As a former gladiator, when you're at war and then thrust into back into a coliseum in a different world filled with mythical creatures and dominated by ponies. What are you supposed to do?
Pictor Rubrum, he forgot his real name a long time ago. It's what the crowds called him and they adored him. It wasn't expected that anyone could defeat lions with a trident and a buckler, but he did it and earned their respect. Now he paints the sand below his feet red.
But, allies needed help and he was thrown into war with his trident and buckler, a very hard challenge for the gladiator. Shinobi, that's what they shouted when he saw the quick moving devil run past their line and towards their artillery hidden below the hill. He ran, and ran, getting hooked by his kusarigama and pulled me into some portal that opened up, he was sucked into it with me.
And he entered the ring again, with crowds roaring behind him filled with other beings.
A/N: I don't know much about Latin at all, so that Latin appears in English, other languages will appear as a description. This is a For Honor crossover and while the main viewpoint is the gladiator's, I may change to other's viewpoints.
The gate filtered out the sun, and so did the stone above me. I knew this arena well, but they kept putting me up against weird creatures. And I found out dragons were real. Who were they? They were all fat disgusting creatures that only wanted entertainment. They didn't worship battle like me, but I loved fighting and that's why I chose to stay. As for the weird opponents, I was sent out to fight normal things, wolves, lions, cheetahs, but then there were odd things. Wolf-like creatures made from wood, a dragon, and the next thing had to be something else.
I could tell be the way they were cheering. I didn't understand their language, it wasn't Latin, but tone spanned across languages. They wanted to watch my die again and disproving their predictions was the best feeling from this.
The gate lifted and I picked up my trident and hooked my net to my right hip. I grabbed my buckler in my hand and walked out wearing my metal mannicas, my sea-themed helmet, and my long loincloth. I chose to fight in the arena, I did in my world and I did here. They just never thought I had the ability to escape them. I lived for the fight. I stepped heavy with my sandals and I felt invigorated by the crowds cheering. My blood began to really pump.
My muscles clenched.
My spirit roared.
I am alive!
Some of them were cheering in a positive tone while some were in negative voices. I had made some fans among the crowds here. I smelt the hot sand under my sandals.
"Rome is a distant dream, but this is my new list of achievements," I said to myself and walked into the center of the arena.
I was named Pictor Rubrum after I smeared the blood of my enemy onto my buckler and sometimes my helmet, I forgot my real name, I didn't need it anymore.
I raised my arms up and nodded my head.
"Ahhhhh!" I yelled to the heavens and the crowd yelled back. Expressions jumped language barriers well.
The other gate began to raise up and I stopped my pose, rolled my shoulders and flexed my arms. I bounced on the balls of my feet. I flipped my Trident around in my hand to where I used the three-pointed tip for a stab down.
I stared at the gate and saw two eyes staring back. Once it lifted to the top, an orange furred beast jumped out. Bat wings were connected to it's lion body, a huge scorpion tail connected to its rear. It was at leas three times larger than a normal lion.
Like mythical creatures in our lore lived here.
"Fortune favors the brave," I whispered to myself, taking in a deep breath before letting it out.
"Die!" I rushed at the beast and saw that it lifted its paw to strike me down.
The best way to handle beasts it to counter their attack before it misses.
I held my trident upon it when it fell upon me. The beast, roared in pain when it impaled itself. I ripped my trident out and blood poured from the wound onto the sand.
Metal, Iron, Copper.
The smell is intoxicating to me.
It came for another attack and I instinctively blocked with my buckler and backed it up with my other hand, bracing. I was thrown onto my back from the hit, not wounded, but my back stung from the hot sand.
"Mars guide me!" I shrieked at the beast came down to pounce me.
I thrust my trusty trident up and impaled the beast onto my weapon. I rolled it to my left with all my strength and retracted away. I scrambled onto all my fours before I stood again, ready to jump around. The crowd cheered loudly, loving the show we were putting on for them.
I heard a voice yell something in an odd language above me. I flicked my head up quickly to see a pegasus...a pegasus, that's the word...a yellow-furred pegasus with a pink mane. This world just got a lot weirder.
I focused back on the chimeric beast before me, its eyes looked at the pegasi.
I saw a purple flash on my right and a pegasi unicorn mix appeared. This wasn't much of a surprise for me. It was colored purple all over, a pink stripe in the mane and tail of it.
Was this part of the show? Did they want some kind of mythical bloodbath?
It was the arena, of course it was. I charged right at the pegasi-unicorn, unhooking my net and throwing it onto them, entangling them quickly. The beast ran after me, I could hear its paws pounding behind me. I stopped and stood my ground, whipping around and punching the beast right in its nose when it barely expected it. It was immediately dazed and stumbled back. My hand throbbed in pain from all the force I just stopped in its sprint, but the fight goes on. I grabbed my trident with both hands and whipped the back end of it right into its face, stunning it again. I slammed the points of it into the paw of the beast before retreating, injuring it greatly and impairing its mobility. I saw a light blue pegasus come in from the sky above, hearing its wings flap. This one's mane was a rainbow.
I heard more weird words shouted, it seemed the pegasus wanted this to stop and the purple pegasus-unicorn wanted the rainbow one to stop charging me. It was here I caught on. They were breaking up our fight, something must have gone wrong. I relaxed somewhat, ready to react if the beast came upon me.
I looked to the purple one who stared at me and I approached it calmly, putting my trident into the steel clip on my back that snapped it into place. In Rome, I had to use other weapons at times to win a fight, that's why I had it added to my leather strap that secured my metal shoulder plates on. I stopped at it and helped it out of the net, hooking my net back onto my right hip. I solidly hit my right hand to my chest in a fist. I saw the rainbow one in the air stop flying.
It spoke some odd language.
"Do you need help leaving the arena?" I asked in my language, pointing to the gate and then to the ground and taking a fist fighting stance, trying to get through.
"You...speak...ancient Equin?" It asked in my language, the last word sounding unfamiliar. I smiled under my helmet.
I may have loved the fight, but I liked to talk and help others with simple things if possible.
"We call it Latin where I hail from. I am Pictor Rubrum. You stand in an arena, my rightly earned one. I am champion here. Do you need help leaving the arena?"
The crowd began to boo at the loss of the fight and the judges sent out other combatants.
