• Published 20th Mar 2018
  • 12,055 Views, 800 Comments

Serpent of the south - J-90

There is a creature in southern land's, that is nearly as old as the nation of Equestria. Once referred as the queen of the forbidden jungle, later imprisoned in Tartarus. Now it's free to roam the land once more.

  • ...

Chapter 9 Slithering back to the surface, and out of town.

Chapter 9 Slithering back to the surface, and out of town.

Well that was quite a flashback dream, with some interesting additions, that I don't think I was actually there to witness. Now though all I see is some misty horizon while standing on some rocky cliff on a small islet.

"So... How was that power nap of your's, miss Naja?" came a voice behind me. A simple head turn revealed a really tall, thin figure of about my height, completely covered in a ratty cloak. And then there was the hood covering it's face, with a few fleshy tentacles peeking through it.

"Pretty well, Ol'Squidface... It is all right to call you that, right?"

"Sure, many beings already mispronounce my real name anyway... "

After that a silence followed, with both of us just standing there on the cliff.

"So... I just came to tell ya that the millennia long nap is now over, and I have thus kept my part of the bargain in protecting the village. Not visibly of course, can't have everyone in that world go crazy. Simple subtle touch of my tentacle here and there, and NOT in a way you might think."

"Meaning that I have to get out of the 'pony-hell' first and then get back to Tanah kahijian... If it still remembers me... Or even is still there..."

"Pretty much, yes. And don't bother asking any of the details, cause it would spoil things that may or may not even happen... That would be against plenty of the rules."

"All right then... Is that all, or are you going to push me off the edge to wake me up?" I asked one final thing.

"Maybe... But now I have to depart. I got a game of *gragbhlatach't* with a cyclop triangle with a top hat and a stupid bow tie, a floating pile of spaghetti and some faceless tentacle-backed fellow with a nice suit... Sohavefunremebertocheckyourbust-BYYYYYE!!!"
With that out of the way, the cloaked figure simply pushed my back, and the cliff under me cave away and I fell to the darkness...

Najas eyes opened quite quickly due to sudden awakening from a deep, almost a hibernation-like sleep. She was immediately seeing the stone surfaces of Tartarus, while just laying there, resting her head on her arms...
The latter thing made her take a better look. Yep, the chains where still there on her arms, buuut... They where not attached to the stony walls around her anymore. Seemed like that the stone had crumbled with time and with a substantial weight on them at all times. And apparently there was no maintenance down here. Sure the chains still looked brand new, but the walls their own also need some tlc from time to time.

'Ok, so only have to get out fo these chains and out of here... wait is that a bit of rust?' Naja thought, while noticing a little rusted part on her upper-left shackle.
'Must have been that harpoon wound... At least i see no sign of necrosis or other infection. Should be easier to break or burn off...' she concluded, while trying to channel her fire magic. Only to fail in it, on her hands at least.
'Well, guess it's fire breathing time then.'

And with that, Naja began to channel fire trough her mouth, managing to make welding torch like flame with some lip-work. After a few very brightly lit moments of melting shackles, Najas arms were free.
'*Phew*, good thing i'm fire-proof. Even though my eyes still hurt from that.' where her thoughts, while rubbing her wrist's a little bit. 'Now, what did the Ol'squidface meant with that hint? Or was it just attempt to get me to touch myself more?...'

After a while of getting her vision back to it's full capacity, marilith did eventually began to check her bust... And found something sown into her top-piece; three pieces of materia crystal.
'Well hello you three. I guess I accidentally forgot you there.' Naja thought, while reaching for the connection with her senses. And the crystals answered, revealing 'themselves' as Vanish, Float and Teleport.
'Looks like I just might get an easy way out of here. Unless something goes horribly wrong with it... Or that this place does not fit the rules of the spell.'

With those thoughts in her mind, Naja began to focus on the teleportation materias power, causing some slight glowing from the said crystal... Located in her top-piece.

