• Published 19th Jan 2013
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Rise of the Elements Part II: Return of the Avatars - Radiant Dawn

Ancient beings of long since past are returning, but for good or ill?

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Chapter 7: The New Enemy

Chapter 7: The New Enemy

You know when you get startled awake you sometimes scream random things or even literally jump out of bed? Well this morning, Celestia found out the hard way that it's not a good idea to do that with me.

So there I was, enjoying my dream when Celly decides that with it being mid-morning, it's time for me to get up...which is understandable. Of course with how tired the previous day's activities left me, I was more than a little resistant to rouse myself from the world of dreams.

"Frost..." she whispered softly, attempting to be gentle at first. I didn't move, and so again she called my name, but louder this time.

No answer...

Finally she must have gotten upset, because the next thing I know, I feel a massive shock to my horn which scares me awake.

Bad move on Celly's part.

By reflex, I cast a spell I've come to call Absolute Zero, which instantly freezes everything around me - and by everything, I mean that molten steel would probably freeze solid instantly as well. Now normally I'm able to easily control the radius of the spell, but being frightened, I instead freeze the entire room, washroom, and part of the corridor outside.

After I calm my heart from beating out of my chest, I notice that the sun princess is frozen in front of me, everything but her eyes and her tail being frozen. 'Fuck, FUCK!' I start to panic for a moment before dispelling the spell on her, thawing her out but leaving her shivering and her teeth chattering.

"F-F-Frost," she started, her shivering making her stutter badly, "w-w-w-what d-d-did you d-do t-t-t-to m-me?"

I quickly grabbed my now-thawed bedspread and wrapped it around her, then wrapped my wings around her to further insulate her. With my natural heat radiating from my core, she starts to warm up quickly. "Sorry love, you scared me. I didn't mean to, I swear."

She nodded, having nearly stopped shivering. "L-lesson l-l-learned." she said with a warm smile.

After a few kisses that made her feel better, I walked with Celestia to join her for lunch in the dining hall, along with Shining Armor, another alicorn I didn't recognize, Luna, and a dark blonde-colored unicorn with a wicked gold mane color. I took my seat across from Celestia and next to Luna, while the other three guests nodded and smiled in acknowledgment. Luna couldn't help but lean against me and nuzzle me softly, which I chuckled at. I missed it.

Unfortunately before I could tear into the wonderfully smelling meal before me, Celestia stopped me. "Frost, I want you to meet somepony, well two someponies actually."

I sighed and stood. "Yes Celestia?"

First she nodded to the unicorn I didn't recognize. "Frost, this is Enigma Flare. It was because of him that we were able to breach the ice you had sealed yourself with.

The unicorn did a short bow and smiled. "It's an honor, Prince Frostbreaker."

"Oh please, the honor's mine. Only someone truly powerful could have broken through that. In all honesty I'm surprised neither of the princesses or Twilight Sparkle could do it." I said with a smirk.

Luna rolled her eyes and looked rather frustrated. "We all tried, Frost...believe me. In the end, we heard of this young pony here." She pointed at Enigma Flare. "It was his natural - and dare I say very powerful - ability with fire magic that allowed us to get to you."

I raised my eyebrows in surprise and turned to the now grinning blonde unicorn. "Really? Well, I'm curious as to just how powerful you are. You'll have to show me someday, yes?"

He nodded. "It would be a pleasure, prince."

I looked back at Celestia and she then gestured to the petite pink alicorn next to Shining Armor. "And this is my niece, Princess Mi Amore Cadenza."

Wanting to make a good first impression, I stood and bowed my head in reverence. "My lady."

She giggled and waved a hoof at me. "Please, there's no need for you to bow to me. You're a prince, after all."

I shrugged. "Maybe, but you were a princess long before I was ever a prince. Besides, it's nice to finally get to meet Shining Armor's lovely wife."

I could almost feel Shining Armor smirking at me, so I made contact with him mentally.

So, you're married to the Princess of Love?”


Nice work.”

I know, right?”

To the others in the room, we were simply grinning like idiots while nodding, but Luna was grinning too, so I have a feeling she knew what we were doing.

