• Published 14th Sep 2012
  • 4,080 Views, 224 Comments

Roses for the Grave - Mordy

Dark magic is a powerful and banned art believed to be long forgotten. Unbeknownst to the common Equestrian citizen, that art is very much alive and practiced in secret by less harmonious individuals.

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Ch9: To be Normal

MLP: Roses for the Grave
By Mordy

Ch9: To be Normal

Deimos groaned out as he weakly trudged through the grassy fields on his way to Fillydelphia. He would occasionally curse under his breath with every few steps he took. As luck would have it, a huge investigation was underway in Manehatten which caused security at the train stations to be heightened. Checkpoints were a little more lax exiting the city on hoof and was the only way he could get out without getting the second degree from members of the royal guard and local police.

So, what did this all mean? This meant he now had to walk all the way down south to Fillydelphia and then hop on a train there to get to Ponyville. This meant he was going to be very late and most likely piss off a lot of short tempered ponies. Although he was very sure that was going to be inevitable, but he was hoping to push it off for as long as possible so he wouldn’t have anypony breathing down his neck, at least for a little while. Sadly that was not meant to be, though he at least had the courtesy to let the Shadow Council know why he was going to be delayed, but he’d bet his horn they’d still throw a fit.

“At least it can’t get any worse,” he muttered to himself as he stepped over a squash. Cutting through a farmer’s field might have been the shortest distance, but the ground wasn’t exactly made with walking in mind.

There was then bright flash followed by a loud boom. He winced slightly and looked up as rain began to pour all over him. He brushed his green mane out of his eyes and growled at the top of his lungs, “Damn you karma!”

“Sorry!” A voice meekly and unexpectedly replied as a pegasus mare peaked out from the cloud above. Coincidentally, her name was Raining Karma.

Huh, Karma’s pretty cute. Deimos let a small grin spread on his face.

It had been a few days since Julius and company had arrived at Ponyville. During this time Twilight and her friends went on an important mission to the Crystal Empire. Of course anypony in Ponyville didn’t know why they left nor did they question it. It hadn’t been that long before they returned and went back to their same old routine, but with Julius’s very private and hermit like lifestyle he’d most like would never hear of this exploit. At least, not all of the details.

Julius recently found out that he now got Silent Whispers, an underworld newspaper that was delivered to those within the secret organization better known as Darkmoon Covenant. It had all the latest news from breakthroughs on dark magic, to the recent obituaries including ones involving the various assassin guilds, then there was political updates, also just general news of interest, and most importantly messages from the Dark Lord, the leader of this whole secret underworld. Well, one of the leaders. He was specifically the go to pony for dark arts, with a specialty in necromancy. However, it was wildly seen that he was at the top of the political ladder besides a very special somepony who had a place reserved right at the top. Of course it didn’t help that Luna didn’t know she had her own seat and was by all means considered their leader, queen, and empress. Celestia was damn sure not going to let her know. In her defense she thought such a position would cause the power to go to her head and maybe overthrow her kingdom. Also in her defense, she was probably right.

Julius was currently levitating a copy of the Silent Whispers in front of him, reading the front page with some mild interest while drinking some black coffee with lots of sugar added to it. He sniffed the concoction letting the aroma overflow his senses as he took that first sip. Gently setting it down as he began to read his paper.

Crystal Empire Returns

Huh, didn’t know it left. Julius thought as he took another sip from his brew.

Recently the Crystal Empire finally returned after a1000 year curse wore off. This curse had been placed on the Empire by its former ruler, King Sombra, as a last insult to the Equestrian diarchy after they banished him to the shadows.

Some of you might be familiar with the name as he was once a member of our coven in the early years of Darkmoon when it was still in its infancy. However, his enslavement of the crystal empire, which had been one of the best route trades during that time, caused the whole covenant to quickly separate and disown him. It didn’t help that he had also enslaved some of the Crystal Ponies that were actually members within our circles. It became so bad that the ruling Dark Lord of that time requested in secret help from not only the Empress of the Night, but also from the White Queen herself!

The two princesses then banished King Sombra, but in act of spite he proceeded to cast a curse that made the entire Crystal Empire disappear. This was a terrible blow to both Equestria and Darkmoon.

