• Published 2nd Nov 2021
  • 750 Views, 74 Comments

An Iron Sunset - Dragon Angel Knight

  • ...
1
 74
 750

Iron Wolf

Iron Wolf

Sunset often enjoyed the view from the top of Vostok. As cold as it was, her Light kept her warm and let her survive temperatures that, frankly, other beings couldn’t. Looking out, she saw that her father and Tyra Karn were tending to the wolves as they often did when Saladin brought her here. That wasn’t what had Sunset’s full attention now, though.

“Daddy would be upset you didn’t let him know you had visited,” Sunset said with a small frown.

“How did you know?” a figure said as she let her stealth drop, her armor the same kind Sunset had seen Hunters wear after the first Iron Banner tournament her father ran.

“I’m not sure,” the pony said with a shrug, Philomena hovering by her head, “I just sorta… felt you? No that sounds weird… Like your emotions. I felt them.”

“I see,” the Hunter said, “And how do you know your dad would be upset?”

“You’re his friend, Efrideet,” Sunset said simply, “He’s been trying to get in touch with you for a while now. Looks like you got his messages, but didn’t respond. Why?”

Sitting next to Sunset and looking down, Lady Efrideet of the Iron Lords responded, “...I had to leave. I always felt that there was more to the Light than just bringing us back over and over and using it as a tool for destruction. I am still more than willing and able to fight, but… I needed some peace. After Site 6… I just felt it was time to go.”

“Daddy showed me the statues in the Temple,” the pony said looking up at Efrideet, “There wasn’t one for you.”

“I see,” the Hunter said, her shoulders sagging, “..did he say why?”

“These statues honor the dead,” Sunset replied with a smile, quoting her father, “And Efrideet isn’t dead.”

Smiling under her helmet, Efrideet stood up and nodded, “He knows I’m alive.”

“Yes,” Sunset nodded, “He’s sure you’ll be back sometime. But the when is up to you.”

Looking down at the filly, Efrideet patted her head gently and turned to go, “It might be sooner than he thinks. Especially since he’s taking care of you, little one.”

`~`~`~`~`~

Later that evening, Sunset was by the fire, a pair of wolves playing with her. Saladin watched with a jovial smile, one he hadn’t worn in years as he watched his daughter and the wolves jump at each other and play.

“She really is a little bundle of Light,” Tyra spoke up from a little off to Saladin’s right, “I haven’t seen you smile like that in a long time, old friend.”

“It’s only been a few short months, but already I cannot see my life without her,” Saladin responded simply.

“I’m sure you noticed it too,” the elder Warlock said seriously, “How the world around her seems so much more vibrant and filled with life. It’s almost as if her mere presence is the same kind of blessing the Traveler gave before the Collapse.”

“I… I’ve noticed,” the Titan responded somberly, “She will need to learn how to use her Light…. And soon.”

“You feel it too?” Tyra asked, surprised.

“It’s like a… pressure on the back of my mind,” Saladin said softly, watching as the now tuckered out filly and wolves curled around each other, yawning, “something Dark is coming our way and… I’m not sure we’ll be ready for it.”

“All we can do is wait and prepare,” said a new voice, this one to Saladin’s left.

“Efrideet!” Saladin said with barely restrained joy.

“Saladin, old friend!” the Hunter said, embracing the old man like a brother. Looking back at Sunset, Efrideet released the embrace and sighed.

“She’s going to be a huge part of it. I’m not sure how, but with her Light being as strong as it is, I’d be very surprised if she isn’t involved at least somewhat,” Efrideet said, “And… no questions. Please. I… I’m not ready to answer them. Not yet.”

“I understand,” Saladin nodded, “But yes, I do agree that Sunset is involved in whatever is going to happen. I just hope that whatever may come… she’ll be ready.”

“Were any of you truly prepared for what happened in Site 6?” Tyra asked, making Saladin go stiff, “No. All we can do is as Efrideet said, wait and prepare.”

“...I will go to Ikora at the end of the week,” Saladin said with resolve in his tone, “She will be better prepared to teach Sunset how to control her Light than I.”

“You should be a part of her training too,” Efrideet said, a hand on the other Iron Lord’s shoulder, “We don’t need her going after a dragon on her own, after all.”

With a short laugh, Saladin went and bent down to pick up Sunset, “Never going to let me live that down, are you?”

“Not on your life old man,” Efrideet laughed, “For now though… I should go. I have friends waiting.”

“Don’t be a stranger, dear,” Tyra said with a smile, “I’ll set a place for you if you visit.”

“… I’m glad you survived,” Saladin said softly, Sunset cradled in his arms.