We finished lunch rather quickly and Celestia set about her duties of going through royal paperwork and whatnot, while I took flight with Luna, just soaring through the air with no particular destination in mind. It was a good feeling not to have anything of real importance to address that day, as it felt like I had worked myself to the bone for the past month (which of course wasn't really that far from the truth).

Luna and I flew around aimlessly for awhile until we decided to go visit Pinkie and get a cupcake or two, so we veered towards Sugarcube Corner and floated through the air all the way there.

Because we took our time, we arrived about fifteen minutes or so later, to find that the lunch rush was still on. When I entered, every pony turned and gasped before bowing. I rolled my eyes and simply sat at an empty booth with Luna, waiting for things to die down. Mr. and Mrs. Cake were manning (pony-ing?) the front counter, which more than likely meant Pinkie was baking up a storm in the kitchen. Mrs. Cake noticed me and waved with a big smile before continuing to keep the line moving. I was amazed at just how efficient they all were, noticing that while Mr. Cake kept the place clean, Mrs. Cake was serving orders, while Pinkie was making all the food. It was a flawless system, where a customer was only waiting up to maybe thirty seconds before their food was served after paying.

It's like they were all born to do this.

The lunch rush was cleared out by about 14:00, and Mr. Cake was cleaning up the store again while Mrs. Cake was writing something down and counting money. Pinkie walked out of the kitchen with a cute little pink apron on that had all her friends' cutie marks embroidered on the front. She smiled when she saw myself and Luna, but I found it odd that she was walking on her hind legs, as easily as if she'd always walked that way. Then again, I figured in order to do things as fast as she did, she had to have her two front hooves free.

She arrived at our table and Luna and I both ambushed her with a kiss to each cheek, which she giggled at.

She recovered quickly and hugged us both before smiling again. "Hi Frostie and Luna, it's so great to see the two of you!" She then looked at me and surprised me with a deep kiss before hugging me tightly. I heard her sniffle a bit and when she pulled away she had tears in her eyes, though she was smiling. "Frostie...I missed you so much." She leaned in and hugged me again, and this time I returned it happily. "I'm so glad you're back."

I rubbed my cheek against hers and hummed happily. "I'm glad to be back too, Pinks. I missed my little bundle of fun."

She giggled and started hopping around with pure happiness in typical Pinkie Pie fashion, and I couldn't help but chuckle at her, Luna doing the same. I guess she's not just the Element of Laughter because she laughs, but because she causes you to laugh as well. I still don't know what it is, but this quirky little pink pony always makes me smile, and I love to smile.

My thoughts were interrupted when Pinkie gasped and raced over to me, looking me in the eye with her own vivid blues. "Oh, I almost forgot! Twilight says that her, Fluttershy, and Moonfang are all gonna be at the library today. You should go see them! I know they'll be so happy to see you're back and okay."

I nodded and pulled the party pony into another hug before standing. "That's a good idea Pinkie. I'll head over there next. I'm going to be staying at the library tonight and having a small get together, because I miss everypony. Will you be able to make it?"

The happy mare smiled and nodded furiously. "Of course, Frostie! I can always make time to be with my friends. I'll come by after work today, so I guess I'll see you around 18:00 then?"

I nodded and nuzzled her again affectionately. "It's a date. I'll see you there." With that said, I headed with Luna towards the library.

As we walked through town towards Twilight's library, I couldn't help but notice how happy all the townsponies looked to see me back. It warmed my heart to feel so accepted even after everything that happened. As we were passing by the central park, I couldn't help but hear a conversation between young ponies as they got progressively closer.

"...I'm telling you, that's him!"

"No it's not, there's no way. He died, remember?"

"Nuh uh, he came back! Ms. Cherilee told me so!"

I turned around when I felt a small hoof tap my rear leg, finding myself looking at a group of five fillies and a young colt, five of which I recognized. The ones I already knew were Applebloom, Scootaloo, Sweetie Belle, my sister (who'd taken to being called Crimson Comet), and Pipsqueak. The other one was a young grayish lavender unicorn with a bright blonde mane and tail.

Pipsqueak was the one that was tapping me and I smiled down at him. "Why hello there, young one. What can I do for you?"

He looked down and shuffled his hooves nervously. "Ummm...we were just wondering, mister..."

