• Published 5th Oct 2016
  • 11,580 Views, 759 Comments

Rise of the Crystal Emperor - Navanastra

Emperor Mateus of the Palamecian Empire fails to conquer the world not once but twice after getting defeated by Firion and his gang. Instead of just going back to hell the Emperor wakes up in a brand new world and in an even newer body as well.

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Chapter 3: Crystals in the Snowy Wastes

Chapter 3: Crystals in the Snowy Wastes

Edited by: Chrome Masquerade

“Hey, wait up!” Thera shouted as she tried her best to keep up with the golden stallion in front of her, who doesn’t seem to be bothered or slowed down by the blizzard that has suddenly started to blow through the icy wastes.

Emperor Mateus on the other hand was more focused on getting through the bloody snow storm, cursing mentally that his magic was still somewhat inaccessible, otherwise he could be easily dealing with this storm with a powerful cyclone spell to disperse the winds and clouds above.

“Suddenly, leaving the caves so urgently seems like a bad choice now. Even though the weather was clear when I left them.” Mateus mentally commented to himself as he continued to make his way through the high winds and low visibility.

Thera, on the other hoof, was slowly catching up to the unbothered Emperor in front of her while holding a wing out to shield her face from the onrushing wind and snow.

“Jeez, for a guy completely clad in pretty heavy-looking armor and robes you still are quite spry on your hooves, there.” Thera commented as she trotted alongside the unicorn on his right side.

The Emperor simply ignored her as his gaze was more fixed forward as he moved along, unfazed by the storm.

Thera felt a little awkward. Since their escape from the caverns this mystery pony hadn’t said or done anything besides picking a random direction and just heading straight for it.

She could have just said her farewells to him and made her way straight for her own home… if she even knew what direction it was, anyway. The loss and disorientation of having blacked out and gotten dragged off to a random location, and with the sky constantly covered in a thick layer of clouds, preventing her from seeing the destination of the sun, meant that she was absolutely clueless as to which direction she should go.

That and the fact that one of her wings counted among her sustained injuries, meant that flying for her was a big ‘NO’ option as well, and trotting all the way back to Peleplos was just masochistic. Not to mention some of the monsters that roam the old northern mountain passages to it.

Thera sighed as she quickly switched her attention back to the mysterious unicorn trotting next to her.

“By the way… I never got the chance to personally thank you for… well, saving me back there. If you hadn’t have shown up the way you did, well… you can already imagine.” Thera opened up while also trying in good hope to finally get a reaction or to start a conversation with him, as just trotting through a snowstorm was both boring and cold for her. Very, VERY cold.

At first there was yet again no response or even a side glance from the mystery pony beside her before he suddenly stopped, finally, for the first time, turning his head to look at her. His spiky long blond hair and long tail moving with the wind as the storm seemed to slowly pick up, causing her to actually shiver for the first time of the day.

He continued to curiously stare at her before momentarily looking off the side before quickly looking back at her again.

“Are you cold?” The golden unicorn in front of her asked casually, which took her completely by surprise.

She quickly shook that surprise off, just before another big gust of wind blew past her, answering for her.

“Well… ye-yes… a little bit, to be honest.” She replied with a small shiver. “I mean normally we Thestrals are quite built for cold climates, since our heartlands lie so far up north and above massive mountains. But I guess I am not THAT well-tuned to the cold, probably because I was originally born in Kazzas where it’s actually a lot warmer thanks to nearby volcanic activity around that area.” She continued to explain, remembering her childhood before eventually moving to the northern capital of her nation.

“I see.” The unicorn simply replied before suddenly doing something that completely confused Thestral mare at first.

He let go of his staff and it suddenly started to just levitate beside him on its own before he sat down on his haunches and moved both of his forehooves around and behind his neck. A few soft clicking sounds could be heard echoing through the blizzard winds before he suddenly held his cape, completely removed from his set and onto his hooves before throwing it in Thera’s direction and forcing her to catch it with both forelegs.

She was stunned, but before she could even ask or voice her opinion the golden unicorn quickly stood up again before trotting past her, continuing his journey to whatever destination he was heading to.

Shaking her head, she quickly stood up as well to swiftly follow him while trying to wrap herself with the cape given to her.

