Sometimes, weird shit happens and you end up somewhere you never thought possible. This is my story.
The name's Volde. Well, at least that's what I called myself when I got here. My old name is unimportant now, forgotten. I was sent here for some reason, I don't know why I was chosen to be sent here of all people, I'm not at all remarkable. A lot of the people you hear about coming here are usually smart, fast, or are good fighters in general. Not me though, I was just your average joe, just sinking into the background and going with the flow while staying quiet most of the time. I guess this was some kind of ironically sick joke that the person who sent me here was playing. It's weird and ironic at the same time, I was always quiet and just formed myself to fit other people, and now I'm like this for good.
Well, this is original, right? Another HiE type deal, totally hasn't been done a million times before.
A couple quick things:
-- This story is rated Teen due to blood, violence, and colourful language. -- The prologue to the story is rushed and was only made so that I could finally get the idea out of my head quickly. I'm only adding this here to ask that people don't judge the entire story based on that little mini-chapter. -- This entire situation is inspired by, BUT IS NOT APART OF the world of Griffin the Griffin and The Ballad of Echo the Diamond Dog
I’m unimpressive. I’m physically below average and do not work out in the slightest, nor do I know any kind of martial art or even know how to fight. Intellectually, I’m only slightly above average, interested in math and tend to be better than most at that particular subject, but I’m no genius and I can make a lot of mistakes, especially when it involves financing. That is one thing I will never get, quadratics? No problem. Trigonometry? Easy as pie. But if you ask me to calculate how much money something will cost me after a certain period of time based on several factors, I can’t do it. I’m quiet, mostly spend the day just sitting in class, doing the work I’m given and not interacting with those around me unless they specifically talk to me, which rarely happens because most people know that I don’t have anything overly interesting to say. Always just blend into the crowd unnoticed, unseen, almost like I'm taking the form of others around me to seem inconspicuous.
Why was all that important? I don’t know, you tell me. Not like I’m telling you an important story about some kind of weird shit that happened to me and caused me to be where I am right now. Nope, not happening.
Okay, I’ll continue. All this happened one day because of me not being discreet enough. I was sitting in class, at the back, trying to be inconspicuous about watching a television show on the internet. That show was My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Yep, I’m a brony. Who would have guessed, right? Anyways, we recently had a new principal hired by the school and it just so happens that he was wandering through classes while I was doing this. As he walked through my class, he spotted me watching the show and came up to me, pressing the power button on the computer before he grabbed me by the shoulder. That guy was aggressive and I thought I was in deep shit. He dragged me to his office and sat me down before he began to speak.
“So, you like watching ponies in the middle of class?” Wait, what? He actually knows what it was?
“...Yes, sir,” I responded quickly. What a lame response it was.
As it turns out, he was a brony as well, an even bigger one than I was, and that is saying something. We talked for a long time, we discussed the lack of physics, favourite ponies, logic that is involved, how magic works, how pegasi manage to control the weather. I gave my theories and he gave his, it was a surprisingly long and enjoyable conversation, which unsettled me greatly because he was a teacher- not just a teacher, but the principal, it was weird and I felt like this was just him winding me up before a heart crushing punishment. It was the last week of the last year of high school and somehow, for the first time ever, I found myself in trouble, sitting in front of the principal of all people. I mostly pushed that thought to the back of my mind however throughout the entire conversation. But then...
“Would you like to go to Equestria if you could?” he asked. I don’t know why, but this caused me to pause for a moment. Every brony has asked themselves this question before, I’m no exception. I’d asked myself this question multiple times and always I would answer the same.
“Yes. Of course I would like to go there. But, I know that that thought is not going to come about because it is not possible to go there due to it being a fictional world.”
“Can you be sure of that?”
“Sir, we were just discussing the fact that Equestria does not have any logical form of physics. Not to mention the unlikelihood that watching a cartoon is that of peering into another universe entirely. The odds of that happening are astronomically against that being possible.”
“If you were to go there, what would you want to be?” A sudden change of direction, kind of derailing the current conversation here man. Whatever.
“Honestly, I wouldn’t care. Just being there would be a million times better than being here. Whether I were a pony, griffon, dragon, whatever, I would just be happy to be there, no matter what.”
“What would you say if I said I could send you there?”
“Pardon my language sir, but I’d say you were full of shit, considering it wouldn’t be possible.”
“You need to stop being so sure of yourself,” he snapped his fingers.
“I’m sorry, wha- WHAT THE FUCK!?” Suddenly I was falling, not down like you normally would, but it seemed as though gravity reversed for me as I was falling upwards, I was glad when I hit the ceiling, it was there to keep me from floating helplessly into the atmosphere. That was until of course, I started sinking through the ceiling. The last thing I saw before everything went black was the principal with his smug expression, waving at me.
Then, I passed out due to the lack of oxygen that wasn’t in the ceiling and everything began.
What happened...? Why the fuck does my head hurt so goddamn much?
I felt weak... much more so than usual, and that was on top of the blistering headache I had. I tried, despite the headache, to open my eyes, to brave the light that would come flying into them. Problem was, my eyelids felt heavy as all hell and I couldn’t for the life of me open them. I tried and tried but they would not open. Not a single part of my body was responding to the commands that my brain made.
Great, just great. How long is this going to fucking take? All right, clearly I’ve been drugged or something. Time to put in the effort to fucking do something. Damn, that guy is one sick bastard. I know he drugged me somehow, no way did I actually float up to, and fall through the ceiling. That isn’t physically possible.
I pushed as hard as I could to try and move even one part of my body, I started with my eyes at first, to no avail. After I couldn’t open my eyes automatically, I figured I’d have to use my hands and open them manually, but, my hands were completely numb, in fact, it felt like I didn’t have any hands at all. All in due time, I thought. I tried hard to free my hands from the extreme numbness that had obviously come over them from the drugs, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t feel any fingers there. It was almost as if there really weren’t any.
Did that sick fuck cut off my fingers?
A wave of panic shot through me at that very moment. And at said moment, my eyes shot open, all on their own. I dared not blink, lest I not be able to open them again. Everything I saw was slightly tinted a cyan shade. I wasn’t sure where I was, or what was wrong with my vision. I seemed to be on a calm riverbank, perfect place to have a look at myself and see what was wrong with me. As I looked down into the water, something that wasn’t me looked back.
Oh glory of glories. Oh heavenly testament to the eternal majesty of god’s creation...
“HOLY MACARONI!” I blurted out in a voice that was not my own.
