• Published 14th Aug 2020
  • 1,203 Views, 147 Comments

A Different Kind of Treasure - Mechawrecker

What's the most valuable treasure in the world: Family? Money? Revenge? Love? Depends on who you ask...

  • ...

A Choice Encounter

Cloudchaser let out a groan of pain as she clumsily smeared the dirt caked on her cheek. The sweltering heat and humidity of the underground cave system did her aching legs and back no favors as she grudgingly stumbled to her hooves.

“This is certainly the quick and easy dungeon run you promised,” she muttered sarcastically, coughing her way through the dense cloud of dust from the boulder that almost crushed her flat.

“Oh, shut up. How was I supposed to know the ceiling was going to cave in?” Flitter replied in an equally irritated tone.

Limping slightly, she salvaged what little of their supplies remained from under the rubble. “Well, there goes the last of our food. Looks like we have to go back into town and buy more.”

“Perfect, just what I needed to hear. Maybe we should just leave and search some other ruin. I don’t know about you, but I don't fancy being turned into paste today,” Cloudchaser groaned, glaring accusingly at the rock mere feet behind her back legs.

“And where are we going to get the money for next month’s rent? I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but we kind of need food. Unless you’ve got a couple thousand bits stuffed up somewhere, we have to keep digging,” Flitter shot, shaking their empty food bag for emphasis.

Cloudchaser let out another tired groan at the prospect of crawling through a musty tunnel on an empty stomach. Silently wondering how her sister’s meaty legs would taste, she leaned against the cave wall and asked, “How much are we getting paid to retrieve this cup-thingy anyway? It better be enough to afford some real grub. I’m sick of eating those bitter roots that you call food."

Flitter rolled her eyes at her sister’s lack of memory and attention. “It’s not a ‘cup-thingy’, it’s a gilded goblet. We’re getting paid 2,000 bits to excavate and bring it back to the family it belongs to.”

“Whatever. As long as we get paid, I don’t care what it’s called. If getting it out of here means I can go buy some meat for a change, I’m all for it,” Cloudchaser snarked, brushing dirt off her armor.

“I’ll never understand how you can eat meat without gagging,” Flitter remarked, sparking another torch. “It always tastes really weird, and I can never keep it in me for long before spitting it out.”

Cloudchaser smirked at the perfect setup before pouncing on her sister's unintentional euphemism. “Well, I guess that explains why you’ve never had a coltfriend.”

Flitter deadpanned at her with an unamused glare. "Seriously?"

Cloudchaser clutched her muzzle as she held back a chorus of laughter. “What? We both know it’s true. I mean -pft- what more can you give a guy if you can’t eat his meat or swallow it down?”

Rolling her eyes again, Flitter turned away, not dignifying the lecherous joke with a response. As she stared down the dimly lit tunnel, her keen sight detected a faint glow in the distance. Knowing any naturally burning flames would have gone out a long time ago, she crouched down and motioned for her sister to do the same.

“Cloud, do you see that light down there?” she whispered, unsure of whether to approach the unknown entity.

“Yeah, I do,” Cloudchaser confirmed. “If someone's trying to steal our prize, they’re going to regret ever being born.”

Edging down the dark tunnel, Flitter and Cloudchaser pulled out their weapons, a bow and broadsword respectively. As they approached the inner chamber, the sound of shuffling hooves steadily increased. The two mares shared a quick glance before Cloudchaser jumped out of the passageway, Flitter with her bow drawn right behind her.

One moment, the two sisters saw a tall stallion with dark brown fur and blue hair staring back at them with a startled expression on his face. The next, the stallion was charging full speed at them with wings extended and a shield in front ready to bash them down.

Flitter had just enough time to shout “WAI-” before he crashed into them, sending Cloudchaser tumbling to the floor. The stallion then rounded on Flitter as she squeaked in fright and let loose an arrow, which thunked harmlessly against his sturdy shield.

As he prepared to tackle her too, Cloudchaser sprang up and swung her broadsword, barely missing the stallion’s neck as he backtracked into a defensive stance. She readied her sword again while the stallion prepared for another charge, but both froze when Flitter’s resounding voice echoed around the room.


Both Cloudchaser and the stallion stared at her with wide eyes as the command reverberated around the chamber.

“Everypony needs to step back and put their weapons down. We don’t want anyone to get hurt over a misunderstanding,” she reasoned, taking the initiative and lowering her bow to aim at the floor. The stallion’s golden eyes flickered over to Cloudchaser, whose broadsword was still firmly gripped in her mouth.

“Are you crazy, Flitter?” she balked, clearly not enthusiastic about lowering her guard. “This lunatic just tackled me and would have done the same to you if I hadn’t struck!”

“Lunatic!?” the stallion spluttered. “Who were the ones that jumped me with weapons drawn and fired an arrow that would have turned my skull into a shower head!?"

“Listen! Just lower your sword as a show of good faith, okay? Both of our weapons out-range his shield, so we can still react if he charges us. I don't want unnecessary bloodshed if we can talk this out,” Flitter interjected, desperate to avoid a confrontation when they were so lacking in the food and medicine departments.

Cloudchaser and the stallion stared at each other for a full ten seconds before she grudgingly moved out of her battle stance and slackened her grip on the sword’s handle. The stallion eyed her with suspicion at first, then followed suit by lowering his shield enough to expose his face. His golden eyes were narrowed and his snout was drawn into a grimace, but he at least seemed willing to talk.

