moral to serve my queen… I am a soldier… That’s all I am.” Pharynx defiantly told her.

“No, you are not a soldier. You are a idiot soldier. A soldier is one that protects his home and is willing to do whatever he or she has to do to protect their home. They have morals, they’re willing to stick up for what is right and wrong, and they’re willing to even die by their own action whether it was letting the enemy go, or killing them. You are a soldier that has a one track mind, a danger to innocent beings be it on the enemy and ally side.” Hanako said as she knelt down at the Changeling with the same smile on her face as she placed a hand on his head. “You would’ve been an okay partner to have back in the war back home in ivalice, but seeing how the war is no longer there and I’m not there either.” Her expression quickly change back to how it was before. Grim, dark, and murderous intention. “This is unacceptable.”

“Don’t talk to me like you know what is or isn’t acceptable…” Thorax growled. “You may act like you know what’s best… but I can see your eyes… You’ve killed before. You have committed acts that you don’t regret at all… So don’t try to talk about morals when you have once served somepony before… or were they the one you killed with no regrets.”

“Oh my little changeling friend. I have committed a lot of thing during the war of lions. Hell you’re right about me not having regrets on them.” Hanako said as she pulled herself up from where Pharynx was before walking past him. “But you’re only 95% right about me not having any regrets.” She said as everypony notice that her katana was unsheathed the whole time. Seriously, how did they not notice that? “Now I could tell you about it, but right now you’ll be out of commission until the next day or so depending.”

“No… If you’re going to kill me… do it like the lord you once served… what was his name?” Pharynx asked as the armor began to shift along his body. “Ryuga?”

“Oh I could….but I won’t. Because after today.” Hanako sheathed her sword slowly as she stopped near the hilt. “You will no longer serve as Chrysalis or the kingdom’s knights until you have a heart.” Upon saying that, Hanako sheathed her katana completely as blood gushed out from three visible deep cuts on the changeling’s body. As the Ronin turned around, Pharynx fell to the ground. “You want to die, then die of old age. But do remember that if you do die, that you’ll leave your brother all alone in this world. And I’m pretty sure you’re not that stupid to do that.”

All Pharynx did was just smirk in response as he looked at her. “Why would I care for that weak excuse of a sibling? Things were fine before with the old ways… but once you got yourself involved, you ruined everything…”

“Oh yeah, cause from the look of things you guys were doing so well with how you all looked like skin and bones when you first came to me for help.” Hanako walked up next to the fallen changeling. “Change is going to happen whether you like it or not. It’s up to you whether or not you want to. You have one strike with me, two more and I will banish you from the Crystal Empire.” With that she motions two changelings to come over to her. “You two. Take him to the medical wing. He’s going to need an operation seeing how I kinda nicked his heart and stomach a bit.”

That was when she heard something that caught her off guard. “Pharynx, NO-!!”

Shnk!

When Hanako turned around, she saw that the changeling she had just harmed… used a knife that he had stored away to stab himself in the heart… but not in the normal sense. He committed a Seppuku. A ritual suicide that only those who were Samurai would know. When he looked at her one last time though… he said three words before falling flat on the ground.

“D-death… before dishonor…” With that, Pharynx dropped cold to the ground, his blood seeping out from his wounds as he collapsed on the ground.

“.....Idiot.” Hanako said as she reached into her bag and pulls out a phoenix feather, only for her to stop upon hear Thorax.

“Don’t…” He said, before going up to her. “As part of Chrysalis’ guard, we’re bound by our honor when serving the queen. He had already dishonored himself through killing children… however, coming back from the dead won’t do much good as that is the worst form of dishonorment… and before you ask, I know about the feathers…”

“And how do you know about that?”

“Pharynx and I have a certain… gift. For the two of us, we can see into an individual’s past by making direct eye contact with them. I… chose not to use what I saw to my own advantage, but Pharynx used his gifts to exploit weakness in others… I will not ask about what happened before… but I do want to ask about what you are planning to do now?” As he said that, that was when Hanako saw Rufus come back to her, hugging her as he was glad to see that she was okay.

“We should think about helping Rufus first…” Amber suggested. “Thorax and I can report to Chrysalis on what happened here.”

