• Published 22nd Apr 2021
  • 2,165 Views, 77 Comments

I summon... - Xinrick

  • ...

Chapter 4

"So that thing yesterday was what again?" Sunset asked me as we sat in the bunker base. That Vassel's attack came out of nowhere and ended just as abruptly.

“That was Escher the Frost, the Vassal to Mobius the Frost Monarch.” I answered. “Basically…that was the right hand man to a Lord of Water and I don’t like what that implies…”

"Okay, so why did he suddenly vanish as fast as he appeared?" Sunset asked.

“Either the timer was up for him, cause he’s a strong enemy, his Monarch called him back for whatever reason, or there’s something else afoot.” I explained.

"Well, you know these monsters better than me so whatever you think is the best option. That aside, tomorrow Chrysalis is gonna have us all do a talent show to compete for parts and roles in upcoming performances."

“Well shit…” I grumbled. “That’s…not gonna be fun at all…and also, now that the Monster’s have their own personalities…I don’t really know how they’re going to act or react all thing’s considered.”

"Hm." Sunset hummed. "Well, if they have their own personalities and such, then what about the ones you summon from those cards? Do they have them too?"

“I…can only assume, cause they seemed to act like they were conscious of their actions, but followed my orders cause…well I summoned them.” I said, deciding to test that out as I pulled out my dual disk. “Alright, let’s start with Junk Synchron.” I said, summoning the orange armored Tuner monster, it’s body mostly machinery with a white silk scarf and a motorcycle engine on it’s back.

"Oh, oh my, this is not a battle." The robot man said, looking around.

“Nope.” I shook my head. “So, mind telling us a bit about yourself?”

"Oh, you want to know about me, Master?" They asked me. "Um, well, I'm a Junk Synchron, most spirits call me Johnny, and I am… clumsy…" They admitted.

"Master?" Sunset asked.

"Yes. He has our cards, making him our Master, but he also cares for them and us, making him a Master we all want to follow orders from."

“Suck’s that I can’t get that twenty bucks now…” I grumbled to myself. “But clumsy? How clumsy?”

"Let's just say that… despite my appearance, don't let me near machinery…" Johnny said.

"That's really cool." Sunset said as she looked Johnny over. "How do your cards work? Are you in them or?"

"They act as Gateways. Portals between our realm and wherever the cards ends up."

“That’s pretty cool.” I nodded. “And now that…we’re learning that you have a life in the Spirit World…what would happen if I accidentally summoned you during an…awkward moment?” I asked carefully.

"That's impossible, time flows differently between the Spirit Realm and the Physical Realms. What you would experience in a day could be seconds for us and we can only be summoned at points in time when we are willing."

“Fair enough.” I nodded. “So, I might as well ask an interesting question, how does it feel to be apart of a Synchro Summon?”

"It's how I've always been. That's like me asking you how it feels to be human Master."

"Well…let me rephrase, what's it feel like to Synchro Summon?" I inquired.

“So…it’s a little hard to explain.” Johnny said sheepishly. “So, at least how I know it, I’m resonating with my very being another, using my levels to ‘upgrade’ another monster into something brand new. It’s kinda like fusion, but it makes a tad more sense compared to some of the fusion’s out there.”

"Well, how do Spirits like yourself come into existence?" Sunset asked.

"Oh lot's of ways. Some of us are 'born', some are made, and some just appear one day." Johnny replied.

"Fair enough." I nodded. "So…do you know anything about the Monarchs personally?"

"Not really. I know within the Spirit Realm the Monarchs all rule over their own territories, armies and citizens of lesser spirits. They mostly work to keep the Dark Spirits or Fallen Souls at bay."

"Uh…and what are those if I may ask?" I asked worriedly.

