• Published 6th Feb 2013
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The Cutters - Priceless911



During an era of war, Three Mercenaries with unknown pasts have rule over all battlefields of every nation... yet there was good reason they were so feared.

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Togeather in Tartarus

As the sun rose for the third time in almost a year, a cloaked mare crossed a destroyed city gate into a city that was once a deadly battleground. As she made her way through all the continuous construction and reconstruction sites scattered throughout the city, she could overhear two soldiers talking, “That Commander Bolt… it’s his fault the city is in ruins like this. Canterlot used to be a wonderful utopia, now look at it. Part of the city has burned to the ground and the other half collapsed. Our gate is in ruins along with the western wall, most of our lookout towers are lying on the ground, and for what? Because of his stupid crush on Nightmare Moon.”
The other guard replied, “I donno… you didn’t see his face when he was in the dungeon. I’ve never seen a stallion give up on life like that before… especially for just one of his fallen soldiers. If you ask me, I think he was in love with that archer.”
“Well anyway, he is locked away now. Him and Nightmare Moon. Now neither one will ever be a threat to Equestria.”
As the soldiers continued trotting town the street, the mare could only sigh at the subject. As she passed by them without so much as a greeting nod.

The mare continued through the city until she reached the noble district. As she passed the ruins of what was once the most pristine mansions in Equestria, she could see some of the most powerful figureheads in the kingdom digging through the rubble of their manors like the very peasants they claim dominance over. She couldn’t help but think that this is what war does to ponies. It turns kings to peasants and foals to orphans… and those are the lucky ones. The mare continued on her path until she reached the destroyed gates of the Mist Estate. As she stood in front of the large mansion, she noticed that the damage to this building was not only minimal, but it looked just like it did the last time she was here. As the mare approached the doors, she reached up to knock, but stopped when she noticed that the damage on the door looked like they were kicked in. As she slowly pushed the doors open, she looked around the lobby at the damage that was received inside.

The Large lobby also showed little signs of a battle, though there were cut markings and dried blood on the walls and floor. The mare got a little worried until she heard strange sounds coming from one of the rooms on the first floor. The mare followed the sounds into what looked like a lord’s study. Inside there was a young unicorn colt waving a toy sword around, making sound effects as if he were fighting in a great battle. Seeing the young innocent colt trapped in his own imagination, made her smile as the mare went into the study and sat down in one of the chairs, observing the young colt while he continued swinging the sword at his make-believe foes. The colt continued playing until he swung the sword completely around and saw his visitor sitting and watching him play.

Caught off guard and a little embarrassed, the young colt dropped his toy sword and blushed as he tried to act as if nothing happened, “Um… I… um… Ma’am… can I um… help you?”
The mare smiled and replied to the young colt, “You’re very swift on you hooves for somepony so young.”
The colt continued blushing as he replied, “Oh… um… yea, daddy and Uncle Bolt showed me how to fight. So, I practice every chance I get.”
The mare nodded her head, “And it shows, can I ask your name little one?”
The colt straightened his composure and bowed in a noble way “Mist… my name is Chrome Mist Jr. Son to the late Commander Mist and the lord of this manor.”
The mare stood and bowed her head back, “Lord? Then I would think this to be a pleasure to introduce myself. My name is…”
“B-Boss?”

The visitor turned towards the doorway and smiled as she saw a beautiful mare standing there wearing a noble’s gown, “Blade… It’s good to see you again.”
Blade continued into the room as she replied, “I haven’t been called that in years… nowadays they call me Serenade Mist… or Lady Mist, but I don’t need to be so formal around you boss.”
Serenity shook her head, “Do I still have to tell you not to call me boss? If you must call me something, call me Serenity. I don’t go by The Reaper or Scy anymore.”
When the colt heard Serenity refer to herself as The Reaper, he became shocked, “The… The Reaper? You mean The Reaper, from all those stories mommy told me?”
Serenity looked at the young colt and replied, “So she has told stories about me has she? So can you tell me what she said about me?”
“Only that you were the most feared pony in the world. The bodies you left behind could equal the total number of existing ponies and griffin in both Equestria and the Griffin Kingdoms.”
Serenity gave Serenade a smirk as she replied, “Really?”

