• 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 Thirty One: Night Blade, Page Turner

Chapter Thirty One

Night Blade

Night knew he was dead and in Tartarus.

He had to be there; it was the only thing that made sense. He was alone on a cloud in the middle of the sky in the day; it was the exact opposite of what the priests had told him that Her Grace Luna had gifted to her special ponies.

And he knew he deserved this, this lonely hell all by himself.

Curling up on the cloud for the little comfort he knew that was going to be gone soon, he did his best not be sad because he deserved this for all the wrong he did, he forced himself not to whimper and cry...

All of a sudden there was a flash of light and colours followed by a loud bang, rocking the cloud he was on. Before he knew what was happening, there was a scruffy feminine voice shouting at him, “About time you got here!”

Standing before him was the Warrior, albeit without her famous thunder forged armour. He still recognized her multicoloured mane, her sky blue wings and her lightning bolt cutie mark but this didn’t make any sense.

“Why are you in Tartarus?” he asked, shuffling backwards as she came to land on his cloud. He was about to take off when she let out a surprised noise, causing him to flinch and stay in place.

Tartarus?” she asked him, looking around before scoffing and reaching out to him. “Nah, this isn’t Tartarus; this here is my paradise; just told everypony to bug off while we talk.”

“Why would you want to talk to me?” Night turned his head away.

“Because we share the same Element, Nighty?” she said, walking closer to him and Night could not stop himself from flinching away from her. “What’s wrong with you?”

Night kept quiet, unsure how to answer her question when she tilted her head and let out a hiss. “Oh buck me,” she swore archaically before reaching over to grab him and hold him close against her. “I’m so sorry; I should have really checked your head out before coming to talk with you.”

Night did not fight back against her as he deserved whatever punishment she deemed appropriate.

“I’m giving you a hug, you numbskull,” she said with a bit of hostility before wincing for some reason and saying, “Sorry about that. Still not really used to this whole mentor thing, Night and I’m so sorry.”

“What for?” the words slipped out of his mouth before he could stop himself.

“For everything, dude,” the Warrior said. “I mean, I just saw what you went through and I can relate, kinda, and I’m so sorry for you.” She went to hug him again but Night managed to pull away and sit down on the edge of the cloud. She was staring at him before shaking her head and sat beside him. “Look Night, I might not have the- have had, dammit Rainbow Dash, you’ve been dead for a thousand years, you’d think you could get the tense right,” she groaned into her hoof before flashing him an awkward smile. “As I was saying, I might not have had the same kind of parents as you did; mine were too into me and yours aren’t but I do get it.”

“You can’t,” he muttered, turning his head away. “Mine never cared about me; I was an inconvenience from the day I was born; my parents didn’t want another kid. Can’t blame them, considering they gave birth to me.”

“That’s bogus!” the Warrior shouted. “Look Night, parents might not always show it, but they do care. I mean, your cutie mit-Oh!” She gasped, taking a step backwards.

“I guess you saw my talentmitzvah,” Night grumbled before accepting what he had been told back then. “Father was right; such a selfish brat to want a party for myself, to have gifts, to have kids to play with,” he let out a tiny chuckle, shaking his head slightly. “It fits; after all, Balance said I was going to be the one that fucks up the world because of my selfishness and self-centeredness and even though I’m dead, it’s about time I took some responsibility.”

Dude,” the Warrior said, shaking her head as she knelt down to nuzzle him. “That’s not what Balance meant and it’s totally not healthy to think like that.” She sighed, sitting next to him and wrapping a wing around him to pull him close. “I-no, I’m not letting you take control of my body, you want to talk to him, get your flanks here yourself!” she growled at the sky before turning her head to nuzzle him. “Look Night, what you were put through, what that plothead said to you? It was completely harsh and totally horsefeathers.”

“She is correct,” Balance said, appearing in front of them. “What I said and did was what I felt was needed to help you awaken your Element but as the previous Element said, the manner in how I did so was a bit heavy hoofed.”