"Well, Dark Spirits are basically that, Spirits formed or corrupted by evil and negative energies. Like us they come into existence in various ways. Most are mindless and rabid, but a few gain intelligence and those are the ones to worry about. Fallen Souls are what happen to people like you and Sunset when they are sent to the Shadow Realm." Johnny stated. "There are two kinds, firstly is the more common Wraith, which is just the soul of a person from the physical realm corrupted by anger, hatred, loss and all the negative emotions you can think of. They act like powerful Dark Spirits and can even have their own Summon Cards. The second class is more rare but possible, the Dark Kings. People sent body and soul to the Shadow Realm. Not only can they be a summon but they can also summon us or dark spirits with cards they make. They can turn regular spirits into dark spirits and even rival the Monarchs if they get powerful enough."

"Oh…oh no…" I muttered worriedly. "So why in the name of hell did the Frost Monarchs Vassel come and fight us if they have to deal with those things?"

"Well, Dark Kings and Wraiths are pretty rare. They take many, many years to form into that and the Monarchs are pretty good at detecting someone like you two, soul, body and soul, once they enter the Shadow Realm. It's a dangerous journey but if successful the soul or person is rescued and reborn as a Spirit."

"Now…I'm pretty sure Voodoo has something to do with this…" I frowned.

"All Maker Voodoo doesn't really work or mess with the Spirit Realms."

"Well, who does?" Sunset asked.

"Fenrir and Angrboda mostly, but there are others that check in every so often."

“Never heard of those two…” I hummed. “Well…good to know there’s even more of these being’s to worry about.”

"There are many All Makers, not all of them are known or well known.”

“Fair enough.” I nodded. “Any questions you have for us?”

"None at all." Johnny said.

“Any other questions Sunset?” I inquired.

"No, I think that's all for now." Sunset said with a nod.

“Alright, well it was nice talking with you Johnny.” I nodded with a smile.

With that I disbanded Johnny and Sunset and I began, well, mostly me, began researching and remembering all the Monarchs there are.

“Alright, so there’s ten monarch’s.” I said, bringing out all 10 cards that I thankfully managed to obtain. “There’s Caius the Shadow, Granmarg the Rock, Mobius the Frost, Raiza the Storm, Thestalos the Firestorm, Zaborg the Thunder, Angmarl the Fiendish, Delg the Dark, Kurax the Light, and finally the two leaders of Ehther the Heavenly and Erebus the Underworld.” I explained,. “All ten of them are powerful monsters from what I know, and Johnny’s telling us that…they’re even stronger than that…”

"Plus I'm guessing the All Makers, either Voodoo or some other one, is helping set up this game. Question is why and for what?" Sunset asked as she looked the cards over. "I'm guessing you can't just use these and summon them can you?"

“Well…thankfully this place is big enough for…most likely the eight to ten feet tall monarch’s.” I said carefully, bringing up Mobius the Frost Monarch. “Alright, so let’s start with some Tribute Fodder…” I muttered, bringing out a token monster and then sacrificing it. “Alright, I summon Morbius, the Frost Monarch!” I declared dramatically as I put her card on my active duel disk, hoping this would work.

For a few seconds… there was nothing. Then suddenly there was a floating paper.

Sunset picked it up.

"Sorry for the lack of appearance, you are not our chosen master. Please try and summon again when you gain the honor and prove your worthiness. Sincerely, Frost Monarch Morbius." She read off. "Reminds me of Celestia's office when she'd get too many requests for public appearances."

“I mean…I didn’t really expect to summon them on the first try but it would have been neat…” I sighed. “Right, so gonna need to do something to earn their respect…cool.”

"Sounds about right. So, that aside, what are we gonna do now? School doesn't start for a few hours still."

“Well…we can either practice what we’re going to be doing for the talent show, practice fighting cause we’re gonna need to get stronger, or…something else.” I said, trying to think of what to do while we had the time.

"I'd be up for Something else but Wallflower is here." Sunset frowned as I blushed. "Well… why not teach me how to play?" Sunset asked as she picked up a card. "Even if the cards are all your thing, better to have me know just in case some weird double battle thing comes up or something."

“That’s fair.” I nodded, while pulling out a, thankfully, well written version of the rule book. “Alright…so I will admit, this game’s rule’s are…pretty dumb…” I admitted sheepishly. “But learning the basics is easy enough.”

