• 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...

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First Strike

“A lie!”

Instantly, the writing glowed a bright blue as the cave wall peeled back to reveal a hidden chamber.

As the magical stones ground to a halt, Cloud clapped her sister on the barrel and exclaimed, “Nice work, Flitter! As expected from the smartest sister in Equestria!”

Skyfall scratched his chin with his hoof. “Yeah, good job. Though, how did you know that a lie was the answer it was looking for?”

Flitter rubbed the back of her head in humble embarrassment. “Well, the first two lines were too general to really narrow it down much, but the third line clued me in when it talked about removing something to reveal the truth. That meant whatever the answer was hides some sort of fact or reality, which must be a type of trick or deception.”

Cloud smirked at Skyfall and snarked, “I’m surprised you weren’t able to figure it out considering how good you are at tricking and deceiving other ponies.”

Sky rolled his eyes. “Oh, come on. Are you still hung up on that? I gave you 2,000 bits and a chance to make even more cash in these mines. What more do you want from me you money-hungry vixen?”

Turning back to Flitter he said, “Anyway, what about the last line? How did that fit in?”

“Well, there’s an old proverb that I remember hearing back when…” She paused before taking a deep breath and whispering, “back when our parents were still around.”

Cloudchaser stiffened and looked at the ground with her eyes closed. Flitter swallowed and bit her lip while Sky, feeling extremely awkward, mumbled, “R-Right, so uh… that proverb was…”

Flitter shook her head and continued, “Yeah, the proverb goes like this. ‘A lie always leads to more lies’.”

Sky gave a nod of understanding. “Ah, so that’s what it meant by ‘beget another one of my own’. It’s not literally giving birth to something, it just causes another lie to be created to cover the first one.”

Cloud interrupted them with a huff. “Well, this philosophical discussion has been great, but how about we snag the treasure before we die of old age?”

Pushing past the other two, she made her way into the chamber without looking back. Sky stared after her with an alarmed expression before asking Flitter, “What’s got her so upset? Did her heat period come early this year or something?”

Flitter gave a little chuckle, but quickly sobered into a morose sigh. “No, it’s not that. Cloud gets kind of… sensitive whenever someone mentions our parents.”

Sky's hair stood on end as the tension slowly abated. “Oh, I see. I don’t mean to pry, but could I ask what happened to your parents? I did kind of wonder why you two live with each other since most ponies tend to live very close to their relatives.”

Sighing, she shrugged her shoulders and replied, “What is there to say? I only knew them for a few years before they vanished. I was really young when Cloud and I were put into foster care, so I don’t have many memories of them. I only remembered that proverb because the mayor repeated it during one of his speeches.”

“I’m guessing since Cloud is older than you, she would have more memories and attachments with them, right?” Sky reasoned.

“Right,” Flitter confirmed as she made her way into the chamber, “so if you want to know more about them, she’s going to be more helpful than I am. However, please try and be delicate when broaching the subject. She tries to put on a brave face, but I know it hurts her a lot more than she lets on.”

They cautiously entered the room, only to find Cloudchaser impatiently tapping her hoof on the ground. “It’s about time. I started to think another rockslide squashed you two.”

“You’d like that, wouldn’t you?” Sky quipped, giving her a playful bump. “That way, you could keep the entire reward to yourself.”

“Hay yeah I would!” she smirked back, “Then I’d be set for life! Do you have any idea what I could do with 3,000 bits?”

“Pay off our rent for the next three months?” Flitter sarcastically shot. “In case you’ve forgotten, we still need to eat and put a roof over our heads before you go off and buy another sword sheath.”

“Come on, sis, it was half off! It would have been more irresponsible not to get it at that price!” Cloud’s face shifted into an angry glare. “I still can’t believe our landlord raised the rent again. Seriously, how is that not an arrestable crime?”

Flitter rolled her eyes before glancing at the stone pedestal in the center of the chamber. “So, that’s it huh? After hundreds of years, I can’t believe we finally found The Lost Diadem of Diamondpaw.”

The diadem’s silver sheen shone back at them with a majestic beauty. A large blue gem sat in the middle of the crown, which refracted the torchlight into elegant spires of shining color. Peering closer, they saw an inscription carved into the metal rim's surface: ‘Wit Beyond Measure Is One’s Greatest Treasure’.

“Huh, that’s surprisingly clever for a diamond dog,” Cloud smirked. “Most of them can’t tell the difference between an apple and an orange.”

“Which makes you a bonafide genius then, huh?”