"No, but I need to take the manticore, the thing you were fighting, out of here. It is a friend," it said in a feminine voice. That astonished me. That beast called a manticore, a friend? No way in Hades.
"Even if that feral thing is your friend, we need to defeat all these combatants. The rules here are simple, fight until one of you die. feel free to run, but come back and speak to me if you do," I informed and took my trident back into my hand.
"Weaklings!" I shouted out and ran toward one of the groups of combatants. I heard a loud thunder behind me and glanced back to see that the manticore and the pegasus-unicorn and other pegasi were gone. I silently wished for them to return. I heard a flash above me and saw they were high in the air, hovering with their wings.
I was upon the group of four and nailed my trident into the head of one of the purple skinned goblin-like creatures. I uppercut the one to the left with my buckler and sent him onto his back. I pulled my trident out of the slain one's head.
The crowd roared in favor of the slaughter.
"You're all blind!" I yelled and let the third one's blade land in between the points of my trident.
I twisted my weapon and ripped the sword out of his hand and into the grips of the air. I zipped to the left and out of the reach of the fourth's incoming swing. I stabbed into the side of the now weaponless combatant, following up and skewering him onto my trident.
"It's over now!" I shouted and manipulated him into the fourth one, causing the fourth one to stumble backwards. I zoomed over and stabbed him deep in both of his eyes, pulling my trident out of his head. I knew I hit brain and he fell over, trying to get back up before failing and deciding to die.
They were all combatants with little experience.
I looked at the one I skewered and saw him bleeding out. I stabbed the end of my trident into his skull, ending him with some mercy. My attention turned to the first one who was still a little dazed from my punch, but was on his feet.
I ran to him and engaged, stopping and holding up my trident and buckler. he took initiative and swung down. I put my metal shield up and blocked, he didn't return his weapon to his front in one second and I saw an easy way to punish that. He returned his weapon and swung onto my left. I put out my buckled and stopped his attack, sending my trident into his left shoulder where it got stuck. He screamed in pain.
Now to give the watchers a show.
I pushed him off and onto the ground where he dropped his shield and sword. He attempted to push himself away with his feet and I went for his neck at n angle, my trident was stopped by his hands. I wasn't applying my full power. I put my foot on his chest.
"Haaa!" I yelled and pushed hard, sending the points into his neck. I pulled my trident out and saw the other group of four had made their way over. They were shaking in fear from my display.
I unhooked my weighted net, my boleadoras as it was named, and threw it, capturing three of them in it, the fourth had dodged out of the way, a taller and more muscled one. He must have trained some, he also wore a chainmail shirt and pauldrons. I ran to them and sunk my trident into the first one's head as he was still trapped and entangled. I swung my bloodied weapon to my left and cut into the neck of the second and brought the end back and into the eye of the third, ending him. I untangled them myself, quickly, watching the fourth and with my hands on my buckler and trident. The crowd was going nuts. I finished and hooked my boleadoras back.
"Good luck," I said to the fourth and approached him in a combat stance. The smell of blood was thick in the air now. I was drunk in battle fervor.
I zipped to him and brought my trident to his face, he blocked with his shield and I bounced off like I was nothing. He had the combat prowess of the ones I fought in war. I grabbed my trident with both of my hands and tried a heavy strike. He blocked, but I made him stumble back from my hard hit. I spun around and tried to slash him on the other side, he blocked and stumbled again. His sword didn't budge. He was playing defensive until he learned all that I could do, a smart move, but not a good one against me, he wasn't an expert, but he knew what he was doing.
"Fall to the slaughter!" I yelled and stabbed him in the foot. He didn't fall, but backed up significantly when I released. I sent my trident into his chest and smiled. I got him and he gave me some resemblance of fun.
I pulled my trident out and he came to fall onto me with life-fading body. I impaled him again in the middle of his chest and heaved his body over mine, making him do a flip and land heavy on his back.
"Raaaaahhhh!" I yelled and put my arms into the air in victory, the crowd cheering my name.
"Pictor Rubrum! Pictor Rubrum!" That was all they understood, my name because it was easy to communicate. I felt such a rush in each chant.
Food began to come flying out of the stands. I lifted my helmet off and put my trident onto my back, holding my helmet in my hand with my buckler. My somewhat long brown hair let loose. I quickly picked up the fruits and vegetables they were throwing, catching two slabs of cooked steak in my helmet as they came out. I bit into one and was quickly enveloped in a purple flash.
I looked around and saw myself standing in some kind of throne room of the Knights that I used to work with. The walls were white and the rug below me was blue with a gold trimming. It led up to a large platform that had a ramp to reach it and two doors were behind the platform. I kept my food held tightly to my chest with my arm and the steak in my mouth.
The purple unicorn-pegasus was speaking to another one like her, except white and with a flowing green, pink, and blue mane. I still had no idea what this place was and I didn't care. I didn't have food in two days and I quickly sat down on the floor, letting go of my buckler and letting it fall to the floor in a loud crash that echoed. I knew it was safe here, I could trust the purple one.
I ripped into the steak I had in my mouth and ate it quickly, setting the bone aside and doing the same to the other one. I began to awkwardly peel the fruits with my trident afterwards, eating faster than I thought possible. Usually they'd send out more things for me to fight while I ate. It was here that I saw all the blood of my enemies over my hands and body when I tasted it. I still didn't care, there was food meant for me in my hands. I devoured oranges, apples, and raw carrots, eager to fill my belly.
"Pictor Rubrum," I heard the purple one call. I finished my food and left all of the trash from it gathered into a neat pile off the rug. I left bloodstains on the rug from my fallen enemies. I felt ashamed to ruin their rug, they were friends to me so far, but I could probably have them bring me back to the arena. I picked up my buckler and put my trident on my back again.
"How may I serve?" I asked and approached, securing my helmet back on my head.
"No need to be so formal. I am Princess Twilight Sparkle and this is Princess Celestia," she gestured to the large white one and I pounded my fist on my chest at both of them in respect for their titles.
"Do you know where you are?" She asked.
"No," a simple answer.
"You are in Equestria, ruled dominantly by ponies. You won't hurt us, will you?" Celestia spoke up. It seemed she also knew my language.
"No, I only fight the enemies of the Knights and those slotted against me in the arenas," I informed.
