• Published 14th May 2019
  • 1,480 Views, 73 Comments

Flash Sentry Chronicles: The Forgotten Darkness - Banshee531



Flash, Twilight and friends have beaten the Sirens. All seemed well as they returned to Equestria, only for a new threat to arise. Now, Flash and the others will find themselves learning a truth they had never seen coming. Will they survive?

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The Lone Knights Tale

Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success.
-C. S. Lewis

It began in a long, endless grass-filled plain. The land looked as if it was a sea of green strands, nothing but these tiny plants as far as the eyes could see. And as one that would look over this earthen empty paradise, a single pony was walking over those green hills. This pony was wearing a torn brown cloak, the seams torn as the wind blew the back of the cloth upward. Despite these tears, the pony was completely concealed, their identity hidden under the long, thin hood.

But as the pony continued to walk, it looked up, only to see another figure in the distance. This figure was also cloaked, but it was no pony. This being stood on two legs, and a deep red glow shined from it's eyes. The figure didn't move, it just stood there as the cloaked pony slowly made it's way up to it.

And as the minutes passed, a heavy wind blew through the countryside, blowing both capes upward. As it did, the wind showed four bright blush red hooves, along with a dark scarlet mane under the pony's cloak. As for the other, it showed two three-toed black furred feet.

Then, the bipedal figure spoke, "About time you showed up."

The pony chuckled under it's breath. "Heh, don't tell me you were waiting. I bet you were just sleeping standing up."

"Tch...smart-mouthed as usual, I see." the other figure said as it lifted a limb upward, only to reveal a black paw with a white spike on top of it. A blue flame consumed the paw, its fingers turning and clenching as the fire continued to burn. And as the blue flame grew, a white pole like object appeared in the flames, only to extend into a bone-shaped weapon, which the bipedal figure wielded like a blade, "Perhaps I should test you first. See if you're ready to face her."

The pony shined a huge smirk under her cloak. "If you insist." A swift hoof pulled back the hood, revealing a young adult unicorn mare, her coat shining like jewels. Her horn began to flare, only to summon into her hooves a long sword made entirely of crystals. She spun it around once, only to shift her hooves into an offensive stance, "Well? Let the test begin."

The other cricked it's neck as it pointed the bone directly at her. "Very well."

CLANG!

That was the sound of both weapons striking, the grass beneath them shifting as the two began to clash. It started with a single vertical strike from both, the two attacks now equal as they slammed into each other. Seeing this, both figures hopped back, the bipedal one lunging forward next as he lifted the bone weapon up high. In response, the mare's horn flared, a crystal shield forming as it blocked the bone, only for a second one to appear in the bipedal's other arm. Quickly hopping back again, the pony dodged this attack, only for two more bone swings to occur, both striking the shield, shattering it instantly.

"That all you got?! I know you're better than that!" the bipedal figure yelled as he swung again, this time striking the mare's crystal blade. With this one blow, the sword split in two, instantly falling apart. And as he readied another attack, he looked up into the mare's eyes, only to see a huge smile.

"I'm not done yet." she proclaimed as her horn continued to glow, soon summoning two spears to her sides. "Take this!"

Immediately, both long distance weapons jabbed at their opponent, the figure instantly hopping back as the attacks blocked both of his bone weapons. In response, he cancelled the bones, quickly shifting his cloak to reveal a single paw. He pointed said palm at the mare, a ball of blue energy forming out of thin air.

BLAM!

The sphere shot straight for the mare, her horn flaring again as a crystal shield appeared in front of her just in time. The ball struck the crystal wall, both colliding and kicking up a dust storm of explosive energy. And as the dust covered the grass, both figures leapt into the smoke, the two unable to see their opponents. But it didn't matter, as they wielded no fear into that dusty fog. They merely charged ahead, ready to strike.

It was two minutes after the dust finally cleared, and as it did, the two figures still stood. The mare had a three-pronged claw under her neck while an energy bone was just centimeters away from her horn. At the same time, the bipedal figure had the end of two crystal spears on either side of his neck, and a crystal blade at his stomach.

