• Published 22nd Jun 2012
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Guardian of Harmony - Corvus Eclipse

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Chapter 1 - Ember

Witch each step the creature left the Chamber of Stone behind him. During his rather fast travel, new earthquakes have interrupted the silence of the tunnels, opening new airlocks that started to let the wind in, creating howls that would let a cold chill run down the spine. The winds were strangely cold but very refreshing for the mind, the feeling of freezing was unknown for him but even though the body didn’t recognize it, his mind started to reveal the memories of the long forgotten senses. That memory was surprisingly real so he couldn’t avoid the inner shiver.

With each new step, his theory about the manipulation of the crystals seemed to be more likely, but sadly those changes were very small, barely noticeable. He turned right and started to look around. The path he has chosen was one of many natural tunnels, which were all around that place. The difference between them and the tunnels created by a race, which was long gone, were the facts that the natural tunnels allowed the local fauna and flora to resident in it. Enormous, green mushrooms were the most common plants. Other plants that had nearly the same numbers, were red veins, so he called them himself. A half organic plant that was attached to the walls in a way, that they reminded of veins that were transporting blood, what in the end made many tunnels look like a part of a anatomy of a big creature.

The mushrooms were glowing with a slight green light that was lurking common insects of the Underground. The symbiotic pact between plant and animal allowed both species to survive below the earth. He found the mushrooms he was looking for, a very rare one that he literally once bumped into. A mushroom that had an second hat growing on the first main one. While passing it he was listening to the wings of the small bugs that were working along the surface of the mushroom, catching small points of light that were being spread around by the plant. The wild tunnel leads straight into a one big crossroad that was creating an immense system of tunnels and airlocks. He was always trying to avoid that crossroad because the ways here started to be smaller what in fact forced him to change his size.

The creature didn’t know how he learned that ability but it helped him to get out of many unpleasant experiences. Right now the way started to lead down into the crossroad, the wall on his right ended and turned into an abyss: another reason why he always try to avoid this place. Something was different now though, all of the sudden the way ended, the old path was gone and it became a part of the abyss. He looked down into the black hole; the darkness below seemed to be thicker than the darkness in the tunnels, if that’s possible. He picked up a stone and threw it into the abyss that somehow reminded him of an opened jaw of a gigantic creature. The expecting sound that he was hoping for did not sound below him.

- And I was thinking I was deep under the earth…. – he thought.

There was no way down that he could use with his feet so the only thing he could do was climbing. With a might jump he threw himself against the wall, ripped his claws into the stone like it would be butter, and slowly he started to move forward. After a while he looked around, but he didn’t find any place where he could stand besides that he couldn’t find any trace of the old way. It seemed like the earthquake had changed the environment more than he expected. Gladly many other ways ended their being like that so he was used to climbing, the only difference here though was the fact, that here around the surface of the wall, were no signs of marks left by his claws. For the first time since he was here he felt lost. It was hard to identify the way of the path he wanted to use; he sighted and moved forward ripping his claws into the wall.

After a while he managed to find the way that has not been affected by the earthquake. With a big relief he jumped on it. Dust fell down into the abyss but the path was holding out his weight and size, he continued his journey with more optimism. Sadly the optimism went away after he reached the center of the crossroad. Many old paths were blocked by big rocks and rumbles, but with the old ones gone new entrances have been created; he was not sure which way he was supposed to go in fact he let his sense of smelling choose the way. The air in that tunnel was fresh, not affected by the dust and stickiness of this place, the smell of it was like a cold shower for him but he didn’t let his guard down. He knew what kind of creatures were living here, most of them not harmful, at least for him.

Unneeded attention was not the thing he needed now, especially because he was not close to the crystals. The light of his eyes created a cone of light in that rather small tunnel; in one point he couldn’t move forward without bowing down so he decided that he had to change his size optimal to this tunnel. He did the usual move he always did while he changed his size. With one knee he kneeled on the ground, closed his eyes and let everything happen in his mind. In no time his size changed, he stood up and stretched a little, the muscles always felt so tense after this. A rather unpleasant crack went out from his bones after he stretched again.

It seemed like the tunnel started to end. After a longer time he found himself in a gigantic lair that he couldn’t recognize. He looked around for something that might help him to move on, but he didn’t find any clue of plants or other flora. Moving forward in this place would be a rather big waste of time and he defiantly hated that. Once more he kneeled down and took a deep breath. His shoulder started to move in a disgusting way, like something would be moving inside of his body, bones cracked, the skin split open. The creature moaned and in the same time black wings went out of his back, both of the wet with a purple looking liquid fluid. Usually this procedure never deal any harm to him but he did not do it for so long he had to endure the forgotten pain.

- I hate that so much….

The wings went out of him folded together; like he would use his hands the creature started to wave with them to remove the fluid which splashed against the walls. They finally open themselves reveling leathery wings, that had the same color as his skin but if you would look carefully, you would notice small purple veins all around the surface of the wing, which were creating an interesting pattern. He stood up; with a swing of the wings he catapulted himself into the air. It took some time to fully remove the tense feeling in the wings, but soon he was able to use them properly. From above he had a better view of this unknown place, it seemed like it was another new creation of the earthquake. He was flying through the lifeless depths of this place so fast he could but nothing appeared that could have been of interest.

This place seemed to have no purpose in his eyes; empty as it was it just outbalanced the natural things in that ecosystem. Suddenly a might wind blow came straight at him; it was so fast and unexpected that he didn’t have the chance to land or even to close his wings. The power of the wind was so immense that he was being thrown away like a leaf in the winds. He saw the wall coming closer and then everything around him melted away in a white flash...

He could smell the flowers that started to bloom on the trees, he could hear the sound of the river not far from him, the sun was gently touching his face, but nothing could compare with the feeling of her touch on his cheek. A smile appeared on his face, he wanted to turn around to his beloved but a terrible sound suddenly stopped the balance of the summer and threw him back into the dark reality. He heard a woman shout something but her voice was lost in the howl of the wind….

His head was pulsing from the crush; he could feel that he was no longer in the air. He was on the ground of the lair. With a big effort he managed to get back on his legs, holding his balanced without any problem. Right away he noticed that not the crush against the wall was creating the pain in his head. It was his mind that suddenly has opened itself, free of any chains that were holding it under the lock. Still though his memory was like a fog that was so thick, that nobody would see their bare hands in front of their face.

- What did just happen? – He thought, mound and grabbed his hurting head.

The creature looked around. It was sure that he was still in the gigantic lair but it seemed like the wind has blew him away into the living part of it. The mushrooms seemed to have absorbed all the power of his fall and prevented him from any harm; he sniffed around but the smell of the resin of the broken mushrooms literally bashed his sense. It did not allow any kind of identification around in this area. He got up only to find out that he was nearly totally covered in the resin that had an ugly yellow color; disgusted by it he tried to remove it but in the end he made everything worse. Dirt and any other things that were around, started to stick to his body creating a rather weird look. Something is constantly changing; something loses its power over him.