"Twilight, he's like he was from our ancient history, a gladiator. He's likely been fighting their for a while and hates it," Celestia inferred and made a bad assumption.
"That's incorrect. I like fighting in the arenas, I live for it. It is my home. I hated not being feed much or given water to drink. Rome is a distant dream now," I corrected.
"Did he say Rome? That sounds like Pone. He lived in such a strong era of earth ponies, except with his kind. Where are you from?" Twilight asked.
"I am from Rome. Rome crumbled from the Cataclysm that rocked all of our world, so I fight for the Knights now in their war for supposed peace. I just want to prove I'm the best fighter of all. I am not from this world, some portal sucked me and my opponent in."
"What does your opponent look like?" Celestia asked while Twilight sighed and looked at the ground, perhaps she had something to do with the portal.
"He wields two sickles on a chain. He is skinny, very fast, and hides a lot. A shinobi," both of them looked concerned at my words, "where is he?" I growled, "I hate leaving a fight unfinished."
"He's in Ponyville, he's been harming citizens and stealing items. We can't catch him," Twilight answered.
"Take me to Ponyville, he won't back down from me. We are at war with his kind, the Samurai," I clenched my fists and unclenched them multiple times.
"Calm down, Pictor Rubrum," Celestia said softly, "we'll get you there soon, but first. What are you going to do after?"
"Do you have any kind of arena here?" I asked with a smile under my helmet.
"We do have one here, but nopony dies in it, we stop fights before somepony does and we get them patched up. Everypony there willingly goes in," Celestia informed and Twilight looked kind of shocked.
"Would I get paid for fighting?" I asked next.
"Yes," she answered.
"I'll stay here until Twilight can find a way to return me and if your arena doesn't give me a good enough thrill, I can find my own fights back in the old arena or somewhere else," I pulled my trident from my back and stretched my arms. I was awaiting the fight with the shinobi eagerly, he was an opponent that could really challenge me and get my blood rushing, "take me to him. I'll clean up my mess," I demanded.
The two alicorns as they called themselves chatted in their won language in front of me.
"We'll send you once Ponyville has been declared safe for your battle, just come with us," Celestia said and I nodded,putting my Trident on my back and walking with the two who lead me through the castle and past other ponies, pegasi, unciorns, and normal ones throughout served as some sort of guard. I could feel their eyes on my back, but I could only see through the small holes in my helmet, much like a fly would.
They exited outside and immediately hopped onto a chariot, motioning for me to come with them. The chariot was pulled by two white pegasi in their armor that resembled the centurions of Rome in their ceremonial armor. I stepped up and walked to the front, gripping it when the two pegasi began to gallop and flew off the ground, pulling the chariot into the air. This was definitely an impressive feat. We began to fly over their land called Equestria, heading towards some small Knight-like hamlet in the distance. That should be called Ponyville. These horses were already super weird, but at least they treated me better than the disgusting creatures at the arena did.
"Pictor Rubrum, what is it like in your world?" Twilight asked me.
"Well, it was sorta peaceful except for the occasional Viking raid until Apollyon spread lies and war upon us all. Well, them. I'm not one of the real knights, they don't quite accept me politically as well as they accept the Centurions that joined them in the war. Speaking of the war. We had been feuding for a thousand years before we had some semblance of peace, they had. The Knights, Samurai, and Vikings. I won't explain what each is like, that you'd have to see for yourself. Apollyon woke war back up between us three before we were able to slay her and the fighting continued between us and it's been 8 more years of war. I can't tell you how many people I've seen die in their bloody war. There's no true glory in it. No crowd is watching you. You're fighting to live, desperately clawing at life by viciously attacking," their expressions changed from curious to sorrow, "but I do enjoy the fighting."
"Would you consider a peaceful life?" Celestia asked.
"Only if necessary, I'd like to fight for as long as I can. It's my place in life to fight, the reason barely matters."
We began to come down around Ponyville and we already saw the citizens going inside and the guards of their world rushing them into their homes or safe structures.
"I hope he hasn't lost his touch," I grinned inside my helmet and the rest of the ride was quiet as we pulled into the town filled with white homes that had wooden beams outside, simple decorations and the normal shops. I hopped off, "you should stay in the air while I fix this, send the guards out to."
Celestia spoke in her language and the guards formed up in a large group, leaving the town.
I was going to challenge him verbally. I took in a deep breathe.
"Shinobi! Come face me!" I know he didn't understand anything but the first part. We all knew who we were based on the names given to us from out chosen fighting styles and weapons of choice.
The town was dead silent, ponies staring at me from inside their homes. I didn't see him, but I felt watched. I heard something whip through the air behind me and I turned around, latching his kusarigama to my Trident and pulled him out of an alleyway.
"There you are!" I said to myself and he spoke his Japanese and bowed.
I gave him the same honor, bringing my trident in front of me and saluting him with it in front of my face.
He began to slowly approach. I never fought a shinobi out on the field, I heard they were really jumpy and too fast to catch if they ran. I held my trident a bit loosely in my normal head down stance. I rose onto the balls of my feet and began to rotate around the little armored opponent. I kept my buckler up at my torso.
He rotated with me for a while, this was a steel contest, who would make the first move kind of observing.
I took initiative and zipped to him, jabbing my trident out at his head quickly. He zipped to my left and tried to stab me in my side, I blocked with my buckler and stabbed the shinobi in his left arm before he retreated, a little bit of blood being spilled, but I smelt it clearly.
"Come at me!" I shouted to taunt him.
He ran towards me for a moment and then disappeared in a cloud of white, appearing in front of me. He raked his kusarigama across my stomach, causing a fresh new wound and some pain in my body. He came to bring both of them into my shoulders, but I caught it with my trident, redirected it, and punched him with my buckler into his stomach. I spun around and slashed my trident across his face. I zipped back out of his immediate reach and spun my trident in my hand. My blood was pumping and my eyes were darting all over his body, looking for the slightest indication of an attack.
He started to spin his kusarigama in circles behind him by its chain. He was preparing for something. He tossed it at me once and I dodged up some at him and to the left, he flung again and I went forward to the right. I stabbed him in his left arm and then his right arm with to quick stabs before I gripped my trident tightly in both of my hands.
"Mars favors me!" I plunged it into his stomach and connected, the three tips inside him, causing internal damage.