The two had stood there for two minutes now, soon turning to three as they stared at each other. One single movement would decide the match, for whoever moved first, would lose. And as they stood there, their lips slowly morphed into smiles, and small, almost whisper like giggles leaving their mouths.

"Heh heh...ahahahaha!!!" The two laughed, their weapons instantly disappearing. They both stood there as they giggled, giant smiles now on their faces.

"Ahahahaha!!! Well done! You've improved yet again!" said the bipedal figure as he patted the mare on the back, "You've come a long way, Ruby Scarlet!"

"Heh...thanks Sharp Paw." Ruby replied as she gave him a hug, "And you're still the toughest jakhowl around."

"You know it!" Sharp guffawed as he returned the hug. A second later, he pulled away and gestured Ruby to follow him. "Come on, she's waiting for you. Both of them."

"Sounds good to me." Ruby commented as the two made their way across the fields. Time passed quickly as they walked over those grassy plains, both doing small talk as they got closer to their destination. It was here that Ruby saw it on the horizon, a sight she always loved to see.

In the distance was a castle, one much smaller than that of the Castle of the Two Sisters. It was located many miles south of that castle, far away from the Everfree, or almost most of Equestrian civilization. The building was colored dark blue, complete with a gothic style outside, complete with dark blue banners on its sides. It was made of pure stone, all made with rough yet sturdy textures. But it was the inside that Ruby loved as they went up to the main yard in front of the castle. Here, they were hundreds of jakhowls, almost all of them younglings. They were all playing in the main yard, rolling in the grass, playing tag or hide and go seek. All had huge smiles on their faces as the two entered that field.

"Oh! Look everyjakhowl! Its Chief Sharp Paw!" screamed a young jakhowl as it pointed to Sharp Paw, a volley of cheers soon following.

"Hey! Ruby's here too! Yay!" cheered another as the young ones ran up to the duo, Ruby instinctively bending over and hugging a few. Sharp did the same, smiles on all of their faces.

"Hello! Its so good to see you all!" Ruby exclaimed as she hugged a fifth jakhowl. "Oh, I missed you all so much!"

"We missed you too Ruby!" a sixth jakhowl cried as he hugged the mare, "Please stay and play with us!"

"Play with us! Play with us!" they echoed while others just barked, causing her to giggle at the sight.

She shook her head, kneeling down to pat a few on the head, "I'm sorry. I would love to, but I need to report to your master." She stood back up after this, her left eye winking, "And if she doesn't mind, I might be able to play with you afterward, okay?"

"Okay!"

"Yay! Ruby is gonna play with us! Yay!"

"I can't wait!"

Sharp Paw guffawed at the sight, "You really know how to get along with them, don't ya?!"

"Of course. I was taught by the best." Ruby replied, her eyebrows hopping up and down.

Sharp Paw looked away, "Tch, you sound just like my mate."

"Who do you think taught me? You?!"

"Oh stop it!"


A few minutes later...

The sound of rusty stone grinding across the floor could be heard as the castle's main doors were opened. As these frames moved, the duo stepped inside, Ruby just a step ahead of Sharp. And as they closed the doors behind them, the sound of footsteps could be heard.

"Sharp! Sharp!" yelled a voice as it approached them. It was an adult jakhowl, this one being female. To the normal eye, she looked to be exactly like Sharp Paw, with the exception of one detail. She had a tiny scar just above her left eye, this detail making her different from all others.

"Calm Paw!" Sharp exclaimed as the jakhowl embraced the female, the two blushing as they began their hug. "Oh, its so good to see you!"

"You too, my love!" she replied before pulling away, her eyes turning to Ruby, "Well well well, if it isn't the biggest shining stinker of them all. What's your sorry hide doing here, my old rival?"

"Oh, nothing much." Ruby remarked with crossed hooves and a smirk, "Just kicking your mate's flank out in the fields." She leaned up to Calm's face as her grin grew, "That and making sure the little ones like me more than you."

"Is that so?" Calm hissed back, only to given a response of one stuck out tongue from Ruby. This made Calm scowl as she slung a paw around Ruby, giggling, "Come here you! Give me a hug!"