She still felt somewhat confused, but also at the same time happy and grateful for this stallion’s generous act of giving her his cape to keep herself protected from the harsh elements around her.

Though a quick realization promptly rose up inside her head as her smile quickly turned into an expression of concern.

“Wait… what about you? Don’t you need this just as much as I do? Aren’t you cold as well?” Thera asked while looking at the stallion beside her.

To her surprise he actually replied by shaking his head while keeping his gaze firmly fixed in front of him.

“My armor is enchanted to automatically regulate and adapt to whatever weather or climate I find myself in. So the cold really isn’t an issue for me.” The unicorn in front of her replied while still looking and sounding as neutral as he had always been.

Thera whistle in awe. “Wow, that must be super handy, then.” She replied before continuing. “I remember when I first tried to wear full body armor. Comfortable, but heavy as heck. Couldn’t even properly lift off while wearing it, so I was forced to quickly take it off again before my wings could buckle down. Since then I never even bothered to wear any protective gear or armor. I quite honestly prefer more mobility and the sensation of the wind flowing through my fur whenever I fly.” Thera added with nostalgia while also again hoping to get him to finally converse with her and know more about him over time.

Her hopes were finally fulfilled as the mystery stallion beside her actually commented on her explanation.

“Really, that just depends on the type of armor you are using, and if it’s enchanted or not to help with the weight.” He replied while still never moving his gaze to something else.

Thera simply stared at him while trying to keep up with him. “Really? You seem to know a lot of stuff, from what I’ve observed.” Thera countered, again hoping to get more info out of the unicorn.

“I am obliged to know a lot of things.” He casually and simply replied before keeping silent once more.

“Well, it’s at least better than nothing.” Thera thought to herself before deciding to just accept it for what it is.

Though, again, she was suddenly taken by surprise when the pony beside her halted, with a serious expression no less.

“What is it?” Thera asked confused and slightly concerned at his sudden mood switch.

“Something is coming.” He simply replied which just confused the mare even further.

“What exactly is comi…?” Thera tried to question before she suddenly registered something as well as her ears stood up at attention.
On instinct her right hoof swiftly moved to reach for the handle of her blade as her ears started to swivel around in order to pinpoint whatever it is that she was sensing as well, the loud blizzard’s winds though making it difficult to do so.

“You might want to move a bit to the left.” The unicorn suddenly replied which again caused her to look at him in confusion.

“What…why?” Thera asked before something suddenly caught her highly sensitives ears’ attention.

Without even thinking about it, she immediately did exactly as the stallion had instructed her to do, and not one second too soon as the ground she once stood started to gave away as it began to crack and collapse in on itself.

Completely taken off guard by this sudden change of events, Thera frantically backed off from the quickly growing pit in front of her when all of the sudden a huge white mass shot up from its depths as both ice pieces and rocks where flung up high into the air and onto the surrounding areas of the hole. An ear-piercing screech was heard afterwards, which basically forced Thera onto her rump to shield her ears with both of her hooves as she shut her eyes and grit her teeth in pain and discomfort to this dreadful sound.

Thera quickly got back up and opened her eyes after the deafening sound had subsided. What she saw made her blood run cold from both shock and dread as she quickly recognized the creature in front of her.

“IT’S A GIGANTIC SNOW WORM!“ She shouted within the rush of the winds while staring up the gigantic white monster in front of her.


The emperor didn’t know if he should feel surprised by this revelation or feel annoyed by it instead.

“Great… even this world has them. More in a snow and ice version of my world’s gigantic sandworms.” The emperor thought as the massive beast suddenly moved its huge mouth down in the direction of both him and the mare next to him, showing off its many, many dagger sized teeth to them, lining up further and further into its maw the deeper you looked.

He remembered his old world’s version of sandworms occupying the vast deserts of Palamecia. They used to be huge pests and a big problem there when he was just a child. But that soon got rectified when he eventually stepped up the throne as he then began to drastically cutting down their population with both his magic and skilled soldiers to make the deserts more accessible for local travelers and most importantly his armies as well.

Just imagine the difficulty of keeping up with the logistics whenever a band of these creatures started to attack and gobble up portions of his armies and supplies.