The empire has now returned with all of its original citizens who seem to have been in some form of sleeping stasis. Unfortunately when the kingdom returned so too did King Sombra in the form of a living shadow. This caused residents outside of the kingdom's walls a great deal of concern, but the old king was so focused on trying to reclaim the empire that he ignored all others that lived within some distance of the kingdom.

Alicorn Princess Mi Amore Cadenza was sent to the empire and proceeded to protect the kingdom with a powerful ward that kept Sombra at bay. Even with the help of her newly wedded husband Shining Armor to aid her, they weren’t be able to keep the old dark unicorn at bay.

The White Queen once again sent out the Elements of Harmony to do her bidding and attempt to save the kingdom…

Bah, Elements of Harmony. Thanks to them, Nightmare Moon didn’t take out Celestia. Julius thought bitterly as he took another sip of his brew.

…but to everypony's surprise, even when Sombra finally penetrated the kingdoms barriers the day was saved by a baby dragon who managed to snatch the Crystal Heart (A sacred artifact that protects the kingdom) away from Sombra and, according to eye witnesses, Shining Armor threw his wife at the baby dragon and proceeded to transport him to the center of the kingdom where the heart was reactivated and obliterated King Sombra. It is currently unknown if throwing alicorns constitutes as a lethal weapon, but is currently assumed to be.

It was quickly learned that Princess Mi Amore Cadenza is also the princess of the Crystal Empire. This has lead to much outrage amongst our members due to her closeness to the White Queen. It is unknown at this time if this will be a threat to those who live in the far north and if assassinations should be carried out. Precautions are currently being made.

It is also unknown whether or not that King Sombra is truly dead due to the circumstances of him being transformed into shadows. He could merely be reduced to magical particles and taking his time restoring himself in preparation for another assault. This is currently just speculation by various magical sources and his existence may truly be at an end.

With the empire’s Crystal Heart brought back, the kingdom has also magically removed the snow of the land. This has resulted into some more problems to the inhabitants that had lived there before the empire’s return and animals more adapted to snowy plains are now retreating farther north to more familiar environments. Residents are also complaining because most chose to live there for the seclusion and being able to hide more easily within the snowy covered fields.

A poll was taken from some of the residents and from others in the covenant for their opinions.

32% find the removal of the snow to be a threat to their safety

27% welcomed the warm weather and looked forward to not bundling up

22% were indifferent.

and 19% said they would kick King Sombra in the balls.

Julius wondered how that last option would even make it onto a poll and shook then his head, personally knowing a few ponies that would actually choose or even suggest that option.

We also talked to a few residents to further explain their opinions.

“I have counted on the snowstorms to hide me when I’m working outside. Now, I’m going to have to be extra careful. As if my work wasn’t stressful enough!”
- A young Dark Magic Apprentice

“I’m actually enjoying this. I thought I’d never get to live in warm weather again.”

- Retired Dark Stalker

“It doesn’t change much. My husband continues his work away from home and I continue to watch the kids.”

- Mother of two

“Oh yeah, right square in the balls!”

- Violent Warlock

It seems only time will be able to tell if the Empire will have any positive effect at this moment. We will continue to keep our readers posted in the future.

- Unknown

Like always, the authors of every article were left anonymous in order to protect their identities.

Julius took a bigger swig of his cooling coffee, not sure what to make of this. It wasn’t looking good, but he would just have to hope for the best as this was all out of his hooves now. He then let out a great big yawn as another headline caught his eyes. This one caused a bit of worry just from the title.

Communication and Trade Routes Shutdown

In a shocking development, the Darkmoon Covenant has completely halted all forms of mailing and communications through their usual networks. This will be started after the release of this paper and should be in the effect by the time you, our readers receive it.

The Dark Lord assured that this is nothing to panic about as it is only temporary as they make improvements behind the scenes to make adjustments to the magical mailing system, connections, and organization with those that handle these systems. These upgrades are a major overhaul and because of the extensive work the system must be shutdown. As a result of this the trading routes are also being halted momentarily due to importance these networks are to avoiding the suspicion of any of Equestria’s law enforcement or that of other entities.

Unfortunately this means shops and businesses owned by members of the Covenant will be unable to receive materials and other goods that are normally shipped through these secret routes. Owners will be forced to make due with what they have until trade opens up again or restock from other venders.

