• Published 15th Aug 2012
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Inner Demons - Azure Sandora



On her 21st birthday, Twilight reads a prophesy that starts a downward spiral into her own darkness.

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Chapter 22

You guys wanted more Coheed and Cambria, well you got it. This chapter is brought to you by Welcome Home by Coheed and Cambria.

Chapter 22: Battle For Fillydelphia – Grendal

Surprisingly the monster Lezard identified as Grendal wasn't focusing on Applejack and her friends at all. Right now, it was simply walking through Fillydelphia destroying everything.

Applejack and Rainbow Dash were high up chasing after it; Applejack jumping from building to building, and Rainbow Dash flying after it.

"We gotta try ta git it's attention!" Applejack stated.

"Leave that to me!" Rainbow Dash replied. She then turned into a lightning bolt and launched herself into the Grendal's chest. It stopped and turned to look at Rainbow Dash, and then flicked her away into a building.

"Dash!" Applejack shouted. She then jumped down to where Rainbow Dash landed in order to make sure she was okay.

"I'm fine," Rainbow Dash said getting up, "But without Rarity, I don't see a way to beat this thing!"

"Damn it," Applejack said looking down, still feeling the weight of what happened.

"We can't give up yet!" Lezard shouted as he and Shining Armor rushed up the the Grendal charging their horns. When they arrived, Lezard cast a spell on Shining Armor raising him up really high, and Shining Armor pulled out his sword and slashed downward on the Grendal with his sword's blade charged in magic. That attack did a little damage, but nothing extensive. Lezard fired a spell at the Grendal, creating a wave that looked like it was weighing the Grendal down. Eventually though, the spell stopped and the Grendal remained unchanged.

"Damn it!" Lezard said, "This creature is ageless. None of my Chronomancy Spells will work on it."

"What do you mean ageless?" Shining Armor said landing next to Lezard.

"Demons like this exist outside of time, so they're unaffected by time magic. This being here is simply the embodiment of anger."

"In that case!" Pinkie Pie shouted jumping onto a building that was right in front of the Grendal, "Hey, I have a joke for you!" surprisingly the Grendal stopped and looked at her, "Okay, so this stallion walked into a bar, and ordered three drinks, and gulped all three down really quickly. He then explained to the concerned bartender that he was drinking for himself and his two other friends who moved away. This went on for an entire month unchanged," as she told the joke, the Grendal was slowly stepping back a bit, "One day though he walked into the bar looking really sad, and instead of ordering three drinks like normal, he only ordered two. The bartender said that he was sorry for his loss, but the stallion then said, "Nopony died, I just quit drinking!" she then burst out laughing, completely unaware that the Grendal was preparing to attack, "Get it? Because he quit drinking, he was still drinking for the other two friends!" she continued to laugh, even as the Grendal's fist came down on her. Thankfully Rainbow Dash flew past the Pinkie Pie grabbing her and flying her to safety.

"Pinkie Pie, I don't think he liked the joke too much," Rainbow Dash said, even still Pinkie Pie was laughing.

"Crystal Soul Spear!" Lezard shouted, making blue spears shoot out of his horn at the Grendal, pushing it back. Rainbow Dash once again turned into a lightning bolt and tackled the Grendal, hitting the same spot that Lezard's arrows hit, actually knocking it down.

"Yeah! Take that creep!" Rainbow Dash taunted. Unfortunately the Grendal was getting up. It then roared loudly, pushing Rainbow Dash back, "Didn't that do anything?" she asked as Lezard, Shining Armor, Applejack, and Pinkie Pie ran over to her.

"I think all that did was make it angry!" Shining Armor said, "Since this thing is a wrath demon, that's bad, right?" he asked looking at Lezard.

"Very bad," Lezard stated, "Grendals get stronger the angrier they get."

"So how do we stop somethin like that?" Applejack asked, "If we're jus' gonna make it stronger as we fight it, then Ah don't see an out!"

"I think that was the point of summoning this particular kind of demon," Lezard said, "That along with her mental state."

"Twilight..." Shining Armor said looking down, "Why are you doing this?"

"Um, guys?" Pinkie Pie said actually sounding a little scared, "I think it sees us now."

"Damn it! If only Ah could evolve mah element!" Applejack said looking at her unchanged necklace. She was literally the only pony who couldn't do a thing to this thing right now, and that was frustrating.

"Everyone, stand next to me!" Shining Armor commanded. Everypony got close to Shining Armor, who then created the strongest shield he could as the Grendal's fist came down on them. The punch actually shook the shield, and made Shining Armor's head spin. It punched it again, this time knocking Shining Armor to the ground a bit and cracking the shield, but he struggled to get up and reinforce the shield.