He mustered strength and stabbed his kusarigama into my left arm, striking deep. He retracted and went to do it again, but I slammed my buckler into his shield and pulled my weapon out of his stomach after shoving him off and onto his back. I threw my arms into the air.
"Hahahaha!" I laughed aloud to the silent crowd watching us, "come on, my dear. We're not done yet," I said to the shinobi and began walking quickly over.
He flipped himself up and dashed right, disappearing out of white smoke and kicking my right across my cheek. He followed with a strike from his painful weapon and I zoomed to my left, poking him one before slamming my buckler into his stomach and grabbing my trident with both of my hands. I brought it up and hit him hard in his cheek with the shaft. I whipped it around afterwards, cutting his chest with the trident. I slammed the pointed head down at his foot and connected.
"Fall to the slaughter, unworthy!" I shouted and pulled the end of the trident back and slammed it into his head, watching him fall when I pulled my trident from his foot.
I slammed put myself back into my normal position and slammed my trident down into the grassy earth below me, bellowing a laugh and raising my left arm. I nodded and looked at the ponies who looked on eagerly. This was a fight, a real one.
The shinobi flipped up and then covered his blade in some purple liquid. I knew this damned liquid, he planned on letting time do his work. It was a blood thinner. He ran at me, faster than normal people would have the capability to. I jabbed my trident out and he slid below me, tripping and unbalancing me. I felt his sickles dig into my back twice. I quickly scrambled forward and got to my feet. I felt my blood running quick down my back.
Damn, it seared in pain.
"To Hades with you!" I yelled and was greeted with his Japanese.
He reached into his pockets and flung some sharp objects at me in a horizontal line like he had done it countless times. I ducked and dashed forward, sprinting at him. I struck with my trident and hit him lightly in his forehead. I followed up with my buckler, but he moved to my left and hit me in my side before he flipped away and sent his kusarigama at me. I caught it in my hand and pulled him over but he was too far for me to reach. I felt blood pour from my side as well now.
I felt a rage in me, I wasn't going to be bested here. It is my assigned duty that I kill the samurai and vikings, and one was standing in front of me now. I roared loudly and charged at him, I began to hear other roaring and I wasn't sure if it was real or not. I heard the cheers of the Roman people, shouting my name, demanding I kill for them. My heart pumped harder and my breaths were deeper.
"Rrrrraaaaah!" I shouted and I was upon him, jumping high and slamming my trident down. He backed away and I followed with an uppercut.
He seemed a bit tired afterward. I quickly continued my adrenaline filled onslaught and stabbed him in his side with my trident I tried to hit him in the same spot again, but he zipped left. I was quick to recover and dodged with him, catching his left leg. He was breathing heavy, tired now. I continued my greed for blood and stabbed him in his torso countless times and his limbs at least three times on each. I had lost count and his clothing was all stained red with his own blood. I painted to ground in his color. I stopped my attack when I saw him stumble back and fell to one of his knees in pain.
I took some of his blood off my trident with my hand and smeared it across the face mask of my helmet, the small holes sometimes having a sheen of red over them like a bubble made out of blood.
I stomped up to him and feinted a stab. He went to his feet again and backed up. I slammed my trident out while he made his sloppy retreat, nailing him deeply in the chest. I grinned wildly, I had won here and now. I kicked my foot out, trying to knock him off and let my hand glide out to the very end of my trident, he slid off just a bit. I pulled him back and bashed his face with my buckler when I reeled him in. His body flew off and landed on the ground with a thud.
The fire of battle was slowly leaving me and so was my energy. I resigned to stab my trident into the earth and hold to it while I slid to my knees, breathing a bit hard.
"I have done my duty," I said aloud and looked at the shinobi's body.
War phased those of us who weren't trained killing machines, our soldiers; the peasants, farmers, servants, tailors, and other simple people. They all fought so oddly, sometimes terribly, sometimes like they were a natural. They fought with fervor and fear, they charged and ran, it must have been terrifying for them. And they reveled and cheered when one of us trained fighters showed up, they called us heroes. When we showed up to the front, their forces had no chance of living long. Wardens and Lawbringers were often up there. I didn't really know the names of the heroes well. I was usually assigned to flanking passes to intercept our enemies.
I heard cheering and praise as the ponies came outside their homes and Celestia and Twilight landed on the ground in their chariot. I looked around and stood from my feet, my thoughts broken. It felt unreal, like I was a ghost here, a marvel to their eyes. I stared off in the distance and zoned out before I thought I saw the only fighter in the Knights forces that treated me with respect, a centurion, in the distance on the outskirts of the town in the field. He began a heavy footed march alone up to me.
That meant there were other portals and maybe more of us had come in. I began to think of all the philosophers of our ancestors, their theory that there were more worlds that just ours out there. That had to be true now and it looked like ours were interacting.
I pulled my trident from the ground and set it on my back in its clip.
The ponies gathered around me, patting me and cheering in their language. I felt alive, I did have a crowd that was silent in their cheering. I looked in the distance again and saw the centurion continue his march, holding his gladius in his hand and a traditional red plume over his head, this one seemed to be pristine from the far distance with some sort of intricate metal designs in it. This wasn't just a centurion, this was a primus pilus. I didn't know they still lived after the Cataclysm. He kept coming, entering the vacant areas of the town.
"They are calling you my champion," Celestia said and laughed, "you are their champion now. You defeated him, though brutally."
"The crowd invigorates and that is the only way I know how to fight. Disabling and beating down your opponent is one of the best ways to win, the arena taught me that much," I answered.
"I know you said you fought for yourself and that it is your way of living, but I do hope you decide to stay for a while. I'd like to hear more from your world," Twilight said.
"Haha! I'll tell you all the tales about my world you want to know," I boasted.
The ponies began to run away when the centurion got close. Within a minute, all the ponies were back inside their houses. The centurion continued his march, his walk made him appear bigger and an opponent to be trifled with. He walked right up to me, staring at Celestia and Twilight before me.
I slammed my fist to my chest and bowed my head to him. He still commanded soldiers easily, but only in small groups since he was needed on the battlefield. He nodded in return.
"It's heartening to see another Knight here, especially a brother Roman. Were you pulled through a portal?" he asked, absent-mindedly sharpening his gladius on the metal of his vambraces.
