• Published 12th Feb 2020
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A Dusk's New Dawn - ThatWritingDragon



A scarred Stallion and a happy world, when you mix them together? you get this story!

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4- Conflicting Emotions


4
Conflicting Emotions


Emotions. At a young age, Dusk learned that they were a double-edged sword. And for some reason, the sharp and outstandingly painful edge always seemed to face him. After a few years, he’d just decided to throw that sword away. It just kept on hurting him and he'd rather not go through all of that again.

Sadly, he was not so fortunate as it seemed to somehow pierce right through him all over again as he stood outside of Ponyville. He couldn't stop the wetness that was threatening the corners of eyes nor could he stop the feeling of relief he felt when he found out that it was true. That there was a Ponyville that was alive, standing strong and still happy. Dusk couldn't help but let out a huff of laughter, it looked so similar. Just like his but at the same time, it wasn't.

But what if it was? A hopeful part of him whispered, filled with naivety and joy at such a thought.

What if... What if we're in a world where Umbra didn't attack? And if she does, then we can save them!

We can start over!

We can be happy.

Dusk closed his eyes and tried to calm down by counting to ten… he failed. The hope and conviction in all of those statements made him gnash his teeth together in anger and a bit of shame at what he had just thought.

No! He growled, anger in his mind. Never! I will not disgrace what my friends and family suffered through by acting like it never happened and just starting over!

Just because there is another Ponyville doesn't mean there is another 'Stallion Six'! He argued and opened his eyes. Already he could already feel an ever-familiar headache coming. He slowly rubbed his face as he tried to keep his thoughts in order. He had already got what he wanted. He saw Ponyville and now it was time for the stallion to leave.

He gulped, noticing that his throat was starting to clog up, the sight of the homey village nearly causing his eyes to blur.

If he stayed much longer, he just knows that he would break down and he'd rather not do that in the company of a stranger or near the replica of his beloved home.

It would sully their memory and he wouldn't dare do that to them.

Dusk's eyes trailed back to the entrance and a certain melancholic look appeared in his eyes.

Maybe he can visit once in a while but...

His eyes flicked to the owl that just flew around him, a rueful smirk crossed against the purple alicorn's face and he couldn’t help the relief that came forth when he found a valid excuse that allowed him to visit this world's Ponyville.

He would only do this for that owl's bird seeds. The overgrown bag of feathers had turned out to be a surprisingly picky eater when it came to his treats and that was the only reason that Dusk was going into that town.

He huffed and lightly booped the owl, causing the bird to squawk indignantly and attempt to nip his hoof, which only served to bring a small smile to his face when it came closer to him. Only for the bird. That’s all. He reaffirmed in his mind.

It wasn't like he wanted to see if there was in fact another version of his friends.

No, that wasn’t the case at all.

It wasn't like he just wanted to torture himself with the hope that maybe his former thoughts had been correct and That just maybe his friends could indeed be there, just as happy as the first time he saw them, all those years ago.

And what if they aren't there? A small dark part of him whispered, Dusk's lips dropped as he continued to gaze into Ponyville. He could feel a heavy grip beginning to settle around his heart.

"We won’t know unless we try." Dusk stated softly, internally knowing that he was setting himself up for disaster but he just couldn't help it.

He had already stabbed, what was wrong with twisting the blade and driving it just a little deeper? It wasn't like it would kill him. He had gone through far worse than this after all.

Besides he wasn't going to stay around permanently, especially if there was another version of his friends. If there were other versions of his friends, then it stood to reason that there was another version of himself.

His other self deserved his time with his friends and the grown alicorn wouldn't dare take that from his counterpart. It was what he would've wanted if he was his counterpart's hooves, after all.

We are way too open.

Dusk didn't answer the thought, despite knowing it was correct. It was dangerous of him to act this way.

To be happy and once more have hope, but once again, he couldn't help it. A little pain won't leave anymore lasting damage, and it definitely wouldn't kill him.

The alicorn jerked his head towards the town, a frown on his features when he noticed that the mare has been staring at him quietly for quite some time now.