"Gladly." Ruby replied as they both hugged, the three now giggling up a storm. And as they continued to laugh, a fourth figure began to walk up the hallway.

"My my, so nice to see such happiness in my halls." said the figure as it stepped up to the trio, "Greetings Ruby Scarlet. Its good to see you back."

"Your majesty." Ruby almost gasped before bowing, the jakhowls doing the same. "It is good to see you as well, Princess Luna."

"Rise Ruby Scarlet. We much to discuss." Luna waved her hoof, causing the three to ascend. And as they got up, a small graced Luna's face as she pointed at Ruby, "I'm glad you're back. When my scouts said they saw somepony coming from the distance, I knew I had to have somepony check it out."

"And you sent Sharp?" Ruby questioned with a raised eyebrow.

"He insisted. That and I asked you to come anyways, as you already know."

Ruby turned to the jakhowl, getting a nod in response before looking back at Luna. "Princess Luna, I-"

Luna flashed her hoof, "Just Luna now Ruby. We're all friends inside here." Luna glanced slightly away as she mumbled, "We have no need for formalities, not in this sanctuary, unlike my...sister's castle." The last few words were filled with a low, gravely tone as Luna turned around, "Come. I wish to hear your full report. That, and we have some good news."

"Good news?"

"Yes. Calm Paw?"

Ruby turned to her old jakhowl rival. The jakhowl had a huge blush on her face, one that was red as the brightest tomato. Her paws were fidgeting as she looked up at Ruby, her eyes slightly diverting as she tried to say something, "We uh...have some really special news Ruby. I told Princess Luna that I wanted to tell you first since...you know..."

"We're good acquaintances?" Ruby cheekily replied, only to get jab on the shoulder.

"No, you dummy! You're my best friend and battle partner!" Calm growled as she jabbed Ruby's stomach next, "Why are you always mean to me?!"

"Mean to you? You're always mean to me!"

"I am not! You're my best friend, you meanie!" Calm screeched, her head now turning away from Ruby, "Fine! If you're gonna be a jerk, I won't tell you!"

"Oh, come on!" Ruby flicked her horn, an aura grabbing and turning Calm around, "Tell me already!"

"No!" Calm stuck out her tongue, "And you can't make me!"

"Ugh...those two." Sharp grumbled, shaking his head as he glanced at Luna, "Think they'll ever get along?"

"Yes. After all, they show true friendship in front of us." Luna remarked as she giggled at the sight. "Don't worry Sharp. I trained them both at the same time, those two have been through thick and thin together. They'll always be friends, just like the fact that they're partners like us."

"I sure hope so." Sharp replied as he went up and tapped his partner's shoulder. "My love, perhaps you should just tell her."

"But Sharp...she's being mean to me!" Calm whined as she slumped over on her mate, Sharp now facepawing.

"Good grief." Sharp deadpanned as he patted Calm's head, his face turning to Ruby, "Ruby, since she's being a...foal about this, could you give us your report first? We'll tell you the good news later."

"Um...sure." Ruby responded, her happy face no longer showing. Instead, it turned to one of fear and...depression. Luna saw this as well, walking in front of the jakhowls.

"Ruby? What is the matter?" the princess asked with a slight frown.

"Uh...let's just say things didn't go well. I know you wanted to knight me after this mission, but..." Ruby replied as she bowed down to the princess. Her teeth now biting her lips, she muttered out, "Your majesty...I-"

"You failed the mission." Luna interrupted, making Ruby shiver like a leaf. She didn't dare look up as Luna crossed her hooves, "I know the mission was a failure Ruby. That's why I asked my sister to have you return here before going to the castle."

As this information went into the crystal unicorn's ears, she slowly looked up, "You...princess, I...I don't understand."

Luna put her hoof on Ruby's shoulder, "Don't. You are my friend Ruby. I had you come here because I know you see this place as a second home. As such, I wanted you be happy before telling us the news."

"Luna...I..."

Luna flashed her hoof, "Stop. Before you continue, I want you to know this. As stated before the mission you were assigned a week ago, you will still be knighted."