Sadly it isn’t just businesses that will be affected. Practitioners of the dark arts or others with more frowned upon lifestyles will be hard pressed or unable to retrieve goods and services that aren’t legally sold or easily acquired outside of countries within Darkmoon's territory. It is recommended to our readers to avoid any attempts to acquire such goods that aren’t directly provided by the Covenant.

It is currently unknown how long everything will be shutdown, but it’s currently predicted that it will be at least a week. An update is expected to go out then if the systems still aren’t up and running. The Darkmoon Covenant has already made an official apology for this inconvenience, but says that it is a necessary evil.

Julius chocked a bit on his coffee as he had just taken a bigger gulp than he had meant to. The trade routes were how they got their supplies. Besides restocking of goods that rarely sell thus making his shop more of a glorified warehouse, they also provide him with invaluable materials for his research. However, it wasn’t an ingredient or book that he was worrying about. The most important item they restock him with was… fresh blood.

Ecto Burst and Femme Fatale were enjoying a nice morning breakfast together. Ecto had taken the time to bake some fresh cookies and was happily eating her work. Femme on the other hoof was having some blood mixed with red wine to take the edge off before her midday power nap.

She watched with curious interest as each bite Ecto took of the cookies caused them to completely disappear once they entered her mouth. One would wonder how a solid object would remain unseen when entering a transparent ghost. However, none would complain because who wants to see somepony chew their food?

Femme casually sipped her wine, letting the mixed taste of iron, alcohol, and fruity flavor linger in her mouth before she swallowed. She barely felt the alcohol yet, but by the time she would finish her glass she’d be relaxed and tipsy. It was a nice feeling to have before sleeping.

The clip clop of hoofsteps echoed from down the hall at a galloping rate. Julius soon rushed into the room, sliding as he braked against the floor to turn to a certain fridge, a newspaper floating behind him encased in his magic. This frozen storage unit held Femme’s supply of blood and before she could even protest, Julius opened the container to see how much blood she had left.

His eyes became wide as dinner plates and he turned to her and Ecto, his face a mixture of horror and anger. He trembled and he didn’t blink as sputtered out, “That’s all you have?!”

Femme looked guiltily at the floor for a moment before returning his gaze. She frowned at him and finished her wine, knowing she'd need the elixir to help get her through this conversation. She stood up and walked slowly over to him as she did her best to reassure him, “I didn’t want you to worry. I’ll be fine though, we’ll get our supplies in a few days and everything will be all good.”

Julius shoved the newspaper in front of her and pointed at an article with his hoof. A scowl on his face as he tried to contain his frustration. Femme peered over the article and read the title out loud, “New medicine allows stallions to last longer in bed.” She gave him a smirk and said, “I know you’ve been a little off your game lately, but I figured you’ve just been stressed. Though a little extra boost would be nice…”

Julius did a double take as he looked at the article he was currently pointing too. Realizing his mistake he flipped the page over, pointing to the correct one. “No, no! Not that one, this one!”

Femme quirked an eyebrow while Ecto giggled at the two of them from the table, eating another chocolate chip cookie. As Femme started to read the article she took the newspaper in her hooves and then looked to Julius. “Oh…” she managed to get out as her breathing became more labored as a mountain of stress was dumped onto her shoulders.

Ecto hovered over to them and took a peak at the article. She quickly understood how grave the situation was and started to rub her back. The touch was a bit chilling to Femme, but still comforting from the semi-physical contact.

Taking a few deep breaths she tried to calmly reassure everypony, “It’s okay! I can handle this. I just need to carefully moderate how much I drink. I can make it last a week!” The doubt in her voice was clear and as she more or less was trying to convince herself more than either of them.

A grunt rumbled from Julius. “Oh… bite me Femme!”

She pouted at him and responded, “Now there’s no reason to be rude!”

Julius shook his head. “No, I mean bite me. Drink my blood. If you’re gonna try and make this all last we have to make sure to put off the need for you to hunt as long as possible.”

“Julius, there’s no need to resort to that yet. You really don’t–”

She was quickly interrupted, “As the head of this household it is my job to worry about all of us. So, suck me dry!” He pointed to his neck with his hoof.

“I really appreciate that you're doing this, but…”

“No buts! Quit being a pansy and suck my blood already!”

