• Published 20th Mar 2022
  • 1,492 Views, 32 Comments

A Burning Flame In My Soul - Rated Ponystar



After twenty years of being together, Spike is prepared to propose to Ember, but its delayed as rival power is seeking a legendary dragon sword to overthrow Ember and all she holds dear

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Chapter 9

He had expected to meet resistance when he arrived in Canterlot. After all, it wasn't every day that some random deer ran off to the nearest guard when he touched down in the city on his flight to tell them that he needed to speak to the Princess about an assassination attempt. Rowan Forestheart chalked it up to a lack of sleep and the fear of having dragons swooping down to burn him alive for knowing Tyranus Redskull's plans. Naturally, the three Night Guards in front of him gave him deadpan expressions as he tried again to explain who he was and why he needed to speak to Princess Twilight or any of the foreign rulers. All while on the landing platforms of the various airships going to and from the city.

Rowan had finished his tale once more, and the three thestral guards just stood there looking at each other before the middle one sighed. "Sir, you'll find me hard-pressed to believe what you say is true. An army of dragons is planning to find some ancient lost blade on the other side of the world and use it to take over said world. Meanwhile, their leader has sent assassins to eliminate the current Dragon Lord, who is currently sleeping at the Royal Palace. You really expect me to believe this?"

"It's the truth!" Rowan urged as he rubbed his tired eyes. "Please, I just need five minutes with Princess Twilight. I am—was the apprentice of Chantler Leafseeker! I know what they are planning and how to find the legendary blade of Imperix! Please, I am begging you!"

"Sir, I'm sorry, but you are clearly either sleep deprived or not of sound mind," The center guard sighed with a softer tone. "Perhaps a medical examination and bed rest will-"

"Ugh!" Rowan threw his hooves in the air and wished he could teleport himself into the Princess's chambers to solve this issue. He was about to argue again when he noticed a new group leaving their airship and making their way down to the platform via the staff-provided staircase. He quickly recognized them and realized this was a better chance of convincing them than those there.

The guards yelled at him to stop when he galloped towards the Crystal Empire's royal family, who were surprised to see him despite their tired state. The guards, including one near the heir herself, looked ready to intervene when he practically slid to his knees and bowed before them. "Your majesties! Please listen to me! Dragon Lord Ember is in danger, and you must help me stop it!"

"Um, excuse me?" Shining Armor asked, stunned by this development.

"What do you mean? Who are you?" Princess Cadence asked in confusion.

The three Night Guards he was talking to earlier looked ready to grab him and cast him in irons when Rowan quickly shouted, "I am the apprentice of Chantler Leafseeker! We were captured by Tyranus Redskull, and I barely escaped with my life! He wants Dragon Lord Ember dead!"

The guards grabbed him, but they were stopped when Princess Flurry Heart screamed, "Wait!"

Everypony turned to her as she stepped forward with concern. "Chantler Leafseeker? You're his apprentice?"

"You know this deer, sweetie?" Princess Cadence asked.

"No," Flurry Heart replied, shaking her head. "But I know of his teacher. Aunt Twilight spoke about him a few times as one of the world's greatest chronicles of history and worldly events."

Her parents looked at each other for a moment before nodding to the guards to release Rowan. Sighing in relief, the deer straightened himself out and bowed to Princess Flurry Heart. "Thank you, Princess."

"Just tell us what this is about," A dark gray-coated unicorn in armor said, getting closer to Princess Flurry Heart as his dark green eyes glared at Rowan.

"Y-Yes," Rowan said, clearing his throat. "My master and I were captured by a horde of dragons led by Tyranus Redskull. You may know him as the last of the Redskull clan. The ones that tried to kill Dragon Lord Ember during the first year of her reign."

"Wait, I remember this," Shining Armor said with widened eyes. "They were also the ones that made Spike go all big and crazy, ending up with him temporarily banished. I thought they were all dead save for Captain Smolder?"

"That's what we thought too until we met him face to face," Rowan bitterly answered. "Look, I can explain all this if you just give me an audience with Princess Twilight and Dragon Lord Ember. I swear I am not making this up. The entire fate of every major power in the world depends on it?"