Horsefeathers,” the Warrior shouted, jabbing a hoof into Balance’s chest. “I know you’re part AJ in there, so be honest.” Balance looked flustered before turning its head to Night.

“When I spoke of your selfishness and self centeredness, I was referring to your love for Kindness,” Balance said, causing Night’s ears to flick. “Your devotion to her was preventing your Element from being awakened and it was necessary that your devotion was broken so the connection to the others Elements would be made.” It then placed a hoof under Night’s chin and tilted his head upwards. “If Love were an Element of mine, it would have awoken the moment you met the others and it would have eclipsed the rest.”

Night began to feel his heart flutter before he squashed it, remembering what he did. “I still deserve Tartarus; I attacked Page and nearly killed her.”

“Look, Night, that was terrible, I agree with you,” the Warrior said, patting his side. “And as much as I don’t want to agree with that plothead, it was kinda needed to get our Element awakened. Ours isn’t the easiest to get going; unlike the others, Loyalty needs a personal sacrifice or a meaningful vow to awaken. For me, I had to give up a shot to become a top athlete to help the girls to show that I cared for them more than I did for myself. You did it by coming back, saving and promising to protect them.”

Night let out a tiny sigh before shaking his head. “It doesn’t matter; they still hate me and once this dumb fight is over, everything will go back to how it was, only I will be alone.” He curled up tightly and said in a low whisper. “As I deserve…

“Night, look, you are a good pony and you do not deserve Tartarus,” the Warrior said before shaking her head. “I wish I could get Flutters here; she was better at this emotional stuff.”

“I’m not a good pony!” Night shouted, pushing himself upright and unable to hold back his tears. “I’ve killed so many ponies in the last few days and I’ve not felt a single ounce of guilt or shame! I nearly killed the mare I loved and drove away the one person that cared for me! I nearly destroyed the world because I couldn’t care about other people! I nearly fucked over everything when I was tempted to run back home! How is that a good pony‽ TELL ME HOW I AM A GOOD PONY‽” he shouted with his chest heaving before he collapsed, crying uncontrollably. “I’m such a horrible, horrible pony.”

“You’re not,” the Warrior said, forcing him to meet her eyes. “Night, I admire the strength and dedication you have. I wish I could have been as awesome as you are when you fight for your guys. Hell, you deserve this stupid Warrior title more than I do. The only reason I have it is because Blueblood thought I was actually a Wonderbolt and got my info all messed up like he did with the rest of the girls.”

Night looked at her in surprise. “What’s a… Wonderbolt?”

“Only the most awesome stunt fliers ever! Well, except yours truly, Rainbow Dash,” she preened herself. “I wanted to join them so badly from the time I was a filly… you should have seen some of what they pulled off in their airshows. Really wish I could have actually become a Wonderbolt or earned that stupid title when I was alive, it would have been so epic!” She grinned widely to herself before shaking her head and looking at him again. “But back to what I was saying, Night just because what you did was not good does not make you a bad pony. For us, our Element, Loyalty, is meant to protect the others from danger and you really proved it. Besides, you care about them and you know what you did was wrong; as long as you don’t forget those two things, you will still be a good pony.”

“I...” Night started to stammer.

“And remember this, Night,” Balance said. “While what I said about the love between you and Page Turner no longer being the same is true, know that very little remains the same throughout life. Everything changes and grows over time, and the love between you two has changed from it once was.”

“You mean she might love me again?” Night couldn’t help himself from being hopeful.

“I cannot say,” Balance said while placing a hoof on his shoulder. “But I do have hope for you two to make amends.”

Night felt himself begin to feel better but he couldn’t hold onto it. “I still don’t believe I don’t deserve Tartarus…”

“I Pinkie Promise you don’t deserve that Night,” the Wa-Rainbow Dash said before performing some bizarre ritual. “Cross my heart, hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye.” She then blinked at him and had a faint blush on her face. “It’s a real super-binding promise from Pinkie that you cannot ever break and trust me, I don’t plan on getting her after me for breaking one of her promises. She’s scary when she just thinks you’ve broken a Pinkie Promise, and I never want to see what would happen if somepony broke one for real.”