I immediately shut my mouth after uttering those words. My voice, it was different, scratchy and chittery, almost like a bug. The voice fit the face that was now staring back at me. Jet black skin, pointy, curved horn, twin, pearly-white fangs coming out of my mouth, two equine-like ears with a hole at the very top of my left ear, and finally, large, iris-less, cyan eyes. I was a changeling.
No no no no. Not possible, I must be dreaming. A very bad, bad dream. Must cause self pain somehow to wake up. But, that means I need to learn to walk first. Shit, shit, shit. Not good.
I moved my head to look at the rest of my body. Jet-black, just like my face. I had wings, wings that were like that of a fly, a bug’s wings. My legs were tucked underneath me, which would have made it all the more difficult. I would have to sway my body so that I could effectively roll onto my side, then I would roll again to prop myself up onto legs. Then... well, I’d cross that bridge when I came to it.
I did my best to try and move my body, but since the only part of my body I could readily control at the moment was my head, it would have to do. I strained my new neck as I whipped it in different directions-- as if I was trying to headbutt the air. Luckily, it worked out well; my body began to sway as my head darted in two different directions, eventually plopping me onto my side and causing my legs to spring outward lazily, dangling there for the time being. That part worked just like I had hoped it would. Now the problem was... “How am I going to roll to my other side?”
I promptly let my head hit the ground as I sighed in irritation. I hadn’t thought of the fact that I wouldn’t really be able to move my body with only my head when I was on my side. However, something happened when my head struck against the hard ground. It sent a shockwave of pain through my head and neck, and also one of my hind legs. I promptly felt my right hind leg kick out in reflex to the pain. I focused all of my willpower and brain power onto moving that leg. Luckily, the pain I had felt had jolted that leg to life, allowing me to control it. It was perfect; maybe with the added momentum from my leg, I could roll into a position to prop myself up into a standing position.
I started to swing my leg at a somewhat awkward angle. I started to move the rest of my body a little bit, but it wasn’t much at all. I kept trying to do that until I felt a sharp, stinging pain in my leg. The angle at which I was moving it had caused it to twist slightly and caused pain to shoot all through my right hind leg... as well as my left front leg. I had gained control of another leg. Perfect! The only problem was the position it was in. I was right up against the ground, so I didn’t really have room to swing it along with my other leg. But no matter, I could work with this somehow-- I had to.
At an even more awkward angle, I began to swing both of the legs I could now use. Slowly, this tipped my body over into a small roll. I was inching my way onto my back, but this wasn’t what I needed, I needed a full on quick roll onto the support of my legs. I kept trying, moving my legs more quickly at that awkward angle, wincing at the pain that coursed through my legs. Eventually, I finally managed to get into a decent roll and took the opportunity to prop myself up into a standing position as quickly as I possibly could.
The two legs that were now supporting my weight were shaking from the effort of holding the rest of my body up. Now it was time to figure out what I needed to do, how to walk. But, the more important thing here was how I was going to even get control of my other two legs.
Maybe if I use my body weight to swing them, it will jolt the nerves back to life.
An excellent idea as always, me!
I began to sway in place, dragging my two currently useless legs across the ground. It worked! My right front leg sparked to life in a sudden jolt of pain as the nerve endings came to life. I now had control of three out of my four legs. It was plenty for the time being. I had to learn to walk, now.
I carefully lifted my right front leg and began to stretch it. It felt brittle- like it was going to break off at any moment. I ignored the feeling and brought the leg back down to the ground a little ahead of where it initially was. I did the same with my left front leg. However, I could not do so with my right hind leg, lest I fall due to not being able to support myself. My solution was to simply walk with my front legs, while limping with my hind leg, dragging it across the ground.
I made my way over to a nearby tree slowly. When I got there, I promptly smacked my head against the tree- forgetting that I had already caused myself pain and it didn’t wake me up.
“Son of a bitch!” I cried out in my new voice as my head made contact with the bark. It sent pain coursing through my entire body, this time jolting my final leg to life. I stumbled back a little bit and then surveyed my now working legs. Just as the rest of my body, they were jet-black. They were a lot like a pony’s legs except for they had multiple circular holes in them.
Okay, clearly this isn’t a dream. I don’t feel like I’m on drugs, that must mean that this may very well be real.
I began to think deeply then. If I’m a changeling, then that means that any ponies I come across are likely going to hate me. Assuming the royal wedding has already passed of course. Why shouldn’t it have already passed? It happened in my world, it must have passed here, as well. Okay, but even if it hasn’t for whatever reason, ponies aren’t going to know what I am and will probably be scared. Let’s face it, I’m fucking terrifying. So the only way I’ll be able to interact with the ponies is if I figure out how to change forms. Also, if I meet any other changelings at some point I’m going to need a new name, Aleksander the Changeling doesn’t exactly sound normal. Alright, what is a name that would fit this vile and disgusting appearance?
A proverbial light bulb seemingly appeared over my head as it came to me. “Voldemort...” I said aloud. But it didn’t exactly click, it was a little too long for my tastes and I didn’t want to completely rip off the name. I thought for a couple more moments, thinking of different ways I could play off of the name until I finally came up with one that would be suitable. “Volde... Volde the Changeling. Yes, that’ll work just fine.”
The entire time I was in the middle of a monologue I had pretty much cut out the world around me, so much so that I didn’t notice as a hungry bear had approached from behind. I didn’t know about it until it roared at me from mere inches away.
Shit! Fuck! Damn it all! I just fucking got here and I’m already gonna be killed!
I promptly turned around to see the very large bear that was eyeing me and licking its lips. I immediately dove down and covered my head with my bug-like hooves- thinking that they might protect me. I was practically quivering in terror as this thing hovered over me- sure I was pretty much dead. And after all that work too...
I thought I was dead, that this thing was going to eat me. That was, until my horn suddenly sprang to life. Green fire shot out of it-- not at the bear, but at me- and covered my entire body for a moment, causing me to start to feel stronger, bigger even. The bear looked like it was shrinking-- but in actuality, I was growing. The bear backed up, seemingly in shock. When the flames finally cleared, I was looking the bear directly in the eyes- at the same level. I lifted my right hoof-- er, paw-- and looked at it. I now had brown fur and pretty vicious-looking claws-- I had changed into the bear that was about to eat me. Not only did I take its form, but I apparently also took its strength. I felt so much stronger than before.
