• Published 19th Dec 2016
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The Pieces Lie Where They Fell - Evilhumour

A thousand years after the death of Mane Six, a new generation of Bearers are chosen.

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Chapter Eleven: Rex, Wind Breaker

Chapter Eleven


As he and his new associates fled the quickly spreading fire, Rex pondered exactly what the blazing cracked quartz he had been thinking in agreeing to join their expedition that was founded on instincts instead of facts, despite this mystical adventure being the result of said instincts...

Regardless, he pulled the door open, a bit too hard as it came off its hinges, but that was besides the point. He waved Xvital, Wind Breaker and Vix-Lei through with the young couple running in tandem, Night Blade with his attention solely on Page Turner and almost running him over as a result.

Biting back a rather scathing remark, Rex lifted his arm to his muzzle as the fire continued to grow at an unnatural rate, although fires caused by aether related sources were never to be treated as normal from his long experience with the materials.

Coughing into his arm, he dropped the door and rushed forwards into the clear mountain air with the flames licking at his tail, ploughing his head straight into the coughing griffon’s side which caused the latter to collapse into Xvital, who seemed to be trying to cough out a hairball by the sounds of things.

Vix-Lei seemingly healed herself by spitting out a large wad of spit onto the ground with only the need to rub her throat as a consequence. Page Turner was the only one unharmed by the inferno, but her attention was turned to Night Blade, who was suffering the worst due his nocturnal based eyesight reeling from the brightness of the current event. The mare was using her magic to dab at his eyes with water gathered from a nearby rain collector and a handkerchief with the Blade family insignia on the corner.

“Is everyone else okay?” Rex grumbled from Wind Breaker’s side, the griffon’s plumage surprisingly comfortable and he had to remind himself it would be improper to linger and pushed himself upright.

“Define okay, Rexy, because I can’t think all that straight,” Vix-Lei whined, running a hand through her hair. Sharing a look with Wind Breaker that said both of them were thinking the same retort, Rex reminded himself that as the tallest member, she was the closest to the smoke and thus the one that they should be most worried about.

“I’m mostly okay besides you barging into my side and landing on her.” Wind Breaker ran a talon to his saddlepacks, and let out a sigh as he felt the contents were no doubt intact. “You okay Xvital?”

“You’re heavy,” she grumbled, using all three hands to push the griffon off of her which elicited a squawk of surprise from him. “You two?”

“I’m fine, but Night’s eyes…” Page muttered, her necklace dangling over the new gold necklace with the light green open book matching her cutiemark.

“I’ll be fine in time, Page.” The fact that the nox pony responded with his eyes shut tight did nothing to ease her worries.

“You there, what the blazes is going on?” a couple of guards appeared, with the sky being filled with smoke. Proving to be of her character, Vix-Lei found the remark funny and let out a chuckle. “Do you have any idea about the fire and are you alright?”

“Yeah, we’re mostly okay,” Vix-Lei said while pointedly ignoring Wind Breaker, Xvital and his frantic pleading at her to be quiet. “We saw this really sketchy unicorn stallion in there, right?”

“Yeah,” Page seemingly picked up on what Vix-Lei was planning. “He seemed to be very nasty minded, what with that pocket knife he flashed around.”

“Yes, and I heard a lot of rather anti governmental comments from, what was his name again?” Night Blade turned his head to Xvital while his eyes were shut.

“Sharp Point,” Xvital said while looking at the ground. “He said it while swinging that switchblade in his dirty grey magic.”

“And he had pale green eyes with a pale brown coat and darker brown mane,” Rex added, feeling good at this deception and getting some retribution against the individual. “Seemed to have some issues with us, for some odd reason, and tried to set the building on fire while we were in there!”

The guards looked at each of them before turning to face a seemingly sick griffon by how much he was squirming. “Is everything okay son?” the other guard asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Yes, everything is good!” Wind Breaker shouted, causing everyone to wince as it was very clear that it was ingenuous which ran counter to the lie they had been building. He then started to cough, rubbing his throat. “Everything good, everything true, nothing wrong!” He all but hacked the last words, breaking down into the most believable coughing fit Rex had ever seen.

“As you can see, our pal isn’t that well, so we should mosey on outta here,” Vix-Lei said, while slapping Wind Breaker’s back and guiding them down a nearby alleyway.

“Might as well, this fire isn’t going out easily and you should get further back,” the first guard said, dismissing them with a wave of his wing.

“Thank you sir, buh-bye!” Vix-Lei smiled as she began to push the still coughing griffon down the alleyway with everyone else following them, Xvital quickly leaping ahead to take the lead and Night seemed to recover enough to follow in the rear, although he had to squint a lot. Once they had made their way deep into the alley, they let out a sigh of relief.

“Okay, that happened,” Vix-Lei said as she leaned against a wall. “Now what?”