I raised an eyebrow, but continued to smile. "Yes?"

Pipsqueak looked up at me and smiled nervously. "Umm...is your name Frostbreaker?"

I nodded and smiled. "Yes, I'm Prince Frostbreaker."

Pip looked back at his friends and smirked. "See? I told you it was him!"

I chuckled and looked over at my sister. "I take it you didn't tell them?"

"Tell us what?" Scootaloo responded, looking very confused.

Comet simply shrugged and grinned. "Nah, I figured this'd be more fun."

Scootaloo snorted and stomped her hoof. "Tell us what?"

"That Comet's my younger sister." I explained, getting a gasp from the other five ponies.

They all stared at her, but Applebloom was the only one to speak. "Y'all are his lil' sis?"

Comet nodded and smiled. "Yeah, I thought I'd let him tell you. I figured you wouldn't believe me."

Sweetie Belle eyed me suspiciously and fearlessly walked right up to me. "You know...you look really familiar."

"Well my name used to be Steelbreaker, does that help?" I asked, grinning.

The small white filly gasped and smiled, then started hopping in place. "I knew it! I knew I recognized you!" She then turned to her friends with a wide grin. "This is the stallion I told you about! This is Rarity's friend that got her and Spike together!"

Scootaloo gasped and her mouth dropped open in shock. "S-so you're the guy that Rainbow's always talking about?"

I shrugged. "Unless she's talking about Soarin from the Wonderbolts, I hope so...otherwise I'm going to have a very strong-worded talk with her."

The young ponies talked amongst themselves for a moment and I leaned in to whisper to Luna, "Since when did I become a celebrity?"

"Since you protected Equestria from the gryphons and bolted overhead fighting your brother." she giggled out.

I shrugged. "Yeah, I guess that would do it."

I felt a tugging on my mane and looked down to see the young lavender unicorn smiling. "Um, um mister? Can you do a really cool trick for us?"

I turned to Luna and she shrugged, and so I looked back at the young ponies and nodded. "Yeah, I guess I can do something cool for you." I then stepped away from the group, far enough that the spell I was about to cast would be of no danger to them. For effect, I cast my frost aura, donned my ice armor, and let my eyes glow blue. I then began to summon my snow clouds above us, letting our area of the park get drizzled in a light snow. I could tell the young pegasus filly was about to say something, but I just shook my head as I charged the spell.

Perspective change – Luna

As I watched, I oddly felt nothing as I saw Frost charging his spell. Normally I would feel magic flowing through his horn when he was casting any spell. His ice spells were different, as he could cast them directly from his body (which was why the inhibitor ring did not work on him). As we all watched, his hooves changed from their normal grey to a bright, glowing blue – the same as his eyes. He then jumped high in the air before forcefully slamming all four hooves on the ground. The ground appeared to erupt with large spikes of ice all around him, large and sharp enough to skewer anypony that would be around him.

His power was frightening sometimes.

Just as quickly as they appeared the ice spikes melted away, revealing Frostbreaker with a change to his armor. There was now not a place on him that was not covered in a layer of thick ice. The armor itself was wrought with jagged spikes, and his helmet was now covering all but his eyes. The clouds above us then dissipated, and his armor melted against his coat, leaving a damp steely-blue stallion smiling at all of us.

The pale lavender filly was the first to approach him, nearly bounding with each step in excitement. "That was so cool! How did you do that?"

He simply smirked, responding with, "Magic, my dear."

She giggled and smiled at him. "My auntie Ditzy was right, you're fun!"

"Oh, so you're Dinky Doo! Well, it's a pleasure to finally meet you, young lady." he said with a warm smile.

His way of dealing with the young colts and fillies of Ponyville had convinced me that he would be a great father one day, and while I was certainly warming up to the idea, I was still apprehensive for some reason. An odd feeling whenever I would think of it seemed to tell me that now was not the time. Such a feeling warned me of Phobos' attack on us all, as well as what would happen with Frost during his battle with the gryphons. The feeling was never exact – it was no sort of future-sight – but it did offer a sort of foresight in the sense that I would know that something would happen, though I knew not what. I had learned to trust the feeling, and so for the moment I pressed the idea of foals to the back of my mind for the time being.

