• Published 29th Sep 2019
  • 1,566 Views, 51 Comments

A Filly Lost For One Thousand Years - dicerollball



Cozy Glow had decided to run away to the far off arctic lands that housed the Crystal Empire. Doing this was a dire mistake that'd last for thousands of years.

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Chapter 3: They Prepared For The Worst

[Fair warning, this chapter gets dark.]

The night was like any other. There were public appearances to be made, meetings to attend, and disputes to hurriedly settle. Princess Celestia was a busy mare as always.
Despite towering over everypony else she felt to rule and take responsibility for her realm she must bow down to the masses and tend to their needs with care. For this she found herself on her throne late at night instead of dozing off within her comfortable bed in the castle of the two sisters. A pleasantly quiet home but filled to the brim with letters and parchments to keep her stuck in her seat for days. She hurriedly went through each scroll to sign an appeal, write down orders, regulate terms, and etc. Besides her during her work, though awfully silent, was her young sister Princess Luna.

After a while Celestia bit her lip, glanced over at the smaller alicorn, and guided a parchment over to her sister with her shimmering yellow magic. Using a quill she pointed at a sentence on the lengthy document.

Luna didn’t have much to do as Celestia did but she still offered help whenever help was needed, “Thou silly for using big words as this.” She grumbled as she shared her older sister’s frustration, “Looks to be, in short, they’re asking for your approval or disapproval on their rather questionable methods for their community farm.”

“What’s so questionable about their request?” Celestia asked with a small smile as she pulled the scroll back.

“Well for one, pony-made fires to purposely burn through forests shouldn’t be anywhere near a farm in the first place. What in the cosmos are these foals thinking?” Luna huffed.

“Are thou a farm pony?”

“No, but we don’t set our resources or food ablaze!” The younger sister’s voice boomed throughout the throne room.

“Ah- inside voice dear sister.” Celestia rubbed her ears, “You do not need to use the royal voice while you’re here with just me... and two guards.”

The guards nearby perked up at attention when addressed.

With a sigh, Luna lowered her voice, “Of course. Apologies, sister.”

As the two began to settle in comfortable silence once again, the large double doors at the end of the throne room were sternly pushed open by two other armored stallions standing just outside. Beyond these doors revealed a small group of soldiers and one grim looking crystal unicorn the princesses recognized. Celestia noted how dull the familiar pony looked. This must be a very serious case.

“Your majesties,” A guard by the door gruffly spoke, “The squadron stationed at the eastern side of the Crystal Empire have arrived with dire news.”

The taller alicorn lowered her scrolls and sat up, “The Canterlot Bravo team? What happened?”

“The empire is under attack,” A pegasus stepped forward and lifted his helmet to reveal eyes similar to a crystal pony’s. How odd, Luna thought, the stallion’s pelt looked nothing like the crystal mare besides him. Whether he was dim with upsetting emotions or bright with joyful glee the younger alicorn couldn’t even tell for this leading soldier looked like nothing more but an average pegasus.
Celestia herself was more used to the soldier’s appearance and gave an understanding glance towards her confused sister.

“A unicorn by the name Sombra has taken out Princess Amore and now threatens to conquer the empire itself as king. He has power we’ve never even heard of before-“

“And he’s my friend!” The crystal unicorn interrupted as she hurriedly passed the guard and made her way before the two princesses, “I don’t know what happened but- Sombra isn’t usually like this. He’s nice and kind. He’s willing to understand others! Princess Celestia, Princess Luna, please. Save the empire but please help him as well! He can be helped. I know he can. Sombra isn’t evil.”

Celestia stared down at the mare in consideration. Her body didn’t move except for the flow of her mane. It seems, that for one moment, the Princess had just frozen even after the room went silent.

“Sister?” Luna looked up with concern.

Finally she stirred, “What is your name, dear?” The older alicorn gently asked.

“Hope. Radiant Hope.”

“Hope. You were accepted just recently to work under me and Luna.... I must apologize, this is a lot to take in at once. Princess Amore... is she really..?”

The crystal unicorn gave a solemn nod, “Yes. Sombra has turned her to stone, shattered her, and scattered the pieces. She’s... dead. I’m so sorry Princess...”

“No need to apologize. This was not your doing. Now we need to act urgently. The empire is currently under attack, correct?”

The pegasus responded, “Yes your majesty.”

“Then get your soldiers ready and trained for battle. We must depart as soon as we’re able.”

“We’re going to need information, first.” Luna interjected, “We cannot go into battle without knowing who we are dealing with. What if the elements are required?”

“Of course sister. This’ll take some time but the sooner we are all ready... the better. First, I want scouts around the Empire. Is the Alpha Team still out there?”

“We haven’t heard from them but it is assumed they should be, yes.” The leading soldier walked up besides Hope.

“Then thy shall be our lookouts." Celestia snatched up an empty parchment with her magic to write down more requests and notices.

