Sunset dove to her right, barely avoiding another attack from the roc. She pushed herself back up, eyes locked onto the towering avian in front of her. Her legs burned and her lungs strained for air.
The roc whipped itself around to face Sunset, its enormous wings sending forth a large gust of wind. Sunset dug her feet into the dirt, raising her arms to shield her face from the flying leaves and twigs. She heard another deafening screech and upon lowering her hands, she spotted the roc launching itself at her claws first.
Sunset didn’t have time to think. Instinctively, she dived left. She could feel a strong wind soaring past her body, then her thighs.
And suddenly, pain.
Sunset landed in the grass screaming. Looking down, she saw that the creature’s sharp claws had managed to make a long cut up her right leg. The wound had started to drip blood onto the grass below, sending a wave of panic through her. She attempted to stand but a sudden sharp pain sent her tumbling back down onto the ground with a yell. She spun her attention back to the roc and to her horror, the creature was approaching her one step at a time.
No, no, no, no! Sunset dug her fingers into the dirt and attempted to crawl away. Her mind raced to think of a solution. A way out. Maybe she could use fire like Twilight did? Or maybe there was another item she was holding on to? As the seconds ticked by, a grim realization dawned on Sunset. She attempted to push it away, but as the roc neared her, she knew it was the truth.
There was no way out.
Sunset slowly turned back around, locking her gaze onto the fierce, remorseless green pupils of the roc’s. She hung her head and closed her eyes.
Our luck had to run out sooner or later, huh? She could hear Twilight’s laughter. The joy on her face as she tweaked a screw on the TPT. Just a few hours ago they couldn’t wait to press the button to venture out to worlds unknown. And now she wished they never did. Just stay safe. And don’t make the same mistakes I did. She begged in her mind. I’ll miss you.
The roc gave a deafening screech and Sunset shut her eyes as tight as she could. She awaited her end, hoping that the roc would have the mercy to make it quick. However, as the seconds ticked by, Sunset heard nothing. She shot her eyes open and the sight in front of her caused her jaw to drop.
Twilight was standing in front of her with one arm outstretched, the roc’s razor sharp beak mere centimeters from her palm. It darted its furious gaze between both girls, sending a chill down Sunset’s spine.
“T-Twilight?” Sunset called out in a nervous voice, but Twilight didn’t reply. Suddenly, the roc reared back, its head piercing the canopy of purple leaves. “T-Twilight…” Sunset spoke again. But now, the nervousness had been replaced with terror.
The roc whipped its head forward, cutting through the air with its beak. Upon spotting who the attack was aimed at, Sunset felt her blood go cold and her heart freeze in fear. She yelled as loud as she could, tears forming at her eyes as the creature landed its attack.
A shockwave exploded from Twilight’s position, shattering the nearby trees into splinters and wiping every blade of grass from view. Sunset stared in awe as a translucent ripple flowed from where the attack landed to all the way around her and Twilight, forming a sphere. Darting her head forward, she spotted the beak no more than an inch from Twilight’s hand.
“My advice, if you ever try to hurt her again,” Twilight spoke in a grave tone. “Don’t.” She pulled her arm back an inch before slamming it into the roc’s chest, sending it careening through the trees with a shockwave.
Sunset watched as the roc tumbled through the forest like it was made of paper, felling every tree it collided with. When it finally stopped, it quickly regained its footing before flying up into the skies above and into the mountains.
Sunset returned her gaze back to Twilight, a mixture of shock and fear slowly creeping up her body. “T-Twilight?”
Twilight spun back around, immediately rushing over to Sunset. “Sunset! I’m sorry. I-I’m so sorry.” Twilight attempted to move her friend but a pained groan quickly stopped her efforts. She glanced down, noticing the bleeding slice on Sunset’s right leg. “I shouldn’t have smelled that flower. I shouldn’t have left you. Please just … hang on. I’ll fix this.”
“W-wait, Twilight, you remember?”
Twilight nodded. She slung Sunset’s arm over her shoulder, lifting her up and escorting her towards the base of a tree.
“How?” Sunset asked through strained breaths.
“Aeon?” Sunset felt her anger building just from the mere mention of that name. She slumped against the trunk, a feeling of exhaustion rapidly overtaking her.
“Aeon found me. She put a bitter-smelling bag to my nose and all my memories came rushing back. And…” Twilight paused, drawing a confused stare from Sunset.
“And she gave me two of these.” Twilight reached into her pocket, pulling out a small vial filled with a clear liquid. However, what truly caught Sunset’s eye was the tiny metal flakes suspended within.
Twilight nodded, placing the vial squarely in Sunset’s palm. Sunset lifted it to her eyes, watching the metal pieces glitter from the sun’s shining light.
“Why would she help us?”
“She said she owes us. Well, more accurately, me. My best guess is from that incident with Sombra,” Twilight explained. She spotted Sunset twisting the vial in several angles as if she was looking for something. “Drink it.”
“No offense Twi, but I don’t exactly trust her.”
Twilight thought for a moment before reaching down and grasping Sunset’s other hand. “Then trust me.”
Sunset looked up, locking her gaze with Twilight’s. Twilight was wearing a smile and even though the expression was small, Sunset knew the meaning behind it was anything but. For a few seconds, there wasn’t a word muttered between the two. The only sounds she could hear were the rustling of the leaves and chirping from the birds.
Sunset gave Twilight a quick smile of her own before turning her attention back onto the vial in her hand. She drew a deep breath, holding it for a second before exhaling. Popping the cork at the top, she lifted the vial to her lips and tilted it back.
Sunset swirled the liquid around in her mouth for a second and she was swiftly hit by a torrent of sweetness. Her face contorted into a disgusted expression, drawing a giggle from Twilight. She swallowed it as quickly as she could, shaking her head once it was down.
At first, Sunset felt nothing. However, without warning, an intense surge of energy course through her veins. She gasped loudly and shot her eyes open as wide as they could go. What in Celestia’s name… Sunset pushed herself onto her feet. She expected to be greeted with a crippling pain but instead, she felt nothing. Glancing down at her leg, she caught sight of the wound swiftly closing upon itself.
“Twilight I feel… feel...” Sunset stammered, attempting to think of the proper word to describe the sensation flowing through her body.
Sunset took several steps forward and a confident smile appeared on her face. She glanced back at Twilight, nodding. “Alive.”
With the training teleporter in her hand, Twilight strolled up to Sunset, a worried look on her face. “What do we do?”
Sunset stared at the device in Twilight’s hands for a second, but the answer was clear to her.
“We end that dimension destroying being once and for all.”
Sunset reached for the middle button on the teleporter. She hovered her finger over it for a couple of seconds before retracting it altogether.
Sunset looked to her with a smile. “You wanted to press the button back when we started. I don’t want to rob you of that joy.” She winked.
Twilight gave an elated laugh. “Alright. Initiating dimension hop with the Talisman.” Sunset’s ears perked up upon hearing the word. She took a glance at Twilight and a quick wink told Sunset that she knew exactly what she had said.
Twilight tapped the middle button and instantly, a portal fizzled to life in front of them. “Let’s go, Sunset. We can end this.” Twilight was about to step in, when she felt Sunset reach down and grab her hand. She faced Sunset, her eyes wide and her mouth agape.
“Together, this time.”
The words sent a red hot blush through Twilight’s cheeks. She tightened the grip on Sunset’s hand and stepped through the crackling blue light. All the while, one word repeated constantly in her mind.