A loud gasp followed this, Ruby covering her mouth with her hoof, "Your majesty! You don't mean-"

"You have already proven yourself Ruby Scarlet. In fact, we were glad of the mission because we were originally going to have Princess Amore attend, but she was unable to last week."

"Princess Amore...she was-"

"Going to attend? Yes, she was and she still will. She is very proud of you, being the first crystal pony Royal Knight."

It was here that Ruby shook her head with her hooves, swirls appearing in her eyes. Too much information had entered her brain, causing her to almost start freaking out. She had been told that she going to be knighted a week ago, only to suddenly be assigned to a mission many miles away from the Two Sister's Castle. It was an emergency that came out of nowhere from a messenger pony, which she gladly accepted due to what she had heard what the mission was.

But despite this, her brain finally got it together as she knew she had to give her report. Knowing this, she lifted her head up high, a look of pure determination on her face. Then, she did a slight bow as she stated, "Your majesty Princess Luna, I will now give you my report."

"Good. Please, tell us everything." Luna gestured to the jakhowl couple, "After that, we shall tell you the good news."

"Understood." Ruby did a small nod. "Now, as you know, we got a message of a village under attack a week ago. Due to this, I was assigned a squad of thirty soldiers of Princess Celestia's along with myself, which you approved me as leader. As such, I led them to the town and..." She did a long pause, her face now showing both dread and hatred as she slightly glared at Sharp Paw. He could tell from her aura that she didn't want to say her next words, but despite this, she continued, "It was currently taken over by...Dark Mist."

As soon as the name came out of her mouth, the three other faces all turned into scowls, jakhowls now growling as Sharp exclaimed, "DARK MIST?! What was he doing there?!" he turned to Luna with fire in his eyes, "Why didn't you assign me to this mission?!"

"We didn't know it was him." Luna replied instantly, her own glare now piercing his vision. Despite this, it didn't make him falter, but he didn't reply. Seeing this, Luna looked back at Ruby, "What happened? Tell us everything."

Ruby took a deep breath, air filling her lungs as she replied, "Very well. It all started when we arrived just outside of the town..."


Three days ago...

Ruby's face could only show one emotion as she stared at the sight before her. She had seen monsters in this job, she had fought beside Princess Luna against crazed griffons, vicious bugbears and monstrous hydras. Despite this, the being before her was beyond anything she had ever seen.

In front of her and the group of knights she was with was a village of ponies, all in a circle in the town. The village was basic, a barrage of wooden homes, all fitted to similar sizes with the exception of a much larger building in the back of the town, though it was made of wood as well. But that sight wasn't what captivated them. It was the circle in the town, one that made them all gasp. There, the entire village population was bowing before a being sitting on a wooden throne, a chair placed on top of a hill in the middle of the town. Their bowing was mechanical in nature, their bodies repeatedly swaying up and down, showing they had been doing this for hours on end. As for the throne, on the seat was a fully-formed, bipedal Trickster, one that had a long scar down its right eye and three horizontal scars over its chest. The fox was shining a giant grin, his right claw patting a colt beside the throne. The colt had scars down its side, including one cutting down its entire left hoof, and it's form was shivering like a leaf as a stream of blood went down his mane.

"What...is this?" Ruby whispered as the knights behind her slightly backpedaled at the sight.

"Ah, hello knights of Equestria!" the Trickster proclaimed as he raised his claws into the air. "You finally arrived! Tell me, do you like my little village?" He gestured to the villagers, all of them constantly bowing over and over with dead looks in their eyes. "You see? They love me. I am superior to them, after all." The fox's claws went back down, his chin now resting on them as his grin grew, "Now...why are you all here?"

"We're here to save this village!" yelled one of the knights, Ruby turning and glaring at him.

"Stone Guard! Be silent!" Ruby ordered him, only for the solider to slightly backpedal. She took a deep breath and glared back at the throne, "Trickster! We are here to liberate this town from you and your forces! Surrender now or pay the price!"