All of them whirled around, only to be met with the sight of three heavily-armed diamond dogs giving them hostile glares. Sky rushed in front of Flitter and Cloudchaser as he raised his shield up to his chest. “Who are you?”

The opposing trio growled before the biggest of them stepped forward. “We are the Diamond Demolishers, and that,” he pointed towards the diadem, “is our rightful property.”

“Like hay it is!” Cloud shot back. “We got here first, so we get to collect the reward. That’s how these things work.”

Sky was tempted to remind her of the way she assaulted him when he got to Hooflepuff’s goblet, but instead turned his attention to the more pressing matter at hoof. “The civilization that created the diadem went extinct hundreds of years ago,” he countered, “so there’s no way it could possibly be yours.”

“We are descendants of the dogs of this tribe.” The Demolisher argued, “As such, the diadem belongs with us and our race.”

“That’s not how inheritance works!” Flitter said. “In order to truly pass on ownership of an item, it must be written down in an official will by each new generation. Otherwise, it is given to the highest bidder or to the creature that finds it if it was lost.”

The three dogs snarled at her. “We do not follow your pony customs. That diadem is ours, and we will do whatever it takes to leave with it.” They raised their weapons in a threatening manner, evidently willing to kill for possession of the crown.

Flitter notched an arrow as Cloud pulled out her sword. “What do we do, Sky?” Flitter asked in a shaky voice. “They look serious about hurting us over the diadem. Maybe we should just back off and look for something else.”

“No way!” Cloud retorted, not willing to be bullied out of a massive payday. “We found the diadem and answered the riddle. As far as I’m concerned, we’re the ones with the right to the crown, not these fanatic psychos.”

Sky considered their options carefully. The Diamond Demolishers looked well trained and equipped. Two of them were holding shortswords while the leader carried a warhammer, and all of them were wearing custom-made metal armor. Flitter’s injuries were also a factor, since she wouldn’t be able to move or shoot very fast if they did get into a confrontation.

Just as he was about to back off and call a retreat, his eyes noticed something about the runty diamond dog on the leader’s right. His armor straps were incorrectly placed, and he was clenching his jaw tight, which gave Sky the impression that he was a new recruit to the hunting business.

Keeping his lips from moving too much, he leaned towards Flitter and whispered, “Do you see the exposed part of the smallest dog’s leg?” Flitter’s eyes narrowed as she nodded imperceptibly. “On my signal, take him down, then work with Cloud to get the other smaller one. I’ll hold off the leader until you two deal with them.”

Skyfall stepped forward towards the Demolisher’s leader and fixed him with a challenging stare. “Sorry man, but we’re not moving. If you wanted the diadem, you should have gotten here sooner.”

The large diamond dog smirked and opened his arms. “Oh? You’re approaching me? Instead of running away, you’re coming right at me-”

A/N: NO! No Jojo references!

“Oh come on man, we need to do something to get likes.”

A/N: No! I’m not that desperate… yet. Look, just stick with the lines, okay?

“Fine…”

The large diamond dog narrowed his beady eyes. “Then you have chosen death. Make peace with your princesses, because you’ll never make it out of here ali-”

“NOW!”

Sky gave a shout and charged towards the leader, shield in front ready to tackle him down.

Flitter drew her bow back and fired an arrow at the exposed part of her target’s leg. Despite being injured, her aim never faltered, and the arrow sunk straight through his leg and out the other side. The injured dog gave a cry of pain and collapsed to the ground as Cloud rushed forward to attack the other henchman, who raised his own sword to meet her strike.

Even with a number advantage, the battle was far from easy. Unlike their fallen comrade, the other two diamond dogs had properly equipped themselves, which made Flitter’s arrows little more than an inconvenience.

The Demolisher Cloud fought was well trained, but his lighter weapon proved ineffective against her massive broadsword. With each slash, he was barely able to parry it without falling to the ground due to its sheer weight. She delivered blow after blow, which eventually forced him into a corner where Cloud could make quick work of him.

Back with Skyfall, things weren’t so rosy. Even with his initial momentum, the Demolisher’s leader proved difficult to overpower. As Sky charged towards him, the dog got into a batting stance and swung his hammer as hard as he could at the approaching shield bash.

The force of the impact made a loud ringing noise and sent Sky flying through the air straight into one of the cave walls. Struggling to his hooves, he saw the outline of something big approaching before the head of the hammer was forced into his barrel, lifting him high into the air.