Dusk scowled and lightly bowed his head in 'gratitude.'

What! just because most of his recent life was spent fighting in a war, didn’t mean he had no manners. "Thank you for guiding me here. I will be fine on my own when we enter..." he gulped and turned away from the mare, trying to hide the sudden onslaught of emotions that threatened to overtake him. "Ponyville."

Luckily, the mare didn't say anything, only giving a firm nod as they walked into the quaint little town. She also maintained her silence when the scarred stallion wrapped his cloak tightly around himself as if it would shield him from ponies gazes...


Ponyville- Town Hall


Dusk followed the mare, his eyes soaking in the sights before aggressively burying them deep in his mind. He couldn't however stop a breath of awe from escaping him when he saw just how normal everything looked.

It turned into a grimace, as flashes of memories flew to the front of his mind, his overly-analytical mind immediately pointing out just how much of a clear opposite this town was to his...

No! no bad thoughts in this place! Dusk rubbed his face once more before speeding closer to his 'saviour.' He needed to focus on something else, like where this mare was leading him.

"Where are you taking me?" He questioned lowly, his head ducked slightly in an attempt to meet the mare eye to eye as they continued to walk. He had learned long ago that it was far easier to sense one's intention through their eyes. As most would say, they were 'a window to the soul' after all.

"I'm going to change your life," She stated proudly, a smile on her face as her eyes flickered to his before moving forward. Dusk’s brow rose when she seemed to turn a faint crimson. Was it warm? He didn't think so, but his body was used to far harsher environments so he wasn't that good of a judge.

Still, it was an interesting way to proposition him. Maybe she would hire him? Being a mercenary wasn't new to him and it had always brought in money. Since he now knew the way to the closest town then he could actually buy new wares.

Dusk's ears flicked towards the bird. Despite regularly hunting and sleeping with him, the small owl was surprisingly unused to sleeping in the wilds. The alicorn would've allowed the bird to sleep in his saddlebags but he'd rather not risk losing him because of the expansion spell. Maybe a small pouch? He nodded to himself. That seemed acceptable.

"Then by all means, lead the way," Dusk replied, a brow raised and an amused smirk on his muzzle as he fell a step behind the mare.

He couldn't stop his smirk from turning into a wide smile at what he had just said. The mare looked confused when she turned to glance at him and all he could do was give her a secretive grin.

"Hoo!" Having been rather busy enjoying the scenery, Dusk never expected the bird to suddenly dive. With a casual step to the side, the alicorn dodged the feathery missile, causing the bird to slam onto the ground with a shocked squawk as it realized that it had been unable to hit its target and instead buried itself to the collar in the dirt.

Said target just snickered as he continued to watch the rather pitiful attempts the bird was making in an effort to escape. From rolling around to attempting to fly to simply flailing like a child who needed milk.

Dusk crouched down in front of the bird, a large grin in his features as he stared at the owl and started to wipe away the dirt that clung to his companion before carefully freeing him. Despite the laughter at his friend's expense, he was far from a cruel pony who wouldn’t help them. He brought the owl up with one foreleg and trotted closer to the mare who was calmly watching from the distance.

"You know, I bet that you're one of those ponies who acts really tough but are secretly a big softie." The mare chuckled, a small smile on her muzzle. Dusk snorted at that. Soft? He was simply returning a favor. The bird had given him many moons worth of company. It couldn’t continue to do that when it's stuck in the ground, he rationalized.

"Seriously, what are your intentions for me?" He asked, he just wanted to get to the point. If she truly wanted nothing more than to be a good samareitan and help a 'lost' stallion then why was she still waiting around him? She would've just gotten her validation and left.

Dusk's brow rose when the mare looked confused for a while and he waited in silence. She was probably looking for an excuse. Deciding he'd let it go for now, he knew that her reason had better be a satisfying one. If she had something else in mind…

Well, he could always raid her and leave. He ignored the bird as it started to shuffle out of his hoof and into his back, probably looking for food. For such a little avian the small creature had turned out to be a rather large eater. Speaking of the bird and his dietary habits, he still needed to buy it some bird seeds.