Ecto giggled at that last statement and Femme let out a defeated sigh as she relented with a roll of her eyes, “Well, if you insist, I’ll drink your blood, but only because it will make you stop worrying.” She grabbed Julius’s hoof and started to lead him out. “I want to sleep after this so let’s do this in my bed.”

“Remember to sound proof yourself this time!” Ecto requested know full well that meal in bed wasn’t going to be only thing happening. Though she didn't know what that other thing was. All she knew was that it was loud, weird, and that she should never walk in on it happening. At least that's what they always told her.

Julius waved his hoof dismissively as he responded, “Yeah, yeah!”

About an hour or so later a groan left Julius’s mouth as he took a sip from his black coffee that was now overloaded with sugar. He lifted another of Ecto’s cookies to his mouth and bit down on the sweet treat. He was now at the front counter in the shop, rubbing at the patch on his neck while staring out, a little bit delirious.

Femme had drained him very dry, leaving him almost empty and unable to make a coherent thought. Thankfully that big meal would keep her satisfied long enough to at least make it to the end of the week. Though this meant Julius would be having a really rough day today. Hopefully it will be a quiet and uninteresting day. However, if he had any knowledge of Ponyville’s track record he would know that this town was anything, but quiet and uninteresting.

He shivered slightly and started to walk to the front of the shop. Seeing as how he didn’t have any customers at the moment, he could just wait outside and enjoy the warm sun until somepony comes along to browse.

Shielding his eyes with a hoof as he trotted outside, he let out a mildly happy sigh as the warm rays bathed his coat. Taking a seat just next to the shops door he proceeded to drink his coffee and just enjoy the serenity of the day.

“Fun! Fun!”

Julius heard the words repeated over and over again. Pinkie Pie soon entered his vision as she bounced along while singing out the words and proceeded into town. He shrugged and took another sip of his sugar filled brew, glad that the mare had chosen to ignore him.

“Fun! Fun!”

He looked up again to see Pinkie Pie bouncing before him again and entering town. “Oh, hey Pinkie,” He called out meekly and ignored the sense of déjà vu, finding it more weird that he even bothered to say hello to the crazy mare that hadn't try to shake him down not to long ago.

“Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun!” Two voices called out in unison.

He looked down the road and watched as two Pinkie Pies bounced together while chanting those words over and over again as they entered town. Julius, in his delirium, just shrugged and drank more of his coffee.

“Hey Julius!” The real Pinkie Pie called out. He never even noticed her gallop up to him. “Have you seen a couple of me’s go by here?”

“Huh?” His eyes were distant as he tried to focus. “Oh yeah, they went that away,” he said as he nodded his head towards town.

“Thanks!” she cheered out and rushed off in a blur of pink.

A few more sips of his coffee and a thought finally occurred. Wait a second… something’s amiss.

It was then he started to hear many familiar voices calling out the word fun over and over again. Turning his head towards Everfree he saw many Pinkie Pies bouncing along towards him. Sadly it took a few more moments for his brain to finally kick in.

Good thing he had been holding his coffee mug in his hooves instead of his magic otherwise he might have just dropped it as the realization hit him like a train. “Oh dear goddess they’re multiplying!” He shouted out as his pupils dilated and he rushed into his shop and locked the door. The door was magically barricaded with everything that wasn’t nailed down, including the kitchen sink.

Proceeding to the upstairs bedroom, Julius peered out cautiously at all the Pinkie Pies wandering around. He dared to open the window to get a better look outside. Feeling lightheaded from the lack of blood he got some sense of vertigo from being high up as he then tried to concentrate till his head stopped spinning.

“Hey!” A voice from directly in front of him yelled, trying to get his attention. The sudden noise caused him to jump and hit his head on the window. He cursed softly and then rubbed his head in agony.

Looking up he could see Rainbow Dash hovering before him. “Hey, not sure you noticed, but we’re overrun with Pinkie Pies.” She waved her hooves for emphasis. “Everypony is meeting at town square.”

“Well, I’ve kind of already barricaded myself in,” he retorted really not wanting to leave the supposed safety of his home.

“Including the backdoor?”

“Yes, including the…” Julius facehoofed himself. He completely forgot about the backdoor. “I’ll be down in second,” he replied with a defeated sigh.