My thoughts to myself were interrupted by a gentle tugging on my mane, and I looked down to see young Pipsqueak with a smile on his face. "Umm…Princess Luna? Will we all get to see you again for Nightmare Night?"

I smiled and nodded at him. "Of course, Pip. I would not miss the night for the world, especially if you will be there." I couldn't help but lean down and nuzzle him softly. "I always love to see my favorite little colt."

He hugged my foreleg and smiled. "I can't wait! You're my favorite princess ever!"

Even with so many of the ponies nowadays accepting and even loving me again as their princess, Pip was special to me. It was during my first Nightmare Night that he showed a great amount of love for the holiday dedicated to me, and this in turn caused me to favor him over others. I was worried at first that choosing favorites over my subjects would be counterproductive to my "rehabilitation", but Tia advised me that she too had her favorite ponies. While she loved all her subjects, she told me that certain ones were held in higher regard than others, namely Twilight Sparkle and Spike. And so, I did not feel bad in the least that among the ponies, I too had a few I cared for more than others.

Pip soon scampered off to his friends and Frost returned to my side with a smile on his face as we continued to the library. "You know, I never realized just how popular I am around here. They act like I'm some kind of superhero or something." He then frowned a bit. "I'm not sure I really like that though. I just want to be a normal pony, really. I mean I've made my peace with my status as royalty, but I don't want to be considered some kind of super-special pony."

I flashed a smile and nodded before responding, "Yes Frost, I understand how you feel. However, the young ponies of Equestria will always need a role model of sorts. While their parents should be the predominant figure for a good pony in their lives, another one cannot hurt. You have many qualities that we all find very noble and valuable, namely your kindness and care for all around you. You are brave, loyal, humble, honest, kind, generous, and forgiving of those who have wronged you or those you care for. These are all qualities we as beings who hold the ideal of harmony in high regard should strive for. I understand your humility, but let me be perfectly clear: you are in many ways the best of what this world is, as well as the best of what Earth could be."

He smiled sheepishly and blushed a bit. "All this praise is going to give me a fat head, Luna. I don't want to turn into some overconfident prick."

Perspective change – Darkflight

Today was a normal workday in the forge, which in all honesty I enjoyed. Because I got to experiment and make new weapons and armor all the time – as well as advance the forging technologies with dragon's fire – it was less work for me and more passion. The fact that AJ said she'd be stopping by today made it even better.

I was never the kind of guy to get tied down before, but I couldn't deny it…I loved her. As shitty as it sounds, I used to break up with a girl because she wouldn't put out. Now here I was, completely in love with a girl who I hadn't even done more than make out with.

I guess this world is rubbing off on me.

What I found the most odd was that my brother – who was one of the pickiest guys I'd ever known – was jammin' with six of the most attractive and desirable mares in all of Equestria. Had I been the same guy I was back on Earth, I'd be jealous. Instead, I didn't really care. I had AJ, and she was more than enough for me…more than I deserved, really. When I thought about it, it was pretty weird how much I'd changed since I first arrived here. I couldn't deny that Drew's death had nearly everything to do with that. I remember at the funeral I made a silent promise to myself to be someone my brother would be proud to know, and feel privileged to have as a younger brother. I still had things to work on, but I was worlds better than I once was.

Mason was a previous life…I was Darkflight now.

With my new name and body, I had another chance at life…and a second chance to be a better person. It was a liberating feeling to actually be able to be proud of myself for something other than being the biggest player in town, and I liked the feeling a lot. I chuckled as I thought that save for the fact that Drew hadn't changed at all concerning personality, our lives as a whole had basically swapped. Now he was the one all the females wanted and he was the one all the stallions and colts wanted to be. It was a change – a big one – but it didn't bother me. For the first time in my life, it didn't bother me at all to admit to myself – or anyone else for that matter – that I was completely in love and completely happy with just one girl. The rest didn't matter. My family loved me, as did AJ…and that was enough.

As I was breathing my new black flame on a sword I was making for Captain Shining Armor, I heard the door open and a very familiar chuckle from behind me.

"Ya know y'all look downraht sexy when yer workin', Dark." the voice said in a familiar southern drawl.