In response, the Trickster just raised an eyebrow, a small snort coming out of his nostrils. "Oh? And why would I do that? I haven't done anything wrong, and don't have any forces." He gestured to the crowd, "After all, this town is mine! Everything in it is mine! Every pony, house, and life is mine!" His claw gripped the colt, his face contorting in pain. However, he didn't scream in pain. Instead, small tears went down his face as the fox leaned down to his ear, "Tell me, I own you, don't I?"

"You...you do...master." the colt squeaked out, another trickle of blood going down his face.

"Ki ki ki….ki ki ki!" the Trickster laughed, releasing his claw before leaning back in his throne. "Ki ki ki...ki ki ki...ah, that's brilliant! I love this so much! Ki ki ki...ki ki ki!"

"You..." Ruby growled, the other soldiers now all glaring at the fox. But as they did this, the fox just grinned at them.

"Oh please, do you not know who I am?" the Trickster pointed to himself, "After all, I am a being worthy of being worshiped. Why else would they be bowing before me?!"

"We don't who you are Trickster, and we don't care!" Ruby barked back, her horn now sparking. "As I said before, surrender now or we will use force!"

"Tsk tsk tsk...so impatient." he stood up, his claws now reaching for the sky, "All who obey me, tell them my name and worship me!"

And as he said this, the entire village kept bowing as they chanted. "MASTER DARK MIST! MASTER DARK MIST! ALL HAIL MASTER DARK MIST!!!"

The name continued to fill the air, their chanting now reaching every ear. Even Ruby went wide-eyed at this, a small shiver going down her spine. She had heard of this Trickster. He was the leader of the foxes, one that was feared across all of Equestria. His current wanted crime count was suspected to be over a hundred kills, not including arson, larceny, destruction, and too many other crimes to count. That, and he was her best friend Sharp Paw's greatest enemy, one he had spent years to hunt down.

Despite this, her fear soon disappeared as her horn sparked once more, a crystal sword appearing by her side. She pointed it at the fox, a loud piercing order coming out of your lips, "All soldiers! Prepare for battle!"

The yell destroyed their fear in an instance, swords, shields, and spears soon being unsheathed. And as they did this, the fox just giggled at the sight, his form leaning over the throne as he placed his claw on the colt again. "So...you wish to fight me?"

"WE DO!" she barked back, her sword now spinning in her hoof, "Surrender Dark Mist! Surrender right now!"

"Ki ki ki….ki ki ki...so sad." Dark Mist replied, shaking his head. "Seems I got no choice." He leaned back, his paws slowly going behind his head, "Eh, I was getting bored of this place anyways. Guess I gotta move on."

And as these words left his mouth, the fox's face changed. It was no longer one of disappointment or glee, but one that made the soldiers shiver. His eyes became like slits, a dark aura appearing around his body as a black flame encased both of his paws. He looked down at the group, the glare now gracing his face making even Ruby almost backpedal.

It was a look of pure killing intent.

The fox raised its paw, doing a loud snap. With this noise, the tone of his voice turned into one that sounded like a cold, emotionless machine, "All ponies close to the knights, throw yourself at them. Do everything you can to slow them down, I don't care what it is." The villagers all turned around, glaring at the group of soldiers with lifeless, dead eyes. And as they started to charge, a second snap happened, "The rest of you, set this village on fire. Burn everything. Leave nothing standing but ash."

As these two commands exited his mouth, every villager yelled, "YES, MASTER DARK MIST!"

Then, all Tartarus broke loose.

Before any of the soldiers could say anything, the villagers charged like a crowd of rampaging bulls. As this happened, what could only be described as a volley of torches appeared behind the approaching gang of attacking ponies, all ready to destroy the village in one fiery stroke.

"All earth ponies, push them back! Don't hurt them and push them back!" Ruby screamed over the roar of charging villagers, all of the earth pony soldiers immediately pulling up shields or bracing themselves for impact. As they did this, Ruby twisted her head back, "Pegasi, get some rain clouds now! We need water!"

"Yes ma'am!" they yelled before rocketing off to grab the nearest sky structures.

"Unicorns, follow my lead! Destroy any makeshift weapon these villagers have and use sleep spells! We must subdue them now!"

