• Published 26th Nov 2012
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Letters From a Friend at the End of the World - alexmagnet



Twilight receives a letter from Trixie one day, but it raises more questions than it answers.

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9 — Corona

Chapter 9:
Corona

“What the hell?”

His breath came out in wisps of fog as he voiced his disbelief. Off in the distance, he could see the Snowfall Forest writhing with, what appeared to be, an amorphous tornado. The clouds seemed to be circling downwards ever faster, but tornados were extremely uncommon in this part of Equestria.

His eyes hardened into thin slits as he squinted, stretching his vision to its limit. Corona had always prided himself on his exceptional vision, and it was often why he was chosen as the scout, but no matter how good his vision was, it did not allow him to see what was happening over the Snowfall Forest.

His soft leather coat began to whip around as the wind picked up, and his scarf nearly blew away before it was engulfed in ruby light and wrapped tightly about his neck. Sliding his thick goggles back over his eyes, he said, “Guess I better go check it out.”

As he pulled his cloak tightly about himself, he began trudging through the snow towards what looked like a storm gathering over the forest.

Despite having lived so far north for the majority of his life, Corona had never really become accustomed to the cold. He shivered as another gust of wind blew through him, whipping his cloak violently. He found himself wishing, for the hundredth time, that he had said ‘no’ when asked if one leather cloak, and a wool scarf would be enough to keep him warm.

The ponies of Frostvale need those clothes more than I do, he thought. It wouldn’t be right for me to take them, especially when I’m perfectly capable of keeping myself warm. Still though, a nice fur coat would really help with this frigid wind.

That was the worst part, not the ice or the snow, but the wind. Without it, the cold was more than tolerable, but with it he might as well have been walking through a wall of ice.

His horn began to glow a warm red, but he stopped himself, thinking, No, I should conserve my energy. I might need it later.

For a few more minutes, he silently pushed onwards, keeping his head down to avoid the brunt of the wind’s chill. There was a loud crackling sound that caused him to look up suddenly, and he saw that the forest had grown much closer, bringing with it the storm clouds. Which, now the he was closer, he could tell were actually something else entirely.

He lifted his snow-encrusted goggles up, and pushed them back over his horn. He looked up and saw that the clouds had moved closer to the edge of the forest and they seemed to be moving closer still as he watched.

“That can’t be good.”

Slipping his goggles over his horn and back over his eyes, he tightened his scarf and hurried towards the forest’s edge.

His trotting turned into a gallop as he drew closer and saw that the clouds were, as he had guessed, something else entirely. He was about a hundred feet away when a group of ponies burst from the forest, surrounded by what he could only assume was some kind of magic shield, hounded by—

“Wendigos,” he muttered. “Should’ve guessed.”

His only comfort was in knowing that they were at least protected by some kind of spell, and they didn’t appear to be in any immediate danger. Of course, that changed when he noticed that the bubble appeared to be cracked, and the wendigos were pounding mercilessly on it.

He quickened his pace just in time to see the shield shatter, exploding into a beautiful, yet macabre, display of blue light. The pieces seemed to melt as the touched the ground, disappearing back into the ether. As for the ponies that had been protected by that shield, they were sent flying by the resulting explosion.

Corona’s eyes widened as he watched three ponies get tossed into the air and sent sliding across the snow. The one nearest to him, a white unicorn, seemed to be unconscious as she didn’t move after hitting the ground.

He pushed himself harder, and lowered his head down, still keeping one eye on the three ponies as he careened towards them, his horn beginning to spark to life.

The second pony, the one in the middle, was still conscious and Corona could see him turn himself over to look up at the wendigos. The last one’s horn sparked with blue light as she struggled to cast some kind of spell. He watched as her horn sputtered once, twice, a third time, and then faded away.

He heard the middle one cry out moments before one of the wendigos inadvertently kicked him in the head. Corona’s horn flared to life, and a wave of ruby magic surged towards them as the wendigos bared down on them.

The wave of energy crashed into the wendigos, causing them to recoil briefly, but turning their attention on him. He smirked. “That’s right!” he cried. “Come and get me, you stupid, over-sized horses!”

