• Published 1st Feb 2017
  • 4,665 Views, 688 Comments

Knights of the Realm - Kinni


Sunset, Trixie and Twilight were chosen as Celestia's apprentices, but they also choose to become Knights, protectors of Equestria. They are prepared for that, but Equestria is probably not prepared for them.

  • ...
20
 688
 4,665

Basic Training
PreviousChapters Next

Author's Note:

I'm currently travelling, but still somehow managed to force this one through in my spare time.

Also, this chapter is pretty much half foreshadowing. I wonder if you'll be able to see which parts are which.

Over the next few weeks, the Knights started the training of the new Knight candidates. But before learning the true secrets of the profession and training in their own specialties, the apprentices had to go through some basic training, and the Knights split that training in between themselves. First it was Sunset with the physical training.

-

"Today, as part of your basical physical training, you'll have to pull those carts around Ponyville twenty times." The unicorn said, while pointing to five carts.

Four of the five apprentices looked at Sunset like she was crazy. Those carts had obviously been enhanced by magic, because otherwise it would be impossible for them to resist being crushed by the absolute cornucopia of random items that were piled up on each of them. The weight of those carts could be seen just by looking, and it was definitely unreasonable.

As expected, the only pony who didn't doubt that Sunset Shimmer was serious was her apprentice, Rainbow Dash. Who had immediately taken off and flew towards the cart that bore her name... Only to be stopped in midair by her teacher's telekinesis.

"Don't worry, Dash. You'll have your own special challenge." Then she forced the pegasus to the ground and charged a bit before casting another spell.

Rainbow Dash's body was immediately enveloped in a black mass that kept getting smaller and smaller... Until she struggled against it and managed to start walking to her cart, even though the mass had compressed itself to a point where the outline of every part of her body was easily visble, though she was struggling.

"That's right. You'll need to do this routine while resisting my crushing spell." She looked at Rainbow Dash as she strapped herself to the cart, then turned her head to the other apprentices, who had still not moved "Do you think I made the carts too light?" She asked doubtfully "But I thought I had put in the right amount..." She summoned an anvil, a safe, a bed, a wardrobe and a chest "Stop me when it is enough." She made to put the new weights on the carts...

"STOP!" The apprentices shouted and ran to strap themselves to the carts. Sunset nodded in satisfaction.

-

Sunset looked at the Knight apprentices who were fainted on the ground, completely insensate.

They had been subjected to a sucession of spells designed to test their resilience to its breaking point, including heat and cold spells, sensory overload attacks of all kinds, and forced movements that put extreme stresses on their muscles, bones and joints. The simple act of using magic to protect their own bodies from destruction caused ridiculous levels of fatigue that eventually knocked them out.

Of course, Rainbow Dash had gotten her own special course, and since she preferred things to be awesome, Sunset had put her own little special touches on the RD versions of the spells. The heat spell was a mini-sun that kept trying to suck the pegasus within itself, forcing her to fly to avoid it. The cold spell was used when Dash was several thousand feet in the air, icying up her wings and making her fall. The sensory overload attacks took the form of manifested figures atacking her. And the forced movements were done via manifested energy chains, many of which actually got inside her body to grip at things there.

Sunset had been very precise about how much she should push them. And so, after the first of them (Pinkie Pie) woke up (around an hour after they had fallen unconscious), it only took three minutes for every single apprentice to be back up. Sunset started to talk.

"The first session went well." She started charging magic "So it's time to start the repetitions."

The five looked at her in horror (Except Rainbow Dash, who was resigned).

-

"What." Rainbow Dash said in a flat tone. Even knowing her teacher, this seemed to be a little too much.

To explain what caused her to say that, it was necessary to know the context of the current exercise the apprentices were undertaking.

Essentially, they were being chased by arrows of magic that would pierce them (without causing injury, but very painfully) everytime they slowed down from their maximum speed.

However, Dash's special version of the training included having her wings bound so she could not fly. And considering her ability to break the sound barrier, maximum speed for her was something entirely different from the others.

Thankfully, Sunset seemed to understand her concerns "Don't worry. I changed the spell so you won't need to reach maximum speed." But after Rainbow sighed in relief, Sunset went on "But you'll need to stay pretty close to supersonic." Rainbow Dash froze "Better apply all that you've learned about wind control. Now, run." Sunset started charging a spell. RD took off.

-

After that, Twilight took over to train their minds. The apprentices thought this would be easier.

It wasn't.

-

"In order to get through this challenge, you'll need to block out the noise enough to understand and then recite the sequence of numbers said in my voice." Twilight's voice spoke, but none of the apprentices could hear it. Their minds were overwhelmed by a cacophony of noise, courtesy of one of Twilight's spells.

Voices, screams, animal sounds, and all other kinds of noises imaginable were resounding in their minds, impossible to stop conventionally, not mattering how much they tried to block their own ears. It was pure agony.

In fact, it had already been sometime since the start of the training, and yet the ponies were unable to focus on anything other than their own pain. Twilight had already left, after doing a spell that would repeat her instructions periodically. She was sure the apprentice Knights would eventually manage to capture her words and then complete the training.

She just knew it would take a while.