He was a creature that was completely free of emotions, honor or even dignity what made him a very effective guardian of the crystals. Since that flash, the memory of the upper world was stuck for good in his mind, making him feel bad about his faith and the sacrifice he payed to protect the outside world from the power of the crystals. He moved forward to leave the small forest of mushrooms he bumped into, trying to somehow figure out where the mighty wind has brought him; he still couldn’t smell anything besides the resin, but the fact that this environment was noisy surprised him deeply. He knew that there was a lot of life under the surface but the life forms usually were silent creatures, that were fighting everyday for survival in that vast environment; besides that all that noises he was hearing were not familiar with any animals he knew. The forest became suddenly silent.

He could feel it coming long before it arrived him: a wave of pure energy was going this way. The creature relaxed, closed his eyes and waited for the upcoming impact that arrived after the eyes closed. A nice feeling of heat went through his body, the energy grabbed him into the air, the resin has been removed and any other pain he had was gone. The crystals have connected him, calling out for help. The guardian opened his eyes, the fire blazed right away, through the crystals themselves he could see what was going on in the chambers of stone. Every living creature, regardless if a creature of shadow or light has an energy aura, and right now the guardian could sense the trespasser but it felt kind of strange. It was sure that this creature, whatever it was, did not come from the underground. That could mean only one! It came from the surface….

- The earthquakes seemed to have created an entrance into the Underground. – He thought and growled like a savage animal.

Once more the time has come to for fill his duty. He turned off the connection with the crystals, fell down on the ground and charged forward through the remains of the mushroom wood, following the trace the aura has left for him. With an immense speed he ran to the circle of energy that has been created for him. Sometimes he was thinking, that the crystals were living creatures, otherwise he could not find any proper explanation how dead items could create such thing. There will be enough time of thinking after his duty. He jumped into the circle, his body started to vanish in the light, being transported back to the place where his life was bound for ever. The last part of his body vanished completely and the circle behind him disappeared.

Travels like that were not the kindest ones, all the colors melted together and started pass you with an incredible speed transporting the body through light and time. Gladly the chambers of stone were not far away that is why he was expecting a short ride; still in the vortex of the portal he was trying to figure out what was haunting the chamber. In all the time only creatures of the Underworld, that thought were strong enough to conquer him, tried to get those crystals and all of them died in the act of trying. The strange aura he felt was different from all the other auras he felt here. Hate, anger sometimes even sadness but in that case he felt something he seemed to know…

He focused, tried to remove all questions that were swarming in his mind, of course everything for nothing: the questions seemed to even increase their numbers. Whatever he would meet in the chambers, would never again see the light of the sun. The portal started to lose its intensity, the colors started to melt together, slowly creating the shape of the chamber, he took a deep breath before he reached the end. A loud and sharp sound thundered in his ears, he was thrown out of the energy field. With an enormous crash he landed on the ground of the chamber, slowly he started to get up, growling, looking for the target.

His muscles were all tense, senses sharp as it could be a scary sight even for the greatest beast. Right now he could not spot the trespasser, he was sure that his sudden appearance out of nowhere had surprised whatever creature dwelled here. Maybe even scared it away, but even though he could not see it with his eyes, he could feel its aura. Behind the pillar he noticed a small life form that was surely shaking around in fear, surprised by its small posture the guardian decides that he would have to see it first. Not a matter of preparing, a matter of curiosity. He moved forward, creating small quakes, the life form gave a strange sound from itself and started to change its position. The game began, he had his fun. The small creature was way too slow for him but he allowed the game of cat and mice go on a little bit longer.

Though as every cat that plays with its prey, loose its interest so did the guardian get bored by it so he jumped right in front of his small game companion. The sight of the small creature was one of the most surprising things he had ever encountered in his life. A pony was cowering down in front of him. Its fur was a pretty blond, the mane was pink and both of the were covered in dirt and dust. Some sort of bag or maybe a saddle was attached to its back. The pony looked at him with its big eyes that were full of fear, shaking like it would be in the greatest cold a living thing could imagine. The surprise effect faded, the pony could not be a dangerous creature that was sure, especially that squirming one but his duty was clear; protect the crystals.

He growled, took a deep breath and roared at the small little creature. The power of the roar made her mane wave wild in the air, the pony was so scared that it made a silent cry but its facial expression, another surprising thing about it, was telling more than a thousand words. Then another surprise happened… The pony started to cry! The guardian was deeply confused, in his heart he felt guilty for that but, but, but that could not be possible! He was free of any feelings! How could it be that he felt guilty? He couldn’t stand it so he kneeled down and patted the pony.

- Please stop crying... – His sound seemed to scare the pony even more what in the end made it cry even louder! He took his hand away from it but then he had an idea so he reached after the pony again.

A strange noise went through the air; he could hear it long before it reached him: the sound of wings. He moved his head away in the same time something blue charged pass him. In the air was another pony! But it had wings! That thing had wings!! With angry expression the pony attacked him again, the show began; his reactions were way too fast for it. The pony’s fur was blue as the sky from his sudden flashback, the mane had the colors of the rainbow, and it was way shorter than the mane of the crying pony. The wings were swinging impressing fast. The pony said something! It spoke to him but in a language he could not understand. Then he felt that something just kicked him in his knee, he looked down and saw another pony kicking him with its hooves.

The fur of this one was orange, mane blond and in comparing to other ponies it looked simple, but the most impossible thing, at least for him, was the fact that it was wearing a hat! Right now he could sense more auras in the chamber, something pink was jumping not far from him, and he could even hear something that reminded him of laughing and giggling. Another pony appeared behind a pillar, this one was the weirdest of the pack, and it was totally pink. With a bright smile on its face it started to jump towards him. The crying pony was on its feet again, at its side a marvelous looking pony that seemed to cheer her up. The fur of it was white, somehow untouched be the dust and dirt of this place, the mane the most impressive looking one, had a light purple color.

This pony though was different from the other he has seen, because it had a horn that was going out of its forehead. The horn was glowing in a nice blue tone that reminded him of water. Another shocking thing about this one was the fact that it was using magic! A critter was using magic! Unbelievable! The ponies started an assault on him, from above and the ground, the way they were doing it was confusing. Their small statures and their speed were really impressively annoying. They were hitting him but those hits were barely noticeable, for a moment he was standing still then with a swift move he grabbed the flying on by its leg. It made a surprised noise, and then it started to shake around trying to somehow free itself of his mighty grab.

The ponies below were kicking him but he didn’t pay attention to them. He lifted one leg and hit the ground; the ponies crumbled and fell down on their butts. The guardian laughed and let the flying one free, all ponies were shocked by his demonic sounding laugh. He stopped to laugh after he felt that magic was being focused not far from him, the white pony was too busy with the light so it could mean only one; there were more of them in the tunnels. Then he heard the sound of the flying energy that was aiming directly at him, he closed his eyes and focused on its very core. The spell stopped behind his back, the ponies with wide open moths were shocked by the unexpected twist of action. He let the energy float to his hand, then he grabbed it with both hands and pressed with a big pressure on the energy.