The next few hours before school I helped Sunset study the rules and we played a few practice games. She wasn't bad, but a few quick and experienced plays and I bested her.

The school day went about fairly normal, and finally time came for Drama Club.

"Okay students, this will be anyone here's big break to see if you want to make it as a star or work backstage. Either way, the stage awaits!" Chrysalis declared as everyone got ready.

“So…are you sure that singing just comes naturally?” I whispered to Sunset nervously. “I’m not tone deph thankfully but…are you sure I won’t sing like an idiot?”

"Well, it is in Equestria. It should be similar here… but you aren't from this world, so… maybe not?" She hummed. "Can you play an instrument?"

“I’m a nerd…I can at least play a guitar without looking like an idiot.” I said nervously, having lost a game to a friend and they dared me to learn an instrument to at least perform decently.

"Alright, well knowing that then maybe we can come up with something. Something simple and easy to play."

“Well…thankfully I’ve had a simple enough song running through my head…though I’ll need to ask Chrysalis about getting some help with it cause it wouldn’t work without the entire bit.”

“Mike! You're up!” Chrysalis called me up first.

“Goodie…” I muttered, walking up on stage. “Hey, do you know the song ‘Take a Walk on the Wild Side’?” I inquired.

“Oh, I know exactly what you're asking for, darling.” Chrysalis said, getting several people into position to help him play the song. “Can’t really sing a classic without all the instruments.”

“Thank you.” I nodded, before taking a deep breath and hearing the band members start us off. “Here goes nothing” I muttered, taking a deep breath as I leaned up to the microphone.

I then motioned a hand to one of the other Drama Club members, a more…androgineous guy actually named Holly, and raised a hand to add into the song, which they happily did.

As the first chorus ended and I took a moment, I realized I wasn’t singing like garbage, I actually sounded pretty good to be honest, as I started to lightly tap my foot on the ground with the beat.

I had to force myself not to laugh at the sudden gasps and looks of embarrassment on a lot of the people here when I spoke some of the more ‘lewd’ lines of the song.Then after I drifted off and raised a hand to the chorus of three girls, including Sunset thankfully, all did a beautiful chorus bit, my entire body swaying slightly to the wonderful music.

I couldn’t help myself and started to dance along to the song as…I honestly kinda got lost in the music and singing, a new warm feeling for some reason, but a good warm. I felt her hand interlock with mine and I felt like the happiest man alive to be singing along with my wonderful girlfriend.

And as the final chorus was starting to be sung by…apparently everyone at this point, just enjoying the music, I saw Pinkie pull out a Saxophone and just start having a ball on it for the ending of the song.

There was an applause, and after that ended and we went off stage. "That song from your home?" She asked me.

“Well…yes, but Chrysalis knew the song and the instruments were played readily.” I answered. “So…at least the version I sang was from my world…though I’m surprised at how…well I sang.”

"Maybe some Equestrian magic of mine rubbed off on you~" She said with a wink at me.

“Would certainly explain something’s.” I chuckled, gently wrapping my arm around Sunset. “Though, have to ask, why’d you join in on the main lyric’s half way through?”

"It's hard to explain. Back home there's this passive wild magic we call a Heart's Song. Basically it is how ponies always manage to have a singing voice as well as a natural knowledge of the lyrics, and music even when no Instruments were around. It just kind of kicks in if we let it and I just let it kick in when that point came around."

“That’s good to know.” I nodded. “My wonderful girlfriend magically breaking into song every now and then like a Disney Princess? That sounds fantastic.”

"Still don't know what that means."

“I know…” I sighed out. “But I’d say I did a pretty good job.”

The rest of the auditions played out as normal and when it was all done Chrysalis wrote out our positions.

"How did you get Stage Crew and I got casting Roles?" Sunset asked as we walked back home.

“I call absolute horseshit to be honest, especially when I’m…like, literally the only guy in the fucking drama club.” I frowned. “At least, you can obviously tell I’m a guy, Holly Day is special like that.”