Serenade smiled as she continued, “I may have exaggerated a little…”
Serenity nodded her head, “Yes you did… you need to add the Hooviet union and even Saddle Arabia to that list too. Nevertheless, I can’t take all the credit. If not for my team, I never would have survived all those battles.”
Serenade smiled as she continued into the room and sat down next to her old comrade, “Chrome? What have I told you about introducing yourself as the lord of this house? Though it is true in a way, I still don’t want you introducing yourself like that at least until you’re old enough to take that responsibility. Remember what happened during the battle a few days ago.”
The colt looked down and nudged his toy sword as he replied, “I’m sorry mommy… I know that it isn’t safe to do so, and I won’t do it again.”
The noble mare nodded her head and replied, “That’s probably not true… but colts will be colts. Can you take your practice outside for a while? Miss Serenity is an old friend and I want to speak with her in private for a while.”
The colt bowed respectfully as he replied, “Yes mommy, It was nice meeting you miss Serenity.”

The colt then picked up his toy sword, and trotted outside as Serenity asked, “What happened during the battle?”
Serenade smiled, “A few of your son’s soldiers offered to escort us out of the city, but when they heard who Chrome was, they panicked because they knew who his mother was too. So, I killed them before they could spread the word.”
Serenity smiled, “Same old Blade, you have a handsome son by the way, he looks just like his father… but, he fights just like you.”
Serenade smiled, “Yes he does… he often talks about how much he wants to be a soldier like his father and uncle. It worries me so much though.”
Serenity nodded her head, “So how have you been since we last saw each other. I see you fell in love and got married, and to the commander of the Equestrian Royal Guard no less.”
Serenade looked over the fireplace at a spear that hung on the wall as she replied, “Yes, and the time we spent together was wonderful… but it ended so tragically.”
Serenity lowered her head in disappointment, “I’m sorry… I know my son was the one that killed him. And I wish I could cha…”
“I don’t… Chrome always said that Star Bolt would be the death of him… turns out he was right. As soon as I heard that this argument between Nightmare Moon and Princess Celestia would break out in war… I expected one of us to lose somepony in this war… I didn’t expect it to be both though.”

Serenity sighed, “How did Mist Jr. take it? He seems to be in good spirits.”
Serenade smiled, “He is taking it in his own way. By trying to live up to his father’s legacy… I didn’t tell him Commander Bolt was his killer though. The colt looks up to them both so much, it would break his spirit to know that Uncle Bolt killed his father.”
Serenity lowered her head and continued, “And… what about you?”
Serenade shook her head and smiled, “If I wanted to hold a grudge, then I would have killed him before he attacked Canterlot. I knew that in some way it was destined to happen. Therefore, my focus was on keeping my son safe… not that different from you actually. So… what have you been doing in the past twenty years?”
Serenity sighed, “Looking after my son, at least till this war began. With Nightmare Moon magic, I thought it would be better if I had stayed out of this one. Though I did try to confront him in Cloudsdale.”
Serenade looked at Serenity, “… And?”
Serenity shook her head, “He made his choice… I won’t force him to do otherwise. Nevertheless, I suppose he is just like Traipse. Stubborn and confident.”
Serenade smiled, “But I think that was the best thing about him. He always left us guessing.”

The two mares laughed at the subject for a few seconds before Serenity asked, “Speaking of which, have you heard anything from him lately? Don’t tell me he is still a mercenary.”
Serenade looked at Serenity in shock and replied, “You mean, you don’t know?”
“Know? Know what?”
Serenade sighed, “Boss… Traipse in in Tartarus… he has been there for almost three years now.”
Serenity was shocked, “What?... but… how?”
Serenade replied, “Shortly after the Griffin Civil War ended, He and I went to Zebrica and played as body guards for their peace talks. That’s when I found out I was pregnant with Chrome, so when the peace talks ended, I returned here to stay with my husband while he went on to the Griffin Kingdoms at the griffin king’s request. However… he was betrayed. The king had him imprisoned and sent to Tartarus.”
Serenity stood up and spoke with anger behind her voice, “Why?...”
Serenade lowered her head and replied, “The king was angry about our involvement during the Griffin Civil War.”

With anger in her actions, Serenity turned and started trotting towards the door as Serenade stood up and tried to stop her, “Boss wait…”
Serenity stopped but didn’t turn around, “No… I’ve given everything I had without complaint because I knew my sins and I wanted to repent for them… But… Traipse was all I had left… and I’ll die before I give him up too.”
“But what will yo…”
“I’ll think of something… Karma has to play by the same rules we do… so I feel like it owes me something.”
Serenade lowered her head, “I’m sorry boss… I can’t help you… I have to put my son first.”
Serenity smiled as she turned around with a tear rolling down her face, “Of course you do… and I won’t ask you to abandon him. You’re a good mother and a good friend Blade… and even thought The Cutters have ended… I won’t let it end like this. Good-bye Blade… I hope we will get the chance to catch up later.”
Serenity turned around and left the room as Serenade stood there watching her, “The Cutters will never end boss. Because you were The Cutters the whole time. And nopony will ever kill The Reaper.”