To say that he never expected it to unclasp his saddlebags and fly away would be an understatement.

Dusk turned the moment he felt the weight that usually accompanied him disappear and then watched with his mouth agape as the bird flew a certain distance away.

It…

It just left.

Why? A part of him whispered.

His mind pieced the reason for him.

The stallion glared, having finally puzzled out the reason it had joined him.

How could he have forgotten the bird was potentially a familiar that wasn't his. Just as Dusk got into position to quickly pounce and kill the traitor, his brow rose once again over the slight confusion that presented itself when it started to fly in circles around the same spot, all the while hooting.

The owl raised the saddlebags - thankfully charmed to be far lighter - and jingled it about while continuing to give him its usual loud calls. "Who!"

He stared for a moment, his confusion coming to a head. If the owl was indeed going to steal from him then why is it not flying away? He got his answer when the bird flew within grabbing distance of him before flying back into the air, another hoot escaping the bird.

"Maybe he wants a chase?" The tan mare offered, drawing the conflicted alicorn’s gaze towards her. A chase? But why? Another hoot took his attention and Dusk faced the bird who continued to fly in circles above him. His eyes narrowed to focus on the bird and… did it just- Smirk? How is that even possible!?

That was the last straw!

Dusk growled at the audacity and his wings began to flare wide -something the nearby pegasus of Ponyville seemed to notice - as he got into position to shoot after the bird. If it wanted a chase then he'd give it a chase! His wings flexed one more time and with one move, he shot towards his target at a blistering pace.


Daring's mouth gaped open as she watched the streak of purple race after the bird. Her eyes traced his figure and while he was quick to close the distance, she realized that he wasn't fully chasing after it but was instead doing some tricks and twirls while on his way to his prize.

Daring saw the competitive grin that had appeared on his face as he shot forward and she couldn't stop the breath of awe as she watched. From the wings to the way he flew, it was...

"Beautiful." She heard herself whisper, her eyes carefully attempting to trace after the speeding pegasus. As she sat and watched she realized that she heard something other than the whiplash sounds he was making with his rather sharp turns. His words, once filled with hatred and caution, were now true and happy as he shouted 'threats' at his target.

"Get back here! If you wanted a chase you should've just said so!"

"Who!"

With a sharp turn and a barrel roll the bird dove as a way to dodge, leading to Dusk doing a rapid swan dive.

"Who your face! Get over here! If you do I'll lessen your punishment you insufferable-"

"Who! Whoo!"

"The heck do you mean-"

Daring's eyes widened at the sudden blur of blue that slammed right into the scarred stallion, almost immediately him and whoever had crashed into him into a vicious spin before they both crashed right into one of the town’s buildings.

Everypony around them winced and simultaneously let out an 'Oooh' at what they saw, even the bird seeming to wince as it landed closer to the crash site.

The owl cautiously hopping closer to the crashed pair, it let out a low trill and Daring let out a sigh of relief when a few groans were heard from the tangled purple banner hiding the duo in the wake of their collision.

"Get off me!" she heard the stallion roar, and she winced. No wrath like a stallion scorned and the poor pegasi that crashed onto somepony like Dusk...

Daring shivered when she remembered their meeting.

"What!? You're the one that crashed onto me!" a familiar raspy voice spoke and Daring stilled.

Oh, shoot...Why was it Rainbow Dash that crashed onto him? She groaned and galloped closer, hoping that the rainbow-maned mare wouldn't drive him off.

There was no telling what damage the crash could have caused to the stallion and she didn't want him to run away if there was now even more trauma on top of his other issues. She had brought Dusk here to keep him safe! Not get body-slammed by somepony!

Suddenly, she saw Dusk just rip through the cloth with Rainbow Dash not too far behind him.

She watched them glance at each other for a split second before taking a second look. The adventurer couldn't help but raise her own brow at their reactions. Did they know each other?

"Blitz!?" "Twilight!?"

Another minute of silence as they mulled what they heard each other say before they looked at each other in even more shock.

"Who?"