"Still, Rarity got Stage Crew too, and she was even madder than you." Sunset said, chuckling a bit.

“Okay, but to be fair, she has a lot more ‘eye for detail’ than I do, so while it would suck for her for not being the literal ‘Drama Queen’, there’s at least something she’s good at with stage crew.” I explained. “Gonna have to talk to Chrysalis about this…cause if there’s part’s that literally need a male lead, and she throws it out the window, I’m gonna be pissed.”

"Eh. So, given Adagio, Aria and Sonata, will they be joining us on hero work or not?"

“I mean…probably?” I offered. “I don’t know if they’re even able to do anything after they lost their magic, and while super suit’s could possibly give them powers…” I hummed, trying to think of what those three would be able to do.

"We'd probably have to ask Merchant about that."

“Fair.” I nodded. “Plus…we still need to see what Iron Man esc nonsense Twilight’s cooking up.”

"True." Sunset nodded. "So, shall we go home, grab them then to the secret bunker?"

“Sure.” I nodded .”Let’s hope they don’t mind the whole ‘superhero’ bit after…everything.”

"I'm game." Aria said.

"If I am, then I'm going to be ranged." Adagio said.

"Can mine still be a maid outfit?" Sonata asked.

We were already all in the forest, close to the bunker.

“I’m sure it can Sonata…” I sighed, even though Sonata looked great in a maid outfit…honestly having that as a ‘super suit’ might send off some wrong signal’s to either the populace or to me depending on if it’s as lewd as Sunsets.

"Don't worry, she just loves Maid outfits. Ever since we were maids for… which king were we maids for?" Aria asked.

"Depends on which country." Adagio said in thought.

"You three have really been around haven't you?" Sunset asked.

"Well, given the human age range we had to move from place to place on average every twenty years or so, any later and people began noticing we weren't aging."

“That makes sense.” I nodded. “Though uh…might as well ask, are you able to change how your bodies look in some capacity or is that just how you all normally looked since you got here?” I inquired. “Cause…well, being ageless mythical creatures from another world, minor shapeshifting might be a thing you all can do.”

"This is how we've looked since we got here. Hair and all." Aria said.

"We tried cutting it, but can't even do that. We think the portal turned our fin spines into hair, and since our scales are akin to Dragon scales, no metal on this planet can cut it. Thankfully It doesn't grow either."

“Fair enough.” I nodded. “Was just wondering due to…certain proportions…”

We finally got into the bunker and while Sunset helped those three pick outfits with Merchant I went to check in on- Holy shit!

Twilight was working on a very good MK2 Iron Man suit, complete with Arc Reactor in the chest and everything.

The design was slightly different, built for her body type and more female, with gold, purple and blue colors.

“Well…you certainly made some great headway Twilight.” I said in surprise.

"Still not done yet." She said. "Some of the weapons still aren't operational and the AI is proving difficult. Love a challenge." She said, typing away on her computer.

“Glad you're having fun with it.” I nodded. “Have you taken it out for a test ride yet? Just to make sure the movement is all good?”

"Not yet. I want to finalize everything before beginning any beta tests." She stated. "Hardest part was manufacturing the circuits and parts from scratch but thankfully a… certain international secret foundation was happy to give me some tech they… have, for it in exchange for improving their own stuff."

“And are you sure that you’re not secretly helping some crazy people take over the world?” I inquired.

"Yes. Maybe. Probably." She shrugged. "If they try then you can probably take them down."

“I mean…I can.” I said honestly. “Most likely…sadly with a lot of casualties depending on what I use…” I said, thinking about if weapons like gun’s and tanks would be considered ‘equip spells’, or if I just have to throw the old ‘Dark Hole’ on a bitch.

"In any case, how was school?"

"So we did a talent show for Drama Club, practically knocked it out of the park…and I get stage crew." I frowned. "Literally the only visibly recognizable male in that entire club and I get shoved backstage like a mistake."

Twilight shrugged. "Does it really matter that you get a casting role?"

"I mean…would have been cool to actually learn how to act when I'm gonna be a superhero, not be pushed aside when I'm damn sure there are plenty of male roles in the drama club." I huffed.