“Good,” Flitter breathed as relief flooded her body. With any luck, this will all have been a mistake, and they would be able to go their separate ways. “Let’s start with an introduction. My name is Flitter, and that is my sister, Cloudchaser.”

Cloudchaser gave a grunt of affirmation without taking her eyes off him.

The stallion glared back at the aggressive of the two sisters and growled, “My name’s Skyfall. I’m here searching for the gilded goblet of house Hooflepuff.” Their eyes widened as he continued, “Judging by your reactions, I’m guessing you two are here for it as well.”

Seeing no point in denying his claim, Cloudchaser fired back, “Yeah, where is it? I don’t see it anywhere in the chamber.”

Skyfall adjusted his travel pack and replied, “Wherever it is, it’s not here. I’m guessing it's still in one of the other tunnels we haven’t explored yet.”

“Damn,” Flitter muttered, slinging her bow back on her barrel. “I guess we’ll have to do some more work then. The tunnel collapsed when my sister and I made our way here, so the path back is clogged.”

He snorted with exasperation. “Great, now we have to dig our way out of here, or we’ll die trapped in a natural tomb.”

The three ponies made their way back through the tunnel, Skyfall and Cloudchaser glaring all the way, each daring the other to make a wrong move. When they reached the cave in, he whistled at the sheer size of the boulders. “Damn, how did you girls not get crushed to death by these behemoths?”

Cloudchaser puffed out her chest and taunted, “When you’re good at treasure hunting, something like this is no big deal.”

Skyfall opened his mouth to shoot back a retort when Flitter interrupted, “Can we please stop arguing and work together? These rocks look too big to move alone, so we’re going to have to cooperate if we want a chance at getting out of here within the next century.”

Begrudgingly, the bickering ponies accepted the merit in her analysis and set to work moving the stone barrier between them and freedom. As Cloudchaser removed some of the smaller debris, Flitter moved to help Skyfall with a large boulder.

“Um… Skyfall…” she stammered.

He looked up with a grimace and drawled, “Yeah? What is it?”

Flitter flushed red at his aggressive glare before stammering, “I just wanted to apologize for what we did back in the chamber. I can understand why you were alarmed when two armed ponies popped out of nowhere.”

Skyfall’s sour gaze contorted into a confused expression before finally settling on a half-smile of understanding. “Oh... it’s fine. I get how it is down here. You can never be too careful when crawling through dangerous ruins and tunnels.”

Flitter smiled and returned to moving rocks. Skyfall fell into step with her, heaving the massive boulder blocking the cave exit with a grunt.

A pair of purple eyes followed their conversation as they talked, raising an eyebrow at their strangely pleasant tones of voice.

After two hours of work and a lot of swearing, the three treasure hunters finally managed to move enough of the rubble to get through to the outside. Emboldened by their Herculean accomplishment, they all conversed with strained yet proud voices.

“Finally! I thought we would never get through those damned rocks,” Cloudchaser panted, her chest heaving with each breath.

“Tell me about it. I think… my legs are falling off,” Flitter huffed, not quite as physically capable as her sister.

Skyfall opened his bag to pull out a ration pack and a canteen of water. As he took a bite, a rumbling noise erupted from somewhere to his left. Whipping around, he was greeted by the sight of Flitter's bright red face staring stoutly away from him with humiliation painted across her expression.

Biting back a chuckle, Skyfall rifled around the contents of his bag, which rattled until he pulled out another ration pack. Trying not to embarrass Flitter any further, he offered the extra rations without saying a word. She gratefully accepted the supplies with a reverent “thank you so much” and eagerly devoured the food.

Turning his head, he saw Cloudchaser staring intensely at him with an unreadable look on her face. Locking eyes with the stubborn mare, he grinned smugly and taunted, “You know, if you want some food too, all you have to do is ask~”

Flitter giggled at her sister’s predicament, but Cloudchaser didn't smile. In fact, her expression grew more hostile by the second. After several moments of tense silence, she uttered a question that made his blood run cold.

“What is in your pack?”

The temperature dropped ten degrees as all the arrogance drained from his face. Flitter glanced up in surprise as Cloudchaser continued to glare accusingly.

Skyfall stammered, but no words made it past his muzzle. After a moment of stunned shock, he spluttered, “w-what do you m-mean…

“I mean," she barked aggressively, “that I heard something metal rattling around in your pack. What is it?

Skyfall started to sweat nervously as he explained, “Th-Those are my hoof bracers. I use them to better withstand pressure from attacks with my shield.”

Without losing a beat, she pounced again on his faulty reasoning. “Really? If those are hoof bracers meant to withstand pressure, then why didn’t you use them when you were moving those heavy rocks? Also, since something was rattling around in your pack, those bracers need something metal to rattle against.”

Flitter’s eyes widened as she realized what her sister was getting at. “So, I’ll ask you again… WHAT IS IN YOUR PACK!?

Several things happened at once. Cloudchaser drew her broadsword from its sheath and swung it straight at his neck, Flitter jumped up to try and stop her from committing murder, and Skyfall made a mad dash for the tunnel exit, desperately trying to evade the murderous mare hot on his hooves.

Author's Note:

A/N: Any constructive criticism or suggestions are very much welcome and appreciated. Please enjoy reading my latest creation!