I stood up to my new full height, towering over the bear that was still on all fours. It felt good to be able to be on familiar ground-- to be on two feet once more. It was much easier to move on two legs rather than four, as that had been what I was used to my entire life before this. The bear stood up to meet my height, but, I promptly wound my paw up into a fist, pulled my arm back, and shot it forward as I punched the bear as hard as I-- or rather, it-- could, knocking it onto its back. I wasn’t about to kill it of course. I didn’t even know if my body could digest meat. Even then, I wasn’t going to kill an animal; I was in Equestria, damn it! What would Fluttershy think?
The bear was out cold. I tried to speak but all that came out were several low growling noises. It seemed that I couldn’t talk in that form. It also occurred to me then that everything was no longer tinted cyan. I could see with their eyes rather than mine.
I took the time to finally look around. I was in a clearing of a forest that I assumed to be the Everfree. There was a river nearby, the one that I had woken up in front of- it was a beautiful river, if a bit cartoony like everything else. I looked at the tree that was beside me, the one I had just bashed my head against. It was a light brown, very tall tree. The leaves were still wet with morning dew and a drop fell down from one of them and splashed onto my snout. Looking around some more revealed similar trees all around the clearing.
The bear was still out cold below me. I figured I might as well leave it there and explore the forest in this form-- at least I would be safer this way. I got down on all fours and began walking into the forest. It was beautiful with its cartoony charm-- looking all around as I walked revealed so many different features of the forest, as well as some creatures that I didn’t recognize from watching the show.
I could very well have just walked around for hours, just taking it all in, but, after about an hour of walking, I began to see the outline of various buildings in the distance. I was near a town.
Author's Notes: I said I was going to wait for feedback on that little mini chapter I posted as a prologue, but since I got none, I figured I'd go ahead and continue this anyways. There is also a pretty obvious Simpsons reference in there, let me know if you spot it.
As I stood at the edge of the forest, still in the form of a bear, I could tell plainly that the town- or rather, former town- I was looking at was not Ponyville. It was burnt to ash, only a few buildings actually remained standing- those were the outlines I was able to spot. Not a single pony was around, at least none that I saw. Despite all the charred wood, the colours of the few remaining houses hurt my eyes- far too much pink.
I took the opportunity of probably being alone to make my way into the remains of the small town. Looking all around made me wonder what could possibly have done such a thing here. Could have been some pyromaniac pony, but I doubted that- it didn’t seem like there would be ponies like that from watching the show. Possibly some kind of dragon, that seemed most likely even though I still doubted that- again, because it’s Equestria and for some reason I couldn’t think that was possible.
Walking around some more revealed far too much for my liking. Inside one of the destroyed houses laid a skeleton- the skeleton of a dead pony. There was a large piece of heavily charred wood laying on top of the bottom half of the former pony. Poor bastard had been trapped there to burn to death. The bones were also heavily charred- they looked like any touch would cause them all to shatter into ash. The only part of the building that seemed to still be intact was a small brick fireplace, long since extinguished. There was nothing else of note in the building so I simply left with a nauseous feeling in my stomach.
I decided that it was time to explore one of the buildings that was still standing. The one I chose was bright pink and was two stories high. When I opened the door to the still-standing house and peered inside I was amazed that everything looked like it was intact. Not only that, but it seemed like most of it had been used recently. After I walked inside, I started carefully examining everything in the room- starting with a tea set that was sitting on a small table in the middle of the room. The teapot was still warm to the touch, that meant that it couldn’t have been sitting like that for very long- maybe only about twenty minutes. That was when I heard movement above me, on the second floor. What the heck was someone doing, living in a place like this?
My ears perked up at more sounds, specifically the sound of a door opening. Obviously whoever or whatever was living here was going to be coming downstairs. I needed to think of a form I could take in order to get through this. I couldn’t take the form of anyone that is undoubtedly famous, so any of the Elements were out of the question. I also needed to know their voice, how they acted, and how they looked. I needed a background character that had at least one speaking role in the show. Bon-Bon was out of the question- she had so many different voices it would be impossible to know which one to use, not to mention how annoying they all were. I had always liked Roseluck’s design but I couldn’t remember what her voice sounded like in the show, so she was out. Of course! I can use Derpy! The perfect pony to use, at least for me. Now all I needed to do was focus and change.
I was brought out of my indecision when I heard a loud, feminine, shrill scream. I winced at the sound before I turned my head and saw a unicorn with a coat that could only be described as a light, desaturated, peachy yellow and crystal clear blue eyes. Her mane and tail were both braided- the braids on her mane started just at the back of her head, while the braids on her tail started right at the base- and were coloured an interestingly vibrant red and orange. The mark on her flank was what seemed to be three suns placed in what looked to be an upside down triangle. But all of this information was unimportant to me at the moment as she was currently backed against a wall with her ears splade back with obvious terror in her eyes from the large bear that was currently standing in the middle of her living room. It was at that moment that I realized that I needed to stop being so indecisive because now changing would be pointless.
I pointed my muzzle down and let out a loud sigh - which sounded more like a growl - before my body was engulfed in green flame once more and I returned to my Changeling form. If it was even possible, she seemed to shrink even more from the sight. I wondered briefly why it was that she didn’t just run - there was a doorway right next to where she was standing after all. Terror and shock can do strange things to people- er, ponies it seemed.
“W-what are you?” she suddenly asked. Despite the obvious terror in her voice, she seemed to speak in a bit of a high class voice with what sounded like an Australian accent. It seemed she didn’t know what a Changeling was, which meant one of two things. One, the wedding hadn’t happened yet. Or two, she just didn’t know about the invasion because there haven’t been any papers coming to this place for some time. In either case, the less this pony knew about me was for the better.
“That’s not important right now. What’s important is that you know that I’m not going to hurt you,” I replied in what I hoped was as reassuring a tone as I could manage with this voice. It seemed to work a bit because she looked as if she perked up slightly, so I added “What’s your name?”
“I said, what is your name?” I snorted in slight irritation at having to repeat myself.
“Oh... Uh, Sunbeam...”
You’d think that I would be used to names like this from the show, but for some reason, the sweet name caused me to feel sick to my stomach, must have just been the new form’s distaste for ponies. “Alright, Sunbeam. Now then, why are you here, in the middle of this dead town? Or more importantly, what happened here?”
She seemed to relax more as she finally seemed to realize that I really wasn’t going to hurt her. “A... A dragon attacked the town one day, seemingly out of the blue. It... It killed almost everypony in town. I was lucky that my home didn’t get touched by the beast. Those that weren’t killed ran away from the town, I was the only pony that stayed here. I was... I was too scared to leave, on top of the fact that this is my home, I couldn’t just leave it all behind like that. Plus, I... I don’t know if it’s even safe to leave, for all I know that dragon could be out there, waiting to eat me!”