It didn’t take him long to come out back. He quickly locked it again as Rainbow Dash flew down to him, but continued to hover in the air, “Isn’t that mare... uh... Femme coming?”

“She’s sleeping; I’d rather not wake her," he responded as the sense of vertigo and delirium came back again.

“In the middle of the day? What kind of pony sleeps in the middle of the day?” The irony of Rainbow Dash’s statement was lost on both of them. Julius had no idea Rainbow napped throughout the day and Rainbow Dash didn’t know what irony or hypocrite meant.

“She likes to stay up late so she sleeps during the day.” In Julius' defense, that was partially the truth. Julius started to take a few steps forward, but stopped and rubbed his head as he felt his dizziness return once again.

“You okay?” Dash inquired noticing his shot motor skills. “You look kind of pale.”

“I’m fine,” he lied and pushed himself forward. Dash noticed his patched neck when he rubbed a hoof along it.

“Hey what happened there?”

He cursed her for not staying focus and decided with another half truth. “I got bit,” he answered and continued forward to the front of his shop then started to make his way to town square.

“By what?” Rainbow Dash flew right next to him.

He had to resist groaning at her curiosity. “A bat, now enough about me I think we have more important things to deal with!” He forced himself to gallop even though it was very exhausting to him. The only reason he told her it was a bat was just in case some pony decided to look at the bite mark. If Dash had been more astute she might have forced him to go to the hospital and get him checked for a disease with how lightheaded he had been.

As Julius galloped ahead Rainbow Dash stopped and reached into her saddle bags to pull out her latest copy of Daring Do. She flipped open to the chapter she recalled reading. “Let’s see… shuns the day, distaste for normal foods, very alluring, and a living minion. Could it be?” She looked at Julius and back to his shop. She kept telling herself it was all just coincidence, but every time she looked back she was filled with a sense of foreboding.

Vinyl Scratch only came out at night and slept through the day cause of her work. She had seen Femme Fatale hadn’t liked Pinkie Pies cupcakes during the party, but hadn’t said anything. It was possible to maybe not to like cupcakes, but seeing as it was Pinkie Pies cupcakes that seemed impossible. As for alluring, well the party confirmed that with all the stares she got. Almost every guy was staring at her. I guess I can’t blame them. She does have a great plot… She shook her head trying to remove the thought she just had. Her concentration then returned to Julius. He was alive and he was dominated by her if she was to go by their first conversation. Could Femme Fatale be a…

“Fun! Fun!” A bouncing Pinkie Pie passed by. Rainbow Dash shook her head again, realizing what was more important right now. She put her book back in her saddle bags and then sped off to the town square.

As Julius left from the quick town meeting, one he barely had any focus for as he quickly summed up what information he was able to latch on to. One, Pinkie Pie had somehow magically cloned herself. Two, There were now a few dozen Pinkie Pies causing havoc around Ponyville. Lastly, they needed to get rid of them. He wasn’t sure, but he thought Twilight was looking into some way of removing the pests, but his delirium started to kick in and thought a giant plum was saying all of that. At least it looked like a plum, but he was fairly sure it was Twilight or Cheerilee or Berry Punch. It was hard to tell.

He groaned out in as he trotted back to his shop. Could he probably solve this problem? Most definitely. Could he do it without resorting to violence, murder, or questionable disappearances? That was kind of restrictive, but he could probably do it. Was he going to help? Hay no, he didn’t want to draw any attention to himself and he didn’t care about anypony in town besides those that reside in his own home. Besides, he had more important things to deal with, like blood shortage Femme currently had.

“Fun!” A Pinkie Pie clone yelled into his face causing him to jump and cringe. He growled at her as she continued to shout the word over and over in his face. If this copy mare suddenly disappeared he doubted anypony would notice nor care.

He then blinked a few times, drowning out the annoying chant of the Pink abomination. The cogs in his mind started to slowly churn as an idea came to mind and a wide malicious grin came onto his face. He was very sure it was a good idea and that his extreme lack of blood was not affecting his thought process at all.

With a sly and charming smile he asked, “Hey Pinkie clone, would you like to have some fun?”

She gasped excitedly. “Fun! Fun! Fun!”