A sound like of a plopping balloon went through the chamber what made the pink pony laugh quietly. This started to get serious. The energy that has been sent on him was not as weak as he expected; he focused and followed the trail of the energy. After he found the caster he said something in a dead language. He disappeared in a slightly noticeable black energy. Then he was teleported right behind the caster; the lavender pony was totally frozen by his sudden teleport. The mane was made simply in three different colors, as the white pony it had a horn; what made him realize that only they were able to use magic. The pony turned around to him, screamed loud and ran to the others, the guardian looked around but he couldn’t sense more auras: at least one good thing.

The ponies gathered in the middle, some of them challenging hitting the ground with their hoofs. Impressive that they were not afraid of him; something was going on in front of him. A flash appeared out of nowhere, blinded by the sudden light he was not able to see what was happening in the few seconds. After he regained his sight back he noticed right away that the ponies were wearing some sort of jewelry on them. The purple caster had something like a crown on her head while the others had necks; something was strangely familiar about them. Energy started to concentrate above the small pack.

- How can this be? – He though – The others don’t have horns.

Whatever was going on, he would not allow happening. He stomped the ground and roared at them. The pony with the pink mane fell on the ground a hid its face with the hooves. The guardian pointed at them and grabbed them with an energy field. The ponies went into the air, all of the making noises that were truly showing confusion and fear. He moved forward to them, still point at the pack, the ponies started to shake around like a housefly catechd in a spider net. He could not do the thing he was planning to do without hurting them. Once again the caster wanted to use some spell and actually she did it. A bubble surrounded the ponies but to their bitter surprise, they noticed that his spell was still holding them. With his claw he made the bubble plop, his eyes open widely and immobilized the floating ponies with a spell.

They stopped to move; only their eyes were moving hysterically in all ways. After he reached the ponies, he looked at them; his sight stopped at the caster that attacked him from behind, it saw that he was focusing on it. Then he touched the ponies forehead, closed his eyes for a moment; he touched the spirit but he could feel that it was fighting against him. He found a weak spot, then he open his eyes even more and the connection was established. The overwhelming waves of pictures, feelings and memories were a big shock.

- How is it possible that a creature like it has a difficult mind?

It was too much for the guardian. He gave up the connection and the spell he was holding the pack. They all fell down to the ground expect two of them, the blue flying one and the one with the pink mane. He grabbed his head that was hurting him; he hoped his connecting was worth the effort. The caster stood in front of him with a look on its face that seemed to be more fascinated than afraid. The companions started to look at her, worried about the thing that just happened.

- Hey Twilight! Are ya okay sugarcube? – said the pony with the hat.

- Look at her! – Said the white one – She is completely under shock!

The pink one giggled – Look at her face girls! It is hilarious!

So they all are females, good to know but he was already aware of it after he saw their manes that they had to be females.

- What have you done do her!? – shouted the blue one.

The guardian growled at her what made the blue pony let her ears sink down.

- I’m… - started the caster – I’m okay girls…

- Are you sure Twilight? – said the pony with the pink mane. – You look sick to me.

- It’s because of the thing that just happened… I think this creature just touched my very soul!

- Why would it do that? – asked the one with the hat.

The guardian wanted to say something but an unclear sounds filled the air, what made the ponies lift their eye brows in the same time. He cleared his throat, what scared the one with pink mane.

- I tried to commutate with you. – He said and shocked the ponies with their own language, while in the same time he shocked himself with his voice, that he did not hear for very, very long. – You could not understand me so I had to understand you.

- Its speaking to us! – said the white one. – Its speaking!

The pink one giggled happily. – In a very scary way!

- Thousand years have passed since I had a conversation with intelligent creatures. Don’t be surprised by the strange sound of my voice. – Indeed he couldn’t recognize his voice at all.

After an awkward moment of silence he continued

- What brings you little creatures to the depths of this place?

The ponies looked at each other, not sure if they should tell him what all was about.

- First of all who are ya mister? – asked the pony with the hat.

He didn’t know what to say, he was so long under the Earth that he forgot his true name, but in fact he still thought that the crystals have something to do with it.

- I am who I am – he answered. He was sure that they have noticed that there was more behind it, especially the one with the hat was looking at him with a look, that made him feel vulnerable.

- A strange way to answer a question
- I’m sure you didn’t go down so deep to ask questions.

- Yeah that’s true. – said the pony that casted the spell. – Allow me to introduce myself! My Name is Twilight Sparkle.
She started to point out the other ponies, first of all the shy one. It seemed though that she didn’t want to introduce herself, not a surprise after the thing that just happened.

- Come on girl – said the one with the hat. – That would be impolite if ya don’t introduce yourself sugarcube.

The shy pony sighted looked at him and said:

- I’m Fluttershy…

- You have to say it louder – said Twilight through the shut teeth.

- I’m Fluttershy… – She said a little bit louder.

The guardian nodded at her, Fluttershy gave her name the entire honor because she hid right behind the others. In fact after it he started to look at every individual pony, the next was the one with the hat and weird accent. She noticed it and without hesitation she said:

- I’m Applejack.

The guardian moved on now he had the white pony in sight:

- My name is Rarity. – She bowed in a very formal looking way.

- Oh, oh ,oh! My turn! – said the pink pony, waving at him like a little kid would do. – I’m Pinkie Pie.
A bright smile appeared on her face.

The last remaining pony was the blue flying one, he looked at her and noticed that she was still in a challenging position.

- I`m Rainbow Dash.

The guardian looked again at the ponies, the names fitted every of them still he would rather say that the names were weird, if he could actually count them as names.

- Again. – He started. – What brings you down into the Underground?

- It’s not your business pal! – said Rainbow Dash sharply.

- So you say? Then I have to disappoint you. It is my business because I am the guardian of this place.

- A… a guardian? – asked Twilight Sparkle. – May I know what you are guarding here?

He growled fierce what made all of them freeze for a bit, especially Fluttershy.

- Matter that are not a concern of yours. – Everybody would notice the threat in his voice.

- So why should we answer anythin' to ya if you don’t answer us. – said Applejack.

He knew the answer already, the connection with Twilight has revealed it, and he just wanted to see if they would be lying to him.

- Enough of this. – said Twilight and move a bit towards him. – We have been sent by our leader Princess Celestia, to check some strange magic activities in this region. Some time ago an Earthquake created the way down into this place. According to the information we have recieved the magic activity was under the mountain. We are investigating nothing more.

She was not lying; still he had to know more.

- I appreciate that you were not lying to me Mrs. Sparkle.

- How do you know that I am not lying?