Yeah, better to cut their numbers down quickly and save yourself a lot of headaches later on.

The Emperor groaned in discomfort as the worm beast let out yet another ear shattering scream from its massive maw, forcing the Emperor back to focus on the situation at hand. Or hoof. Whatever.

It really wouldn’t be much of a problem to deal with this thing if he had full access to his magical abilities. One high level fire spell would easily do the trick here, or if he wanted to go for the overkill route a good flare spell would also turn this faceless insect into a pile of ash in mere seconds.

But he can’t, for reasons that are yet unknown. So his options at this point are for the first time very limited indeed.

“One of my basic trap spells won’t do me any good now either, since this beast prefers to travel underground instead above it. Plus they just dive back into the ground and re-emerge somewhere else constantly without any patterns behind it. So cornering it is out as well.” Mateus thought to himself as he tried to think of ways to get rid of this beast without the easy assist of his magic.

“HEY! WATCH OUT!” Thera suddenly yelled over to him as the beast’s attention was suddenly focused on him and him alone.

Before Mateus could even react the beast suddenly shot forward with its dagger tooth filled maw baring down at him.

Everything looked hopeless for a moment when Mateus’ expression suddenly turned dead serious for a split second before his staff quickly shot forward to intercept the beast’s attack, hitting it on the side of his head with effective results.

The massive worm screeched in pain as the hit from Mateus’ staff conjured a sizable explosion, forcing the beast to fall backwards as its head hit the ground with a large crack, debris kicking up around the impact site.

The Emperor relaxed visibly as his staff lazily floated back beside him. Thera quickly galloped over to him with her sword drawn as she took her position beside him.

“I never knew that your staff could do that.” Thera commented while briefly looking at him before swiftly refocusing back at the wailing beast ahead.

“My staff can do many things you are not aware of.” Mateus casually replied while never breaking his focus on the monster ahead.

“My staff is a deadly weapon on its own, even without my magic.” He mentally commented as the massive worm in front of them slowly got back up, a very visibly missing and burned chunk on the side of its head where the staff made contact.

The beast began to screech once more before quickly disappearing back into the hole that it came from.

Thera began to relax as the cries of the worm swiftly faded and were drowned out by the still raging winds around them.

“Wow… that was close, wasn’t it?” Thera commented with a sigh as she began to sheathe her sword.

“I would keep that blade drawn if I were you. The worm is just momentarily retreating to lick its wounds.” The emperor commented as he was still in a sense of high alert.

“Wait, how do you know tha…” Thera tried to question before an earthquake underneath them stopped her.

Large cracks started to form all beneath them. Both he and the mare quickly jumped away without even a second to spare as the ground suddenly erupted in a geyser of snow and rocks.

The emperor expertly landed on all fours, while Thera slipped and landed on her side instead as the massive form of the snow worm re-emerged from the newly made hole, screeching and kicking up more debris into the air.

The Emperor was about to command his staff to attack the beast once more and finally bring an end to the shenanigans when he suddenly spotted Thera charging the beast with her blade re-drawn on her hoof and with a look of anger and bloodlust in her eyes that honestly surprised him.

With a mighty leap from her hind legs the mare jumped her way over and onto the back of the unaware worm with her blade pointed in front of her.

The worm once again screeched in pain as the bat-pony mare landed on its back and bored her sword deep into its flesh.

The beast began to thrash around, but Thera held firm and strong as she held tight the hilt of her blade, never daring to flag as she started to reposition her hind legs on the back of the flailing monster for possibly one last leap.

With one final act of strength the bat-mare re-drew her sword from the monster’s flesh and leaped her way towards its head. She quickly angled the freshly blood coated tip of her blade downwards before she landed onto the worm’s head, her blade immediately pushing through the worm’s hard skin and soft interior like butter as the worm gave of a last deafening cry.

With a massive thud, and another cloud of kicked up snow and dirt, the beast collapsed onto the ground lifelessly as its days of terrorizing these lands has met their ends.

With that, the battle was over and the worm was finally slain for good as Thera quickly pulled out her sword from the now-dead monster’s head before jumping back down to the ground and collapsing onto the snow afterward, feeling exhausted.