“Yes, just follow me…”

The pink duplicate was lead into Julius’s shop from the back door, bouncing with every step. She peered around as he locked the door and she just kept jumping in place eager to have some fun.

“Wait right there,” he motioned for her to stay put and slipped into a side room. He quickly returned with white rag. “We’re going to play a very fun game.” She started to dance in place as her smile widened. He smiled right back at her as it became more sinister. “It’s a guessing game and if you win you get a prize!”

The Pinkie cloned gasped at the notion of there also being prizes involved with this game. “Fun! Fun!”

He floated the rag into his hoof. “All you have to do is tell me what this rag smells like. Make sure to take a deep breath. Don’t want to guess wrong, do you?”

She bounded over and started to lean into the rag he held, her nose cringed at the strange smell it emitted. Once she was close enough, Julius grabbed her from behind her head and shoved her snout into the rag. It’s stench over powering her senses.

For a moment she struggled, but after a second her movements slowed as Julius shushed into her ear, lightly stroking her mane as she became unconscious. When he was sure she was out like a light, he tossed the rag that he had poured chloroform on into the nearest waste bin. It always made the best anesthetic.

He lifted the sleeping mare onto his back and his knees buckled for a moment at the sudden weight. He wasn’t in any condition to be carrying anything around, but this had to be done. He then began his short trek to the underground lair.

A yawn escaped Femme Fatale’s lips and she stretched within the confines of her unusual choice of bed. At least, unusual for a pony. She was lying on very soft, bright red, and silky fabric with the same material covering a very fluffy pillow with a blanket that now covered her. It was very dark, but her night vision destroyed any problems that might have cause.

She reached up towards the red that covered the low ceiling and everything that surrounded her. With a light push, she removed the lid of the coffin she had been napping in. It was an annoying cliché and stereotype for vampires to sleep in coffins, but she found the confined spaces to be cozy. Though, she wouldn’t just sleep in any old coffin. If you gave her a coffin just made out of wood she would rather sleep in a bed. But give her one of those high grade caskets that were like a glorified death bed that the rich loved to bury their deceased in and she would sleep in it all day. She didn’t know why the nobles bothered to bury their dead in those things, but she wasn’t going to complain about the existence of such a comfy resting place.

Stepping out of her coffin/bed she stretched out, but if one were to look at her as she was now, they might not recognize her. Though her mane and tail remained the same color, her coat was now pale as the moon. Two sharp canines jutted out from her lips and her eyes had an unnatural glow to them. The most striking change was the two black bat like wings that erupted from her back. She was now comparable to a succubus from Tartarus and one wouldn’t be too far off on that guess considering her special talent.

A few cracks from her back and she was up and running again. As her head lazily turned to the side she noticed Ecto floating there lost in an oblivious thought. Femme let out a long yawn and then finally acknowledged the ghost, “Something the matter dear?”

Ecto perked up realizing Femme was awake now. “Oh, you’re up! How’d you sleep?”

“Like a baby bat,” she answered with a flutter of her wings.

“That’s good, uhh,” she paused for a moment and then asked, “Hey Femme…”


“Is it bad if I saw Julius brought a pony down here?”

She just stared at Ecto like she had grown a second head. “That depends. What condition was the pony?”

“She looked alright. She might have been sleeping or dead. I didn’t really check,” she replied with an added a shrug and rubbed the back of her head.

“So, the mare looked alive or recently died?”

“More or less.”

“What did this mare look like?” An etch of concern growing in her voice.

“Well...” Ecto looked thoughtful for a moment. “She was really pink with hair that reminded me of cotton candy. Yum!” She licked her lips and then remembered something else. “Oh, and she had balloons for a cutie mark. Do you think she likes to party?” Her face brightened hoping somewhat for a new undead friend.

Femme blanched more than she already was. “Oh goddess no...” She folded her wings against her frame and they suddenly disappeared as her coat turned from white to a more pale manila. This was followed by her bright red eyes losing their magical glow. From there she practically stomped off in search of Julius.

After a short trek Femme swung a door inward and stepped through. “Julius, I heard something disturbing… from…” The words got caught in her mouth as she looked at the scene before her.

Pinkie Pie was strapped down against a metal table with a needle embedded into her arm. Connected to the needle was a clear tube that lead into a familiar plastic bag. Femme could clearly see the red liquid flowing through it and into the transparent bag. The unwilling donor let out a low moan in her unconscious state.

