• 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 Twenty: Night Blade

Chapter Twenty

Night Blade

Night supposed they were lucky that Xvital was correct that this was an inn, with a very old mare running the place.

The ahuizotless had then pushed him forwards to do the business of bribing this old mare. He supposed she was what passed for a normal grandmare as he never knew his grandparents save for when he just a little colt.

“Excuse me, ma’am,” he said, going into his best soothing voice, drawing her attention to him. All those enunciation lessons were paying off as she seemed to be at ease with him or something along those lines. “My associates and I were wondering if we could book a room for the night at the very least,” he gestured with a tilt of his head towards Page and the rest of them while reaching into his saddlebag and pulling out his bag of coin. With her looking at him sharply, he moved a few Lunas forward. “And we would appreciate that if you were to forget we here…” Night felt very foolish all of a sudden, he had no idea what he was doing and he was almost certain that Xvital had done this on purpose to make him look like an idiot. Licking his lips, he fought the urge to look back for support, but he began to sweat as she continued to look at him. He began to fidget on the spot as she slowly picked up a coin and tapped it on the edge of the counter before pulling out an official coin checker from the Flim-Flam Corporation and began to test his currency.

When it passed, she was very surprised and looked at him with a raised eyebrow. “Did you kids have anything to do with that blackout?”

“A few more Lunas says we did not and we were in fact here, lamenting on the fact that those darn irredeemable kids look so much like us,” Xvital said, appearing by his side, pushing more of his money towards the mare. “Don’t worry,” she said, patting him on the head again like he was some stupid foal. “I’ve got this.”

Doing his best not to snarl at her, he felt himself pushed to the wayside as Xvital took over the negotiations with the con-artist once more taking control of his finances. He was further pushed to the side with Rex joining her at the counter. Turning away in discomfort and not trusting himself fully to keep himself quiet, Night saw Vix-Lei and Wind Breaker talking to each other and not even looking at him.

He was once again wondering why he was putting himself through this when Page came up to him and nuzzled him. “Are you okay?”

“Y-yeah,” he muttered the lie, breathing in her scent and taking in some reassurance in her presence. “I’m still…” he paused, wondering if he should tell her about how he was feeling right now but couldn’t bring himself to worry about it. “What happened at the bridge, Page…” he trailed off, causing her to nuzzle him again before pulling him into a deep hug.

“How are you dealing with that,” she asked, looking at the mare that ran this inn, with Xvital dealing with more of his money away as if she didn’t care that it wasn’t hers to throw away.

“I’m…” he paused again, running his fangs over his lip as he thought of what he done tonight. He had killed somepony. He took a life. Sure, Crooked was a Royal Guard and something that the Captain General did was make sure her Guards could and would kill to defend other ponies’ lives, but he was just a civilian. And he couldn’t just talk to his older brother; Crooked was out on patrol and he was on the lam because of this Balance business. And there was the age difference; he might as well as ask his nephew Striking Blade. Last he heard, he was just accepted into the Royal Guards but Night never got along with Striking as they were too close in age, with Striking always preening over the fact he was a year older than him. “I am not sure…”

Please talk to me,” Page rubbed his face with her hoof. “I don’t like seeing you this way, Nighty.”

“Thank you Page,” he said, leaning to kiss her cheek when he felt something clamp down onto his shoulder.

“Come guys,” Wind Breaker said, tilting his head. “Xvital got us rooms; one for the colts and one for the mares. We can talk with each other in a room, but we’re not to close doors and we’ve to close up in about in twenty minutes.”

“That seems pretty harsh,” Night said, annoyed at the griffon interrupting his time with Page.

“Are you kidding me? I’d wish got this lucky at my Hatchery,” Wind Breaker rolled his eyes at him. “I mean, they’ve got enough beds here so we don’t need to rotate and we’ve got doors for privacy.”

“If that’s what you call impressive,” Night rolled his eyes back at the griffon; Wind Breaker might find all this a step up from what he was used to, this was a true experience for somepony like him and he wasn’t complaining about it.

“Well excuse me for not being a privileged rich pony,” Wind Breaker grumbled. “Not everypony is born with a silver spoon shoved up their ass.”

HEY!” Night snapped, ready to beat the griffon down when Xvital jumped into the middle of them.

“Knock it off Night,” she glared into his face. “We had to spend a lot of money to get some rooms here so don’t mess it up for the rest of us, alright?