'Now... Teleport!' Naja mentally commanded, soon feeling plenty of arcane energy around her, which caused her to simply disappear from her jail-spot in Tartarus, in a flash of light...

Another flash of light and Naja appeared... Somewhere... On a stony surface, temporarily blinded by the magical light of the spell.

"Well... That was a LOT easier than I thought... But no reason to complain for the easy exit." Naja muttered to herself, while getting her vision back.
Her surroundings seemed to a ruin of sorts, with crumbling walls and all that. And the room included two thrones, with sun and moon motifs.
'I guess this place used to be home for those two princesses. Seems to have really gotten out of repair for whatever reason-' Naja thought, until she sensed some familiar form of presence nearby.

This led her to slither around in the wider corridors, due to her tails ample frame being too big for smaller passageways. Finally she arrived to a room, that seems to have once been an armory, where were plenty of rusted out weapons. And on the wall, fixed on a large shield, where two of Najas blades; both from her middle arms.

"Well hello there, my darling's." Naja muttered to herself, while reaching for the blades. And at that moment they started to shake violently in their holdings, finally breaking free and then proceeding to fly towards Najas waiting hands, even in handle-first-position. And they landed firmly, bringing a warm feeling with them, like finding a spiritual piece of you after losing it a long time ago.

"I missed you too, my dearies..." she whispered to the blades, even giving them a little kiss on the flat side.

After that moment of somewhat tender reunion, Naja started to head to the castle entrance, soon seeing an obvious way out of the castle.

"Almost there..." Naja muttered happily, until she was suddenly stopped... By her waist, or the part of her body where the human waist becomes the much wider snake tail, getting stuck in the doorframe.
"Oh for the love of... Odins spear, are you kidding me!?"

After almost a solid, slightly infuriating, minute of trying to carefully squeeze through, she finally gave up... On the squeezing trough that is.
"All right, that does it!" Naja partially yelled, with four of her hand forming a solid red orbs on them, and proceeded to flick them at the offending doorframe.

Several bird took flight and few animals got spooked, when a sound of an fiery explosion shook the forest surrounding the ruin, even sending a dark puff of smoke up in the air. Luckily nothing caught fire in the ruin or in the forest.
Inside the ruin, Naja was busy waving the smoke away and to see the damage. The doorframe was completely wrecked and heavily scroched with a nice layer of ash.
"Well... At least I can now get out of here... And no one obviously lives here" marilith commented while slithering out through the ruined doorway, her tail following without any problems this time.

Then came the next obstacle of the day... A flimsy looking rope bridge, that obviously made for smaller folk. Or normal, depending where you stand.
'All righty, time to float I guess.' Naja tought, while starting to activate the floating materia. And soon her body started to rise a little bit off the ground. Maybe a palm width or several. After that, she moved carefully towards the bridge... And just floated atop its ropes the whole trip, proceeding slither-float deeper into the forest surrounding the ruin.

'I wonder how long this floatiness last's?' marilith wondered, while trying to navigate the forest, using swords to clear some of the branches out of her way, still floating barely above ground vegetation, which included some nasty looking plants. Also luckily for her, the local wildlife seemed to know to steer clear from the giant snake-creature.
Then Najas ears reached a sound of someone, or rather someone's arguing about something in a very heated manner.

"We should go get help!"

"No! We can't leave them here!"

"Just take the Belle, You could carry her to town pretty well."

"But we can't leave you here either Zecora!"

Three of the voices sounded younger than the rhyming one. A short moment of slithering later, a peek through some branches revealed a group of three pony foals and an adult zebra on a forest opening.
The said zebra and a unicorn foal where laying there on the ground, with some nasty looking injuries on their back legs. And a fallen tree gave a good idea what was the cause, with both of them having a small sharp branch sticking out of their back-leg.

'Let's hope my necklace still works...' Naja prayed, before trying to speak aloud.

"Hello?... May I perhaps offer some help?" she called out, absolutely relieved of the fact that her 'translator-necklace' still worked.

