• Published 15th Apr 2021
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The Fall of the Anoian - bookhorse125

Equestria is not the only land full of magical creatures. Welcome to Anoia.

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Chapter Twenty-Two - Twilight

Red looked shocked at the prospect.

“M-me?” she stuttered. “Rule… Twilight, you must be insane.”

“I don’t think so,” Twilight said with a sly smile. “Who else do you think it would go to?”

“Um…” Red looked at Marylyn, as if asking her to help her. Marylyn shrugged. “My father?”

“Your father is currently being held in Canterlot for his crimes,” Twilight said flatly. “Do you really think he’s in any condition to rule this place? And if he did, wouldn’t things just go back to being the way they were?”

Red opened and closed her mouth, speechless.

“Even if he was supposed to inherit the throne, you would be his heir,” Twilight pressed on. “And since he is clearly unable to take it, that means you have to.”

“But… I’m not sure I could,” Red protested.

“Of course you can!” Flurry Heart said brightly, coming to land beside the two of them, Cadance right behind her. “I literally just saw you tell your entire army to stop fighting, and that the war was over. You literally killed Lupines-”

“On accident!” Red added hastily.

“-and you can totally see the future! Who better to lead than you?” Flurry put her hoof on Red’s shoulder. “You’ve always had it in you, Red. Now you need to use it.”

“Wait, see the future?” Rainbow Dash asked, coming down to land next to Twilight. The rest of her friends joined them. “Did I miss something?”

Red blushed so much that it was clearly visible, despite her warm red coat.

“Um…” Flurry said sheepishly, her cheeks red. “Maaaybe?”

Twilight raised her eyebrow suspiciously. “Really? And what is that?”

“I can sorta, kinda see the future,” Red mumbled. “And read minds.”

Well, that got their attention in a flash.

What?” Cadance exclaimed. Red turned an even deeper shade of her name and nodded.

“How could you sit on something like that for so long?” Rainbow Dash asked incredulously.

“They only just started acting up!” Red protested. “I can’t really control them much. But Lupines did something that prevented me from using them, and when I left, somehow, those things got reversed and I could use my powers freely again.”

Twilight was nodding like it all made sense. And wouldn’t it be just like Lupines, she thought bitterly, to take an innocent pony and strip her of her once-in-a-century powers that could change the world. And all that for nothing. Red still got her powers, she still overthrew Lupines, and she’s just what this place needs for a ruler.

Red gasped and her eyes turned white again like by the campfire. That was where the similarities ended. She didn’t faint or start breathing heavily, but stood completely still with her mouth hanging open a little bit. After a minute or so, her eyes turned green again.

“What was that?” Marylyn asked nervously. Her voice was shaking, and Twilight had to remind herself that Marylyn hadn’t been by the campfire when Red had her vision.

“A vision,” Twilight explained. She studied Red’s face, which was slightly panicked. “What did you see?”

“The same thing as last time,” Red replied shakily. “An invasion of Canterlot. Only it’s a lot clearer now, and I can’t see an alternative.” Red turned to face everypony else. “We’re going to have to fight this battle.”

“What futures can you see?” inquired Twilight.

“If we win and get the Anoians to surrender and make peace with Equestria, then there will be no more fighting, and our kingdoms can form an alliance that would help all of us. But if the Anoians win… they don’t know what’s happened here, so it’ll be kind of hard for us to convince them that Lupines is dead and that I’m their commander now, and even harder to get them to listen to us. And if they don’t listen, they’ll most likely kill us all and take Canterlot anyway. They’ll find out Lupines is really dead, and another dictator will assume the throne and rule the world in a state of fear and poverty.” Red glanced around at everypony’s shocked and scared expressions. “But,” she added hastily, “the odds are mostly in our favor. So, we’d better get over there,” Red declared, and she jerked her head towards the door. Twilight and her friends, Cadance, and Flurry ran through the door, along with all the missing ponies and creatures. Red grabbed Marylyn and held her back for a moment before joining them.

“Where’s Marylyn?” Flurry asked, hovering over the grounded ponies with everypony else who had wings.

“I told her to stay here,” Red said, spreading her own wings and taking flight. “She’ll have to watch over the guards and the city while I’m gone.”