"Indeed, I was, brother. I know of where we are and these horses, ponies, around us are friends. Do not harm them. The white and purple one," I pointed to Celestia and Twilight respectively, "will tell you of this land."
I picked up the shinobi's corpse and began to drag him out of their town so he could rest in peace. In my original arena, the winner got the privilege in seeing over his opponent's burial. If he thought he was worthy of a good burial from his fighting, he would give it to him; if not, he would leave their body to the open air for them to be feasted upon. I pulled hard and dragged him far out into the field the Centurion came from and that's when I saw it. There seemed to be a mountain placed right there like one of these now notorious portals opened up and it appeared on the land. There was a small village on it, complete with a longhouse. A Viking longhouse.
"Mars protect us," I whispered and dumped the shinobi's body into a small ditch, "I wish I had time to give you a proper burial, you are a good fighter," I began running back to Ponyville.
I had been ignoring and enduring my wounds for quite a while now, but my body was remembering they were there and I began to have stinging pains all around my torso from the stabs and cuts I had endured. I ran right up to the group of my friends and I stared at the centurion.
"A Viking village appeared over there!" I yelled out and pointed to where the centurion marched alone from.
"Impossible, that couldn't have happened!" The centurion shouted and rolled his shoulders, "damn savages!"
"Evacuate this town, we'll try our best to deal with them. They are from our world," I informed and took my trident out again, breathing out harshly before starting a sprint with the centurion.
"Pictor Rubrum!" Celestia yelled and I stopped in my tracks. I looked back and saw her horn glowing. I felt growth around my wounds and watched as they closed up by some magical power of hers. My wounds were glowing the same color as her horn, a bright golden yellow.
"I appreciate this," I went to run and it seemed the centurion had stopped in his tracks.
"Highlander!" He shouted and a huge beast of a man stood in front of him. He had a thick blonde beard and oddly styled hair. He wore some sort of checkered red dress over his legs. His sword, a claymore, was as tall as him and at least a tenth of his weight. I didn't know how the centurion planned to stand up against such a massive weapon even with me, but he was our old primus pilus, he could do far more than a normal Roman officer. The highlander would be slain but it would take quite a while.
War battles never ended nicely.
I rushed to his side, putting up my trident.
"I can handle him, go!" He yelled at me and engaged in combat. I took off again and saw Celestia and Twilight leading the evacuation efforts.
I ran as fast as my legs could carry me, heading toward the viking village, watching the savages leave their homes and brandish weapons as they saw me coming. Many of them were their normal untrained soldiers, but there were a few veterans among them.
I heard two loud metal clashes to my left, looking at a lawbringer and a conqueror as they were called. Both of them scrambled off their fronts and onto their feet.
The coming days would most surely be filled with blood and death in this peaceful land.
They stood up, the conqueror wearing an odd wide brimmed helmet that looked like a hat, a half circle with spikes sent through it was mounted above the brim. His flail was slightly rusty as was the chains around his wrists. He wore yellow and green in checkered patterns on his standards and half and half on his chest and back.
The lawbringer stood up, his poleaxe having gold interwoven with its leather grip. The main metal of it was black iron with a gold bladed axe head. His armor was as thick as every lawbringer's and he had the color scheme of green and yellow as did the conqueror.
I knew these two, the Knights talked about their legendary skills in battle. The conqueror held the flail and shield and he could hold a key point for hours against so many foes, it was their job. The lawbringer held his poleaxe, they had an immaculate sense of justice for the people and they could counter their opponents quite well. These two were heroes.
If they showed up, something was surely wrong with our worlds. War was coming and I could already smell the burning tar in the air.
"What happened?" The flail masterspoke and gave his flail a spin before catching the chain.
"I don't know. A portal opened up below us and we fell in. Gladiator, where are we?" Holden looked at me.
I pounded my chest with my fist again, "You are in a place called Equestria. As far as I know, I was one of the first to arrive here with a shinobi. I have since slain him and then a Centurion showed up, a primus pilus. He is busy holding up a highlander."
"Thank you, why is there a mountain of snow in this grassy field?" The lawbringer said asked next.
"A viking village appeared here. The inhabitants of this place are dominantly ponies, they are peaceful creatures. You will know one when you see them," I informed and began to walk towards the village.
"Gladiator! Where are you headed?" The conqueror shouted at me.
"To protect these kind ponies that fed me and helped me," I said back and broke into a sprint.
"I like him, kid's got spirit and heart," I heard the lawbringer say and begin running behind me along with Stone.
I liked my odds now, I had two of the best Knights with me against all of the Vikings on that hill. We continued our charge and heard the yells of battle in the short distance. We saw many normal viking people pour out and dressed in red. They charged at us. There were dozens that poured out, this was a military establishment. The three of us began a war cry as we clashed and began to slaughter all of their untrained soldiers.
We were knocking them down and delivering killing blows quickly, thinning their growing numbers while they poured out and began to surround us. I occasionally felt a blade hit my skin, but not as strong as one of the heroes weapons would have felt. It was negligible, but the pain piled on after a few cuts. After many minutes, we thinned them down to around fifty. This is when something bad happened.
We saw two inhumanly muscled men rush out of the gates. Both of them held large axes with wood carved designs in them. Their beards were large and both had ponytails that hung off their back, one of them had a ring in it. They were bare chested except for the fur on their arms and shoulders. Their pants looked lake they were crafted out of russet sacks. Both of them held up my two new allies, one on each of them. I continued to knock down soldier after soldier until they were very sparse and held their shields in fear, some ran back into the village. I saw a very angry looking Viking come storming out of the gate.
He held a large round wooden shield and a normal sword. He was covered in fur and with a thick metal helmet. I knew this one, they were called Warlords and they refused to go down.
"Jupiter help this world," I raised my buckler and trident up again. I looked to my left and saw my two allies still held up.
I took in a deep breath of the air around me and let the scent of blood enter my nose.
"Raaaaaah!" I charged forward at him, I knew what I felt and I felt it many times.
I looked at the tired and bloodied highlander, he had not expected my gladius to prove such a painful and dangerous weapon in my hands. He was breathing hard and I knew I had little time to act. I rush to him and jumped, attempting to stab down onto him. He blocked my attack that resembled an eagle. I followed by smacking his jaw with the back of my metal vambrace. He was dazed, but just long enough. I pulled him close to me and slammed my helmet into his head. I sent him stumbling over and onto his back. I ran and jumped, slamming my gladius down into his ribs with the full force of my blade, I pressed it in a little further and made sure he was dead before I pulled my trusty friend out and stared onward to the fort in the distance.