“Look, I’ve been walking through this town for a couple hours, I walked all the way up to your home and did a dragon eat me? No. I didn’t even see one, so obviously it is long gone. You don’t need to stay here anymore, so why not just leave and head to another town, maybe find your family?”
She hesitated for a moment, it was understandable considering what I was. What I didn’t understand, was why she told me what she did... “None to speak of. They’re all dead, all lived here. I was the only one in my family that survived the attack as far as I know...”
She said it jarringly nonchalantly. I could tell that she was trying hard to hide her true feelings on the matter, but it was obvious to me that she was sad. Once again, understandable. I knew that if I had to go through something like that, I would probably have broken down into tears, definitely wouldn’t have been able to give off the illusion of being indifferent like this mare was trying to now. I had to admit that she was pretty good at hiding her feelings. Problem with that was, Changelings can feel any emotions that a pony is feeling, meaning that trying to hide her real feelings from me was pointless. I could feel that she was sad... maybe even depressed. With the massive waves of emotion I could feel off of her, I was amazed she wasn’t crying. This was one tough mare.
However, it was then that I realized something else that I seemed to be lacking. I was having a difficult time caring... Back when I used to be a human, I was a caring guy, I always cared about how others felt... But here, in this new body, I could barely bring myself to care about her sadness. I had no idea why that was, and it sickened me how uncaring I was. This was definitely something I would have to learn to overcome about this new form: its natural instincts. A Changeling is nothing more than a cold, uncaring husk controlled by a hive mind, kind of like the Zerg...
I was brought out of my thoughts when I noticed that she was staring at me and shifting her hooves awkwardly, probably because I had yet to reply to what she said. I shook my head to clear my mind in order to speak. “Look, I understand that you’re feeling sad about all this, but staying here isn’t a good idea,” I nearly gagged on the next words to come out of my mouth. “... I think you should come with me, at least until we reach the next town,” as menacing as I looked and sounded, I was trying my best to give off the impression of sympathy and understanding.
“But, this is my home... I can’t just leave like that...”
In my world, I had a fairly thin patience, here it was definitely even thinner. I didn’t have time for this whole rigmarole of craptastic sincerity. “Listen Sunshine...”
“Sunbeam,” she corrected, obviously not getting my insult of her name.
I felt my eye twitch from annoyance. “Whatever, listen. The way I see it, you have two options here. You can come with me and live, or, you can stay here and starve to death. As far as I know, starvation is a very painful way to go. You’ve got five minutes to catch up to me before I leave town, after that, you’re on your own,” I turned around, and walked outside.
Even though I hadn’t been in there for long, the sun seemed to be setting by now. At least as far as I could tell with everything being tinted cyan. I frowned at the thought of what the forest might be like in the night as I began to walk through the town once more, heading for the opposite side of where I came from. I still had the bear form commited to memory so I was fairly certain I’d be able to defend myself if need be.
I heard hoofsteps behind me. I stopped and turned my head, but I did not turn around. It was obvious who it was. I let her walk up next to me before I continued to walk out into the forest with her walking beside me, not saying a word. At least not until she spoke.
“I.. didn’t catch your name...”
“I didn’t give it.”
“Well can I atleast know it if we’re going to be travelling together?”
“No,” I said flatly.
“Well... Then at least just tell me what you are.”
She perked up as if I’d given her some small victory. “... Well, what does a Changeling even do?”
“I’ll tell you if and when we get to the point of me trusting you farther than I could throw you.”
“Oh... Where are you from?”
In response, I simply sighed in irritation. This was going to be a very long trip.
Author's Notes: A couple things. First, the story will pick up from here, I promise, with probably longer chapters. These first few were to just get everything going. I'll try to be faster as well, this chapter took me WAY too long to complete. Second, Sunbeam is an OC created by my friend infohippie, and belongs to them. I'm not sure if I got the description correct, so here is a picture of her. The picture of the pony was drawn by another friend named Scruffy, and the background for the picture was created by Trixie:
We had been walking for almost a full day. Surprisingly, nothing attacked us during the night as we walked. The incessant questions from my companion had stopped after about an hour after they had started by me simply telling her to shut up, thankfully. We walked in silence up until about an hour prior when she started complaining about being tired. That was when I noticed another new thing about Changelings, they didn’t need sleep, or at least not nearly as much as a pony or human. I was getting irritated with her constant complaining. She reminded me of Rarity. Of all the ponies I had to run into it had to be one like her, of course they wouldn’t just give me one I’d be able to get along with, whoever ‘they’ were. I finally decided that enough was enough and that I would try the same thing that shut her up before.
“Would you kindly shut the heck up?” I said as I turned my head to look at her, doing my best to avoid cursing.
“No,” she said, which surprised me. She continued by saying, “We have been walking for nearly eighteen hours straight. I don’t know how you can even manage without even looking tired, but just because you don’t need to rest doesn’t mean that I don’t either.”
She was right. I may not have liked her much, but she was right. If we didn’t stop soon she would likely collapse and that was the last thing I wanted because I couldn’t just leave her to die to whatever creature might find her, and because I wasn’t keen on the idea of carrying her unconscious body. I also figured that by now she definitely needed food, so I could use the time she’s sleeping to go find some.
“Alright,” I said plainly.
“Really?” she asked, surprised that I gave into her demands so easily.
“Yep. Pick a spot, any spot. Lay down and get some rest. I’ll go find some food while you’re asleep.”
She sighed in relief as she looked around quickly before walking over to the base of a nearby tree and slumped against it. She didn’t even question the fact that I was leaving her alone, in the middle of a forest. She was fast asleep.
That took less time than I thought it would. Was the only thought in my mind as I turned around and began walking in search of food.
As I walked I took in the scenery around me, it was bright. The trees all around were lush and rather large in height, but small in width. I couldn’t tell the exact colour of the leaves with everything tinted cyan but I assumed they were green. Ahead of me was a fairly clear path so it wouldn’t be very hard to find my way back. I saw leaves decorating the ground occasionally, giving the place a bit of a cozy feel. I also noticed a river off to the right.
I walked for around ten minutes before I finally realized something I had neglected to consider. I was leaving an exhausted mare defenseless in the middle of a potentially dangerous forest...