- The connection that I have established has revealed the memory of this investigation; you were concentrating on it and were afraid that you have failed after I immobilized you all. Besides that there is one matter that is still unclear to me.

- What do you have in mind?

- What will you do if you will find the source of it?

- Princess Celestia herself told me that kind of energy is way too dangerous to be left without proper control. After that we would probably have to report back and await more orders.

- If that’s the case. – He said – Your investigation ends here.

The ponies looked at him surprised; Rainbow Dash seemed to be furious;

- We didn’t get so far to go back with empty hooves!

He kind of found this expression funny but he didn’t show it; not that he could somehow.

- You will not go back without anything Mrs. Hot Air.

- What did you..!

He teleported once more right in front of her, she screamed silently and flew a bit back.

- I said you will have something in your hooves. – He looked at Twilight. – Report to your master and tell her of our meeting. Tell her that the energy she is feeling is sustained and under my guard.

- Could we see the source of...

- NO! – He shouted his eyes immediately started to blaze with the growing anger. – The energy source shall not be reviled!

- But…

- There is no but little creature! Who do you think you are that you push yourself and your friends in things you are not able to understand! I don’t care that you have been sent down by a princess or any other monarchy! Leave this place and never come back!

While he was talking he was moving at the small pack slowly leading them in the direction of the entrance.

- I will allow you to leave this place…

- How rude of you to shout at the ladies like that! – Started Rarity.

He interrupted her – Alive.

- Wow! Hold there mister! You can’t just push everpony like that! – protested Applejack.

- Foolish critters! Do you really think I would have make all the trouble of learning your language if I wouldn’t like to talk with you?!

- You can’t be serious?! – said Twilight.

- This is my last warning! Leave this place and never come back! If you will be foolish enough to come back you will meet the fate of the others who were here before you!

He looked at the pack that finally realized that he was serious but then he noticed that something was wrong. Pinky Pie was missing! How did she pass him like that!?

- Where is your pink friend!?

- I`m here! – She answered on the other side of the room. – Sorreh that I’m not listening! But those stones walls are soooooooo pretty! And what do we have here? Looks like gems.

- Gems!? – Said Rarity – Maybe diamonds! Oh or maybe opals, crystals, sapphires! – And then she just charged by ignoring him.

He couldn’t believe it! The fact that she has passed him after all his threats was bad, but when all of them suddenly passed him too were just humiliating. Even Fluttershy was flying pass him only to see the stones. He roared and ran after them but till he reached them they were all looking at the crystals. They big eyes were fascinated by the crystals he was guarding.

- This are the most glorious crystals I’ve ever seen! –said Rarity, and clapped with her hooves with an over joy. – I MUST HAVE ONE!

She started to focus magic in the horn but before she was ready the guardian grabbed the group with his spell once more. He did not immobilize them so they could see, that his anger had to be overwhelming because his eyes changed their color into deep red and blazed extremely hard. Something was different since he approached the crystals, not only that there were shining with a big intensity; his temper was going on all by itself, and the energy he started to focus has been not his own choice.

- I’ve gave you the opportunity that I would have never give to a creature of the Underworld, and you shameless critters not only ignored it you want to steal my property!

- Oh excuse me for my greedy reaction. – Said Rarity – But those crystals are just marvelous! Could we find an agreement and ….

Suddenly she screamed, the ponies looked on her without knowing what was going on. Twilight noticed it first, electric bolts were moving around Rarities entire body, dealing pain to her.

- PLEASE STOP! – She shouted. – We will leave this place as you said! But please stop!

The bolts disappeared and Rarity cried out loudly. The creature looked on Twilight.

- I’ve already said that I gave you the chance to leave. – He growled for a moment. – You won’t get a second one.

- I am responsible for the appearance in that place! I brought them here because I could sense the magic source. Please let my friends go and take me instead!

The ponies started to disagree with her; surprisingly Fluttershy was one of the loudest now.

- You would sacrifice yourself for them? – He asked surprised. The blaze lost its deep red and turned back into the color of fire.

– Why?

- How can you even ask that!? They are my friends! I won’t allow you to harm them even if it means sacrificing myself for their sake.

- That counts for me too! – said Applejack.

- Me too! – said Pinkie Pie.

- And me too! – said Fluttershy.

- I would give everything I own to safe my friends. – Said Rarity with tears in her eyes.

- I would even stop to fly for them if have to! – shouted Rainbow Dash.

The crystals on their jewelry and the crystals above them started to shine in a marvelous way, blinding the guardian apparently not the ponies.

- Together we can do everything! – said Twilight and after it there was a flash that went through the entire room, farther into the tunnels. The guardian suddenly felt like something heavy was on him. After the flash disappeared he noticed that he had chains on him! Golden chains with engraved runes, each chain had an attached crystal that had an incredible perfect beauty. The runes started to shine with a light blue color, started to burn his flesh and his very soul. Never in his life had the guardian screamed so loud out of pain and agony. The ponies turned away from that gruesome act, he could hear Fluttershy asking to stop, so he did in his mind. Then the chain started to open with a mechanic clack they opened. First the hands:

Your hands shall never again be stained with the blood of the innocent!

What was that?

Then the chains that were attached to his wings, solid and heavy fell down to the ground.

Your wings shall never again block out the sun!

With each new chain falling apart new flashback were shown in his mind and with them more pain followed.
Then the chain that were attached to his throat, strong and nearly strangulating fell down to the ground.

Your roar shall never again echo through the mountains of this land!

The pain he was feeling now made him totaly numb, he wanted to fall on the ground but something was holding him.
Then the chains that were attached to his legs fell down to the ground.

Never again shall you put step on this land you hideous beast!

He could not stand anymore; he fell down and thanked the ground for being so cold. The fire of his eyes was weak; he barely could see anything but he saw that the light of the crystals was gone. He heard hooves hitting the ground, the ponies ran away from this place. The last pony that was still in the chamber was Fluttershy that came close to him, she had tears in her eyes he could see that she felt bad for him.

- Thank you. – said the guardian with a weak voice. – Thank you for freeing me.

Fluttershy could not stand it; she cried out and flew to her friends. Darkness started to surround him but for the first time in his life he was really free. He just wanted to close the eyes and go sleep. The time passed but he still was here, he listened to the sounds of the stones that were telling him their stories, but once more the silence has been soured by a roar of the beast followed by screaming of the ponies. His eyes open wide; energy came back to his lifeless body so he stood up and knew where he had to go.

- My time here is over. So is the task. – He looked up at the destroyed crystals. Then he ran out following the echo of the tunnels. He was free. This was his own choice; this was his first step into a new life.

Never again shall your face see the light of the sun traitor!

Whatever happened in that time is not my concern! – He thought – That creature died long time ago.