Luna was next to speak in her booming royal voice, "Good! Thou shall stay back and train! We must prepare for whatever spells this unicorn could inflict upon us and all of Equestria!"

The soldiers all had to restrain themselves from flinching. Celestia meanwhile was too busy to care. A lot was now on her mind and her dear friend, Princess Amore, was now gone... What was she to do first in a situation like this? Make a funeral? Make an army? Did she have to grab the elements? This unicorn... This Sombra... He ended royalty.
She was just scribbling away a lengthy note when the pegasus caught her attention once again.

"Your majesty? A word?"

Celestia looked up to see the rest of his squadron already departing. Luna had moved and was now by the entrance speaking with the crystal unicorn, Radiant Hope. Oh dear... it seems she might've been a tad bit distracted with her work once again.
"Ah... Yes. Is something the matter?"

"Well you see, if it's not too much trouble... I'd like to join the Alpha Team on their scouting mission along the Empire's borders. Please understand, I have family there. I want to make sure that my brothers are safe."

"But what of your team? They may need a leader and you're one of the best they have."

"I understand that, but I can assure you princess I already have a second-in-command who is just as much of a leader as I. He can take care of the Bravo team for me. Besides, somepony has to check on the Alpha team. If you are to send a messenger out, that messenger is going to need protection. I can protect them." He tapped a hoof on his chest to assure the princess of his strength.

Celestia considered the partly-crystal soldier in front of her, "... Thou makes a compelling argument. I understand your concern and I am pleased to see how thou cares for thy family. Very well. We will allow thou to make haste for the Empire along with our messenger. We will tell you shortly when you both shall be departing. Dismissed."

The pegasus bowed his head, "Thank you, princess." Then he turned and made his way out through the doors, passing Luna and Hope as he did so.

"-Sombra was once just a lost foal found in the snow." The crystal unicorn sighed as she retold King Sombra's history to Luna, "He couldn't say much, just his name. I met him in the orphanage we both lived in and we became great friends... He accepted me and played games with me."

"What changed?" Luna asked, "What turned him into how he is today?"

"Well... Every crystal fair he got really sick. One day, it got worst. He almost disappeared entirely! It was horrifying. His body just started falling apart. I managed to save him and heal his body before he vanished completely. Ever since then however, he became more distant. When I tried to tell him about your letter a couple days ago he ran off... The next time I saw him he... became what he is now. I'm sorry, I wish I knew more."

"Don't be." Celestia walked up to the two, "What you have told us now gives us some idea as to what has happened. Thank you Radiant Hope for coming here and sharing this information..."

"If it helps the empire and my friend then... of course." Hope bowed her head, "Please. Do what you can."

"We will try. For now, you are welcome to stay as our guest until all of this is over. Make yourself at home and get some rest. You look like you need it after all this." One of Celestia's wings opened up to gesture towards one of her servants waiting by the door. The mare, once acknowledged, nodded towards Hope and lead the way out into the expansive maze-like halls of the castle.
Hope gave the princesses one last glance before trailing after her guide.

Once the princesses finally found themselves alone once again they gave each other a look.

Luna turned to her sister, "Does thou not find it odd a foal was found in the middle of nowhere among the snow?"

"Yes it is strange... and each crystal fair made him sick. Does thou know what this could mean, sister?" Celestia sighed, "The umbrum. Could this be their doing?"

"How would it? The crystal heart had sealed them all away."

"Either way... if it is, we might be dealing with more than we originally thought. Let us prepare a meeting. The sooner we get everything done... the sooner we can defeat Sombra."


Everything was... dark. There was no light. No sound. Just herself. Just nothing.

She sat in this abyss and quietly stirred. Every part of her body hurt. Her wings, her legs, and even her back. It felt like something was weighing her down to drag her back to the floor she tried to wake from. Nothing felt right. This all felt wrong...

With one eye, the filly glanced around. Nothing.

With on leg, she pushed herself up. Still nothing.

There was not a single soul in this endless blank void.

The young pegasus curiously tapped at the "floor" to find she was in fact standing on... something. What was this?

"Hello?" Cozy's voice echoed throughout this vast nothingness, "Anypony there?"

Then finally... something happened. The void began to shift and change around her. Colors and sound relentlessly attacked her senses as she tried to gather her bearings once again. She found herself stumbling forward and into a large hall of some sort. There was a soft red carpet lining the center, sunlight was pouring in through the gallery of enormous windows, and columns of intricate design helped shape a sort of regal atmosphere this place held. At the very end of this long hall was a tall throne.

The young filly's eyes glued onto that very throne as she made her way towards it. The reason for her awe-struck reaction was the fact that the top was shaped just like her cutiemark... A rook.

She stopped before the throne, smiled, and went to sit down. As she did, a crown appeared in her hooves. Though confused as to where it came from the filly did not resist to place it over her curled blue mane, "Is this real..?" Cozy questioned to no pony in particular. Not like she expected a response...

However to her surprise somepony did in fact respond. That somepony was a young familiar colt that was now by her side, "As real as it usually is, Empress Cozy."