Sitting next to her was Julius, ready to change the containers at a moments notice. He looked over to her and gave a friendly wave. “Hey Femme!” As if none of this was out of the ordinary.

It took her a moment to collect her thoughts as she absorbed this entire scene. Once she had gathered herself she calmly asked, “Julius… what the hay? I know you didn’t like her, but this a bit excessive!”

He waved his hoof dismissively, causing a wave of irritation to wash over her face. “Don’t worry, she's just a magical clone!”

Her disbelief in that statement was very apparent, but still she raised an eyebrow as she spoke, “You expect me to believe that load of BS?”

“Well, it’s true!” He stood by his statement.

“Okay, I obviously drained more blood than I should of. You are extremely delusional right now.”

“Pfft, am not!” He answered like a young foal.

“Oh really? Then tell me, what’s two plus two?”

“Ha, four!” He beamed as if he had answered a calculus equation with ease.

“Are you sure?” She grinned and narrowed her eyes.

Julius looked around nervously, his eyes darting left and right as he started to reconsider his answer. “Uh… five?”

She smiled at how cute he was when he wasn’t sure of himself... and an idiot. “It’s four Julius.”

He growled out, “You tricked me!”

“Yeah, I tricked you. It was sooo hard,” she emphasized with as much sarcasm into her last sentence. “Now, we’re going to unbind this mare and let her go. Hopefully she won’t remember any of this,” she talked down to him as if he was a foal and he looked guiltily to the floor in his shame.

Julius and Femme entered the front of the shop, dragging Pinkie Pie who was starting to wake up, but unable to focus. She even started to scratch her neck which the two of them now assumed to be some odd habit of hers.

Femme stared slack jaw at the front as all of the shops supplies were piled in front of the entrance, barricading it from the outside world. She looked at him. “What in the world… oh never mind it's too early in the day for me to deal with this. Just... put everything back!”

Julius swallowed and used his magic to quickly and efficiently return everything back to its rightful place. Femme was mildly impressed, but didn’t say anything as she was far to frustrated with how foalish he had been acting.

As the mare woke up Julius pushed her out front door and Pinkie Pie started to lazily walk forward. Femme took a peak at her from behind one of the curtains, wincing when some light almost touched her.

“I hope she’s going to be okay. I think somepony is going to noticed if she isn’t acting perky,” Femme said with a voice of concern, but as soon as she said that the Pinkie clone outside suddenly stood up straight and began to bounce away as if nothing had happened. Both Julius and Femme looked at each other then looked back to the mare hopping away, “There’s something seriously wrong with that pony…”

With a sigh Femme turned back to Julius. “Really though, you thought she was some magical clone and decided you could kidnap her to solve my blood problem? Whatever gave you that idea?!”

“YEE-HAW!” A shout from outside called out as a herd of Pinkie Clones were directed towards the center of town by Applejack.

Femme’s jaw dropped to the floor at all the copies she saw and turned to Julius who smiled cheekily at her. “Oh shut up!” she retorted and looked back to confirm what she saw. “I’m starting to get the feeling that we might be the normal ones around here.”

A great sigh was released as Deimos rolled off the pegasi. He turned to look at her, both their breaths were heavy from the excitement they had just had. Raining Karma blushed and leaned over for another kiss as her blue wings flared out. Deimos brushed away her light green hair that reminded him of the wind carrying leaves.

They were lying under a large oak, deciding this would be the best place to have some “fun” while escaping the rain. This definitely made Deimos feel like things were finally going his way.

Karma rolled the other way and started to nod off and Deimos traced her backside with his eyes while licking his lips. He then thought this would be the best time to have dessert.

A green flash emitted from behind the pegasi and she opened an eyelid and yawned out. As she turned her face became one of sheer horror as she stared into the maw of a giant manticore. She screamed and took flight only for the giant lions paw to pin her against the tree. She panicked, breathing faster and faster as she was gripped with fear.

The eyes of the manticore were completely blue with no irises. With a deep breath it let out a mighty roar at her making her faint. Noticing her now unconscious form, the beast let her drop and slump against the tree. It opened its maw as if it was about to bit her, but just kept it open. A magical energy started to slowly drain from her and into the strange manticore.