"Over a sword?" The Night Guard snorted. "What's so dangerous about this sword?"

Rowan took a deep breath and glared at him. "Well, maybe this will make you realize just how serious this is? Imperix? That so-called sword? The dragon Kratorix, who used it to create the original Dragon Empire? He used it to wipe out the entire original Alicorn race."

Their stunned silence that followed after that revelation made it finally clear to Rowan that everypony now knew just how serious this was. Sighing, Rowan said, "If that isn't enough to get your attention, then we should-"

A loud explosion soon made everyone snap their heads in the direction it came from, and to their horror, it was coming from the Royal Palace. One of its roofs had just blown up with fire and smoke. From the center crystal of the three Night Guards, there came a beeping noise followed by a static voice from somepony else.

"All Royal Guards! Code Omega! The Palace is under attack by unknown dark creatures! All units must head to the Palace and protect the Princess and all VIPs! This is not a drill! Class A and S weapons and armor are permitted for use! Repeat! Code Omega! The Palace is under attack!"

"...should hurry there as soon as possible," Rowan weakly whispered as he prayed it was not too late.

***

Spike and Ember were not strangers to dealing with assassination attempts. Despite all that had happened, some dragons still didn't like Ember's new direction for their race or wanted to claim power by stealing the scepter and killing her. One time, one pony tried to kill Spike for what he had done in Ponyville. While no lives were lost, some were traumatized by what had happened, including one pony's sister who, to this day, couldn't leave her house ever again. Spike made sure he was given the least amount of punishment that day.

So when they saw Shadow Hounds attacking everypony in the Palace, they were already prepared to kick butt. The Night Guard was already in combat with the Shadow Hounds and holding well on their own, but they could see a few casualties on the ground, either dead or dying in pools of their blood. It only made Spike madder as he unleashed a fire breath upon three nearby ones aiming for Ember. His girlfriend was just as pissed off and roared before using her scepter to smash in the face before stabbing another and back-kicking a third attempting to get her from behind.

In fact, a lot of them had been aiming for them ever since Ember showed up. This made it clear that Ember was the primary target. Back to back, they stood ready for anything as their tails quickly joined in a silent reassurance that they had each other before releasing their grip. They charged forward in the grand hall, dragon blood pumping as the Shadow Hounds dived for them. Spike grabbed them by the throat and smashed them into the ground before snapping their necks with the thrust of his claws. Three more tried to breathe some smoky dark flames upon him, but he shielded himself with both wings before unleashing his own flames upon the Hounds. Dragons could nearly resist all kinds of flames unless it was fire as hot as the sun. Spike had taken worse hits, even if that shadow flame did burn a little.

He punched another one before dodging the claws of another for a few seconds before grabbing the Hound's arm, breaking it, and throwing him into a pile with the rest. One Hound managed to get lucky and slice him by the side with his claws. Although he winced and drew blood, Spike didn't flinch and smashed his tail into the Hound's face, breaking its nose. Spike gazed up before spotting a chandelier above. Grinning, he flew up, sliced its chain with his claws, and let the object fall upon a few Hounds soon trapped under it. The Shadow Hounds then started climbing up the walls by melting into the shadows and attempted to strike Spike in the air, but he breathed fire around him and spun around, making a small miniature tornado of himself. The Shadow Hounds didn't stand a chance as they were burned away by the flames.

Meanwhile, Ember was using her scepter almost like a sword with the grace of a dancer. She flipped, turned, and struck the assassins with such precision that it was practically artistic. She kicked one Shadow Hound down before smashing her foot in his face, causing it to burst into a puff of smoke. Throwing her head back, she shot it forward and unleashed a giant fireball that exposed upon impact and tore open part of the wall to reveal the night sky. She'd make it up to Twilight later. Turning to Spike, Ember shouted, "I'm going outside!"

"Alright!" Spike answered without hesitation.