Following the ponies was easy. Their hoof marks were easy to spot, the roar of the best came closer and closer so did the screams and some sort of battle shouts. The problem about that situation was the fact that he couldn’t fight properly since he was still weaken, the creature that was roaring was a Dragon of the Depths. What’s the difference from a ordinary Dragon? Imagine the most evil dragon above earth and double it. It was his enemy since he was here and now the faith gave him the opportunity to end that fight for good this time. The size of his nemesis was enormous what could only mean that the ponies somehow managed to get into the big lair that he has found. Gladly he knew the indirect way besides that he would not waste time on just climbing he would just fly even if he would not recommend it to anybody, if he would know somebody.

He arrived at the great abyss, jumped right in the sky, and right after it he felt the stain of his nemesis a foul smell of meat. The noise of a moving body became clearer; he had to be close now, the stain became stronger too so he had to cough and fight against throwing. Finally he saw the big entrance that lead into the lair, he flew in and saw his nemesis right away. The dragon of the deeps was an enormous creature; the main body build of it reminded of a dragon that would have been seen on the surface, way too heavy to fly this species did not have wings. The most astounding feature about it was the head plate that started right from the nose, giving its owner perfect head protection. Basically it had no scales on its body; the only protection was thick skin.

He knew even if his head plate was a great protection, in the worst case for him even a weapon, it made the creature blind what meant that it could only spot its victims through smelling and hearing. The creature was certainly looking for something, above it he noticed two small points, that the guardian recognized as the two flying ponies Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy. They were making all possible noises trying to distract the beast. He spotted the other ponies that could not fly, dangerously close to the fiend, hidden in a mushroom forest they had a chance to escape. Besides that he noticed that they were in the place where he had crushed, what meant that the resin of the mushrooms had probably given them some protection. Slowly they tried to move along the blind creature that was looking for them in the wrong spot.

They managed to move forward but then something unexpected happened; one of the still standing mushrooms broke and fell down and buried a white silhouette: Rarity. In the last second she jumped away but not far away to protect her left back leg: even from here he could hear her painful shout. It was sure that the dragon did it to. It turned its massive back and moved right to the place where the crying came from, the creature roared, what meant it sensed the smell of its victim that is why it charged right forward. There was no time to waste, he flew up and started to make a swoop, trying to reach them as fast as he could. While he was still in the air he started to change his size so far as his condition allowed it. The time seemed to slow down, everything went silent beside his beating heart there was no other sound.

He made it! He landed between the ponies and the fiend, the breath of his nemesis was on his back, he did not pay attention to it: he looked down at the ponies that still were realizing that he just appeared. Then he felt the teeth of the fiend grabbing his shoulder, he moaned, felt the warm blood run down his shoulder. With his claws he stabbed the fiend into his gums and he let some energy went into it. He felt then that the dragon released him of this bite he turned around to his enemy that started to wriggle around, one more time he looked back to the ponies:

- Hide!

The others managed to free Rarities leg, and then they helped as good as possible to help her move forward. Right now one thing was important, he had to lure the dragon of the depths away from them; it was still shaking his head and once more he faced his enemy. The dragon teeth were bare, a full line of sharp natural weapons. If somebody would have seen it roaring, you would be able to see that this creature had two jaws, with each roar the jaw that was a part of its head plate went back making place for the bigger jaw that was hidden beneath the plate. The same procedure happened for the lower jaw. At the back of the first jaw there were no teeth; three big spikes went out of this place besides that on the chin there was a horn like spike that his nemesis used as a weapon.

The dragon finally recovered from the shock, sniffed around and noticed his presence right away announcing it by a roar. The situation was not good, first of all he still was weak from the chains torture, and second he couldn’t reach the size that might have made the fight easier; besides that his shoulder was injured from the hideous bite. He survived many fights against it but there never was a winner, he hoped that this time the result would be different. The guardian answered the roar with a roar, then both enemies made their first move then the battle began. He didn’t allow his nemesis to use his big head plate as a ram so right away he jumped on it used it as an trampoline so he landed on its back, the dragon started to jump so he would lose his stand.

The guardian did not take any chances so he jumped from the fiend, landed on the ground and started to hit it in the ribs. The enormous body moved in his way, trying to hit him with the head plate. He dodged and gave the dragon a kick in the spike on its chin. The bone broke, fell down on the ground, growling the dragon tried to scratch him with its claws but it was not especially good at aiming so the hit was a miss.

- If I want to defeat him I must take him his senses this time.

He grabbed the broken spike and waited for the right moment. The dragon roared once more in the same moment he pushed the spike into its own mouth, then he put his fist together made a mighty swing and hit the dragon in the lower jaw. The sharp part of the spike cut through the flesh and went and keep stuck in the fiend’s mouth. A not clear cry of pain went out of the beast, the guardian jumped away from it after it started to shake his head in all directions; often hitting against the wall with the head plate. Trying to remove its own weapon of it jaw the beast let it guard down, so he jumped forward, right on the nose and with all he got he hit both nose holes. Right away he felt blood on his claws; he continued to rip the vulnerable flesh until the creature that was shaking in agony threw him away.

Disgusted he went right away to a mushroom and took off the entire snort mixed up with blood and flesh as good as possible. The beast lost its most important sense; the smelling. Some meat was hanging out of his nose that was constantly bleeding, first it managed to remove the spike out of its mouth and then it looked around probably trying to hear him. His nemesis laid his big head on the ground, breathing with its mouth. The sight of the enemy he was fighting didn’t let him feel the feeling of being victorious: it made him feel bad for it. The underground was a dark place but even here you could find light, but this creature would not see anything for the rest of its life. That’s why he decided to move towards the beast: after he reached it he lay down his hand on the injured nose.

- We were fighting for so long. – He said to the dragon telepathically. – I do not even remember what made us act that way… Let us end this senseless fight for good.

A green light appeared out of his hands that started to heal the wounded flesh; soon there were no marks of any kind of injury.

- Allow me.

He put his hand into the mouth and healed the place where the spike damaged the flesh and bone. After he was ready he moved back from it and looked at its blind appearance. The dragon seemed to be overwhelmed by the fact that he just helped him, it move its head a bit forward to him and sniffed him. Then it licked the place where it bit the guardian, the wounds burned and the tongue was not a pillow, but he allowed that procedure: both were showing that they were willing to forget the past and forgive for every wound that had been inflicted.

- Thank you. – He said. – Now please listen. – The dragon didn’t move. – It is time for me to leave this place. I love and hate it but even if it was a prison to me... it was a home in the same way. This place needs a new guardian so now I ask you my humble friend; will you take my place and keep this place safe?

The dragon sniffed again and then it nodded. Both passed each other and went their own destiny, his was surely no longer here; he started to look for the ponies. While that he turned back into his normal size that in fact was a little bigger than of the ponies, soon he found the small group trying to aid the injured leg of Rarity. Pinky Pie saw him first coming, she announced it while jumping up and down, he joined up to them and looked down on the injury. It seemed like it was a broken bone, he kneeled down and stretched the hand after her leg. Rarity reacted in fear, tried to move away from him what only lead to hurting herself.