-

Twilight ignored the screams of the apprentices as she explained to them what was going on "We are currently inside my mindscape. I've fixed up a lot of it ever since the fight with Discord but it still not perfect, so I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to train you against some of the weirder kinds of mental attacks you could face in the future."

The five could hear and even understand what she was saying, but they barely cared. They were already using every scrap of will they had to resist the influence of the mindscape.

It wasn't working very well. Applejack was currently looking at a warped space that seemed to contain the entire history of Twilight's life, being enacted all at once and with every character being in the same physical spot. Rarity's body had split into hundreds of pieces, each one being carried by a shadow in the form of an animal and being taken further and further away from each other. Pinkie's body parts were uncontrolably and continuously transforming into a variety of animals while she could feel everything. Rainbow Dash had gotten into some form of localized time loop where she kept flying forward but being shifted backwards and losing her memory of the event. And Fluttershy was somehow experiencing the memory of the feelings Twilight had during her battle with Discord.

The purple unicorn looked at the apprentices and took note of the parts of her mindscape that still required repairs.

-

Applejack remembered herself.

She looked at her four fellow apprentices and saw that they shared her opinion. This was awful. Their faces full of shame were enough to understand.

The training seemed simple in theory. Twilight would use a spell designed to make the target forget their own history and identity and the apprentices would try to resist and retain all they could of their own minds.

But the feeling of losing parts of yourself was already bad, but the feelings of shame from having forgotten what was important to them really made this something they would rather do almost anything else instead of repeating.

Twilight started to charge magic again, and Applejack focused on her family, for she would do everything to avoid forgetting them.

Her mind was set.

-

After that, Trixie would train them in the control of the soul. They knew enough to understand that this would be even harder than Twilight's training.

They still weren't prepared.

-

Rarity was fighting an urge to say very unladylike things about Starswirl the Bearded.

The reason? Because he was the one who invented the spell that was currently torturing her.

Essentially it was magic designed to give the target a self-awareness of their own body, so that they could better manipulate their magic to avoid injury.

Pretty nice in theory. But Trixie was using it to train their magic channeling, which meant conducting magic via a part of the body until it got to the point where any more would break the point of fatigue and cause actual injury. And then conduct magic via another part of the body.

At the beginning it wasn't so bad, but the exhaustion from each part of the body started to pile up, and she could feel it perfectly in full definition due to the spell. And she still had to do the same thing to each and every part of her body before the routine was ended.

The white unicorn managed to keep her mouth shut. But it was close.

-

Trixie was satisfied with the dedication of the five. They had already reached the point of being able to conceptualize their own wills to create ponyfications of their magic, which was a fairly important step in the path of a mage.

As such, she rewarded them by making them face her own ponyfication in a soul battle.

She faced all five at once, because their own soul warriors were still fairly unstable and weak. But solving that was one of the reasons why they were doing this.

Attacks in a soul battle didn't hurt, but they forced the target to acknowledge themselves in full, which meant facing their own selves in a very raw way.

So Trixie didn't get surprised when the five excused themselves after the first session. And neither when they showed dread before the start of the second.

She was expecting that.

-

As soon as the energy sphere exploded Rainbow Dash closed her eyes and used magic to reinforce her defenses.

She still got some pretty deep and painful cuts on her face. And then the magic circle she and the others were practicing in activated and reversed the injuries.

The pegasus cringed and started to make another energy sphere. The idea of this training was to help the apprentices learn how to gather and control large amounts of magic.

The problem was that such a level of compressed magic was very unstable and dangerous, so Trixie had "helpfully" provided them with a magic circle to fix the injuries they would inevitably get over the course of the training. And forcing such a large amount of magic out pretty much made them feel extreme levels of fatigue, but the magic circle also had the effect of not allowing them to fall asleep until they had in fact reached their full limits.

At that point, both she and the other apprentices were united in a single thought.

When would their suffering end?

-

Later on, the three Knights were having a meeting in the (restored) library.

"So..." Sunset Shimmer said carefully "Don't you think we are taking it too easy on the apprentices?"

Trixie and Twilight looked at her and at each other and at her with complicated expressions.

"You have a point." Trixie admitted "Trixie knows we agreed that it wasn't necessary to bring them up to a Knight standard so fast, and instead we needed to raise their basic abilities enough for them to be able to handle the real training. But still..." She let the idea hang in the air.

Twilight picked it up "But we really could have pushed them harder than this. I think we are having trouble trying to put our feelings aside and be the harsh teachers needed to train Knights. I wonder if the reason the Princess wanted us to teach them ourselves was because she wanted us to learn about this..."

-

"Teaching those three was already enough for me. I couldn't go through that again." Celestia said, after her sister asked her why she wasn't helping train the new Knights.

The night alicorn didn't understand what her sister meant to say with that, or why she seemed tense.

-

"This is certainly something we should reflect about..." Trixie said "But Trixie actually has an important announcement to make." She smiled.

"You mean..." Sunset prompted her, giddily.

"The five are ready. Tomorrow, we can start on their advanced training." Trixie told them.

The other two jumped up and cheered. The fun part was finally about to start.

PreviousChapters Next