“Okay?” Night said, tilting his head.

“Trust me Night, you’re on the right track,” she said before shaking her head. “Sucks you’re about to go back ‘cause it’d be totally awesome to show you what a Sonic Rainboom is.”

“A Sonic what?

“Oh come on,” she said turning to Balance. “Can’t I stay a bit longer to show him?”

Balance shook its head before looking at Night and saying, “It is time to for you wake up and… I am sorry for how this had to happen.”

Night blinked his eyes in confusion.

And opened one eye while feeling tremendous pain over his entire body.

Letting out a groan as vision started to come back, he tried to push himself upright when he heard a clash of voices saying his name.

“Hey, Nighty’s up!” Vix-Lei.

“How fortunate that Night is awake at last.” Rex.

“Glad to see you’re finally back, Night.” Wind Breaker.

“Night’s too tough to go down that easily, Wind.” Xvital.

“Night, you’re awake, how do you feel?” Page.

His heart began to race as he took them all in; they were in a large room that had a couple of beds at the far end on the left side which he guessed had the same number beds on the right side. Vix-Lei was nearby, sitting on a window bench sill, her face and arms bandaged up with new straps and holsters running across her chest to hold her hammers in place. Rex was sitting a table, reading a book before closing it to face him with a smile on his face. His vest had been patched slightly, but it was recently cleaned from how fresh it seemed to be. Wind Breaker walked over in his field of vision and he seemed to be more or less the same, although he now had a proper carrying case for his crossbow. His talon was still bandaged up with a few other patches on him. Xvital was sitting across from Rex and she was as roughed up as the rest of them but for some reason couldn’t meet his eyes. Page appeared very close to him, leaning over his blind spot, and she looked like her unicorn self, hiding any injuries.

“How are you all?” he asked trying to shift upwards before Page tsked and pushed him back down.

We’re fine,” Page said with a slight hiss as she looked him over. “How are you feeling? It’s been a couple of days since that fight and this is the first time you’ve been awake.”

“I feel like a dragon punched me in the gut,” Night groaned, every action feeling like his muscles were on fire.

“Well that does happen when sometaur hits you with Señor Hardhead,” Vix-Lei said with a hint of growl, causing Night to turn his head in surprise. “So not cool with that,” she said as she pulled out the hammer. “Only meant to smack those who try something funny, not those who are trying to save my ass.”

“A person has to be crazy to try something funny with you,” Night snarked before wincing in pain.

“Eh, you never know, sometaurs find me truly alluring,” Vix-Lei puffed her mane up before breaking down in laughter.

“I do suppose that there is someone for everyone,” Rex said with a grin. “So you might have some luck after all, Vix-Lei.”

“Ooo, nice one, Rex,” Vix-Lei continued to giggle.

“I am glad to hear that you are all okay,” Night said, smiling as he reached a hoof up to caress Page’s cheek.

Only for her to pull away.

Suddenly, the pain his heart was in was a lot worse than pain his body was in.

Night tried to turn his head to the side but Page gripped him and turned him to face her. “Listen Night, we need to talk,” she said, holding him steady with her eyes and forcing him to meet them. “I do not blame you for what happened back in Fluttershy’s cottage; I could feel your confusion, worry and fear that something had happened to me and the only reason you attacked me was because you thought I was an imposter. I should have told you the truth years ago, that is my fault, not yours.” She stared into his face before letting out a sigh and turning away. “I still love you and I do forgive you for what happened, but I cannot forget it and I need some time to process it all. For now, I think we should take a break from each other until… until we’re ready to try again.”

He felt his heart crushed by this but it was better than what he deserved. With a sigh, he nodded his head before flicking his eyes at her.

“Page, there is one thing I’d like to ask of you,” he said, hoping she would let him have this.