"W-who's there?! C-can you really help us?! Whoever you are?" one of the foals, an orange pegasus stuttered out, while looking around.

"I can. But I only ask that you don't fear me too much. I'm a... Bit more different than your striped zebra friend.

"Ok! Just please help them!" called out another foal, an earth pony with a red bow on it's mane.

And with that out of the way, Naja began to move towards the more open area, finally coming out between some trees, now slithering normally with the floating-spell effect had run out.
Needless to say, the fillies and the zebra had amazed, and slightly intimidated expressions on their faces.

"How bad are the injuries?" she asked calmly, wile eyeing the stuck branches carefully.

"Well, miss Zecora said they might be smooth enough to be pulled out, but it would cause more serious bleeding. But they can't walk with sticks in their leg." filly with the red bow managed to say, sounding worried.

"Very well then... We just might have to do that, in order for my healing magic to take hold properly."

This comment made the injured ones to look a little bit worried, but they seemed to also accept her suggestion of using healing magic. And with an agreeing nod from both of them, Naja approached them a little bit, with one hand starting to glow with a green light.
"All right then little one, this will most likely hurt a bit." was mariliths honest comment to the unicorn filly, while taking a firm hold of the branch on her leg, with also another hand holding the injured area still just in case.

"On three... One... Two-" and marilith proceeded to pull the branch out with quick movement, while putting her glowing hand on the injury to heal it. And of course the unicorn filly screamed in pain from the sudden removal of the branch, like anyone else most likely would.
Thanks to the healing magic, the pain was luckily short lived, as the injured tissue was mended.

"There, try walking." Naja encouraged the filly, while turning to treat the zebra mare, taking similar hold on her as she did with the filly, who was getting back up with the help of the other two.
"On three, ok?... One-" and once again, a sudden movement of pulling the branch out was done, followed by the healing magic mending the wound. Zebra did almost scream, but still managed to keep a bit more quiet, without biting her tongue or cracking teeth as a bonus.

"Thank you, serpent of great size. I just hope we could offer you some kind of prize?" zebra mare gave a rhyming thanks, with a polite bow even. Even the fillies where visibly grateful.

"Well, now that you mention it, I could use some directions, or better yet, a map and a compass. I'm trying to get back home turf... If it is still there..."

"Oh! There are few maps at the Ponyville library! I'm sure we can get one of those!" suggested the unicorn filly, now standing without any problems.

"Great. Now then. What are your names? Mine is Naja. Some did use the title of 'Lady' with it too in the past, but just Naja is fine."

"Oh, this is miss Zecora, she lives here int he Everfree forest. I'm Sweetie Belle, and they are Apple Bloom and Scootaloo..." the unicorn filly introduced them all, leaving something hanging at the end...

"And together we are..." followed Apple Bloom and Scootaloo.


After the mild ringing in her ears stopped, Naja was honestly amazed of how much volume such small fillies could use with such ease.
"Ok then... Want to guide me to town, and maybe ease the worries of locals? I'm not that fond of being chased out of anywhere, just because I'm a big snake-creature."

"Ok! Can we ride on your back? Pleeeeeeease??" the one named Scootaloo asked, while starting to make some amazingly cute puppy-dog-eyes, with other two joining in on it.

"Sure. Just don't fiddle with my clothing, if you want to climb on my other back. I am one of those who need those for the common modesty."

And so, after bidding Zecora farewells and making sure she was also all right to make it back to her hut, marilith began to slither away with three excited fillies giving directions from her back.

Finally the forest ended, giving way to a pretty nice field of grass, with a homey looking town in sight.

"So... How is the view from up there?" was a calm question from Naja to Scootaloo, who had climbed on top of her head and was now scoping around from there.

"It... Is... Awesome!"

"Good to hear. Now where is this library you mentioned?"