"Can't you help him?" Rainbow Dash asked Lezard.

"Believe it or not, Shining Armor's shields are stronger than mine. He specializes in defensive magic. For his shields to be breaking from that monster's attacks, I doubt I'd make much of a difference," he explained grimly.

The Grendal punched again, this time actually shattering the shield, and making Shining Armor scream in pain and fall to the ground.

"Shinin Armor!" Applejack shouted kneeling next to him.

"I'm... okay..." he said weakly, "But unless a miracle comes, I think we've exhausted everything we can do."

The Grendal was about to punch them again, but it stopped when a loud whinny was heard. It sounded almost ghostly. Everyone turned and saw a large spiritual white unicorn with glowing white eyes charging at the Grendal. The spirit then knocked the Grendal down hard, kicked the air a bit, and then faded away.

"If you think for one second I'm letting you off easy you've got another thing coming!" a sort youthful voice said (Yuri Lowenthal). Everypony then saw someone walking up to them holding a spear. They looked like a dragon, but they were only about as tall as a pony stand on their hind legs, and they had a long tail and medium sized wings on their back, perfect for flying. The dragon also had a pointed snout and sharp green eyes, and it looked like they were wearing some kind of armor. As the dragon got closer they could tell that they were wearing armor, sapphire blue armor to be exact, and they had purple scales and long green fins on their back.

The dragon walked past everypony and stood in front of them pointing his golden spear at the Grendal, "I won't let you hurt my friends anymore!" the Grendal roared at the dragon, who remained undaunted, "Ahh, shut up!" he said in response to the roar. He then jumped up to the Grendal and slashed at it with his spear, knocking it aside.

"Who in the world?" Shining Armor asked.

"I don't have a clue..." Rainbow Dash said.

"Come on guys," Pinkie Pie said catching everypony's attention, "There's only one dragon we know who's purple with green fins."

"But there's no way that..." Applejack said, even though she was slowly beginning to realize Pinkie Pie was right, as usual.

That dragon, somehow, someway, was Spike. And that wasn't all. The armor he was wearing...

It had a crystal symbol on the chest...


Apple Bloom was running off with her sword in her mouth, ready to fight.

"Apple Bloom!" Sweetie Belle called out, stopping her, "Where are you going?"

"Ah'm goin ta fight!" Apple Bloom proclaimed, "Rarity counted on me, an' Ah ain't lettin her down!"

"Rarity..." Sweetie Belle said looking back at the fallen unicorn, now in the forelegs of her best friend.

"She sacrificed herself ta save you, even though you disowned her!" Apple Bloom stated, "Tell me, would Twilight do that? Would Twilight as she is now protect you like Rarity did? Twilight didn't even come back fer ya!"

"But... she's... my..." Sweetie Belle said, now shaking. Apple Bloom had enough, so she walked over to Sweetie Belle, and did the only thing she could to wake Sweetie Belle up.

SLAP!

"Wake up, damn it!" Apple Bloom shouted, "Twilight ain't yer sistur! Yer real sistur is lyin right over there, hurt because she left herself wide open savin you!" that seemed to reach Sweetie Belle, who winced a bit hearing that, "For you to even try ta defend Twilight after seein Rarity sacrifice herself like that, for you, you should be ashamed of yerself!" Apple Bloom then turned her flank to Sweetie Belle, "Ah'm gonna do everything I can ta avenge Rarity, even if Ah have ta die doin it! She wus the first pony ta truly, honestly, see me as an adult, an' Ah'm gonna do everything Ah can ta deserve that level of trust. What you do, is up ta you." Apple Bloom then galloped off, leaving Sweetie Belle where she was. She wanted to cry so bad right now, but now when there was work to do.

She had to get stronger, for Rarity.


Sweetie Belle looked down in sadness and confusion.

"What should I do?" she asked, "I can't... think..." she held her head in frustration, "Sister... help me..." she cried out, not even knowing who she was reaching out to anymore.


The Grendal began punching and stomping Spike, who rolled, jumped, flew, everything he could to dodge the assaults coming his way. Eventually he stopped dodging and spun his spear over his head pushing the Grendal's fist away. He then flew up to its chest and began stabbing it really fast, ending with a really powerful thrust. At the same time though, that white unicorn spirit appeared over Spike and stabbed the Grendal with its horn, doing major damage.

"Spike!" Applejack called out running up to him, "How in the... why are ya..."