She perked up and turned to see a white crystal colt with a swirly blue mane that spiked right through the top of his helmet. He wore silver armor and even had a blade strapped to his side. The glimmering armor could be the reason why she at first didn't notice the foal's clear lack of color, "Frosty? Did- Did you just call me Empress Cozy??"

"Of course." Frosty responded though in a more monotone voice than usual, "You became Empress of Equestria."

"That's- Wow! That's amazing!! Empress Cozy. Hah! I made it! My destiny! And you- you're a guard! Just like in our visions! I told you you'd be part of it! You're my guard, aren't you?" Cozy leaned against the side of her throne and smiled down at the other.

"Of course I am..." He sighed with a frown, "It was my destiny."

The pegasus blinked at this, "Hey... Why aren't you smiling? Aren't you happy? We're... We're living out our destinies! Our futures! Isn't that what you wanted..?"

Frosty gave the young empress a hesitant glance before giving off a weak smile, "No no. It's fine. Everything's... fine." His smile fell once again.

"... Frosty. You have to be happy about this! It's the greatest thing ever! Especially after everything we've gone through! Come on, you're my friend. Tell me what's wrong..."

The colt stared up at the large doors at the other end of the throne room "Well it's just... after today, I feel like we'll live up to our destinies. I feel like this is it for us."

"What..?" The filly sat up at this, "Frosty what're you-"

BOOM! An explosion rang out throughout the throne room. The windows fell apart and shattered into millions of pieces. Those shards fell along the blood red carpet and threatened to cut through any silly foal that dared tread upon them. A loud commotion could be heard through the now smashed panes. They screamed and they shouted at the top of their lungs,

"NO MORE COZY! NO MORE COZY! NO MORE COZY!"

The young empress hopped off of her throne and wildly flapped her wings, "What's going on??? What's happening?"

"It's a rebellion, empress." Frosty muttered as he took off his helment.

"But- But I'm the empress of Equestria!" Cozy turned to her friend, "Everypony is supposed to love me! We're supposed friends!"

"I'm afraid right now it doesn't seem that way." The colt growled as he tossed his guard helmet to the floor, "Because if I'm not your friend... then why would anypony else be?"


"Excuse me, sir? A letter from your wife." A sandy-colored messenger pegasus who had made her way into the soldier's barracks was now handing the former leader of the Bravo Team a sealed envelope.

He looked up from the saddlebags he had been prepping and gently grasped the note in his hooves, "Thank you... Are you the messenger pony Celestia will be sending later to the Empire?"

"Oh- yes sir. I am."

"Good. With our wings we could get to the Alpha squadron faster than if we were grounded." The stallion hummed as he used his teeth to tear open the given envelope.

"Oh, so you must be the soldier accompanying me. I really don't need the extra protection but- well it is nice to have somepony else out there with me I suppose. Especially on the brink of war." The messenger sighed as she sat herself down.

"If King Sombra were to find you during your travel to the Alpha Squadron he'd want information. We can't risk that." The soldier pointedly added before his eyes scanned through the the letter his wife had sent. "Now if we went above the clouds we could... gather.... What?" His once stoic expression melted into shock.

"What is it, sir?"

"My daughter... my daughter Cozy! She ran away!"


"Frosty..?" Cozy took several steps back as the young colt started to get closer, "Frosty what do you mean? We're friends aren't we? I'm your friend!"

"You're no friend of mine!" Frosty firmly announced, "You never were my friend and you never will be!"

Tears pricked at the edges of the filly's eyes, "Why're you saying all this? What did I do??"

"We hate you!" Frosty continued, "We all hate you! You're a terrible empress! A terrible friend! You're nothing! You should've stayed in Canterlot and you should've never put on that crown!"

"What did I do??" Cozy raised her voice in hopes for an answer.

"Nothing." Frosty growled, "Absolutely nothing... You failed us, and we're sick of failure. We don't need you."

Cozy's eyes teared up as she took another shaky step back. A crack could be heard underhoof. The field of shards now sat just behind her. She went to fly but for some reason her wings would not raise. She couldn't move a single feather.

"You want to know something Cozy? I pretended to be your friend." Frosty huffed, "I pretended to be nice and caring because that's what you have to do in Equestria. You say hello, you be kind, and you get friends. The more friends the better... It doesn't matter if you care about them or not, just as long as they care about you. And from the looks of it I won. I have power over you. Power you don't have. You can't hurt me Cozy, admit it! You care about me don't you? But guess what?"
He made his way closer to the cowering filly until their noses both touched, "I don't care about you." With a rough shove the pinky filly flew straight into the glass floor behind her.

SMASH!
Cozy let out a loud scream as burning pain pierced through her legs and traveled along her body. Something stabbed through her wings and skewered up her face. However the moment she hit the ground... everything shattered. The floor disappeared underneath her and the room vanished high above her. As she tried to catch onto something she found herself falling back into the dark abyss below as streaks of red trailed behind her.