"It's that house-tree. C'mon, let's go!" called out Apple Bloom, who then hopped off from mariliths serpentine-back, followed by taking an exited grip on one of her hands and trying to pull to make one follow. And Naja followed along, if only to satisfy fillys urge to guide her to the library. Even though it was slightly complicated to slither slow enough, with upper-torso bend-over enough to let filly walk on her own.

After finally getting to the actual town, the locals where visibly little intimidated, but even more confused, after seeing local trio of fillies bringing a giant snake-creature into town by one of them hoofholding it, while the other two where on its back and top of its head.
"It's all right! She's with us!" Sweetie Belle called out, managing to calm several ponies down, since no foal would bring a destructive monster right in the middle of town on purpose, right?

Soon enough all four of them arrived to some kind of literal house-tree, like in some fairy-tales in Najas old life. It also looked quite homey.
"So I guess I'll just wait here?" marilith asked politely, while letting two of the foals climb off from her back and head. After fillies had come off of her, she took more relaxed position, which allowed her to lean on her own tail comfortably, like on a big pillow.

"Sure, wait here we get you a map." Apple Bloom said happily, soon going through the door of the tree library with her friends, since it was a public-library.

And so started the waiting for the map. During this wait-time, a couple of ponies did finally get brave enough to approach the serpentine creature to see it better. A little bit at least.

Then a mint green unicorn, with an excited smile on her face, came half-running from somewhere, with another pony, an eath one with beige fur and pink-blue striped mane, following her. Both of them stopped rather close to marilith, the smiling unicorn especially.

"May I perhaps help you two with something?" Naja asked carefully, with an raised brow, while turning slightly to face these two properly.

"-------- Can I touch your hand?" was unicorns question, still smiling.

"Uuuh... Sure...?"

And with that Naja took a position that allowed her to bring two of her hands closer to unicorn, while the rest of her arms kept her position stable.
The unicorn began to go through mariliths offered hands, one finger at a time, looking very excited during it. Finally the green unicorn started to push her head against mariliths palm, like a cat asking to be petted. And Naja gladly complied, with light petting and few gentle scratches behind ears.
The reaction was almost instant, with unicorn smiling more, back leg tapping more than few times, and muttering happily something about softness and smoothness.

"Ok Lyra. I think that's enough..." the beige mare finally called out to unicorn, now named Lyra, sounding slightly worried.
"But Bon Bon! It felt soooooo goood. And she seems really nice... You are a female, right?" Lyra complained, followed by a careful question.

"Why yes, I am a female. Got all the necessary bits and everything... Saaay... You look somewhat familiar, Bon Bon was it?"

This made said mare to freeze a little, when marilith leaned in to have a closer look, clearly trying to remember something.
"Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but was one of your ancestors a bounty hunter once upon a time? Because you look like one such mare called Sweetie Hotbuns, who really liked to use grappling hooks as a weapon, employed by a minotaur named Greyhorn. OR it could just be my memory drawing random conclusions."

"How do you-... I mean... Yes, there might have been mare by that name in my family a long time ago..." Bon Bon stuttered, finally admitting to be related to mentioned bounty hunter pony. This made Lyra look bit amazed that her friend was related to such pony.
"That's... Awesome... And it gives me few ideas for later..." Lyra commented, with a certain type of smile too.

"Ok, not gonna ask about that-" Naja commented, but was interrupted by the feeling of another familiar presence very near, somewhere underground, near the tree. At this point the CMC came out from the library with a map, followed by a small dragon. The latter stopped at the doorway after seeing Naja, seemingly in a mild shock or surprise.

"We got the map here, and Spike helped too." Sweetie Belle called out, while holding the map up with her friends.

"That is great. Could you maybe help me again? I'm sensing something of mine arouuund... Here." Naja answered, while slithering little bit closer to the tree-library, finally tapping a spot on the ground.

"Like a lost treasure?"

"In a way, yes. I may not have anything to give, but I would really appreciate some help."

"It's okay. Cutie-Mark-Crusader-Treasure finders, yay!" the fillies called out, causing once again slight ringing in mariliths ears. They also suddenly got shovel with them now. Other ponies did not react that much to this. Maybe they where just used to the filly trios escapades by now.