“We keep moving,” Xvital said, reaching into her pack and pulling out a map. “I’m not sure if you were listening but that thing spoke of this foe as being very lethal and in control of the nation’s might. ¡Así que para mantener nuestras pieles enteras, creo que deberíamos salir muy rápidamente mientras todavía podemos!"

Everyone gave her a blank look, with Xvital sighing into her hand.

“She said in order to keep ourselves in one piece, we should do our best to get out of Canterlot while that is still an option for us,” Rex answered, getting surprised looks. “What, it’s just another language. Or do you have trouble imaging a diamond dog understanding more than a few words?”

“What? No,” Page said, walking over to place a hoof on his shoulder. “It’s just how fast you understood it; I’m a librarian of the Great Library and even I have trouble translating languages as fast as you do.”

“I wish I had that knowledge,” Wind Breaker groaned, still massaging his throat. “Could find so many more jobs if I knew how to speak another language.”

“Yes yes Burroñeso is cool, but I think we're getting sidetracked about getting the whole fleeing for our lives,” Xvital said with an annoyed tone. “Now I’ve got some escape plans and-”

“Why would you need escape plans?” Wind Breaker asked, tilting his head as he proposed a very serious inquest to Xvital’s character.

“Really?” Xvital snapped, moving to glare at him. “That’s the most serious question you have?”

“The only type of people I know that need an escape plan are those of questionable nature,” Rex added in, causing the ahuizotl to let out a strangled cry with very foul language in Burroñeso leaving her mouth before she stopped and collected herself.

Holding out her hand, she said, “Okay, yes, I may be a bit of a con-artist but-”

“So that was why you wished to learn where the Grand Library was,” Night interrupted her with the ahuizotl glaring at the nox pony.

“Look, I-”

“You were going to steal from the Great Library?!” Page gasped loudly, a hoof to her chest.

That started off a massive argument from the couple and the admitted criminal, with Wind Breaker and Rex doing their best to shut down the argument with their own opinions.

It was all quickly brought to halt when a high pitched whistle caused them all to cover their ears in pain, with Vix-Lei moving her fingers out of her mouth.

“First my eyes, now my ears,” Night muttered with his hooves covering his tufted ears.

“Okay, everyone calm down,” Vix-Lei snapped, twirling her hammer in her hands, although which one Rex was not sure as they were both exactly the same, a fact he only noticed now. “Okay, the jungle cat doesn’t have the best track record but who does? She also said she has a plan for us to get out of here, and as I like being alive, I say we listen to her.”

“Thank you,” Xvital said, flashing a grin before holding out the map, revealing that it was a top down view of Canterlot of its entirety. She showed them a path from their current location down to the Lower West. “I know of a few sub guardhouses that won’t ask too many question provided we bribe them and we can get out of Canterlot easily within a few-”

“Wait, I can’t go!” Wind Breaker said with concern on his face. “I’m a Hatchery Griffon; they’ll track me down in an instant if we leave- hell, they could track me now!”

“Dammit,” Xvital hissed, rolling up the map and bending it before let out a very annoyed sigh. “Okay, we have to make a massive detour to the East side, as I know someone that can remove the tracker on you.”

“Wait, really?” Wind Breaker looked like an excited chick right then, eyes wide with his coat and plumage standing upright.

“I think, to be fair,” Xvital said, pacing back and forth. “They’re known for being the best I.D. forgers; if they can’t get Hatchery griffons out then I’d be surprised to all hell.”

“So once we get to this corrupt guardhouse, pay them off, how well we get from here to… where in the East?” Night asked, blinking as he slowly cracked his golden eyes open a bit more.

“It’s the in the East-South Quarter; the Lowest to be exact,” Xvital said, which made them all wince. That would require them to basically travel the entire circumference of Canterlot and to the exact opposite of where they were while being targeted by this foe that entity called Balance warned them of. “It’s really out of the way, I know, but if you need a clean set of papers, they’re the ones to go to and they’ll stay quiet about us.”

“How can you be so certain of their silence?” Rex asked, as the group finally began to move forward. “Because if our foe does become in charge of the power of the Equestrian government, I can foresee large bounties on our heads.”

“Because it would be horrid business practice,” Xvital said, leading them through the winding backways. “They have dirt on everyone and everyone is aware of their practice. If someone squeals on them, everyone goes up and everyone will know who talked and… trust me there will be blood to pay.”

“That makes sense,” Vix-Lei said with a grin on her face. “Notaur will break the peace because I’m fairly sure there’s no way to teleport from Canterlot to the frontiers, right?”

“Pfft,” Xvital shook her head, smiling back. “That’s not far enough; you’d need to hide in Manechuria to be at least somewhat safe because again, a big part of the black market relies on them, and they reach across Equestria, the Cuanmiztl Kingdom, the Minos Islands and a few other lands.”