"Given how Sunset dresses when you two do Hero stuff I actually doubt anyone will notice you when they'll likely be focusing on her- Or them…" Twilight said, looking at the doorway.

Turning I nearly fell over and got a nosebleed.

Adagio was dressed in some partly scaled, fished themed outfit that gave her orange scales covering along her body… mainly just her chest and hip/crotch area and ONLY those areas. Fish like fins along her arms, legs, behind her ears and back and a long fish like tail where a tail would typically be that moved and swished around. Her face was also half covered by more plated scales around her upper head, acting like a natural/makeshift mask that also drew attention to her almost reptilian eyes.

Aria was similar to Adagio, replacing orange for her shade of purple but various blade and weapon holsters decorated her body, somehow drawing even more attention to her curves than you'd think.

Lastly, Sonata, keeping with her sisters looks rocked blue colors but was wearing a… rather right yet fluffy maid outfit as a Final Fantasy sized bastard sword was strapped around her back…

I don't think That maid outfit was made with cleaning in mind given how much… attention, it draws to her rear and chest.

"So, what do you think?" Sunset asked as she walked in, dressed in her own hero costume already.

"Uh…" I said dumbly, blinking at seeing the beauty and…sexiness of the three. "Why…"

"What? We wanted to have a hero get up that feels more natural and this was the best fit." Adagio said with a shrug. "Besides, it's not like we're showing anything. Scales are covering those areas."

"Plus this let's me easily keep more weapons on me at a time." Aria said with a nod.

"And this was the only maid outfit I could find that fits me in this form." Sonata added with a smile as she admired herself.

"Well, what do you have then in terms of fighting Adagio? Sonata has that sword and Aria has all those blades and some guns, but you're lacking a weapon." Twilight pointed out.

"Water manipulation." She said, using her fingers and making water from a nearby cup float into the air. "I know it's not that practical given we're in a small city but there are enough public drains and water fountains I can draw from. Plus Merchant can reward me a special canteen that can apparently hold seemingly unlimited water."

I took a deep breath, looked at all four of them…then lost the internal war. "Okay you four…follow me." I said carefully.

"We gonna go hero stuff?" Sunset asked.

"Yes." I said, thankful for Sunset's distraction from my own hormones. "We'll do a patrol around town." I answered. "And remember…technically we're vigilantes and I'm pretty sure that's illegal."

"Relax, we know how to handle cops." Aria said. "We've been on the run more than a few times."

"Alright…" I sighed, putting on my Game Master suit. "Now…hero names for you three, cause I go by Game Master, and Sunset here is called Wild Rabbit."

"So, we get to pick our own names then?" Adagio asked.

"You can, yes." I nodded.

"Cool. Hmm… I'll be… Sea Marine. I've actually been a marine or equivalent across several countries." Aria said.

"Hm, that old unicorn that banished us did refer to us as Water Witches once so, I'll go with that. Water Witch. It fits and frankly it does have a nice ring to it." Adagio said.

"I'll be Mer-Maid!" Sonata declared.

"That doesn't surprise me." Sunset said with a chuckle. "So Twi, when you finish that thing are you gonna join us in hero stuff or…?"

"Hmm. Maybe, I prefer my labspace but if those Iron Man movies and comics Mike and Merchant had me watch and read showed me anything, it is that smarts can be used in place of powers." She shrugged.

"Yep." I nodded. "Mind over Matter has been tested a lot through fictional media…or, I suppose at this point 'media'..."

"Or in this case, high focused plasma blast over matter." Twilight said.

“When you need to make extra sure the thing you are firing at is extra crispy.” I chuckled.

With that we left the bunker and made way for the city. Thanks to Sunset's magic we easily made it to the rooftops and began carefully running across them.

The people below spotted us and attention was immediately drawn to the Dazzlings. Hoots, whistles and many a jaw dropped men were already cheering for them, and they haven't even done anything yet.

"Well, looks like they dig our outfits." Aria said.