From above, Frosty's laugh still echoed throughout the vast nothing that surrounded the lost pegasus.


"Are you sure you'll be alright?"

The messenger didn't expect to make a stop to Canterlot but she wasn't complaining too much. Though they were on a time crunch any excuse to stay away from the empire was an excuse she'd take. From what Celestia had told her she could only imagine the disaster going on out in that shining city. Best if she could at least delay that experience herself for a while if she could. Not that this excuse was something to be happy about, however...
The soldier who was to protect her was suddenly told his daughter had ran away. He wanted nothing more but to help search for her but his wife, the spa pony, was now trying to persuade him to continue on with his job. She even dragged him all the way back to the train station in hopes to convince him.

"We have family all over," The wife consoled, "She probably ran to a town with one of them in it. If anypony were to find her they'll give us a letter, I'm certain. The only one we won't be sure of for a while, from the sounds of it, is The Crystal Empire. It's a terrible thought but... what if she-" Her voice staggered as she worriedly glanced away.

"What if she ran to the empire?" The stallion finished with a sigh, "I understand that logic. But why would she go there? Why would she run away in the first place?"

"..." The wife shook her head. She was unable to respond, at first.

The messenger pony nearby was swinging her hind legs off the side of the bench she sat on. Should she say something?

"We had an argument." The spa pony admitted, "She wanted to be a lot like you... I denied her that. So she must've ran to the empire to find you. To- To be like you. Cozy Glow could've been hoping to find you again. It's all my fault, dear. So please do this for me. For her. Please bring her home again."

"Oh..." The soldier looked away, "Alright. As absurd as it sounds, we shall take the next train to the Crystal Empire. If I see her... I'll let you know as soon as possible."

"Thank you... Please, stay safe. Both of you." She noted to the other pegasus nearby.

"Will do, ma'am. Thank you." The messenger saluted with a concerned smile.

The more fancier pony gave her husband a quick kiss before hurrying off back into the busy city of Canterlot. She vanished among the crowds after giving one more worried glance towards the train tracks beyond. Would her daughter really be all the way out at the Empire? Hopefully, if she is, she'll be found soon...

The stallion tiredly let out a sigh and joined the messenger mare at the bench, "It's going to be a long journey from here. Do you have everything you need?"

"Yes sir... I'm sorry about your little foal."

"It's fine. If she did go to the Crystal Empire then... perhaps we'll run into her soon. For now, lets just focus on regrouping."


Three guards possessing black helmets and sharp armor stormed into what was once a cozy cerulean blue home. Their hooves echoed throughout the grey walls and their search went from the kitchen to the top floor. Nopony was around, though there was some hint that perhaps there was activity recently.

As one soldier entered the master bedroom his ear perked at a sound just besides him. He turned and saw... nothing. Nothing but a large crack in the wall near the ceiling. A piece of stone fell right off and clattered onto the flooring underhoof. The guard let out a huff and resumed his search. Still there was nothing.

It wasn't long however before one of the guards found a certain room. Its door was left unlocked and open. They continued their search and found maps, parchments, and information of various kind. Once alerted of the newfound documents one soldier was assigned the task to bring everything to the castle.

There, King Sombra awaited and soon found himself immersed in the late strategist's writings. Well then...

Looks like there were a few ponies he had to deal with.


The messenger wasn't sure if she should be grateful or not that they both finally made it. The train ride was so long that she was itching to just jump right off it. She wasn't a fast enough flyer to match the speeding locomotive but she'd rather prefer stretching out her wings and taking the chance to dash across all of Equestria if it meant getting off her seat. However, the moment her and the soldier accompanying her had stepped into the frigid ice-cold snow she immediately wanted to turn and high-tail it out of there. She was grateful that the princesses entrusted her with delivering this important message to the upcoming scouting party but- did it HAVE to be in a BLIZZARD?

The soldier with her noticed her discomfort, "With our wings we can get above the cloud-line. From there we should be able to fly by this entire storm with no issue."

"I know... but then I'd have to put my hooves down on the snow again later..!" The messenger huffed as she flicked some of the ice off her hoof, "Plus it'll still probably be cold up there as well."

"Better then getting caught in this," The partly-crystal pony gestured to the raging winter wonderland that surrounded them both.

The messenger pony raised her wings in preparation, "Alright I'll stop my bellyaching. Let's just get this over with. The sooner I deliver you and this message to the Alpha team the sooner I can get home."

"Just a moment." The soldier raised a hoof and approached the messenger, "There's something we need to discuss."

"And what's that?"

"A unicorn this powerful could be a dangerous enemy. He can not get his hooves on a note like this. So, I want you to memorize the princess's letter. If King Sombra is out there and he finds us... we need to destroy it." The stallion sternly looked down at the mare, "We can not let him know the two sisters are after him. Is that clear?"

The messenger stared back with a serious gaze, "... Crystal."

The soldier blinked at this, "..."

... Snrk.