I turned around with a wide grin to see the blonde-maned orange mare wearing a cowboy hat. "Well howdy there, cowgirl, it's always a pleasure when you're here. Come here and give your dragon a kiss."

She blushed and chuckled again before trotting over and planting a strong kiss on my own lips. I couldn't help but run my hands over her body, and as usual, I found myself admiring her figure. From what I could compare to the other mares, she was definitely feminine in form. However, upon feeling her body, I could tell she was solid muscle. Back on Earth I was put off by women like her. I could finally admit to myself now that my past self had a lot of female enemies, so I made it a point to avoid getting into relationships with women who could kick my ass. This cowmare that I held in my arms was different though. Her strength and her no-nonsense attitude was what I found so attractive. I mean sure, she knew how to play and have fun, but when it came to work she worked harder than anyone I'd ever seen before.

I released AJ from the kiss and she smiled dreamily at me. "Whooey, Dark. Ya'll know how ta treat a mare. Ah'm feelin like Ah jus' ran a race with RD."

"Yeah, I have that effect. Of course, I know other things that would leave you breathless..." I said with a smirk.

She blushed and sighed. "Ah know what yer gettin' at Dark, but Ah'm sorry…Ah'm just not ready fer that yet."

I dismissed her with a wave of my hand. "AJ I already told you, I don't mind…really. I just like teasing ya."

She nodded but still looked a little forlorn. "Are ya sure ya really don't care about that? Ah mean from what Frost told me, ya'll have left girls fer that."

"AJ, that was the past. I'm a different person now, well…a different dragon. I'm going to make sure I'm a better dragon for myself…and for you. We both deserve better, and I'm going to make sure I am better." I explained sternly. I then grinned seductively at her as I massaged her neck muscles lightly. "I mean I'm not going to lie, AJ…if you told me right now that you were ready, I'd take you in a hot second. I love you and I'm sure you can tell I am quite attracted to you. Still, it's because I love you that I can and will wait for as long as you need to. I've made the mistake of pushing a girl to do something she wasn't ready for before, and I won't make that same mistake with you. I care about you too much."

She let out the laugh I loved so much to hear and stood up to embrace me with a smirk. "Yer a big ol' softy, you know that?"

"Yeah yeah, don't tell anyone." I remarked with a grin of my own.

She dropped to the floor again and looked over at the forge, noticing the sword I was working on. "So, what's the sword for?"

I picked up the blacksteel straight sword and held it in a firm grasp. "This sword is something Celestia commissioned me to make for Captain Shining Armor. This is a very special sword for a few reasons. First of all, it's sharp enough to cut through even stone with ease." I then demonstrated by cleaving through the ceiling with blinding speed in four strokes, making a near-perfect cube of stone fall to the floor in front of me, leaving a gaping hole in the roof. "Secondly, if I've got the forging process correct, it'll never break or dull." I then handed the sword over to her and she sat down, holding it in her hooves.

Her mouth dropped open in awe and her eyes shined as she looked up at me. "It's so light. It's like Ah'm holdin' a feather."

I nodded with a grin. "That might have something to do with how strong you are, but yes, this sword is a lot lighter than normal swords, but every bit as dangerous."

She hoofed the sword back to me and eyed me with confusion. "Why did ya make somethin' like this? We don't need nothin' like this in Equestria…least not anymore."

I shrugged. "I don't know, babe, I just did what the princess asked me to." In all honesty, the fact that Princess Celestia asked me to make a weapon like this was unnerving, but it wasn't my place to question. Drew was the prince, after all, not me. Without a doubt if there was something going on, the princesses would tell him about it, and if he thought I needed to know, he'd tell me. So for the time being, I just let it go.

I then grabbed the scabbard – which I'd decorated with a dragon's head at the base breathing fire that formed into the sun on one side, and a crescent moon on the other – and AJ and I headed to the throne room next to deliver the sword.

When we got there the two celestial princesses were waiting with the Celestial Guard – personal bodyguards of the two princesses…like secret service – as well as Captain Shining Armor and his wife, Princess Cadence. AJ and I walked in to the throne room and stood in front of the two rulers of Equestria. While AJ bowed all the way to the ground, I placed a fist on my chest and bowed my head in a salute. I could feel some of the Celestial Guard glaring at me, but their looks of distaste quickly disappeared when the sun princess stepped off of her throne to me and pulled me into a hug.

