• Published 5th Apr 2019
  • 2,890 Views, 146 Comments

The Alchemist's Dream - L Drkheart

Spike has grown as an outcast in dragon society with one exception but he is now leaving the safety of his home for the mystery of the world he had been denied.

  • ...

Magic or Might? Pt 1

Canterlot. Just the name of the city sounded foreign and interesting to the young dragon. While he excitedly wanted to rocket up the stairs to the city, Spike was content with telling Shining Armor about his journey there and about his run-in with the criminals he knew as the Diamond Dogs. Shining Armor explained that they had been stealing gemstones from tourists that were trying to get to Canterlot and just plainly being a pain to the guard.

“Well you did manage to at least get them to the gates and even beat two by yourself, I heard the stories of dragons being tough but didn’t expect one so small to be so capable.” Spike rubbed his neck and shook his head at the compliment.

“I don’t know about capable, I just happen to be lucky and had a lot of tricks in my sleeve.” Shining rolled his eyes with a small smile gracing his lips.

“Oh great, another person who can’t accept a compliment. You and my sister may have more in common than I thought, maybe she was a dragon in disguise this whole time.” Spike opened his mouth to question him on his sister, wondering on what exactly he meant but was silenced as they reached the city. The pearl-white ground was flawless and had grooves here and there that let rushing water escape the city. Apart from the sight of gold and white, numerous ivory towers with golden spires were scattered around. A barrage of different smells and colors that Spike had never seen together all overloaded his senses. Shining looked at the young dragon and smiled kindly while letting a chuckle out. “Well, I guess you may want a short tour before heading to the palace. I have to admit that even to someone like me who has lived here my whole life, the beauty never gets old.”

Spike’s attention and mind were ripped away as he noticed the ponies nearby, waving a bit at them they all scattered. He pulled his hand back and Rover’s words returned to haunt the dragon. “You think the ponies around here would accept a dragon? They hate your kind more than they hate mine.” As Shining began to explain some knowledge he knew of the city’s history, Spike hid behind the captain and hugged one of his hind legs.

“Umm… you okay there dragon boy?” Shining looked around and noticed that several ponies were whispering things and pointing towards him. He shook his head at the actions and used his magic to lift the dragon and put him on his back. “I get it kid, while we like to call Canterlot a town that accepts everyone it isn’t too often that we have to put that to the test. Most of these nobles have no backbone so a dragon, even a baby one, walking through town will gain a few rumors and stares. I say you ignore them, it’s what I do. Ow! Okay, when you ride a pony you grab their mane, not their neck.” Spike smiled sheepishly as he removed his claws from Shining’s neck and just grabbed the mane. It was silky and soft between his fingers.

“T-thanks captain… you are the first pony I ever met really so this is all really different to me.”

“I’m captain to those who serve under me, just call me Shining.”

“Okay Shining, call me Spike.” The two shared a smile and Spike pulled out his journal, writing down the bits of knowledge that Shining would say and sketching the buildings that he found unique. The first one they came upon that looked different was one where filly unicorns were coming in and out. “Hey Shining, what’s that place?”

“That is Princess Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns, it’s where the most promising magic users of the next generation go to learn from the princess herself. My sister was the prize student of her entire class but I think that she kind of gave up her fillihood for the title. At least now she is making up for that lost time but yeah I always thought the place could use a bit more excitement.” Spike wondered if he was letting his own youth escape him, most would find spending all your time mostly alone in a cave to be a waste.

“So who is this Princess Celestia you keep mentioning?” Shining blinked in confusion as he stared at the dragon.

“W-who is… they don’t tell you about her over in the Dragon Lands? She is our benevolent ruler and the one who raises the sun every morning. A pony of extreme power and wisdom, she is our protector and greatest offense against any foe. Up until recently she also had control over the moon but thanks to some certain ponies her sister Luna has rejoined her in peace.”

“D-do you think they’ll mind having a dragon like me in their presence?”

“About as much as I do which I don’t so that’s a no. Trust me, Spike, if you could only trust one pony in this city then always go with the princesses.” They soon approached another building which Spike excitedly pointed to once he recognized the smell of paper and old scrolls. “That is the library or you can say it was my sister’s home, she spent all her time there and would have lived there if the staff didn’t force her out. You’re book junkie?”

‘Well not really a junkie but I really like finding out new things and dragons don’t have many uses for books so I read all I could. They are what helped me with my alchemy.”

“Oh right, the science magic you mentioned before.”