"Centurion is it?" The large white unicorn-pegasus approached me.
"I am a primus pilus of the old Roman army. You may call me Celsus. I have no time to talk, I must assist my brothers in their fight. Follow the gladiator's advice, evacuate your people to somewhere safe," I instructed and began a sprint to the battle I saw in the distance between the houses and across the field. The large horse was left speechless at my actions.
The Roman army soldiers were taught to be fearless and respond quickly, and as a higher ranking officer, more was expected of me than that. Rome may not be here anymore, but my duty as a soldier is top priority.
Hundreds of soldiers surrounded the gladiator and two other knights. I was pleased to see we had allies, but this meant worse was to come. It was many minutes until I reached them, most of the soldiers lay dead and a raider was on each of our allies. I quickly distinguished them a lawbringer and a conqueror. I decided I'd help the one who I shared Roman blood with as he was fighting a warlord, and they never went down easy to start with.
I ripped my small pugio from my side and nailed him in his chest, the warlord stopped for a moment and struggled to get my dagger out of him. During the time, I readied myself and dove into him, stabbing my gladius thoroughly into him.
"I won't be stopped!" I shouted and punched him hard right in his jaw.
The warlord stumbled back and collapsed and I saw the gladiator standing to my left. He nodded and I nodded back. I ran up and slammed my gladius into his chest, "I am better!" I gloated. Not only was my chanting intimidating to my enemies, but it kept morale high for my allies. The gladiator followed me up once I pulled my gladius free from him and stabbed his trident into his neck quickly.
The gladiator named Pictor Rubrum put up his buckler and I smacked it with the back of my hand. We Romans tend to have better coordination on the field that some of the knights do.
We looked to our left and saw both raiders already lay dead.
"Ahhh, it's nice to meet you both," I flipped my gladius around and pounded the pommel to my chest.
"It is nice to see you, Centurion. Did a portal get you here?" The conqueror asked me.
"Indeed, what are your names?" I inquired.
"I am Kenneth," the lawbringer announced.
"I am Galfred," the conqueror answered my question.
"Galfred, Kenneth, from what the gladiator told me, this world is mainly dominated by ponies. They are peaceful creatures and to be protected from those savages and the damn Samurai. We have yet to see much of a Samurai force here. I advise you torch the Viking village to the ground and leave no survivors, then report to the town over there," I pointed at the small hamlet I was at a moment ago with the gladiator.
"That is a sound idea, we should plan out our moves now that we are here with level heads," the lawbringer said.
"There is little planning to be done, but if more of our forces enter here, we need to have a place for them to gather up," I said. It seemed they respected me just because they knew I was one of the few remaining primus pilus or my natural leadership and battle skills.
"The centurion and I will head back to the town now and begin putting up banners for our forces to find us," the gladiator named Pictor Rubrum said.
"The name is Celsus, let us depart immediately," I turned and began a march back to the town, the gladiator lazily walking next to me. Kenneth and Galfred began their own walk to the village.
"Why march? We have no enemy to fight against?" Pictor Rubrum questioned me.
Even though Rome fell to the earthquakes and the disasters, we of the old army still held ourselves high.
"I have pride in everything I do, why do you slack now?"
"Because you barely get time to relax between battles and you need every bit of energy if they pit you against lions," I found his statement a bit disheartening.
"You should be training or exercising and getting stronger. Harden up," I was harsh with my words.
"The Roman Army might have been about being tough so your enemies never saw you falter, but out in the coliseum things were different. It wasn't about getting tough, it was about surviving long enough so you won the crowd's favor and they wanted to see you fight. It was about the glory and the food you'd eat, never the physical prowess. Maybe you'll step into the arena with me here one day," he challenged me.
"I'll be sure to then. I was interested in just how you fight all those creatures and live when it's just you out there," I smirked. Glory did sound great to have. I missed having the admiration of all the Roman army and the people who would salute or bow as I passed by.
We kept silent the rest of the way there and I began to sharpen my gladius again. My sword was specially made for my position and the iron had never yielded to anything. It was more than just a blade, it was my silvery line of life. The pommel of it was designed into the shape of a centurion's helmet for ceremonies, silver being the face mask and gold being the helmet and the textured handle of it. My handguard was covered in a small layer of gold, some scratches in it, but held intricate designs with a wing of an eagle on both sides and a red gem on either flat of the handguard. My actual blade was simple, but always shining and barely scratched. I had just recently gotten the blade replaced before I was sent here.
A gladius is a centurion's best tool to use in combat. It is the steel arm of the Roman Empire that falls upon their enemies. It is part of us.
"So, the two large ponies back in that town. The white one is Celestia. The purple one is Twilight. And the town is called Ponyville," Pictor Rubrum informed me, twirling his trident.
"Thank you for the information, Pictor. Your name is odd, were you born with it?" I asked.
"Of course not. Who would name their child the red painter? I forgot my name because I never used it in so long, the crowds get to name you in the fight. You're either called the bloody mess or you're given a good name," he laughed, "I wish I was back in there already, I wanted to finish off that manticore."
"Manticore? That can't be right. We've never seen one, some suggested that the gods wiped all mythical creatures out so we would never have to struggle with them," a mythical creature here might be possible from what I've seen.
"I fought one in the arena, I was doing well too, disabling its paws when a friend of it interrupted our battle," he laughed aloud.
"Odd," that was my last comment as we entered the hamlet known as Ponyville.
I saw those two horses still standing, worried and confused expressions on their faces. I approached them myself.
"The Vikings are taken care of. Two of our friends have arrived here, they are dressed in green and yellow, the colors of the Knights. If you see any wild men with red and black that are rowdy and behave like animals, those are Vikings. Do not be merciful. They raid and pillage for fun," I informed, "the Samurai wear wooden and metal armor often, if you see any silent and smart warriors, those are they. If they run, beware they might bring back larger forces."
"We still need to set up signs that our headquarters here is in Canterlot and with your permission, we can establish a fort here to guard your people," the gladiator said.
"Headquarters? You aren't causing a war are you?" Twilight asked.