“You seem to know a great deal about this underworld,” Night said before looking at Rex and blushing slightly, running his right wing over his face. “No offense.”

“None taken,” Rex said, pleasantly surprised that somedog was actually considerate enough to remember the Under existed. They were almost at the end of the alleyway with the sun in their face when the ahuizotless’s eyes went wide.

Shit,” Xvital swore before pouncing on Night. “Give me that now!”

“What the blazing moon are you doing,” Night swore, staggering as she held his right wing out forcefully. “Let go of me!”

“Your signet ring; we need to get rid of it!” Xvital snapped, placing her head next to his face. “It stands out like a Cipactli at a seapony family reunion!”

Baring his teeth, Night pushed her off of him and eased the ring off of his wing and placed it in his saddlebag, flexing his wing and glaring darkly at Xvital.

“You could have asked,” Page Turner said, eyes narrowed. “Instead of tackling him, you know.”

“I overreacted, sue me,” Xvital shot back before running a hand through her hair. “I’m sorry, but this whole threat on my life has got me pretty rattled. I’m kinda used to not worrying about my life, you know?”

“Yes, I do,” Page Turner said. Rex turned his head as Wind Breaker got into another coughing fit, which he resolved by taking out a bottle from his bags and started to drink heavily from it.

Wind Breaker finished off the bottle before placing back into his pack and pulled back as everyone was looking at him. “What? I get money back if I bring in the bottle…”

“Is this going to be a recurring problem?” Rex asked, turning to the griffon with a raised eyebrow. “We will not need to worry about an intoxicated griffon stumbling about when stealth would be preferable?”

“I don’t have a drinking problem,” Wind Breaker coughed rubbing his throat. He then let out a sigh. “I just need to get buzzed to be fine.”

“Tch,” Night snorted, rolling his eyes. “This is serious, and I’d rather not have my life in the hooves of somepony who cannot stand upright.”

“As I said, you plot, I just need to be buzzed and I’ll be fine,” Wind Breaker snapped as he walked ahead of them talon in front of talon in front of paw in a straight line. “See? I’m good.” He had the unfortunate luck to let out a hiccup right then.

“That does not fill me with any confidence, to be fair,” Rex said with Xvital, Vix-Lei and Page Turner sharing nods of agreement. “Perhaps you can moderate your alcohol consumption?”

“I don’t need to do so,” Wind Breaker said rubbing his throat before glaring off to the side. “I don’t need to change myself,” he muttered angrily to himself, rubbing his throat again.

“Look Wind,” Xvital hopped over to the griffon. ”We’re going to need to be able to move quickly and we can’t do that if you are passed out drunk. Frankly, I’d be really at ease if you tossed the whole damn thing away but I can’t do that to an addict.”

“I’m not an add-!” Wind Breaker tried to shout but was quieted by the minotaur placing her hand over his beak.

“Hey, look, we can hash out your drinking problems you might have later,” she ignored the glare from the griffon but kept a tight enough grip to keep him from saying anything. “But Xvital’s right; we need to get going as soon as we can, and we don’t want to get any more attention than a drunken griffon, a thieving ahuizotl, a grumpy grump bat pony, a non-nerdy librarian unicorn, a smarty vest double d and a very strong minotaur all together already does.”

Everyone gave her a flat look with Page muttering about if she should take that as an insult or not and Wind Breaker pulling away and starting to rub his beak.

“Okaaay, annoying point made, shall we move on?” Night asked, tilting his head towards the exit of the alley.

With a series of agreement sounds and Xvital leading the group once more, they finally left the alley.

Wind Breaker

“So...what is the plan?” he asked, clicking his beak to get some more feeling back into it. That minotaur was strong; he wanted to go check a mirror to make sure it wasn’t cracked or something.

“Well, we need to get to the West-North Quarter and get to one of the sub gates, probably on Pants Street as it is almost always a sure thing to be ignored by guards.”

“A shameful fate for one of the Warrior’s greatest devotees,” Night said, shaking his head, telling Wind Breaker that the pony was one of the few nobles that didn’t follow the Lady. He was still squinting his eyes when the diamond dog next to him pulled out a squat jar from a pocket on his vest and hoofed it over, saying it was a nice cream that would dull the pain for his eyes.

“As I was saying, we go through a subgate, go near Cantagel Canal, find a good place to cross it, continue to make our way to the East-South Quarter, get out of Canterlot, and then figure out what we need to do next.”

“That’s it?” Wind Breaker asked, tilting his head at her as Night returned the jar to Rex, muttering his thanks. “I mean, how will we pay off the guard, or manage to get through the Middle and Lower for however long it takes us to get through them? Or what we should do when, you know, we get out of Canterlot?"