Serenade watched as her best friend left the room, and then she sat back down in the chair and looked at the spear over the fireplace, “Chrome… is there really nothing I can do to help?”
Just then, the family butler entered the room and spoke, “My apologies Lady Mist… if I had known you had a guest, I would have put on some tea.”
Serenade shook her head and replied, “It’s quite alright Roberto, we didn’t have time for it anyway.”
The butler bowed as he started to turn towards the door, “Very good Milady…”
before the butler was out of the room Serenade asked, “Um… Roberto?”
The butler turned and asked, “Yes lady Mist?”
“I’m going to be leaving town for a few days… can you look after Chrome for me?”
Roberto bowed as he replied, “Of course Milady… I am always happy to assist, the young master. May I ask where you’re going?”
Serenade smiled, “I have to see an old friend.”

Days later in a land far away from Canterlot, Serenity climbed to the top of a hill and looked down into the valley at the Gate to Tartarus. Some believed the gate was a portal to another dimension, while others believed it to be a gate to a prison underground. Nopony knew the truth but what they did know was that all who entered never returned. And even if they did find a way out of Tartarus. Cerberus, the mighty three-headed guardian would devour them on sight. Serenity looked at the closed doors of the large gate and then at the three headed guard dog that slept soundly outside, then thought to herself. “There is no way I could possibly open such massive doors. And no doubt Cerberus would wake before I could get them opened enough to get inside, so how do I approach this?”
As she tried planning her next move, she noticed that Cerberus had heard something and stood up to look around. Then he began barking at something that was making its way down the valley.

Serenity took a good look into the valley and noticed that there was a convoy of Minotaur leading a prisoner towards the gate. With the monstrous dog still barking at them, one of the Minotaur, stepped forward and yelled, “Cerberus! HEEL!!!”
All three heads of the now silenced dog lowered their ears and backed away, as a second Minotaur stepped forward and stuck a key into a hidden Keyhole on the side of the gate. Slowly the massive doors of the Gate opened to reveal a black spiraling vortex on the other side, as the first Minotaur spoke to his prisoner, “By Order of King Harpy the Fourth, of the Griffin Kingdoms. You have been prosecuted as a menace to society and will henceforth be banished to Tartarus for the rest of eternity. May your death be quick and painless.”
Without letting the prisoner say anything, the Minotaur picked him up and tossed him into the portal as the second griffin pulled the key from the key hole and watched as the massive doors closed on their own.

Serenity knew her plan now. To get into Tartarus she had to get that key. So she waited until the Minotaur had left the gate and its guardian behind and observed them as they spoke, “The King of the griffin kingdoms has been banishing a lot of prisoners lately… kinda makes you think he is a tyrant.”
“It doesn’t matter who he banishes or why. As one of the leaders of the four superpowers, he is one of very few who have a say in who gets banished to Tartarus.”
“I’m only saying that you don’t see princess Celestia banishing anypony there… and she recently banished her sister and her commander to the moon and sta…”
Before the Minotaur could finish the sentence, Serenity sent a needle into his forehead killing him on contact. The Minotaur quickly looked around but with the valley casting a shadow on their surroundings, they couldn’t see her. One Minotaur gripped his Axe and spoke, “Who’s there!?! Show yourself!”

With the formation looking around in worry, Serenity spoke in a way that her voice would echo throughout the valley, “Do you take pride in sending those to their doom?”
One of the Minotaurs replied, “What’s it to you!?!”
Without warning, the Minotaur was struck in his back with a needle and fell to the ground screaming as she replied, “I am the one who brings doom upon others… not you.”
In fear, the Minotaur carrying the key slowly backed into a nearby shadow as he tried to act courageous, “Is that so? Then why don’t you show yourself and prove it to us!!!”
The minotaur froze in sheer terror as he felt a hoof on his shoulder from behind, and heard a whisper in his ear, “…As you wish…”
before the minotaur could turn around, a glare from a metal scythe flew across his body and cut him in half before he had a chance to defend himself. Serenity then took the key from around his belt, as the rest of the Minotaur tried to charge her. However, by the time they reached the corpse of their dead friend, she had already vanished back into the shadows.