Again, saying that the Emperor was impressed was an understatement. Especially with that feral look she had in her eyes when she charged the worm with her sword drawn and with her fangs shown.

“Maybe I underestimated her abilities to actually fight and take care of herself when truly needed.” The Emperor thought to himself as he casually made his way over to the still huffing mare on the snow.

Thera looked up when the face of the Emperor came into view above her, looking just as reserved and neutral as he had always been since they met.

“Not bad.” He simply commented, while looking down at her huffing form.

“Hypocrite.” She shot back which actually made the Emperor smirk, to her surprise.

“Now get up, or I will be forced to just leave you here. Of course, If i must, I still wish to have my cape back.” The Emperor announced which made Thera roll her eyes.

“Yeah, yeah, whatever.” Thera replied before eventually getting back up on all fours and dusting the snow off of her fur and cape.

“By the way, what is the rush anyway? Do you even know where we are going?” She quickly asked after first wiping and re-sheathing her sword from its gore with the snow around them.

“I do.” Mateus simply replied which made Thera raise an eyebrow at him for him to continue.

“I am heading to the source of this storm, I know for a fact now that it isn’t natural but, in fact, magical.” The emperor explained before turning around and casually heading off again.

Thera sighed as she followed him, coming up again against his side as she tilted her head questionable at him.

“And how do you know that?” Thera asked which only made Mateus smirk again in response.

“I am obliged to know a lot of things.” He restated, which made Thera groan in response.

“It’s still better than nothing.” She thought as they went deeper and deeper into the storm.

“At least his cape is keeping me warm for a while.”


“Are you really sure we should be going this way? The further we go the stronger the blizzard seems to become.” Thera shouted over the rushing winds while making sure the cape around her wouldn’t get blown away by the heavy winds that were blowing all around them.

Mateus had to admit, having a conversation with someone was sometimes a good way to remove some of the boredom for simple, long travels. Especially when traveling through a blizzard where you can’t really see five meters in front of you. Something he remembered also doing quite a lot when he was a child, but somehow forgotten about it when he was coronated to be the next Emperor after his father.

But that nice change of pace quickly went stale the moment the mare beside him started complaining constantly about how the storm was getting stronger and how they should go an find a shelter instead. And asking him constantly if what he was doing was a good idea or not.

“Women. They are all the same on all worlds, no matter what species.”

But that is the price he had to pay when he decided to let her tag along with him to whatever destination he is walking to, and judging from her performance back with the snow worm, and the fact that his magic is still pretty much quiet un-accessible, she actually would be more useful in the future. Plus, he had to admit that he needed someone he could actually trust in this new world and, again, judging by the fact that she still stuck around with him despite his disinterested and reserved attitude toward her means that she at least seemed to be willing.

How does he know? Well he once had to deal with a lot of individuals back in his old world who had secret agendas whenever pledging their loyalty or support for his cause and looking into her eyes he could tell that there was no trace of deception within her. That’s usually his job… or it was.

“At least it now justifies the reason on why I gave her my cape to keep her warm in the first place.” The Emperor said to himself when he suddenly spotted something within the edges of his vision.

“Hey, I think I see something glittering beyond the storm.” Thera pointed out as well.

Immediately the intensity of the storm started to die down immensely as they moved closer and closer to whatever was shimmering in the distance. Soon the winds mysteriously died down to almost nothing when they reached the edge of a large cliff overlooking a flat, snowy valley below it.

What Thera saw made her eyes go wide in wonder. Down below in the middle of the valley was a city, a kind she has never ever seen before in her life as it looked like to be made of what she could clearly see, even from this distance, made out of crystals.

The city was built in a star-like formation with a huge palace that was proudly sitting right at the center of this crystallized world, piercing high into the heavens as its crystallized towers glittered and shimmered brilliantly, even with the absence of the actual sun, as the entire sky above the city was nothing more than a swirling vortex of clouds.

“Wait… is that the source of the blizzard that surrounds these lands?” Thera wondered aloud after she noticed the odd cloud movements directly above the city.

“It is.” Mateus simply replied as he also observed the scene in front of him with a critical and calculated look in his eyes.