She grinned. Despite being her lover, Spike never coddled her. He cared about her and was protective, but Spike knew that Embrer could take care of herself. After all, she always kicked his butt in their spars. Spreading her wings, Ember rushed out and took to the skies as some of the Shadow Hounds followed her by summoning their wispy wings on their back. A bit unexpected, but Ember enjoyed the challenge. They followed her in the air, howling and firing their own flames that Ember countered by doing a few flips and twists while unleashing her own flames as a counterattack. They flew around the palace towers, their own mid-air dance like a show in itself, only it was to the death.

Ember decided to see how bold they were by flying toward Princess Twilight's personal tower and increasing her speed. She continued to go as fast as possible, straight ahead with no stops. The Hounds followed, showing no hesitation in their flight. Grinning, Ember continued going closer and closer toward the solid stone tower until she was mere feet away. Then, with great agility, she changed her momentum upwards and flew right next to the tower's concrete wall; her belly scales barely touching the stone. The Shadow Hounds mainly were not so lucky as they smashed into the wall and disappeared into puffs of smoke, with their dying howls following. A few avoided this by veering in other directions, but the numbers were drastically gone.

Stopping in flight, Ember tried to think of her next move when something purple dived down with her horn glowing like a thunderstorm. With a thrust of her horn, thunder bolts were shot out into the sky, homing in on their targets and vaporizing them within seconds. The flying Shadow Hounds stood no chance against Princess Twilight, who eliminated them all in less than ten seconds.

Flying to Ember's level, a concerned Princess Twilight asked, "Ember?! Are you okay?!"

"Yeah, I'm fine. So is Spike," Ember assured her before looking down at a nearby courtyard where more fighting took place. Only this time, her Scale Guards assisted the Royal Guards. Captain Smolder and Captain Gallus were using their blades to lead the charge while performing a few interesting tag team moves, such as Smolder using her tail to knock down one Shadow Hound off its feet, only for Gallus to come down with two swords piercing its chest from above. "Looks like everyone else is too."

"These are Shadow Hounds from the Shadow Dimension," Twilight said with such a fierce glare that it made Ember quickly remember that this was the hero who had defeated near god-like creatures in the past. "They just don't come and go as they please. Some creature summoned them."

"Any idea who their main target is, or is it all of us?" Ember asked.

"It could be any number of us, but let's find who's behind this so we can get our answers," Princess Twilight said as she closed her eyes, and her horn began to glow. Her mane slowly levitated upwards from the aurora of her power as Ember stayed quiet to let her concentrate. "I'm sensing summoning energy...dark energy...from...the dungeons!"

"Can you get us there?" Ember asked.

"Easily," Twilight said as she summoned magic into her horn and teleported them in a flash.

***

Okay, how many of these guys are there? Spike thought grimly as he smashed another Shadow Hound into the wall before grabbing its head and slamming it again to ensure it was dead. He also whipped his wings around to ensure he wasn't being attacked from behind as he turned around with his fists raised. It wasn't that he was getting tired from the fight, but it was getting annoying.

He couldn't even help but groan upon seeing more Shadow Hounds coming from down the hall to join their packmates. However, the Shadow Hounds soon started attacking their breather once they were close enough, which surprised everyone. It wasn't until they were on top of them that the green flames of Changeling Magic went off and revealed Thorax and his guards, who soon took their weapons and hooves and destroyed them with their surprise attack. Thorax summoned magic into his horns and blasted a few Shadow Hounds point blank with a greenish-yellow beam that evaporated the monsters into dust. A few other Changeling Guards soon appeared and teamed up with the Night Guards to help fight off the Hounds.

Thorax jumped over a Shadow Hound and rear-kicked him when it tried to turn around right towards Spike, who grabbed it from behind and suplexed it so hard it turned into a puff of smoke upon impact. Kicking himself back to his feet, Spike grinned. "Welcome to the party, Thorax."

"Yeah, wish I was back in bed," Thorax said as he looked around. "Any idea what's going on?"

"No, but I doubt these guys are going to tell us," Spike said as he turned around and punched a Shadow Hound in the face. "Is Queen Skystar alright?"