- Please. – Said the guardian. – Trust me I won’t hurt you.

With teary eyes she nodded and turns her face away, his hand touched the swollen place and started to heal it like he did to his old nemesis. Soon the leg started to regenerate, like with Twilight he has connected with the body of Rarity, he saw her bone that had an internal breaks; he put a hand on her head and gently pated her:

- I won’t lie to you Rarity it will hurt now. – He noticed a slight change in his voice; Rarity had experienced a rather painful torture, which was directly attacking her nerve system. Then she started to complain about the broken leg and if he was not wrong, he heard her complain about the dirt messing her pretty appearance. – It will hurt only for a few seconds after that you will be a healthy pony again.

Still patting her he waited till she nod at him, then once more he focused on the break in the bone: his hand started to glow green again; slowly he let the healing energy spread inside the bone.

– Prepare little one. - Then he unleashed the energy, the bones started to melt with each other, a terrible sounding crush came out of the leg: Rarity shouted with wide open eyes and lost her consciousness. The other ponies that were spotting the healing process were incredibly cool what allowed him to concentrate without any problem.

- It is done. – Said the guardian, then he checked if besides the bone nothing more has been damaged; gladly it was not the case. – When she will wake up she will be able to jump over hills.

- I doubt it hihi. – giggled Pinkie Pie. – She hates to get dirty!

- How are you all holding out? – He asked, looked around the ponies.

- The rest is fine thanks to you. – said Twilight Sparkle. – Thank you for saving us.

- The moves you performed were cool! – Rainbow Dash started to do some weird looking moves. – But after you lured him away I didn’t see what happened next.

- It sounded like a rough fightin` over there. – said Applejack. – Ya do know how to be loud.

- What was that thing in the first place? – asked Fluttershy that was standing behind Twilight.

- I call those creatures Dragons of the Depths. – He answered and looked around. – We can’t stay in this place. – He took Rarity from the ground, as gently as he could. – Let us go back to the chamber.

The ponies did not protest and they followed the guardian. During their way back Rainbow Dash constantly asked about the fight, after he helped out the ponies, which could not fly, over the abyss he finally answered her question:

- I’ve let him go.

- WHAAAT?!? That thing wanted to eat us!

- That’s the natural cycle in the Underground and I am sure it’s the same on the surface. Only the strongest will survive.

- How did ya find us so fast? – asked Applejack. – The dragon of yours was roarin` that’s sure but the echo could not lure ya to us.

- As you probably noticed not every part of these tunnels are as big as the lair, where you encountered the dragon. I found that place by an accident to be honest, so I’ve figured out that you had to be there. Besides that he does not smell like a fresh air breeze.

- I must admit that I’m surprised that this fight ended with you letting him go. – Said Twilight that looked like she was searching something in her mind. – I’ve followed some part of it through a spell and I do saw that this fight was a brutal one.

- The dragon was an old nemesis of mine, since I’ve been sent down here he was my enemy. Things have changed though.

- May I ask how it changed?

- After the destruction of the crystals my mind started to reveal memories I have forgotten. Every time I’ve seen the dragon, it was me that was attacking first. I don’t know what kind of motive made me act like that but after I saw him on the ground... injured, blind and so helpless it made me feel bad for him. I’ve healed his injuries and ended the old war between us.

- Are you sure that it was a good idea? He might have use the situation and attack you again. What would you have done then?

- Defended myself of course. The creature was acting normally, its entire life is based on the survival, if it wants to live it has to eat and as you probably saw first handed; it is not a vegetarian.

After that nearly everybody was silent besides Pinkie Pie that was randomly singing songs, actually besides that she was talking and talking and talking; randomly of course. It seemed to annoy the other ponies especially Rainbow Dash and Applejack but he listened patiently and enjoyed somebody talking trash. They reached the chamber of the stone, he took Rarity to his own so called sofa that he created out of the plants of the underground that were in some way a bit soft and comfortable to sit on. He turned around to the ponies:

- I have to ask you something little ones.

The ponies collected in the middle of the chamber, not far away from the chains that were still on the ground.

- Could you be so kind and tell me how the surface looks like? I try to remember it but I simply can’t.

All of them were a little bit confused about that question but Twilight started the conversation:

- For how long have you been here… – Awkward silence – How shall we call you?

He sighted loudly – If I would know the answer I would tell it to you.

- Wait wait… you don’t know your name?

He let his head and ears down. – I’ve been here in this place for a very, very long time. – He looked up to the broken crystals. – With each passing day my memory faded in the darkness of this place, first I thought it was because I get old, or because I was alone all the time. Then I have started to think that the real case for it were the crystals I was guarding. After you somehow destroyed them, those chains appeared…

- Why would ya be chained in the first place? – asked Applejack.

He was not sure if he should tell them about the flashbacks he had witch each falling chain, for now on he would better keep it for himself.

- I really don’t know…

- Those things look pretty heavy. How couldn’t ya feel it?

- Eh I don’t know; please let’s leave this topic for now. I still would like to know how the surface looks like.

And so the ponies started to tell him the things about the land they call Equestria, apparently a peaceful land full of ponies, what a surprise. Each pony added their own information, while he was listening he tried to somehow imagine all those things, besides the sky and some tree in his foggy memory he didn’t remember more things: it was kind of nice to listen to them, After the short report about the land he asked every question he had in mind; from history to culture. Even though the ponies seemed not to lie it was sometimes hard to imagine that the ponies were actually that superior, but he didn’t say it openly to them.

- I would like to hear more about this place! – said Twilight with a fascinated voice. – Even if it seems that this place is dark and abandoned we have seen so many life forms and individual plants of every kind. Please, please tell us the things you know.

Her interest kind of surprised him – I.. I don’t know from where I shall start…

He choose a topic that he thought might have interest the ponies, they were listening patiently and somehow he managed to win their attention through things that were normal to him but unknown for them. After he mentioned the sounds of the stone the ponies rather thought he is joking. To safe himself from the *being insane* status he suggested that the ponies listen to the sounds of the underground. It was a hard task especially with Pinkie Pie that was acting like she had drunk too many coffees with too much sugar in it. None of them could hear it so he decided to help them hear things that they could not see or hear. He connected with each of them, cleared their minds from any thoughts and let them be silent; soon the symphony that none words could describe appeared and everybody started to hear the sounds that always gave him faith and joy in the darkness of the underground.

- That’s fascinating! – said Twilight trying not to disturb the symphony with her voice.

- I could listen to it all day long ladies. – said Applejack.

- Cool is not enough to describe it. – said Rainbow Dash with a really relaxed face.

- I’m wondering if my little friends could hear it too. – thought Fluttershy.

- Every living creature is able to hear it if it’s willing to do it. – He answered.