“This place reminds me a lot of Pandemonium Castle back in my world. The castle in the center, at least.” The former Emperor thought to himself as memories of that place resurfaced. Again, more from the eyes of his demonic self than anything else, although Arubboth had also almost the similar looks of Pandemonium as well in terms of architectural material.

“I wonder what is going on down there to cause such a storm via magic or whatever?” Thera commented curiously, a sentiment mimicked by the emperor himself, as he too was wonder who or what the source of this magic was… and if he could use it or take it.

Whatever this magic is it seemed to be somewhat mimicking his cyclone spell, to some degree. Yes, only mimic because what this spell is missing compared to his own one was the sheer strength and destructive potential it offered. He doubted that whatever magic was fueling this blizzard would have enough strength in it to even lift an entire fortress up into its eye and keep it up there for many days or weeks to come while it was moving.

He mentally shrugged before switching his focus back to the mare standing beside him.

“By the way, since we seem to be inside the eye of the storm and out of the worst of it I would say that you no longer require my cape to keep yourself guarded from the elements. So I would be utmost pleased if you would return my garment to me for now.” Mateus announced, which caused the mare to break her gaze from the city to look back at him.

“Well, I can’t really see a reason in keeping it, if that is the case.” Thera replied as she unwrapped herself from the purple garment.

She quickly hoofed it over to the Emperor, who took it before easily putting it around his back and neck and snapping it back into place with a satisfying click.

With that little task out of the way he began to refocus his attention back to the city below them.

Thera did the same as a question suddenly popped up into her mind. “Are we going to go down there?” She asked while looking back at him.

Mateus didn’t answer but instead decided to simply stepped up onto the edge before casually jumping off of it, to the utter shock and awe of Thera.

“What the… DID HE JUST JUMP OFF?” She shouted in panic as she was unaware of the levitation ability that the Emperor possessed.


“You COULD have bloody TOLD me that you can levitate. I WAS scared to DEATH when you suddenly jumped of the freaking cliff without any freaking warning.” Thera ranted on after she managed to quickly join up with the unicorn, having galloped down a conveniently nearby path that lead down into the valley below.

She still couldn’t believe the stunt that this stallion had pulled on her. First he just jumped off of a 300 meter tall cliff, scaring the ever living crap out of her, than it suddenly turns out that it was all cool as she watched him gently lowering himself onto the ground and safely landing on all fours, to her utter relief, which quickly turned into a wave of righteous anger for not having told her before she stormed off to the closest path to get down to catch up with this crazy, mentally out of this world stud.

He might have perfectly demonstrated to her that he was far from a featherweight, but that didn’t mean she was going to let him do crazy stuff like that in front of her and get a free pass for it.

Emperor Mateus, on the other hand, simply ignored her constant ranting, as his mind was more focused on the city in front of them and what may lay deep within its crystallized walls.

Thera sighed in defeat after she realized that she was once again talking to a wall. Plus, she didn’t want to aggravate the stallion too much, as she had already seen numerous times what this stud was capable of, and that was just the stuff that she saw. Who knows what hidden powers and secrets this unicorn held to himself? A thought that was both intriguing and somewhat scary to her, even more so in just how calm and in control he always seemed to be, as if whatever had happened thus so far is nothing to him.

“Wait a minute… I have been referring to him as “the unicorn” or “stallion” the entire time without ever knowing his actual name. Actually, now that I think about it, I haven’t told him my name either. We basically have been traveling with one another this entire time without even introducing ourselves to one another. Maybe that’s why he always acts to reserved around me, because I am technically still a complete stranger to him.” Thera thought to herself as the realization suddenly took front row within her consciousness.

All of her anger and frustration quickly subsided as she turned her head to look at him.

“Should I ask him now?” She questioned herself as she stared at him.

“Well, if I do, I guess I have to introduce myself to him first because…well that just seems to be a bit more polite. Plus that would hopefully also encourage him to tell me his name too.” She mentally decided before preparing herself to finally and properly introduce herself to the stranger next trotting next to her.

“Hey, uh…” Thera began as she looked off a bit to the side awkwardly.” I- by the way, my name…”

“We are being watched.” Mateus suddenly stated and interrupting her.

She felt incredibly annoyed by this, but eventually realized that they seemed to finally have made it to the outskirts of the city. The obvious thing, she quickly noted, was that the city itself didn’t have any sort of walls gates or barriers to protect it, which was really weird from her point of view. Which only meant that the city was basically vulnerable from all sides.