“It’s not really magic but yes. So I seem to like all the places your sister used to take a liking to, why not show me where you used to hang out and I’ll see if you have any taste as she does.” Spike teased the stallion as Shining laughed at the challenge and gave it just a moment of thought.

“Oh, you wanna see where the best magic in all the universe is made? That is where I used to hang out.” Spike felt his excitement grow as they galloped off and after a few minutes they arrived at a small shop. “Welcome to where the magic is made.” Spike jumped off the stallion and tilted his head at the sign above the door and at the giant pink round thing.

“Joe’s Donut Shop? What is a donut and what makes them so magical?” Shining put an arm over Spike’s shoulders before he gave him a smile.

“I could tell you but I think it would work better to show you.” Spike only had to walk one step into the shop as the scents of what he guessed was magic and all that was good in this world all rolled up together assaulted his being. Shining nodded at the reaction as he had a very similar one when he was a colt but he would never admit that. He waved at Donut Joe and introduced him to the drooling dragon that was staring at the donuts behind the glass. Shining explained the situation of Spike not even know what donuts were so the kind stallion gave Spike a freebie. The dragon eagerly took a bite of the donut before inhaling the rest of it. “Well, I guess the stories of a dragon’s appetite weren’t exaggerated huh Joe?”

“No siree Shinin, but all the donuts the boy eats are coming out of your pocket heh.”

“Very funny but sure why not? I get paid a royal salary as captain of the guard anyway. How much could he eat?” An hour later, the two left with Spike licking his claws and Shining nearly brought to tears by the bill. “W-where did he put it all?!”

“Hey Shining? What is that place? It smells old.” They were in front of a place that Shining actually enjoyed a lot; the Canterlot Ancients Museum.

“Oh, this is the museum where Princess Celestia had donated a lot of artifacts that she had collected over the years. I personally enjoy the war section that shows old weapons and strategies the ponies of the past came up with to win amazing fights.”

“Is it all pony history? Do you think that place could show me how to be a guard like you?”

“Well most of it is but I did see an armor set that seemed to match the body of a dragon, it was said Celestia made it for the loyal dragon that stayed in Canterlot and protected it when all the others left to the Dragon Lands. He was said to have died in battle but his armor was magically reinforced so pony magic would have no effect on the wearer. As for fighting like me, I think you are missing a point. You aren’t me kid, you have abilities that I don’t and I have some you don’t. You need to fight like Spike.”

“Is there any truth to that and what if I’m not enough?” Shining shrugged but rubbed the top of Spike’s head.

“I never really thought so but seeing you here and how you seem to be a pretty good guy makes me want to believe in the old story. All you need to do is have a bit of trust in yourself and when the time comes you’ll know what to do. Come on kid we still have a whole city to see before I take you up to Canterlot Castle.” With that, the two proceeded to wreak peaceful havoc across the city. For Spike, it was as if one of his childhood wishes was finally coming true. He loved Ember like she was his sister but he wouldn’t have minded a bit of male companionship and with Shining he felt like he finally had the brother he always wanted. Shining was feeling a lot of the same but different at the same time. He loved Twilight, more than anything else in the world, but she was always so different from him and while he wanted to spend time with her, in the end, he would choose to walk away and leave her to her studies.

This time, however, he would make good on his job as a sibling and help this dragon. Maybe it was because of the strange connection he felt to him, deep down he felt as though he was with a young Twilight again. He took the young dragon to the Opera House where they were thrown out after laughing loud at one of the olden lines. Spike made the mistake of looking into the windows of the local dance studio and when Shining looked in also the mares inside yelled at him being a pervert and the two ran away as fast as they could.

They found themselves hiding and a dark store as the stampede of mare ran past, both males let out a loud sighed as they leaned against the door. Spike was the first to break the silence.

“Never thought being chased by girls would be a bad thing.”

“Well, I had this happen to me before and let me tell you it can be a workout. Of course, you may never experience it again without me there heh.”

“Oh ho ho is the loyal and chivalrous Shining Armor secretly a lady killer? This is something I have to see.” The two laughed at the teasing until a creaking sound from nearby made them jump. Shining made his horn glow as Spike pulled out one of his spheres and prepared to throw it. “C-come out!”

“Show yourself!”

“How rude, treating a woman like a criminal in her own store.” The voice belonged to an orange, anthropomorphic feline who was dressed in a red dress that had black trimmings. The coat looked like some kind of fur, which made Spike and Shining share a look. She had ten rings, one for each finger, that seemed to glow a different color. The strangest thing that stood out to Spike were those rings, an aura of evil surrounded them and the cat’s eyes examined her guests as if they were prey. “So what brings the captain of the royal guard and… a young dragon running into my company? I would guess from those looks that you don’t know who I am.”