“They probably think you're some street whores.” I frowned. “Which I hate with every fiber of my goddamn being…”

"Hey, we have been street whores before and that's insulting to us that you hate it." Adagio said.

"What jobs have you three not done?" Sunset asked.

"Ruling a country/kingdom. There isn't enough magic in all the apparent multiverse to get us to deal with that much responsibility and paperwork."

“I’m sorry that I care more about you three as people then extremely sexy women…” I admitted.

"If you ever live as long as us, you'll see why it was offensive." Adagio said.

"Can't explain it?" Sunset asked.

"We can but it probably won't make much sense to you two." Aria said.

“I can at least understand to the point of ‘we’ve lived so long we stopped giving a shit, so let people enjoy what we got’ or something like that?”

"Not exactly." Sonata said.

"You are right, we've long stopped giving a shit, but even not caring began to feel… hollow." Adagio started, taking a deep breath. "Back home, at least there were other sirins. Other long lived species that we would know for our whole lives. Here, people die so easily, a blink and the children we birthed and raised were so old, frial and passing away in our arms. It's one thing to be long lived amongst others of your own, but to be alone through it all… to keep going when everything you build always ends up decaying to dust around you…"

"Existence without reason is hell the feeling of always being, always remaining when everyone and everything around you can't… we took jobs and yes, whored ourselves many times because at least for even a few moments we had a reason to be here no matter how depraved or shallow it was. Heck half the time our best memories are from when we were slaves or someone's property, because it ment we had a reason to be here."

"It's why we didn't care that much when Voodoo bound us to you." Aria added. "At least we'll have a reason… for however long you last anyway."

I stared at the three of them, not sure what to honestly say…but I took a deep breath and collected my thoughts. “Alright…” I said, grabbing the three into a big enough hug. “I’ll do my best to give you all the happiest time of your lives, for as long as I live.” I promised the three of them. “I’ll give you the best reason to exist, from now, until the end of my days.”

They hugged me back… wow… those scales are more like skin than I was expecting…

"Thanks. Having a purpose again feels nice." Adagio said.

“You're welcome.” I said softly. “And…well, I need to take you four out on a date sooner or later…” I blushed at admitting that. “Especially you three, cause I want to know more about you three and…at least a date before Sunset gets some ideas.”

"Really now, and your head mare is alright with that?" Adagio asked, looking over at Sunset.

"I am dating him with Equestrian standards in mind so, yes." Sunset said. "We can work something out later."

“Thanks Sunset.” I nodded. “Now, let’s continue our sweep of the city before either more guy’s flock towards us, a disgruntled woman calls the police, or…me feeling like death glares are being thrown my way.”

The city was, thankfully, peaceful today. Made me a little on edge but it was better than it being under attack.

We finished up and headed back to the base.

"Hey, Sunset, good news. The sensor went off while you were out." Twilight said.

"The… the Sensor over the portal?" Sunset asked, wide eyed.

"Yeah. Just around seven thirty the sensor sent me an alert. The energy it's emitting is stable."

"So it does open once a month for three days… time to make Time Travel and strangle some long dead ponies…" Sunset said.

“Who? The ones that made the portal or the one’s that thought putting a time limit on it would be funny?” I asked.

"No, the ones who invented Old Ponish. That language makes this world's Latin look like a walk in the park…" She grumbled.

"So there is a way back to Equestria? Damn…" Aria said, she and Adagio handing Sonata fifty dollars. "A nine hundred year old bet lost…"

"On the bright side that unicorn can't be around any more, maybe we can see how much has changed." Adagio said.

"And when we get back he's somehow not long dead and drinking from a martini glass like he's on holiday." I joked, not knowing who this old unicorn is and would honestly find it hilarious if that did in fact happen.

"If he is, I call dibs on his head!" Aria stated.

"No, no murder." Sunset said. "As is I'm worried as heck for when I see Celestia again… last thing I want to do is make a bad impression because my herd mates murdered an old warlock."

"Can we at least mame him, just a little."