“Yes Night?” she asked cautiously.

“Can I see what you really look like?”

Page Turner

Out of all the things Night could have asked her, she had not expected this. The bat pony, still heavily bandaged up and in pain after two days of resting, looked straight at her with his one good eye.

With a bit of unease of transforming to her true state in public, Page let her unicorn self fade away to show her chitin and holed body, with her crooked horn replacing her straight unicorn horn and her wings buzzing slightly, only her Cutie Mark not changing.

All of this was in front of Night Blade and she felt a stab of fear of how Night would react to the real her.

He looked at her, eying her up and down and the love in his heart for her had not changed at all. She felt her breath catch at this; it didn’t matter to Night who she really was or what she looked like and despite just temporarily breaking up with him, he still loved her just as strongly as before.

She had been an idiot not to tell him years ago; he didn’t care! This was pure love in its finest and it was directed solely to her.

Night then smiled at her and said, “Thank you, Page.” He then turned his head towards Xvital, the smile still on his face. “So can somepony tell where we are and what’s wrong with my eye?”

“Your eye, Night,” Rex began, carefully avoiding that hornet's nest for the moment. “Like the rest of you is still recovering from the fight with Sharp Point. Your wing’s membrane should be fine in about a week but it is recommended that you do not fly with it as the membrane will still be very delicate. Your ribs are tender as well, so you should avoid strenuous movement and rest as much as possible.”

“And my eye?” Night said, trying to sit up again with Page about to push him back down before letting out a sigh. Holding him still with her magic, she rearranged the pillows so he could sit up without putting too much strain on his body before letting go. “And again, where are we?”

“Your eye was their top concern when they came to rescue us, but it should be fine with only light scarring on it and your eyelid,” Rex said, looking to the side of the room they had been locked in before he gathered his strength. “And-”

“Before we go over that little fun business,” Xvital said, cutting in. “Your Element, Night, what is it?”

Night blinked before reaching for the red sword-shaped gem in the familiar gold necklace around all their necks except for Xvital. He looked surprised at it before tilting his head back up at them. “Rainbow Dash, the Warrior, told me that it’s Loyalty. That we defend and protect the rest of you from danger.”

“Huh,” Wind Breaker said, tilting his head. “Makes sense to me; can’t see any of us as the big guy beside you or Vix-Lei.”

“Yeah,” Vix-Lei blushed as she scratched the back of her head. “Not sure how much you saw Night, but I kinda… tapped into my roots as it were.”

“I remember seeing you use a pony as a makeshift hammer, Vix-Lei,” Night said in a deadpan voice with a smirk on his face that made Page giggle. “Not sure how I feel about being equated to a pissed off minotaur…”

“Better than a failed griffon,” Wind Breaker said with a huff. “Had a bit of raw flesh during the fight and I kinda puked my guts up.”

“When did you eat raw flesh during the fight, Wind Breaker?” Night asked, blinking in confusion.

“Trust me, you do not wish to know Night,” Rex said, shaking a bit in revulsion. Page wasn’t sure what Wind Breaker ate exactly but she had a very good idea of what it was and she was in no rush to confirm it.

“Okay…” Night trailed off before looking back at her. “Can someone please tell me where we are and who saved us?”

Page let out a tiny sigh before saying, “We are in a Questioning Order stronghold as it was them that saved us, Night.”

He began to laugh before wincing in pain, holding his sides. “Okay, good joke but seriously, what happened?”

“She’s not lying, Night,” Wind Breaker said, causing Night to blink and sit up straighter. “They really did come and save us and we’re really in one of their strongholds. One of them is watching is right now.” He tilted his head to the window, and when Night was looking at it, Vix-Lei opened it to reveal a Questioning Order pony in the room across the courtyard, holding an armed crossbow of their own, pointed straight at their window. Vix-Lei smiled and waved at the pony who, still surprisingly, waved back at them. The minotaur then closed the window, leaving Night pale with fright now.