The unicorns followed her lead, a barrage of magic covering the area as it destroyed any weapon it could hit. The earth ponies did the same with their hooves, all quickly pushing the villagers back. They soon found that most of the attackers were starved and weak, making the push easy, but hard to not seriously hurt the controlled ponies.

And as this clash continued to happen, smoke could start to be seen in the village. Ruby saw this and gritted her teeth, her horn continually firing off spells. Seeing that flames were going to eventually surround them, Ruby let out one last order, "I'm going after Dark Mist! If we stop him, these villagers will be broken of his control!" She turned to the earth pony soldier right beside her, "Stone Guard, throw me over this crowd. After that, you're in charge! Subdue these villagers and then take out this fire!"

"Yes ma'am!" He took her hoof and lifted her up over his body, "Good luck!"

"Won't need it. I'm taking that fox down!" Ruby barked back before being flung over the villagers, her horn summoning a small crystal platform in mid-air to help her hop over the chaotic mass. It was here that she landed at the makeshift throne from earlier, only to notice it was now empty. She looked around it, now seeing Dark Mist just off in the distance. He still had the colt with him, the foal being firmly gripped and bleeding in his left claw.

She glanced up and saw Dark Mist's destination, a mansion at the back of the village. The crystal pony quickly raced down the throne's hill, her hooves in full gallop as her horn started to flare. But as she kept increasing speed, she felt a small strain in her head, making her horn stop glowing.

"No...I need as much magic as I can muster when I get to him directly." she said to herself. "Gotta conserve. Gotta win." It was here that she saw Dark Mist enter the mansion, her trot just a minute behind getting there. And as that minute passed, she slammed into the mansion doors, knocking both off their hinges. "DARK MIST! FACE ME, YOU COWARD!"

No response.

Ruby came to a stop as she noticed there was no sound in the building. Granted, her ears could hear the chaos outside, but nothing inside. She could feel a single tear of sweat go down her face as she started racing through the structure, going to each room, only to find nothing. And as she went to the back of the house, now arriving in the dining room of the mansion, her ears picked up a metallic sound.

The sound of a hammer.

She started staring at the room, not seeing a single door since it was just a back room in the house. Despite this, she kept hearing the noise. "Why is there-"

"Seriously?!" interrupted a voice, making Ruby turn to see Dark Mist behind her. It was here that she saw the wall behind him, showing an opened door. But there wasn't a door there before, it was actually a hidden door. Unfortunately, she couldn't be too mystified by the sight, as the fox standing before her was giving a deadly, spine-tingling glare. And with a giant snort, he continued, "You stupid knights really don't know when to quit, do you? I already told them to burn this whole place to the ground! Why try to save it?!"

Ruby grit her teeth as his words, growling at the dark statement, "We'll save everypony in this village and stop you!" Her horn shined as a crystal sword appeared at her side, "Surrender Dark Mist, or face the consequences!"

And as she pointed the blade at the monster, he just shined a cheeky grin, chuckling at the sight, "Ki ki ki...really? And what consequences could you possibly make me face?"

"You would seriously ask that after what you've done?!"

"Oh, I do. After all, I haven't done a single wrong thing in my book." The fox raised his claw next, a massive thick black dark aura covering it, "Now, get out of way. My business with this trash bin of a town is almost done, and I don't need any interruptions."

"Not a chance! You're going down!" Ruby yelled as she fired the blade at the fox...but he didn't dodge. He didn't even try to move his claw as the sword struck his chest. "Wha…"

"Is that it?" Dark Mist asked as he looked down at the sword in his chest, only to see that only the tip of its blade had pierced his skin. His claw touched the sword, shattering it with a single tap.

"Im...impossible." Ruby gasped as she saw her weapon disappear.

"Surprised?" Dark Mist replied as he glanced back up at her, the aura that surrounded his claw now consuming his entire body, "That is my power. I am Dark Mist, a superior being compared to you." He raised both claws, both now filled with darkness yet again. "Now, leave me be. I don't have time for you."

Ruby could feel several tears of sweat going down her face, fear clenching her heart as she stared at the fox. But as she stared at him...her horn started to glow. Before she could do anything, a multitude of crystal blades surrounded her being, all pointing at the beast in front of her.