Fluttershy made a strange sounding noise and right away she was terribly tense
- You know what would make the entire thing even better? LOTS OF CANDIES! – said Pinkie Pie and smiled.

He cut the connection between him and the ponies, he wanted to know if they were able to do such thing all by their own but right away after the lost connection they stopped hearing the symphony.

- Such gift must be earned through hard work. – He said right away some of the ponies especially Twilight started to complain. – Tasting the fruits of your own work taste sweeter than the fruits of a stranger.

- How can we learn it? – asked Twilight desperately. – I’ve read all my books in the library and I’ve never encounter such thing in any of them!

- There are things on the world that you can acquire only through searching, books explain much but there are many things that a book cannot describe.

Twilight let her ears down; - Could you at least give us a hint?

- Don’t think.

- What?

- As I said don’t think.

- I don’t get it…

- Before I established a connection with you, your mind had so many distracting thoughts that you could not concentrate and could not find the hidden symphony in the silence.

- But how can I clear my mind of those thoughts? I always think about several things and matters!

- Sometimes even an eager scholar has to find some time only for him or herself. In such moment let everything that is bothering you on the second stage, clear your mind till you finally start to hear the music in the silence.

- Haha! I still find it kind of funny how you can hear music in the silence. – said Pinkie Pie and started to hop around him.

- Silence is music…

- But that doesn’t make any sense! How can be there music if everything is silent? Oh, oh I know! That means if I am silent, I’m singing in the same time!

The guardian was going to say something but Pinkie interrupted him.

- Oh boy that’s sooooo cool! But I don’t know I prefer to sing with my voice, if I won’t do it my jaw might get out of form and that would mean that I could not talk and who would like not to talk at all?!

- Is she always so hyperactive?! – asked the guardian and still watched Pinkie talk and talk.

- No she is just being Pinkie. – said Rainbow Dash. – But I admit in that case silence is music.

- The tunnels have many secrets that I did not discover, in all I told you everything I could explain. – He looked back to Rarity that was still sleeping. – Go now little ponies get some rest, before we move out.

- We? You’re commin`with us? – Asked Applejack and hit the ground with her hoof.

- You need guidance and protection.

- We didn’t meet anythin' that could harm us. Until now…

- You never can be safe enough, especially down here. Besides that… - He looked on the destroyed crystals. – My task has finally ended.

- Hold there big boy! Twilight do ya think it’s a good idea?

- Equestria is full of magical creatures. I’m sure he will fit in…. with time.

- I was wondering if I could report to your Princess you mention before. How did you call her?

- Princess Celstia.

- Right. I would like to report the situation down here personally.

- I usually sent the messages to the princess in letters but I could try asking her for a meeting. – said Twilight. – Wow I am so excited!

- I don’t know Twilight…

- Everything will be fine AJ.

- We don’t know how the ponies will react!

- It won`t be that bad I am sure of it. Remember how everypony was afraid of Zecora?

- That is a bad example sugarcube. He is not like Zecora! I am afraid that his will not work the same way.

- If my appearance will cause trouble I will try to find a cave.

- Don’t ya have enough caves for your lifetime?

- Hmm good point instead I will look for a…. how did you call it? A forest?

- If you were a Pegasus like me and Fluttershy you could have live on the clouds! But I doubt it that it will work.

- Everything in its time girls, first we have to leave the Underground. Go find some sleep I will watch over you. – The ponies wanted to get up but he stopped them. – One last thing.

- Yeah? – asked Applejack.

- After Rarity will wake up from her sleep I will apologize for my act… but I think it’s not enough. Could you tell me please what she likes?

- Fashion is her passion! – said Pinkie and made a model like position.

- I will hardly find such stuff here. – said the guardian. – What is fashion in the first place? – He thought.

- She loves every kind of jewels and other things that are simply pretty, but the jewels will always be the number one for her; you saw her reaction after she saw your crystals.

- That’s more like it! Okay then go sleep now, my chamber should be big enough for all of you.

After they have left him and fell asleep, he picked up the chains that were attached to him, still unclear how he had them on his body for so long. The runes have lost their former form, the light blue color was gone too but at least the crystals seemed to be intact, it took some time and care but he managed to rip the crystals out of it without damaging it. He looked on the chains once more that he held in his claws;

- Maybe those things were the reason I’ve been hold here for so long?

He threw the chain away, totally forgetting the sleeping ponies, he was glad though that he did not wake them up. He sat on the ground, found some comforting position at a pillar and then he let out exhausted sigh.

- Is …. Is everything okay?

He turned around and saw Fluttershy standing next to him. – I really have to be exhausted if I didn’t hear you coming. – He thought.

- Did I wake you up? Sorry for that.

- Nothing to apologize for. – She sat on his right. – I am a shy pony but I easily notice if something is bothering somepony.

He laughed quietly about that expression.

- So is everything okay?

- My entire life has been put upside down. I am trying to figure out so many things but I just can’t remember anything.

- It’s because of your name isn’t it?

- That’s one thing out of many more. – He sighted – I would like to remember something but I just keep failing.

- I don’t know what I would do on your place either. I am sure that my friends would be there for me in time of need.

- You do sound very confident about your friends little one.

- Yes I am. We all had our hard times you know but they have been always there for me, as was I for them.

- I would like to know how it feels to have friends.

- You don’t have friends down here?

- I think I made one today but before that I was alone.

- This must have been an awful experience. I hope that you will find many friends while you travel with us.

- Thanks for the kind words. – He looked into her big eyes. – But what if the creatures of the surface will be too scared of my. – He wanted to touch his face but he didn’t. – Appearance…

- Never judge a book by its cover. – answered Fluttershy and smiled shyly.

He didn’t expect that from her. - Thank you.

While Fluttershy started to ask the guardian more about the local flora, the ponies, besides Rarity that was still in a deep sleep, listened and watched them with one open eye.

Several hours later Rarity woke up surrounded by her pony friends, she checked her leg and she noticed fascinated that she could use it without any problems.

- How do you feel? – She turned around and saw that the guardian was sitting not far from the big pile of plants that she slept on.

- My legs don’t hurt me anymore! – She hit the ground with it. – And I can even stand!

The creature stood up and went to her, he kneeled down and grabbed her leg, and his eyes looked different while he inspected her leg. It was like the fire has been replaced by something that reminded her of a fog, a fascinating thing to look at.

- The bone and several muscles that were injured seem to be healthy. Still I would recommend you not to strain that leg.

- Thank you for everything! You saved my friends and me from being eaten by that monstrosity.

- Actually. – He kneeled even more so his horns touched the ground. – I am sorry for the thing I’ve done to you… I don’t know how to explain it but it was not my own choice back then.

- I can hear in your voice that you regret it; even your eyes show that. I accept your apology.

The guardians stretched his arm and open his hand; he was holding a one big solid and beautiful red opal, the biggest one she has ever seen.