Twilight nodded and lit her horn. Her magic lit up the night sky like a falling star. In a flash, Anoia disappeared and was replaced by the Canterlot castle throne room.

The throne room was empty, but the sounds of battle could be heard outside. Twilight rushed to a nearby window and peered outside nervously.

“Oh no!” She gasped. “We’re too late! The Anoians have started their attack!”

The protective shield surrounding the two towns had been blown to pieces, which covered the ground so much so that it looked pink. Thousands of Anoian soldiers were scattered throughout the city of Canterlot, unable to be held back. The Equestrian forces were vastly outnumbered but were fighting nonetheless. They came up in waves from Ponyville, swords and spears clashing and blood being spilled among the streets.

Ponyville itself was untouched by the invaders; they seemed to be mostly focused on Canterlot. And after watching the battle for a bit, Twilight understood why.

In the middle of the fray, Celestia and Luna, Dragon Lord Ember, King Thorax, Prince Rutherford, Queen Novo, Princess Skystar, Shining Armor, and Starlight Glimmer were all fighting in the center of town. The fountain that normally stood there had been knocked down and reduced to rubble. Water still leaked out, mixing with the blood and dust in the streets, forming a reddish mud that was splattered across everypony’s hooves.

Explosives were dropped from the sky by the Anoian air force, taking out just as many Anoians as Equestrians, the ponies were so mingled amongst each other. Dragons tried their best to eliminate the bombs before they could be dropped, but many bombs still fell anyway. Yaks rammed into unsuspecting Anoians and knocked them down, trampling them as they went. Hippogriffs, pegasi, griffons, and a few changelings were fighting in the air, engaging in hoof-to-hoof combat above the clouds. Other changelings distracted Anoians by constantly changing forms, making them easy prey for the yaks, and others still helped in any way they could by alternating between fighting in the sky and on the ground.

So many ponies and other creatures had been killed in the fighting that the sides of the streets were littered with bleeding and broken bodies. It made Twilight’s heart ache just to see them, even though a little more than half of them were Anoians.

“What’s going on?” Red cried from next to Twilight.

“They’re fighting,” Twilight responded in a quiet voice. “And we’re losing.” She turned to face the room and raised her voice. “We have to help them!”

“Why?” asked a cream-colored earth pony with pink and purple curls and blue eyes. “We’re just regular ponies. What could we do?”

Flurry Heart glanced around at them all with disgust written all over her face.

“Seriously? ‘What could we do’? That’s the best excuse you could come up with?” Flurry demanded, flapping her wings so that she hovered over them all. “Listen to me. We’re outnumbered by a few hundred to one. Every single pony counts. If we want to win this war, we all need to work together. I know you’re all just regular ponies and creatures and feel like you couldn’t contribute much to this fight, but we need you. We need you all. If you don’t join us and fight, then we’re as good as done. We might as well just surrender now. But if you stay and fight by our side…” Flurry looked around with a hopeful expression, hoping that they would believe her. A young coral pink unicorn with dark blue braids stepped forward, her eyes shaky but determined.

“She’s right,” she declared. Her calm, clear voice carried across the silent throne room. “If we want to win this, we all need to fight. And why? Because our home is in jeopardy. If we don’t stand by our leaders and fight, then who will? If we don’t at least try, then how will we live with ourselves when Equestria is conquered because we were all too stubborn to simply fight. If I’m going to die, then I want to die fighting beside my princess, my friends, and for my country. I’m not going to sit around and do nothing while innocent ponies are out there dying. I’m going to fight.” The unicorn turned around and faced the rest of the ponies and creatures in the room. “And if you’re the creatures I think you are, you will too.”

Twilight was silent. She recognized the unicorn as one of the students at the School of Friendship, and the unicorn foal who had convinced the unicorns to join with the pegasi and earth ponies during the Battle of Grogar’s Bell. Her words were simple but moving. Twilight could see a ripple among the crowd as other creatures agreed with the little foal and pledged their allegiance to Equestria.

“That’s the spirit,” Flurry said brightly to the foal. She grinned up at the alicorn princess. “So what are we waiting for? Soldiers are still dying out there, and I’m going to fight beside them.” Flurry flew towards the door, and everyone else in the room ran after her, Twilight included. They burst out of the doors of the castle and onto the battlefield.

Author's Note:

Constructive criticism is appreciated.