“Fair enough, but for now.” Hanako place the feather onto Pharynx as he was soon engulfed by a mix of fire and feathers. “Take this idiot to the medical wing. I’ll deal with him accordingly then to have him commit suicide like this. Only a coward would kill him or herself to run away from their sins or crimes they committed.” She said before looking at Thorax. “And don’t give me any crap about honor and all that stuff. Because fuck-.”

“Buck.” Amber interrupted only for Hanako to groan and rolls her eyes.

“Because buck you, I’m the ruler of this kingdom until I die, this has been a long night, and right now I'm using my royal bucking authority to do something that’s out of my usual character.” Hanako said before patting Rufus on the head to comfort him, and to quell her anger. “So what if I snapped, but your brother really grinds my gears to the point where I just want to have him locked in some kind of place where it’s magical, full of sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows so that he knows what torture is!”

“I understand completely…” Thorax replied. “I do not question your decisions.”

“Also, I’m assigning you as his personal parole officer until otherwise. Because I don’t believe any of that not caring for his brother crap card that he used. And it’ll be your job to knock some common knowledge and sense into that thick head of his. Got it?” Thorax nodded in response, going as far as to salute Hanako as he and the other changelings began to take Pharynx to the medical wing. “And smack him upside his head twice! Once for me, and another for you Thorax!”

“I think he understands already.” Amber then spoke up. “I’m a bit surprise you were willing to do that….any reason why?”

“That changeling is an idiot on so many levels to the point where I could just strangle him...but the moment I looked into his eyes, he was scared. Not by how I acted, but mostly how things are changing for his hive. But just because you’re scared, doesn’t mean you can act like an idiot. Especially when you try to escape your mistakes by killing yourself.”

“Well… that is odd considering that he wasn’t a normal drone,” Amber replied to her, to which lead to her explaining one other thing. “Chrysalis told me that there are two types of changeling drones. Worker drones that help serve the queen and combat drones that protect the hive. Even though this doesn’t excuse his actions by any means, Chrysalis told me that the combat drones like Pharynx aren’t suppose to show fear and follow a strict code… Still, like I said, his actions are inexcusable.”

“Would use a phoenix feather on the pup’s family, but something tells me that they’re rip to sunder or worse. That and I’m trying not to use them that much seeing how I...prefer not for folks to come to me to revive their lost ones if they’ve been dead for the past couple of years or so.”

“So… it’s a revival item that only works within a specific and short period of time after death?” Amber asked for clarification as they began to leave with Rufus alongside them.

“Like I said before yes. These are actual feathers from a Phoenix back in Ivalice.”

That… had Amber think to herself before mentioning something. “So they’re feathers from a Phoenix like Philomena?”

“... Who the hell is Philomena?”

“Twilight told me that Philomena is a Phoenix that Celestia kept as a companion since her fillyhood,” Amber replied back. “Why? Is the Phoenix where you’re from different from her possibly?”

“....Yes, there is a huge difference between the ones here and the one back in Ivalice.” Hanako said as she placed a hand to the head of Rufus. “Once we drop Rufus off to the medical wing, I need you to get Chrysalis so she can inform me on where their leader is pinned. to think of a battle plan, and to talk with her about...Pharynx.”

“Right away.” Amber replied. “Though, we should inform the ponies staying in the empire that Rufus is not to be harmed in any particular way since you… Let me rephrase that, since the empire is taking care of him.”

“I’ll be sure to do that once we get there, but I’m sure they will have a much more open mind due to Rufus’s size and stuff.” Amber nodded her head at that, acknowledging what she was told. While also giggling at the fact that Rufus fell asleep while clinging onto Hanako’s leg. “Damn, this is going to be a long night...or is it morning?” Hanako said as she goes to pick Rufus up. As she was carrying him piggyback towards the empire… that was when she began to feel something warm and moist on the back of her neck. Which only took Hanako seconds to realize that he was drooling.

“Aw, that would be cute if it wasn’t for the troll that he’s piggybacking on.” Amber said with a smirk as Hanako glared at her.

“Shut up and just keep walking.”

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