• Published 25th Jun 2021
  • 1,045 Views, 17 Comments

Creeping Darkness - Bronyxy

An unexpected visitor crashes Day Court, alerting Twilight to something being seriously wrong in the Crystal Empire ...

  • ...

9 Know your Enemy

Twilight led her force along a maze of familiar corridors, everywhere lit with the same ethereal blue and purple halflight that fortunately allowed both Royal Guard and Night Guard to operate equally as effectively.

With momentum behind her, Twilight charged towards the shut doors of the throne room, lighting her horn once more to release a bolt of energy that flung the massive doors wide.

With a terrifying crash that reverberated around the castle, the heavy doors smashed into the solid walls on the inside of the large room, juddering their protest as they bounced back and came to rest half open.

Twilight surged through the opening, but an unseen force threw her two guards and all those following back out and into the corridor they had come from, before deliberately securing the doors shut once more.

She slowed to a halt and took in her situation.

She was on her own, but could sense she was not alone.

“I wondered when you would see fit to join me” said an oily and strangely familiar voice from the darkness surrounding the throne, “I was beginning to think you weren’t coming.”

The voice was female.

Twilight was not going to be caught by surprise. If this was Cadance, then Sombra would be around somewhere. She span around to see if he was behind her, but saw nothing out of place, then turned her attention back quickly to the voice from the throne.

“We won’t be disturbed” the voice reassured, “It is insulting to think that I couldn’t have stopped your little invasion at any time.”

“Cadance …?” Twilight asked in bewilderment, seeking some kind of confirmation.

“Your weak and simpering goody four-hooves sister-in-law?”

Something about the voice was now beginning to strike a chord deep in Twilight’s memory; something awful.

“It is entertaining to watch the great Princess Twilight Sparkle fumbling around to join the dots together, like some naïve foal. I had always thought of you as the smartest of my adversaries, in fact I have held a certain begrudging respect for you, but now I am beginning to question my judgement.”

Twilight was rooted to the spot.

Surely not …

“Nightmare Moon …” she gasped, “In league with King Sombra …?”

The dark figure descended languidly from the throne and advanced slowly from the shadow.

“My” she said in mock admiration, “How you’ve grown since we last met.”

“But how …?” gasped Twilight stepping back, not out of fear, but shock.

“I do have time to entertain you, but first I will get rid of your tiresome guards” Nightmare Moon said coldly, “If I don’t, they will only knock over the furnishings and bleed over the carpets.”

“Don’t harm them or any of the crystal ponies” Twilight demanded, “There’s been enough blood shed already.”

“Suing for peace so soon? I was hoping for a little more fight out of you first.”

With that, her horn lit with a light blue aura and individual streams of magic snaked out in apparently random directions.

At that precise moment, the guards were all surprised to see light blue streams of energy suddenly appear out of the darkness and connect together with all the mind controlled unicorns. A second later, their individual energies linked together and a light blue forcefield formed, pushing away all the Equestrian forces to a distance of a hundred yards or so away from the castle, from where they could do nothing to continue their assault.

Twilight knew nothing of what had happened other than that the pervading sounds of combat had suddenly stopped, and the glow in Nightmare Moon’s horn had subsided once more.

“You could have done that at any time …” gasped Twilight.

“Yes. But now I have you, the last remaining obstacle standing in my way. Celestia and Luna have retired and lost their power, I have captured Cadance, and an unfortunate accident happened to her daughter as she tried to flee. You see, you are all that now stands between me and eternal night.”

“It was you who shot Flurry Heart?” Twilight challenged, her hackles rising noticeably.

“Oh, you must have found her then” retorted Nightmare Moon dismissively, “No matter.”

“That was a horrible thing to do to my niece!”

“I presume you have plans for revenge, then, do you?” Nightmare Moon sneered sarcastically, “I can’t wait to find out what horrors you have set aside for me.”

Twilight paused, not wishing to allow herself to be goaded, and focused instead on her breathing.

“Where’s Sombra?” she asked, containing her fury and trying to sound composed.

“I have no idea. Never met him, but I have found a stash of very powerful crystals he will probably want back when he returns. You know, once you work out how to tap into them, their power is just about limitless” Nightmare Moon monologued, “I was wandering around as little more than a spirit until I drifted into the Crystal Empire and found these crystals. They are so strong that they enabled me to have my true body back, just like old times.”

“I suppose he left you the mind-control helmets too?”

“Ah, yes. Wonderful little devices. They saved me the effort of enslaving the ponies by using magic” she added wistfully, before changing her tone into one distinctly more threatening, “Now tell me, Princess; now I have you, what should I do with you?”

Twilight held her ground as Nightmare Moon moved forward to gloat, poking her nose close up to the point of Twilight's muzzle, eyeing her meticulously.

“I’m not scared of you” Twilight retorted unflinchingly, “Our paths have crossed before.”

“Aren’t you?” challenged Nightmare Moon, her reptilian teal coloured eyes suddenly flashing blood red against green with streams of purple smoke snaking out of them.

Twilight gasped and couldn’t help but jump back out of reflex.

Nightmare Moon laughed; a cruel, heartless cackle, revelling in her victory.

“Oh, come now, Princess” she smirked, “That was then. This is now!”

Twilight blanched. She had taken on Sombra and she had taken on Nightmare Moon in the past, but not both together. Suddenly everything she thought she knew evaporated before her eyes; this foul apparition was a combination of both of them!