"Okay look-" The mare quickly tried to hide a smile, "Sir, I-I'm sorry-"

"I can't believe this. This is a very serious mission-" The stallion huffed as he turned away and raised his wings.

"Hah, wait-"

Too late. He already sprang up into the air and made ground towards the clouds high above, "-and you're giggling like a school filly!"

"Sir!" The messenger laughed before following after, "It won't happen again! I promise!"

The two raced into the storm together. The colors of their pelts splashed against the raging white blizzard around them as they soured higher into the sky. It wasn’t long before the messenger pony’s smile fell as she struggled against the bitter ice cold that now nipped at her nose and sank through her wings. A gasp escaped her as she nearly lost her balance midair.

The soldier ahead glanced back, “Come on messenger! We’re nearly there!”

“I’m flapping as fast as I can, sir!” She shouted with a tired breath.

“Don’t flap! Push! Use your wings to push the winds beneath your feathers! Each flap should propel you higher! Trying to be fast won’t get you to the top!” He urged as he continued on against the storm, “We’re almost there!”

She listened to the other’s advice and slowed her frantic flapping. Each beat of her wings was now purposeful and strong. Despite feeling like the storm was now pushing against her... she was also getting relatively higher as well. In fact, she soon found herself flying side-by side with the guard. The messenger would celebrate if she could but it wasn’t over yet! The clouds were coming closer and the cold attempted to thrust them away back into the tundra below. The two pegasi gave each other a glance, nodded, and charged right through the clouds with their eyes closed.

Not wanting their position to be possibly known from afar, the two had to hold back their strength from bursting the clouds away with one hit. Instead, they focused their hooves in one spot and tunneled their way right through. A difficult feat for regular pegasi, but these two were trained and knew that when it came to clouds it was all in the hooves and how gentle or rough they treated its surface. For this they had to be like a needle. They had to pierce through with the heavy weight of their forelegs and the light agility of their body. From there all they had to do was wait until finally- they popped up on the other side. Over the clouds and above the blizzard the two found themselves under the night sky with the stars shining overhead alongside the moon.

The messenger allowed herself to sigh as she hovered above it all, “Wow...”

“Focus.” The soldier turned to the other, “We still have a long way to go.”

The messenger nodded before turning her attention to the stars, “If we follow the bison and head northwest, we’ll find The Shimmering Peak Mountain. The scouting party should be just at the base of it.”

“Then let us make haste.” The partly-crystal soldier urged before dashing through the beautifully daunting night sky.

The messenger seemed hesitant at first. In the distance there were rolling dark clouds making their way through the storm. After considering the wind and trajectory however she assumed that their path would be clear of the possible thunderstorm that lay in the horizon. After giving the clouds one last glance she flapped her wings and trailed after the soldier now far ahead of her.

Surely it was nothing... right?


"Hmm... Where could she be?"

A muffled giggle rang out in the living room.

"Not a very good hider, are ya?" The stallion chuckled as he made his way over to the closet, "Is she hiding... here?"
The pegasus tugged the doors open to reveal no filly. Only old equipment and jackets.
"Hm. Guess not."

Another giggle. The father smirked as he playfully made his way over to the table, "How about... under here??" Nothing, of course, "Darn! Maybe you are pretty good at this!"

"I'm right here..! I'm not even trying!" The filly laughed out making the pegasus turn to the couch where an obvious pile of cushions and blankets sat.

The stallion went over and plucked one of the pillows up to reveal his daughter, Cozy Glow, buried underneath her fortress of comfort. With an amused smile he chuckled, "Hah! What're you doing in there?"

"I'm being Cozy!" She chirped before burying her face against the plush cushions.

"Little filly has a sense of humor now does she?" Her father placed the cushion back over her face, "Now I'm going to hide! Count to twenty and remember... No peeking this time. Got it?"

"Hehehe..." She removed the cushion off her face and smiled up at the older pegasus, "Crystal!"


"Sir?"

The stallion blinked and shook his head. He snapped his crystal-like gaze back towards the messenger pony beside him, "Yes? What is it?"

"You were blanking for a while there... Are you alright?"

"Fine." He grunted before turning his attention forwards once again, "We're almost there."

The mountains had come into view a long while ago. The two had been flying for what felt like forever. Luckily for them they mostly relied on gliding to get to their destination... doesn't mean they were starting to get exhausted, however. At least they didn't have to travel all the way here on hoof.

"..." The messenger slowly made her way closer to the soldier, "It's really nice how much you care for your family."

"What?" The other perked up.

"Well it's just- It's nice. Not a lot of ponies have that. Not a lot of ponies have somepony like you. And... I wish could help you but- I'm just a messenger. I don't know how to fight, only to fly and get to where I need to be. If I could I would help you find your daughter and save your brothers but... I'm sorry I can't be of any more assistance than a letter bearer."