"Ah, thank you so much for coming, Darkflight. I assume everything went as planned?" she asked while releasing me.

I nodded and took a knee, presenting the sword. "The sword is called Blackfang. This is the finest weapon I've ever made."

The sword was removed from my hands by a dark magenta aura as Celestia levitated it in front of her, removing it from the scabbard. She marveled at the black-as-night sword and then held it out to me. "Care to give a demonstration?"

I nodded. "With pleasure, princess." I then stood and took the sword in my hand before heading past her and into the garden, where a target range had been erected for this occasion. Logs were standing vertically in front of a stone wall, and I took a stance with the sword sheathed in my left hand and my right on the pommel. Quick as lightning, I drew the sword and whipped it horizontally to the log closest to me. The log fell over with a perfectly clean cut and I sheathed the sword.

"Very good, Darkflight. You've outdone yourself again." Celestia said with a smile.

I grinned back before responding. "You haven't seen anything yet. Shining Armor, come here please."

The mentioned captain stepped over to me and smiled. "What's up Dark?"

"Well Shining Armor, this type of sword is special. It reacts to magic, and you'll notice some rather large differences when someone such as you uses it. So please, I ask you to do a quick horizontal slice through the air from standing here." I explained.

He raised an eyebrow. "From here? I won't be able to reach the logs from here."

"Just trust me." I coaxed.

The captain shrugged before taking a stance and grabbing the sword with his magic. He held the sword against his body before quickly slicing the air from left to right horizontally. However, his jaw dropped when he noticed what happened. Instead of a normal swing through the air, a wave of energy flashed out of the blade traveling at a speed that made it difficult to see. The wave dissipated once it passed the wall, and everyone stood in awe of what happened. Then, the other two logs fell over, split in half…and so did the stone wall. I turned around to see all the guards and all the princesses staring slack-jawed in awe, and I just laughed.

"What the hay was that?" one of the guards asked.

I chuckled again and pointed at Shining Armor. "The sword he's holding is made of blacksteel. It's basically just steel heated a certain way to make it thinner and thus lighter than ever before. What made it do that, though, was a new magic flame I discovered. My black flame has the ability to absorb, store, and release magic. I used it instead of normal fire when forging the sword, and so imbued the sword with a permanent ability. When he used his magic to hold it, the sword absorbed some of it. Then when he swung the sword, he released the energy as a blade of pure energy."

Luna then stepped forward and smiled. "Amazing, Darkflight. You have truly outdone yourself."

I nodded. "I mean my black flame doesn't need to be used only for weapons. Imagine a shield or armor made that could absorb a spell, and then turn it back on the attacker. So you see, the applications are endless."

The solar princess nodded and smiled before turning to the guards. "Very well, you are all dismissed. Thank you." The guards nodded and dispersed. Once the guards left, Celestia turned to me. "I take it you wish to know why I would need such a weapon, yes?"

I nodded. "Yeah. I mean from what I understand, Equestria's pretty peaceful. That and Lux doesn't really like killing. So to answer your question, yes…I'm curious as to why you'd need a weapon this dangerous."

She nodded to me and sighed. "We have trouble in Terra, Darkflight."

"Gryphons again?" I asked.

She shook her head with a solemn expression. "No, something far worse. The enemies we face now fear nothing, and are as numerous as the stars in the sky."

I couldn't help but chuckle. "What are they, zombies?" The princesses just stared at me for a moment. "No…come on, you have got to be joking."

The princess of the night shook her head with a frown. "This is no laughing matter, Darkflight."

"How?" I asked, in utter confusion.

Perspective change – Celestia

I could put it off no longer…he had to be told, as Luna had told Frost already. With a heavy heart I sighed before continuing. "Death has power over his element and the now-lifeless bodies of beings that once lived. The life essence of these beings is no longer for this world, but the bodies have been reanimated with powerful magic and now march against the world of the living. These enemies are more dangerous than anything we have ever faced, as they do not negotiate, they do not even think…they simply kill. We are also not the only ones who will be under attack either. I have received word from the zebra tribes across the sea and even from some friendly gryphons that these undead armies are massing in numerous areas. This defilement of the corpses of beings laid to rest has thoroughly angered Lux, and so she gives her blessing to strike down and destroy these abominations. That, dear Darkflight, is why we need weapons such as this sword." I finished, pointing to the sword in his grasp.