"I don't fully understand it either," Spike said, "But for some reason, I keep hearing Rarity's voice in my head, and she's urging me to fight."

"What about that armor?" Rainbow Dash asked now that she and everyone else was there, "And the spear?"

"They all appeared on him the same time he grew," they all heard Apple Bloom say. They turned to see her galloping over to where they were.

"Apple Bloom, yer safe!" Applejack cried running over to her sister and hugging her.

"Ah'm fine, Applejack," Apple Bloom said, "But right now we got bigger issues, literally."

"Then how do we stop it?" a soft voice asked from above. Now they saw Fluttershy descending down to where they all were.

"Fluttershy, are you sure you want to-" Rainbow Dash asked, getting cut off when Fluttershy held up her hoof.

"Right now Equestria needs us," Fluttershy said, sounding more serious than usual, "Rarity wouldn't want any of us to stop fighting."

"Would you all SHUT UP!" Spike shouted, catching everyone's attention, "Rarity is NOT dead!"

"Spike..." Applejack said to herself, thinking of how Spike probably felt about the whole thing.

"Besides, we can't mourn right now anyway!" Spike turned to the Grendal, "I'll keep it busy. My attacks seem to do the most to it anyway."

"While that's going on, I can support Spike with my magic," Lezard said, "I think I have a spell that can banish this thing to Tartarus, but we need it knocked out in order for it to hold."

"Then Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, and I can help Spike in knocking it out!" Rainbow Dash said, looking at her friends, both of them nodding in response.

"What can we do to help?" everyone turned at the sound of Cadence's voice, and saw both Cadence and Silver Spoon walking up to them.

"Cadence!" Shining Armor said urgently, "It isn't safe here! Go back and- ARGH!" he fell back down from the pain of his shields shattering.

"I may not be able to use magic, but that doesn't mean I should give up," Cadence said, looking right at Lezard, who nodded smiling.

"And I'm not going to sit around anymore either!" Silver Spoon said, "I'm ready to help too!"

"As a matter of fact, ya'll two can help me!" Apple Bloom said, shocking Applejack.

"Apple Bloom, whut 're-"

"Ah'm gonna need yer help too, sis," Apple Bloom said to Applejack. She was ready to protest, but she sighed in defeat and nodded, "Ah need cannons, somethin that'll make a flame, and lots of fireworks."

"I know where we can get all of that," Cadence said.

"Good," Apple Bloom said, "Git the cannons first, an' while yer gettin the other stuff, Silver Spoon, Applejack, and Ah will put them in place. Spike, ya'll gotta try ta git that thing in the center of the city!"

"Got it!" Spike said.

"I'm... fighting... too!" Shining Armor said getting up, just to fall down again.

"You should stay put," Lezard reasoned, "We'll handle this. You've fought hard enough for now."

"Damn it..." Shining Armor said looking down.

"It's getting up!" Rainbow Dash called out.

"Alright, begin the plan!" Applejack shouted. Instantly Spike, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, and Fluttershy charged at the Grendal. Spike slashed at it with his spear, slashing upward and thrusting at a diagonal, summoning his spirit partner who buck kicked the Grendal up in the air. While in the air, Fluttershy summoned a large tornado that pushed it even higher in the air, and then let it fall onto the ground. When it fell down, Rainbow Dash tackled it with her lightning charge, and then she and Pinkie Pie ran towards the center.

"Come on! Follow us!" Rainbow Dash called out as Spike and Fluttershy followed them. Lezard was about to run after them, but he heard a groan behind him.

"Will you just rest?" Lezard said to Shining Armor, who was actually trotting over to Lezard.

"I'll rest when Fillydelphia is safe. If civilians are fighting too, then I can't just do nothing."

"Don't over exert yourself," Lezard said running after the monster. Shining Armor nodded and followed after him.


Elsewhere in the city, Applejack was pushing a cannon into position.

"Is this fine?" she asked her younger sister, who nodded before running off to see how the others were doing, "How in the world does she know whut ta do?" Applejack asked, confused with how proactive her sister was suddenly.

"Silver Spoon, that's perfect," Apple Bloom said looking at her struggling friend (the cannons were heavier for her).

"Good..." Silver Spoon panted, "Not... used... to hard... work..."

Apple Bloom giggled, "Yer doin fine, Silver Spoon. Let's move the next couple of 'em before Cadence gets back wit the other stuff."

Silver Spoon nodded and they ran off to get the next cannon.


The Grendal followed them to the middle of Fillydelphia, where suddenly an army of Pinkie Pie's were throwing themselves at it.