Efrideet looked back and nodded, “I’m glad you did too, old man.”

`~`~`~`~`~`~

Several more months had passed since Efrideet’s impromptu visit and, true to her word, the Huntress had kept in touch. Saladin was happy about this, but wished she would have stayed around a little more. Sunset was just happy that her Father had another friend to speak with.

Eventually, Saladin began heading to the City for his tournament. The Iron Banner brought Guardians from all over the system to fight against each other, the clashes making their Light stronger, brighter than before. Sunset watched the feeds with rapt attention, paying close attention to the Solar Light of the Warlocks.

“Daddy… can I learn that?” Sunset asked as she watched a Warlock’s self-ressurection on the feed.

“I would certainly hope you would not need to,” Saladin said after a pause, “But when we begin your training you probably could.”

“Why the hope?” Sunset asked.

“Because that particular gift of the Light means you would have to die,” Saladin said softly, “I do not think I could handle that.”

“Oh,” the filly said, her ears drooping. She didn’t ask about that ability again.

`~`~`~`~`~

About the middle of the week, Sunset found herself out on the town. One of Cayde’s Hunters keeping an eye on her at the request of the Exo himself, but otherwise she was exploring and in general having a good time. Children occasionally stopped to oggle the pony, some with smiles and awed looks of how cute she was and others with a little fear since Sunset was a non-human. Adults, however, were not quite so afraid of letting their opinions be known. Thankfully, under the watchful eye of the Hunter that was following the filly, nothing happened.

“...Why don’t they like me?” Sunset asked aloud, “I haven’t done anything wrong so…. Why?”

The Hunter behind her knelt down and put his hand on her shoulder.

“Try to not let it get to you, New Light,” he said, “Some people are just distrustful of anything different.”

“Yeah!” Philomena said from Sunset’s other side, “They’ll warm up to you eventually. The children are already wanting to play. Don’t you see?”

Looking around, the filly did indeed notice the kids watching curiously from around them. The adults, on seeing the Hunter with the young pony, were a little less wary as well, but still occasionally shot her some distrustful, but not hateful glares.

“I see,” Sunset said with a smile, “But we can’t play right now. We have to meet with Ikora soon.”

“That we do,” the Hunter said with a smile under his helmet, “From experience I know she doesn’t like to be kept waiting either.”

`~`~`~`~`~

“Welcome back,” Ikora said with a small smile, “And thank you for keeping her safe.”

“As if I’d let anything happen to Cayde’s niece,” the Hunter said with a short laugh, “He’d rope me into being the Hunter Vanguard if I did.”

“It was fun!” Sunset exclaimed happily as she pronked a little bit, her wings fluttering, “The City is so pretty, and I loved seeing everyone. I just hope we can be friends…”

“I’m sure you will be, one day,” Ikora said, “But for now… We should get started in teaching you the ways of the Light.”

“What do you mean?” Sunset asked.

Walking up from the Vanguard’s chambers, Saladin said, “You are going to be training with Ikora and I to hone your Light. As I said before, my hope is that you will never have to use the Sunsinger’s ability to bring yourself back, but… I cannot protect you from the rest of the trials that being a Lightbearer will bring. All we can do is prepare you accordingly.”

Looking up at Saladin’s somber visage, Sunset nodded. “I understand, Daddy. Where are we going to go to train?”

“I have just spoken with Lord Shaxx,” Saladin said, turning to Ikora, “He suggested Twilight Gap or Bannerfall as good places to start since they are fairly close by.”

“Bannerfall,” Ikora said with a nod, “It’s closer to the City and less chance of any outside interference.”

`~`~`~`~`~

Sunset had read about Lysander’s Folly and the fall of the Concordat. The reminders of that event were on full display on either side of the top of the Tower building. New Monarchy on one side and Concordat on the other. It was… weird. To the filly at least. All she had known from the Vanguard and the Consensus was kindness and understanding, so anyone trying to overthrow them was… weird.

“Try not to worry about it,” Cayde had said when Sunset asked, “It was a long time ago and we’re much better off without that kind of negativity in the City.”

Ikora and Saladin led the young pony to the courtyard, near the edge of the building. A still living tree was growing there as if nothing had happened to it. There were some bullet holes in the trunk, but the gnarled old thing kept on growing, defiance in the very action of continuing to live.

“The Light is a tool,” Ikora began as they sat near the tree, Saladin standing off to the side, “This tree, the very air around us, but it is most noticeable in the way a Guardian interacts with the world around them.”