“I'm going to guess Night has enough money on him so we can use that to bribe the guard, we move during the day as long as we are in the Middle and then the night in the Lower, we use what money we have left to pay off the forger, we get out of Canterlot and try to get more of those Element things to pop up, and then deal with that big bad thing after us,” Xvital said as she used her tail hand to tap Page’s necklace. “You should really hide that, it stands out far too much.”

As she took it off and placed it in Night’s bag, she flicked her eyes at the ahuitzotl. “Wouldn’t it be better if we go in the night until we get out of Canterlot?”

“No as they’d be expecting that and it would be more suspicious for… whatever we call ourselves to be out at night trying not to attract attention,” she shook her head, turning to get onto Pants Street. “Middle ponies want to seem like Upper ponies, so they’ll not mention anything unusual as long as we look like we should be there. The Lower doesn’t care from what I heard, just enough to protect their own and having a bunch of us wandering about in the day would attract attention which might get attention dragged onto others and they wouldn’t like that so they’d take precautions.”

“Makes sense,” Vix-Lei said after a period of time before slightly bumping into Page Turner with a smile on her face. “So can you explain what that necklace thing was? I mean, it kinda appeared when you kissed that little buggy, right Windy?”

“Oh,” Page’s blinked before turning to look at him, with Wind Breaker shooting a glare at Vix-Lei before nodding to confirm what she said. “Well, according to Balance and Fluttershy, it’s the Element of Kindness as I’m the new Bearer of Kindness.”

“Who’s Fluttershy?” Night asked her, shaking his hoof as he had stepped into a rotten veggie. It seemed that Xvital was right about this street being abandoned, with all the littering and the amount of graffiti. Wind Breaker had to stifle a snicker when Night went all wide eyed as they passed a particularly trashed statue of the famous Pants general of the Elite Fifty that was with King Blueblood when the royal stallion killed Chrysalis.

“She’s the Stern Warden,” Page said with a bit of a twitch in her voice. “Kinda, I mean. Balance told me that she never liked the title as it made her seem scarier than she really was.”

“But wasn’t she the one that trapped a demon into the body of bunny?” Vix-Lei asked with disbelief in her voice.

“You actually believe that story?” Page asked with a giggle in her mouth. “I mean, it is in most of the stories of the Stern Ward-Fluttershy but I can’t just believe it and I don’t bother to tell it to the foals I read to as it is too ridiculous. I mean, a demon bunny named Angel?” That caused her and everyone to laugh a bit.

“Okay, fair enough Pagy,” Vix-Lei said stretching her arms above her head, with Wind noticing that she had some muscle mass on her. He was briefly curious to how strong she was when the next thing the minotaur said caused his brain to skip a step. “So does that mean we’re the new Virtuous Six?”

Everypony froze at that with the fact that they were the new demi-deities dropped in their laps so roughly.

Finally, Rex spoke up. “If I were one to wager, I would place diamonds to anything that you Night Blade are to be the new Warrior.”

“Thank you, Rex,” Night said weakly as he bit his lip.

“And I’d think you’d be the new Magi of the Stars, Rex, because how smart you are,” Wind said, wondering which of them he would one end up replacing.

“A kind statement but one I highly doubt as I do not possess any magic beyond the background magic that you, Vix-Lei and Xvital have,” Rex then tilted his head. “I am quite curious to who will fill that role as I am more than certain that simply possessing the most magic is not the requirement.”

“Well, maybe you’re the Wise Oracle?” Vix-Lei asked with a bit of a laugh. “And here’s to think most of the ‘taurs back home thought I’d never amount to anything.”

“I’d rather wait to celebrate until we have got through the gatehouse,” Xvital said, casting a look over her shoulder, picking up a coin with her tail hand. “Although, I’m kinda curious if it would wrong for me to try and exploit the whole religious system if we did become recognized as the new Virtues…”

“I think profiting off of a religion is a definition of wrong,” Wind Breaker said with Page frowning. Was she actually thinking of it?

“Not if you’re the Stallion of Dedication,” Vix-Lei said twirling her hammer again. “I think you could weasel it out that you were just following your former Element thingy.”

“Now there’s an idea,” Xvital grinned as she licked her lips with Wind Breaker rolling his eyes. ”And I’m sure that they can’t have a Hatchery Griffon be one of their Virtues. You might just be able to guilt them out of paying your debt off.”

“I don’t know, they might hold the whole breaking the tracker against me,” Wind Breaker said with a shrug, not truly believing the government would just give him a blank pass.

“Well as Xital said, we should wait until we get past the gatehouse and a bit further in the MIddle before patting ourselves on the back,” Night said as he reached for his saddlebag as they had reached the gatehouse at the end of Pants Street. “I feel that I am going to regret giving my wealth to an admitted thief but I suppose it would be better if you had the money to bribe the guard?”

“I’d be offended if it weren’t true,” Xvital said absentmindedly as she went through the bag and pocketing the money. “So guys, let me do the talking and we should be fine.”

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