“And they actually helped you, Page?” Night asked her, feeling terrified. “Weren’t you without your unicorn form when you ran into the forest?”

“Yes,” Page said, rubbing her hooves together, her heart racing at the memory of it. “One of them was about to kill me when another one stopped them and pointed at my Element. Then they ran past me with one staying behind to watch over me.”

“Yeah and it was not pretty when they came in,” Xvital said with a shudder. “I think we’ll have nightmares of that for a long time.”

Vix-Lei, Rex and Wind Breaker all nodded their heads, with Page feeling a bit queasy at what little they told her of what happened and how scared they were feeling.

“Okay, while I am now properly terrified,” Night said, licking his lip and wincing at the ointments used to patch his mouth up - how he got holes in his mouth like that in the fight was beyond them but thankfully, the Order had been able to treat all of their injuries, even hers. Although they had been very reluctant to touch her considering she was what the Order said they were to kill on sight. “Do we have any idea why they helped us or recognized what the Elements are?”

“No, they have said nothing to us, obviously,” Rex said as he reached into his vest for that note the Order gave them. “This has been the only instruction to us; that we are not to leave the room or…” Rex trailed off, handing the note to Night who looked at it briefly before gulping loudly.

“They’ll kill us,” Night said in a soft voice as he put down the note that had very basic drawings of them staying on one side of the door and one below it showing them in pieces on the other side of the door.

Actually,” Rex coughed as he picked the note up and tapped it to show Night how pragmatic the Order was. “From examining the note, none of us are actually dead but more or less immobilized. So whatever they want from us, they are willing to cripple us to make us compliant.”

“Oh that’s just lovely,” Night snarked, rolling his eye before wincing in pain. “So Xvital, what’s the plan?”

“Honestly?” the ahuizotless said as she sat on the edge of the bed. “We wait to see what they want and go from there; we are in no position to try anything, not even if you were in top form.”

“That’s not really reassuring, Xvital,” Night said as he tried to get up again with Page using her magic to hold him down. Night frowned at her but she would not budge on this; the bat pony was still very injured and moving around was not ideal. “So this threat is the only thing they’ve done to you guys?”

“Besides bringing us food, no,” Wind Breaker said, shaking his head. “I mean, they did give us some new stuff for our weapons and junk, but they’ve just left alone for the most part.”

Page flicked her ears and couldn’t help herself from turning her head to the side as she felt some very angry ponies marching towards them. Xvital and the rest, now aware of her ability to sense ponies through their emotions, were using her as an early alert system.

Tensing up, they saw the door slammed open and three ponies of the Order stormed their way in. They turned their heads towards Night and made a series of gestures of their language. Of course, Page had no idea what they were saying as the Order was very touchy about outsiders learning their secret language but she could guess that they were asking about Night.

“He’s awake now,” Xvital said, stepping in front of them. “And he seems to be mostly okay. So can you now tell us what’s going on?” She glared at them before the ahuizotless took a step backwards and said, “Please?

They made another series of hoof gestures and Page couldn’t help but glance over to Rex for a translation even though he didn’t know what they were saying. Page was at a loss in how they were going to deal with the Order when Xvital let out squawks of pain.

Turning her head around, she saw Xvital being spanked of all things by one of the Order ponies’ magic before they tossed her down and made an angry set of hoof gestures.

“Hey, what the fuck do you think you are doing?” Night shouted, forcing himself out of the bed before falling onto the ground, with Vix-Lei picking him up as Wind Breaker grabbed and loaded his crossbow to point it at them and Rex had his paws in his pockets. Page was about gather her magic when Xvital shouted.

“Guys, stop,” she said as she got to her feet. “I… mierda, eso dolió,” she groaned before glaring at the ponies. “How did you know?” They made another series of gestures at Xvital who let out an annoyed growl when they were done. “Of course I’d do something as stupid as mouth the words.” Xvital winced and rubbed her backside. “Did you really have to spank me?” This got her a series of short gesture which made Xvital roll her eyes. “If that’s the case, I’d hate to see how you treat one of your own.”