"Alright soldiers!" Pinkie Pie said to her army of Pinkie Pie clones, "Put everything you've got into these attacks! Aaaaannnnnnnd CHARGE!" Pinkie Pie commanded. All of her clones charged at the Grendal, exploding on contact. After it fell to it's knees, Spike spun his spear around, and thrust forward, summoning his spirit, who galloped over to the Grendal and kicked it with it's forelegs. The Grendal blocked the attacks, and then punched the spirit, knocking it back and making it vanish. At the same time, Spike was actually pushed back as well and fell to one knee.

"Damn it, this guy is tough," he said to himself, "Whatever Apple Bloom has planned she better hurry."

Shining Armor magically pointed his sword forward, and Lezard cast a spell on the sword, making it glow golden and multiply. Shining Armor then sent the swords flying at the Grendal, hurting it, but the angry roar that followed let him know that it was just really pissed.

"It's mad again!" Shining Armor stated.

"Apple Bloom, hurry," Lezard urged.


"The cannons are loaded up!" Cadence said to Apple Bloom.

"Perfect," Apple Bloom said walking over to Cadence and taking the lighter she brought with her into her mouth. Apple Bloom then proceeded to light up all of the cannons (they had about six of them) so they would fire around the same time, "Guys, step away from it!" Apple Bloom commanded.

Everyone jumped, flew, or just simply ran away from the Grendal, who looked around in confusion. A few seconds later, all of the fireworks fired at the Grendal, the attacks doing major damage and knocking it to the ground.

"I banish you to the far depths of Tartarus!" Lezard commanded pointing his horn at the Grendal, "Demon BEGONE!"

Black hands came out of the ground and pulled the Grendal downward, both the hands and the struggling demon vanishing into the earth.

"Whew," Rainbow Dash said falling to the ground exhausted, "Never thought I'd be happy to rest me wings."

"Good job everypony," Lezard said, now looking at Apple Bloom, "And excellent planning on your part."

"Aw... stop," Apple Bloom said blushing a bit.

"Is it over?" Shining Armor asked.

"It may be," Lezard said, "But we still have a few issues to deal with," he and everyone else turned to see Sweetie Belle walking up to them with Rarity on her back.


A few hours later, Lezard was just finishing up looking at Cadence, Shining Armor nearby with a worried expression.

"So, can you help her?" Shining Armor asked.

"This isn't a seal, it's more like hypnotism," Lezard said, "Until the caster either releases her or dies, then there's nothing that can be done."

"What about Rarity?" Rainbow Dash asked walking in with Spike and Fluttershy.

"Well, good news, she's alive," Lezard said, "But the bad news," he sighed, "I can't figure out how to wake her up."

"Damn that Trixie," Rainbow Dash said looking away, "When I get my hooves on her..."

"I'm sure she'll get what's coming to her," Lezard said straightening his glasses, "but for now, we need to think about our next move."

"I think we should rest for a bit," Spike reasoned, "After that we can make our way back to Ponyville to put Rarity in a hospital, and then begin heading back to Canterlot."

"Canterlot?" Fluttershy asked.

"That's where Twilight and Trixie are," Spike said looking at Rarity seriously, "There's no way I'm letting either of them off for this."

"Spike..." Fluttershy said watching Spike leave the room. He seemed so different now, but she could tell he was still their Spike, and he was really suffering.

"I'm going to check on Apple Bloom and the others," Lezard said walking to the door. When he left, Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash walked over to Rarity, still unconscious.

"Fluttershy, what do you want to do?" Rainbow Dash asked.

"I don't know..." Fluttershy said sadly, "I'm the Element of Kindness, but it's hard for me... to not hate Trixie for hurting Rarity, even if I know she's alive."

"She's alive, but she's not okay," Rainbow Dash said, "Don't worry Fluttershy, we'll make Trixie pay for what she did, save Rarity, and hopefully get Twilight back."

"The pony who ordered Trixie to kill Rarity..." Fluttershy said darkly, shocking Rainbow Dash. She looked at Fluttershy, and didn't know how to feel.

For the first time ever, Fluttershy looked like she wanted to kill somepony.


"With everything that happened, Ah fergot ta tell everypony the great news," Apple Bloom said to Lezard as they sat together in her room.

"What's that?" Lezard asked. Apple Bloom adjusted herself so the dress came up a bit, revealing her Cutie Mark. Lezard looked truly surprised and happy.

"So you got it?" he asked.

"Yep. You were right, Ah am a tool master. Mah special talent is tools."

"So if I were to give you any tool at all, you could use it?"