"Twilight, my dear friend, we owe them to at least have a place to gather their forces so they aren't all slaughtered. And a fort in Ponyville sounds beneficial to us both. I will allow it," Celestia said.
"We will do our best to protect your people," I announced.
"We'll all take the chariot to Canterlot and help you set up your headquarters," Celestia said and hopped back on the chariot, "Twilight, please stay here and help them garrison a fort in Ponyville. Remember we need to protect the citizens and they know the ones who are responsible for hurting the ponies here."
The ponies came out and many of them gathered around Twilight, offering to help and thanking Pictor Rubrum.
A foal came up to me and began thanking me with gestures and a language I didn't know. I mentally thanked my great education given by the roman army. We were taught to be proud and never show a weakness, but this kid had come to me alone and thanked me for my simple service in war. I stepped off the chariot and crouched.
"Centurion. Celsus," I said and pointed to myself twice, to help them understand who I was, I ruffled his head before standing back on the chariot, earning a smile from Celestia. Pictor soon joined us.
The chariot began moving and then took off into the sky.
"Like the Gods themselves built it!" I shouted, surprised to see the chariot flying jsut like Helios' preferred mode of transport.
"It is amazing, isn't it?" Pictor said in response.
The ride there was filled with silence while Pictor and I looked about, trying to make observations of the land. Trees were all around us with mountains in the far distance. We saw a desert and ocean on two sides of this land we were on. I couldn't draw any map since I don't have a compass, but I had some awkward understanding of the geography of the land. I doubt Pictor did.
"Celestia, I hope I can have access to your tailors so we can begin making banners to signify where we are gathering," I spoke up when the chariot touched down in front of the castle.
"I can arrange that," she answered.
"You have my thanks. I will need paper and some writing utensil to draw the banner for them," I also informed.
"Come, follow me, Celsus," she stepped off and walked away.
"Celsus, I shall explore the city on my own and let you know of anything that needs fortification," Pictor said and walked towards the front gates.
"Very well, I hope to see you again," I said as I left with Celestia.
"I can personally teach you the Equin language, so can Twilight. But first, let's get you that paper," Celestia lead me into the castle and through the halls.
"How do your forces fight?" I questioned as I saw the guards holding spears and a sword strapped to their side while we made our way to our destination.
"What do you mean, Celsus?"
"Well, I never really studied much on how we smithed, but I knew what our weapons were used for and our tactics and battle plans is how I commanded in Rome. We would use phalanxes and scutum walls as a basic strategy for attacking," I said.
"We do use phalanx formations, but what is a scutum wall?" She asked.
These ponies would soon become the strongest military force here.
"A scutum wall is a line of soldiers with others behind them in case any of the enemy punched through. The scutum is a tall tower shield and using this tactic, our soldiers primarily fought with their gladius. We would push right against the enemy where their weapons required a wide swing and we would reach over our shields and stab them with a gladius until they fell. Sometimes we would continue pushing forward and our brothers behind us would finish the fallen off as we stepped on or over them. I can train your soldiers in it if you'd like," I informed.
"That does sound promising, but we won't be in your war, will we?"
"You won't and we'll try our best to protect your people that are within our shields," I pounded my chest to her while we walked.
I was paying attention as we went down the corridors, but there wasn't a conceivable way to make note of where we are since the halls all looked the same and no doors were open so I couldn't mark the position of the rooms. We reached a door at the side of a corridor and Celestia opened it with some mystical power of hers that made the handle glow a gold color. I saw tailors inside that gave me a fearful look, mostly because of the stoicism of my helmet and the red that was prominent on it. I hadn't had a chance to don the familiar green and yellow, neither had Pictor when we were sent as reinforcements at Mount Ignis. I marched in and Celestia handed me a large piece of paper and some odd featherless quill.
"I thank you, Celestia," I said and quickly began to draw the base shape of the banner.
"You are most welcome, Celsus," she said warmly before she began to speak with the tailors. I heard my name and assumed they were talking about who I was and why I was here.
I continued work on the banner until it was finished, handing it to the tailors once it was done.
I walked down out of the gate and down the steps, grazing my fingers over my trident to make sure it was still there. I was still bloody from my previous fights, but Celestia had healed my wounds by some gift she had. The ponies here were very odd, but I knew we had to protect them. That is something that the wardens instilled in us, the duty to protect the people. I walked out to the farthest reaches of the city, climbing a set of stairs to stand on the city wall. The ponies all gave my weird looks or ignored me; some sped their pace up so I wouldn't be near them anymore. That was the reaction I expected.
The guards gave me an odd look as I stood on the walls, but they left me be. I walked about it, finding we were indeed on the side of a mountain. I walked away from the area of the walls that were close to the mountain and more toward the part that overlooked that cliffs. The guards still looked at me odd, some even gave me stern looks in an attempt to scare me. I've seen far worse in the arena than them.
I looked down and saw it was a dangerous fall or a risky climb. Defending this place would be very easy to accomplish if it comes under siege. I didn't see any catapults, trebuchets, or other siege engines so we would have to build them. Hopefully Celsus knows. This city would be the perfect stronghold for our main operation.
A huge portal opened at the bottom of the cliff in the huge open field. Many of our soldiers were sent through along with the samurai forces, it looked like we were being routed in the battle that stopped for just one moment before it continued.
I heard a loud yell in Japanese over the normal battle cries and other sounds of struggle. a large barrage of fire arrows left from behind the main force of the samurai and headed towards our soldiers, particularly at the front where one of our 'heroes' were. He was taller, but I couldn't tell what he was.
I looked back to the city and caught a glimpse of the arena here, it did look exactly like a smaller coliseum. I smiled big under my helmet; I wanted to go there now and sign up, but there was a much more pressing matter.
I ran down the stairs and began a mad sprint back to the castle, Celsus needed to know immediately. We need to mobilize ourselves and help our men down there. I stopped as a guard was headed up, a pegasus with a bow, he looked at my in question at my fast movement. I dragged him up the stairs again and pointed at the blue samurais and made a motion that mimicked shooting an arrow from a bow. He nodded and took fire on the samurai, firing arrow after arrow down the huge cliff. I continued my earlier run.
I finished the banner drawing and Celestia took it, instructing the tailors to make many of them and sent them down to the blacksmiths.
"We would need them attached to poles and structures around the city, good call, Celestia," I finished and one of her guards burst in the somewhat quiet room, a pegasus.