It was then I heard a very loud roar, and then a scream of terror, both in the direction I came from. If I had pupils, they would have dilated at this very moment. My horn flared as I immediately turned around and began sprinting. My body was engulfed in green flame as I changed into a bear once again, increasing the speed at which I ran tenfold.
Stupid, stupid, stupid! How could I just leave her like that and not expect this shit to happen!?
After about a minute of running due to my enhanced speed, I was incredibly quick at getting back to where she was in comparison to how long it took to get to where I previously was. What I saw caused my heart to skip a beat but it didn’t not cause me to slow down in the slightest. There, stalking towards my companion was a Manticore. He didn’t even see me coming as he was focused on the Unicorn he thought was to be his next meal. I ran full speed at the beast, and rammed into him with my shoulder. I tackled him right into a tree he was standing beside, the force of the impact as well as our weight actually causing it to snap and fall to the ground. We both tumbled over the fallen tree to opposites sides.
I was the first to rise as I stood to my full height at walked out, standing right in front of Sunbeam while looking at the Manticore as he rose from the shock of being surprised. I extended my claws and barred my teeth at him, trying to look as fierce as possible. He simply did the same, before he charged me, claws out front. I met his claws with my own as we each began to try and overpower the other while wrestling our arms for dominance. He was beginning to win, but when I looked back at the terrified face of Sunbeam, I’m not sure what happened exactly, I seemed to gain strength I didn’t even know this body had as I pushed forward, forcing the Manticore off of me and causing him to stumble back a fair bit.
I dropped down onto three of my paws while holding my right paw up in the air with all of my claws at the ready. I knew I couldn’t talk but for whatever reason I decided to say something, mostly as a joke to myself and one that only I would get. But I wasn’t expecting for the words to actually come out of my mouth.
“Bring it!” I yelled in a somehow familiar voice. Despite the shock of actually being able to speak, I didn’t hesitate as I charged the beast, spearing him in the abdomen with a tackle and causing us to tumble on the ground once more.
We both rose at the same time. Immediately he lunged at me and I brought up my left arm just in time for him to bite down on it, causing blood to seep out of the wound, and me to howl in pain. I brought my right paw around as I punched him in the head, he became slightly dazed, but didn’t let go of my arm. I punch him again, and again, and again but he barely let his grip go. Finally after about ten punches to the head he let go just enough for me to slip my arm out of his jaws. I immediately took advantage of his dazed state as I grabbed both of his arms. As I did so, searing pain shot through my left arm, but I ignored it. Once I grabbed hold, I spun, turning a full 360 degrees while using all of my strength to lift the creature off the ground and threw him, right into a tree about five feet away. He slumped against it, growling in pain.
I took the time I had to survey my wound. My left arm was bleeding profusely and I felt a bit woozy from the blood loss. By the time I looked back up, he was already on me again. I barely had time to react as he swiped his claw at me, I pulled back as quick as I could, causing his to claw to just barely graze my nose, cutting it open. I could feel blood as it dripped off of my snout while I reacted by winding back my fist, while having just barely having dodged a death blow, and coming back in for a devastating punch to his head. He stumbled back in a daze from the hit.
I realized then, that I was barely wounding him, while he had already drawn blood from me twice. If I didn’t start fighting to kill rather than what I was currently trying to do, which was simply hurt it enough so that it ran away, I was likely going to die. There was no other option at this point, I couldn’t avoid it, despite how much I wanted to. There was no way I’d be able grab Sunbeam and run in my current condition. It was either fight to kill, or die. I tried to breathe deep, but when I did I felt sharp pain shoot through my nose. I glared at the still-dazed beast that stood before me as I unwrapped my paws so that they were no longer fists and let my claws hang out as I waited for him to attack me.
When he finally came out of his daze, he immediately charged at me. I ducked down low once he got close and forced my shoulder into his stomach as I flipped him directly over top of me, barely avoiding getting stung by his stinger, and causing him to land on the ground behind me with a resounding thud, as well as a squeal of pain. I turned around to see why it was he squealed and saw his stinger off to the side of him, it had cracked and all but snapped off from the impact of an awkward landing. The poison as well a fair amount of blood mixed in to make it seem greenish spilt out of the large wound that was left. However, that didn’t stop the Manticore from standing back up, the stinger hanging lazily behind him, barely attached. When he charged blindly at me again, I did the same thing, only this time I dug my right claw into his abdomen and used my left to grab hold of and rip off what was left of his stinger. When he landed this time, he had no more stinger and puncture wounds in his abdomen.
I tossed the stinger to the side as I turned around like an idiot and began to walk away. It was only when I felt heavy arms on me while tumbling to the ground with the beast that I realized my stupid mistake. As we tumbled together on the ground, we each fought and wrestled for dominance, rolling several feet, before finally I got the upper hand due to him being in a blind rage. I didn’t waste any time, opening up my maw, I bit into his neck, finishing the Manticore as it twitched violently for a few seconds before stopping altogether, dropping his arms as he breathed out his last breath.
I got up slowly, my face covered in the Manticore’s - as well as my own - blood. I walked over to Sunbeam, wincing every time my left arm moved. She had a disbelieving look on her face, as if she couldn’t comprehend what had just transpired in front of her. She looked at me, who was covered in blood before speaking.
“You’re hurt,” she said with concern in her voice.
“It’s only a flesh wound,” I responded in that same familiar voice, with a slight, faked Cockney accent. I couldn’t get over the fact that I could somehow talk now, as well as how dumb I must have sounded earlier, shouting that phrase. Why the hell wasn’t I able to before? It didn’t make any sense whatsoever to me. But still, despite the pain, I managed a small smirk at what I said.
Something else that confused me at that moment was Why the fuck does blood taste so damn good? But I didn’t dwell on the thought.
I looked down at my arm, it wasn’t bleeding much anymore, but it was definitely covered in blood and cut up pretty bad from the bites. I didn’t know what would happen if I changed back to my regular form with such serious wounds and I didn’t want to risk it, plus I could talk in this form just fine now, so I didn’t see much of a point.
“But we need to get you some medical attention,” she said as she stood up groggily, still tired, and walked up to me with concern written all over her face.
“I’ll be fine. At least until we get to the next town,” is what I said, but truth be told, I was a little worried about whether or not I would be...
My nose hurt, a lot. It was still bleeding and I wasn’t entirely sure what to do about it. I would need to get some bandages for my arm as soon as possible, but I wasn’t sure what to do about my nose, it wasn’t like I could just bandage it up as well.