The Warlock Vanguard held up her hand, summoning a Void Grenade and holding it up. Sunset was in awe of the swirling vortex she saw, a childlike look of wonder on her muzzle. Saladin’s heart melted at the sight and Ikora had to school her emotions lest her heart literally burst at how adorable the filly looked.

“Guardians use the Light as both shield and sword,” Ikora explained after she dismissed the grenade, “Protecting that which we hold dear and striking out at those that would see us gone.”

“I understand,” Sunset said solemnly, “but what does this have to do with my training?”

“In order to call the Light,” Saladin said, “You must find it within you first. Newly reborn Guardians seem to have an almost instinctive command of it at first, with their abilities manifesting at random and all over the place. Most don’t even attempt to master much more than the first element they stumble across.”

“What do you mean by ‘Element?’” the filly asked, Philomena bobbing around her head.

“Arc energy, Solar flames, and the Void,” Ikora responded, “these three elements make up the prism of energy that is the Light and each Guardian manifests these energies in different ways.”

“Oh! So you mean like how Daddy uses electricity and how Uncle Zavala uses that weird bubble!” Sunset exclaimed.

“Yes, exactly,” Ikora said with a smile, “and those abilities have saved more lives than I’ve been able to count.”

“So… how do I find my Light?” Sunset asked as she looked up at Philomena.

“That is why we’re here,” Ikora said. She crossed her legs and sat, facing the filly. She placed her hands on her knees and relaxed her posture.

“Since you were not reborn like most Guardians, meditation will be what we use to try and trigger your Light,” the Warlock said, “First I want you to sit and try to clear your mind.”

The filly did so, closing out the world around her as best as she could. Philomena was still hovering near by, so Ikora’s Ghost, Ophiucus, took the red-shelled Ghost off to the side where Saladin stood vigilantly, his Light ready to spring forth in a torrent of fatherly concern.

“Now…” Ikora said when she felt that Sunset was in a calm state of mind, “Reach out with your senses and tell me what you feel.”

“I… feel sort of tingly. And warm,” Sunset replied after a moment of introspection, “I feel like there’s a storm going on, but also… the comforting warmth of a fire.”

Blinking, Ikora looked over to Saladin who simply shrugged.

“Good,” the Warlock said without missing a beat, “Now… which of those feels more like YOU?”

“….the fire feels familiar,” Sunset all but whispered, seemingly to herself, “Like a familiar pair of wings…”

“Can you reach out and grab that feeling?” Ikora asked, paying close attention to how Sunset was doing. She was sorely tempted to reach out and hug the young pony, such was the force of the emotion behind Sunset’s whisper.

“I… I think I can, yes,” Sunset replied, her voice still a whisper.

“Then take hold of it and shape it to your will,” Ikora said, standing up and stepping back. She knew that a lot of first time users of the Light would often… explode when their Light first came at their command.

Still sitting with her eyes closed, Sunset reached out with her forehoof, the filly grabbing at her Light. It resisted her attempts at ordering it to come to her, at least at first. Then, a buried memory surfaced….

The crown may be on your head, Sunset Shimmer, but you cannot weild it, because you don’t have the most powerful magic of all…”

“...Magic,” Sunset murmured to herself. She stopped trying to force her connection to the Light after that. Instead, she asked. And the Light responded with an astounding flash of Solar energy. Ikora stepped back, shaken by the outpouring of Light from the small filly’s body. Saladin narrowed his eyes and tensed up in anticipation, ready to act if he saw that his daughter would be in ANY kind of trouble.

“SWORD!” Sunset cried out, lifting off the ground with a powerful flap of her wings, a slight pirouette as she summoned a blade of pure Solar Light in her outstretched hoof.

“By the Traveler…” Ikora said, awed by what Sunset had been able to do, “She isn’t a Sunsinger. I… I’m not sure WHAT she is…”

“I remember seeing blades like that during the Dark Ages,” Saladin whispered hoarsely, “Just as skilled at dealing death as they were at keeping allies hale and whole. Dawnblades we called them, because when those blades were unsheathed, a red dawn was all their enemies saw.”

Sunset, meanwhile had fluttered to the ground, her wings alight with flame and a blade of Solar Light floating at her side.

“Daddy! I did it!” she exclaimed happily. Sunset dashed over to Saladin as quickly as she could, a flap of her wings bringing her to his side in an instant.

“Oof!” the old Titan said as Sunset’s sudden tackle almost sent him reeling, “I’m glad, my little phoenix.”

Author's Note:

I had this chapter written up for a long while before deciding to post it, mostly because I wasn't sure what direction I wanted to go with Sunset and her Light given abilities. I figure Warlock would be a good starting point, especially Dawnblade given her personality.

As always, let me know what you think and if you have any critiques, send them my way!