The Minotaur quickly turned until their backs were to each other as they nervously looked for their attacker. “Where… where is she?”
“I… I don’t know…”
“Who… who was that?”
“I… I think I might be The Rea…”
Before the Minotaur could finish his sentence, a glare flew across his leg removing it as he fell to the ground screaming. Rather than risk their lives, the leading Minotaur screamed as he picked up his injured comrade, “RETREAT!!! GET OUT OF HERE!!!”
The group picked up their two injured friends and left their dead as they all began running for their lives.
Serenity could only smile from the shadows as she spoke, “Yep… I still got it.”
Now, with the key to the gate in hoof, she made her way back to the Gates of Tartarus.

As she got close, she noticed that the sounds of the retreating Minotaur didn’t reach Cerberus. The large dog was laying on his side just outside the gate as he slept peacefully. Serenity snuck by the massive animal and approached the keyhole that was on this side of the massive twenty-foot doors. Then as she stuck the key in, the doors slowly opened on their own revealing the large black vortex from before. As Serenity looked in curiosity at the vortex, she felt nervous as she heard a very low growling coming from behind her. She turned around slowly to see that not only has Cerberus woken from his slumber, he was glaring at her while growling with all three heads. Serenity stood up strait, put her hoof out, and commanded, “CERBERUS! HEEL!!!”
The monstrous dog sat down in confusion while all three heads looked at each other, then back at their intruder with a pondering tilt in their necks. Then after thinking over the order, the three heads began growling again, as Serenity shrugged her shoulders, “…It was worth a shot.”
Thinking quickly, Serenity grabbed the key, pulled it from the keyhole, and dashed into the portal before the doors or Cerberus could stop her.

As soon as Serenity was inside the portal, it picked her up off her hooves and spun her into the air multiple times before dropping her from a high altitude in what looked like a massive cave. Reacting to her Pegasus instinct, Serenity opened her wings and glided down to a small cliff that overlooked the realm. All around her, she could see many cliffs, hoodoos, canyons, and geysers of fire scattered all over the place. When she looked up, she could see the portal she emerged from. However, as she watched it, the portal slowly vanished, leaving no way out from where she came. Serenity observed the area closely to see if she knew where to start her search for Traipse but the only thing she could see that would offer any help were small square houses made entirely of Stone. As she observed these places, she realized they weren’t houses at all, but prison cells. So she decided to being looking through them as she flew from the top of the cliff down into the village of cells. As she went from cell to cell, she noticed that most of them had nothing in them. While some had bones of dead inmates.

Finally she managed to find a few cells with living prisoners inside, so she approached one and asked, “Hey… um… sir? Do you know where I can find Traipse of The Cutters?”
The griffin inmate looked at the mare and replied while pouring sand from one talon into the other, “The bars… they speak to me… they say… The king knows best, he does… he knows what war brings… but what brings war?... its ash… ash brings war, and war brings ash… but what brings ash to bring war?”
Serenity knew that the griffin had lost his mind entirely so she just shook her head, “Never mind… sorry if I disturbed you.”
As Serenity turned to leave, the griffin reached through the bars and grabbed her by her hoof, “That scythe… are you here to bring me to my salvation?”
Serenity looked at her scythe then back at the griffin as she put the hood over her face, “Yes… I am.”
The griffin smiled as if he was given hope, “The Cutter you seek… he is near the gate.”
Serenity replied, “What gate?”

Then with one talon still gripping the mare’s hoof, the griffin used the other talon to point towards a mountain in the distance. “There… they ready him to sell his soul…”
Serenity asked, “Who? Who is getting him ready? And what do you mean, sell his soul?”
The griffin started griping her hoof tighter and tighter, “I told you… now grant me my salvation. I told you now give me what you promise.”
With the griffin’s grip starting to hurt her, Serenity tried to pull her hoof free as the griffin started getting hysterical, “Give me what you promise… I told you… give me my salvation… Do it!... DO IT!!! GRANT ME WHAT I WANT!!! I TOLD YOU!!! GIVE ME MY SALVATION!!! DO IT!!! DO IT!!! GIVE M…”

Out of fear of her own life, Serenity quickly pulled out one of her needles with her free hoof and stabbed it into the griffin’s talon causing him to release her. As the griffin backed against the wall with surprise, he looked closely at the needle in his talon and smiled, “At last! I can free myself! At last! My salvation awaits me!”
The griffin tossed aside what’s left of his sanity, as he pulled the needle from his talon, and quickly jammed it into his temple, killing himself quickly as his lifeless body fell to the bottom of the cell with a horrid smile on his face. Serenity couldn’t believe what she had just witnessed, of all the battles she has faced, and all the enemies she has encountered, she had never been so afraid in her life then she felt mere moments ago. As she looked at the dead griffin, she couldn’t help but feel sad for him. What could he had been put through to make his mind crack like this… and if Traipse has been here for Four years… what reaction would he give when she approaches him? Serenity sighed in pity for the griffin who killed himself, then turned towards the mountain, and continued her search.