"You can… prank him, just nothing physically harmful. If he's even there." Sunset said, earning an eager clap of joy from Aria.

“Well, let’s hope for the best then.” I said honestly. “Wonder if I’ll turn into a pony or something when we go through…”

"Hm, I actually wonder what race you'll be." Sunset questioned.

"Well, if it does then it will probably turn us back into our Sirin form… which will be bad without a sizable source of water…" Adagio said.

"Well, once we're over and I talk with Celestia we can maybe get a large pool or something set up."

"I suppose that works. We'll be here when you get back, try not to get stuck over there."

With a nod Sunset and I walked to the school. It was after hours and no one was here. No staff, students or clubs.

Sunset looked at the reflective statue base, worry on her face. "I said such horrible things to her…" She sighed. "She was basically my mother…"

I gently put a hand on her shoulder. “It’ll be alright Sunset, if she’s as kind and forgiving as you told me she is…then things will work out.”

"Yeah…" She said. She took a deep breath, grabbed my hand and walked forward. Her arm went in first, phasing through the reflective part of the statue base almost like water.

Soon I found myself within the portal. There was bright flashes of light and a small sense of nausea before it ended.

Suddenly I lost my balance and fell on my stomach.

"Careful Mike… woah." Sunset said.

I blinked the dizzy from my eyes… Sunset looked like, well, like herself only as an adorable Unicorn. Her coat was the same as her skin tone and her hair, er, mane, was the same too. The only difference I saw here was that she was a unicorn pony on four hooves and… naked… well, as naked as a fur covered mammal can be…

I quickly realized why I fell. Gone were my feet and hands, and in their places four legs and hooves. I was a pony.

Shakily I got up, looking myself in the portal, which on this side was a rather decorative mirror. I was my usual skin tone for my fur, mane was the same as my hair… I didn't have a horn. Or wings. I did have a tattoo on my ass!

It was a Yu-Gi-Oh card.

“Alright…so I’m an Earth Pony I guess and…my butt tattoo is a Yugioh card.” I said.

"Cutie Mark." Sunset corrected. Looked at hers and saw hers was a blazing sun. "And you look quite dashing as a stallion Mike." She said.

“Well…glad I at least look decent still.” I said honestly. “And you look both beautiful and adorable.”

"Awh, and the best part, no pesky clothes to get in the way~" She teased.

It was at that moment I realized I was naked too… woah… pony me is… bigger. Nice.

“Right then…gonna have to figure that out later, but right now…either we wait for the other’s to get here…or wonder why it’s eerily quiet.”

"Hm, well if the time here is the same as back in the human world then Day Court should be ending. Around this time most of the castle staff goes home and just some guards and night shift servants remain." She said, walking over to a nearby door. Her horn lit up with a near golden aura as she magiced the door open a crack. "... That's… not right…" She said.

“What’s wrong?” I inquired. “Is it because it’s too quiet or something?”

"The sun is still up…"

"That's…weird." I frowned. "Shouldn't it have gone down hours ago by itself?"

"The sun doesn't go down by itself in Equestria like it does earth. That's why Princess Celestia is called the Solar Monarch, she raises and lowers it every day." Sunset said, throwing the doors open and heading to the window.

I managed to follow. Looking out the window we were definitely in a castle, in a kingdom built into the side of a mountain, but there was no noise, no sign of life aside from some plants I could see and a few birds flying about.

"It's quiet…too quiet." I frowned.

"This is Canterlot. The capital of Equestria and a population of 600,000… and not a single pony is in this city…" Sunset said, looking up at the sun then down the halls. "Come on, Celestia's throne room is down this way." She said, leading the way.

I followed after her quickly. "They couldn't have targeted here right?" I asked worriedly. "I thought they would have only focused on us…"

"It would explain why the monster attacks stopped for this long." She said. We arrived at a large pair of doors Sunset threw open with her magic. Sitting on the large throne in the back of the room was not a pony, but a female, armored figure. Humanish, with their helm shaped like an eagle, their hands and feel like talons and large letalic wings on their back.