“I hope you’re right, but who knows how long that will take. I won’t be able to get very far, I still need to rest after all.”
“There’s a river nearby. It’ll be safer to rest there. Come on,” I motioned for her to follow as I walked off to the right, still on two legs. I didn’t dare trying to walk on all fours, as I knew I wouldn’t be able to.
When we reached the river I let her find a place to sleep while I walked right up to the river. I quickly looked down at my reflection, I was a bloody mess, my face completely covered in blood as well as most of the upper half of my body. I dropped down onto my right arm and dunked my head into the water, drinking some of it while ignoring the sudden pain, then I began to submerge my left arm in the water in order to clean the blood off as well as clean the wounds. I winced at the pain but I didn’t stop. After I had done enough, I proceeded to walk into the river and wash my entire body.
Once I was finished, I walked out of the river and over to a tree near Sunbeam, who was currently asleep, laying my back against it and slumping down onto my ass. It was time for rest, at least for her. I still wasn’t tired, even after that fight, well, at least not tired enough to sleep. I resigned to just sit there and keep Sunbeam safe as she slept, when she wakes, we would move out and try to find a town, then I could find a way to heal my wounds and turn back to my Changeling form.
There, sitting in that spot, looking at my wounds, I realized something. That was my first real fight. Not just here, but in my entire life. …And I loved every second of it…
Author's Notes: That was my first real attempt at writing a fight scene, I hope I didn't mess it up too badly. Anyways, I made a League of Legends reference and a Monty Python and the Holy Grail reference, let me know if you found them.
Eight hours. That is how long I sat there in silence, simply staring straight ahead at nothing in particular. I had been thinking all that time, about my past life. I was such a weak person, back then. Never had the balls to speak for myself, never had the balls to try and be witty, to stand out. Here I was, a creature thats entire existence was about doing just that, being discreet, and yet, I didn’t feel like doing that anymore. I didn’t want to be the un-noticeable man I once was. I didn’t have to be like that anymore, I could completely reinvent myself despite what I was. I could even have friends if I wanted.
Speaking of which, Sunbeam was stirring near me. Despite the fact that I may not have liked her much, she was a friend. The first friend I’d made in a while. Back home, I had one friend, just one. Sure I had quite a few acquaintances, but only one true friend, one I was going to miss. But I couldn’t think of that, I was in Equestria, dream come true, right?
Looking down at my wounds, I realized that it really was. I’d never realized that fighting, even if you get hurt like I did, was something I loved to do. The numbing pain in my arm confirmed my thoughts. If I hadn’t been sent here, I never would have known just how good it truly felt. You might call me ‘emo’ but feeling pain is much better than feeling absolutely nothing at all.
“How long was I out?” Sunbeam asked groggily, bringing me out of my thoughts.
“I’d say about eight hours by now.”
“Why is it so dark?”
“Because you passed out in the middle of the afternoon, lo and behold, eight hours later it’s night time. Who could have possibly guessed that would happen?” I made sure to put as much snark into the statement as I could.
She giggled slightly. “Hush you.”
Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad travelling with her now that I thought about it. At least she got my humour, which was a rarity. It was always hard for me to find someone who could laugh at my jokes. Probably because I was never all that funny.
“You ready to go? Because we’re leaving,” I asked as I stood up.
“Isn’t it a little late at night to be wandering around like this?”
“You say that as if we didn’t just do that the other night.”
“That was different. We were lucky and you weren’t hurt then.”
“We’re not any safer sitting here, you realize that right? If anything, it’s more dangerous for us to be sitting in one place for too long. Now shut up and let’s get moving,” I remarked as I walked past her, motioning for her to follow. She did so.
I’m not even sure how long we were walking before I began hearing her complaining again, but the sun was rising. Luckily however, by that point I had pretty much learned to tune her out whenever she was getting irritating. The thing that was notable however, was a sudden feeling I was getting. I didn’t even realize it, but I had felt hungry, and somehow, my hunger was getting satisfied. So, I decided to begin following the source of this feeling.
It took another hour or so of walking before I began to hear the distant sounds of strange carnival music in the distance, of all things. It made me somewhat uneasy, but I knew that we had to be close to civilisation, because what were the odds of finding a carnival out in the middle of nowhere? Not to mention that those feelings were getting stronger the more I moved towards the sound. I couldn’t comprehend what the feeling was exactly, but I didn’t care, I was close to civilisation, where I’d be able to get this wound bandaged up, and maybe stitches for my nose if I was lucky.
About five minutes later, I began to see the outline of a couple buildings, and a very large tent. It wouldn’t be long now before I finally reached my destination; ‘Whatever The Hell That Town Is Called.’ I turned and looked back at my companion to see a smile on her face as she looked at the outlines while we walked. Her complaining had all but stopped once she started hearing the music. I said that we’d be parting ways at the next town, but somehow, I felt that there was no way I was getting rid of her so easily. Nor did I really want to.
“Ah madame! Welcome, welcome to our carnival! The Carnival of Styx!” We were stopped by an incredibly irritating, but obviously faked voice. “I, am-” I cut him off by clamping my paw around his beak. He was a griffon that was slightly bigger than Gilda from the show with white feathers that were tinted pale blue at the edges, through the feathers on his face, he had a surprisingly dazzling and vibrant shade of blue in his eyes, I could make out a small scar underneath his right eye.
“Cut the act. The voice is pissing me off.” I saw his eyes widen considerably at what I growled out.
He dropped his fake voice immediately, bringing his own down to a hushed tone. “Y-you can talk?”
“Yeah, what of it? Never seen a talking bear before?”
He looked all around before he leaned in, speaking at only a whisper of his trembling voice. “It would be best if you let your mare friend there do all the talking around here. A talking bear is not common, and there are some who would be overly intrigued, if you catch my drift.”
What he said surprisingly made sense to me. Being able to talk in this form surprised me, I didn’t think bears could talk, even in this world, and it seemed my initial thoughts were correct. I simply nodded to him in confirmation before turning to Sunbeam.
“You do the talking from now on,” I stated plainly. She just nodded quickly.
Suddenly, a cream coloured unicorn stallion with and slick-black, short mane wearing a red and white striped shirt came up to us and stood beside the griffon that was talking to us. He had a gold ring sitting beside a crown adorning his flank.
“Varen, what are you doing over here when you should be working, hmm?” That voice. It literally took every ounce of restraint I had to keep myself from shoving my fist down his throat, just to shut him up, as well as to keep myself from saying something on the matter. It was eerily familiar to me.