Not long after she crossed the mountain, Serenity came to an area, where there were many strange looking creatures dancing around something. When she saw these creatures, Serenity ducked into the shadows and observed them. These creatures were two feet tall with talons on both their hands and feet, they had bat type wings and pointed ears, noses, and teeth too. Therefore, she could only assume they were demon spawn. As the many creatures continued dancing, Serenity moved higher in the shadows to get a better look at what it was that was entertaining them. In the center of the circle stood a tall demon that towered above the rest. Then she saw what he was doing. He was mercilessly beating the life out of a pony who had no chances to fight back, “Traipse…”
the monster stopped hitting him and walked away from the still stallion as he spoke, “You’re much stronger than I thought pony… I knew you would provide me with great entertainment. Now, relinquish your soul to me… and the pain will stop. How say you?”
Traipse coughed up a little blood then replied, “I… I say, you will never have my soul, so how say you to tha…”
Before Traipse could finish his sentence, the large demon kicked him and sent him flying into the side of the mountain.

After hitting the mountain and rolling to the ground, Traipse tried to move, but couldn’t. The large monster approached him and shook his head, “You’re very determined for a pony. I must say, none have ever kept hold of his sanity this long… and even fewer last this long without surrendering their soul to me… but I will break you, you will not die this day… nor will you ever as long as you refused to surrender your everlasting soul. I will keep you alive… and torture you every day until you break. Only then will you ever know the sweet painless slumber that is death. So buckle up pony… you’re in for a long life. Take him back to his cell, and deprive him of food. Maybe hunger will assist him in his decision.”
As the creature turned around, he paused then started sniffing the air. One of his minions approached him and asked, “What is it master?”
The demon looked into the shadows and replied, “Blood… I smell the blood of another.”
The minion replied, “Another was tossed in here this morning, perhaps it’s his blood.”
The demon continued looking into the shadows that Serenity was hiding in as he replied, “Perhaps…”

With nothing more to say about the subject, the mighty demon and most of his minions continued leaving the area as a few of them picked up the beaten pony, took him to a nearby cell, and tossed him in like a rag doll. As they locked the cell, the small demons laughed as they walked away from the cell doors leaving Traipse lying on the bottom, completely motionless. Once she was certain the coast was clear, Serenity approached the cell and looked inside. Other than his breathing, Traipse laid on the bottom of the cell without moving a muscle. Serenity sighed, “Oh Traipse… what have they done to you?”
Serenity took a step back from the cell bars and swung her scythe twice to cut them. Once on the bottom, and then again on the top. As the bars fell to the ground, Serenity slowly entered the dark cell, and approached the wounded stallion on the floor. As Traipse continued lying on his side, Serenity put her hoof under his head, and raised it up to look at his face. The battered and bruised stallion slowly opened his eyes and spoke, “S-Serenity? B-but… how?”

Serenity smiled as tears started rolling down her face, “I’m here Traipse… I came as soon as I heard. I’m here to save you from this nightmare. I’m here to take you home.”
Serenity leaned in and kissed him, then afterwards, as she raised her head back up, Traipse smiled, “You’re late ya know… but… home… sounds nice. After this… Even Equestria sounds nice.”
Serenity held out her scythe as she picked up Traipse from the floor. After he was on his hooves, he grabbed the scythe and used it as a crutch to hold himself up as he spoke, “It’s no use Serenity… even if we escape the demon king… we can’t escape Tartarus. At least not without the key…”
Serenity smiled as she held the key out, “If you show me the gate… then I’ll show us a way out.”
Traipse smiled, “And that’s why I love you so much. I believe the gate is just on the other side of this ridge. If we hurry, we can get out without being spotted. I don’t know if I can fight any demons off in my state”
The two ponies left the cell and started towards the gates location at Traipse pace.