“Xvital, you actually know their language?” Rex said with a hint of jealousy in his voice.

“Yeah, I do; they got a bit miffed when they realized I knew what they were saying and decided to give me a light version of their punishment for a misbehaving student,” Xvital scoffed and rolled her eyes again. “So can you now tell us what the hell is actually going on?”

The lead pony of the trio somehow glared at them through their mask before making a set of gestures.

“So you know about the Elements?” Xvital said as soon as they finished making their gestures. “And that’s why you didn’t hurt Pa-gah!” She held the space between her ears as the lead Order pony smacked her there before making a series of harsh gestures. “Up yours, I’m not calling her that.”

The lead pony shook their head before making more gestures for Xvital to translate. “You’re kidding, right?

“What is it, Xvital?” Rex said as he looked up from NIght, the diamond dog briefly examining Night after Vix-Lei put him back onto the bed.

“They are saying they will help us only on a condition; that we have each to tell them a big secret before they’ll say anything,” Xvital said with an annoyed grunt. “This is completely loco and-”

“I will go first,” Page said, walking around the bed to stand in front of the ponies that would normally be killing her on the spot. “Will you please create a sound proof spell before I tell you my secret?”

The ponies of the Order tilted their head down at her before snapping up the spell.

She glared at them, feeling a sense of pride of her race that she had not felt in a very long time, not since she learned who her mother exactly was and the duty she had to live up to. "My pony name is Page Turner. But I was born Lamella Armor the Tenth,” she said, pausing before continuing to say, “And I am the heir to the throne of the Badlands Changeling Hive as of fifteen years ago, its Queen and sole remaining Pillar of my hive."

The effect was immediate; all three of them were shocked and the spell even wavered for a moment. The lead pony then slammed down a wall to block the view of the group behind her and leaned forwards, lifting their mask ever so slightly so their mouth was visible. “If you are lying,” the pony, an incredibly young sounding stallion, hissed at her.

No changeling would dare make such a claim to one of your kind, you know this as well as I do,” Page hissed back, causing the Order pony to glare at her through the eye holes of his mask. After a long period of time, he slammed his mask back down, lifted his spells and pointed her to go back to Night’s side. He then made some gestures towards Xvital before walking out with the other Order poneis and slamming the door behind them.

“What the fuck did you say to them, Page?” Xvital swore as the ahuizotless pulled her close and began to look her over.

“A secret,” she replied as she broke out of Xvital’s grip. “One that I would kinda like to keep my own…” She trailed off, looking at the rest of them before realizing that she was about repeat the same mistake as before. “I-”

“It’s okay Page, you don’t need to tell us,” Vix-Lei said, shaking her head.

“Yeah, everypony is allowed their secrets, right?” Wind Breaker said as he looked to Rex, who nodded his head.

“Page if you don’t think you need to tell us, I trust you have a good reason,” Night said, smiling at her.

Page let out a sigh of relief; she was not ready to share the actual truth about just yet. It had been an act of desperation and recklessness to tell the Questioning Order, who had it as part of their mandate to kill her for what her great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandmother Chrysalis did, who she really was but it was the only big secret she had and the thought of telling other people made her chitin crawl.

Thank you guys for not pushing,” she smiled at them before looking at Xvital. “So what did they say before they left?”

“That whatever you told them was big enough that they had to talk to their leaders for advice,” Xvital said. “Now all we have to do is wait for them to come ba-”

The door slammed open again with a dozen or so Order ponies stormed into the room, with them gesturing at Xvital. The ahuizotless’s eyes went wide and began to say things under her breath in her native language.

“What, what did they say, kitty cat,” Vix-Lei ask as she reached for her hammer.

“That we are to come with them to the Crystal Dominance; apparently whatever Page said was worth more than six secrets,” Xvital turned to face them with an awed look on her face. “It was worth enough for them to take us to where they’ve been keeping my Element.”

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