Varen, that was the griffon’s name, put his fake voice back on. “Oh, I was just welcoming this lovely mare here to the carnival, Ringleader. It won’t take me much longer and I’ll get back to preparations, I promise sir!”
The stallion named ‘Ringleader’ eyed me - and more specifically my wounds - curiously for a moment before turning back to Varen. “You have five minutes,” he said as he turned around and left us.
When Ringleader was out of earshot, Varen turned to us in a bit of a panic. “You need to get out of town, fast. I saw the way he was looking at you. He always looks at the ones he wants like that before he takes them, like me.” Suddenly, he lifted some feathers on his neck to reveal a silver collar that was wrapped tightly around his neck. “He’ll put a collar like this on you and you’ll never get it off. He’ll shock and even kill you if you try, I’ve seen it happen. So for your sake, do what you need to do quickly and get the heck out of here!” He didn’t allow for us to respond as he turned and flew off to perform his duties.
Slaves. That one word is what screamed to me about this whole situation. Just my luck, of course I would have to deal with this kind of crap. If there’s anything Fallout has taught me, it’s that slavers are evil pieces of shit and deserve nothing less than death. Or Varen could potentially be lying to me, after all, the only griffon characters I knew from the show were a bitch and a sleazy chef. But then, why would he have a weird collar on? Guess I’d have to go with my gut feeling on this one. Ringleader gave me a bad vibe, Varen did not, easy choice, believe the bird. But what truly got me, was the fact that something like this could even happen in Equestria, maybe it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows after all; first I learned that dragons attacked and killed ponies, now this.
Then, Sunbeam turned towards me. “Maybe he’s right. Maybe we should just get out of here,” she said. I snorted at the idea, no way was I going to let this go so easily.
“You can leave if you want to, but there’s not a chance I’m going to let this go on. I’m not scared of some fru-fru pony, no offense,” I replied, then looked down at my arm. “Besides, I still need to get this fixed up and I’m not going anywhere until I do. So first things first, we need to find some kind of doctor, and remember, you’re going to have to do all the talking.” She nodded signalling that she understood so I continued, “we should probably head into town, see what’s there, and find the medical building or whatever.” With that said, I walked past the entrance to the carnival and headed into the town with Sunbeam.
Despite the large carnival sitting at the entrance to the town, it was actually a fairly modest little town. I understood why the carnival was in such a small town rather than a big town or city, because there were no guards. No guards were around to bother the creepy carnival owner, thus he could go on with his fucked up show without a hitch, at least until now. Looking around the town, there were several brightly coloured houses of various different hues, there were several stalls in a market in the middle of the town selling various fruits and vegetables as well as other supplies, there was also a blacksmith I saw that was working on some kind of weapon. Then, I saw what I was looking for, there was a dark green large tent with a big white circle on the side of it with a big red cross over top of the circle. I pointed at it and we began to walk towards it, however we were stopped as we passed the blacksmith when he spoke up.
“Hello there little lady, could I interest ya in some nice armour for your big protector bear there? It would make him or her that much better at being a protector, and they won’t get any more wounds like that, guaranteed,” he asked in a fairly thick country accent. Honestly, the thought crossed my mind of getting some kind of armour, but it wouldn’t really work for me, being a Changeling and all. The only way I could see armour working for me is if the armour somehow changed with me to fit every different form I would take, which was likely impossible.
Sunbeam shuffled her hooves, clearly unsure of what to say. “Well, I don’t know... I don’t really think he needs it...”
“Nonsense. Look at those wounds he or she has, with a nice pair o’ armour that won’t happen again. It wouldn’t be safe for you or them to go without it.”
Sunbeam clearly didn’t know what to say in this particular situation, I could see that by the way she kept looking at me trying to find what she was supposed to say. This was just one thing that I clearly couldn’t let her talk about for me. I heaved a loud sigh. “Look, armour won’t work for me, nor do I need it. And I’m a guy, so you can stop referring to me as ‘he or she’ and talk to me.”
As expected, his eyes widened. “You can talk? Wow, now ain’t that somethin’. Never met a talkin’ bear before. So, why were ya making the mare talk for you when she clearly didn’t know what to say?” This guy was actually fairly smart, at least smart enough to deduce what was going on.
“Because I didn’t want anyone to know I could talk, that’s why. I don’t want that creepy carnival owner to know there’s anything even remotely special about me, I know how his carnival works, and I’m not going to get taken into it just because I’m different from most bears.” Why I was telling him this, I didn’t really know. “Now then, as for armour and weapons... I already said that any kind of armour wouldn’t work for me, the same goes for weapons, I wouldn’t be able to use a sword effectively. The only thing you could possibly make for me that I would be able to use is a lightweight metal staff of some kind, that’s the only weapon I know how to use. However, we won’t be in town long enough for you to make anything even if I did want something, not that I would have the bits for it anyways,” I said.
“Oh, that...” he deadpanned. “Ah know what yer talkin’ ‘bout with the carnival. A lot o’ folks ‘round here are oblivious to what’s really goin’ on there, but ah ain’t. Ah’ve seen those collars around his ‘performer’s’ necks. Why the hay would you need to put somethin’ like those on your performers, unless they aren’t exactly willin’? Wish ah could do somethin’ ‘bout it, but I’m only one pony. Anyways, I shouldn’t keep ya up, ya should probably get those wounds there treated at the infirmary just over there. Your secret is safe with me, but I wouldn’t recommend talkin’ to many other ponies ‘round here.” He waved us off as he went back to his work; I heard him say under his breath, “Metal staff? Hmm...”
We walked a little while more, as there was no sense in continuing the conversation, nor did I want to. Soon, we were directly in front of the medical tent that was set up. I had no idea if they had a hospital, but I assumed not if this was here. I heard a small grumbling sound emanating from Sunbeam, which caused me to facepaw, I had completely forgotten about food on the way here, obviously she must have been starving after all this time. I was surprised she never complained about that. I turned to her. “Okay, after you get the doctor to fix me up, you need to go down to the market and get yourself some food. Seriously, I have no idea how you haven’t collapsed yet.”
“What about you?” she asked. Of course, she didn’t really know much about me. Probably still thought I needed traditional food.
“I’ll be fine, just worry about yourself. I don’t need food like you do. But, what we are going to need is various maps if you can get them. We need a full map of Equestria, maybe one of the entire world if possible, and finally we need a map that shows just this town and an area of about twenty kilometres outside of town.” She gave me a bit of sideways look.