"At a time like this a letter bearer might just be what we need." The stallion assured, "You can pass messages to the far reaches of Equestria and keep us all informed. It's the best you can do now and... it does help. If my wife ever gives you a message about Cozy Glow you come flying as fast as your wings can take you... and if I find Cozy Glow and get her safe? You can fly all the way back to Canterlot and deliver the good news. A messenger is important... whether you believe me or not."

"Really? You're really sure of that?"

The soldier stared at the mare and smiled, "Crystal."

The messenger looked over in surprise and happily grinned back. The moment however was soon short-lived. The dark clouds from before had caught her attention once again, "What?"

The other spotted it too, "That's odd..."

"Those storm clouds should've been on the eastern side of the empire by now! What're they doing so close to the Shimmering Peak Mountains?"

The stallion narrowed his eyes, "Those aren't storm clouds..."

"They aren't?!"

The soldier abruptly made a dive towards the clouds below. With a yelp, the messenger soon followed suit. They both plunged into the blizzard once again and found themselves falling among the ice cold bitter snow that welcomed their return. With a shout the soldier was able to warn the mare behind him before abruptly slowing down his descent with raised wings. During their flight the messenger stayed close by as the jagged mountains came into view. The stallion wasted no time and charged for the dangerous peaks. With his tail and his hooves he would direct his companion through the treacherous landscape. Side-by-side they avoided each obstacle and obstruction that attempted to block their way.

It wasn't long before the sounds of fighting and shouting soon emerged.

The two reduced their speeds and gently glided to the rocky ground below. The messenger gently placed her hooves down onto a jagged path and quickly joined the soldier's side, "What's going on? What're they fighting?"

The stallion slowly made his way towards the noise. They were high above on a cliff-side of some sort where the two of them could both look out at a hollow that rested underneath them. There the Alpha Squadron's camp was to be. The once possibly organized set up was now a disastrous battle field. The clearing was full of soldiers and guards struggling to fight each other back. One group had the silver or golden armor bestowed upon them by Canterlot. Another had armor as dark as night with pointy fangs hanging from their sides and their neck. With this dangerous addition they were able to easily slice through any opponent that managed to get too close to their once sparkling and glimmering hides...

"They're fighting crystal ponies..." The soldier gasped in realization.

Shouts rang out as ponies began to fall unconscious. Crimson red colors streaked along the stone cold ground as a unicorn stepped out from the shadows. King Sombra.

"We need to leave." The messenger urged as she grasped her companion's hoof, "Now!"

"Destroy that note and run back to Canterlot." He growled with his eyes glued on the dark tyrant below, "I have a battle to fight."

Before she could protest the soldier had already threw himself down into the frenzied clearing.

Though he didn't want to hurt the crystal ponies he had no choice but to kick them off their feet. He wouldn't kill them, but he was going to have to try to knock them out. The less threat in the area the better. However, his attention was mostly on the unicorn king nearby.

The king easily threw several guards away from him. They flew back and roughly landed against the stone around them. He brandished a steel sword with a blade that shined brighter than the white snow around him. Even with it however, he didn't seem to want to use it. As his dark magic gripped the obsidian handle the most he'd do with it was block upcoming attacks or keep the guards from getting any closer to him. He didn't want to kill them all, after all. He could use some more soldiers...

The pegasus raced through the battle and hopped up into the air just as two corrupt crystal ponies charged for him. They slammed right into each other as he glided above and dashed for a fallen shield close by. With it he was able to push another crystal pony back before rolling over to a downed soldier nearby. He checked to see if the other was alive before taking their spear and smacking it across another incoming enemy with the blunt end of the long stick. Once they were tossed to the side he protected the fallen guard until a medic pony of some sort quickly rushed over and hurriedly carried him away with their magic.
Once he was certain the others were safe he'd turn his attention back to King Sombra. The stallion dropped his shield, readied his weapon, and charged. His hooves pounded against the stone before he hopped up, raised his spear, and lunged for the dark king below him.

King Sombra had been looking up at something when the partly-crystal soldier attacked. He simply gave the other a glance right before he was supposedly stabbed. The unicorn's body dispersed into a black cloud of shadows that snaked their way in between the soldier's legs and out across the battlefield.

"Coward!" The soldier yelled as he searched for the king amidst all the fighting, "Come back out and fight!"

The messenger was hesitant to leave. She should have when her companion told her to but... she was concerned. The mare didn't want to leave without being certain everything would be okay. However as she watched her friend throughout the battle she suddenly felt an unwelcome gaze burning into her. The messenger turned her head to spot red and green eyes glaring up at her. King Sombra was looking right at her. She stiffened and found herself unable to move. Fear pierced her heart and made her freeze as the two stared at one another. Oh sweet Celestia...

Just as she was regaining the confidence to turn and run her friend attempted to take down the king. The tyrant vanished and the shadows disappeared among the darkness around them.

With a gulp the messenger raised her wings and attempted to dash into the sky- but was suddenly nabbed right out of it. Something wrapped around her hind-leg and firmly dragged her back down. She squeaked in surprise as she was tossed back onto the jagged floor below. All the parchments she carried from her small (hand)bag flew out and scattered among the stone ground. There weren't many... but hopefully it would be enough to distract the king!