"See for yourself."

Spike turned around and saw the Hippogriff Queen, dressed in a pink night robe, and her guards swarm in from the hole Ember made earlier. Wielding her gold and pearl-colored trident, she dived down and speared the closest Shadow Guard with fury before going on a stabbing frenzy that reminded Spike why she beat her mother in that duel. With a combined force of every creature's efforts, they soon cleared the hall of the Shadow Guards as the last one was speared in the chest before it disappeared.

Wiping the sweat off his brow, Spike turned to Thorax and Skystar, smiling in triumph. "Thanks, guys. But there might be more of them around here."

"We saw more groups fighting the Royal Guard on our way here," Skystar answered with a serious expression before turning to her Guard Captain. "Send out a detachment of our troops to assist our allies."

"Same for our forces," Throax ordered to his guards as both groups saluted and made off into the sky via the wall hole. "Is Ember okay?"

"She's fine. She can handle herself," Spike assured him despite a small part of him being worried. But that was natural for the one you love. "I'm glad you two are okay."

"Well, we were together in Skystar's room when they attacked, so it wasn't hard for the two of us to team up to defend ourselves," Thorax said with pride as Skystar nodded.

This made Spike raise an eyebrow. "...Why were you two in the same room?"

Realizing their blunder, the two royals soon blushed and looked at each other. "Um, you see...we...uhh...."

"Oh," Spike grinned as he folded his arms. Remembering that changelings were also polygamus in their society and the ruler being not exception, he was only mildly surprise that Skystar was willing to be part of that. "And how long has this been going on?"

"...A year," Skystar admitted with a slightly nervous grin.

"Sky!" Thorax chided with a deep red blush that made Spike laugh.

"What?! We were going to have to come out eventually! And we got your husband's blessing already!" Skystar pouted as she hugged her no longer secret boyfriend. "I'm tired of hiding it! I love you, Thorax! I don't care if you are married to another guy! I'm happy to share! Let's just quit the secrecy already!"

"...F-F-Fine," Thorax sighed as Skystar kissed him.

"Heh, and Ember was sure you were just gay," Spike said with a chuckle.

"I'm not gay. I'm pansexual," Throax admitted with a shrug, which widened Spike's eyes. "What? All changelings are. How do you think we're able to reproduce so fast?"

"A-Anyway, I'm happy for you two, but what will you do about your mother?" Spike asked, which made Skystar's happy expression turn to a steel glare in a split second.

"My Mother will have to accept it since I am Queen. If she doesn't, she can continue rotting alone in her home for the rest of her life," Queen Skystar growled, which made Spike hope Novo would make the right choice this time. Clearing her throat, she said, "But enough about that. We should get help from the outside to help us deal with this," Spike said as he decided to store this information for later.

"I don't think we're going to have to wait long for that," Thorax said as she pointed out the window.

The three of them looked outside, and Spike quickly recognized the royal airship of the Crystal Empire floating above the castle as hordes of armored Crystal Pegasi Ponies started flying down with their armaments. Princess Cadence and Flurry Heart led them along with Shining Armor and Erebus, who were carried via chariot by two guards. Spike folded his arms and grinned. "Looks like it's going to be a night party, after all."

***

Ember and Twilight appeared in the dungeons in a lone room where they saw numerous sigils and summoning circles around them. The two kept their guard up but no sign of anyone in the area. Sighing, Twilight ran her magic over one of the summoning circles and narrowed her eyes. "This is where they summoned the Shadow Hounds. I can reverse the process and banish the beasts back to their dimension, but I'll need a little time. Good thing we're alone."

The sound of swords exiting their sheaths echoed in the near-empty walls of the dungeon as Ember growled and gripped her scepter. "Not really."

To Ember's surprise, a few cloaked dragons appeared with their blades and pointed them at her.

"Dragon Lord Ember. In the name of Emperor Tyranus Redskull, prepare to die!"

Author's Note:

I don't think I am the first to pair Thorax and Skystar together (honestly I just put that in at the last minute cause I figured why not) but I think its rarely ever done.

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