“I been all around Canterlot for my whole life and never seen you before, who are you?” While Spike put his potion away, Shining kept his horn glowing but it only seemed to amuse the cat lady.

“I am new to town in a sense, call me Katrina~ I own the Curio Shop that you are standing in now. It is full of the trinkets and relics I had collected over my many travels. Now my dear stallion, I do believe that you are late for a certain engagement.”

“I don’t know what you-” Shining was caught off guard as the nearby clocktower began to ding and he grabbed Spike as they were already meant to have arrived at the castle. He burst through the door and galloped all the way up to the castle. ‘How did she know?! I need to check this out on my own, if she is dangerous I’ll take my concerns to the Princesses.’
Katrina smirked as she twisted one of her rings as it glowed. “Heh I’ll see you soon enough my dear stallion and then I’ll finally get what I deserve!”

. . .

“Change. It is a constant in life and I wondered if I would ever be strong enough to meet that constant but right here, right now, I think I am choosing something else. I can sense at this moment as I lay on this bed and the sunsets that there will be challenges coming where I will not be enough. Maybe the day comings where I don’t get to see the sunrise but until that day I want to-”
Spike was cut off from his writing from a weird sound outside his door. He and Shining had arrived at the castle just in time but found that there was an accident at a nearby town that called the Princess Celestia’s immediate attention and Princess Luna was resting for the night when here she would lift the moon. Spike didn’t even get a glance at her before they were pushed out of the throne room by the crowd that was all trying to talk to the princess. Shining questioned what he should do before he took Spike to one of the old towers inside the city.

“This is my sister’s old hangout that the princess gave her. She doesn’t use it anymore and I haven’t had the time to clean it but if you don’t mind the mess you can use it for now. The tower was indeed dirty with books scattered everywhere and cobwebs in every corner of the room but Spike smiled as the place felt like home. “I think I can make something of this place. Thanks, Shining.”

“No problem Spike now I have some business before taking up guard duty again so try to not work too hard on this place, you’d need to be a miracle worker to have it clean.” Naturally, Spike had cleaned it in two hours. He picked up every book and arranged them correctly before he pulled out some small blue pellets that he had made, as he crushed them they created a blue smoke cloud and after blowing a bit of fire, the smoke seeped into the ground and made it glossy and sparkle. He decided to leave the cobwebs as he felt there was no need to destroy them.

As Spike walked to the door he stopped and noticed that a red gas was seeping into the room by the crack at the bottom of the tower door. He kneed and examined the gas before deciding that if it was of any danger to him it would have done its damage already. Judging by the color and how thick it seemed to be, he concluded that it was from a potion of sorts not unlike those he had created. He ignored the knocking as he didn’t know what the gas had done to the ponies and how far the gas reach had gotten.

He glanced out the window on the second floor and thankfully all the ponies below were fine but the red gas had seemingly overtaken the entire city. Spike opened the window as a figure flew from the castle to the center of town, it was… what exactly Spike didn’t know. It was a pony of some sort but he knew from Shining that there were three main types, Earth, Unicorn, and Pegasus. This creature had elements of all three and a long flowing mane that resembled black flames. Her eyes were black with white slits for pupils but the rest of her face was covered by a strange mask. She looked over the city before creating a sphere of magic above her for the whole city to see, after a moment the sphere flickered and a face appeared.

“Hello, ponies! I see you all have enjoyed a whiff of my sweet concoction! How nice to see happy customers but it has come to my attention that there are two in Canterlot who have yet to enjoy the new sensation. As your new queen, I want every pony hunting for the dragon and Princess Luna who seemed to have escaped her room. Oh, and before anyone gets any fancy ideas, Celestia darling~” The alicorn screamed as the mask sent shocks to her brain and her horn glowed, gathering all the gas in the city and surrounding the city in a vortex of smoke. Keeping any pony out and every being in. Katrina began to laugh as crimson lightning sparked in the vortex and the sky turned a bloody red. Spike could only look on and grit his teeth in anger as the wind blew violently around him and he glared at the image of the cat woman.


Author's Note:

(Sooo I lied, turns out that I had more time than I thought and while I was planning to make this invasion one big chapter I thought it was more dramatic and better for me if I turned it into a two-parter. I have a fair amount of ideas for the next chapter and looks like we'll have to wait a while longer until Spike meets the Mane Six. Oh and I wonder if anyone recognizes the villain I used for this? I hope you all enjoyed part one of two, the Canterlot Invasion or Magic or Might.)