Me?” Night snorted, barely holding back his outrage.

“Yes, you,” she swatted his nose before turning to the owner and apologizing for his bad behaviour.

Night rolled his eyes at this, snorting at how arrogant she was. “Did you save any of my cash, Xvital?”

She gave him a dirty look, as if he was being a brat or something like that before tossing him his greatly reduced coin bag. “You’re welcome,” she shot back at him with the two of them staring each other down. Thankfully, Page stepped in the middle and told them both to cool it before turning to Rex and asking him where their rooms were.

Following the diamond dog up the stairs at the end of everyone else, Night paused to look at the mare at the counter. He wasn’t sure how much he could trust her if a large bounty on their heads appeared if she was bought out so easily…

“Night?” Page asked him, the only one still on the landing with the rest of them walking into their rooms.

“I am coming, Page,” he said, trotting up the steps and following her into the room where the rest of them were waiting. Wind Breaker and Rex were already resting on the two beds with a cot remaining for him, but Vix-Lei and Xvital were sitting on it, causing it to sag and stretching it out, promising Night would have no chance of a good night’s sleep. He paused at the threshold, wondering if he should take the initiative and begin the conversat-

“Good, you’re here,” Xvital said, while rolling her eyes at him. “Okay, we didn’t get a real chance to talk about stuff, but Wind, did your… whatever you wanna call it, tell you anything useful, like who or what are we up against?”

“No, but both she and Balance kinda hinted that there’s something worse out there, and they seemed scared. They refused to even tell me a single bit more ‘cause according to them, it would defeat us in no time flat with only three Elements and it would end the world,” Wind shuddered at the word end before he reached into his pack and took a swig from a bottle before any of them could blink. “And from how Balance said it, it seemed like the end that is, you know, the end of the world.”

Wonderful,” Night muttered, rubbing his face. “Not only do we have this current unknown enemy to deal with but we have this end of the world monster looming over our head now,” Night paused and looked at the griffon. “Also, didn’t you say you were going to quit drinking?”

“First off, knowing that end-of-the-world-monsters exist is drink worthy,” Wind held up a single talon that Night knew was a rude gesture. “Secondly, whatever it is, it’s sealed away for now; at least, that’s the impression I got. That means we don’t have to deal with it for a good long while. But we know it exists, so we won’t be surprised when it pops up, if it does.”

“Here here,” Xvital said, patting Wind on the back before rummaging into the griffon’s pack with her tailhoof and pulling out tumblers. “Pour us something good Wind Breaker ‘cause I don’t want to have to deal with the fact that whatever Balance is and one of your greatest warriors are terrified of something while I’m sober.”

Wind obliged her, pouring out amount of alcohol for each of them, with the ahuizotless passing him one last. Night wasn’t sure if he should drink some; he had never had a drink before and…

“Shouldn’t one of us be sober?” Night asked with Wind snorting at him, using his wing to cover his beak.

“Dude, you can’t get drunk on a single shot,” Wind continued to laugh at him with Night’s face heating up as the others laughing at him. “But if you want to be the sober on-”

Night bared his fangs before grabbing the glass with his wing and throwing it down his throat. It burned the entire way down but it got Wind to shut up.

“Okay, I was going to toast us…” Xvital trailed off, making Night feel like a fool again. The griffon grumbled, took his glass away and poured him another before passing it back to him.

“Now Night, wait until I say some words and we clink our glasses, okay?” she said, treating him as if he was the alcoholic. He was about to tell her to stuff it when Page placed a hoof onto his back and shot him a smile, which made Night stop and take a deep breath. “Okay, here goes,” she said as the ahuizotless stood up. “To us; three Elements down in one day and may whatever is after us kiss our furry ass because we’re going to win!”

“Here here,” everypony said, moving their glasses into the middle for a clink before drinking down the alcohol.

“So what are our plans, Xvital,” he asked, the ahuizotless being their de facto leader.

“Same as before; figure out how to get the other Elements, escape from Canterlot and defeat this enemy of ours,” Xvital said before pouring herself another glass of the alcohol. “Page, Rex, do you have any idea who our baddie is?”