While the two ponies continued traveling, Serenity spoke, “So what did the demon mean when he said he wanted your soul?”
Traipse replied, “Demon… you mean Lucifer… and I’m guessing you have already met a hollowed.”
“A what?”
Traipse explained, “When a creature surrenders his soul down here, the demon king Lucifer separates it into two parts, the good and the bad. The bad is turned into one of his minions and is forced to serve him for eternity. While the good remains trapped inside the body, and slowly devours itself from the inside out until the body descends into complete madness. By then, the hollowed as they are called, will commit suicide in some way or other due to its insanity. When I arrived here, I came with another mercenary who surrendered his soul almost immediately. But one week later, the hollowed body killed himself by beating his head against the wall until he cracked his skull open.”

Serenity listened in silence as she remembered the strange behavior of the griffin she met earlier. Then she asked, “But… why does he ask you to surrender your soul? Why doesn’t he just take it?”
Traipse replied, “Because he has to have consent before he can take it. Centuries ago, Lucifer would buy souls from mortals for a single wish. Nevertheless, when he was imprisoned here, he had no bargaining chips to give those who came here since all they would ever ask for was freedom. Therefore, he went from negotiations to torture. Every time a new prisoner arrived, he would torture them until they surrendered their souls to him. If the soul doesn’t allow consent, then he can’t do anything to it.”
Serenity sighed, “And our souls would be the crown jewels of his collection. With the amount of bad we have done… we would prove to be reliable minions wouldn’t we?”
Traipse nodded his head, “It’s all he ever talks about these days. And for the past four years, I’ve been able to fight him back… I’m just grateful you came for me Serenity… a few more days, and I don’t think I would have been able to hold back much longer.”

As the two ponies mad it to the top of the ridge, they looked into the distance to see massive doors that looked exactly like the gates they used to enter Tartarus. Traipse smiled as he continued using the scythe as a crutch, “Well… we might make it out of here after all.”
Serenity nodded her head, “Let’s hurry. We have to get there before we are found.”
The two ponies continued moving as fast as Traipse injuries would allow as he asked, “Bolt?… is he here too? I would guess so if you’re here.”
Serenity lowered her head in disappointment, but she didn’t reply as Traipse saw her expression and continued, “Oh… I see… well did he fall in battle?”
She nodded her head, “He did… fighting for the mare he loved.”
Traipse smiled as he shook his head, “I wonder if that Princess was really worth it.”
Serenity replied, “No… it was one of his soldiers he fell for in the end. But when she died… he lost all reason to continue so he fell quickly after that.”
Traipse sighed, “A broken heart… I'd hope he would overcome a weakness like that… but then again, if something happened to you, I don’t think I would be able to fight on either…”
“GOOD TO KNOW!!!”

The loud booming voice echoed through the area as Traipse and Serenity quickly turned until they were back to back, as a massive crack formed on the ground around them. Shortly after the crack appeared, many small demons wearing armor and carrying weapons, climbed out of the cracks, as Lucifer, flew down from above and landed between the ponies, and their destination. The monstrous demon smiled as he bowed in respect, “If I didn’t see it with my own eyes then I wouldn’t believe that I’m standing in the presence of a true legend. It’s an honor to meet the infamous Reaper of the surface world.”
Serenity glared at the demon as he raised himself back up and continued, “I'd introduce myself, but I’m afraid your comrade has already explained who I am. If you’re wondering how I discovered you… it’s the blood. Your body reeks of the blood of others… it’s so overwhelming, it made my eyes water. I can only respect one with a kill count as high as you… however, I’m afraid I can’t allow you or Traipse to leave Tartarus. You see when the surface world disown their own they banish them here forever. And even though I have no way of knowing what crime they committed, their punishment stays the same. If you enter Tartarus… your soul belongs to me.”

Serenity readied herself by gripping a needle under her cloak as she replied, “My soul is mine and mine alone. I will never give it up willingly. You’ll have to kill me first!”
Lucifer smiled, “But killing you would be such a waste I wouldn’t dream of harming a soul as precious as yours.”
As Lucifer spoke, Traipse became suspicious, He knew that Lucifer was an embodiment of foul play, so with him acting so direct, Traipse knew he was up to something. As Traipse watched Lucifer talk, he noticed that when he looked towards the ground, Lcifer’s appearance became hazy. Traipse turned his head to look behind them, only to find that what Serenity was talking to was an illusion. The real Lucifer was behind them reaching for Serenity while she was distracted by the decoy. Acting out of impulse, and surprising even Serenity, Traipse took the scythe he was using as a crutch and swung it upward behind them, Removing Lucifer’s arm just before it was close enough to grab the unsuspecting mare’s cloak.