"I'll never give up Dark Mist! You will not win!" Ruby screamed as her horn flared, all the blades leaning back as she readied to fire them, "I will beat you, and you will-"

SHING!

"Gurgh-ck!" Ruby yelped as she felt her back slam into the wall behind her, a claw now clenching her neck, strangling her. The blades she was about to fire were now dust on the floor, her eyes twitching as she felt her body slowly being raised up. She could no longer feel the ground with her hooves, her face cringing as she felt pain all over.

Dark Mist was now holding her by the neck with one claw, pushing her into the wall with ease. The fox just shook his head, "I told you, I'm superior." His grip tightened, causing a tiny yelp to come out of her mouth, "Did you really think you could beat me? I've spent I don't know how many days sucking the aura out of these 'ponies' here. I have more power to spare than I could ever want right now."

Ruby's horn started to make sparks as he monologued, but Dark's grip increased again, making it stop. "Oh no you don't. I won't let you-"

"Master!" interrupted another voice, making Dark turn and glare at its owner. It was the colt from before, his form shivering like a leaf.

"What?! Why are you interrupting my fun?!"

"It...it is finished."

Dark Mist's glare instantly disappeared, a giant grin now shining on his face. "Oh, is it now? Good..." He turned back to Ruby, slowly leaning up to her and whispering, "Thanks for the entertainment. You serve Princess Luna, right? Tell her I did all of this, this...so-called 'town' and its suffering, its despair, its agony...its all because of them. I did this because she and those jakhowl exist. I will win. Both against her and Sharp Paw."

With that, he slung her across the room like a ragdoll, the unicorn letting out a pained cry as she fell to the floor, slumping over as tears of pain started to appear in her eyes. But despite this, she quickly started to try and get up, her head slowly lifting up. And as she tried to do this, she saw Dark Mist disappear into the hidden door. Her hooves shook in pure pain as she tried to get up, a moan coming next as she started to stand up.

"Ugh...ohh….I gotta…"

"Ki ki ki...ki ki ki! YES! At last!" laughed Dark Mist behind the hidden door. Before she could do anything, the fox walked out of the door, his claw now holding a small dark red gem in his fingers. Ruby could only blink at the sight as Dark Mist continued to laugh, "Ki ki ki...ki ki ki! With this, I've won! I've won! Ki ki ki...ki ki ki!"

Then, he turned and glared down at Ruby. The sight made a shiver go down her spine, the look on his face now showing nothing but malice....combined with joy.

"I'm done little knight. All's well that ends well."

With that, he put the gem in his long charcoal mane and went to a nearby window, his claw smashing it to bit with a single strike. The sight was the last she saw of the fox, his form leaving the house like it was nothing. And as she tried to follow him, her form struggling to stand up, she heard the sounds of crying behind her. Looking back at the hidden door, she went in and found two ponies at the end of some hidden stairs. There, a large forge rested with a stallion and the colt from earlier. The stallion was bare bones, obviously overworked with little food or water, and was hugging the colt. She could figure out that it was the colt's father, which after a few moments, she helped them out of the room.

It wasn't long till Ruby left that mansion with the colt and his father. It turned out, the father was also the mayor of the village, who ended up getting manipulated by Dark Mist first. Thanks to this, Dark Mist quickly overtook the village. As for what he was making for the fox, all he knew is that it was a gem. The mayor used to be a jeweler, but didn't know why or how the fox could even use the jewel to do anything. He just said that the gem was just that...a gem. Ruby wasn't convinced, but she knew he wasn't lying.

As for the everypony else, Dark Mist's control disappeared as soon as he left the town. Ruby found that no solider was in critical condition despite the villagers attacking them, having successfully put them to sleep or subdue with little harm done. Only Ruby had real injuries, though as the villager count happened, they found they did lose a few lives to the fires and smoke. Despite all their attempts to save everypony, there were also villagers that died due to what Dark Mist had done before all of this. As such, the soldiers and Ruby left the village enpty-hoofed and broken, the villain having got away.