Apple Bloom nodded, "Ah might need a second ta look at it, but after that, yeah, Ah could use it perfectly."

"I see," Lezard said laughing a bit, but then looked forward seriously, "I'm sorry about Rarity. She seems nice."

"She is," Apple Bloom said looking down seriously, "Ah remember how Ah use ta think she wus stuck up, but the past few days she's been a bit of another mother figure ta me. She treated me like an adult an' told me everything that wus happenin ta Twilight."

"Beautiful on the outside, and apparently just as beautiful on the inside," Lezard said, "Along with getting you back to your proper age, I'll try and do what I can for her as well."

"That makes me think though," Apple Bloom said seriously, "Spike is usin the Element of Generosity now, right? How is that possible? Rarity is the Element of Generosity."

"The elements are simply tools for peace," Lezard explained, "Anypony could potentially use them, really. Rarity must really trust Spike though, for her to give the Element of Generosity to him to use in her place."

"Ah think yer right," Apple Bloom said, suddenly feeling a little strange around Lezard again, "Um, Lezard, whut do ya think of me? Really?"

"Of you?" he asked, actually clearing his throat before speaking, "Well, truthfully, I find it hard to believe that you're really ten years old. You seem really mature, and more and more like a grown mare. It... almost seems like a shame to turn you back into a child."

"So... ya think Ah'm... pretty?" Apple Bloom asked, noticing how Lezard's eyes got wider when she asked that. She then laughed it off, "Whoa, where did that come from?" she asked sort of dismissively, "That probably was weird coming from me. Besides, ya wouldn't be interested in somepony like me, right? Ah am still a kid mentally."

"Uh, yeah," Lezard continued for Apple Bloom, "Not to mention I'm old enough to be your father, at least in your true form."

Apple Bloom laughed, "Right? It just wouldn't be right. And we don't have those kind of feelings for each other."

"Not at all," Lezard said. There was a lot of awkward silence between them, until Lezard broke it, "I'm going to get some sleep. It's late after all."

"Yeah, Ah should probably git sum sleep as well," Apple Bloom stated, followed by more silence, "So..."

"I'll see you in the morning, Apple Bloom," Lezard said.

"Right, see you in the mornin, Lezard," Apple Bloom said. They sat there looking at each other for a few more seconds, and then Lezard finally got up and quickly left Apple Bloom's room, shutting the door. When she was alone, Apple Bloom fell onto her bed and groaned. What was happening to her? Why did she feel so strange around him? Was she actually... but no. That was something grown up mares felt, and Apple Bloom wasn't a grown mare! She was almost a teenager, but a full grown mare, no.

But when she looked in the mirror, she saw...

* * * *

"I don't understand," Twilight said softly, only Trixie was in there with her, "Why did he turn against me?"

"I... don't know..." Trixie said looking down.

"And by now we've lost Sweetie Belle," Twilight said, clearly getting upset, "Next it'll be Scootaloo, and then you'll turn against me as well."

"No I won't!" Trixie exclaimed, but Twilight shook her head.

"I don't believe you," Twilight said sadly, "Why should I trust anypony anymore? My friends, my family, everyone hates me. Friendship is an illusion."

"No, it isn't! Not my friendship!" Trixie said walking over to Twilight. She then turned Twilight around and looked right into her eyes, "I can't speak for Scootaloo. Honestly, I don't trust that filly as far as I can throw her, but I know how I feel. Twilight Sparkle, I swear on my name as The Great and Powerful Trixie that I will follow you to the end of the earth. I'll never betray you. I'd die for you, Twilight. I... love you too much to ever betray you."

"Trixie..." Twilight said looking away sadly, "I almost believed you just now."

"Believe me, Twilight. I will do whatever you ask me to do. I'll kill whoever you want me to kill. I'm yours, Twilight, to command, to use, whatever you need. I'll do it as long as it puts a smile on your face."

Twilight couldn't hold it in any longer, and she burst into tears and fell to the floor. Trixie knelt down next to her and nuzzled her face lovingly, "You promise me? You'll always be by my side?"

"Even if the whole world turns against you, I'll never hate you, nor will I call you a monster," she looked into Twilight's eyes again, "You are, in my opinion, the most beautiful entity in all of Equestria."

"Trixie..." Twilight said returning the loving gesture, "You truly are the only pony I can trust now."

"As your humble servant and student, I'll do whatever you ask."

"No, not as my servant. As my friend. My equal."

"Twilight... thank you," Trixie said, now brought to tears herself.

"No Trixie, thank you."

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