“Kilometres?” Right, they must have different measurements of distance.
“Oh, right... For example, a kilometre is about the distance of... here, to just about past the entrance of the carnival. Can you work with that?” She nodded in response, so I opened up the tent flap and let her in first before I followed.
The inside was much bigger than it looked from the outside, but most of it was just unused space with free beds for the sick. There were only a few patients in the massive tent -I counted three- but there were even fewer healthcare workers, actually there was only one there, and I’d know that face anywhere. We walked right up to her.
“Uh, excuse me,” Sunbeam said politely to get the other mare’s attention. When she looked up towards Sunbeam, she immediately went from frowning in her focus, to beaming happily.
“Ah! Sunbeam! I’d recognize my sister’s favourite patient from her descriptions anywhere! Speaking of which... I haven’t heard from her in a while...”
“I... I’m afraid I have some bad news about that... A-a dragon attacked our town... Redheart of Stableton, was one of the many ponies who died in the attack...” At these words, the nurse’s ears drooped and she looked down. At the same time however, I couldn’t help but make the observation that Nurse Redheart is basically the Nurse Joy of Equestria.
“That’s exactly what I feared,” she said with a sigh. She must have seen the confused looks on our faces, because she continued with, “dragon attacks have been growing more frequent. Nopony knows what stirred them, but the results have been disastrous. Seven towns have been attacked in the last two weeks, not including Stableton. When communication suddenly stopped from there, I feared the worst. But then you showed up here and just for a moment I thought that things were better than I initially thought. Seems I was wrong in getting my hopes up, though.”
What I got out of all of that was one simple fact: I had more shit I would have to deal with. There was no way I was going to try and fight a dragon. Let the Dragonborn handle that, or at least this world’s version of that anyways. What I was going to have to deal with, was avoiding getting eaten alive. While kinky to some, I am not, and will never be, in to vorarephilia.
“That’s horrible...” Sunbeam replied, sadly. “No one knows why?”
“That’s correct,” the nurse answered. “... But we can’t dwell on it. I’m sure sompony is going to figure it out, and then things will get better,” she added. I saw Sunbeam look over to me somewhat expectantly at this; my response was to give her a look that said there was not a single chance in hell I was going to do something like that.
It was only then that the nurse finally looked over to me, slowly looking over the cuts in my arm, then she looked back to Sunbeam. “I’m sorry, but your bear friend seems to be hurt, shouldn’t you get him to a vet?” A vet? A VET!? I growled at her without even thinking. She shrunk down a bit. “Sorry...” By god it felt good to be scary; I didn't even know why that was.
“Nurse, you know there are no vets in this town. He needs medical attention, that’s why I’m here. Can you fix him up?” Sunbeam asked.
“You’re right. Well... I can’t say I’ve ever operated on a bear before, but I can try.” After saying that, she walked over to me and quickly inspected the wounds on my arm. “These are pretty deep... When did he get these, and how?” she asked, turning to Sunbeam.
“Yesterday... A manticore attacked me in the woods, and he fought it.”
“A manticore? This must be some special bear to be able to fight one of those and come out with such minor wounds, in comparison to what could have happened.” She turned back to me and lifted my arm, with one of her hooves, close to her face so she could look closer. “I’m surprised that the wounds don’t seem to be infected after all this time they’ve been open to the air. This shouldn’t be too much of a problem, I’ll just stitch them closed and bandage the arm and the wounds will heal in no time.” She looked up to look at my face then, now noticing the fact that my nose was cut open. “... However, that one won’t heal quite so quickly, and I can’t bandage it up.” She turned to Sunbeam once again. “I’m guessing this should take about 30 minutes. You can leave him here while you go grab something to eat, you look like you haven’t eaten in days!”
Sunbeam nodded and trotted out of the tent. The nurse lead me over to a table and had me sit atop it - I was almost surprised that it didn’t break under my weight. Then she went over to a cupboard and opened it, pulling out a bunch of string and a lot of bandages. She came back over to me and set to work with a needle.
While she worked I allowed my eyes to wander around the tent. It was mostly just boring stuff, medical supplies, a few patients here and there resting soundly. However, there was something that caught my eye; there were three wanted posters pinned up for two griffons and a pony. One of the griffons I didn’t recognise, but the other griffon and the pony I recognised immediately. They were Gilda and Trixie. Looked like they had turned to crime after their time in Ponyville, and from what I could gather from reading the wanted posters, they were working together with the griffon I didn’t recognise. Gilda I could understand being into the whole crime thing, she was a massive bitch, but Trixie not so much; could she really have lost so much after the incident in Ponyville that she had to resort to crime? In any case, I knew I didn’t want to run into either of them, nor was it likely that I would, so I decided to stop thinking about it so much.
After about a good twenty minutes -which included me feeling really awkward, having the nurse’s mouth so close to mine while she worked on my nose- she was finished patching me up. I brought my hand up to feel my nose, but the nurse raised a hoof and slapped my paw away. “Don’t play with the stitches or they’ll come loose,” she said; I rolled my eyes at that, but it did make sense.
Sunbeam came back in a few moments later, looking a lot better than when she left. I got up, Sunbeam and the nurse said their goodbyes, and we left the tent.
I lead us all the way to the outskirts of the town before I spoke. “Did you get the maps?”
“I got the map of Equestria and the map of this town plus just a bit outside of it. I couldn’t find a map of the regions outside Equestria. So, where are we going?” she replied as we continued to walk out of town.
“We’re leaving town for just a little while, then we’re coming back, or rather, I’m coming back. You’ll be staying behind. I’ve got a plan.”
“Wait, wait, wait. Why am I not coming back with you?” We stopped moving.
“Because when I come back it’ll be too dangerous for you to be there.”
“I can handle myself-” I cut her off.
“Plus, I’m going to have to be incognito for a bit. You being around could potentially blow my cover.”
“I... I...” She stopped and took a breath before continuing. “I guess you have a point.”
I simply nodded in response and we continued moving. Ten minutes later, we came to a small clearing. There was a nice pond -it didn’t look natural- as well as a hollowed out tree. To say that the sight was beautiful would be a bit of an understatement.
My ears perked up at a sound. It sounded like footsteps that were trying to be unheard but were failing. Then the footsteps picked up in both pace and noise level. I turned around just in time to grab hold of a large stick that was coming down towards my head, and used my free hand to punch my attacker hard, knocking them to the ground.
What laid before me surprised me to no end. I had never seen anything like this from the show.