What followed was CMC digging the tapped spot, dragon Spike also helping them for some reason, while Naja studied the map a bit. She wanted to help with the digging, but due to her size she would most likely just be in the way of the little ones.
The map was very informative, and helped her a lot in planning fastest route to south. The interesting part was the area south from Baltimare, past the Hayseed swamps. There was the name Tanah kahijian, with a little scribble of a pyramid next to it. Meaning that both the town and the temple where still there.
And to the east of them at the coastline, was another town or a city, called Southpost. And surrounding both towns was an obvious map-border, meaning that either of the towns, and land surrounding them, was not a part of Equestria. So that's a good bonus to know.

"Hey, miss Naja! We found something!" CMC called out from the dug out hole. And a small peek revealed that they had revealed a sword handle, big in pony standards, with a bit of blade showing; the lower lefty from what Naja could see.
"Good job you all. Now can you get out the way, please? Don't want any of you getting hurt."

The trio of fillies and one dragon climbed out the hole, and even cave some room to Naja to do whatever she was about to do. And what she did was simply hold out her lower-left hand to the sword in a gentle manner, which in turn began to shake, like trying get loose from something.
And soon the sword got loose, maybe some roots that had grown around it, flying to Najas waiting grasp.
"Welcome back darling..." she whispered while giving a small kiss on the flat of the blade.

Then a sound of something falling came from inside the tree-library, followed by a startled scream. Both could also be somewhat heard from the hole too...
"...Do you think that sword was maybe holding something in place in the basement?" Spike asked, sounding worried.
"Well... At least it did not sound to be anything load bearing... Maybe just a furniture attached to a root?" Naja followed.

Then she felt something impact her side, somewhere halfway down her tail. A quick glance revealed it to be a purple pony, seemingly stuck on her scaley muscles in a rather comedic way. Purple one most likely came out running, and was not seeing the big darker purple tail at the frontal area of the door.
"Ummm... Can some-one please peel the purple one off my scales? I don't want to risk hurting her?"

Very soon the purple pony was peeled off from serpents side, during which Naja noticed both wings and a horn on the visibly very dizzy purple pony.
'An alicorn? So there are other ones now too?' Naja thought for a moment, putting her newly-found sword away when this alicorn came to from dizziness.

"Twilight! You ok?"

"Yes Spike, just a little woozy. I just got spooked when the basement shelf just suddenly fell over and broke few vials. And no, nothing came out of them this time. Now what is going on...-" at this purple alicorn, now named Twilight, noticed Naja's tail and followed it to the front end. Naja simply gave a friendly wave with a smile.
"-... here?..."

"Ooh! Bouncy!"

The new voice, followed by feeling of being bounced on, caught the attention of marilith and many ponies around her . The source turned out to be the most pink pony Naja has ever seen... EVER... Bouncing on her tails back. The pink one noticed marilth looking at her, and then zipped closer in an blink of an eye, almost colliding with mariliths bust.


Naja managed to barely, just barely to catch what the pink one, apparently named Pinkie Pie, and decided to just give her an answer.
"Well hello Pinkie. My name is Naja, I do like parties, but only small ones with few creatures or ponies I know well enough, meaning longer than a week or so. And finally I like muffins, especially lemon filled ones."
And suddenly after saying that, a grey, blonde maned pegasus with sligthly derped eyes flew up to her, with a muffin at hoof, proceeding to slowly open up marilith's mouth, put the muffin in and then made her to chew it slowly. After finally swallowing the tasty treat, the grey pegasus proceeded to pet the serpent lady's head lovingly and then continued flying, humming happily. And no one questioned that for some reason.

"Ok, sooo... Your party for the later date?" Pinkie then asked hopefully, now holding a notepad with doodles of sweets and balloons on it.
"Uuhh... Sure. Small one, not overly big or too crowded if possible? And somewhere where I can fit."