"It took you two long enough." They spoke, her voice rather smooth, like polished metal. Fitting given her looks.

"Who are you?" I growled, readying myself to work whatever magic I could. "And what did you do to everyone?"

"My name is Angrboda, and I am Child to All Maker, King." She said, standing her full… nine feet and giving a short bow. "All Maker Voodoo and I are close, we are family after all, and he needed some help setting this world up for the games he had in mind."

"So you're… an All Maker too?" Sunset asked.

"No, not like my father and not like Voodoo, but I am their family."

"Uh…huh…" I said carefully. "So…what new curveball are you throwing at us here?"

"Simple." She said, a flick of her wrist and suddenly she was holding several cards. Turning them, I felt my blood run cold when I saw the panicked, moving forms of various ponies. "Everyone on this planet. Pony, Griffon, Dragon, every intelligent being on this world, is trapped in a card."

“How…” I trailed off in horror.

"The how isn't important, just the why." Angrboda said, another flick of her wrist and the cards she was holding were gone. "To make it interesting, the game is this. Every city and settled area on this planet is kept in a deck, guarded by one of many opponents for you to face. The towns, cities and ECT are all infested by monsters. Some native to this land, some we brought here. You'll need to beat and clear them all before the deck guardian shows up. Once they do, you duel. You win, the town and it's residents of that location are freed. Lose, we… take, one random person from that human world."

"That's insane!" Sunset yelled.

I don’t know how it happened, but I slammed my hoof into the ground and summoned Dark Magician. “The lives of billions aren’t some toy for you to play with!” I shouted. “I don’t care what or who you are I-” I was about to say before I literally saw a weird cartoon black cat…literally zipper my mouth shut! “MMM!” I tried to shout, seeing the thing snicker at me as it swam through the air towards…oh for fuck’s sakes.

“My my, aren’t you a feisty duelist.” The flamboyant sounding white haired man said. “But please, let’s not get too ahead of ourselves right now…and believe me…you don’t want to annoy her…”

"That's alright Pegasus. It was cute anyway." Angrboda replied, a metallic snap of her fingers and the zipper on my lips was gone. "Frankly put kid, treating people like toys and games is part of our job, because against real evils… these poor souls would be dead already. And trust me, better us than my Auntie Pain. She would have killed them."

I sighed, hating this so much. "So…how the hell are we supposed to juggle this and home?" I asked carefully.

"We'll keep the portal open every day from now on. You'll just have to balance your lives as children and your lives as heroes. Oh, and those random attacks in the human world will continue."

"God damn it…" I grumbled.

Sunset sighed. "What about if we do lose, what happens to the random person from earth you take?"

"You can always duel for them again. You'll just have to beat the… final, duelist."

"And…who's the final duelist?" I asked.

She placed a finger to her lips. "Spoilers. For now, you have some monsters to fight." She said, vanishing. Looking around, I saw Pegasus was gone too. As was Dark Magician. Then I heard it.

Snarls, scraping claws, roars… I looked out the nearest window with Sunset. Monsters were all over the place. This wasn't just an infestation. This was an army of them. All mindlessly running around the place.

"... We're fucked…" Sunset said.

"Not with that attitude." I said, trying to stay a little upbeat.

"How are we gonna clear out the entire capital? There's thousands of those things out there and five of us, six if Twilight finishes that suit."

"We take it one step at a time." I said. "She didn't say we had to clear out the entire capital in one night, they…hopefully don't respawn, and if they do we just have to find the boss of the area."

"I really hope they don't respawn…" Sunset said, taking in a few deep breaths. "This is not how I was expecting this trip to turn out."

"Neither did I…" I sighed out. "But…let's hope the planet doesn't start to burn or freeze because Celestia isn't around."

"It won't. The world has a special kind of magic aura around it. Eternal day or Eternal night, temperatures never get to dangerous levels. Might rain a lot more with the sun out all the time, wild weather and such but nothing too serious."

"Well…at least this world won't be a dead husk if we don't work fast enough." I shrugged. "So anyways, let's start saving this world."

To be continued...