She pushed herself up and tried to raise her wings once again, "Ow!" The messenger flinched as pain erupted from her right wing. The mare looked over and pawed at the injury hidden beneath her ruffled feathers. Oh no.

"What's wrong, little pony?" The king chuckled as he took a threatening step forward, "Did I hurt your wing~?"

The pegasus looked back up at the king and then down at the letters in between them. Without hesitation, the mare lunged for the parchments and attempted to scoop up as many as she could.

The king reacted by sending a beam of dark magic her way making the pegasus cry out for the soldier that promised to protect her.

The stallion perked up in surprise as he heard his companion amidst the chaos. He glanced up at the rocks above and spotted the dark king disappearing behind them.
After passing by an incoming crystal soldier he hurriedly jumped back up into the air and made his way to the messenger.

With another cry she found herself thrown across the rough stone and into another pile of rocks. In her hooves she clutched several unknown parchments.

King Sombra meanwhile plucked up two others and curiously glanced down at them.

"Get away from her!" The king quickly ducked out of the way as a pegasus soldier dived for his head with a spear in his hold.

The messenger quickly took this chance to tear apart the parchments she currently held in her possession. She memorized each and every important note she had so she was not concerned with destroying every single message in order to keep this tyrant oblivious. The last two messages however were still grasped in his magical hold.

He raised his dark sword and swung it for the soldier's wing. The partly-crystal pegasus easily evaded and attempted to kick at the other's legs.

Again, all King Sombra had to do was vanish into a cloud of dark smoke. However as he did so the pegasus soldier hopped up and made a lunge for the letter above his head. He caught it with his hooves and swiftly rolled away towards the downed messenger nearby, "Are you alright?"

"He still has one more." The mare grunted as she tried to push herself up, "Which one did you get..?"

The soldier glanced down at the parchment and swiftly read over it, "It's a letter to the... agricultural society of earth ponies."

The two looked up at one another in shock before turning their attention back to where the dark unicorn was once before. King Sombra had vanished and disappeared somewhere within the shadows.

"Where is he??" The messenger questioned as she limped over to the small cliff-side above the unfortunate campsite below.

The soldier quickly joined her and held up a hoof to quietly support her as well, "I don't know. I don't- there!" His free hoof pointed down at the center of the battle.

There King Sombra stood. His wide eyes stared down at the parchment before him. From the looks of it he had clearly read through it all... and he was not taking it well.

"Oh no..." The mare took a step back as the tyrant's red eyes vanished under a green glow.

The soldier by her side suddenly pulled her close to him, "EVERYPONY RUN!" He yelled to the soldiers down below but by then it was too late.

"RAAAAAGH!!" The ground shook underneath them. Everypony, including the crystal guards, all came to a sudden halt as the tyrant shouted into the sky. Anger and rage filled his heart and he allowed it to consume him. No one could even react before suddenly each and every pony among the battlefield found themselves surrounded by sharp dark crystals that completed encompassed the camp. Their cries and screams went silent in that abrupt moment as their bodies all disappeared underneath the painful shards that pierced them.

The pegasus soldier had quickly shoved the messenger out of harm's way as several jagged black crystals spiked up where the two once were moments ago. The both ended up crashing into a stone wall nearby. The mare felt another burst of pain in her wing but bit her hoof in an attempt to muffle the noise.

From there, everything went silent... The once thunderous battle had become nothing more but a whimpering whisper and the world became too still for the soldier and messenger's liking. They both sat against the rocky surface behind them and stared at the dark crystals King Sombra had made. They were both alive but... what of the others? Did he take down the entire Alpha squadron along with his own crystal ponies?

The two waited a bit longer before the soldier slowly got up. He gestured for the messenger to follow and they attempted to try and sneakily hurry away as silently as their hooves could take them. However that was the problem with hooves... They weren't entirely too quiet.

The messenger let out a shout as she was suddenly pulled away from her companion and back onto the snowy ledge they tried to escape from.

King Sombra stared down at her as his horn bubbled up with black and purple dark magic.

"Don't hurt her!" The soldier yelled as he raised his spear, "You already killed so many you monster! Leave her alone!"

"... Who told the princesses?" The king growled as his magic wrapped around the poor messenger.

The soldier glanced down at the mare with concern.

"WHO TOLD THE PRINCESSES?"

"Why does it matter? Why shall I tell a brute like you? You got the letter, you know what to expect now, just let the mare go!"

"... If you don't tell me," King Sombra growled as his magic suddenly gripped around one of the messenger's wings, "I'll pluck both of her wings right off. I'll rip them both right out of their sockets... and if that doesn't convince you I can give her a fate worst then death. I could make her my slave and have her work... work until she's nothing more but a poor excuse of what she once was." He chuckled as she raised the mare's chin with a hoof.

The soldier lowered his spear and glanced between the two.