- While you were sleeping I removed it from the chains. I tried to not damage it. – He pointed at the ponies that were quietly talking with each other. – Your friends mentioned that you love such things and. – he did a funny looking move that only Pinky would do. – Fashion is your passion.

She giggled like a lady would do but then she fully concentrated on the big opal he gave her, she seemed to lose herself in some thoughts but soon she said:

- I will make wonderful bracelets for my friends and me. Look at the size of it! So many parts will be left even after that! – She sighted and fell back into her imagination.

- I am leaving this place together with you.

She didn’t hear him... instead she was thinking loud about her ideas, that sounded creative and perfectly.
The rest woke up pretty fast, Rainbow was constantly saying that the air here was bad, Rarity even though she was happy she found several things that she could complain about. Twilight was a pony that he really enjoyed talking to but sometimes her constant *research* was just annoying; what she even mentioned several times but she just couldn’t hold it back. Applejack seemed to be in a bad mood he couldn’t tell, Pinky was hyperactive as she was the last time and Fluttershy was looking at the wall waiting till the others move on.

- I can see that you are eager to leave this place. – He said. – So do I.

- How could you possibly have hold out that long in this place!? – asked Rainbow Dash and flew around this place. – And hey! Where are your wings!?

- I can hide them and let them appear if needed. Right now they would be just a unecessary in the tunnels, we can talk while we move lets go follow me. I think I know where the exit is.

Every time he tried to go and check the path he has found in the past a sudden pain made him change his way. It did not meant that it was the exit but it was worth a try.

- Why can`t we just go the same way we came in? – asked Apple Jack and yawned.

- The way Twilight has described it makes me think that it’s not a safe route. That tunnel you used was never an exit or an entrance, only recently the earthquakes changed that. It’s too risky.

- Are you afraid of using it? – said Rainbow Dash and showed her tongue.

- I am.

She apparently didn’t expect that, she didn’t push on; Applejack seemed to enjoy that little scene he didn’t know why. He choose a way where he didn’t have to use his wings, that was most of the time safe and free of any creatures that could be dangerous for the ponies. During the way he asked all of them to be silent, that the sound of any kind could lure unneeded attention, he was looking at Pinky while he said it. She answered with an Okie Dokie Loki and actually she was silent during the travel.

- Brace yourself now ponies. This place has its natural exit but to get there we have to move along an abyss.
Short after that they have reached the mentioned abyss, through the middle of the wide open room a bridge made out of stone connected both sides.

- Who build that thing? – asked Twilight.

- A race that is no longer on this world I guess. Anyway even if they look old they do the job. Just watch your steps.

Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy flew over the bridge, while the rest had to go on foot or in that case hove. He decided that he would stay behind them, Pinkie went first ignoring the abyss she went on the other side with few jumps. The other ponies were not so positive, slowly they started to move on, Rarity and Twilight had their problems with moving forward while Applejack already reached the middle they were still close to the beginning.

- The most important thing is to not look down!

He said and regretted it after he spoke it out. Automatically they wanted to look down but he growled a bit so they stopped right away. Then he heard a crush in front of them where Applejack was standing, afraid that the bridge would collapse he grabbed the two ponies with his magic and transported them on the other side. Applejack was nearly on the other side, the cracks became noticeable for everypony; in a slight panic she moved on a little bit too fast. The stone under her suddenly lost it connection with the other side and all saw AJ falling down. He could not grab her with his magic that is why with a curse on his lips, that the ponies did not understood, he jumped after her. He had fallen several times into such abyss so he knew how to survive it; while he was falling after her he pressed the arms against his body so he looked like a falling arrow.

Soon he saw the falling Applejack that was yelling in panic. Finally he reached her; gently pulled her to him, while with the other free hand and his feet he ripped his claws into the stone. A terrible scratch noise went through the tunnels, the stone heated up leaving an everlasting scar on its surface.


Soon they started to slow down till they finally stopped. The friction has created an immense heat that burned his skin of his fingers on several places; a slight noticeable moan was his only reaction. Applejack was shaking that hard that he had some problems with holding her.

- It’s okay. It’s okay.

He could feel that she was crying, he let her cry the excitement out but then he felt that his leg was getting wet too.

- I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. I’ve never fell down that deep and the darkness…

- It’s okay I’m here. – In his mind though he shivered barely preventing it to happen in the reality.

He changed his size as good as possible so she could grab him by the neck and hair, what she did with all she got but every time she looked down she grabbed him even stronger. He started to climb all the way up;

- This was a pretty deep fall.

- This will haunt me for a long time…

- Look!

On a small cliff both of them saw Applejacks hat, he grabbed it and gave it back to its owner. Soon they have reached the edges of the abyss, long before that though they heard the ponies crying; especially Rainbow Dash that was yelling that she should have fly after her. Applejack was deeply touched by it; she barely held new tears away. The ponies noticed the guardian appearing out of the darkness of the abyss together with Applejack that was holding her hat like a doll close to her chest.

- Applejack!!!

All of them shouted and ran towards them. The ponies surrounded her, all of them were crying, hugging together in the tunnels of the underworld. He let them have their privacy, his hand was burned on several places at least no broken bones or ripped flesh. He started to heal his own hand, what cost him a lot more energy than he would need for an other living thing: the healing process went on pretty fast so in no time his pain was gone. He didn’t notice that the ponies have watched him but gladly they have not interfere his actions, after he was done he let a relaxed sight out of him that was being echoed by the abyss. Applejack came to him and touched his already healed hand with her hove, she was saying nothing; her eyes said more than words would have ever could say.

He took her hat and putted it back on the place where it belonged. The ponies started to praise his action in all different ways, then they all gave him a one big group hug, the guardian that was not used to it didn’t do anything but the ponies could hear the beat of his heart what was this time the only symphony in the silence of the tunnels.

They moved on, after many hours of walking the guardian stopped and saw light going through one tunnel, the air was way better than in the other parts of the Underground.

- This is it my little ponies…

All of them cheered and ran directly to it but the guardians movement was unsure, for the first time since he was here he hesitated. At the entrance between light and darkness he stopped, he looked back with a strange feeling in his heart. The ponies must have notice it so they all gathered around him.

- Are you okay? – asked Twilight, she looked at him with a worried look.

- This place was my prison, I hate it, I hate it beyond everything but …. - He did not end.

- It was your home. – Fluttershy ended it for him. – Are you sure you want to leave?

- My old life ended. – He pushed his arms into the light. – A new chapter starts in the most unexpected way.

He made his first step into the surface, where the ponies and a new rising sun greeted him.

Before he left a roar echoed through the tunnels directly to him, a roar he knew, a roar that made him prepare to battle but this time it was a Farwell from his old nemesis. It was strange though… somehow he understood it;

- May the Shadows always grants you protection Emberflame. – The way his former nemesis has called him was unexpected as the fact that he could understand him. Emberflame... He turned around to his small companions.

- You may call me Ember.

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