They whinnied angrily, their eyes flashing with anger. As they charged towards him, his horn began to glow a deep red, and fiery sparks spilled out.

One of the wendigos dove at him suddenly, forcing him to roll right. As he recovered, another wendigo opened its mouth and crashed down on top of him.

A solid beam of fire burst from his horn as Corona forced the wendigo off of him.

A wide grin spread across his face as he turned to look at the rest of the wendigos. They had stopped moving towards him, but they hadn’t gone away either. Trotting back and forth across the sky, they kept their eyes trained on him.

Horn still aglow with fiery light, Corona yelled, “Well come on then, show me what you’ve got!”

The wendigos neighed fiercely, and as one collective force, charged down at him. Spreading his legs into a more stable stance, he fired another beam of fire from his horn. It caught the lead wendigo straight in the chest and launched it into the air. He raked the fiery cone across the wall of wendigos, pushing them back slowly but surely.

His neck shrunk as he forced more magic from his horn, pushing the wendigos further and further back. Finally, with one last burst of red light, he forced them into the sky where they dissipated into nothingness.

As the beam of fire slowly faded away, Corona allowed himself a victory cheer. “Yeah! Take that you stupid wendigos! Nopony tangles with Corona Bor—”

He was cut off mid-sentence as something crashed into him from behind, knocking him to the ground. Sliding across the ground, he thought to himself, Forgot about you...

Corona flipped himself onto his back. Before he could do anything else, another wendigo was on top of him. Its jaws were opened fully and it was thrashing wildly.

Corona’s hoof shot out, and caught the wendigo’s snout, stopping it. It pressed against him, keeping him from concentrating on casting his magic. His other hoof reached forward and stopped its lower jaw from getting any closer. The wendigo gnashed its jaws fearsomely writhing against his grip, but was barely able to hold it back.

With no small amount of effort he was able to use one of his lower legs to kick the wendigo in the chest, causing it snap its jaws shut and back away.

Seizing the opportunity, he jumped to his hooves and charged straight at the wendigo. He tackled it to the ground, pinning his left hoof against its neck, and cocking his right hoof back. He launched his hoof forward and punched the side of its head as it struggled beneath him. After a moment it was able to throw Corona off, and he was forced to back away.

“All right,” he said. “Enough horsing around. Let’s send you to meet your friends.”

A tiny smirk found its way onto his face as crimson light washed over his horn. The wendigo snorted, sending puffs of wispy fog into the air, before charging at him, neighing like some kind of hellish demon.

Corona tilted his head down and fired a wave of ruby magic at the wendigo. It struck it with all the force of a raging fire, and sent the wendigo careening backwards. He widened his stance and sent another burst of magic, putting the final nail in the wendigo’s coffin. It dissipated into a puff of smoke as the fire destroyed it.

With the last wendigo gone, Corona breathed a sigh of relief. He was about to sit down when he remembered the other ponies, the ones who had been chased by the wendigos.

He looked around frantically and finally spotted them a few dozen feet away, covered in a light dusting of snow. Corona galloped over to them and saw that the blue unicorn was still conscious.

As he approached she opened her mouth to say something, but he swooped in and put a hoof over her lips. “Shh,” he whispered. “Save your energy.”

“But—”

“Don’t worry,” he said. “You’re safe now. The wendigos are gone. I sent those stupid horses packing.” He grinned, and she looked confused.

“You beat them?” Her voice came out in short, ragged breaths. Corona nodded. “But what about...” She trailed off as she glanced past him and towards the other ponies lying in the snow.

“They’re safe too,” he assured her. “I promise you that you’ll all be safe now.” He placed a hoof comfortingly on her head. “Come on, I need to get you somewhere safe.”

She nodded, but still looked confused. “Who are you?”

He smiled. “The name’s Corona. Corona Borealis.”

She smiled back at him, then her eyes rolled back in her head and she fell limp.

He sighed as he looked at the three unconscious bodies. “Man, I wish I knew a levitation spell.”

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