"I swear, if Death looks like the Lich King, I'm going to flip…something. Insert vulgar word for feces there." the dragon mumbled.

Luna sighed before continuing where I left off. "I understand your apprehension, Darkflight. However, the living world will fall to Death unless we contain or kill him, banishing him to the elemental plane."

He eyed us both suspiciously. "I thought you said destroying him would cause a universal cataclysm, yada yada yada..."

I nodded. "Destroying him, yes...simply killing his mortal body, no. You have to remember, when an avatar's mortal body is destroyed, he or she is banished to the elemental plane until he or she has recovered enough strength to break through the Celestial Veil into our world, which can take several thousand years. This is why Death is massing this army. He knows we will attempt to destroy his body, and so he intends to destroy all of us instead."

He nodded. "Okay, I get it. What do we have to use against him though? I mean if what you say is true, that means we are massively outnumbered here. And if he can really resurrect any dead body like this, that means we could be fighting undead dragons by the thousands. We need something that's going to be able to defend against that."

Luna couldn't help but smirk at this. "Against an enemy such as this, the purifying blast from the Elements of Harmony is all but useless. However, we have our own weapons. You for one are one of the legendary black dragons of the unexplored northern continent."

"Wait wait wait...black dragon is kind of obvious, but legendary? Why did you make me some legendary entity of lore? And what does that even mean, exactly?" the mentioned dragon asked.

I smiled and shook my head. "We didn't. When we change the form of a being as we did you, we only choose the genus, not the exact species. Either the High Gods or even Terra herself chose to make you what you are. As far as what it means, you already know most of it. Like a gem dragon - like Spike - you can use many different types of fire breath, all having its own unique abilities. Unlike Spike, however, you can also fly. Before the first alicorns came to this world, black dragons were worshiped as gods. Last of all, black dragons are well respected in the draconic community. I cannot say if they would answer a call for aid from us, but you would be the only one who could approach them unafraid and receive instant respect, simply because of what you are."

He stared at me with a shocked expression, silent for the longest time. He swallowed hard and responded with a simple, "Wow...that's a lot to take in."

I nodded in agreement. "I apologize for springing this on you at such short notice, but I thought you should know. In addition to you, we also have your brother, the avatar of winter. Along with him, we have the avatars of night, day...and life." He looked at me confused until I pointed to Cadence, at which his eyes widened and I simply nodded. "Yes, my niece - the last pure alicorn - is the avatar of life and love."

Perspective change - Frostbreaker

What Luna told me about the undead armies and my brother had me thinking of war strategies now. Thankfully for this upcoming conflict, I could pull out all the stops because I wouldn't have to worry about casualties on the enemy's side, as they were already dead. That meant that Death, along with all my other potential enemies, was going to see just how lethal a pissed-off avatar of winter could be.

Oh...this was going to be fun.

I had been spending the day after my talk with Luna planning war tactics, as well as learning and teaching of them from Twilight. Surprisingly, Twi was very knowledgeable on the subject, which when I think about it makes sense with how many war strategy books she has. While I was honestly excited about the prospect of actually unleashing myself on an enemy that would do my loved ones harm, I held no illusions about Death. He was the avatar of death itself, and my father. His specialty is death, murder...anything having to do with killing. It was quite possible that he was far more experienced in war than I was, as well as in combat, and so I planned accordingly by hopefully overestimating my opponent.

By the looks of things, we still had plenty of time to plan, as while Death was clearly massing forces, he hadn't made any movement towards any of the populated areas of the world. This meant one of many things. He might not be as intelligent as I thought and may simply be foolhardy and arrogant. Or, perhaps he will attack all areas at once after massing enough forces, effectively overrunning our defenses. Or perhaps even scarier, he could be planning some sort of surprise attack that we would never see coming. Twilight and I had both decided that we would need to take preemptive action against the undead masses, so as to keep numbers down. That was the obvious. What I was worried about was that he was perhaps using this tactic to draw us out into the open. Still, we had to do something or many innocent ponies would die. Still, for today we were done with strategy, as both myself and Twilight had gotten headaches, and so we simply settled for cleaning up in preparation for our friends coming over.