“Not really,” Page said, tapping her chin. “Beyond the enemies we do know of the Virtuous Six, or the Elements, most of them were mortal. The Blue Sorceress, the Griffon Scourge, the All Seeing Pegasus of Thunder, the Trio Wood Nymphs and their fearless followers, all mortal or mortalish. They’re all dead, the enemies of the Virtues.”

“The longest-lived one that I can think of are the dragons as there was some conflict between them and the Magi of Stars, but thanks to Blazen Sun no dragon would dare cross the borders for conquest,” Rex said, shaking a bit. “I saw him practice his magic once in the Celestia Guardhouse, and I learned that his style is not fire but solar magic. As in, manipulating magic that creates objects akin to the sun without harming the location or anyone there; implying immense control and restraint. And to go back onto the matter at paw, I don’t see how a dragon could control the Equestrian government without anyone being the wiser.”

“If only more of the Scrolls of the Magi of Stars still existed,” Night sighed before looking at Xvital. “As you were there to steal some sacred text, do you know where we could some more that might shed a light into matters?”

Xvital let out a huff before grabbing the bottle and taking a long swig. “No; trust me, if there was place beyond the capital of the most powerful nation on the world that had the most coveted pieces of paper for me to steal, I’d be there.”

“So little is actually known about those six,” Rex said with a sigh. “The fact that the names that ponies worship them by are wrong themselves speak of how little we can trust anything beyond what we are told by them. And even then, they won’t tell us much due to Balance being forced to aid our foe.”

“Wait, do you think it already did so?” Night said, moving onto the bed that Rex had claimed for himself. “I mean, didn’t Balance tell us to run? Couldn’t it go after our families now, to make us surrender?”

“Shit, he’s right,” Vix-Lei swore before groaning. “As if my dad wasn’t embarrassed by me already…”

“One problem with that Night is that I’m a Hatchery griffon, Page is a ward of the Great Library I’m guessing and Rex doesn’t have a family to go back to, right?” Wind broke his sneer to look at Rex with actual concern that he might have offended the diamond dog.

“Yes, but-”

And I’m not very close to my mom; hell I don’t have a clue who my dad is,” Xvital said, shrugging her shoulders. “What’s more likely is that whoever our foe is took control of the Captain General-I’m pretty sure we can all agree that’s who is behind everything, right?- and created some fake evidence to set us up, make us out to be Public Enemy Number One. So we need to figure out how to get the last three Elements and-”

“Two,” Rex said, cutting Night off from what he was about to point out. “As Balance said, the last one will appear when we have the other five first. And... well, I do not know which of the Virtues Xvital, Night and I will be, considering that the majority of what is believed to be true of the Virtues is in fact false and so we cannot rely on using what the Scrolls say.”

“Yeah, there goes that security net,” Vix-Lei grumbled before yawning into her fist. “I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m really drained from this entire crazy day.”

“I think we could all use some sleep; I’m not saying anything new and I think I’m repeating myself,” Xvital yawned as well before stretching out. “Unless anyone has important stuff that we need to talk about, I think we can call it a night.”

Night felt his throat tighten. She said that they could talk about what he had done tonight, when he killed somepony, but at the same moment he felt that they wouldn’t care to waste time on him, that they would push him to the side like everypony else in his life and he was tired too. Besides, he could talk to Page about it tomorrow and she’d know what to say to help him.

Staying quiet, he watched Xvital not even glance at him as she hopped off his cot with Vix-Lei and Page joining at her the doorway. “We will need to do shifts; I’m not sure about you guys, but I don’t trust that granny downstairs; if she accepts our bribe, what’s to say she won’t turn us in for a reward? Night, you go first for guys and I’ll take the first for us girls.”

Before Night could even say a word, Xvital closed the door on them, plunging them into darkness. Doing his best not to panic at the fact he didn’t even know where Page was staying, he settled onto his cot-it was almost to the floor now thanks to Vix-Lei and Xvital sitting on it- and pulled his sword out.

He looked at the blade for a long time, his ears flickering at every sound as he waited for the time to pass. He heard Rex and Wind fall asleep fast, leaving him all alone.

He wasn’t sure when he fell asleep but his dreams were full of him using Determined Point on faceless enemies, being covered in blood and he completely at peace. Everytime he woke up that night, he was covered in sweat before he forced himself back to making sure that no pony was coming after them. Because if something happened to them, then he would be forced to aid them when Page might need his help. And as long as he drew breath, he would make damn sure nothing ever hurt her.

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