Lucifer let out a scream of pain as his severed arm fell to the ground, turning to ash as it landed. Then two thing happened at the exact same time. Serinity turned and tossed a needle at the screaming Demon’s face while Traipse brought the scythe blade upward with the hopes of removing his head. The needle managed to make contact by digging into Lucifer’s eye… but as the scythe blade made contact with his neck, Lucifer quickly turned his body to ash, so the blade passed through leaving not so much as a cut on him. The Lucifer’s body quickly reassembled on the other side of his minions, that is, all but his severed arm and eye. With his remaining eye, Lucifer glared at his foe’s and spoke with rage, “You dare to harm me? The Demon King of Tartarus!”
Traipse stepped forward ignoring his wounds from earlier, “To Protect the mare I love… I do. I will kill any lord, Princess, King, or even God, that so much as threatened her!”

Serenity looked at Traipse and smiled as she was deeply touched by Traipse words. However, Lucifer replied with little interest in his expression, “Very well… then perhaps your soul isn’t worth the trouble. Pity… I so wanted to have you two as my minions.”
Lucifer flew into the air and spoke so that all his minions could hear, “Execute those ponies! Then hang their bodies up to rot at the front of the Gate. I want all to know what happens when you threaten Lucifer!”
With that said, Lucifer vanished as his hoard of minions charged the ponies. As the first group got close, Traipse swung the scythe cutting four in half with only one swing. As the blade passed through their bodies, the minions fell to the ground and then turned to ash shortly after leaving behind a scorch mark on the ground. While the first hoard continued attacking, Traipse continued making short work of the small demons by cutting them down in groups, while Serenity used her needles to cover his back, tossing them with enough strength to kill two or three with one throw.

As Serenity tossed her last needle, she quickly looked at Traipse as she jumped and flew into the air to dodge the blade of a striking demon, “Traipse!”
Traipse looked at her and knew what was wrong so as he finished off a swing that killed a small number of demons, he flung the scythe into the air making it spin as it was flying towards Serenity. Then he quickly picked up one of the minion’s swords and fought back the demons who were trying to attack the momentarily unarmed pony. As the scythe spun through the air towards Serenity, she timed it perfectly as she caught the weapon by its shaft and continued the scythe’s final spin to cut down the demons that were flying towards her in the air. However as she spun in the air, the key to the gate flew out of her pocket and fell into the massive crowd of demons that were trying to surround the ponies. Knowing that she wouldn’t find the key in the group, she flew back and landed next to Traipse who was doing his best to fight off the surrounding demons.

After landing back on the ground, Serenity backed up until she was next to Traipse and looked around. Though they were killing the demons in groups, more and more continued climbing out of the cracks in the ground, and to make things worse, the ash of the ones that were already dead started to reconstruct themselves and attack a second time. Looking at the hopelessness of their situation, Serenity sighed, “Traipse… the key, I can’t get to it. Its somewhere in the crowd.”
Traipse replied, “This doesn’t look good. I'd hate to say it… but I think we’ve met our match.”
Serenity tried looking for an escape route, but there weren’t any to be seen. As some demons hovered in the air above, the ground was swarming with even more making escape impossible. She took a swing of her scythe and killed five with one blow, but as soon as she finished the swing they regenerated themselves and got ready to attack again, “They just keep coming… there just isn’t any end to them.”
Traipse cut the legs out from one minion and stomped the demon as he hit the ground, “You’re right… this looks like… well… this is it…”

As the hoard of demons continued surrounding the two ponies, Serenity lowered her head as a tear started to roll down her face, “You know what Traipse… even when things seem their darkest… I’m glad I’m here to face them with you. It makes me fe…”
Traipse turned and put his hoof on her shoulder, “... Well Scy? What’s the plan? Should we pull a decoy attempt?”
Serenity smiled as she wiped the tear from her face and smiled confidently, “I don’t know Tri… maybe… we should just Improvise…”
Traipse smiled as he looked at the surrounding enemy, “You know I’m always up for a good improve… so… on my mark?”
Serenity shook her head, “No… Together.”
Traipse smiled, as he looked her in the eye, “… I love you Serenity…”
Serenity smiled back, “And I love you Traipse…”
The two ponies then looked back at their foes, raised their weapons up at the ready, and braced themselves to charge into the surrounding enemy. Then in perfect synchronization, the two Cutters spoke, “OK… Ready… Set… Go!!!”