"Ok! Let's put that on hold for now. Seeya!" was pink ones happy answer, followed by her zipping away somewhere.

"Is that normal to her?" Naja asked from Twilight.

"Yes. That's just Pinkie Pie being Pinkie Pie." she said simply. This was followed by turning to face Naja with curious expression.
"Now, Naja right? What exactly are you? Haven't see you in any of the books here..."

"Yes, that's my name. And to answer your question, I am a marilith. Basically a serpentine creature with a female humanoid torso with six arms and some affinity to magic, along with natural skill with swords. And also I'm from another world, thank's to the Ol'Squidface."

This was followed by a relatively long-ish silence. And then a stray hair popped from Twilight's mane for some reason.
"Oh, now you've done it..." Spike sighed out, like something bad was about to happen.

"Other world?! What's it like there?! What is your culture like?! Or your magic?!" the purple one began to shoot questions in rabid succession, with a certain unnerving gleam in her eyes. It was at this point, Naja decided that it was time to bail.

"Well, I would love to answer some of your questions, but I really need to go somewhere else. Sooo... Bye!"

After saying that, Naja called upon the materia woven in her clothing, first mentally casting the Float-spell, followed by Vanish, which together caused her body to start floating a feet or two above ground, and then starting to disappear from sight, looking like someone was pouring some manner of invisibility paint over her body.
"Oh, and Bon Bon. I hold no grudge for you or your ancestral-mother." disappearing mariltih quipped to the said mare, who visibly relaxed after hearing that.

Now completely invisible, Naja float-slithered out of town, heading south, while managing to not bump into anything or anyone.

Meanwhile at the front of the library, everypony and one dragon, where both amazed and confused from Naja's disappearing move. Especially Twilight, who began to have a twitchy eye.

"Whuh?? How??? Where???? Why?????... I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS!!!!!!!!"

Somewhere in north-east of Rambling rock ridge...

It had been around an hour, or maybe two, since Najas spells had worn out and she was now following the map, while munching on some wild fruit in some large thicket.
"Ok... So now just keep heading eastwards, across a river and follow it... Or find the river and just follow it south. But in both cases I seem to get close to some pony towns... And you never know how they might react..." she muttered quietly while brainstorming over the map routes, that would keep her most safe from view.

Then a loud sounds of a speeding carriage could be heard. And a glance at the nearby dirt-road revealed a well equipped, somewhat high-quality looking covered carriage being chased by some very obvious bandits, a group of about half a dozen of ratty looking pegasi and unicorns.
And then the carriage lost a wheel, coming to screeching halt, with the bandits now surrounding it. Now this would not fly with Naja.

And so she just bursted out from the thicket, with purposefully animalistic roar, with her three found swords out and other hands holding flames at the ready.
Luckily for everyone, this intimidation move worked very well, causing bandits to run or fly away with their tails between their legs. The ponies pulling the carriage just looked scared.

"It's all right, i'm not going to hurt you. Just wanted to help." Naja said, while putting out her swords and flames.

"What's happening out there?" came a voice inside the wagon, followed by a door opening.

"Well sir, the bandits chasing us caught up with us due to wheel breaking. And then they fled when ... She appeared and drove them off."

Next the occupant of the carriage stepped out. And he unsurprisingly was amazed at the sight of the serpentine creature just 'standing' there. What did surprise Naja, was that there was no fear in this white unicorn stallions eyes.

"Well hello, and thank you for aiding us. Bandits aren't usually this much trouble, but they do sometimes surprise traveller's." unicorn thanked Naja, while the carriage pullers unhooked themselves from the carriage, gave a thankful nod to Naja and began to fix the broken wheel, in a very professional manner.

"It's all right. I am called Naja by the way." mariltih answered politely, while offering one hand to unicorn to shake. And he did with a pleasant thankful smile too.

"I'm Blueblood. But please, just call me Bluey."

Author's Note:

Finally got this done. And with a sorta cliff-hanger too...