But besides that, she had to admit that he was right with his claim. The moment they started to reach a cobblestone road and pass by the first couple of crystal homes she could see a couple of curtains moving from behind the windows.

“So this city does seem to be populated, even though It didn’t look like that when we first saw it.” Thera thought to herself as they continued to trot down the road.

The deeper they trotted into the heart of the city the more dense and more complex the buildings started to become, with some of them even sporting multiple storeys, while the atmosphere was also getting creepier and creepier by the minute as the feeling of being watched started to become more and more obvious. That, and the fact that all the street lamps were off as well, despite the lack of sunlight around the area, was just adding to the whole ghost town vibe and creepiness to it.

The Emperor, again, on the other hoof, was barely interested in all of this, as his senses were more focused on the crystallized palace in the center of the city than anything else.

They soon reached an open plaza in the center of the city. Right in front of it was the palace itself, suspended on just four very large supports with massive gateways on all four of them. A set of large stairs could be seen beyond them, probably leading up to the main structure suspended above them.

Thera had never seen such a more… unique palace architecture before in her life. Well, then again, she hadn’t really seen many castles or palaces anyway. With the only one being the Ivory Citadel back on Kazzas, which actually beat THIS castle in term of uniqueness, now that she thought about it.

She shook her head as she realized that the golden stallion had yet AGAIN had gone on without her as he was making his way over to the closest portal and sets of stairs that would lead into the upper levels of the Palace.

She sighed in annoyance as she swiftly made way to catch up with him again, while mentally asking herself exactly why she was still following him.

Thera had to stop her thoughts and marvel in awe as she finally had her first good look at the interior of the palace the moment she reached the top of the large stairs.

Despite the gloomy look that was outside, the interior of the palace was so brightly lit it almost hurts her eyes, thanks to the mostly-crystal hallways amplifying the few actual light sources in the form of magical chandeliers. It took her eyes a good few moments to fully adjust to the new light levels before she could have a much better and more detailed look around her.

The entire interior of the palace was made of either bluish colored crystals, or purple with a level of white mixed in. Everything around her was just shimmering and sparkling in such a way it was almost like a dream to her.

“How is it possible for an entire palace to primarily be made out of crystals? How was this even constructed, and when?” Thera whispered to herself as she momentarily forgot about the Emperor to just marvel in wonder to her surroundings.


The Emperor had a serious case of Déjà vu the moment his eyes laid upon the interior of this palace.

Alas, despite the pretty comparability of this place with Pandemonium Castle, he was still very much focused on finding out the source of the magically driven storm.

Despite the clean and well-maintained look, and the obvious bright illumination of this place, this castle was actually the most deserted feeling area so far, with no soul or person in sight. Which is quite ironic, comparing it to what he was noticing when traveling through the city streets with all of its gloom and doom look to it.

Moving further down the hallway, Mateus could actually start to hear something coming from further down the halls he was moving through.

Curiosity once again took the better of him as he decided to follow the distant commotions. He soon found himself at a set of huge double doors were the noise seem to be coming from.

“Sounds like muffled laughter as far as I can tell.” The Emperor thought to himself as he walked up to the massive wooden double doors and found out that its left door was slightly ajar meaning that it was obviously open and unlocked.

Using the tip of his staff to slowly open the door more, he was immediately greeted with a scene that made one of his eyebrows go high in interest.

“Sorry for taking too long to catch up again, I was busy back there just admiring the inte…” Thera suddenly came up before her words got caught at the images that presented itself to her as well as her eyes went wide.

“Is…is it just me and did I somehow manage to walk into something that looks like a sex dungeon?” Thera commented out loud after a while, which in all honesty produced a serious reaction from the Emperor himself as he turned his head to look at her as a question ‘probably being mentally asked by anyone who heard her’ would ask.

“How in heaven's name would you know how a sex dungeon would look like?” Mateus asked suspiciously while giving her a serious look that made her chuckle nervously.

“Well, uhhh…” She tried to say before just simply giving up, awkwardly looking off to the side with an embarrassing blush on her cheeks. “It’s a long story.”