Epilogue

King Harpy the forth was walking down the corridor of his palace as one of his soldiers spoke, “Are you ok your majesty? You haven’t said a word since the execution.”
The king replied, “I’m fine… it was just that commander Orem was a good friend is all. To have him call me a coward felt… unusual.”
The guard replied, “Perhaps you’re feeling guilty about his words your majesty.”
The king looked at the soldier out the corner of is eye and spoke in irritation, “And who are you to tell me how I’m feeling?”
The soldier bowed in respect as he replied, “My apologies your majesty… I didn’t mean to step out of my place.”
The king’s guards opened the door to his throne room as the king entered and replied, “You are forgiven… for now anyway.”

As the king entered his throne room, he walked over to his throne and sat down as two of his guards closed the doors leaving the king and his personal guard alone in the room, “So colonel… is there any information on the newly reformed Equestria?”
The Guard replied, “Princess Celestia has finally rounded up the resisting survivors of the Nightmare Legion, so from what I hear, the kingdom has gotten used to operating without Princess Luna to raise the moon.”
The king nodded his head, “Then to keep good relations with them, we sho…”
The king went silent as he heard a scraping sound from above. Both the king and his guard looked up in confusion but they didn’t see anything that could be responsible for the metal on marble sound that was just heard. Then with both griffins looking towards the ceiling, a voice was heard, “Nice to see you again… your majesty…”
The griffin king quickly looked in front of his throne to see a pony standing there as he gasped in shock, “You?... But… How?...”

Outside the throne room, the two door guards stood talking as they heard screams coming from inside so they rushed to open the doors but what they found shocked them. The king and his guard were murdered with no signs of entry or exit for an assassin to use. The personal guard was decapitated in a way that showed he tried to fight back, but failed. As for the king, he was found sitting on his throne with a look of sheer terror in his still opened eyes. While in his chest, stuck as if the attacker were standing on the top of his throne, was a scythe… and on the shaft, raise over the throne to claim dominance over even the griffin king… was a banner. A banner that meant salvation or destruction to all soldiers depending on which army flew it. A banner that was usually the last image seen by its victims. A banner recognized by every leader in every nation on the planet. The banner… of The Cutters.

Author's Note:

This Chapter follows both Tears of a Fallen Star & The King's War

Comments ( 18 )

Delightful i loved it:twilightsmile::twilightsmile::twilightsmile::raritystarry::rainbowkiss::pinkiehappy::ajsmug:

wow just wow if thats stuff gets any better i might just passout:pinkiehappy:

3315803
Thx I'm glade you like it :twilightsmile:

3324247
Thx ^^
feel free to check out the other stories. all three intertwine with each other. and the king's war has the cutters in it too.

I want to know more about the Cutters please write another story about them or at least confirm or deny their presence in your next story

3331225
sorry but that's all there is to it. they wont be in the next story because the next is a sequel to The Wondering Star. but the secret of Eden is a major part of the next story. but The King's war tells a large part of their story.

Read the story again and loved it even more

5687445
"Screw you guys... im going home" lol
true, everyone would react their own way. im glade you like it so far, I hope you enjoy the rest.

I loved the story!

Traipse stepped forward ignoring his wounds from earlier, “To Protect the mare I love… I do. I will kill any lord, Princess, King, or even God, that so much as threatened her!”

I feel a little upset about what he said about God as it wouldn't be plausible but that's mainly due to me being Catholic. No hate towards the story though.

8142397
I'm glad you enjoyed it. :twilightsmile:
as far as the god thing, I'm fairly curtain that the mlp universe has separate gods/goddesses of its own, some even claim Celestia as being one such goddess, but "to each his own" as the saying goes. :derpytongue2:
I'm glad you like it, and I hope you enjoy the sequels, this is the first of a series after all.

Ooh, please tell me some of these mercenaries are based off of the Ginyu Force!

9134419
Actually they weren't really based on anyone, I just threw together the idea of seemingly heartless and powerful soldiers who not only fight for themselves first, but also have a past that would bring about their lack of loyalty to any nation.
Although I never thought about it (since its been ages since I saw the old DBZ series) but the Cutters and the Ginyu Force are similar when I look at it.

If the main OCs in this story were voiced, what would they sound like?

9804057
The reaper would have a voice that only a wise woman would have sort of a leader voice.
Traipse would be almost the same with only a male voice.
and Blade would most likely have a Cocky yet untrustingly friendly voice. though at this point, she would have more of a noble tone to her speech since she is a noble again.

a truly grate story that has earned a place in my favored list.

10016937
Thx, I'm glad you enjoyed it. Its one of my darker stories, but it still fits well as a prequel

10019917
we need more story's like this i am tired of rainbows and smiles.

one of the reasons i like the five score divided by four story line's so much.

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