Gasping for breath, Sky threw his shield at his opponent’s head, but missed by several feet due to lack of oxygen. As his vision became blurry, he thought he heard the sound of somepony shouting his name before his mind faded into oblivion.


Skyfall’s mind floated in a dark void of nothingness. Gazing around, he saw only blackness in every direction. Feeling for a hoofhold, he squirmed in place while desperately trying to find something, anything, to cling to. As he fell deeper and deeper into the growing night, a voice sounded out to him.

“...sky…”

The noise reverberated all around him and seemed to pierce his very soul.

“Sky.”

It’s presence brought him comfort and encouragement. He reached out, trying to touch whatever was talking to him.

SKY!


Sky’s eyes fluttered open to reveal a fuzzy purple object hovering above him. Blinking away the fog, his vision focused on the teary-eyed, green-maned pegasus holding him in her hooves.

As his muzzle split into a grin, Flitter pulled him into a rib-cracking hug and squeezed him with all her strength. “Oh, thank Celestia! I thought you weren’t going to wake up!”

He sat there stunned for a second before wrapping his hooves around her and returning the hug. “No way, Flitter. I’m not going down that easily."

They embraced each other for a while, enjoying the warmth of their cuddle. Sky's hooves rubbed the base of Flitter's wings, causing her to let out several appreciative hums of pleasure. His intimate actions were met with encouragement as she nuzzled her cheek into his neck, causing his heart rate to spike up.

*cough*

Looking up, Sky was greeted by the sight of Cloud staring down at them, eyebrow raised with a smirk on her muzzle. Feeling his cheeks burn, he quickly dislodged himself from Flitter’s grasp and scrambled to his hooves. “So, uh… what happened while I was out?”

Cloud’s flank-eating grin didn’t abate as she snarked, “If you’re talking about what happened before you and Flitter got all mushy, that big lummox pinned you against the wall and nearly choked you to death before Flitter managed to shoot his arm with an arrow. Then, he dropped you to the floor while I hit him over the head with my sword and knocked him out.”

She turned to stare at Flitter with a look of confusion. "Speaking of which, how did you manage to pierce that guy's armor? Normally, those heavy plates would have reflected your shots like they were toothpicks."

Flitter shrugged before standing up and reclaiming her arrows. "No idea! Maybe his armor wasn't as strong as we thought it was."

“Either way,” Sky said while staring at the bleeding diamond dog in front of him, “thanks for saving my tail, girls. I really owe you one. Are either of you hurt?”

“Nah, we’re good. That sneak attack on the small dog really came through for us. Nice call with that one!”

Sky nodded and made his way back to the stone pedestal where the diadem rested. “Well, at least we can still collect this. I’d say after surviving traps, solving riddles, and fighting a gang of diamond dogs that we’ve earned it.”

“About that,” Flitter mentioned while pointing towards the incapacitated hunters, “what should we do with them? We can’t just leave them here or they’ll die.”

“Serves them right after what they did,” Cloud muttered, but quieted after Flitter gave her a hard look.

“Let’s tie them up and take them back into town,” Sky said, grabbing the leader and wrapping rope around his wrists and ankles. “We’ll turn them into the guard and let them deal with punishment.”

Grabbing the rest of the diamond dogs and equipment, the three ponies made their way back into the tunnel. As they walked past the fallen boulders conveniently moved aside by the pursuing Demolishers, Cloud turned to him and asked, “Hey, are you okay with carrying that guy on your back? I can take him off your shoulders if you need me to.”

Sky shook his head. “No, I’m good, but thanks for offering. I think I have enough juice left in me to get back into town, even with this flankhole on me.”

Cloud gave an unconvinced snort. “Sure, tough guy, just don’t give out before we get back inside the town walls, or I’ll have to carry three of you.”

He chuckled and prepared another witty remark. “Oh yeah? I bet you’d love it if I croaked right now. That way you’d collect my share of the gold and be, how did you put it, ‘set for life’?”

Cloud stopped in her tracks and turned to look him straight in the eyes. “Not at all, man. There’s no amount of money that would ever make me want you gone.”

Without another word, she whipped around and started moving again, her fur just a little more red than its usually balanced purple.

Author's Note:

A/N: Jesus, this chapter was a doozy to write. I’m really inexperienced with fight scenes, so I’m basing a lot of it on other books like Harry Potter and Warriors.

Anyway, nice job to all those who managed to solve my riddle. Give yourself a pat on the back. If you notice any mistakes or areas of my writing that could improve, please let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading! :)