"I-It's okay!" The mare tried to assure with a shaky break, "I'll be okay! Don't tell him anything!"

"Silence!" The tyrant shouted as he tugged at her wings, "Before I decide I had enough games! Well? What's it going to be?"

The soldier stared down at the messenger, sighed, and spoke... "Radiant Hope. The unicorn who informed us of your power and your attack was named Radiant Hope."

"..." The dark unicorn peered back at the partly-crystal soldier with a blank expression, "... Hope."

A few silent moments seemed to pass by. The soldier was starting to get worried that maybe this tyrant wouldn't let go of his companion.
Then, King Sombra suddenly tossed the mare back towards the soldier. He let go of the messenger and turned towards the field of crystals he created. Underneath all of it were hidden guards and civilians now lost among the shards.

The soldier quickly helped his companion back up off the ground, "Are you alright?"

"I'm okay... But- you-"

"When you return to the princesses," King Sombra interrupted, "I want you to deliver a message to them. If they decide to attack and try and reclaim the Crystal Empire... then I shall take it down with me. As for Hope? Let her know that if I ever see her again she will not be spared from my wrath. I will not tolerate betrayal."
Then just like that... he disappeared. The very pony who had ended a battle in one swoop at the cost of his own soldiers had spared the messenger and the soldier with only minor injuries, bruises, and cuts.

They both sat there in muted shock. Everything slowly seemed to hit them at once. The fighting. The battle. The deaths... All of it left this tensity that hung relentlessly in the air around them. Even then the the messenger quietly spoke, "Why did you that..? He's going to target Radiant Hope..."

"She's safe in a castle far away." The soldier looked down at the injured pegasus, "But you? You were right in his grasp. I couldn't allow him to tear you apart while I stood idly by. I had to do something."

"... W-We should have never come here. All those ponies are dead because of me. The king now knows our plans..."

A rip could be heard as the partly-crystal pony ripped through the soft material that made her small delivery pouch. "Don't blame yourself. Lets just get you back to Princess Celestia, okay? This isn't your fault." He assured as he came up to her with strips of cloth.

"But-" She protested as he began to wrap makeshift bandages around her injured wing.

Her companion sighed and rested a hoof on her shoulder, "Listen. We came out of this alive... We need to make the most of it now." Then, the stallion hopped up and hovered over to the messenger. With gentle hooves he picked her up and started to carry her towards the sky above.

She quietly held onto him and stared down at the former campsite below. All she could think of as the crystallized battle became smaller and smaller were her mistakes. How different could this have gone if she had torn every parchment from the start?

The two continued on in silence. Both carried troubling thoughts of tonight's events. The mare blamed herself for the letters and the stallion blamed himself for the injury she now had. He was supposed to protect her, after all... and he failed.

He failed everypony.


Her fears took hold of her.

"Help!"

No one responded.

"Somepony help me!"

All that greeted her was the sounds of hooves thumping against the stone around her.

"I'm not a failure! I-I'm a friend! I'm lovable! I'm cute! I'm-"

Shouts full of rage and hatred began to bombard her.

"I'm someone you can trust! Just trust me! You can trust me!"

BAM! BAM! The rebels kicked at the locked wooden door. It creaked and it splintered.

"Just trust your Empress Cozy!!"

CRASH!

And then everything fell apart...

Then suddenly, everything returned.

The young pegasus found herself being tossed to the floor. She let out a pained yelp as she tried to regain her senses. Her hooves pawed at the ground and her eyes slowly blinked open. Her stomach ached with pain and her mouth was very dry. She licked her lips and grudgingly opened her crusty eyes. A few whimpers of pain escaped her as fatigue and hunger settled in. How long has it been..? How long have her nightmares gone on? Was this real? Or was this another fear waiting to take hold?

"Are you done?" A familiar but unwelcome voice rang out.

Cozy Glow perked up and raised her head. Before her was the very tyrant himself. The king of shadows and darkness that cursed the empire from the very start of her visit. The absolute bane of her existence.

King Sombra.

Author's Note:

Well that's a lot of bloodshed and death. I don't usually write stuff like this but hey- I did tag it.

Also uh... The messenger pony was not supposed to live. She was supposed to be dead. But I got attached. So now there's a messenger pony in the story~! Yay! Also I want to write more of her and Cozy's dad together idk why.

The reason why I don't have any names for the messenger, soldier, and the spa pony (Cozy Glow's parents) is because everyone has their different version of Cozy's family. So I'm letting you guys envision what they look like. The only details I'm adding in is that her father has crystal-like eyes and that he's a pegasus. As for the messenger meanwhile..? Again, I didn't expect her to live but I don't really have a name or design for her. The most she has is that she's a sandy-colored pegasus.

If you guys want to name her I'm open to ideas really! She won't be a main part of the story per say but she'll probably appear in future updates. Who knows? I don't.

I hope you liked this chapter! It went away from Cozy's perspective most of the time but I mean... The chapter is called "They prepared for the worst"

Thanks for reading!