They both shared a brief chat that was spoken quickly in their language. Pictor Rubrum entered the room shortly after the guard left.
"Celsus! We have a battle between the Knight and the Samurai happening at the mountain base!" He shouted and he gripped his trident. I took my gladius from my side and laughed.
"Let's show them who they're messing with then!" Celsus shouted and laughed, "Celestia is there a way we can travel down there quickly?" I asked.
"I can teleport you both," she said with a sigh.
"Please do, Princess!" I requested.
Her horn shined a bright gold and our view changed from the sewing room to the castle walls and then right behind some of the Knights. I looked around and saw she wasn't with us and spotted her only when I looked up at Canterlot.
"Ready?" Celsus asked me.
Ready!" Pictor responded.
"On me!" I shouted and ran right through our main forces, headed to the front of the fight. I noticed arrows were flying from Canterlot, hitting the samurai.
Our soldiers cleared a path for us to sprint through while we ran, closing behind us and opening in front. They at least had that much coordination. We reached the front and the enemies soldiers had fear in their eyes the moment we reached them. We saw an injured peacekeeper begin to fall back through our line, some arrows in her shoulders.
"I am incredible!" I shouted and jumped at the end of my rush, slamming the point of my gladius into one of the soldiers skulls. The rest of them around began to slowly withdraw as Pictor joined me, downing one after another with his trident and buckler. They were afraid.
Rome. I fight for glory to my fallen empire more than the Knights. I use the skills they gave me in their honor to show that they are to be denied of their frightful power that only mother nature could conquer.
I continued to fall them, one by one, punching through their shields and slashing their throats or severing limbs.
I froze when I saw them part after a good minute of seeing them withdraw.
"Aramusha! Aramusha! Aramusha!" I heard a rapid chorus of our soldiers saying in fear as they stopped pressing and held their ground.
I looked to my left and saw that Pictor took notice of this new threat.
"Pictor! With me!" I shouted and held my gladius tight in my right hand. By now they knew we were here.
"Got it!" He grouped with me on my left.
I saw the samurai appear, wearing no armor. He wrapped bandages around his forearms and wore a large and thick robe along with a broad-rimmed straw hat that was broken in the front so he could see. I saw right to his face and his eyes showed no fear and a solid determination. He held two katanas, one was posed above his head and pointed at me, the one in his left hand was pointed at Pictor.
"Catapults!" I said and saw orange light appear on the shields of the samurai soldiers. This caused the Aramusha to rush us and begin a fast assault of rapid strikes to keep us back with the catapults rained down on their soldiers, killing many of them while they tried to flee, "shields up! Tortoise formation!" I yelled out as I saw arrows start to return on our own soldiers.
I heard a cascade of wooden and metal sounds behind me while I focused on defending against the rapid katana swings. I prayed enough of them knew the tortoise formation the Romans had all gladiators learn about before they let us on the battlefield. We made them all able to lead to some extent since it would have created a big imbalance if we could have performed far better than them but also be at their rank.
Pictor and I kept on the defensive until I struck at a perfect time to parry his blade, I trapped his right katana against my vambrace with my gladius and I moved toward him quickly. Pictor caught his katana coming down to me with his trident. Another Roman tradition was to place trust in your brothers during war, we would all protect each other.
"Pictor!" I yelled and slammed the pommel of my gladius into the Aramusha's nose, causing it to break and immediately bleed.
"Got it!" He sent his trident into his foot and I followed with a jab, causing the Aramusha to stumble away and onto his back while Pictor removed his trident.
The moment he hit his back, we saw an amazing feat. I was prepared to jump and send my gladius through his chest, but this stopped me. He rolled backwards and deftly landed on his feet. My mask hid my open jaw, this samurai was an amazing warrior.
I went around to my left and began to feel blades on my back as I moved, it didn't hurt thanks to my armor, but some cuts were getting in. I reached the back of the Aramusha who was likely too dazed to have seen what I just did. I nodded to Pictor and he sent himself sprawling forward at the now defending Aramusha. His trident was quickly stopped and moved aside. The Aramusha went right for a counter.
"Weak!" I shouted and stabbed his back with my gladius. He turned partially to face me and his jaw met my incoming fist.
"Hahaha!" I was enjoying this a little too much. I assaulted his dazed form while I heard heavy breathing from him.
I cut into his left arm with my gladius and then into his right shoulder before I roughly grabbed him and shoved my forehead into his. Straw fell to the ground when I broke his hat. I continued my onslaught, despite the soldier's blades still falling on my back.
"You won't stop it!" I bellowed and twisted about, roughly shoving my gladius into his chest where he stood somewhat shakily.
I shoved my gladius as far into his chest as it could go before I turned around and walked a little away.
"Raaaaaah!" I cried and threw my arms to my sides at the enemies. I came back to the Aramusha who had my gladius halfway out of his chest. I pulled it out and severed his head from his body with a strong swipe. I felt alive, ready to take on a thousand centaurs.
"Celsus, since when did you act like me?" Pictor spoke up from my right and I saw him slaughtering the now retreating forces.
"We are Rome. We have our pride even here, Pictor! How could you forget?!" I sent my gladius sprawling o from side to side in front of me. I quickly cut down the enemy soldiers as they backed away.
"You make a valid point!" Pictor spoke up.
It wasn't long before they were routed and fell into the woods away from us. I heard the soldiers and the entire battlefield now cheering for our victory. The peacekeeper that use dot be injured approached us.
"Thanks for the assistance, when we fell through that portal, the samurai were quickly upon us," she started.
"We're all in this war together, are we not?" I stated and playfully hit Pictor in his chest. He punched my arm back.
"I am Mercy. You have my thanks, I'm not meant for the front line," she nodded to both of us.
"This is a new world, Equestria. We have taken refuge with the ponies and are gathering our main forces at the city on that mountain," I pointed up and saw a spot of blue and white on the walls, "that is Canterlot. We may be in war, but we must protect them for they won't fight with us and we all knows how those bearded savages act," I chuckled.
"Very well, I will meet you there once I inform all our troops here," she sauntered off back to the main force.
"Come on, Celsus. Let's head 'home,' and see the princesses," Pictor spoke up.
"I could use a drink after that!" I laughed while we began to head to the trail up the mountain around the sharp cliff of it.