After a few moments it stopped its feeding. A green fire suddenly enveloped the beast and when it faded Deimos stood over the sleeping mare. He smiled lazily at her and leaned down, kissing her forehead and whispering, “Thanks babe, I really needed that.”

With that, he strapped on his saddle bags and began to trot along his merrily way while he whistled cheerfully. He knew in awhile she would wake up thinking it all had been a bad dream.

Unknown Location

A white earth pony stallion with a blue mane and tail was roughly tossed onto the floor of a blackened throne room. The floor was freezing cold and he was barely conscious. He looked back at his two captors, both cloaked in the blackest of cloths that hid every feature of the two ponies. They dipped their heads to hide their eyes within the shadows of their cowls, but they still managed to keep their unwavering gaze upon him.

He let out a low growl, but a voice that sent chills into his bones and his very soul caught his attention, “My, I never expected Celestia to so deeply infiltrate our little covenant. It’s quite impressive.”

The stallion turned to the source of the voice and his eyes bugged out and he began to back away only to be stopped by the two unicorns that had brought him here. He shook his head at the impossible creature that was before him. He averted his eyes, unable to gaze at it. How could such a thing exist? How could there be a… a what?

Suddenly confusion entered his face. He had seen something horrible that shouldn’t exist, but now he couldn’t even remember what it was. He turned to look at it again and fear gripped him at what he saw. Once again he turned away, but the very moment he did the memory of what he saw was gone.

“You need not to look upon me. You won’t remember ever remembering.” The voice was slowly approaching him, the clip and clop what he believed to be hooves echoed along the stone floor echoed the large throne room. This at least told him this thing was pony or pony like.

The stallion kept his gaze to the floor as the presence of the creature before him was almost overwhelming. “You’re… the Dark Lord?”

“That is correct.”

“You’re…” He swallowed as he tried not to cry at the thought of his friends and family. “You’re going to kill me.”

“If this was a repeated offense, I probably would. But feel fortunate that I need you to deliver a message to your dearest princess.” Every word he spoke carried a horrifying chill to it.

It was as if death itself was speaking directly to him. However, he was a bit relieved. He was going to get out of this alive at least. “And what would that message be?”

It leaned down to whisper into the stallion’s ear. He shivered at its cold breath as it spoke, “Tell her if she ever does anything like this again don’t expect any of her infiltrators to ever return to her. They will all meet a grim and agonizing fate. This is her first and only warning.” It backed away from the stallion and he nodded to it while keeping his eyes to the floor.

“Understood, I’ll let her know.” He visibly shook, looking forward to getting as far away from here as possible.

“Good, now...” It turned to the two cloaked unicorns and gave his final order, “...kill him.”

The stallion then dared to look upon Dark Lord, he was terrified of it, but he had to ask, “What?! But how I am I to deliver your message!”

“Oh, you’ll deliver my message still. You can’t deliver one while your dead, but,” It grinned maliciously at him, “You don’t nee necessarily need to be alive either.”

Before he could question the Dark Lord further a knife slit across his throat causing him to quickly bleed out. Once the last of his life left him a magical aura enveloped the corpse for a moment.

Slowly the stallion’s eyes fluttered open and he looked around in confusion. He felt strange, almost wrong. Like all the warmth had left his body, but he didn’t feel cold. “I’m… alive?”

There were a few chuckles from the two behind him. He shot them a glare as the Dark Lord answered his question, “No, not alive. But not dead either.”

The stallion’s eyes shot open at the implication and once again he stared at the Dark Lord, it was only then that he could feel the chill again, “You mean… I’m…”

“That’s right. Welcome, to the unlife. Go to your princess… and pray that she’s half as merciful as I. Surely her mercy extends to an… oh what does she call the undead? Abominations?” It chuckled lightly.

The stallion shook his head as the unicorns began to drag him away, the last of his tears flooding his eyes as the cold reality began to settle into his mind. He began to have second thoughts about returning as he screamed out in sorrow.

Author's Note:

Finally proofread and fixed errors in this chapter! Took longer than I thought. I happy to report all chapters are now proofread from here on out. Only time I'd need to come back to them is to fix miscellaneous errors or to retcon or fact check things. Hope you enjoy the rest of my story!