"And that...concludes my report."

Luna, Sharp Paw and Calm Paw just stood there, speechless as Ruby shivered in place. She could feel the tears about to appear in her eyes as she finished telling the tale of her failure. As for the rest, the jakhowls gave each other a glance, Calm Paw now showing more despair on her face while Sharp's expression twisted into one of pure anger.

"Dark Mist...you monster." he hissed as a blue flame consumed both of his paws. "I can't believe this...you..."

"Oh...oh Ruby..." Calm whimpered as she went up and hugged the crystal pony. This was followed by Luna, both hugging her as tightly as they could.

Ruby barely embraced back, her whole form shaking as she whispered, "Thank you..."

"No need to thank us my friend." Luna added as she patted Ruby on the back, "No need to thank us at all." Luna glanced up and glared at Sharp, "Sharp, please...join us."

Sharp snapped back into reality at these words, the flames in his paws instantly dying down. Hearing this command, he muttered out, "Sorry." With that, he joined the hug as well.

The embrace continued for another few minutes, tears now flowing down Ruby's face before Luna let go. The other two followed this, the princess tapping Ruby's shoulder to get her attention. Feeling this, Ruby stared up at Luna, a huge frown on her face, "Princess...I'm sorry. I...after that, I don't deserve to be-"

"Stop." Luna interrupted as she placed her hoof on Ruby's lips. "Don't say another word. Just nod or shake your head at my next question. Okay?" Ruby gave a silent nod. "Good. Now, do you regret failing this mission?" Another nod. "And do you wish to still fight, to do whatever it takes to protect others as you vowed to me when you first became my student?" Another nod. "And...do you wish to be with Princess Amore? To help her...and Sombra?" A blush came first before another nod. "Good."

Luna turned away, gesturing them to follow her. It was here that they left the hallway, now entering a throne room. To the side were several jakhowl, all in attendant wear as they were carrying various things around. They all bowed to the princess as she went to the throne, her horn glowing as a box from behind the chair levitated over the furniture. She soon opened it with her magic, revealing a long jet black blade with a moon symbol at the hilt.

"I have this blade prepared when I train a Royal Knight. I don't get to knight the student, so I had this made for...my own ceremony." She turned back to Ruby, a proud smile on her face, "Ruby, come forward and bow." The knight did so, the tips of her mane now touching the floor, "Though you will be truly knighted when Princess Amore comes to greet my sister, I wish to do my own as well. Do you accept this?"

"I do."

The blade tapped both of her shoulders as Luna announced, "Arise, Ruby Scarlet. Though I do not chose your title, you are now a Royal Knight in my name."

The sword left her shoulder as Ruby looked up, a small smile now appearing on her face, "Thank you, your majesty."

Luna put the sword by her side and winked, "But of course. Now..." She glanced at Calm Paw, "Before we really celebrate, which Ruby will end up doing again back at my sister's place, I believe you have some good news?"

Calm Paw nodded with a giant smile, tears now flowing down her cheeks, "Ruby...um...the news is...uh..."

"What?" Ruby asked as she tilted her head at her old jakhowl friend. "What is it Calm?"

"I'm...I'm pregnant."

Ruby let out a gasp, putting her hooves over her mouth, "Really?! Calm Paw...you're..."

Calm nodded again. "Yes. Me and Sharp are...are having...our own little jakhowl. I...I wanted to tell you first. Well, after Princess Luna, of course."

Tears started to appear in Ruby's eyes again as she let out a squeal, "Oh my gosh! You're gonna have a little jakhowl!" She ran up and hugged the jakhowl, the two laughing as Luna and Sharp shared a smirk. Before they knew it, Ruby and Calm pulled them into the hug as well, all four now laughing with tears of joy going down their faces.

And as these friends all hugged each other, there were seven figures watching the scene. They were all ponies, three pegasi, two earth ponies, one unicorn, and an alicorn. The group were all watching with curiosity and confusion, some rubbing their chins in thought while the others just glumly frowned at the sight.

"I don't understand." a purple alicorn spoke up first as she looked at her companions, "What is this? Just...what are we watching?"