Shortly after we had cleaned up, Rainbow Dash arrived with a full case of hard apple cider, although she completely forgot about it when she saw me. She nearly tackled me to the ground as she slammed into me, embracing me in a bone-crushing hug.

"Ugh...Frost...I missed you so much. Please don't leave us anymore, I can't take it." she sobbed into my neck. She then flung herself over my back, laying against me while still holding me tight.

I smiled and chuckled. "I love you too, my Dashie. I'm sorry I put you through so much."
I felt her shake her head while still nuzzling against the back of my neck, and she mumbled something that I couldn't hear, but she kissed the back of my neck and sighed happily. Somehow I knew that she wasn't going to be leaving my side the whole night, but in all honesty I was perfectly fine with that.

The next ones to arrive were Fluttershy, Venn, and Moonfang. All three of them embraced me at once, Fluttershy crying a bit in happiness that I was okay, and the two wolves smiling broadly. I noticed that Moonfang was now nearly completely a normal wolf, save for a last piece of his wooden skin that covered his left eye. Still, his personality was the exact same, and I noticed that he and Fluttershy were now very close. This made me happy, as I always thought they'd be perfect together. 'Now I just have to get Venn a girl and we'll be set!' Rarity and Spike walked in next, bringing even more cider...oh boy, tonight was going to be very drunkenly intense.

We all started drinking and talking while we waited for the rest to arrive, and luckily everyone arrived by about 19:00, even Ditzy, who I was happy to see. Outside of the training grounds, Ditzy and I hadn't spent a lot of time together, but she was cool and I admired her for a lot of reasons. She was a powerful and smart fighter, born to be in the military...and yet outside of the barracks, she was fun, playful, and had a good sense of humor. She about tied with Dashie as far as being a tomcolt, but it suited her well. Like my rainbow daredevil, she was every bit feminine, but was also not going to let a male best her in anything if she had a say in it.

We spent most of the night getting thoroughly drunk, while Vinyl and Pinkie pumped out some tunes for us all. In essence this was no longer a simple get together, but a party. It was all good though, because I was able to catch up with all my friends. At around 21:00, Celly and Lulu finally arrived with great big smiles on their faces. Everyone greeted them as friends, even Ditzy, and the party continued.

By the time it reached 23:00, we were all tired and either laying in bed or winding down. For the first time I wasn't joining my girls in bed just yet, as I was out on the balcony talking to Ditzy. We had a long conversation about the coming conflict before getting to more personal issues.

She was clearly intoxicated as I was having to hold her up to keep her from falling. She smiled at me and nuzzled into my mane. "Mmm...you're sho shoft, Frosht. I could just shleep with you all the time..." Suddenly she blushed at the realization that what she said could be interpreted the wrong way.

I shook my head before she could respond. "I know what you meant, Ditzy. It's okay."

She nodded and smiled, but was obviously still nervous. "Y-you know Frosht, I wish shometimes I could be your mare."

She was either completely oblivious she'd said that out loud or didn't care, but I figured just to be safe and cover all the bases, I'd contact my group and see what they all thought about her.

“Girls? What do you think of Ditzy? Would she be cool or not?”

I gained positive responses from all of them, especially Twi, which probably meant she had too much to drink. All the same, I was glad that was cleared up, so I focused on Ditzy again with a smile. "Well you know Ditzy, I would be perfectly fine having you as my mare."

She looked at me with her bright yellow eyes and smiled. "Really?"

I then leaned in and planted a soft kiss on her lips, causing her to moan a bit. She opened her eyes and looked at me with a dreamy expression before I responded, "Really."

After "inviting" Ditzy, we headed to the bed and lay down next to all my other girls. Ditzy decided to sleep right next to me while Celestia was on my right and Dash was - of course - right on my chest. I could honestly say I missed this a lot, and it gave me a warm feeling of love that I hadn't gotten anywhere else. As everypony settled in, I received a chorus of "I love you" from nearly all of them, save for Ditzy and of course Lyra, who had passed out. I relaxed quickly and smiled a large smile as sleep overtook me.

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